Tell me about Wintecs....

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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I had a saddle fitter out for Zak and she sold me a Wintec that she fitted to him. I've never liked it. It slips and the back seems unstable.

SInce I bought it I have seen multiple negative comments about Wintecs on here but not really any explanation as to what's wrong with them. Saddle fitter is coming back tomorrow. She says it is adjustable so she just needs to fit it again but should I get rid of it and get something else?

What is good/bad about them?
 

MrC

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Tree shape doesn't fit anything wide. I've never felt stable in one ever and wouldn't buy one.

Thorowgood are a much better fit for every type I've experienced.
 
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Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I personally find the seat uncomfortable which makes me sit funny. I've also heard negatives re the shape of the wintec gullet bars and also re the tree shape not suiting many, I'm no expert but I've done basic fit checks on a few and the ones I looked at never looked great, though one was doing endurance at intermediate level without issue :)
 

chev

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May 7, 2002
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We had one as a starting saddle. Ideal I thought since it could be adapted to fit most of our ponies for as long as they were with me. Big mistake. It didn't fit any of them well from Welsh Bs through to cob types. But when you think about it the only part that can be altered is the gullet - not the actual tree. I gave up trying to get it on mine and sold it in the end.
 

Ruskii

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Jun 21, 2000
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Not a lot good I'm afraid - the insides are sh!te and only the front is flexible not the tree shape, intrestingly if your saddle is slipping and not working for you with you finding out that Zak is stiff in the neck, this could be linked to the saddle not fitting.

In all honesty I'd look at a thorowgood or Kent and masters. These are generally made a bit better.
 

ponylover88

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Jul 12, 2004
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Not all gullet adjustables fit all... In fact, none do! I've ended up with a fancy treeless as I couldn't find anything flat enough with a tree to fit.
 

Jessey

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I feel i ought to put a positive on, my friend had one for her TB, she was also TB shaped (long and lean) and it suited them both well. I think @domane had them and got on okay with them after getting the cair fixed ;)
 

domane

Gracie's mum
Jul 31, 2005
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Yes, I had a Wide 500 AP for Albi which fitted him fine at first, however, he changed shape and it started bridging so it had to go. He got a sore back, although this may have been from hooning around when they were moved from their winter grazing onto the spring one! The flaps don't soften with wear so it maintains a triangular shape so it is very difficult to "wrap your legs round" and whilst it didn't make my hips ache, it did feel VERY wide. Also the seat is rock hard and I still wasn't comfortable in it, even with an Acavallo gel out seat-saver. It also slipped, repeatedly, although that could well be his wonky rider :oops:
 
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jovi_y2k2

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Apr 5, 2002
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I will also buck the trend slightly, I had 2 for Star a GP and a Dressage. The GP was flocked and the dressage CAIR and they both suited him and fitted very well, using a very trusted saddle fitter. I also found them very comfortable!
But as with any make of saddle it has to fit correctly and Wintecs aren't a one saddle fits all.
 

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
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Ok well saddle fitter came and re-balanced the saddle by changing the head plate. Also the girth needs changing as I am near the top holes now as Zak has got leaner, which she said affects the balance (not sure why - can anyone enlighten me?) It feels much better but I still don't like it much. Apart from anything else, it is too small for me as it was bought for the girls. I intended just to ride Zak occasionally but I hadn't counted on him being such a superstar which makes me want to ride more and more!

Saddle fitter said that basically no other saddle would fit him unless I was willing to spend £1200+. He is quite short backed so a longer saddle would not fit. But the Wintec tips up so much at the back so it's not just the length that is the problem. I'm squashed in a sort of hole in the middle between a high cantle and pommel.

I find it hard to believe there are no other saddles that would fit better. So I am going to ask a different saddle fitter to come and see him. Any recommendations? I feel at the mercy of saddle fitters as I know so little about it. Which is why I have ended up with a saddle I don't like in the first place! So I'm hoping I can learn something from the NR folk before I buy another one. He is on a medium wide atm. Would the size 4 Solution saddle for sale on here be an option?
 

MrC

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I paid £500 for my T8 cob GP 17 for Stella and that was half leather and brand new, so he's talking nonsense personally, it's lazy saddle fitting.

I've had cob GPs and standard GPs from TG for my last five horses and they fit me and my guys and gals. Also I fitted four out of five of those myself, I only get a saddlers opinion for re flocking jobs now.
 

sbloom

Active Member
A shorter girth, as you surmise, cannot change the balance of a saddle. If the tree fit is a little off, or the horse is very soft and has issues, then changing which straps you use can change the balance, but usually it should not and they should be chosen to align the girth with the girth groove. A shorter girth, I recommend as short as possible with long girths, will give better stability.

Not a big fan of Wintecs, much better for TB shapes which is what they were designed for but still I find they are hard, long (so making you often have to pick a smaller seat size) and just not stable on the flat backs I mostly fit.
 

ponylover88

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Jul 12, 2004
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OP, you could find a second hand wow saddle or something similar which allows a larger seat on smaller panels - making you both happy, as if you don't sit right in the saddle you're putting greater stresses thru his back. You'd also sit better in a flatter seat.

I'd suggest you getting a fitter out who stocks a range of saddles and see what they can fit. I exhausted my local fitters with D, and ended up treeless which has been the best decision I made with her so far.
 

popularfurball

Learning all the time
Jul 18, 2005
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Of the treed stuff I've tried with madam the thorowgood was the best tree shape I tried. We actually ended up in a libra treeless because her shape varies so massively. Perhaps an option until his development settles a bit?
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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My wintec saddle it turned out had a twisted tree. I now have an Ideal for mine. I like it but it did cost a bit.
I have the saddler coming out tomorrow to check mine as its been a while. Its been slipping but the vet thinks thats due to his possible kissing spine. So Im going to discuss if I have any other saddle options.
 

sbloom

Active Member
Well thats utter nonsense.

Well yes it can be utter nonsense, buit equally the number of people that come to us after disasters and do spend that money on a top quality bench made Walsall saddle shows that it is a sure fire way to get a good fit if you find the right brand and fitters. With tricky to fit horses if you restrict time and/or budget then the job gets harder - if you can spend more or wait then your chances improve. I also know that if I can go out with a full range of new stock then I can work out what absolutely fits best, you need to have a VERY good range of second hand saddles to get anywhere near that and for wide flat backed horses or other tricky shapes then it's rare that you'll find that. When we get a second hand saddle in the pressure is immense to "make" it fit, when we take them out to fittings. It's better for us to sell them mail order. That exact saddle might have looked okay in a new fitting, but I would have had other saddles to try and they could have been an even better match making them likely to fit over a much longer period.
 
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