If you are one of those hard core trail riders who still rides all winter long, you might want to consider buying a set of these stirrup cover toe warmers for each of your saddles. I recently bought a set for my saddle to try out because my goal is to get back out there and ride even in the winter like I used to.
They are made out of a durable nylon material with Velcro straps to attach them to your stirrups. Mine are well made, fit my stirrups easily, and the Velcro strips were long so I think they will hold tightly in most any circumstances.
|My horse Haffy sporting our new Stirrup covers|
|Closeup outside view.|
|View of the inside.|
They do seem to be durable as they withstood Haffy chewing and pulling on them. I guess he could see them in his peripheral vision because he kept reaching back, sniffing, mouthing, and chewing on them, I guess to figure out what they were. After a short time he must of decided they were nothing to worry about as he finally left them alone.
I did ride him for a short time in them yesterday. It was colder and windy, but not excessively cold so I didn’t put any hand warmers in them. I have to say that the whole time I rode him, my toes did not get cold. The type of material in them helped cut the wind. As soon as I get the chance to ride with them in real cold weather with the hand warmers, I will update this review again and let you know how they did.
The only thing I’m unsure of at the moment is if the “pocket” they say is in it is big enough to hold a hand or toe warmer. I’ve never used any before so I don’t know exactly how big they are, but the pocket in the Stirrup Cover seemed awfully small to hold one.
|Pocket inside of the Stirrup Warmers.|
You can see in the photo, judging by the size of my fingers, and where the seams are on each side, the area to stick a warmer into is very small. I looked all over the cover for any other pockets, even if they were Velcro-ed shut, but couldn’t find any other place that could be a “pocket”. Unless the warmers are much smaller than I imagined, I have trouble seeing how they could fit in there. I will be buying and trying some this weekend and let you know if they fit and if they’re easy to get in there.
These covers come in both Western and English, and can be bought in either black or brown. There are several places you can buy them from online, but be sure and shop around. I bought these on E-bay for about $15.00 with free shipping, thinking that seemed like a good deal. Later I found they can be bought for about $8.00 from a few different suppliers, so depending on what they charge for shipping or if you order enough with them for free shipping, you can find a better deal.
Update: I did get a chance to go out and ride for a short time on one of the colder days in January. First, there is no way a set of foot warmers will fit into the pocket they provide in the front. I bought some, and the foot warmers were at least twice the size of the pocket in my Stirrup Warmers. Now I don’t know if there are different brands of Stirrup Warmers or not, maybe a different type will have a bigger pocket, I just know it won’t work with mine. I do have to say though, even without foot warmers, these did help keep my toes from getting so cold. They block the wind really well. My nose and fingers got cold faster than my toes this time.
Two other things worth mentioning… Give your horse a chance to get used to them if your horse isn’t “bombproof”. Haffy really wasn’t happy with them and would literally spook sideways each time I moved the stirrup over the saddle to tighten or loosen the girth. He was also always messing with it. I think he could see them in his peripheral vision and it worried him. Had I just assumed he’d do fine with them and just jumped on him, I might have had a bucking bronco…
Also, these are great for covering the stirrups for kids so their feet don’t get caught. I plan on buying another set to put on our youth saddle. I like them and think they are definitely worth the money.