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The trials and tribulations of Oli Lawrence: Eventing, polo and turning 21!

Great to catch up with our WOW Saddles blogger, Oli Lawrence. Read more to find out what adventures he has been embarking on this month…

“So. We’re nearly one month into the season and I’m still alive plus I haven’t fallen too behind with work which, in short, is a minor miracle.  Since we last spoke/I wrote/you read Sox has been to Oasby, Lincoln and Great Witchingham. Oasby was his first event which normally leads to entertaining stories of general start of season problems but I’m surprised, even suspicious, to report that we had non except 2 poles down but we’ll let that go… Oasby did highlight though that a change of bit was in order for the cross country as it felt a little bit like being on a freight train with minimal breaks. Sox now has an American gag which does everything a bit is supposed to, well actually, it means I can stop which is kinda good really!

With new bit in tow Sox jumped a decent double clear at Lincoln and just had the one down show jumping but was clear cross country at Great Witchingham Intermediate. Coincidentally I discovered after Great Witchingham that if you finish your cross country round, pack up, go home and go straight to the library within four hours you’ll be one of the least productive students alive. Suffice to say I lasted about 5 minutes of sitting down before beginning to climb the walls and abandoned any attempt at work. I keep being told I need to compartmentalise things and focus on work in Cambridge then forget about work whilst I’m eventing.  However, when you’re sitting at a desk convinced the table in front is fence 7 and beyond that there is a water jump and you click at your computer like a horse when it won’t start I think it’s safe to say you’ve failed to focus…

I also had the once in a life time experience, if I ever repeat it again someone will kill me, of doing a bad dressage test at Great Witchingham. Normally Sox’s dressage is pretty damn good but as soon as I went down the centre line I knew this was just one of those days – the arena had been moved slightly and there was the trace of a second centre line next to the actual one where horses had trotted before me. For the life of me every time I turned up the centre line I was off, which landed me in a lot of trouble with just about everyone, not least the judge who didn’t empathise with my predicament. I was once told by an old, dubiously wise and slighted bearded old lady at a pony club rally when I was still small enough to actually ride ponies, that some mistakes, like putting pans in a microwave and not tightening your girth enough, you will only ever make once.  I hope she was right.

I suppose I should say something about polo too seeing as I missed it off last time. Cambridge uni is lucky enough to own its own ponies which makes playing polo here relatively cheap. As well as the actual polo the ponies have been subject to several experiments for WOW and other companies whilst I’ve been here.  We tried cross country boots instead of bandages and WOW’s air adjuster pad under poorly fitting saddles to brilliant effect.  What I’m trying to say is that from all of this I’ve learnt one thing – if you can give a product to a group of disorganised students who are either hungover or half asleep still and it works then you’re on to a winner.  WOW might produce some wacky designs compared to your standard jumping saddle but their stuff is relatively idiot proof and simple to use – in a world where everything seems immensely complicated that must be the biggest compliment I can give something!

Sox heads to Belton Young Rider’s trial for his next event so watch this space.  Actually , even better, come and watch! – its one of the best events in the country for spectators and a great family day out.  Blimey, I sound like I’m selling ice to polar bears, but I do genuinely mean it!

On a final note, I have a classic Oli mess up to share.  I’d offered to help out with a total beginners polo lesson and was really keen for it to go well seeing as I’d been for a drink previously with one of the girls involved.  So she trots along trying to canter and I thought if I just give the pony a tiny tap on the bum as I go past it’ll be enough to nudge it into a nice slow canter for her.  Predictably, as soon as I touched him he spun round and glared at me and in the process deposited said girl on the deck. Fantastic. Nice work Oli. Thankfully she got straight back on and seems to still be talking to me… When I got back I found I had an email asking how I’d managed to combine horses, uni and life in general as I seemed to have done a really good job of it and asking for advice… The temptation to reply that in all seriousness I was definitely the wrong person to ask was pretty high. That said, I do turn 21 tomorrow so I’m hoping for some beam of inspiration from on high that might eventually stop me having such ludicrously bad ideas!”

Oli, in the white shirt, on a recent Uni polo tour in China

Oli, in the white shirt, on a recent Uni polo tour in China

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13 reasons to use the Korrector

Korrector is a revolutionary new saddle pad which using air and foam technology, can be adjusted by the rider to give full day to day control of the fit of their saddle on one or more horses. If you haven’t already used the Korrector then these reasons will explain why we think you should…

Korrector benefits the rider by…

  1. Allowing the rider to adjust the pad for seasonal changes in the horse’s shape
  2. Absorbing jarring shock to the rider’s lower back
  3. Giving the rider the means of using a saddle on more than one horse
  4. Allowing the rider to adjust the balance of the saddle front to back
  5. Allowing the rider to adjust the balance side to side so distributing the riders weight centrally
  6. Allowing diagonal adjustment when the horse is asymmetric
  7. Can be used with English, Western and Spanish style saddles
  8. Bags can be removed and replaced fully inflated for washing purposes

Korrector has been proven by independent testing to give your horse greater comfort by…

  1. Dispersing the pressure points of the saddle
  2. Increasing the bearing surface of the saddle
  3. Continually flexing and moulding to the horse’s shape allowing the back and shoulder muscles to work unrestricted
  4. Absorbing impact shock from the rider
  5. Alleviating pressure across the horses spine and wither area

For more information about the Korrector visit www.fteltd.co.uk

WOW Saddles

Keep your saddle Korrect this season!

At this time of year your horse often changes shape, whether it be through weight fluctuations or muscle development as they get fitter and stronger in preparation for the season ahead. This can make saddle fitting a constant challenge, however First Thought Equine, manufacturers of the WOW saddle, have introduced the Korrector Air Saddle Pad which can help! 

Even when a saddle fits a horse well, over the course of a year, changes in diet or level of fitness will result in changes of muscle structure, and the shape of the horse’s back. Therefore a saddle that originally fitted well may no longer fit the horse. Many people find it difficult to get a saddle fitter to visit to re-flock or adjust the saddle, and need to resort to saddle pads to ‘take up’ the difference.

Most saddle pads cannot be adjusted, and the majority assume that the saddle does not fit throughout its length. This is not normally the case, as most saddle fitting problems only occur at the front.

Korrector has four air bags for adjustment and a foam sheet for shock absorbency. You only use those pairs of bags required to correct the saddle, so cutting down on unnecessary bulk under the saddle. Korrector can be used with four air bags to create a shock absorbing pad under the whole saddle panel. The bags can then be adjusted so there is more air in the front or back bags to balance the saddle front to back or even side to side. Korrector can also be used with just the two front air bags to create a front riser pad or just the two back airbags to create a back riser pad.

For more information and watch the video on how to use the Korrector, visit www.fteltd.co.uk 

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Dealing with a change in shape

As horses come back into work after a winter break, or simply build up or drop muscle due to the change in seasons, it can lead to saddle fitting issues. 

Even when a saddle fits a horse well, over the course of a year, changes in diet or level of fitness will result in changes of muscle structure, and the shape of the horse’s back. Therefore a saddle that originally fitted well may no longer fit the horse. Many people find it difficult to get a saddle fitter to visit to re-flock or adjust the saddle, and need to resort to saddle pads to ‘take up’ the difference.

Most saddle pads cannot be adjusted, and the majority assume that the saddle does not fit throughout its length. This is not normally the case, as most saddle fitting problems only occur at the front.

WOW have developed the Korrector, which has four air bags for adjustment and a foam sheet for shock absorbency. You only use those pairs of bags required to correct the saddle, so cutting down on unnecessary bulk under the saddle. Korrector can be used with four air bags to create a shock absorbing pad under the whole saddle panel. The bags can then be adjusted so there is more air in the front or back bags to balance the saddle front to back or even side to side. Korrector can also be used with just the two front air bags to create a front riser pad or just the two back airbags to create a back riser pad.

Korrectorhas been developed to help owners dealing with the ever-changing shape of their horse. For more information click here. Image

The Korrector

It is a well known problem that horses change shape throughout their working lives, making it difficult to ensure that the saddle conforms to the shape of the horse’s back at all times. Even when a saddle fits a horse well, over the course of a year, changes in diet or level of fitness will result in changes of muscle structure, and the shape of the horse’s back. Therefore a saddle that originally fitted well may no longer fit the horse. Many people find it difficult to get a saddle fitter to visit to re-flock or adjust the saddle, and need to resort to saddle pads to ‘take up’ the difference.

Most saddle pads cannot be adjusted, and the majority assume that the saddle does not fit throughout its length. This is not normally the case, as most saddle fitting problems only occur at the front.

Korrector has four air bags for adjustment and a foam sheet for shock absorbency. You only use those pairs of bags required to correct the saddle, so cutting down on unnecessary bulk under the saddle. Korrector can be used with four air bags to create a shock absorbing pad under the whole saddle panel. The bags can then be adjusted so there is more air in the front or back bags to balance the saddle front to back or even side to side. Korrector can also be used with just the two front air bags to create a front riser pad or just the two back airbags to create a back riser pad.

www.wowsaddles.com

About the Korrector™ The Air Saddle Pad

Korrector is the revolutionary new saddle pad which using air and foam technology, can be adjusted by the rider to give full day to day control of the fit of their saddle on one or more horses.

Once adjusted Korrector does not need to be altered unless the horse changes shape or you wish to use it with another saddle or on a different horse – adjustments take a couple of minutes and are done with the rider mounted.

Korrector can be used with saddles that fit or with saddles that don’t fit because they are too wide or out of balance.

Korrector can be adjusted to create either…

  • front riser pad, or

  • a back riser pad, or

  • a general pad, or

  • general pad and riser combined, or

  • a general pad with asymmetrically adjusted bags for an asymmetrical horse and/or rider

Korrector has a unique Gullet Locking Plate (GLP), which prevents the saddle pad from being pulled taut across the horse’s spine. All cloths are cut for high withers and have front ties, so alleviating the pressure often caused by saddle pads and numnahs in these areas. GLP can be purchased separately.

www.wowsaddles.com

The Korrector in Central Horse News

We were pleased to see the Korrector Saddle Pad being Tried and Tested in May’s edition of Central Horse News.

“The pad is very well made, quality product…”

To learn more about the Korrector Air Saddle Pad click here

www.wowsaddles.com