Wintec Endurance, aka Saddle trades?
Yes, I have read previous threads and know some people hate the Wintec Endurance saddles. Right now I ride in a Wintec 2000 AP and it seems to work okay for me and my horse- no apparent soreness on his part and once I got the EZ ride stirrups, none on mine. Our only real issue is heat retention, which has caused some sprinkles of white hairs throughout the areas where the bars sit (been checked by just about everyone, from random other riders, to farriers and multiple vets). No pressure points per se, just general pressure and heat, which I just got a skito dryback pad to hopefully help with.
A friend has a Wintec Endurance, the older one, and would like to trade me as it doesn't fit her mare while mine has the adjustable gullets and probably will. It's a little too wide for her girl. I rode my boy in it today, we'll see tomorrow if he is sore at all, but it appears to fit well, and more importantly (to me) seems to distribute the weight over a bit wider of an area, which I think would be good. For my part, it feels just a little different, but fairly comfortable. It's easier to girth up too. The seat feels larger than mine, but I am not sure if I think that is a good or bad thing yet. My gelding rode well in it, but he's not a complainer, so that's not as much of a tell as it is for some horses. The one time he has been backsore, he did not ride any different, but was sensitive to palpation the next day.
I was thinking of offering to swap for a couple weeks, do some arena work and go out on a training ride to see if we're happy or not (both her and me). Does that sound reasonable? I wouldn't be out looking for a new saddle, except this has fallen into my lap and might work out well for all involved. I am always reluctant to change anything for fear of messing up a good thing...
Sounds reasonable to me, as long as you both agree to the terms and there won't be any hard feelings if the trade doesn't work for one person or the other.
How did the trial go? Im curious about how it worked for you.
Deal still isn't 100% finalized as I've been too sick to take it out on a ride longer than 4/5 miles, but it's looking good. The rigging system buckles sit under the back of my thighs and the front rolls are smaller/more close-contact, which are the only real 'feel' difference I've noticed. I've heard some don't like it/feel like it puts them behind the trot, but maybe since my other was a Wintec too, maybe I'm used to the style as I haven't noticed.
Since then I've learned it is an OLD model. Still in great shape, but flocked as it came out before CAIR, which I am very okay with. Feels more like the nice leather saddles that way. My horse has seemed happy- no hesitation, soreness, or saddle moving/slipping. Just have to get out to some hills and distance to finish the deal.
What's your horse's build like?
Honestly, he's pretty easy shape. He's a QH, but ranch-type, not foundation type or shaped like a barrel. Medium/med-wide on the Wintecs with decent withers and typical/normal build with muscling is both decent and fairly symmetrical. I suspect that is why the Wintecs seem to work for us- he's a 'typical' shape they are intended to fit.
Our only 'issue' is his sensitive skin. He 'roans' out wherever there is any significant heat which has been a challenge in South Texas and Tennessee. He welts up bad in fly season and sometimes even grows back white hair for a while from tick and bug bites. There's even a white spot on his rump where I suspect a bite from a pasture-mate got a bit infected before healing.
Darn. I was hoping he was built like my Arab. I was looking at gettin one of these saddles.
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The newer ones have the shim system built in where you can add more rocker to the bars to fit horses with more curve to them. Haven't used it myself, so can't say how adjustable it really is, but I admit that if you can't go custom, shimming the saddle between the seat and bars to actually change the saddle shape seems like a better deal for the horse and fit than shimming between the bars and horse in the pad. That's all conceptual to me though given my lack of hands-on.
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