Need new stirrup leathers

I am posting on Off Course because this is not discipline specific.

I had an embarrassing equipment failure yesterday while warming up for the halfbred Connemara division at the Upperville Horse show, my stirrup leather broke (were it passes through the stirrup bars) and dropped through the ground.

I was able to salvage the day by just using the next shorter hole, and shortening the other side by one hole. I have been using these stirrup leathers for at least 15 years, maybe more like 20, so they do not owe me anything.

So I am looking for specific recommendations. I have always used “plain” leathers, and never had much problem with stretching, but the idea of nylon lined leathers appeals to me.

I have looked at the web sites for SmartPak, Dover, and Bit of Britain (I would love to support Bit of Britain even though it is under new ownership, but the web site just doesn’t give enough information to make a selection). So far, the one that looks good is the Passier Nylon Lined Stirrup Leathers

Does anyone have any experience with these leathers? or recommendations for other specific leathers, or other web sites or vendors to look at?

I do not mind paying for quality and durability, but would prefer not to spend over $100.

I recently had to pick up new leathers too. Check out riding warehouse. I went with the pro trainer ones because they are nylon lined and have half holes - on backorder currently though so I am still waiting.

I’ve had four different makes of lined leathers over the last two decades or so.

Top marks to Beval (which isn’t made any longer, sadly) and Prestige. Those held up well, didn’t stretch, and wore nicely.

Hated the SmartPak brand ones I had on my dressage saddle for a while. They were bulky and squeaky and the leather quality wasn’t great.

I ordered a pair of the lined Huntley leathers during the pandemic, when everything else seemed to be backordered–including those Passiers you’re looking at. I’ve been happy with them, though the leather seems to be wearing a bit more, though maybe that fading is because it’s a darker leather than the chestnut the other brown leathers I had were. They are thin and easily adjustable.

If I wanted the Nunn Finer lined leathers, I would order directly from them, and not bother with Bit of Britain. After an issue I had attempting to buy a coat from them earlier this year, I won’t be shopping with them again. The reins I ordered directly from Nunn Finer showed up the day after ordering, so they’ll get my direct business again.

I have the Passier leathers on my dressage saddle. I bought them used, and they were longer than I really wanted, but the price was right. The buckle on them isn’t huge, so it didn’t make a huge lump under my thigh. The leather is nice and soft. I’ve only had them about a year and a half, and my horse has been lame for most of that, so they’ve gotten probably minimal use. But so far they seem good. They also have half-holes, at least my pair does, and I like that adjustability. The leather wraps completely around, so there are no nylon threads to stick out.

Previously, I’ve had Dover lined leathers, and the nylon is a bit exposed in the leather ‘sandwich’, and I always had little threads sticking out after a while.

Glad your little mishap didn’t happen while jumping or galloping cross country or some other activity that could have made it quite exciting.

When I bought my pony I worried about being too heavy for him so I bought Wintec webbers (and composite stirrups). They are not bulky at all, are lightweight and don’t stretch. Not sure if they will squeak when rubbing against leather since I have sleeves to go over them. You can’t run them up all the way like regular leathers with a buckle but there is a hole to hook them into higher up.

You can buy the same style in leather too. I really like not having a lump under my thigh.

I read glowing reviews about the Prestige stirrup leathers, especially if you are looking for something that isn’t bulky under your leg. Got some a couple of months ago and I LOVE them. I think my jump saddle stirrup leathers just got nominated for early retirement so I can get a set for that saddle too.

I have Passier leathers on my dressage saddle and am very happy with them. I ride five days a week and after two years they are holding up well.

Agreed about the SmartPak ones… had a pair that I really did not like. They were super bulky. I have the Beval lined flat buckle leathers now, love them, and was about to suggest them when I noticed they are almost impossible to find. Kind of sad that I won’t eventually be able to replace them with the same thing. They are probably my favorite pair that I ever owned.

I love my Passier leathers! Minimal stretching, supple soft leather, last like iron.

I have a pair of Freedman’s Soft Stirrup leathers. I ordered the wrong size due to a comical math error, so if you need a great pair of 48" dark brown leathers, DM me. :rofl: They are so soft, and nylon lined to prevent stretching. I love them and wish they were the right size, but that hasn’t kept me from using them currently.

I’m a huge fan of CWD’s. You can sometimes find them less expensively on eBay or on Facebook Marketplace; I paid $80 for a used-once pair for my mother. I’ve had mine for about 10 years.

Runner-up were Prestige. About 8 years in, the leather wore through to the nylon. They remained safe and serviceable, and the reverse side of the leather was still stout and sewn firmly to the nylon core, but it was unsightly and created a pressure mark you could feel through calf-lined boots.

I strongly recommend nylon-cored leathers- that extra bit of security gives you time between “the leather has snapped” and “the equipment has failed.”

Thanks for all the feed back. Please keep it coming.

Nylon core leathers are bulkier than solid leather. This may not be a concern for you. It became a concern to me last year and I tried the TSF Stability Leathers as they were advertised to minimize the feel of the leather under your leg. They did, so well that I replaced the leathers on my jump saddle as well! :wink:

I ordered the Passier leathers, and they arrived today. I measured them with my dial caliper, and they are 20 thou (2/100 of an inch) thicker than my old/current leathers, but they are also much more flexible. They were very easy to feed through the stirrup bars. I ride (on an every day basis) with short boots, and just sock over riding tights on my calves, and they did not pinch.

So far so good.

I had the Prestige which were really lovely, but they probably only lasted 4 years or so.

Right now I have the Total Saddle Fit wide leathers, which are nylon lined. I like them a lot, and no-one will notice that they’re wide when you’re on.