Finding Wide Stirrup Leathers
I am in love with wide stirrup leathers. I was first introduced to them last year during a riding lesson. And I was so in awe of them that I bought 2 pair from the only place I could find them. But I was a little disappointed when I got them because they were not the same as the ones I had used during the lesson I had. They were very thick leather, but within a month of having them they cracked, and one of the end buttons popped off while I was putting them on a different saddle. They also started to stretch, because they were not lined. And they were expensive which I understand, sort of.
But if I wasn’t happy with the leathers I was stuck, no returns were allowed and all sales were final. So even though the first pair I bought were too long for me, I was stuck. I think that makes the purchase that much more frustrating from a buyer’s point of view. I mean it’s hard enough to spend that much money on something, but when they don’t work, you would think the company would allow you to exchange them for something different. (Not bitter-sort of)
So while they were ok, there were some flaws in the stirrup leathers that I thought could be better. And that started my quest to find a better wide stirrup leather.
And finding a wide stirrup leather is definitely an investment, which is why I wanted to share my thoughts with you. It’s difficult to plunk down a lot of money for something you aren’t sure is going to work. And since this seems to be a newer style or trend for English riders, there hasn’t been an affordable and quality option, until now.
And while I was searching and searching, I found a new wide stirrup leather from Total Saddle Fit. I was so excited when I found them! Skimming through the description, I knew I had to try these leathers. From Total Saddle Fit’s description:
“Stirrup leathers just got a whole lot better. The Stability Stirrup Leatherswide-body design brings an unprecedented level of stability to a rider’s leg, while at the same time creates a smoothness on the flap that makes them disappear under the leg.”
I was so excited, and I knew I had to see if these leathers were what I have been searching for. And from the moment I pulled them out of the box, I was very happy with these leathers.
But before I give you my thoughts on the leathers, let me share a little bit of the specifications with you.
The first thing that makes these wide stirrups work the way they do, and provide greater stability is the width of the top of the leather. The top is about twice as wide as the portion that feeds through the stirrup bar. The wideness of the leather on the top is what makes it more stable. And depending on which size you get determines how long this wide part is. For example, the leathers I chose were the black dressage length, and the wide part of the leather is 18.5” in length. They also have a shorter version that is meant for jumping, and the wide section of the stirrup leather is 16.5” long.
The leather is soft, and the stirrup leather itself is the thickness of traditional stirrup leathers. This makes it easy to pass through the stirrup bar when you’re attaching the leather to your saddle. And when you get down to the narrow part, my favorite part of this leather, you will find something great, a nylon core. This means the stirrup leathers ill not stretch out.
The Best Of The Best
The upper or wide portion of the leather is made from buffalo hide (very nice) and the lower portion has an ultra-thin nylon webbing wrapped in calf skin. This helps to keep the leather thinner, but strong. And it is nice because there is no bulk! The flap of the saddle still lies flat, no large bump where the stirrup leather feeds through the bar.
The buckles are flat, and the holes are numbered just like the old-fashioned stirrup leathers. And the stitching is strong, all the way down the leather. And Total Saddle Fit believes so much in these leathers that they are focusing only on this new style. To me, that says a lot about the new wider stirrup leather.
They have multiple sizes and colors too. They come in brown in 48” and 54” lengths (with the wide part being 16.5” long) or black 54” and 60” (with the wide part being 18.5” long). I got them in black, 54” long because they match my Devoucoux saddle and most of the riding I do is on the flat with a little bit of jumping (for now).
Do Stability Stirrup Leathers Really Work?
From the first ride, I noticed a difference in my leg stability. My leg feels strong when I ride with these leathers. And for me, someone who is older, and doesn’t have as much strength in my leg as I once did, I will take all the help I can get. I feel more confident in my ability not to interfere with my horse as he moves forward, and my legs aren’t all over the place.
Wide Is Better
There is no pinching of my leg from the stirrup leathers, and it just feels so right! I am in love with my Stability Stirrup Leathers from Total Saddle Fit. And from the first time I ever tried a wide stirrup leather, I knew this was the right choice for me. But now finding the best of the best, well, it makes it even better.
And another good thing about these leathers, they don’t mess with my saddle’s stitching. I think it’s important for you to know that because when I was using my ‘other’ wide stirrup leathers, the leather was so thick and stiff that it rubbed the stitching on the flaps of my saddle. I was not happy about this. When I started using the Stability Stirrup leathers, no more damage to my saddle flaps or the stitching.
And taking it even a step further, Total Saddle Fit makes it even easier for you to try these leathers out. If the stability stirrup leathers don’t make a huge impact on your riding, you can return them, and they will even pay for the return shipping. How’s that for a guarantee? No one else offers that. Knowing that Total Saddle Fit stand’s behind their product so strongly is the icing on the cake for me. Just knowing that if they don’t work as they claim I can return them after 30 days, well I like that a lot. But I will not be returning these stirrup leathers, I will be keeping them forever and I will never use a traditional stirrup leather ever again. Maybe one day these will be considered traditional, because they are that great.
How Much Do They Cost?
As far as wide stirrup leathers, Stability Stirrup Leathers are the most affordable option available. Which is really interesting to me, because of the ones I have tried, they are definitely the best, in my opinion. The leathers cost $139.95. You can find them at Total Saddle Fit’s website. And if you think that’s an awful lot of money to spend on stirrup leathers, you’re right. But after you ride with them, you will be glad you made the purchase. I wouldn’t be surprised if you actually rode more though, because of what a difference they will make in your riding. Oh, and did I tell you they offer free shipping? Yep, they do that too.
And don’t forget, they do offer a money back guarantee if the leathers don’t thrill you. So if you try them and they don’t work out, you can send them back. But honestly, I don’t think you will be disappointed. Seriously, if you are looking to improve your riding, and enjoy your time in the saddle even more, I really encourage you to try out Stability Stirrup Leathers. I am positive you will be very happy with your purchase, and your riding!