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Please describe the 'bathtub' method

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  • Please describe the 'bathtub' method

    I have decided to take the 'plunge' so to speak with my tall boots. I just don't have the fortitude to ride my young horse in them because I can't move my legs from the knee down....not a good feeling on a spooky four year old. I have conditioned them and worn them around the house for ages with no success in making them flexible enough to ride in.

    I have searched the old threads but am confused at the sequence of events with the boot-dunking. Do I put the boots on over breeches then stand in a tub full of water? OR do I dunk the boots on their own in the water, then put them on over breeches? I know in any case you wear them until dry but I was just wondering what has seemed to work for people.
    Yikes, fingers crossed my boots become a)wearable and b)not ruined!!

  • #2
    Ooooh I have never heard of this. Sounds interesting though, as I have the same problem as you. I'd love to hear what someone who knows what this is has to say about it.


    • #3
      How it worked for me:

      Get brand new pair of very first custom boots ever.

      Put boots and breeches on, ride horse. Peel boots off bloody stumps formerly known as my ankles and feet.

      Scoff at person who may or may not have several HOTY titles to her name and her recommendation that I stand in a bucket of water. Ignore the fact that in her young life she has broken in more boots than i will likely ever own in my life

      Repeat several times.

      Put boots on. Cry at thought of riding. Or moving. Remember HOTY Rider advice. Think about riding again. Crawl to wash rack, stand in bucket of water on wash rack (used a big old wash bucket).

      Get on my horse and ride. Boots dried, Boots are broken in and feel ever so comfy, life is good, bloody stubs heal. Ten years later, boots still look impeccable, I figure they have another 10 years in them at this rate.
      " Robert Novak apparently, they say, broke his hip. I think it's not the case. I believe his hip tried to escape." -- Jon Stewart


      • #4
        Instead of actually getting in a bucket, I just walked over to the hose and stuck it in the top of my boots and filled them up with water. A little squishy, but I rode in them until dry and they are much much better!
        "Look, I'm trying not to test the durability of the arena with my face!" (Because only GM can do that.)


        • #5
          I have done this on multiple occasions, in many different ways, all with good results.

          You can put them on, then soak them with the hose.

          You can fill up the tub, submerge the boots, then put them on (but then you will have to walk--excuse me, squish--across the floor to the door.

          You can (if the boots are a bit tight) submerge the boots, then put large boot trees in them and let them dry.

          I had the best success (especially in the winter, when you don't really want wet feet) by filling up the utility sink in my mud room with warm water, turning the boots upside down and sticking them in the water(so that only the calves are being soaked, not the footbed) until they are good and soaked, then putting plastic grocery bags over my feet and calves and putting the boots on. The plastic helps the wet boots slip an keeps your feet rom being soaked, which is a sensation I absolutely detest.

          It works. I've done it with Vogels and Ariats with absolutely no problems,
          Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


          • #6
            I think people are going to tell you to wear them into the tub and then around the house as they dry - but truth be told, I took the lazy man's path last week and put mine in the tub for about 4 hours by themselves (if you fill them with water they'll just stand there) and then (horror of horrors!) laid them down flat on a bath mat and allowed them to dry on their own and then oiled them very liberally inside and out with 100% neatsfoot oil.

            After the oil dryed I took them to the pro shop at an ice-skating rink and had the pro put them on the machine to punch out the ankles (basically, they target the areas that are causing you the most pain and soften them up for you - the punch marks disappear almost right away with normal wear).

            I did all of this because these boots were the worst boots I have ever broken-in in my entire life (they were causing my ankles to bleed like you can't even imagine) and I just couldn't bring myself to wear them for another second, wet or dry, without first taking very drastic measures. It worked, thank god. They are wearing very comfortably now and they weren't ruined by the trauma, so I will probably end up doing it all over again with the next pair of new boots that I get.

            I should add: the regular hose-while-on-feet-and-ride-in-them-afterwards thing has always worked for me in the past with other brands, but, sadly, not this particular brand. So depending on what you have and how desperate you are, just know that there are unconventional options if the tried and true don't work for you
            Treat Jockey for Spellbound and Smidgeon


            • #7
              I did like SMS, I ran the tub full of hot water, turned the boots upside down and soaked to the ankle. I was NOT walking around in a squishy boot all day. I ended up wearing them around the house in the winter, when it was warm inside. I wore them over thick winter socks and breeches to make sure they stretched as needed. Being in the house in the warm, it only took about an hour to dry. I just watched some tv.


              • #8
                I would take them back to the tack shop where you ordered them and tell them they need to be stretched. Any reputable store will provide this service free for boots they measured and ordered, and for a nominal fee otherwise.

                They'll measure your calves and the boots and then spray the boots and insert wooden trees that they can crank out and stretch the boots.


                • #9
                  Ive done it twice....once with expensive boots and once with a cheap-ass pair from ebay. Worked beautifully on both pairs. I laid mine in warm water in the kitchen sink...soaked for maybe 10 minutes...put them on...took dog to tennis courts to run and play. Boots were easily broken in, despite the bizzaro looks from my condo-comrades. The second pair I did little more conservatively....soaked, put on, cleaned house till they dried.

                  For me the key seemed to be wearing them until they molded around the ankles and behind the knee. The cheap pair was making me bleed but they fit so well...as good as custom. I had to do something so I could wear them.
                  Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org


                  • #10
                    I did it on my last pair of boots, but they would. not. dry. I turned them upside down and soaked just the ankles and calves in warm water, and then put them on over a pair of thick socks. I hung out and did nothing all day, and they STILL wouldn't dry. Maybe the trick is riding in them? I don't know. Anyway, nothing horrible happened to them, they looked fine, and I ended up stuffing them full of newspaper and letting them dry on their own.
                    Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay


                    • #11
                      What is the ankles and calves are plenty big, but the foot-part is so stiff you cannot convince the child to ride in them long enough to break them in??? Can I follow the soak boot and wear until dry method - but only soak the foot part???? They are the correct size, they just feel like she is wearing iron shoes (Ariat Crownes - in case anyone else has had this experience)

                      Any advice is greatly appreciated.


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks so far for all the advice. So I should not get the foot part wet, or that doesn't matter so much?
                        Oh no Aiken, they aren't too tight, just too stiff. I can't bend my knee or ankle in them which makes riding somewhat frightening since it's like riding with braces on your legs or something... once I get that leather behind the knee to give and they drop at the ankle they'll be golden.
                        I was also too stubborn to do the water method until I realised I can't even get on a horse with them on, even from the mounting block, because I can't bend my leg enough to get it to the stirrup.
                        As an aside, this is my first pair of custom boots, and I feel like they are too big in the foot part, but they don't have laces so I wonder if they have to be that way... They are nice and tight in the ankle, but seem too 'tall' from the arch to the top of my foot if that makes sense. I am trying them with insoles next I think.


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by Groom to Priceless View Post
                          What is the ankles and calves are plenty big, but the foot-part is so stiff you cannot convince the child to ride in them long enough to break them in??? Can I follow the soak boot and wear until dry method - but only soak the foot part???? They are the correct size, they just feel like she is wearing iron shoes (Ariat Crownes - in case anyone else has had this experience)

                          Any advice is greatly appreciated.

                          This is mine too, they fit fine, are just like Iron.


                          • #14
                            I stood in a bucket of water, because that was what was available (now that I think of it, after I was done riding, I washed the horse and sort of accidentally got the boots plenty wet, then walked around the show grounds until they dried as well). It didn't cause a problem, I just think it's a bit more uncomfortable to walk around in squishy boots because let's face it, they are very squishy afterwards. Mine dried quickly, but I should mention I was in FL at the time and it was nice and warm. You couldn't pay me to stand in a bucket of water then ride a horse in the winter.
                            " Robert Novak apparently, they say, broke his hip. I think it's not the case. I believe his hip tried to escape." -- Jon Stewart


                            • #15
                              I had to break in a pair of Cavallo's for a women at the barn (I was paid though ). Let me say it was one of the most painful things in my life. We are talking DRESS boots, made with the STIFFEST leather, reinforced w/a metal rod up the outside of the calf (I didn't even know you could do that!). I bet if you ran those things over with a truck they wouldn't even bend. Since they were not my boots to go about wrecking I didn't go all out with the bath. But after a week of riding in a jump saddle in those awful things I asked if I could hot towel them.

                              I placed super hot towels around the knees and ankles and sat in them till the towels dried. What a world of difference.

                              I would do it or the bath thing with my own personal boots if I ever had to, but neither pair of my tall boots were ever that bad and the Vogels prior to mine were my mom's so they were nice and broken for me.


                              • #16
                                Not to Hijack but do you think this could work with paddock boots too? I just replaced a pair of holey Tredsteps with some Ariat Cobalt zip-ups. My goodness are they hurting my ankles. Was going to take them to the shoe store this week to see what they could do but I wonder if this would give a good "custom' fit too?

                                "are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn...I can yawn, because I ride better than you, Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn, you, not so much..." George Morris in Camden, SC


                                • #17
                                  My Vogels just came in and I just don't have the heart to stand in water with the most expensive shoes I've ever purchased! THE man at Vogel, Dean, told me to just wear them around the house, walk up and down stairs, flex on the stairs to let the boot drop around the ankle. It hurts like a....! but I'm going to do this until they drop a little bit more and then attempt the first ride (and prepare for bloody blisters). I've also been using the vogels conditioner on the INSIDE of the boot-never on the outside, because it takes the natural shine away from the leather. By putting it on the inside, the leather is really absorbing the oils. Good luck-and have your band-aids and epsom salt soak ready!!!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by aiken4horses View Post
                                    I would take them back to the tack shop where you ordered them and tell them they need to be stretched. Any reputable store will provide this service free for boots they measured and ordered, and for a nominal fee otherwise.

                                    They'll measure your calves and the boots and then spray the boots and insert wooden trees that they can crank out and stretch the boots.
                                    Where in Aiken would this be?
                                    FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450


                                    • #19
                                      Question for all:

                                      When you folks are standing in a bucket of water, are you wetting down the inside of the boots too, or just the outside?
                                      FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by naters View Post
                                        Question for all:

                                        When you folks are standing in a bucket of water, are you wetting down the inside of the boots too, or just the outside?
                                        The point is to let the leather get wet through, so it will mold to your leg and foot as it dries. It's how I've broken in two pairs of boots! I was frightened at first, but bit the bullet and did it.

                                        Funny, I was talking about it with a friend last week...she said she would break in baseball mitts the same way as a kid...

                                        I loff my Quarter horse clique

                                        I kill threads dead!