I will be the first person to raise my hand and admit that when all these new stirrups started becoming “the in thing” I was super unimpressed.

Because in all honestly, I had never thought to myself “wow, I am super dissatisfied with my stirrups” whilst riding.

And I wasn’t.



Normal stirrups? No worries


But the more people who bought into them (i.e. the Lorenzinis, the Free Jumps, the Tech stirrups etc.) the more I saw people saying how much it had helped them. Their joint pain, their stability, all of it.

They were swearing by it.



Me at the time


It was at that point I started to become curious, because I have arthritic hips (yes, super annoying at my age but what ya gonna do?) which often impacts my knees and this would show up when I ride.

Especially when jumping.

ESPECIALLY when on cross country.

When I go XC schooling I often walk between fences with my feet out of the stirrups to give my joints a break from being so heavily flexed. Not ideal.



I don’t have a photo of it, enjoy this one


I never really thought this would be something that would change with a new set of stirrups but I bit the bullet and bought myself some PEI Joppolo stirrups at DJWTS in March.

Obviously I have only begun to use them consistently in the last few months, and the review will be coming tomorrow but I think I was wrong to dismiss them so swiftly.

These new style stirrups on the market are super impressive (if somewhat pricey)! Or at least the ones I have are. More details on why in the review post.








 I really cannot spot the difference between PEI and Lorenzini considering there’s about a $200 difference


I don’t know if I could see myself shelling out $350+ for FreeJumps, I tried them and they were good but I didn’t notice a huge difference over my PEIs. They also have a super devoted and cult like following that is at times slightly alarming, so I don’t think they’re missing my business. However, there are still so many options these days I’m not sure if I should buy a second set for my new jump saddle or maybe try a new style.




The Acavallo Opera stirrups 


With a jump saddle on the way I was thinking of getting a second set of stirrups and leathers because #lazy and don’t want to have to keep swapping between dressage and jumping. I ADORE my PEIs and they are supposed to be designed for jumping, so will reserve judgement (and $$$) until I try them out there in the event swapping is justified, but there don’t seem to be any black PEIs for sale in Australia anywhere right now to double up with. Everyone is out of stock.

The Acavallo Opera stirrups are a similar pricepoint, but not as aesthetically pleasing to me. That being said I have heard wonderful things about them and thought they may be worth a try?


So tell me:

  • Are you a believer in the non-traditional stirrups?
  • Which ones do you use?
  • Do you have different styles for different disciplines?

Join the Conversation


  1. I bought Free Jumps on Facebook used for about $100. I don’t like the color and they don’t run up the leathers which is a big PITA. I either have to twist my leather all around and in a knot or remove them. I wasn’t super convinced they did much until I forgot them and borrowed regular irons from my trainer for a marathon dressage then xc school. I could barely walk my ankles hurt so bad after a couple hours in those and I found myself constantly removing my feet to dangle when not actively working while mounted. Then I went to the show and rode all day weekend in my Free Jumps and no pain at all. So I’m a convert.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “They also have a super devoted and cult like following that is at times slightly alarming” LOL it me. I do really love my FreeJumps though, they’ve been a gamechanger for my knee and ankle pain. Unlike the above commenter I do run mine up, and loop the leather through to the outside branch of the iron. Works great. Their navy is too bright though… literally my only complaint. And the price, although I too got mine on deep discount.

    BUT, I do think that the right stirrup can be a very individual thing. Some people love regular fillis irons, others need lightweight, or wide footbed, or lots of grip, or an angled footbed, or want safety features. I would start by figuring out what you want/need/like the most and then narrow it down from there.

    I’ve heard very mixed reviews on the Opera’s, but never tried them myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know so many people who have them and love them but I tried them and didn’t notice them doing anything for me that my PEIs weren’t doing.

      Naturally when I posted on Facebook asking for opinions on the Opera’s and recommendations EXCLUDING FreeJumps because I wasn’t interested in them for the price point I STILL had about 7 people try and tell me I should get FreeJumps.

      But if that’s not Facebook in a nutshell I don’t know what is haha.

      Honestly I think I just want my PEI’s again but I can’t find them for sale anywhere in AUS in black, only blue or red. So the hunt continues, lest I spend my days forever swapping stirrups from my dressage to my jump saddle.


  3. My feet would be dying using regular fillis irons. I have iffy circulation in my lower legs anyway, and it was terrible when I was younger, so I’m liking all these new options – or at least companies really are doing research about making riding as good as it can be. I bought the composite wide tread stirrups after hearing a lot about a wider tread. They were cheap, and a great way to try a new “trend” without me spending a lot of money. They’ve made a huge difference in the pain in my feet, and I can’t fathom going back to regular fillis irons. I am like you, though in that I am skeptical of a lot of these newer stirrups. I just can’t justify the price. I am looking into the MDC stirrups – either the ones that can turn 90 degrees or the ones permanently set at a 45 degree angle. They have a wide tread, and as much as I love my composite stirrups, I think ones that are pre-turned would be better for my knees when it comes to jumping, but I am not jumping consistently enough for me to grab them yet lol. We’ll see. To be honest I’m kind of holding off and waiting for the hype – and the prices – to simmer down lol.


    1. Waiting for prices to drop is never a bad idea. I waited for a while to get my Mattes girth in the Boxing Day sales because dear lord they aren’t cheap.

      That being said I also DO NOT REGRET the purchase one single bit.

      I definitely think there’s something to the hype, the wider tread and angled footbed seems to have alleviated quite a bit of pain for me which is nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like special stirrups haha. Particularly light weight with super sharp treads and wide foot beds. I have a pair of Stübben maxi grips and love them tremendously haha. But yea the price point on a lot of these irons is getting ridiculous and beyond the value of what they provide imo. Like. Personally I feel that kinda cash is better used on riding endeavors first, then gear second. Also I’m a big believer in the used market!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more. Some of these stirrups are the equivalent of 8 lessons, so it definitely isn’t a super high priority. I’ve looked around at second hand, but even then the Lorenzini and Freejumps are still $200+ whereas the PEIs are $115ish at full cost brand new. Baffles me.


  5. I have the MDCs on my jump saddle, but have been using plain fillis irons (horrors) on the dressage saddle because I’m lazy like you 😉 I’d never heard of the PEIs, but when I googled them, you really can’t find them anywhere and I just can’t buy stirrups for $300+. I wanna read the review post!

    Liked by 1 person

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