July 18, 2024
Stirrup treads

All You Need to Know About Stirrup Treads

Stirrup treads, also referred to as stirrup irons, are a crucial component of a horse rider’s equipment. These irons are the platforms that a rider’s feet rest when they ride a horse. Stirrup treads vary in size, shape, and materials, but their primary function remains the same. They provide support to the rider while they sit on the horse and help to distribute their weight evenly. In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about stirrup treads.

The origin of stirrup treads dates back to ancient times. The use of stirrups was first recorded in China in the 4th century, AD. The stirrup tread, which originally was just a flat plank of wood, has evolved significantly over time. Nowadays, stirrups are made from a diverse range of materials, including stainless steel, brass, and aluminium, and come in varying sizes and shapes.

One key consideration when selecting a stirrup tread is safety. The right stirrup tread should prevent your foot from slipping out of the iron, especially when the horse is in motion. Slippage can cause injury to the rider or the horse. Stirrup treads come with rough surfaces, providing better grip and stability. However, the surface should not be too harsh, as it can damage your riding boots. The smoothness or roughness of stirrup treads is one of the critical factors to consider when making a purchase.

Stirrup treads also come with different footbed shapes. The two most common shapes are the traditional rectangular footbed and the slightly arched shape. The arched shape imitates the curvature of the horse’s side and provides a more comfortable fit for the rider. When purchasing stirrup treads, consider the size and the shape of your boot when choosing the shape of the footbed.

The weight of stirrup treads is another factor to consider. Heavier stirrup treads may be more comfortable, especially during long rides, as they lessen the pressure on your joints. However, lighter stirrup treads are easier to grip, and the rider can quickly recover a lost stirrup. When choosing stirrup treads for use during competition, ensure that they comply with the relevant show rules concerning the acceptable weight of stirrups.

Stirrup treads come in various themes and designs. You can choose stirrup treads that match your saddle or horse riding equipment. There are also stirrup treads with intricate designs, including custom engravings that add a stylish and personal touch to your riding gear. Also, some stirrup treads feature stirrup pads that attach to the iron. The pads provide an additional layer of grip and support to the rider.


Stirrup treads are crucial components of a horse riding equipment, ensuring the rider’s safety and stability while riding the horse. When selecting stirrup treads, consider safety, weight, size, shape, material, and design. Remember to choose stirrup treads that match your riding boots, style, and taste. With the right stirrup treads, you’ll be set for an enjoyable and comfortable ride.

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