These are my boots. I wear them only when I dress to impress, otherwise known as a horseshow. My mom bought them for me for my eighteenth birthday. (I’ll be twenty-eight in April.) The baby-calf leather tall boots were custom-made by Vogel. Cut and fit perfectly, they extend from the toe to just barely below my knee. Ten years ago, they cost $1,100.
In 2003, I helped out a horse-trainer friend who was unable to ride due to her pregnancy. At the time I was working a “real job” (i.e., not horse related) some forty-eight hours a week. I rode six to eight horses a day four days a week until she had her baby. All this I did for free. (I was trying to regain my amateur status at the time.) As a thank you gift, I was given the spurs. The spurs are sterling-silver finish with intricate design detail and carry a sticker of $275. I ordered the spur straps, $45 and the chrome tack tag, with “Sarahjoy” engraved on it for $30.
These boots have jumped a lot of jumps in ten years. Upon closer inspection, you can see the scars from various crashes over the years, including the time I fell off of my Open Jumper Horse, the infamous Bootlegger. I am told he tried to avoid doing so, but when I was falling, I still had hold of the reins, which then pulled Bootlegger down with me. In reestablishing himself, Bootlegger stepped on my armpit and ankle. Because this competition occurred in a grass footing arena, horses are fitted with steel studs in their shoes. (Imagine golf cleats, but made of steel, fitted onto a horseshoe). So damage occurred to my jacket, my boots and of course, to me.
There are stress cracks in the leather and a small sad hole on the right toe where my wonderful dog, Mister, thought that he just might try a taste. I understand that, along with yacht racing, jumping is one of the world’s most expensive sports. If you ever wondered where all the money gets spent in the horse industry, just imagine—if these boots go on my feet, how much do you think it costs for my derriere?
From the Lover of Good Boots,