Well I think my cair panels went poof! and that is why my wintec made my poor mare so sore!!! Does anyone have any idea about how much it would cost to either replace the cair panels, or to rip them out and flock with wool? I can't even sell the darn thing the way it is now.
Try calling a Wintec rep. They have a lifetime guarantee, as I recall, on the cair panels and the tree. My old ancient Wintec (ANCIENT wintec) snapped the tree point and they replaced it for free. I think the panels can be easily replaced by a wintec rep or a good saddle fitter, and I know that a good saddle fitter can remove them and add wool, or add wool around them (not alot of room, though). Once a saddle fitter starts poking around you'll probably lose a warantee, though. Start by calling Wintec/a distributor and ask what your options are. Good luck!
Hampton bay -sure if I reflock and get them back you can have them if they are good!
sublimeequine I will email smith worthington, it is worth a shot. I am getting quotes of $300 plus s&h which is more than the saddle is worth so...
at this point I am tempted to just ship it back to Wintec and see what they say. If they quote me too much to repair I can just tell them to toss it. and I will only be out the shipping to them. and if they can fix it cheaper then I may be ok still.
I am still upset that this saddle hurt my mare so bad and I couldn't see that the panels had gone poof! I think that is the inherently weak point about cair, you cant see it and unless you grope your panels routinely to know exactly how they should feel, you aren't going to notice a problem. and cair gone bad is no cushion at all, flock gone bad is a gradual process and you at least still have some cushioning left.
thanks for all the input everyone I really appreciate it.
I had a Wintec Isabell that had the CAIR panels replaced with flocking. CAIR panels have been suspected, by some people, to be responsible for back soreness. I can't say either way myself, but I only use wool-flocked saddles fitted by a professional saddle fitter, even my "cheaper" off-the-rack Collegiate Diploma saddle is flocked & gets adjusted regularly.
Anyway, a saddle fitter we used in the past showed me once what was inside a CAIR panel - basically, sitting inside the air-filled panel were two square pieces of foam *duct-taped* together. I do not think it is difficult for a good saddle fitter to come out and flock the panels with wool instead. Just keep up with it every 6-12 months or so afterward to ensure a good fit.
I'm sure a lot of people on here love the CAIR, and have no trouble with it, it's just not my thing. Find a fitter & have them re-flock - I paid under $100 for it.
FWIW, I was at a tack shop that had an "opening gala" for the new wintec models. One of the higher-ups from Australia was there to demonstrate the saddle features. he had one of the saddles totally stripped down to the cair panels. They are actually quite small and I'm not sure that the average person can palpate a saddle and tell if they have deflated. The cair panels are a little squishy to distribute air - not hard. The guy mentioned that people sometimes think that the cair panels have gone "pfft" when actually they are fine - the problem is with the saddle fit or the horse or the crooked rider. I don't know if that is the case with your saddle or if he was ignoring the number of complaints actually filed but I spend a bunch of time talking to him and sitting on saddles (plus he was rather fun to look at - great marketing ploy).
You probably only need to pay shipping one way - they paid for my return shipping.