Stirrups & Leathers
Stirrups and the leather straps that attach them to the saddle are basic riding equipment. With stirrups themselves there are different styles available and they are made of different materials - their purpose and basic design, however, stays constant: to keep you safe, secure and balanced in the saddle, aiding in posting to the trot and mounting.
A popular choice for stirrups, particularly for children, are English Peacock safety stirrups designed to open up and release the foot if the equestrian takes a fall. Stylish stirrups with interchangeable coloured treads are also available, with more traditional options for showing. Dressage horse riders usually favour Fillis stirrups, with a wider footrest and heavier than general stirrups.
When choosing the right size stirrups, measure with your boots on across the widest part of the foot and add around five cms (two inches) to allow sufficient space to slide the foot in and out.
The best stirrup leathers (they are not always made of leather but can be synthetic) should have sufficient length and buckle holes to ensure that they can be adjusted correctly to suit the rider. In general the correct length can be worked out (approximately) by measuring from the armpit to the fingertips, doubling that length and then adding another 15 to 20 cms (six to eight inches) to be tucked in under the saddle flap.