How to Determine the Size of Stirrup Leathers

Written by bonnie conrad
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When it comes to horseback riding, your safety and your comfort both depend on the quality of your equipment. Your safety also depends on the proper adjustment of that equipment, so it is important for all riders to know how to accurately measure and properly adjust their stirrup leathers.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Saddle stand or saddle rack
  • Saddle
  • Soft tape measure

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  1. 1

    Place the saddle on a sturdy saddle stand or hanging saddle rack. The saddle will need to be on a stable surface in order for you to get an accurate reading.

  2. 2

    Lift up the flap that covers the stirrup leathers. Be careful when lifting this flap and make sure you do not bend or damage the saddle leather.

  3. 3

    Place the tape measure at the very top of the saddle, at the point where the stirrup leather attaches to the saddle. A soft tape measure like the kind used by tailors will work best.

  4. 4

    Extend the tape measure down to the end of the stirrup leather, where the stirrup is attached. This is the length of the stirrup leather.

  5. 5

    Walk around to the other side of the saddle and repeat the measurement on the other stirrup leather. Make sure that both stirrup leathers are the same length.

  6. 6

    Make sure the stirrup leathers are at the right length for you. For most riders the optimum stirrup length will be equal to the distance between your armpit and the tips of your fingers. You can measure this distance by standing next to the saddle and placing the top of the stirrup against your armpit and extending your arm toward the top of the saddle.

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