What are Wow saddles?

Looking for used WOW parts? Jump down to our collection of previously owned wow components.

Investing in a superior quality saddle is always a good idea. That is, until your horse changes shape. Or…you get a new horse. Or… you change disciplines. For the first time, these problems are easily solved by WOW Saddles!

WOW from First Thought Equine is the first fully modular saddle, combining modern technology with a traditional look. 

The seat, head plate, flaps, panels, and even billets are exchangeable on many of the WOW saddles.  This means we can build a completely customized saddle on site, and swap out parts as horses change shape or as riders change horses.

If you change disciplines, we can change out the flaps and/or seat while keeping the panels and head plate that fit the horse, saving you money and hassle. If you change horses, we can change the panels and head plate, while you keep the seat and flaps you already love.

The flaps can also be moved to a forward and backward position.  For jumpers, this means you can rotate your flap back for flat work or more forward for higher fences.  In dressage, many riders prefer the more forward position at first, or on greener horses, then drop back as their hips open and their stirrups lengthen. 

The green, blue, and red highlights show three additional flap positions that can be used in addition to the standard position shown.

Stirrup position options

Three Stirrup Positions

There are three stirrup positions to accommodate all leg positions, so you never have to fight against your stirrups to keep your hips and heels aligned!

Gullet options

Unlike other exchangeable gullet systems, WOW saddles have 21 head plate size and height options.  WOW is unique in its size range, with a -1 being 7 degrees narrower than a standard “narrow” gullet, and the 9 measuring 21 degrees wider than the widest gullet in Wintec’s Extra Wide range, or a full 42 degrees wider than a standard “extra wide” saddle!  Sizes -1 through 3 are available in shapes UU and V in addition to the most commonly used U shape. Separating shape from size means no more having to go too narrow in order to stay clear of a high wither.

Headplates from -1 to 9

The Y-shaped carbon fiber tree allows the saddle to be laterally flexible, protecting the horse’s spine without impeding his natural movement. It also allows for a pressure-point free front: There is literally no tree points to cause pressure points! Secondly, this tree design makes for the narrowest twist on the market at just 11 centimeters. If you desire a wider twist, we can add padding in multiple areas, but most people find that allowing their leg to just fall away from the hip is incredibly comfortable.

The tree can be ordered as flat, semi-curved, or curved to fit any back shape. Then an ergonomic seat is built on top of the tree, with available comfort features ranging from coccyx support to channels in the pommel area.  High end leather completes these gorgeous saddles, and with so many possible customization options you can order something as unique or as classic as you like.

Y-Shaped Tree

panel options

The panels are available with foam, wool, or Flair flocking.  Flair panels are not like other air systems on the market; they are designed to evenly distribute air over a very wide surface area with the help of cleverly arranged foam inside the panels and the bladders.   In fact, Flair panels distribute the rider’s weight 27.7% better than a traditional wool-flocked saddle!  The bladders themselves are well engineered against leaks or tears, and failures are exceedingly rare.  Because each panel has two bladders, making four per saddle, we can adjust them asymmetrically to improve the comfort and balance for both horse and rider. Also, we can adjust them onsite, meaning your saddle never gets taken away for a reflock! 

Some people complain that the Flair saddles require more frequent fit checks, but in reality wool flocking should also be rechecked every six months for most horses, and some Flair saddles have gone as long as seven years without requiring adjustment. Because refitting Flair is easier and cheaper than wool, we suspect people are simply more compliant, creating an illusion that they “require” more maintenance.

Previously Owned wow

As people’s and horse’s saddle needs change, they often swap out parts of their WOW saddles and put their used ones up for sale on consignment. Check back here often as we update the WOW components we have available. If you are in need of panels or head plates, please contact us directly as our turnover is too rapid to keep the website up to date.

Quick note on sizing: WOW tree sizes from 0-3 are roughly equivalent to seat sizes 16″-19″, with a size 1 being a 17″ and so on.