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hsharp123 07-26-2008 09:27 AM

Cair system- help please!????
Hi all,

You probably know my grey by now as I have posted quite a few times about him!

But for those of you that dont a brief tale....
He is a 5yr old (on August 26th), Han x Irish TB, he was a rescue as a foal and has always struggled to hold weight while he keeps on growing! I think he has slowed and almost stopped growing now at 16hands. He has large whithers and a huge shoulder, but very little weight on his back and bottom, and has absolutely no 2nd thigh on his hind legs at all, and he simply pulls himself forward with his huge front end!

Anyway I have been waiting to get a saddle made for him once he had slowed down the growth spurts. I had a saddler come out to him and we tried a few on a had him measured etc for you normal english jumping flocked type! After much talking about how he doesnt stay the same shape for more than a few months, and is a boney Tb in the winter and a chunky hanoverian in the spring/summer she mentioned the Bates Caprilli interchangable gullet with cair system??

She said that it would change with him and will allow for him to grow and grow with him rather than buying a new saddle each time he changes (he really does change that much!!)

What do you all think?? Good idea for the time being?? They are so expensive so I want to make the right decision!
This is the one im after -

Thank you in advance!

Elz x

.A.j. 07-26-2008 10:12 AM

I tried that exact saddle on my horse, but he has a funny back so it didn't fit.
I've heard they are great for quality and although they are expensive they last a long time.
It is one of the most comfy saddles I've ridden in!

iheartcloudnine 07-26-2008 01:37 PM

I think that could work very well for your horse. However, are you still planning on having a custom made saddle for him after he is done growing? If so, instead of spending at least $1,000 on a Bates, you could get a Wintec. They are just like Bates (Bates is actually the parent company of Wintec), but the entire thing is synthetic. They come in AP models, CC models, jumping models, and dressage models (just like the Bates do). And of course the most important part, they have the changeable gullet system and CAIR.

Here is more information on CAIR:

Here is more on the Wintec saddles:

And here is more information on Bates saddles:

I had a Wintec 2000, and liked it a lot. Some people can't stand synthetics, but it would be way more affordable.

And to answer your other question if Bates saddles are good saddles, I would have to say yes. I like the leather (some people say it feels weird), and it is overall constructed very nicely. They have a lot of extremely forward flapped models, so if you do choose a Bates, I would (if you can) sit in each of them.

Happy saddle hunting :)

Frog 07-27-2008 02:22 AM

I recommend not getting any saddle with the cair system. My reason is that they can not be fitted correctly to your horse like a standard flocked saddle can. You can't just add stuffing anywhere you want becuase of the panels in the saddle.

hsharp123 07-27-2008 04:30 AM

Hi frog,

He currently has a walsall flocked saddle. The way he keeps growing and now with his huge withers i have tried to have my flocking saddle adjusted but this is the exact problem, it can not be adjusted enough to fit his changes, and if it were possible to match his changes with a flocked saddle id be constantly without a saddle while it was being re-stuffed etc. He really does change all the time!

This is why i thought the cair would be good as it would not change to fit him once but be constantly changing as he does....if you see what I mean? I dont need a saddle that fits him for a month i need one that will adjust.

As anybody heard that CAIR has damaged horses backs? This was my worry after a friend mentioned that she had read this somewhere?

Elz x

my2geldings 07-27-2008 01:17 PM


Originally Posted by Frog
I recommend not getting any saddle with the cair system. My reason is that they can not be fitted correctly to your horse like a standard flocked saddle can. You can't just add stuffing anywhere you want becuase of the panels in the saddle.

I agree. I owned a saddle with the CAIR system for a few years and even tho it was never used as my regular riding saddle(only for training of the babies)it was an average fit. Those saddles just don't conform to the horse's back and they never really break in either because they are synthetic.
You will have the luxury of changing the tree size(tho thats a nightmare to do in itself) but it don't improve the over all fit on your horse.

If you think he is still filling in some, wait until you get some serious riding into him and build more topline and muscle then I would get a fitted saddle done for him.

His musculature is going to constantly changing with riding especially if it's not regular work.

I would stay away from the cair system saddles.

hsharp123 07-27-2008 05:37 PM

Sorry my2geldings the bates I am looking at is gorgeous leather, so it will brake in lovely and become really soft and supple like the second hand ones ive seen before.

He is in full time work now, he does over 8mile hacks twice weekly, is competing at the young horse jumpers and practicing at home and regularly at local shows, he is working at novice dressage, and I hope to take him cubbing in August. This is why I dont want to ride him in a saddle that doesnt fit half the time and rather ride in one that will at leat attempt to fit his weird body. I feel that it wont help his muscle developement if he has a saddle that doesnt allow the change?

But i really apprecaite the opinions!

Frog 07-27-2008 08:44 PM

Have you had a look inside a cair system? I only ask as in the stores they have two lovely cushioned panels on display that feel lovely, however in fact there are four not so cushiony pads inside the saddles, there can actuallybe more pressure applied on the outside of these pads counteracting the supposed 'goodness' that the pads advertise.

As for the fitting of the saddle, it's not the stuffing part that is the proplem, I thought my horse was a pretty standard fit for a saddle, her back wasn't dippy and she has average withers, however the saddle could not be raised behind enough to fit her. So unless you have a horse that is similar to the saddle dummies they have in stores, please don't waste your money.

Another note on fitting, my girl is 3 (rising 4) and I get her saddle fitted every 4-6 months, this is a normal practice for youngsters as you can't expect them to not change shape.

Anyway that's my two bobs worth :lol: good luck in your quest!

sempre_cantando 07-28-2008 08:26 AM

Don't buy the cair panels sysyem. I was talking to a saddle fitter yesterday and she was telling me that there is a fault in the design. There are two air 'pockets' (its not called that but anyway...), one at the front and one at the back. When you ride, the air all goes to the stitching the middle i.e. half way along underneath your saddle. It can create pressure points. I had a cair saddle that I was borrowing and she showed me how to feel for this. And I could feel it easily! my poor mare - I won't be using cair again untl they alter their design! I don't know how well know this is but everyone who was with me was surprised but they all agreed once they felt the saddle I'd been using. And this saddle isn't very old either!

hsharp123 07-28-2008 09:16 AM

Hi frog,

Wow 4-6 months your lucky! Im talking weeks! A change of pasture for the worming program, a change in the quality of the haylage etc etc etc, If it were months it wouldnt be so bad! If you are having the saddle altered every 4-6months then just how long are you riding on that saddle when it doesnt fit?!!!?

And I dont expect a youngster to stay the same shape and have had hundreds of young horses from 5months up in may care! HENCE wanting a saddle that will in theory change with him. I think you missed a piont slightly but thank you anyway!

sempre_cantando- Thank you very much this is definately making me think twice! AND is very useful imformation! I will look into it at my local saddle stockist!


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