I need to start at the beginning. Half-chaps are generally the bane of my equestrian existence. I love them. But I never seem to find any that actually fit me properly. In fact, the chaps I've been wearing (until I received The FIT) has a hole in the left calf from wear and tear (and the right one is soon going to follow) - because I simply have not been able to find half-chaps to replace it.
True story: I went looking for half-chaps at our local very large equestrian store during one of their sales and tried them all. Either they were too big or too small. Either too tall, too wide or too narrow. Even the very expensive ones. I don't understand why, since I'm your typical (middle aged) not too tall or too short, somewhat chunky female rider. There's a lot of us out there. How is it possible that it's so difficult to find a half-chap that fits?
This is why I was intrigued when Emelie Larivee, from Pro Chaps, contacted me about her products. I told her about my fitting problem, but she didn't seem deterred. She said that their chaps fit like they're custom-designed for you. I simply had to send her a couple of measurements, and voila, the chaps that arrived actually fit!
But there's so much more to "The FIT" than just the fit. The design of the half-chaps are incredibly well thought-out to be long-lasting, functional AND great looking, for use by the "real" equestrian.
Take the straps that go underneath the boot. You know - the ones that get the most messed up in arena sand or paddock mud or wash stall gunk. I find that the straps are the first thing to go on a half-chap. These ones have anti-ammonia galvanized straps that protect the strap for extra durability.
Take a look at the zipper. Another common problem with half-chaps is that the zippers are too fine or the teeth too small to withstand the regular pressures that come along with having your leg on the horse's sides. I've had half-chaps go on me just because the zippers came apart at the bottom - long before the half-chap itself was damaged. No zipper = no half-chap (or a costly trip to the shoemaker to see if he can put long zippers into leather).
The zipper on "The FIT" is thick and strong. It is elegant and it works!
The leather wraps around front and inside of the leg. The high cut on the outside of the knee gives a lovely long leg appearance. The leather itself is soft and water resistance and machine washable! There is a lining inside that helps the chaps keep their shape over time.
The back of the chaps are made of an anti-bacterial "Airprene" stretch panel. While the chaps feel tight and snug on the leg (and don't slide down the leg at all), I was delighted to realize that the chaps fit not only over my riding breeches, but also over my normal cut jeans. This means that I can still put the half-chaps over the jeans on days that I want to run errands before heading out to the barn for a ride.
Pro Chaps has been in existence for many years, and the chaps can be found in retail stores and online internationally. Their company values include putting the welfare of the horse as a priority. I was surprised to realize that a friend of mine loves the full chaps and has happily worn them for years.
To find out more about "The FIT" half-chaps, check out their website here. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And if you're like me and need someone to help you with sizing, you can email the company here. Their customer support is excellent.
I've been wearing the half-chaps almost every day since I received them a month ago. They are proving to be true to claim. They are comfortable, flexible from the start, easy to clean and tastefully chic.
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Now is the time to re-evaluate your goals and path to riding success!
If you’d like a structured, but personal tool to set goals, take a look our Goal Setting for the Equestrian: A Personal Workbook. The pages are designed for you to set and keep track of your progress over the course of a year.
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