Manufacturer: Wintec (View all products by Wintec)
Model: Synthetic Western Saddle (View all Synthetic Western reviews)
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: As my horse progressed in training and muscled up his custom-made leather saddle with semi-quarter horse bars became too tight in the shoulders; the horse needed full quarter horse bars or an Arabian flare tree and I needed to upgrade from a 14.5 inch to a 15 inch seat. I ended up with this Wintec mostly because the owner of South Texas Tack said I could return the saddle if it didn't fit me or the horse which seemed reasonable. However, the next day I was told the store doesn't take returns they only give store credit. They did make an exchange for a smaller seat size. I paid $366 for the saddle. Need I say I won't recommend or shop at that store again.
Likes: In spite of the store's poor customer service and having to keep the saddle I do like the Wintec because it is easy care, lightweight, and an inexpensive interim saddle until I can find and afford another leather one. The rough-out seat is flatter than my other saddle but allows me to move more easily especially at the canter. I was quite comfortable with my 14.5" seat but everyone else said I was jammed in! The length of the square skirt seems to fit comfortably on my short-backed Arabian without interfering with his hip. The full quarter horse bars must agree with him because he no longer tosses his head, backs up, or refuses to go forward.
Dislikes: The fenders that come with the saddle are too long for my 5'4" frame with the Blevins buckle at the last hole. It is a good thing the straps don't stretch. There are shorter fenders available but you have to purchase them. Also, the Blevins buckles are reversed so the excess strap has nowhere to go but to stick out below the fender in front of your boot. I took the saddle to a repair shop to reverse the buckle so the excess strap now goes under the stirrup and behind the fender where it belongs.
Quality: The construction of the saddle is very good. In the past I owned three other Wintec saddles, a dressage, endurance, and all-purpose. The material will last according to how much you use the saddle; ride a little and they last a long time. Can't find any unfinished edges; there are rings at the front for a breast collar, rings in the back for securing other items, and strap/girth keepers on either side. The horn is wide enough to hold onto or hold a pommel bag but not so thin it can rupture your gut should your horse slam to a stop and you pitch forward like some of us do!
Summary: After riding in this saddle a few times at lessons it seems to be a good fit for me and the horse. Maybe the search for another leather one will be way in the future. I can recommend the saddle but not the store. The saddle-maker who reversed the Blevins buckles said Wintec is a good saddle. I have to agree.
Author: Jan L.
Usefulness Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
30 reader(s) voted.
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