How many pairs of riding boots do I own? Probably enough, at least for now. I have always loved shoes and boots of all kinds, but these days I seem to accumulate mostly riding boots.
There are valid reasons for owning different types of boots. Most days during the summer months, I prefer to ride in paddock boots and half chaps. I have lace ups and pull-on ones, and the older I get, the more I prefer to wear the pull on variety as there is a little less time bending over. This system gives me the best feel for the sides of my horse while riding.
I do own a pair of tall dressage show boots for the occasional show I may enter, but these boots are a little less comfortable than paddock boots, so I don't wear them on a daily basis. They typically take longer to "break in", so my desire for comfort takes over, and the paddock boots are my preference.
As the weather cools and we head into the winter months, I wear tall winter boots with varying amounts of insulation from the cold. The thicker the insulation, the clumsier the feel of the boots, so I like to dress according to the temperature and wear the lightest winter boot for the temperature of the day. I live in Minnesota so we have temperatures that plummet well below freezing. I have very thick warm boots for these frigid days in the teens and low twenties and boots with a little less insulation for milder winter temperatures in the high 20's and 30's.
Occasionally, I ride with a western saddle and wear different attire and will drag out my pair of western boots for the ride. They bring out the cowgirl in me.
I also have a pair of muck boots. These aren't technically riding boots, but I do wear them to the barn daily. They are particularly good for days where it is wet and muddy, as they save my riding boots from accumulating mud and dirt as I fetch my horse from the pasture. A quick change into my riding boots after tacking up my horse, and I'm ready to ride.
I must also admit to owning riding boots that will probably never see the inside of a barn. They are simply attractive and very comfortable for wearing while doing non horsey activities.
Do I have too many pairs of boots? Depends who you ask. Could I live with less? Probably. Even though I do have many pairs, they are all used according to the seasons and activities, and they should all last a very long time. Of course, I am often on the lookout for a good sale, because there is always room in my closet for one more pair.