Like a lot of people, my calves are different sizes. Ever since I got kicked in the knee by a different horse while cantering (have I shared that story? It's a good one) and was not put on crutches for my recovery period, I've had one calf much bigger than the other.
Last year, I paid $50 on Ebay for nearly new Ariat Heritage boots to replace my seven year old Devon Aires. I bought them in my half chap size, knowing that my half chaps took a painful, right leg-numbing year to stretch out. I swore I would wear the Heritage boots a lot and break them in fast.
And then every night before a show I'd go "Crap...forgot again." And I'd ride with one boot partially unzipped in the show, because I like ruining great pictures. And I don't like my foot going numb.
I filled a bathtub with warm water, and got into it wearing the boots, thicker socks than I normally wear, and show breeches, and submerged the boots. I wasn't able to zip them at first, then I was and my foot went numb, then I unzipped them, then I zipped them again...and my foot didn't go numb. I wore them until they were dry.
They really did stretch. And I actually managed to get and keep them zipped for the duration of the show.
What the bathtub method does to them long term, I'm not sure, I don't think I'd do this with expensive boots, but when you're working with $50 eBay boots, anything goes.
|Not a bad look for $50 boots, free breeches, and a $30 jacket.|