While there are some limits, stirrup length ultimately comes down to personal opinion. Some riders like shorter stirrups, while others prefer longer ones.
Stirrup length is also affected by the activity you are doing. If you are going on a lengthy trail ride, you will probably want stirrups that are a little longer. You will undoubtedly appreciate the stability and comfort of shorter stirrups when saddled up to train a young horse.
Measuring Horse Stirrup Length
There are a few methods for determining a decent beginning point for your stirrup length. Two methods are performed from the ground and one from the saddle. Many riders will find that these methods provide them with the ideal length. Others may need to make extra adjustments to the length to suit their specific tastes.
From The Ground
Starting with stirrups the same length as your arm is an excellent place to start. Adjust the length of your stirrup so that the bottom of your stirrup reaches your armpit, with your hand touching where the stirrup leather attaches to the saddle tree (under the seat jockey).
This method allows you to ride the horse with the confidence that your stirrups are “in the ballpark,” which is a smart safety precaution.
From The Horse Saddle
Remove your legs from the stirrups and hang them down. Make sure the bottom of your stirrup is level with or slightly below your anklebone.
Take a seat in the saddle. Adjust your stirrup so that the distance between your seat and the saddle’s seat is about the breadth of your fist.
If you are a new rider, go with shorter stirrups. While you work on improving your riding skills, you will have more control.
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