Anebell: Did you miss the part about her being at a rescue?
I don't think rescues can afford to be picky about the brands of saddles they use. (And, frankly, if this is an indication that people are going to look down on me because I can't afford an expensive saddle, not sure I want to get involved in the showing aspect if the discipline). Most likely, I will just have fun and learn. :) Thank you for your input. Posted via Mobile Device
There are plenty of inexpensive saddles available on the used saddle market with 10x the craftsmanship of a Wintec. Wintecs are cheaply, poorly made saddles that IMO fit very few horses and riders. Anyone that chooses to put on of those things on their horses backs is not looking out for their welfare, IMO, when there are less expensive saddles that will fit better and are of much higher quality available used.
I rode a horse to championships at a regional level in a $500 military style Passier from the mid 1900s and currently compete at international levels in a $2500 KN, as opposed to my competitors who are all in $5000++++ "custom" "air" overly padded, cushy contraptions.
It is not about the price tag, but the quality.
ETA in addition to what Allison has said, I've been in a similar situation when a student of my coaches could not pick up her shadbelly due to a holiday before a CDI. She had at least 10 shadbellies in her tackroom to borrow within a few hours. The dressage community is very welcoming and people are very quick to lend things, or sell them at reduced cost to friends. This would include rescues, and I would think that locating an inexpensive or free dressage saddle of good quality would not be a difficult task. I have had as many as 5 saddles and one horse and I basically gave a few of them away. Wintecs are not a necessary evil, they are an "easy out" option, and at their current price point, an expensive one when you can purchase a new KN at a similar price point.