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Yet again, he is right....

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  • Yet again, he is right....

    I think I get it now. GM has repeatedly said that the traditional fillis stirrup irons are the best. At first, I thought, well if people are more comfortable with their newfangled technical stirrups, then what should he care? I myself had been using a brand of irons that flex, due to some knee and ankle issues, for the last year. I just realized that the on-going issue that I have been having regarding getting my heels down and thus stablizing my leg has only started since using these flexible irons. I switched them out today and was finally able to really sink my weight down and ride properly. I don't have an issue with anyone else using what works for them stirrup-wise, but anyone else have a similar problem while using "non-traditional" irons and end up going back to traditional irons?

  • #2
    I had used the flexible irons for several years and when I got a new saddle I ordered traditional irons. I find that I have LESS knee pain then before (and the new saddle fits me worse then my old one!). I think my leg does less twisting or something than they did in the flexible irons. I also think they look much nicer and bring less attention to your leg then the new, bulkier stirrup irons.


    • #3
      I rode in my friends PJ a week or so ago, and she has flexi stirrups. I wasnt a fan. They were fairly comfortable, but I felt like the one flexed more than the other (which is probably actually my weight and my heel, but I noticed it a lot more in these stirrups, and it was throwing me off the whole time.


      • #4
        I switched too. I noticed it was making my ankle twist and kinda unstable.
        But only to get those new Wildkart Jin stirrups with large footbed. I love them! (for now...!!!)


        • #5
          I still have significantly more knee pain in traditional irons. My leg is the basically the same in both, still very stable, in correct position with my heels down; however the amount of shock my flexible stirrups take is amazing for my bad knee. My trainer is a major traditionalist, (no matter hunters, eq, or jumpers you and your horse will wear conservative attire including a hunt coat and beige/tan breeches), and she thinks my stirrups are fine. I've also won eq classes in these stirrups so I don't think the judges care that much either as long as you ride properly in them...but hey, to each their own, right?


          • #6
            I have found that for most people (myself included) they do seem to be destabilizing, but I am glad they are available for exactly the reasons indygirl describes. I have known a couple of people who find it much more comfortable to ride in flexible stirrups, and they do seem to take away a lot of pain for people with existing conditions.
            exploring the relationship between horse and human


            • #7
              I think it depends on the rider, the saddle and the horse. I have both and will sometimes switch either way depending on the horse and even sometimes the saddle. I have found one particular horse who I could not get stable on in anything but plain fillis, others who were fine in certain saddles with flexi-irons but I preferred to use fillis irons on with other saddles. Lots of options make it possible to find the best choice for you and your individual needs.
              Shop online at


              • #8
                Must be an individual thing. Human conformation, saddle fit, horse conformation probably all have an impact on whether or not they help or destabilize.

                I like mine. Now and then I try traditional stirrups again, just to make sure but so far the flexible ones are more comfortable and easier to keep leg relaxed but firm. Also, I prefer one flexible brand over another, so it seems about as personal as saddle fit.
                Last edited by MelantheLLC; Mar. 13, 2011, 06:24 PM. Reason: xpost w/vbunny
                Ring the bells that still can ring
                Forget your perfect offering
                There is a crack in everything
                That's how the light gets in.


                • #9
                  I've switched back at the suggestion of my "classic" trainer also. Apparently I was bracing my feet forward in the jointed stirrups, thereby offsetting my balance too far back in my saddle. Ta-da! Completely changed my center of balance back to proper alignment.
                  Ride on!


                  • #10
                    I just had the cheapo flex ones from Dover. They don't flex as much or in so many different directions as some of the others, but after several years of use, and then some time out of the saddle, I noticed I was tending to get on my toes and my balance was going forward. I switched back to my traditional fillis stirrups, and while it has taken some time, my balance is getting back to where it should be.

                    Originally, I bought the flex stirrups to relieve knee and ankle stress, which they did. But when my balance was off, I noticed they actually made the pain far worse. I may or may not switch back. I'm pretty happy with the regular fillis irons at the moment.


                    • #11
                      I switched back after riding in a friends saddle with the traditional ones and realizing how much easier it was for me to keep my center and put my heels down. I didnt understand how off balance and constantly reaching for my stirrup I was until I switched back.
                      "to each his own..."


                      • #12
                        I actually tried the flex stirrups due to my ankle being held together by screws and plates, but they made the pain a LOT worse.


                        • #13
                          I have never owned a pair of flexis, and being a traditionalist myself perfer that my students do not ride in them.

                          I can tell you that the few times I did ride in flexis, I hated the way they felt on the landing side of a big oxer.


                          • #14
                            Oh, good...I thought I was the only one. I like the stability of regular fillis irons. My wonky knee likes not having the hyper-flexion of flexi stirrups. Thus, I ride in fillis irons.
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