The benefit of flexible stirrups
The flexible stirrups from Sprenger have an innovative 4-link system. These are 4 links like in a bicycle chain that allow upper part of the swtirrup to be more flexible, therefore allowing the footbed to move in 4 different directions flexibly.
Because of the use of this system, the stirrups also have an outstanding shock absorbing effect: the pressure on the knee, hip and ankle joints is reduced. Because the stirrup can move in all directions freely, your foot can get out of the stirrup more easily in the event of a fall off your horse. This makes the stirrups not only more comfortable, but more safe as well.
Sprenger currently has three flexible stirrups: 4 System, Bow Balance and Flexcite. The 4 System stirrup only has the 4-link system in the sides and was Sprenger’s first flexible model. The Bow Balance and Flexcite stirrups are further developments and have many other advantages. These two have the same effect, but the design of the Flexcite is more modern. In addition, with the Flexcite stirrup, the link is more incorporated into the design, so that the chance that sand gets in between or it gets damaged is even smaller.
A standard requirement for stirrups is that they have a breaking load of 600 KG. This means that a stirrup must be able to handle a pressure of at least 600 KG without breaking. To give you an idea: with a person of about 100 KG in full canter, there is a pressure of 300 KG on the stirrup. If that person also jumps, the pressure is increased to 600 KG, which means that the rider could already be in a risk area. For this reason, Sprenger has chosen to increase the breaking load of the flexible stirrups. The 4 System has a breaking load of 850 KG. With the Bow Balance and Flexcite, the breaking load is even 1600 KG!
Characteristic for the Bow Balance and Flexcite stirrups is the design. Both models have a distinctive curve in the top. This ensures, among other things, an easier entry and exit. This also offers extra safety if you fall off your horse.
The curve also ensures that the bracket hangs more perpendicular to the saddle in relation to your horse. This gives you a better leg position. You can make your leg longer and keep your knees better against the saddle.
Centre of gravity
The flexible brackets are also top-heavy. This means that the centre of gravity of the stirrup is at the top. As a result, the stirrup hangs more stable and quieter on the saddle. In addition, the stirrup is perfectly balanced. The advantage of this is that the stirrup swings less. As a result, you have a quieter leg position and you can find the stirrup faster if you lose it.
Finally, the flexible stirrups have an extra wide footbed. This makes your foot more stable in the stirrup and you have an extra good balance. In addition, the footbed is made of two types of rubber: hard and soft. This gives you an even better grip in the bracket and the chance that your foot slips out of the stirrup is smaller. The footbed therefore has an optimal anti-slip effect.
Do you want even more grip? Then choose the stirrup block made of rubber with metal in the middle. This is ideal if you ride with boots with which you also walk a loth through sand.
Sprenger ambassadors Emmelie Scholtens and Frank Schuttert (both Olympic riders) have been riding the Bow Balance and Flexcite stirrups respectively for a long time. The Bow Balance is the favorite stirrup of dressage rider Emmelie; “In the beginning I had to get used to it, but they are super nice! I ride a lot of horses in a day and with regular stirrups I quickly get problems with my knee or ankle. With these stirrups, I don’t have that at all. Extra nice is that these brackets are not only available in silver, but also in bronze and black!” Showjumper Frank Schuttert also notices that he clearly has less trouble with his joints now that he rides with the Flexcite stirrups. Frank: “In addition, my leg position has also improved! They lay more beautiful around my horse so that I can give my instructions to my horse even better.”