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Discussion on Ansur saddle

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Kim Fotter
Username: Fpony

Post Number: 276
Registered: 9-1999
Posted on Wednesday, Nov 19, 2003 - 6:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm hoping Chris and Zoe could tell me how they like their Ansur saddles now that they have been using them for 3 years.

I tried one 3 years ago when my horse was having issues and we both like it but I chickened out. Well, we are having some saddle issues again (probablly can get it fixed....) and would like to try the Ansur again.

I have gone to the yahoo group and noted that some have complained about pressure from the stirrup insertion area? Bars or rings? Also it seems for a saddle that fits any horse that there are several fitting pads that could be used to make the fit better. Have either of you needed extra padding to make the fit correct?

Chris, I read in a post somewhere that you prefer your "treed saddle" for upper level work. Is this a subtle difference? I have great balance and we aren't even goes to upper level activities. My guy continue to have EPSM issues.
Thanks for any feed back you can give me. Kim
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Diana Vaccaro
Username: Diana

Post Number: 10
Registered: 8-1999
Posted on Wednesday, Nov 19, 2003 - 9:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Kim,

I started using an Ansur Lewis & Clark saddle (same as the dressage models, but with D rings for the trail) about 6 months ago with my Tennessee Walking horse and immediately noticed a significant improvement in his gait... was it the saddle or was it that the saddle was so comfy for me? I don't know, but we've used it for ring work and heavy duty trail riding with great success.

I think the problem you're referring to (pressure in the stirrup insertion area) comes from the way Ansur makes the bar where the leathers attach. It does not seem to be as "inset" as other saddles and it is positioned further back so the stirrup hangs in a better, more "correct" position(for a balanced seat -- in my opinion). Because it is further back it is under the rider's thigh and can be uncomfortable. I solved this problem by getting leathers made by Bates that have a loop at the top and adjust in length at the bottom. They're much more comfortable.

As for pads, I use a fairly thick pad that is built up on either side of the spine area just in case the saddle is putting pressure on my horse's spine (I don't think it is, but want to be on the safe side). You might want to check Ansur's website -- they have a lot of info there on making sure the saddle fits properly. It's not really one size fits all. If the horse has high withers, for instance, there are shims that Ansur recommends.

I have gotten a lot of grief from trainers who insist that a treeless saddle is going to cause my horse pain. Well..... I have my opinion and they are entitled to theirs. I think it is hard for many people, no matter how great a trainer they are, to accept something "new" or different or unfamiliar. I have palpated my horse's back after lengthy trail rides and hard ring workouts and he has not shown any signs of pain -- or lameness, or anything that leads me to believe that the saddle is hurting him. Believe me, if I thought it was causing him pain I'd throw it out.

Hope this is helpful. I'm interested to read other comments since I don't know anyone else who uses the Ansur saddle.

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Christine C. Mills in NC
Username: Chrism

Post Number: 997
Registered: 4-1999
Posted on Wednesday, Nov 19, 2003 - 6:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here is my update:

I was quite enchanted with my original Ansur Classic for a little over a year. Over time, I did find it hard to maintain a correct position - and I finally decided it was too big for me (it was a medium) and put it up. I rode exclusively in a Kieffer I'd picked up used for the students my 20 yo horse mentors and really do like it, myself.

This past summer, I bit the bullet and decided to try to trade my medium for a small. It is because I am starting a young horse and sometimes my 20 yo is giving a lesson when I want to work the youngster. So, I needed 2 saddles again and really wasn't too wild about dragging the jumping saddle out of mothballs.

I never did find a trade, but did sell the medium on. Then it took awhile to find a used small Classic for what I thought was a reasonable price.

I just recently received the small and have ridden in it twice. I think it is a good fit for me and gives me flexibility with the youngster. I am glad to say, my older mare goes well in either of my saddles, which makes me feel the Kieffer is a good fit.

Both of my Ansur saddles were 2000 models. I found the medium used in early 2000 and it had rings for stirrups. The kneerolls had laces. The girth billets were synthetic, but Ansur later replaced them with leather at no charge other than shipping. In retrospect, medium was rather large for me and most people. The small was made later in 2000 - still had rings and laces, but the knee rolls had been redesigned slightly allowing several adjustment choices. It also seems to be a bit different in the seat, which makes it seem less large and easier to stay put. The billets are leather, too.

I am futzing around getting the padding underneath right for balance, the stirrup length correct, etc. I think I am nearly there. I used the dorsal pad the first ride and decided it was too much. So the second ride I didn't use anything other than a pad and decided the mare needed something less than the dorsal, but like the dorsal. I've got shims, but will probably use a cotton bath mat folded in thirds lengthwise and laid over the horse just behind the withers.

I use Stuebban leathers turned buckle down and have keepers to keep the end from flopping. This minimizes any leather bulge by the ring. I also use "Kwick Out" safety stirrups.

Overall, I like the saddle a lot. It is a nice alternative to treed, can be adjusted to work nicely with most horses by adding/subtracting pads with purpose, and clearly causes you to ride with awareness and balance.

That said, your shape and the horse's shape need to figure out a way to work. There is much less of an "intermediary" between you and the horse in an Ansur than if you ride in a conventional saddle. This is good in many ways - you can feel the horse easily. But it can be harder to maintain a correct (not chair, not tilted forward) seat and on a well sprung horse you may have discomfort from trying to get a leg around a big barrel.

I use saddle blankets/pads without center seams. My mare is pretty sensitive and she never has shown a problem using the Ansur, other than she didn't like my pads with center seams. She is a real princess and pea type of horse, so it is easy to notice if something is irritating her.

That is my story. There is a new group on yahoo devoted to Ansur saddles if you want to research more -

You often see ones for sale, there, too. I think it is sometimes not the "Ansur" for all. But, it is worth a look if you are having saddle fit problems.


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Kim Fotter
Username: Fpony

Post Number: 277
Registered: 9-1999
Posted on Saturday, Nov 22, 2003 - 7:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Chris!
My guy is very well sprung and wears an extra wide in the wintec Isabella. I can ride him bareback on trail rides and have also ridden in the ring that way when my saddle wasn't fitting.

Being an easy keeper and being on a high fat diet makes for a horse with fluxuating weight depnding on how much riding I'm doing at any given time. I thought the Ansur might fix some of the issues I have with my old saddle.

I'll keep an eye out for a used one and hopefully get to try it for a few days before I must make the plunge! I'm having a hard time finding a rep close by with a petite or jr petite for me to try. I just missed out on a jr petite that was for sale a couple of hours from me.
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Vicki L. Hall
Username: Halln5

Post Number: 35
Registered: 2-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 6, 2005 - 11:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have some questions about Ansur saddles. The dressage clinician that comes to our barn (I have not ridden under her yet) has really pushed the Ansur saddle and now several of the riders have them and feel they are the "answer". I recently have had to be off riding due to medical issues of mine and so I hired a young lady at our barn to ride my horse for me and keep him in shape. She used her Ansur saddle on him which I thought was fine. After 6 weeks though and when I went out for my return ride, I noticed a swollen and painful area at the point of his withers. He is an appendix registered quarterhorse and has rather pronounced withers. She was using one of my thinnest pads (and had not washed it) and it appears to me that perhaps her saddle had rubbed him there on his withers. So, he now has a very touchy back and is on rest and bute. I wonder if any others have had problems similar to this with fitting of the ansur saddle. He has had no problems with my Niedersus dressage saddle. Was it a matter of the pad being dirty and stiff, or the saddle sitting too flat across his withers. Any comments? Dr. O, is there anything else I can do for this type of injury other than cold water bath, bute and rest? I apologize for being long winded.
Thanks, Vicki
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Sara Wolff
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 768
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Thursday, Jul 7, 2005 - 12:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Regardless of make the saddle must fit right, of course, or it will cause problems as will sometimes a rider that rides lop-sided; but a dirty pad, especially one that is thin and become stiff, imo is sure to cause a problem. So, could be any or all of the above. Crummy to be back to riding yourself and have your horse not ready. Hope it doesn't take long to get him healed.
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Gill Bridgeman
Username: Gillb

Post Number: 86
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, Jul 7, 2005 - 3:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Vicki

I know and have heard of people having trouble with Ansur saddles rubbing on horses who have prominent withers, it might be an idea to look into padding or shimming in that area to lift the front of the saddle away. Treeless saddles are great, I have one myself (not an Ansur) but you still need to check whether there are any hard bits that may rub - is the front of the Ansur quite hard? My treeless is very soft and although it can sometimes be low on the withers it does not cause a problem on any of mine.
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Vicki L. Hall
Username: Halln5

Post Number: 36
Registered: 2-2000
Posted on Thursday, Jul 7, 2005 - 10:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the input. I was a little ticked about the pad being so dirty--I had 3 other pads available for her to use and I know she wouldn't ride her own horse in such a dirty pad. Anyway, the swelling has gone down some and he doesn't seem quite as sore. I looked at the saddle and it seems like it is kind of hard and flat across the front--no rise to it. I think she just didn't pay attention to how it hit him. Live and learn!
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Christine C. Mills in NC
Username: Chrism

Post Number: 1089
Registered: 4-1999
Posted on Thursday, Jul 7, 2005 - 11:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My experience with my Ansur was that it did not ever make my horse sore. However, she indicated a clear preference for saddle pads without seams down the back - my theory was that the seam of the pad could be uncomfortable.

I did end up selling my second Ansur - I found when given the choice, I always picked the treed saddle for my young horse as I felt more secure. While I couldn't have planned it, the treed saddle fits both horses.

Then the older horse was on a free lease and the Ansur was living in my extra bedroom. Since my dog is being treated for lymphoma, I decided to sell the unused Ansur on to contribute $$ for his treatments. Probably not the wisest choice, but it worked for me.

In my ever changing world, my schoolmistress is back and I bought a Wintec to ride her lightly as she is at a different farm than the young horse.

Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode about "even steven" - something good happens and it is then offset with something not so good - so karma is always even steven.

I think that is me lately.

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Angela Spucces
Username: Rubysmom

Post Number: 118
Registered: 3-2000
Posted on Saturday, Jul 9, 2005 - 11:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I had an Ansur for almost 3 years, and loved it (as did my horse).
For the lower level stuff, (training level, first level, etc..) it was perfect, as we moved up into 2nd level work, I found that it was difficult to sit his medium trot work without interfering with his movement.
I came to the realization that I simply do not have the seat and strength to stay with his medium gaits in the Ansur, so ended up getting a treed saddle.
For the lower level work, it was totally perfect, and we also did lots of trail riding in it.
I spent many hours in the Ansur and my horse never had a problem with it.
I always felt secure in it, and it never slipped or moved around, EVER.
I had a Petite with the deluxe support system.
It's an extremely comfortable saddle for the horse and rider, IMO.
I really liked the saddle, and felt sad about selling it. (couldn't afford to buy another saddle unless I sold it, otherwise I would have definitely kept it).
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Constance Hudson
New Member
Username: blue98

Post Number: 1
Registered: 1-2009
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 7, 2009 - 9:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have 2, 2005 Ansur saddles for sale:

Ansur Chic, black, petite, with deluxe stablization system (originally paid $2,490)

Ansur Konklusoion, black, small, 1 dorsal supplement pad (orginally paid $2,459.95)

Priced at $1800 each or both of them for $3,300.

They are in excellent condition and I have digital pictures if anyone is interested, please send an e-mail to:
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Jean E. Dvorak
New Member
Username: jedvorak

Post Number: 3
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 - 1:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Constance, post this ad on the Ansur Saddle Yahoo board if you have not already.

You will have to become a member, but I am the moderator so I will approve your membership.
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