Unusual army officer boots

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Hello all

First of all forgive me if I make any faux pas in forum etiquette as this is my first post here.

My mystery concerns a set of officer boots I was given as a present over 10 years ago in Warsaw (see attached photos) They were made by the bootmaker to the Polish army and from the parades that I attended then it seemed that this anomaly was present in most of the boots of the parading officers.

It is the unusual 'hump' at the back above the ankle containing a wooden splint running up the back of the boots - which I can only guess is there to keep the boot's form and prevent wrinkles in the leather..

Has anyone come across this peculiarity amongst army officer boots before and importantly would it be unsafe to use them as riding boots? They would certainly make a fantastic impression but would the wooden insert prevent or cause more damage to the leg in the event of a fall?

Pleased to hear if anyone can shed light here
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