Tall boots or paddock boots with half chaps? - The Horse Forum
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  • 1 Post By gigem88
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-25-2015, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Tall boots or paddock boots with half chaps?

I am about to start horse riding lessons and the riding school says that I need to wear breeches, tall boots, gloves, a helmet, and a belt to go with my breeches. My question is this. Are tall boots better than paddock boots with half chaps? Which is more comfortable? Which is better for starting? Which is more comfortable at first? I am going to be riding English. Any feedback is appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-25-2015, 04:26 PM
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Personally I almost always ride with paddock boots/half chaps rather than tall boots. I have a pair of tall boots that I almost exclusively use for shows or clinics, and for the occasional ride to keep them broken in. Nice tall boots are expensive, so I wouldn't want to ride in them on a daily basis. Half chaps and paddock boots are a lot cheaper to buy high quality, so I'd recommend them for people just starting out... especially if you're not sure that you're really going to stick with riding. Paddock boots/half chaps are much more comfortable, especially if you're not spending the money on top of the line boots, and they don't require breaking in like tall boots.

There's no reason why a riding school should insist of tall boots instead of half chaps unless they're going for everyone having a certain English riding "look". That may be the case, especially if they're requiring you to wear a belt as well. Everything else is fairly typical, though I know plenty of people that don't ride in gloves. I'd ask them why tall boots and if half chaps would be ok instead. Personally, I wouldn't take lessons for someone that required me to wear tall boots, especially as a beginner rider

The only time I'd say that you NEED tall boots is for showing. Generally speaking I don't think that paddock boots/half chaps are appropriate for showing, but they're just fine for lessons and fun riding IMO.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-25-2015, 07:41 PM
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What duckdodgers said, plus they are soooooo hot! I don't like my feet to be hot so taking off the half chaps helps a lot. I only use my tall boots for showing.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-25-2015, 09:09 PM
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Personally, I cannot stand paddock boots and half chaps. I've ridden in field boots every single ride for at least the last 5-6 years. My field boots are extremely comfortable. However, when I began taking lessons, I purchased paddock boots and a decent pair of chaps. They are typically more common with riders for schooling but field boots work as well.

I would suggest paddock boots + chaps for the time being. Field boots (vs. paddock boots) aren't required unless you do rated shows.

Also, don't cheap out on boots, whether they're field or paddock boots! Shoes, especially in the horsey world, are something you always want to invest some money into.

All in all, purchase the best quality boots you can (within your budget). Tryout at the tack shop both style of boots and see which style you prefer!

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post #5 of 8 Old 07-25-2015, 10:08 PM
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This is a good question! I was lucky enough to have a custom made pair of tall boots made for me about 15 years ago. They are just now getting worn out. So, I have been thinking...is it best to replace them with paddock boots and half chaps....?? I love my tall boots but the expense can be prohibitive. I guess it would depend on your budget and how much showing you're planning. I don't think I've seen anyone do a dressage test with half chaps so I suppose it would depend on your "English" discipline and what's acceptable.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-25-2015, 10:24 PM
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I have tall boots for polo and ranch work in heavy brush.

I'm going to paddock boots and half chaps. More versatile.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-25-2015, 10:35 PM
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If you are just starting out, yes the half chaps and paddock boots are the way to go. For years I schooled with those, saved the tall boots for showing. Now I got a good deal on some Ariat tall boots, since I have replace to the paddock boots (hole in the sole after 30 years, got my money's worth, lol), my former tall boots are the schooling ones and the new Ariats are the show ones.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-25-2015, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Kay Armstrong View Post
I don't think I've seen anyone do a dressage test with half chaps so I suppose it would depend on your "English" discipline and what's acceptable.
I ride dressage in half chaps I've yet to find a pair of off-the-shelf tall boots to fit me, so I'll continue riding in the half chaps until the rules require tall boots (at 2nd level, it'll be my reward to myself for finally getting there!) FWIW, I do see plenty of other people in half chaps at my level, too!

I'd expect it to be more of an issue in the Hunter ring, where they tend to take appearance into account for the placings.

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