Almost two years ago I had to make a trip to Dover Saddlery. I was instructed to do so by my trainer because I was to be competing in my very first horse show in about two weeks. I was given a list of things I was supposed to get: show coat, show shirt, leather crop, lots of hairnets, boot cleaner, tall boots, boot wipes, a nice show helmet, and of course, tall riding boots. I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted nice tall, black, real leather ones with zippers down the back so that I wouldn't have two hard of a time putting them on my feet. I was beyond excited when I drove home in the car with the big, fat box filled with the tall boots. I couldn't wait to try them on for everyone. The first day I wore them to the barn was a Tuesday, for my lesson. I remember being in so much pain wearing them around the barn getting ready, but then feeling some kind of revelation once I put my foot in the stirrup. All of a sudden, my leg was so much steadier, and I felt much more secure in the saddle. We were jumping that day, so we went down to the big ring a little bit away from the barn. It was beyond muddy and there were frogs everywhere, but we rode on. When it was my turn, my trainer put jackets and towels across all the jumps, so that we might have a harder time getting around the course, but it was also in preparation for the scary jumps we would be jumping at the show. We rode around like champs, flying over every jump the first time around, everyone looking on, jealous. The show went amazingly well, and the tall boots were beyond painful, but so worth it. Throughout the year I used them every now and then, at shows, and occasionally while schooling. But mostly, I remained in my paddock boots and half chaps. This past year though, they decided to fit to me like a second skin, like a glove. So I wear them every day, I wear them to school horses, to school for shows, to goof around, to go on trail, to ride bareback, to do ground work, and to shows too. This past weekend, I saw a crack, they are splitting. My baby's were dying. Now, I have to retire them and try and find another pair of tall boots that work for me the way that these did. I really hope that I can find a second set of second skin.
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