A good stirrup should give the rider's foot good support, stability, comfort and safety. Pioneers of stirrups with safety effect and comfort are the jointed stirrups from Sprenger. Now available in the 3rd generation! They regularly help professionals like Ingrid Klimke or Marcus Ehning to win medals.
But with the plenty of models available on the stirrup market, it is difficult to make the right choice. The subject of safety is of course of particular importance to many riders. But how can the safety of a stirrup be correctly assessed? Is a stirrup safe just because it is called a safety stirrup? We can answer this question can with a clear no, because no stirrup can offer 100% safety. But if you take a few simple things into account, the greatest possible safety can be offered.
This point is relatively difficult to assess. First of all, bear in mind that stirrups have to withstand forces of up to 4 times the body weight. In daily use and under the most varied, sometimes adverse weather conditions. It is advisable to buy stirrups made of stainless material with a breaking strength of at least 800 kg.
A simple indicator of the quality of the material used is the price. Very inexpensive models are often made of inferior materials. These are not resistant to weather and corrosion. Thus they can rust and/or break. Exposed to temperature fluctuations they tend to undergo structural changes or material fatigue. This applies to both metal and plastic hangers. With plastic stirrups, extra attention should be paid to UV resistance. UV radiation also causes the material to fatigue and can make it brittle and break.
The weight of stirrups available on the market varies as well as the variety of models. Here, of course, it depends on the rider's subjective perception. But, if the rider loses the stirrup while riding, it is easier to pick it up again if the stirrup is not too light. Stirrups that are too light can "swing" and are difficult to pick up again.
The tread surface of a stirrup should provide enough grip and support for the foot in the stirrup. Especially for beginners it is important that the foot stands securely in the stirrup. The rider can thus balance better, find a stable hold and is not likely to slip too low into the stirrup.
Depending on the stirrup model, the pad is either fixed to the stirrup or replaceable. The advantage of exchangeable pads is that you do not have to a buy a whole new stirrup when the pad wears out. The advantage of rubber pads is that they do not leave any scratches on the saddle. But metal inserts offer more grip, especially when it gets wet.
Besides the normal (so-called Fillis) stirrups there are various models with an extra safety function. For example, stirrups with opening mechanism, stirrups with side openings or jointed stirrups. Although no stirrup comes with a 100% guarantee, the use of safety stirrups is highly recommended in the case of a fall.
Important when choosing a safety stirrup is the quality of the product. Cheap copies of patented pioneer products are tempting to confuse with similar optics. They cannot keep up in function and strength and often even represent a safety risk. The market is flooded with copies, especially in the case of jointed stirrups. The joints are manufactured with inferior materials that can rust or break. Also, a flexible stirrup should have sufficient strength. It should cushion the movement of the foot, but under no circumstances should it be "wobbly" or "spongy".
Last but not least, when choosing a stirrup you should also consider the safety of your horse. It cannot be excluded that an opening or breaking stirrup can also cause injuries to the horse. It always depends on how a fall proceeds.
Sprenger has the largest range of products that meet all important quality criteria. Long durability, high material quality, breaking loads of up to 1,600 kg as well as functionality and comfort.
As you can see, the choice of stirrup models is huge. With a little background knowledge and understanding of your own needs you can still find it. The perfect stirrup!
You can find the complete selection of our stirrups including detailed descriptions here.