Model: Synthetic Western with Full Quarter Horse Bars
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I bought my Wintec Full QH at Broken Horn Saddlery in southern California about 5 or 6 years ago. I believe I paid about $400 for it new.
Likes: I love how easy it is to clean -- in fact, I've never *had* to clean it. It seems to take a lot to really get it dirty, so the most I've had to do is use a cloth to wipe dust off. It's also very lightweight, and I like that you can adjust the angle of the stirrups by essentially bending the fender -- there's a plate of some kind in there that makes it hold the shape you bend it to. It's really reasonably priced and I think it's a great first saddle, especially if like me you're just trying out western and roping sort of stuff to see if you like it. (I didn't... back to English for me!) It seems durable, though I didn't really put it to the test; I've only ridden in it maybe a dozen times. But even after all these years, getting used on and off (and my friends trying it on their horses sometimes) and sitting in tack rooms, it still looks like new.
Dislikes: I've tried this saddle on a number of horses and I can't seem to find a single horse that it really fits well. It was adequate on a couple of horses for rides that weren't too strenuous, but I would've hesitated to use it long enough for the horse to get sore. I think for people who are less picky about saddle fit or perhaps just have easier to fit horses, this saddle would work fine. I didn't find it terribly comfortable to ride in, but I don't find most other westerns terribly comfortable, either.
Quality: I really like the synthetic materials that Wintec uses, and this saddle is no exception. It's well-constructed and durable; since I don't ride much in mine, I often use it for the first few saddlings when I'm training with a horse, because it was cheap enough that I don't mind if it gets damaged a little. (It never has, though, even with horses trying to rub it off on the fence and that sort of thing.) The light weight also makes it nice to get a horse used to having a saddle on them without it being too heavy... or for the trainer to be able to lift the saddle up and take it down multiple times without throwing their back out. ;)
Summary: This is a nice, sturdy, lightweight saddle at a very reasonable price, but you may find it difficult to properly fit. It's terrific for introducing colts to the saddle, but it's not the saddle I pull out every day to ride in.
Usefulness Rating: 4.46429 out of 5.
28 reader(s) voted.
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