Sunday, 26 January 2014

Side Saddle Clog Stirrup

Went to the tack shop today as I needed a new pair of winter boots for riding, mucking out and walking to work in this cold, wet weather as my old boots were leaking and making my feet VERY cold!

As usual when you go to a tack shop, you always end up coming out with something that you did not plan on buying. It's not so bad when you only ride side saddle as then you are not tempted by all the astride tack (well, yes you are but it's slightly easier to say NO to it!) but today on the top shelf in the shop, was a dusty forlorn clog style slipper stirrup for sale.

These were usually used on donkey and children's saddles in the 19th and early 20th centuries but I have also seen examples where they were used on side saddles as well. Usually the ones found today are very small but the one I found today, is adult sized and fits my UK size 8 (US 10) boots very nicely.

Clog stirrups are identical to slipper stirrups but without the extended foot platform and were used as a safety item on roller bar and children's saddles to prevent the foot from getting trapped through a normal stirrup iron. Since I gave up the idea long ago of finding a slipper stirrup to fit my boot for the historic costume classes, I was VERY thrilled to find this clog stirrup which fits me and is also period correct for my antique saddle.


  1. One of the reasons you may find tiny slipper and toecap stirrups, is that ladies only began to wear boots relatively recently. Prior to that, they actually wore slippers--light shoes. The toecap, as noted, kept this dangerous (to our modern eyes!) footwear from sliding through the stirrup, while the footplate helped keep the light shoes from slipping off the wearer's heel (anyone who's ever unwisely worn loafers while riding knows the feeling). Anyway, the tiny stirrups were for use with the thin, light footwear--once heavier boots were used, the stirrups in turn had to be bigger. So, these tiny stirrups were usually originally for ladies--although undoubtedly some of the tiny ones were later repurposed for children.

  2. This is very true Rhonda. The toe cap stirrup doesn't really fit my chunky winter riding boots properly but it fits my reproduction boots nicely.