Stirrup Showdown: MDC vs Royal Rider vs fillis

As some of you may remember from a few months ago, curiosity drove me to perform a little experiment, pitting my beloved Royal Riders irons against the more traditional looking MDC irons. I also had a pair of regular fillis irons lying around, so I included them in the showdown as well, although they are not pictured below. The two MDC models I tried were the Sport Classic and the S Flex. For comparisons sake, my Royal Rider irons are the Flex model.

the MDC Sport Classic, Royal RIder Flex, and MDC S Flex

To provide a little background, I rode in fillis irons as a kid but always had problems with my legs burning and feet going numb. Come to find out (many years later), I have pretty significant compartment syndrome in my lower legs, so my blood flow is very easily compromised. From 1998-2007 I used Herm Sprenger 6 way irons, which helped tremendously with the pain but I also felt like they made my lower leg quite unstable. I didn’t realize exactly how unstable until I got my Royal Riders – it was an instant difference. I’ve ridden in the Royal Riders ever since and had very few complaints with them, functionally. I’ve never really been a big fan of the look though, and couldn’t ever decide how I felt about the lightweight composite. I also wasn’t sure if the wide footbed was what made such a big difference for my leg pain or if the flex contributed as well. I had always looked at the MDC irons and wondered how they would compare. After talking to Martin at MDC, he recommended that I try the Sport Classic and the S Flex.

To draw fair comparisons I used each pair of irons on each of my saddles, for both dressage rides and jumping rides. When I originally got the MDC’s I was pretty certain that I would like the Classics more than the Flex…. mostly because the physical appearance of the Flex irons reminds me of the Herm Sprenger, which I have such negative memories about. The Royal Rider irons, while they do have some flex to them, are not nearly as “bendy” as my old HS irons were, which is why they felt so much more stable. I was concerned that the MDC Flex irons would be too flexible as well, but in a side by side comparison the amount of flexion was very similar between the Royal Rider Flex and the MDC Flex. Enough to provide some “give”, but not enough to seem unstable. The MDC had perhaps a bit more flex, but not a significant amount. The other obvious difference between the irons is the top. The MDC Sport Classics have an adjustable top that allow you to change the angle at which the stirrup hangs – the traditional position, a 45 degree angle, or a 90 degree angle. The Royal Riders obviously hang in the traditional position, as do regular fillis irons. The MDC S Flex hang in a fixed 45 degree position.

Without further ado, here were my opinions of each iron, in reverse order of preference.

Traditional Fillis Irons

When I started this experiment, these were the irons I had on my dressage saddle. They were ok on that, although I did sometimes find myself losing a stirrup. I switched them to my jumping saddle for one ride just to make sure that my old opinion of them still stood, and boy did it ever. Within 5 minutes my ankles were on fire and within 10 minutes my toes were going numb. I also didn’t think they felt particularly supportive under my foot (when I sunk into my heel I felt like the irons wanted to “escape” toward my toe) nor did I have a particularly easy time keeping my feet in the irons, with standard rubber pads. I spent the entire ride focused on and fidgeting with my feet, instead of actually focusing on riding my horse. The verdict: I still hate fillis irons. There is a lot to be said for the traditional look, but for me the functionality is almost nill.

After we get past the fillis irons, which I hate with every fiber of my being, the other 3 are really closely matched.

MDC Sport Classic

It was hard for me to decide where to rank these, because I liked them the most for dressage but not as much for jumping. The Sport Classics just weren’t the right irons for me over fences, and in my world the needs for jumping trump the needs for dressage, so that’s ultimately how I decided to rank them. Although I liked these irons light years more than regular fillis irons, I just didn’t like them quite as much for jumping as my top two. I tried them in all 3 positions – traditional, 45 degree, and 90 degree (LOVE that feature, by the way) and on both saddles. I actually liked them a lot on my dressage saddle, especially in the 90 degree position. Coming from h/j land it’s difficult for me to let my leg drape in the correct dressage position, but these irons really seemed to hang well on their own and encourage my leg to do the same. I also liked the traditional look – from the side they look like fillis irons. The only reason these lost out for me a little bit was because on my jumping saddle I experienced the same feeling of the stirrup wanting to move a bit forward when I tried to sink down into my heels. Definitely not as much as the regular fillis iron, but a little bit. I’m guessing this is likely due the extreme lack of flexibility in my ankles, but a few times I found myself fishing to reposition them correctly while jumping. I did not experience any of the burning or numbness in my feet however, which now makes me think that the wide footbed is really the key for helping me with that issue. Ultimately I was sad that I could only afford to keep one pair of MDC’s, otherwise these would still be on my dressage saddle.

Royal Rider Flex

Honestly, I think that my physical issues just necessitate an iron with some flex. That’s the complete opposite of what I thought I would find from this experiment, but really good to know. When I have a little bit of “give” in my iron I seem to be able to keep my feet under me a little better, and the iron seems to stay more securely in place on my foot, so that’s why these got the nod over the Sport Classic’s. I still like my Royal Riders as far as comfort and function go, although I remain pretty “over” the cheap black plastic look and am still unsold on the lightweight composite. For safety reasons I really prefer something with a little more weight to it. Which leads me to…

MDC ‘S’ Flex

These are the irons that Martin predicted I would like when I spoke to him on the phone about my issues, but I have to admit I thought he was wrong, and I have to then subsequently admit that he was right. When I took these out of the box I immediately thought NOPE because they reminded me of my old Herm Sprengers, but it was a mistake to judge them purely on looks and past prejudice. I’ve had these on my jumping saddle for a couple months now and have tested them in every scenario – flatwork, hacking out, the jumping ring, and cross country. With the kind of spring we’ve had I’ve also used them a lot in the mud and the rain. The grip is superb (never would have thought these would be as grippy as the slice-your-finger-open cheesegrater pads on my Royal Riders, but they have managed to do that without being quite so… lethal) and they always stay where I put them, whether it’s the ball of my foot for stadium or a little more “home” for XC. I have yet to lose a stirrup while using these, even with some pretty impressive acrobatics from Henry on cross country. I don’t love the look of any flex iron as much as a traditional solid metal fillis iron, but since flexion seems to be my destiny, I have to learn to live with it. I do like that these are at least metal/gray instead of black plastic, and have a good solid feel to them. I’m unsure as to whether or not I get any benefit from the 45 degree S feature at the top, since typically I don’t have knee pain except for after long horse show days. Of course, now that I say that, I haven’t noticed much knee pain after shows so maybe it’s doing something after all.

Overall I learned a lot about stirrup features and personal preference from comparing all these irons. I would greatly encourage anyone else who is interested to take advantage of MDC’s Free Trial Ride and/or 100% money back guarantee policies, or contact Martin at 831-393-0588 (note: he’s on the West Coast) and speak to him yourself to see what he might suggest for you. He has also graciously offered to answer questions in the comments of this blog post, so feel free to blast away!

79 thoughts on “Stirrup Showdown: MDC vs Royal Rider vs fillis

  1. I have been waiting for this review. Thanks so much for doing it. I am currently riding in Jins and I do like them but the adjustability feature of the MDCs intrigues me. I’m adding a pair of MDCs to my wish list. 🙂

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  2. Sometimes you get what you pay for! I snagged a pair of MDC Hunter Classics off eBay for $20 on a whim, and they are AMAZING. I feel so secure!

    My foot still slips around and fishes sometimes, but that’s more a lack of flexibility in my ankle and lack of strength in my lower leg. Even when the stirrups slip around, I feel so snug and safe. Knowing how great they are, I would gladly pay retail for another pair. #notasalesrepiswear #justexcited

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great deal. I am glad you are enjoying your Hunter Classics. We have updated that design with the MDC ‘S’ Classic which is almost the same, but they have a ‘forward facing’ design.

      Like

  3. This is really quite interesting.

    I’ve used the HS-ish irons in the past, but felt that they had too much flex, and the iron would actually slip forward when I tried to sink weight into my heels. Right now, I’m riding with plain old $40 fillis irons but I find myself constantly adjusting my foot in the stirrup and have lost my stirrup a few times. The regular fillis irons never seem to stay in one place under my foot, which is super annoying on a 5-year old OTTB, This post made me think about checking out some new stirrup irons, maybe I’ll look into something like the MDC’s.

    Thanks for such an in-depth review!

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    1. Definitely recommend the trial program! It’s great to be able to compare and contrast irons and figure out what works best for you, especially because different people have different needs.

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    2. Your comment about the HS being too flexible is correct. When I invented our stirrups over a decade ago, as a rider, I too saw that their rubber broke over too easily. When I met with the rubber manufacturer, I said please make the rubber tighter. Coming back six days in a row, with each day gaining more and more ‘shore hardness’, the term for a tighter rubber density, I finally found what was a better tension. Our rubber is meant to offer enough give to act as a shock absorber, but not to allow the heel to drastically drop down on first touching the tread.

      Not everybody notices this subtle improvement, but I am glad that Amanda and you did.

      Thanks,

      MDC

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  4. Love MDC stirrups! I got a used pair of MDC Ultimates from Martin for $75 bc some of the black paint was chipping off. Total score. So, check in with him to see if he has any used ones.

    Glad that you found a pair that works for you! 🙂

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  5. It is so funny you always come up with a blog that pertains to my shopping needs at this moment (Hence why you make me spend so much money LOL).

    I know “make” is an operative word but you might as well be holding a gun to my head (2 PS sweden bridles, Equipe Magyk boots, and now stirrups) 🙂

    Great post as always!

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  6. The HS jointed irons were always the holy grail for me growing up. Lots of people at my trainer’s place had them and I always wanted a pair. I finally got my own pair in 2008ish and rode in them about 2 years. At first I loved them, but it got to the point that they were causing so much knee pain that I had to stop using them. I would get off my horse and barely be able to walk because my knees hurt so bad. Next were the Royal Rider irons, the non flex version. I liked them a lot, I just didn’t like that when I lost them they were hard to pick up. Then was a pair of regular fillis irons with the super comfort pads. I liked them, but didn’t love them. Then I found a pair of Equipe aluminum irons for pretty cheap and bought them even though they were blue. They sat in my tack trunk for months before I actually used them. They are nice and I love the wide footbed. I attempted to spray paint them, which worked okay, but it is starting to chip a bit. For what I’m currently doing it doesn’t matter, but for showing I would probably need to figure something else out, or at the very least find another paint option. I attempted to sell them, but since they’re blue, I didn’t have any luck.

    All that said, I’ve heard very good things about the MDC stirrup irons and I would love to try a pair if I were ever in the market for a new pair of stirrups. Thanks for the awesome review. 🙂

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    1. Stirrup technology has improved greatly since the first introduction of the HS irons in the 90s. We guarantee that if you don’t LOVE your MDC’s, we give your money back. You are only responsible for the shipping.

      Google our product to hear from others how they have improved their ride, etc., or give me a call to discuss your thoughts.

      Anything that can improve your security, leg position, is safer and potentially reduce pain is a good tack purchase. Most of what we buy is superficial. Our products good to the need of riders for a better base of support.

      MDC

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  7. I love the MDC flex stirrups. That’s what JLE had on her saddle and I loved riding in it. They’re at the top of my list for things I must have when I get a job. Agree with how awful regular old fillis irons are.

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  8. Good review. I also rode in 6 way Sprengers for years and had to quit because my lower leg was floppy mcflopperson. I’ve switched to a cheap composite with a tiny bit of shock in the foot bed, and I LOVE them.

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  9. Glad to know I’m not hte only one in the “completely inflexible ankle club” who is flat crippled by fillis irons. Loved the write and would love to try the MDC flex if I wasn’t quite so in love with my Lorenzinis still. (I can’t help it. I love everything about them.)

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    1. I would be happy to send MDCs your way, but fully realize the cost you put into your other stirrups.

      It would be great to get a comparison if you are open to that discussion.

      MDC

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  10. You know, I never thought about stirrups themselves for helping out with leg stability, position, and comfort. They are probably at the bottom of my list in terms of things I’d elect to buy, especially given all the other MUST HAVE NOW items I seem to need all the time. But after reading this, I’m seriously wondering if a better pair of stirrups couldn’t help out with some of my leg pain issues too…. curses.

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    1. Nicole,

      The stirrup and saddle are the ‘base’ of your riding position. Our stirrups offer ‘real’ benefits towards improving your base, position and comfort. Please Google other forums to see other rider’s comments or go to our testimonial page at http://www.mdcstirrups.com

      Pain is no fun.

      MDC

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  11. Interesting…. I only have a pair of plain old-fashioned stirrups and they serve me just fine. I have some instability issues with my lower leg, but I wouldn’t know whether that is a stirrup issue or a position thing. Something to think about! o.O

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  12. I’ve been in regular fillis irons for a loooong time and it’s nto uncommon for me to lose a stirrup here or there (though I’m betting it’s mostly my fault for that, probably not the stirrups. Anything that might help me solidify my leg is worth a try in my book (plus of course, lots of practice and training – I know there’s no magic fix)

    I’ve always wondered about the durability of the the ones that you adjust to different angles. Does it seem like that pivot point would hold up well over time?

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    1. It’s extremely solidly made, not cheap or flimsy feeling at all. But if you’re worried about that, the S models are all one solid molded piece, just not adjustable from the 45 degree angle.

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    2. Good question. I will personally guarantee the pivot point for life. How’s that?!?

      Should you purchase our adjustable models, occasionally use a little WD-40 on the mechanism both for cleaning and lubricating.

      MDC

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  13. Do you see a difference in how well you keep your heels down between a regular foot bed and a wide one? My concern is that I would ride with more of a flat foot (I don’t need help doing that, lol) than I do now.

    I’m also concerned I would miss my stirrup pads that wrap around the foot bed because they are genius for making me not fidget in the stirrup all the time. They certainly wouldn’t fit around the wide foot bed.

    I did ride in a friend’s pair of MDC stirrups recently but they were the regular foot bed with the flex and the ability to change the angle. I definitely liked the amount of flex better but didn’t notice much regarding the 45 degree angle I had them set at.

    I have the regular 6 way Sprengers on one saddle and some generic flex ones on the other and I continually pull something on the outside of my right leg so I would certainly switch for that to go away…

    Thanks for the comparison review!

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    1. I can’t put my heels down at all in a regular width footbed without severe pain within a few minutes, so yes I do see a difference. I used to have the comfort pads that you’re talking about on my HS irons and loved them at the time on those irons but have never missed them since switching to a wide footbed stirrup. The appealing thing about MDC is the trial program and money back guarantee, so it’s about as low risk as you can get to try some and play around with them.

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    2. Very good observation on the heel flexion. There is an ‘equitation heel’ and a functional heel. As a judge and trainer, I am familiar with both.

      You are right that the traditional width tread would allow for a deeper heel. Notice the photographs of the top riders in the world and their stirrups. For the most part, they are riding in wide tread stirrups. Now notice the depth of their heel. All of these riders have created a functional heel position.

      I would recommend starting a beginner or novice rider in the standard width tread to gain the basic use of their leg angles and the natural shock absorbers of the lower leg. (This is why our MDC ‘S’ Pony Classic comes standard with a traditional width tread.)

      In the long run, the added benefit of a wider tread creates more support, more traction and more comfort.

      Think a 2″ x 4″ board. Stand on the 2″ side, now stand on the 4″ side. Which is more comfortable, more supportive and has more traction points?

      All this being said, we offer both a wide and an optional traditional width tread in our aluminum models and standard rubber treads in our original models.

      You have made good points.

      MDC

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    1. Thanks Hilllary.

      I love all my stirrups, but especially the MDC ‘S’ Classic. I wonder what took me so long to figure this out?

      They are our newest patented design and I believe they have a great future in our industry.

      We are now making this model in pony sizes; MDC ‘S’ Pony Classic. They come with a traditional width tread as the wide tread would be too much for the smaller riders. As an Official Sponsor for the Pony Finals this year, we will be at the show demonstrating this ‘pony specific’ design.

      MDC

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      1. The MDC S is the only stirrup that allowed me to ride without my feet going numb and severe back pain so I consider them a serious win. Recommended them to anyone that asks. I wasn’t sure about switching from a traditional food bed but these stirrups don’t tear up my boots (or saddle for that matter) and they hang well so if I drop one it’s easy to pick back up. I don’t find myself losing my stirrups much anymore though 🙂 if I end up with a dressage saddle again I will certainly buy another pair.

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      2. Martin, thanks for replying to all the comments. Amanda, thanks for another interesting blog. Because I cannot quilt/sew (my first love) due to current arthritic condition, this 70 yo is just trying to expand her universe and learn something new from DF’s dtr. Who knew there were boots for horses? And now, “irons.” What will it be tomorrow? Oh, and thanks for the great pix and the chuckles.

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  14. This was such an interesting review! I’ve ridden in plain fillis irons for years and years and never owned anything different. But I do have a tendency to OVER-flex my ankle and have a really ‘extreme’ heels-down position, and riding longer than an hour or so causes my feet to start to go numb. I really detest the flexible stirrup irons for that reason, but I’m thinking now that the wide-footbed stirrups might be a good choice for me! Thanks Martin for all of your great input as well!

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    1. You might be a candidate for a side side model to stabilize your ‘extreme’ heels down position. Or, due to our rubber being tighter, they might be helpful as well. We are happy to send both models for a trial secured with a credit card. You can then try both, return any and make an informed decision with no risk.

      MDC

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  15. Really interesting to read your post and see all the subsequent comments. I’ve never ridden in anything but plain old fillis stirrups, I’m curious now to try something different.

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  16. great review! i never thought much about stirrups until purchasing some composites on a whim last year, and it kinda opened my eyes to the difference it can make. perhaps one of these days i’ll have to upgrade from the fillis irons currently on my dressage saddle…

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    1. I hope everyone who has posted an interest in our stirrups understand that our design truly gets to the heart of improving your ride from the bottom up. As a professional horseman for over 40 years, I didn’t do this to be fashionable or make money per se. Relieving pressure from old injuries, putting your stirrups where you want them instead of where they want to go and providing better treads and more functional rubber sleeves make the difference between out products and others. MDC is the only company in the world designing stirrups from an American and Canadian design perspective.

      As mentioned before, please feel free to call to discuss our products. 831-393-0588

      mdcstirrups.com

      MDC

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  17. For some reason the MDCs really gave me terrible knee pain to the point where I couldn’t walk after I rode in them for an hour – and I never have knee issues. Sticking with the Royal Riders for now. Glad they are working for so many though!

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  18. He must be in my area, that’s my zip code!

    Is the flex on the bottom part?

    I ride in fillis irons but am always feel g like they aren’t holding my foot and that my foot is going to slide out.

    I tried a pair that had flex in the base area but hated them bc they gave too much when i put my heals down.

    I’d love a different pair that I feel more secure in but am leary… I’ll have to call your dude!

    I like the traditional looks so we shall see 🙂

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    1. We have three flex models in different weights. None of our stirrups are considered ultra light weight, however, the MDC ‘S’ Flex is our lightest at 2.5 lbs/pair. This is lighter than fillis irons as our tread is aluminum and the traditional, large stainless steel “O” where you would insert your rubber tread has been removed.

      Many riders like the ultra light stirrups until they lose them. I personally feel that a certain amount of weight is necessary for your sense of base as well as improved stirrup retrieval.

      A lost stirrup cost Olympic Gold Medal rider, Eric Lamaze over $675,000 when he was unable to retrieve it and voluntarily circled in a critical class at Spruce Meadows in 2010. He reports this story on his own blog.

      Ultra light stirrups are not as retrievable as stirrups with weight.

      Forward facing stirrups are more retrievable than standard stirrups.

      Forward facing stirrups do not turn back towards the horse as quickly when lost and are inherently safer as it relates to getting caught and drug.

      Probably more information then you requested, but stirrup weight is a good subject to review.

      MDC

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  19. Hopefully Martin is still poking around on here. I actually was “meh” at the sound of the post but happened to hop on and read and now I’m very intrigued. I’ve always had the “bendy” stirrups from the moment they were introduced. Recently I switched to Equiwing’s on my dressage saddle and noticed a HUGE difference. However, I noticed a weird creaky noise every once in a while that scares the bajeezus out of me. I do enjoy them on my dressage saddle though. My jump saddle I have the “bendy” stirrups and I almost would rather ride without stirrups! I have been looking into new stirrups but haven’t decided if I want composite or traditional steel, or the aluminum. The balls of my feet go numb, I have knee pain, and if I sink my heels my ankle buckles (ow!) Curious to see what is recommended for me. Stuck at work so can’t call 😦

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    1. The good news is you can try any of our stirrups with no risk of making a bad decision.

      I suggest you call and we discuss your needs and history. 831-393-0588, California time.

      We will discuss your pain, what is your riding discipline, what you have ridden in before, etc.

      You may be a candidate for our solid sided stirrups for your dressage and a flex for your jumping. Please remember that our rubber is tighter by design as many of the flex stirrups are too flexible and break over too easily.

      I look forward to your call.

      MDC

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you so much for the review, Amanda, and to Martin for making the comparison possible. I’ll be calling for two pairs, one for dressage and one for the jumping saddle.

    Literally, I decided not to buy a pair of bow balance stirrups until I read this review on the MDC’s. Good call, as it turns out. So much relevant information, as there are some shared issues with both the plain fillis and the wobbly 4f’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I absolutely love my MDC stirrups – I have destroyed my ankles through a number of fantastical injuries (don’t do an emergency dismount at a gallop, just don’t). I have the ‘S Classic’ model and they are just perfect. Flex stirrups don’t work well with my ankles, as they flex far too well on their own.

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  22. Glad you are doing so well in your MDC ‘S’ Classics. Your endorsement means more than my words and I appreciate it.

    We offer both flex and non-flex in every model to meet the needs of all of our customers.

    FYI, I agree about the ‘running dismount’ at the gallop. Years ago, I had a pony run away with me while riding bareback, no bridle, just a lead rope around her neck. As she was heading straight towards a high barbed wire fence, I did the ‘running dismount’, she made a sharp turn and I landed in a head down spiral.

    Net result: undiagnosed internal bleeding all night, ER said I had bruised ribs (wrong!), removal of 20% of my kidney and 25 year history of kidney stones which have suddenly disappeared for the most part.

    MDC

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  23. This is really interesting- I think I’m actually the opposite from you and most of the commenters. There are flex stirrups on the saddle I’ve been using for months and I never thought much about it until I swapped them out for a set of Fillis irons for a week. My leg feels SO much more stable in traditional irons, like I can actually get my heel down and have my leg stay in place. Which makes my budget very happy, since I can snag a pair for $25 on sale. I’m definitely open to trying more, but so far I’ve done the best with the most basic ones.

    Like

    1. Good for you.

      This is why we make both a flex and non-flex model across our entire line of stirrups.

      Some flex stirrups are knock offs of the original German design. Their hinge system is limited and their rubber can be either too soft or too hard. It would depend on which design of flex stirrups you have been using. Not all flex stirrups are the same, that’s for sure.

      If you are happy, secure and pain free for $25, you have done well.

      If you ever go around a corner in a class while losing your stirrup and can’t readily find it, you will remember our design before the next fence, at least that is what others have reported.

      Should you wish to try our advanced designs, feel free to contact us direct. If you don’t LOVE your MDCs, you get your money back, less shipping.

      Thanks for your input.

      MDC

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  24. Well, I’ll be giving Martin a call, I think. I CANNOT ride in fillis irons. I don’t have much of my original left ankle remaining and during the ride my ankle would be sore, but within two hours of getting off my last horse for the day, I could barely walk at all. I snagged some Royal Riders on a steal online and they’ve helped a lot, but if I’m not constantly fussing with my tack and equipment to be sure that my horses and I have everything we need to be comfortable and perform well, I’ll have to hand over my Tack Ho card.

    I loved this review, thanks for writing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We love our customers!! Thanks Tracy.

      To those who may not know, The MDC Sport Classics are our fully adjustable model with traditional sides and a high traction, low profile wide tread. We make 9 models for whatever you may prefer.

      Our stirrups are inexpensive when you consider what they do and how long they will last.

      MDC

      Like

  25. ohh very nice review thank you! I HATE FILLIS TOO. I know george morris loves them, but I hate them. I recently switched to some composite flex on my dressage saddle and I love them so much more- I don’t fidget with my feet position so much. I need to start playing with some options for my jumping saddle as well.

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    1. George prefers riders ‘learn’ in traditional equipment so that they can feel and employ their natural shock absorbers: ankles, knees, hips, etc. When his Olympic riders come to the team, he has no thoughts about their stirrups. Most ride in some form of a stirrup with a wider tread. Take a look at the photographs of our international riders and their stirrups.

      When you decide to try some new stirrup concepts, please call 831-393-0588 and I will set you up with whatever model you would like to try. If it improves your riding, improves your base, lessens your pain, allows for ease of retrieval, makes you safer, etc, this is a worthwhile investment.

      MDC

      Like

  26. Love this review, I have similar problems with my ankles so am looking to try out some new stirrups. I also like the look of the new Acavallo Opera stirrups and the Lorenzeni/Schokemohle ones, have you tried the Acavallo ones? as I would be interested to see what you thought!

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    1. Lauren, This is Martin Cohen from MDC Stirrups. I highly suggest your try our stirrups before spending the money on other products. We have had so many positive testimonials that we guarantee our results. If you don’t LOVE your MDCs, send them back. I am not sure if the other companies offer this guarantee, but we do. FYI, the other stirrups have no shock absorbing relief nor any forward facing benefits. Feel free to call 831-393-0588, California time. http://www.mdcstirrups.com

      Like

  27. Hi, I live in the UK and finding information on these MDC Stirrups wasn’t easy, not many people have heard of them.
    Finding these reviews as been brilliant, to hear from other people who suffer with knee, ankle, hip and back pain while riding made me realise that I needed to change my fillis irons for something better.
    I managed to find the MDC website through Google but unfortunately I couldn’t find a supplier in the UK so contacted Martin directly.
    Martin as been very kind replying to my emails and I’m looking forward to trying these new stirrups.
    I went for the Classic Sport, wide tread ones as I don’t like the Sprenger Flexi ones.

    Thank you again for the great reviews

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  28. SO glad I found this entry! I’ve never met another rider with compartment syndrome, and as I’ve recently acquired a horse after a very long hiatus, I can’t wait to give the MDCs a try. Thank you for this review!!!

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