There has been a lot of talk about the invention and use of stirrups in warfare. In fact, such a simple invention such as stirrups are the reason why certain armies became successful and conquered many countries and areas. But where did it all begin and who used stirrups first?
Where did it all begin?
It has been said that Indians used toe loops thousands of years ago as a form of first stirrups ever. The loop attached to the girth of the saddle and provided much needed support for the riders. However, metal stirrups came to the picture much later.
By about the late 6th or 7th century AD, stirrups began spreading to Europe from Asia. The earliest archeological finds regarding metal stirrups date back to 7th century Hungary. Later on, stirrups spread to Germany, England, Poland, France, Greece, and Italy. It has been said that the Bysantine Empire used stirrups as early as the year 600. Later on, around the 1200’s, even Vikings were said to use stirrups in their saddles.
Did Romans use stirrups?
Some sources say that Romans did not yet use stirrups, and in their warfare, they used a lot of carriages. On the other hand, it is known that the modern Greece and Italy area used stirrups around the 6th and 7th centuries, which could lead us to believe that stirrups (at least in some form) were used by the Romans as well.
Stirrups revolutionized warfare
Stirrups are the main reason many militaries were able to travel far, conquer countries, and succeed in battles. As stirrups allowed the riders to balance better on the horse, aiming arrows and using swords while moving fast became easier. As simple an invention as stirrups are (and were), thanks to them, many battles were won by those who already used stirrups in their military tack.
From leather to safety stirrups
It has been said that the very first stirrups were made of leather, for instance, the earlier mentioned Indian toe loops. Years later in China and elsewhere in Asia, pear-shaped metal stirrups were manufactured. The riders and soldiers started attaching the stirrups on top of the saddle instead of below it: however, this did not happen until the saddles were made with wooden structures.
Funny enough, the stirrups we know today are very similar to the very first metal stirrups found in archeological findings. The shape is the same, though nowadays we have safety stirrups with many wonderful features.
For instance, Ophena magnetic safety stirrups have a magnetic connection, an open side, a foot stopper, and (of course) beautiful design. Ophena has focused on manufacturing the safest possible magnetic safety stirrups that keep you safe every ride.
If you have not yet ordered your safety stirrups online, you can do it today by adding our Ophena S or Ophena T into your cart. And, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.