This doesn't seem to be a can of worms judging by the search so it seems safe.
I rode in one today (another boarder let me ride her horse until mine is ready for work after injury) and it was pretty comfy. I didn't get why people say they were bad with rolling. I'm 90% sure it was an Ansur. It was fun, could feel the horse and felt very secure.
But then the horse spooked. Not a huge spook, but not tiny. I was still on top of the horse, had kicked my feet of the stirrups but the saddle ended up on the horse's side!
So, my question: Do they make a type of treeless saddle that doesn't roll or is safe for spooky horses?
I heard the Fhoenix was good, any reviews? What about Freeform Classics?
I'm positive the saddle would have stayed put if I didn't go slightly off-balance during the spook. However, horses do spook sometimes and balance can be lost so I really don't want a saddle with that much of a rolling risk.
Last edited by SilverMare; Jul. 8, 2008 at 04:28 AM.
I've ridden in a treeless saddle for 7 years, and it has not rolled on me. I don't know if that was my good luck or what. I'm just saying it has been my experience. About six weeks ago, my horse bolted on me, and I was able to stop him with a pretty fierce one-rein stop. The saddle didn't roll.
My stallion fits in a regular medium width stubben, but when I got my new mare last July I had to start a saddle hunt! I ended up with a treeless Barefoot London dressage saddle. SUPER comfy and feels secure to me! You may want to look at a Dixie Midnight pad if you go treeless too.
I have the new Fhoenix Vogue which has a higher pommel for high withered horses such as mine. It is very secure, has never rolled, and I have ridden some 180 turns, and a few sideways spooks. PLUS, the horse goes better, I notice it most after having ridden for an hour or so, he never refuses an upward transition like he used to. It is also the most comfortable saddle to sit the trot in.
My Phoenix (older panel style) does not shift side to side unless my girth is not tight enough....like any saddle. I have tried Ansur's (both Carlton and Classic) and much prefer the Phoenix over them for rider support and security and horse fit and comfort. So far, I've used my Phoenix on maybe 10 different horses and I needed no shims or special girths nor special pads...it fit well on all. The Ansurs are not that easy and you really should have a Skito pad for one of them and a set of shims to help with fit.
I have not ridden in a Barefoot London but they sound like a nice saddle.
My friend has an Ansur and we use a special whither pad with it. I have not ridden in any others and do like the Ansur, generally speaking. It does feel like it shifts easily, though - I always figured that was because her horses are as round as they are tall.
I ride in a Freeform Classic with excellent stability. I think it is important to get the right pad combination. I use the HAF pad w/ Thinline on top of it.
Rode out a wicked spook last night (darn deer!) without nary a shift in the saddle or my position. Granted we were only trotting instead of cantering but I was pleased. I use a regular Wintec waffle dressage girth and keep it snug but not super tight.
If you are planning on showing, a Freeform is a bit more traditional looking so that may factor in your decision. When I demo'ed my saddles, Freeform USA had a two week trail period that was quite nice.
Thanks for the info and links. I've been staring at those Fhoenix saddles for awhile now and have considered looking for a trial. However, I don't need a saddle at the moment and would be something to save up for or a christmas and birthday present combined for a few years.
My birthday present (ha, tomorrow - got present early) is a Wintec dressage 500 that my mare loves. She was good before, now she's great. Imagine that, a $415 saddle fit her better than the other one we had been using.
The treeless had a pad under it. Not sure what kind it was, didn't quite look like an ordinary saddlepad. I noticed once she was back off she seemed a little unstable and it rolled when she got off.
I have never had it come out of position and I have backed a lot of young horses in it!
Oi! I've been "growing up" in my trainer's old Euro Ortho Flex Great saddle, but a little too small for me.
I recently bought a used Ansur Classic for my round Lipizzaner mare and I LOVE it! I've ridden through more than ten spooks thus far and the saddle has never rolled on me. My balance sucks, too, so don't think it's because I'm some great rider. HAH! It's really improved my riding, though. When she spooks now I find myself getting deeper into the saddle instead of getting behind her movement. Less chance of coming off.
Anyhoodle, sounds like the pad was wrong for the Ansur, IMO. It shouldn't fall off -- the pad I mean -- like that.
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