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Stirrup leather keeps snapping off bar w/o warning!

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  • Stirrup leather keeps snapping off bar w/o warning!

    I have a '94 Niedersuss Symphony I bought used a year ago. I have the Prestige Ideal Dressage leathers on it (the webbers), with Sprenger 4-F stirrups. Last week I was cantering and all of a sudden I felt the left side "blow-out". I thought the stirrup had broken, so I stopped my horse and dismounted, and accessed the damage. The leather had just come off the the stirrup bar, for no reason at all, along with the little red plastic "safety tip" at the end of the bar. So I put both of them back on, and went on riding. And everday, I've checking before I put the saddle on him to make sure the leathers are on there securely. And I did tonight, too. But when I went to get on, the thing just blew off again as soon as I barely started to put my 108-pound weight onto it from the mounting block. (Luckily my boy has a good head on his shoulders now and just stood so I didn't fall down)

    Has anyone else ever experienced this problem, either with this saddle maker or with these particular leathers--, or for that matter, with ANY saddle or brand/type of leathers? It's really scary, literally. Do I need to have the stirrup bars repaired or something? Or buy different leathers? I don't want it happening again!

  • #2
    I had it happen with an older saddle and thin leathers. There was simply a lot of room between the bars and the flap and they'd slide off. Getting thicker leathers fixed the problem.


    • #3
      I had it happen with a Courbette, years ago.

      Got one of my worst concussions mounting a young green horse when the leather slid off, (I was up enough, and with the momentum, that I went *over* the other side, landing on the top of my head. ) before the boss dedided there might actually be something wrong... the stirrup bar had become loose and was actually tilted somewhat downward...

      A saddler was able to fix it, but it was not cheap.

      It probably was cheaper than my time off work for the concussion--I could only work half the afternoons in the heat for about 6 weeks because of the headaches, nausea and vertigo.
      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


      • #4
        i'd just put the locks up
        i think its safer to have your stirrups when you need them than to worry about the one time you need them to come off
        chaque pas est fait ensemble


        • #5
          If you do put the safety locks up, put a little Vaseline on the joint of the lock and make sure it opens & closes easily.


          • #6
            Yes, and it's no fun. First look at how your saddle is sitting on your horse - is it riding high in front, so the stirrup bars are tilted back, helping the stirrups slide off? And, are your stirrup leathers thin relative to the space between the bar and the saddle? buying thicker stirrup leathers and making sure your saddle is sitting balanced might help. Closing the hinges scares me and I won't do it.


            • #7
              I had an older Courbette that did that too. It was mostly because of too-thin leathers, and switching them for thicker ones helped a lot.
              exploring the relationship between horse and human


              • #8
                Too thin leathers can sometimes do it, and sometimes the stirrup bars can hang when they are old.
                Shop online at


                • #9
                  please don't put the catch up unless you have safety stirrups.

                  fix the problem. the problem sucks. good luck.
                  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


                  • #10
                    The safety bars will release if they are kept oiled and not stiff.
                    It sounds like you need to change stirrup leathers or have a qualified saddler look at it. He might find something wrong and can fix it.
                    The safetys on the stirrup bars should be loose enough to release backward to let the stirrup leather come off in case of a fall.
                    Something like this can be so aggravating when all you want is a nice quiet ride.
                    Hope you get it figured out.
                    Kind regards, L


                    • #11
                      I had a KN that happened with. The tree had cracked under the stirrup bar. It's a very hard brittle tree and apparently this is not uncommon.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                        i'd just put the locks up
                        i think its safer to have your stirrups when you need them than to worry about the one time you need them to come off
                        Have you ever been dragged/seen someone dragged? My DH ended up with a pretty nasty head injury due to being dragged from a stirrup leather. He has never gotten on a horse again.


                        • #13
                          Please take your saddle to a good saddler and have it checked.
                          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                          • #14
                            Gravity always wins

                            Please quickly have your saddle checked by a good saddler!

                            I have had this happen with the free and easy saddles. It is a design flaw in them. The stirrup bar was placed at a downward angle and was too short as well. I had the stirrups release at a gallop, over jumps, as well as on the flat. The stirrup bar can also be placed incorrectly for you, personally. I have had to move the bar to different locations to have it in the right place for my center of gravity.

                            If the saddle is one that has a changeable gullet, that can affect the location of the bars. Your tree may also have problems.

                            It is unsettling to say the least!
                            Intermediate Riding Skills


                            • #15
                              the problem with putting the safety up... is if there's enough of an issue for the leather to come off, the catch *should* give. And if it doesn't--then it shouldn't be up.

                              So to me, that's a non-answer.

                              I would DEFINITELY heed the advice of the poster who has the same saddle and had the same issue... there are very few coincidences in this world!

                              FWIW, many/most new saddles don't even have a safety catch, just an ergonomic "e" shaped bar. The safety catch was really an oxymoron.
                              InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                              Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                              • #16
                                I've got the e type stirrup hanger, but it's hung on nylon and the nylon will bunch and tip the e down, there goes the stirrup! I tried putting the plastic tubing on it to keep it in place, it didnt work, just popped off the tubing no matter how tight/thick of tubing i could get to go on it. My leathers are tied on now with bailing twine and i have safety stirrups.

                                BTW, if you have the e stirrup hangers on say a wintec isabell, i've been drug by one and the leather never popped off that e. So frankly, it's all a crap shoot regardless. I've also had a horse do a minor rear and have them fall off unexpectantly and then i bump and spook the horse. They can be a real pain in the neck. I think you are just better off with safety stirrups frankly.

                                I use webbers/prestige ideal leathers. I CAN NOT ride with a thick lump under my thigh PERIOD. It's a princess and the pea issue for me. Thicker leathers are not the answer for me!
                                Your Horse's Home On The Road!