Wear appropriate shoes. Shoes such as sandals or athletic shoes are not appropriate.
Note: Shoes should cover the ankle to prevent the stirrup from rubbing and should ALWAYS have a heel to help prevent the foot from going too far in the stirrup.
- No-tie shoes
Don’t ride with tie shoes so your foot will come out in case you fall and shoe in stirrups.
Note: There are many ways to prevent getting your foot hung in the stirrup. On an English saddle, make sure the stirrup bars are down, and you can also use breakaway stirrup irons or peacock irons that will release if the rider gets hung. Always make sure you wear proper footwear (small tread and appropriate sized heels) that will prevent a foot from ever making it through a stirrup.
- Steel-toed boots
While cowboy boots or ropers are often considered fashionable to wear when working with horses, consider wearing steel-toe safety boots when you’re doing groundwork. If you get stepped on, the steel toe cap will protect your toes. (Note however, that if the horse steps on the middle of your foot, between the toes and the hell, the steel cap my not prevent injury to the metatarsal bones that comprise the arch of the foot. Safety boots can be purchased with metatarsal guards in addition to the steel toes. Vendors of industrial shoes, carry these unique safety boots.)
Note: This is good advice, but can be pricey. Wearing appropriate footwear, keeping yourself in safe areas around horses, and being able to predict a horses movements will keep you safe.
- Proper shoes
I was wearing flip flops while leading a horse in from the pasture. The horse stepped on my foot. Always wear proper footwear, especially around the barn.
Note: NEVER wear open toed shoes of any kind in a barn or around horses. Boots are a must.
- No treads
While practicing transitions to the counter the horse started bucking. I fell off but my left foot was caught in the stirrup of my dressage saddle. I was wearing footwear with tread on the bottom, just enough to stick in the stirrup. I was kicked in the thigh, lower chest and abdomen before becoming free. My advice -- wear smooth-soled riding boots. Even a little amount of tread can cause you to get hung up on your horse.
Note: Great advice. Just because you’re wearing a boot with a heel doesn’t mean it’s the best for the sport of riding.