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What is "Chaps" - Definition & Explanation

Chaps (pronounced 'shaps', and short for chaparajos) are sturdy leather coverings for the legs. They hang from one's belt, but unlike trousers they are not joined at the crotch. The most sturdy kind are made from single pieces of leather that wrap around to protect the fronts and sides of each leg. Since they need not be joined at the back of the leg they are considerably cooler than one might imagine. Their purpose is to protect the legs of cowboys and other people who work with cattle and horses from contact with daily environmental hazards. They help to protect riders from the thorns of cacti and other thorny vegetation on the open range, the horns of cattle being herded or rounded up, and other such environmental hazards. They protect the legs of farriers from getting scratched or cut up in the process of shoeing or otherwise treating the hooves of horses.
Chaps are sturdy leather coverings for the legs. They hang from one's belt, but unlike trousers they are not joined at the crotch. The most sturdy kind are made from single pieces of leather that wrap around to protect the fronts and sides of each leg.

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