Need current opinion on WoW saddles

GermanyJo

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As title, need to get a decent saddle for my 4 year old...I am considering a wow as I think I have managed to find a decent fitter. My idea is that although it will be a hefty outlay, I should be able to get it adjusted as he changes shape. I searched through threads on here but they all seem to be fairly old so I would be interested to hear current experience from anyone.
I seemed to have lost a ton of money on saddles for various different horses over the last years due to changing shape and having to replace ( currently have an almost new SLK Albion dressage saddle with 4 weeks usage stuck on the shelf... Should sell it but is hurting just thinking about the money I am going to lose on it)
 

ihatework

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I'd previously dismissed WOW as a faddy gimmick but have to say I'm a convert to my dressage saddle. My mare definitely prefers it and it's easy to adjust as her shape changes.

Finding the right fitter is key.

I think the only downside is that as the saddle is set up for a horse/rider combo then they aren't a good option for multiple horses or whereby a few different riders of different shape/weight ride

ETA also girthing can take a while to get right. As there is a bit of bounce with the air you need very stable girth. I found anything elastic gave too much instability in the saddle
 

GermanyJo

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Thanks for the answer, I would be the only rider, so that is no issue. Interesting to hear about the girth, if I decide to get the fitter out, will keep an eye on that. Have you just the dressage flaps? Does it really work to use the same seat and swop from dressage to jump flaps? Presume it would need to be flat seat to work...and then maybe not ideal for either discipline?
 

ihatework

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Thanks for the answer, I would be the only rider, so that is no issue. Interesting to hear about the girth, if I decide to get the fitter out, will keep an eye on that. Have you just the dressage flaps? Does it really work to use the same seat and swop from dressage to jump flaps? Presume it would need to be flat seat to work...and then maybe not ideal for either discipline?

In theory it works but in reality swapping flaps is a right PITA and also most people want a deeper seat for dressage and a flatter seat to jump.
 

fairyclare

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I have 3 wow's for my 2 horses.
I did try with the shallow seat and swapping the flaps between jumping and dressage but it didn't really work out (mainly because I am lazy!) so I have built a second saddle for my younger horse bit by bit.
I now have an extra deep seat, high fixed block dressage flaps on one saddle and a shallow seat and fixed block jump flaps on the other saddle.
The 3rd saddle is a flat seat with GP fixed block flaps.

I love them, I am the only rider and the horses do not share saddles.

If you have decent fitter that is half the battle.
 

ycbm

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I have eight. Three currently for sale - two black GP one brown dressage - as I bought complete saddles to move to smaller seats for my shrinking bum! I get the seat change almost free that way.

Buy the pump kit and fit your own, it's perfectly easy to do.

I will never put a horse in anything else (unless it clearly hates it) for the following reasons, in priority order :

1. The carbon fibre tree which flexes with the movement of the shoulders. Horses love the freedom.

2. The changeable gullet plates to enable big size changes.

3. The air filling for detailed adjustment, and because it never gets lumpy or compressed and I can fit it myself.

Downsides. No-one can ever call them close contact. They are heavy. There are a surprising number of fitters who haven't a clue how to fit them and put too much air in, causing bouncing. The air should feel soggy. Cross threading the screws is far too easy.

Biggest problem is that some horses object to the air bag overlap. For this reason I never ride without a wool cloth or a thin gel pad.

If you event, don't even consider the possibility of changing flaps in the middle of an event. It's just too fiddly to do when you have 45 minutes until you are due show jumping.
 
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GermanyJo

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Great feedback, thanks...I can imagine I would be too lazy to change flaps too :)
Not sure if I am brave enough to buy second hand as I have no idea of sizes I should be getting etc ...Think I am leaning towards at least getting the fitter out and testing one...
 

FfionWinnie

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I had a test on Wednesday. I definitely think the shoulder room was good for my horse. I felt the girth was done up too tight, the horse agreed and was still annoyed about it the next day. I didn't really get to the point where I could decide what I wanted and I would really have struggled to make a decision on the day to spend 2500+. I think if I had a saddle to use in the mean time I might think about it but the horse seems to be liking the solution so I'm probably staying with that. I liked the wow for myself, and the blingy customisation options. Seems like I'm doomed to have a very boring brown saddle instead tho.

My other horse does not like the solution and I think a wow might be a good option for her but she isn't clever enough to get one yet (and she likes her current saddle!).

Fitter would be giving me a "prescription" to get one second hand if I wanted to as well.
 
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Puddleduck

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I bought one about 7 years ago for my TB mare. Before that we'd been in my Jeffries Dressage saddle which I'd had converted to the flair system.
I had the chance to buy the club dressage ex demo saddle from my fitter, as I don't jump the fact it had fixed flaps didn't matter and the seat size, depth and giant high knee blocks were the set up I needed.
My mare was long backed with a wide,well sprung barrel rib cage and forward girth groove which made her difficult to fit as her shape and movement combined with forward girth groove encouraged saddles to move forward.the benefit of the WOW was the different girthing options. We fitted her with a front point strap for the front strap which anchored the saddle to limit slipping forward. There was no risk of pressure from the front points digging into the shoulder as there aren't any. We also fitted panels with a stitch line to allow more shoulder freedom.

Last year I bought a big moving Warmblood. He was very poor when he came so needed a 0 head plate. (Mare was a 2). He had shoulder muscle wastage and was tight through his chest and shoulder muscles, most probably through a tight, badly fitting saddle. He too has a broad well sprung rib cage but is very compact and short in the back. This shortness coupled with his movement made the back of the saddle move side to side so we changed the front point strap to a rear one which anchors the saddle behind.
He's so happy in the saddle. I've had him 10 months and we are just about to have our 4th fitting as he has changed shape so much (last fitting we went up to a size 3 head plate so now gone from narrow at start to a wide fit). This would have cost me a fortune if I'd had to change a complete saddle each time but the adaptability of the WOW has meant we can continue our development journey with minimal cost and fuss.
I see and hear so many stories of frustrated riders searching for a saddle that fits, I'm so glad I got my WOW.
 

HashRouge

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I had a lot of trouble with mine, but I think that was down to the fitter rather than the saddle. I've since heard a few people say that a good fitter is crucial and have heard some other bad experiences from people who used the same fitter as me.
 

rotters13

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I love mine in a Wow saddle! I originally just had the dressage and continued using my jump saddle (wool flocked). We spent our winter doing mainly dressage and come spring when I restarted jumping he did make a point that he wasn't a fan of the wool flocked saddles anymore!!

In short: yes I really like them :)
 

ycbm

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I thought people might like a short summary of how adjustable these saddles are.

Of course you can change the width at the front with a gullet plate that screws in.

You can change the height at the front, back or even on one side, by adding or removing air.

You can start a young horse with the flaps tilted forwards and as it matures and you can sit deeper, move them back.

The panels are closed with Velcro and to a certain extent you can widen and narrow the gullet. It is also easy to replace an airbag if necessary.

If you change horses to one that's really different, second hand panels in good condition cost a couple of hundred on ebay.

People with a need for a larger seat on a short backed horse can use a panel one size smaller than the seat.

The front girth strap can be positioned normally, or it can be hooked onto the head bolt as a point strap.

For very forward girth grooves, you can buy a pair of foregirth plates for fifty or sixty pounds which enables you to hold the girth strap(s) much further forward than normal.

For serious stability issues, you can use an H girth, which has a big distance between the front and back girth strap - works best in conjunction with a foregirth.
 

MagicMelon

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I've had mine about 6 years now and love it. I've had it changed to fit 3 horses in total so far with no issues. I love it, and love that I can keep it forever basically and just buy parts as necessary. I got one in the first place as my horse at the time was very short backed so we ended up with a 17" seat for me and 16" panels for him which worked well and is actually something I've not changed as it quite suits my current horse who is also short in the back (I tend to ride short coupled neds!). I had a front girth strap added last year to it as my mare is very forward at the girth.

Id love to buy the different flaps so I could make it an eventing saddle, and then a dressage one but I cant afford to ;) So I just stick with GP ones and do everything in it.
 

ycbm

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Can I ask what you mean about having a front girth strap fitted?,, I'm confused because the front girth strap already comes with the piece of leather attached to move it forward to make it a point strap. All you have to do is loop it onto the head bolt?

I find the panel bearing surface so big that I would recommend anyone buying one to have the smaller panel size, just in case they change horses in the future. I just don't see the advantage in the 'correct' size panels unless the rider is very heavy.
 

GermanyJo

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Update.... I ordered my WOW yesterday 😀, I officially have no money now, but a horse who is going very well in our 'loan' wow, can't wait for mine to arrive.
Thanks everyone for the feedback
 

LouisCat

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Update.... I ordered my WOW yesterday ��, I officially have no money now, but a horse who is going very well in our 'loan' wow, can't wait for mine to arrive.
Thanks everyone for the feedback

Exciting! I have 2 WOWs and love them :)
 

ycbm

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I think I win! I currently have eight and trying to buy a ninth. I'm waiting for winter to end and then I'll sell some on eBay.

2 ridden horses have a dressage and jumping each. I have an old spare just in case.And the three others have come from doing seat swaps because I've shrunk as I've got older.

I'm jealous of your brand new one G Jo. Enjoy it when it arrives.
 

webble

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I think I win! I currently have eight and trying to buy a ninth. I'm waiting for winter to end and then I'll sell some on eBay.

2 ridden horses have a dressage and jumping each. I have an old spare just in case.And the three others have come from doing seat swaps because I've shrunk as I've got older.

I'm jealous of your brand new one G Jo. Enjoy it when it arrives.

I have a wow fitter coming on Tues, can't wait. I might be one of the people watching your eBay saddles depending on what she suggests
 

GermanyJo

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Update...finally got my new wow on Saturday... Had to wait almost 3 months but luckily could borrow one from my fitter for that time. He already needed a wider head plate than we fitted 3 months ago.. I thought the loan saddle was comfy, but mine is even better...Thanks for all the info everyone 😀
 

ycbm

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Brilliant. So glad you are happy and seeing the widening which is common when you use one of these carbon fibre jointed tree WOW saddles.

I have two new ones just delivered and the quality of the leather and the way they are now made is absolutely stunning. I'm thrilled with mine.


I've got one older ( leather tree) black size 2 dressage giant high DWG to sell if anyone's looking :)
 

MagicMelon

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I'd previously dismissed WOW as a faddy gimmick but have to say I'm a convert to my dressage saddle. My mare definitely prefers it and it's easy to adjust as her shape changes.

Finding the right fitter is key.

I think the only downside is that as the saddle is set up for a horse/rider combo then they aren't a good option for multiple horses or whereby a few different riders of different shape/weight ride

ETA also girthing can take a while to get right. As there is a bit of bounce with the air you need very stable girth. I found anything elastic gave too much instability in the saddle

Agree with all this. I love my WOW, I had to get one as my horse at the time needed a 16" panel but I needed 17" so this was a way of getting those. I got WOW fitter to fit a saddle and then write down all the parts I'd need to buy, she sold me some bits second hand and then I sourced the other parts online (Ebay and other WOW fitters), then took back to fitter who put it altogether and checked it on horse. I plan to keep the saddle forever basically since it fits me and a 16" panel will always fit most horses (I tend to go for short coupled anyway) so I only need to have the width amended. I agree about the girth, I also use a non-elastic girth.
 

ArcticFox

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re: the girth. Me too! I have a sheepskin girth with no elastic which works brilliantly - so much so I now own 4 of them! I also have a new girth made for my heart rate monitor, stupidly I asked for elastic and its awful!

I now need to get the elastic oversewn with non elastic material so I can use it!
 

shellibob

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Sorry I am hijacking but don't suppose any of you know of a seat for sale ..size 1 on a curved y bar, I have a wow already and building a 2nd one for my baby
 

LouisCat

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I use elasticated girths on both of my WOW saddles and don't find there are any issues. Horses for courses hey!
 

Wheels

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I'm pleased to read this - I am going in a couple of weeks to train in their product range as I will supply these saddles as part of my saddle fitting business :D Excited!
 
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