No-Stirrup November, Part II- Return of the Irons

stirrup_part2-1Yay! You did it! No-Stirrup November is just about over and we bet you can’t wait to get your beloved irons back!

We’re sure your body has rediscovered its appreciation for stirrups… but have you? We got to wondering about how and when stirrups came about. Who do we have to thank for this amazing invention? So, here’s what we found out…

The first stirrup was designed as more of a mounting stirrup- a single leather strap with a loop at the end- around 1000 BC. From this, a riding stirrup evolved, but was only designed to support the big toe of each foot. It wasn’t a popular design, given you had to be barefoot in a cold climate.

The Chinese are recognized for providing the first full-foot stirrup during the 4th century. The style spread throughout Asia and hit Europe by the 8th century.

The stirrup changed warfare forever. Mounted warriors had the freedom to use both hands for weapons while keeping their balance. The stirrup has been accredited as one of the biggest influences in civilization, after the invention of the wheel. And the ice cream cone…

Today’s stirrup technology has come a long way from the standard fillis iron. Riders now get to choose from many types of irons in lightweight metals, ergonomic designs and improved foot beds. Did you know there are stirrups designed to help keep your heels down, improve your leg position and reduce pain and pressure in your knees and hips? We’ve chosen a few favorites to share with you.

stirrup_part2-5Stubben’s Maxi Grip stirrup irons are lightweight with a sleek design. Pyramid-shaped points provide an extra grippy foot bed for added security and balance. They are also slightly angled to help keep your leg in an ideal position. A little traditional, a little modern.

stirrup_part2-6MDC S Classic Non-Flex Stirrup Iron’s top of the stirrup slot is turned like an S while the lower portion of the slot faces forward which keeps the iron at a 45 degree angle. The benefit of this design improves your leg position and alleviates stress on your joints (hips and knees)… all while keeping the appearance of a classic fillis iron. Look good… feel good…

stirrup_part2-7Herm Sprenger Bow Balance stirrup irons flex and move with your foot to when engaging your lower leg. The “bowed” arch allows the stirrup to rest at a 90 degree angle and can help relieve stress on your joints. The rubber foot bed acts as a shock absorber. The moveable grip helps your ankle to flex and heel to drop.

stirrup_part2-8Even trail riders can join the party with Tucker Trail Glide Stirrups! Trail Glide stirrups are lightweight and feature a unique “cone” for the saddle fender. The cone’s angle keeps you balanced in the saddle and reduces knee and ankle fatigue. Plus, they have a thick cushion on the foot bed for added comfort! You might want to clear your schedule after purchasing these stirrups- you’ll be spending a lot more time in the saddle!


Now that you have endured a whole month of No-Stirrup November, why not reward yourself with a pair of new, fancy irons from Mary’s Tack and Feed?

For one of the nation’s best selections of irons and leathers, visit our Mary’s website or call our friendly and knowledgeable staff at (800) 551-MARY. We are to here to answer all your questions!

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