Manufacturer: Wintec (View all products by Wintec)
Model: Pro Stock Australian (View all Pro Stock Australian reviews)
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle in 2006 after trying out a friend's Australian saddle and enjoying the security with my very spooky Arab. This horse was still green at the time and trail rides were a real experience! I paid about $1100 at a local saddle shop, probably closer to $1200 when I added accessories.
Likes: I LOVE this saddle! It is very secure, light weight and I can move it from horse to horse by changing the gullet. I also use it on my old QH now since the light weight is easier for his old joints to carry. I also really like that the stirrups hook on the saddle the same way that English stirrups do. That way they come off easily if the rider falls (trust me, I've tried out this part--did I mention that when I started the Arab he had been a pasture ornament for years and was VERY quick and VERY spooky. The stirrups are set a bit forward which I probably wouldn't have liked when I was young -- but now my aching knees say "thank you!" for the change in position. Having stirrups more forward is a more secure seat--although not a show ring look. Posting is not a problem at all, even on the occasional times why my Arab slows from his "ground eater" trot to a medium jog. I initially was wary of Aussie saddles because I had a bad experience years ago with a saddle that didn't fit me right. I felt confined in that saddle and couldn't feel the horse properly, so I thought it was every Aussie saddle and not just one one I tried. Not so, the Wintec Aussie (measured right for the rider and horse) has none of those problems.
Dislikes: I didn't like the way the saddle was rigged. It seemed too far forward and the back of the saddle had more movement in it than I liked. So I took it to my saddle shop and they changed the rigging to 3/4 which makes for a more secure fit. I also changed to western rigging which I prefer. The saddle seems to come forward a bit going down hill (which EVERY saddle I've tried on this horse does) and also there has been a little friction rubbing over his loins (also a recurring problem with this horse). He's a big moving, very short backed Arab and I can't find anything that will work better. I just ordered a Len Brown CorrecTOR pad which I think should solve this problem. There are a few scratches on the flaps, probably from my casual attitude about taking care of it. It is a trail saddle, meant for use--even though it looks sharp with a black breast collar and pad.
Quality: The quality of the unit seems fine. i have had no problem with stitching coming loose or anything else. I've used the saddle heavily in some pretty rough country and it's held up well.
Summary: I would definitely recommend this saddle to anyone who trail rides and likes a light, very secure saddle. Hopefully Wintec will eventually fix the rigging issue. Be sure to measure right for you and the horse when trying an Aussie saddle.
Author: Frieda Bruck
Usefulness Rating: 3.25 out of 5.
28 reader(s) voted.
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