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How to choose the right stirrups for you?

Published: 2022-10-20 08:52:10 Categories: Guides Rss feed , Products Rss feed


Stirrups are one of the most essential parts of equestrian tack. Despite their small size, good and comfortable stirrups can make a great difference; this is often discovered by beginner riders quite quickly. How to choose the right stirrups? Check out our article to find out.

Stirrups’ function is quite straightforward – they are the point of support for the rider’s feet. However, correctly chosen stirrups can offer much more: they help a rider in maintaining a correct leg position and seat in the saddle, or even relieve the rider’s joints thanks to the shock absorption feature – this can be especially useful for riders that love long hacks and those that spend hours daily in the saddle. Those extra features can especially elevate the rider’s comfort, which is why getting a new pair of stirrups shouldn’t be a hasty decision.

Choosing the right stirrups

How to find the right stirrups for horse riding? Keeping in mind a few aspects will help you choose stirrups that are right for you.

Equestrian disciplines

Stirrups for dressage, jumping, endurance, and western have many differences. Those variations arise from the different needs of riders. For example, stirrups for endurance are often equipped with safety cages, which prevent the rider’s feet from slipping too deep during a long ride. Western stirrups are usually heavy, wide, and made of leather, whereas dressage ones are most often minimalistic and elegant. 

Stirrup sizes

Stirrups come in a few different sizes, which differ in width. Usually, those stirrup sizes vary from 10 cm to 12,5 cm (3,9 in. to 4,9 in.). The slimmer stirrups are dedicated to children and women, whereas the wider ones are most popular among men. Some riders choose wider stirrups for winter, which allows the heavier winter boots to fit more comfortably. You can also find stirrups smaller than 10 cm, which are made especially for the youngest riders. To find your size all you need to do is measure the width of your foot in a boot and add 2,5-3 cm to the result. The stirrup should be wide enough to leave a space of finger width on each side of the foot. Too big stirrups are easy to lose, and they might disturb the proper seat in the saddle. Too small stirrups are not only uncomfortable but can also pose danger – it’s easier for the foot to get stuck in the stirrup in case of a fall.

The weight of stirrups

Are heavy or light stirrups better for horse riding? The classic stirrups are rather heavy, and because of that, popular among many riders – heavier stirrups offer more stability and getting a foot back into them is much easier.  However, light stirrups are getting more and more popular. Light stirrups are less cumbersome for horses (which might be especially crucial e.g., during an endurance ride) and they won’t hit a horse’s side if lost during a ride. They might also be beneficial for nervous and sensitive horses. Most often though, the rider’s preference for stirrup weight plays the most crucial role.

Practical features

When getting new stirrups, it’s worth noticing if they have any extra features added by the manufacturer. Some models have features such as shock absorption, anti-slip treads, a profiled tread that helps the rider in maintaining a correct leg position or are easy to care for (e.g., thanks to a removable tread), Even an original color of the stirrup can be helpful – colorful stirrups are much easier to find among other equestrian tacks.

Safe stirrups

Safe stirrups are getting more and more popular. They’re designed to open in case of a fall and release the rider’s foot. The stirrups can be easily closed again and used as normal. This feature can prevent the dangerous consequences of a fall and significantly increase the rider’s safety. If you are thinking of getting new stirrups, then safety stirrups are worth considering, especially since manufacturers often ensure they are of the highest quality and equip them with extra features such as anti-slip tread and shock absorption, that will make your ride even more pleasant.

The right stirrup leathers will come in handy for your dream stirrups. Check out these leather stirrups for the hardest of rides: Prestige Italia stirrup leathers Mono

Equestrian store: +48 784 039 784


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