Never used one? Speculation on quality, suitability, etc?
I have another thread in the Tack and Equipment Forum, with more info on my personal position.
Researching Dressage Saddles
In short, I'm thinking about investing in a dressage saddle. I don't have a lot of money at my disposal, especially since this is one of those "it would be nice to have..." items, but I have all winter (plus however long after that it takes) to save and shop. A leather saddle would be nice, but to get a name brand that I am familiar with and would trust the quality would be a couple of figures out of my price range. Used leather dressage tack, functional or otherwise, is almost nonexistent in my area. So, I'm looking at Wintecs, specifically the Wintec 500 Dressage. http://www.wintec.net.au/products/dr...500DRJun04.pdf
I have ridden in western and hunt-seat Wintecs, and been pleased with the comfort for myself, and the saddles did fit the horses who wore them. My sister has a wintec western saddle that looks new after years of daily riding.
My main concern is the CAIR panel system. Yeah, it sounds like it would be comfy for the horse, but it also sounds like it would deaden the subtlety of any use the seat aids. Do the pros outweigh the cons here? CAIR panels are optional out of every catalog I have looked at.
Also, I see, with all brands, that some models have great, beasty, massive thigh blocks and padding, and others simply have a "normal" amount of padding on a fairly straight flap. Is the giant thigh block actually a "good" thing, or just a gimmick?
I plan on taking a road trip at some point before I get too committed to anything to my "local" tack store. They usually have a decent selection of used tack, including some dressage equipment.
Thank you for reading another rambling novel!