Any recommendations for safety stirrups in the $200 range?
The Acavallos might be in that range. I also have the B Vertigo safety stirrups and like them (I have a few pairs for lessons). There are some that are all aluminum for less, but I prefer the ones with the plastic foldaway arm - two of the pairs of all aluminum in our barn developed squeaks on the left stirrup for certain riders (short people).
I evented with these Foot Free Safety Stirrup Irons - and much less than $200
Check this COTH thread for many safety stirrup options: [Safety stirrups thread] Stirrup breakaway safety: Alternatives to Barnes Buckles or Swiss Clips?
If you find something you like out of price range check the euro sites - I picked up two pairs of Le Meiux Vector stirrups (one each of the control and balance) from REDPOST for ~$350 including shipping. The same stirrups are listed at $270ish on RW site (which would have me at over $500 for 2). They shipped quickly (were supposed to arrive 6days after ordering) but we’ve been having some delivery issues not at fault of REDPOST or the courier so hopefully they will arrive today.
When looking at safety stirrups my recommendation is to get one that opens at the bottom NOT the top. The ones that open at the top, if they do not close on their own, can become one more danger to you and your horse - it can jab you on your way down, pony can get their reins/ bit/ martingale/ what have you stuck on it, get the stirrup stuck on the arena fence/ jump/ whatever else they can find and damage the stirrup/ saddle/ themselves, you get the idea.
Then come the other options - straight eye or angled? Flat foot bed or angled? Some sort of shock absorption or no? And those will help you narrow it down too.
I went with the vector stirrups because the open on the bottom, have the slightly offset eye, and offer both flat and angled footbeds (trying both to see which I like better).
There is so much out there.
On the question of opening on top or bottom. Your foot would probably get out the stirrup faster with a top opening as that is probably where your foot will hit first as you fall. Not that it wouldn’t come out with a bottom opening, it just could be a bit faster with a top opening.
The only thing I would add is to get something that doesn’t have parts that fall off. You don’t want to spend time looking for the safety part of the stirrup.
I ride with the Acavallo Arena Alupro (bottom opening) and think they work fine and love the color options.
I didn’t think the Freejumps (top opening) were anything special and probably a bit over hyped, but after riding in a pair that were on a saddle I used for a few months I have to say that I have changed my mind.
Luckily I didn’t have to test the safety part, but they were more comfortable then my Acavallos and I felt like my feet didn’t move as much. I didn’t lose my stirrups as much either.
I have yet to buy a pair, but it is on my list of upgrades for the future.
I think you (inadvertently) bring up a good point! There is top opening and then there are open top. Free jump are open top - the gap is always there and while the branch flexes/ bends, it doesn’t “fall” open to sit perpendicular to the girth/ horses body like a top opening stirrup such as Tech Stirrups would.
There is still a risk of being caught or hung up on the open top FreeJumps but it’s less than the risk of the top opening Tech Stirrups (IMO).
I love my Free Jumps! If you order from the UK, they aren’t much more than $200. I think mine were $250 and totally worth it.
Does anyone with ankle pain ride in the free jumps? I have a very bad ankle, I bought a pair of the Lemieux safety stirrups and my ankle very much hated them. I’m back in regular plain irons and my ankle is much better. I still want safety stirrups, just curious if anyone else with bad ankles has any suggestions!
I occasionally twist my right ankle, the first time was around 60 years ago.
I LOVE my Tech Venice Slope stirrups. Other stirrups usually do not feel “right” for this ankle but I can just forget that my feet are in stirrups with the Tech Venice Slope stirrups.
Ridingwarehouse has a couple different brands of safety stirrups on sale. I ordered a pair of the acavallos to try. But definitely curious about the flex on safe on with incline for my creaky ankles
That’s interesting. The Lemieux ones also have a slope to them, though a quick look says the tech ones have a 3 degree slope and the Lemieux ones a 5 degree. I was suspicious the slope was causing the pain since it went away with the plain irons.