Unlimited access >

Uh Oh... I've decided that I want a pair of full schooling chaps (I think)

I don’t have pictures, but I know some of you do!

I snagged a pair of Barnstable chaps when we discovered a huge pile of them (!!!) in the basement of a tack shop where I used to work. I loved mine as a kid but found them way too stiff for my messed-up adult knees, I was hobbling around the barn! They were the suede ones… would love intel on if the smooth grain are a little softer!

:woman_facepalming: Lol.

I have to wonder why on earth the saddle makers would produce an item with leather that wears out so easily. That just seems ridiculous, unless it is part of a planned obsolescence scheme so that people have to buy new saddles more often.

Personally, I would not buy such an item in a million years.


They break in MUCH faster and tend to be softer/more comfortable, not to mention they are grippy. I usually try to stick with grain leather myself, but my current saddle has a calf leather seat and I have to be careful not to leave my damp girth on the saddle after riding or it will stick and make marks. It is quite comfortable though. I only ride in breeches and half chaps/tall boots anyway, so my saddle should be just fine.

1 Like

I dislike how fragile those saddles (and those floppy-out-of-the-bag strapgoods) are, too. It just doesn’t make sense to me to spend $$$ on something that won’t last as long, plus I don’t particularly care for the feel of the leather compared to well broken in old school leather (though I definitely understand it takes a lot more to get it to that well broken in point), either.

Definitely not a fan of planned obsolescence, either. It seems most things aren’t nearly as well made anymore even in the higher price ranges, and then on top of it all, you don’t get nearly as much service out of them. It doesn’t seem worth it at all to me, but then again, I’ve always been someone who likes to buy something good and use it for as many years as possible rather than buying junk and replacing it every few years or so.

1 Like

I can’t find a picture but this article has some throwbacks. 3rd photo down

They’re really just western pads, kind of shaped like baby pads but woven and colorful. I bought some on the cheap at tractor supply some years back for dog crates. I might resurrect that trend if they still carry them :wink:


LOVE my full chaps! I prefer the smooth-out custom Journeymans with full needlepoint and custom colors and have no issues switching back to boots when needed (as someone above said, switch a few days before and it’s not a problem). I work from home and it’s far easier to wear something like a comfortable yoga/sporty pant or even jeans than breeches all day, then zip up my chaps for rides in the evening. It also cuts down on my laundry! :laughing:

1 Like

My smooth leather chaps are butter soft. Fluid, light, and easy-to-wear.


To me, that looks like the 90s version. But the previous version was an acrylic pad with stripes on it that was folded in half.

I am away for the holidays, otherwise I could probably dig around in an old tack trunk and find one and post a picture. Lol.

Here’s a picture of the older version of the Navajo pad. Plus there are full chaps involved to boot. :slight_smile:


1 Like

It’s happening, I’m getting customs with fringe this year. I cannot live without their deliciousness any longer. Nothing compares to the joy of a naughty horse snapping his head around and biting off a piece of fringe :joy: And if anyone else wants to follow me down memory lane, I still own most of my Navajos and a sweet pair of Ulster boots, too.


Oh and I forgot, I also need new Dehner paddocks, which blessedly can still be found at Mary’s in San Diego.

1 Like

Oh, be still, my heart! :heart_eyes:


I got a pair of Barnstable chaps 4 years ago when I decided I wanted full chaps and realized there was no way my old customs were ever fitting again. I got black leather with fringe, purple piping. Look at the measurements and get them tight. I needed help getting into them the first few wears, but they stretched out and fit well. Not as well as my customs did, they’re baggy around the knees, but I just use them for winter trail riding so they’re fine for that. I wear mine over fleece lined leggings, don’t want to use jeans on my saddle. I had a few pairs of Barnstable suede chaps as a kid and remember them being stiff at the knees, but the leather pair I have are as soft as my customs.

I also regularly ride in Navajo pads. They’re $9 at tractor supply, they don’t slip, and you have 4 clean sides to use.

I’m pricing out full chaps now. I miss them. Loved my Barnstable chaps.

Sorry - haven’t gotten through the whole thread, and quote isn’t playing nice for me right now. Does this contraption still exist???

YES! I’ve noticed that, too, and it bugs the hell out of me. I had a lovely pair of Journeymen’s that I wore maybe 5 times before consigning them several years later for that precise reason. So, what was that? Like $100 per wearing? :confounded: I wasn’t sure if other people had the same issue or if it was just another one of my neurodivergent “My clothes are trying to murder me” quirks.

Eta: y’all can keep your chaps. Imma just be over here with my sewing machine reverse engineering a pair of Miller’s Schooling Sweats. You know you want them!!

1 Like

The Navajo (cue angelic chorus)
Now & Forever, Amen :innocent:

Be sure to read the review :rofl:


That’s ME!!!

ETA: My chaps are chocolate with navy and tan double fringe. I got them when I was 21. I’m now 41 and a DQ wannabe, but they are lovingly stored in case I ever decide to lose half my body weight and wear them.