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Discussion Starter #1
So with my Christmas money I think I am going to get myself a wintec 500 dressage saddle. I have found two in my area in my price range in pretty much the same condition, but one has CAIR and is a little more, and one does not. I have been trying to read responses on here, but got tired of swimming through all the posts.

So what I want to know, is if I should go with the CAIR, or go with the cheaper saddle that does not have CAIR. I am getting this saddle for a sway backed horse, and I was told that the CAIR may help, but some of the reading I have done said that the CAIR panels made their horse's backs hurt more.

Here's the horse:



I have ordered him a skito (skido?) sway back pad so now I just need to figure out the saddle.
 

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I ride with a Wintec saddle that has CAIR almost everyday! I think Comanche actually preffers to use the CAIR saddle. He puffs up when I use the close-contact saddle. And if a saddle makes a horse sore, I would say that the saddle does not fit the horse right. CAIR is supposed to be all around better for you and your horse. And riding on it is like no other, too. You do feel like you are on air because it is so 'fluid.' I am definatly pro Wintec with CAIR :)
 

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I luuuuurve my CAIR saddles, I have the same wintec 500 dressage and also the 2000 all purpose.
I would definately go with the CAIR even though it costs a little more, you and your horse will be more comfortable in the short and long term.
Does it have the easy-change gullet system? I seriously couldn't live without it, I'm a pro at changing gullets i've done it so much :p
 

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Cair does not help much with saddle fit. The air does move arounda little, but not "that" much. Personally, I prefer wool flocked as you can have a saddle fitter adjust it to better suit your horse, more so than the CAIR will change.

You need a Skito Correction pad to help the swayback. They really work well and the shims can be custom cut for your horse for no extra charge.
 

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I much prefer wool flocked saddles. CAIR is awfull. With flocking, you can alter the fit of the saddle and it will stay firm to the horses back. CAIR tends to bounce on the horse's back, and also compresses and expands to the rider's movement, putting uneven pressure over the back.

I have not known one person who stuck with a CAIR saddle, they all changed it over to flock within a couple of months. And these are all experienced, well known and reputable dressage riders, if anyone can feel a horse's movement change a dressage rider can, and every horse a CAIR saddle was used on here ended up with back problems that took quite some time to resolve. As soon as the saddles where converted to flocking, the horses were fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cair does not help much with saddle fit. The air does move arounda little, but not "that" much. Personally, I prefer wool flocked as you can have a saddle fitter adjust it to better suit your horse, more so than the CAIR will change.

You need a Skito Correction pad to help the swayback. They really work well and the shims can be custom cut for your horse for no extra charge.

I have ordered a skito pad (I mentioned that in my original post. :p) on a suggestion you made to me in another thread and am excited to get it. Right now I am just using lots of extra padding under the saddle and doing light riding with a saddle on and most of my riding bareback, thankfully he has shown no signs of any discomfort, but I will be very happy when I get that pad.

Are wintec's wool or foam flocked?

CaptainLiecy - I love the changeable gullet too! I ride so many different horses of different widths that I am excited to have a saddle with it in it. Thankfully they are mostly stock horses and have the same type of back conformation.
 

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I wouldn't get the Wintec 500 - they have strait tree's. Same tree as what you had with your Wintec 500 A/P.

If you had problems with the A/P on your TB, you'll definately have problems with the same tree shape on this fellow.
 

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Wintecs come with either CAIR panels or WOOL flocked (could be wool/synthetic blend). I have never seen a foam flocked Wintec.

Sorry, missed that you ordered a Skito ;-). They are great pads. You can switch out the shims or add more if you find taht you need to change the lift. I have 4 Skitos now and a bucket full of shims, lol.
 

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If you've had problems with a Wintec on this horse in the past, I'd steer away from the brand altogether.
Go down to your local saddlery, and see if you can try out a selection of saddles. Usually they have 'trial' saddles that people can take home to ride in a few times.
You can pick up some really good second hand saddles, all you have to do is look and ask around. Ask if you can try the saddle on and have a couple of rides in it, and make sure you have someone who is experienced with the fit of a saddle to come along and take a look so you don't fork out your money on the wrong saddle just because it's comfortable for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I haven't had trouble with this horse, I had trouble with a previous horse.

I am confused now, the impression I got was that a saddle with the cair such as a wintec combined with a sway back pad would help him out, and now I am being told that it won't?

The wintec is mentioned in this blog: Baba Yaga's Mirror: The Upside Down Horse, Saddles, and Pads (Oh My!) where it sites the Austrailian College of Equine Chiropractic saying that wintecs with cair are good for horses with sway backs, which kind of what got me started down this track in the first place I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sorry the above post makes me sound a little defensive, I am just trying to understand what is best for my horse. :p
 

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The CAIR are just panels - the panels do not create the shape of the saddle's tree. Two seperate parts of the saddle.

If the tree is not arched, such as the wintec 500 models - the saddle will sit strait on your horses back, while your horses back archs.

Same issue with your TB, but this time it will be worse, due to your guy being very swayed back - with or without a skitto pad.

CAIR are panels, yes I love them and my Wintec has CAIR - BUT that has nothing to do with proper fit on a horses back that is arched.

You need to find a saddle, that has an arched shaped tree. What the panels are stuffed with, comes after.
 

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I would call a local saddlery, such as Classic. Even though she may be "pricey" as some people say (not me), she does know saddles. I had a friend with a very hard horse to fit for saddles- she tried and tried.... and eventually went to Classic. She quickly got sorted out, and since it's so close, I'm sure that would be a great resource for you to try. =]
 

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I own 2 saddles with the CAIR panels....a Bates Innova and a Bates Caprilli CC......and I really like them both.

I think it's personal preference as well as comfort of the horse when it comes to what people prefer inside their panels.

Honestly, I've never had to fit a swayed back horse, so I can't comment on it's suitability to your particular horse.
 

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The current "new" wintec dressage and AP models are the straighter tree for a flatter back. The older 500, pro dressage and 500 AP are the curvier tree, as is the Wintec 500 cc and Pro Jump cc.

If your horse isn't wide, the Courbette Lemetex trees have quite a bit of "sway" to them.
 

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I own 2 saddles with the CAIR panels....a Bates Innova and a Bates Caprilli CC......and I really like them both.

I think it's personal preference as well as comfort of the horse when it comes to what people prefer inside their panels.

Honestly, I've never had to fit a swayed back horse, so I can't comment on it's suitability to your particular horse.

I agree with Polaris that it is TOTALLY a personal preference about CAIR. Riding with CAIR is a bit different than a 'traditional' saddle. You would have to ride in it to really feel and note the difference. As you can tell, lol, everyone has a strong opinon about CAIR but that no base to decide on if you like it or not. It is completely personal so I would try them both, if you could, before you buy. :)
 

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The older 500, pro dressage and 500 AP are the curvier tree, as is the Wintec 500 cc and Pro Jump cc.
I dissagree. Both QHDragon and I have the Wintec 500 A/P and the tree is very strait. My TB has an arhced back and so did her previous TB, and both the tree's on these saddles were too strait, and suits flatter backed horses.

The only Wintec that I know has an arched tree, is the CC.
 
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