Sunday, January 20, 2013

Accidental New Boots.... and a (somewhat) Related Story

I accidentally got new boots.  How does that happen?  Here's how it went...

I have a plan to change colors for Showmanship to a dark teal.  I have the fabric and I have the ideas for the accent colors.  As all of us who do showmanship know, your boots must be the same color as your pants.  Quite simple for black, white or brown, not so simple for... oh pretty much any other color.

So how to jump over that little hurdle and into Showmanship perfection?

You re-color them, of course!  I've recolored my fair share of shoes for the stage.  I know the process and I know the supplies.  BUT I've not even attempted color matching yet and I have a pretty good idea about how well that'll work out ...  crappy.  I'm crappy at paint mixing.  I do NOT list that on my resume.  So I'm rather hesitant.  Also, a (free) pair of character heels I pull from stock and spray with the closest matching floral spray can (and viewed from 30+ feet and doing choreography) is lower risk than a pair of brand new $150 boots which will be seen up close and holding still.

There is a nice gal over in Pennsylvania who will match your boots to any fabric swatch for the very reasonable price of $60, plus your shipping costs.  If you'd like to paint them yourself and save a little cost, you can send her a swatch and she will also mix up the paint for you for $36.  You can check out her website at

So back to the "Accidental New Boots"... I've been stalking ebay for MONTHS and months looking for a pair of boots as Teal fodder.  I want a square-toe Ariat, size 7 that's either new or not too beat up to still look nice after a shiny paint job, and I don't want to pay more than $75, which is askind a LOT, I know. Though I have found that frequency and persistance and stealth last second bidding can sometimes yield very good results.  My barely used Ariat Crown Pro field boots?  $65 with shipping.  My worn-for-5-days-at-horse-camp Ariat round-toe zip paddocks?  $42 with shipping.  So this 'ain't my first rodeo.

So what did I find?  A BNWOT (Brand New WithOut Tags) pair of the sand and PINK Ariat Showbaby's I had been drooling over since they came out several years ago.  They're the same as my black showbaby's I bought in 2008/9 but they have PINK WINGTIPS. I had really really really wanted these back when they came out, but they were over $100 and certainly didn't NEED them and was convinced someone would make fun of me for them.

BUT they were the size and shape I wanted. They were listed at $50 with free shipping, but they had a "Make Offer" button.  In the 12+ years I've been buying and selling on ebay, I'd never attempted an offer.  BTW, making an offer means you have to buy it if your offer is accepted. I offered $40 because they were brand new, after all.  And they accepted!  So I had my future showmanship boots!  BUT....

BUT ... THEY ARE ADORABLE!!!!!  So I'm KEEPING them!  I'm keeping them PINK!!!!  So without intending to, I now have a new pair of just-for-fun boots.  Ooops, now I'm out of new SMS boots... well, more on that in another post.


A (somewhat) Related Story: The Story of Uta.

This reminds me of the story of Uta.  Back in the long-long-ago-beforetime, I was a summer office assistant for a county extension office.  I really LOVED that job, I was like the 4-H county fair master of all things.  During my second year in the office and what was to be my final summer living at home (I planned to stay in my college town for the summer after my sophomore year so I could do more theatre.)  I decided I wanted a bunny.  Up until the summer before, I'd had barns full of chickens and ducks and geese and I missed having the critters.  I asked my parents for permission and of course received the question: "What will happen to the rabbit when you go back to school?"  I told my dad he could eat it.  He furrowed his brow at me but accepted.  I know how much he likes yummy bunny.

DON'T BE JUDGIE.  I grew up on a farm and all the animals I loved AND THEN ATE had a WAY higher quality of life AND a more humane death than anything you buy in a grocery store or eat at a restaurant.  Stepping off my soapbox and getting back to the story now.

I asked a 4H mom if she had any rabbits for sale and she showed me the most adorable rabbit I'd ever seen.  He was a purple-ribbon winning market (bred for meat) rabbit and was a half mini-rex and half mini-lop so his ears curled over in the middle.  I took him home for $4 after her son assured me he was more than willing to sell him and he happily took my cash.  He was the tamest rabbit I have ever encountered, having been handled by a 7 year old since birth.  Button could learn a thing or two...

I brought Uta (named after Uta Hagen, a famous acting teacher I had read about) into the living room to show my parents.  My dad took one look at that adorable fuzzy creature and yelled through a laugh: "I can't eat THAT!!!"  and we all laughed.

I enjoyed the rest of the summer with Uta. Serendipitously, one of the gals I worked with in the office building and I got to talking and turned out she and her husband were in the process of getting a first pet for their 5 year old.  So, at the end of the summer, Uta went to his third home and a custom-built multi-story cage with a grass run.  So happy ending:  Dad didn't eat Uta.

So as I opened the box of my brand new perfectly pink wingtip boots, I declared aloud: "I can't paint THAT!!!"  I really did.  It's sort of a "thing", see?  I can't eat that?  Get it?   They will not be painted.  They will live their lives in glory and shavings and arena dust and we'll all live happily ever after.

I rode in them today and Junior was superb.  We jogged teeny tiny circles around cones and backed figure-eights and did lead changes and roll backs.  I think the boots helped... and they match my spur straps... and they look better now with a little arena dust on them.  Everybody wins.


  1. Those are super cute, and I think I'd have to leave them pink too! I love the Ariat Showbabys, but I'm having a tough time finding a chocolate pair to match my showmanship pants. I started looking at the Justin boots, and they have a Gypsy line that's similar in style to the Ariat Showbaby/Fatbaby boots. They have some really pretty chocolate and pink styles just for me! They might have something you like, if you're open to Justins. I haven't had Justin boots in a long time, so I'll have to find somewhere to try on a pair and see how I like them.

  2. I love snagging good deals on Ebay. :) I think they are really cute and I too have loved the style since they came out, but just like you, cant justify another "fun" pair. I really want some with turquoise wingtips. :) BTW the bunny story is hilarious.

  3. You had me worried there for a minute! Clever you, getting a CUTE widdle bunny wabbit that Dad couldn't possibly have dished up for dinner.

    LOVE the pink boots. Not a Western rider, but if I was, I'd totally want these. Nice score!