Stirrups in their simplest form are designed to hold our foot in place and help provide security whilst in the saddle. There is now a plethora of stirrup choices out there with varying designs and features including grip, adjustable bases and safety features, and they sometimes hefty price tags. |
The market for stirrups has very much opened up in recent years. There are more designs out there as well as more brands also selling this product so for the end user and buyer there is for sure a much wider range of choice. In fact, the range of choice has never been better.
How do I choose the right stirrups? Correct Size Stirrup
Firstly, no matter what design stirrup we choose the sizing is everything a stirrup that is to small could lead to your foot becoming stuck in the iron if you fall off the horse. With the ball of the foot in the stirrup, you want to allow ½ an inch spacing on each side between the side of your boot/foot and the edge of the stirrup iron.
Horse Safety stirrups
In my opinion, this should be essential, the horror of a horse rider being dragged and trampled if a foot becomes stuck should just not be happening anymore with the amount of modern technology available (This could avoid a very serious injury to the rider). There are many different types of safety stirrups now and we will be reviewing a few of them below.
Safety stirrups are stirrups that allow your foot to be safely released from the stirrup when you have a fall from a horse (these could be especially helpful for Cross country and hunting disciplines when the horse is likely to be galloping and in a large space).
The weight of the stirrup can also be an important factor especially within racing, endurance, eventing where the horse must travel long distances and/or at high speeds.
The design of the stirrup, is it a fixed base or some innovative stirrups have bases that pivot in 2 or 4 directions simultaneously, allowing greater comfort and flexibility to help alleviate tension and pain in the hips, knees and ankles by softening the impact on joints, great for riders that suffer from aches and pains when in the saddle. Also, the grip on the base should be considered for riders foot security and to help to stop slipping. Flex-On Stirrups are for sure one of the main and major brands out there in the market offering a very high end product.
Overall, when it comes down to it and how people ride these days, stirrups are a stable part of horse riding overall. Even more key as touch on in many of the points made and raised here, the design needs to be strong and robust enough to allow for a safe and effective overall horse riding experience.
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