Your Opinion on Wintec 500
I am considering buying a Wintec 500 either the AP or the Dressage. Does anybody have any rants or raves about these?
I primarily ride Dressage but I have been thinking about doing a little hunter jumper once I get my weight all the way back down to the 130/140 area. ...but not sure and I do ride a lot of trail When I show dressage it is usually schooling shows and training level in the 50's lol. Would an AP be a better choice than the Dressage seat?
Please let me know your opinions.
If you already have a dressage saddle, why not get a jumping saddle? Just curious. I had a 500 dressage and it wasn't the best to jump with (at least for me), plus it was a little too big. I liked it but decided to sell it and get an Isabell and no jumping. But, I haven't sat in a Wintec that I didn't like.
I have an older style wintec pro dressage saddle that I'm selling for 300+ shipping I bought it on here from Myboypuck. It's a 17.5 but I feel like it runs a bit big, or at least it feels big compared to my 17.5 CC :-/
I have 2 Wintec AP saddles and I prefer my 2000 as far as seat goes to the 500 because I like the synthetic suede for security on the trail etc... They both have the Cair system and are great in the rain and snow. I use them for jumping small obstacles but I prefer my CC Stubbens for jumping if I have a choice between them.
I love my wintec pro dressage. I believe it is the same model that Rachel is selling. It is sooooo comfy. Even people who only ride western found it super comfortable. I stick to it through everything and it was even my trail riding saddle until I bought my Aussie. I can't keep a two point in it though without holding onto mane.
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I personally do not like Wintecs, they seem cool and convenient because of the interchangeable tree, but the truth is you’re better off spending a bit more money and getting a better saddle. Most saddles are flocked (filled) with wool or synthetic wool stuffing. That is nice because you(well not you, but your saddle fitter) can add flocking or remove it, and a saddle should technically be reflocked at least once a year. Wintecs are filled with “air bags” which are said to give your horse a more comfortable ride, but it’s not true. They’re like a balloon, when it’s hot out, they expand, and when it’s cold out, they shrink. So your saddle could have a different fit every day according to the weather! The airbags are also prone to popping, and they aren’t replaceable, so your saddle is basically ruined after that, and it’s hard to tell without professional help whether or not they have popped. If you want something like a Wintec, go for a Thorowgood, they’re synthetic like Wintecs, and also have changeable gullets, but they’re flocked with synthetic wool, and made of better quality materials.
They are a bit pricier than Wintec, but you get your money’s worth, because the saddle will last much longer and you’ll probably be happier with it. I don’t think they have the prices online, but a lot of people sell them used in the $400-1000 range, depending on how old it is, and condition.
Just my two cents!
Oh really, my Wintec is flocked.... CAIR is an option not forced. And no your saddle is not ruined if the CAIR needs to be fixed. Any good saddler can take out the CAIR and replace it with flocking, yes it may cost a bit more but your saddle isn't ruined. The airbags are also not prone to popping. And the air pressure does not change drastically by weather change. If that was the case you would have to check your tire pressure on your car everyday. Yes in severe cold they may be a bit deflated and get slightly larger on an extrememly hot day but who rides in those temperaures anyway.
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.
From my understanding the new CAIR system is still airbags but there are pockets behind to put in these wedges that can affect the fit. The way I understand it is say you need more flocking in back, well you take the wedges and put them in the back of the saddle so there is essentially more "flocking" there.
Honestly, I absolutely love my Wintec. I trail ride for an entire day in it and it is still comfy. I have the flocked version because it was cheaper and I didn't want to deal with CAIR as it can be bouncy and I have a near senior horse that I was just starting undersaddle.
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