View Full Version : Irons w/ Off Set Eye

Dec. 26, 2007, 11:32 AM
Do any of you ride in these type irons. Got a pair for Christmas and have ridden in the 2x and I think I love them... They put this old lady's very tired hips in a better, more comfortable position! What are your views?

Dec. 26, 2007, 11:56 AM
I bought the sprenger ones with the 4 way bendy thingies for my husband who has so much trouble rotating his foot in to get the stirrup. I think he finds it easier to get his strirrups when he looses them. However, a pain to run them up and they dont sit nice when put up.

Dec. 26, 2007, 12:10 PM
I'm interested in these, and glad to hear good things about them.

Dec. 26, 2007, 08:36 PM
I agree that it is hard to run them after riding but I am amazed that I am not getting as tight in my hips as I usually do. Also, I really think they are helping my leg and seat position since I am not having to fight to keep my legs rolled out. Every little bit helps...

Dec. 26, 2007, 11:20 PM
Can't you get the kind that will turn so that when you rub them up you can turn them back flat? Or did I just come up with a really cool new invention--in which case, no body steel my idea! hee hee

Dec. 27, 2007, 09:28 AM
Not sure about that - but sounds like a good idea. I was somewhat put off by the price of the adjustable ones so mine are "fixed".

Margaret Freeman
Dec. 27, 2007, 09:35 AM
What type of offset eye are you talking about? I did a product survey on stirrups with offset eyes, and there are several different types. There are the kind with the eye set at a fixed right angle to the stirrup; the kind with an adjustable eye that can be 90 degrees, 45 degrees or flush; and also the kind where the eye is set at a slant down the side of the stirrup. Actually, all of them have the effect of loosening the hip, and therefore it's also easier to have a long leg and less tension in the back. My personal faves are the ones with the slant down the side, sold by Stubben (but watch out and don't get the offset bottoms as well). They are also by far the cheapest -- $40. I had all the hinged models plus all the hinged models with the offset tops (in the $180+ price range), and these $40 worked best for me by far. Of course, different ones will work best for any particular individual and may also depend on their saddle.

Dutch Girl
Dec. 27, 2007, 10:16 AM
I have ridden in the Herm Sprenger offset stirrups for several years now. I really love them. It just makes sense to have the stirrup hang the way you need to use them when riding.

Dec. 27, 2007, 01:13 PM
Hm. I am remembering when I was young and I might remember wrong, but I thought offset stirrups were not allowed in competition. Or maybe my trainer just thought it was "cheating" I really don't remember. Just interested, now, do people compete in offset stirrups?

Dec. 27, 2007, 02:40 PM
Offset eyes (from the center) are usually for h/j, where the rider puts their foot on the inside of the stirrup and therefore can support the leg against the horse. Since dressage riders place their foot on the outside of the stirrup generally offsets are not a good idea.

The fourway bendy thing is not often, just flexing. That said, it doesnt allow the same ease of steady feathering into the heel.

The offset eye which is at a 90 degree angle to the horse however are great. They allow the leather to lay flat (rather than wrapping around the shin), and hence tend to stay at a 90 angle to the horse, and are easier to pick up, and to keep under the instep in a steady manner.

Dec. 27, 2007, 03:33 PM
I recently bought the MDC Intelligent stirrup with 45-90 degree off set.
But I do NOT like them, and went back to me regular flexi stirrups.

Also I was riding at a length I felt really happy about longish, but with still enough grip.
With the MDC suddenly I have a half hole difference because the total length of the stirrup is different from regular stirrups. It may sound silly but this half hole length really screws it up for me.

Right now I tossed them in the corner of my tackroom. Perhaps I'll re-try them at some later time. :( For now I'm not impressed with them.

Margaret Freeman
Dec. 27, 2007, 04:22 PM
If you are considering "offset" stirrups, please pay attention to how the word is used. It's very confusing. Offset foot pads can be angled front-to-back and outside-to-inside, or both -- either way they're a chiropractor's dream waiting to happen. There are also several so-called offset tops. The right-angle ones (MDC, some Sprengers and Stubbens), cause the stirrup leather to lay flat across the front of the leg, therefore releasing some strain on the hips and back. Offsets where the connection is a slot partway down the side of the stirrup (Stubben and the new Sprenger Bow Balance) has a very different effect depending on whether the slot is placed on the inside (as shown in the actual directions for the Stubbens) or outside. When that "offset eye" is placed on the inside, it's intended more for jumpers who want a tight knee and don't care so much if the lower leg remains in contact with the horse's side -- it's a menace when placed that way on a dressage saddle. When the slot is placed on the outside, it relaxes the hip and allows the leather to hang straight down from the hip (the leg doesn't go into a "chair" position). It helps loosen the knee and allows the lower leg to stay in steady contact with the horse's side.

I've seen this "slotted" eye arrangement in some magazine pictures, especially European riders. It's also on the front of Betsy Steiner's Pilates book. However, I haven't seen it in use with many American dressage riders (yet). The Stubben "double offset" shown in the Dover catalog should be avoided because of the offset foot pad. If you're interested in these, go to the Stubben website and look for the ones that just have the offset slot at the top.

Dec. 27, 2007, 04:39 PM
The four way bendy thing is not off set just flexing. That said, it doesn’t allow the same ease of steady feathering into the heel.

I hate these because I feel like my stirrup is always running away from me. How much dorsal flexion do you REALLY need? They ask my ankles. And then pretty soon my toes are touching my calf.

Since dressage riders place their foot on the outside of the stirrup generally offsets are not a good idea.

Marketers have tried to trick us! A new idea therefore it must be great! NOPE.
Legs do not fall perpendicular to the ground when sitting on a horse. They do have a slight angle. No matter how you try to torque yourself. Sorry, you're going to have a slight angle. If you had a pelvis that was wider then your horse's back and you could straddle it like a saw horse then yes, these stirrups would allow your foot to rest in a flat natural balance. But because our hips shoot out of our pelvis at an angle when you sit on something wide the old school, normal stirrups are anatomically correct. Just a biomechanists two cents. Or maybe just one. I tend to loose a cent here and there somedays.

The offset eye which is at a 90 degree angle to the horse however are great. They allow the leather to lay flat (rather than wrapping around the shin), and hence tend to stay at a 90 angle to the horse, and are easier to pick up, and to keep under the instep in a steady manner.


Dec. 28, 2007, 12:08 AM
Seems like so many responses here to the various models that personal preference and physical build of the rider are what really matters. I have not seen a single person who has any typle of back hip of other funky stifness that did not LOVE the sprenger flexi stirupps. I have one set of regular sprengers on one saddle, and one sprenger with offset eye on the other saddle and honestly dont notice the difference with the offset eye that much from the normal ones when I ride.

Dec. 28, 2007, 01:44 AM
So I've been looking at the "Awantek" ones Dressage Extensions have in their catalog--largely because I think they are just so cool and sculptural looking, I'll admit.

They also seem to be permanently out of stock.

Does anyone have these? If so, what do you think?

Or are they merely still depicted in the catalog because they ARE so cool-looking, but they don't actually exist?

Dec. 28, 2007, 02:30 AM
I have the MDC Ultimates (twisty eye that I use at 90º and bendy sides) and LOVE them.

I have the Sprenger bendy ones with the regular eye that I loved until I got the MDCs, now I just really like them (instead of love).

I understand the half hole thing, though, which is why I get the leathers with the close-together holes. Just riding with different paddocks with varying sole thicknesses is enough to throw me off.

Margaret Freeman
Dec. 28, 2007, 09:19 AM
I tried the Awantek stirrups when I did the product survey on stirrups. It looks a bit goofy because it's a "safety stirrup" combined with a fixed right-angle design for the attachment of the leather. However, it looks fairly normal with the boot in the stirrup, despite the way it looks without a boot. It has the advantage of the right-angle design, but because it's "fixed," it's hard to get the stirrup to lay flat when run up the leathers, just like other fixed right-angle stirrups. Its price is competitive.

Dec. 28, 2007, 09:29 AM
could someone post a link to a picture of the 90 degree offset stirrups? This is confusing; I'm looking to buy new irons. :cool:

Dec. 28, 2007, 09:37 AM
the recommended ones imho: http://www.doversaddlery.com/herm-sprenger-offset-eye-stirrups/p/X1-0708/cn/97/

Dec. 28, 2007, 10:29 AM
The Sprenger Bow Balance don't really have an eye that is offset down the branch of the iron - it just looks that way in pictures.

What they have is about a 30 degree offset (e.g. less than the MDC's on the 45 degree position), and branches like the old style safety stirrups.

The leather goes thru absolutely horizontal across the top.

I'm still sorting my back out and did have issues w/ the 'half hole' thing....am trying them again this weekend,tho.

Dec. 28, 2007, 09:44 PM
I use off-set stirrup pads, they really help my hips and knees.