Ever purchased a new saddle and after the excitement of you new ride wore off, realized your legs would take a beating as you try in vain to mold your fresh leather stirrups fenders into a comfortable position? You constantly turn your ankles outwards in an attempt to get that perfect placement and lose your horsemanship in the process… OR you get the brilliant idea of leaving a broomstick handle through your stirrups, with the fenders flipped outwards when the saddle is not in use?
Well, never again! Here’s a quick and easy fix to get your stirrup fenders in the perfect position for your ankles – with your toes facing forwards.
Here’s what western stirrup fenders look like after they come out of the store:
The leather is wrapped in a loop back toward itself, hanging the stirrup iron in the process. Can you see how your toes must reach in from the outside and then swing back to the left, to get your ankle hanging in a natural position? (Please keep in mind, this is not a new saddle…)
Now here’s a shot of the same stirrup fender, with a Texas Roll:
Can you see how the rider’s ankle could sit comfortably in this stirrup, with toes facing forward instead?
Yes, when my husband taught me about the Texas Roll, I nearly jumped for joy too… The Texas Roll (or Texas Twist as it also known), is a method of physically twisting the leather to turn the stirrup. Some people would argue that it creates additional bulk down by the ankle, but I have never found this to hinder my riding. And my ankles have thanked me, many times as we go through A LOT of saddles around here. So if you’re interested in creating your own Texas Rolls, all you need is a lengthy, thin leather strap with a buckle on the end for each stirrup fender.
1. First, undo the Blevins Buckle from its current position underneath the narrow leather strap of the stirrup fender that lays underneath the wide part, which is what lays directly below the rider’s leg.
2. Twist the Blevins Buckle and re-inset into the holes of the narrow leather strap, so the Blevins buckle is now laying directly under the wide part. You won’t leave the buckle like this for now, but this process helps to visualize how things will be positioned and where the twist in the leather will occur.
This way, the leather will have one twist in it and will hang as so:
3. Take one of your long leather straps and begin carefully wrapping it around the twist in the leather, which occurs just below the Blevins Buckle. Ensure to leave a tail (as shown at red arrow) and…
4. …wrap the leather strap back upwards toward the tail and around itself (as shown in the green arrow).
5. Insert the tail of the strap through a small incision made at the top of the strap, near the buckle.
6. Insert the Blevins Buckle on the front side of the thin leather part of the underneath fender.
7. Using the remaining tail of your thin leather strap, wrap this part around the thicker fender, near the bottom.
8. Attach to the buckle.
9. And Voilà! You have a Texas Roll.