Manufacturer: Wintec (View all products by Wintec)
Model: Pro Stock w/ CAIR (View all Pro Stock w/ CAIR reviews)
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: Mail order from State Line Tack for about $900 6 years ago. Good service. Only felt like it took forever because I really wanted it.
Likes: I know it may sound weird to review an Australian stock saddle in the Dressage category, but please bear with me for a moment. If you close your eyes so you don't see the gold stitching and brass D rings and you ignore the thigh wings, your hind end and legs will tell you that this is a fine Dressage saddle. The seat is deep and very close to the horse's back. The high cantle gives plenty of support during even the most enthusiastic depart and the pomel/gullet is high/deep enough to give my high withered ex-racing thoroughbred plenty of room. The twist is in just the right place and just the right width for me. This saddle has never gotten in the way of communication between my seat and his back or my legs and his ribs. The stirrup bars are placed so that my legs hang straight beneath me. My body position in this saddle feels nearly identical to when I ride in my Wintec Pro Dressage. My saddle is the 18". I need every one of those inches as I'm no dainty flower at 6' and 235lbs. Between the good position this saddle allows me and the CAIR panels my horse has never had to suffer a saddle induced back ache. The changeable gullets have also made it oh so easy to fit the saddle to his shoulders as his shape changes with training. So how about the wings? Before I bought this saddle my knucklehead had me off several times in training induced temper tantrums. Although he is much better now he is still an untrustworthy git on trail and the wings have helped me stay well seated during some spectacular spooks and fits.
Dislikes: I'm not a huge fan of the brass rings and gold stitching. I'd prefer stainless rings and I'm afraid that I let my saddle stay dirtier than it needs to be to dull down the stitching.
Quality: Wintec make quality stuff. The equisuede wears well and the stitching is tight. I do wonder what will happen as the CAIR bladders age, but I'm sure Wintec will do right by me should they ever fail
Summary: It doesn't look like a dressage saddle, you won't show in it and your friends might look at you funny when you ride but it feels and rides like a great dressage saddle. Its also an excellent insurance policy if you are teaching young horses, rehabilitating retired race horses or if your horse is prone to losing his mind.
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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