I was galloping through some plowed farm land the other day (which I now realize was a bad idea), and my horse hit a deep patch of dirt where he sank about 8 inches. This freaked him out, and he bucked and turned sharply and I was already in a 2-point seat, and he threw me off. As I was coming down I though for a minute that my foot was going to get caught in the stirrup, so I jerked my leg in the air and my foot came loose. Luckily I landed in the 8 inches of dirt, so I was completely fine and jumped right up and chased my horse.
Anyways, this was my first time seriously falling while using a saddle, and it made me decide that I should probably get some safety stirrups. (I recently got a new horse who is much younger and more excited than my old horses, and I wouldn't be surprised if I end up falling off him a few more times in our jumping and galloping adventures).
My current stirrups are the ones that came with my saddle, plain old classic stirrups. Before I had these I used a pair of the peacock safety stirrups with the quick-release rubber band. They were too small for my foot, but I don't recall ever thinking that they offered me less support or were too light or anything. Once I rode in the solid kind, I decided I liked them better and didn't think I really needed the safety kind.
My problem now is that I don't know what kind to get! We have a pair at our barn that look like normal stirrups but that come open and release your foot if it gets stuck, and I can use them. (Although I've never tried to see how easily they open). (Here is a link to them: http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-0746 ) I like that they are heavier and look more normal, but I like the fact that with the rubber band kind you can get cool colored rubber bands and treads. I know that sometimes the rubber bands break, but if I get colored ones I'll have extras anyways.
Does anybody have any strong opinions about good stirrups?? Thanks!
By the way, sorry that I wrote a novel here.