Looking at Wintecs - which kind?

I need a new saddle for the Percheron x Friesian I am lessoning on. Trainer’s saddle is an 18" Toulouse monoflap and there is just too much room in the seat and it puts me sitting in the front of the saddle where my knees are on top of the kneepads. I am 5.3" with a long thigh and not much of a butt, so needs something smaller and probably shaped a bit different.

anyway, I’m not spending thousands on a saddle for a lesson horse, so looking at Wintecs because trainer said she trained this horse in an old Wintec and they work for her. but there are a few kinds - 500, Pro and Isabelle. The 500 is nice and budget friendly, so what do the others offer that would be make them worth spending a few bucks more? Also the 500 comes either with CAIR or flocked. which is better?

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I think you just have to try them all and see which fits you and the horse best.

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How round is your horse? Friesian x Percheron sounds like it could be somewhat barrel-shaped. (I’ve got a barrel-shaped horse myself, so I’m not judging!).

Anyway, if the horse is on the rounder side, then the Wintecs may not suit the horse anymore. The Wintecs tend to have A-shaped trees; many rounder horses do better in hoop trees.

It’s possible that they worked when the horse was younger, and hadn’t bulked up, or it’s possible that the horse is stoic enough that it’s willing to put up with the pinching, even if the Wintec didn’t suit.

Anyway, you might be able to find a used hoop tree saddle for about the same price as a Wintec. Or look at the Thorowgood saddles which come in a lot of styles (including a Cob style for rounder horses) and that go for about the same price as Wintecs.

Thorowgood saddles


Here are some pics to show her shape. She is huge!

I bought this version on sale https://www.bahrsaddlery.com/wintec-500-dressage-saddle-wintec-500-dress-cair.html....it was $500 CND…omg, what a STEAL! I love love love this saddle for the purpose. I have a couple mares who are still changing and I didn’t want to spend $$$ on saddles for them yet. This saddle has been the perfect solution. Rides way nicer than I expected. Horses love it. Mine is the CAIR.

Cute horse!

She looks a bit on the barrel-shaped side. Personally, I’d try a Thorowgood Cob saddle before the Wintec. (I have no connection to Thorowgood, so I’m not pushing this for any ulterior motive).


I bought a WintecLite D’Lux when my mare got a bit rotund over the winter. With the XW gullet, it was a life saver until she got fit again. It’s an A/P. I found this one used for short $$.

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Saddle fitting aside, I cut my teeth on a Wintec Isabell and loved it.

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She looks too wide for the standard Wintec saddles, but Wintec do make a Wide version of some of their saddles. These have a different shaped tree, are much wider through the channel, and have 3 gullet plates that are wider than the XW plate that fits the standard Wintecs. Make sure that you are looking at the Wide version of any Wintec saddles. The Wide is usually in their name, eg Wintec Pro Wide or Wintec 2000 Wide etc.

I don’t think the Isabell comes in the wide version.


so the wide Wintec is not just a regular with a wide gullet installed? I don’t think the 500 comes in a wide version anymore.

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They have them here!


Or this one, which is more $$$ https://www.bahrsaddlery.com/wintec-pro-wide-dressage-saddle-3056-c.html

Heres a decent resource for Wintec and WIDE horses lol: https://www.thesaddlebank.com/wintec-wide-is-this-the-right-saddle-for-your-cob/

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No, it’s a different tree. That’s why it is important to make sure you are buying the correct model. The Wintec Wide model is SUPER wide.

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thank you!

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so glad I asked here, that’s an important detail to know. She’ll definitely need the wide version.

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I was so excited when I bought my Wintec Wide to use on the wide backed lesson horses I was riding.

I had problems with it. In order to protect the rider’s thigh from the points of the saddle tree the padding was super thick, so thick my thighs were spread apart at least 2 more inches than my present saddle that fits super wide horses (Pegasus Butterfly Claudia). I felt like I was doing splits instead of riding a horse in the Wintec Wide. Wide horse + wide tree+ super thick padding–I just could not get my leg lengthened and down far enough for my leg aids to work well (on a 18.2 hand 1/2 draft horse.) It did not work that well for a 13.2 and a 14 hand pony either, though I could give better leg aids with my lower leg, my thigh aids would not work on any of these horses.

My only comfort is that the Wintec saddles sold on consignment in a reasonable time. The lady who runs the tack store told me that she found that used Wintecs were in high demand, so you won’t have many problems re-selling it if you don’t like it.

Plus the saddle just did not “sit down” properly on the horse’s back, I felt like I was perched way up in the air instead of close to his back.

I finally sold that saddle, along with my Wintec AP. I do not miss riding in them at all.

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They aren’t going to ride like a quality expensive dressage saddle, they are a lower end price point option and ride as such imo.

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I have a Pro Dressage with thigh blocks and a Pro AP as my jump/trail saddle. I love them both. Both have CAIR. My princess & the pea mare has no complaints about the CAIR. Prior to getting the Pro Dressage, I was borrowing an Isabell and that worked well for us, too.

It’s been many years since I’ve ridden in the 500 models of their saddles, but at the time I wasn’t a fan of the synthetic material. The equisuede saddles feel nicer to me, plus the older I get the more I appreciate the extra grip.


@Jealoushe could you explain what you mean when you say they aren’t going to ride like a quality expensive dressage saddle? I mean, I understand there must be a reason why people would pay big money for a high end saddle. but what differences would I expect to feel?

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wow really? was it a really old model? I have not heard about this issue with thick padding. I have a Wintec Wide Jump saddle and have not noticed any extra padding. That would certainly be an issue for me.

I got the Wintecs several years ago, so I guess they could be an old model.

My model was a GP. I had such high hopes for that saddle, but neither I nor the horses I ride liked it that much. The horses were sort of “meh”. They moved a little bit better than with my old jumping saddles (1970 Stubben Siegfried, 1976 Crosby Wide Front PDN) with the Corrector pad, but after that we were stuck and never moved forward again.

Then I got an EZ-fit treeless and the horses had much better shoulder movement, after that I got a Pegasus Butterfly Claudia jumping saddle which the horses seem to think is more comfortable for them then the other two saddles I bought to fix the problems from their WIDE backs.

Thank you for telling me about your lack of such problems on your Wintec Wide jump saddle. I will keep it in mind if I need to get another wide saddle. It was not available when I got the Wintec Wide, the GP had just come out. I desperately wanted a jumping saddle instead of a GP, but they were not made yet.