This is both a product review and a great idea for a Christmas gift for the English equestrian who has everything!!
The picture above is of the EquiRoyal Quilted Fabric Stirrup Cover. This nifty item has become one of my favorite pieces of tack. I had something similar to it that I bought years ago at a swap meet but it was hand made and I never saw one like it again. I came across this one on Ebay and bought it immediately!
It's very simple to use. When your stirrups are in the run-up position, you slip it onto the stirrup on one side of the saddle and then bring it across and pick up the stirrup on the other side. So when in use it looks like this:
It is perfect for the following reasons:
1) Saddles are an investment. The more expensive the saddle, the more every scratch is enough to make you want to cry! These wonderful, soft quilted covers prevent your stirrups from scratching the leather panels.
2) Your stirrups are going to get dirty, muddy and poopy. It's what we step in in this sport, it's how we roll. But it doesn't mean our gorgeous saddles need to come in contact with that stuff, too. After a muddy ride, just quickly brush off your stirrups and put the covers on when you run them up. These keep your leather free from wet and filth!
3) Do you lunge your horse with his tack on? These eliminate the need to knot up your stirrup leathers to keep your irons from slipping down and banging into the horses' sides.
I know there is a strap with a clip at each end designed to do the same thing while lunging
but I have one of those and it will scratch the seat of the saddle where this absolutely will not!
4) The price is right!! For just under $11.00 you can easily protect a few hundred to a few thousand dollars of leather saddle! Check it out here if you're already asking " Where can I get one of these?"HorseLoverz.com
5) They will fit many sizes and kinds of English stirrup irons! I use the MDC Ultimate Adjust irons which are pretty chunky and these fit snug but don't have to be forced into place. That's what is on my picture shown using the covers above and in close up here:
Now for the only possible downsides;
- they are only available in black at the moment.
- I haven't washed them yet, so I don't know how they handle the washer and dryer. Since they are a snug fit over my stirrups, I plan to wash them in cold water with mild detergent and line dry them. I feel that will be just fine!
If you or an equestrian you know is as precious as I am with their saddle, give these a try or share your experience with them here!