Hi Becky ergonomic stirrups like Lorenzini have helped my ankles and calves it’s more for your own health benefits
My favorite are flex stirrups, I own MDC Sport Stirrups, and I love them! They have a rly wide foot base and a cheese grater like footing so that it’s hard to loose a stirrup when riding. The flex helps your ankle stretch after you land from a jump and don’t get that shock in your ankle.
In response to Annelies Mcevoy comment. I totally agree. Although I fully admit I never really have given stirrups much thought. Last spring I started retraining dressage from doing hunters for 20+ years. In the later years of my hunter career, I used 2 versions of the flex stirrups, the double and single flex, traditional SS stirrups. My trainer at the time practically ripped off the double jointed stirrups, and said if I insisted on using jointed stirrups, to use only single flex, as the double jointed ones create way too much flex and front to back rotation. Ive only used single flex black stirrups on my dressage saddle, but after reading Annelles comment, I may experiment with other variations I can find/borrow around the barn. Does anyone have any suggestions on reasonably priced composite wide tread stirrups?
In short, I definitely think you should try a few different pairs to see what works best for you and your horse.
I've tried Jin and Bow Balance. Bow Balance are so comfortable that you don't even notice them, but trying them after getting my Jin, I definitely noticed that the Jin, although not as comfortable, keep me as steady as if I had both feet on the ground almost. Bow Balance are amazing on your joints though. I like having a pair of each around.
Please visit: www.flex-on.fr/en/concept-flex-on and www.ontyte.com
I can discuss it in terms of my personal preferences, and what I've actually tried.
I don't ride in stirrups with the flexible black bar on the sides. These bend so that you can get a deeper angle in your heel. Great if you don't have a lot of flexibility there, but I do, and I have absolutely no base when I ride in them.
Composite stirrups, from what I can tell, are just more lightweight than traditional ones. This can be good if you're lunging or doing no stirrups work, the horse won't be bothered as much by stirrups banging on their side if they are lying against their side. I prefer these for aesthetic reasons, and I do actually like the lightness of them when riding.
The last thing I can think of is wide tread stirrups, and I think they are fantastic. They help with knee pain, and I found they help with my calf muscles seizing up when doing two point work, etc. They give you an amazing base because of the extra space, and I lode them for jumping.
I personally ride in composite, wide tread stirrups, and so far that's what I prefer. People tend to not think about the stirrups they use, which boggles my mind. Your entire balance on a horse is on your stirrups, so it's definitely worth it to try out a few pairs and see what you like.