When riding a horse, some riders are not very concerned with the type of stirrups they ride in. Most only think about the proper length and then adapt themselves to whatever stirrup is attached to the saddle in use. However, the choice of stirrup can make a world of difference when it comes to your effectiveness and form, your comfort, the long-term impact of riding on your body and also, your safety. How do you choose the right stirrup for you? Choosing a stirrup is now a complicated process due to the evolution in tack technology. The stirrup design has become quite confusing, including the materials, shape, size and purpose of different models.
There is a staggering number of options at your disposal and you can select a pair that’s best for you by considering the following factors:
First and foremost, you need to consider your discipline before you choose stirrups. If you are planning to compete in a particular discipline such as show jumping or dressage, the specifications of the stirrups you need will differ. Go over your discipline’s rulebook to know about the tack prohibitions and allowances. There are specific guidelines in some disciplines about what is acceptable and what can disqualify you. For instance, dressage typically needs stirrups of traditional styles and colors.
Think about preferences
Every design of stirrup creates unique feelings when they are in use. There are thin bars in some light weight stirrups for creating less strain and bulk. Some riders enjoy this lightweight feel, other prefer the feel that a heavy weight stirrup can offer because it makes them feel secure. It is better to try out a variety of stirrup styles before you make a choice.
Address your physical needs
As there are advancements in stirrup design, the comfort that these options offer can also vary. If you have a previous medical condition or injury that makes it uncomfortable for you to ride, you can find a pair of stirrup that will be helpful. These days, you can find stirrups in the market that are set on helpful angles for easing the strain that would otherwise be put on your leg by the stirrup leather. As you put your weight in jointed stirrups, they flex and let you drop your heels down further thereby alleviating the strain on your hips and knees.
Consider safety concerns
If you are using fully closed stirrups while riding, there is a risk that you will get hung up if you fall and your boot slips through the stirrup. There are a wide array of safety stirrups that are designed to break open or beak away in the event of a fall. Whether you opt for one of these safety stirrups or not depends on your comfort level, riding level and the requirements of your discipline.
Your price range
Stirrups can be found in a number of price ranges. From the cheap to the deluxe, you can find stirrups that are in accordance with your needs and requirements.