Bates Australia is a company truly focused on performance of saddles for both horse and rider. An unquenchable thirst for understanding the impact saddles have on the equine back and their unrelenting patience for problem solving has earned Bates Australia their reputation as industry leaders in innovation. Their philosophy of innovation and excellence permeates through every aspect of their business, from the drawing board down to each and every stitch on their saddles.
Bates Saddlery was formed in 1934 when Mr George Bates borrowed $100 from his sister, bought a sewing machine and began to make saddles from his home in Perth, Western Australia. From these humble beginnings, Bates Saddlery has grown to become one of the most respected saddle manufacturers in the world.
The innovative approach of the two grandsons now running Bates Australia saw the worldwide release of the Wintec range of saddles in 1986. Wintec was the first saddle to be manufactured from high-tech synthetic materials and set about modernising an industry firmly planted in old age tradition. Wintec Saddles are extraordinarily lightweight, easy-care, high quality and fun. Wintec saddles provide riders around the world with a quality alternative to leather saddles. The excellence of the Wintec range was demonstrated during the 1992 Olympics, when Isabell Werth rode in a Wintec saddle in the gold medal-winning German Dressage team.
Bates Australia revolutionised the industry again in 1996 with the launch of the EASY-CHANGE Gullet System, allowing the rider to custom fit their saddle to their horse’s ever changing shape. This was an innovation that was much needed by the riding population of the world and fulfilled a need for optimally fitting saddles, a need which had previously been neglected by the trade.
The latest revolutionary innovation of Bates Australia has won acclaim from renowned riders, vets, remedial therapists and saddlers worldwide. The CAIR Panel System has been hailed as one of the greatest inventions of the 21st Century. The notion of air as the ultimate in cushioning for the horse’s working muscles is a simple concept, no one however, could have predicted the profound difference this simple system would make to both horse and rider’s performance. Around the world riders are reporting behavioural problems that have been eradicated upon using saddles with CAIR. Riders with injured backs are reporting the profound shock absorbency the CAIR Panels provide them with. Many Vets have undertaken independent testing of CAIR and have found it to outperform any other saddle panel they have had experience with. Remedial therapists have been astounded at the rapid improvement in muscle development that they have found when incorporating saddles with CAIR into their remedial programs. Saddlers have commented on the ease of both servicing and fitting saddles with CAIR. The Bates brothers regard the CAIR Panel System, as their biggest and most significant innovation in the saddle industry.