This Article is About
rodeo riders
rain and snow
rain snow
body heat
cowhide
The Vaqueros Contribution For The Working Cowboy
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Chaps were introduced by the Spanish to protect their legs from cactus,brush and thorns. The first chaps were large pieces of cowhide attatched to the saddle and wrapped around the leg. Later chaps changed by coming up with a chap that hung from their belt, they used pieces of rawhide to tie them to their legs, as the old way was heavy and not that easy to work with.

As the cowboy became more popular leather makers designed three types of chaps to accomodate the various types of ranges and conditions they were used in. The four types were chinks,shotgun,batwing and woolies. The Texas cowboys used chaps to protect their legs from thorns,bushes and thistle, the nothern cowboy not only used them for protection, but for added warmth and protection from rain and snow.

The wooly chap became more popular in the northern plains as they repelled rain,snow and kept the cowboy warm. These chaps were made from a large range of furs including,cow, buffalo, deer. These were considered the more classy of the chaps and were more often puchsaed by the cowboy wanting to make a statement.

The shotgun chaps are plain, some with fringe. Because of their design they became known as shotgun chaps.They held in body heat so were valuable to the cowboy out in wind, rain and snow. These were used more by the cowboys in the north.

Chinks were used more in the Southwest because of their length they beame more popular, and were cooler and easier to move around in, easpecially in the heat. Because they only came down to just below the knee, they allowed for ventilation and yet protected the cowboys leg.

Batwing chaps which are very popular with rodeo riders as they add a little flare to the bullriders ride.These are often decorated with riders favorite icon and very colorful. And are very much of todays rodeo rider.

Chaps are worn today by horseman that take part in horseshows, reining, team penning,cuttting, All chaps can be purchased is smooth leather or suede. The smooth leather is more popular with horseshow pople.Vaqueros gave us to work with the horse as they skilled horseman.

The design of chaps has chaged very little since the early 1800's, some modifications have been made to better accomadate the cowboy. The chap is very much a part of their everyday attire, from protecting their legs, to keeping them warm, to adding flare to the rodeo rider. Chaps can range from price of $40.00 to as much as $600.00 it all depends on what you statement you want your chaps to make. Happy Trails


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