It may be “No-Stirrup November,” but as you work on your sitting trot with yours neatly folded over the front of your saddle, can you really say you’re happy with them? Perhaps it’s time to try Acavallo stirrups.
Aside from being quite possibly the most gorgeous stirrup irons I have ever seen, Acavallo stirrups have a unique design that make them perfect for eventers. I was hesitant at first. But I am now a believer in what these stirrups can do.
When I first read the description for the Acavallo Arena Alupro Safety Stirrups, I laughed out loud. It explained that because of the construction of “flexible polymers,” that they are perfect for the equestrian with “knee, ankle, or hip issues.” Let’s be honest. Isn’t that all of us? When I read the science jargon of the material of the stirrup, and how that made it cushioning for your joints, I was skeptical. I did not see any spring-loaded action visible that would make me believe such a claim!
But as a trainer who rides in client saddles, lesson saddles, and everything in between all day long … I absolutely felt a difference. I have no idea how this works (there is an explanation of the material here). But the Acavallo stirrups felt cushy. I know it sounds crazy. But imagine jumping up and down on a cement sidewalk. In the same boots, imagine jumping up and down on carpet. The difference is astounding.
I tried the Acavallo Arena Alupro Safety Stirrup. Why a safety stirrup? I’m a professional, and a decent rider. Yet, I took a hard fall at the Kentucky Horse Park this year. My horse and I were completely fine, but it got me thinking. What if I wasn’t so lucky?
Think of a safety stirrup like an insurance policy. You get insurance for cars, homes, horses, farms, and hope you never need it. You aren’t EXPECTING an accident. But if something happens, it’s there. And unlike insurance, this stirrup is way more fun, and looks sleek and stylish! This is NOT your child’s safety stirrup. There is a locking release mechanism, that’s spring loaded. After a fall, it pops back into place with one click.
Now, let’s talk about the grip. It seemed that every horse trial this year was Mudfest 2018! And while you make every attempt to hop in the saddle with clean boots, that’s not always realistic. There were inches and inches of rain, hurricanes, and sloshing around in knee-deep mud this show season. Need a little more grip? These stirrups have it. My favorite part is how light they are. In my experience, a lighter stirrup follows your foot as you travel up and down over terrain, unlike a heavier stirrup which seems to follow the ground. In short, I am less likely to “lose” a lightweight stirrup than a heavier, traditional one.
But how strong is that lightweight stirrup? What I find amazing, is they actually post the lab results for their stirrups online. As an Eventing Rulebook junkie, I love this kind of thing. I read the USEA Cross Country Course Design Guideline PDF by the fireplace when normal people read books and magazines (nerd alert! nerd alert!). The lab results for Acavallo stirrups were fascinating. You can see how many KG of pressure it took to actually have the stirrup fail (this thing stands up to loads of pressure). So you can be at ease knowing that when you take that big flier off of 4B like I did at the Kentucky Horse Park, IF you have Buck Davidson Jr. stickability (ehem), your stirrup will be right there with you. On a side note, I get to ride in a clinic with him in Kansas City this coming March of 2019, and you can bet I’ll try to find out his secret to staying on!
Safety stirrup not your thing? Acavallo makes a wide range of stirrups to fit your taste. And here’s a tip — get to know a company called Frantisi. They are the ones to thank for distributing amazing products like Acavallo to us in North America! It’s not just Europe that gets all the cool stuff anymore. They’ve made sure you can find these Acavallo stirrups at your favorite tack retailer.
Excitement: *** 3 Stars
Durability: **** 4 Stars
Variety: ** 2 Stars