I'm very short, with stumpy upper legs like Isabel. Still hate it ;)
FAR too restrictive, it jams my pelvis so I can't move.
I can see how it would be good for people starting out and learning to develop an independent seat, but for a rider with an established seat they strap you in when you need to move.
I dislike the wintec isabell (old and new) and love the bates isabell (old) and hate the new isabell by bates. Ironically I find the bates and wintec while the "same" model fit completely differently. I've got the bates isabell from about 2005 and it's amazing - like it better than any other dressage saddle i've ever sat in. I'm only selling it bc I don't have a horse for it anymore (my dressage horse has a back injury and is semi-retired) and it seems a shame to keep it sitting when it's in brand new condition (less than 25 rides).
I rode on one for about a month awhile back. I don't think they're all that great. The seat was hard, and I was always sore after using it. Didn't help that the one I was riding on was a size too small for me.
Thank you everybody for all of your opinions. I did decide to pass on the saddle, too many negatives and I didn't find it very comfortable at all. I also decided to go with a different type of wintec dressage saddle! Thanks again! I love this forum!
I found that the feelings towards the Isabel are often either love/hate.
Don't base your decisions just on reviews. Each saddle fits each person differently, and offers a different ride on different horses. Some people find some saddles great while others despise them. Reviews are good when discerning the quality of saddles but for something like Bates/Wintec, where you know what you're going to get, its a matter of finding one YOU like an that fits your horse. They certainly don't fit all horses but I do find that they fit a larger range than some other saddles.
If you sit in a saddle and feel comfortable in it take that as good sign, then try riding in it.
Bates is a large company and they certainly would not make a saddle is generally unpopular. I've known many people to have the Isabel and love it a lot.
I personally don't like it, I just have a Dressage 500 model but I find that seat is a lot more shallow.
On a side note... I wouldn't be keen on buying a second-hand Cair saddle, and always check the Wintec tree for cracks.