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Discussion Starter #1
I recently read on FB about barrel racers rubber banding their feet onto the stirrups. It just sounds to me like it's very dangerous.

Do you or anyone you know band your feet? Why or why not? I mean, I could see why. But why not just learn to keep your feet in place than potentially put yourself in danger? I've never seen it done before and only just now heard about it so I was just curious.
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Most of the bands people use are thin so the will break if something happens.

And some people like to keep there feet in there stirrups, and with a horse that is powerful it is very easy for you to lose a stirrup and hard to find it again. Or if you have to live your leg to get by a barrel. So instead of worrying about loosing your stirrups, it is a good insurance on not loosing them.

I personally hate losing stirrups....because in a way you loose some of the leverage you need to sit deep and stay deep, if you need to really lift and you don't have that inside stirrup to help out. And lots of other things....

And it really isn't dangerous if you use the correct bands that will break....I personally don't like using big thick rubber bands. I have a big bag of used carpet bands (look like regular bands) but they are pretty worn so will break.

It all comes down to personal preference.
 

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Lol- i can honestly say the only time ive lost a stirrup is when they werent correct for my legs (someone elses saddle) they were too long or the stirrup was too big for my boot.

To be truthful id rather see the rubberbands than those big stirrup grips they use.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I can see the point of it. Would you allow parents to do it to their younger kids who are not as strong as you? What if you had to bail and the band popped your horse's side and they freaked? How do you take them off after your run?
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I know a lot of moms who band their kids feet in...but only with the really thin bands like used for money.



As for the way most adults, they tie them together like this...


And then they are hooked over the toe, then ran under the foot and hooked onto the heel/spur. Then you just take them off how you put them on....

As for having to bail, that is why you use weak bands and not super thick ones. And I have ran with bands my entire life, have had them break mid run and didn't notice till I was done and taking them off. Have came off and they broke as soon as weight was applied. Heck even putting them ON I have had them snap. The horses I don't think even notice when there adrenaline is up and they are running hard.
 

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The "ping" from an elastic breaking would never be enough to phase any well trained horse. Heck elastics break with you braid manes/tails. Its not much different.

I know some people who school green horses cross country with elastics. I don't know how many kids I have seen with elastics on their feet. I don't do it to my kiddos because I want them to learn from losing their stirrups as you can't go into the hunter ring with elastics on your feet. But barrel racing I can totally see how they would come in handy.
 

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I use rubber bands for competition speed events. As BarrelRacerLvr put it, the bands are "insurance" for not losing your stirrup.

I am a good rider. I have good balance, good seat, and good legs. I very rarely lose a stirrup. However, when you are running Mach 20 at a barrel or a pole and your horse takes a wonky step, I do not want to sacrifice tipping a barrel or a pole because that rare occasion happened during a competition run.

I only use the very thin and very large rubber bands so that I know they will break if I get into a wreck. I know they will because a time or two, I've forgotten to take them off before getting off my horse. Snapped immediately. And sometimes they'll even break just me trying to get them on.

I have enough things to worry about during a competition run. I don't want to add losing a stirrup to that list. So I use rubber bands.

There are some people who use rubber bands as a crutch because they CAN'T keep their stirrups on their own. Those people have no business using rubber bands. They should never be used to make up for the holes in the rider's training.

Now as far as kids ..... will I let my kids wear rubber bands (when I finally have them someday)? Probably not. I might not even let them have a saddle sometimes. :twisted: I want them to learn to ride a horse with balance, and with their seat and legs. Maybe if they are running for a high school rodeo championship, then maybe they can have rubber bands. But unless it is a high stakes run, I'm going to make them go without so they also will rarely lose a stirrup when they are older when they can make their own decision about rubber bands.

I probably didn't start wearing rubber bands until I was 18 or 19, and I feel that I'm a good rider because I learned to be without them first.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Interesting. So they're not as dangerous as they sound. But I can definitely see people using them as a crutch, just like a tie down or something similar. I'd never even read about it until yesterday, but it definitely makes a lot of sense. And I know how easy they are to break, I've popped myself a couple times at work LOL.
 
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Beau and BarrelRacingLvr summed it up well.

I run with bands as well. Insurance, not necessity. They won't replace a good balanced position. Same with a tiedown. They won't fix training, but offer as a good tool when used properly.
 
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I personaly use rubberbands my horse is VERRY powerfull around the barrels when he leaves it knocks your foot out of the stirrup. this has saved me from falling and getting hurt many many times i would strongly reccomend!!!
 

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I personaly use rubberbands my horse is VERRY powerfull around the barrels when he leaves it knocks your foot out of the stirrup. this has saved me from falling and getting hurt many many times i would strongly reccomend!!!
Interesting to bring up this old thread (from 2013). I actually don't use rubber bands anymore because I don't like how far in they push my foot into the stirrup. I prefer to keep the ball of my foot on my stirrup. But it's pretty rare that I actually lose a stirrup. Usually, it might be an occasional leg lift to save a barrel, but I can almost always get my stirrup back before the next barrel. But if not, turn it anyway!!

To each his own.
 
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