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Full Length English Chaps

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  • Full Length English Chaps

    I have been riding in paddock boots and 1/2 chaps for the 5 years I've been riding. My trainer used to wear full chaps back in the day. About 3 years ago she switched to 1/2 chaps. Anyway, she was able to fit into her full chaps again and is riding in them. She thought I would improve my riding and sticking in the saddle if I got a pair.

    Here is the rub: Custom chaps start around $450 here in LA. Since she and I are not nearly the same size, trying to ride in hers are not really an option.

    I guess my question is:
    1) do you ride all the time in the full chaps
    2) are yours custom
    3) are yours leather or suede
    4) how did you know you would like full chaps if you didn't have a chance to try them on.
    5) if you don't have custom ones but off the rack ones, are you happy with the fit and feel customization isn't necessary

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by 3 is the limit; Mar. 22, 2011, 03:48 PM. Reason: another thought

  • #2
    1) do you ride all the time in the full chaps
    No, I only use mine in the fall/winter when it is cold. They are W-A-R-M!

    2) are yours custom
    Yes, from Journeymans.

    3) are yours leather or suede
    Smooth Leather.

    4) how did you know you would like full chaps if you didn't have a chance to try them on.
    I had ridden in off-the-rack ones prior to getting mine made.

    Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles

    Comment


    • #3
      1) do you ride all the time in the full chaps

      95% of the time, the other 5% is to remind me what boots and breeches feel like for shows. I don't mind them in the summer - and I'm further south than most, because when I take them off its like stepping in the A/C, and I don't really notice it when I ride.

      2) are yours custom

      Yes, Tenney's

      3) are yours leather or suede

      Leather (never get rough out! srsly!)

      4) how did you know you would like full chaps if you didn't have a chance to try them on.

      I never really joined the half chap craze, except way back when I was riding in "gaiters (half chap predecessor). All I can remember is when I went from those to full chaps, it was like the promised land. Of course this was before I had custom boots and good half chaps didn't exist... still, I like full chaps more!

      5) if you don't have custom ones but off the rack ones, are you happy with the fit and feel customization isn't necessary

      N/A - mine are custom, but if you have a good leather person who can take a nip and tuck here and there, that may be an option if the price is right.
      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh, I love my full chaps. I have Journeyman chaps that I got 11 years ago, and they have held up beautifully. Smooth out and definately custom. I used to tailor chaps, and would make them up from old western show chaps. But I wanted to splurge!

        You'll love them.
        The truth is always in the middle.

        Comment


        • #5
          Forgot to mention: Half chaps came in with the expensive French saddles. Those expensive saddles are made of really soft leather, and riding in jeans and chaps literally wear them out. So everybody started riding in breeches and half chaps.

          So consider the type of saddle you have. If the leather is really soft, don't go with chaps. I have a Pessoa GenX. It's not an expensive saddle, but It's lasted longer than the chaps and is wearing beautifully.

          Look at your saddle before you decide to go with full chaps.
          The truth is always in the middle.

          Comment


          • #6
            I used to ride in full chaps - mine were custom from Leather and Spice, who are no longer making them. If I could still fit into them (which I don't!), I'd still use them in the winter as they are warmer. But I really prefer half chaps now days. I didn't realize it until I made the switch and felt the difference, but the full chaps really put a lot of pressure on my knees and made them sore. Without the full chaps, my knees are happy. And I don't have that scary, what am I going to do w/o my full chaps feeling when I have to go to a show and wear breeches and boots!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              To TB1201, I have a CWD saddle and you make a good point about the leather wearing out sooner.

              Also, horsepoor, never thought about the knee thing, so thanks for that.

              My friend has some hobbyhorse (western) suede chaps that she'd be happy to loan me. They are a little big and have fringe (the horror LOL) on them. Do you think that could work if i had them fit to me and chopped off that horrible fringe?

              Thanks again for the advice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Thoroughbred1201 View Post
                Forgot to mention: Half chaps came in with the expensive French saddles. Those expensive saddles are made of really soft leather, and riding in jeans and chaps literally wear them out. So everybody started riding in breeches and half chaps.

                So consider the type of saddle you have. If the leather is really soft, don't go with chaps. I have a Pessoa GenX. It's not an expensive saddle, but It's lasted longer than the chaps and is wearing beautifully.

                Look at your saddle before you decide to go with full chaps.
                And consider how light you are in the seat. For instance I have a butet. I ride in jeans and full chaps. The butet is a 1998 model and my only saddle. I won't say I ride a lot, but I have two horses and the only one that trains them is me, so I probably ride a decent amount for an ammy with a day job.

                Last year I replaced the seat in the butet, not so much because it needed it, but I had the bucks, it was a good time to send off the saddle and the panels needed replacing, and the seat probably would have needed it in a year or two. Or not. But the timing was good.

                So there are no guarantees, even with a french saddle. But if you sit deep in the tack a lot, YMMV. But that may not have much to do with the chaps.

                Do you think that could work if i had them fit to me and chopped off that horrible fringe?
                Oh... the horrors. Fringe is IN, baby. Some of us may have paid damned good money for extra long/fine DOUBLE fringe with the under layer in metallic bronze.

                Or as we say, riding TBs, wearing chaps and using a navajo pad: Rockin the Retro
                Attached Files
                Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My full chaps had fringe too, and I have fringe on my half chaps. The dressage folks where I have one of my horses kind of look at me in awe or horror (not sure which), but perfectly normal at the hunter barn!

                  Only thing with the western chaps, they usually aren't fitted enough to work for english riding -- they can bunch up or twist too much. But you could try them and see how it works.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DMK View Post
                    Some of us may have paid damned good money for extra long/fine DOUBLE fringe with the under layer in metallic bronze.
                    Just looked at the photo and love the fringe on these! My full chaps had a similar double fringe -- black and chestnut brown to match the chaps, then little pieces of white every so often for highlight. But I love the metallic...wonder if I could add some to my half chaps...hmmm...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh, if I could fit into my custom, fringe full chaps..and be able to bend my legs..I would sooo wear them..bought by my mom back in the day when they were the "in" thing, custom colors, navy and gray mixed fringe, initials on the back and all (though my last initial has since changed due to marriage)..they are hanging on my shelf right now and so stiff they could probably walk on their own..
                      LOVED riding in them though!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hoping this link works, I haven't used the album in a long while...

                        I have these, I don't wear them often and haven't worn them in at least a year. I didn't like the way the waist strap rode up my back when jumping, which you can see in the picture. Otherwise, great for breaking a cold wind!

                        As for the questions: no I don't, they are suede, and totally not custom. I think they are a medium? Which means they are a little too long, cover any spurs I might be wearing, and barely zip over my calves and thighs.
                        COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                        "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1) No, I don't ride all the time in my full chaps. When I wear jeans or yoga pants, I wear the fulls. Even in 95 degree weather with 90% humidity. They are great for trails!

                          2) Mine aren't custom, rather Stateline Tack sale. I just found out one of our boarders could make me a custom pair that might not cost quite so much, so that may have to be my birthday present to myself

                          3) Black suede western chaps with fringe and silver conchos. Remember, Stateline sale. A good sale. They're a little goofy looking (see pic in sig line).

                          4) I didn't know I'd like full chaps. I figured it'd help save the inner leg seams on my favorite running tights--I don't always wear breeches to the barn.

                          5) The fit is OK, but finding anything to fit my legs properly is a challenge (big thighs and calves, smallish ankles and knees). I know a few normally shaped people who are quite happy with the English version of my chaps.
                          I love my Econo-Nag!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            1. I haven't ridden in mine in a long time -- since I became saddle-poor (read: got my CWD), I've only ridden in breeches and paddocks/half-chaps or tall boots, but before that I rode in them a lot, especially in the winter.

                            2. Mine came from Dover Saddlery; they're marked with the Dover stamp, so I'm not sure who actually made them.

                            3. They're very pretty -- a dark saddle tan suede with smooth saddle tan belt, brass fittings, and cream piping. (If I ever bought another pair, though, I'd be going in for some fringe, baby! What fun!)

                            4. I love the security you get from full chaps (although there really is an adjustment period when you go from those to breeches and boots for a show, yikes). They're wonderfully warm -- I miss being able to ride in them in the winter, but the thought of wearing out the saddle makes me even hotter under the collar. They do tend to stretch after years of wear, requiring alterations to keep them bunching up under your legs.

                            5. I bought mine as a reward after losing 22 lb. They were the tiniest bit snug when they came, but, years later, they really need those alterations I was talking about.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1) do you ride all the time in the full chaps
                              I mostly ride in jeans and full chaps. Did pick up a pair of used Ariat half chaps and ride in those for lessons. I don't have a problem switching between full chaps and breeches though.
                              2) are yours custom
                              Mine are semi-custom from Barnstable through SmartPak. I picked the colors and options (black smooth leather, light pink trim, fringe, monogrammed inset on back belt) as well as a additional size choices.
                              3) are yours leather or suede
                              Smooth leather. My first pair of full chaps were rough out stock chaps which turned smooth over time.
                              4) how did you know you would like full chaps if you didn't have a chance to try them on.
                              I got a cheaper off the rack option first and finally replaced them with the semi-customs. I love the extra stick that I can get from them, but didn't know anything about them before I just tried it.
                              5) if you don't have custom ones but off the rack ones, are you happy with the fit and feel customization isn't necessary
                              I am happy with the way my chaps fit. As I mentioned, the semi-custom option is a good way to go if you really don't want / can't afford to shell out $$$ for fully custom. Great option in my opinion!
                              "Beware the hobby that eats."
                              Benjamin Franklin

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by DMK View Post
                                Or as we say, riding TBs, wearing chaps and using a navajo pad: Rockin the Retro
                                LOL. Oh, do I remember that! (And I love the picture - cute horse!)

                                And yes, my chaps have fringe, and I WANTED it!
                                The truth is always in the middle.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by horsepoor View Post
                                  My full chaps had fringe too, and I have fringe on my half chaps. The dressage folks where I have one of my horses kind of look at me in awe or horror (not sure which), but perfectly normal at the hunter barn!

                                  Only thing with the western chaps, they usually aren't fitted enough to work for english riding -- they can bunch up or twist too much. But you could try them and see how it works.

                                  Oh, I don't know, I'm odd man out at both barns I ride at. Everybody else rides in breeches and half chaps or tall boots. Although, I have to say, I still get lots of compliments on them.

                                  I used to tailor old western chaps to english. It's a matter of taking off the trim, taking them in, then replacing the trim. I did it alot in the 80s and 90s. You could find great western chaps for a song at the tack sales. I did a couple of pairs for my trainer, and you couldn't tell the difference from custom.
                                  The truth is always in the middle.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    1) do you ride all the time in the full chaps
                                    No- I only use mine in the winter/fall/cold weather or when I think extra glue might help which is rare as my horse is lazy-mc-pokeypants.
                                    2) are yours custom- yes, but I need them taken in- hooray for weight loss!
                                    3) are yours leather or suede- smooth leather
                                    4) how did you know you would like full chaps if you didn't have a chance to try them on.- it was what we wore back in the olden days of TB's, appendixes, helmets with elastic chin straps....
                                    5) if you don't have custom ones but off the rack ones, are you happy with the fit and feel customization isn't necessary- I had ill fitting chaps and they sucked. Chaps need to fit well or are uncomfortable.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Thank you COTHers! Your advice has been so helpful.

                                      My area is really blessed that we have a master leather person right here. Guess orders for his work come in from all over the world! I'm going to get fitted for custom leather chaps on Saturday! I can't believe my husband is willing to spend more $$$ on this wacky habit of mine.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I have a pair of salmon colored chaps with fringe (NO they are NOT red; they are s-a-l-m-o-n!)

                                        Before this pair my chaps were the most gorgeous teal green with anthracite trim and snakeskin piping. (Leather and Lace -- love them.)

                                        So, when ordering, keep in mind that chaps do not have to be tan. It is OK to express yourself.

                                        PS: I have had chaps taken in and let out more often than I can count; a chaps maker can put in gussets to accommodate unfortunate weight increases, so not to worry if you eat a little too much at Christmas. Most people who make chaps will include one refitting about 4 - 6 months after purchase, since all chaps stretch.

                                        PPS: The first time you put on your new chaps, it should take 2 people and a spray bottle of water to get you into them. If they zip right up the first time, they are too big.
                                        "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                                        Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

                                        Comment

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