What stirrups do dressage riders prefer? It depends.
With so many different stirrups on the market for dressage riders, we know how overwhelming it can be to find the right stirrups for you. Stirrup irons are a tack item that many equestrians choose to invest in for a few reasons, mainly safety, durability, and comfort.
The good news is that a well-made stirrup will last a lifetime with the proper care. So take your time now to select the right stirrup makes sense to save you money in the long run.
What Factors To Consider Before Purchasing A Stirrup?
- Style: There are many styles of dressage stirrups available and riders usually have a preference on aesthetic.
- For Show or Pleasure? If you are using these for pleasure, whatever you want should work. But if you plan to show, make sure you check out the updated rule book to make sure you are abiding by the rules to prevent a disqualification.
- Comfortability: The key to finding the right stirrups, is that you are comfortable. It doesn’t matter how long you are in the saddle. Tread can make a big difference in stirrup comfort and will range from wide to narrow.
- Safety: Beginner riders or riders in higher risk situations may opt for a pair of safety stirrups. Most advanced riders will select a pair of stirrups that are lightweight with a good grip.
- Durability: For the most part, stirrups are designed to last a lifetime – thousands of rides. You’ll find that the safety stirrups and flex stirrups have rubber parts that may be replaceable.
- Joint Issues: Joint pain in the knees, ankles, and hips can be related to your stirrups. If you have joint issues, you’ll want to select a stirrup with shock absorption to help alleviate joint pain.
See Our Selection of Best Stirrups for Dressage Riders Below!
Best for Joint Pain: HS Sprenger System 4 Stirrups
Herm Sprenger System 4 Stirrups offer security, flexibility, strength and comfort! This international, patent-pending style consists of four links allowing for movement in four directions at the same time, enabling immediate release in case of emergency. The Herm Sprenger System 4 Stirrup are the only stirrups in the world with dual lateral flexibility thereby softening the impact on your ligaments and joints. Note due to rubber covering, stirrup is actually smaller than size given.
- High-quality materials
- Pivots in 4 directions simultaneously
Best for Lower Leg Position: Centaur Stainless Steel Jointed Stirrup Irons
Centaur Stainless Steel Jointed Stirrup Irons Centaur Stainless Steel Jointed Stirrup Irons have covered joints for flexibility. With double joints, these help ease strain on knees and free the rider’s foot in the event of a fall. Rubber pads offer enhanced grip. Product Features: The stirrup irons have covered joints. Double joints act as a safety measure. Item Specifications: Material: Stainless Steel Color: Gray rubber sides with white pads. These are perfect for someone that don’t want to invest several hundreds of dollars in a set of stirrups.
“They’re very comfortable and I don’t have pain in my knees or ankles anymore.”
- Shock absorbing
- Flexible for leg comfort
Best Safety Stirrups for Dressage Riders: Acavallo Arena Alupro Safety Stirrups
Acavallo Arena Alupro Aluminum Safety Stirrups feature a lightweight aluminum stirrup bow and a polyamide opening arm with a unique stress activated locking and release mechanism that provides a less rigid and more comfortable feel. The springing stirrup bow and foot support effictively absorbs and compensates for sudden impacts exerted through the rider’s weight while posting, jumping or hacking, while the opening arm releasing in case of an emergency. Product Details: Lightweight Aluminum Stirrup Bow Polyamaide Opening arm Unique, stress-actuated locking and release mechanism located between the lower end of the outer, pivoting stirrup arm and the foot support plate/tread. Polyamide stirrup pad – effectively absorbs and compensates for short-term and sudden impacts exerted through the rider’s weight from the top, e. g. during posting, jumping or hacking Stainless Steel tread Easy and reliable “one-click” re-engagement of the stirrup locking and release mechanism once triggered. More comfortable feeling to the rider than conventional stirrups. Provides relief to foot bottoms, ankles, knees and hips Ideal for riders suffering from orthopedic problems.
“These have made my riding so much more comfortable and enjoyable! The wide base gives more foot support and Added stability. The safety release feature is very important. I simply love these and enjoy my rides in them!”
- Stress activated release mechanism
Best Tech Dressage Stirrups: Tech Stirrups Capri Plus Dressage Stirrups
Made in Italy, the patented Capri Plus Dressage Tech Stirrups are equipped with shock absorbers that follow the movement of the foot, allowing freedom of movement and communication, while maintaining greater stability and increasing comfort for the rider. The shock absorbers are made of a compound particularly suitable to stress, durable to wear and to temperature extremes. Designed for Dressage, the removable treads are treated with nano-ceramic coating, while the rings are treated with a 20 micron adonization to preserve their beauty. The treads feature a performance grip tread that is slightly beveled on both edges, which allows the rider to communicate with the horse without hindrance. The weight of the stirrup is also concentrated in the tread to assist in proper leg positioning. Strategically placed stirrup leather eyes provide rider comfort and assist in retrieving lost stirrups.
“The shock-absorbing system allows the stirrups to follow the natural movement of the foot and reduces knee and ankle fatigue.“
- Specially designed grip
- Shock-absorbing system
- Designed to improve posture and maintain leg position
Best Dressage Stirrups for Knee Pain: Flex-On Dressage Stirrups
Stirrups in the Aluminium Range are made of a special type of aluminium used in aeronautics for strength and lightness.The Flex-on stirrup offers sophisticated bending which absorbs shock, with a tread that has a “Grip” or “Ultra-Grip” -surface for better adhesion, optimal stability and a perfect connection for your riding. The stirrup frame with its offset, skewed slot for the stirrup leather is ultra-lightweight. Choose from many magnetic personalizations including country flags. The Flex-on Aluminium stirrup is fully machined from a solid block.
- Shock absorption system
- Great grip
- Wide tread