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why are dressage boots so stiff?

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  • why are dressage boots so stiff?

    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.
    Absurdly improbable things are quite as liable to happen in real life as in weak literature. -- Ada Leverson

  • #2
    They have to be uncomfortable to keep Dressage Queens from being the warm and fuzzy people they were actually born to be.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JumasMom View Post
      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!
      "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."

      Comment


      • #4
        to the best of my knowledge it's for crisp execution of aides... at least that's why I prefer a stiff boot.
        www.destinationconsensusequus.com
        chaque pas est fait ensemble

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        • #5
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
            to the best of my knowledge it's for crisp execution of aides... at least that's why I prefer a stiff boot.
            Um, not so much. That comes from training the horse to come of a breath of an aid no matter what you have on.

            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."
            "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                I've only heard of the "breathing leg" in the context of driving aids.
                "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  my exp

                  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...
                  Absurdly improbable things are quite as liable to happen in real life as in weak literature. -- Ada Leverson

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                  • #10
                    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?
                    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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                    • #11
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        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 Waiting for them to "drop" was painful.
                        Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BaroquePony View Post
                          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

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                          • #14
                            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 ....

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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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
                              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.

                              Originally posted by Velvet View Post
                              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?
                              (It made my morning, seriously)
                              www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                              chaque pas est fait ensemble

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post

                                You sure you don't want to have some more coffee, reread and retract that?
                                (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.
                                "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by kinnip View Post
                                  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.
                                  "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Pocket Pony View Post
                                    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.
                                    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                                      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.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Pocket Pony View Post
                                        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.

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