Eventing is a very exciting sport. It requires skill, stamina, and focus from both the horse and the rider. An eventing show consists of three parts: dressage, showjumping, and cross country. Cross country is the riskiest part of the test, as it requires the horse to jump in the woods and fields. The biggest difference between showjumping and cross country is that cross country fences will not break if a horse hits them. Eventers are very safety conscious for this exact reason. So, what kind of safety stirrups should eventers have?
Safety stirrups for eventers
Especially when jumping, whether it is cross country or showjumping, the riders should ensure their safety at all times. Having reliable safety stirrups is a big part of that. The purpose of safety stirrups is to prevent the rider from getting stuck in the stirrups in case of a fall. This is why it is paramount to have stirrups that will release you if you happen to fall off.
One of the biggest and safest inventions on the market at the moment are magnetic safety stirrups, such as our Ophena S and Ophena T. They feature an open side, a magnet at the bottom, a foot stopper, and Smart Attach -system. As you can see from the photo below, they are also beautifully designed.
The magnet keeps your foot in the correct spot. In addition, if you lose your stirrup while riding, you can get it back easily. Thanks to the open side, in case of a fall, your foot will immediately release.
Our stirrups, for instance, are an excellent choice for the showjumping and cross country tests. In fact, they are even approved by the FEI.
Safety stirrups for the dressage test
However, magnetic safety stirrups are not allowed in dressage, as they can be considered as an "extra aid" (with the exception of para-dressage). So, for dressage, safety stirrups with a curved side or a hinge mechanism are an excellent choice.
And not to worry: if you have our Ophena stirrups, you can easily switch your stirrups, thanks to our Smart Attach -system that makes it easy to take your stirrups off.
Don't forget other safety gear
As an eventer, you have to be wary of all possible risks. As the cross country fences will not break, falling onto them or tripping over them can cause bad accidents. In addition to safety stirrups, you should also have a great helmet, gloves, good boots, and a safety vest.
For instance, Hit-Air safety vests have been a big thing recently. They are light and comfortable, and the air-bag activates when you fall.
In addition, you should take into account all possible safety measures for your horse, such as getting a breastplate and boots. Many eventers prefer their horses to have both bell boots and brush boots (or tendon boots) while on the cross country course.
In conclusion, taking into account all aspects of safety are important when you do eventing - or any other discipline, for that matter.
FAQ: Frequently asked questions
What kind of stirrups are the best ones for eventing?
For eventing, you should have safety stirrups with a good release mechanism. Take into account your dressage test, though: you may need to change your stirrups for dressage. The best bet is to check the rules of your equestrian federation, or the FEI rules.
Why are safety stirrups recommended for eventing?
Eventing is a sport that requires a lot from both the rider and the horse. Frankly, you will never know when an accident might happen. Should you fall off your horse when riding, it is paramount that your foot releases from the stirrups.
How do I know if I have the right stirrups?
Talk to your trainer and ask for their opinion. Also, to check that the stirrups are allowed at eventing shows, check with your equestrian federation.