Leather Trail Chinks

Trail Rider - - TRAIL & CAMPING GEAR -

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

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