Many people ask the question: why should I wear chaps when riding? There are many advantages to wearing chaps while you are riding, other than you feel totally like a cowboy or cowgirl. The first being that chaps provide the rider with added protection to the thigh and calf regions. This protection helps to prevent chaffing and saddle sores from the saddle or saddle fenders/stirrups. Saddle sores are highly unpleasant and can be very hard to heal if you continue to ride before they are completed healed.
The second advantage of wearing chaps is if you are an avid trail rider the chaps provide a layer of protection when encountering woody or spiny terrain. This terrain would normally cause the riders jeans to rip when travel through. So if you don a pair of chaps feel free to take on whatever challenges the trail presents with a confidence that your pants are more likely to return to the barn in one piece.
Do you live and ride in a four season state? The third advantage to wearing chaps is during the cold winter months they provide an extra layer that helps keep your legs warmer on those more frigid days. Has the wind picked up a bit? Not only do chaps provide you with warmth, but they act as a perfect wind block.
We have all had moments when riding where our horse spooks, bolts, bucks, rears, spins, or any combination thereof. Chaps provide the rider with better grip to the horse and saddle during those more interesting moments or simply for that nice gallop through the open field.
The next question you should ask yourself: Do I want chap with fringe or no fringe? The advantage to having fringe on your chaps, other than its the current trend in the western riding arena, is that fringe is designed so that water is wicked away from the material. So if you happen to be riding and a spring shower rolls on in the fringe on the chaps will help to keep your legs a bit drier till you can make it back to the barn.
So to answer the question that prompted this inquiry, yes wearing chaps while riding has many advantages that every rider should take advantage of.