In Search Of

Shopping is my nemesis. I’m cheap and prefer used to new, but I like high quality goods that will last long enough to delay the shopping experience a good healthy while. I’ve already dumped more into H’Appy’s current tack set up than I did in total over 10 years with Gem, ugh.

There are a few more pieces I’d like to change out though which means more shopping and spending more money. Before hitting the various online and app based used tack places to search through crappy ads with bad pictures and important information missing , I thought I’d hit up the blogging community. You all are much better tack hoarders than I am and I was hoping to snag some used items from one of you instead of a complete stranger.

The two items I’d really like to snag right now are new irons and a set of iron covers. Seems like I need to do a better job protecting my new precious saddle with its luxe leather. The iron covers are nicely priced on Etsy and I am fine ordering from there, but maybe one of you makes them and wants some side hustle money? I’d buy the Bates ones, but they are purple and I’ve already sunk low enough to use navy. Purple is not going to happen. Seems like once you start down the purple road your brain turns to a purplish mush and you go insane.

Not this color or pattern, but something soft and fleecy like this to protect the flaps when my irons are run up.

Irons are more difficult to figure out. The Bates saddle I took on trial before ordering mine had wonderful stirrups on them. Unfortunately I wasn’t smart enough to take a picture or ask the brand before returning the saddle. I’ve done some research and I believe they were the Compositi wide bed with shock absorber like below:

The ones I tried were silver but they had the wide foot bed with the arrow to show which side the iron belonged on. Of note, they were on backwards.

I’m not set necessarily on that specific brand, but I really liked the wide foot bed, the aggressive tread and the slight give it had. The only two things I wished it had were a 90 degree eye so it laid correctly on the leathers and were a bit heavier than the plastic composition.

They aren’t even that expensive online, but again maybe a blogger has a pair they aren’t using and want some cash with show season around the corner. Anyone have anything similar they want to sell before I buy new?

34 thoughts on “In Search Of”

  1. No help in having you find a pair… but the MDC irons with the springs should check all those boxes for you (rotating head, wide & aggressive tread, more substantial weight, and some give). personally, I hate stirrups with give because I feel like it makes it hard to “ground” myself in my stirrups, but I think its a 100% personal thing. You can probably find a pair online fairly reasonably.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve tried the MDC and didn’t like them. These compositi ones don’t have give in the sense that you can feel the stirrup bed moving under the foot. It’s more just a light shock absorption effect. I don’t know. Hard to explain. But thanks for the suggestion!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally disregard me then! I think stirrups are such a personal preference. You have to just ride in as many of them as you can until you find what you like.


  2. So because I grew up completely cheap, stretched out,old socks will fit over irons – especially men’s socks.
    I bought a set of compositi stirrups and absolutely love them. They’re lighter, float nicely with your footbed, and if you do lose one they’re not a pound of metal hitting the horse. I found mine at Dover on deep discount for around $ 20 bucks. Warning though, I did buy purple ones!😉


    1. That’s a good idea with the socks. I wonder if Dusty would notice?

      Thanks for the mini review on the stirrups. I really liked them on that trial saddle. But no purple. What is up with all you purple people? It’s like a cult


      1. LOL! The purple, I believe, is a product of moving and trying a lot of different riding styles. I started out eventing/hunters (SC)and we moved to a really heavy stock horse and saddleseat area(NC)-so I bought an Appy. Then we moved to AZ. Which is a hodgepodge of western/games/dressage/hunters. Then we moved to the black hole of the horse industry (coastal GA). When I got to NoVA-where all things western or games or flashy are derided in the most hardcore fashion-I choose to be cheekily obnoxious. These are like the Compositi ones I got (and it’s a good price, too!):


  3. I just bought a pair of stirrup covers because my MDC ones were leaving marks on my BRAND NEW Millbrook leathers. I got the below pair in black with turquoise monogram/jumper logo an they look awesome. Because of the size of the MDC (wide base), she needed to custom make a larger size and my total, including shipping/tax, was $21. Highly, highly recommend. They fit great, look great, and do the job.


    As far as irons, I really like my MDC Super Sports. I don’t have a lot to compare them to, though, since once I buy something and like it, I tend not to go searching for something else. But they have a wide base, are heavy enough that if you lose it, it’s easy to find it (unlike some lightweight stirrups that just go flying around), you can rotate them 3 different ways, and they have the flexible sides which were a lifesaver for me when I broke my ankle. Not sure if those were the ones you tried, as they have a few different models.


      1. another vote for the MDC stirrups. LOVE THEM. (I have bad knees and bad ankles and they help me so much). My feet never (hardly ever) fall out of them even on some doozies of a missed distance HA. I have the Flex ones. LOVE THEM. They are not light but I love the wide tread and they stay where they need to stay. AND WHY NOT PURPLE STIRRUP COVERS?? you are so unimaginative 🙂 HA HA HA



  4. I use the exact stirrups you have a picture of and I love them. I do love that the composite is light and not heavy, and I think that the fact that they’re plastic keeps them from marking my saddle as much as metal. They’re grippy enough for me – I think my feet have come out of those maybe once in the almost 2 years I’ve had them. So I really like these. As for stirrup covers, I made myself a pair of Ravenclaw covers because no else had the fabric/pattern that I was looking for (seriously everyone has either Slytherin or Gryffindor; where are the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs?! Plus, the fabric wasn’t fleece). It was a super fun (and super fast) project, so I dunno but if you can’t find anything you like in stirrup covers I’d be more than happy to make you a pair 🙂


  5. I think Tracy (printable pony) makes stirrup covers but she is also at WEF right now. You know I never had stirrup covers for my Antares saddle and probably never will and the leather was just fine.


      1. We sell patterns for 2 different types of stirrup covers on the printable pony, not the actual covers. I have to say the over the pommel cover pattern, done in fleece, is about the easiest sewing project on the planet . (I am Tracy’s mom and pattern designer)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Whaddya mean purple turns the brain to mush?! 😎 what a ridiculous idea.

    I have a pair of composite stirrups that I don’t use You could have them but the shipping might be the same as buying new.

    At the dollar store you might be able to find some cloth bags that would work.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, you’re fine. They’re not super dangerous or anything, but they are not a safety stirrup – there’s nothing to release your foot (rubber band that break, bar the flips out, etc) if you fall off. The issue I actually had with them if they are so light, they flap around, so if you lose your stirrups, you can’t get your foot back in them while still moving. It was one of those bizarre things I had read George Morris bitching about being dangerous years ago and laughed at because GM is always bitching about any new fangled thing being dangerous and ignored until I had a really bad near-fall where I literally could not get my foot back in my stirrup because it was bouncing around in the air. I had to come to a complete stop, let it fall, then put my foot in. I literally remembered that GM rant at that moment and I haven’t ridden in them since. I was thinking I might use them for a trail saddle though – they really are comfortable. The safety issue is minor and if you’re not jumping high/doing XC, I wouldn’t worry about it.


  7. I am with you as I just do NOT understand purple (sorry to all the purple people eaters out there).

    Stirrups-wise I have heard good things about the Free Jumps, MDC, Lorenzini’s and Acavallos.

    All come with pretty decent price tags even if you are buying second hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have Royal Rider flex stirrups which are what the Compositi are based on I think. They are amazing and super comfortable for me. I think they’re a little heavier than the Compositis, but they’re definitely still a lightweight iron. I want something heavier as we start jumping bigger this year, but I haven’t come up with what I want yet.


  9. Late to the game – but I can make you stirrup covers if you want. I’ve done a few for other people. I can do any pattern you see on my website, or a plain color, and can add embroidery if you want (monogram, name, farm name, etc.). https://www.etsy.com/shop/BelJoeorMetier

    On stirrups – I am low-key in the market for new stirrups and the Compostis were recommended for me by a couple of people. I’ll probably snag a pair whenever I do a supply order next. I thought long and hard about the offset eye but a lot of people were iffy on whether they actually improved hip and knee pain, which was what I would want them for.


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