In the Irons - English Stirrups
Stirrups help the rider mount and balance in the saddle. Stirrups are connected to the saddle by the stirrup leathers running through a center hole of the stirrup iron and up through the stirrup bar on the saddle's tree. Designed to distribute the pressure from the rider throughout the saddle tree on the horse's back.
English stirrups come in a range of different sizes. The most common size is 4-3/4" for adults.
Technology is changing everything! Including the tack, we use with our horses. There are now so many options aside from the traditional fillis iron for English riders, that it can get overwhelming. Let's go over a few options and their differences to find the right pair for you!
Fillis Stirrup Irons
These are the timeless, classic, stirrup iron. Typically made from stainless steel or other metal alloys. The stirrup tread is easy to change if the rubber gets worn or if you want to change to a metal grip style.
Safety Stirrups / Peacock Irons
These are the second most popular style of stirrup iron but are most often used for young or green riders. If you were to fall off, the elastic outer side will release making sure that the rider doesn't get dragged by their feet from a spooking horse. You can purchase replacement packs for the leather and elastic safeties if yours gets old, breaks, or goes missing.
When dismounting it is important to make sure your body is clear of the open side of the safety stirrup as it is possible to get hung up on them.
With the latest trends and developments, safety stirrups have now become trendier, and more stylish for riders of all ages and levels. Magnetic releases of the outer arm can be found in a number of brands. The important feature is to make sure the rider can become loose in case of an emergency.
Ophena Magnetic Safety Stirrups - This unique style of the Ophena uses magnets in the rider's insole and the stirrup's footbed. Ophena Stirrups have been developed for the highest safety. Its open design minimizes the risk of your feet getting caught. And the magnetic system releases you safely in case of a fall.
Jointed Stirrup Irons
Riders who have joint aches and pains (most equestrians) might find relief in a pair of jointed stirrup irons. These irons have flexible movement between the footbed and the structure of the irons. The movement of these irons is designed to help absorb the movement and impact of riding for more comfort for the rider. Each style and brand will have different amounts of flexibility, which comes down to a rider's personal preference.
Wide Tread Stirrup Irons
Stirrups with wide treads are popular in multiple disciplines, not just English! Western riders have wider treads, as do endurance riders. The wider tread is another option to improve the rider's comfort on their joints. The larger surface area of the stirrup tread allows a larger space for the pressure to be disbursed. You can also find a larger tread included in a wide variety of stirrups designs.
What type of stirrups do you have?