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batwing? shotgun? (chaps!)

What is the difference between batwing and shotgun? And do I really need a pair of chaps? What are they for, anyways?
becky b

I think batwing are the short fat ones like Pat wears, and shotgun are the long slender ones like Linda wears.  Not really sure what they are technically used for, we only use them when we ride in the winter to keep our legs warmer.  I have heard some say that they wear them to protect their legs from tree branches, etc when trail riding.  Personally my horse does not drag me against the trees so I can't justify wearing them for that purpose.  I have a friend that wears them to keep her jeans clean???  How dirty can your jeans get while sitting on a horse?  I have another friend that wears them because she has "Linda Parelli" chaps, and she wears everything Linda Parelli wears.  I swear from the boots, chaps, shirts, coats, riding breeches, everything....I bet if she knew what brand underwear Linda wore she would wear them too!!  LOL!!!

Hmmm, warmer in the winter, I can buy that. I don't ride enough in thick brush to warrant it.

I probably don't need them, especially since I can't decide what 'discipline' I am. I am one of those people who knows what good style is, but can't be bothered with it. I wear what is practical and comfortable. I have a feeling if I bought chaps and then wore my T-shirt and dublin riding boots with them it would look goofy.

People are so funny, with their brand loyalty and trying to be like other people!  


Erin - I have ridden in the shotgun chaps forever - they're the long ones with the zipper down the side.  Linda copied me - I wore them at the ISC when I lived there, before she ever had them!  Got pictures LOL!

I find, since I ride in jeans, that they prevent the inseam on the jeans from rubbing my leg on long rides.  And you get a really nice soft "grip" in the saddle.  I use them with both the English and Wastern saddles, and when bareback you're really sticky too!

And yes, they keep your legs warm in the winter and protect from brush. And, they keep your jeans clean.   I love them and ride in them every time.  You'd like them, I think.  

Though I used to get them custom made, there are some pretty nice ones for less than $100.  Soft suede leather are my favorites.  I'll go find you a link.....

Chinks - are what Pat wears.  Short chaps.

Batwing are what the rodeo bull rider wear -  I don't think you want those! LOL

Here's some great everyday chaps and they're on sale!  $56.99!

I find they are way more comfortable and flexible than the heavier weight and  smooth grain leather ones.  They are "broke-in" from the beginning.  Just buy them LONG, and you can always cut some off, but too short and they look weird.

That's extremely helpful, thanks! I think I'll ask for some for Christmas so I can try them out! I rode in jeans recently for a long time and I was sore from the seam. The next ride, I rode in my Kerrits four way stretch riding tights! I looked silly but I was comfortable! For this winter, I invested in the Kerrits sit tight n' warm knee patch riding tight. It's not that I love riding tights (quite the contrary) but I just couldn't figure out WHAT to ride in that would keep me warm! and I was also concerned that chaps would make me look like a 'poser.' I am NOT a cowgirl! (but maybe I could become one!)

Poser, hummm. No way! As long as you're riding, you can't be called a poser!  I first got my chaps when riding jumpers in the 70's because I worked at the horse farm doing chores all day in my jeans, and it was so easy to just slip on the chaps when it was time to get on a horse. Now, I'll never be wthout them.

And, fringe ain't just for cowgirls! Lots of English riding girls wear fringe.

And the jeans inseam thing - they make a world of difference!  You will LOVE them!  And, wear them over your tights in the winter.  It'll be the best $60 you ever spent.

I love my English schooling chaps. I rode enough years English in either chaps or half chaps that I find they really help me with my seat in an English saddle. Also are great for preventing the saddle and leathers from rubbing on your legs and help with warmth in the winter. And excellent during TX summers when it is 105 degrees! I can wear shorts, then put the chaps on just for the time I am riding.

I have leather chinks that I sometimes where when riding Western, mostly just because they look cool.      But, they do help protect your legs if riding through very heavy brush, which I was doing some of when I bought them. The chinks are nice in the summer because they are not as heavy and not as hot.

This article is a fairly good introduction (with photos) of the main kinds of chaps.

So, you probably don't need chaps, but they can be fun to have and can help with warmth/protection, depending on the type of riding you are doing.

Interesting! I'm shopping for a pair that will work and look okay riding a motorcycle or a horse...

I had to stop riding in my jeans on long rides the inseam really does bother me. I got a pair of full seat breeches that feel like I'm riding in my thick warm sweat pants and I have a sticky leather bum I LOVE them!!! They're no good for summer time though.

I love the shotgun style. Thanks for that link Savvylearner, they are almost half off !

I agree that chaps help you stay in the saddle, especially the suede ones.  Very helpful when riding green horses.  You can be 'gripped' and relaxed at the same time.

Their purpose though is to protect your legs when you ride through the brush, which REAL cowboys do to gather cows.   I have 2 pair that I rarely wear.   I wear half chaps instead to protect my calf from pinch by the webbers or leathers.   SOOOO, I have lots of patches in my tights and breeches.   I'd be much better suited to wear full chaps.

Young boy talking to cowboy,

"Hey mister, why you wearing that big hat"

Well son, it keeps the sun from my face, and sometimes I fill it with water and let my horse drink from it.

"Wow, what are those pants your wearing?"

Well son, those are chaps and they keep me warm and protect my legs from the cactus.

"Oh, well why are you wearing those gym shoes?"

Sheesh son, you don't want people to think I'm a truck driver do ya


Batwing chaps

Shotgun chaps


I got a pair of suede shotgun chaps on eBay for $23 (shipping and everything).  They're not exactly the color I would choose, but they're working out just fine.

I wear them with riding tights and with jeans.  They keep me warmer in the winter and keep my pants from getting so dirty in the barn.

I want a pair of chinks but no one here wears them - I'm thinking of being a trendsetter . . .



Jack, I'm sad I don't get the joke. Come to think of it I don't get most of your jokes! Where are you from? Maybe it's a cultural thing? Or maybe I just don't get jokes!  


Erin - I think he's referring to some truck drivers being cowboy posers!  

Out here in the west, many truck drivers are (were) cowboys, and over time many other truck drivers copied their style of dress.

So, the cowboy didn't have boots on so he wouldn't look like a truck driver.     Ya, maybe a regional joke!

Thanks... I didn't get it either! LOL

i guess in all my road trips, i never saw a trucker dressed as a cowboy. oh well...

still thinkin about getting some chaps though!
marsha lee

I have an old pair of suede shotgun chaps from my hunt seat lessons twenty years ago. I love them. They really do help me "stick". And truth be told, they make me feel like a serious horse person. Sick I know, but I just love seeing them hanging by the door.....a subtle reminder that my horse is out there waiting for me.  

Well I ordered some Chaps!
have always wanted a pair, since I got back into horses..
The package arrived yesterday.. I was SOOOOOOOOOO excited! Don't you love getting horsie packages in the mail???
I rip open the box and get them out, got my right leg in, tucked in safe and sound.. go to left leg and zipper won't work            Ohhhh I was PISSED.. Called the company and they have me a new pair in the mail!!
Now I can't wait to get the new box lol
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