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 Stirrup Rigging Explained

Sports Saddles Stirrup Rigging

The 3 Endurance Sports Saddles pictured below demonstrate how stirrup rigging is set. This should help to clarify what it means to set the rigging back. Setting back the rigging can be done on any model. However, setting the rigging back is used primarily by riders who two-point and post in the saddle. The stirrup rigging can be positioned for various degrees of comfort, flexibility and security depending on the rider's needs.

Most people who two-point and post order the Endurance saddle. Some riders using western saddles occasionally need to two-point or post. Most trail riders aren't concerned with two-pointing or posting.

The "normal" setting is shown in the top row of pictures. This setting places approximately 60% of the rider's weight toward the rear. Setting back 1/2" is shown in the center row. Setting back 1" is shown in the bottom row.

When the rider stands in the stirrups, the rider's weight will be shifted more forward as the rigging is set farther back. The rider gains a mechanical advantage from where they push up from their feet beneath the rider's center of gravity, which is what makes the difference.

The normal position for stirrup rigging is to set the front edge of the strap connecting the bottom ring, within approximately 1" forward or behind the center of the pommel. The strap connecting the top ring is 3/4" back from the bottom rings strap. This position moves the weight of the rider toward the rear when they exert pressure on the stirrups, which provides a more secure seat position but doesn't allow the rider to easily stand in the stirrups.

Schooling & Training, Trail, Barrel and all other western models have their "normal" rigging position set approximately 1" in front of the pommel's center line. The Endurance models "normal" rigging position is set with the front strap approximately 1" behind the pommel's center line.

NOTE: When the stirrup rigging is set back only the top ring is moved back regardless which saddle model is involved.

If the rigging needs to be set back 1/2", only the top strap is moved so that it's front edge is actually set 1 1/4" back from the front edge of the lower ring's strap.

It may help to check to learn what setting the rigging back has meant to other riders.