My Heart Is In My Boots, and That’s a Good Thing

Home Team

“It’s not… men… it’s just him.”
Ianto Jones
Torchwood
Children of Earth: Day One

IMDB: quotes

Hell has frozen over. I have black field boots. Courtesy of Carousel Tack Shoppe.

My Preciouses

They are so gorgeous and fit me so well, I don’t care.

I needed new boots. My brown Ariats [New Equipment] blew out at the sides. The choice was another set of jod boots to continue using my half chaps, or suck it up and get tall boots. Last time I had to make this choice, my chances of ever riding in tall boots seemed so remote that the thought of buying a pair was too depressing. This time, I have sidled closer to the possible option that perhaps one day I might potentially ride in a venue that might required these. More a matter of needing new footware than of getting ready for any specific outing.

Plus, the failure rate of the brown boots did not inspire me to another pair. To be fair, my first pair of black Ariats lasted 8 years [Boots, Before & After]. The second pair, bought a year before the brown ones, are still going strong. The wear was a factor, but mostly it was time.

Tall boots it was. Black field boots was NOT what I expected walking in the door of the tack shop.

For those who do not understand the nuance here, let me explain how riding boots work. Dress boots have no ornamentation. They come in black. Field boots have laces at the ankles and frilly caps on the toes. They come in brown. Black field boots, i.e. black boots with ankle and toe decor, are wrong. Period. Black field boots have also been around for 30+ years. Black field boots are so popular today that the tack shop does not stock black dress boots.

Ah well, I still have my black dress Dehners if I feel like going old school. Why did I buy new ones if I have these? Old boots are pull-on. New boots have zippers down the back seam. Fit is totally different. Will find out if I like new fit. Old boots need to be fixed. The last heel replacement left nails sticking up into my foot, so I need to send them back home for proper repair. Old boots are in great shape, except for the heel, but I’m not sure they still fit. Old boots represent where I used to be with horses.

Basically, the whole business is so emotionally fraught, it was easier to move forward.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Clothes, Horses, Riding

8 replies »

  1. I understand the traditional color for field boots is brown, the new-fangled color is black.

    However, I don’t know the difference between dress boots and field boots. They are used in different venues? Disciplines? Levels? I think I can guess but, for the non-horse people, would you please clarify?

    • Dressage riders wear dress boots (which now come in brown) – they are much stiffer and don’t allow ankle flexion/heel pressed far down. That’s OK because dressage riders have long stirrups and want their leg to look very still. Field boots (w/ the laces) flex a lot at the ankle and are great for hunters, jumpers, and all 3 phases of eventing. (As an aside, I had no idea the ‘traditional’ color for them was brown, and I’ve been riding/competing/wearing them for 30 years!)

      • I always wore dress boots for everything, as they were the only tall boots I had. After a good breaking in they flexed as much as I needed. *sigh* Those days are long gone now.

  2. I still have my old Dehners, too, not that they’ll ever fit again. Or that I’ll ever need them. They date from before there were even gussets on the sides available, let alone zippers. I do still have a pair of 40+ year old brown paddock boots that are in good shape and fit well so I wear those sometimes.
    May sound strange, but all this talk of boots brought back some nice memories.
    BTW, I happen to be wearing a t-shirt with the Torchwood logo on it. Funny coincidence.

  3. Difference between dress & field boots. Google has failed me. I am assuming a military origin. Dress boots for the dress uniform; the less formal field boots for the field. Anyone out there know? Now, of course, no difference at all, except what individual disciplines mandate. Upper level dressage appears to be the last hang out of the dress boot. And they have their own specific style of very stiff boot. Does anyone wear non-dressage black dress boots? I shall report back when I find out.

    Loved Torchwood. Less excited about Children of Earch. If I want moral ambiguity, I’ll watch the news.

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