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Anyone find that the fancy jointed/flexing/etc stirrups hurt more than helped?

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  • #21
    Me three.

    I got jointed stirrups about 5/6 years or so ago thinking they were helping my knees. Doing gallop sets with short stirrups or jumping at xc length started getting really tiring -- I felt like my base was really unstable. My coach suggested I try non-flex stirrups. Bingo. Not only did I feel more stable, I had no knee pain or back pain whatsoever.

    I just treated myself today to a pair of Royal Riders as my birthday present -- I'll have my first ride in them tonight!

    (My dear mom sent me some birthday money and said "God knows you could use some new clothes, but I know you'll enjoy it more if you spend it on the horses. So, go buy yourself some tack". )
    I don't mind if you call me a snowflake, 'cause baby, I know a blizzard is coming.

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Originally posted by fargaloo View Post
      (My dear mom sent me some birthday money and said "God knows you could use some new clothes, but I know you'll enjoy it more if you spend it on the horses. So, go buy yourself some tack". )
      Happy Birthday!!!
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      • #23
        I can attest that the MDC stirrups that allow one to adjust the angle of the whole stirrup (as opposed to stirrups in which the footpads swivel - which I dislike) really helped reduce the torsion and therefore also my knee pain after a recent knee injury.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by MorganJumper848 View Post
          Happened to me too! I'm 17 though. I found that I have to flex my ankle down even more than with normal stirrups because they "give".
          I love the flexing stirrups, and put a young student (your age) onto them because she has what she calls "soupy" ankles. She is so flexible that when she drops her heels, they drop A LOT, so much so that she invariably finds herself riding with the ball of her foot on the back edge of the stirrup iron. It's not very comfortable for her, so even though she's not dependent on her stirrups for support, she's been much more comfortable in the MDC stirrups.

          All that said, though, she was almost as comfortable when she tried a pair of D'Angles stirrup pads - a much less expensive option if you don't actually require the flexibility of the jointed/flexing stirrups.

          I liked them too, but at my age I need all of the "flexiness" I can get. The D'Angles pads are not slanted side-to-side under the ball of your foot, they're slanted front-to-back only (unless there'new ones out, which is entirely possible).

          There's information at the manufacturer's web site:
          http://www.jumpforjoy.org/products.html

          and Schneider Saddlery (http://www.sstack.com) has them for under $20.
          Home page: www.jessicajahiel.com
          Horse-Sense newsletter: www.horse-sense.org

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          • #25
            I found that the HS Bow Balance irons really helped relieve the pain in my knees and ankles. I used to hurt a lot when jumping or hacking in my jump saddle. A combination of aligning my leg properly with no twisting of the joints, and these stirrups made a big difference.

            I will say there is a tradeoff with stability though.

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            • #26
              Yeap. The joints allow the stress that would have been taken up by the irons to be absorbed by your own joints, thus putting more strain on them...

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              • #27
                I tried the MDC ones and they were awful. Made my knees hurt much worse and when jumping I could not keep my feet in them. Which sounds like an issue with how I ride except I rarely lose my non-flex stirrups. Ditched them and switched back to my safety stirrups.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                  Yeap. The joints allow the stress that would have been taken up by the irons to be absorbed by your own joints, thus putting more strain on them...
                  Er, what?

                  A solid (non-jointed) iron does not absorb "stress" or shock. The jointed iron does.


                  I have very flexible ankles and happen to love the jointed irons -- they help a lot with knee and back pain. I can see how they might not work well for a person with relatively stiff ankles.

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                  • #29
                    Any time I ride in a saddle with out jointed stirrups my hips and knees scream at me. So I am the opposite of the OP.

                    Jointed stirrups seem to be a love them or hate them item.

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                    • #30
                      I'm in the love them camp, but there was one horse I could not stand them on, but the saddle didn't work for me. On my own 2 horses with a different saddle? Suddenly I loved them. I tend to perch on my sturrups though and its not a miracle cure by any means. I have severe fibromyalgia and it can't hurt to do this.

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                      • #31
                        opposite to the op I need thejointed stirrups the bow balances go on my jump saddle and for now my regular jointed with comfort pads on my dressage because apparently my 48" leathers are too long and im on the top hole! the mdcs add about a hole or two in length so until i can find me another pair of 46" leathers they have to wait i also have supercomfort pads on my mdcs
                        Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching
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                        • #32
                          love the bow balanced. hated the mdc. fords and chevys I guess..
                          A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

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                          • #33
                            I tried the HS Bow Balance stirrups, but my shins got sore. I finally figured out that their "offset" stirrup leather eye was twisting the stirrup leathers so the edge of the stirrup leather was against my shin, not the flat strap. Since a lot of my lower leg security comes from wrapping the stirrup leather around my shin, this not only hurt my shin it reduced my security too.

                            My most comfortable stirrups now are the plain old-fashioned Stubben Prussian Sided stirrups. I tried these because the Fillis stirrups were causing MAJOR pain on the ball of my foot that lasted for days. When I switched to the Prussian Sided stirrups my foot pain disappeared. I just wish someone would make Prussian Sided stirrups that are like the old Forward Seat double offset stirrups. Does anyone have an ancient pair I could buy? I "lost" my old Eldonian ones decades ago.

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                            • #34
                              I tried the HS Bow Balance stirrups, but stopped using them after a few weeks because my shin bones were getting SORE. I finally figured that the "offset" eye on the stirrup was twisting the stirrup leather so that the EDGES of the stirrup leathers were rubbing against my shins. Since a lot of my lower leg security comes from wrapping the stirrup leather around my shins I was not only riding in pain but I was also losing security in the saddle.

                              The most comfortable stirrups I have now are the Stubben Prussian Sided stirrups like we used to use decades ago. The Fillis stirrups ended up causing my great PAIN across the ball of my feet. The day I switched to the old-fashioned Prussian Sided stirrups my foot pain disappeared and has not come back.

                              I just wish someone made an offset or double offset Prussian Sided stirrup like hunt seat people used 40 years ago. I "lost" my old Eldonian offset Prussian sided stirrups decades ago. Does anyone have an old pair, 4 3/4" or 5" floating around that I could buy? I have Multiple Sclerosis and I need all the help I can get from my equipment.

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                              • #35
                                I eschewed expensive stirrups and added a few squats with CoreX System bands to my workout a time or two a week and the chronic knee pain while riding seems to have stopped for the most part.

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                                • #36
                                  My main concern with flexible stirrups is that they provide a place to push agains, which allows for the lower leg to fall forward, and increase the angle of the lower leg relative to the thigh. That (I think) is conducive to riding against your horse, especially in flat work with longer stirrup.

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                                  • #37
                                    I have the HS knock off jointed irons and have had them for years.

                                    I tried the wide(r) black plastic irons when I was attempting to come back from an ankle injury (specifically peroneal tendon damage) thinking that the wider footbed would help stabilize/support my ankle and wooooooboy!!!! was I wrong! Those irons made it impossible to walk for days afterwards...so my vote is to see what works for your body. Let your level of pain (or lack thereof) dictate what works and what doesn't. That is what my surgeon said to live by from here on out, so good luck with what works for you!
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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      I have to admit to being confused about this talk of pushing against stirrups and needing them for stability. Again, I'm asking about riding in a dressage saddle, doing flatwork, not in two-point (tho, come to think of it, that might not be a bad exercise for myself, as well, to check things out.)

                                      Don't you all sit on your seats?

                                      Whilst cleaning my new saddle today I noticed that the "sprenger" pointed towards the front rather than being readable from the saddle. Since the descriptions talk about a right side and left side, it has occurred to me that I got them on backwards (another stupid user trick). I have switched them around and we'll see if that helps.
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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by AllWeatherGal View Post
                                        I have to admit to being confused about this talk of pushing against stirrups and needing them for stability. Again, I'm asking about riding in a dressage saddle, doing flatwork, not in two-point (tho, come to think of it, that might not be a bad exercise for myself, as well, to check things out.)

                                        Don't you all sit on your seats?

                                        Whilst cleaning my new saddle today I noticed that the "sprenger" pointed towards the front rather than being readable from the saddle. Since the descriptions talk about a right side and left side, it has occurred to me that I got them on backwards (another stupid user trick). I have switched them around and we'll see if that helps.
                                        For me in the beginning of getting back to riding - any weight being put on that leg/ankle/foot was/is like standing on broken glass and grinding the toes into the sharp bits, so even with my legs draped against the horses' sides, riding was painful. So I was on the hunt for anything(!) that might help make it more comfortable to do more than puddle around at the walk. The black plastic irons did not make things better, so they went to the resale shop after 2 rides. 2+ years later things are better for the most part, so I've gone back to my HS knock offs and do not use my irons for more than "regular" support at the end of my leg - weight aids, etc.
                                        Watermark Farm
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                                        Watermark Farm Facebook Fan Page
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                                        • Original Poster

                                          #40
                                          Saddle fitter (Schleese) happened to be at the barn yesterday when I was riding so, since he's the ergo expert on the Schleese saddle designs, I asked him for advice. He measured me (ick! hips ...) and watched some of the ride. After my lesson he changed the angle of the knee blocks on my saddle.

                                          His take on it was that my thigh/lower leg length forced my patellars into the thigh block, which is named "thigh"

                                          Yesterday was better (seriously? I had the stirrups on backwards?) and I'm off to test further enhancements.
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