Along with a cowboy hat and boots, chaps are standard Western riding apparel. Made of tough but supple leather, suede, or cowhide, chaps protect the rider's legs and jeans from thorns and brush, and to a certain extent, dirt, rain, and rope burns.
Chaps also help riders maintain a secure seat in the saddle. They come in three basic styles - batwings, chinks, and shotgun - and can be as plain or as fancy as the wearer likes (or can afford).
Batwings are wide, full-length chaps that drag on the ground and offer the most protection.
Chinks fit loosely like batwings but come just below the knee and are usually fringed at the ends.
Shotgun chaps fit snugly around the length of the leg and are zipped into place; they can be fringed or not.