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Stirrups: To Cross or Not to Cross

The ability to drop your stirrups and effortlessly pick them up again is a skill that requires practice and whose uses are not limited to equitation tests in the show ring. Many times on course in a jumper class I've lost a stirrup, and being able to pick it up again without a fuss is essential to quickly regaining composure and balance. In the equitation ring, you will often be asked to drop stirrups on the flat or even to perform tests over fences without them. Most often in these circumstances it is as much a test of your ability to quietly and quickly pick them up again; the judge will want to see this in addition to your stability without the stirrups. In the show ring the option to cross or not to cross your leathers is a choice often left up to the rider and trainer. If the…

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