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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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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 =]
 

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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
*snort* well...at this point, I could use all the positioning help I can get.

I am a little worried about my poor knees if I were to shorten my stirrups at all...I've got poor knees (runs in the family...my dad's getting his replaced soon) and they get sore really easily. I ride in the flexy stirrups to help that, lol. I dunno. I'm just rambling at this point, hah.

This is my stirrup length (not the most flattering pic but it's the best I've got)

OH and then here is a video still of me riding Brooke where you can kinda tell the stirrup length...

whaddya think. Should I shorten? (keep in mind...the height of the jumps in the background of those pics is the height I'll be jumping for a while)
 

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The stirrup length will probably be OK for 2'. If the jumps get much more than that, I would go up a hole.

Have a great time!! Let us know how it goes.....with photos!!
 

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*snort* well...at this point, I could use all the positioning help I can get.

I am a little worried about my poor knees if I were to shorten my stirrups at all...I've got poor knees (runs in the family...my dad's getting his replaced soon) and they get sore really easily. I ride in the flexy stirrups to help that, lol. I dunno. I'm just rambling at this point, hah.

This is my stirrup length (not the most flattering pic but it's the best I've got)

OH and then here is a video still of me riding Brooke where you can kinda tell the stirrup length...

whaddya think. Should I shorten? (keep in mind...the height of the jumps in the background of those pics is the height I'll be jumping for a while)
Invest in a knee brace - the change in feeling after I bought one was unbelievable. I have a bad left knee and I once came right off a horse when it gave out while I was out of my saddle. Soft tuck & roll on fresh grass made that whole experience better haha.
I use a TIGHT knee brace, it stabilizes my leg and makes me a little more confident that it'll hold out. I throw some mineral ice on after my ride too and my knee doesn't bother me much anymore.

Just a little medical advice from the farthest thing from a medical professional you can get :)
 

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I hear you on the knees. I tend to jump with a longer stirrup, or else my right knee will scream at me. It's not a really big issue with the smaller fences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The stirrup length will probably be OK for 2'. If the jumps get much more than that, I would go up a hole.

Have a great time!! Let us know how it goes.....with photos!!
alrighty, good. less work for me :p

I try to get pictures...my camera is with me EVERY lesson! But...at the very least...you'll have pictures on Friday of me and the Brookie monster cooling out outdoors cause it's supposed to be kinda warm :) The outdoor arena doesn't have any jumps in it yet cause it's still in winter hibernation, so we're still riding indoors which leads to poopy pictures.

Invest in a knee brace - the change in feeling after I bought one was unbelievable. I have a bad left knee and I once came right off a horse when it gave out while I was out of my saddle. Soft tuck & roll on fresh grass made that whole experience better haha.
I use a TIGHT knee brace, it stabilizes my leg and makes me a little more confident that it'll hold out. I throw some mineral ice on after my ride too and my knee doesn't bother me much anymore.

Just a little medical advice from the farthest thing from a medical professional you can get :)
hehe I have a knee brace...or two...they're uhh...in my room? I got them when I had real bad tendonitis in my knees cause the doctor was threatening to make me stop riding and go to physical therapy :shock: But you're right, I probably should be wearing them haha.

I hear you on the knees. I tend to jump with a longer stirrup, or else my right knee will scream at me. It's not a really big issue with the smaller fences.
lol that's why I had to spend all my money on the flex stirrups (all $30 woop!) I could hardly dismount when I rode with my regular irons, but I have hardly had any problems with these stirrups + longer leathers.

I'm a little weakling right now so I'm not gonna be jumping anything with any heft to it for a while, teehee. But if the jumps do start going up (which they generally do in the summer when I ride by myself) I'll see about shortening them. Thanks! :)
 

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I'd shorten them a hole, but I do ride with extremly short sturrips. Like for any jumping, mine hit the top of my ankle bone, and go even shorter for XC. I only ride with a long sturrip in dressage, and then it's WAY long, like hitting the sole of my boot long. So I do the two extremes, lol!
 

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Don't know if you can see it, but here are some pics of my jumping length sturrips. They should probably be shorter than that too....
 

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When I ride flatwork, it's always in dressage length.

Then, I bump them up when I do any sort of jumping. Usually about two holes but it depends on what leathers you have. If you have the leathers with the 1/2" holes then two, but if you have the 1" holes then probably just one. Your trainer would be able to help you on length.

Then, I shorten them up another hole or two for XC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
stormy - your stirrups look like how I used to have mine. Then someone on another forum told me to lengthen them so that I could open my hip flexors and get my leg under me. Before, they were more like this (probably a hole shorter than now...but these were different leathers so it's hard to tell):
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I think I may shorten my leathers tomorrow jumping (depending on what we end up doing) and see how I feel after lol.
 
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