Converting a saddle to Flair\Cair

Shazzababs

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OK, my leather saddle needs reflocking, and I am thinking about getting converted to Flair/Cair instead. I took me so long to find something that fitted us both that I don't just want to change to a different saddle that already has it.

Has anyone got any experience of having this done? How much did it cost, and do you think it was worth it?

Also can anyone rcommend someone in the South Somerset area who does this (PM me if you don't want to post their details)?
 

Cliqmo

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Cair is an air flocking system used exclusively by Wintec, so unless you have a Wintec it will be Flair you are thinking of.

I bought an Ideal saddle that had post-production Flair fitted, we had months of struggling with my boys balance and after much head scratching found that there was an error with one of the air pockets which was actually causing the problem
I had the Flair replaced with flocking and wouldn't go the Flair route again
 

ester

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I like my flair (it def helps with sitting on the pones bounciness!) but it came with so no suggestions on getting it done!
 

Flame_

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I did for a few years and my experience was bad. The Flair felt fantastic for my back, but it gave my horse's back terrible bruising. The air bags leaked and it took me forever getting people out to adjust it, and then to finally get someone to take it apart and find out what was wrong with it. After that I had it changed back to flocking again. That cost me £150 years ago for the first conversion and I think about another £300 in fannying about altering it, finding out it was crap and getting it converted back.
I'd advise against it myself.
 

Shazzababs

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No its not a Wintec so it will be Flair, I did wonder what the difference was.

I'm dubious now, as horse is a sensitive soul and a big time bucker when unbalenced or at all uncomfortable!
 

ester

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If it would help if you want to come look at mine and prod it etc your v welcome
, I dont think it would fit your boy as is only a medium, its too narrow for the palo but fits frank (no idea how that works!) saddle was bought 2nd hand 9 months ago and given us no problems atm.
 

ester

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katb, mine is soft though, they are not blown up to max and when I have been vid you can see it compressing as I sit.
 

Shazzababs

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Thanks Ester, I have been on the simulator on the stand at Badminton, which is why I was considering it. He takes a wide, and is an unusual shape as he has a larger wither than a 'wide' horse would normally have apparently, so yours would definately not fit him.

Everyone is definately putting me off now. Think I might just have it reflocked normally for now as we have no issues apart from the fact that it is starting to look a little squidgy.

Thanks for all the infor now.
 

KatB

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Yep I know it is soft, there are a few on our yard (the YO was sponsered by a well known saddle maker who use flair, but wont use them now) and they are soft, but think of a crisp packet, you put air into it, thensquash it and it becomes hard.... it is very easy from that for pressure points to be created. My coloured only ever had a sore back when he was in a air flocked saddle.....
 

teddyt

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[ QUOTE ]
I wouldnt go down the route of any air panelling. Compressed air is much harder than wool, and can cause pressure points.

[/ QUOTE ]

If flair is adjusted propery it isnt hard. If it is hard then there is too much air in the bags. Cair can often be hard though, but that is an inferior design imo as it cant be adjusted.

If flair has caused bruising to a horse it hasnt been set up correctly as it has been proven to reduce pressure, compared to a flocked saddle

op- I think problems arise when the flair air bags arent fitted properly or the wrong ones are fitted. If i were you i would contact first thought equine and ask them if they would do it or if they can recomend someone in your area to do it and what bags are needed. Bear in mind though that the saddle then needs to be fitted to the horse and the air adjusted accordingly. you cant just guess how much air to put in each bag.
 

lcormack

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You are about £300 for a flair conversion - make sure you only use a flair approved saddler. Flair suits some people and horses, and not others. Your fitter is the most important thing.
 

picolenicole

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I used to work for a saddler that did flair saddles and to tell you the truth I would always pick flair if I had the money to do so.

I've seen loads of horses that people said all it's good for is a bulet, but after having flair the same people started saying they would buy the very same horse they would of shot before!!

I think it would cost no more that £400, Steve Sturgess a master saddler you can find him on web can do it. So do some others. I would have it done, the air shouldn't be hard if fitted right. It says in a very old animal management book, something like there would be nothing better than riding on air.
 

Arabelle

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I had flair added to a bates saddle and it was not a success. It is not just the pressure points, there is also a build up of heat under the saddle.

Ask yourself this - how comfy is an airbed, no matter how little/much you inflate it? I would choose a soft wool mattress any day

A
 

Arabelle

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I think it is the air bags that are the problem - it is reported as an issue in endurance circles, where admittedly horses are wearing saddles for hours at a time at fast paces.

Can't believe you find an air bed comfy! It just shows - there are always exceptions and it will suit some horses. however, it knackered my girls back and I know of many with similar stories to tell.
A
 

Tiffany

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From my personal experience I'd say avoid like the plague - maybe I was unlucky but First Thought (Flair) have a strange attitude to customer care, again, IMO
 

Chestnuttymare

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I had flair fitted about a year ago, it made a real difference to the way my horse went/ It cost £300 and i reckon it was well worth it/ It feels soft and to my knowledge has never bruised her back/
There was a thread similar not long after i had it done/ I asked my saddler and she said that lots of pro riders use it so it must have some benefits/
Can't help you with where to have it done as we are at opposite ends of the country/
 
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