Isabell Werth and a small reality check for the horse-poor
As I was flipping through the June 9 COTH (the dressage issue) that I had flipped through before, I was newly struck by the "Barn Spotlight" feature that this time illustrated Isabell Werth's barn. There's a picture of her schooling Warum Nicht in what looks like a forward piaffe or passage steps in a snaffle bridle and what looks from the flap to be the synthetic version of the Wintec Isabell saddle (plus moss green polos). As a very horse-poor person, it is inspiring to see a World Champion on a World Champion horse schooling GP movements in an off-the-rack synthetic saddle and a snaffle. Things like this give me a bit of perspective sometimes. Just thought I'd share...
PS. If it's a special custom space-age polymer version of the saddle molded to W.N.'s back specifically for her by 13 master saddlers at Bates, please don't tell me!
I am thinking of buying the Isabelle Wintec saddle (have it on trial). That is a nice endorsement! Like the OP said, don't tell me if it is not REALLY the saddle.
I have this saddle and I LOVE it. I bought it from a friend of mine who actually let me ride in it for several months before buying. (We were sharing our saddles at the time.)
I never thought I'd really love a synthetic saddle, but this one is fabulous. (I have the Wintec CC, too, which I don't like nearly as much as the Isabell) It fits me and my horse well, so I find it extremely comfortable. YMMV, of course. I've been lusting after the Bates version, (as I just got a Bates Caprilli CC for my other (h/j) horse). I just can't really justify that expense right now. My "dressage" horse doesn't show anymore and is semi-retired to 2 or 3 schooling rides per week. Maybe if the h/j horse starts doing some dressage shows, I'll have a good excuse! For now, though, I'm totally find with the Wintec version.
I think not. If anky is worth 21 million, Isabel is worth a comfortable fraction of that. Being worth half that is still not eating Spaghetti-oh's for dinner. She may not own the horse, but she probably has a little business on the side, selling, teaching, buying, etc. If I recall correctly she's also a lawyer. They make some bank.
The tack company is her sponsor. They give her money. Any time any one shows up, the saddle is supposed to be on the horse.
She's been in this a while. I think she's probably figured out how to make some money doing dressage.
FWIW, I've spoken to a couple of folks who have ridden in both versions of the Isabelle (Wintec synthetic and Bates leather) who say they prefer the synthetic one. I can't say I've ever talked to anyone who prefers the leather, come to think of it.
"One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine
I use a (synthetic) Isabelle on lots of my youngsters - it fits many horses well, and it has enough stick to make you feel a bit more secure with the baby horses! It is a very comfortable, secure, deep seat saddle with totally movable thigh blocks. If you don't like a deep seat, you may not like the Isabelle.
I've ridden in the leather version too - HATE the "grained" leather, but the smooth leather is actually pretty nice - the leather is softer and has a bit of stick, and the entire saddle felt more comfortable than the grained version. But - the "fakey" suede is really the best!
I've even shown in the saddle at USEF/USDF recognized shows - no one kicked me out Having said all that - the saddle doesn't fit ALL horses, even w/ the adjustable gullets - and of course, my stallion is one of those who it didn't fit well....
then again, would she be that wealthy? She doesn't own the horses she rides, and she doesn't come from a rich background. She probably has to pinch her pennies like everybody else...
That would be a definitive NO!
Isabel is a smaller german version of Anky. She is a lawyer- but doesn't practice. She did for a long time advertising for one of the biggest german department stores (Karstadt) and did very well on that. She has lots of advertising attached to her and is heavily sponsored and supported by her sponsors.
She is highly educated, professional and disciplined. She does her Job- all around.
The saddle is a good saddle- and the rest is just practical stuff- that's all that's needed to do good schooling work.Take that as a lesson and face the demons- rather than blame it on the saddle/tack/bandages etc....it's a sport- it's a life- goo for it!! LOL!
"the man mite be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants..." -smart greek woman
If something is good enough for Isabel, it's good enough for me. I was very disappointed that the Wintec Isabel didn't work for my pony. It's a really nice saddle for a reasonable price. I've also got an older video of her schooling in a (synthetic) Wintec Pro. But then she could probably ride on a navaho blanket strapped on somehow and still get the best out of her horses.
OMG I love the Wintec. I rode in a Stubben on a really nice horse once and then his owner switched the saddles and the difference was astounding! I love it. I never felt more close to a horse and I got the best results with myself in that saddle, but probably didn't help that this horse was amazing. Right now all I have is a Wintec 2000 AP, but when i get the money I may sell it and get the Isabel. I fell in love with that.
~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor
I liked the wintec Isabel but prefer the Pro, and neither of them worked for my main horse. They both look ugly as sin after a year of daily use. "Pleather" does not wear like real leather and too many people do not do the daily cleaning of those synthetics that it takes to keep them looking nice.
You guys do know that the Isabel saddle was designed with input from Werth and that Bates/Wintec gives her a tackroom full of them every year right?
"Warum Nicht" hehehe
Good name for a horse farm.
"The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF
no she doesn't have to ride in the wintec- but she does. the leather bates version is also 'her' saddle... she could just as easily be riding in it. She chooses to ride in the wintec because she DOES want people to know 'you can do it' in that saddle... (really seriously sit in the leather and the wintec version they feel very much the same).
To add one more file to the talking out of your ass department, lawyers in Europe do not make "some bank."
They make barely any bank.
The yearly salary of a new associate in Germany at your average firm will about equal what a summer associate (ie, law STUDENT) makes at a NYC firm in ten weeks during their 2L summer, even if you factor in the completely shitty exchange rate.
I interned at a German lawfirm as part of my law degree and it was super embarassing to tell them what first year associates make in the US, after many attempts to wiggle away from the question, because it is like three or four TIMES what the lawyers with ten years experience and 15-20 years older than me were making. By the time the US lawyer has fifteen years experience they are like two full digits ahead (but still not making ANYWHERE NEAR 21 million. Christ, no.).
Let's just say that any restaurant that charged more than 8EUR for lunch was considered a splurge.
If somehow Isabell Werth has jumped to the elitest of the elite German legal jobs and secured for herself a partnership position at Freshields or Linklater's or White & Case's German office, ain't no way in HAYULL she has time to ride.
While of course it is possible to make a million a year selling horses (some hunter trainers and huge European sale barns pull it off) it is also quite possible that Isabell Werth is a normal person just like the rest of us who figures out how to handle the work/life balance and just happens to ride pretty nice so people throw her good horses.