When do you shorten your stirrups? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: On the banks of the Red Cedar...
Posts: 494
• Horses: 0
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?

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
John Lennon

juniormylove is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Nowhere, NY
Posts: 702
• Horses: 2
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.
drafteventer is offline  
post #3 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: long island, NY
Posts: 593
• Horses: 2
I dont change my stirrups unless we're doing over 3 feet , so i can stay off her back and out of her way easier =]
barnprincess is offline  
post #4 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 04:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 310
• Horses: 1
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. :)
PoohLP is offline  
post #5 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ontario
Posts: 80
• Horses: 5
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.

All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day. --unknown author
Sophia is offline  
post #6 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 05:24 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 191
• Horses: 0
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.
chevaliernr is offline  
post #7 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Between two places in Canada!
Posts: 1,005
• Horses: 0
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 :)

kmacdougall is offline  
post #8 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 05:43 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 16,405
• Horses: 0
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.
Allison Finch is offline  
post #9 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: On the banks of the Red Cedar...
Posts: 494
• Horses: 0
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.

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
John Lennon

juniormylove is offline  
post #10 of 29 Old 04-05-2010, 06:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 368
• Horses: 0
I personally shorten every time that I jump. It may feel funny at first, but it will eventually help with positioning and comfortability.
Ak1 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How do you shorten your horse's mane? tim Horse Grooming 19 02-08-2013 06:30 PM
can you shorten a saddle pad? chika1235 Horse Tack and Equipment 2 01-29-2010 08:13 PM
No stirrups... horsequeen373 English Riding 2 10-04-2009 07:45 PM
Do these stirrups have a name? banoota Horse Tack and Equipment 3 03-10-2009 02:31 PM
What stirrups are these? Belle Charisma Horse Tack and Equipment 4 10-29-2008 09:26 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome