[Letter I wrote to USHJA] For some reason this is just bugging me. I know it's probably too late but worth a try.........
Well it is too late... off to find material to "cover" my black stirrups. LOL
USEF is not trying to hurt your knees.
As many people have already said, all you have to do it change the COLOR of your stirrups. No one even has to buy new expensive stirrups. Just paint them, or neatly wrap them in tape.
I spent last weekend at a show as an announcer sitting right next to the judge so I got to observe quite a bit. Honestly, there were plenty of times when I saw riders with the black stirrups (didn't matter what brand, but the color) & it was hard to tell if they had their stirrup or not. This was with a variety of colored horses.
I do understand now why the rule was proposed after that experience cause prior to that I too would have been questioning if it really is that hard to tell if a rider is with or without their iron.
I didn't say anyone is hurting my knees... but the reality is the RR that are made with Dupont plastic with shock absorbing material ARE BLACK.
I did plead with RR to make a lighter color and not black and they are looking it to it.
Also, if you don't think this is a goofy rule - what would you think if they made you wear white gloves? I would rather see a riders hands vs their feet. IMHO.
To me it's just about so many petty rules... I do get the color issue and will do what I have to to accommodate my use of my RR...... like a sleeve or paint....
When you are a judge you can decide that a rider's hands are more important than their feet. Black stirrups are a new thing -- a thing that makes it harder for judges. Black gloves are not a new thing, and if judges started to complain they could put in for a rule change about that.
In fact, if it bothers you, you're welcome to submit a rule change about white gloves in the eq. They sure would get disgusting pretty fast, though. Wouldn't stay white for long.
I like as much dark as I can due to dirt LOL...
But upper level Dressage riders wear white gloves and don't seem to have an issue. And to be clear, I would NOT support white gloves in the EQ. Just making a point that I think no black stirrups is not a rule I would support but I am not on the committee that regulates the USEF rules.
I have junior judged many times so I understand the dynamics. And it is my opinion that the hands are more important and can decide that regardless if I am a judge or not.
And I'd would think the support for this rule change was not unanimous among judges...
It isn't a stupid rule. Think about it . . . black boots, black irons, dark bay horse. How can a judge see that from across the arena? The stupid part is that nobody thought to insert the words "or magnetic" between "black" and "stirrups" in the rule. They should be illegal in the eq. divisions. It's cheating.
Maybe the rule should be changed to clarify that everyone can use black stirrups but only if they wear white boots? :lol:
So black is not allowed, but you could use really dark navy?? Just kidding. But this is reminding me of the FEI rule a few years back that attempted to define allowable coat colors based on some (numerical?) color system. There were jokes about using apps to measure the colors.
The rule changes doesn't go in to effect until December of 2013 so Royal Riders has some time to make non black stirrups :)
I was told in an email from the USEF (they did respond the same day - I was very impressed) that since the main manufacturer of black composite stirrups makes them in silver that they felt there was no reason not to pass the rule. I would assume they meant Royal Riders. I did search for silver Royal Riders and cannot find any. I did email Royal Riders asking about silver ones and I have not got a response.
So we have time.... :) My old bod needs the shock absorption. :)
Hasn't USEF said in the meetings that it is ok to spray paint them silver? No one has to go out and buy new stirrups.
I don't know if this "shimmer" would be too much "shimmer", but it says it is fully chip resistant after 7 days. http://www.krylon.ca/ca/eng/products...allic_shimmer/
So, I am guessing this also includes the herm sprenger stirrups with only the black rubber on the sides?