Product Review: DeNiro Boots

Tall boots are one of the big investments for competitive equestrians, and as such I think many of use seek guidance when choosing a brand. Not only do we want our boots to fit and look nice, but we want to know that they will last for more then a few months. I have heard absolute horror stories about many brands of tall boots falling apart after limited usage, and IMO that is just not acceptable. I have refereed to my DeNiro boots a few times, but I felt like it was time to do them justice with a formal review.

Company: DeNiro

Style: Classic Long Riding Boots w/ laces and custom calf and height measurements

Color: Brown and Black

Cost: Excluding VAT and including shipping, approx $700-800


Ignore the lack of quarter round, the floors are new
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Horse Show Recap Day 1

I want to do Rio’s first real show justice so I’ll be splitting this into 2 posts. They will also be super media heavy, so prepare yourself!

Part of our lovely show set-up

After work on Friday I met Trainer at the show facility, Valhalla Stables, around 4:30. She had already schooled both her horses so I tacked up for my schooling ride. My classes were scheduled to be in the covered ring so we headed that way.

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Trainers: Are they Gods?

So I recently read this awesome  Amateurs Like Us blog on the Chronicle. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you check it out. In short, it praises the deserving trainers, and points out that not all trainers are made equal. I related REALLY hard to this article.

Growing up, I rode with the same dressage trainer for all of my junior years. I think I started with her around 8 or 9 years old, and didn’t stop until I left for college, so we were together for a good 10 yrs. I respected, somewhat feared, and totally idolized her. She was the BEST trainer I could have hoped for. Everything I know about flatting a horse, I owe to her. I started riding with various other trainers in high school for jumping instruction,  but I always continued my dressage lessons. I still hear her voice in my head every time I ride. I will never be able to thank her enough.

My old trainer aka idol in black- Debbie Cinotto
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Last Lesson Before the Show

So I did a little bit better setting up my phone on the tripod today- it’s not at an angle this time!

Today was the last lesson before our schooling show this coming weekend. It went really well! Rio is learning to horse quite well these days. The first few jumps during our ride always seem to be the best; it’s like he remembers what I want from prior rides and gives 110% right out of the gate. After about 10-15 jumping efforts though things tend to start to deteriorate a little and small mistakes start creeping in. Rio gets tired and I also tend to get a bit sloppier/tired as well and I don’t always help him when he needs it. It’s all super little stuff too, like he gets a bit behind my leg and a bit on the forehand and I wait a bit too long to correct it and then we get an awkward distance. Considering how far he has come in the past few months, I am THRILLED with how well he is doing, and try really hard to not let those little miscommunication and general lack of stamina throw off our mojo.

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Money Woes of the Adult Ammy Life

How I feel on payday


I realize it’s the first of the month, so board/training fees due. NBD. Done, paid.

Oh right, farrier came too, here you go- paid.

Realize I am almost out of Pentosan, kinda annoying timing but no problem, order more.

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My Horse is a Genius

Rio and I had our ritual Sunday lesson this afternoon, and he could not have been more perfect. Everything is clicking- the canter work, our distances, our general flow. Even his leads changes were pretty stellar today! I think we got every one I asked for except one. I seriously cannot believe he has gotten the hang of lead changes in let’s see… 5 rides?! Not even kidding. Rio must be a horsey genius. Anyway- not much to report other then a great baby horse. I am super excited to take him to a show in 2 weeks!

Please forgive the angle- apparently I didn’t get my phone on the chair very straight LOL.

Rio4.30.17 from Kelly on Vimeo.

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2 Ponies for the Week

Let’s start with a few quick updates!

Cascai struts his stuff

I had a great hack with Rio on Monday. I have been struggling a bit with whether or not to use a flash on him. He still acts like a baby with his mouth, and wants to gape it when I put pressure on him to work harder, such as with the more collected canter we’ve been schooling lately. Since he will show in the hunter ring, I wasn’t sure that a flash was the answer. I’ve had his teeth done twice in the past year- so he should be comfortable on that front. I decided that I wanted to try a flash, just to remind him to accept the contact and not just try and avoid it. I am not planning on using it every ride, as I don’t want to become dependent on it. Rio had a soft mouth, I think he just needs to learn that avoidance isn’t the answer. I would really like your thoughts and input though- as I am not sure this is the best approach. Any advice is appreciated!

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Doubting the Vision

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Sometimes I doubt. I doubt that I have made the right decisions, that I am on the right path, and that I will be able to tell the difference. I try to push it down, but sometimes that seed of doubt creeps to the surface, like an ugly zit that just won’t go away!


Rio just got body clipped, isn’t he just the hunkiest?!
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