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  WOWTM Saddles - Panel Options - 

There are four factors to selecting the correct panel for the horse.

1. Need for a front gusset?
2. Need for stitch line?
3. Pommel panel spacing tabs?
4. Gullet Width?

1 & 2 govern the amount of lift or ability to fill a hollow behind the scapula. 

3 & 4 govern the fit around the spinal processes of the wither and its base.

Front Gussets - We can provide panels with and without front gussets. The Gusset or more correctly the shape and size of the front of the panel dictate the amount of lift and support the panel can offer. Note: one would normally expect to see a front gusset as an extra inserted piece of leather. This would create a seam that would be against the horse. We do not like this so we have produced our panels in such a way as create a gusset without a seam against the horse. Visually the only difference is the depth of the panel.



Gusseted Front


With a Front Gusset - For a horse to justify a front gusset we expect to see a defined shoulder and a place where the saddle will sit, “a hollow”, behind the scapula. The gusset allows the scapula, that is to a certain extent “sticking out” from the horse, enough room to push under the tree without restriction. Without a gusset the scapula would bang into the front edge of the panel thus restricting movement.

Deep Front Gussets - In the case of extremely high withers with big hollows behind the scapula we can provide a doubly Deep “DD” type panel. This in conjunction with no stitch line (see stitch line section) gives a massive bearing surface with the ability to fill the hollow and support the tree.

No Front Gusset



Without a Front Gusset - If the horse is round and has no definition to the shoulder then we cannot use a gusseted panel as it would perch the front of the saddle up and away from the horse. This will cause instability and a saddle that is out of balance. For this reason we have panels without front gussets to allow a closer/flatter contact. In these cases the scapula is not “sticking out” and therefore will rotate freely under the saddle.



Pommel Panel Spacing Tabs and No Tabs - The pommel panel spacing tabs dictate where the panel support surface starts on the wither. A broad wither will require panels that are wider spaced at the pommel to allow the saddle to sit down and wrap around the withers. In these cases a “PPS Tab” is required. 

A Narrow withered horse will require a tighter and higher panel support to keep the saddle stable. In these cases you do not require a tab on the panel.

You will notice that the top panels have a fixing point on a tab whilst the bottom panels do not have a tab. The tab widens the gullet of the saddle at the front dropping the support surface lower around the wither. No tab keeps the support higher and closer together for high withered horses.

To learn more about widths click here.


Stitch Line - If extra support is required on a horse with very hollow withers the stitch line can be left off and the lower front portion of the panel filled with foam. This provides greater support lower down on the rib cage. This is also useful on horses with sensitive skin that are prone to raised flesh at the edges of the support surface of a panel or on any stitch lines.


  Stitch Line                 No Stitch Line


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