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Rubber band stirrup irons.

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  • Rubber band stirrup irons.

    Anyone go XC in these? I don't know what they're called but have a thick breakaway piece of rubber tubing in place of the outside metal stirrup wall. I am just a bit concerned that they would hold up and not break at some inopportune time.

  • #2
    Safety stirrups? Like the PC kids use? With the rubber band?

    I make all my students ride in them and rarely have rubberbands pop off unless they need to. THAT said, I don't like to use them, I feel like they are less sturdy and I'm willing to take my chances.
    Big Idea Eventing


    • #3
      Actually, it's a rubber ring and a small leather tab, hooked onto the outside knobs of the iron, and when the foot hits the breakaway bit, the rubber (should) pop right off the top knob.

      I have yet to have them fail on me, in fact I had to replace my breakaway irons (on my dressage saddle, I'm not a jumper/eventer, but my riding coach is an eventer) with regular ones (well, sprenger flexi irons with "comfort grips" zap-strapped onto the treads) because the slightest bump with my foot kept sending the ring pinging off the side of my stirrup!
      Curious about Trans* issues? Feel free to ask!
      Saving Pennies To Get My Own Canoe


      • #4
        They are called "peacock stirrups."
        Back before we had fancy safety stirrups tons of people went x-c in them, especially juniors/pony clubbers.

        As far as breaking, do you mean the rubber band coming off, or that the metal piece itself might be less strong? The former happens, though it doesn't much impact your ride since your foot doesn't generally come into contact with the outside branch higher up. I have not heard of the latter, though now that you mention it, they do seem less structurally strong than the regular fillis ones. Still, I don't think that was a major issue with the design.


        • #5
          I have a pair (they are called peacock stirrups) because I have a somewhat irrational fear of being dragged. I have used them for years and not had a problem so far. The rubber band has broken a couple of times- once while I was riding cross-country but there is enough of a lip on the outside that you can keep riding without losing your stirrups. You could also easily avoid that by paying more attention to the condition and age of the rubber band than I do I have not had them break except when I came off or because of old age. If you are worried about metal fatigue you can either regularly replace them or get one of the other types of breakaway stirrups that have a metal closure.
          There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


          • #6
            I've started using them. I ride young OTTB's who can be unpredictable. I also often am the only one at the barn and my one fear is getting hung up. I've never had the bands just come off when I was riding. I did have one release when I caught it on the fence when green filly took a bit of a detour. Glad it did. I had another one break when I failed to replace it when it got dry and cracked. The stirrups ride just like regular fillis stirrups to my mind and aside from those two occasions, I've never had a problem.


            • #7
              I heard the peacock stirrups had a weight limit? Because of them having the rubber band in the side.


              • #8
                A local riding school I used to ride at requires them on all English saddles. I've seen them fail (bands pop off) many times when they shouldn't and I don't feel comfortable using them for that reason.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dreaminOTTB View Post
                  A local riding school I used to ride at requires them on all English saddles. I've seen them fail (bands pop off) many times when they shouldn't and I don't feel comfortable using them for that reason.
                  My guess is that is more likely because they let either the rubber bands or the leather piece they loop through get stretched out than because there is something wrong with peacock stirrups in general. JMHO
                  There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


                  • #10
                    Peacock stirrups - Used them for years as a kid. When the rubber bands went missing we just kept on riding without them till we got around to replacing them. I don't depend on the outside of the stirrup to keep my foot in place....

                    When the bands are new they are very secure. They do break down eventually. When you can take the rubber bands off and on easily, they're worn out and need to be replaced.
                    The rebel in the grey shirt


                    • #11
                      Even if the bands 'pop off', you can still ride in the stirrups. It's not like the bands really supply support for the outside; the stirrup is metal after all. The only difference is that you can't shove your outside toe against the outside a la GM; you can place it almost all the way. Doesn't affect the ride at all in my experience. Adding; I always twist the bands.


                      • Original Poster

                        The reason I wondered is because my guy fell at a stadium fence while schooling yesterday. When he went down, I went down and off. Problem was when he got up, I stayed down and my foot was caught briefly in the stirrup and sort of twisted my ankle. Everything is good, but it sure got me thinking about having a stirrup with some kind of release on it.


                        • #13
                          Having seen riders dragged in normal fillis stirrups I think Safety stirrups and very important. I have used the same pair Foot Free Stirrups for 20 years..free from my HJ niece who thought they looked geeky.

                          On the Peacock stirrups a but of a scare when I got a boot lace caught on hook where the rubber band attaches. I use normal peacock sturrups on my dressge saddle and ALWAYS the foot free on a jump saddle.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dreaminOTTB View Post
                            A local riding school I used to ride at requires them on all English saddles. I've seen them fail (bands pop off) many times when they shouldn't and I don't feel comfortable using them for that reason.
                            I hate to be Debbie Downer, but the most seriously injured student I've had in fourteen years of fulltime instruction was dragged for about three canter strides while using a peacock stirrup that did not release (the horse's hindlegs stepped on her ribcage once she finally came loose -- worst 24 hours of my life as it could have gone either way in surgery & ICU) (she made a rather miraculous full recovery except for decreased range of motion in a shoulder). Her foot was tipped back against the top of the arch of the iron, so the rubber band was irrelevant.

                            I have many times seen the rubber bands fly off, and while you shouldn't depend on the outside branch of the stirrup, I do feel that sometimes if you get jostled or are adjusting the stirrup under your foot, you do rely on that structure to bounce against.

                            I am very safety-conscious in selecting tack for my lesson program, but I go with the HS basic flexi stirrups, to help heels down/knee relief, and make sure the size of the stirrup is correct for the rider (switching leathers and irons from another saddle when necessary). I'm not saying the peacocks are bad, or that they might not release the rider's foot in a potential drag situation -- but they definitely are not a guarantee.

                            I can ride my horses without a sharps container.


                            • #15
                              It occurred to me you might be talking about these:


                              and not these:

                              But you might consider these:
                              Big Idea Eventing


                              • #16
                                Couple comments--

                                I've seen people get hung up on the "hook" of the safety stirrups and it was mighty scary since they 're like a fish on a hook if you get caught.

                                ian Stark got on a horse here during a clinic & the stirrup bent under his weight. He made a joke about being a lard *ss, but he hardly is. I would be very careful about checking to be sure there is a weight suggestion.

                                There are other options available that I would explore as well--quick-outs and those bent iron types.

                                having been dragged around a field at a high rate of speed as a kid I've always been very cognizant of a foot getting trapped--can't bring myself to ride in the wide, grippy foot beds everyone likes nowadays.


                                • #17
                                  There are plenty of other release stirrups without rubber bands, and sone are designed to stand up to adult weight. I use Kwik Outs on my dressage saddle and Mountain Horse Quick Release Stirrups on my jump saddle. The Kwik Outs have a more traditional look and arguably a faster release, but they're not compatible with aftermarket stirrup pads and I use Super Comfort pads on my jump stirrups. I just keep the Mountain Horse release mechanism lightly greased, and with that little bit of grease, I'm very confident that they would release in a drag situation. They would likely release without the grease, but I like the extra insurance.
                                  Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by ride the pony View Post
                                    On the Peacock stirrups a but of a scare when I got a boot lace caught on hook where the rubber band attaches.
                                    This is why PC is not advocating their use anymore. I wouldn't use them unless you always ride in dress boots.


                                    • #19
                                      I am also on the team of having an irrational fear of being dragged. It's never happened to me but I've seen it happen enough to never want to be a part of it! I used to use the peacock stirrups but read a lot about getting caught on them and the bands breaking. I now use the Mountain Horse safety stirrups and LOVE them! Mine are 5 years old and still as good as new. I have never come off in them so I can't attest to how they break away but in my "trials" they worked well. Very secure and they feel the same as a fillis to me. BIG FAN!

                                      Please excuse the typos...I'm always on my iPhone and autocorrect is not my friend. Yes I mean mares autocorrect...not mates.


                                      • #20
                                        I have actually seen an instance where the metal on a peacock stirrup broke and caused the rider to fall off. This was quite a few years ago, and I think the stirrups were the cheaper chrome-plated kind rather than stainless steel, but it still kind of stuck in my head... Although I did still ride in them when I was growing up.