From: Equestrian Clothing
Equestrian Clothing • Chaps
Chaps have a long association with horse riders and are most commonly associated with cowboys who would wear full length chaps in order to protect their legs from the rigors of daily life in the saddle by way of protecting them from the likes of knocks from other horses and cattle as well as the rugged vegetation and from the ropes that they used.
Today chaps are still very much in use both as a sensible means of protection and support as well as for traditional dress purposes where you'll find many colourful chaps available that are covered with decorative additions such as fringes, conchos and elaborate stitching.
Chaps are worn over the riders usual jeans or jodhpurs and can be either short in length running from just behind the knee to below the ankle which are worn over short jodhpur boots, or long in length attaching around the hips and running the full length of the leg covering from the thigh to the ankle with only the seat area left uncovered allowing the rider to stay in close contact with the saddle.
Chaps are designed to allow for freedom of movement and comfort and are also available with extra lining for those colder months as well as waterproof options which as many equestrians will know is always of great benefit.
Another form of chap is the farriers apron which is a shorter version that attaches around the waist sitting as the other full length chaps do at the hips but stopping just below the knee to offer farriers some protection whilst shoeing horses from rough areas of the horses hoof as well as from nails and general knocks that can occur.
Sizing Half Chaps
For short chaps measure from the back of your knee at the point where you would like the chap to finish to just below the ankle. For full chaps you will need to measure the inseam, out seam and thigh size although many chaps are available in standard sizes such as small, medium, medium long etc. There is also the option of having your chaps made to measure so that you can have exactly what you want in terms of size, style and decoration.
Styles Of Full Chaps
There are a couple of variations to the full chap:
Chaps are available in a wide variety of colours from pink to black with additions such as tassels, pictures such as stars and hearts or simply plain depending on your preference. If wearing short chaps for competition the same colour boot as the chap must be worn, for example a brown boot must be worn with a brown chap, but confirm with the dress guide lines of the event before hand. Long chaps can be custom made to suit with various trims, underlay, stitching, pockets as well as silver plated or leather conchos with strings also available.
Chaps can be made of leather, suede or plastic and they contain a zip which runs down either the side or the back of the chap or buckles which attach to the outside of the thigh. Long chaps are either attached around the waist with a buckle or clip attachment often positioned to sit around the hips.