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  1. #1
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    Jul. 24, 2008
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    Default Field Boot or Dress Boot?

    I am going to be buying a pair of boots for show and was planning on buying dress boots. Dress boots don't look like they have as much bend around the ankle area as field boots do.
    Is is ok to show at rated shows in field boots? I have been doing schooling shows in my field boots but next year I will be going to rated shows. I am showing training level and hope to be showing first level at the end of the year.

    Dawn



  2. #2
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    Jul. 10, 2008
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    West Chicago, Illinois
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    Default

    It is fine to show in field boots. I have a friend that has to show in field boots because of an ankle problem. However dress boots come in different stiffnesses. My custom boots are double lined without a rod in the back. They are stiff but not as stiff as other dress boots.
    Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.
    -Auntie Mame



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2010
    Location
    Central Virginia
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    Default

    Fields boots would do just as fine, especially in schooling shows. However, for rated shows - especially as you make the climb from training to first level - I would definitely recommend making the switch to dress boots. It is a part of the traditional attire of dressage and by honoring it, the judges will be pleased by your classic turnout.

    Besides, in upper levels dress boots are REQUIRED, so you might as well get used to them as you make your way. ;] Plus, I promise they are very comfortable. Brand new dress boots may feel stiff at first, but they are designed to "drop" at the ankle to provide the flexion you need. That's why it's always said to buy a boot that's an inch or two too tall, rather than too short - it'll "shrink" a bit once you wear them in. Good luck!



  4. #4
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    Jun. 3, 2005
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    in my own little world...
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DressageJava View Post
    Besides, in upper levels dress boots are REQUIRED, so you might as well get used to them as you make your way.
    Actually, dress boots are not *required*, as the USEF rulebook simply states "black riding boots" above Fourth level (and simply "boots" in the lower levels)

    Sure, dress boots look nicer, more traditional, but I think it's more important to be comfortable, particularly if you have foot or ankle issues.

    I have both, but because of my own foot/ankle issues, the field boots are infinitely more comfortable, and thus I feel like I can focus more on my riding and less on silly things like pain.



  5. #5
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    Aug. 15, 2010
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    Default

    Buy whichever you are most comfortable in - there is no requirement that you use one or the other. Field boots ARE more flexible in the ankle - and in hunters and jumpers, they need that heel really down, so they need that flexibility. But nothing wrong with having flexibility in dressage either. Most judges don't even NOTICE, as long as you are neat and nicely turned out and riding well. Through 1st level, you don't even need tall boots - paddock boots and chaps are allowed at rated shows. There is no requirement, even at the FEI levels, that you ride in dress boots.

    In dressage, we use the lower inside leg (calf) a lot, and for many riders, the stiffer boot allows them to use their calf better - but again, that isn't even true of ALL riders. And some dressage riders would actually be better off with more flexibility - how many times do you see a rider with their heel UP and toe DOWN? It is often someone who already has a stiff ankle, and the boot isn't helping them.



  6. #6
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    Jan. 10, 2002
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    There is a difference between dress boots and dressage boots. I have Dehner dress and dressage boots. The dress boots are so soft and flexible you can practically tie them in a knot, while the dressage boots are quite stiff in the ankle.
    Quote Originally Posted by Linny View Post
    Those martingales were so taut, you could play Ode to Joy on them with a comb



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 1999
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    rizzodm

    the USEF rules are very clear and specific on dress

    If you are going to show recognized then I encourage you to read the Dressage section. It is filled with a lot of good USABLE info. You need to know the ins and outs and you need to know the rules, particularly involving warm up and ring rules. An unknowing volunteer can muddle your warm-up if they don't know the rules well.

    Field boots are fine, you don't see them often but they are a choice. Dress boots for hunter jumper are often much more flexible in the ankle than those for dressage where stiffness is found to be desirable.

    Half Chaps and matching paddocks are also acceptable in training and first. It can be an economical choice for those on limited budget or for someone with ankle or foot issues that make a tall boot an undesirable choice.

    Zippers in tall boots are a popular choice, but I personally find they are a point of weakness and see them breaking down at the most undesired time.
    _\\\\]
    -- * > hoopoe

    www.meanderingwa.blogspot.com



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2000
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    Proud owner of one Lunar acre! (Campanus Crater, The Moon)
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    Field boots are fine, dress boots are fine. Ride in what you prefer.

    Being a DQ, I still don't understand why people think the newer uber stiff dressage boots are so amazingly helpful to their riding. In the old days, you always wanted boots that were thinner on the inside (inside window in the leather where it was only one layer) to give the rider a MUCH more subtle calf contact. Nowadays, the stiff boots decrease communication between your horse and your calf. It only lends itself to adding spurs, which should not be necessary at all, at any level, really. I mean, in practice you need to be able to use fewer and fewer obvious aids. I understand the requirement of them at the upper levels to level the playing field, but honestly your horse should come off your leg without the need for a whip or spurs when they are fully trained.

    You should be able to hop on a horse wearing any type of clothes and be able to achieve the same frame and self-carriage. But I think less is always more, in communicating with your horse. So I think field boots are actually better in that way (off the shelf, you can buy custom dressage boots with that are 3/4 lined, etc.).

    I actually have come to believe that the advent of the stiffer boot is to make weekend warriors a toe that points perfectly forward. Which really is incorrect for the anatomy of a good seat, so it's only a look, but not a reality. Who cares? Isn't dressage about showing off the horse and making THEM look gorgeous and the rider being quiet and having invisible aids?

    Our sport it going the way of the fashion ignorant. They think that if they dress a certain way, that means they ride well.

    Sorry to derail, but you hit on a pet peeve of mine.
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2009
    Location
    Central, FL
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    Thanks to high school soccer I have horrible ankles that are perpetually swollen. I have to ride in field boots or my feet go numb.
    --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
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    Use what is the most comfortable. And fits the best. Dress or field.

    PHEWTTT to those who THINK that the stiff dressage boot is the ONLY way to go.



  11. #11
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    Feb. 23, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velvet View Post
    Field boots are fine, dress boots are fine. Ride in what you prefer.

    Being a DQ, I still don't understand why people think the newer uber stiff dressage boots are so amazingly helpful to their riding. In the old days, you always wanted boots that were thinner on the inside (inside window in the leather where it was only one layer) to give the rider a MUCH more subtle calf contact. Nowadays, the stiff boots decrease communication between your horse and your calf. It only lends itself to adding spurs, which should not be necessary at all, at any level, really. I mean, in practice you need to be able to use fewer and fewer obvious aids. I understand the requirement of them at the upper levels to level the playing field, but honestly your horse should come off your leg without the need for a whip or spurs when they are fully trained.

    You should be able to hop on a horse wearing any type of clothes and be able to achieve the same frame and self-carriage. But I think less is always more, in communicating with your horse. So I think field boots are actually better in that way (off the shelf, you can buy custom dressage boots with that are 3/4 lined, etc.).

    I actually have come to believe that the advent of the stiffer boot is to make weekend warriors a toe that points perfectly forward. Which really is incorrect for the anatomy of a good seat, so it's only a look, but not a reality. Who cares? Isn't dressage about showing off the horse and making THEM look gorgeous and the rider being quiet and having invisible aids?

    Our sport it going the way of the fashion ignorant. They think that if they dress a certain way, that means they ride well.

    Sorry to derail, but you hit on a pet peeve of mine.
    I never understood the stiff dress boot thing either. I prefer to ride in paddock boots....quell horror, without half chaps
    I wasn't always a Smurf
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolprudm View Post
    I never understood the stiff dress boot thing either. I prefer to ride in paddock boots....quell horror, without half chaps
    Makes for a softer contact and much lighter feel off your leg with just a thin piece of material between you and your horse! (Even better than 3/4 lined boots. )

    Like I said, it's not about what you wear, it's about how well you ride! You go, girl!
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    970

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the responses. I am going to stick with riding in the field boot, they are comfy and I can feel my horses side very well with them.

    Dawn
    Last edited by rizzodm; Nov. 22, 2010 at 11:38 PM. Reason: spelling



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