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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ride in a Wintec Pro Dressage saddle and absolutely love it. For years I've been waiting for Wintec to come out with a Wintec Wide Dressage saddle and... they haven't.

Things are coming to a head this next year, as my back-like-a-table-top Andalusian/Arabian cross filly turns four. I started her bareback for her dozen or so low-stress rides as a three year old, but the poor filly needs a saddle eventually.

So over the last few days, I took matters into my own hands and did That Thing You Aren't Supposed To Do: I installed a Wintec ultra-wide gullet plate-- the one clearly marked "ONLY FOR USE IN WINTEC WIDE & WINTEC HAFLINGER"-- in my old Wintec Pro Dressage. And I love it... although it still won't fit my impossible-to-fit filly. It sure as heck fits the heretofore-impossible-to-fit ex-broodmare, though!

I took about a bazillion pictures and documented the process of Doing Stuff You Aren't Supposed To Do in a blog post here, if anyone's interested.
 

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I read the whole blog post and it gave me a giggle. You'll have to let us know how it holds up!
 

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I read your blog. Very interesting....This concerns me somewhat:

Conclusions? There appears to be no reason not to use Wintec Wide gullet plates in older Wintec saddles. Of course, the tree could break tomorrow, or next month, or next year. But the wider gullet plate was not difficult to install, it does not appear to be stressing other components of the saddle by stretching or compressing them, and it performed perfectly through a ride at high speeds and with sharp turns and quick stops.
The tree (unless there's already a point of weakness) is not likely to break/crack after one ride. It's something that happens over time. Should you consider putting these ultra-wide gullets into any wintec other than the one they were designed for, you lose any kind of warranty that may exist on the tree. On average, the trees are under warranty for 5 to 10 years, depending on the make and model.

As a saddle fitter and employee of an authorized Wintec dealer, I must advise strongly against this. I'm honestly not trying to be rude or mean, so I apologize if my post comes across that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I read your blog. Very interesting....This concerns me somewhat:



The tree (unless there's already a point of weakness) is not likely to break/crack after one ride. It's something that happens over time. Should you consider putting these ultra-wide gullets into any wintec other than the one they were designed for, you lose any kind of warranty that may exist on the tree. On average, the trees are under warranty for 5 to 10 years, depending on the make and model.

As a saddle fitter and employee of an authorized Wintec dealer, I must advise strongly against this. I'm honestly not trying to be rude or mean, so I apologize if my post comes across that way.
Not at all! :) I figured there would be about an even split between "hey, cool!" and "you should NOT do that!".

I was extremely interested to find that it was far more physically difficult and required much more force to install the black medium gullet in the Wintec 500 AP for the "before" photo than it did to install the light purple xx-wide. The 500 has had the red wide gullet installed for years, and that makes me wonder if the Wintec trees have "memory", i.e., if you use the white extra-wide gullet on a saddle for a long time, is it harder to install a narrow gullet than it would have been straight from the factory.

Essentially, if it had been physically difficult to fit the xx-wide gullet, I wouldn't have pursued it. However, it wasn't-- it popped right into two different models with a minimum of force.

Honestly, though, I wish Wintec would just stop dragging their feet on a Wintec Wide dressage model, and save us all the grief. :wink:
 

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I've found that the trees do have a certain amount of memory.
When first putting a wider gullet into a new saddle that has had the standard medium gullet fitted. And also when fitting a narrower gullet to a saddle that's had a wider gullet for an extended period of time.
It's also, I might had, a freaking *nightmare* to put a medium gullet into a brand-new tree. It happened recently that a client had her tree replaced under warranty, but they repairer didn't put the gullet in o_O let me tell you...serious mission!
 

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You might consider the Thorowgood Broadback (Cob) Dressage for your Andalusian. I'm getting one of the AP saddles for my daughter's Haflinger. We demo-ed their leather counterpart and I LOVE the fit! I worked with Kate from Dutches Bridle & Saddle. She's really great and will even have the saddle flocking adjusted for you before it leaves her shop. Her prices on the Thorowgoods are lower than Dover's. My T4 with the suede seat is coming in at $500.
New & Used Saddles - Dutchess Bridle & Saddle: Home
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You might consider the Thorowgood Broadback (Cob) Dressage for your Andalusian. I'm getting one of the AP saddles for my daughter's Haflinger. We demo-ed their leather counterpart and I LOVE the fit! I worked with Kate from Dutches Bridle & Saddle. She's really great and will even have the saddle flocking adjusted for you before it leaves her shop. Her prices on the Thorowgoods are lower than Dover's. My T4 with the suede seat is coming in at $500.
New & Used Saddles - Dutchess Bridle & Saddle: Home
Thanks! I'll definitely keep that in mind. I'm leaning toward the Ansur for two reasons: one, I'm an avid bareback rider, and frankly more at home without a saddle than with. The Ansur Classic is just about as little saddle as you can get, and still say that it's a saddle. Two: one of my equestrian heroines,
, rides almost exclusively in Ansur saddles (when she uses a saddle) and recommends them.
 

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I do like Treeless saddles best myself. I have a Bob Marshall endurance and a Black Forest english type endurance. However, my daughter jumps and wants to do eventing, so we need a show-worthy saddle that won't put me in debt, lol. If I ever get back in to showing Dressage, I'll probably invest in an Ansur, or a Freeform. I like their new Elite Dressage model.

I get Karen's newsletter ;-). I just wish she would wear a helmet....
 
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