Why do riders get caught in stirrups?

Safety stirrups are an essential part of your riding gear. By using safety stirrups you can decrease the risk of a serious injury when riding horses. If your foot gets stuck in the stirrups during a fall, you may get seriously hurt or even get dragged behind the horse.

But why do riders get caught in stirrups?

Magnetic safety stirrups in box

Safety stirrups can help your foot to release quickly in case of an accident. In this article, we will look at why riders get caught in stirrups and what you can do to prevent it.

Why do riders get caught in stirrups?

It's essential to know why riders get caught in stirrups in the first place. When you know these reasons, it will be easier for you to avoid them and to choose safety stirrups that help you to have a safer riding experience.

In the video below, you can see how a rider gets caught in stirrups and gets dragged behind the horse. The risk of something like this happening can be reduced by using safety stirrups.

Below, we will look at reasons why riders get caught in stirrups.

Improper stirrup size

One of the main reasons riders may get caught in stirrups during a fall is improper sizing of the stirrups. If the stirrup is too small, there is a risk of the foot getting stuck in the stirrup in the event of a fall.

On the other hand, if the stirrup is too big, the foot can slide through it, making it extremely difficult to release oneself from the stirrup. It is crucial to select the appropriate stirrup size that matches the rider's foot size to minimize the risk of getting caught.

Inadequate footwear

The choice of footwear plays an essential role in rider safety. Wearing proper riding boots with a heel is essential to prevent the foot from getting caught in the stirrup. Sneakers or working shoes are not suitable for riding as they do not provide the necessary stability and grip.

Boots that are specifically meant for riding are designed to ensure that the rider's foot won't get trapped in the stirrup: this is why you should always buy the correct riding boots.

Stirrup returns to home position

When a rider falls from the horse, the stirrup tends to return to its home position, which can make it increasingly difficult to release the foot. As the rider's weight pulls downward, the foot becomes trapped in the stirrup, posing a significant risk of injury.

Being aware of this situation can help you to take appropriate safety measures (such as buying safety stirrups) to prevent accidents.

Introducing safety stirrups - what you need to know

Safety stirrups are specially designed stirrups that take into account the rider's safety during a ride. There are many different kinds of safety stirrups out there and they are equipped with release mechanisms that open under pressure, which allows the rider's foot to be easily released in the event of a fall.

By preventing the foot from getting stuck in the stirrups, safety stirrups (and magnetic safety stirrups) significantly reduce the risk of a serious injury, providing riders with peace of mind and reassurance while riding

Benefits of using safety stirrups while riding

Safety stirrups offer many excellent benefits that make them a smart addition to any rider's tack. Let's explore some of the best advantages of using safety stirrups:

Reduced risk of injury

The primary purpose of safety stirrups is to reduce the risk of a serious injury in case of a fall. The release mechanism in safety stirrups allows your foot to be released from the stirrup should you fall off, minimizing the chances of being stuck in the stirrups and getting dragged behind the horse.

By prioritizing rider safety, safety stirrups provide an added layer of protection during horse riding activities.

Enhanced safety and grip

In addition to their useful and safe release mechanisms, safety stirrups also offer improved safety through better grip in the treading. The treads of these stirrups are designed to keep the rider's foot from slipping for instance when it's raining or snowing.

For instance, the enhanced grip on Ophena A is particularly beneficial for disciplines such as jumping and eventing, where stability and control are of utmost importance.

Peace of mind

Riding with safety stirrups brings a sense of peace of mind to riders. Knowing that they are equipped with a pair of safety stirrups alleviates concerns about being caught or dragged in the event of a fall.

Prioritizing safety by using safety stirrups is an investment in a rider's overall riding experience, allowing them to focus on enjoying the ride without unnecessary worry.


Investing in safety stirrups is a wise decision for any rider, regardless of their discipline or age. By reducing the risk of injury, enhancing safety, and providing peace of mind, safety stirrups are essential additions to every rider's equipment arsenal.

Ophena offers riders both magnetic safety stirrups and non-magnetic safety stirrups that can be used for dressage and showjumping.

Prioritizing rider safety not only ensures a safer riding experience but also allows riders to fully enjoy the thrill and connection of horse riding. Order your safety stirrups today and take a significant stride towards a safer and more enjoyable riding experience.

Questions? Don't hesitate to get in touch!