Congratulations to Kelsey and Lynx, who won our June tack giveaway for a set of beta biothane stirrup leathers!
We asked Kelsey to tell us a little about her and her horse…
“My name is Kelsey, I’m an elementary music teacher, and my horse’s name is Lynx. He is an 8-year-old Quarter Horse. We enjoy trail riding around the area where we live. Also we love y’all’s halter-bridle! He has had one for several years and it has held up wonderfully!”
Our July tack giveaway is now live. This month, we’re giving away a black English style neoprene saddle pad. This Trooper-style pad is no-slip and no-fuss, just like our tack! Just rinse with water to clean.
That’s why we offer our stirrup leathers in the same colors as our halters and bridles – from reds to lime greens to pinks, add a pop of color to your saddle. If you haven’t worked with beta biothane, it’s smooth to the touch and very soft, so it won’t rub your leg or your saddle. They also don’t stretch like conventional leather.
So what are you waiting for? Give ’em a try.
We love riding with stirrups. Don’t get us wrong–we’re pretty sure there isn’t a rider on the planet who’s happy to hear their instructor tell them to drop their stirrups and begin trotting at the start of a lesson. But after riding in a lot of different saddles over the years, we’d identified a few problems with a lot of them.
First of all, stirrup leathers tend to stretch over time. As the length of the material expands, the level of the buckle also moves down–especially if you ride with your stirrups at the same length for a long period of time, which most of us do. Even though the stretching might just make the difference of a few fractions of an inch, keep in mind that most English stirrup leathers are set with holes just an inch apart, and yet you can feel a big change if someone else has adjusted them.
And what about that–why do all leathers have to be set at one inch, anyway? It’s not a bad measurement, but for those of us who are Goldilocks riders, there isn’t a great solution without dragging out the old leather hole punch.
Thirdly, if you’re adjusting your stirrups a lot, or changing out stirrups or saddles, those straps can be incredibly stiff and difficult to weave underneath stirrup bars.
Lastly, despite your best efforts, they can often crack; cracked or brittle leathers are more likely to snap, and that’s not something you want to take a risk on.
You can customize lengths and compensate for stretching by punching your own set of holes, and you can diligently oil and re-oil the leathers…or you can pick up a set of beta leathers. (We know it’s a confusing name, but we haven’t come up with a suitable alternative yet). Beta biothane is a durable, pliable material that’s tested to be stronger than nylon and doesn’t require oiling. None. In fact, all you have to do is rinse it off to clean. Want more exacting stirrup lengths? You can use your hole punch, or, when you buy stirrup leathers from our shop, you can request holes twice as close as the conventional sizing, allowing you to get them not too long, not too short, but just right. We’ve also got four different lengths of leather, so you aren’t stuck with a lot of extra material you don’t need.
We think the choice is pretty simple. Don’t you?
In July, we got an order for two sets of blue stirrup leathers (yes, we do carry them and they’re beautiful) from Rose Sandler. Rose is competing in the Mongol Derby–the hardest, longest horse race in the world at 1,000 km through the Mongolian wilderness. What an incredible journey!
Rose wanted one set of beta leathers to use on her saddle, and one set to tie on packs and have as a back-up in case she ran into problems on the trail.
After Day Six of riding, we’re pleased to report that Rose is still in the running about midpack. Good luck to Rose and the other American competitors!