Adjustable stirrups are a great advantage for all riders! In this post I will tell you how an FEI rider lost $675,000 because of a lost stirrup. I will also tell you about a fantastic adjustable stirrup that I tried myself. I found the inventor of this stirrup and I never met anyone as passionate about stirrups. As a dressage rider this equipment is very important not only for safety, but having the best advantage for completion.
You can see these in person at my CT. tack shop on 116 South Main Street, Cheshire, CT. 06410
From the MDC adjustable stirrup inventor
A discussion on tack and strategic planning.
Your tack, including stirrups, allows a rider to maximize their control of the horse during pleasure rides, training and competition. Good tack provides control and safety and, when used properly, promotes effective training.
The test of good tack is not how it performs in the best of times, but how it performs in the worst of times. When things get difficult, out of control or downright dangerous, will your tack be there for you and your horse? If you have children or students, will their tack be there for them as well?
MDC Stirrups’™ patented design is forward facing allowing for a natural leg and foot position. This enhanced design provides two significant benefits to riders of all ages: more reliable retrieval and increased release during a fall for improved safety. The design of our high traction, ultra-low profile treads allows for greater support, increased comfort and higher traction, while not being overly aggressive. We do not make overly light stirrups for this reason: overly light stirrups may feel good when everything is going right, but they will tend to ‘fly away’ when lost compared to stirrups with a sufficient weight. Stirrups with some residual weight will hang true and be easier to retrieve. It is the nature of traditional stirrups to turn back to the horse when lost and as they flatten to the horse, often they are difficult or even unavailable for retrieval making them more prone to catch a falling rider’s foot.
When the money or the medals are on the line!
As a judge of two Olympic Games, I have personally seen riders invest their entire riding career to reach this one competitive moment only to ride through the triple without their stirrups! This is poor, strategic planning for riding at any level, much less the Olympic Games. In his classic book, “Reflections on Riding and Jumping”, William Steinkraus states “when the money or the medals are on the line, I urge you to take every legal advantage you can.” This is strategic thinking.
Whatever type of riding you are enjoying, when you lose your stirrup, you want it back and you want it back right now! No one rides better without their stirrups, especially in an emergency. In 2010, Gold Medal Rider, Eric Lamaze wrote in his blog of a lost stirrup at Spruce Meadows that did not come back to him, causing him to voluntarily circle before jumping a large combination. This lost stirrup cost him $675,000.00!! His stirrup of choice that day was an all-aluminum, light weight stirrup, with no forward facing advantages.
I hope you will give some thought to the patented benefits of your MDC adjustable Stirrups™ and continue to have them adjusted for your overall strategic planning. Your MDC Stirrups™ are designed for reliable performance, comfort and safety not by an engineer, but by a rider / trainer who understands the needs of other riders.
Strategic (stra·te·gic), adjective: strategic
- relating to the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them