Horse Riding Boots - Outdoors

Horse Riding BootsВ В  by Sean Prenderville

in Outdoors В В  (submitted 2008-03-06)

Types of horse riding boots â€" how to chose the right one

Horse riding boots are generally considered to be more of a fashion statement than a requirement in comparison with other horse riding apparel. However, traditional horse riding boots were designed keeping various aspects of horse riding in mind.

Traditional horse riding boots had certain characteristics that ensured safety. High heels, typical of most cowboy style horse riding boots, help in holding the foot in the stirrup. Heels prevent the foot from slipping and therefore ensure that the rider stays in the saddle. The pointed toe of horse riding boots ensures that they can be inserted in the stirrup with ease. Almost knee high, the traditional horse riding boots also ensured that the rider’s legs were not pinched or chaffed due to the saddle. These were almost always made from cowhide though more exotic hides like elk, alligator, snake, ostrich and elephant are being used now. The tall shaft of the horse riding boots ensured that the boots were held in place while the loose fitting and absence of lace ensured that the horse riding boots would come off in the event of a fall. It is important that horse riding boots come off easily because, if they do not, the rider can be dragged along with a frenzied horse if he gets unseated for some reason.

Though the design for horse riding boots that is accepted as standard has changed with the heel becoming shorter and rounded and squared toes coming into the market, the basic levels of safety are still kept in mind while manufacturing the various kinds.

The main types of horse riding boots that are considered by horse riders today are field horse riding boots, hunt horse riding boots, dressage horse riding boots and paddock horse riding boots. Each of these has their own characteristics and has adopted some aspects of the traditional horse riding boots.

- Field horse riding boots â€" Field boots are generally used when riding in a short stirrup. They provide a certain amount of slack. Generally laced up to the ankle, field horse riding boots are therefore, ideal for short jumps, fox hunting, show or event jumping and fence work.

- Dressage horse riding boots â€" These boots are used mainly for dressage competitions. They are firmer and stiffer than field boots but can also be used for fox jumping and show jumping.

- Hunt horse riding boots â€" The hunt boots are used mainly for fox hunting. They are similar to dressage horse riding boots but have a cuff at the top.

- Paddock horse riding boots â€" The most common of the horse riding boots, paddock boots are also sometimes known as Jodhpur boots. They are meant for everyday use, are generally ankle high and are used along with half chaps. In most cases, this is the option that is chosen for children since paddock shoes are smaller and cheaper. Sometimes, paddock shoes have additional cushion in the form of toe caps. They also have zippers so that wearing them or taking them off is relatively easier.

The key aspects that you need to keep in mind while horse riding boots are comfort and fit. The horse riding boots that you buy should be made from soft leather and should be padded in the inside. Horse riding boots should also fit snugly. Chose horse riding boots that have an adjustable lace till the ankle so that you can tighten the boots based on how much is comfortable. If you are choosing horse riding boots that have a high shaft, ensure that putting them on or taking them off is easy. You may also need to invest in boot hooks to wear horse riding boots and a boot jack to take them off.