“There’s simply no excuse for dirty boots,” says USEF horse show judge Andrea Meek. “I mean, really, it doesn’t take but a few seconds to have someone swipe a rub rag over your boots before you go into the show-ring.”
Meek comments that in hunter and hunt-seat equitation classes, overall horsemanship and quality of presentation counts. That’s because there is a definite amount of subjectivity involved in deciding the ribbons.
“If your boots are dirty and dusty,” Meek adds, “it gives the judge the impression that you just don’t care that much when you come in to perform. Or maybe that your schooling warm-up was so disastrous that you didn’t have a moment to think about your boots. All in all, knocking the arena dirt and dust off your riding boots is an easy, cheap way to influence the judge in a positive way.”