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Stirrup Irons and Stirrup Leathers

Stirrup Irons and Stirrup Leathers

Stirrup irons hold the foot of the rider and, as you might suspect, it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of extra. In fact, it’s a huge market with stirrups varying in size, colour, material, purpose and tread. Yes, tread will also become a consideration you never thought you’d need.

The tread is the surface area of the stirrup iron where the rider places their foot, and it’s designed to provide grip and stability.

The most common types of tread found on stirrup irons are:

  • Traditional Rubber. Rubber treads are usually replaceable and can be easily swapped if they become worn;

  • Cheese Grater. This tread features sharp, pointed metal ridges that resemble … a cheese grater. Believed to offer a superior grip, this tread is quite popular in eventing;

  • Wide Footbed. This is an option for people with wider feet or for those looking for a more secure feeling in their stirrup iron.

And now back to stirrup irons. Whether you want them made of plastic, aluminium, bow-shaped to correct rider leg position, shock-absorbing so they are kind on your joints, or built with a safety detail designed to release your foot should you come off, there is something for everyone.

When it comes to finding your stirrup size, measure the width of your foot at the ball of your foot and add an inch.

When it comes to stirrup leathers, you’re in less complicated territory.

Stirrup leathers are the straps that attach your irons to the saddle, and they tend to come in black or brown.

There is more choice in length, but what you choose will largely depend on the length of your own legs and the discipline you choose, so longer stirrup leathers for dressage etc.

When it comes to design choice, it basically boils down to a double strap or a single/mono strap. Some riders prefer the mono strap for closer contact with the horse.

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