October 5, 2018

Which to Buy? The Difference between Chaps and Gaiters

In the equestrian world there are numerous ranges of horse equipment to buy for both you and your horse, it is important to know the different purposes and benefits that the each offers you before making a purchase. Many riders get confused when purchasing equestrian wear as they are often uncertain as to what purpose each item serves and what the differences are between similar products.

Gaiters and half chaps are such items where much confusion occurs when looking at riding boots for sale; riders often do not know which option is best suited for their individual needs. When looking at chaps, gaiters, boots, other horse equipment, and even riding slacks for sale, you should do research into which styles and types are best-suited to your riding discipline.

Read on to find out more about the purpose and differences between chaps and gaiters to determine which would fulfil your requirements as a rider.


With chaps, you get full chaps and half chaps. Full chaps offer the rider more protection by covering the entire leg with suede or other waterproof materials, this apparel is more commonly seen in Western and trail riding and is often not used for everyday riding.

Half chaps are more popular in the riding world and are commonly used for everyday riding. Riders wear half chaps on their lower legs to serve the function of support, protection, and aesthetic value, it also creates the feeling of wearing long boots but without the hefty price tag. Half chaps prevent the rubbing and chafing caused by stirrup leathers, they prevent abrasions from other external elements, and they can prevent riding slacks from rising up and wrinkling. Half chaps are generally easier to fit than tall boots and provide a cost-effective alternative to wearing leather boots, allowing you to preserve your show boots.


Gaiters are similar to half chaps in appearance as well as its usage purpose. They are however made from smooth leather, as opposed to the suede or other materials used for half chaps. The smooth leather gives the gaiters a smart finish and disguise your short boots even more so. Due to the smart appearance, as well as the difference in price, gaiters are more frequently used for showing purposes as opposed to everyday riding wear. When looking at long riding boots for sale, keep in mind that buying short boots and using gaiters will imitate the appearance of the long leather boot.

The placement of the zip on gaiters also differ from half chaps, as it is placed running down the back unlike along the side, this gives your leg a neater appearance. Although gaiters can also be used for everyday riding, and you shouldn’t feel the need not to do so, they are more commonly used for showing purposes.

Now that you are able to understand the main differences between half chaps and gaiters, be sure to check out the other horse equipment and the range of riding slacks for sale available at Trident Saddlery to complete your look.