I was over in the Off Course forum and it was suggested I try asking the racing crew for advice on super tough, long-lasting half chaps.
I've got a friend looking for some heavy duty half chaps, preferably not suede. We've had a lot of trouble finding ones that last more than a couple months without being worn right through. The last pair of Sergio Grassos (sp?) lasted a whopping three weeks! He's been riding in tall boots lately but wore right through the thick (and very well done) patch-job that had already been done on his Vogels from the last big hole he made in them... Nothing seems to hold up!
So.... What are the toughest brands you've come across? He's on a good 10+ horses/day so they need to put up with a lot. A couple of suede pairs have also been tried (can't recall the brand names right now) but those were destroyed quite quickly as well.
I'd rather be riding!
If you don't mind travelling across the border, check with Marty Bowman, (585) 924-4024, at Finger Lakes Race Track in Farmington, NY, near Canandaigua. She does tack and leather repair, and also makes wonderful, tough chaps. They last for exercise riders, and they would probably be just what your friend is looking for.
Plus, the Finger Lakes area where she is located is beautiful this time of year. So, make it a weekend, and spend some time watching the races and soaking up beautiful Canandaigua Lake.
I have had some that I have owned for 20 years. And I bought them second hand, though they appeared new at the time. I think they are made of Biothane, they are not leather, though they look just like leather. They have a very thick leather addition on the inner side of the calf. I do not know who made them, there is no name on them, they must be custom made. They have a cut out at the back of the heel for access for a spur. So they are available, somewhere, from someone.
I had these half chaps on when I came off and was stepped on, a hind hoof stepped directly onto the inside of my shin bone, as the 1500 lb horse launched into a huge buck, directly off my leg. I figured it was broken for sure, snapped in half, as I watched it happen. But it was not, only a huge bone bruise and nerve damage done. Partially due to the soft footing we were on, and partially due to the protection given by those thick, tough half chaps. Fortunately also, the horse was barefoot behind.