Product Review: Patent leather horse boots?

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE. Check these out, from Dream Horse Studios.

The patent leather look is all the rage at horse shows these days.

From bridles…



…to boots…



…and everything in between, a high-gloss finish makes ordinary horse stuff look a little extra flash. So when I found out that Dream Horse Studios was making patent leather horse boots, I HAD to be the first one in line to try them out.

Available in a wide range of colors, the Carnivale Boot is fun and funky for schooling and fancy enough for the show ring–if you dare!



I definitely have some riding buddies who wouldn’t think twice about cantering into the show jumping ring in pink open-front boots, but for me midnight blue was the perfect compromise: unique yet conservative enough not to offend the old guard too severely. My navy show coat will look smart with them, and with that white stitching detail…



Pitch black on a grey, cocoa brown on a chestnut or blizzard white on a dark bay would fit right into even the most conservatively dressed horse’s wardrobe. As for the more Crayola-inspired hues, with jumper ring fashion getting edgier and edgier all the time…


Animo Ruitersport

…a burst of patent leather color is daring but not over-the-top.

The full-sized boots, with adjustable elastic straps and stud closures, fit Esprit’s legs like a glove. They’re also available in pony, cob, oversize and draft. Detailed sizing instructions are on the website here.

The boots are available with and without the fleece lining, which although not Merino sheepskin looks plush and probably a lot easier to care for. The website notes that they can be spot cleaned with a mild soap and a little water and kept fluffy with a good brushing. I like mine sans fleece just because it seems like I’m always sloshing around in some sort of disgusting muck. Also, confessions of a former H/A Pony Clubber who spent the first 20 years of her life skirting the wrath of cranky examiners, I HATE cleaning tack–if I can hose it off, hang it on a drying rack and get on with my life, I’m a happy camper. With a tough, hard-wearing outer shell, these boots seem like they will be a worthy opponent for my abuse.

Now for the fun part: the test drive.


I meant to check the boots after warming up to make sure they hadn’t slipped, but I totally forgot–no big deal because they stayed perfectly in place throughout my jump school. The secret to their security, I think, are the ridges that snuggle in against the split bone (open-front) and above the fetlock (ankle boot). Coupled with a butter-soft calfskin leather lining, these gentle anchors keep the boots from rubbing the delicate skin of the lower leg. Other jewels in their crown: they’re cut-out behind the knee for freer movement, they’re super lightweight and their form-fitting style looks to be borrowed from some much pricier boot models. Speaking of price, a full set is $85 for the fleece-lined and $90 for the calfskin-lined–how’s that for a bargain?

I can totally see these boots being the jumper world’s latest must-have accessory. For now, they are available for preorder and will be ready to ship within 4-6 weeks. Check them out, along with Dream Horse’s other boot offerings, here.

Founded by Lauren Dukes of Birchwood, Tennessee, Dream Horse Studios is an up-and-coming product line with new items being rolled out as frequently as Lauren is able to dream them up. From custom beaded leatherwork to top-quality bridles and swoon-worthy boots, Lauren’s eye for design and penchant for thinking outside the box is evident in everything she creates.

Click to view slideshow:

Lauren explains,

In the summer of 2012, I began making beaded browbands and dog collars for my own animals as a way of passing the time while I recovered from an accident that kept me out of the saddle for several months. My projects were well received by friends and family, and I began taking orders for a limited number of products in October. Thanks to some careful social media marketing and a loyal customer base, interest in Dream Horse Studios grew steadily for the next few months.

“Things really started taking off when Dream Horse Studios launched a small line of high quality, affordably priced leather jumping boots. The boots immediately received a great reception in the hunter-jumper community, where riders were thrilled to find sets of four show-ready boots for less than the cost of a pair from some of the major manufacturers.

“Emboldened by the favorable response I gathered from launching the Churchill, Cambridge and Cardiff boot designs, I began exploring more daring options. I worked diligently to design two models that would allow riders to add a little fun to their schooling routines: the Carnivale, an edgy design featuring a patent leather outer shell in 12 different colors, and the Calypso, a slightly-less-risky design that features a traditional leather outer shell with a colored calfskin lining. Knowing that anything that departs from the tried-and-true in the horse world can be hit or miss, I hesitantly debuted both models on Facebook and expected riders to laugh me out of town. Surprise, surprise! The Carnivale and Calypso designs were received with astounding popularity.”

Lauren recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to generate the funds necessary to bring new designs from the prototype phase into full production, with rewards and discounts offered to those who contribute–you can check it out here.

Can’t wait to see what Lauren has in store for us next! This photo of the world’s first pink patent leather sport boot was leaked on Dream Horse Studio’s Facebook page earlier this week… #LOVE





Leave a Comment