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    One of the saddles I use is an old Wintec Dressage Pro that is wool flocked. Horses in general seem to love it. Several of my students have tried it and then went out and bought a new one but they just aren't the same with the Cair panels. You feel like you are sitting on a big wad of padding that doesn't mold to the horse. Does anyone have experience with replacing the air panels and re-flocking with wool?


  • #2
    No idea, but I must say that I'm disappointed that Wintec seems to have discontinued its wool-flocked saddles, at least in dressage saddles. Does anyone know if Wintec offers wool-flocked saddles dressage anymore?


    • #3
      I wish they'd offer the wool option, too! I have an ancient wool-flocked Isabell and prefer it over the CAIR. I know some people have replaced the CAIR panel with wool on this board. If you search the threads, you might find the ones where people mention this.
      Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


      • #4
        To my knowledge, NONE of the Wintec line have wool-flocked panels anymore.

        I bought the LAST line of Wintec Pro Dressage that was wool-flocked, about 2 years ago I think. I see the people struggling with the CAIR and I just give my 'obsolete' saddle a big hug.

        As for if you can have it converted, try and call Wintec. I had really good service with them, even told me that no, they don't have a saddle for my horse (after having fit issues with my Pro Dressage on my QH). I'd rather they tell me the truth then lie to me.
        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


        • #5
          i had to have mine reflocked with wool because the air was too hard and was making my horse back sore. saddle fitter said that was why and sure enough, my horse is happy as a clam now however, my pro jump wintec doesn't seem to bother him???


          • #6
            yes there are some saddles still available with wool flocked. not at work so can't give you the total list- but i know at least 1-2 of the a/p models are available wtih wool- can't think of which dressage ones are stocked in the US warehouse off the top of my head

            And yes- some of the cairs are harder- and yes some horses can't handle that. Also angles of the side rails can be a cause of issues- which in a softer flocked/aired saddle does not cause the issue like it could through a firmer panel.
            Qualified Saddle Fitter with the S.M.S.


            • #7
              wintec/bates still makes and sells wool flocked saddles...just not in the US...can be special ordered though..try Dover....I have seen Cair panels replaced with wool....any saddler (not saddle FITTER but real saddler can do it)...usually cost about 300 dollars and takes a bit of time...took my wonderful saddler about 3 hours on a regular foam panel saddle of medium quality, then tweaking to the horse..but WELL worth it....REALLY nice saddle for the horse now.....
              he's a big horse with short legs...really!


              • #8
                Originally posted by audgesmom View Post
                wintec/bates still makes and sells wool flocked saddles...just not in the US...can be special ordered though..try Dover....I have seen Cair panels replaced with wool....any saddler (not saddle FITTER but real saddler can do it)...usually cost about 300 dollars and takes a bit of time...took my wonderful saddler about 3 hours on a regular foam panel saddle of medium quality, then tweaking to the horse..but WELL worth it....REALLY nice saddle for the horse now.....
                Any saddler CAN do it, but many WON'T do it. When I was exploring this option for my Bates (which I ultimately sold rather than paying to reflock it), I had at least three very good saddle fitters tell me that they wouldn't reflock a CAIR saddle at any price. Apparently it's much bigger PITA than doing a regular foam-to-wool job (don't ask me why--I didn't bother to ask--but several of them made remarks to that effect.)

                There was one guy in NC who did it for some other COTH'er, and allegedly some guy in Pennsylvania will also do it. Very helpful info, right? Try PM'ing naters, I seem to remember her being the one who was talking about it (which makes sense since she's in Carolina).
                Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                • #9
                  Definitive Answer on Bates/Wintec Flocked Saddles

                  I spoke to Weatherbeeta (the authorized distributor in the U.S. for Bates/Wintec) and received what I'm still considering to be the definitive answer.

                  They told me that I could order a wool flocked version of any of the saddles for the same price as the CAIR version. It would take 6-8 weeks to arrive, but it was possible to get one from the factory that had wool flocking. You'd have to order it through them. So if you really want on that is flocked from the start, go talk to them about it. To me, it's worth the wait. I have a CAIR I got on clearance from Stateline, so I can always use that in the interim, but for long term use, the flocked saddles are the best option.
                  "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


                  • #10
                    Thank you so much for the info. I have always really liked the older WIntec Pro's with the suede (suede saddle + full seat breeches are like velcroing my butt in the saddle), but I will only go with wool flocking. When I went to buy,they had changed to Cair, so I bought something else instead. I may have to reconsider now.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks for all the responses and info. I really appreciate it.



                      • #12
                        i've heard of someone change from cair to wool. I'm pretty sure it can be done.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by _downpour_ View Post
                          i've heard of someone change from cair to wool. I'm pretty sure it can be done.
                          It can be done, the problem is locating a saddle fitter who is willing to work on them. The other thing I learned about wool flocking is to insist on virgin wool as opposed to reprocessed. The virgin wool has much longer fibers giving the entire feel a lot more pliable and softer and will mold nicely to the horse. Reprocessed is chopped up and shredded which compacts a lot quicker.

                          I had 2 fitters tell me they've received a lot of bad feedback on the Caire System for the very reasons which were already discussed above.
                          "Every little girl wants a pony so why should big girls be any different???"


                          • #14
                            My saddler in NC converted my Pro over to Wool. He does it all the time, b/c he just does not like the fit of the Cair. He saves the Cair for you and gives it to you, in case you need warranty work done on it. Bingo, custom fit saddle (within reason) for an affordable price. PM me if you want his info.
                            RIP Mydan Mydandy+
                            RIP Barichello