The best safety stirrups for dressage: a comprehensive guide

Dressage is a discipline that requires precision, balance, and harmony between horse and rider. As a dressage rider, having the right equipment is essential to perform at your best and ensure the safety of both you and your horse. One crucial piece of equipment that often goes overlooked is the stirrups. Safety stirrups not only provide added security but can also improve your leg position and overall performance in the dressage arena.

Horse has on a saddle with safety stirrups

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best safety stirrups available for dressage riders. We will discuss the key considerations when choosing stirrups, highlight the top options in various categories, and address frequently asked questions about safety stirrups in dressage. So let's dive in and find the perfect stirrups for your dressage journey.

Key considerations for choosing dressage stirrups

Before we delve into the best safety stirrups for dressage, let's first discuss the key considerations when choosing the right stirrups for your needs. These factors will help you make an informed decision and find stirrups that suit your riding style, comfort, and safety requirements.


Stirrups come in various styles, and many riders have a preference for the aesthetic they prefer. While style is a personal preference, it's worth considering how the stirrups will complement your dressage attire and overall look in the arena.

Show or pleasure

If you compete in dressage shows, it's essential to ensure that the stirrups you choose adhere to the show rules and regulations. Different shows may have specific guidelines regarding stirrup type and style, so make sure to check the rules to prevent disqualification.


Comfort is crucial when selecting stirrups, as you want to ensure that you can ride for extended periods without discomfort or pain. Consider the tread style of the stirrups, as wider treads generally provide more support and distribute weight more evenly.


Safety stirrups are highly recommended, especially for beginner riders, children, or riders in higher-risk situations. These stirrups are designed with additional safety features to minimize the risk of getting caught in the stirrups in case of a fall. Look for stirrups with stress-activated release mechanisms or lightweight designs with good grip.


Most stirrups are designed to last a long time, but it's essential to consider the durability of the stirrups you choose. If you opt for safety stirrups or stirrups with rubber components, find out how long the rubber parts will last and if they are replaceable.

Joint issues

If you have knee, ankle, or hip pain, choosing stirrups with shock-absorbing properties can help alleviate discomfort. These stirrups provide more give and absorb impact, reducing the strain on your joints.

Now that we've covered the key considerations, let's explore the best safety stirrups available for dressage riders.

Best dressage stirrup: Ophena A

Ophena A safety stirrups are designed by Ophena and made to cater to riders of all disciplines. Ophena a is available in silver and black and it features the twister, patent-pending technology that allows for a safer riding experience.

The twister includes a rubber piece that closes off the outer side of the stirrup and anchors in two anchor points. It releases in all directions when pressure is applied and allows the riders foot to release in case of an accident and it can reduce the risk of a serious injury.

Ophena A also offers integrated dampening, providing unbeatable flexibility that gives your knees and ankles a break: you will enjoy a softer and more flexible riding experience as the stirrups will move with you during your ride.

Key features to understand about Ophena A:

  • Includes the twister for a safer riding experience
  • Includes integrated dampening
  • Excellent treading for better grip
  • Beautiful design that pleases the eye and catches attention

Frequently asked questions

Can you use Ophena A stirrups for dressage?

Yes, you can use Ophena A stirrups for dressage. Ophena a offers a specific dressage stirrup option with a flat footbed instead of the inclined version available for jumping. These stirrups provide the same shock-absorbing properties and comfort, making them suitable for dressage riders.

How do you choose stirrups?

When choosing stirrups, consider factors such as style, show or pleasure use, comfort, safety features, durability, and any joint issues you may have. Research different brands and try stirrups before making a purchase to find the ones that suit your needs and preferences.

What are the safest stirrups?

Safety stirrups, such as the Ophena A, are designed with additional safety features to minimize the risk of getting caught in the stirrups in case of a fall.

What are the best dressage stirrup leathers?

Dressage stirrup leathers come in different styles and materials, such as leather, leather with a nylon core, or synthetic options. Most riders prefer leather stirrup leathers for their durability. Choosing the right stirrup leather style depends on personal comfort and preference.

Parting thoughts

Choosing the right safety stirrups for dressage is crucial for your performance and safety in the arena. We've explored the top options in various categories, from the best overall stirrups to those specifically designed for lower leg position, safety, technology, and knee pain. Consider your needs, preferences, and budget when selecting stirrups, and don't forget to adhere to the show rules if you compete in dressage shows. With the perfect stirrups, you'll be able to ride with confidence, comfort, and style, enhancing your dressage experience and improving your performance in the ring.

Remember to always prioritize safety and consult with a professional if you have any concerns or specific requirements.