Friday, December 9, 2011

Boot buster

Hey all, anyone interested in a near-new thinline sheepskin dressage pad, used three times? It retails for over $270, I'm asking $170 shipping included. My saddl has extra long flaps and it ain't workin'. Check out photos.

The symbol of divahood!

Thanks guys for being supportive and for sharing your stories -- funny we all seem to be getting bitten, more often than I'd thought! Our barn manager got bitten pretty badly the same night, by another horse in the barn who normally is not a biter. She has a spectacular bruise on her arm.

I took the boot to a local shoe repair, where I hoped a minor repair would be possible. Unfortunately the repair man pointed out a) where Riley had likely grabbed the leather and b) where the force had mangled the teeth as the zipper pulled apart.

So Anon commenter, your inspired suggestion that I take pliers to a pair of boots that now retail for $1000 (sorry, sounds like a dubious idea to me) would not fix the problem.

I'm sending my boot away to get repaired, and that's a drag for boots that have been worn 20 thirty times. And Carrie, a blogger/massage therapist  left the comment that I should get over myself. Carrie, you're right in one respect. As my brother-in-law says "the kind of problems to have are the ones that money can solve." This is a problem that money can solve. But you could try to have a little empathy too. It isn't just the boots, its the bad behavior, and the fact that an item I can't easily replace was destroyed by a friend I toil over and protect and love. Yes, he's a horse, not a husband or a human friend. But still, It's a Drag.

I went out to the barn last night and it was amusing, Riley was pretty obviously trying to gauge my mood. He was a little head-shy at first, but things are back to normal now, thankfully. Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to wear, boot-wise, for this clinic!


  1. It's to bad it wasn't an easy fix, but at least you wont have to buy a brand new pair! And not to worry i would have been pissed to and likely reacted the same way. Hope is doesnt cost to to much to get them fixed!

  2. This is one of those "easier said than done, and I'm not saying how well I'd handle it" kind of comments...

    Think of this as a growth phase for your horsewomanship. They are unpredictable creatures we want to believe think like humans, but they don't. So ask yourself if you're not providing enough leadership or in any way appearing as if you would allow the naughtiness, and realize that HE doesn't remember biting you and ruining your boot (nor does he know that means less treats for him) but only knows how you are treating him now.
    Totally easier said than done, and I know I personally tend to blame myself *too much* thinking I've ruined a partnership. But at least the boots are repairable (even if inconvenient and a pain) and no one was hurt - and it's practice in living in the moment and forgetting the past when emotions have good reason to kick up for you.

  3. Don't let other people opinions drag you down. Wear your normal schooling boots/paddocks half-chaps, whatever you normally wear, spit polish them and just ride like you're wearing your super expensive boots.

  4. Stacy I know exactly how you feel, re: being sandbaggeded by our "occasionally retarded" four legged children.

    Horse was feeling the weather and didn't want his feet picked. Ripped my toenail right off. Swore he said next: "Why aren't we riding? Why are you limping - keep tacking me up"

    Same horse ran from his hay pile, all frisky, over to the fence. As I ran screaming to shoo him away he reached over the top and ate a flower. A toxic-to-all-living-things oleander flower. That night: "Why are you stuffing me with laxatives and pulling your hair out? How about we go back to the turnout?"

  5. Stacey, I feel for you. I've been putting off buying a new pair of boots for years. When I finally break the bank and get them, I'll be beyond pissed if my horse takes a chomp out of them.

    However... I don't think it's unusual for horses to get snippy about their blankets. Almost every horse I know hates wearing them.

    I think the problem is that Riley felt he had a right to voice his opinion to the point of biting you. That's crossing WAY over the line. Whenever I put on or adjust my mare's blankets, she lets me know she doesn't like it by nipping at the air and tossing her head about. Perfectly acceptable way of getting her point across, as far as I'm concerned. But the moment the "air nipping" is pointed in my direction, all hell breaks lose. That is NOT allowed.

    My space is sacred. Whether it's for nipping, rubbing, crowding, scratching... whatever. I want my horse to be expressive. But I want there to be no mistake as to what are acceptable forms of expression.

    I don't know Riley, but does he respect your space at ALL times about EVERYTHING? Maybe you already practice this, but I believe that if you pay attention to the little reactions to small stimuli, that can be a good indicator of "where the buck stops" (no pun intended) when something big goes down.

    I guess the up-side of this is that he didn't take a hunk out of the leather. Zippers are repairable (albeit inconvenient). Leather... not so much!

  6. Delurking briefly--

    You have my complete sympathy, and I am glad that you weren't seriously hurt. I'm sorry to hear about your boots, but I'm glad they can be fixed.

    Since this behavior seems to be out of Riley's character, I wonder what caused it. You didn't do anything to upset him, so it makes me think that he was feeling some pain. I'm sure you are already investigating that possibility.

    Glad to hear that you and Riley are back on good terms. :)

  7. Glad you can get your boots fixed and HammersArk is right wear what you usually ride in. As for Riley biting you...I rather think that if you had seen his face/ears you would have reacted and it would not have gotten that far...stuff always happens to me when I'm not looking! Good luck in the clinic and have fun!

  8. With my luck the horse would have stood on my toe, pivoted and raced off, destroying the top of the boot forever and ever. Zippers ain't nuthin' to fix (except time and a bit of treasure).

    And you're right about empathy. Compassion costs nothing and making someone feel better about whatever bothers them is a good thing to do.

    Sacred space. I like that, write_errr ;o) I will inform my horse that he must always remember that. (He has excellent ground manners, but it never hurts to remind them).

  9. I know part of the fun of clinics is getting all gussied up in the best DQ gear, but keep in mind that the main point of a clinic is to improve your I think your Mountain Horse or Devon Aire boots will suit that purpose just fine, since these are your daily riding boots anyway.

  10. You crack me up! I love the snarky, back-at-you comments.

    Not to be mean to the anonymous poster or any of the other odd posters, but geez, people! Sometimes we get peeved and we're allowed to voice our frustrations. I'd be mad as hell if one of my ponies reached out and bit me (it's happened). So, Stacey, vent away, get mad (and justifiably so!), and feel better for doing it.

    In a few days you and Riley will once again be best friends and you'll laugh at the dorky/naughty stuff that he does.

    I say, bring it on!

  11. After I read your post tonight, my first thought was, "You go, girl!" Here's hoping you have a marvelous clinic.

  12. I missed the original post but you have my sympathy. That said, I think there's something to the comment that allowing mouthiness is a recipe for trouble. I know a lot of ladies who get their feelings hurt when their horses do anything "mean" and try to make their horse love them with treats and such when what is needed is a good pop in the mouth. Funny thing, that little bit of discipline is likely to result in a horse who acts a lot more loving!

    It doesn't sound like you did a thing wrong, and I'm sorry your boots are going to have to go out during your clinic. I know how it feels to have a lot of your confidence invested in those expensive boots. Good boots make you feel BONAFIDE! But really no one at the clinic will care what boots you wear.

  13. You know when you show up for the clinic all gussied up, fancy boots, white polo wraps and all, people will take it that you will ride as well as you look. I like to pleasantly surprise them with a casual turn out and unexpected competence. (not that it always works that way...)

  14. Maybe you can find a lesser pair of boots to ride in for now? Rick's Saddle Shop did have some Ariats on sale.

    I can still remember arriving at the barn to find the tack room open and my two horses playing tug o' war with a new wool cooler--cost a lot back then. The thing was ripped to shreds. They, of course, had no idea they were doing anything wrong--just being horses.

    Despite Riley's being your "best friend," once again, he is still a horse and his brain doesn't operate the way ours does. His biting was an instinctive reaction to something, not malice.

    However, you are right in expecting and working on making him understand that under no circumstances is he ever to bite you. You are just going to have to be diligent to correct any "mouthy" behavior on his part as soon as you notice.

    All that being said, my first horse was a biter--not malicious, but his idea of play. I never was able to cure him. All I managed was to keep him from biting when anyone was watching. Turn your back? Either the threat of a nip, or a nip. And he knew EXACTLY what he was doing.

  15. Sounds like you are beginning to forgive him. Good for you! Have fun at the clinic.

  16. That's a bummer that the local person couldn't fix them. Darn Riley. I came off Bella one night and she stepped on my leg when I hit the ground. How sad is it that the secoond thing I checked (after making sure she wasn't going to step on my face!) was that my Ariats weren't ripped! :)

    While not Petries, I do understand the annoyance of your boots not being there when you need them! (I'll admit that I have a boarderline unhealthy love for my tall boots)

    Is there any way you could get Treadstep or Ariat half chaps/gaitors that look close enough to tall boots that most people wouldn't see? I am sure that the clinician is going to be okay with your "second choice," given the circumstances (unless he's George Morris! lol!)

    Good luck, Stacey. I'm sure you're going to find something that works! :)

  17. seriously? your boot guy can't just replace the zipper?? I've had my zipper changed several times. Costs about 80-100$ depending on how heavy duty the replacement zipper is.

    as for pissy - here in the desert, the static electricity from putting blankets off and on results in nasty ouch shocks, and often in tender spots (I have a closed front sheet that goes over the head - invariably we get a shocked muzzle and a freaked out pony.) It makes on/off blanketing a challenge.

    good luck!

  18. Wow, write_err, you know not one horse who likes to wear its blankets?? I have two who love theirs... Esp my pinto. The only time they have been bothered is if a strap smacks into something, like a stall wall etc. Then they might jump. I guess I am more blessed then I realized in having these two, :)


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