Back in January, a mysterious box arrived at work. It contained a pair of neon green stirrups and a catalog for the French company Flex-On. I was giddy- this is only the second time in the 4+ years I’ve worked at The Horse of Course that a company has sent a sample of their product for us to try! As the most active rider on staff, the stirrups went home with me for a trial.
The stirrups are Flex-On’s Green Composite model. Made from an organically sourced polyamide material, they feature a wide footbed, internal steel frame, and a wide range of customization options. They’re extremely lightweight at only 13 ounces per stirrup. The pair I tested has the mixed ultra-grip tread.
I first tested them on my jumping saddle. I like my heavy fillis irons, but sometimes long rides in my jumping saddle cause knee and hip aches. My initial test of the Flex-On stirrups was on a 2 hour trail ride with hunting friends. I was surprised by how secure my foot felt in the stirrup. I’ve used jointed irons in the past and hated them because they make my lower leg feel loose. While these irons are lightweight, the wide footbed and extremely grippy tread provide an excellent feel. My leg was solid at all gaits and over fences, and I had zero knee or hip pain at the end of the ride. Subsequent hacks in my jumping saddle yielded similar results.
I put the stirrups on my dressage saddle next. I like them on this saddle so much that I’ve left them there for weeks! The grippy tread helps keep my feet in the stirrups during Candy’s antics and the wide footbeds make me feel more balanced.
This particular model retails for €189, or around $213 USD, which is comparable to other high-end stirrups. The frame and shock absorbers are available in several colors, and the footbeds have a few shape and tread options. The black strip on each stirrup (that says “Flex-On”) is magnetic and can be removed and replaced with another design– everything from patriotic, country-specific styles to hot pink carbon-fiber is available.
These are a fantastic stirrup, and I would pay full retail for them. I’d love to have a pair in conservative silver gray for foxhunting; the security they provide is better than a fillis iron with a Super Comfort Pad. That they relieve joint aches is an added bonus. One coworker expressed concern about the spiky ultra-grip tread. I haven’t had an issue with the tread tearing up the soles of my boots. They’re a well-designed, comfortable product that’s suitable for any kind of English riding. Flex-On currently has four U.S. based retailers and many international retailers.