Manufacturer: Wintec (View all products by Wintec)
Model: 500 AP (View all All Purpose 500 reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: When I bought my horse, the owner gave new Wintec 500 saddle to me as part of the deal. It was a year ago and I think she paid around $400 for it (buying online).
Likes: As I did not have much money left over after buying my warmblood, I decided that I will just wait with a new and fancier saddle purchase for a while and will use this Wintec 500 until I can afford something else. I have been using this saddle now for over a year and there are many great things I can say about it. The saddle has served me well while riding dressage, stadium jumping, cross country and even on 2-day trail rides. It is an amazing all weather saddle! Though I was not crazy about the idea of having a synthetic saddle, it had its benefits - the saddle was ridden in through pouring rain, in water and mud while riding XC, and even 100 degree heat (I live in Texas!). Through all that the saddle stayed as good as new. Also, it seems to mold to every horses back just perfectly. I have a medium gullet in the saddle and it fits my 16hh warmblood, 16.1 hanoverian gelding, 15.2 andalusian and even 13.2hh pony! :-) And the gullet system is great - my horse changed the shape of her back twice within the past year and if not for the gullets I would have been forced to buy a new saddle.
Dislikes: I would not call the following remarks as "dislikes", it is just more for your consideration when using the saddle - after all, it is All Purpose saddle. It does not put your body and leg in the perfect position. The rider has to "work" on the position rather than rely on the saddle to do it for you. Also, when jumping, the saddle flap is quite slippery and legs often slide back over the jump unless you really sink into your stirrups and think of your leg position. Another thing about jumping is that when going over jumps of about 3' and higher there is a good chance to hit the cantle with your butt...
Quality: I think this is an amazing saddle for the price. After riding in it for a year (2-3 horses every single day) the saddle has stayed in perfect condition showing no wear whatsoever. The ONLY thing that is rubbed are Billet Flaps but those can be easily replaced if one wishes so. I would like to mention though, that cleaning of this saddle is not as easy as many might think. The dust and dirt clogs the pores of the synthetic material and after a while just wiping it off won't help - the saddle will look grayish (dusty). But a good bristle brush, water and an hour of your time will make it look like new again!!! :)
Summary: Finally, after a year of having this saddle, I am forced to buy a new close contact saddle because this WINTEC just can't do the job of getting me safely over 4' jumps on consistent basis. But I am keeping the saddle as my second saddle for riding on trails and training 2 and 3-year olds. To conclude, I have to say once again - it is an All Purpose saddle after all, so you can't expect it to be perfect for both Grand Prix riding in dressage and jumping. But, it does its job really well when used as a hobby riding saddle of various disciplines.
Author: Liene Powell
Usefulness Rating: 3.25 out of 5.
20 reader(s) voted.
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