Tuesday, September 1, 2020

d.i.y.: stirrup leather covers

This project came from necessity: it was too dang hot to ride with my half chaps! I tried a ride without chaps, and even with my full sheepskin cover, the leathers would still dig in (maybe I just have sensitive shins?). I could have bought some $45 sheepskin covers, but 1. they're longer than I need, and 2. $45!

I already had all these materials, but I think this would cost you less than $5, even if you bought your favorite fleece pattern!

What you need for this incredibly complicated project:
  1. scissors
  2. pins
  3. glue (I used E6000, but hot glue would work, though probably less washable) and a stick to spread glue (if needed)
  4. ruler/cardboard
  5. piece of fleece (I used one approximately 24x24, and only used 24x20 of it). This made two 12 inch tubes. (If you need longer, just a bit more fabric would be needed. I've seen many stirrup covers are 18 inches long, so you'd need one yard for two covers.)
1. I had a metal ruler that measured 1.25 inches wide. Since my leathers are 1" wide, this was a good size to wrap. If you don't have a ruler, just cut a strip of cardboard from all those boxes of horse stuff you know you order.
2. I placed two pins, one on each end, NOT along the length. You need to be able to remove these later (and if you do the whole length they'll be stuck inside the tube, ouch, stabby!).
3. Place a line of glue along the edge, and roll ruler and fabric over to cover.

4. Neatly roll the ruler/fabric up in a tube. I rolled mine about 8 times, more if you want it fluffier.

5. When you get the thickness you want, cut that edge approximately straight, and run a line of glue along the edge.

6. Fold that final piece over, and let everything sit for awhile while you have a celebratory drink.
7. After the glue has dried, remove the ruler and the end pins.

8. I cut my 24" tube into two 12" pieces. (If you do longer ones just do this twice at 18", probably easier than one 36" long tube).

9. Put them on your leathers! Now I have wintec webbers, which are a single strap, but this would fit standard leathers too, maybe just a bit more shoving, fleece is a bit stretchy! Amaze at your matching ensemble (or just use black fleece, which would show less dirt!)

I have only used these twice, one was a longer ride (before the heat wave/smoke) and I give them a stamp of approval! The only downside: now the disgusting horse sweat is on my leg and not my half chaps, but I'm cooler! I'll probably make a second set to have while these get washed, but I'm pretty happy with this simple DIY. Is this something you need? Try it!


  1. Great idea, very fancy! I'm having the same problem, too hot for half chaps, despite me wearing the air mesh model from Just Chaps.

    1. Same chaps that I have! Love them, still just too hot!

  2. Hey, you inspired me to re-purpose something to make stirrup covers in these hot, hot weeks.

    I drove to the tack store and located some enormous fleece nose-band covers. I took no measurements so I just bought the longest ones that are about 12 inches. Thankfully they fit perfectly over my thick beta "leathers" and were also the perfect length from saddle flap to buckle cover.

    I've always thought stirrup leather covers were ugly. I guess cuz they're usually white/natural. Mine are black and when I tried to take pics for you today, it was hard to see them cuz they're black on black. I'm going riding tomorrow in my Kerrits Ice-Fil tights and I'm looking forward to no pinching. I'll let you know if it works out.

    Thanks for the idea. I'm not crafty, I'm not sure I would have succeeded with home-made ones. I was able to get them for 12 Euros. I suspect yours will hold up longer in hard use, because fluffy cotton fleece always looks like crap after a while.

    1. Awesome, that works too! Let us know if they work! I know you could make the ones I showed, it is literally just rolling the fabric and gluing it, even the "non-crafty" could do it. Plus, I think most people aren't non-crafty, it is that they haven't had the experience to safely try, wish I could teach classes in it! Instead, I make these DIY, try one sometime!

  3. Ooohhhh. This is so much simpler than everything I tried in the past on my own lol. Definitely filing away for future needs!!!!