Thursday, 14 April 2011

The Groom's Stirrup

I called the vet today to come out and have another look at Hattie's bump as it doesn't seem to be going down any and I'm wondering if it needs draining and maybe some sort of anti- inflammatory injection. They will be coming out in the next few days so hopefully something can be done other than "wait and see". Also called the hay man to order some more hay for summer and he's all sold out and won't be getting any till June!

That is just fine and dandy as I've only got 4 bales of hay and 3 bales of straw left and apparently the farm shop where I get my feed from, is sold out of hay too. Jacob is ok just living in the paddock with a bit of chaff as a token feed as he can live on air, but Hattie needs her hay. I'm going to have to get a hay replacer like Fast Fibre until my hay man can cut this years's crop.

Just thought I'd share this nifty little stirrup in my collection called a "Groom's Stirrup".

This little stirrup would have had a pouch (similar to a sandwich case) which attached onto the nearside of a side saddle. This photo in Alice Haye's book, The Horsewoman, shows how the pouch containing the stirrup would have attached onto the saddle.

The stirrup itself, buckled onto one of the offside billets (or nearside billets if the groom was riding in an off-side side saddle) and enabled the groom to ride the Lady's horse astride without having to change to an astride saddle or mess about with attaching a bulky groom's pad onto the side saddle.

My stirrup is made from white folded linen or cotton fabric with brass grommets (painted white) with a white doeskin leather keeper. The stirrup iron is made from a plated metal with a hinged footplate so that it can fold flat to put in the case. The footplate only measures 3 1/2" across so obviously the makers weren't expecting any huge men to ride the lady's horse!
Unfortunately, my stirrup is missing it's leather case so it's a bit of an orphan at the moment but maybe one day I will find an orphan case to put it in!

As you can see however, my Mayhew is staying with me ;-)


  1. Very neat!
    I swung my leg over so I was astride in my sidesaddle last night to "reinforce" a point I was trying to make and boy was my right thigh uncomfortable! I can't imagine (even with a stirrup) trying to ride a horse for any distance astride in a sidesaddle! Yeowch!

  2. If you don't mind a modern replica, the pouch appears to be one that would be fairly straightforward in construction (unless there's something really odd going on in back) and hardware. I'd guesstimate around US$25 if I were making one. (Not trying to shill for work, just nattering as a leatherworker)

  3. Oh how wonderful! In all of my research, I have never seen one. thank you for sharing!

  4. I'd forgotten about that photo in Hayes! Laura had a pad for sale the year I met you at SSA nationals, but I bet she's sold it by now. :(

  5. I remember that pad Jeannie! I showed it to Josie as she didn't know what it was. I don't think it was very expensive either but I didn't have very much £££ on me that day (LOL, my black habit took it all!).

  6. I made one of these, but just so I can mount on my horse on the off side. I feel happier that I haven't pulled the saddle over if I mount on the wrong side, once on, I then unfasten it and drop it onto the floor!

    I have an over girth sytem so it works well, I bought a girth extender and put both straps though the stirrup hole at the top, then fastened them together - works very well :)

  7. The "groom's stirrup" was usually used when the groom hacked the lady's horse to and from the (hunt) meet while the lady herself was driven there in the gig or other conveyance. Most grooms schooled the lady's horse on her side saddle so the "groom's stirrup" would not have been used for that purpose. If he was just exercising her horse he would usually use astride saddle. (Source of info:- My grandfather worked with horses most of his working life from the 1890s onward.)

  8. My new owen hunting saddle has a grooms's stirrup pouch!