During my years at Central Junior High School in Idaho Falls, Idaho (1967-70) I sang in the school choir. I sat in the back with my friends and for the most part enjoyed the experience of rattling the rafters as we learned our music. During class time, one of the kids would usually sneak in a saddle and tack catalog. It was passed around and was usually given back to its owner tattered, dog-eared and worn. I well remember gazing longingly at a pair of buckskin suede chaps (pron. SHaps) that zippered shut on the sides. I knew I didn’t have the money for them, so I would just day-dream about them. Seemed to make the class go faster. Years later I acquired my own pair, which I still wear. They not only protect my legs from the cold, brush, tree limbs and such, but also shield the inside of my knees from chaffing on the saddle during a trot, lope or a full galloping run. It is usually a good idea – at least for me – to wear chaps during a ride in the backcountry. Sometimes you never know what you’re getting into when you hit the trail. This happened to my father along Targhee creek near the Idaho – Montana border.
He Should'a Wore His Chaps That Day
He should’a wore his chaps that day,
Just wanting to get on his way,
Riding high through tall timber,
Crisp fall day and feeling limber.
A tree was stretching out to grab,
To scratch and cut and poke and jab,
It grabbed him as it cut his calf;
Tore it wide in the aftermath.
He then roped his calf back together,
And rode back in on saddle leather.
Old sawbones closed the hole to stay.
He wears his chaps now every day.