After jumping Milli in her WOW saddle for the first time last week, and with the huge improvements in how she is working on the flat in her new WOW dressage saddle I couldn't wait to see how she would feel jumping in one at a competition.......
There was very big entries in each class with jumping starting at 9.30am and finally finishing at 8pm, with as many as 45+ entries in some classes! I picked Kim up on route as she wanted to jump the first few classes. Maisey jumped two lovely double clears for Kim and had they been registered with BS they would have finished in 5th place out of 45+ entries which was a great result!
Due to the large entries Milli had been stood on the trailer for quite a while but this just made her even more excited to be out! She was very fresh in the warm up, to the point she was trotting round and kept squeaking to herself!! When I jumped her in the WOW saddle at home she just kept improving her way of jumping with every jump! She warmed up great in the WOW flat seat event saddle and was jumping brilliantly! We went in to jump the discovery and she jumped an amazing double clear for me and we finished in 3rd place out of another very large class so I was chuffed to bits. Even more pleased after many spectators came up to me after the class and commented on how beautiful our round was and how well Milli was jumping, making it look easy! I was also told be many people riding that I was on a jumper not an eventer! haha Our round felt amazing and there was a huge improvement in her straightness, as I have noticed from pictures taken eventing that she tends to take of off just one of her back legs where she is drifting right on the approach but in the WOW saddles she is 100% straight! There is also a big improvement in the shape she makes over a fence! she has always used herself correctly over a fence but in the WOW saddles she is basculing much more and she makes 1.10m feels like 65cm!!
As you can see from the picture below she is jumping 100% straight, really using her back and lowering her head! I also love how secure my leg remains in these WOW saddles both jumping and on the flat. I feel much closer to the horse and able to influence them much easier without there being any visible changes to my position!
Regarding the change in Milli's straightness, these two pictures below show you exactly what I meant. In the picture to the left (XC at SofE - Sept 2013) she is very clearly taking off of just one of her back legs putting a lot of strain on her body where as in the picture to the right (SJ at Blue Barn - Nov 2013) she is very straight. both front legs are in line and so are her back legs showing that her take off was much more evenly spread across both the hind legs making the jump easier to her thanks to the WOW saddle. It is also noticeable how much straighter I am in the saddle too as I have been struggling with my straightness a lot since my accident but after riding in these WOW saddles for a over 6 weeks now it is already noticeable how much straighter I am in them and no longer need to have asymmetric air in my saddles.
For some more pictures and a video of Milli jumping please check out her Gallery page...
All in all it was a very good day out and the improvements in both my horses since being fitted with WOW saddles and also being treated by Sofia Graham recently is remarkable and makes me even more excited to see what next year brings.....
Keep Calm & Canter On
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