Monday, April 4, 2011


Cheating? Or helpful aid to those of us with challenging physiques and less than ideal fitness levels? Or total waste of money?

The #1 thing I noticed in the clinic pictures were that my calves like to float in the netherworld when I get fatigued. When I'm concentrating I can get my toes in and legs working properly, but when I'm working hard to get my horse forward and's not pretty. Some of my favorite pictures from the clinic had Miles looking like a million bucks and my lower half looking like a saddle-seat rider (no offense at all to saddle-seat aficionados, but it's not really what I'm going for).

For the record, I am aware that there is no substitute for fitness and better riding through good old fashioned hard work. This is literally the first "artificial" aid, besides carrying a whip, that I've ever considered with Miles. So, opinions...have at it!


  1. Waste of money. It determines the angle of your ankle and everybody is different. If your weight is not down the back of your leg and through your heel it doesn't matter if your heel is down or your toe is out or whatever.
    Plus you can get in real trouble if you drop an iron and scramble to pick it up in an emergency and have a leather twisted.

  2. I use "cheater blocks" which give the same idea, but you put them into your "normal" irons and it makes it easy to pick them up. I have a weird weakness on my right hip/knee/foot and these (when I DID ride) helped me a lot. I'd suggest the "cheater blocks instead." I bet they are cheaper.

  3. I've never tried them so I have no opinion. I did notice that your toes point out though. Do you ride without stirrups often? That might be something you could do when your legs get tired. It's hard to point your toes out without any stirrups.

  4. As you're aware, there's no getting around improving your fitness and building up to ride better.


    As Jimmy Wofford is fond of saying, you must live through the short term in order to prove him right in the long term (ie, about gadgets being non-essential). I've never used those stirrups, but I do have a jointed pair. Frankly, I'm inclined to agree with George Morris--there's just nothing like a good old solid fillis iron for a strong base of support.

    Do what you need to do.

  5. I just this week realized that a lot of my problems are coming from my jointed stirrups. My old fillis irons are on the kitchen counter, headed to the barn. I'm working on my balance and building a stronger base. The movable jointed stirrups actually impede my progress. I'm more comfortable and secure in the old irons! I'm with SprinklerBandit on this one! :) What did you decide?

  6. No decision yet, and I'm saving for a bitless bridle before anything:) Thanks for all the opinions!!

  7. If it helps you, go for it! I have a hard time with my stupid legs only because they're so short...oh how I wish they were lonng and lean! Anyway, I look forward to reading about your decision and the outcome!