Learn to Run uUp Your Stirrup Leathers

  • 01 of 07

    How to Run Up Your Stirrup Leathers

    running up stirrups
    An all purpose English saddle, with the stirrups hanging straight down. Photo: 2010 K. Blocksdorf

    After you get off of your horse, the first thing you'll want to do is run up your stirrup leathers so the stirrups, which are a bit heavy, don't swing around and hit you or your horse should the horse spook. It will also help prevent the stirrups from getting caught on anything. Your stirrup leathers will be hanging straight down, with the stirrups dangling on the ends. This is the normal position for your leathers. Western saddles don't have stirrups and leather,so this only applies to English saddles and other saddles, such as endurance saddles that have stirrups that hang free. 

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  • 02 of 07

    Pull the Stirrup Up the Back Most Part of the Leather

    running up stirrup leathers
    Pull the stirrups up the back most part of the loop of leather. Photo: 2010 K. Blocksdorf

    You'll notice that the stirrups are hanging on what is essentially a loop of leather (or webbing if that's what your 'leathers' are made of) pulled flat by the weight you put in the stirrup. You'll begin running up your stirrup leathers by pulling the stirrups upwards on the back most part of the loop of leather. 

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  • 03 of 07

    Pull the Stirrup to the Very Top

    running up stirrup leathers
    Pull the stirrup up to the very top. Photo: 2010 K. Blocksdorf

    Pull the stirrup right up to the very top so that the top of the stirrup is against or almost against the stirrup bars. (That's where the stirrup leather hangs from.) Hold it there until the next step.

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  • 04 of 07

    Pull The Loop Forward Through the Stirrup

    running up stirrup leathers
    Pull the loop of stirrup leather downwards through the stirrup. Photo: 2010 K. Blocksdorf

    Pick up the loop of leather that is now hanging down and insert it downwards and back through the stirrup. This leaves both the front and back loop of the stirrup leather behind the bottom of the stirrup. 

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  • 05 of 07

    Pull the Leather to Lay Flat

    running up your stirrup leathers
    You're done! But if the stirrup slides down, got to step six. Photo: 2010 K. Blocksdorf

    Now pull that loop of leather so it lays flat underneath the bottom of the stirrup and against the saddle flap. You're probably done now, and ready to lead your horse off. At this point you should loosen your horse's girth a bit to make him comfortable and tell him his work is done. (If for some reason you plan to remount, don't forget to re-tighten the girth.)

    If however, you find the stirrups just slide down the the leathers and end up where they started, there's one more step you can do to keep them in place.

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  • 06 of 07

    If Your Stirrups Slide Down Try These Steps

    run up your stirrups
    Pull the stirrup leather forward so it lays against the top of the knee roll. Photo: 2010 K. Blocksdorf

    Sometimes the weight of the stirrups or the type of material they are made of will allow the leathers to slide down the leathers. If your stirrups won't stay in place once you've run them up try this. Pull the leather forward so it is laying between the front of the stirrup and the knee roll of the saddle.

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  • 07 of 07

    And Make the Stirrups Stay Up!

    run up your stirrups
    Loop the leather back under itself. Photo: 2010 K. Blocksdorf

    Now loop the leather back under itself so that it almost makes a knot. Your slippery stirrup leathers will stay up and out of the way. 

    If your stirrups are run up the leathers when you go to ride, you'll have to pull the stirrups down before you get on. Forgetting to run the stirrup down on the offside can cause a painful surprise when you swing your leg over the saddle and settle into the seat.