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Stirrup Help

The following was asked and I will try and respond as the "stirrup
consumer of the year":

"Anyone tried either the new EZ Ride Plastic stirrups, or Australian =
Connection's Aluminum lightweight stirrups (do you need the extra $12 =
treads too?). Need to make a quick decision."

Upon starting endurance, I immediately purchased Cloud Stirrups and
managed with Greg's help to get them just in time for my first ride. 
They were beautiful and within the first 10 miles of the ride, my right
leg was so numb I could not keep the stirrup on.  My cowboy friends
tried everything on the ride, including taping my leg to the stirrup. 
Nothing gave me any relief and I was most uncomfortable to say the
least.  That incident start my great stirrup hunt.

I then decided that the stirrups were too heavy (among a hundred other
things we tried) and bought EZ Rides.  They were lighter but I still had
problems with numbness.  Physical therapy, special orthotics, numerous
different riding boots and working on my leathers and fenders finally
got me some relief--some times.  

I also tried irons and an Aussie which sometimes works but when I
weighed the irons, they were actually heavier than the EZ Rides so
weight didn't seem to be the primary factor.  

Then I bought Sprenger $205 jointed stirrups in desparation--that really
didn't work--kind of like a trampoline effect. Boy did I get teased
about that one.  Even my dressage teacher doesn't like them. 

I just settled into the the aluminum EZ rides again and bought another
pair for the new endurance saddle when I saw the new plastic ones at Pan
Am.  Of course I bought them and tried them on the first ride back
home--They are so light that my toes hit everything we brushed past. 
They are not as deep, front to back, and it seemed that my toes caught
every bush, stick and rock on the trail.  I put the old EZ Rides back on
at the first vet check and felt much better. 

My 73 year old cowboy mentor stills thinks it is more the pressure of
the foot angle in the stirrup and that a little weight actually protects
your legs from getting as tired unless that weight is angled wrong for
your feet.  The doctor says this is really a back problem (sciatic
nerve) and the wrong stress brings it on.  I do feel that lighter has
proved not necessarily to be better for me. 

Joane White
Price, Utah

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