From Endurance to Dressage
I've shared my weight rollercoaster here for years. I lose weight and then gain it back. I have stacks of breeches ranging from size 28 - 32. Guess which ones I am wearing now? Breeches are cheap(ish) to buy, tall boots are not. At times, my show boots get too tight, and I am forced to show in my schooling boots. I haven't had my show boots on since Halloween, but those still seem to fit. My schooling boots, not so much.
It's not that I can't get them on, but they're pretty tight. These are the same boots that had a zipper blowout in the summer which I had replaced. Did the cobbler need to take them in slightly to replace the zipper? I don't know but they are HARD to zip up around my calf. I've been struggling with them for months knowing that Christmas and my birthday were coming. I generally get some cash and gift cards so my plan was to wait to replace my boots until after the start of the new year.
I've been buying the same boots for the past five or six years, maybe more. For schooling, I ride in the TuffRider Ladies Belmont Dress Boots. I don't know how many pairs I've owned. This is either the fourth or fifth pair. I love them because they are comfortable and wearable right out of the box. There is no break-in period. The leather is buttery soft, and the footbed feels like a pair of tennis shoes although I do add a Dr. Scholl's gel insert to get a perfect fit.
I am really hard on my schooling boots. I brush the dirt off after each ride, and I occasionally rub some leather conditioning stuff over them, but they take a beating. I wear them seven days a week, and while I try not to use them while using the hose, they occasionally get wet. We don't have any pavement at the ranch, so these boots see a lot of dirt surfaces. I generally get at least 18 months out of them, maybe as many as two years. I bought the last pair in July of 2020.
Without any sales or discounts, the boots run $251.42 from the Riding Warehouse, but I can always find a 15% off discount code. (Hit me up if you need one.) Last week I ordered a new pair and they cost $231.34 with a 15% discount. At that price, I can afford to replace them as needed. While I am dying to ditch the old pair, I am going to keep squeezing into them as long as I can. I'd really like a fatal injury to happen before I toss them. Another zipper blowout, a lost heel, or even a hole in the leather would make me feel better about abandoning them.
We'll see how long I can leave them in the box. Any bets?
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%