Manufacturer: Wintec (View all products by Wintec)
Model: 2000 A/P with CAIR (View all All Purpose 2000 with CAIR reviews)
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I got this saddle online from Adam's Horse Supplies, for a great price of $625, including a free $100 gullet set and free shipping. I got it because I wanted a rugged trail saddle for my Arabian that I could do endurance in as well as ride to the beach without worrying about harming leather. Also, I wanted an all purpose so I could jump and do some flat work as well.
Likes: I love this saddle! The equi-suede seat is wonderful, and keeps you in place no matter what your horse is doing! It is super comfortable, even on all day rides. The knee pads are wonderfully soft, and the velcro rolls beneath are great and stay put. Only once did one slide a bit, though I can't recall why. When I took this in saltwater, it got soaked through. All I did was rinse it down with a hose and oil the billets that day. For the next week, the equisuede loses its nice look and is kinda rough, but after that, riding in it restores it's natural softness.
Dislikes: I hate the CAIR panels! Do not get them! They sounded wonderful, and seem great how they conform to any horse. However, in person they are more like an over-inflated balloon against the horse's back, causing extreme bounce up and down every time we trot/canter. I use a nice quilted A/P pad with a polyester fleece/top quilted half pad, but after my first 25 mile LD ride, my horse had bumps on his back from the saddle bounce. Also, the leather billets are kind of a pain, as it's much easier to just rinse down the saddle without worrying about oiling and wondering whether they will be subject to rot due to the conditions. So far however(with only a few oilings), they are holding up well.
Quality: Great quality, this saddle will last you years! If only I could have normal, wool filled panels, I(and my Arab) would be in heaven. It has an equi(fake) suede seat/knee pads, thick, grained plastic flaps/underside, leather billets long enough for my 46" elastic girth to fit a horse that normally takes a 54", and a wonderfully comfortable seat.
Summary: I read one of the reviews on here about how a lady's stirrups slid off the bars up a hill and how she got seriously hurt. I was worried about that too as the bars are just curved, no safety latches, but no matter how steep of hill I did(and I mean STEEP), I never had a problem. However, once at the beach, my klutz of a young horse slipped and sat down on his butt in shallow water. I clung on to his neck, but the stirrups promptly slid off and so did I. However, this saved us from a possibly dangerous situation, and therefore I thank Wintec. Don't get CAIR!
Usefulness Rating: 2.4 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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