The WOW Headplate
Headplates and Withers
The headplate provides the shape and form of the saddle across the withers to meet the build of the horse. Correct design and fitting are essential for a stable saddle that allows the horse freedom of movement without pain or injury.
The wither is the complex ridge of muscle and spinal bones between the shoulder blades of the horse. The shape is determined by the thoracic vertebrae that support the head and the neck, and are an attachment point for the muscles of the torso.
The shoulder rotates backwards using the muscles attached to the withers. A saddle that fits poorly across the withers will impact freedom of movement, and cause pain when the horse does move.
With muscle development having an effect on shape, then clearly as a horse moves in and out of development and training, the shape of the horse will also change.
The greater the movement you seek, such as in jumping, the more care you should take to maintain a good headplate fit.
The wither does effect the stability of the saddle. Care must be taken with high withered horses as their freedom of movement is naturally limited and a saddle can have significant impact on pain free performance. Broad withers (“mutton withers”) have a limited ridge-line to assist in keeping a saddle in place. This is often addressed “over-cinching”, creating a variety of other problems.
An interchangeable headplate is essential. It allows a saddle to be adjusted to suit your horse, and as your horse changes shape over time, you can adjust the headplate to suit the musculature development around the wither.
Interestingly we see the need for this often within weeks of a someone buying a new saddle. The saddle fits, the horse can move more freely, the horse muscles develop accordingly, the saddle no longer fits properly. A slightly different headplate can be a big step in re-establishing a good fit.
Similarly as horses move in out out of work, a change in headplate may often be needed. They often move between two sizes – one for when they are in training, and one for when they first return to work after resting.
Quite a few saddles on the market have interchangeable headplates – none address it the way WOW does.
WOW HEADPLATE DESIGN
The WOW Headplate comes in three distinct spinal profiles and up to 11 different sizes, all designed to fit the same tree and a replaceable by the removal of two 6mm bolts..
The three Spinal profiles are:
- “U” The most commonly used headplates and are available in 11 different sizes from 73 – 143 degrees.
- “V” For horses with very narrow spinal processes and very little shoulder (rarely used).
- “UU” For horses with exceptionally wide spinal processes and musculature.
“U” The most commonly used headplate, “V” for very narrow horses and “UU” for horses with exceptionally wide spinal processes and musculature.
SIZE AND SHAPE OPTIONS
Three spinal profiles and up to 11 different sizes. A headplate to suit almost every horse.
Trusted by Professionals
"The horses are all much freer through their shoulders both on the flat and when jumping. I love the ease of adaptability to fit different horses, being able to fine tune them and make subtle changes to the balance while on board which would be impossible in a traditionally flocked saddle."
"Since using the Wow saddle I have felt a huge difference in Affinity Bay's way of going. He has the ability to come up more through the shoulder which allows him more easily to come under with his quarters and 'sit' in work such as canter pirouettes."
"My horses are far to valuable to me in every way, to consider using something as vitally important as a saddle, for any reason other than the horse's ability to perform to the very best of its' ability& WOW and Flair are a major step forward in the way we saddle our horses."
"I chose to use my jump Wow saddle to be safe and secure in such a big atmosphere, and absolutely loved getting to gallop in the main arena Championship just before the Derby! Annacotty and I qualified for the RoR Tattersalls Show Final back in may at Stafford County Show. Riding in the Final at Hickstead in his first year of retraining was a dream come true."
Megan Davies tells us why she rates the WOW Jumping Saddle.
It is a well-known fact that horses change shape Or maybe it is not – A horse can feel a fly land – so obviously changes in the rider’s weight distribution are going to affect the horse. I suspect we just do not appreciate how little change is needed to alter the way...
As with most things Flair we have to think about this a little differently than the “stable myths” would have us think. For example, you are unlikely to have an even dampness from sweat under the saddle. The Flair is a soft air fill, it is designed to move with the...
Saddle fitting is complicated. Trying a lot of off-the-rack saddles will get a close fit. You can have them modified by a saddle-fitter. Better yet, you can have a saddler build a perfectly fitting saddle, which will fit when its built but cannot accommodate the...