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[RC] re:full chaps - Natalie Herman

<<<I am interested in buying some shotguns( what western show persons wear) for winter riding.
So before I invest the money I want to know if any of you have used them on long rides and how they worked out.
I will be wearing them over my Irideon pants.>>>
I got a pair of suede full chaps (the kind for showing, with fringe and all) about 14yrs ago when I was in my "cowgirl" phase:) Had no idea about chaps or anything, but got some that fit. Rode in them on trails and stuff, move around, hung them up for several years when I was "not into western" anymore. Pulled them out again when I started endurance training and had to ride in wind and rain. Still fit me and they are SO compfy as they molded to my legs when they got wet and dried on me while riding (kinda like ppl like to do with new leather shoes...). I wear them over tights and over jeans. I LOVE them when the weather calls for them. They totally saved my butt on several rides, including day 3 of Ft. Schellbourne in Nevada this year...blizzard up on the mountain, thought I would die. Everything was frozen except my legs, LOL. I always have them hanging in the tailer as my emergency covers in bad weather. Only notes I have: get some with NO FRINGE (you often see them as "schooling chaps" in the english riding section of tack catalogs), if you get "western" ones, cut off the long "drag" that hangs past the boot  so they just hang at the ankle when riding. They are somewhat heavy, and REALLY heavy when wet (can maybe help us featherweights in a BC though :P). You get used to the weight though. only BIG downside for us gals....it is kinda hard to pee in them...you need to open the belt part to get your pants down, then the chaps need to be yanked around to get them back where they should be :P
Also harder to get into the saddle on those tall horses (if it isn't  the chaps are too loose and you might get rubs)...and last..make sure they FIT...you need just the right balance between loose enough that the zipper actually closes, and tight so they will not rub (remember, as with leather shoes, they WILL break in and stretch a little, but not a HUGE ton...but don't get them too loose or they will get even looser.) A good pair is not real cheap, but lasts forever (14 yrs and still look fairly new, except where the inner legs are now "smooth" leather not suede anymore :P).
   Natalie, who will hopefully STILL fit in them 14 MORE years from now, but guesses she'll eventually have to get a new pair :P

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