Lorenzo De Luca is currently ranked 19th in the world, and 11th in the FEI Jumping World Cup standings. “In terms of stirrups, I use a range from the Italian brand Royal Rider, including the Royal Rider T3, which has an offset shape, allowing the foot to free itself quickly in the event of a fall. The entire Royal Rider range is designed with the rider in mind, for optimum performance and with good safety features,” he says.
“The T3 is a safety stirrup, but really does enhance rider positioning and balance too. It is key when you’re jumping higher fences that you are perfectly balanced, whatever stride the horse is on. I personally ride with a slightly longer stirrup length than some riders, and it works well for me and my height. I like to be able to get my bodyweight over the wither to allow perfect balance when jumping, and a highly engineered stirrup like Royal Rider allows me to keep the ideal lower leg position.
Adjustability in the canter
We asked Lorenzo for his top tip, in terms of moving a horse up the showjumping levels, and he says having adjustability in the canter is key. “You need to be able to move the horse around in the canter, and have some adjustability of pace.”
“For example you need to be able to take a slower, more collected canter, and then release the energy when a surge of power is needed, without losing the balance from the hindquarters,” he explains. “It should feel as the rider as if you have sufficient, ‘contained’ power at your disposal. Your aids and body movements help the horse set up for the fence, whatever the height.”