Must admit I've not come across a non-Cair 2000 and Wintec don't show one on their website. It's still possible to alter a Cair saddle - the extra wool goes over the 'airbags' to force their shape. But it is more difficult a job to do, especially at the rear, than with a flocked saddle.
Unfortunate. As much bad stuff as I've heard about CAIR, I really don't want to even try it.
Seat size depends on your build AND the horse's back length. I doubt you'd need bigger than an 18" (I'm 5'11", 34" leg, medium build, 175lbs and ride in a 17.5" with no problems). For me, the most important thing for your horse is to find a saddle with plenty of panel. This probably sounds weird but the bigger the panel area, the softer the flocking can be to give the required support. (Conversely, the smaller the panel area, the harder you have to pack it).
I'm a little over 6' and weigh about 250lb. Hopefully the saddle fitter I ultimately decide on will bring some demo saddles for me to try. I've never actually ridden in a saddle that really
fits. I've also found another saddle fitter (Annette Gavin of Hastilow USA
) that I'm very interested in hearing back from -- I've heard some really glowing reviews.
I also came across the Thorowgood T8 GP
while browsing the Hastilow USA website which I think might end up being a really good option for Captain and I. I really like the combination sythetic and leather build on the T8. They even offer it in a high wither version which might
be ideal for Captain. For some reason I had been thinking that Thorowgood was a house brand of Dover. I was pretty shocked when I found out they were made in the UK.
Thanks for all the help, I'll be sure to update the thread as the process continues.