The majority of the endurance riders in the United States and many abroad either use or know a friend that uses the E-Z Ride Stirrups. The wide base stirrup, based on an early US cavalry design, supports the foot for long miles in the saddle and is very lightweight. Bob Walz started making the stirrups in his Tucson home in the early 1980s. My mom was his first dealer buying and selling many stirrups for Bob. The stirrup design grew in popularity with Bob adjusting his manufacturing and machinery to keep pace. Bob moved to Pilot Hill, California, to be closer to the Tevis Trail and his children in the late 1980s. His desire to ride more prompted him to sell the machinery, trademark and know-how to EasyCare in the early 1990s. Bob was a long time family friend and sponsored me as a junior twice at the 100 mile Tevis Cup.
EasyCare took over production in its Tucson facility with Bob's equipment and opened molds for an injection-molded version. Our distribution grew and we started selling to more endurance and trail saddle manufacturers. As time went on, many of the companies we sold to copy Bob's original design but made them with inferior manufacturing techniques. If you do a Google search for "Endurance Stirrups" and then click on images you will see pages of endurance stirrups that resemble Bob's design. Many of the copy designs designs are hard to tell apart and over the years we had many returned to EasyCare that were not manufactured by EasyCare. Although "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", we have decided it's time to introduce a new model with several patent pending features.
A Google search shows pages of distance stirrups that copy Bob Walz's original E-Z Ride Stirrup design
The goal of the new design was the following.
1. Wide base to support the foot over long distance and long hours in the saddle.
The E-Z Ride Ultimate Ultra in black. Also comes in silver.
2. A very strong hoop that will hold up for years.
3. A pad system that offers cushion, traction and can be easily changed as they wear.
The new EVA pad. The pad will be used in both the E-Z Ride Ultimate, E-Z Ride Ultra and E=Z Ride Nylon designs.
E-Z Ride pad and base before assembly
4. Top bar system that integrates with different stirrup widths.
The 1", 2" and 3" top bar system. Top bar is designed to accept many different leather widths and half sizes like 2.5" or 1.5". No need to change top bars when you switch top bars to a new saddle.
5. Removable Cage.
Cage pops into place with four male pins. Pad holds it in place.
Cage in place ready for EVA pad.
The new E-Z Ride Stirrup will come in two different price point models. We will offer the top shelf E-Z Ride Ultimate Ultra and the lower priced E-Z Ride Ultimate. The Ultimate Ultra is a 100% machined aluminum design that will hold up with the most aggressive riding and abuse. This stirrup is built to last for your lifetime and is priced to be the last pair of stirrup you will buy. The Ultimate has the same indestructible hoop but uses a ABS injected base that is a bit lighter in weight. Both designs accept an EVA pad that snaps into place with four male plugs. The male/female plug system in the pad an base allow the pad to be changed as they wear. The system goes together with two bolts. No glue or rivets for the pads or cages.
Two screws hold the design together.
All designs (with the exception of cages) are in stock and ready to ship. Cages will be here in a month. These will be the premium priced stirrup on the market and we will continue to sell our nylon version.
I really like how this project has come together and believe the new design is a great one. Both the non cage and cage versions have been tested on mnay endurance events and both finished top ten at the 2015 100 mile Tevis Cup. Bob Walz would be proud.
President & CEO
I have been President and CEO of EasyCare since 1993. My first area of focus for the company is in product development, and my goal is to design the perfect hoof boot for the barefoot horse.