User Instructions


(For English style riding) With the Classic stirrups, if you break them open you should reassemble them by joining the inner bar together at the centre first, then join the outer bar to the ‘locking bolt’ at a 90 degree angle, taking care that they are lined up correctly.

Click the stirrup back into place and they are ready to use again.

The Classic stirrups can be put on the saddle any way round as they will work in either direction, so you do not have to worry about which way to put them on.

The Classics are permitted for use in British Dressage competitions


For English and Western riding

When you first start to use the stirrups we recommend that you practise breaking them open by holding the outside of the stirrup with both hands and push the inner part at the middle with your thumbs – if you struggle at first, try pushing off-centre; they will be a bit stiff to start with so have a few goes until you can open them – they will get easier. 


Spin them round 180 degrees to the ladder position and then click them back into place for riding.  The important things to check are that you have the little round ‘buttons’ sitting fully in the hole, otherwise they will be out of line, and that you only put them back together at a 90 degree angle.  Please see the YouTube video as above for more information on the operating instructions for the Escape stirrups.

We strongly recommend that you get the horse used to the clicking sound of them going back together and that you practise getting on using the ladder at home, as being lower down, you will have to throw your leg higher behind the saddle – it‘s like lengthening the stirrups to get on but without the hassle of fiddling with the stirrup leather afterwards! It won’t take long to get the hang of using them but because they are a bit different we like people to be prepared!

You will probably find that you will need to shorten your stirrup leathers as the Escapes are a bit bigger than normal stirrups.  For use with English stirrup leathers, thread the leather through the slot at the top of the stirrup, and for Western saddles, the fender goes through the space between the inner and outer bar.

In the event of a fall the Escapes are designed to release the foot to prevent you from being dragged.  In some cases the foot may just come out of the stirrup without need for it to break open, but when you are in a position of danger and your foot puts enough resistance on the inner bar it will break open to free you.

The stirrups can be put on the saddle any way round as they will work in either direction, so you do not have to worry about which way to put them on.

Please choose the correct weight of stirrup.

  • Light – 6st 3lb to 9st 6lb, 40 to 60 kg
  • Med 9st 7lb to 12st 8lb, 61 to 80kg
  • Heavy 12st 9lb to 17st 4lb, 81 to 110 kg

The black Escape stirrups are permitted for use in British Dressage.



In the UK and EU sole distributor is Sue Thomas via the website or the FB page.

Escapes are available in most colours and weights. Classics are currently only available in children’s sizes. This is due to a change in manufacturer which has necessitated rigorous testing to ensure safety and performance.



The stirrups are given weightings of light, medium, and heavy. This does not mean the stirrups won’t be safe if you are using lighter or heavier stirrups. The kinetic energy created by a fall will ensure the stirrups breakaway in the event of a fall whatever weight the rider is. Children are best advised to have classics as their feet may be too small for escapes. The manufacturers suggest that riders participating in extreme sports eg barrel racing or camp drafting, may be best advised to use heavier rated stirrups. The difference between weights is the ease with which they breakaway. The stirrups will not breakaway unless the foot connects with the top half of the inner stirrup (as in a fall)



What safety record do SmartRider have?

There is no history of stirrups breaking, or opening when they shouldn’t. In 10 years of sales there has been one broken stirrup, which released the rider freeing her from a potentially dangerous situation, but the stirrup caught on a metal gate fastener and cracked across the foot. The rider immediately replaced with a new pair of SmartRider stirrups.



How much are Escapes and how do they compare to other safety stirrups?

SmartRider Escapes in 8 colours are £75 plus p&p. £7 to UK and £18 elsewhere.

Typically, safety stirrups are around £200 to £250, making Smart Rider a great choice not only on safety reputation but also on value.

Bespoke, special, unique individually crafted leather covered stirrups are available, please contact to discuss. These can take 6 weeks to make.


How much is shipping and how long does it take? £7 within the UK, and £18 anywhere else in the world.

Following order, providing the order is a stock item it will be posted next working day first class recorded or if overseas, tracked. UK delivery will usually be the following day, overseas can be up to 4 weeks.

If ordering a bespoke, or special pair of stirrups, these can take up to 6 weeks to make, longer if a public holiday falls in the time.