Manufacturer: Wintec (View all products by Wintec)
Model: Close Contact Saddle (View all Close Contact Saddle reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle online from the Wintec website for a little over $550. My horse is a hard fit and still growing, so I decided to go with the Wintec because of it's easy change gullet system. I had it for less than six months before selling it.
Likes: It is easy to clean and because of the CAIR air flocking thing, it fits really well on horses with wide backs. It seems to fit my friends with longer or stockier legs very well, as it has a wide seat, and forward flaps that leave a lot of space for your leg.
Dislikes: For a 5'1", slim person like me, there was absolutely no stability. The seat swallowed me whole, even at my normal 17". My knees where about two to three inches from the knee roll even with short stirrups. In all, it is just TOO BIG for a small rider. As for my horse's fit, once I was on it fit alright, but even after changing the gullet not once but TWICE, there was still a large gap between the cantle and my horse because of the air flocking. The flaps don't soften, since it isn't leather, and they stood out stiff away from my horse's body. During the time I rode in it, my horse was very difficult to get round, because she didn't like the saddle. I have since sold it (for $350) to a taller, heavier friend who uses it on her Belgian X, and loves it.
Quality: Despite Wintec's attempt to make it look like leather, it still doesn't FEEL like leather, and doesn't bend like leather or give you the security of leather. I wouldn't buy a CAIR system saddle ever again. I really would rather have good old fashioned flocking.
Summary: If you are petite, or your horse is petite or a hard fit, this is NOT a good saddle for you. You would be better off spending that same amount on a high quality, used saddle. I replaced my Wintec with a used Dominus CC for $500, and my horse and I both love it.
Usefulness Rating: 2.9 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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