Stirrup/Leathers/Saddle problem??? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 05-12-2011, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Stirrup/Leathers/Saddle problem???

I cannot figure out the issue.

One leg is either longer than the other, the leathers are stretched or the saddle is off kilter bc I feel like one leg is always "longer" than the other in this saddle!! If I take it up a hole in the leathers, it's shorter, so it's not a lot different, but enough that it bothers me! IDK what to do/how to find out what the problem is and need help.

Also - silly question, but at what length do the stirrups need to be? I was taught to stand away from the horse, pull the stirrups toward my armpit and put my fingertips against the saddle for measurement. Doesn't sound very scientific so not sure if there is a better way. My leg is bent at almost a 90 degree angle - not quite but close. It feels a little - high? Up at the knee. Maybe I need to lower them??

Michele
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-12-2011, 11:53 AM
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Have you gone to a chiropractor? A lot of people with that problem have their hips out of whack and don't realize it. My mom's hips used to be messed up all the time and one leg would be shorter than the other.

As for ideal length, I was always told whatever is comfortable for you and functional.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-12-2011, 11:55 AM
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You might try having someone look at you from either the front or the back when you are sitting on your horse. That way, they can see both of your feet and tell if one is hanging down farther than the other.

As for proper stirrup length, since I'm thinking that you ride english, I can't really help you there.

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post #4 of 12 Old 05-12-2011, 11:58 AM
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Proper length depends greatly on what you are doing.

I was taught (Hunter) if you drop your leg your stirrup should hit you just below your ankle bone.

Are you going by the numbers on your leathers to say that they are even? That only works when they are new. They do stretch. From mounting, from not riding even, from being different pieces of leather, etc. If you are putting them on hole 10 on both sides and they feel crooked they probably are crooked.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-12-2011, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poseidon View Post
Have you gone to a chiropractor? A lot of people with that problem have their hips out of whack and don't realize it. My mom's hips used to be messed up all the time and one leg would be shorter than the other.

As for ideal length, I was always told whatever is comfortable for you and functional.
yanno.... That is a great idea. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and was thrown about a month ago, I'm certain everything is outta wack. Problem was present before being thrown but it has been sometime since I've been to the Chiro and have been contemplating going again. I'll look into that too.

I'll see if I can get hubby to take some photos of me in the saddle.

Michele
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-12-2011, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind View Post
Proper length depends greatly on what you are doing.

I was taught (Hunter) if you drop your leg your stirrup should hit you just below your ankle bone.

Are you going by the numbers on your leathers to say that they are even? That only works when they are new. They do stretch. From mounting, from not riding even, from being different pieces of leather, etc. If you are putting them on hole 10 on both sides and they feel crooked they probably are crooked.
Yes, I have them on the same holes. I did change the one that is lower to go up but then it feels higher than the other side. Probably needs new leathers TBH.

Michele
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-12-2011, 02:07 PM
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Po has a good point that I didn't even think about. I have the same issue when my hips get out of whack. I always end up having to either shorten or lengthen a stirrup occasionally to keep my saddle centered.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-12-2011, 02:29 PM
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My right hip is whacked up because I messed up my knee 3 years ago and the doctor didn't think anything of it (found out about a year and a half later that I had torn my MCL). Since it hurt all the time, I started sort of limping and I carry the weight of my right leg with my hip rather than my quad. So my right hip is all bunched up and tight all the time. I have to stretch it often. While riding, I have to constantly remind myself to put weight in my right stirrup or I'll lean to the left.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-12-2011, 10:02 PM
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Many riders allow one hip to collapse. By that I mean that side to side the pelvis is tilted. If the space between the bottom rib was measured there would be two considerably different measurements. This side that comes closer is considered the collapsed hip. This doesn't end here. The rider then drops the shoulder on that side in order to feel balanced. Often if the rider is right handed it is the right hip that collapses. Heading in the other direction, collapsing the hip creates a shorter leg, the right one. We're not done yet. What adds to this is often a twist in the pelvis, with the shorter side leading, It takes hours of riding at the walk with someone continually correcting you until riding balanced is second nature. Once the rider is balanced the horse's gaits will improve. If there were problems striking off into a canter, it was likely because of an unbalanced rider causing him to tighten his muscles to compensate.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-12-2011, 11:02 PM
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Chele, could you post some pics? The leather can be stretched on one side if you constantly put more weight there. Also you may be uneven yourself (some people are, I remember MM posting her pics, and I myself is not very straight either... ). As for the length it depends on type of saddle. You want really long leg with dressage and short with jumping. With jumping you also may want to go longer for flat work and make it shorter when it comes to real jumping. I usually adjust based on comfort.

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