We all want something that we don’t really need for our horse or ourselves: a fancy show jacket, a beautiful pair of breeches, a stunning saddle. In my case, it’s a pair of tall boots.
I’ve been riding in a pair of paddock boots and suede half chaps for ages. But I’ve secretly coveted a particular pair of tall boots for a while now. They’re dress boots with Spanish tops, back zipper, super soft leather, square-ish toe box, and a deep black color.
Since my fall, I haven’t exactly felt entitled to them. They’re a little pricey, and I’m never going to go at the advanced level, so it’s a bit of a stretch for me to wear these particular boots. But I keep gazing at their picture in the various tack catalogs I get in the mail, expectantly circling them in Sharpie marker and folding the page up so I can find them again quickly. <sigh>
Don’t get me wrong, I love my paddock boots and half chaps. But with the goal of riding in a USEA recognized event before the end of next season, I will have to have a pair of real tall boots.
Fortunately, I have a very perceptive family. They noticed. They also understand where my head is, and where I’m trying to get back to. So for my 50th birthday, they splurged on me, and got me these boots.
They’re a thing of beauty! They’re still rather tight in the calf, but they’re breaking in nicely. Perhaps more importantly, their symbolism is perfect. They’re a huge vote of confidence from the people who know how much my riding means to me. They know how much I love Charlie, and they put up with the time I’m out at the barn. It means they know I can do it. And it makes me willing to do the painful and pedantic work that will be required to accomplish the things I want to accomplish — everything from no stirrups work to passing on the Christmas cookies.
So every time I slip my foot in these boots, and zip the back, it reminds me that other people can see things that sometimes I can’t. And that can help me see them too…