Manufacturer: Wintec (View all products by Unknown)
Model: Pro All Purpose with CAIR (View all n/a reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle from Dover Saddlery online, $599 on closeout in 2017. I had ridden in a Wintec 2000 in the past and liked it, but was swayed towards the Pro AP only because of the discounted price. Despite being a "leather snob," I was drawn to Wintec because I have a hard-to-fit horse and a modest budget, so the Easy Change Gullet System is a huge bonus.
Likes: This is a really well balanced and comfortable saddle for the money! It puts me in a good position and I feel extremely secure. I know there is the old adage "all purpose = no purpose," but I truly do not feel like that is the case with this saddle. It rides like a more secure close contact saddle, but gives a lot of freedom and versatility in the seat. I feel balance when I need to ride forward, yet I still feel balanced when I want to sit back and ride more deeply. I had to swap out the gullet for a wider one and was pleasantly surprised to find the process quite easy. The CAIR panels, despite mixed reviews from others, have been excellent for my hard to fit horse, who has trouble with saddles bridging on her back even when they are the appropriate width. The CAIR panels seem to distribute my weight evenly across her back, and her movement and saddle pad sweat patterns seem to confirm my observation.
Dislikes: My only criticisms are minor and based more on my own build: I'm a short-legged rider. The twist of the saddle seems wide (but not uncomfortable) and the flaps are long, which leaves me with not much leg below the flap. Also, this may be my own ignorance or my particular equipment, but no matter how I adjust the girth on the billets, it becomes very bulky under the flap. I don't notice the bulk when I ride, but it causes the flaps to fly outwards when no one is mounted.
Quality: The workmanship seems excellent. The billets are real leather and appear to be easily replaceable. Everything with the construction is solid and tight. The equisuede not only looks great, but feels wonderful to the touch and provides grip. The leather-like material on the flaps and panels is durable, pliable, and not slippery at all. I purchased my saddle in brown, and I've grown to love the color; it matches my havana tack beautifully. The seat seems true to size as compared to other brands.
Summary: This is my first time owning a Wintec and I am sold on the product. For the price point, I don't think there is a better saddle on the market.
Author: Lisa W.
Usefulness Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
2 reader(s) voted.
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