Originally Posted by kitten_Val
Sorry to re-ask, but does it indeed help with knee pain? And why?
Just as Dumas said:
It helps tremendously. If you look at a typical Western saddle you will see that the stirrups turn in. To get your foot in the stirrup (particularly the right one) you need to reach down and turn the fender so that your foot slips in.
99% of Western riders will use a broom handle to help twist the fender when the saddle is on the rack. This helps train the fender to be in the correct position. Doing it in the method I use, you don't need to do anything else - ever. It takes the curve out of the leather from using the broom handle and it always has the stirrups in the correct direction.
Because a fender on a Western saddle always wants to return to the position it came in when it was new, it is putting stress on the rider's knees and hips as you fight that tendency. Many riders don't even realize how much stress they are going through until they try the way I described.
Some riders resort to an add-on product that turns the stirrup on a swivel and costs in the area of ~$25.00. This method does it all for free and looks 100% better.