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Safety Stirrups

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  • Safety Stirrups

    Does anyone regularly use stirrups which would be considered safety stirrups? There are so many on the market right now, and it's hard to tell what's safer than regular old fillis irons, and what's not. I have never had an issue with getting a foot hung up, but now that I'm riding a less than "steady eddy" horse who likes to spook and spin every now and again, it seems like it would be smart to take advantage of what is out there to increase safety.


    Regular old Peacock stirrup irons

    Advantages: Cheap

    Disadvantages: They have a reputation of being only for kids. They are noticeable. Have heard horror stories of getting certain delicate bits caught up while dismounting.


    Kwik Out Stirrup Irons

    Advantages: Average price. Looks like a regular iron.

    Disadvantages: I have heard they can come open if you loose your stirrup while jumping, and would be difficult/impossible to get closed again while riding? Also the dangling open hook could be dangerous if your horse goes for a gallop after you part ways.


    Mountain Horse Quick Release Stirrups

    Advantages: Average price. Looks pretty close to a regular iron from a distance. Can be used with special Mountain horse system to increase safety, or without.

    Disadvantages: Not sure, can't find much information about these? Anyone used them?


    Action Magna Stirrups

    Advantages: Average price, looks like a regular iron.

    Disadvantages: Anyone used these? How easily do they come apart? I haven't seen these in person.


    Safestyle Offset Eye Stirrup Iron

    Advantages: Hard to get hung up on open design. Looks traditional from a distance?

    Disadvantages: Moderatly Pricey. Not sure if the larger knob on the inside would bang my horse somehow (I have very short legs).


    OnTyte Magnetic Stirrups

    Advantages: Would probably stop your foot from getting shoved too far into the stirrup in the first place. Marginally traditional looking iron (lots of people using black/carbon irons now). Hard to lose a stirrup.

    Disadvantages: Extremely pricey, need to get current boots resoled with magnets or buy expensive boots with magnets already installed.


    X'up Stirrup

    Advantages: Nope nope nope.

    Disadvantages: Expensive and dangerous.


    Soft'Up

    Advantages: Never seen these in person, looks like they would work? Might not be too noticeable if you used the all black ones. Can use them with regular boots as far as I know.

    Disadvantages: Not traditional looking. Expensive.


    Now aside from the peacock irons, I have not seen any of these stirrups on person, so any other thoughts on these would be appreciated. Thanks all!

  • #2
    I use the peacock irons... but I'm 85 lbs and built like a kid, so the weight issue hasn't come up. I do always tuck the left stirrup up in front of the flaps when I jump off, though, having heard the same horror stories as you. (:
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

    Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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    • #3
      I rode in Kwik Outs when I was a junior, and never had a problem with them coming open (except when they were supposed to).
      "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio

      Comment


      • #4
        I have everyday Peacock stirrups on one saddle, and the Mountain horse on the other. Personally, I've gotten tossed enough times that I prefer to ride with safety stirrups. I've never had any trouble with Peacock stirrups, mounting or dismounting. I would say it's best to get a sturdy, heavy pair, like Korsteel. Some of the cheaper ones are quite light and lack the feel of a regular stirrup.
        I like the Mountain Horse stirrup when doing anything more formal than hacking and schooling because they look like regular stirrups. Mine have an angled Mountain Horse pad that I don't really care for, but I've been too lazy to switch it for a flatter pad.
        I haven't tried any of the others.

        Comment


        • #5
          I use the Peacock irons as well and am not kid weight, lol :-) I heard those stories as well, yikes almighty, and know of a rider who always crosses her left stirrup over the horse's withers before dismounting. I just vault and push away from the saddle rather than slide off. Push awaaaaay from the hook of horror!

          I don't have anything else to add since I haven't used any of the other safety irons, except I used to ride in the traditional irons and fell off a few times with them but didn't get caught in the stirrup. My foot was smaller then though. I also had the privilege of falling off while using the Peacock irons and haven't ever had a problem with them either.

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          • #6
            I am an adult and have always used the peacock with the rubber bands. Yep, they are noticeable but they work, and I have had instances where my STIRRUP has gotten caught on a fence or branch and the rubber band did exactly what it was supposed to do - break! I hate to think what would have happened with a traditional stirrup. I haven't had a broken band in 3 years, but to me they were priceless when I first got my horse who was naughty at times, would ride too close to fences and trees, etc. I have done dressage schooling shows and CT's in them and I don't care what they look like.

            I've never had any other problems with them dismounting or anything.

            I bought the Mountain Horse stirrups to try and I found them to be shockingly heavy. They are still in the box.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a horror story with peacock irons. When I was a kid I fell of and got hung up in the iron and my pony took off around the indoor. The rubber band never snapped off and the pony eventually stopped. Also the bands seem to snap in innapropriate times. I will never use peacock irons again nor will I ever let ANY of my students use them. Accident waiting to happen.
              I see distances. Most times more than one. Sometimes I pick the right one, sometimes I pick the wrong one, and sometimes I close my eyes and let Jesus take the wheel.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DeucesWild11 View Post
                I have a horror story with peacock irons. When I was a kid I fell of and got hung up in the iron and my pony took off around the indoor. The rubber band never snapped off and the pony eventually stopped. Also the bands seem to snap in innapropriate times. I will never use peacock irons again nor will I ever let ANY of my students use them. Accident waiting to happen.
                Yes, I have also heard of people getting hung up in Peacock irons and the rubber band not snapping.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have been riding in these foot free stirrups for 20 years, eventing at the BN and Novice levels. My foot always came out freely when I fell off - LOL!

                  I do not use the white pads. The stirrups have hash marks (etching) in the part under the sole of your boots, giving you a good grip in wet contditions - rain or problem water jumps!

                  http://www.doversaddlery.com/Foot+Fr...ons/p/X1-0702/

                  Foot Free Stirrup Irons are centuries-old style stirrup irons carefully crafted to Old World standards. Sculptured design. No movable or detachable parts to break or disengage. Stainless steel with white pads
                  Inese

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                  • #10
                    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but the Hermes Sprenger's standard flex stirrup do count as safety stirrups- I wouldn't run xc in them if they weren't! I researched it and apparently the little spring will give way if there is sufficient force put on it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The Kwik-Out cannot come open if you have weight on the sole of your foot. You have to have your weight on the outside branch of the stirrup to allow the sole plate part of the Kwik-Out to move up and rotate outward. If it did (though I can't figure out how it could) start to open, all you have to do is step down and it would close.

                      I started using the Kwik-Outs 16 years ago after my DD was hung up in her stirrup and kicked in the face. The Kwik-Outs have opened when I needed them to do so, and never opened when I didn't. I have had problems with getting free of the Herm Sprengers when I tried those, so I've gone back to the Kwik-Outs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm 35 and ride in peacock stirrups - when I started lessoning again, I couldn't find my old stirrups so bought peacocks, as that's what was on all the school saddles. I've never had an issue getting caught while getting on/off, and the bands have never randomly snapped. They are VERY light so if you have issues regaining a stirrup after losing one, I'd stay away!

                        I do want to get the Foot Free ones mentioned above, as I like the look much better than the elastic of the peacock!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When my daughter got her pony, we stopped sharing a saddle with peacocks and I was all excited to get my own "big girl" stirrups. I got a nice pair of prussian irons but I had no idea of the range of "big girl" looking safety stirrups. After a little incident a couple of weeks ago - no harm done - I'm definitely thinking about some of these safety stirrups. I really like the look of the Foot Free's.
                          http://essas-storm.blogspot.ca/ An OTTB rescue/project found me!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm not a particular fan of peacock stirrups for the most part, sheerly because I got hung up on a set at an IEA show and had to get freed by a complete stranger. Only mildly embarrassing.

                            Other than that, I like them well enough.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We have the curvy stirrups -- sorry don't know the name -- on both our 11-year old grandaughter's saddles. After reading posts on COTH and her ripping pants when dismounting when using peacocks, I thought too, this was an accident waiting to happen. Anyone know what the curvy stirrups are called?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by twhs View Post
                                We have the curvy stirrups -- sorry don't know the name -- on both our 11-year old grandaughter's saddles. After reading posts on COTH and her ripping pants when dismounting when using peacocks, I thought too, this was an accident waiting to happen. Anyone know what the curvy stirrups are called?
                                You are probably using the Foot Free irons referred to by several other posters, one of them included a link. FWIW, William Fox-Pitt, one of the top eventers in the world, uses Foot Free irons when riding cross country. I have used peacock stirrups on occasion, only because they happened to be on the saddle I was using, with no dire results dismounting, and fortunately I never fell while using them either.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Not to be contrary, but I am confused why someone who is not a rank beginner or small child would feel like they need to use safety stirrups? I have never used them, even when I started riding as a child, and (knock on wood) I have never had a problem with my foot getting caught in a stirrup all the millions of ways I have managed to part ways with my mount. I don't know any adults (even relative novices) that use them. Is it a 'better safe than sorry' thing? A secutity blanket? Do people not get taught how to fall properly anymore? I'm just curious as to why you adults that are not beginners use them. Do you use then in the show ring or just while schooling? Do you use them with all horses or just greenies? Please enlighten me!
                                  friend of bar.ka

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by PoniesAndUp View Post

                                    Action Magna Stirrups

                                    Advantages: Average price, looks like a regular iron.

                                    Disadvantages: Anyone used these? How easily do they come apart? I haven't seen these in person.
                                    I've used them. They come apart a little too easily. I used them in the jumpers and at anything faster than a slow canter they would come apart and snap back and click every stride.

                                    Multiple times I'd come out of the ring to have a trainer tell me they thought my mare threw a shoe, and it was always them hearing the metallic clacking of the stirrups. If they made the magnets a little stronger I would have no other complaints.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Celeritas View Post
                                      Not to be contrary, but I am confused why someone who is not a rank beginner or small child would feel like they need to use safety stirrups? I have never used them, even when I started riding as a child, and (knock on wood) I have never had a problem with my foot getting caught in a stirrup all the millions of ways I have managed to part ways with my mount. I don't know any adults (even relative novices) that use them. Is it a 'better safe than sorry' thing? A secutity blanket? Do people not get taught how to fall properly anymore? I'm just curious as to why you adults that are not beginners use them. Do you use then in the show ring or just while schooling? Do you use them with all horses or just greenies? Please enlighten me!
                                      Its hard to fall properly when you have a foot lodged in a stirrup. I've seen great riders get dragged around a ring.

                                      I personally only used safety stirrups because they were mandated by my old barn (for insurance reasons?) I don't use them now, but I certainly feel like they could be appropriate at any level.

                                      Even some grand prix riders are debuting new stirrup designs, and while they aren't "safety stirrups" in the classical sense, one of their purposed is to prevent a rider getting dragged from a foot caught in a stirrup.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Celeritas View Post
                                        Not to be contrary, but I am confused why someone who is not a rank beginner or small child would feel like they need to use safety stirrups? I have never used them, even when I started riding as a child, and (knock on wood) I have never had a problem with my foot getting caught in a stirrup all the millions of ways I have managed to part ways with my mount. I don't know any adults (even relative novices) that use them. Is it a 'better safe than sorry' thing? A secutity blanket? Do people not get taught how to fall properly anymore? I'm just curious as to why you adults that are not beginners use them. Do you use then in the show ring or just while schooling? Do you use them with all horses or just greenies? Please enlighten me!
                                        I never used them when I rode as a child, and while I'm a re-rider now, I don't consider myself a rank beginner, but I like the added peace of mind, I guess. I think if I had started up again NOT using them, I'd have been fine w/ that - especially since, no, I don't trust myself to remember to fall properly in the heat of the moment!

                                        And I haven't done any showing yet, but when I do, I'll use non-peacocks, for the look.

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