English Western Stirrup Wrap protect knees
The stirrup wrap provides no-slip shock absorption and promotes knee health.
300,000 knee surgeries are performed in the US every year. A high percentage of healthy adults who receive new knees are runners and riders. In equestrian sports, the knee experiences two types of stress: the stretch of the lateral ligaments and impact from riding on a hard stirrup with no shock absorption.
After years of working with spinal surgeons on riders’ back health and riders’ comfort in the saddle, we began working with knee surgeons to develop a product for riders with bad knees. Along the way we developed a product that does so much more; it absorbs shock and creates stability too.
Solving Rider Knee Pain:
We have all seen the funny photos of cowboys with bowed legs but had not taken this as a true and serious problem until several of our customers brought it to our attention. It appears not to be just another funny story. People who ride a lot and people who have ridden for most of their lives actually do wind up stretching the outside ligament of their knee. Not only does this cause mild deformity of the legs, but can also lead to early arthritis. ThinLine worked with surgeons and developed a simple wedge system that attaches to any stirrup and straightens the lower leg just enough to allow the rider to use the leg effectively against the horse but does not allow the tendon to overstretch.
The wedge is made of plastic and ThinLine performance foam wraps around both the wedge and the stirrup. And here is where the real fun begins.
More information from surgeons.
Riding can produce a bowlegged deformity. This happens by stretching the lateral ligament in the knee and compressing the medial ligament and the medial meniscus, the disc-like cartilage between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (leg bone below the knee) This takes a lot of riding to occur, but the funny photos of cowboys with bowed legs are real.
This is lessened by using an appropriately wedged stirrup. Here’s how it works: bend your knee slightly as if you were in the stirrup, then slightly evert ( roll outward ) your foot. You will notice a very slight distraction or opening up of the inside of the knee, relieving some of the pressure on the inside of the knee joint. This also relaxes the ligament on the outside of the knee slightly. The wedged stirrup works in this manner to counteract the forces that result in bowlegs from our legs going around the horse’s barrel.
Wedged stirrups are not new. You may have seen them in tack stores and wondered about them. There are 2 reasons why the old ones were not appropriate: first, the wedge angles used in these stirrups were too high, and second, they did not have an impact absorptive surface for the foot to rest on. A high angle results in jamming of the ankle bone against the base of the tibia in the ankle joint, resulting in cartilage wear and damage. This is relieved by a lower angle and by an impact absorptive pad. The pad allows micro-movements of the ankle reducing jamming and increasing joint fluid circulation between the joint surfaces.
The best combination I’ve found for angled support, plus shock absorption is produced by the company ThinLine, known for its impact absorbent saddle pads (also great for keeping riders spines healthy for decades longer than riding without a shock absorbing saddle pad). In addition to the angle and impact protection, their stirrups feature the third benefit by offering a stabilizing non-slip surface, potentially lessening the probability of a knee or ankle wrench in a “bad moment” on the horse.
As a surgeon who has seen countless accidents and long-term damage in brains, backs hips and knees I am pleased riders now use helmets most of the time but believe the audience is unaware of how much damage they continue to do to backs and knees by not using a simple shock absorber. English & Western Stirrup Wrap Absorb Shock Protect Knees, by Dr. James Warson.
How ThinLine Stirrups Wraps Improve a Riders Sense of Security.
ThinLine wraps are the perfect no slip. There is just enough “stickiness” to keep the stirrup against your foot while allowing freedom of re-positioning. The non slip properties in conjunction with the shock absorption help riders of all levels easily stay with their horse.
How Shock Absorbing Stirrups Wraps Improve Riding.
During a dressage lesson, my seat was too heavy and I was sitting against the motion of the horse. My trainer used the analogy of standing on a trampoline. Of course you would want to do just the opposite: use the trampoline to NOT bounce, but it is true that I was not placing enough weight into my stirrups and was carrying too much weight in my seat, not allowing the horse to lift his back. As I began using my feet to carry more and more weight, I noticed that I could actually sit the trot better. Not only did the springs and hinges in my ankle and knees help to reduce the bounce, but the ThinLine allowed my foot not to move (unless I actually picked it up and moved it on purpose) in the stirrup so I could have the confidence to move my lower leg position forward and back as I needed for lateral, extended or collected work. The biggest “aha” moment was when I realized I could put weight into the stirrup and the ThinLine absorbed so much of the bounce I could maintain an upper body position that made me look as though I was not moving on the horse at all! Yes, the reverse of the trampoline effect! Bounce with no bounce! Landing off a jump was extraordinary! No more jarring, it was like landing like a feather. My horse loved it and stopped rushing to the fence.
I have a penchant for buying horses with huge gaits but no matter, the ThinLine on the stirrup wrap helps you stay with your horse. Creating a more comfortable ride, for both you and them. Of course, the end result is; their back goes up, their gaits improve, and voila, up go the scores! – Elaine
Ride Right Stirrup Wrap – Non slip knee relief
Happy Riding, Elaine Lockhead.