WOW in the hunting field
For many people, the Boxing Day meet is an integral part of the Christmas festivities. As we approach this traditional event, we were delighted to hear from a lady who has had her WOW saddle fitted to three different hunters over the last 12 years. Melanie Fitzpatrick told us her story:
Finding the right saddle…..
“In 2002, I bought a coloured warmblood, Darcy, to event or show. Things didn’t go to plan though, he was timid and spooky, not forward-thinking at all, and really stuffy to ride.
In 2004 I got a Master Saddler, Jill Tremmil, to check his saddle. She put a WOW on him and suddenly he had a proper warmblood walk, really covering the ground. From that day on, he never looked back.
…and the right job
“The next year I started to hunt him with the South Downs Bloodhounds. Hunting really brought him out of his shell, and he ended up doing 5 seasons. I Field Mastered regularly, and Darcy was all I could wish for as a mount.
A new coloured partner
“My next horse was not much bigger than a pony. Eddie was a young 14.3hh coloured cob, very round indeed. Luckily Darcy had been short-coupled, and I’m quite small, so I’d had a 16” WOW with an extra wide gullet. This only needed a change of headplate from a 3 to a 5, and adjustments to the air flocking in order to fit Eddie. I backed him and showed him to hounds before selling him on.
Out hunting again
“My current horse, Benson is a locally bred cob x trotter, about 16hh, so very different again from his predecessors. One more change of headplate by my current fitter, Susan Slade, this time to a 3UU, and my trusty WOW is out hunting on a third horse. As you can see in this picture, we both love being out – I don’t know which of us looks happier!
“Susan has re-conditioned the saddle for me after it had spent two years in temporary retirement while I had a baby, and it is treated to an annual MOT. My WOW’s flat XC seat and GP flaps are perfect for me and for the sort of country we cross – comfortable and secure. It’s made so much sense not to have to change my saddle with each horse, given it can be re-fitted so perfectly, and that I’d want the same seat every time.
“Benson is a lovely forward ride, without being at all silly. I’m really looking forward to my first Boxing Day meet with him – but it will be my WOW’s 10th on a variety of horses. “