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Hey there! My name is Caroline and I am an intermediate rider preparing for my first horse trials :D It is in three weeks and I am still without my Tall Black Boots!! Unfortunately, we live quite a while from the nearest dover saddlery and the soonest possible date i could receive my boots is in a little under a week. This would only leave enough time for me to ride in them twice before trials. Any advice on how to safely break in boots without actually riding in them? I have heard of the water method but I don't think I'm quite brave enough to submerge my new $$$$ Tall Black Boots in a bath tub. Thank you in advance : )

and PS... any other advice you could throw my way about program riding, cross country, stadium jumping and anything else horse trials related would be amazing!!
 

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Never compeltely soak good boots and the only way for it to work is to wear them until they dry.
The best way is to either buy a product for stretching leather shoes that sprays inside or else steam the insides and wear them until dry. This should only take an hour or two. It is a far better method than soaking them or wearing wet socks inside.
You could also stuff them after steaming and wearing, to try and maintain the shape.
 

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Wear them in the shower, with warm water of course. Then, dry them and walk around the house with them on for a while(probably 15-30 minutes, depending on how stiff the leather is). When you're done, they should be almost fully broken in.

The warm water makes the leather pliable by causing the molecules in the leather to expand, so that when you're walking around in them they conform to your feet and ankles more easily.

This method has never failed for me.
 
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