Manufacturer: MDC (View all products by MDC Stirrups)
Model: Ultimate Irons (View all Ultimate Stirrup Irons reviews)
Category: English Saddle Fittings/Pads
Purchase: A friend that stopped riding English shortly after having bought some seriously pricey English equipment. She insisted that I try these out while testing some of her other tack I was considering to purchase from her. I hear they retail most commonly for around $175. I bought them used from my friend for $60.
Likes: I have to say, I didn't even want to try them in the first place. I've typically been pretty traditional with my equipment, and not prone to buying into the new bells and whistles. My $40 Korsteel irons worked fine for me and if it ain't broke... But I tried the MDC ultimates anyway. BIG mistake... they are WONDERFUL! I ride dressage and I put the eyelet at the 90 degree angle. Oh, the combination of not having the stirrup leather around my calf and the delightful flexion of the iron made my legs instantly say "Ahhhhh". And funny, I never felt like I had tension in my leg before, until I realized that it was gone! The relaxation in the lower leg makes it all the less challenging to open at the hip and let the whole leg drape naturally around the horse. My old Korsteel irons had a hinged tilt to them, attempting to "flex" with the rider's foot, but they never felt any more comfortable to me than a regular iron... but they would clack annoyingly to announce when I was not setting enough weight in the iron. The MDC irons made a big enough difference in my leg comfort that I know my position has improved as a result.
Dislikes: I don't like that I am getting too attached to the flex iron since they are not legal for competition. Bummer. I'm not stoked that if I want to put a pair of these on every saddle that it's going to set me back $175 for each saddle. Eek gads, that's an investment.
Quality: Great quality. Can't complain at all there. You get what you pay for, which at the retail price point is quite a lot.
Summary: I love these and would recommend that everyone at least try them. If they don't make a noticeable difference to you immediately, pass them up. But I think most experienced riders would notice a big difference straight off, and a difference they would really appreciate.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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