I was flipping through my favorite Tack of The Day website, as those of you who use the site know, it can be hit or miss, one of the offerings today was a “Urine Detector Light” for $10. Everyone knows that “Urine Detector Lights” are just every day black lights. Why do I need a flashlight size one? I probably don’t want to know what is in that hotel room when I travel anyhow. Anyhow, back on topic, they have these crazy looking stirrups on there. It took me a minute to figure out what I was even looking at.
It turns out, a company that I have never heard of Space Technology Safety (STS) started making racing stirrups, then decided to branch out into English stirrups and western stirrups. I’m not going to lie, they look super weird. They do have a lot of merits though, they have a large foot “pad” area to increase grip, the have an easy slip out opening for safety and they even have a “toe stop” bar in front to keep your foot from slipping into the stirrup. This might be a nice cheat for those who always get yelled at for too much foot in the stirrup, although if you look at how the foot is positioned this bar does not go directly in front of the toe so it’s still possible to get too much foot in, just not as much as before. The nice thing is, there are no pads to change and its a metal stirrup instead of plastic with lots of metal tread and the foot part is angled to help keep your heels down. Unfortunately there is no mention of metal composition but it is definitely a “beefier” design than the FreeJump stirrups we discussed a few months back, thus I would be tempted to try these over FreeJump. Since there are no joints, you don’t have to worry about the rubber degrading on flexible stirrups causing instability. I seriously considered buying these from Tack of The Day but I got stuck on the $110 price plus I had to add $8 for shipping. If someone does decide to purchase them, let me know how they go and if you like them! I doubt they will be accepted in the hunter ring or dressage ring for a while, if ever, but they might make great stirrups for Jumpers or Cross Country.
Update: After many comments on the safety of hooking something with these stirrups, I do not recommend the ones on TOTD however if you are looking for a safety stirrup Victory Canter sells them with the rubber arm that closes the loop. This should aid in preventing hooking on bits, shoelaces, fences etc. There will always be a risk of hooking something, but this risk is possible with FreeJump stirrups, Peacock stirrups or any other stirrup that is not a complete loop. If we are being completely honest, a regular stirrup can hook things as well, I have had plain old fillis stirrups hook on fences and pull off my saddle. This is why they tell you to ALWAYS keep your stirrup safety bar down on your saddle
Below is a 7 minute video on how the stirrups work, although I will warn you, it’s pretty dry. Watch at your own risk.
Note: As always, the disclaimer, I do not work for STS or Tack of the Day, I have not personally tried these stirrups but I would like to, feel free to send me a pair!