Manufacturer: Wintec (View all products by Wintec)
Model: Close Contact Saddle in Caramel (View all Close Contact Saddle in Caramel reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I bought it at Dover for $499. It came with the interchangeable gullet kit and measuring bracket.
Likes: The price! This is the same saddle as the Bates leather model! My foxhunting friends have other Wintec models and seem to really like them. They require no care. I've ridden in the Bates leather version and cannot tell much difference between it and this Wintec. It's really comfortable - I hunted in it the same day it arrived. It hit the deck in the mud once, and all I did was hose it off and wipe it clean. The adjustable gullet system is the best in any saddle. I have had no problems with this saddle rubbing any of my horses or hurting their backs. I throw in the trailer and go. I never worry about hurting it.
Dislikes: Well, if it didn't actually say WINTEC on the stirrup leather keeper, nobody would know this was a pleather saddle! I get asked about it all the time, but when people hear it's a Wintec, they kind of say, "Oh..." and look away! I do wish the billets were made of something else... In the cold they get really stiff - as plastic sometimes does - which makes it hard to get the girth to tighten up. My saddle has plastic stretch marks because of this. It's not been a problem.
Quality: The only problem I had was getting the extra wide gullet in the saddle. This isn't the easiest thing to do - changing the widths. I broke a screw right off the bat. I'm dealing with it and haven't had to change the gullet yet. The ability to change the widths, as opposed to a saddle that doesn't fit correctly, is better at any rate.
Summary: I love this color! It looks like leather, and nobody knows it isn't unless they touch it. It matches my leather bridle perfectly. (I like lighter colored tack.) It can get a bit slippery if you are wearing breeches, but I have some Sadl-tite that I smear on it so I stick like glue. I wouldn't buy the pleather Wintec stirrup leathers! I have real leather for safety. (My plastic Wintec reins, bridle, and martingale have all broken under the rigors of foxhunting.)
Usefulness Rating: 2.8 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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