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Any oxbow stirrup fans ?

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  • Any oxbow stirrup fans ?

    Inherited a brand new set of Billy Cook oxbows (Sulper OLK) .Goona hang them on a spare saddle and try them soon . The bottoms not completely round . They got some weight to them . They seem rawhide covered over steel ? From what I understand this set was discountinued from BC line . I know in theory why oxbows designed . Any oxbow comments , good, bad or ugly ? Thanks in advance !

  • #2
    I love them on my cutting and ranch cutting saddles. On my trail riding saddles, I prefer wider stirrups.
    Last edited by cutter99; Nov. 6, 2019, 06:26 PM.
    "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

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    • #3
      More popular in cutting that any other western discipline. You tend to drive your feet home in the stirrups more in cutting that other disciplines.
      Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

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      • #4
        I'd forgotten all about oxbow's. Are you Superior for a while in high school when I was riding a lot of young horses and putting miles on horses in general a. I use them on a flat seat cutter I used at the time, this would have been in the mid-80s. For whatever reason I don't recall, I transition back to 1 inch flat performance stirrups . Now over the years I have migrated more to a platform type of Stirrup popular on trail Saddles, I no longer show or compete in anything Western.

        As someone mentioned above, you really do have to run your foot home to feel comfortable in them or else they crunch your foot it's feels better when the Stirrup is run up right against your heel, so really only in cutting would it I guess really make sense for someone to use. I'm sure I used them in the old days because I thought it looked cool LOL.

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        • #5
          As an English rider, I really preffer oxbow stirrups on a western saddle. I put some brass ones on "my" western saddle. We go on western riding vacations sometimes and I bring them. Riding western for hours hurts my knees and I feel like the wide stirrups don't give me enough hold.

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          • #6
            I like mine BUT I do not like them for my sons. After they got about 13 or so their boots were to wide to slip in and out of the stirrup easily.

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            • #7
              I hate them. I use wooden Nettles on my cutting saddles.

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              • #8
                They hurt my feet.

                Cowboys that use them tell me you need to wear slick leather soled boots with extra tall heels, not roper style, to keep feet in there, not slip thru so easily.

                Mine are also standard wood Nettle stirrups with a flat bottom.
                They seem to have a good balance to stay where they need to stay.

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                • #9
                  That is interesting because I wear Blunnies and they don't slip at all in the oxbows. I slip a lot in regular stirrups. But again, I'm not a western rider! So what am I doing here?!? Sorry.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by xeroxchick View Post
                    That is interesting because I wear Blunnies and they don't slip at all in the oxbows. I slip a lot in regular stirrups. But again, I'm not a western rider! So what am I doing here?!? Sorry.
                    Slip thru, as if the horse stumbles or acts up, your foot may slip into the stirrup.
                    If you then fall off, you are hung to the horse and dragged.
                    Several cowboys here have been hung and dragged by their horses, some killed, others badly injured.
                    That can happen with any stirrup, why we have breakaway, specially built and peacock style stirrups.
                    There are even western peacock type ones.

                    As per what some told me, they believe a taller heel and slick sole helps get loose and oxbows seem to be the worst ones to get hung with.

                    At that time decades ago, oxbows were standard cowboy stirrups, flat bottoms called roper stirrups.
                    Cowboys were keeping their tradition, sore feet or not, using what was traditional.

                    Some 30+ years ago, a Sunday afternoon, a horse started crow hopping.
                    Kid was falling off and I reached over and caught him.
                    Kid was fine, but somehow my elbow was badly dislocated.
                    While I was in the ER, I had to wait for the surgeon for some time, as they were operating on a cowboy that had just been bucked off, hung up and dragged thru the brush.
                    He had a stick stuck in his brain, it was touch and go for long time.
                    Some time later, while helping with our handicapped horse therapy group we helped provide horses for, there was that cowboy, heavily disabled, but having a great time back on a horse.

                    With all we know today and can do for basic safety, I am surprised we don't have yet a more solid tradition in western riding about wearing helmets and breakaway stirrups.
                    If that only saves one rider from ending up like that cowboy did, it would be worth everyone else's breaking with old traditions when we have safer ways to do what we do, ride horses, like safer tack and headgear.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My worst nightmare, Bluey. I can't even watch that scene in "Seabiscuit."

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                      • #12
                        The colt starter I’ve been working with warns me against using them with my young horse. He said it’s too hard to get your foot out fast if something goes sideways. Makes sense from what other people are saying about them fitting better in a “home” position on your foot.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Heres what the BC Sulpher Oklahoma's I recieved look like .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Those seem to have more of a flat bottom?

                            Here is what oxbows around here look like:

                            https://www.donorrellstirrups.com/pr...SABEgIIrfD_BwE

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                              Those seem to have more of a flat bottom?

                              Here is what oxbows around here look like:

                              https://www.donorrellstirrups.com/pr...SABEgIIrfD_BwE
                              Yeah, what Bluey posted is an oxbow. The other poster's photos are what I'm calling a performance/speed stirrup (barrels/pols)

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Bluey View Post

                                With all we know today and can do for basic safety, I am surprised we don't have yet a more solid tradition in western riding about wearing helmets and breakaway stirrups.
                                If that only saves one rider from ending up like that cowboy did, it would be worth everyone else's breaking with old traditions when we have safer ways to do what we do, ride horses, like safer tack and headgear.
                                From what I was taught people make poor boot choices.
                                ​​​​​​​Just reading a thread in here made me cringe which prompted my reply here. The person with the tiny ankles having a hard time finding boots and the rubber soled lace ups being suggested.
                                From my observation those who ride english obviously wearing a feild boot or short boot with a half chap where your foot can't slip out of the boot a breakaway or flexy looking stirrups(not an english rider so I don't know the terms) make sense as a means of getting out in a wreck with a hung foot.
                                With a western stirrup I was taught the boot was the means of getting loose. I was taught to wear pull ons, leather soled, single welt(which is hard to find) to be narrower in the stirrup with a lot of room in the ankle. I will take boots being too sloppy in the ankle and arch over too tight.
                                I can say from experience it was my boot choice saving my bacon where my foot was hung up.

                                I also can't stand those deep roper stirrups that are so tall you could get swallowed clear to your upper thigh. I ride a big stirrup (6" tread) but they aren't very deep and they tend to kick your feet out, especially if something tends to get frisky. At the end of the day since I am not intentionally getting on anything that bucks hard I would rather have my feet kicked out the back than have my foot ran through and hung up.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Aces N Eights View Post

                                  From what I was taught people make poor boot choices.
                                  Just reading a thread in here made me cringe which prompted my reply here. The person with the tiny ankles having a hard time finding boots and the rubber soled lace ups being suggested.
                                  From my observation those who ride english obviously wearing a feild boot or short boot with a half chap where your foot can't slip out of the boot a breakaway or flexy looking stirrups(not an english rider so I don't know the terms) make sense as a means of getting out in a wreck with a hung foot.
                                  With a western stirrup I was taught the boot was the means of getting loose. I was taught to wear pull ons, leather soled, single welt(which is hard to find) to be narrower in the stirrup with a lot of room in the ankle. I will take boots being too sloppy in the ankle and arch over too tight.
                                  I can say from experience it was my boot choice saving my bacon where my foot was hung up.

                                  I also can't stand those deep roper stirrups that are so tall you could get swallowed clear to your upper thigh. I ride a big stirrup (6" tread) but they aren't very deep and they tend to kick your feet out, especially if something tends to get frisky. At the end of the day since I am not intentionally getting on anything that bucks hard I would rather have my feet kicked out the back than have my foot ran through and hung up.
                                  I also keep shaking my head over folks riding in shoes, flat soles with minimal heel stops , roper boots that do not have height in their heels. I don't care what the brand name of their maker, price, they are dangerous for riding!! Seems to just be asking for boots to hang up, go thru stirrups, cause an injury. As kids it was drilled into us as "cowboys" that the high-heeled western boot was a tool for riding that kept you safe. As stated, leather soled for slip, should we need to kick free of the stirrups.

                                  I dislike Oxbow stirrups, which are ridden with boots "shoved home." Way too easy to have a foot go thru, past the narrow tread, especially without high heels on your boots. Second reason is riding with your stirrup under your arches is very bad for the foot arches, which were never made to bear weight! You can harm your feet permanently using the true, round Oxbow stirrups.

                                  Everything "cowboy historical" was not always a good thing to use. Designs of wooden stirrups might have been easier to make round, instead of flat on the bottom. I know the thinking of the old, round metal Oxbow users was so they were not going to break/wear out, along with weight of them staying down to quickly slip a foot into, shove foot home, when mounting a rank horse. My Cowboy Uncle explained that to me when I asked why his stirrups were round.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I use the home position all the time. Works fine and I've never come CLOSE even to getting a foot hung up. Doesn't hurt my arches either. You can keep your heel down in the home position. The home position is commonly used in sports like polo and barrel racing. Also with cutting and campdrafting. Much less common in...Western Pleasure. The rowdier the sport, the more likely the home position. Maybe there is a reason.

                                    Never used an oxbow stirrup so I won't speak to those. The stirrups shown aren't what I'd call oxbow stirrups anyways.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by GhR009 View Post
                                      I use the home position all the time. Works fine and I've never come CLOSE even to getting a foot hung up. Doesn't hurt my arches either. You can keep your heel down in the home position. The home position is commonly used in sports like polo and barrel racing. Also with cutting and campdrafting. Much less common in...Western Pleasure. The rowdier the sport, the more likely the home position. Maybe there is a reason.

                                      Never used an oxbow stirrup so I won't speak to those. The stirrups shown aren't what I'd call oxbow stirrups anyways.
                                      Most I know that starts colts use a defensive, barely foot in the stirrup position, right on the end and ready to chuck them off so they can get off or fall off if things get that bad.
                                      While that rarely happens, generally starting colts is like watching paint dry, why take chances?
                                      I have carried that to riding similarly no matter what else we did.

                                      Also, if you rode most of the time as a kid bareback, you don't always later use stirrups that much for balance.
                                      That is what traditionally they are for and are a real help as such when riding, for most anything we do.
                                      They do carry the risk of getting hung up.
                                      Happen to one of our riding school clients that participated in a parade and when returning thru the city streets to the riding center, his horse was spooked of something, switched ends and took off, skipping and sliding on the asphalt.
                                      The first turn both fell, horse got up dragging fellow for about 100' when the English saddle stirrup, we always keep the bar open, came off, lucky for him.
                                      He only had a few scrapes, so did horse from his fall.
                                      Horse made it fine to the barn without causing a wreck, thankfully.

                                      I think what techniques we use depend on what works best for each individual.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Yes, we all should be adjust to match our circumstances. I've never worried if someone else preferred the ball of foot position. Seems to work fine for millions. The home position also works well for millions. It is a preference, not a fault or dangerous habit.

                                        I pay more attention to my boot than my stirrup. I want a good heel and a loose fit. If worse ever comes to worst, my horse can run off with my empty boot still in the stirrup. I'm also picky about the size of my stirrups. I want them tall enough that my toe won't get caught if my foot comes out at an angle, but small enough that they can't go past my instep. I think of my boot as being what makes my stirrup "safe" - safety boots instead of safety stirrups.

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