Half-chaps are an essential item for any riding holiday if you wish to stay comfortable in the saddle and avoid blisters from pinching stirrup leathers. The benefit of half chaps compared to packing long boots is that they are light and easy to pack when you’re travelling internationally. You can zip them off at lunch break and you have the flexibility to wear any shoes you wish with them.
I can’t go past the Ariat Close Contour chap – I’ve been road testing these chaps for the past ten years on Globetrotting adventures. They aren’t the cheapest chap on the market ($250), but they’re incredibly durable. For cold climate riding they provide extra warmth and if you’re riding in Africa where the hook thorns are nasty, these chaps are perfect for protecting your legs.
They are elegantly refined with a high Spanish-cut top line and a stretch skirt over the instep. I bought the waxed chocolate ones because I have brown paddock boots.
Tell me what you think, globetrotters. Are you a half-chap wearing rider? Or do you prefer riding in long boots?