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Falling in Love

Anticipation was killing me. Hearing that the parcel I had been expecting from Equiclass was waiting for me at home, the day couldn’t go quick enough. I got off the bus and raced towards the house, bursting through the door breathless I looked around and I saw the box waiting for me on the side. I had waited for this day for so long and they were finally here!

Lifting the lid from the box, I took a deep breath, the rich sent of quality Italian leather flooded my nostrils. Carefully peeling pack the tissue paper, I took a moment to admire them, perfect and pristine, never worn before. Navy blue patent, so dark it could be mistaken for black shone back up at my adoring eyes, I reached out a hand to stroke the perfect smooth leather as if under a spell, beautiful! I watched the precious crystals sparkle in their anaconda trim as I lifted one boot from the box catching the sunlight and I fell in love with them all over again.

I couldn’t wait to try them on and I wasn’t disappointed. These are made to measure boots, hand made to order in Italy and I’d been measured perfectly by Gina from Equiclass at Bramham Horse Trials. The foot fitted like a glove, the zip pulled up with just the right amount of tension and they felt blissful, but oh my goodness how amazing they looked. I couldn’t wait for my first chance to wear them in competition, we were going to look so sassy!!!

Soon enough the first outing for my gorgeous navy Equiclass boots came around, we’d arrived at Manor Grange for a My Quest qualifying round and I was getting dressed. I’d carefully chosen a beautiful matching blue jacket and hat to complete my look and was excited to feel so special. I was brought back to reality as mum yelled sharply for me to hurry up. As I pulled them on, I smiled to myself, I knew, yeah we did look sassy.

Today’s aim was to get enough points to qualify for the My Quest regional final. Going around in the warm up, we were a little tense, and I couldn't seem to get Katrina supple and listening, it was the first time we’d been to a different venue in a while and my goodness she felt spooky. But all too soon our time was up, and as we entered the ring. I sent Katrina into a brisk trot, determined to show her around the school on both reins before beginning and she started to settle. As the bell rang signalling the test to start, we passed the judges box one last time. Unfortunately, just as we passed by someone walked into the cafe behind the box, the big viewing windows making it easy for Katrina to startle at the sudden movement, skipping sideways as far as she could. And on that note, the test began.

The test felt diabolical, like riding a ticking time bomb. Katrina spooked repeatedly in that corner, I concentrated hard on damage limitation to salvage marks elsewhere, and I thanked my lucky stars that toward the end I managed to get her relaxed near to the judge’s end of the arena. By the time we did our final halt, I felt like crying. Giving her a pat on the neck, we left the arena, my spirit downcast, there was no way we'd get the score we needed.

After making Katrina comfortable, I set about focusing on making sure I had learned the Elementary test, but my mind kept flitting back to the disastrous Novice. Suddenly voices drifted to where I sat. I walked up to mum who held the scoring sheet in one hand and a red rosette in the other. She looked at me and smiled. "I don't know how you did it, but somehow you did." she handed the sheet to me, and I could only gape at my score. A solid 60% stood out on the paper, we had the points we needed!

In much higher spirits now, we were ready to take Elementary on. The morale boosting first score giving me so much confidence that I focused too much on riding down that center line like a boss. So much in fact that I almost forgot the very first halt, coming to an emergency stop between X and D rather than just at X, back to earth with a bump! Much more supple now, Katrina was sharp on my aids, feeling relaxed and in a rhythm. We accidentally broke in the canter, but I corrected it as quickly as I could before continuing onto the next move. Traveling down the center line for the last time, my smile was blinding, and we sashayed to a halt. Katrina, was cheeky and decided to strike a pose by sticking her hip out like a fashion model at the end of a runway. So it might not have been a square halt, but trust me, it had style!

I was really pleased with a score of 62% as we are literally just starting to dip our toes in Elementary. We qualified for the My Quest Northern regional finals in novice and elementary. Our lucky Equiclass boots obviously did the trick, the day had its ups and down, but that’s horses for you and my lovely boots made it special.

After an exhausting day, we got Katrina all settled in her stable, I looked down fondly at my new favourite pair of boots, stroking the smooth patent another time before placing the lid back one the box.

So you see, a pair of boots can make all the difference. xoxo Alanna

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