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Leather Chaps

Learn how to choose, fit and care for your chaps – the largest piece of clothing you’ll wear in western events.

The American Quarter Horse Journal
September 24, 2013

Leather chap trends, photo by Abigail Boatwright

Judge and AQHA Professional Horseman Holly Hover said judges won’t place you based on your chaps, but well-fitted chaps, like this pair, accentuate your leg properly. Learn how to find the right chaps for you, plus how to take care of that great investment, coming up in “Like a Glove” in the October Journal. (Abigail Boatwright photo)

In the overall picture you present to the judge, there’s one major part of your outfit that can make or break your image.

Your chaps are a throwback to the cowboy days of protecting your legs from brambles, and they’ve come a long way since the era of the buckaroo. Today, your legwear helps present a smooth and polished position in the saddle, but without proper fit or style, you’ll be putting yourself at a disadvantage before you ever get to your pattern.

In “Like a Glove,” featured in the October issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal, you will learn how to choose the right chaps, make sure they fit and care for your investment in cowhide.

Experts say that chaps don’t improve your actual performance in the saddle much, other than giving a feeling of security. But all of the sources Journal special contributor Abigail Boatwright deferred to for “Like a Glove” say chaps contribute to your overall look, which is crucial in a judged event like horsemanship.

“The first things a judge looks for are cleanliness, presentation and professionalism,” said AQHA Professional Horseman and judge Sharon Wellman. “You are setting yourself up to start from a positive light when you wear clean, tidy and well-fitted chaps. You want to have a good first impression.”

Judge and AQHA Professional Horseman Holly Hover said judges won’t place you based on your chaps, but well-fitted chaps accentuate your leg properly.

“As far as appearance goes, chaps make a huge difference,” Holly said. “For the overall aesthetic view you present to the judge, it’s extremely enhanced by a chap in the right style and color.”

Learn how to find the right chaps for you, plus how to take care of that great investment, coming up in “Like a Glove” in the October Journal, and check out the Journal digital edition to view a slideshow of the latest in chap trends.

Journal subscribers, log in at the beginning of the month to access the digital edition before the print copy even arrives in your mailbox. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today to receive instant access to the current Journal digital edition or order a single copy of the October Journal at (800) 291-7323.