An Introduction to Stirrup Leathers and Irons
Typically, English saddles do not come stirrups and stirrup leathers. This allows the rider to chose the style of stirrup and length of leathers that they prefer.
Stirrup Leathers are generally matched to color of the saddle leather, but can be in a variety of lengths and thicknesses. Like stirrups, the type chosen is usually a matter of rider size, and preference.
What Type of Stirrup Iron Is Best for Me?
The options are extensive. If you are just starting out, traditional stirrup irons
are probably the most familiar to you and provide a stable base of support for most types of riding. Safety stirrups
are also a great choice for beginners as they easily release the foot from the stirrup in the event of a fall.
If you are jumping on a regular basis, or have weak joints, technical stirrups
are a great option. These types of stirrups are better able to absorb shock due to either the material that they are made out of, or due to an extra joint in the stirrup. Many of these are also made out of a composite material that is extremely light making them a great choice for high impact and endurance sports.
What Size Stirrup Iron Do I Need?
Most stirrups are available in sizes and correct sizing is critical to safety. An overly large stirrup can allow a foot to slide completely through, while an overly snug stirrup can hold a foot too tightly. Either situation is very unsafe in the event of a fall!
In order to find what size stirrup irons you need you'll want to measure the bottom of your riding boot at the ball of the foot and then add 1" to your measurement to get the correct size for your stirrup irons.