View Full Version : Who shows in a Wintec Isabell? Or any Wintec for that matter...

Dec. 29, 2010, 06:30 PM
What are your showing experiences in a Wintec?

Dec. 29, 2010, 06:59 PM
Frankly, I've never heard anyone point out or otherwise comment on synthetic saddles. And anyway, the only person whose opinion matters is the judge. I wouldn't spend any time worrying about it.

Dec. 29, 2010, 07:24 PM
A lady at my barn shows in a Wintec Isabell. Considering that she normally wins every class they've entered - it doesn't seem to be an issue.

Dec. 29, 2010, 08:07 PM
I've shown in one with no issues. I showed my gelding at 3rd level (and got my bronze) in one, before I got the gelding a different saddle. I use the same saddle on my young horses. My 5 yo used (and showed in it) this spring 'til I bought her her own, I don't think anyone even noticed it was a synthetic.

Dec. 29, 2010, 08:31 PM
I've got the Isabel. It has velcro thigh blocks. I removed the large ones and use the thinner ones. Here's a pic of the saddle last year on my mare who was then 4. The saddle does gives me a bit of a forward tilt, but I've not found it to fit that way on every horse (or every rider).


I guess my point in posting the picture is, it's not all that obvious that this is a synthetic saddle!

Dec. 29, 2010, 08:37 PM
I too have shown in a wintec with no negative repercussions. As long as all is neat, clean and tidy I don't think anyone of merit is evaluating the brand of saddle when one goes down the centerline.

Dec. 29, 2010, 09:02 PM
I have had numerous young horses, and they all started in a Wintec, for exactly the same reason you are pondering it. I had an ancient Pro - actually more than one, as I replaced one Pro with another at some point. They all showed in the Wintec too. I showed one of my horses through Second (at recognized shows), in it, got the scores at Second toward my Bronze and then decided she really HAD earned a 'real' saddle. ;)

Like others have said, I doubt anyone really noticed.

Dec. 29, 2010, 09:25 PM
10 years ago, I also bought a flocked Wintec 500 dressage saddle for an unstarted 3 year old Hanoverian mare that I'd just bought. She liked it, so did the next young Hanoverian mare I bought a few years later. I'm still riding in it, and I've shown up to 3rd Level in it.

Dec. 29, 2010, 09:28 PM
We've tried many different saddles over the years and keep coming back to the Wintecs. Our guy Meisterwind show through GP in a Wintec Isabel. Now in our tack room is, a 09 Pro, flocked with the contour blocs, an old Pro, and an all purpose which is the youngster starting saddle. Mr. NoDQhere loves the new Pro and shows in it. Never a comment from anyone.

Touchstone Farm
Dec. 29, 2010, 09:36 PM
The judges don't care what you ride in, as long as it is conducive to a good riding position and doesn't make you sit incorrectly or ineffectively.

Dec. 29, 2010, 10:24 PM
I ride in one all the time, and compete in it. You can compete in one all the way through GP.

Dec. 29, 2010, 10:27 PM
I have directly asked over 25 judges and NONE of them penalize a rider for using a Wintec. Not once. They all said something along the lines of "Why would I do that?"

Dec. 29, 2010, 10:46 PM
I have pretty much always ridden in a Wintec Pro. I had an old one, and recently got a new one. I've competed every level through GP and love it. Anyone who would give you grief for riding in a synthetic saddle is beneath contempt. I really found I like the Pro because it is flatter and leaves you more room to ride as you need instead of holding you in, which is essential the higher level you go.

As a judge, I've never actually had the time to look at tack, or hairdos, or whatever. That is not your job unless it's affecting performance. Get what works for you, and who cares what anyone else thinks?

Dec. 29, 2010, 11:43 PM
Thanks HannoMerci! I bred the mare and she's definitely my pride and joy:)

My Isabel has the cair system, but if I purchased one now, it would probably be the wool flocked.

Dec. 30, 2010, 09:16 AM
I've shown through 2nd level in a Wintec Isabelle - no one ever commented or even noticed.

Here (http://www.mysticoakranch.com/aboutus/aboutmichele.html) is a picture of us (the pinto) at one of the shows - it was a rated show, multiple rings, and we won the class, so obviously the saddle didn't cost me any points :lol: I have actually seen a few people show into the upper levels in Wintecs - less common, of course, but perfectly legal. I don't think judges even notice unless the saddle obviously doesn't fit you or the horse and causes problems.

Hampton Bay
Dec. 30, 2010, 09:26 AM
I would pass on buying anything from Wintec. They have known issues with the tree points cracking, and they also happen to have the worst customer service in the world. By the time my saddle (hopefully) is fixed, it will have been a whole year since I noticed the issue, AND they put some big scratches in the leather the first time they had it. And they didn't seem to care at all.


Dec. 30, 2010, 09:32 AM
My Daughter shows FEI in a Wintec Pro and bought a second Pro for her young mare.

Never once has there been a comment nor would I have ever expected it.

Next thing you know we will be discussing TS Breeches and the correlation to our ribbons :lol:

Dec. 30, 2010, 09:44 AM
I would pass on buying anything from Wintec. They have known issues with the tree points cracking, and they also happen to have the worst customer service in the world. By the time my saddle (hopefully) is fixed, it will have been a whole year since I noticed the issue, AND they put some big scratches in the leather the first time they had it. And they didn't seem to care at all.


I'm not seeing any history of cracks and multiple people having issues. I think you have an axe to grind. It sounds like you were just unlucky. It happens. Complaining about customer service is one thing, painting all the saddles from one company with a broad brush because of one personal bad experience is really reaching. Stating they have "known issues with tree points cracking" when you can't back that up with fact is a libelous statement.

Also, your issue was with a Bates. Which is the leather version and has some differences. The Wintecs are awesome and wear like iron, based on my experiences with them over 10 years and six different saddles (mine and those of student's).

Dec. 30, 2010, 10:08 AM
I don't know about showing with them, I assume its not noticable to anyone unless they scruitinize, and then, so what.

I think the important thing about them is that they fit you and the horse. I have used some wintecs which put my leg too far forward and some which didin't. One of the ones which didn't fit me correctly fit me correctly on an entirely different horse, so, Depening on the combination of how they fit on your horse and where they put you in the saddle and his center of gravity thingy, I would just be sure they are fitting correctly.

I say, if the shoe fits, wear it!

Hampton Bay
Dec. 30, 2010, 10:39 AM
The trees are the same in Bates and Wintec saddles. I have also personally known quite a few people with the same issues I have had. All with the points of the tree breaking.

Dec. 30, 2010, 10:49 AM
The trees are the same in Bates and Wintec saddles. I have also personally known quite a few people with the same issues I have had. All with the points of the tree breaking.

And I could probably point to a LOT more people with great experiences, so I'm still having a hard time giving your comments much weight (meaning that it's a known issue). I know that the Bates and Wintec use the same trees on many saddles (they have slightly different ones for some of the saddles). My point still stands that even though you link to something out here that says there's a problem, it's still your subject and you were the only one citing a problem.

If there really was a wide spread issue, I would think that more people would be talking about it more often. Is it a new issue? Meaning only with a brand new style? Do you have any other online sources you can link to? That would help others believe that you are not alone.

Bethe Mounce
Dec. 30, 2010, 10:52 AM
What fits your horse and you is what is best....for anyone to even consider thinking less of a horse and rider combination because the saddle is not leather is ridiculous. I ride and show in a Wintec Pro, purchased 10 or so years ago and have never looked back. My saddle fits all my horses and me. That is the most critical factor. What someone else thinks of my saddle is not my concern. How my horse goes is my concern. I have several saddles...Pariani, Stubben and Wintec. None of them are brand new, all fit all my horses...my Pariani they don't make anymore, my Stubben, they don't make it in that way anymore and my Wintec...have no idea if the Pro is still made the same way. Back in the day we didn't have "saddle fitters," we knew if the saddle fit or not. Now....people spend thousands on "custom" saddles and saddle fitters....more power to them. I have seen more "custom" saddles not fit the horse when the saddle arrives than I have seen "fit" the horse. Oh well....I am happy with my saddles, my horses and life is good! ;)

Dec. 30, 2010, 12:04 PM
Hampton, I've used an Isabelle for riding young horses for years - same saddle, no problems with the tree points? It fits a wide range of horses, and when I'm not using it, various friends have borrowed it, so the saddle has been used a LOT and must be at least 6 or 7 years old now. I also have a Bates all purpose (also for starting babies in), and have no problems with it. I liked the Isabelle enough to buy the leather version, but it didn't fit my horse as well, so I ultimately sold it. No problem with that one either, and I sold it to someone I know who is still riding in it. A friend has used a Wintec Pro for many years on many different horses. No problems with it.

I think ALL saddles have some examples of problems - I've got a Custom for my X-wide horse, and am quite happy with it, but I know someone who had a tree crack in their new Custom. That doesn't mean the saddles are a problem, just that specific saddle had a flaw. I know another person with a (beautiful but greatly overpriced imho) DK that has had more fitting problems then I would want to deal with and constantly slow-leaking bladders, but that doesn't mean DKs are bad saddles. I know another person who had a Schleese where the tree was bad - again, I wouldn't condemn all Schleeses (and amazingly, that was the toughest, worst service of all the saddle problems I've heard of). I think there are too many people happy with their Wintecs to condemn the saddle... IMHO of course...

Dec. 30, 2010, 01:36 PM
I do not personally ride in a Wintec, but I have a barn mate that does. She really loves it!

I also believe there's a little bit of a stigma, but just like you stated, for a year or so, who cares? I say go for it. Especially with the gullet changing system... great for your growing girl. :)

Dec. 30, 2010, 02:14 PM
I've been riding/showing in an Isabell for years (recognized shows, open division) and have been very happy with it! So happy, I just bought a new one for my new 4 year old! Jeffers has them on sale right now, so I couldn't resist :) http://www.jeffersequine.com/uniquely-english/camid/EQU/cc/240/c2c/tn/ The one I got was CAIR, but it doesn't specify on the website, might be worth a call to see if they have the flocked one if that makes a huge difference to you. I've never seen these at a better price, and the shipping was free and it came in like 2 days!

Dec. 30, 2010, 02:40 PM
Thanks Gallant! I've been looking for an Isabell on and off...that's my perfect price and they even had my size...:D Ordered!

Dec. 30, 2010, 03:57 PM
I show Third level on an OTTB in a Wintec Isabell. Maybe we're low rent, but we're pretty successful. The nice thing about dressage is that none of that stuff actually matters to the judge. I love that saddle, it fits every horse. And as for durability, I'm still riding in a 20 year old Wintec all purpose that also fits everything.

Hampton Bay
Dec. 30, 2010, 07:34 PM


a couple posts down, and then another poster with the same issue in the last post


Scroll down a bit for someone else with the same issue

third post down, then again two down from that

My ex-boarder had the same issue with hers, but never bothered to have it fixed. Two other friends have had the same problem with newer Wintec Isabells, both of whom eventually had the saddles replaced, though it was a fight to get it done.

Would you like me to look for more examples?

Dec. 30, 2010, 09:22 PM
Used to. They are fine for any type of recognized show. Really, it doesn't matter if you are sitting on a real or pretend dead cow.

I sold mine because it hurt my horse in the end, tree points were too short and did not distribute weight properly. I have had two other friends who had the tree points on theirs snap after a few years -- the plastic degrades in heat over time and doesn't stand up to heavy riding very well. One cracked and shifted, the other snapped completely off and was floating around. But obviously, this doesn't happen to every single one, you might have better luck. I think if you keep all your receipts, they do (or used to) have a tree guarantee, if you can get it honoured.

Carol O
Jan. 2, 2011, 08:49 PM
I proudly showed in a Wintec Isabell through the levels, on several horses. I even showed FEI, though badly, in a Wintec. I do not blame the Wintec for riding FEI badly, it was more a matter of having much to learn at that level.... wait....
Maybe I can blame thae saddle....
That's it! It wasn't me.... It must have been the saddle!


Jan. 3, 2011, 10:06 AM
well, at least you didn't blame the horse!