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New Half Chaps...where to start?!

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  • New Half Chaps...where to start?!

    So, I am a relatively new rider but I have been riding for about 1 year. I bought a pair of half chaps in the past for about $50 but they finally decided to crap out on me. Needless to say I need a new pair. I have the Ariat Kendron Paddock Boots and was thinking that I should get the Ariat Kendron half chaps to match since I will be starting showing soon and do not want to buy tall boots yet.

    So I have 2 questions...1) Are the half chaps worth the $160 dollars? 2) How well do they hold up? and 3) Is this a good idea for showing if I keep them in good shape and clean?

    Thanks so much for any answers that I get, I really appreciate them!

  • #2
    You can certainly show in the lower levels in most disciplines with half chaps that match your boots. Folks vary on whether they prefer half chaps or tall boots for riding. Many pros ride in half chaps whenever they can. That said, paddock boots plus half chaps are not necessarily cheaper than tall boots.

    The Kendron half chaps do have a high Spanish top on the outside so check the fit of these in person before you buy, and IME sometimes a Spanish top can make the boot tight behind the knee.

    On the other hand, I have bought two pairs of Ariat tall boots over the years on closeouts for about $150 Canadian each. I find that tall boots will go on closeout, or get sold used nearly new if they don't fit the person that bought them. But half chaps rarely go on discount, and they rarely get sold second hand unless they are tiny kid's gear or falling apart and moldy. That suggests that half chaps are very utilitarian, and that they are well used!


    • Original Poster

      Thanks for your speedy response! I would be showing in Walk/Trot Flat classes as well as beginner Show Jumping classes as well. Would half chaps be ok for this? I know that Tall Boots usually go on sale before half chaps do. BUT I just bought my Kendron boots 4 mos. ago and they are looking like they could last me awhile so because I need new half chaps I figured that I would just buy them and show in them instead of buying tall boots and half chaps. I will eventually buy tall boots tho whenever my Ariats give out.I can't believe that you got Ariat tall boots for only $150 Canadian! That is unbelievable!

      As for the Spanish cut top on the side....have you had any tall boots or half chaps with this? If so how does it feel against the leg? And how high up should the top of the half chap be on your knee? I figured about halfway up my knee was best height wise but I want to make sure that I don't look like an idiot when I wear them!


      • #4
        The Spanish top is cut to a standard height relative to the height of the rest of the top.


        • Original Poster

          Why would a Spanish cut top be the same height as the rest of the top of the chap? Even in the pics it is not like that no matter what chaps you need. Please explain this to me.


          • #6
            Originally posted by KingRocker4Life View Post
            Why would a Spanish cut top be the same height as the rest of the top of the chap? Even in the pics it is not like that no matter what chaps you need. Please explain this to me.
            It's not. I'm not explaining this well. Reading your post, ot seemed you were worried about figuring out the correct height of the Spanish top itself? What I'm saying is you don't have to. When you look at an Spanish top boot with with no one wearing it, the Spanish cut part is only on the outside of the knee. It's an ornamentation - cut to a standard height relative to the top of the rest of the boot or chap. Normally 7cm. So if you take, say, a 34cm tall boot, the Spanish top part will be approximately 41cm. Does that make more sense?


            • Original Poster

              Wanderosa Yes it does, thank you! What I was asking tho in my 2nd post was how tall should the half chap be total? Should it sit at the bottom of the outside of your knee? At the top? or in the middle?


              • #8
                Originally posted by KingRocker4Life View Post
                Wanderosa Yes it does, thank you! What I was asking tho in my 2nd post was how tall should the half chap be total? Should it sit at the bottom of the outside of your knee? At the top? or in the middle?
                Ohhhh. For boots, you sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent and measure from the floor to just under the bend in your knee. I imagine half chaps are measured similarly but when my daughter buys them at the consignment tack store we just try them on until we find a pair that fit.


                • #9
                  Well, the second pair of super good deal Ariats I bought (online) were the same size as my first pair, height calf foot, but they have moderate Spanish tops and I feel like they just don't descend quite fast enough to fit me in a jump saddle with shorter stirrups. In the dressage saddle they feel OK. It might just be an overall fit problem at the top of the boots, too tight/too high. I have full calves (by Ariat's measurements) not wide, and even fashion boots are a bit of a challenge for me. So it might not be the Spanish tops per se. Mulling over selling them or trying to get a cobbler to work on them....

                  Half chaps are generally much softer leather than boots and the fit is not as precise.

                  I am sure half chaps would be fine for the classes you describe but you should always direct any specific questions about gear to your coach who knows your local scene better than any of us.


                  • #10
                    Looks like you have two threads going.

                    The place to check boot fit is the back of your knee. Bend your leg and they should be sort of pinching you in the back. Rough out leather on half chaps is much softer and more forgiving but smooth leather on boots or half chaps can gouge the heck out of the backs of your knees until the leather fits itself to your leg, aka drops. So if you get regular leather there are some techniques, for boots at least, like putting the whole thing in the bathtub and wearing them until they dry out. Leather does shrink and mold itself when soaked.
                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                    Incredible Invisible


                    • Original Poster

                      Wanderosa Thanks for the clarification. I have a tack store near me but they don't carry the. Oh well.


                      • Original Poster

                        Scribbler Hey, I would happily buy your tall boots but only after a couple of years. Until then, have at em. And I will definitely check with my coach!


                        • Original Poster

                          ReSomething Looks like I will have to do the tub technique, the web describes them as "Smooth Leather" but I will check once I get them.