And look how sporty they are!

Before I review today’s stirrups, let me give you a little stirrup history (I know you are dying to hear it).

In the early 2000’s, I got a pair of Herm Sprenger flex stirrups.  I rode in them until 2012, swore by them even, and then decided that my leg felt more secure in regular irons.  I switched to $30 irons, and said death to gadgets!  Gadgets bad!  Special stirrups bad!  Blah blah tradition fox hunting George Morris blah blah blah.

So honestly, when I got the Horze Reflex Stirrups I wasn’t too excited.  Being a dutiful blogger though, I put them on my saddle for a ride and tried to keep an open mind.

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It took about three laps around the arena before I was saying, “Horze Reflex Stirrups I love you.  Never let me go.  We will be together forever.”

In crude terms, I love these mofo stirrups.  I take back all my criticism of gadgety stirrups.  I love these so much I will probably be ignoring the ‘silver’ stirrup rule for equitation classes at unrated shows, because these are good enough to risk.  These stirrups are magic to me, and let me tell you why.

MAGIC!
MAGIC!

At first your leg feels all light and swingy.  But where is the heavy iron holding me in place?  Later though, you realize… hey my leg is all light!  There is no extra gravity drifting it where I do not want it to go.  If I say “Leg, stay put!” it does a much better job of staying put in these stirrups.  Also, the foot tred is thick and grippy so I never feel like I’m going to lose my stirrup in these bad boys.

Another plus?  They’re super light.  I noticed a huge difference in the weight of my saddle when I hoisted it up on Simon’s back.  If you have a bad back and don’t enjoy lifting a heavy saddle, buy these now.

And look how sporty they are!
And look how sporty they are!

The stirrups have a tiny little shock absorbing foot plate.  It’s angled and has give on one side.  You can test it out first by squeezing with your hand, and they probably give a few milimeters.  Not enough to make you feel bouncy (like the Herm Sprengers made me feel) but a subtle difference.

Many composite stirrups are in the hundreds of dollars, but these are super budget friendly at $39.95.  Honestly, that’s not much more than I paid for my old school irons.

Basically, I love these.  I suggest you try them if you’re meh about your stirrups, and even if you think you’re happy with traditional ones… I still suggest you try them.  Probably my favorite “new” discovery product of the summer.

So what do you think of fancy, new fangled stirrups?

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23 COMMENTS

  1. I was like you originally – I couldn’t fathom having black plastic stirrups on my saddle. Then I bought some cheap $25 compositi stirrups and holy crap did they make a difference. I will never go back to metal stirrups. Ever.

  2. Total stirrup traditionalist here. I can’t STAND the flexy stirrups. Too flexy, they make my leg feel so unstable. But these… you have intrigued me with these… I do quite like the wide footbed… HMM…

  3. Interesting – I assumed that these stirrups would be actually Horze brand. Looks like they are branded Compositi?
    http://www.victorycanter.com/Compositi-Reflex-3D-Swivel-Action-Wide-Track-Shock-Absorbing-Stirrup.html?gclid=CMGf8uGv2cACFeRj7Aod3HAAjQ

    I didn’t take stirrups and got a surcingle to reveiw instead from Horze. Looks like I missed out! Might have to think about picking up a pair of these stirrups next time I am in Lex. Glad you enjoyed them.

  4. They sound cool, I might have to give them a try! I rode in Sprengers for about a year and constantly felt like my legs had a mind of their own; I switched back to regular irons. But I’m always into trying new things!

  5. ooh these are definitely piquing my interest. my horse’s saddle (not owned by me) has flex stirrups on it that i constantly lose at the canter … would love to try something new but idk how the owner would feel about that… maybe she wouldn’t notice? lol

    • When I borrow a saddle I usually put my own leathers/irons on it. That way they’re always set for me and you won’t change what the owner is used to. Just make sure you don’t need special leather (calf, etc) so you don’t harm her saddle.

  6. I tried some knock-off flex stirrups for a while, and I liked them for my weak right leg, but not for my strong left leg. But I am pro-wizardry when it comes to tack… I LOVE my MDC irons <3

  7. I have loved my Royal Riders for many years but I think I’m finally ready to trade them in for something with weight again. I just really prefer how the heavier ones hang and I’m ready to not have black stirrups anymore. But the RR have made me addicted to wide tread and cheesegrater pads (which are the part of the RR’s that make them amazing to me and I cannot live without those two features) which really only leaves me with MDC. They’re my next “big” purchase.

  8. No black stirrups for Eq. And I’ve owned the MDC ‘jumper’ wide tread and while I loved them (toes stopped falling asleep), my trainer I realized that I wasn’t able to put my heels down as far because it doesn’t let you bend from the balls of your feet, but rather nearly mid-foot. Great for pros who jump with their heels to the backs of their knees, but not so good for newbies like me who totally rely on them heels being way way down. So sadly, at this point, i can’t do any wide treads, wahh. And I kinda like my super heavy MDC Ultimates. 🙂

  9. As an endurance “racer” turned dressage rider, stirrups are a HUGE deal for me. Endurance stirrups are a necessity. You can’t ride 100 miles in crappy, hard, solid stirrups. Of if you do, you’ll only do it once and you will be sore for a very long time.

    When I made the switch to dressage, I looked at those fillis styled irons and laughed. Uh … no. I immediately bought a pair of MDC classics with the wide, heavy tread and a swiveling head for my leathers. I LOVE them.

    I say YES to gadgety stirrups. :0)

  10. regular stirrups hurt my knees (so I have those on my dressage saddle, since there’s less knee action there) but I’ve not been happy with either of my stirrups really right now… you’ve sold me on trying these! Especially because I’m ALWAYS losing my stirrups! And eventers don’t care what color your stirrups are 🙂

  11. I have the wide footbed Jin stirrups, with cheese grater-y footbeds, and love them. Outside of my saddle they are my favorite piece of tack. Dunno why but they just add a level of security and if we’re being vain here I just think they look really nice…

    I had MDC Ultimates for a long time (they flex) and wound up getting serious calf cramps. Couldn’t figure out what they were from for the longest time until I switched to the Jins and the cramps magically went away. I have issues with jamming my heels down absurdly though, perhaps that’s part of it?

  12. I used these same stirrups for a year after another blogger’a review. They are wonderful. My feet used to go numb on long rides and this went away. I would suggest them to anyway who doesn’t like bendy stirrups but has back/knee/hip problems. Sadly when Dickie broke my toe/smashed my foot I wasn’t able to use them. I have nerve pain on the ball of my foot so I need a narrower foot bed and switched to super comfort pads.

  13. I have these exact stirrups and everyone who tries my saddle (and horse) loves them. At $40, they were a total bargain and much better than the clunky ones I had before

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