Manufacturer: Herm Sprenger
Model: Bow Balance Stirrup Irons
Category: English Saddle Fittings/Pads
Purchase: I purchased these new from the Dover catalog last year, as soon as they were introduced to the market. I also purchased the less expensive "knock offs" for about $49.00 for comparison. I soon shipped the "knock off's" back for refund. I paid about $200 + shipping for the Sprenger Bow Balance irons. This is the model (irons) with the left and right designated on each iron, less weight on top, with a large shock absorbing pad. Dover offers a full refund, satisfaction guaranteed, and I like working with the Dover folks, so I went ahead and purchased for trial.
Likes: Crazy to think about paying this much for irons, when I already had a set of good quality irons. I need a knee replacement in my right knee, and am trying to hold off as long as I can walk. Any way of placing less stress on my knees, back, and hips is worth investigating. Well, I kept them and I think these irons are worth every penny I paid. The $200 (and I am not rich) has made a huge difference in my level of comfort. They significantly reduce the stress on my joints and help me (gosh, I need help) keep my feet / ankles in the right position. I use these $200 irons on an old Stubben Rex, that I paid $100 for. My Stubben works great, but looks like a beater. I suppose it seems funny, $200 Herm Sprenger irons on an 30 yr old beater hacking saddle.
Dislikes: Well, the price is outrageous. That is my only complaint.
Quality: Well, you are paying for the design and construction. I am an engineer, and a professional buyer (automotive). The design is outstanding. I am living proof that they do significantly reduce stress on the body. I like the left / right design difference. Whatever the design secret, they work and the lower cost "knock off's" just did not do the trick. I have used these now for a year, and I am not very careful with my tack as I hack in all kinds of weather. I doubt they will ever need replacing, unless even a much much better iron design comes out that proves better. The pad just doesn't look like it will wear out, although I guess there are replacement shock absorbing pads. As for the Irons, I think you could stomp on them over and over and they would win the battle.
Summary: We are all going to get old, and sports just wears our body out that much faster. I would recommend putting the money into any product that does prove to lessen the wear and tear on the body, and try to save money elsewhere if you are short on cash. Living with knee pain is awful. I am sure folks with any joint pain will agree. It sure limits your quality of life. If anyone else has a tip on reducing body strain for riding, I would appreciate the information. I have a new Paso Fino well gaited mare, but I still use these irons with her, and still ride my QH.
Usefulness Rating: 2.8 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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