Wintec 500 All Purpose vs. Wintec Isabell - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-25-2013, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Wintec 500 All Purpose vs. Wintec Isabell

So far I like these two the best. However I know next to nothing about English saddles and what I should be looking for. I like that they both have adjustable gullet systems. I would go with the flocked not the CAIR.

I do a lot of trail riding.. I'm basically just your average recreational rider. I do ride enough though that I want something that fits my horse and myself. I dislike the western saddle that I have because it makes it very difficult to keep that should/hip/heal alignment. Plus it is extraordinarily uncomfortable.

I like the Isabell because it is designed more towards women. But the 500 is cheaper. I don't know which one or how to decide. Help?!
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post #2 of 18 Old 10-25-2013, 06:31 PM
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The Isabell is a dressage saddle, while the 500 is an AP.

I don't believe the Isabell is specifically designed more toward women regardless of its name, but dressage saddles do have deeper seats than APs, so if that's what you're looking for then the Isabell may be your best bet.

Have you ridden in either of them yet? You may find you don't like the feel of a dressage saddle. I know I didn't, which is why I bought a 2000 AP instead of the Isabell when I was looking at Wintecs.
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post #3 of 18 Old 10-25-2013, 06:33 PM
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I was just going to say the same thing as SR. Totally different feel to these saddles.

Look at what you are used to riding in currently, and if you are comfortable in it, I would stick with that basic style. So, if you are riding in an AP, get the 500......etc.

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post #4 of 18 Old 10-25-2013, 07:22 PM
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As others have said, totally different saddles. If you're not going to be jumping much I'd probably lean towards the Isabell. However, it's my experience with the Isabell that people either love it or hate it, it's not the kind of saddle everyone likes so you really need to sit in it to see what you think.

To be honest, I'd always go a dressage saddle over an AP. While you can have good alignment in the AP it doesn't particularly encourage it, where as the dressage saddles do (and in my opinion are more comfortable).

Things to look for in an English saddle - first up horse fit. Even with gullet change systems and reflocking Wintecs don't fit every horse.

Second rider fit. You can get narrow and wide twist English saddles which is just a matter of personal preference. You need the leg panel to be the right length and width for you (dressage saddles straight cut - close contact forward). There are variates in seat depth (dressage deepest - Close contact shallowest) and the stirrup bar can also placed in slightly different locations. If possible, get a saddle fitter or saddle shop to bring out a range of saddles for you to ride in, it's the best way to do it.
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-25-2013, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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I would love to try out saddles as suggested.. but I see that as highly improbable. Unless the website I buy it from allows the "try it before you buy it" deal. We have a saddle shop, but its all western.. and the type of place that really doesn't know how to fit a horse besides "it's wide" or "its narrow".

From what you all have had to say, I think I may still be leaning towards the Isabell. I think I will look into try it out before you buy it. And see if I can't find a saddle fitter anywhere near.
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-25-2013, 10:39 PM
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Smartpak has wintec saddles and they do trials. I have the wintec pro dressage and my trainer uses the isabell. I love the isabell so much better. It puts you in such a great position but keep in mind you will always be riding in a dressage seat then. But the brand new isabell is different than the older versions.
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-26-2013, 01:18 AM
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Please try everything in your power to try these saddles before you buy.
The Isabell was originally designed for shorter riders - I have short legs, so gave it a shot. HORRIBLE! I rode in it for maybe 10 minutes maximum, and was in so much pain that I had to get off. Hip cramping, leg cramping, forcing my legs forward into a chair seat, pushing me towards my pelvis bone.... hated it with a passion. BUT there are people who love them as well. As someone who has been riding for most of my life, and a competitive Dressage rider, I think the problem was that I like a saddle which allows me to position myself and move where I need to. The Isabell was extremely restrictive for me, so may be more suited to a rider who is starting out in establishing a basic position in the saddle.

The Wintec AP's are not bad - I have one as a beach and trail saddle and it's quite comfortable and secure.
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post #8 of 18 Old 10-26-2013, 07:18 AM
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Personally I'd avoid an Isabel unless you know someone who can fit it for you. The tree shape can cause some horses problems if you're not sure what you're doing. And every one I've come across fits better with a flock adjustment. You're generally better off with an AP/GP for trail riding, anyway.

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post #9 of 18 Old 10-26-2013, 06:54 PM
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There is also the Wintec Pro Dressage which is a bit less "lock in" than the Isabell and still covered with soft stuff (I like the soft stuff more).

Even if you have to drive an hour or so, it will be worth going to saddle store and sitting in a few saddles!
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post #10 of 18 Old 10-26-2013, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Alright so no Isabell then! I will look really hard to see if I can't find a store that carries a variety that I can try. I really want this saddle to fit my horse and I well.

I do buy from Smartpak, so I will look into that too! Thanks for the help guys!
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