How long should your Western stirrups be? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 08-18-2009, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Question How long should your Western stirrups be?

How long should my Western stirrups be? I've always worked with them at what "feels right" but what is the exact way to find out? I have a 14hh paso fino...Wintec Western All-Rounder saddle...I'm 5'5" and have really long legs so the usual "length of wrist to elbow" rule doesn't work for me.
Thx--
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-18-2009, 02:41 AM
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The way I always did it was that when I sat in the saddle, the stirrup should knock at my heels. I find that if I use the traditional "knock at the ankles" method, my knees are bent too much and they hurt. I've looked at pictures of myself with my stirrups adjusted at the ankle and my legs look like I should be in an english saddle. (The ankle is what I use for english.)

Should look something like this...heel not as deep as english and knee not bent too much...nice and relaxed.

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post #3 of 11 Old 08-18-2009, 06:06 AM
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My rule of thumb is to have about 1" or 1 1/2" between the saddle and my crotch when I stand in the stirrups (feet in the riding position). I find that that gives me just the right amount of flex to my legs for any gate or even a small jump on the trail. The picture that Liberty posted looks just about perfect.

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post #4 of 11 Old 08-18-2009, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-19-2009, 07:24 AM
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I read somewhere to start off measuring them on the ground. Put your hand up on the fender and then under the seat jockey. The stirrup should be as long as your arm. Then you can adjust from there once you see how it feels when you're in the saddle.

Laura
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-20-2009, 06:52 PM
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I've always adjusted so that the stirrups knock my heel (like a previous poster said). In English I measure so the stirrup knocks my ankle bone.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-23-2009, 03:27 PM
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When I was learning to adjust stirrups I was taught that you should be able to have about the space of your hand underneath you when you stand in the stirrups.

Now, this was a very long ago and I don't know if there are better methods but it has always worked for me on all the saddles I have had over the years.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-23-2009, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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does this look about right then?
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-23-2009, 04:20 PM
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[quote=SorrelHorse;386013]When I was learning to adjust stirrups I was taught that you should be able to have about the space of your hand underneath you when you stand in the stirrups.
quote]
A hand is ~3 to 4". That is a LOT of bend to your knees and, for me, pretty painful after 2 or 3 hours in on the trail.

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post #10 of 11 Old 08-23-2009, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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[quote=iridehorses;386062]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse View Post
When I was learning to adjust stirrups I was taught that you should be able to have about the space of your hand underneath you when you stand in the stirrups.
Quote]
A hand is ~3 to 4". That is a LOT of bend to your knees and, for me, pretty painful after 2 or 3 hours in on the trail.
I think they meant the distance from your palm to the back of your hand....so about an inch
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