I am NOT a barrel racer, but I saw some pictures of someone barrel racing in the latest article of Horse & Rider, and the woman had tied her boots into her stirrups with bailing twine. This seems really dangerous, but I was wondering if this was the 'norm' for barrel racers?
I just re-looked in the magazine, and there is a possibility that it is rubber bands. Still looks more like twine, but if bands are common, that might be it.
It's rubber bands.
Baler twine can be nude-colored. Most rubber bands are nude-colored.
It's all a matter of personal preference. Some people use them; some people don't.
I personally wear rubber bands for my competition barrel runs. When the winning time comes down to the thousandth of a second, I do not want to waste that one thousandth of a second getting a lost stirrup back, on the rare occasion it happens. That's why I use them. I do not need them to keep my feet in the stirrups, and they should never be used as a crutch for poor balance or horsemanship, but I like to use them as a "safety" for compeition runs only. I use the very large thin rubber bands so that they would snap if I get into a wreck. I know they snap easily because I often break them just stretching them over my boots to get them on. Large thick rubber bands are not safe, because those are the kind that may not break in a wreck or fall.
I don't have them around my feet in this photo, because we are just standing around, but they are around the top of my stirrup. Same color as nude baler twine.