No matter if your discipline is dressage, showjumping, or eventing, safety stirrups are an essential part of your tack as a rider. The purpose of safety stirrups is always to decrease the chance of serious injury and to ensure that the rider has the safest possible riding experience.
Nowadays, there are many different kinds of stirrups on the market, each with their own unique features and safety mechanisms. So, it is no wonder it can be challenging to choose the right safety stirrups for you.
Today, we will explain how you can choose the right kind of safety stirrups for you.
What is the purpose of safety stirrups?
First things first, what is the purpose of safety stirrups, and why do we buy them? More importantly, do we really need them?
As you can already guess from the name, safety stirrups have one purpose: safety. The idea is to decrease the chance of a rider’s foot getting stuck in the stirrups in case of a fall, thus decreasing the risk of serious injuries.
Ultimately, the idea behind safety stirrups is the same as behind every safety gear we use during a ride. A helmet protects our head, a safety vest protects our spine, neck, and ribs, and safety stirrups protect us on a larger scale: they prevent us from getting stuck in the stirrups and dragged behind the horse.
How do safety stirrups work?
Every safety stirrup model and brand have their own unique safety mechanisms. For instance, peacock stirrups have an open outer side that is closed off with a rubber band. Some stirrups cover the toes, and others have a release mechanism on the side that opens when pressure is applied.
Others, such as Ophena magnetic safety stirrups, have an open design that allows the rider’s foot to slip out of the stirrup in case of an accident.
Choose the right safety stirrups: consider factors that are important to you
Every rider has their own requirements for safety stirrups. For instance, a dressage rider may need different stirrups than a showjumper.
Some things you should consider when choosing the right kind of safety stirrups are the following:
- What kind of safety mechanism do the stirrups have? Can it fail, has it failed before, and how reliable is it?
- Are the stirrups allowed at horse shows (if you compete)?
- What is your budget? Remember, you get what you pay for.
- Do the stirrups have a return policy? For instance, Ophena stirrups have a 60-day money-back guarantee.
- Do you like the design of the stirrups?
- Do the stirrups have any other features that you look for?
- What kind of reviews have the stirrups received from other equestrians?
- Are the safety stirrups available in the color you want?
Where to buy safety stirrups?
Almost every local tack store sells safety stirrups, but you can also order reliable and high-quality safety stirrups online. For instance, Ophena safety stirrups can be ordered at Ophena.com, and you will receive your stirrups fast.