Weathered. I have seen many wonderful responses to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: weathered doors and windows, buildings, stones… But my response is a bit different. It is a pair of Ariat paddock boots. I don’t ride in them as I ride in tall boots but I wear these around the barn, to horse shows and they have been through sand, dirt, mud and muck. And they have travelled abroad!
I bought them for a trip to England, in 2007, while my daughter was there at university. She had a horse there and suggested we go for a hack together. I did not want to try to get my tall boots into my suitcase so I bought these paddock boots. They used to look quite smart so I wore them, on the plane, and on the streets of London, before going to Gloucestershire to join my daughter for the country hack.
She had borrowed a horse for me to ride and we set off along a country road on a nice winter’s day. What could be more pleasant? After we had been out for about half an hour my daughter stopped her horse and dismounted.
“Why are you getting off?” I asked.
“Around the next corner there is a farm with a pot bellied pig. It always comes running out and Teddy spooks and gets in a real state. So I just get off and walk him past the pig and then get back on.”
“What about the horse I’m on?” I asked.
“Oh he’s fine.” She replied.
Around the corner we went and sure enough, out came a black pot bellied pig running towards us snuffling and snorting. My daughter’s horse did look quite frightened but he followed her as she led him past the snorting pig. The horse that I was on barely gave the pig a glance. Once we had passed the pig he gave us a snort of farewell and went back to his farm.
These eleven year old boots are now very weathered and may soon have to be retired but when I look at them I always remember that pig and my day out in the English countryside.
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