Horse Tack: Riding Stirrups

October 23, 2009


Stirrups are one of the most integral components of horse tack. They allow the rider to mount the horse, stay stable and remain in balanced control while atop. Cavalry in warfare would not have been possible without the stirrup, and some claim that modern civilization was fueled in part by this technology.

Different materials usually comprise the modern stirrups, either leather and steel or leather and a composite. They attach to the saddle via stirrup leathers, hefty straps that themselves attach to the saddle tree. english saddles By connecting to the structure of the saddle, they remain in place while allowing the legs to move freely with the motion of the animal.

Short stirrups allow the rider greater mobility whereas long stirrups allow for greater control. It is not so much the stirrup itself that differs but the length of the leathers. Faster horse travel requires shorter stirrups because the rider must be further on the front of the animal. In the English riding style, horse racing jockeys and polo players utilize short stirrups. With Western saddles, on the other hand, long stirrups are used to give the rider greater control of the horse. They give the rider a sturdier base and more comfort for longer periods atop the mount.

An improperly sized stirrup can be problematic for two reasons. Horse Saddles If too large, the foot can slip through; if too small, the foot can get trapped. In both cases, a dismounted rider may be unable to free their foot if this happens. English saddles have what is called a stirrup bar that lets the leathers detach from the saddle if the rider falls out the mount. On western saddles, wider treads mean a foot cannot get stuck, and some have tapaderos, a protruding leather cup that prevents the foot from slipping out the front.

turnout rug Stirrups, just like bridles and saddles, are different depending on the riding style. The right horse tack for the style is important not just for form, but for safety too. What will determine the type of stirrup you use is the need for either greater mobility or greater control.

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