When do you shorten your stirrups? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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When do you shorten your stirrups?

Just a random thought that I've been pondering lately...when are you supposed to shorten your stirrups for jumping? Is is anytime you go flatwork -> jumping? Is it once you hit a certain height?

I can honestly say I've never changed my stirrup length before jumping (well I have...but if anything it was probably a hole longer) and I do ride with what people have called longer stirrups...I'm wondering if maybe I should think about changing the length? I could ask my trainer, but I always forget and I won't see her 'till Friday and this is bugging me now.

Of course, it probably doesn't matter cause Brooke and I are only schooling about 2' right now (I'm just getting back into lessons after 3 months off riding) but I've jumped her 3'6" before and hopefully by the end of the summer I'll be somewhere closer to that height (probably around 2'9")...but I digress.

Sooo...when do you change stirrup length for jumping?

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post #2 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 04:18 PM
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Every time, I always feel more secure when I jump with shorter stirrups than I would for flatwork. It also helps me get into proper jumping position with my heels down etc.
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post #3 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 04:23 PM
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I don't change my stirrups unless we're doing over 3 feet , so I can stay off her back and out of her way easier =]
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post #4 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 04:55 PM
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I ride with one hole shorter. THey normally say 2 holes, but I ride with my flat somewhat short unless I'm actually in a dressage saddle, so if I went up 2, I'd be in jockey position. Basically, if I'm doing mainly flat with just a few s/m trot/canter fences, I'll leave them long. But if I'm doing a more extended jumping lesson or jumping over about 2'3/2'6 and courses, I like to go up the hole. I don't like feeling like I have to reach for my stirrup when I'm trying to balance the horse through a turn in a counter canter or landing off a larger oxer. Having one less thing to think about just makes my job that much easier, so I can focus on helping the horse do his and doing what I need to do with my upper body. :)
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post #5 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 05:17 PM
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Well I ride flatwork with dressage length stirrups, so I actually shorten my stirrups about 4 holes before I jump though if I am out on a trail ride and jumping I will only shorten about 1-2 holes since my pony is a little spooky and needs some leg encouragement when outside of the ring. If you are only doing small jumps (under 2-2'3ft) and you naturally ride with shorter stirrups then it isn't really necessary to shorten them, since my friend rides (in my opinion) with very short stirrups so she doesn't change them by much.

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post #6 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 05:24 PM
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I ride with my stirrups long on flat as well. At my barn, we go by the general rule that the stirrup should hit the bottom of your ankle bone, and my stirrups are usually a good two holes longer than that. I used to leave them the same length for jumping, but even with the smaller jumps, I found it difficult to keep my leg where it's supposed to be. Now I raise my stirrups a hole or two when jumping regardless of the height.
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post #7 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 05:40 PM
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I ride long on the flat. I go up a hole (about 1 1/2 inches on my leathers) to jump anything higher then 1'. I go up another hole for anything over 3'. I like to ride a little behind though - up off my horse's back, but I like to keep my crotch centered right over the twist. I auto release so I don't have to be "up" above my pommel to give my horse his head. I like to keep my stirrups a little short so I can bring my center of gravity up, but not ahead.. It's kind of weird to explain :)

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post #8 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 05:43 PM
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It all depends on the height of the jumps and the speeds I will be jumping them in.

When schooling, I often use a jumping saddle (unless strictly schooling dressage). I warm up using dressage/lateral work. I use a "flatwork" setting on my leathers. Then, if I start popping over small jumps (up to about 2'6", I may raise my stirrups two holes. If I go to apprx. 3-3' 6", I will raise them again. If I go higher or go much faster OR start schooling XC, I will go up again. If I am schooling steeplechase, they go up again.

I have about 7 holes I use on my leathers, depending on what I am doing.
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post #9 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! So it's kind of a personal preference thing?

I may actually be schooling 2'3"...I'm not quite sure whether it's that or 2' hah. But either way, it's teeny tiny so I probably don't have to worry about my stirrups. At the same time, sometimes I feel like they're a little long...I guess I'll just wait 'till Friday and talk to my trainer about it.

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post #10 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 06:42 PM
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I personally shorten every time that I jump. It may feel funny at first, but it will eventually help with positioning and comfortability.
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