Tuesday, March 7, 2017

What Are We Waiting For?

When I had Cuna and was doing unrecognized BN eventing, I remember telling a friend that I wanted really cool $300 breeches but I was going to wait until we were going recognized novice at least because I didn't want to look pretentious.

Friend, ex-marine, cancer survivor, and all around kick-ass person said "But you aren't guaranteed tomorrow."

Cuna ended up with laminitis in both front feet and we never made it to a recognized event.

I never bought $300 breeches.

I don't know that my life is poorer for the lack of overpriced sport-pants, but it's an interesting thought. Now I have Courage and eventing is definitely not in our future, but we're hacking our way through first-ish level-ish dressage-ish and starting to semi-think about second level. I'm riding in a bargain pair of field boots that make my legs look pretty ridiculous and I day dream a little bit about custom tall boots.

Which I said I'll order when I have second level bronze scores.

Why? I don't know. It's just an arbitrary line in the sand that I drew to differentiate when I'd be doing "real" dressage vs screwing around like I am now. I mean, I'm working my ass off (as much as is possible whilst not screwing up my rehab, ugh) and I have been for a couple years now.

And, yeah, if I was the "dressage or die" type, I'd be better served to sell Courage and get a horse with more natural aptitude for the sport, but I'm not. I'm doing dressage because it's what Courage wants to do and given his conformation and movement, he'll take me as far as I can go as long as I learn to manage him correctly.

So it's not that I lack commitment--it's that this is what equestrian sport is for me. It's relationship-based and daily, not big show goals and winter circuits and $$$$$$.

And I'm not guaranteed tomorrow.
or today, really

I'm super pumped to go hang out with Karen for Rolex and she's already informed me that shopping for custom boots while there is on her radar.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about it--I'm not planning any big shows with C this year for personal, non-financial reasons. And I keep wondering--why wait? I know I want them. It's not like if I'd sprung for the dream breeches back in the day that I'd regret having them now.
def would have regretted not getting this "synchronized peeing" shot
Why do I need to be doing "real dressage" to have a fun thing that would bring me joy every day? And just because I say 60% at recognized second level is "real" doesn't mean that the high and mighty dressage queens will agree with me. I'm sure there's someone who thinks custom boots before your first individual (not team) Olympic gold are pretentious.

A post shared by PS of Sweden (@psofsweden) on
But why does their opinion matter? They sound like an uptight bitch I wouldn't be friends with anyways.

And hello does that horse look like imaginary future Courage or what??

So tell me, people of blogland--when are beautiful custom boots a reasonable choice?

78 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I feel like Leah shouldn't even be allowed to have an opinion here because of course she's going to say yes. But....i also think you should buy the boots. I don't understand #tackhopro but I do love pretty pictures. OMG DID I JUST BECOME AN ENABLER?!

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    2. Why the hate? Is it because I have no self control and buy all the things? Don't judge me!!! 😂😎😇

      She wouldn't have posted about it if she didn't want to be enabled.... 😋

      Haha

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    3. I believe this marks the first time in history that Carly has enabled anything. I need a moment of silence to commemorate it.

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  2. Replies
    1. Look at you enable like an old pro! I appreciate that in a person.

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  3. I think custom boots are only pretentious on children who will outgrow them :P

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    1. I'm always amazed by the parents who buy custom French saddles for their pony kid. I'm over here like "if you just want to bleed 5k into the rug, I'll take it... nevermind..."

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  4. I'm also shopping for custom boots at Rolex! Mine are a 30th birthday present to myself.

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    1. Ha! I already have the 30th present planned out but it's not for a couple years yet. I like your thinking though.

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  5. Love this! I have the same ideas about white breeches... I am struggling to get BACK UP to unrecognized BN competition and maybe if the stars align I'll do a First Level test at a schooling show this year (in my black windowpane hunt coat). That's not "legit enough" for whites. Or.. is it?

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    1. GET WHITES. i got mine on super sale from horseloverz. they make me feel pretty <3

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    2. Agreed, get whites. I was so against the idea at first but now I prefer them. Don't even own any tan anymore!

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    3. I hate myself for saying this and I totally called Amanda full of shit for telling it to me when I was shopping, but whites are not as bad as you'd think. As long as it's a good breech, they create a very finished look at every level.

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    4. Wow I am surprised at the overwhelming consensus here! I guess my reservation is partially also related to the fact that I still ride my dressage tests in a jump saddle and hunt coat... But... I mean... shopping is fun.

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  6. My beautiful new boots have forced me to change my position, which my horse takes super offense to. (Apparently he was happier when I rode like a hunched fish) Learn from my mistakes. Get the fancy boots now.

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    1. Maybe I can be a stiff-legged-fish, like some sort of bizarre evolutionary throwback.

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  7. its funny you are saying this, because i just decided (as in yesterday) that I am getting custom boots. dehners. because i'm tired of patching together pieces of shit that look like crap on my legs and frankly aren't doing my riding any favors either.

    carpe diem, girl.

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    1. I had just finished writing this when I read Tracy's post on customs yesterday. Guess it's going around?

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    2. I think it's spring shopping fever, I wonder if there's a vaccine...

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    3. The only solution is MORE COWBELL.

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  8. And Austen's comment makes me think I should be shopping. If mine fusses about paddock boots and half chaps vs field boots, he is going to have a meltdown over dressage boots (or go oh thank god she is getting her shit together).

    GET THE BOOTS! #tackhosunite

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  9. It's honestly never crossed my mind that there might be a "point" where I should look a certain way/buy a certain thing. I just do what I want. You should too. :)

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    1. Also, I just bought my first pairs of big girl schooling breeches EVER in the past week, so jump on my spendy train. I feel like an alien has taken over my body, I bought them both from Dover and I fell in love with riding pants that have belt loops - two things I never thought I'd do.

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    2. I don't recognized you but I like you.

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  10. Always. Buy the things that make you happy.

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  11. Considering I'm basically at Training Level or First Level of hunters and I'm getting custom tall boots, I vote GO FOR IT! You're right, life is too short. If you can afford it, do it.

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    1. I loved your post yesterday! Such good timing.

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  12. honestly imo there's basically nothing about our chosen sport that's 'reasonable.' goals are good. setting goals (however arbitrary they may be) can help us continue to progress and keep moving forward towards our own ambitions, but it's equally ok to *not* have 'serious' ambitions too. i think the reason we ride is bc we find it fulfilling on some deeper level. bc it brings us joy, in whichever way we each personally measure that joy. if fancy pants are one of the ways to tapping into that joy and fulfillment, then why not? go for it!

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    1. This is a weird tension for me. I'm absolutely a driven, goal-focused person, but if I get too fixated on that, I forget why I'm here in the first place and then it all goes to hell.

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  13. Sooo custom boots? The company where I got mine are having a sale right now!! 320 Euros for full custom, shipping is like 70 euros. Life is short, buy the boots!

    They have several different styles that aren't on the website but if you email Rebecca she'll show you the other options:

    http://www.famalusitanos.com/product/celeris-florian/

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    1. Did you do a comprehensive review of these? I'd love to see that.

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  14. I think that new, fancy, custom boots are always a good idea. Go for it!

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    1. You'll have to get in contact with my bank account. ;-)

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  15. Who is anyone else to judge when you "deserve" what you want? It's not like they are footing the bill. I say, buy the boots & LOVE them.
    p.s. Hopefully, you'll do a review of them one day in the future too.

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    1. I'm more judging myself here--no one has ever come out and said "you must be at X level to get X product" other than a double and third, obvs.

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  16. Get the boots, they will improve your position and the stability of your leg. Properly fitting dressage boots are as important as the saddle and bit as far as training goes. I've never understood the "show only" gear mentality. I school in the same equipment I show in, as does every other rider I know. Particularly with boots, you want those suckers broken in and for yourself to be used to wearing them when you get to the show, otherwise you're going to be sad and uncomfortable!

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    1. I definitely don't do show tack for that reason. Interesting thought on the boots for sure. :D I need all the help I can get.

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  17. We spend too much $$$ on these creatures to not look good doing it 😉 If you will use them and it will make you happy buy.the.dang.boots.

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  18. Buy the boots. Get something that you will love and make you happy every time you put them on and it's completely worth whatever you pay.

    I have been holding off on a pair of white breeches. I told myself I'll get them when I need them, which would be we when do the 3'6" mini prix . But I do think they look so polished, even over 3' fences...and I hate tan breeches.

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    1. I used to always wear tan breeches and think nothing of it. Now I look at them and just think "ew". In fairness, I used to have nicer tan breeches than I do now, but the sentiment stands.

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    2. Why wear tan when you can wear ANY other color?

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  19. Hey, I've spent the past month looking at bridles EVERY DAY. If it makes me happy to use nice tack while we hack around the backyard on three legs, I'm gonna do it. And even if we never leave the property, at least we'll look fancy in pictures 😉 Buy the boots, and strut around in them 'cause you deserve them!

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    1. Ha! And I have no such reservations about tack. I want it, I find a way to get it in my hot little hands. No weird ideas about that at all.

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  20. I do exactly the same thing you're doing by drawing lines in the sand for myself. However, I'm also a big believe of "fake it till you make it" so Katai get's "over dressed" for a 1st-2nd level, floofy, dressage pony but it sure does make me work that much harder and put that much more care into our rides. I know that if I didn't put as much care into both of our attire I wouldn't work as hard at riding. Doesn't make it right but it is what works for me haha

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    1. Definitely have to do what works. :-)

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  21. I've always looked at custom boots as a good investment, not pretentious. They're more than worth it and the custom fit really does make a difference when it comes to comfort. I understand you're point though. I keep putting off buying a new pair until Indy and I are ready for recognized shows. So, I should be ordering a pair in about ten years....

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    1. "A good investment". That is what I will tell hubs. I like your perspective.

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  22. Maybe I should get custom boots so I like riding in them, I'm still a half chaps and paddock boots kinda girl. But in general, who cares, if you can afford it then do what makes you happy!

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    1. My taste in half chaps is such that they're not really cheaper than tall boots and they make my leg less stable. So. While I liked them for working in a barn, if I'm just going to show up and ride, I prefer boots.

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  23. It gets the boots AND the breeches. It does this whenever it is told.

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  24. Not discounting custom boots, but you can get pretty nice tall boots that aren't custom. I schooled in Ariat Volants ($500) until i wore them out. I show in Ariat maestros and now school in a pair of Tuffriders (most comfortable tall boots I've ever worn). I tend to buy what I want (within my standard of living) for the exact reason you mention. If you like to ride in tall boots, get some. :0)

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    1. You can if Ariat believes you exist. Must be nice.

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  25. I probably shouldn't enable you here... But you should definitely get the boots.

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  26. Ditto, buy the boots. I wore my Effingham boots for years and years, made my calves look like fat black stove pipes. Upgraded to tredsteps and hello ankles!!!!! So much better!!! Not custom obvi but amazing none the less to see the shape of my leg vs a tree trunk! Yolo.

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  27. I do that ALL the time and then never end up with said item (guess I never really wanted it all that badly in the first place). If just doing a thing that brings you real joy every day is your horseback riding goal, then you go get 'em. Half the people who look the part don't know how to ride the actual ride anyway

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    1. I think that's a insult? I can't tell. ;-)

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  28. I'd say buy whatever fits you and is comfortable and you are going to love the look of for the next 10 years. If that's custom, go for it. If you find something perfect that's not custom, do that. I was lucky and found a pair of Cavallo Insignias that fit me like a custom and were roughly half the price, and I love them to bits.

    As to when to buy them, there's no rule that says you have to hit X goal before you do Y. If that's how you work, go with it. But if you want them just because, then great. Do whatever's right for you.

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    1. Fingers crossed for getting lucky, but not holding my breath. I'm a funky size.

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  29. I mean, I say get the boots. I'm saving up for a pair of custom field boots (because I event and I need something that will fit better, last longer, and look semi-flattering). When I see the insane custom boots that come through work (navy with tan ostrich top, patent with a million crystals) I think to myself, "you know, if I had $1500 to burn, I'd get fun boots, too!"

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    1. Haha yes. I follow a bunch of custom makers on instagram and there are some fun, crazy designs, but I can't afford multiple pairs.

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  30. Hi! Where did you get your light brown high jump revolution bridle? I was thinking of buyin them, but i dont know where to get them light brown?

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    1. I no longer own it, but everything PS I had came direct from their website.

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  31. "And, yeah, if I was the "dressage or die" type, I'd be better served to sell Courage and get a horse with more natural aptitude for the sport, but I'm not. I'm doing dressage because it's what Courage wants to do and given his conformation and movement, he'll take me as far as I can go as long as I learn to manage him correctly."

    I SO respect you for saying this. And - ugh - I've struggled with the "do I deserve nice tack and gear" dilemma as well. Life is short, don't deny yourself nice boots. Like others said above - they do help with position.

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  32. I'll be pretentious with you. I mean, I ride a Indiana draft cross. Still want the boots.

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    1. I think we need to bring a bottle of bubbly and some champagne flutes. Lindsey can top us off while we shop. #brilliance

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  33. You should buy them! You will actually ride better, and I'm not being a smartass!

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    1. Just saying you're not a smartass doesn't make it true. ;-) Good try though.

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