From Endurance to Dressage
It was bound to happen, and fortunately, I was prepared for it with a spare, ready to go. And no, it wasn't a tire. It was my every day schooling boots. Last November, I took advantage of a black Friday deal at the Riding Warehouse and bought a pair of back up boots for the inevitable day when my current boots suffered a fatal injury. That day was Thursday.
I've owned two pair of the TuffRider Belmont Dress Boots, (plus a pair of the TuffRider Baroques) and I love everything about them. What I've loved most about these boots is the comfort level. They are soft and broken in from the first moment you zip them up. There truly is no break in period. Secondly, I love how they look. I love the high Spanish top, the punched toe cap, the zipper guard at the heel, and the textured look of the leather. Of course, from the photo above they look about as ugly as can be, but these have had some serious miles put on them. Here's what they looked like out of the box.
The third thing that keeps me coming back is the price. For well under $200, I get a super comfortable pair of boots that I don't feel bad abusing. When I ordered them last November, I paid a paltry $131.16. A black Friday deal helped with the price. They normally go for $163.95. I've been wearing my current pair since April of 2018. That's twenty-seven months of hard wear which works out to $4.80 per month. I spend at least twice that on my monthly boxes of tea.
I've been fighting the zippers for a couple of months. I've been running a hunk of wax up and down the zipper teeth in an effort to lubricate them. But zippers, they just don't last forever. On Thursday morning the left zipper blew out after I snapped the top snap. I looked down, shrugged my shoulders, and rode with some air conditioning over my calf. After my ride, I sat down to take my boots off, and the right zipper blew out. All I could think was finally. I had expected a wardrobe malfunction long before July.
It wasn't just the zippers. I was already walking around with two good-sized holes and a developing third. Since none of the holes affected the boots' functionality, I've been living fairly patiently with the oddly placed vents. For the past few weeks I've been tempted to chuck the boots in favor of the new pair gathering dust in my closet, but common sense told me to hold out a wee bit longer; that old pair was bound to kick the bucket sooner rather than later. My common sense was right.
After snapping the photo above, I rather unceremoniously dumped the boots in the trash. Even with new zippers, those boots weren't worth rehabbing. I've worn the new ones a time or two - once or twice to work (they're really cute with a long skirt), and I think I wore them to a schooling show or clinic. I wore them over the weekend, and just like all my other TuffRider tall boots, they've been so comfortable that I forgot they were new.
If you're looking for a comfortable and inexpensive schooling boot or even a show boot, give the TuffRider Belmonts a try. I am now on pair number three and looking for another sale to keep a pair in reserve. I dread the day TuffRider quits making them.
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 the lower levels. 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%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: