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WOW Fitter shares her experience with FreeSpace Girths



Lisa Brewer – September 2023

I admit to being a bit sceptical about the FreeSpace girth initially, but I should not have been. WOW Saddles has proven itself to continually be on the forefront of performance enhancing innovation through comfort, balance and freedom of movement. After decades of taking in “problem horses” and rescues, as well as having my own conformational challenges, I can comfortably state that no other saddle maker will ever catch up.


My horses have so much more to offer with the comfort of WOW. Read about them below.



Horse #4 - 22yo OTTB, raced over 30 times, evented through prelim, and on NO MAINTENANCE I finally transitioned my last horse to the FreeSpace girth. The others clearly benefitted from the new girth but, I wasn’t in a hurry for the last guy as he wasn’t seemingly having any issues with his long time stretchy, shaped girth. When I rode him in the FreeSpace, the change was profound! He sat behind, elevated in front and felt like a jet plane taking off, without the gravity drag feeling, from the very first trot steps and sustained. This happened every ride in the FreeSpace. He never felt better! He could always carry himself behind with encouragement but, this was a whole new level of engagement and power I had never felt with him. Crazy good!

In case you haven’t seen it, below is a link to video explaining the impact of girthing on locomotion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS0Dozlwi2w

 


Horse #3 – 16yo OTTB, raced 3 times, dressage and jumping

My largest OTTB was sore behind his elbows, at the girth groove. With no interventions to address the soreness, it was completely gone in about a week after transitioning to the FreeSpace girth. As you can imagine, the new girth facilitated improvements in his way of going, which seemed most evident in the medium and extended gaits.


This video may explain the soreness he suffered:

 


Horse #2 – 5yo OTTB, raced 13 times

This young mare is extremely sensitive. Her conformation includes well sprung ribs and not much wither. The FreeSpace girth provides excellent comfort and lateral stability, even for rounder horses lacking wither.



Horse #1 – 4yo OTTB, raced 13 times

My youngest does not present as particularly sensitive or reactive but, at the same time he seems aware of physical sensation to the point of distraction. Putting him in the FreeSpace resulted in more stillness during tacking up and a less sticky, more forward ride.


Challenges Experienced with the FreeSpace Girth


The FreeSpace girth requires the extra step of centring the sternum plate. However, once a person has done it a time or two, it’s no challenge at all. Further, in typical WOW style, this challenge has been largely addressed by the addition of keepers around the sternum plate.


The second challenge is NOT one everyone will encounter as it can depend on one’s own conformation. Depending on which stirrup position is used and length of leg, the back FreeSpace girth strap can interfere with the leg. This can be addressed by using a shorter strap in the back. The front strap buckle guard must well clear the elbow to be effective. I have also found that using single non-padded buckle guards is enough to address this challenge, for me.


My Favourite FreeSpace Girth configuration


·       vegan (easy to clean)

·       standard size (used even on my more narrow horse)

·       single buckle guards (more flexibility for different needs)


The greatest benefits of all things WOW are realized when fitting is precise. For this reason, I would always encourage purchasing through an active fitter and even better if that person owns horses and rides.


Contact your fitter for a FreeSpace girth! If you like this girth technology, the saddle technology is even better.

 

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