There are many different style of leg protection gear used today. Some wear the shot-gun style chaps with a zipper running down the leg. Others seem to be selecting the half-chap called CHINKS perhaps for their light weight wear. Some are show chaps tightly fitted with horse shows while others full and fancy fringe which drapes as used by rodeo contestants. I like Batwing Chaps but notice some cowboys or cowgirls are wearing chinks more often. Some just prefer leggings. Some don't even bother with leg protection just stuffing their pant leg into their boot top.
So what legging gear are you wearing?
For most of Tom Selleck's Western Movies Jerry Croft made the saddle(s) and some other accessories and his Wife Duffy made the Chaps. They recently started a website www.croftssaddlery.com and are also on Facebook.
Many years ago when I was down here in the SW chaseing cows out of the mesquite thickets and through the chola cactus I used a pair of heavy rough out bat wings. and also had a pair of shotguns. But since I quit that kind of rideing and now it's more weather protection I'm needing I have a pair of shotguns my wife bought in Sturgis SD a few years back at the Harly rally. I really like them. They are light but water proof and they cover well below the tops of the Taps on my stirups. Just never could see those chinks.
The Cowboy Poet
i currently have a very heavy, beautiful, custom-made pair of batwings that were made for my grandpa shortly before he died, i love them dearly. when i'm doing light work in clear terrain w/ little or no brush and trees, just my jeans suffice (though i never tuck them in, around here that is a purely ridiculous sight), however if i should ever have to replace the chaps that i have now (heaven forbid) i shall probably go with shotguns (although i don't like the way the zippers always get gummed up, so probably go w/ a few more buckles saw a couple pairs here and there and while my batwings have only the 3 buckles, the shotguns i've seen w/ the buckles have anywhere from 4 to 7 buckles)
where is the justice these days?
My husband and I have a ranch in NE Wyoming and we have found that both chaps (batwing and shotgun) and chinks work well on our ranch. In the summer we prefer chinks because we still have the leg protection but they aren't as hot.
When the cold of winter hits we like our chaps for the warmth! I prefer shotguns because I am short and I don't like the extra leather on batwings. The more fitted chaps like shotguns work better for me. My husband wears both shotguns and batwings and likes them both.
Chinks appeared on the rodeo scene in the early 1940's. The were popular with barrel ridin' cowgirls apparently. Their lineage is obviously that of Armitas (arma-tas) which pre-date all chap forms and are still in regular use among S. American Vaquero's. Yeah.. that fringe is original, 'n goes back to the 1700's. Shotguns are effective but HOT. I've near boiled my thigh bones in the saddle while wearin' shotguns.
Batwings existed in the 1880's 'n Frederick Remington included a sketch of them in a letter to a friend. Who and when 'invented'? Who knows? Necessity is the mother of invention 'n the necessity for chaps in the thorns of Arizona is obvious. Many of the sniffy 'thread nazi's' in period outfit judgings still haven't a clue.
A round downrange cannot be recalled.
I would like to know who makes those worn by Tom Selleck in his movies. He is known for being a stickler for authenticity and his stuff appears to be genuine and well made.
Now I am not certain who makes his chaps but Jerry Croft's Custom Saddlery in Deadwood, South Dakota is the guy that makes his saddles. He may make his chaps as well, or maybe he can tell you who does if he does not. Hope that sends you in the right direction!!!! :)
I prefer my shotgun chaps for work around the ranch from horseback. I tried chunks and the loose fit seemed to get in the way of everything.
I'm a bigger guy so my chaps are custom made, but they last forever, handle any and all abuse that I can dish out, from setting fence poles to birthing calves.
I find they also keep me warm when the weather gets cool.
All in all I prefer my shotguns, but it really is personal preference.
Growin up and up until about 3 yrs ago i wore nothing except for top grain shotguns, but ive now come to like wering chinks to. After cowboyin out in wyoming for a while i got turned onto them. I actually perfer them to the shotguns now adays. But if the weather looks to turn, its a little chilly out or im ropin, i stick with the shotguns!
I make Chaps Chinks and leggins of all kinds and it's a hot items these days to wear chinks. The length how ever is up to the cowboy. I my self were them at mid boot.
I like wearing the shotgun chaps, when working on the ranch. Having branches, and other hazards to look out for. I have used the bat wing chaps, and they are comfortable to wear, but don't feel the need for the extra material for what I do, I would rather work in my shotgun chaps, I guess I am just use to them.
I've pretty much stuck to shot gun chaps. Batwings are great but when you have to get off and for doctoring or fence fixing they kind of restrict your movements. I've never seen much use for chinks or leggens. I guess it depends on where you ride. They are not much good when you are beating the brush in the mesquite and Cholla cactus or country coverd in heavy undergroath. I was in Sturgis a few years back and bought a pair of bikers shot gun type chaps that are really great. They are light, and cover clear to my boot arches. Compleatly water proof. Every saddle I own also has taps on the stirups, wouldn't ride one without them.
The Cowboy Poet
I don't know why it is, but it seems people keep making chinks shorter and shorter. If made right they go down to about halfway down your boot top. That way it protects your legs in heavy brush and also make it easier when you are stepping down to doctor a lot of cattle. Been wearing chinks for neatly 30 years now through heavy brush (including mesquite) and have gone through scours wreck in Montana roping and doctoring 70 to 90 calves a day and having a rash of bad eyes where I had to rope and tie down 30 to 40 6 wt calves every day. Chinks will beat the shotguns any day of the week for comfort and mobility while doctoring lots of cattle.
I surely can understand your point Bob and thanks for joining us here. You have that experience of working from the saddle and while I wear the Batwing, I am not doctoring calves like you.
I likely would sliced the bottoms off if I was mounting-dismounting a 100 times per day. Although, my Batwings are a few inches longer but I can understand your valuable point given. Again, thanks for stopping by and we'll be visiting your web sight too.
Batwings, full length. Mine are plain as plain can be, nothing fancy at all, but very, very good quality.
I did have them altered a little bit to fit just right, but that was easy. Long story, sort of like a compromise, but it worked out great.
Keep your stuff in good shape and it'll last you a long time!
I got a pair of chinks, but never liked them all that much. Shotguns? Oh boy, there's some background there and I'm not gonna touch that one with a 10 foot pole!
I like wearing chinks on the trail ride. My pair are pretty fancy with bright leather and fringe. Although, in the ring, I wear my suede leather show chaps with conchos and fringe. I have two pairs for the show ring to match outfits. Although, these chaps are long with fringe dropping below the boot. Great for Riding and showing but not as comfortable on the trail as my chinks by Western Saddle in Bozeman, Montana.
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