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Favorite Stirrup Irons for Jumping?

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  • Favorite Stirrup Irons for Jumping?

    Let me start by saying, I'm a Dressage rider, who changes tack once a week and does some cross training over stadium and cross country jumps to keep my horse's brain and body healthy.
    I've noticed when I ride in my jump saddle my ankle and knee joints feel like some oragami experiment gone way wrong when I hop off. I'm working on getting more elastic in these joints( ie not bracing), and reminding myself not to jam my heels down (I'm of the heels down and pray equitation variety over fences ) and I'm wondering if some type of flexi stirrup would help me?
    My saddle puts me in a nice position with my hip and ankle aligned, and I'm currently using just a regular heavy fillis iron.
    I'd prefer to stay under $120 unless its a REALLY in demand iron that I could sell on ebay if it's a bust.

    chaque pas est fait ensemble

  • #2
    I do believe that GM believes there is no better stirrup for jumping than a traditional iron.

    However, having suffered from ankle issues since childhood, I know the pain that can be associated with riding/jumping in a fillis iron. I switched to the jointed stirrups years ago, which helped provide some relief to my ankles/tendons when riding. Last year, my mom bought me a pair of the wide track light weight composite stirrups (like these). I have had these on my XC saddle since and love them. I no longer have the pain I did before. But I also can't attribute that solely to my stirrup choice - I have also been working very hard to strengthen my ankles and stretch my achilles tendons. A big key for me has actually been to strengthen my hamstrings and quads. If you exercise regularly, I recommend throwing in more stretching and some leg lifts, ham curls, squats, etc. to help!
    I have Higher Standards... do you?

    "For the love of my horse, I know who I am."


    • #3
      I recently put the Royal Rider composite stirrups ( ) on my jumping saddle at my trainer's suggestion - and I love them! I was concerned that I wouldn't like the lightweight nature of them as I've been a diehard heavy fillis irons kind of girl for a long time, but I feel like the composite material does a better job of shock-absorption than my old irons - and my knees, hips, and ankles seem to agree!

      They do come in a flexible version ( ) - but I really dislike the bendy-type stirrups (sprenger, bow balance, MDC, UMS, etc). I've tried them in the past because friends swore by them for helping with knee-pain while jumping...but they just didn't work for me (my ankles threw a fit!)
      ~Drafties Clique~Sprite's Mom~ASB-loving eventer~ ~


      • #4
        I love my jointed stirrups.. I have herm sprenger irons and have had them probably almost 10 years now. My ankles can really tell a difference if I borrow a saddle that has regular irons on it. I'm not a huge fan of the composite stirrups as the one I've seen tend to be very light weight which makes it hard for me to pick up my stirrups if I should lose one "on the go" as they tend to flop a little more... but that might just be me.
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        • #5
          Thanks for this thread, PSJ! I'm also a dressage rider, primarily, but I still love jumping, and the mare thinks it's great fun (and therefore a mental reward for her!). I like the idea of the wider base to a stirrup, like the Royal issue is that my toes go all numb when I'm jumping. It's almost like the regular fillis iron is just too narrow under the ball of my foot...

          Does anyone have comparison ideas between the wide base like the Royal Riders versus the comfort stirrup pads ( Is one better than the other? Any thoughts?


          • #6
            I tried the wider composite stirrups and could not detect any difference between them and regular fillis irons, so I sold them on. Back to my old (cheap!) fillis style stirrups, TYVM.
            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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            • #7
              I've tried the Royal Riders, the MDC Intelligent irons, and the Herm Sprenger Bow Balances, and i've stuck with the BBs. I have multiple issues with my joints due to multiple accidents over the years, and the BBs are the only ones that address these issues. I am no longer crippled after a long ride with these stirrups. They, for me, are WELL worth the price, and I can easily sell them on Ebay if they no longer work for me. FWIW, I bought them off Ebay for a little under $200 ($190 if my memory serves me correctly).
              "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

              So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."


              • #8
                I like Stubben exercise stirrups.
                The size and weight is perfect.

                I have bad knees so I tried the jointed stirrups but my ankles are already so flexible that I spend the whole ride trying to get a grip on my stirrups. They feel like the are running away from me.

                The non traditional evening stirrups are often lighter weight and I don't like that either. If I lose a stirrup I like it to hang heavy in the correct place so that I can slide my foot back in easily and not have to chase a light weight flop stirrup through the air.
                Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                • #9
                  I like the cheapie flexible stirrups that are about $40 at the local tack shop. Interestingly enough, I have them on my dressage saddle, and ride in a solid safety stirrup when jumping (these - which really do work: You clearly have different needs though - so try some cheap flexi-stirrups first and see if they do the job.


                  • #10
                    HS Bow Balance is my vote. I rode in my friend's saddle one day and could not believe how much better my legs felt. I ride 5-6 days a week and have had no knee or ankle pain since switching. You would definitely be able to sell them. By the way, I have 43 year old legs!


                    • #11
                      There are a pair of stirrups that I got with the leathers (which are prestige) used from a friend. They are composite stirrups, which I really like. No flex or anything, but I like the lighter weight and the feel of them.
                      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Oberon13 View Post

                        Does anyone have comparison ideas between the wide base like the Royal Riders versus the comfort stirrup pads ( m_medium=cse&utm_campaign=googlefeed)? Is one better than the other? Any thoughts?
                        I have both and honestly, I prefer the Super Comfort pads. They increase the size of the base and give just enough padding. I foxhunt and used them all fall. Except for the one day when I switched saddles without changing over my leathers/irons and rode with the Royal Riders. I felt the difference!

                        I put my comfort pads on my jointed stirrups and that works best for me and my over 50 joints.
                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
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                        • #13
                          Awesome...thanks, Bogie! I'm going to give the Super Comfort Pads a try and see if it alleviates the numb/sleepy toes.


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by Oberon13 View Post
                            Awesome...thanks, Bogie! I'm going to give the Super Comfort Pads a try and see if it alleviates the numb/sleepy toes.
                            be sure to post back!
                            Thank you for all the suggestions! It seems to be tied between RR and BB
                            chaque pas est fait ensemble


                            • #15
                              I have these with these on them. I have tendonitis in both knees and my toes have a tendency to fall asleep. The combination of these two have pretty much cut out all pain.
                              Love them!
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                              • #16
                                I just use plain old, no frills, fillis irons. If you believe you have issues with jamming your heel down too much, I would think jointed stirrups would just exacerbate the issue. If you're looking for more comfort, I'd go with the comfort stirrup pads. I have pretty bad joints, especially my knees, and I've found the best thing for me is to be strong in my core and lower leg and maintain proper balance so I'm not improperly supporting myself in my lower joints.
                                "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


                                • #17
                                  Peacocks. Safety over looks, and I have never found jointed stirrups more or less comfortable. *shrug*
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                                  • #18
                                    I have the Foot Free Safety Irons (the ones with the S-shaped outer branch - nothing movable), but I've never ridden in peacocks...even when I was a kid bombing around on ponies. I completely agree about the "safety first" sentiment...and I've always come free out of the stirrups with the Foot Free ones. DW, do you feel the peacocks are even safer than the S-shaped stirrups? Do you do peacocks on your dressage saddle, too?


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                      Peacocks. Safety over looks, and I have never found jointed stirrups more or less comfortable. *shrug*
                                      I have no idea how, but I manage to rip the crotch out of my pants getting off with peacock irons. They get caught on the lower ball and riiiiippp, so needless to say I won't use peacocks now lol.
                                      Custom Painted Brushes:


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by CarolinaGirl View Post
                                        I have no idea how, but I manage to rip the crotch out of my pants getting off with peacock irons. They get caught on the lower ball and riiiiippp, so needless to say I won't use peacocks now lol.
                                        Yup, I did this once too! Wound up with a nasty gash on my pubic area as well.

                                        I've been told that peacocks are not really meant to support the weight of an average adult rider though - supposedly if you're over about 120# they can bend enough to suddenly snap one day (the metal, not the elastic).