Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winter Has Arrived

Last year we had a mild winter here in NJ.  I could have gotten used to that, but it seems we won't be having a mild winter this year.  We've had two snow storms back to back and another one coming this weekend. This weather has made things awfully frozen and miserable around here.

I've been contemplating getting a pair of winter riding boots, something warm, waterproof and suited to abuse.  There are many options out there, and I've pored over the descriptions and reviews.  I had it down to two candidates, but just couldn't decide between them.

I've never had a pair of winter riding boots before, despite living in NJ for 15 years.  I've always made do with my pair of old paddock boots, thick woolen socks and gaiters (half chaps, for you East Coast folks).

But, my paddock boots are nearly 20 years old now.  I got them when I was a teenager.  They were the first pair of English style riding boots I ever owned.  Obviously, my paddock boots never went into the show ring.  Back in the day, my tall boots were expensive and precious.  I wore my tall boots for shows, and shows only and my paddock boots for schooling.  

As time went on, I got a little more solvent and could wear my tall boots for training, too.  But, when winter came, my tall boots would not accommodate thick socks and thick breeches, so my good old paddock boots and gaiters came out. And that's how my old paddock boots became my winter boots.

My good old boots.
We've had several cold, wet and nasty winter days here and I've been spending them cleaning my tack.  As I was cleaning, I spied my good old boots sitting under a saddle rack.  I pulled them out, looked them over, cleaned them, oiled them and water-proofed them, and reminisced about all the horses those good old boots had known. 

Those boots have been placed in the stirrups of more horses than I can remember.  They've also been in the stirrups of many horses that I do remember, the horses who made me. They've been with me from when I was a just a stall mucker and catch rider, to barn manager and sale horse rider, to farm owner and amateur.

I knew then that I wasn't getting a new pair of winter riding boots.

Today I put on my thick winter breeches, then a pair of thick wool socks, and then put my good old boots on my feet, just where they belong.  Those old boots still have a few more winters left in them.


  1. Good old boots are good old friends.

  2. Funny how worn in leather and the scent of saddle soap helps the memories flow... lovely post.

  3. Nothing like The Original Pair of boots. Wow, 20 years! I still have my first pair of tall boots (from life before Zippers) from *mumble mumble* years ago, and my beloved paddock boots, that are now relegated to summer wear, as they are convieniently "air-conditioned". :) Lovely.


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