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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Default Quick stupid boot question

    I posted recently about wanting to try hunting for the first time, so please forgive my newbie-ness... Which is considered correct for hunting-- field boots or dress boots? (I always ride with half-chaps, so I will need to get boots.)



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2000
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    I wear dress boots all the time.

    I haven't hunted with hunts that are very strict about the dress code. They've tended to stick to the make sure that you are clean, neat and presentable. At one hunt the MFH told me "We're not the clothing nazis.". At another hunt, the MFH told me "We prefer people to have clothes on.".



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2005
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
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    Default

    If you can only or want only to get one pair of boots, go with plain black dress boots. They are ALWAYS correct including w/ratcatcher attire. Aging foxhunters do still get annoyed by the prevalence of black field boots now commonplace- brown field boots are lovely for ratcatcher however. Obscure old fact, ratcatcher is always correct too, even on formal days (origins having to do w/deference to landowners who might wish to hunt)- it's just that if you are wearing ratcatcher on a formal day you are expected to keep to the rear of the field.



  4. #4
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    Sep. 2, 2008
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    (The Woodlands - Tomball, Tx)
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    Default

    Yeah, somehow it has come about that in hunter SHOWS, you are supposed to wear field boots. But in actual hunting you are supposed to wear dress boots (at least the formal ones).

    I wear field boots for both simply because my dress boots don't fit me well. I haven't been tossed out of a hunt yet....



  5. #5
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    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Default

    My budget would only accomodate one or the other (especially since I wouldn't need/use them otherwise), so I wanted to know which is considered correct. Sounds like dress boots are the way to go... and no, it doesn't make any sense to me that field boots are show appropriate but dress boots are hunt appropriate!

    I haven't started looking at coats yet. Any coat advice? I'm going to try some on the next time I'm at the tack shop, but if I could find a pattern somewhere, I'm considering having my seamstress make one for me-- she's phenomenally talented and CHEAP.



  6. #6
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    Dec. 14, 2000
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    Default

    Before you go getting too involved in the outfit, you might want to check out the thrift shops. My two tweeds cost a total of $11. The tweed coat would be a good investment because you could wear it for cubbing and non-formal days.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2006
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    1,262

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cnvh View Post
    My budget would only accomodate one or the other (especially since I wouldn't need/use them otherwise), so I wanted to know which is considered correct. Sounds like dress boots are the way to go... and no, it doesn't make any sense to me that field boots are show appropriate but dress boots are hunt appropriate!

    I haven't started looking at coats yet. Any coat advice? I'm going to try some on the next time I'm at the tack shop, but if I could find a pattern somewhere, I'm considering having my seamstress make one for me-- she's phenomenally talented and CHEAP.
    Ooh, lucky, lucky! Suitability make a couple of different nicely-tailored jacket patterns - go choose yourself some nice black wool (weight will depend on your climate), ideally with a teeny bit of stretch, no more than 1-2%, and let us know how it goes (does she take commissions?!).

    http://www.suitability.com/ - bonus - they're sweeet to deal with!

    Jean Hardy (sp?) also had good patterns, but they're harder to find.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romany View Post
    Ooh, lucky, lucky! Suitability make a couple of different nicely-tailored jacket patterns - go choose yourself some nice black wool (weight will depend on your climate), ideally with a teeny bit of stretch, no more than 1-2%, and let us know how it goes (does she take commissions?!).

    http://www.suitability.com/ - bonus - they're sweeet to deal with!

    Jean Hardy (sp?) also had good patterns, but they're harder to find.

    Thanks so much for the link!

    I know, I'm super-lucky to have such a great seamstress, and she's criminally cheap. She charged me $20 to alter my wedding dress, and she had to do a TON of work on it. (Whatever she charges, I always pay her at least double-- otherwise the guilt would kill me!)

    I'm oddly shaped (I'm very much a pear, haha), so my chances of finding something in a thrift store that would work is pretty slim. Those patterns are wonderful!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
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    3,079

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cnvh View Post
    Thanks so much for the link!

    She charged me $20 to alter my wedding dress, and she had to do a TON of work on it.
    $20 to alter wedding dress??? Oh my, you lucky one. I had to pay $300+ ...



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnvh View Post
    Thanks so much for the link!

    I know, I'm super-lucky to have such a great seamstress, and she's criminally cheap. She charged me $20 to alter my wedding dress, and she had to do a TON of work on it. (Whatever she charges, I always pay her at least double-- otherwise the guilt would kill me!)

    I'm oddly shaped (I'm very much a pear, haha), so my chances of finding something in a thrift store that would work is pretty slim. Those patterns are wonderful!
    Good Lord.

    Give me the name of your seamstress. I have to get my Hunt Ball gown altered and my bill is going to look like the Belgian war debt.

    Please don't think you need to go hog wild just to cap and try out the sport. The Hunt Secretary has the final word so anything you plan to do just check with him/her. For a guest or newcomer - being neat, tidy and on time gets you many gold stars on your report card.

    If you are going to buy boots just go with dress boots. Those are the ones that will be most versatile and can be worn for daily riding, hunting, dressage, eventing. You'll get the most bang for your buck that way.

    If you enjoy hunting and want to take up the sport.... you can easily be appropriately attired for even the most stringent hunt and it won't break the bank. Lots of used and vintage stuff out there, you can make your own, you can go to thrift stores/tack swaps, etc.

    Good luck and report back.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Default

    My current riding attire consists of multiple pairs of black Irideons and a pair of black suede velcro half-chaps, and NO coat whatsoever (not counting my hay-covered fleece pullovers, haha), so if I want to look even SLIGHTLY presentable, I'm going to have to do some shopping.

    I ordered a coat pattern from SuitAbility and will be passing it off to Seamstress Extraordinaire to work her magic; she's tickled to have all summer to work on it, although knowing her, she'll have it done in two weeks. (If anyone is near central PA and would like her contact info, PM me and we'll talk!)

    I also think I might have found a pair of dress boots in my very-weird size for $100, so keep your fingers crossed that they will at least ALMOST fit!



  12. #12
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    Oct. 1, 2005
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    Sandy, Utah
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    Default Nostalgia breaks out

    First black riding coat I ever had was tailor made in Paris, 1970, for show jumping (but was also later my first coat for hunting, lightweight, used it for years before giving it to a kid in need of a coat). That tailor made me some really chic skirts and etc too- for dirt cheap- this was a sideline, his real job was doing work for the Big Paris Fashion Houses, especially Ted Lapidus.

    When I earned my colors in, 1980 or 81, I found a tailor in McLean, VA to affix colors to coat. The guy practically burst into tears- said that back in the day, he made ALL the hunting clothes for ALL the Fairfax Hunt members. I am soooo sorry I didn't take him up on the offer of making some wool canary breeches for me....I probably couldn't afford it at the time, but it probably would have been worth the debt.



  13. #13
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    Aug. 4, 2008
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    California
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    Is there a rationale apart from tradition behind old timers' distaste for black field boots? I've heard people say that laces run the risk of getting hung up on branches, etc., but that would be a problem with brown field boots, too, wouldn't it?



  14. #14
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    Aug. 4, 2008
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    California
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    Default

    P.S.--Some of ya'll will remember me from the thread about the wearing of boots with brown tops in eventing. Anyway, I came across these half chaps and wondered where they fall on the spectrum of propriety:

    http://www.tackunlimited.com/half-chaps.htm

    Are you claiming to have earned your colors with a hunt if you wear these, or just looking eccentric?

    As someone who has found he prefers half chaps and paddock boots to tall boots of any description, and may well take a stab at hunting one of these days, I'm curious as to whether, in general, hunts out there are apt to accept high-end gaiters/half-chaps in lieu of tall boots the way eventing does nowadays.



  15. #15
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    Feb. 9, 2006
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    Oh, puuh-leeeze: don't apply logic to anything equestrian - of COURSE brown laces are more dangerous than black ones!

    Brown boots are more a nod to the goode olde days, when Farmer Giles - who probably owned much of the land and probably bred half the horses out - was allowed to hunt wearing his smart farm clothes, for fear of offending him by forcing him to match sartorially with the toffs. For whatever reason, he would not have bought himself black boots, although he could afford lots of land and, well, lots of horses.

    Also, off the field, brown footwear is always less formal than black footwear - any officer and gentleman would hold you to that one!

    (and yes, our Hunt does accept riders wearing paddock/jodhpur boots and half-chaps/gaiters - if anyone is keen enough to ride to hounds, they won't be spurned for lack of funding, certainly with us)



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
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    It depends on the hunt.

    Though if you would like to try hunting one of these days, I'd suggest not wearing those half chaps - even if the hunt does permit half chaps in the field. Mine does not permit half chaps - but exceptions are made for riders coming back from an injury and can't quite get back into boots yet. Exceptions are also made for juniors and guests/landowners.

    I'm sorry but just because eventing is going down the toilet doesn't mean hunting needs to.

    The fact these half chaps are "high end" isn't relevant. The cost of an item isn't relevant. We don't display price tags on our clothes.

    If you'd like to try hunting you'll find them a very welcoming group. But like any group or discipline, it has its own culture, traditions, rules, and customs. You'll find there is variety depending on the location of the hunt and the attitude of its leadership.

    But if you would like to learn what the standard is - read the Wadsworth booklet "Riding to Hounds in North America". In other words, learn the rules so you can break them properly.

    Too many people aren't bothering to learn much about the history and culture and traditions. Some even seem to consider their ignorance some sort of virtue - that "real" foxhunters can't be bothered with such trifles. (I've seen that attitude among the new generation of eventers, too)

    Ignorance isn't a virtue, and a person isn't a better foxhunter because their turnout is slovenly, or because the rider doesn't care about what is considered appropriate for that hunt. Actually, I think it's pretty rude. Kind of like showing up to someone's house for dinner in sweatpants and a t-shirt.

    In my world - it IS evidence of poor horsemanship - but poor horsemanship is also rearing its ugly head in eventing, too. It's not the sport I left years ago.

    It's a shame.

    If you'd like to cap with a hunt you'd call the Hunt Secretary and ask what is expected of guests - again - a lot of slack is cut for guests but it would be very rude to show up in something they consider reserved for staff or members with colors. (and you wear white britches with those anyway)




    Quote Originally Posted by WilfredLeblanc View Post
    P.S.--Some of ya'll will remember me from the thread about the wearing of boots with brown tops in eventing. Anyway, I came across these half chaps and wondered where they fall on the spectrum of propriety:

    As someone who has found he prefers half chaps and paddock boots to tall boots of any description, and may well take a stab at hunting one of these days, I'm curious as to whether, in general, hunts out there are apt to accept high-end gaiters/half-chaps in lieu of tall boots the way eventing does nowadays.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2003
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    Orlean, Virginia
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    Cool here's what I think....

    I like to use the following thought when discussing foxhunting attire:

    If you take up a sport, any sport, don't you always want to wear the correct uniform for that sport? There's usually a good reason for that outfit and you don't want to be out of place or scream "I'm an idiot" by wearing the wrong things right? Would you wear a football uniform to play baseball? Then wearing hunter/jumper, western, or eventing wear out foxhunting wouldn't be right, right?!! When we take up a sport; we want to learn to do it right, look right, be right and play by the rules or traditions for THAT sport. It's always an insult to those who play the sport when someone espouses to want to do the sport comes out improperly dressed, unprepared, or thinks they are so special the rules don't apply to them. It's certainly no way to make friends! We join clubs because we want to fit in, make friends, have fun, enjoy the sport. Do the best you can in the beginning but make a serious effort at getting your uniform if you decide to take it up.
    JMHO!



  18. #18
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    Aug. 4, 2008
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    California
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    Thanks. I should have been clearer, though. The first question apropos the brown-topped half-chaps was, can you imagine someone with colors wearing these instead of tall boots with brown tops? In other words, who is the intended consumer for those half-chaps? If you wore them outside a hunting context, even though they're not traditional hunt attire, would hunters still take it as pretending to an unearned status?

    The second question was more general: Is the state of hunting these days such that one might get away with sticking to half chaps/gaiters from the beginning? I realize the denotation of "high-end" is "pricey," but--my bad--I was thinking more in terms of smooth, shiny, and durable, not boastful of expenditure.

    Probably off-topic as heck, but, in what sense has eventing gone down the toilet? Sartorially?

    My apologies to the veterans for whom even raising questions like this smacks of irreverence. Please understand that, even though I grew up in Virginia and Maryland, all my riding has been in California, among a frontiersman-like crowd that simply doesn't acknowledge the primacy of hunting or hunters in the equestrian world.



  19. #19
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    Jul. 20, 2007
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    JSwan has it exactly right. If the hunt in question allows half-chaps, then Wilfred LeBlanc's example would be acceptable as half-chaps, although the monogram would be unusual. But, again, unless Wilfred LeBlanc (or the wearer, whoever that might be) is a member with colors, the brown tops would not be acceptable, whether on half-chaps or boots. It's that simple. I'm perplexed as to why this issue seems to be so difficult to get across.

    And high-end makes no difference at all. I can buy the most expensive custom-made Stetson in the world, but it still isn't proper in the hunt field.



  20. #20
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    Jul. 20, 2007
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    The first question apropos the brown-topped half-chaps was, can you imagine someone with colors wearing these instead of tall boots with brown tops? In other words, who is the intended consumer for those half-chaps? If you wore them outside a hunting context, even though they're not traditional hunt attire, would hunters still take it as pretending to an unearned status?
    Again, it would come down to the hunt and the hunt's feeling on half-chaps.

    The intended consumer, presumably, is anyone who will buy them. But the brown-tops sentiment among hunters applies both to boots and half-chaps. Brown tops denote "with colors," so either you have them and that's great or you don't and you're being sort of fakey in the eyes of hunting folk.

    My apologies, by the way, in my earlier post I said "staff" when I meant "with colors," so I'm off to edit that now!



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