December 15, 2020

The Biggest MYTH about the Bates/Wintec CAIR Panels - Busted!

By Alyssa Currie
The Biggest MYTH about the Bates/Wintec CAIR Panels - Busted!

"It's a pocket of air?"

"Won't that pop or burst?"

"They deflate over time"

"There's bags of air in the CAIR panel"


Have you believed any of the statements above about the CAIR Cushion System? (Spoiler alert: the CAIR panel has very little to do with pockets, pouches or bags of air!) Today, we're going to break down exactly what the CAIR system in the Bates and Wintec saddles is - as well as what it is not.


With the CAIR Cushion System, the word “air” in it can lead to some confusion over panel design. To dispel the common myths above, in short, there are no bags or pouches of air in the saddle.


So what exactly is it made of? (So glad you asked!)The panels consist of an open cell foam that is porous. The pores in this foam trap air and that is what gives the saddle it’s cushion. I like to think of the overall concept as being like a rigid tack cleaning sponge – there’s air in all of the pores and that’s what makes it able to form to the shape of your hand when in use.


This is what distributes your weight evenly over your horse’s back and allows for the full range of motion from the shoulder up and into the front of the saddle. Air, being a fluid medium, will constantly adapt to the horse's muscles and range of movement. This means that your weight as a rider is also evenly distributed along the entire length of the CAIR cushioning - virtually eliminating pressure points.


What does this result in? Better carriage and a freedom of movement for your horse because of the excellent shock absorbency provided by the CAIR system. It allows for blood flow and encourages proper muscle development in the horse.


The foam inside of the CAIR Cushion System is designed for longevity – they are meant to last the entire lifetime of the saddle, which is considered to be 10 years, according to the manufacturer. When combined with the EasyChange Gullet system, you've got the most flexible saddle on the market for achieving optimal fit for your horse.