Stirrup Leathers- Lined vs Unlined?
What are the pros and cons to both lined stirrup leathers and regular stirrup leathers?
lined ones should always stay the same length, and not stretch. with ordinary ones the side you always get up on stretches and just a little bit off is enough to put you off balance.
lined ones are thicker so might create an uncomfortable bit under your thigh.
I just have regular ones and try to swap them over when I'm cleaning the saddle and I get up both sides anyway. they are fairly old now so I will probably replace them as the buckles have worn where they sit.. my legs are still the same length so I can't change that! lol
regular ones tend to be cheaper , lined ones might last longer.
All leathers can stretch, whether 'lined' or not, which is why you're supposed to switch them side to side regularly.
The main problem with regular leathers is the quality. English leathers are expensive, hand-stitched even more. So there are a lot of foreign leathers on the market which don't have the density or tensile strength.
I'd suggest you buy the best you can afford, lined or unlined. I've owned three pairs of English leathers, all regular, in 40 years and three horses :)
I'm using $40 lined ones with my Aussie-style saddle. They are thicker, but I've seen no sign of stretching in the 1.5 years I've used them. Cheap, bulky and strong.
i like the lined ones, they dont stretch which is really nice!
The disadvantage of lined ones is that they're a little bulkier and don't slide under the stirrup bar as easily. If you frequently adjust your irons for different horses or to different lengths for flat, jumping and XC, you may find the lined leathers a nuisance.
I rode in the unlined ones for years, and just kept switching them, as suggested above. Now that I ride the same two horses, at the same length I have the lined and I'm really happy with them.
^^maura i change the length of mine literally every day. once you have done it enough they get used to it, or at least you do!
Gypsy, you're younger and have a higher frustration threshold that I do!
Trying to adjust the lined ones from the saddle on a fussy horse is not my idea of a good time!
But I do love my new, heavy duty lined ones - they're good looking and very substanstial.
I also like the ones punched with the half inch holes - lots more adjustment options.
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