There is sad news to share. My very first pair of Ariat tall boots finally said, “Enough! We just can’t do the day-to-day grind anymore.” My husband had to cut me out of the right boot because the replacement zipper decided to go full GI Joe kung fu grip and not let go. The original zipper is but a faded memory, and the boots just aren’t worth salvaging with a third zipper (that is if you can find anyone around here who will replace a riding boot zipper).
I still remember purchasing the boots in 2005. Back then, I was naïve enough to think that $300 was a lot of money for a pair of riding boots; I now stand corrected and wish that the $300 boots available today fit my leg. I brought these shiny specimens home and lovingly took them from the box and thought, “How pretty! I’m never going to let them get muddy/stepped on/dirty.” Bahahahaahahahahaaa. Yeah, right. These poor boots were finally designated my everyday boots about 2 years ago which meant that they received as much love as my doormat. I see it every day, step all over it, but don’t spend much time cleaning it or maintaining it. I’m pretty sure the dirt and grim has been holding them together for the past 6 months.
Fear not for my feet. There is an identical pair of Ariats waiting in the wings to take over daily duty. They still have a fighting chance to be used at schooling shows IF Ike can keep his hooves away from my feet, and I can take 2 minutes to wipe them down at the end of the day…My current show boots are a pair of DerDau’s that make my leg look like it is a mile long.
I still walk like Frankenstein in these boots, but they were comfortable to wear in the saddle from day 1. You might be wondering why a dressage queen like me selected a field boot. Well let me tell you – I tried on every make and model of field and dress boot available in my size that the closest tack stores had to offer. Some hit me in the wrong place at my knee. Some would fit in the ankle and be too big in the calf. Others would fit in the calf and ankle could do a cha-cha with all the extra room. I also found that dress boots were very uncomfortable across the top of my foot – they created an immediate pressure point that was not going to get any better. If and when I really have to have dress boots, I will cast my net wider or go custom. For now, I am very content. There is an elastic panel that runs parallel to the zip that gives the boot a custom feel through the lower leg. I have warned Ike to steer clear. I promise to take very good care of these.
Still have not worked up the nerve to put my old boots in the trash. It seems a shame that I can’t find a use for the leather. Anyone have a puppy that needs a toy?