Gear Riding

Magnetic safety stirrups demystified

ophena magnetic stirrups
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Written by Anton F.

Welcome to the new era of safety stirrups

Have you been searching for the ultimate safety stirrup? There are many new models coming on the market and some of them are really innovative. One of the latest models is the magnetic safety stirrup from Ophena.

Before we get into that, however, let’s talk about what magnetic safety stirrups actually are.

What are magnetic safety stirrups?

Magnetic safety stirrups are exactly what the name implies—stirrups that integrate a magnetic system that connects the stirrups to the riding boots and include a safety feature that prevents the rider from getting caught in case of a fall.

There are different types of magnetic systems, the most simplistic being a magnet which connects the boot to the stirrup. The rider may require a special boot with metal plates underneath or integrated magnets.

ophena stirrups

Other magnetic systems are more sophisticated, such as Ophena’s, which utilizes multiple magnets to create a magnetic connection between a special insole and the stirrup. The special insole allows the rider to use their normal riding boots, making it very convenient to use.

As for the safety aspect, there are many stirrups on the market with different safety approaches. Most have a mechanical solution where one side of the stirrup opens when a force is applied to it. While this provides some level of safety, it is susceptible to failure.

Magnetic stirrups can eliminate this weakness by offering a completely open design.

Because the magnetic system holds the rider’s feet securely in the stirrups, there is no need for a fully closed stirrup. That’s exactly what Ophena’s magnetic safety stirrups do.

Why choose magnetic safety stirrups?

For many riders, safety is the most important aspect when choosing their riding equipment, because—no matter how good a rider you are—accidents can happen. And when they do: the better your equipment, the better your chances of getting away with a few scratches.

If safety is important to you, consider trying magnetic safety stirrups. The open-edge design, in combination with a magnetic system, provides top-level safety.

Magnetic systems are very safe, as they reliably release the foot over a certain force.

Apart from that, magnetic stirrups can help you relax your legs, allowing you to focus more on your posture and overall riding. This in turn helps you improve your posture, leg position, and ultimately really brings your riding to the next level. Many riders who use magnetic stirrups talk about how they gained more confidence, knowing that they won’t lose their stirrups or get caught.

For riders with knee problems, magnetic stirrups have also proven to be beneficial.

Are magnetic stirrups legal?

As we all know, it can be tricky to figure out if a specific riding tack is competition legal or not. When it comes to magnetic stirrups, they are generally FEI Showjumping approved. And most national federations, like British Showjumping (BS) follow suit.

For other disciplines, there is no FEI approval, but national federations may see things differently.

So if you are riding Dressage or Eventing, it’s best to shoot your local federation an email and ask them about the specifics. As a guideline, you can check the overview Ophena provides in their help center.

Are magnetic stirrups good for jumping?

For show jumping, magnetic stirrups really come in handy. Riders have to focus on so many things—the course, the speed, the distance to the next obstacle, the jump, the landing, the timing of everything, and the list goes on.

With magnetic stirrups, there’s one less thing to worry about.

They always stay put, reducing the risk of losing the stirrups while riding and during the jump, while also securing the foot position upon landing after the jump. In fact, magnetic stirrups were developed together with, and are endorsed by, professional show jumpers.

You can read the opinion of show jumper Pedro Mateos here.

horse rookie guide to jumping

Are magnetic stirrups good for dressage?

Magnetic stirrups can be quite beneficial for the rider’s posture and leg position. They allow you to focus more on your horse, your movements, and other essential factors.

While they are not yet approved for FEI dressage competitions, they can still be recommended for schooling purposes.

Dressage riders report that the improvements they made can also be transferred to regular stirrups in competition, which means that they really are a great tool for training. Of course, they also make sure you’re safe during training sessions because, after all, you’re spending most of your time schooling.

Are magnetic safety stirrups good for children?

The short answer is yes! The three most important aspects when buying riding tack for your child are safety, safety, and safety. Safety stirrups are simply a must-have.

Adding magnetism will further help your child get used to the correct positioning of their feet, improve the connection to the stirrups, balance, posture, and more.

Meet Ophena

Ophena stirrups have been received extremely well by the equestrian community. The product has over 1,000 5-star reviews from verified customers, which you learn about here.  It’s clear that this is a product riders love, and it’s easy to see why.

How do Ophena stirrups work?

Let’s take a look at three features of Ophena Stirrups to understand how they function.

1. Magnetic System

There is the magnetic system that we already covered above. The cool thing about this is that you can use the magnetic insoles with any type of boots, making this solution both affordable and easy to set up. At Ophena.com you always get a pair of insoles included for free when you buy a pair of stirrups.

Ophena also offers two different strengths of magnetic insoles: Standard and Plus.

Most riders use standard strength, however it’s nice to know that you can at any point upgrade to the Plus version and increase your magnetic connection.

ophena stirrup inserts

2. Smart Attach™

Ophena has integrated what they refer to as Smart Attach™.

Smart Attach™ makes the attachment and detachment of the stirrups easier than ever before, as you don’t have to take the stirrup leather completely off the saddle to remove the stirrups.

Such solutions are highly appreciated as they save time and extend the life of the stirrup leathers.

3. Open Design

The magnetic safety stirrups from Ophena have a unique open design to minimize the risk of getting caught in case of a fall. Investing in your safety could be one of the most important investments of your life.

Ophena’s stirrups are made from stainless steel, and the tread is made from fiber-reinforced plastic.

Ophena also offers a Pro version  of their stirrups, which has an aluminum tread with spikes for even better grip.

ophena open side

How do you dismount with Ophena stirrups?

Worried you’ll feel trapped by magnetic stirrups? Think again. 

Simply tilt your foot up and out to release the stirrups.

Check out this video to see it in action.

horse rookie guide to jumping

How can you try magnetic stirrups?

If you don’t know anyone who could lend you their magnetic stirrups for you to try, fear not! Ophena offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, so that you can try their stirrups risk-free. Learn more at ophena.com.

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About the author

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Anton F.

Ophena is a high-end equestrian brand from Sweden. At Ophena, we develop innovative products that redefine safety, performance and style for the ambitious rider. We focus on the intersection between technology and elegance. We reconstruct form and function from ground up, engineer for highest performance and reliability.