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View Full Version : New 2010 Wintec Isabell vs original model?



NJRider
Jan. 30, 2011, 10:04 AM
This is a spin off of the thread about the Isabell vs the new pro. Is there anyone out there familiar with the original Isabell that has ridden in the new 2010 model? Would like to hear their thoughts and opinions. The new one looks like it has an exterior block that is similar to the new Wintec Pro contour block. So I wonder if there are any similarities there?

MysticOakRanch
Jan. 30, 2011, 10:21 AM
I'm wondering the same thing about the leather (Bates) version, old Isabelle vs. new one!

NJRider
Jan. 30, 2011, 10:25 AM
That is a good question. I have the original Wintec Isabell, the year they came out with them, I think 1996 or so I got one and still have it. Cannot kill it, I swear. I rode in a friend's leather Bates Isabell and did not like it at all, which was weird, since I like my Wintec so much.

MysticOakRanch
Jan. 30, 2011, 10:30 AM
That is a good question. I have the original Wintec Isabell, the year they came out with them, I think 1996 or so I got one and still have it. Cannot kill it, I swear. I rode in a friend's leather Bates Isabell and did not like it at all, which was weird, since I like my Wintec so much.

I have a Wintec that is probably 8 years old, same experience, it has been through how many young horses now, and still looks good. I tried the Bates withthe "grained" leather and hated it, hated it, hated it. Hurt my hips, rode funky, and the leather felt like something made in India. Then tried the smooth leather, and it was much better - rode very similar to the Wintec version. It looks like the new Bates Isabelle may be the smooth leather. I'm eager to sit in both the Wintec and Bates versions!

Perfect Pony
Jan. 30, 2011, 01:27 PM
I am thinking about buying this saddle as well, so I am anxious to hear from someone that has one. My biggest question is the seat size, as I fit in a 17.5-18 and never know what to buy in any given saddle. Is the seat as deep as the old model?

trainingtree
Mar. 12, 2011, 11:30 PM
Found this thread as I was just about to ask the same question. Any updates? Anyone that has ridden in the older Isabelle have any reviews of the 2010 model?

artisticgold
Mar. 15, 2011, 04:10 PM
Thought I would revive this thread since I had several 'old' Wintec Isabells, and now have a new one that I bought for my older mare that came back to me. Right out of the box with the medium gullet it fits her quite well, despite her having high withers, and no topline to speak of right now. I was concerned as I thought it was only for flat backed horses, but the cair panels fit her well all the way back, and it's not too long on her either. As she fills out, the gullet can be adjusted as she builds muscle on the sides of her withers and back.

As far as riding in it, definitely much improved, it is a very secure saddle, but doesn't make you feel trapped or unable to move about like the 'old' one did. I am 5'2", 110 pounds, and the 17" is generously sized for me. The old ones in a 17" felt rather small. I think the seat may be a little more open and flatter, so that it rides bigger than the old ones. I LOVE the security and stability of this saddle, the stirrup bars are placed a bit further back, and it helps me with my longer femur/upper leg, as many saddles have too forward of bars, and put me in a chair seat. I was effortlessly able to maintain a good position, be very effective, and never feel like I would come out of it. It's great for my confidence, since I have back and neck issues, and certainly don't like to think of leaving the saddle unexpectedly. She had one big spook, and I never moved on her. Overall, I was able to sit or post with no effort, rising is easy - don't have to fight to steady myself, and sitting wasn't bouncy or difficult.

The true test will be how my low back feels tomorrow, hopefully it doesn't irritate it. I usually ride in a custom Schleese Triumph, but almost think I might prefer this saddle as it is a bit closer to the horse. Will let you all know if I can move tomorrow....lol

Perfect Pony
Mar. 15, 2011, 04:18 PM
I bought a new one a few weeks ago. Just sitting in it it does have a MUCH roomier seat than the older ones, my 17.5 is very generous. The twist is a bit narrower, but is then quite wide under my thighs, not thrilled with that but it is fine. The only problem I am having is that it seems to tip me quite a bit forward. I have the flocked model and have a saddle fitter coming to work on it this Saturday.

The pony seems to like it and go well enough in it. I like the feel of it so I am hoping the fitter can get it even better.

53
Dec. 12, 2011, 12:52 AM
Hoping to revive this thread.

I'm currently having no fun saddle shopping after my saddle fitter said my prestige didn't fit my horse, but did say that my original wintec isabell did fit, and to ride in that for now.

Another COTHer suggested that if I liked my Isabell so much, to look at the new Bates Isabells.

So I've done a little research. It looks like there are older Bates Isabells, which were made as early as 2002? I can find a few used ones, which are a tempting price.

Can anyone give feedback on the "New Bates Isabell"? http://www.doversaddlery.com/article.asp?ai=396

I love my original Wintec Isabell. I ride all my babies in it and love the fit, seat, etc. If I could replicate it in leather, with wool flocking, I'd be in saddle heaven. But I'm not sure if I should gamble with a used Bates Isabell (there are ones out there with wool flocking), or go for a "New Bates Isabell"?

Thoughts?

TIA!

Perfect Pony
Dec. 12, 2011, 11:47 AM
I love my original Wintec Isabell. I ride all my babies in it and love the fit, seat, etc. If I could replicate it in leather, with wool flocking, I'd be in saddle heaven. But I'm not sure if I should gamble with a used Bates Isabell (there are ones out there with wool flocking), or go for a "New Bates Isabell"?

Thoughts?

I have ridden in both, the old vs new Isabell are very, very different. If you really like the old one you might want to find an old model Bates Isabell and take it on trial. FYI, the new model Wintec/Bates have synthetic flocking, not wool, but they can be adjusted. I liked the new Isabell, but needed to go down an entire size versus the older model.

You really should try them if you can.

53
Dec. 12, 2011, 12:55 PM
I have ridden in both, the old vs new Isabell are very, very different. If you really like the old one you might want to find an old model Bates Isabell and take it on trial. FYI, the new model Wintec/Bates have synthetic flocking, not wool, but they can be adjusted. I liked the new Isabell, but needed to go down an entire size versus the older model.

You really should try them if you can.

Thanks!

Any thoughts on the flocking (on either old or new) vs CAIR? I have CAIR on my old wintec isabell, I don't think they offered flocking back then. I have to say I like my old wintec and have never had an issue with my CAIR, but having learned more about saddles lately, I feel like flocking might add more adjustability down the road, any thoughts?

cheektwocheek
Dec. 12, 2011, 01:01 PM
I just purchased the new pro flocked with contourbloc, arrives this week. Curious to see if I purchased the wrong one. Much easier to find someone to reflock than adjust the cair system.

Perfect Pony
Dec. 12, 2011, 01:10 PM
Thanks!

Any thoughts on the flocking (on either old or new) vs CAIR? I have CAIR on my old wintec isabell, I don't think they offered flocking back then. I have to say I like my old wintec and have never had an issue with my CAIR, but having learned more about saddles lately, I feel like flocking might add more adjustability down the road, any thoughts?

Both can be slightly adjusted by someone who works with them, there is synthetic flocking around the cair panels. I think some of it is personal preference, I really dislike the feel of cair and I have known some horses to get sore or irritated by it. But others love it. If your horse goes well with the wintec w/cair I would think you would be okay with the Bates w/cair.

The "flocked" wintec is not as adjustable as a nice wool flocked saddle btw. One can have it fully reflocked with better flocking down the road.

The old model Isabell can be found without cair, but they only made a few for a couple years, they can be coveted and people don't let them go.

netg
Dec. 12, 2011, 01:15 PM
I have a Wintec that is probably 8 years old, same experience, it has been through how many young horses now, and still looks good. I tried the Bates withthe "grained" leather and hated it, hated it, hated it. Hurt my hips, rode funky, and the leather felt like something made in India. Then tried the smooth leather, and it was much better - rode very similar to the Wintec version. It looks like the new Bates Isabelle may be the smooth leather. I'm eager to sit in both the Wintec and Bates versions!

I rode a friend's horse for the Thanksgiving week, and absolutely detested her grained leather Isabell. I'm taking him again over Christmas, and told her I will only ride in her jumping saddle because of the above being my observations, too. The shape of the saddle forced movement in my mid-back and prevented proper movement in my hips. Just yuck!


I think it's good news that the new ones are totally different, from my experience!

baref00t
Dec. 12, 2011, 01:16 PM
I have an older style Bates Isabell with CAIR and LOVE it. I primarily ride Thoroughbreds, but it fits almost every horse I put it on. I rode in my trainer's Wintec Isabell before buying it and it's practically the same saddle but with leather. My only disappointment when I got it was that the seat wasn't nearly as grippy as the Wintec, but it's still a comfortable and functional everyday saddle.

As for the flocking, I've never had an issue with the CAIR. Saddle fitters don't like it, but my vet and chiropractor don't seem to have a problem with it so long as my saddle fits. I've been amazed because I can NOT get my wool flocked custom fit Schleese to fit my horse (who is a classic TB with absurdly big withers and a relatively narrow back), but my Bates with CAIR fits him like a glove. My horses' backs have changed over the years and between the gullets and various half pads (I have a Thinline and a Mattes) I've always been able to get a good enough fit so that I feel comfortable using the saddle 4-5 times a week on my horse.

I haven't ridden in a new model but a girl at my barn got one and I don't like how it looks. The old model has a pretty deep seat but it seems as though they've somehow made it even deeper- perhaps constrictively so. If you decide on a new model, you may want to sit in it first because it barely looks like the old model in person (I don't think it looks that different in the catalog).

53
Dec. 12, 2011, 01:30 PM
Both can be slightly adjusted by someone who works with them, there is synthetic flocking around the cair panels. I think some of it is personal preference, I really dislike the feel of cair and I have known some horses to get sore or irritated by it. But others love it. If your horse goes well with the wintec w/cair I would think you would be okay with the Bates w/cair.

The "flocked" wintec is not as adjustable as a nice wool flocked saddle btw. One can have it fully reflocked with better flocking down the road.

The old model Isabell can be found without cair, but they only made a few for a couple years, they can be coveted and people don't let them go.

I think I have found a used older Isabell with flocking, am currently emailing with the seller. But it sounds like I should sit in the new ones too. Thanks for all your advice!

53
Dec. 12, 2011, 01:32 PM
I have an older style Bates Isabell with CAIR and LOVE it. I primarily ride Thoroughbreds, but it fits almost every horse I put it on. I rode in my trainer's Wintec Isabell before buying it and it's practically the same saddle but with leather. My only disappointment when I got it was that the seat wasn't nearly as grippy as the Wintec, but it's still a comfortable and functional everyday saddle.

As for the flocking, I've never had an issue with the CAIR. Saddle fitters don't like it, but my vet and chiropractor don't seem to have a problem with it so long as my saddle fits. I've been amazed because I can NOT get my wool flocked custom fit Schleese to fit my horse (who is a classic TB with absurdly big withers and a relatively narrow back), but my Bates with CAIR fits him like a glove. My horses' backs have changed over the years and between the gullets and various half pads (I have a Thinline and a Mattes) I've always been able to get a good enough fit so that I feel comfortable using the saddle 4-5 times a week on my horse.

I haven't ridden in a new model but a girl at my barn got one and I don't like how it looks. The old model has a pretty deep seat but it seems as though they've somehow made it even deeper- perhaps constrictively so. If you decide on a new model, you may want to sit in it first because it barely looks like the old model in person (I don't think it looks that different in the catalog).

This is super helpful information! I have my eye on a few on ebay, esp helpful since I sold my other saddles on ebay and that money is tied up in paypal. Thanks!

Perfect Pony
Dec. 12, 2011, 01:36 PM
I haven't ridden in a new model but a girl at my barn got one and I don't like how it looks. The old model has a pretty deep seat but it seems as though they've somehow made it even deeper- perhaps constrictively so.

fyi, I have ridden in both. For me, it was the opposite, the older model I felt stuck in, the newer one was very roomy. Yes it is deep, but the seat area was much flatter, and the twist MUCH narrower. I needed to ride in an 18" in the old Isabell and I was swimming in the 17.5 new Isabell I owned, it was way too big. I needed a 17" or smaller.

It is important to try them, because in practice they are very different.

53
Dec. 12, 2011, 01:46 PM
fyi, I have ridden in both. For me, it was the opposite, the older model I felt stuck in, the newer one was very roomy. Yes it is deep, but the seat area was much flatter, and the twist MUCH narrower. I needed to ride in an 18" in the old Isabell and I was swimming in the 17.5 new Isabell I owned, it was way too big. I needed a 17" or smaller.

It is important to try them, because in practice they are very different.

Good to know.

I'm watcing old model bates isabell auctions on ebay that have return policies and it looks like smartpak has an unbeatable shipping and return policy (as in, free) for the new model so I think I can swing sitting in both at the same time. The cost difference of $1200+ is a sting, but if the new one is the one I love better then I will make it work, esp knowing how helpful my wintec isabell has been over the last ten years.

3s
Dec. 20, 2011, 06:55 PM
Just be aware that although the CAIR saddles may have the interchangeable gullet plates, the tree can only be changed in the angle over the withers, not in the width over the withers - which is just as important!!