I had a very busy start to the week last week as I was invited to join in with the most recent saddle fitting course at the WOW saddles factory. People from all over Europe came to take part in the course so it was very interesting to hear how WOW saddles are improving horses abroad as well as in the UK, across a variety of disciplines too. It was a very intense course and I had no idea there was so much to learn about these fantastic saddles. When I first did research about their saddles I thought it would be understanding how the flair system works but once you've decided which head plate fits the horse, and then what panels, flaps and which seat to use the flair is quite simple once you know how to do it all!
We were watching a lot of presentations about the saddles and how they're made and more importantly how much more freedom they allow the horse to have. We also spent a lot of time watching parts of the saddles being made in the factory as EVERYTHING is made onsite here in the UK! As well as this we were outside fitting saddles to their own horses and it was amazing how just a simple little change to how the saddle sits can make such a huge difference and improvement to how the horse works. What was also very interesting was looking at horses ridden in WOW saddles and other competitor saddle makes with a pressure test numnah underneath.......after seeing how much better the weight of the rider and pressure of the saddle is dispersed in a WOW saddlewhilst the horse is working on the flat and jumping I will be sticking to WOW saddles for all of my horses :)
On the final day David asked me to bring both Roxie and Milli along to show the wide range of jump saddles and also to test us all as they are both quite hard to fit! I've always struggled to get saddles to stay put on them both, Roxie's slide back and Milli's tend to slip forward, especially when she gets excited and bucks! With Roxie we tried the military girthing system which helps keep the saddle forward and it worked wonders! We had to change the balance of the girth a few times as all her saddles tend to slip back as soon as she started jumping but we found the perfect point to put the girth on and the saddle didn't move at all! RESULT!!! The difference in Roxie felt incredible even if she did find it all very exciting! We were doing grid work which is always her nemesis as she tends to just rush down it after she has jumped it more than once. This makes jumping at home very difficult as I have to change the grid every few times and now it was clearly just because her previous saddles weren't allowing her the amount of freedom she needed to do complicated combinations so she just wanted to rush and get it all done as quick as possible. She improved every time she came down the grid in the WOW saddle, jumping each fence correctly and not wanting to hurdle over it :) We then started playing with saddles on Milli and decided to try her jump saddle with a point strap, like her dressage saddle which now doesn't slide forward no matter how much she bucks with excitement! The point strap did the trick and Milli certainly put it to the test as after 2 days off she was rather fresh and went round like a buckin' bronco!!!!! The improvement in Milli's way of jumping in the WOW saddles has been absolutely amazing and she pops around 1.10m tracks as if they were 75cm! Keep an eye out for pictures and videos to come soon from the day I had both mine at the WOW factory.....
Both horses have had another physiotherapy session from Sofia Graham this week and feel great after, so much looser :) We have lots planned over the next few weeks, starting tomorrow where I am taking Roxie and Milli to Saddlesdane for grid work lessons with British Showjump trainer Donal Kear which I am very excited about. Then were off dressage-ing on Saturday at Blue Barn Equestrian Centre with Milli doing a Novice test and Roxie doing the Elementary. Then one more BS show before Xmas :)
Lots and lots to look forward to, keeping us all very busy.....only downside of being so busy this time of year is I haven't yet brought a single Christmas present!!!!!!
Until next time,
Keep Calm & Canter On
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