Manufacturer: Wintec (View all products by Wintec)
Model: AP Wide with CAIR (View all All Purpose Wide with CAIR reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: If you have a round, round, no-withered, short-backed horse, you know how hard it is to find a saddle that fits and is functional. After researching the broad horse saddles out there, what sold me on the Wintec Wide was the Y girthing system, the U-shaped tree and interchangeable gullet system. I received superb assistance from Nancy at Trumbull Mountain Tack Shop and paid $610 including shipping for my brown 17-1/2" AP Wintec Wide (44cm). Included was a saddle cover and the other 2 extra wide interchangeable gullets.
Likes: I love the fit this saddle gives my Fox Trotter. Because the tree is shaped more like her back, it maintains the air channel above her spine and the panels distribute my weight better. Some endurance trees with extended panels are too long for short-backed horses, but this AP tree is just right. The first few minutes of each ride feel a little "down hill" until the CAIR panels adjust, but the rest of the ride is heaven. The Y girthing system is adjustable, so you can put the girth in exactly the right place, keeping the saddle more secure. I use this saddle for trail riding and love the light weight, the easy care, and mostly the comfort it provides for me and my horse. The seat is not so wide that you are sitting in the "splits" position. There are movable blocks for perfect leg positioning. This is truly a functional and comfortable saddle for both me and my mare.
Dislikes: As with any saddle on a round, round horse, a breast collar is required for extra stabilization, but I wouldn't trail ride without one anyway, so its not a problem.
Quality: The construction of this saddle is excellent. The tree is solid and the CAIR panels are wonderful. I trust Wintec's quality since I also own an older Sport model that is still as good as new.
Summary: If you are frustrated with fitting your broad-backed horse, you really need to try a saddle specifically built for that anatomy. I've bought and sold many saddles in my quest to fit my mare, but this one is the final. With the interchangeable gullet system, the Y girthing, and the CAIR panels, I will be able to adjust this saddle to accommodate changes in my horse's shape over time. Its a keeper because it fits both of us and gives us a comfortable ride.
Usefulness Rating: 2.75 out of 5.
12 reader(s) voted.
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