Let’s Get Technical: A Guide To Equestrian Safety Stirrups

Let’s Get Technical: A Guide To Equestrian Safety Stirrups

The world of equestrian equipment is continuously evolving with innovative products making an appearance that push performance and ability to the max. A recent trend that has taken off in the equestrian world is that of technical stirrups and safety stirrups. Both are incredibly popular among riders and each design houses numerous benefits that can boost confidence in the saddle as well as assisting with comfort, performance and posture.

What Are Technical Stirrup Irons?

As the name suggests, technical stirrups contain a multitude of features. Generally speaking, technical stirrup irons are designed to improve comfort and performance, especially in a competitive environment. Here at R&R Country, we have compiled a list of features you may well find when looking to purchase a technical pair of stirrup irons.

  1. Weight: depending on your discipline you may want to consider the weight of a stirrup iron before making the purchase. Lightweight irons can make it easier for the rider to keep their legs still, with the option for flexibility without the fatigue a heavier stirrup iron may cause. On the other hand, heavier weighted stirrup irons can create a secured feel that can assist with leg aids and direction.

  2. Grip: Many rider’s opt for the gripped footbed/tread when selecting a new stirrup iron. Stirrup irons that have tough grips with studs are a great option when looking to stop the foot from slipping around during a ride.

  3. Tread Width: The width of the tread is also a feature widely considered for some riders. Having a wider tread underfoot can offer more stability when in the saddle. On the other hand, a narrower tread is often preferred when riders are wanting to limit strain or pressure on the ankles – it really is personal choice here.

  4. Inclination: Many stirrup irons now come with inclination that can assist with posture in the saddle – these stirrups are designed to match the rider’s natural heel position and are often a popular choice!

  5. Shock Absorbent: A huge amount of pressure can be put on your joints when your in the saddle, which is why shock absorbing stirrups are quite often a popular choice. This integrated feature is known to take some stress off the rider’s joints.

What Are Safety Stirrup Irons?

LeMieux Vector Balance Stirrups

Safety stirrups are no longer just for children, in fact safety stirrup irons have fast become an equestrian essential, especially in the show jumping and eventing world. Safety stirrups are designed to release the rider’s foot in the event of a fall or accident. This can be achieved through multiple designs such as the quick release arm, bent leg design or the classic peacock stirrup. Choosing the correct safety stirrup is very important as each style is different:

  1. Quick Release Stirrups: Often based on the design of a classic fillis stirrup iron, quick release stirrups feature a hinged arm that pops open when put under enough pressure – this quick release mechanism is the safety feature many riders look for as it frees the rider's foot in the event of a fall. We stock a large variety of quick release stirrups including the popular Acavallo Arena Alupro Stirrups, LeMieux’s Vector Control & Balance Stirrups and the Safe On Inclined Ultra Grip Stirrups.

  2. Shaped Stirrup Irons: Commonly referred to as bent leg stirrups, these stirrup irons can reduce the chances of the rider’s foot getting caught should they encounter a fall. These stirrups are popular with hunters as they are still very traditional in appearance.

  3. Peacock Stirrups: These stirrups feature a rubber band to the outer side that comes away to release the rider’s foot in the event of a fall. These stirrups are mainly aimed at young children and are not an ideal choice for adult riders.

Technological advancements and innovative design work has clearly assisted with the progression of stirrups in the equestrian world. However, it is important to note that no matter now much security and safety testing has gone in to each design to help prevent emergencies, no stirrup is 100% guaranteed.

27 July 2022