How can safety stirrups affect your foot position and riding?

Placing your foot in the correct spot on your safety stirrups can greatly impact your riding by allowing for better use of signals and improved balance. Having your foot in the wrong spot, however, can cause miscommunications with the horse and in the worst case scenario, it can even pose a safety risk.

Can safety stirrups affect foot positioning?

Today, we will look at how safety stirrups can affect your foot position and riding. We will also tell you how you can improve your foot position with only a few minor adjustments. 

How does foot positioning affect my riding?

A good foot position affects your entire leg, use of signals, and even balance. Your stirrups should be placed right under the ball of your foot with your heels pressed down and your ankles relaxed. Your toes should be pointing forward towards the horse's head. 

From there, your knee should be on the same line as your toes, and your heel should be right underneath your seat bone. This correct alignment will allow you to sit deeply in the saddle and place your leg on the right spot. It will be easier for you to signal your horse with your leg and even use your spurs in the correct spot.

All of this also affects your balance. As you can see, simply placing your foot in the correct spot in your safety stirrups, you will be able to adjust your entire leg alignment and improve your posture, balance, and position in the saddle. 

On the other hand, a misaligned foot can cause worsened seat and balance which, in turn, makes it harder for you to signal your horse. Your horse may even get confused by bad posture, balance, or a leg that keeps swinging back and forth due to the lack of good alignment and balance. 

Exercises to improve foot positioning

Positioning your foot in the right spot is essential, because it can affect so many other things as a ripple effect. If you have a hard time keeping your foot in the correct spot on the stirrups, or feel like your foot is constantly slipping out of the stirrups, you can try the following tips. 

Ride without stirrups

Your incorrect or misaligned foot position can be caused by you squeezing the saddle with your knees or thighs. By riding without stirrups on a lunge line, for instance, you can practice relaxing your thighs and knees. As a result of a fully relaxed leg, you may feel more comfortable placing your foot in the stirrups and pressing your heels down.

Shorten your stirrups

If you are riding with stirrup leathers that are too long, you may have a hard time keeping your heels down and your foot in the right place. Shorten your stirrups by a hole or two and see how it can help.


By completing stretches that help you to stretch your inner thighs and open your hips, you may be able to inwardly turn your entire leg from the hips all the way down to your ankle, which will help you to keep your toes pointing forward. 

Ophena magnetic safety stirrups can help with improved foot position

Many of our happy customers have reported improved foot position. As our magnetic safety stirrups (Ophena S and Ophena S Pro) have a magnetic connection between the stirrups and your magnetic insoles, your foot will always be placed on the correct spot. Our magnetic safety stirrups also prevent the foot from slipping, which can make you feel more comfortable and secure, and relaxing your ankle becomes easier. 

As our stirrups take away the worry of the correct positioning of your foot, it will be easier to align your entire leg and also focus on other things. When you will not need to worry about your foot slipping or losing your stirrup, you can focus on the course ahead and other things. 

In the video below, you will see how the magnetic connection pulls towards your magnetic insoles and places your foot in the correct spot:

More than just a magnet

Our magnetic safety stirrups will allow you to position your foot securely in the right spot, but that's not the ultimate reason why Ophena stirrups were created. Ophena's mission was to create a safety stirrup that would increase the safety of riders, while making the riding experience more comfortable and enjoyable. 

The safety aspect is reached with our open design that allows the rider's foot to release easier in case of an accident. Should the rider fall off the horse, the open design allows the foot to release, decreasing the risk of serious injuries during a fall.

The magnet keeps the rider's foot from slipping and keeps the foot still and in the correct position. Also, should the rider lose their stirrup during their ride, the magnetic connection will help the rider to catch the stirrup back.

We should also mention our excellent treading which will prevent your foot from slipping when when it's rainy outside. Especially Ophena S Pro includes improved grip that brings more security to all riders, including eventers who ride in any weather, rain or shine.

How can Ophena safety stirrups help riders?

Ophena safety stirrups have helped thousands of happy riders to improve their balance, posture, leg position, and confidence. While the main object of Ophena safety stirrups is to provide improved safety, the side-perks are excellent too. 

Over the years, our happy customers have experienced, for instance, the following:

  • Improved foot and leg position
  • Improved balance and posture
  • Decreased knee, ankle, and hip pain
  • Improved safety
  • Better confidence

Ophena safety stirrups only at

Ordering your own Ophena safety stirrups online is easy. Our stirrups are sold exclusively on and you can place your order on our website with a few quick steps.

  1. Visit our stirrup shop and choose which model you want (Ophena S, Ophena S Pro, Ophena A)
  2. Choose the color (onyx black or silver)
  3. Choose the size of your magnetic insoles
  4. Fill in your details
  5. Take a look at our Ophena Evolution saddle pads (you might like them so much that you'll add one into your order too)

Your order will arrive soon and you will have a 60-day money-back guarantee. 

If you have any questions about Ophena stirrups, get in touch with us via email or on social media.