I only noticed what a wreck these half chaps were the other day. I mean, I knew they were getting some wear and tear, but they are actually in utter bits.

I am very proud.

Not only because I’m not going off and spending money where I needn’t — sure, these’ll go another three or four months at least — but also because I’ve had them for years, and I guess I must be doing something right, because I think they are worn out in all the right places.

I bought these … at least, wow, five years ago? I remember going to meet my lift from the LUAS, and struggling to zip these up before I got to the yard. Now, they’re getting to be that bit too big, a combination of five years of breaking them in, and the loss of a few centimetres on my calves.

I’ve got another pair with blue stars. I got those mended because they are only starting to wear out — they are amateurs compared to these — and I’m saving them for when these are done.

Given the state of them, you’d think they were done, wouldn’t you? I think I am waiting until they unravel in the middle of a lesson!

I am proud of them, and myself. I have begun my seventh year of horseriding, making new gains, still working on some of the same issues [I can still be wobbly, and my hands can still be a bit loud] and these — these are proof to me that I have hung in there. That they are indeed worn out in all the right places, so I must be improving.

I had no idea, even though I loved the horses straightaway, even though I wanted to improve and learn, that I would be here long enough to completely blow out a pair of half chaps. I’ll hate to see them go! Long may they — ha, ha — reign.

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