Riding was a fashionable pastime for the eighteenth-century lady, and Martha Washington regularly enjoyed the outdoor exercise. Like other gentlewomen, she rode side-saddle with the aid of specialized equipment such as this stirrup. Unlike men's stirrups, a woman's side-saddle stirrup featured a metal foot plate in the shape of a shoe sole that created a platform upon which the rider rested her left foot and guided her mount.


Metal stirrup; a D-shaped footrest composed of a horizontal bar from which two metal branches extend and arch over the riders foot; atop the arch is a large metal eye through which the stirrup leathers would be attached; a second horizontal bar is anchored into the base of each branch allowing it to pivot; attached to its face is a foot plate in the shape of an eighteenth-century shoe sole.





Steel or iron


Overall: 4 1/2 in. x 3 3/4 in. x 7 3/8 in. (11.43 cm x 9.53 cm x 18.75 cm)

Credit Line

Mount Vernon Collection
Conservation courtesy of Dr. Thomas F. Cleary

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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