View Full Version : Ainsley Pro National or Chester?
Feb. 15, 2010, 05:09 PM
Can anyone tell me the difference? Is one more forward? Different trees? Better for long-legged riders? Deeper/flatter seat? Etc., etc.?
I want to try one, but don't know which to start with.
Why do you like one better than the other?
Feb. 15, 2010, 05:22 PM
I can't speak for the Chester, but I love my Pro National. It's good if you're long from hip to knee. It has a very forward flap that's great for XC; if I ride in it SJ though I sometimes fight with it, because the flap is so far forward. Note of caution: because the flap is so forward, there's a forward tilt in the tree that many narrow, withery horses don't like. I had mine tweaked and tweaked to fit my narrow, withery OTTB and even though it looked perfect, he still didn't like it because over fences the tree was just too restrictive. He's super sensitive though, and I don't have a problem with it on my less withery guys. I would definitely recommend it, especially for cross country.
Feb. 15, 2010, 05:22 PM
I am only going to muddy the waters. Even within the Chester and Pro-National, they differ depending on the year that they were built. I have a Chester and a XC (preceded the Pro-National). The Chester has knee blocks and the XC thigh blocks. Right now, I am riding in the XC, but I like them both.
Feb. 15, 2010, 06:04 PM
And the other side of the story - I have a Chester. I was looking for a saddle that would specifically help me STAY BACK on XC. A couple of people said "you don't want the ProNational" because I wanted a truly XC only saddle. And that is the Chester- I can't do anything else in it but for XC I have never felt more secure and in the right spot (back) than any other saddle. When I first sat in it and sort of wiggled around sorting out how it felt it was kind of uncomfortable until I did the "approaching Beecher's Brook" seat and that is where it locks you in. (which is why it doesn't work much for anything else).
As for fit, my fitter said that some of the older models seem to have points that are longer and angled in such a way that they don't it all horses, but this one fits my mare OK -although she is not a shark fin.
I am 5'5" and my leg length is actualy in my lower leg - not sure if that matters to you.
Feb. 15, 2010, 09:31 PM
I have the Chester, and I love it. It has a super wide open seat so it allows you to sit up nicely. It does run big, and I think the XC does too. I normally take an 18" but take a 17.5 in the Chester. I love that saddle !!
Feb. 15, 2010, 10:18 PM
I had an older (1997 or '98) ProNational that I really, really loved. It was great, very secure for cross country, and super comfortable for long hacks and gallop sets. I had to do double duty and use the saddle for stadium, too... It is not an eq saddle. It will put your leg farther in front of you, which is good for galloping, and good for a safety position over sticky fences, but if your eq tends to be not good, this saddle may not help you.