So, I ride in Sprenger's and a few days ago a girl told me I was "cheating" and jointed irons are "cheating heels", because she prefers non-jointed, because her heels are naturally dropped and George Morris doesn't allow Jointed Irons (She is a teenaged hunter rider on the A/AAs)..
I'm a show jumper and a fox hunter, though I have done my fair share of equitations and medals... Fox Hunting is the main reason why I got my Jointed Irons, because when I was in the saddle for four hours my knees feel like they are bone/bone and get filled with fluid and my ankle will give out. (Yes, I have been to the doctor and they have not been able to figure out what is wrong). I am unable to walk and usually have to drop the stirrup and hunt without stirrups (not ideal!).
Anyways, it was suggested I get jointed irons, not cheap ones, but to dish out the money and get the Sprengers by my trainer at the time, because the big Irish I was jumping in the arena at the time would duck out when my knee went out during the course.
So I got jointed and HOLY CRAP my ankles and knees are SO much better. Yes, they still get achey (esp when cold) and they still have bad days, but they are nothing like the used to be.
So jointed vs. non-jointed? Why would George Morris (sorry, not a worshiper, go ahead slap my hands) say he doesn't allow them? I don't think I am by any means a "cheater" because I ride in jointed irons! I see plenty of top riders riding in jointed irons..
Ride in what you want. I love the jointed stirrups and honestly GM is wonderful, but I like my jointed stirrups and fleecy girths. I rode my junior years in jointed stirrups when I did the Eqs and I ride in them today when I event. I only use solid stirrups (non jointed) on my dressage saddle.
The girl seems to read PH a bit too much. "Cheating", Honestly?
I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.
Jointed stirrups are one of those things that people either love or hate. If you love them, use them. Ignore the girl.
I am guessing that if you told GM that you used them because it hurt to ride with out them he would be fine with it.
I also ride in Sprengers, I resisted for a long time (three years and I'm 16) but over the summer I had a fall and both of my knees were crushed and I could no longer ride without them.
GM has a point though, with jointed irons you end up being able to put your heels down without really putting your weight in them. That isn't to say that no one who rides in jointed stirrups has their weight in their heels but lots of people fake it and couldn't fake it with solid fillis irons.
You absolutely can 'fake it' in certain types of hard irons, Kat. What about the ones that are slanted? No effort is necessary to put your foot in the right position.
I don't know about anyone else, but I haven't found it easy to 'fake' the proper position in my jointed stirrups any more than I could in regular fillis irons.
Besides, I've paid my dues. I learned to ride in slick as owl poop polyester breeches on a slippery saddle, using regular hard irons. If in my dotage I want something that will help keep me riding comfortably, I'm going to use it.
I have a bad back and I use the jointed ones. They help me so much, without them I was in pain after every ride and now I have no pain at all. I do agree it's easier to look like your heels are down in them but I was trained to have my weight in my heels with regular stirrups so it doesn't bother me I ride the same as I did without jointed stirrups. I think you should use whatever is more comfortable for you.
I've been riding for over 35 years. I figured I've learned what I'm going to learn as far as heel down. I am recovering from a broken ankle. I am going to make the switch to the jointed/rotating (MDC) stirrups as soon as I'm able to get back in the saddle. I don't want to take chances with my ankle and will go ahead and "cheat" all I can to make myself comfortable enough to ride longer.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
¯ Oscar Wilde
I am 25 and had a very severe (non-horse related) knee injury at 17 that required surgery and over a year of rehab. I made the switch post-surgery to the jointed stirrups and they have been great. However I catch ride all the time so over half of the horses I ride are not in my own saddle in non-jointed stirrups. I notice ZERO change in the amount I am able to flex my ankle or my leg position, simply added comfort.
I now have the $45 Toklat jointed stirrups and they are awesome... no need to spend a couple hundred!
If they work for you, don't worry what "children" think of them . But, part of the objection to them is that it is difficult to brace against a strong/pulling horse in them. I have tried them a few times (I have minor knee, back, and ankle issues), and I absolutely hated them because I felt like the "floor was shifting." Interestingly, I also hate the angled stirrup pads--feels like my feet are going to slip of the edge of a cliff.
But that's me, and I'm not you.
"And now . . .off to violin-land, where all is sweetness and delicacy and harmony and there are no red-headed clients to vex us with their conundrums."
I think I remember reading somewhere that GM's main objection is that he feels jointed stirrups don't offer as solid of a base of support. I personally am not a fan of riding in them, but I don't see how non-jointed/riding around with pain is more stable than jointed/pain-free riding.
I also don't really listen to teenage know-it-alls.
I personally tired Jointed stirrups for a while thinking it would help with my achilles tendonitis, but actually it escalated the problem and made it worse. Now I ONLY use them on fox hunts because after 4 hours in the saddle I need to have flexible ankles.