At the moment, there are many different kinds of stirrups on the market. Companies come up with new tech and features constantly, which is (ultimately) good for the riders. However, sometimes it can be hard to find the right kind of stirrups when there are so many options to choose from. In this article, we will look at quick-release stirrups and how they work.
What are quick-release stirrups?
Quick-release stirrups are stirrups that release a rider’s foot quickly in case of an accident. They can also be called breakaway stirrups, or safety stirrups. The bottom line is that they have some kind of a safety mechanism that prevents the rider’s foot from getting stuck in the stirrup when falling off.
Quick-release stirrups can include, for instance, the following:
- Peacock stirrups
- Freejump stirrups
- Ophena magnetic safety stirrups
- OnTyte stirrups
Among many others. All these stirrups mentioned above feature a safety mechanism that will open or otherwise release the rider’s foot, should they fall off.
How do they work?
Each brand works differently in terms of its safety mechanisms. Sometimes, the mechanism can include a hinge that opens when pressure is applied. Or, for instance, peacock stirrups have a rubber band that will release. On the other hand, Ophena magnetic safety stirrups have an open side that prevents the rider’s foot from getting stuck.
At the end of the day, each brand and manufacturer achieves the same goal in a different way. The most important thing is that they release the rider’s foot fast.
Who should use quick-release stirrups?
Anyone riding horses, no matter the style or discipline, should have some sort of quick-release stirrups. At the end of the day, you never know what is going to happen. Your horse might trip or fall due to no fault of his (or your) own, and it is important that you will fall off as safely as possible.
The longer you ride horses, the more likely it is that eventually, you will fall. It is simply the nature of the sport and it is inevitable, no matter how experienced you are. Especially showjumpers and eventers should take great care of safety, as these disciplines are riskier than dressage or trail riding, for instance.
Where can I buy the stirrups?
Quick-release stirrups can be bought at your local tack store or online. However, before you make your purchase, you should compare the available options and read stirrups reviews. As there are so many options to choose from, you should take into account everything that is important to you. For instance, think about the following features:
- Safety features
You should also consider the main discipline you ride. For instance, showjumpers and eventers might want to get different stirrups than dressage riders. Consider the reliability of the safety mechanism, design, material, and weight. Another important factor is the price: ultimately, you get what you pay for. The more you are willing to invest from the jump, the better the chances are that your stirrups are high-quality and reliable.