From Endurance to Dressage
I went to Horse Expo this weekend with a very good friend. There is nothing better than spending an entire day belly laughing with a friend who loves horses, eating, and spending someone else's money as much as you do.
I want to write more about the seminars we attended which were all very good, but first, I really want to tell you about the little late birthday, early Valentine's Day, who-really-cares-why day gift that I bought myself. In retrospect, it was also a little more retail therapy (more about why therapy was needed later this week), but my bank account can handle it.
Are you ready? Here goes!
Hmm … Recognize anything? Sort of? Here's more ...
The riders out there should know this box. Here's a full view.
Did you guess? Can you hear me clapping and dancing around?
Which ones, which ones? They are so awesome. I can't believe I waited so long to get them ...
Ariat Volants! Woohoo!
I pulled them out of the box the next morning and took a lesson on Sydney. I didn't even break them in; I just zipped 'em up and got on. Of course I have a small blister on each heal, but that was the only thing that hurt.
They are unbelievable, fantastic, grippy, stylish, and made me truly feel like Wonder Woman in the saddle.
The Volants feel a lot like a pair of "fashion" boots that I would wear with a skirt. They bend, flex, and grip, all while being tennis shoe-like comfortable. When I got in the saddle, I laughed out loud. They feel like a piece of quality tack. The soles of the boots interacted in a very pleasant way with the tread on my stirrups, and the calf panel of the boot snugged up to my saddle's flaps and got right at home.
I normally wear a 7.5 to an 8, but I bought these in an 8.5. I probably should have done the 8s, but the selection was a bit slim. I got the regular width calf and regular height. With the stretch panel on the calf, these boots are going to be quite forgiving for a variety of calf widths.
The zipper across the front of the leg slid up and down smoothly and made zipping the boots up so simple. What a brilliant concept. The zipper has a sturdy keeper flap at the top that should keep the zipper in place nicely. There's also a zipper guard where the zipper crosses your foot so your socks will stay safely out of the way of the zipper's teeth.
The inside of the boot is lined with a soft leather, and the vented panel is smooth and soft without feeling flimsy. The soles of the boots are sturdy and have a small lift at the toe which helps human "break over".
I didn't get a price break for having bought the boots at a show. They still cost $495, but I didn't pay shipping or California sale's tax (which is close to 8%). If you've been thinking about a new pair of boots, give the Volants a try; they are awesome!
And special thanks goes to my dear friend for being just as willing to talk me out of the boots as she was willing to talk me into them. We went in and out the door at least a half dozen times and then tried on the boots several times before I finally bought them. You can't ask for a better friend than that!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at Second Level. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2021 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2021 Pending …
3/27-28 SCEC (***)
4/10-11 SCEC (***)
5/16-17 El Sueño (***)
5/23 TMC (*)
6/12-13 SB (***) OR
6/19-20 El Sueño (***)
6/27 TMC (*)
7/3-4 Burbank (***) OR
7/17-18 El Sueño (***)
7/25 TMC (*)
8/14-15 RAAC (Q) (***)
8/29 TMC (*)
2021 Completed …
10/24-25 SCEC (***)
11/7-11/8 SB (***)
2021 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2nd Level Qualifying
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 60.610% Bhathal
2nd Level Qualifying
5 Scores/4 Judges/61%:
Stuff I Read