Wintec incorporates the best of modern technology in saddles that are practical, ultra comfortable and most importantly embrace a sense of fun. Our philosophy has always been 'if we can't make it better then we won't make it'. This has meant Wintec is responsible for pioneering many of the modern features in today's saddles. Riders all around the world love their Wintecs for the performance advantages they offer horse and rider. Wintec saddles are all about maximising the fun and minimising the worry and effort – rideable in all weather, scratch resistant, tough as nails, easy-care, lightweight and adjustable for the changing needs of your horse, it's no wonder they are the world's favourite saddle.
EARLY 1980'S: A WORLD FIRST IN RACE SADDLES
In the early 1980s (The parent company behind Wintec) developed the first ever full cloth (synthetic) Race Saddle. The primary objective was to create a race saddle that was lighter and performed better than any leather saddle.
Local jockeys' loved the saddle's performance and raised some eyebrows when they could take their saddles with them into the showers to wash off the mud and sweat! Soon enough, the racing world was so interested in the new synthetic race saddles that they went into full-scale production.
The first Wintec race saddles took the global market by storm, especially in England, where in the following decade jockeys riding in Wintec saddles won 8 out of 10 English Derby's.
1986: A WORLD FIRST IN ENGLISH SADDLES
Following the incredible success in the racing world it soon became apparent that there was huge potential for the same technology and benefits to be adapted to the English leisure market. The company began to develop new hi-tech materials and saddle designs.
Wintec saddles were initially released in the Australian market in March 1986 and later that year into Europe at the SPOGA Trade fair, in Germany. The first Wintec saddles were not only made very differently from traditional leather saddles but also looked and performed very differently.
Initially launched in bright, fun colours, another industry first, riders bought Wintec saddles in blue, red, pink, grey and yellow, a significant breakthrough in what had been up until now a very traditional and conservative market.
1988-89: A SECOND GENERATION OF WINTEC® SADDLES
Further research and development led to continued improvements in the materials used, their resistance to wear and tear, and manufacturing methods used.
Another innovative synthetic material developed during this time was Equisuede. The material replicated the molecular structure of real leather creating similar characteristics. Equisuede breathes and absorbs moisture like leather; however it is much more durable. Equisuede's microfibre-based surface is very soft making it extremely comfortable to ride in while providing the perfect level of grip. The application of synthetic suede (Equisuede) was first used in the PRO Dressage.
During this period the Wintec saddle range expanded significantly and included: General Purpose Saddles, Dressage Saddles, Australian Stock saddles, Close Contact jumping saddles and Endurance saddles.
1989: LASTING PARTNERSHIPS & WINTEC ADVOCATES
By now, Wintec saddles were finding themselves at home in tack rooms all over the world, taking the equestrian market by storm, the benefits of Wintec saddles were evident to not only day to day leisure riders but competitive riders in all disciplines.
Isabell Werth first became interested in Wintec saddles through her famous dressage trainer Dr Schaulten-Baumer who used the very first Wintec Sport models in his stables. Following this initial introduction by Waldhausen, the German distributor of Wintec saddles, a lasting and working partnership with Isabell Werth began. Isabell herself influenced many of the key performance features in the original Wintec Pro Dressage saddle and later developed her own saddle, the Isabell Dressage saddle.
Isabell Werth has gone on to become one of the world's greatest dressage riders, winning multiple team and individual medals at the Olympic Games, World and European Championships, all in a Wintec saddle!
During this amazing time Wintec had the pleasure to work with a number of Olympic riders including Monica Theodorescue (German Dressage Rider) and Matt Ryan (Australian Eventer). This is a philosophy that has continued on today, in utilising rider feedback at all levels to continually improve saddle performance.
1999: THE EASY-CHANGE® GULLET SYSTEM
Following feedback from the USA market in particular, Wintec was keen to empower riders to have saddles that could be easily adjustable to their horse's changing shape. The world's first EASY-CHANGE® Gullet System was developed. Prior to this the changeable gullet system had been available only to the trade (saddlers). The new system was a revolution in convenience for riders and in ensuring horse comfort. For the first time, the head of the saddle could be opened without any unstitching and the gullet changed to one of six different sizes from narrow through to extra wide.
2001: THE CAIR® CUSHION SYSTEM
In 2001 the CAIR® Cushion System was launched and is still today regarded as one of the biggest and most significant innovations in the saddle industry. The revolutionary CAIR® Cushion System won industry acclaim from renowned riders, vets, remedial therapists and saddlers worldwide. The independently sealed Air Cushions replace traditional fillings in the saddle panel with air. The ultimate in cushioning for the horse, the CAIR®Cushion System constantly adapts to the horse's working muscles offering significant performance advantages in the way it distributes the rider's weight and cushions the horse's back. CAIR® ensures a close, even contact over a much larger weight bearing area and eliminates instances of pressure points. The dynamic nature of air ensures it works in synergy with the horse's muscles, rather than the horse's muscles working against a static medium. Additionally, air provides the ultimate shock absorption, reducing instances of trauma to the horse's muscles in work. For such a simple concept the dramatic difference the CAIR®Cushion System makes to a horse's comfort and performance is profound.
2007: THE CAIR® PANEL INSERT SYSTEM
The award winning CAIR® Panel Insert System was launched to retailers and saddle fitters around the world. Together with the tree adjustability of the EASY-CHANGE® Gullet System, this delivered a whole new level of adjustability in saddles. The insert system enabled retailers and saddle fitters to easily make balance adjustments within the panel above the air cushions to the highest standards. The inserts gave tremendous scope of adjustment within the saddle panel, that was measurable, symmetrical and completely reversible that could be completed on the spot with the horse and rider.
2012: THE EASY-CHANGE® FIT SOLUTION
Following increasing World-wide demand for a more accessible and easy to use saddle fitting system in all saddles. The EASY-CHANGE® Fit solution was launched, combining the EASY-CHANGE®Gullet System and the EASY-CHANGE®Riser System. The EASY-CHANGE® Fit Solution now completes the saddle fit offering for retailers, saddle fitters, and riders around the world. It's easy for riders to see the benefits of having adjustment available within their saddle panel to ensure an optimal fit for their horse's ongoing comfort and their peace of mind.
Other than a few exceptions within the ranges, the vast majority of Wintec Saddles will now feature the EASY-CHANGE® Fit Solution as standard.