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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2010
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    Default Wide track stirrup irons.. Composite irons..Offset..Qs about irons in general.

    I am currently using the world's most uncomfortable pair of plain, cheap, fillis irons. I'm not sure if this is the foot bed, or the pads, but they hurt like heck on my foot and I'm looking to replace them. I have the super comfort iron pads, but I hesitate to use them if this is a design flaw in the iron itself (ie: thin bars that frame the foot bed). I've only ever used fillis irons.

    I'm not interested in jointed irons, as they make me feel wobbly in the lower leg. I'm really interested in a wide track foot bed, but can't seem to find any that are regular metal. Most are composite material...

    My questions:
    What is the value of composite irons? Are they more dangerous possibly because of their lack of weight?

    Do offset irons make a positive difference? Or, do they make it hard to keep your base of support (I have a weak left leg and tend to collapse onto the outside of my lower leg/foot, so need something to really press into with the weight traveling down the inside of my leg/foot).

    Are there any regular metal irons that don't flex, but have the wider foot bed? I can't seem to find any, but maybe someone here has seen some...

    I'm posting in this forum because I'd like the eventing perspective. I want to find something safe for the sport.

    Thanks!!!



  2. #2
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Default

    I have never found that any "specialty irons" made any real difference in how I feel or look. I do currently have ones where the "eye" for the stirrup leather is rotated 90 degrees from normal. I bought the first pair thinking it would help me keep my toe from sticking out in dressage when I ride with longer stirrups. I don't think they did do that, but I do like how they make it easier to "find" a lost stirrup, so I've kept them (and even bought a second pair).

    I use Peacock irons for jumping.

    I have on all my stirrups those strap-on, black grippy things, which I do like.

    My trainer has those black plastic/composite stirrups on her dressage saddle and I don't like them. They just don't feel right, although I can't put my finger on a specific reason.

    My $0.02. Not very helpful, I guess. I think if you're having comfort problems you'll probably just have to keep trying until you find a pair that suits you. Have you tried wrapping the foot-bed in Latex or vetrap to see if that makes them more comfortable? If it does, then you'll just have to find some kind of pad that is suitable rather than a whole stirrup, maybe.
    Click here before you buy.



  3. #3
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    Jan. 14, 2006
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default

    I have a pair of wide base composite stirrups. The weight doesn't make a lick of difference to me but the base does, I can ride in XC length stirrups without thinking I'm about to die.



  4. #4
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    Jul. 6, 2010
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    At the barn :)
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    I don't know much about stirrups, tbh lol. But I have the black Royal Riders (the simplest non jointed ones) and absolutely LOVE them. I used peacock irons until recently and while I can't tell you why, I don't like peacock irons and LOVE my RRs.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2010
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    The Sunny South
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    Default

    Thanks guys for all of the input! I do suspect that to a large degree, less is more in the stirrup department. It's interesting too to see the different views on the composite irons.. I'd still like to know what the manufacturers tout as their benefits though. Delta, I think I'd like offset eye that you mentioned as to me, the ability to find your stirrup is the most that you could get out of the newer styles on the market. All the ones I've seen for sale though are a bit too spendy for me right now.

    Looking forward to seeing other responses.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
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    8,659

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    Quote Originally Posted by PuraVidaEventing View Post
    I don't know much about stirrups, tbh lol. But I have the black Royal Riders (the simplest non jointed ones) and absolutely LOVE them.
    Me too. I use the flex for my jumping saddle, and regular for dressage. I am so addicted to the RR "irons" that I put them on other people's saddles to ride. Shopping for horses was horrible when I had to ride in other people's saddles with regular irons.

    I can't completely put my finger on why, but it seems the wide footbed with the light weight completely eliminates any discomfort in my knees and ankles, and I am able to ride with a much more secure and quiet lower leg.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2007
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    295

    Default

    I had a similar problem with one ankle rolling (my right) too much putting way too much pressure on my ankle joint. Perhaps this is what you are describing as far as your need to move your weight to the inside of your foot?

    What I did is to work on tightening the outside of my leg using exercises that a physical trainer gave me and put an angled stirrup pad in that stirrup (higher on the outside than the inside) and built up my ankle until I could take the angled stirrup pads out.

    I happen to ride in weighted, offset dressage stirrups by Stuebben. And the flexible stirrups to jump in. Both are probably not needed but I had a shopping problem when I first bought my horse.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2009
    Location
    Athens, OH
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    I jump in the basic RRs. At first I didn't notice much difference but I do now. They are not leaps and bounds better than my regular fillis but I do like them somewhat better. I got a great deal on eBay. Another thing I like is that they don't bang up my calfskin saddle as much when I run the irons up. I still use regular fillis for dressage and don't plan on changing.
    5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO - you're on course!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Location
    Bronx, NY/Atlanta, GA/Fort Dodge, IA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fractious Fox View Post
    I am currently using the world's most uncomfortable pair of plain, cheap, fillis irons. I'm not sure if this is the foot bed, or the pads, but they hurt like heck on my foot and I'm looking to replace them. I have the super comfort iron pads, but I hesitate to use them if this is a design flaw in the iron itself (ie: thin bars that frame the foot bed). I've only ever used fillis irons.

    Are there any regular metal irons that don't flex, but have the wider foot bed? I can't seem to find any, but maybe someone here has seen some...
    You might be interested in the Pro Jump EXTRA stirrup pads... makes a wider base on a regular Fillis iron.

    http://www.equusnow.com/prodview.asp?idProduct=40
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.



  10. #10
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    Oct. 14, 2003
    Location
    Florida
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    pattnic, I wish I'd seen those before I got my wide tread irons some months ago!

    FF, I got the aluminum version of these:

    http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2...&Category_Code=

    I got them primarily for hunting, as my right foot tends to fall asleep after hours in the saddle, mostly in a half seat. So far I haven't been able to actually try them out hunting, but for normal riding they've been pretty good.



  11. #11
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    http://www.vrtack.com/offset-eye-stirrups-p-1088.html

    $45 for the offset eye stirrups. These are, I'm pretty sure, the exact same ones I have. Some of them are absolutely ridiculously priced, crikey! I'm not spending $200 for ANY dang stirrup!
    Click here before you buy.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
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    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
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    I have the Stubben offset stirrups. They are wonderful for bad knees and ankles. They were also cheap. Unfortunately, I don't think they are still being sold. I have the double offset ones with a slight downhill bed, which helps with position and also keeps the balls of my feet from going numb. Best thing I ever bought for hunting.

    Here's the problem with light stirrups. If you do happen to lose them, it's much easier to get back into a heavy stirrup that isn't flapping around. They will more likely hang straight, and are, IMO, safer.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  13. #13
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    Feb. 24, 2009
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    Boston, MA
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    Before I tried them, I had a friend who sang the praises of the RR composites. She didn't love them, she LOVED them. I thought she was nuts. I asked, since they're so light, don't you find it difficult to pick up a lost stirrup? and she said, here's the thing, it's almost impossible for me to lose my stirrup at all!

    Try them try them, she said. You can borrow mine. Nope, I still think you're nuts....no thanks, I'm good!

    Awhile later, I found a pair on deep discount in the bin at SmartPak, and I needed stirrups, so I figured what the heck. Well, you guessed it, to my shock and surprise...I liked them too.

    They don't hurt the ball of my foot and they don't hurt my joints when I crank up the length. And when I find myself floating above the pony (not like that ever happens), unscheduled-like, the stirrups come with me. They really are hard to lose.

    I think they came with a couple different pads and I use the cheese grater style - I'm sure that also helps. But they just don't feel "hard." Go figure....

    I owed her a drink after that!



  14. #14
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    Nov. 1, 2010
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    VA
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    I wondering about the light versus heavy stirrup debate. Are the lighter ones really hard to get back if you loose one? At my last event my very green mare jumped a little funny through a combination and I lost one stirrup. I couldn't get it back, jumped one jump without it still couldn't get it back and because she was jumping green (her first event) I finally pulled up and then got it back. It was bouncing around so much I just couldn't get it back. This happened to me about 15 years ago on cross-country it was really stupid!

    So I always wondered if lighter stirrups would be better.

    Opinions?



  15. #15
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    Sep. 11, 2010
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    Default

    Wow, you guys have come through as expected with personal feedback and (major plus!!!) even links to check out! There is a lot for me to process through here. It is funny that so many of you have mentioned numbness in your feet.. I thought I was the only one who had this! I have an old injury (broken toes) and though that was the reason, but I guess it's likely also the stirrup in general. Also, I've noticed an increase in pain in my knees and ankles over the years after a long time in the saddle or riding in short stirrups. I'm extra motivated after reading about all of the benefits of changing even small things in stirrup iron design in regards to these sorts of pain.. I admit to thinking it was all just marketing until now. I've never really had a discussion on irons with people before, ha! We riders can find the most mundane topics interesting

    Right now I'm most interested in the wider foot bed that you can add to regular irons (posted earlier), the offset ones Delta posted, and composites with wide tracks. I really wish I could try some composites..

    Also, WHEN did irons get so expensive!! Sheesh!!!



  16. #16
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    Apr. 30, 2002
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    I suffer from numbness in the stirrups, and I got the cheaper composite stirrup -- and they have made a huge difference. Not entirely the answer but a long, long way toward more comfortable. Mine were under $40 for the pair and well worth it. They have nothing special on the tread, are lightweight, and I have no trouble finding them, riding in them, even hunting several hours -- no problem. Well worth the relatively small investment!
    "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." -- Emerson
    www.eventhorse.wordpress.com



  17. #17
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    Possiblly not an issue for everyone, but I have spoken to a couple of people who swore that new stirrups took care of numbness and ankle pain, but within a month or two the same symptoms returned. I've often wondered if just CHANGING irons from time to time is a good thing for people with these types of problems--keep the pressure points moving around, maybe?
    Click here before you buy.



  18. #18
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    Jul. 19, 2003
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    Middleburg, VA
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    I have the wide footbed composites (they are an RR knockoff, so you don't have to spend a fortune). I have to say, they make a difference to me. My toes used to go numb in regular fillis and jointed stirrups when galloping, and I don't have so much of an issue with that any longer. I do not find them hard to, well, find, but I also rarely lose them. There was a trend awhile back (about 8-10 years, maybe) for lightweight, composite stirrups that were fillis look alikes, but composite. THOSE were a bitch to find! I think the wide ones have a little more weight, so they don't flop away as easily.

    Now, I don't like them for my dressage saddle, and I don't like jointed either. Good old fillis. The only change I've made is cheese grader stirrup pads, which I did when I had to wear my old boots for awhile this year when my good ones needed a repair (the old boots have NO tread left). I kept the cheese graders. I like them more than I ever thought I would.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Possiblly not an issue for everyone, but I have spoken to a couple of people who swore that new stirrups took care of numbness and ankle pain, but within a month or two the same symptoms returned. I've often wondered if just CHANGING irons from time to time is a good thing for people with these types of problems--keep the pressure points moving around, maybe?
    That's a good observation. I wonder if Medical Mike has an idea about that?
    "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." -- Emerson
    www.eventhorse.wordpress.com



  20. #20
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    Feb. 10, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by retreadeventer View Post
    I suffer from numbness in the stirrups, and I got the cheaper composite stirrup -- and they have made a huge difference. Not entirely the answer but a long, long way toward more comfortable. Mine were under $40 for the pair and well worth it. They have nothing special on the tread, are lightweight, and I have no trouble finding them, riding in them, even hunting several hours -- no problem. Well worth the relatively small investment!


    this!! I used to like my heavy fillis irons until I bought these. I think I paid about $25 for mine. Numbness in my toes rarely happens now. I never lose them, and if I do, not hard at all to find. Other than that, I can't really describe why I like them. I've let a few people try them with mixed responses. Some really liked them, some eh. Good luck!



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