Magical Chaps

Let’s talk about chaps. For English riders, they come in and out of style historically every 5 years. Lord knows why.

Thus, 5 years later, I have brought back to life my navy suede chaps. I bought them for $80 about 10 years ago at (you guessed it) the Middleburg Tack Exchange. Heaven knows it’s hard to find a pair of used chaps that fit, so when I came across them, I couldn’t leave them there.

What I love about my chaps most of all is the fact that they are magical, and I know it. I walk into the ring like a boss when I wear them

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY as Dallas in Warner Bros. Pictures’ dramatic comedy “MAGIC MIKE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.Photo by Claudette Barius

Somehow, my leg stays still, my seat is glued in my saddle, and I can cowboy around a course like I was born doing it.

You can imagine my (not-so-)surprise when my instructor came back after traveling for the last 3 weeks, working on her big R judging designation, and she was surprised how much my seat and posture have improved. Naturally, it’s because our assistant trainer/Gracie’s owner has mad skills in kicking my butt, and I’m wearing my magical chaps.

We had a pretty standard course to jump around this time.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 7.16.44 PM

Okay let’s walk through this: Start out on the center line 1, come down to a trot to 2, squeeze between 1 and 7 to jump the hay bales at 3, canter to the raised cavaletti pole 4, left to the tiny tiny tiny roll top 5, right to oxer 6, down the outside line in 3 strides for 7 and 8, come back around to the hay bales at 9.

Funny enough, everything went fine until my outside line at 7 and 8. I was having trouble keeping my right leg in place. Can’t figure out if this was because I was tired, or because I get lazy about keeping my leg on down a short line, or because the oxer was maybe 3’3″ and there’s something about that height that makes funny things happen to my leg. Maybe all three? Either way, that took 3 or 4 times to get it right! Finally my instructor walked over and pushed my right leg in to remind me how the heck to ride (tots grateful) and where my leg should be when I do. Last try it was much better, and my heel flexion was still there, so I guess I just need to practice my lines and keeping my leg on over them.

Weird how you don’t notice these things till later. Totally explains why I get jostled down lines though! Thank God there’s always next time 🙂




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