Well, my saddle fitter says that the flocking was part of the problem with the saddle fit and said we should go for an unflocked saddle for now, if possible...and recommended one with CAIR or a Thorowgood. I'm not really a high level rider, and I'm basically just doing schooling shows at Training level...and then in the 50's...and may change horses in the future. I think the Wintec will be a decent fit for me for now....I'm only thinking over the next one or two years...and I do a lot of trail riding as well and when I had the Kieffer I would opt to go bareback for fear of scraping, scratching or getting a cut on it anywhere (we have horible thorn bushes here with 3 inch needle like thorns).
Now let me give you my one and only Thorowgood experience. I went to the ONLY store that sells English gear in our district...it's an hour away. They only really sell pricey 3K saddles :( but they had a few used, or "old stock" of what they used to sell. There were 2 Thorowgood dressage saddles from when they carried them before, I can't remmeber the model but when I googled them I could only find them on European websites and only Euro sellers had them on ebay
. It seemed that they underside was all held together with velcro and fully interchangeable.. They wanted 1K for them (I've seen this model for far less, for got what model it was). Anyway I picked up one of them to check it out more thoroughly and my hand immediately got something GROSS on it. I looked at the underside and where the big wide velcro places where, a honey like sticky substance was literally ooozing out from under the velcro on both sides. The other Thorowgood had the same issue. I brought it to the attention of the sales person and she immediately took them to the back.
So, now when people mention Thorowgood saddles, all I can think of is that they ooze sticky yuck ha ha.
On the Wintec, I have heard mention of some of those issues, but none of the people I know that have a Wintec have ever experienced it themselves, nor do THEY know anyone it happened too. Just something they heard. But 2012 Wintec came out with new saddles that now have the Easy=change FIT system...not just the gullet is interchangeable but there are also other panels etc to fit it. Mine is an old floor model that doesn't have this...but I would think this would mean they don't use air bags anymore.