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staceyk
Dec. 4, 2011, 07:28 AM
Hi,

I have a pair of Petries, and they "work" for me, but I'm not sure I understand the concept of the stiff boot for dressage. Why why why are dressage boots so stiff? Why would anyone want "extra stiff?" What's the rationale?

Thanks in advance.

JumasMom
Dec. 4, 2011, 07:34 AM
They have to be uncomfortable to keep Dressage Queens from being the warm and fuzzy people they were actually born to be.

SillyHorse
Dec. 4, 2011, 08:39 AM
They have to be uncomfortable to keep Dressage Queens from being the warm and fuzzy people they were actually born to be.
I knew there had to be a good reason!:lol:

Petstorejunkie
Dec. 4, 2011, 09:08 AM
to the best of my knowledge it's for crisp execution of aides... at least that's why I prefer a stiff boot.

SBrentnall
Dec. 4, 2011, 04:50 PM
When I switched from eventing to dressage, I wondered the same thing. And then I wore a pair of dressage boots and discovered how much less my ankles wobbled around in the siting trot. Which, of course, meant that I was no longer inadvertently giving aids all the time.

So for me, the stiffer boots help me have a quieter, stiller leg.

Velvet
Dec. 4, 2011, 07:42 PM
to the best of my knowledge it's for crisp execution of aides... at least that's why I prefer a stiff boot.

:lol: :lol: Um, not so much. That comes from training the horse to come of a breath of an aid no matter what you have on. :yes:

Stiff boots are all about a look. The rider is supposed to look as if they are not doing anything, and the stiff boots locks the leg, as others are pointing out. Also, they can lock the leg and ankle into a more forward toe position--which is once again all about a look. Not so much something that influences good or bad riding. They still happen no matter what style and price boot you wear.

The old riders preferred boots that were softer in the ankle and an inside window on the leather in a tall boot. This allowed for a very subtle aid with just a slight flexion of the rider's calf. It also made the leg flex with the horse--which is actually a good sign. A flexing leg and one that also moves softly with the horse's side is a good leg. It's one that is able to give soft aids and stay in contact with the horse's side--moving with them. It used to be called a "breathing leg."

cadance
Dec. 4, 2011, 07:51 PM
I just got a pair of Petrie Ankys and I have to say it made a difference in my ride the first time I wore them. my horse was definitely much more aware of my leg and my right ankle was much more stable than before when I wore half chaps. That was a problem for me and I think as they break in more the feel will only get better.

kinnip
Dec. 4, 2011, 07:56 PM
I've only heard of the "breathing leg" in the context of driving aids.

staceyk
Dec. 4, 2011, 07:57 PM
Hi,

I have the petrie Anky elegance boots, my first "real" dressage boots. They calmed my floppy leg, but it's still squirming and shaking inside the boot :-). I guess my horse feels only the thick blocklike presence against his sides...

Pocket Pony
Dec. 4, 2011, 11:31 PM
This brings up another question that I've wondered about. On a couple of occasions I've heard about people using heel lifts in their dressage boots. Is this common because the boots are so stiff that they don't flex much at the heel?

BaroquePony
Dec. 5, 2011, 12:01 AM
I hate them, won't use them, and if I get discriminated against for that, so be it. I learned how to use my entire leg and don't have a problem wearing spurs and NOT using the spurs unless I need them.

I know where my ankles are and how to use them properly.

I consider the stovepipe dressage boot to be a fad that goes along with not so subtle riding.

Bogey2
Dec. 5, 2011, 06:33 AM
for some reason I like the stiff boot...but mine are custom and don't take all that long to break in. I hated the field boot, I still have scars behind my kness from them:lol: Waiting for them to "drop" was painful.

carolprudm
Dec. 5, 2011, 08:14 AM
I hate them, won't use them, and if I get discriminated against for that, so be it. I learned how to use my entire leg and don't have a problem wearing spurs and NOT using the spurs unless I need them.

I know where my ankles are and how to use them properly.

I consider the stovepipe dressage boot to be a fad that goes along with not so subtle riding.
I have a beautiful pair of Der Dau custom boots....in my closet. I much prefer my ariat paddock boots

BaroquePony
Dec. 5, 2011, 08:45 AM
Oh heck, I shouldn't admit this, but .... I have several pairs of custom Dehners, including paddock boots (which I love), but my neighbor kid, on her horse, caught me trying to sneak out the backside of my property, on my (new) horse, Maxwell, wearing ..

cowboy boots and jodphurs (I am 59 years old) and because Maxwell has size three feet the only bellboots I could find immediately were lavendar :lol: ....

And yes, I do know what proper attire is, both formal and informal :lol:.

Petstorejunkie
Dec. 5, 2011, 09:57 AM
perhaps my definition of stiff, and y'alls definition of stiff are two different things. I've never had a boot "lock" my ankle... that's a scary thought :eek:
I like a boot that can stand up without a leg in it, but it needs to be able to bend. I was referring to the boots that have shafts you can literally roll up like a half chap's materials as being what I don't like.


a more forward toe position--which is once again all about a look. Not so much something that influences good or bad riding.
You sure you don't want to have some more coffee, reread and retract that? :lol:
(It made my morning, seriously)

Velvet
Dec. 5, 2011, 10:19 AM
You sure you don't want to have some more coffee, reread and retract that? :lol:
(It made my morning, seriously)


Nope. Not at all. The toes pointed dead forward is not about function. Go read An Anatomy of Riding (not Anatomy of Dressage). It talks about the appropriate toe position being slightly out. It's more correct and keeps the hips from being locked and closed and unable to follow.

Velvet
Dec. 5, 2011, 10:20 AM
I've only heard of the "breathing leg" in the context of driving aids.

A "breathing leg" is called that because it moves in and out with the horse's sides as he breathes.

Velvet
Dec. 5, 2011, 10:21 AM
This brings up another question that I've wondered about. On a couple of occasions I've heard about people using heel lifts in their dressage boots. Is this common because the boots are so stiff that they don't flex much at the heel?

I've only used those to help during the break in period with boots so you don't get the rubs on the knee area when the ankles haven't released.

Gloria
Dec. 5, 2011, 10:47 AM
to the best of my knowledge it's for crisp execution of aides... at least that's why I prefer a stiff boot.

This is exactly how I feel. Coming from a rider who rode hunt seat to begin her riding career, who preferred those "close contact", "very soft" tall boots, I couldn't understand why anybody would want those stiff boots.

Of course that was before I got a pair of dressage boots before I saw the difference.

I thought I'd hated the stiffness but what I found out is, if the boots fit, they don't bother at all, and they allows so much better precision of aid. But of course I think they would bug the heck out of me if they don't fit. I had to go to custom route because of my very short legs... Except for the initial short braking period, the whole thing is very comfortable.

Now with winters setting in, I have to wear my old tall hunt boots because I can't fit my calf in my dressage boots with all those thick breeches and wool socks. I find I'm missing my dressage boots terribly when I ride.:no:

cadance
Dec. 5, 2011, 01:56 PM
This brings up another question that I've wondered about. On a couple of occasions I've heard about people using heel lifts in their dressage boots. Is this common because the boots are so stiff that they don't flex much at the heel?

no, heel lifts are used primarily for the break-in period to help avoid the boot rubbing at the crease of your knee. once the ankle has dropped a little (from being ridden in/flexed), most people take them out.

they're also used to keep a foot stable in pull-on boots because they require more room in the ankle to get the foot in, so some people who have lower arches need the heel lift to keep their foot in the proper placement.

cadance
Dec. 5, 2011, 02:05 PM
Hi,

I have the petrie Anky elegance boots, my first "real" dressage boots. They calmed my floppy leg, but it's still squirming and shaking inside the boot :-). I guess my horse feels only the thick blocklike presence against his sides...

same here, my right leg is floppy (thanks to a residual gymnastics injury to the hip flexor), and the boots make it much easier to keep my leg in position, but my foot stays still inside the boot. my horse was definitely more responsive to the stiff boot.

If purpose built dressage boots are a fad, then what should we be wearing?

carolprudm
Dec. 5, 2011, 02:44 PM
same here, my right leg is floppy (thanks to a residual gymnastics injury to the hip flexor), and the boots make it much easier to keep my leg in position, but my foot stays still inside the boot. my horse was definitely more responsive to the stiff boot.

If purpose built dressage boots are a fad, then what should we be wearing?

Interesting. I broke my ankle 6 years ago and I feel it is more stable with the laceup paddock boots

Gloria
Dec. 5, 2011, 02:53 PM
For weak ankles laced up boots are helpful because you can really tighten those laces up to give you ankle support. It is like wearing an ankle brace. I have weak right ankle too (very old injury, 20+ years) and there was a time I even had to wear that brace when I rode.

mvp
Dec. 5, 2011, 03:02 PM
None of the above, IMO.

It's all history.

Back in the day, all worse dress boots to show. Field boots were not enough. Zippers didn't exist.

Hunter World produced some beautiful custom boots, then field boots, then off-the-shelf zipper models that taught everyone of all shapes and sizes that they, too, could have a leather sock silhouette.

In Dressage World, I think field boots were ignored while companies like Koenig and Petrie started making their very tall and stiff dress boots. Ankles stayed fat, as had to be true for dress boots. Very, very few DQs I knew had "experienced" a soft pair of french calf Vogels.

It also helped that y'all started lengthening your stirrups to "tippy toe" lengths. It might hurt to walk in your Petries (many with a stiffening rod up the back), but once on the horse, the back of your knee wouldn't suffer.

For a while, some rode in patent leather boots, but most enjoyed the ease with which you could shine the smooth expanse of those boots to get the military look.

Velvet
Dec. 5, 2011, 03:39 PM
If purpose built dressage boots are a fad, then what should we be wearing?

You're assuming they were built with a specific purpose. I'm not so sure they were. When Konig first came out with the uber stiff boots, the majority of people loathed them and called them Frankenstein boots. Then they were being worn by top riders and suddenly everyone had to have a pair.

Do they serve a purpose? I'm guessing from all the posts that they do help many people. Are we ALL supposed to wear them? I'm not so sure. I think that there are different needs for different people and different feels and preferences. I think that these provide a "look" that many like. I also think they do provide a function for some--but not all. That's JMO.

TheHorseProblem
Dec. 5, 2011, 05:17 PM
If purpose built dressage boots are a fad, then what should we be wearing?

Zippers are a fad. Patent leather is a fad. Spanish tops and doodads on field boots are fads. Super soft calf leather field boots are a fad.

Stiff dressage boots are not a fad. There have always been boots with degrees of stiffness, with the more stiff being pricier, but this is the way dressage boots have always been, to my understanding.

I once spent an afternoon in a little custom (as in hand made) boot shop in Hannover. It was across the street from a huge brick oval arena that was once where the cavalry rode and trained. It's now a municipal swimming pool. The proprietor was in his 90's and had made boots going all the way back to the Nazi era. He had made all the boots for the 1980 Russian Olympic team, the year of the boycott over their invasion of Afghanistan.:lol: He explained how, to make a truly effective boot, he would have to measure not only the rider, but also the horse, to see just where the rider's calf draped on the horse's side, so that the stiffest area was where the rider contacted the horse's side.

Gloria
Dec. 5, 2011, 05:36 PM
Measure the horse too? Wow. Makes perfect sense though, because I have been wondering about the same thing - how do you make sure the stiff parts are where they are supposed to go, when each horse makes the rider sit differently?

But then of course I start to feel guilty, like what my husband always says, "Stop Over Analyze everything." :lol::lol::lol:

BaroquePony
Dec. 5, 2011, 05:46 PM
He explained how, to make a truly effective boot, he would have to measure not only the rider, but also the horse, to see just where the rider's calf draped on the horse's side, so that the stiffest area was where the rider contacted the horse's side.

This to me makes sense, but just ramrod stiff all the way up does not.

Maybe I am missing something, but when I see the leg of the rider from the knee down just swinging as a solid unit, I am not so sure that is very subtle. I think it looks awkward and I notice the boots over the flying changes. Maybe that is what they had in mind.

alicen
Dec. 5, 2011, 05:46 PM
Measure the horse too? Wow. :lol::lol::lol:

Just imagine how happy that little ol' bootmaker would have been if a rider rode 5 or 6 horses of various shapes.

Back in the middle '70's soft boots were de rigueur for a better feel of the horse and rider comfort. After riding in soft boots, riding in hard boots made your legs feel like vice grips.

cadance
Dec. 5, 2011, 05:49 PM
Agreed, that's what I meant- stiff isn't a fad.

Though I can definitely say zippers aren't a fad in my opinion, because I wouldn't be able to get myself into a pull-on boot anywhere near the correct calf size for me because my instep is so high that I can't even get my heel past the opening of the boot, and I have a very tall/skinny calf.

BaroquePony
Dec. 5, 2011, 05:49 PM
I have also talked to some custom gear people and they say you don't always want things to be too customized otherwise you have to change all of your gear for each and every horse you ride. Not so practical if you are riding eight horses a day.

Of course it wasn't in a little shop in Hanover.

poltroon
Dec. 5, 2011, 05:52 PM
Having now tried the ultra stiff boots as well as having had fully lined hunter-style soft Vogels, I far prefer the Vogels.

BaroquePony
Dec. 5, 2011, 05:53 PM
Options on custom boots have been around for a very long time, and there are many and often they serve a very decent purpose.

Personally I would never own a pair of French Calf because I would just destroy them.

BaroquePony
Dec. 5, 2011, 05:54 PM
Half lined Dehners for me, thanks. In black dragoon. Although am thinking about getting some in brown.

kinnip
Dec. 5, 2011, 06:05 PM
A "breathing leg" is called that because it moves in and out with the horse's sides as he breathes.

I can't imagine clamping down so hard that the horse's sides can't move to breathe. This is the context in which I've heard the term: http://janesavoie.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/freshen-your-dressage-horses-walk/

grayarabpony
Dec. 5, 2011, 09:32 PM
I can't imagine clamping down so hard that the horse's sides can't move to breathe. This is the context in which I've heard the term: http://janesavoie.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/freshen-your-dressage-horses-walk/

I'm sure that's not what she meant. I think she meant the rider not trying to brace against the movement to keep the leg still.

I never thought about stiff boots helping with crisp aids. I thought they were that way just to hurt people. :(

Velvet
Dec. 5, 2011, 09:54 PM
I can't imagine clamping down so hard that the horse's sides can't move to breathe. This is the context in which I've heard the term: http://janesavoie.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/freshen-your-dressage-horses-walk/

Um, she calls that "breathing the leg." I think she means as in to refresh, not a "breathing leg" that falls against the horse's side, as the term used to be used.

Here's a good online discussion about a breathing leg. (They also discuss how Steffen has one and how people mistake it for a loose or tapping leg.)

http://www.ultimatedressage.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=214289&start=0

(Can't believe I'm pointing back to the UDBB. :lol: )

BaroquePony
Dec. 5, 2011, 10:12 PM
Here is better example of a *breathing leg*:

Painted Black 5th Feb 2010 in Den Bosch ridden by Hans Peter Minderhout

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4PokvoR61Y&feature=related

Gloria
Dec. 6, 2011, 11:22 AM
I rode in my very soft hunt boots yesterday, first in a jumping lesson, and then two rides (dressage) on my own.

The boots worked very well when I did my jumping lesson. They did what I needed them to do.

When I rode dressage, however, it was a different story. I found although I could feel my horses' sides, I could not give clear enough cue (at calves) as well, especially when doing lateral work and I ended up using a lot of legs. My horses weren't too happy camper either. They kept asking, "What exactly are you trying to say?"

I think I will try to sqeeze my winter breeches into my dressage boots today...

TheHorseProblem
Dec. 6, 2011, 11:30 AM
Just imagine how happy that little ol' bootmaker would have been if a rider rode 5 or 6 horses of various shapes.

Well, it was specifically for the Olympics, so not such a stretch. I'm not sure anyone has 5 or 6 suitable mounts for the Olympics.:D But I could see his point.

Think of Martin Schaudt on Durgo or some of the taller riders on smaller Spanish horses.

BaroquePony
Dec. 6, 2011, 01:03 PM
Posted by Gloria:

I rode in my very soft hunt boots yesterday, first in a jumping lesson, and then two rides (dressage) on my own.

The boots worked very well when I did my jumping lesson. They did what I needed them to do.

When I rode dressage, however, it was a different story. I found although I could feel my horses' sides, I could not give clear enough cue (at calves) as well, especially when doing lateral work and I ended up using a lot of legs. My horses weren't too happy camper either. They kept asking, "What exactly are you trying to say?"

I think I will try to sqeeze my winter breeches into my dressage boots today...

That is because you have not developed your *dressage seat* yet to a point where you have a truly correct seat and sufficient strength and coordination to execute your aids properly.

That can take some time :yes:.

esdressage
Dec. 6, 2011, 01:23 PM
Think of Martin Schaudt on Durgo or some of the taller riders on smaller Spanish horses.

That's really interesting! It does make sense that the stiffer the area against the horse, the more accurate/less muffled the cue would be (like how a soft pad distributes pressure, vs something harder giving subtle transmissions).

I've always been impressed with longer legged riders on smaller horses, giving subtle cues through the calf. I'm a longer legged rider on a smaller horse myself and can really appreciate their accuracy… hopefully someday I'll learn how to achieve that! I think it will take a lot more than stiff boots to get me there :lol:

BaroquePony
Dec. 6, 2011, 01:38 PM
Long legged men on short Baroque horses may have been why they developed the *Spanish Top* for boots ... to help keep the boot really in place while using the leg.

Gloria
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:25 PM
That is because you have not developed your *dressage seat* yet to a point where you have a truly correct seat and sufficient strength and coordination to execute your aids properly.

That can take some time :yes:.

Oh I have no doubt that my dressage seat needs improvement. But years ago I also had a discussion with a BNT about why dressage boots were so stiff. That was before I started to be serious in dressage and loved my ultra soft hunt boots.

He said, "so when I need my calf, I have something to use. That way, I can keep my legs quiet."

I'm quite certain he had developed his dressage seat more than many posters on the forum have.:D

Since then, more than one dressage clinicians have made the same comments to me when this question was raised.

carolprudm
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:25 PM
That's really interesting! It does make sense that the stiffer the area against the horse, the more accurate/less muffled the cue would be (like how a soft pad distributes pressure, vs something harder giving subtle transmissions).



I wonder if stiffer boots work better on less sensitive horses.

Gloria
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:31 PM
I think the more sensitive the horse is, the more he/she demands a quiet leg. Now busy legs in stiff boots? Probably a pretty bad combination.;)

BaroquePony
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:37 PM
Posted by Gloria:

I think the more sensitive the horse is, the more he/she demands a quiet leg. Now busy legs in stiff boots? Probably a pretty bad combination.

:lol:

BaroquePony
Dec. 6, 2011, 02:57 PM
Posted by Gloria:

Oh I have no doubt that my dressage seat needs improvement. But years ago I also had a discussion with a BNT about why dressage boots were so stiff. That was before I started to be serious in dressage and loved my ultra soft hunt boots.

He said, "so when I need my calf, I have something to use. That way, I can keep my legs quiet."

I'm quite certain he had developed his dressage seat more than many posters on the forum have.

Since then, more than one dressage clinicians have made the same comments to me when this question was raised.


I've never owned a pair of *ultra soft* hunt boots or any other *ultra soft* tall boot, which might be where our misunderstanding is coming from.

I have always owned semi-stiff boots, but not ramrod stiff.

And I get *half lined* so that the inside area of my ankle is flexible.

Gloria
Dec. 6, 2011, 03:12 PM
I've never owned a pair of *ultra soft* hunt boots or any other *ultra soft* tall boot, which might be where our misunderstanding is coming from.

I have always owned semi-stiff boots, but not ramrod stiff.

And I get *half lined* so that the inside area of my ankle is flexible.

That makes perfect sense lol. My hunt boots are like butter. They serve as protection against saddle flaps and stirrup leathers. That is it. In the hunt boots, when I put legs on my horses, it is like putting my bare skinned calves on them:lol: That worked well over the jumps because I could feel him well enough and I was using a lot more heels/ankles than calves anyway on the jumper. We weren't doing tons of lateral works. On my dreesage horse when I need my calves? :(

Niennor
Dec. 6, 2011, 03:28 PM
My guess it's for the same reason you need to wear a tail coat and white breeches to show in dressage. It think it has more to do with looks than function. I prefer good old paddock boots with some leather gaiters (or half chaps to Americans), that support and protect your legs but have some give in them. Besides, it's too much of a pain getting those damn tall boots on and off :P

cadance
Dec. 6, 2011, 09:40 PM
I wonder if stiffer boots work better on less sensitive horses.

Based on my first ride in my ramrod/nazi/stovepipe stiff dressage boots (w/soft inner panel), I would say yes. my mare is definitely on the less sensitive end of the spectrum and she was more responsive to my leg in the dressage boot and I found it easier to execute subtler aids and get a response in lateral work. This combined with my right leg being quieter (as a result of the boot) has made a difference for sure.

Velvet
Dec. 6, 2011, 10:19 PM
I've never owned a pair of *ultra soft* hunt boots or any other *ultra soft* tall boot, which might be where our misunderstanding is coming from.

I have always owned semi-stiff boots, but not ramrod stiff.

And I get *half lined* so that the inside area of my ankle is flexible.

^This!!!^ I'm not a french calf soft boot person. I like stiffer with 3/4 quarter lining so you have that inside window with a nicer contact with the horse's side (less leather between your calf and the horse's sides).

I just hate the uber Frankenstein boots that are fully lined, have a stiffner up the back and extra high spanish tops--and so stiff you can't walk in them with a normal gait EVER (even when you have to, since we all know you never walk in dressage boots for long unless you want to ruin them). I just don't get those. :no:

I think the more sensitive the horse, the less contact you want with a stiff boot and more you want of a soft contact from your calf against it's side--and it needs to feel it through one layer of leather--not two uber thick ones.

Gimbalist
Dec. 6, 2011, 11:21 PM
To me, stiffer boots are shouting while softer boots let one whisper when one has a quiet, controlled leg.

Have old super stiff konigs and new "soft" konigs. Like the softer better, as was said: they let the leg breathe. The stiffer ones have more force which is helpful on a green horse that wants to lean against the leg. But once the horse understands the rider's aides, the softer boot is better, at least that's how I find it.

SillyHorse
Dec. 7, 2011, 08:13 AM
My guess it's for the same reason you need to wear a tail coat and white breeches to show in dressage.
Since when? :confused:

Niennor
Dec. 7, 2011, 06:51 PM
Since when? :confused:

OK, I'm talking International level dressage here, sorry I didn't make that clear. But white breeches are still required at any level of showing. I never understood the white breeches rule...

SillyHorse
Dec. 7, 2011, 08:41 PM
OK, I'm talking International level dressage here, sorry I didn't make that clear. But white breeches are still required at any level of showing. I never understood the white breeches rule...
I don't know where you're getting your information, but it's definitely not from the rule book. White breeches are not required, ever. Read the rule book.

Niennor
Dec. 7, 2011, 09:48 PM
I don't know where you're getting your information, but it's definitely not from the rule book. White breeches are not required, ever. Read the rule book.

Will do. But are you talking about FEI dressage regulations or US regulations?

SillyHorse
Dec. 8, 2011, 09:01 AM
USEF rules for both.

Niennor
Dec. 8, 2011, 10:23 AM
"For all tests above Fourth Level, the dress
code is: a dark tailcoat with top hat, or a dark
jacket with a bowler hat or hunt cap, and white
or light colored breeches, stock or tie, gloves,
and black riding boots."

See, i knew there was tail coat and white breeches in there for upper levels. So I'm not crazy after all. ^^; What i didn't know is that you can still wear a dark jacket instead of a tailcoat in the upper levels, since I always see the riders in tailcoats and top hats.

SillyHorse
Dec. 8, 2011, 01:03 PM
Maybe we aren't communicating well, but I'll say it very clearly: that rule does not require white breeches, just as it does not require tailcoats.

Niennor
Dec. 9, 2011, 08:06 PM
I get it, let's not get into a fight over semantics, k?

staceyk
Dec. 9, 2011, 10:44 PM
Hi,

Okay, I think i understand the different takes on the rationale for stiff boots: promoting a still leg, amplifying the leg, appearance. Now can someone tell me...

-- exactly WHEN these stiff boots appeared on the market? Seventies/eighties/nineties?
-- are there any top riders who do NOT use them?
-- were stiff boots on the scene before the zipper trend? If so, HOW did people get them on/off

Thanks for indulging my interest!

cadance
Dec. 10, 2011, 12:04 AM
Hi,

Okay, I think i understand the different takes on the rationale for stiff boots: promoting a still leg, amplifying the leg, appearance. Now can someone tell me...

-- exactly WHEN these stiff boots appeared on the market? Seventies/eighties/nineties?
-- are there any top riders who do NOT use them?
-- were stiff boots on the scene before the zipper trend? If so, HOW did people get them on/off

Thanks for indulging my interest!
yes stiff boots were out before zippers were introduced...I don't think its a trend, but more of a necessity for companies to reach the section of dress boot market of people like me who have a high instep that makes it impossible to pull on a boot that is slim enough for my calf. If zippers didn't exist on stiff boots, I would be totally swimming in whatever pull ons I could jam my feet into.

Gloria
Dec. 12, 2011, 03:09 PM
Hi,-- were stiff boots on the scene before the zipper trend? If so, HOW did people get them on/off


Yes, zippers came much later than stiff boots. Actually I "think" zippers originated from the hunter land (I might be wrong), as I think, it would be hard to put the zippers on a pair of stiff boots while it is no problem for softer boots.

You use boot pulls to pull up your tall boots, and it really isn't as hard as it looks. One consideration is the fit of the boots. I used to be one of those who thought without zippers I would not be able to get on a pair of tall boots (tried bunch in the store and for the life of me could not pull them up).

When I ordered my custom boots, I asked them whether I "needed" zippers, which they affirmed negative. I took the chance and went without one, and I'm very glad the decision as I have never had problem pulling up my boots.

carolprudm
Dec. 12, 2011, 04:04 PM
Just don't forget where your boot jack is when it comes time to remove them

Velvet
Dec. 12, 2011, 04:08 PM
Just don't forget where your boot jack is when it comes time to remove them

Or have a guy handy so you can get him to hold the boot while you plant your other foot on his backside. ;)

Gloria
Dec. 12, 2011, 05:30 PM
Just don't forget where your boot jack is when it comes time to remove them

:lol::lol::lol: Or find someone who don't mind having their bottoms imprinted by your muddy boots... I wish I had that picture where I had the bottom of one boot on the bottom of a friend while she stooped over to pull the other boot for me.

fairtheewell
Dec. 12, 2011, 06:58 PM
Here's some history..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riding_boot

flashwhitelock
Dec. 12, 2011, 07:12 PM
I'll show my age. I remember being at Vogel's in the late 70's getting boots for dressage. You didn't have a choice of zipper unless you realllllly nagged at the bootmakers. Zippers broke too easily at that time. Dress boots were usually the softer leather, lined with a window on the inside. Spanish tops were a given to tell that you had custom boots. The only custom boots around NEDA at that time were Dehner's or Vogel's. Anything else was rare and not considered as posh. Dehner's had the reputation of longer lasting but stiffer and thicker leather, Vogel's were considered the cat's meow at the time. In the 80's you started to see some other european brands start to come in but they still weren't considered as good at Vogel's at that time. Elastic gussets at the top were pretty standard. Zippers are still pretty rare. Fast forward to the end of the 80's and it's a starting to change to a whole new ball game. Leather is thicker, boots are stiffer and the European brands are now considered okay. 90's saw the stiff b ecome the standard.

I'll still stick with the softer leather and window for the breathing leg. Definitely feels better to me and my daughter also agreed when she was looking at boots.