View Full Version : new Wintec Pro for wide, scoopy backs?

Oct. 9, 2010, 01:59 AM
In the interest of actually having a saddle to ride in within a reasonable amount of time I am thinking of buying a new Wintec Pro, maybe with the external blocks. I am slowly realizing that finding a good used saddle that will fit me (small seat size) and my Arab (wide, scoopy back) may take longer than I want to wait since I don't have a saddle to ride in at all right now.

The new Pro model looks nice enough, the price is right, and I've liked the Wintecs that I've ridden in before. It rains a lot in Oregon and it would also be nice to be able to ride out in the saddle without worrying about ruining it. But I have read conflicting opinions online as to whether the Wintec (or Bates in general) saddles will fit an Arab, or any horse with a wide scoopy back.

Here's a photo of Danny showing the aforementioned back:


Any experiences with the new Wintec Pro? I would also look for an old Pro except that (call me shallow) I think the new one looks much nicer. However, if the old one would fit Danny better I will look for one of those.

Oct. 9, 2010, 02:24 AM
The wintec tree tends to fit the flatter backs better.

Hampton Bay
Oct. 9, 2010, 02:31 AM
I wouldn't get a Wintec for a wide and scoopy horse either. They don't fit wide well, nor do they fit a curvier profile well. I think you would find that it's just a very poor fit in general.

Oct. 9, 2010, 04:41 AM
the wintecs pinch wide horses right under the stirrup bars. It damaged my mares back. the thorowgood t4 from dover wlll fit this build much better, has better panels for weight distribution, and doesn't pinch under the stirrup bars. I speak from experience. and the thorowgood is cheaper. the standard tree with probably an xwide gullet is what you will need for him, but there is a chart and directions on thorowgoods website explaining how to determine which \\saddle fit ((cob, regular, high wither_\ and which gullet is right for your horse. there is even a short video explaining how to fit their saddles.

mzm farm
Oct. 9, 2010, 02:16 PM
I have a critter who is "curvy" to the extreme and wide back plus wither, after MANY saddles, I found we both like the older Thorowgood Maxam best, our second favorite is the Niedersuss, and we both did ok but were not thrilled with a Kieffer we tried.

I have not tried the new Wintec, but would tend to agree on the older models - they seem to do very well with a flat back. I have one that fits a couple of my mares that are built flat and wide and they are very happy in it.

Oct. 9, 2010, 02:38 PM
I have the new Wintec Pro in my barn. Bought specifically for a narrowish flat backed mare. Fits her well. I do not think it would fit a more curvy backed horse well at all.

I second the Thoroughgood T4 as a good economy option.

Oct. 9, 2010, 04:02 PM
The Wintec Pro can be fitted to the wide, scoopy back by having a saddle fitter remove and rearrange flocking. That increases the original price of the saddle. So keep that in mind.

I have a thorowgood that fits my wide, scoopy backs quite nicely. It's rather comfortable. This one is older. I've been impressed with the newer ones but haven't had a justifiable reason to purchase one yet -- I'm working on it.

Oct. 9, 2010, 04:32 PM
I tried one on my Arab mare - she isn't even as scoopy as yours, but the panels on the new wintecs are so flat I didn't even bother girthing it up or riding in it. I cannot imagine it would fit your horse. I am also considering the Thorowgood, but the standard tree. Don't get the cob tree, as that also has really flat panels.

Oct. 10, 2010, 03:02 AM
Thanks for the info. The Thorowgood looks interesting but does not come in a 16" seat. If I have to go up to a 17" then I am inclined rather to start looking at the universe of used 17" saddles out there to fit Danny, which looks much more extensive than the relative paucity of 16-16.5" saddles.

I brought home a couple of saddles to try out today. Both Niedersuss, one is the Symphony (I think -- serial number indicates made in 1994 and does not have model name stamped on flap) and one is a Largo (Hippostar). They appear to be very similar, but the Hippostar has a three-point billet thing going on and might be slightly deeper as the seat size is a cm larger than the Symphony but the Hippostar appears to be smaller. I hope I like the Symphony better since the Hippostar's owner wants nearly list price for it.

Oct. 10, 2010, 10:42 PM
I tried a Wintec - a most uncomfortable saddle for me and did not fit the Arab at all!

What finally ended up fitting my horse was a Luc Childeric - not the most common saddle around, but if you can find one, give it a try. Don't know about the sizes either. I realize it's a long shot, but thought I would just throw it out there just in case. They can be pricey but the one I found was someone getting out of horses and just wanted to get rid of it.

The Thornhill I tried was oh-so-close to fitting, comfortable, and very reasonable. Just a tad too wide (unusual).

I also tried a Duett, which I liked, but it was a tad too narrow.

Things that did not fit: Passier GG, Albion, HDR, Arabian Saddle Co. (Lovatt & Ricketts), new style Kieffers (an older Kieffer Aachen all purpose fits quite well), Smith & Worthington.

Again, be patient and try everything. I am now trying to gird myself to buy a trail riding saddle. Sure hope that goes easier...

Good luck!

Oct. 10, 2010, 11:42 PM
What saddle did the previous owners have him in? If I remember your story it was in a different discipline but knowing the make of saddle that fit him reasonably well before could help you get started. Also you could purchase a bareback pad with surcingle and ride him around at the walk in that just so you two can get to know each other.

Do you know anyone that collects saddles who you could convince to let you try a bunch of their saddles? Even if its just placing it on your horse's back.

Oct. 11, 2010, 01:57 AM
Where he was last they mostly rode him Western (no idea what type of Western saddle) and the girl hacked him around in a Stubben jump saddle. I am not sure any of the saddles they used fit him particularly well as none were "his" saddle, but they didn't seem to fit him poorly enough to bother him. I rarely see ads for Stubbens for sale in the size combo I am looking for.

Oldernewbie, was the wide tree Thornhill too wide, or did you try an X-wide? If I can order a Vienna II from somewhere that will let me try it out before buying it then I will try one out. They seem to be very popular.

Oct. 11, 2010, 03:20 AM
check adamshorsesupply.com. I believe they allow trial of the Thornhill saddles. I have purchased from them before and they have been easy to work with.

Oct. 11, 2010, 02:44 PM
Oldernewbie, was the wide tree Thornhill too wide, or did you try an X-wide? If I can order a Vienna II from somewhere that will let me try it out before buying it then I will try one out. They seem to be very popular.

It was this exact one:


If I could have found this saddle in maybe a 34 cm it probably would have been perfect. It was just wide enough that when I sat in it, the pommel was almost on Monty's spine. Just barely left two fingers. A real shame because it fit everywhere else, had a nice sweet spot for my seat, and was a great price.

From your description of yourself, this saddle would have been huge for you.

Wanted to mention that I tried a Hennig as well and really liked that too, altho the one I tried belonged to someone in my barn and the seat was too small for me. Horse seemed to like it though. They are unfortunately not cheap tho.

If you just want something cheap to hack around in, I have an XW all purpose saddle that we could talk about. German made, reasonable price. Fit my boy pretty well and was a little small for me, so you might be able to use it. PM me if you'd like more info.

Oct. 11, 2010, 03:01 PM
I used to say yes -- I now say no. The changeable tree design makes for short tree points, which are poor weight distributors. It's really not a good fit for a really curved back either. I have two of these types of trees, a friend has a third. Now I am battling white hairs and I am selling this saddle (I've fought with fit for over a year). I ride a lot though, maybe it wouldn't suffer so much under the casual pleasure rider?

Check out the Thoroughgoods, they have much longer tree points. Our local saddle shop has stopped selling the Wintecs since the new models came out and now only stocks the TGs since the new Wintecs are fitting so many horses so poorly.

Oct. 11, 2010, 03:32 PM
Thanks again. I'm going to have the rule out the Thorowgood, and Teknas (suggested to me on another board) as they don't come smaller than a 17". I might have SOME luck finding a used 17" that'll fit Danny since there are so many available and I'd rather have a nice older leather saddle than a new synthetic for the same price range. But I'd rather find a smaller saddle that also fits me if possible.

Off to check out Adams...

Oct. 12, 2010, 10:07 AM
Another vote for "NO" on the Wintec Pro. I tried one out, and my horse didn't even have a really scoopy back, but his back sloped upwards towards his loins, and the back edges of the panels on the Pro DUG into his back. To top it off they have a VERY hard seam there, and that's the part that contacts the horses back. Seemed like it would be very painful if a rider was adding weight to it also. I didn't even ride in it for fear my horse would have a fit about it!

If you are looking for inexpensive but NICE saddles for scoopier backs, try to find a Marcel Toulouse. They all have the slightly upswept panel designs, and talk about a nice leather saddle for the price! It's Argentine made, but the quality is very good. I found mine "used" for $500. It was actually still new with the tags on it, but someone had traded it in as used. Even new ones are only around $1100 and well worth it! They are also available in 16.5" seats, but they don't seem to run very large anyways, they are pretty deep. I've had mine for a year now and it still looks brand new and is the most comfortable saddle I've ever had, and fit my curvy backed horse very well. I've had 2 other people ride in it also and LOVED it. I have a new horse now that has a shorter, scoopier back and it fits him great too! And my saddle is an 18.5" but with the upswept panels it does not hit his loins.

Classic Saddlery carries them and I'd bet she does trials:

Oct. 12, 2010, 01:18 PM
classic saddlery does do trials, definitely.

Oct. 13, 2010, 03:44 PM
Yes definitely do a trial with any Marcel Toulouse saddle (made by this Argentinian company http://www.cuerossantacruz.com/prueba/sitio_SC_base_02.swf ) as they can differ substantially between individual, same model saddles.

My experience: saddles made on the "same" tree & to the same seat size, fit the same horse dramatically differently: 1 was too narrow, 1 was too wide (uhmmm only the leather finish was supposed to differ), they were just completely different in shape, a 3rd saddle had thigh blocks & knee rolls that did not match between the R & L sides of the saddle, when I placed the saddle cantle on the floor & really looked for tree straightness,
it wasn't :eek:
I had been in contact with a very helpful rep for these saddles, when I emailed her about my observations, she suddenly dropped out of contact :no:

I did alot of searching on the internet for feedback on these saddles, there are some happy customers & some very not-happy customers, I asked the saddle fitter her opinion (she reluctantly admitted that she'd pulled some apart to look at the trees & would never use one personally) ... As one might expect, the wool stuffing is variable (I didn't see the filling, this is more hearsay from 2 different saddle fitters).

OK so this was back in March/April & I still got tempted by the Classic Saddlery Clearance prices :uhoh: especially on the Pariani versions (the leather is wonderful on the ones I've seen) ... afterall FP is only 3 & we'll be lucky to get a year out of a saddle anyway ...