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View Full Version : Poll: Dressage Working Sessions in Boots or Half-Chaps?



Mike Matson
Feb. 8, 2011, 09:15 PM
When working your horse in dressage (I'm not talking about the training sessions with your instructor), do you ride in dressage boots or half-chaps? I do see some people doing dressage work in half-chaps and I don't get it. Slip on your dressage boots as the riders in the classical schools do for riding sessions!

That's my nickel's worth - what's your opinion?

Ajierene
Feb. 8, 2011, 09:18 PM
I wear half chaps and paddock boots because I like to save my tall boots for shows. I don't have a lot of time in the day and do not have a lot of money for an extra pair of boots so I wear paddock boots and half chaps.

In the winter, my tall boots don't fit over the two pair of long johns and breeches anyway. Yes, the dress is important as usually riding also involves farm work where I ride the horse. I prefer not to freeze during farm work.

I used to wear jeans all the time, but my new saddles (dressage and jumping) get marks in them from the seams, so I don't ride in jeans as much.

CHT
Feb. 8, 2011, 09:19 PM
I mostly ride in half chaps and paddock boots to help my dress boots last longer, and as I spend half of the year riding in long underwear and wool socks, I don't want to stretch out my dress boots.

I do try to school in my dress boots more in the summer.

dressurpferd01
Feb. 8, 2011, 09:20 PM
Dress boots...every ride, every time.

SPatterson
Feb. 8, 2011, 09:36 PM
We have some serious mud here in the winter and spring no matter how well-draining the paddocks are, and I have not yet achieved enough fame and fortune to hire someone to go fetch my shaggy horse for me ;).

I'd rather wear easy-care half chaps and spend that boot-scrubbing time doing something else--goodness knows there is always something else to do.

kaluha2
Feb. 8, 2011, 09:38 PM
Well, in the early 70's we were not allowed to wear our full chaps (we didn't have half) for dressage. We had to wear breeches, boots and gloves every ride, all the time.

I think by now though I've earned the right to wear my full chaps if I want to.

Fantastic
Feb. 8, 2011, 09:40 PM
I ride in tall stiff Konig dressage boots with Sportco insoles and full seats every ride. I would feel naked riding without them!! I can't imagine having floppy ankles. I also have two other pairs of Konigs I use for showing.

In Winter, along with my Konigs I wear fleece socks, lycra long underwear, with Futi (Muck Boot) foot warmers over the toes. In super cold (20's) I will either suffer with the above, or wear tall winter riding boots with ankle support/stiffners so I feel more similar to my Konigs.

If I ever have to wear half chaps, I have two different pairs of stiff dressage-boot-looking half chaps.

Petstorejunkie
Feb. 8, 2011, 10:02 PM
Dress boots...every ride, every time. Ditto
Your leg behaves differently in a boot, why learn things twice?
breeches, tall boots, sports bra, gloves, and helmet. The rest is conducive to the weather.

now bareback is a little different ;)

Mike Matson
Feb. 8, 2011, 10:26 PM
Dress boots...every ride, every time.

Music to my ears.

Mike Matson
Feb. 8, 2011, 10:27 PM
Your leg behaves differently in a boot, why learn things twice?



And your horse responds differently in a boot vs. half-chap.

TBrescue
Feb. 8, 2011, 10:32 PM
Dress boots...every ride, every time.

This. I don't have the same feel in half chaps, though I will wear them hacking out on the trails.

Trevelyan96
Feb. 8, 2011, 10:38 PM
I switch back and forth. Right now I'm considering breaking out the old full chaps, maybe they'll help keep me warmer in ths ghastly weather we've been having. I definitely like my full chaps on trail rides, 1/2 chaps are great when I'm doing lots of barn work first and boots get work at least once a week or so to remind me of the differen feeling.

Of course, right now, I'm wearing my Middleburg fleece lined tall winter boots and love the.

Touchstone Farm
Feb. 8, 2011, 10:43 PM
I wear dressage boots for every ride (except winter when I have to use Mountain Horse insulated boots to survive), but I think good/stiff half-chaps and paddock boots can work fine too.

Arizona DQ
Feb. 8, 2011, 10:48 PM
I used to wear boots all the time, but now I prefer half chaps, especially in the hot summer when my calves swell and sweat! I will school in my boots before a show.

LisaW-B
Feb. 8, 2011, 10:55 PM
Half-chaps! Or sometimes... jeans and paddock boots. I usually only wear my tall boots for shows, or hunting. And yes, my dress boots do have Sonoran desert pin-striping on them from riding through the brush with my friends in the hunt club. I think of them as stripes of honor rather than scratches. Half-chaps are just more convenient, and not as hot in the summer as tall boots.

Flap15
Feb. 8, 2011, 11:00 PM
I used to love wearing half chaps when my primary interest was jumping and casual hacking. Now that I am purely focussed on dressage I can't imagine riding without my dress boots. They were difficult to get used to at first but I love the feel now. They have become as big a part of my "regular equipment" as my saddle etc.

dghunter
Feb. 9, 2011, 06:25 AM
I absolutely despise wearing tall boots. I always school in jeans, paddock boots, and half chaps. I have a pair of winter riding boots that I'll wear sometimes too. If I have a show coming up I'll switch to wearing boots and breeches about 1-2 weeks ahead of time. NBD and I've never had a problem. I do too many barn chores and get too dirty to wear by tall boots! I also have *gasp* field boots and not dress boots :winkgrin: I notice no difference in the way my horse goes between half chaps and boots.

I will not ride in just paddock boots though, can't do it!

JRG
Feb. 9, 2011, 06:32 AM
I wear boots all the time, everytime. For me it is less about how the horse responds (responds the same no matter what my footwear), but more how I feel. I have come to the conclusion that I can be the best "me" if everything feels the same.

Bogey2
Feb. 9, 2011, 06:38 AM
I love my dressage boots and ride in only them.

Megaladon
Feb. 9, 2011, 07:48 AM
Dressage boots :yes:.

carolprudm
Feb. 9, 2011, 08:00 AM
I absolutely despise wearing tall boots. I always school in jeans, paddock boots, and half chaps. I have a pair of winter riding boots that I'll wear sometimes too. If I have a show coming up I'll switch to wearing boots and breeches about 1-2 weeks ahead of time. NBD and I've never had a problem. I do too many barn chores and get too dirty to wear by tall boots! I also have *gasp* field boots and not dress boots :winkgrin: I notice no difference in the way my horse goes between half chaps and boots.

I will not ride in just paddock boots though, can't do it!
LOL, I also despise my tall boots, they remind me to much of an air cast but I don't wear half chaps either. This is one reason I don't show

And no, my ankles don't flop

Denali
Feb. 9, 2011, 08:12 AM
Full seat breeches, gloves, HELMET, and nice half chaps with matching black paddock boots.

I have 2 screws in one ankle from a horse related break, and the surgery scar and screw heads lay just under the the folds in the ankle of tall boots.
It is excruciating in tall boots, and torturing myself the weeks before a show and during a show is all I can do. I can't buy boots like Konigs, it would be impossible.

I've tried different ankle wraps, supports, socks etc, to protect the area with little luck.

Blame the horse that squished me, not me or bad etiquette!

blackhorsegirl
Feb. 9, 2011, 08:22 AM
My custom boots have never been that comfortable. Love my half chaps. Mine are snug and made of boot leather. From a distance, you can hardly tell.

alibi_18
Feb. 9, 2011, 08:31 AM
@Denali: I feel for you. A friend of mine had screws in her leg and was having similar problems...as well as having her leg now twist a bit to the outside...:(
But eventually, she had the screws removed and can now wear tall boots. Will you have your screws removed too?

I wear half chaps and paddocks. I have nice ones stiffer Sergio Grasso for my dressage lessons. But if I had enough money, I wouldn't mind much riding in tall boots all the time...

Dressage_Julie
Feb. 9, 2011, 08:46 AM
I don't even own half chaps... two pairs of tall boots, and one paid of mountain horse tall boots that I wear in winter with thick breeches and extra socks. :)

carolprudm
Feb. 9, 2011, 08:59 AM
Full seat breeches, gloves, HELMET, and nice half chaps with matching black paddock boots.

I have 2 screws in one ankle from a horse related break, and the surgery scar and screw heads lay just under the the folds in the ankle of tall boots.
It is excruciating in tall boots, and torturing myself the weeks before a show and during a show is all I can do. I can't buy boots like Konigs, it would be impossible.

I've tried different ankle wraps, supports, socks etc, to protect the area with little luck.

Blame the horse that squished me, not me or bad etiquette!
LOL. I've also got hardware in my ankle, hence my reference to an air cast though mine resulted from a slip in my garage.

Try a nice fluffy wrist sweat band over your ankle. UA makes some good ones.

However, even before the break I was never all that fond of tall boots

ETA: I was told by my surgeon that if he removed the plate and screws in my fib I would be 6 weeks NWB. The last time he said 6 weeks it turned into 11 so I will have to be seriously desperate to sign up for that. Yup, it is just under the skin and I can clearly feel the screws. The plate is 3 or 4 inches long. There are also 3 screws in the medial malleolus but I can't really feel them

kinnip
Feb. 9, 2011, 09:04 AM
Heck I'll do it in jods.

myvanya
Feb. 9, 2011, 10:16 AM
Right now I ride in insulated boots as I think I would have frostbite even in the insulated indoor otherwise :lol:

Usually though I ride in paddock boots and half chaps for schooling because I want to make my tall boots last. If I had the money for more than one pair I would be fine riding in tall boots all the time but since I barely escaped having to go custom to just to get boots that fit moderately well (height being the main issue) I will be ok with what I have. I spend most of my horse budget on things other than my clothes. I also don't ride in full seats.

I am probably some kind of dressage heathen. Since the dressage gods haven't smote (is that the right tense? such a weird verb) me yet I figure it isn't the end of the world if I ride in knee patch breeches, paddock boots and half chaps most of the time....as long as I atone for my sins by cleaning my tack every ride and having an obsessively well groomed horse....:winkgrin:

FlightCheck
Feb. 9, 2011, 10:17 AM
half-chaps and paddocks. Can go from tacking up to riding to hosing off...and repeat.

I only have ONE pair of nice tall boots, which are reserved for lessons/clinics/shows.

The only difference I feel in riding in either is that I feel more "polished" in my boots - perhaps because of the above times I ride in them.

rprincess73
Feb. 9, 2011, 10:36 AM
**May the gasping begin**

I wear paddock boots and jods/breeches...every ride. I just bought a pair of Kerrits full seat tights and love them. Still wear just my paddock boots. A few of my barn buddies ask me "How the heck do you ride with just paddock boots??" I have been told I have a steady leg...with no flopping ankles. Guess with all the years of never having tall boots - they are "trained".

I never did the show thing growing up - so there was never a reason for my parents to see spending the money for tall boots. I have large calves and off the shelf boots just don't cut it.

Now in my late 30s...I am starting to show and have been measured for custom tall boots. 2 more weeks and they will be here. I'm sure I will have to learn how to ride all over again - as my leg is going to feel heavy and encased. However, I look forward to it:)

SPatterson
Feb. 9, 2011, 10:49 AM
I am probably some kind of dressage heathen. Since the dressage gods haven't smote (is that the right tense? such a weird verb) me yet I figure it isn't the end of the world if I ride in knee patch breeches, paddock boots and half chaps most of the time....as long as I atone for my sins by cleaning my tack every ride and having an obsessively well groomed horse....:winkgrin:

Same here :yes: . I grew up riding with old-school, no-nonsense trainers who wouldn't tolerate anything less than immaculately clean tack and a spit-shined horse, with the rider's gear needing to be neat/functional but otherwise an afterthought. So I may school in rust-colored knee-patch breeches with half chaps (horrors!) but if I ever hung a bit up unpolished after a ride, I probably wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

One instructor I had would take the stirrups off your saddle and hide them if you put tack up dirty or a horse up with a saddle mark, and then it was all no-stirrups lessons to atone for your sins. Man, how I wish for America's youth that she was still teaching! :lol:

merrygoround
Feb. 9, 2011, 11:14 AM
Half chaps, full seat breeches (are there any other kind?) gloves, brain bucket .

However, the boots come out for lessons, clinics, and for several days before a show.

suzier444
Feb. 9, 2011, 11:28 AM
half chaps because my calves got too chunky for the tall boots (which I bought when I was 15) and I'm in denial about it so I won't buy a new pair.

but in an ideal world, I'd wear tall boots with knee-patch, not full-seat, breeches.

CosMonster
Feb. 9, 2011, 12:09 PM
Half chaps or just paddock boots because I am mostly a one-woman show here, so usually I wind up doing little chores that pop up between horses and it's too much of a PITA to change boots and I can't justify spending the cash on them only to wear them while giving my neighbor a hand with his fence or riding out through mesquite thickets or whatever. BTDT and they don't last long. :lol:

I'll usually put them on if I'm schooling a higher level horse though. Since I mostly ride babies it's not that big of a deal. I'd still probably wear tall boots all the time if all I really did was ride, but since there's a lot of farm chores and such it's just not practical.

ETA I also don't care for full seat breeches. I'll wear them if I'm expecting a rodeo or trying out an unknown horse that day, but otherwise no. I rode in them pretty exclusively for 6 months once when I was working with a trainer who didn't like knee patch breeches, and afterward I felt like I couldn't ride properly without them for a few days, I was sliding around in the saddle too much! It's easy to get dependent on them.

netg
Feb. 9, 2011, 12:39 PM
Half-chaps! Or sometimes... jeans and paddock boots. I usually only wear my tall boots for shows, or hunting. And yes, my dress boots do have Sonoran desert pin-striping on them from riding through the brush with my friends in the hunt club. I think of them as stripes of honor rather than scratches. Half-chaps are just more convenient, and not as hot in the summer as tall boots.

:lol: at the Sonoran pin-striping! (And HELLO to another Arizonan!) When we're moved next to the cattle grazing land I assume I'll mostly wear half chaps out on the trails for the same reason.

Right now, I use my Mountain Horse winter boots all the time except lessons. I want to get a second pair of custom boots so I can wear one pair all the time and have one pair in more pristine show condition (with the daily use pair as backup when my zippers break.) Given customs are the only dress boots which fit me, I have to spend the money on them. Once the current house is sold, it'll be a bit more convenient buying myself boots!

ETA:
I find it far easier to keep my legs still and show-ready in my tall boots. I need to get my legs stronger and more steady overall... so for me, riding in boots other than the dress boots regularly makes my legs keep getting stronger and improving. Not why I don't wear dress boots all the time, but a plus.

suzier444
Feb. 9, 2011, 01:48 PM
ETA I also don't care for full seat breeches. I'll wear them if I'm expecting a rodeo or trying out an unknown horse that day, but otherwise no.

I feel the same...I like the freedom of movement that I have in knee-patch breeches. I just feel like full seats make it harder for me to make tiny position corrections so i just have to make more dramatic corrections later. Also, they have a kind of wet diaper feeling.

Amazone
Feb. 9, 2011, 02:09 PM
Okay, maybe I am just being very ignorant, but can someone explain to me what "floppy" ankles look like? Do they flop up and down or from side to side? And should a good rider not be able to keep his/her leg quiet even without boots on? Just asking? For the record, I like to wear half chaps and knee patch breeches, (gasp!)I feel much closer to my horse that way, and for the record Anja Beran, who is a beautiful correct rider only wears paddock boots and jods when she rides.

Somantu
Feb. 9, 2011, 02:39 PM
Tall boots April to November. Half chaps the rest of the time, so my chunky TR Toasties can fit underneath ;)

And always deerskin half-seats, cabretta gloves and a plastic helmet.

(Can you tell I don't show? :D)

CosMonster
Feb. 9, 2011, 03:05 PM
I feel the same...I like the freedom of movement that I have in knee-patch breeches. I just feel like full seats make it harder for me to make tiny position corrections so i just have to make more dramatic corrections later. Also, they have a kind of wet diaper feeling.

Definitely. I love them for the situations I mentioned, because they do lock you in but you can still move a little. For every day riding, though, it's just too much. And OMG, I ride in 90+ degree weather much of the year with no shade and you aren't kidding about the wet diaper feeling. :lol:


And should a good rider not be able to keep his/her leg quiet even without boots on? Just asking?

IMO, yes, a good rider should not need boots. Personally I prefer riding in half chaps or just jods for the same reason as you. Most people do ride a bit differently in boots though I think, and since you have to show in them I think the ideal would be to school in them as well if you are on a competitive track. But the difference is small enough that I don't think it's that big of a deal. JMO, though.

MelanieC
Feb. 9, 2011, 03:18 PM
My half chaps are way stiffer than the tall boots I have, which are field boots that I bought in college and are almost 20 years old. If I can get my horse sound and ready to show I'll invest in a decent pair of tall boots with stylish Spanish tops.

atr
Feb. 9, 2011, 03:21 PM
Depends on the weather. In the winter I'm likely to be in paddocks and half chaps at home, unless I'm wearing the insulated MH boots, but if I trailer out somewhere or have a lesson I'll break out the dressage boots.

In the summer, I might school in field boots as they are thinner than the half chap/paddock combo.

However, with Ariat paddocks zipped up, spurs firmly in place, and a solid pair of Ariat half chaps on, I don't feel like I have excessive (or frankly any) movement in my ankles. Certainly not much different to my dressage boots--which I have to nurture through another year before I can contemplate a second pair, and way more solid in feel than my field boots, which are like bedroom slippers...

Velvet
Feb. 9, 2011, 03:38 PM
And should a good rider not be able to keep his/her leg quiet even without boots on? Just asking?

Amen to that one. A good rider can ride a horse wearing or not wearing just about anything. (Not sure not wearing anything would be comfortable for anyone. :eek: )

BTW, the new dress boots that are uber stiff and fully lined make my horse act like he's half deaf to my leg. I have to use a spur to remind him my leg is there. If I have half chaps or even soft winter boots on, he can hear me MUCH better. Best is the old Dehner customs that have the inside window. Look great and he can feel the slightest tension in my calf. Never did like the uber stiff boots. I think they block communication. JMO

Trying
Feb. 9, 2011, 03:40 PM
Love my dressage boots but was hurt 2 yrs ago and had stitches on the front of calf just above ankle and there is a lot of nerve damage. Doesn't seem to want to heal. Hurt horribly after riding in boots. Do not know what to do to show. Maybe stretch the h%%% out of them?
So cold here and arena is still iced so riding is not a possibility to do safely. Spring?? where is it?

carolprudm
Feb. 9, 2011, 03:51 PM
half chaps because my calves got too chunky for the tall boots (which I bought when I was 15) and I'm in denial about it so I won't buy a new pair.



You don't have large calves, just small feet.

That's what I tell myself anyway

bambam
Feb. 9, 2011, 03:52 PM
The tall boots come out for shows and clinics. The rest of the time it is half chaps and paddock boots.
In the winter my feet would freeze in the tall boots and in the summer it is nice to be able to immediately make things cooler by taking the half chaps off right away.
My tall boots are not comfortable to walk around in much and I end up doing a lot of walking at the farm.
Plus, I would like my tall boots to last as long as possible which means slogging around in the mud and the wash stall with them every day is not a great idea.

There is absolutely no difference in how my horse goes when I am wearing tall boots as opposed to half chaps.

CosMonster
Feb. 9, 2011, 03:57 PM
Amen to that one. A good rider can ride a horse wearing or not wearing just about anything. (Not sure not wearing anything would be comfortable for anyone. :eek: )

BTW, the new dress boots that are uber stiff and fully lined make my horse act like he's half deaf to my leg. I have to use a spur to remind him my leg is there. If I have half chaps or even soft winter boots on, he can hear me MUCH better. Best is the old Dehner customs that have the inside window. Look great and he can feel the slightest tension in my calf. Never did like the uber stiff boots. I think they block communication. JMO

I agree on the super-stiff dressage boots. Maybe because it has only been in the last few years that I have been able to afford a new pair and all my others have been hand-me-downs that were, shall we say, well broken in. :lol: But my old horse will react to a slight clenching of the calf muscle, and when I did ride him in a pair of newer dressage boots borrowed from a friend I could not get the same reaction. I wound up ordering a pair of thinner hunter-type dress boots to show in.

katie+tru
Feb. 9, 2011, 07:11 PM
Yeah.... I'll ride in dressage boots all the time when I can afford a pair. I just got a pair of half chaps so I can keep my field boots (my only tall boots) at home and protect them for shows. I grew up riding in paddock boots and jeans or jods. Then I got full chaps in high school. I am not picky about what I ride in... can be jeans with boots and chaps, jeans and tall boots, jobs and short boots. Full seats or just knee patches. Whatever. It shouldn't affect how you ride, just so long as you're comfortable.

quietann
Feb. 9, 2011, 09:42 PM
I always use tall boots for lessons. They help me steady my leg. For schooling, it really depends. I prefer half chaps and winter paddock boots when it's cold. Half chaps over winter breeches over long underwear keeps that part of me warm.

Of course, now that I have *two* pairs of tall boots (thanks to TOTD; Mountain Horse Sportive High Riders may be clunky, but they actually fit my big calves and weird feet), I may have one pair for "ordinary rides" and the other for lessons/shows/whatever.

manentail
Feb. 9, 2011, 10:03 PM
If you school in something more difficult such as jeans and paddock boots, wouldn't it be easier when you did wear your dress boots? Kind of like when runners train for a marathon at high altitudes so it's easier when competition time comes?

I wish I had money for many pairs of dress boots

katie+tru
Feb. 9, 2011, 10:43 PM
If you school in something more difficult such as jeans and paddock boots, wouldn't it be easier when you did wear your dress boots?


That's sort of my mentality. But I also just simply never had the luxury of having all kinds of clothing and equipment. No one in my barn lives like that. We are all "guilty" of dressage in jeans. Heck, my trainer has put spurs on her Sketchers. :lol: It's not about clothes, especially when at home. If you can ride in jeans, thick winters breeches, or thin full seats, you can ride in anything. I never want to become dependent on a certain type of clothing to be able to ride well/comfortably.

GraceLikeRain
Feb. 10, 2011, 11:07 AM
Boots every time. Right now I am schooling in Field Boots but I hope to get my Dehners feeling better so I can start schooling in them on a regualr basis.

Wayside
Feb. 10, 2011, 12:26 PM
You don't have large calves, just small feet.

That's what I tell myself anyway

:lol:

I have large calves (both wide and tall) AND small extra-wide feet, which makes finding a tall boot that fits correctly really hellacious. That, plus the fact that I don't show much, I love to trail ride, and I'm really hard on my boots means that it's way easier to just ride in paddock boots and half chaps.

If I'm prepping for a show I'll ride in tall boots, but honestly money is tight, and for the past couple of years I've felt my money is just better spent on lessons and clinics.

2tempe
Feb. 10, 2011, 08:41 PM
Dress boots all the time. The first pair I fought the battle of keeping them in decent condition so they could go to a show also. Then I got a second pair for shows. The daily use ones are now subject to benign neglect, especially after leaving the muddy north for the sandy Florida. So generally I buy a new pair about every three years, rotating the older pair to daily, saving the newer ones for shows after a break in period.
Note that I do not buy very expensive custom boots; I'm an Ariat fan as they have enough size options to fit me perfectly. They are also not the STIFF kind.
Also ride always in breeches; no preference between full seat or not.

Hampton Bay
Feb. 10, 2011, 09:55 PM
I've lost and then gained so much weight that my dress boots need a bit of elastic help, so I'm stuck in my paddocks and half chaps until I can find the right elastic anyway.

But I prefer to school in paddocks anyway. I ride two horses when I ride, and since it's usually a million degrees, I prefer not to get my tall boots wet. Because when it's that hot, they get suctioned to my legs, and it's not always easy to get them off and then back on.

Bats79
Feb. 11, 2011, 07:12 AM
Paddock boots or jodphur boots and half chaps. I grew up (until 18) showjumping and eventing in jodphurs and joddie boots - i don't need tall boots to keep my leg steady.

And I ride so many young, green horses that getting on and off cautiously though quickly, which just can't be done in stiff boots IMHO.

ginger708
Feb. 11, 2011, 08:11 AM
Agree with other riders here. A quiet leg is a quiet leg. It should be that way riding in super-stiff tall boots or jeans and gym shoes.

For me I love tall boots just because they are easier than putting on a boot and a half chap. But for many years I schooled in a pair of Ariat close contact half-chaps and paddock boots. While I was working with my trainer in the half-chaps she would get after me about my leg and I worked on it until it was quiet from hip to foot.

Now I have a pair of mountain horse tall boots because they are tough as nails and super comfortable for the Mud frozen mud seasons that we have here and in the summer it's my Dehner dressage boots.

I had the Dehners double lined instead of the dressage lining with the stiffener up the back. I do not believe that you have to suffer for your art there is no glory in tearing you legs apart for fashion. Just have someone during your schooling sessions ride you rump about keeping you leg quiet until thinking about your leg becomes involuntary.

mandalea
Feb. 12, 2011, 01:02 AM
I have 2 pairs of the same leather gaiters, one's for schooling and ones for comps.

My schooling ones are about to go to heaven, because they are falling apart at the seams, they have no elastic 'stirrup' anymore and they hare now too short. When they eventually die, I'll replace them with a pair of suede/easy care ones, or I would like a nice pair of full ones for winter.

But my competition ones are quite stiff and sturdy because they don't get used as much. I would love a nice pair of top boots, but you can't buy brown ones off the shelf here, and they would need to be custom made, which I can't afford.

Here in Australia, I reckon boots and gaiters are far more popular than top boots, especially below FEI, and even in eventing and showing.

J-Lu
Feb. 12, 2011, 09:27 PM
I prefer half-chaps. I love the feeling I get in them, the flexibility I have with my ankles and spurs, and I love not having to change my footwear when I'm not riding and need to catch horses, etc. Plus, I'm relatively poor so it is better for me to "wear through" half-chaps at the barn than dress boots. I save my boots for the show ring, lessons/clinics.