Thursday, January 12, 2012


Many of you will think this is cheating.  I tend to agree, but it's becoming the norm at the shows I attend and in this particular avenue I can use all the help I can here I go.

Yup.  Eliminating the shiny bright stuff that draws the eye to my wobbly legs like pre-teen girls to Justin Bieber.  Dark recedes.  Works best on a dark, dark horse, but it'll still HELP on a bay roan wearing a chocolate brown girth, I think.

And yes, Ms. Equitation Police, I know perfectly well that I need to strengthen my legs and core to keep my legs more stable.  I KNOW.  I was working on lots of 2-point before I was benched and  I WILL be working on it again and eventually posting without stirrups and all that torturous crap when I am cleared for riding. But what's wrong with a little optical illusion? And I HAVE seen black irons on classical Dressage horses so THERE.

So I have a question: How do I know what size Iron to get?  My current irons I bought years and years ago with my first saddle and I think I just measured my boot or something.  Is there some type of criteria? I  know for safety you want them big enough that you can easily slip your foot out, but that's the extent of my knowlege.  Is there a more precise way to know?  They come in 4 1/4, 4 1/2, and 4 3/4.  Only 1/2 " difference between the biggest and the smallest.... is it Child, Woman, Man? There's gotta be some reason there are sizes.

The iron in the "in action" photo looks WAY small to me but maybe she's just got big ol' boats?

Anybody know? About the sizing... not about Bigfoot there...

And can anybody explain to me the benefits or drawbacks of the jointed irons?  I've never used them.  I did have a pair of double-offset irons once (angled foot and off-center leather placement) and I liked them.


  1. I think the 4 1/2 are the standard size... must be kids/women/men like you mentioned, although it is a pretty small difference.

    I thought the jointed stirrups were supposed to make it easier on your knees/ankles, but I'm not really sure if they work or not.

  2. Measure across the bottom of your boot where the ball of your foot goes. 4 1/2 is pretty standard though.

  3. Mine are actually 4 3/4 because I got the MDC irons and they only came in that one size. I think 4 1/2 is standard but there really isn't much difference between them.

    Also, I investigated the jointed irons and decided to stick with traditional ones because people were complaining about a lack of stability. I've never ridden in them but it seems like it's a love/hate thing. My knees are a bit jacked, which is why I went with the MDC irons, but if you end up with jointed ones I'll be curious to hear how you like them.

  4. I LOVE jointed irons for jumping only, reduces impact on my injured knee. Pain is very noticeable if I jump in non jointed irons

  5. Stand on a tape measure -- I believe there should be 1/4" on either side of the ball of your foot. The one in the picture looks too small because the foot is too far forward on the stirrup.

    I DESPISE jointed irons -- I find that they just destabilize me by removing support from my ankles. So I use regular fillis irons. I did try the wider track composite stirrups, but found no difference so I sold them on.

  6. Jointed stirrups did not help me at all. I tend to keep my heels very much down and it was causing them to go just too far. I ended up getting the black nylon ones from EquiWing, which are wide track stirrups. I quite like them and might get another pair for my dressage saddle.
    Now, over here we don't show hunters, just showjumping so I'm clueless as to if wide stirrups are allowed there.
    Black stirrups do look quite smart in my opinion!Isn't tack shopping fun!!!??
    Love reading your blog!!!

  7. I love the jointed stirrups. I have a bad knee and the jointed stirrups take some of the impact off my knee. I've had them on my jumping saddle for years and about a year ago I got a second pair for the dressage saddle. When I have to get on and school a horse for the kids before a lesson I can tell the difference immediately. I hate to ride with regular irons now.
    Love the look of the black irons. I've been thinking of making the switch on the dressage saddle. Like you I know I should be strengthening my legs and core, but I'll take some help from a little optical illusion as well!