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sonomacounty
May. 4, 2012, 09:22 AM
Oh, how cool, a western forum. Thank you COTH ! Even though I'm truly h/j & racing - I want to try out western a little.

Now, I'm not going to put a zillion pound saddle on my horse, nor do I want to carry one, no way. So, how are the Wintec westerns? I had a Wintec dressage and loved it.

Oh, and does the western girth have any elastic to make the horse more comfortable, you know - like the ends of the english girth?

Tx.

clint
May. 4, 2012, 11:01 AM
I tried a Wintec western saddle a few years ago, and unless there have been serious modifications recently, it is the most uncomfortable saddle I have ever sat in. The good news is it sat on the horse's back pretty well, but the bad news is I couldn't stand sitting in it for more than a few minutes. You might be able to make it work by adding some sort of seat saver, but without that, it is like sitting on a board.

No, no elastic in western girths, but I like string girths for English too, and I have yet to have girth galls from string in either discipline.

EquineImagined
May. 4, 2012, 12:48 PM
We have a Circle Y ..well I call it semi synthetic. There's leather leather on it, but the skirt and fenders are synthetic. It doesn't weight a lot. And you can find them for the same price as a Wintec and at least for my tushy it is a lot more comfortable.

7HL
May. 4, 2012, 01:04 PM
I use a Abetta Cordura Stealth Trail Saddle. I use a center fire rigging on it.

http://www.buytack.com/products-saddles/act/20557.htm

I have seen it called by a couple of different names by dealers.

I bought mine from a local Abetta dealer...

sublimequine
May. 4, 2012, 01:45 PM
Wintec makes good english synthetic saddles... their western has pretty much nothing but bad reviews. :uhoh:

I'd suggest an Abetta, or if you want to go "hybrid", the Lady Fabtron is half leather, half synthetic.

I bought an older Abetta for $100, and it's a great, comfy saddle that fits my mare and doesn't give me a hernia to put it on her back. :D

sonomacounty
May. 4, 2012, 05:51 PM
You might be able to make it work by adding some sort of seat saver

Thanks Clint. Actually, I do use a seat saver on all my saddles because I despise cantle dings (you know those little nicks you can get on your cantle).

OK, I'll have to get the weight on the other saddles. Thanks for the suggestions. I think the Wintec western is 20 lbs, which is great. Hopefully, the others are about the same.

7HL - what is a center fire rigging? Thanks.

No, no elastic in western girths

Now, I'm not OK with this. My concern is not girth galls or how easy it is to pull up. It's for more comfort for the horse. Some might dispute that it does much, but that is where I am at with that.

Someone, please invent an elastic insert western cinch. I think it would go over well. Maybe I should and call it a Sonoma cinch! Kinda catchy, eh? (Ca-ching?)

sublimequine
May. 4, 2012, 06:00 PM
You might be able to make it work by adding some sort of seat saver

Thanks Clint. Actually, I do use a seat saver on all my saddles because I despise cantle dings (you know those little nicks you can get on your cantle).

OK, I'll have to get the weight on the other saddles. Thanks for the suggestions. I think the Wintec western is 20 lbs, which is great. Hopefully, the others are about the same.

7HL - what is a center fire rigging? Thanks.

No, no elastic in western girths

Now, I'm not OK with this. My concern is not girth galls or how easy it is to pull up. It's for more comfort for the horse. Some might dispute that it does much, but that is where I am at with that.

Someone, please invent an elastic insert western cinch. I think it would go over well. Maybe I should and call it a Sonoma cinch! Kinda catchy, eh? (Ca-ching?)

They do make off-straps with elastic:

http://www.adamshorsesupplies.com/Cashel-Western-Elastic-Billet-Strap-Leather-P908.aspx

And I HAVE seen cinches with elastic before... not sure what brand though!

carp
May. 4, 2012, 06:14 PM
My experience with Wintecs is that the fenders never really break in. Consequently, they put more torque on your knees than properly broken in leather fenders and certainly more than English stirrup leathers.

sublimequine
May. 4, 2012, 06:14 PM
Found an elastic cinch!

http://www.nationalbridle.com/product-p/1-6968.htm

:D

Or if you prefer double elastic..

http://www.nationalbridle.com/product-p/1-6916.htm

sonomacounty
May. 4, 2012, 07:01 PM
Carp: So that would make you go toe out?

Sublime: Thanks and Oooo, those are nice ! I think all western saddles should have those (nicer for the horse).

So, there goes my idea of the Sonoma cinch and I guess I won't be a millionairess now. Sigh. :)

7HL
May. 4, 2012, 07:33 PM
7HL - what is a center fire rigging? Thanks.


http://www.western-saddle-guide.com/images/rigging-positions.jpg

http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/saddle-rigging.html

http://tuckersaddlery.com/EnduroBalancedSingleTie.shtml

http://tuckersaddlery.com/rigging.shtml


I however have been using a SUPRA CINCH with my Abetta. It all weighs under 20#.
http://www.crestridgesaddlery.com/buytack.html

http://www.crestridgesaddlery.com/supracinch.html

sonomacounty
May. 4, 2012, 07:42 PM
Thanks 7HL. I like the center rigging better than the two girths for sure.

Further looked up Abettas - 17-18 lbs. Awesome.

Thanks.

newhorsemommy
May. 5, 2012, 10:11 AM
I have the Trail Lady Fabtron and LOVE it. It's comfy, and I think they make higher quality saddles than Wintec or Abetta. They appear to have a much wider variety of sizes (for horses) as well.

You can get a standard tree or flex-tree. This is the saddle I have:

http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/fabtron-lady-trail-saddle.html

ETA: I did replace the plastic stirrups with real ones, and I use a Weaver Smart Cinch on it.

sonomacounty
May. 6, 2012, 07:07 AM
Thanks so much, NHM! Beautiful.

BellaLuna
May. 6, 2012, 10:58 AM
A little late to the party, but I wanted to give you my opinion of Wintec Western Saddles.

We bought one for DH for the less than 4 times every two years that he decides he wants to play cowboy. It is, without a doubt, the most uncomfortable and hard saddle that I have ever sat in.

He doesn't seem to mind it, is proud that **he** has his own saddle and I don't mind that it sits in our tack room, gathering dust. Wasn't too expensive and can be washed off. But, I would never buy one again unless they made some serious modifications to seat comfort.

sonomacounty
May. 6, 2012, 11:09 AM
So sad to hear that Bella Luna. As I said I had a Wintec dressage that I loved. You all should e-mail Wintec and tell them they need to fix their Western saddle up & how.

I liked the Albetta that NewHorseMommy posted, but I'd still want it to be a little lighter.

---

Also, I'd need that cinch with lots of elastic as Sublime posted above.

BellaLuna
May. 6, 2012, 03:58 PM
That's good to know about the dressage saddle. I have ridden in a Wintec All Purpose and I think that they are actually quite comfortable and would have considered one for my draft/x, but, they do not fit him well. I was curious about the dressage one, so now I know. Thanks!!

HenryisBlaisin'
May. 6, 2012, 04:08 PM
My experience with Wintecs is that the fenders never really break in. Consequently, they put more torque on your knees than properly broken in leather fenders and certainly more than English stirrup leathers.

I didn't find that at all...I use a Wintec on the (rare) occasions that I ride Western and after a couple of days with a broom handle through the stirrups, it is fine...in fact I find it more comfortable than most Western saddles...I always liked the old-style hard seat ones anyway, so maybe I don't notice that it's not cushy, but I can ride in it much longer than any other Western saddle without my butt or knees hurting. But then, there are English saddles that other say are super-comfy that I cant ride in either. I guess it's a matter of what fits the rider.

AnEnglishRider
May. 6, 2012, 07:48 PM
I ride the two draft horses a friend owns in a western wintec... I actually really like it. Easier to haul up on those big guys and I think it's pretty comfy.

Of course, my english saddle is an ancient crosby and it's about the least comfortable thing ever, so maybe it's just that it's more comfy than the very uncomfy english saddle.

sonomacounty
May. 6, 2012, 08:16 PM
Bella: I had a Wintec dressage 500 (that model as I didn't want the equisuede, too sticky). I do put a seat saver over every saddle, though, as I have a phobia about cantle dings. It was wonderfully balanced, wonderfully light to carry & for the horse. The only reason I sold it is because I stopped dressaging.

They make a Wintec wide now - not sure if you know. Wide plus it has the adjustable gullets.

http://www.wintec.net.au/products/allPurpose/allPurpose500Wide.html

Thanks all, for the input on the Wintec western.

SherlocksPonies
May. 6, 2012, 08:22 PM
I briefly owned a Wintec Western and actually thought that for a synthetic saddle it was just fine. It looked nice and the horse loved it, but it just didn't quite suit me. Nonetheless, I can't really slam it.

Also, might want to check into Big Horn synthetic saddles...they have some nice ones, too. :yes:

Shermy
May. 6, 2012, 08:23 PM
Wintec WESTERN saddles are VERY uncomfortable! I bought one for my hubby, and wow, it is really bad.

I have a Wintec AP2000 that I do like, so I like Wintec, just stick w/their English saddles.

That said, I find Albetta saddles pretty uncomfortable too.

Sometimes, a cheap saddle is just that CHEAP. It may be better to look for a good used western saddle. There is so much variety, that it may take many to try before you find one that fits you.

Once you do find a comfortable western saddle, you will probably NEVER want to sell it.

SherlocksPonies
May. 6, 2012, 08:28 PM
Shermy, I agree with you...as I mentioned, the horse was fine with it, but I was not...I just thought it was my "butt shape"!! :lol: But, it seems like it was the same experience for your hubby.

Yes, a good used saddle OR a synthetic from some other maker might be better options.

(PS: I also have a Wintec 2000 English saddle and really like it!)

sonomacounty
May. 6, 2012, 08:35 PM
It may be better to look for a good used western saddle.

I don't consider Wintecs cheap. They fit a certain niche - lightweight, no maintenance & comfortable enough - that is all I'm looking at there - not price.

I won't do heavy - nothing over 20/22 lbs. max. I have bad shoulders (can't carry a heavy saddle) and just don't want a heavy one on the horse.

I just looked at the Big Horn synthetics & they have some nice light weights. Any suggestions as to which ones are nice?

Tx.

threedogpack
May. 6, 2012, 09:30 PM
DD is thinking about buying one because she likes to take her horses in the pond and I have put a stop to using my roughout for it. Gonna check to make sure she can return it if she doesn't like it.

sparkette
May. 6, 2012, 09:38 PM
I find Wintec western uncomfortable, doesn't fit properly, and cheaply made. I suggest Big Horn or Abetta.

quarterhorse4me
May. 6, 2012, 09:41 PM
I purchased the synthetic wintec for riding on the beach and was shocked at what poor quality it was. I don't even bother using it; would rather ruin a leather saddle or ride bareback.

There are some relatively decent production saddles (tex-tan, circle y, billy cook, etc.) that you can find used on ebay which might be a better purchase for you. The flex tree saddles usually have a fiberglass tree and are considerably lighter than traditional tree saddles.

Whatever you end up with I hope you have a very positive western experience!!!!

BansheeBreeze
May. 7, 2012, 12:34 AM
I thought the Wintec was super comfy seat wise. But my horse was an absolute wreck with it. It appeared to fit just fine, but no matter how many different pad combinations I tried, he was still getting sore, acting out in pain very clearly and I know for fact it was the saddle. He acted up as soon as we started walking off, every time. Dont know why but I only used it a few times then sold it

SherlocksPonies
May. 7, 2012, 07:24 PM
Any suggestions as to which ones are nice?

Sonomacounty, yes! I just ordered this Big Horn "model" today for a brand new pony mare I bought last night!

http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/151617bighor.html

I am very petite and need a small saddle with shorter fenders and the "dimenions" on the 14" are perfect for me...lovvvve the suede, too.

At any rate, soon I'll let you all know how it feels to ride and sit in...new pony arrives Friday and so hopefully sometime in the next week or so I can do a "test" as long as it fits the new horse ok.

I also have real troubles lifting heavy weights...truly love some of those beautifully tooled and heavier western saddles, but I just cannot handle them...so, synthetic it is. :cool::winkgrin:

sonomacounty
May. 7, 2012, 08:33 PM
BB:

A new pony & a new saddle - how wonderful !! Super !

That looks like a great saddle and 15, yes 15 lbs. I wonder what the weight for a 15/16" would be.

(You know, I don't even know what western size I need yet. I ride in a 17" h/j saddle but have longish legs. I thought you go 2" smaller in western but I'm not sure as I just saw an e-bay ad for a saddle and it said 15" is for a small adult, which I'm not (medium size, longer legs.)

Do stop back & tell how you like the new saddle when you get it, if you would.

Again, much happiness to you with the new pony (& saddle).

sonoma

clint
May. 7, 2012, 09:44 PM
There isn't nearly as much seat variety in western saddles as there is in English. Pretty much you choose between 15, 16, and 17, with 17 being as big as you can go without custom. The other consideration is the horse's back. Some horses couldn't be ridden in a 17 because of the length of their back, or the shape of it. Western saddles have to be fit with a consideration to bridging. Most adult riders fit pretty well into a 16. Riders with a long thigh, even if they are thin, will probably need a 16 because the thigh will get pushed up against the swell in a smaller seat.

Years ago I bought a used Circle Y equitation saddle. It isn't incredibly heavy, but it is more than I like to put on a tall horse. I absolutely love everything about it, except the weight. I have tried to find a synthetic saddle to replace it with no luck. I bought a Big Horn, but it has a very wide twist which is uncomfortable for me. I tried an Abetta but it didn't fit the horse. Circle Y used to make a synthetic saddle but discontinued it, which is a shame. :( Finding a comfortable saddle which fits both parties isn't easy.

jengersnap
May. 9, 2012, 09:06 AM
I just looked at the Big Horn synthetics & they have some nice light weights. Any suggestions as to which ones are nice?

Tx.

I have this one, and have beaten on it for at least 5 years now:

Big Horn Cordura Roper (http://www.culturedcowboy.com/saddles/bighorn/pages/Cordura/bh_109.110.htm)

I use it mostly on my old mare to keep unnecessary weight off her. I use to be leather only with western tack, but this saddle totally changed my mind. Super comfortable, we've done 8+ hour rides up and down hills, through the lake and galloped the beaches in it. I took it for a long weekend of camping in the pouring rain and riding and we were both just as comfy on the last day as the first. I've even sorted cattle in it. Seeing that it could actually be used for roping told me it was a bit more heavy duty than a normal synthetic, and having the leather skirts and other touches appealed to me. It still gets in at 22 lbs, and is built on the same tree many of their full leather saddles are. Read the paragraph at the top of the page, its spot on.

Now, I've ridden in a couple wintec westerns, and hated them. They feel flat under me, there were parts that were squishy like an 80's car dashboard, the fenders were stiff and the tree stiffly plastic-y. I even rode with a friend who had two for years, swung down after one of our trail rides, and we heard a loud SNAP. The tree broke in half right under the seat! She contacted the manufacturer but was about a year past the 1 year warrenty :( The Big Horn I bought has a full 10 year warrenty with it.

I'm not a wintec basher though. I've heard the westerns are not made by the same part that does the english saddles. I love my Wintec 2000 AP. I just did another long weekend of trail hills in it, and couldn't have been more happy with that old saddle. I had their pro dressage saddle too and it was very comfy. They just can't do western!

DeeThbd
May. 9, 2012, 09:21 AM
Funny that you mention it, Jen....I had a black Wintec that I bought because it was lightweight, but it never fit my OTTB right. Now that I have a nice Simco, what a difference for both horse and rider! :)
Its tree (the Wintec), too, broke on BOTH sides under the seat. I thought that perhaps it had met with a mishap without my knowledge (ie someone used and damaged it) but a lot of research later, I learned that it was quite likely that extreme temperatures (sub-freezing to hot summer) had damaged the tree and caused it to break. And mine also was only a year out of warranty. The one thing I DID like about it was the suede-type material used on the seat - nice and grippy!
Dee

sublimequine
May. 9, 2012, 11:25 AM
There isn't nearly as much seat variety in western saddles as there is in English. Pretty much you choose between 15, 16, and 17, with 17 being as big as you can go without custom. The other consideration is the horse's back. Some horses couldn't be ridden in a 17 because of the length of their back, or the shape of it. Western saddles have to be fit with a consideration to bridging. Most adult riders fit pretty well into a 16. Riders with a long thigh, even if they are thin, will probably need a 16 because the thigh will get pushed up against the swell in a smaller seat.

Years ago I bought a used Circle Y equitation saddle. It isn't incredibly heavy, but it is more than I like to put on a tall horse. I absolutely love everything about it, except the weight. I have tried to find a synthetic saddle to replace it with no luck. I bought a Big Horn, but it has a very wide twist which is uncomfortable for me. I tried an Abetta but it didn't fit the horse. Circle Y used to make a synthetic saddle but discontinued it, which is a shame. :( Finding a comfortable saddle which fits both parties isn't easy.

I will say there is a decent amount of size 14 western saddles out there. I've seen way more 14s than 17s.