Manufacturer: Wintec (View all products by Wintec)
Model: Close Contact w/ CAIR (View all Close Contact with CAIR reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: Bought this for about $550 on ebay 2 or 3 years ago. Came with the gullet set, matching girth, stirrup leathers, and stirrups. Liked the shape and Wintec's reputation. Needed a saddle to fit my high-withered and medium-width Paint mare's back and this did the trick after several saddles didn't. Also needed something to hold up to my rigorous riding schedule.
Likes: It's a beautiful saddle, takes tons of work in stride and never looks any different. Well balanced... I can switch between this and my Crosby PDN with almost no trouble. The knee roll isn't huge and bulky, so my leg has plenty of freedom. Knee and thigh blocks are velcro'd and fully movable, so if I knew anything about positioning them then I'd get a perfect fit :) Comfortable seat is narrow but not sharp, with just enough padding to make for a comfortable ride with no bulk. Flaps are shaped well for versatility.
Dislikes: The easy-change gullet is not very easy-change. It is very difficult to get all the holes lined up enough to be able to get the screws fitted in. This isn't a horrible problem if you tend to be riding horses with similar shapes though. I've also had problems with the gullet screws falling back out. Wintec was happy to replace them for free, however. The only cosmetic blemish this saddle has picked up was pollen from a particularly yellow spring, so the fuzzy undersides of the flaps have a strange yellow look to them now. However, that's minor.
Quality: Very nice quality and extremely durable. I do wish it would hold the gullet screws better.
Summary: A very nice saddle that's guaranteed to fit your horse, but the Easy Change system is pretty misleading. Lovely for training and show. You can seriously do ANYTHING with this saddle.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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