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What stirrups to choose for horseback riding?

Published: 2022-09-01 10:42:29 Categories: Guides Rss feed


Comfortable horseback riding stirrups provide secure, stable support and affect the rider's seat in the saddle, so it is advisable to ensure that this item - like the rest of your riding equipment - is carefully chosen in order to suit your needs. Which stirrups are a good choice? Let's have a look.

Stirrups are the basic piece of equestrian equipment that is attached to both sides of the saddle by stirrup leathers. Their function is very simple - slip your feet into the stirrups and lean on them to achieve a more secure seat. Stirrups are responsible for supporting the rider's tendons, muscles and joints as well as absorbing any shocks. Although many riders will simply use the stirrups that came with the saddle or "happened to be there", you may want to devote a bit more attention to this piece of equipment. Good stirrups provide a great deal of riding comfort, and some models have additional features that ensure safety in the event of a fall.

Choosing stirrups for horse riding

In Equishop you will find equestrian stirrups from many renowned manufacturers, which vary in the materials used and the design details. Make sure you read the information on each chosen model, as it is the details that affect the comfort of the ride. Examples


  • Prestige Italia Stephi stirrups have a dedicated slot for the stirrups so that they are slightly angled, making it easier to find the stirrup if your foot falls out of it while riding.
  • Equiline X-Cel stirrups have an angled part where the rider leans his or her foot, making it easier to hold the correct posture in the saddle. What's more, they are equipped with a non-slip tread and a safety system.
  • Freejump Air’s Custom stirrups feature a shock absorbing system and special cushioning, a wide footbed with tread that provides firm support, and an angled eye, which enables the rider to lower the heel for a better seat.

Thanks to such features, you can choose stirrups perfectly suited to your individual needs. 

The usual classification of stirrups divides their types according to equestrian disciplines:

  • Dressage stirrups — elegant, thin, tapered at the top, with a minimalistic design.
  • Jumping stirrups — with cushioned pad, non-slip tread and wider foot support.
  • Racing stirrups — for the comfort of riders who spend many hours in the saddle, this type of stirrup is often supplied with a basket that prevents the foot from falling deep into the stirrup.
  • Western stirrups — wide, heavy, often made of leather, with a deep base.

Stirrups can also be divided according to the material they are made of. While classic metal stirrups are very durable and quite heavy, their weight makes it easy to quickly locate the stirrup if you lose it while riding. Plastic, stainless steel and aluminium stirrups are gaining in popularity. They are significantly lighter, yet durable, and easy to maintain, but for beginners their light weight is likely to be a disadvantage as they may feel poorly supported.

When choosing stirrups, pay attention to the tread. This part prevents your foot from sliding in the stirrup. Some stirrups have a rubber tread, others feature metal tabs. A proper tread is of particular importance for cross-country riders, jumpers and those who frequently ride off-road.

How to determine the stirrup size?

Stirrups are available in several sizes. The size determines the width of the footbed, which is where the shoe rests against the stirrup. Stirrups that are too large will make it difficult to sit properly and can easily be 'lost', while stirrups that are too narrow pose a risk of getting stuck and cause discomfort while riding. We can estimate the correct stirrup width by measuring the width of the shoe at the point where it rests against the stirrup and then adding 2.5-3 cm. The ideal stirrup width is one where there is a toe width of space left on either side of the foot.

We hope this article will encourage every horse rider to take a closer look at their stirrups. Perhaps it will even inspire you to look for a more comfortable model? Look out in particular for the so-called safety stirrups, whose arm opens in the event of a fall and prevents the foot from getting stuck. This solution protects against dangerous consequences of an accident and improves riding safety.

Have you already chosen your stirrups and are looking for a matching pair of stirrup leathers? Check out the Stirrup Leathers section and find the best match for you.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Equestrian store: +48 784 039 784


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