Monday, June 8, 2009

'd ugly truth 'bout my boots!

Wile I do need a new pair of fashionable boots to wear out on the town, my ol'n'faithful everyday riding boots will remain the same.... as they have for a decade.

I certainly have been given a rough time about my boots, and for good reason....

The ugly truth is that they really are quite terribly, unabashedly ugly.

I love them anyways! And I think that they say a heck of a lot more about me than some fancy dancy, high flutin' toe pinchers, let me tell you!

Because my boots and I, we've got history!

I remember the day my Momma bought me these boots, it was my 18th Birthday and I was so tickled pink I insisted on wearing them everywhere...even though it was July and hotter than Hades and within an hour my heel's were bleeding and hurt so bad I nearly cried .... But I loved them anyways, my new Justin's....

As I said, my boots say a lot about me.... for instance... Why lace-ups?

Because back then I thought "real" cowgirls wore lace-ups. There was a time when I tried to be everything I thought a cowgirl should be- I rode the rankest horses, wore a belt buckle, Wranglers, rain slickers and a cowboy hat just to ride down the road. I watched rodeo, ran barrels and tried to learn to throw a rope. I thought if I wore the right boots, rode my pony hard and fast and learned the ropes (literally) one day I'd be a real cowgirl too....

Now "one day" has come and gone, and while I'm still not a "real" cowgirl, I am a real horsewoman. My boots, they tell the story of the dues I paid to get to where I am today. They bare the scars, wear, tear and crackle of having spent years sloshing through Fall's muddy pastures, riding in the rain and snow and kicking dirt ...

And these toes... they've kicked their fair share of dirt....

.... kicked dirt in boredom, frustration, anger, shyness, contemplation and just for the hell of it. These toes have drawn lines in the dirt to mark a finish line, to explain a pattern and while being drug behind a horse.
And these heels have been hard at work too...

.... they've dug trenches for water troughs, filled in gofer holes, driven a hip in or a ribcage out, and even taken a rest on a fence rail on occasion.....
These boots have seen me through more rain, snow, crap and mud than you can shake a stick at... and through it all they've held together....every single stitch...but one...
These boots carry the sweat of Sage, Truck, Jag, Sunday, Loachan, Sonny, Ellie, Kara, Cowboy, Slyder, Abby, Keo, Rosie, Rio, Dixie, Shaunti, Chevy, Riley, Sugar, Chief, Jablo, Trouble, Harley, Spinner and many others...
Each horse has made their mark....
On my boots and in my heart....

No matter how ugly, weathered or lined.....

my Justin's have become with time....
Or how lame it is that I've made this rhyme....
I love' em....
just 'cause, they're mine.


  1. LOL, so well done Chelsi!!! I remember when I gave you those boots too, and you certainly did wear them morning, noon and night. In fact, I think all through the night based on the way the sheets looked in the morning! I also remember looking forever for the right pair of spurs and jingles for you too wear as well.

    I couldn't help but think about how your boots look to me now and how I see them differently, as I reflect on the number of times you have hopped into the car after being at the horse, or taking your lessons, or mucked out the barn or just wanted to go shopping. Didn't matter to you that you carried a little bit of earth from every place you had stepped that day, lol. I share in the warmth that you do as I see your boots as the memories flood in as I look at them.

    I am sure there will come a time when you might be reminded of those boots as you look in the mirror and see the weathering of time in your face. It to will make you think of the hours of joy the people in your life bring you, the sorrow of those you've lost and the love that twinkles in your eyes as you reflect on the ones that you love around you. I smiled and then laughed out loud as you went on with your poem, thinking how true that is and would apply to so many people in life, let alone a well worn, story telling pair of boots!


  2. That's quite a tribute. A pair of boots can be your best friend on a long day or your worst enemy.

    But, girl...How the heck have you gotten those boots to last so long?

    I'm lucky if I get two years out of a pair. I've got my work boots duck taped now and am looking for another pair to replace them. No way am I turning my new Boulet's into work boots.;)

  3. Wow! You still have the same boots? I've had my Ariat lacers for 5 yrs now, but I have other pairs so I can mix them up. I love boots. I have numerous pairs. Some for riding, and some for just going out. I'd have a hundred pairs if I could!
    Love your rhyme!

  4. I especially like these lines:
    Each horse has made their mark,
    on my boots and in my heart.

    Good post Chels!! But I can't believe you've had the same boots all these years. Mine never last that long!

  5. I'm with BEC, how in the heck have they lasted this long!!! I too had those boots back in the 90's, I loved them but of course mine fell apart LOL!! I was actually disappointed a few months ago because I was searching for some lace ups for my daughter and couldn't find any "real" ones. She is 10 and the only ones I could find were light up when you walk...Not thinking she was going to like that LOL!!

    Love the post!!

  6. Bite your tongue, woman! We're ALL real cowgirls! It's what's in your heart, not what's on your feet or anywhere else.

    Ride 'em, girl!

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  8. My boots last a while too - not that long - but if I get them resoled they last another year or two. What happens is I start breaking them down in places they can't repair - and they start hurting my feet. (If you wear old boots long enough they will start to reform your feet will start to conform to your worn out boots) So I have to get them replaced - usually I am riding so much that foot pain, ankle pain and/or knee pain, tell me it time for new foot wear.

  9. Great pics of the boots! Love them! I was totally bummed when I saw that PW post this morning and had missed that giveaway!

    Great post!

  10. did they last this long? I dont know! Like I said, they have been a really great pair of boots...they are technically not a riding boot (they are a work boot) and are really heavily stitched (see above)...they also have a rubber sole that has held up really well. You also have to remember that I've had a few years here and there in that time with no 8 years - 2 or more years with no horses....and they are holding together but in no way less than 5 years hard use....they are a good pair of boots! Fit like a glove (literally), keep my feet dry, nice no slip soles, good ankle I said, I love'em!

  11. Hi there, I have just found your blog and I love it. This post was great, I have boots like yours but I never looked at them the way you look at yours untill now. All the horses they have come across, the different states and the very dissaproving looks from the "upidys".

    I do have to say, being a cowgirl is not on the outside. It's all on the inside. I have dealt with horses and such all my life but I am terrified of being on the ground next to a cow. haha Does that make me less of a cowgirl? I don't think so. Chin up, your as much a cowgirl as the rest of us.

  12. Way to go here Chelsi. Great pix, and fantastic post ;)

    We can always count on you for another perspective on things!

    Wish my Ariats had lasted as long as your Justins... they blew away to dust a few years back and I still miss them! LOL

  13. Lovely post - I too love my boots, beat up and all.

  14. I have a pair of boots about a decade old. They took a 5 year break when I lived in Alaska, because they just weren't suitable for walking on ice. But, they have held up wonderfully!

  15. That could go on a poster. I loved it. I couldn't wait to see the boots at the end. beautiful writing.

  16. Who knew photos of boots could be so "moody" - they are beautiful shots. Great post!

  17. Aww, this was a great post, Chelsi.

    My boots look a lot like yours actually. I don't own any cowboy boots anymore. When we moved to South Carolina, I ended up giving them away, 'cause noone wore cowboy anything in the south.
    I sort of miss them, too, but I do love my workin' boots so much better :)


  18. some one needs to send this to Justin boots - it could be their next campaign!

    Great pics....

  19. Wow, I love your blog. Really great pictures and voice. I stumbled onto it this morning. Its great to know I am not the only crazy horse person out there. Keep up the great posts.