Last updated: August 8, 2021

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Welcome to our big stirrup leathers guide. Here we present all the stirrup leathers that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best stirrup leathers for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying stirrup leathers.




Summary

  • Stirrup leathers provide a comfortable riding experience and a secure seat on the horse.
  • Stirrup leathers can be divided into two categories. The plastic stirrup leathers and the leather stirrup leathers. There are also these two types with a nylon core.
  • A very important point is the length of the stirrup leathers, so that you and your horse are not hindered during the individual disciplines.

The Best Stirrup Leathers: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying stirrup leathers

Who is a stirrup leathers suitable for?

Stirrup leathers are suitable for every rider who rides with a saddle. The suitability here depends on the length of the straps and the use. The strap is the connecting piece between the saddle and the stirrup.

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It all depends on how you want to use the stirrup leathers and what kind of stress can occur when riding. (Image source: pixabay.com / TheOtherKev)

Over the last centuries, different lengths and shapes have emerged, depending on how they are used. The length basically varies between 120 and 180 cm and depends on the size of the rider.

What length should the stirrup leathers be?

The length of the stirrup leathers depends on the size of the rider and is given in centimetres. However, the length should be between 120 and 180 centimetres and is additionally dependent on the type of saddle.

For a jumping s addle, lengths between 130 and 145 cm are suitable. For a dressage saddle they are longer; 150 to 165 cm.

As the length depends on the height of the rider, people over 1.80 m have to buy extra long stirrup leathers. For a jumping saddle the length is therefore 145-165 cm and for a dressage saddle 170-180 cm.

The length is also decisive for the sitting position. If the girth is too long, it will hit the side of the horse when riding. If it is too short, the seat is not optimal and the balance is disturbed.

What width should the stirrup leathers be?

The width of the stirrup leathers depends on the weight of the rider and the discipline in which the horse is being ridden. The width of the stirrup leathers is given between 2 and 5 centimetres. The most common width is 2.5 centimetres or 1 inch.

In the different disciplines, the load on the stirrup leathers varies. The rider's weight should be carried without any problems and no signs of wear should be visible after use.

What does a stirrup leash cost?

It always depends on the quality, the material and the brand. There is also a distinction between used and new stirrup leathers. The difference in price between the brands is normal, but please pay a lot of attention to the quality of the strap.

Type Price range
used approx. 5-30 €
new approx. 10-90 €

Prices are quoted between €10 and €90, with the average price being around €25.

What alternatives are there to a stirrup leathers?

There is hardly any alternative to a stirrup leash, as it gives you a firm and secure fit. However, there are two alternatives that you can use.

Riding without a saddle and therefore without stirrup leathers is possible under certain conditions. It should be noted that not every horse is suitable for this. It must have healthy and strong back muscles and you yourself must have a secure seat.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate stirrup leathers

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate stirrup leathers. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a certain product is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Material and quality
  • Hole punching
  • Length
  • Suitability
  • Price-performance ratio

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Material & Quality

The quality depends on the material used, as different materials wear out faster or slower.

Leather is a sturdy and much-used material that is popular. The problem with pure leather straps, however, is the danger that the stirrup leathers become longer and longer with use. This means that a hole has to be punched again and again.

Plastic is much less vulnerable to this problem, but the quality is usually not very high, which makes it less suitable.

The combination of leather with a nylon core or, if necessary, plastic with a nylon core has become a popular solution. The nylon core does not change and remains in the fit as it is made.

Hole punching

The hole punching is important for the length of the stirrup leathers and the correct hold on the horse. If the strap is too long or short, it will affect you and the horse.

There are some brands that punch the holes at small intervals and others that leave larger intervals. The straps with the larger hole spacing are excellent for your own repunching if an intermediate length is needed.

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Around the holes, the material is extra reinforced to ensure no damage. Usually the holes are also marked with numbers.(Image source: pixabay.com / LunarSeaArt)

Length (centimetres)

The length of the stirrup leathers is very important, because it determines how well the stirrup leathers hold the horse. The length is usually given in centimetres, for English or American brands also in inches (1 inch = 2.54 cm).

You can easily measure the required length yourself by using one of the two application options:

  • Measure arm length
  • Measure leg length

You can easily measure the arm length by placing your outstretched hand on the stirrup bar and measuring the exact length to the end of the stirrup. The stirrup strap should be taut and go up to your armpits.

The leg length is measured from the horse. You sit on the horse and let your legs hang down. The measuring line is your ankle, so you need to remember approximately where it was when you buckled the strap.

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Stirrup leathers are suitable for all types of riding, including lungeing. The length is no problem, even for children. (Image source: pixabay.com / prunkova)

In principle, you can also work by eye, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You can always adjust the stirrup leathers if it doesn't feel right.

Suitability

Even though all stirrup leathers should be suitable for all saddles, you must still pay attention to wear and length. This usually becomes apparent after the first ride.

You should make sure that the stirrup leathers are not too long or short and do not distract the horse. Furthermore, you should pay attention to whether it starts to squeak during use, then it is usually not a suitable stirrup leathers.

Price-performance ratio

Prices always depend on the materials and the quality of the stirrup leathers. Not all cheap ones are bad and the same applies to expensive products.

Usually manufacturers offer different prices and then you should focus on the other buying criteria. You should think carefully about the materials you value in order to get a better understanding of the price.

Facts worth knowing about stirrup leathers

What consequences can the wrong length have for my horse?

The wrong length can affect the health of you and your horse. It can cause misalignments and injuries to your horse and damage to your spine.

If the stirrup leathers are too short, you will hunch over on the horse and tighten your lower legs, which will give the horse the wrong signal.

If the stirrup leathers are too long, they will hit the side of the horse and the impact and noise will distract the horse and in some cases cause psychological stress.

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A straight seat on the horse not only helps you but also the horse. This way the weight is distributed evenly and you don't exert too much pressure. (Image source: pixabay.com / PixelWunderByRebecca)

How do I clean a stirrup leash properly?

When cleaning, it depends on the material. Plastic stirrup leathers are easier to clean and require much less effort than leather ones.

You can clean plastic stirrup leathers with lukewarm water and let them dry. For leather stirrup leathers you should also use lukewarm water for basic cleaning and polish with leather oil or grease after drying. This keeps the leather supple and you can use it longer.

How can I buckle the stirrup leathers at the bottom?

With some brands, the stirrup leathers can be buckled at the stirrup and are usually covered with a cover to avoid any risk of damage.

To do this, take the stirrup leathers and fasten them to the stirrup first. It is best to follow the instructions, as there are different types. After you have attached the stirrups, you can fasten them to the saddle.

(Cover picture: 123rf.com / Sukpaiboonwat T.)

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