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Which new Wintec?

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  • Which new Wintec?

    I'm considering purchasing one of the new 2009 Wintec dressage saddles as a "spare" since I don't want to risk getting my custom Albion Ultima GP caught in the rain, etc.. I went to Dover yesterday to try them out. They only had the new Wintec 500 in a seat size way too small for me, so it was hard to judge.

    I'm considering either the Pro or the Pro with Contourbloc since I like the equisuede seat, etc. Any thoughts on these two models?

    Also, what is your opinion of flocked vs. CAIR. I'm leaning towards flocked.

    Finally, does anyone know if I can order either of these saddles in brown? I see on the Wintec site that they come in brown, but all of the US distributors only seem to carry black in the dressage models. I have a chestnut paint, so brown looks best on her.


  • #2
    I just got a good deal on a new Pro, the old model ( they are being phased out, so there are good deals. $200 below the Dover Catalog price, warranty and all). I literally got it today, so I have not ridden in it yet. I personally would not get one of the new models yet. I bought an Isabell the first year it was out, and it had some significant flaws. When I replaced it a couple of years later, the flaws were designed out, and it was a much better saddle. I am a huge Wintec fan, but I would give the new design a year or two before getting one.

    I like the Cair. Have had flocked and cair, never had a problem with either. The Cair just makes more sense to me. Don't judge the fit without someone in the saddle with the cair.

    Have not seen brown, but brown is back in style. Bet in 2 years it is everywhere in brown.


    • #3
      I just bought the new 500 dressage and I am completely in love with it. I got the flocked version and it is quite nice. I have always preferred the suede also, but the new equileather is not slippery at all.


      • Original Poster

        Carol O - I know there are great deals to be had on the older model Wintecs, but those don't fit my flat backed mare. I've heard that Wintec redisgned the 2009 models to better fit horses like mine. I saw the new 2009 Wintec 500 dressage at Dover and the chanel is wider and the panels are flatter. The new Wintec 500 is pretty nice, but still leaning towards the new Pro.


        • #5
          I have, and really like, the new Pro with the Contour block. It only comes in black, I believe. I might suggest the cair panels. I think they conform nicely to the horse's back. I have experience with the Wintec cair panels for the last 8+ years with no problem with them, but if something did "blow" I could always have the saddle flocked later.
          Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.


          • #6
            What you put in it varies by horse and rider, but I did NOT like the CAIR and quickly ripped it out. It was very very hard and I understood why when I saw what was in there. The air bladders that are in there are very thin and the air does not move around easily. They are also packed between VERY dense sheets of foam (about as hard as an apple). Both my horse and I ended up sore backed from it and were quite happy when our fitter softly reflocked it with wool.
            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

            Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
            We Are Flying Solo


            • #7
              I have the new Pro model w/o contour blocks. I really like the saddle and think Wintec did a good job redesigning from the old style. Seat is deeper and stirrup bar is better. I had mine fitted and it is wool flocked. If you are only buying b/c you are worried about the wear and tear on your "good" saddle I would rethink. Saddles are able to endure a great deal and if probably cared for and conditioned will last a long, long time. Getting wet isn't that big of a deal. Talk with your saddle shop and see what they say.
              Susan B.


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by NCSue View Post
                If you are only buying b/c you are worried about the wear and tear on your "good" saddle I would rethink. Saddles are able to endure a great deal and if probably cared for and conditioned will last a long, long time. Getting wet isn't that big of a deal. Talk with your saddle shop and see what they say.
                It's not the only reason - although it is one of the reasons. I also want a "real" dressage saddle. My custom Albion is a general purpose model. I can't afford a second custom Albion.


                • #9
                  Alert about the Pro: I learned a very expensive lesson that these saddles MEASURE an inch larger than the measurement they are sold as. So I have a 17 1/2 that is really an 18 1/2 and way too big. Wintec and the dealer contend that you measure these saddles differently than normal saddles and you should order 1/2 an inch of so smaller than your regular size....a detail they failed to tell me when I bought this thing, I even called them to ask about size selection. So now I have the burden to sell this thing and would never misprepresent the size.
                  So sit in one before buying and do not depends on the dealer to tell you what you need to know.
                  "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"


                  • #10
                    Too late?

                    This may be WAY late, but I purchased a 2009 Wintec Pro Dressage with the contourblocs and love it. I have had the Wintec 2000 AP since pony club days and it has held up really well. My AP has cair panels, my Pro has flocked panels. I honestly cannot tell a difference and Gus goes the same in both, so I'm not sure he can tell a difference either. As far as I know, the Pro does not come in brown. In regards to the issues with new models, Weatherbeeta is a great company to work with. If you have issues, they will bend over backwards to correct the issues and placate the customer.


                    • #11

                      According to the website, they come in brown.

                      I have the previous model Wintec Pro in brown and it's a gorgeous colour, much nicer than the black, and still looks great even though it would be about 6 years old. It doesn't get that greyish look that the black ones get.

                      I love my older style pro, but wish it were a little deeper in the seat. Otherwise it's a great economical little saddle.

                      I have seen a new one (with CB) in a saddlery and it looks very wide in the twist, bulky even. Haven't sat in one but I am tempted.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LEL View Post
                        If you have issues, they will bend over backwards to correct the issues and placate the customer.
                        No they won't.... depends on who you know and you have to work with a dealer who has connections.
                        "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"


                        • #13

                          Originally posted by NJRider View Post
                          No they won't.... depends on who you know and you have to work with a dealer who has connections.
                          This is true. You cannot contact the company directly; I tried. What they recommended on their website and over the phone was to speak to a dealer. I looked at their list of dealers, found the closest one, and made a road trip. Charlotte's Saddlery called the company for me and told them exactly what I had tried to tell them myself. While working through the dealer, all I paid for was shipping to Weatherbeeta. Weatherbeeta promised to fix the issue. If the issue is not fixable, they are claiming to replace the saddle free of charge. My saddle is still out for assessment, so I will let you know how it actually turns out and if this is truly the case. It's not who you know, but NJRider is right in that working through a dealer is the only way to go.


                          • #14
                            Luckily my local tack store was very helpful in my special order, and RETURN of the Wintec 500 Next Gen that DID NOT work for my horse at all.

                            One thing to be aware of, at least with the 500, is that it's really only suitable for VERY flat backed horses (from front to back). The panels are extremely straight, and really bridge, and the CAIR doesn't give a whole lot. My horse is fairly flat-backed but his back does take a gentle slope upwards towards his rump, and the back edges of those panels DUG into his loins. The gusset seam hits right at the lower back edge of the panel where it contacts the horse's back, and the seam is HARD AS A ROCK. I really thought with the CAIR panels it would have some give, but certainly not enough. I also found that where the front of the panels went down along the saddle flaps around the shoulder were very hard and unweilding, and had sharp edges and dug into him, even with a tree size that was appropriate for him.

                            Granted, every saddle is not for every horse, but this is just something to be aware of. Given the location of the seams of the gussets, and how hard they are in these saddles, I'll take a hard as a rock smoooottth leather wool-stuffed saddle that has no sharp edges over these any day!


                            • #15
                              Be careful with the 2009 models. I bought the new 500 and it is soooo much wider than my old 500. The channel between the panels is a good inch and a half wider than my old 500.

                              I personally am now having hip issues, although it is not from the saddle. It has been made worse with the new 2009 version.


                              • #16
                                TEKNA SADDLES: THE ANTIDOTE TO WINTEC

                                You may want to check out these saddles before you buy a Wintec. They are taking Europe by storm and I understand they will be available in the US soon.