Leather Trail Chinks
Description: The Weaver Leather Basketweave Yoke Set Chinks are made from chrome-tanned, pull-up leather. The tooled, chocolate-colored yoke-and-leg scallop set features antique copper berry conchos with ties, and sewn-on contrasting fringe outlined with antique copper umbrella spots. Made in the United States, these chinks come in S,M, L, and XL. The tester: Audrey Pavia, author of Trail Riding: A Complete Guide, and a longdistance competitive trail rider, and her husband, novice rider Randy Mastronicola. Test results: Out of the box, I was impressed with the way the chinks looked. The supple, chocolate-colored leather contrasted nicely with the chestnut-colored thigh patch and belt. I found the antique copper conchos to be a nice touch and really liked the soft fringe.
As the chinks are made for both men and women, I asked my husband, Randy, to test the chinks, as well. Randy is a novice rider who’d never worn chinks before. He’s fussy about wearing extra gear when he’s riding, so I thought it would be interesting to see whether he found these chinks comfortable.
We both found that the chinks were easy to put on — metal clips on the legs hold them in place, and a leather thong secures them in front.
Randy easily mounted up on our regis- tered Spanish Mustang, Milagro. I mounted up on our other Spanish Mustang, and we headed out on the trail.
The chinks seemed particularly appropriate on our Spanish Mustangs — the horse ridden by the original vaqueros, who invented chinks more than 100 years ago.
I normally ride in riding tights with half-chaps, so it felt different to mount up wearing these nice, fringed chinks. I was amazed at how comfortable the chinks were over my jeans.
I ride in a hybrid Western/endurance saddle and hadn’t realized how much of the stirrup leathers I could feel against my leg until I rode in these chinks. My calves felt completely covered in the thick leather.
Not only were my legs protected, but also I felt more secure on the ride. The chinks even helped me stick to the saddle during a pretty big spook. I was also pleased to find that the chinks kept my legs warm against the cool wind that blew during the ride.
Randy reported that the chinks felt like a comfortable second skin that kept him warm as the air chilled. He enjoyed the protection they offered — he barely felt the high brush rub against him when Milagro got too close to the edge of the trail.
After the ride, I inspected the chinks — the durable leather didn’t show any scratches or nicks.
I’ve never worn chinks before, but after riding in these extremely nice chinks, I’m sold. Cost: $338.19. Contact: Weaver Leather, LLC; (800) 932-8371; www.ridethebrand.com.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF WEAVER LEATHER PHOTOS COURTESY OF WEAVER LEATHER