Category Archives: dressage

Saddling the sensitive Lusitano

Zigzag is a 14-year-old Lusitano gelding, bred by Sherene Rahmatallah of Sussex Lusitanos, a small group of breeders specialising in these sensitive and intelligent horses. Zigzag has enjoyed success in the show arena and currently works at Advanced Medium level at home.

Katie Gilmour first rode a Lusitano with Tina Layton BHSI at Contessa Riding Centre, Ware, Hertfordshire, and fell in love with the breed. On moving to Sussex and seeking a horse to ride, she contacted Sherene, who suggested she ride Zigzag.

Sheren and Ziggy

Katie Gilmour and Zigzag

Zigzag is a true schoolmaster for those who can already ride well, but seeks to develop a stronger, more consistent position with better feel and sensitivity. Katie’s aim is to improve her riding and training skills and to become a ‘Luso rider’ in advance of taking on a new partner – a Luso of course! – to compete in dressage and showing.


“Zigzag is fairly close coupled,” Katie says. “Sometimes he gets blocked in his back and finds it difficult to work over his topline, particularly if his rider doesn’t maintain their position in his point of balance.”

“He has a big heart; he wants to please his rider, but it felt as though he simply couldn’t go forwards and he would stop. Just before Christmas, he felt particularly uncomfortable and his willingness was affected.”


Sherene carried out the usual checks on Zigzag, including his teeth and his back and became concerned that his saddle was uncomfortable. Sherene contacted her local Wow fitter, Nicola Purdy, because of Wow’s reputation for allowing full freedom of movement in all shapes and sizes of horses.
Baroque fixed block crop

Wow boast Baroque styles in their range that are modelled on the Relvas type saddle, designed for showing and competing Iberian horses. These can be used with any of Wow’s huge range of panels, headplates and seats, to combine a classic traditional look with up-to-date sadddle technology.  Difficulties in fitting Iberians are consequently easily resolved.


With his new saddle made to order and fitted, Sherene and Katie both noticed an immediate difference in his work, and it became obvious that he had been hindered and constrained by the previous saddle’s fit.




Katie says: “Ziggy is definitely a lot happier in his Wow; he is so much more forward-thinking.  He is a very sensitive horse, but now he is so comfortable, you can just enjoy riding him, and not feel like you  are treading on eggshells all the time. There’s now no tension in movements like half-pass and counter-canter. I have never seen such a dramatic change when saddles have been changed on other horses I’ve ridden. It’s lovely to feel such a difference. Ziggy really is a special horse and it’s heartwarming to feel him feeling so well.”





WOW Ambassador rider Julia Horton is National Champion!

Julia Horton and Joyce

Julia Horton and Joyce by Stables Photography Studios

We are absolutely thrilled to tell you that WOW Ambassador rider Julia Horton and Premier Joyfull Moon are the country’s Para Restricted Summer National Champions! Julia led the field by a wide margin at the recent event, taking the title with 73.8%, over four per cent ahead of the runner up.

She had previously been placed second in the individual championship test in the preceding days, and also won the Novice section with 69.55%.

“Wow what can I say – Joyce and I have won the Para Dressage Summer Championship with the unbelievable score of 73.8% – every single thing we have worked on came right this weekend – I was able to just sit and enjoy the ride,” Jules tells us. “Dreams really can come true, as this was mine.”

Jules is one of the most inspirational riders we know – “I knew I never wanted to do anything else in my life but ride,” – however in 1999, her life totally changed when she got Hodgekins Lymphoma stage 3B; her chemotherapy left Jules with many physiological health challenges. Jules rides in able-bodied competitions, but in Para contests, rides as a Grade 3 Rider.

Here is a beautiful pic of the talented Joyce.

Julia Horton and Joyce

Joyce – by Stables Photography Studios

Well done Jules and team!

All about Jane

Jane and Ginger

Jane and Ginger

We would like to introduce you to WOW ambassador rider, Jane Lishman. Jane is an incredibly tough cookie, being a bi-lateral amputee after an equestrian accident, and WOW is very proud to be associated with this admirable lady. Here, she tells us some more about herself and her riding:

“I only have the one horse, called Lordana Tg, aka Ginger; she is a 15.3hh chestnut mare, an eight year old Hanoverian by Londonderry. I bought Ginger last June after she failed at BE 90cm eventing with a young girl; she had originally been imported as a foal to become a broodmare, but did not make the required height. I am a bi-lateral amputee and am in a wheel-chair, but she didn’t seem to mind my chair, or the way I had to mount from a raised table. We are now going from strength to strength, and I compete in both Para and able bodied dressage; we won the Prelim Winter Regionals and came 10th at the championships, we also won the Para Grade II Winter Para Championships, and we are now competing CPEDI 3*.  My WOW saddle is the ‘Bounty’ – it has a stock saddle seat, but with dressage flaps with no knee rolls, and Ginger and I both love it,” Jane says.

We wish Jane all the best with her current campaigning, and will share more news on Jane later in the season with our social media friends and followers.

More about the Bounty

This is a beautiful, technologically-advanced dressage saddle with a deep profile seat designed to offer supreme support and comfort. The stock seat gives a secure and comfortable riding position; it offers a longer, larger seat without it being a longer saddle. The panel of the saddle measures 18”, so it is suitable for all horses. The WOW Bounty is specially designed to cup the rider’s seat and provide ultimate support. It offers the horse supreme comfort, and the seat can be used with the full range of differently designed flaps in the WOW range, be it fixed or moveable knee blocks, giving the ultimate in rider comfort and stability.