Well, I've always ridden my horse in a Wintec 500 A/P with CAIR..he just wears a normal gullet and the saddle fits him perfectly. I know that some horses have problems with both the CAIR system and the Wintec saddles in general, but mine does great with them. I've been very satisfied with the way that the CAIR panels work on him. I've seen that it spreads weight nicely over his back and doesn't have any pressure points or anything..I would probably prefer it to flocked for this particular horse.
I would consider other brands of saddles, though, if they were available within my price range and without leather, but the only other synthetic saddles I've seen were the Thorowgood which do have some leather on them and yes, I am vegan so it's really not an option..I'd love to see any recommendations of other synthetic dressage saddles that I could find used for $300- because more options is always better.
I'm going to see the Isabell in the next couple of days and talk to the owner about a trial on my horse..so we'll see how that goes. If I can't do trials through the sellers I'm a bit stuck because I am a bit in the middle of nowhere and the only tack shop in the area that carries these saddles I'm pretty sure only does them if you're seriously considering buying from them and I'm just not the kind of person to lie like that..