Blog Archives

Essential saddlery advice for the show jumper

Some fabulous advice from WOW Saddles Sponsored rider Philip Spivey in the latest issue of Absolute Horse magazine! 

AH May saddlery for the showjumper

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Sparkling saddles

Why not ‘bling up’ your saddle?

WOW Saddles recently customised a customer’s saddle at the cantle and pommel areas, using appliquéd diamante and crystals. “Some riders like to use a bespoke pattern of their choice, particularly if they compete in the discipline of dressage under artificial lights, as discreet sparkles can really add interest and glamour,” explains First Thought Equine’s Co-proprietor, Maggie White. “It is also possible to spell a rider, horse or sponsor’s name in gemstones, or diamante and crystals. However I wouldn’t advocate that owners simply ‘bling up’ their own saddles – it is best left to saddlers with design experience and all the right materials and technology at their disposal to do this!”

If you want to ‘bling up’ your saddle and make a statement then get in touch via www.wowsaddles.com

Blingy WOW with customisation

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

The Club vs the Competitor… what are the differences?

Many people ask us what the difference is between the WOW Club saddle and the WOW Competitor, so we have put down a simple article to explain…

 

wowcompetitorlogoIt all started with the WOW Competitor Range. For the first time one could buy a traditional looking saddle and by buying different components, alter all of its’ characteristics to suit different horses, riders and disciplines. WOW is the world’s first modular saddle. The seat, panels and flaps of the WOW Competitor Range are all available separately, so you can easily change component parts. When they are combined they make a saddle whose performance for the horse and the rider is unbeatable!

The WOW Competitor Range offers…

Flexible Carbon Fibre Tree. Using the latest materials to give the ultimate in flexibility and strength. Lateral Flexion allows the horse to rotate the scapula fully under the saddle without interference, whilst also proving a very big bearing surface and hence very low pressures on the horse’s back.
PPS™ “Pointless Panel System” The unique shape of the tree with no conventional points and an extended floating plate on the panel top produces a bearing surface larger than a western saddle!
Double Stirrup Bars Allows the rider to ride with both a straighter leg position for schooling and a more forward leg position for hacking or jumping disciplines.
Adjustable Tree Width The width of the tree can be adjusted by the rider using the unique Flexi-Head™ in conjunction 11 interchangeable headplate width fittings from extra narrow to 8X Wide.
Interchangeable Panels Enables you to change the panels of your saddle to a design more suitable for a different horse with different back profile i.e. higher or lower gusset height
Double Wishbone Girthing A unique girthing arrangement centers the pull of the girth to keep the saddle still and stable on the horses back.
Interchangeable Flaps Extra flaps can be purchased and these are interchangeable allowing the rider to remove one flap and replace with one for a different discipline flap i.e. dressage to jumping
Two position flaps All flaps have two fixing positions so you can change the flap’s angle forward or back as well as removing them totally. This allows for riders with longer leg/thigh length.
Choice Of Seat Designs Flat to deep with differing degrees of softness of support.
Anatomically Designed Seat Allowing the rider to achieve total closeness to the horse with their thigh lying flat against the horses side.
Choice Knee Blocks Fixed Blocks or Moveable Blocks. moveable blocks allows the rider to adjust the knee support.
Single web stirrup leathers included so there is no buckle under the rider’s leg and Flair – The Adjustable Air Flocking System is fitted as standard. Flair allows the panel to be adjusted to and continuously mould to a horses changing/moving shape. There is a choice of colours and styles of leather, stitching and facings as well as flaps, panels and seat allows the rider to customize the saddle to their own preferences.

wowclublogoThe WOW Club Dressage shares the same tree as the Competitor and has the same range of headplate fittings.  The WOW Club Dressage  cannot change flaps or seat and is just a dressage saddle.  The Panels of the Club are inter-changeable and come fitted with a foam panel as standard, this can be upgraded to Flair.  The colours for the WOW Club Range are limited to black and brown.

The WOW Club Dressage still features the following…

Flexible Carbon Fibre Tree
PPS™ “Pointless Panel System”
Double Stirrup Bars
Adjustable Tree Width
Interchangeable Panels
Double Wishbone Girthing
Anatomically Designed Seat

So now you know! If you want to learn more about the WOW Saddle collection visit www.fteltd.co.uk

Flair…. the inside story

Many people ask us what Flair actually is, so here goes…

Flair is a system of four air bags, which are incorporated into your existing saddle panel, two at the front, and two at the rear. Flair air bags can be fitted to all styles of saddle i.e. Dressage, Jumping, General Purpose and Endurance etc.

The air bags surround a foam insert which makes the air displace in such a manner that the saddle panel maximises its bearing surface on the horses back.

The bags are adjusted via two valves that are fitted under the skirt of the saddle. The adjustments are made whilst the rider sits on the horse, the whole process taking a matter of minutes. The saddler is able to balance the saddle perfectly both side to side and front to back even if the horse has uneven muscle development.

So why use Flair?

flair saddleThe majority of training problems relating to the control, balance and direction of the horse are caused by the horse’s discomfort in the area immediately under the saddle. The problem with saddles is the hardness and unevenness of the panel. All flocking materials over time become unevenly compacted, so creating both high pressure points and areas where the panel may not touch the horses back.

A pressure as low as 1½ lbs. per square inch will in time damage minor blood vessels in both the skin and muscle leading to signs of bruising, hair loss and eventually muscle wastage. Pressure on or pinching of the withers directly affects the muscles of the shoulder, causing shortening of the horse’s stride and in many cases, difficulty when moving down hill. Soreness or restriction of the back muscles makes it more difficult for the horse to engage his quarters and so to come on the bit.

Flair creates a gaseous and totally flexible layer in your saddle. This removes pressure points and increases the sensitivity of the horse to your lower back aids whilst also providing shock absorption for the horse when jumping or engaged in sitting trot (gases can be compressed whilst liquids, gels and solids cannot).
Flair allows your horse to move naturally as the muscles of the back and shoulder are no longer restricted by your saddle’s panel.

So now you know! To find out more visit www.fteltd.co.uk

Philip Spivey’s blog: Back from Portugal

WOW Saddles sponsored rider Philip Spivey is back from the Atlantic Tour in Portugal and gives us the lowdown on his trip!

“We had a mixed tour in Portugal. The younger horses jumped very well. The 5 year old, called Darya I Nur, was placed every weekend and then in the finals. The seven year old, Smirnov, was also very good and having been placed every weekend he was 9th in the 7 year old finals. I was very pleased with both of them!

The older horses also went well, Virginia 188 had a couple of placings but lost a shoe when we first got there so her tour got better as it went on. Zarina got better and better with some great placings but unfortunately Pinto du Lusse got colic the first weekend we were there so had to be shipped off to a clinic and then back to his owners (who happen to live in Spain) to recuperate. He is doing well now though and on the road to recovery so will be back soon. All in all I was pleased, apart from the poor sick horse, but particularly with the young horses as they learnt a lot.

Going forward we have some clinics and demonstrations coming up, including one at Houghton Hall where WOW are sponsoring the H Factor. The horses who went to Portugal are having a bit of a break and then we will start the next campaign mid April with Addington Manor for their Spring Classic Show, then on to Windsor, Herts County, Suffolk County and after that a trip to France!”

 

Richard Davison makes a great debut outing at Myerscough Premier League Show

Proceedings got underway on Wednesday 6th March for WOW Saddles sponsored rider, Richard Davison, as Myerscough College hosted it’s Premier League Show, with classes up to Grand Prix.

Richard made his return to the scene following the sale of his prolific ride Hiscox Artemis to Swiss Under 25 rider Phinie von Bremen earlier this year and dazzled the judges with a plus-70% win in the Grand Prix with 12 year old Holstein gelding, Hiscox Aliano. This horse had already shown much promise at Small Tour under Richard’s wife, Gillian Davison, and now proves to be one to watch!

Here is the fabulous write up featured in Horse & Hound magazine the following week…

richard Davison news Aliano

What is it about Flair that makes it so special?

Have you heard all the talk about Flair, but still don’t really know what it is all about? Or what it is that makes it like no other saddle product on the market? We think it s revolutionary!

Simply put, Flair is Air Flocking. Yes, the panels of your saddle are filled with air!

Flair is a system of air bags designed to replace the flocking in all conventional saddles, new or secondhand, to provide a soft, flexible and even bearing surface without pressure points.

Fitting air bags does not require any modification to the saddle, its appearance will not change. Once fitted, Flair air bags do not need adjustment or special maintenance unless your horse changes shape. Then simple adjustment by your saddler is all that is required. Some horses develop muscle rapidly with the Flair system and have outgrown their tree size

Flair gives your saddle a constant flexible layer of shock absorbing air as thick as your saddle’s panel.

Flair increases the sensitivity to aids from your lower back and seat. By removing any saddle discomfort the horse can clearly focus on your aids.

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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All about WOW’s Pointless Panel System, or PPS

The WOW panel system is actually an extension of the tree.  We call it our Pointless Panel System, or PPS.  Most panels are made purely from leather or like materials, which because of their soft nature, provide very little extra support area over that part of the tree.
With this in mind we created a panel which would…

  • Support the tree
  • Nullifying any of the pressure we normally see from stirrup bars and point of the tree.
  • Extend the bearing surface of the tree to achieve a much greater and more consistent bearing surface for the saddle.

We achieved these goals by incorporating in the panel construction a semi-rigid plastic plate (shown as a dotted line), which stiffens the top of the panel. The stiffened panel extends far beyond the tree and where conventional points would end (shown as a box outline). The plate can flex with the movement of the horse whilst still applying even pressure. The square inches of support surface produced by this saddle is greater than that of a western saddle!

A conventional tree has points which are 2-3 fingers wide and stop approximately 7.5″ down from the head.  WOW does not have points; the front of the tree is a ‘lobe’ which incorporates the double stirrup bar.

This lobe is then extended by the plastic plate system on top of the panel to create a pointless tree and panel ending 12-13 inches down from the head. This extra depth of support decreases pressure on the shoulder and encourages better movement of the horse.

There is a choice of panel styles to suit different conformations of horse. Panel can be purchased separately if required.  We custom make panels with different heights of back gusset for different / difficult horse confirmations such sway back etc.

All panels are inter-changeable between seats of the same size or larger, i.e. you can use a 17″ panel on an 18″ tree. This is very useful for horses with short backs that cannot accommodate the seat size the rider requires.

Visit – http://www.fteltd.co.uk/wow/wowpanel.htm