Blog Archives

The brand new Classique range, powered by WOW, launches at Burghley

Due to popular demand, we are launching a brand new collection on to the market at Burghley Horse Trials and it is set to fill a void in the market place, providing customers with many of the revolutionary WOW features, at a fraction of the cost!

The Classique collection, powered by WOW, is the result of research in the market, which identified that many customers wish to provide their equines with an ‘off the peg’ saddle that is packed full of unique features, without the higher price tag.

After careful development and prototype testing, the Classique has now been perfected to offer riders just this. The Classique collection of saddles offer customers a traditional flocked saddle with the benefits of WOW’s unique tree and panel system. The WOW Patented tree with Lateral Flexion means that as the horse moves the tree literally twists from side to side to allow total freedom of movement of the shoulder. The Pointless Panel System (PPS) provides a much greater bearing surface without point and stirrup bar pressures and this means you can achieve support and lift without increasing the pressures on the wither area.
Classique_A5_folded_flyer_PRINT copy

The Classique collection is capable of taking all of the WOW Headplate sizes and styles so they can fit horses from Extra Narrow up to 8X Wide. In addition each the Headplates come with three arch radiuses so you can fit the finest, to the very broadest wither with the same tree. Available in a Dressage and Jumping style in black or brown, sizes 16”, 17” & 18”. GP and XC style coming soon. RRP £1,499.

The Classique collection will be launching at Burghley Horse Trials on the WOW Saddles stand. To be one of the first to try it contact 01227 831614 to find your local WOW Saddle fitter or email classique@wowsaddles.com

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WOW Saddles: Proven to reduce pressure

A recent study carried out by Dundee university has independently verified that Flair – The air flocking system gives 26% less pressure on your horses back than wool flocking!

The research undertook to measure the forces on the horse and the rider.  By using one horse and six riders using the same saddle filled with wool and then with the Flair air flocking system.

This is a great independent test of the Flair system.  The research found that the forces on the rider increased with Flair.  This is not a negative as the problem with this type of testing is that the horse is not constant.  When such a large difference in pressure is made to the horse’s back this allows the horse to move bigger under the saddle/rider.  The reduction in pressure results in increased stride length along with swing and elevation of the back.  This induces move movement in the rider, which amounts to more forces being applied to the rider.

In other words it verifies what First Thought Equine Ltd the manufacturers of Flair have claimed about their product, that if you want a bigger moving horse Flair has the ability to deliver that movement.

Professional riders use Flair for that very reason, Wayne Channon will not ride in anything else now he has felt how his horses backs swing, as does Richard Davison, Lesley Payton-Gilbert, Paul Tapner, Kitty King, Francis Whittington and many, many, more.  “The ideas along with the research and development strategy that First Thought Equine has employed to create and prove their products is enlightening and refreshing to see in the saddlery industry,” says Wayne Channon. “This product appeals to me on two fronts; its ability to deliver a better moving horse whilst providing more comfort for that horse and as a scientist, a science based approach to proving and then improving the product by using the best available technology and materials.”

It has therefore been suggested that there be another study carried out where the horse is replaced with a simulator so that a more controlled test without variables in the horse’s gait affecting the data.  A simulator will keep the horse induced movement in the rider a constant and therefore accurate assessment of the forces applied to the rider using various saddle flocking materials can be measured accurately.

First Thought Equine Ltd have 10’s of thousands of customers using the Flair system, a lot of them with quite severe back problems.  All these riders report that they are much more able to ride with the Flair system in their saddles compared with other flocking materials as this typical email points out.

WOW Saddles customer Georgina Greenslade says, “I have owned and ridden in Flair saddles for over 15 years and after breaking by back just over 8 years ago, my Flair saddle is the only one I can ride in for hours on end, without getting a backache!”

Pressure testing close up

Introducing the youngest addition of the WOW Sponsored rider team!

We are very proud, at WOW Saddles, to be supporting young rising star Hero Seago as she pursues her quest to take the show jumping world by storm! Here she tells us a little bit about herself…

“My name is Hero Seago, I am 12 years old and show jump my ponies. I started riding at 5yrs old and got my first pony at 6. He was very naughty and bucked and reared so taught me a lot about stickability. Next we got Sammy, a perfect little 11.1hh, whom I show jumped and also went to the Pony Club Areas Mounted Games with. Then along came Bobby, who started me off in BSJA at 10yrs old, and then Atlantic Jewel the following year. I currently run these ponies along side each other most weekends, jumping in the 138 classes and 90cm/1m opens. The three of us have had much success together, the NAF shining star award, 2nd over all in the NAF 5* Style and Performance Class at the Inter-Academy show this year and 1st in an inter-schools style and performance class. Also with my school, we got four teams through to the inter-schools Championships at Addington Manor in October and there we gained team champions in the 1.05m-1.10cm, and team 4th and 7th in the 95cm.”

Hero Seago
“I am so excited to have gained a sponsorship from WOW! It is such an incredible opportunity for me. Since I got my WOW Saddle I have loved riding in it and Bobby felt much freer underneath me. I think he particularly likes the freedom of movement the saddle gives him through his shoulders.”

“This weekend was his first show in the WOW Saddle and he was on fire! We gained our second double clear in the Springboard class, coming equal 1st and qualifying, and a 5th in the Discovery/90cm open. There is no stopping Bobby now he has a WOW!”

We can’t wait to see how Hero progresses with her ponies! Keep your eyes peeled for more blogs coming soon and in the mean time make sure you visit our Facebook page to keep up to date with all the ‘up to the minute’ news!

 

Izzy Chaplin’s blog: Introducing myself

WOW Saddles are very proud to now sponsor up and coming South East based dressage rider, Izzy Chaplin. In her first blog for us she tells us a little bit more about her and her horses…

Izzy and Dora at WOW HQ in Kent!

Izzy and Dora at WOW HQ in Kent!

“Hi, I’m Izzy. I am a 17 year old junior dressage rider and I am a member of the Great Britain Junior Potential Squad. I have recently been given sponsorship from WOW saddles and I am really looking forward to working with them as their saddles are amazing. I especially love their new Bling Fly Fringe! The flexible tree in my WOW saddle has really improved how my horse moves, she is so much looser, I could not believe how much a saddle could improve her way of going! I feel like I am able to influence her a lot more in the saddle as well!”

“A bit about me… I live in the South East of England and I am currently in my final year at school. I train with Sarah Millis and Darryl Thickett. I started riding at the age of 7 at a local riding school and at the age of 12 I was lucky enough to get a loan pony called Kizzy who although being a little cheeky, gave me a lot of experience and definitely taught me stickability and how to ride! I did all Pony Club events and with Kizzy I got my first experience of dressage. I also got the ride on a friend’s pony, Rupert, who taught me how to ride the dressage tests and took me up to the Pony Club Novice Nationals.”

“Soon I began to want to move on so we found a 14.2hh pony, Brett. Brett was the ideal Pony Club pony and we did everything together including a bit of showing! We took each other through the stages of dressage and I began to learn how to influence him to get the lateral movements and improve his way of going. We started off at prelim and I then began affiliated dressage and we qualified for the novice open winter regionals together. Soon I had taught him the first stages of medium lateral movements and flying changes.”

Harry was a bit quirky but taught Izzy a lot!

Harry was a bit quirky but taught Izzy a lot!

“We also went up to the Pony Club Intermediate Dressage Championships where we managed to win our arena. As I began to get the bug for dressage I was introduced to BYRDS and I was picked for the Home International representing England in 2012. When I was 15, I was lucky enough to get the ride on an FEI dressage pony called Harry. He was a bit quirky, but taught me all the movements for the medium tests and I don’t think I would have the knowledge I have now without him! We got to compete at the Premier League competitions and we were selected for National Pony Training 2011/2012.”

“However, my 16th birthday was fast approaching and you can only compete on ponies up until you are 16. I knew I wanted to continue with dressage, so we went on the hunt for a junior horse. For juniors, I have to compete at advanced medium level and only being 5’1”, I needed a small horse! So I went on a search for a 16hh or under horse, preferably a gelding. After scouring the country, we travelled abroad to Holland and found a 16.2hh mare, Dora (Taijdora). Dora had just had a foal in summer 2012 so when we went to see her in December 2012, she had only just come back into work. She had an amazing temperament and natural ability, I fell in love with her instantly! Although we have taken a while to build a partnership, we are going from strength to strength and gaining so much experience together. This winter we have been selected for the GB Junior Potential Squad which is amazing, so I know we are going in the right direction! We have also qualified for the medium open Petplan Championships next April, my first BD Nationals!”

“My aim for next year is to hopefully train Dora up to PSG to contest young riders when I turn 18 and have to move on from juniors. I am concentrating on my training at the moment before the upcoming high profile shows next year while juggling my school work. I am really pleased to be part of Team WOW Saddles! I will keep you updated with my progress and experiences in my next blog! In the mean time do ‘like’ my Facebook page here!”

Izzy and Dora hope to contest PSG next season

Izzy and Dora hope to contest PSG next season

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

Brand new leather detailing available from WOW

Technologically advanced saddle manufacturers are increasingly utilising design creativity to make their saddles not just functional, but beautiful too. WOW Saddles is shortly launching within its new designer range the ‘On Fire’ dressage saddle, which, on the fixed block models, utilises beautifully embroidered, quilt-effect stitching on the saddle flap. This gives a discreet, unusual appearance behind the leg and includes flame-shaped stitching behind the rider’s lower leg. A small burst of Swarvoski crystals behind the rider’s thigh adds light-catching sparkle.

To find out more about this unique customisation contact WOW Saddles through www.wowsaddles.com

designer WOW - on fire saddle

Where can you wear ‘bling’ or flamboyant attire?

While showjumping and eventing attire is fairly relaxed, dressage riders are quite limited in terms of their flamboyance in the UK. British Dressage bans clothing decoration, except discreet manufacturer’s logo studs on boots; although patent leather boots are popular, and give a high shine. Conservative-coloured coats are required in BD competitions, although discreet pinstripe patterns are now de-rigour. So, your dressage saddle is the ideal place to add a little bit of interest!

Within the field of showjumping, riders can express their fashion savvy a little more, as they may wear coloured jackets (providing they do not clash with the official ‘team’ jacket); perhaps to correspond with their own, or their sponsors’ colours.

Dress codes for the XC stage of eventing attire are even more relaxed, as there are greater provisions for promotional material and logos on clothing, (albeit at a certain maximum size, or in a designated position on the rider’s clothes.) Bright and bold colour-ways are popular.

Patent bridles or those with diamante or coloured accents are also popular to add interest, while leather riding boots in materials such as ostrich, crocodile or kangaroo are also popular with more flamboyant riders, particularly internationally.

Riding helmets are increasingly being seen with diamante accents and patterns, as well as jewel-inspired colours – the trick is to keep it discreet, so your accents complement each other and don’t over power you and your performance.

Why not personalise your saddle today by speaking to the team at WOW Saddles! www.wowsaddles.com 

Coloured leather saddles

Within the eventing sphere especially, some riders are looking to their saddles to express their fashion sense, or coordinate their cross country colours. The leatherwork of all WOW saddles may be customised in the rider’s or sponsor’s colours; two-tone coloured leather is popular. Eventer Paul Tapner may currently be seen competing in a beautiful red and black XC saddle with fixed long blocks that give increased support for the leg. He also sports a more neutral Havana brown and maroon version of the saddle.

bespoke  Red saddle_ model shown is XC style

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

Ask Francis: What is the secret to soft hands?

WOW Sponsored rider, Francis Whittington answers a Facebook fan’s question about keeping hands soft.

Q. Francis is known for having very soft hands (which is always so nice to see). I appreciate there is no simple answer to having such a ‘giving’ style but could you please ask him if it came naturally to him or was it something he spotted as a youngster in his pony days and developed ? Marc Melander

A. I was lucky enough to receive training from some amazing trainers when I was younger. They were tough on me and if I got it wrong they made it clear!

One person who helped me with my style of riding for cross country and show jumping was my show jumping trainer. Most will have heard of him as he is the current boss of the British Show Jumping team, Rob Hoekstra. I had a lot of training from Rob as a kid. Starting when I was 6 or 7 years old. Although I don’t see him that often now as he is so busy, his words and advice still play an important part in my riding and understanding of how I should ride. It was important to use body control rather than fight with the hands. To teach the horses to listen to our body and allow the horse the hand when needed. There are obviously times where it is necessary to take a firmer contact and I’m sure you will see the odd occasion at Badminton next week. For me there are three basic points to remember. Rhythm, Balance, Control. You only ever need two of them to achieve the third!

Francis Whittington riding SIR PERCIVAL III

If you have a question for Francis then get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.