Riding is dangerous. And besides the obvious protection equipment like helmets and safety vests, there is one important category of equipment that you shouldn't forget: safety stirrups. Compared to helmets and safety vests, stirrups support your rider but are not inherently safe. On the contrary, they pose a huge safety risk!
In this article, we will look at why you should use safety stirrups and what the real risk is.
The Stirrup Risk
One of the biggest risks while riding is to get caught in the stirrup. Also, this risk is particularly present when the horse does unexpected movements, slips or falls. It is more likely to happen when the grip on your stirrup is bad or it is slippery because it's wet.
Many riders switch to Ophena because they have experienced such dangerous situations themselves, or know people who got severely injured. From head injuries to broken ribs, legs, knees - the message is clear: Safety stirrups are essential.
We do not want you to end up in a situation like this (be aware that this video might be disturbing):
But how big is that risk really?
Over the years, we have gotten to know many, many riders, who severely injured themselves because they got caught in their stirrups. And we made a survey amongst 400 riders, with clear results. 62% of the riders surveyed stated they were afraid of getting caught in their stirrups.
In addition, in the same survey, we found that Safety is the Top 1 Feature riders consider when buying new equipment. 98% of all riders surveyed found that safety is either important or essential when purchasing equipment.
Available Safety Stirrups
Finally, when we started the development of Ophena safety stirrups, we had the goal to create the safest stirrup on the market. We investigated other options, e.g. stirrups that have opening mechanisms or flexible side-parts. In fact, we even found that some stirrups are prone to break suddenly and others bend over time. We talked to hundreds of riders and formed our opinion:
Many "safety stirrups" are not safe. Opening mechanisms are prone to fail. Long-Term durability is not standard.
The Ophena Safety Stirrups
So we decided to open the stirrup on one side and give it round shapes to minimize the risk of getting caught. We also developed a unique magnetic system to support your feet, improve your balance and grip - regardless of weather condition. For the unlikely case you should slip in case of sudden movements, we added a foot-stop for enhanced support.
We are certain that Ophena is the safest stirrup on the market.
Also, you should take a look at our article about the best safety stirrups for adults to compare features and reviews about other safety stirrups on the market as well.
Safety stirrups are one of the most important and essential safety gear that you can own. You should never disregard it as just equipment to help you with your balance - your stirrups can determine even the severity of an accident.