Today when I was out riding one of my stirrup leathers broke. It’s never happened to me before (it wasn’t the leather that broke, rather there was a nylon attachment that was part of the hook closure — these are special leathers for a Freeform Treeless Saddle).
Of course it happened when we were cantering gleefully up a snow covered hill. Luckily, it was pretty far into my ride so Freedom wasn’t completely bonkers (nothing better than deep snow to slow a horse down). I managed to catch the stirrup before it slipped off and disappeared into the snow and we ambled home. At least if I’d fallen off, there was a lot of cushioning on the ground.
But it got me thinking. It’s one thing to have a stirrup leather break when you’re hacking in the snow. It would be far more serious if it occurred out hunting . . . or while jumping. Yes, I know that Mark Todd finished Badminton with one stirrup after a leather broke on the fifth or sixth fence, but last I checked, I’m not Mark Todd.
So, my first New Year’s resolution is to replace the leathers on my jumping saddles. Then I’ll take a good look at my bridle and reins. Although I’m diligent about replacing my helmet every few years, I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought new leathers.