The best horse I ever owned was also the smallest and fastest.
Being a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse ideally suited her to completing jump-off rounds in record time, and she loved to jump as much as I did.
This eighteen year old mare, given to me for free, didn’t start out as Miss Reliable. Despite her age, she still retained all the hang-ups she’d developed during her racing days in Ireland, and it took a long time to rid her of them.
She could be very quick when she wanted to stop, and doing this at ditches was her specialty. I cannot count the number of watery trenches I landed in before she and I finally came to the agreement that it was less work for her to go over them than dump me, wait for me to haul myself to my feet and remount before making her jump the thing anyway.
But I was lucky to have another horse to compete regularly, and had no timetable with this chestnut fireball. It was easy for me to be patient, and I’d tell her daily that ‘we don’t do that,’ as one would to a naughty child.
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She was petite, not frighteningly big like so many of my previous horses. Gradually we became best buddies and I was very thankful for the next eight years we had together: she was still winning dressage and one day events at the age of twenty-six!
There was one day in particular when my patience and TLC clearly paid off.
A friend and I drove our horse vans in tandem to a jumping venue in Gloucestershire, England. We warmed up at the venue together, and he was the first to go into the ring. His horse jumped a few fences then called it a day. After three refusals my friend had to retire.
Then it was our turn. My mare was always rather hot, but as long as I got her to focus she was a clean jumper. Today was no exception, and she cleared all the fences in the first round. In the jump-off she was very nimble and happily cut corners to win the class.
As I came out of the ring, my male friend ruefully pointed to the Thoroughbred mare and asked: “Does she have a sister?”
Being rather superstitious about the connection between what I wear at shows and my success rate, I was careful to wear the combination of paddock boots and chaps that helped me win that day at all subsequent competitions. 😎
Review of the Ariat Heritage Sport Zip Boots For Women
These versatile paddock boots can be worn for doing chores at the barn, riding and hand-walking your horse. But they are so versatile that they look good with pants or a skirt for everyday use. They break in fast and are comfortable enough to be worn all day without creating blisters.
The Cordura fabric uppers and elastic side gores provide the flexibility round the ankles needed for riding, and the front zipper allows for easy and quick foot entry. Over time, if the zipper gets a little stiff, applying some WD40 will soften it up again.
Once you slip these boots on, your feet will relax into Ariat’s Four Layer Rebound Technology (4LRTM), with EVA cushioning and a moisture-wicking foot bed to prevent excessive sweating.
The rubber outer soles, made of Duratread™, provide good traction in slick weather, water, muck and rain, and their self-cleaning action means you won’t track up your house with the great outdoors.
The lower part of the paddock boot is made of full grain, waterproof leather to withstand hard use.
One criticism is that Ariat tends to favor thinner feet: these boots don’t work for short, wide feet and bigger ankles. They can be a little snug round large ankles but fit smaller ones well.
The foot size runs true on this boot, which is available in sizes 5.5 – 11 with half sizes in between.
Ariat Riding boots for women are renowned for their high quality and the Ariat Women’s Heritage Sport Zip Paddock Boots are no exception. Don’t be fooled by the lower price of these great paddock boots. They’re a great looking and hard wearing riding boot made affordable to riders across all disciplines and classes.
This multi-purpose boot is equally at home at the barn, in the stirrups and with pants or a skirt at the office and in the mall.
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Give Your Paddock Boots the Tall Boot Treatment
Ariat Women’s Heritage Sport Zip Paddock Boots are appropriate for hunt seat riding and saddle seat competitions. But if you want to transform them into long boots to wear for schooling or lower level dressage and jumping competitions, you might want to consider purchasing the Ariat Unisex All Around Half Chap III.
They are reasonably priced and are made of full grain leather to complement your paddock boots. The full-length inside zipper makes these chaps easy to put on when you want the appearance of quality tall-shaft riding boots.
Color options are black and chocolate and being made by the same brand means their a perfect fit for the Ariat Paddock Boots. You can also buy them in suede, but they would not look right for horse shows.
The lining is a moisture-wicking fabric, and a suede inner panel gives increased grip on the saddle and lengthens the life of the chaps. After dismounting, you can remove them and revert to wearing just your short paddock boots.
They have an overall rating of 4 out of 5, and run a little small, with a wide range of sizes and heights.
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