Safety Stirrup Overview
I'm aging myself here, but when I was a kid, the only safety stirrup option was the little peacock stirrups with the rubber bands on the outside. You saw them all over the pony ring, but virtually never in the horse ring.
Those peacock stirrups still exist, but now, there are a whole host of options for safety stirrups that will have you fooled because they look almost like regular stirrups. Due to this evolution, you're now seeing them in every discipline and every ring. Safety stirrups aren't just for kids anymore!
Whether you're looking for a classic look, something sporty, or something edgy, there are multiple brands that have you covered.
All of Tech's safety stirrups have an outer branch that is spring loaded at the base of the stirrup and a magnet at the top where the branch separates. They are made of high grade metal and have a really nice feel to them. They also offer a nice grip to the footbed. Tech holds multiple patents for their safety mechanism, so they are constantly trying to innovate.
There's a wide range of color combinations, so you can choose something classic like silver or something wild and edgy to represent your favorite colors and personality.
Flex-on has multiple models of stirrups, but only one safety model that is available in an adult and junior size. These are developing a cult following, in part because of their heavy duty shock absorbers. We've converted several die hard loyalists of other brands fo Flex-on because of how comfortable they are.
While there might not be multiple models of safety options, Flex-on makes up for this with customization options. Literally every piece of the stirrup is customizable, so you can design to your heart's content!
The safety mechanism is unique in that the outer arm pulls like a sleeve over a nail-type insert. This means that the branch isn't opening unless you are actually falling and putting body weight against it, so no worries about it opening and closing as you're riding. If the branch is activated, then it needs to be rest manually, but you're likely already on the ground anyways to do this after you dust off.
Another Italian brand, Acavallo uses high quality aluminum alloys for their stirrups. They have two adult models of safety stirrups - the Arena Alupro and the Arena Aluplus. Nearly the only difference is that the Alupro's outer branch is made of an injection molded polyamide whereas the Aluplus' is aluminum alloy. Because of the metals used, these are among the lightest-weight stirrups available.
The opening of the stress-actuated locking and release mechanism is located a centimeter higher from the tread at the bottom of the stirrup to ensure that the foot cannot slip out laterally by mistake and to prevent sand and dirt from delaying the opening action of the arm in case of an emergency.
Acavallo has recently introduced 3 new junior models that mirror the adult versions.
Like Tech, these come in a whole host of fun colors to choose from.
The third Italian brand on the list, this company has devotees like Danielle Goldstein-Waldman. These stirrups are a bit more modern in their design, with a bunch of cool customization options.
The outer branch works differently than most other safety stirrups in that there is a spring coal at the base of the outer branch that opens when pressured.
Safe Riding offers two models: the S1 and the S2, with the latter being geared towards female riders that might have a narrower foot.
As evidenced above, you now have tons of options for safety without it being necessarily obvious that you're in a safety stirrup. Whether you're a junior or adult, hobbyist or a professional, options abound.