Manufacturer: Wintec / Bates Corporation (View all products by Wintec)
Model: Wintec 500 with CAIR panels (View all 500 with CAIR reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle for my short backed, too plump, low withered pony. He was having major saddle fitting issues because of the width of his back and shape of his shoulders. I ordered the saddle from State Line Tack in the fall of 2005 and paid $499.00 for the saddle. I got the model with the CAIR panels and I also purchased a gullet set.
Likes: I used the gullet gauge and saw I needed one of the widest gullets! (big surprise there) My pony loved the CAIR panels! From the first ride he rounded his back and relaxed. His back was swinging so well that he looked like he was wagging his tail! The gullets have been a lifesaver because I can change them when he gains/loses weight and condition. The saddle is very comfortable and OH SO EASY to take care of. No more late nights cleaning and oiling a saddle before a show, now I can get some sleep!
Dislikes: I wish that I had chosen brown instead of black. Black saddles aren't popular in the show ring but he moves so well now it doesn't matter! The gullets aren't super easy to change, it takes two people, but I only do it once in a while and it is worth it. For my purposes I would like for the billet straps to have been little farther forward, but that has more to do with the fat belly my pony has and not the saddle.
Quality: The quality of the saddle was great! All the fittings are very securely attached. The finish of the saddle doesn't look "fake". The material that is used to make the saddle is very durable. I use the saddle every day and after wiping it off it is just like new! We don't worry about going in the water at the beach with these saddles, we just hose them off and we are good to go!
Summary: Last year I had a problem with one of the CAIR panels. One side went flat two weeks before our state 4-H championship! I contacted WINTEC. I was freaking out when I sent my saddle to them for repair, worried that I wouldn't get it back in time. They sent me a brand new saddle within a week and didn't even charge me shipping! They were great to work with. So great in fact, my mom just purchased a new close contact WINTEC saddle with CAIR in the caramel color for her new horse! For horse comfort, durability, ease of care, quality, service and a reasonable price, I don't think you can beat a WINTEC!
Author: Jackie Witherell
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
19 reader(s) voted.
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