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Why are stirrups required?

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  • Why are stirrups required?

    So I got into a motorcycle accident a couple weeks ago and finally got an MRI and an appointment with an orthopedist and found that I have a small fracture on my tibial plateau. For the next 6 weeks, I'm to keep weight off the leg. While not riding at all would probably be ideal, my orthopedist was more concerned if I fell off than the actual riding. So I will be doing my riding without stirrups so I don't put weight on the joint.

    I thought maybe I could do a schooling dressage show during this period, so I checked the rules regarding stirrups and found that you have to use them.

    DR117
    4. Unless indicated on a Federation Dispensation Certificate, International Para-Equestrian Classification Card (FEI PE Card), USEF Para-Equestrian Classification Card, or Presidential Modification letter, the use of stirrups is required. BOD 1/18/09 Effective 4/1/09

    I was just wondering why this is?
    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

  • #2
    I always thought it was a silly rule.

    As it says, you can get an exception for a disability. Since it's a schooling show, you probably don't need to go all the way to USEF. I would just call the organizer and explain the injury and ask to ride without stirrups. I can't imagine a schooling show organizer turning that request down.

    (Heck, at our schooling shows, some people ride in western saddles.)
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by poltroon View Post
      I always thought it was a silly rule.

      As it says, you can get an exception for a disability. Since it's a schooling show, you probably don't need to go all the way to USEF. I would just call the organizer and explain the injury and ask to ride without stirrups. I can't imagine a schooling show organizer turning that request down.

      (Heck, at our schooling shows, some people ride in western saddles.)
      That's true and a good point. I'll definitely try that.

      Now I'm just curious about the rule and its purpose!
      "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

      Comment


      • #4
        It's probably similar to why you need to use a bit and reins and ride in an english type saddle. It's just the way it is and the way the sport was built = ) Though I'm sure most of the top riders could do a darn good job without stirrups too.

        Comment


        • #5
          If everyone uses the same equipment, then they can judge the riding and the horse, not "well, she did well, considering she has/doesn't have stirrups/a saddle/such and such type of bit/bridle". It eliminates more variables for judging, I'd imagine.

          Comment


          • #6
            Not a silly rule. Stirrups actually serve a purpose (gulp) in stabilizing and enabling more precision in the application of your leg aids (see: Steinbrecht: "The Gymnasium of the Horse").
            "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by InsideLeg2OutsideRein View Post
              Not a silly rule. Stirrups actually serve a purpose (gulp) in stabilizing and enabling more precision in the application of your leg aids (see: Steinbrecht" The Gymnasium of the Horse").
              It's not that they don't serve a purpose, but why should they be required? If, for whatever crazy reason I have, I want to ride without stirrups, I don't see why they should be compulsory. A saddle pad is not required, for example. Tall boots also stabilize your leg, but jodhpur boots are permitted.
              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                It's not that they don't serve a purpose, but why should they be required? If, for whatever crazy reason I have, I want to ride without stirrups, I don't see why they should be compulsory. A saddle pad is not required, for example. Tall boots also stabilize your leg, but jodhpur boots are permitted.
                Lol, why not play basket ball with tennis balls then?
                "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

                Comment


                • #9
                  A dressage saddle isn't required, either. I can compete in a jumping saddle if I like. So long as it has stirrups.
                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                    A dressage saddle isn't required, either. I can compete in a jumping saddle if I like. So long as it has stirrups.
                    Isn't a dressage-type saddle required once you hit the FEI levels?

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by bort84 View Post
                      Isn't a dressage-type saddle required once you hit the FEI levels?
                      yes
                      "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If I were you, I'd drop that leather a hole, and add some latex wrap to the stirrup to make it tacky, so you don't need pressure to keep it on your foot. Or you could slip a big rubber band under your foot, over your spur, and loop it under the stirrup, and then over your toe to keep the stirrup on with the one leather longer.
                        And check the rule book...but no, all you safety sticklers, she will not be tied to the saddle and in danger.
                        Last edited by Mach Two; Oct. 3, 2009, 03:13 PM.
                        What would you try if you knew you would not fail?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For me - I sat deeper and my horse went better for me without stirrups (phew).
                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "why are stirrups required"

                            because it's too easy to ride without them.

                            I don't think the para rider accomodations are intended for someone with a temporary injury.

                            And I think if the doctor thinks it would be really bad if you fell on you, I think you shouldn't ride. And maybe not be at the barn, easy to drop a horse, a trunk or something heavy on you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have no clue why they are required. I've ridden in turn of the century dressage and capriole saddles from the spanish riding school, and they didn't even have a stirrup bar to attach one to!
                              www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                              chaque pas est fait ensemble

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                most likely becuase in the "old" days the folks competing were military. and mostly they competed in jumping saddles (cause they jumped too).... and the guys that wrote the FEI rules were military.....

                                so because the military probably required stirrups (and other equipment) the rules of the first dressgae competitions would of required the same.

                                also, i agree with the person that said - to be able to judge you need everyone using the same equipment.

                                dressage is, to a large degree about tradition. we train our horses to traditional ideals, using traditional equipment etc.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  it's been so long, how much weigt does one put in the stirrup in dressage?

                                  does it say you have to have your foot in it - at all times?
                                  Originally posted by BigMama1
                                  Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                  GNU Terry Prachett

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Even if the rules don't say your feet have to be in the stirrups, I'm sure that one would still run into problems trying to get around the stirrup rule that way. And I'm sure the goal of the rule isn't just to have the stirrups on the saddle and not use them.

                                    It's just too easy to ride without stirrups. The rider doesn't have to correct his seat and leg.

                                    There was an older instructor at Morven Park who used to say something the likes of, 'Any da**** sailor can ride without stirrups, but put them on and one by one they all fall off'.

                                    Another example of 'Equestrian Hyperbole', but the concept is true.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Or you could stay off the horse and not run the risk of further damage.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        What's the rush to go to a show. Stay home and work on your seat.
                                        Frogs in a Basket. Oh, one jumped out.
                                        EC Level 1 Coach, ARIA Level 3 Dressage Coach
                                        www.dressagelife.com
                                        http://piaffing.blogspot.com/

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