New Stirrup Leathers for Sale
There are many new innovations in stirrup leathers that can offer enhanced comfort and adjustability. Let us walk you through some of the choices available!
Stirrup leathers are available in two basic styles; the traditional ‘buckle under your thigh” stirrup leather, and a single thickness leather with a T-Bar fitting.. Whichever style you choose, all our stirrup leathers feature stainless steel hardware for strength and durability. Most stirrup leathers are 1” in width- the narrow ¾” leathers can be fashionable, but are much more subject to stretching. If the design of your saddle, (or your thigh), makes you feel a lump from the buckle, look for leathers with the flattest buckle possible and a riveted flat collar fitting that eliminates the bump from the double thickness of leather where it goes around the buckle. You can also try sliding the buckle down about ¾”, which will allow it to sit below the stirrup bar.
The T-Bar design, (like the Frank Baines, Bates or Wintec Webbers), incorporates a single thickness of leather that eliminates bulk and pinching and is wonderful if you are particularly sensitive skinned. It is critical that the T-Bar sits below where the leather crosses your shin or ankle, or you wont find them comfortable at all! All our T-Bar leathers have a collar or tab that pulls down over the T fitting for a very clean, neat look. It is not as easy to “run your stirrups up” with this design of leather, and you may have to cross your stirrups over the top of your saddle, which can be a bit cumbersome. If you are a rider who likes to adjust your stirrup length fairly frequently, the top buckle is easier and safer to access, since the T-Bar adjustment is by your ankle and requires the rider to lean way over to adjust their stirrup length.
Most stirrup leathers have holes that are punched 1” apart. This is considered to be the most durable design, as holes that are placed much closer together weaken the leather and encourage stretching, unless the leathers are nylon lined. Half inch hole leathers actually measure closer to ¾” apart. This allows for finer adjustments that are sometimes necessary for a crooked rider or horse, or a rider who has some physical issues. Most quality leathers offer plenty of adjustability with 18 to 24 numbered holes.
What length do you need? Your leather should be long enough that the ‘tail’ can be tucked into the keeper on your saddle, but not hanging way below the flap.
Children under 5’ tall will generally need a 48” leather or, if you are using a T-Bar type fitting, the leather will measure 24”. If you are outfitting a tiny lead line rider, leathers are available as short as 36”.
Adults in the 5’- 5’9 range who are riding an all-purpose or jumping saddle generally take a 54” leather or a 28” in a T-bar style.
Since dressage riders tend to ride with a straighter leg, 60” is the most popular length for adults but the tallest riders or riders with a very long leg can often use up to a 67”.
The T-Bar leathers are a bit less predictable in dressage length; we have found that some adult riders need the 28” leathers, but leggier riders will need the 30” or 32” size.
Leather vs. synthetic … We prefer the use of real leather on a leather saddle. Synthetic leathers can cause undue wear against leather, but synthetics are fine and even recommended for a synthetic saddle. Some synthetic saddles can be stained or damaged by certain cleaning or tanning products used on leathers, but I have to admit that my 30 year old Wintec has always seen real leathers and is none the worse for wear!
Stitched leathers that have a nylon core are extremely strong and stretch very little. There will always be some wearing and raveling of the top stitching, especially where it passes through the eye of your iron, and while it does not compromise the strength of the leather, but can look a bit untidy.