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Ansur Treeless Saddle- Another crazy thought?

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  • Ansur Treeless Saddle- Another crazy thought?

    Hi all,
    In my quest for a saddle that fits my hard-to-fit Oldenburg I am asking for thoughts on the Ansur Treeless saddles, particularly the hunt styles. I have heard that the rider needs to have a very strong independant seat to ride in one which doesn't scare me much, is there anything else I should be aware of? Also does anyone know where I can look to try one or buy used? Thanks!
    Last edited by Rams0108; Apr. 7, 2011, 03:21 PM. Reason: Misspelling
    Change and Growth take place when a person has risked himself and dared to become involved with experimenting with his own life.
    ~Herbert Otto

  • #2
    A well-known dressage horse owner and rider will not use any other saddle than an Ansur. I realize you are asking about hunt seat saddles and not dressage saddles, but the principals of saddle fitting are equally important no matter which type of horses you ride. She has almost all of her customers riding in Ansurs also.


    • #3
      Where to get Ansur Treeless saddles.

      I know someone who is associated with Ansur and goes to the different Expo's etc.
      Charlotte Kasparak of Williamsburg Dressage
      Williamsburg, VA
      757 566-4777 or
      757 812-8900

      I have been thinking about one also.
      Older and I hope Wiser!


      • #4
        I love Ansurs - but have only used them in dressage. The *only issue*...if it's an issue at all, is that I have found it impossible to mount from the ground, which rarely comes up.


        • #5
          Ansur has a good website: www.ansursaddle.com

          You can find the rep closest to you there.

          I've ridden a huge variety of horses in my Ansur Classic (dressage) over the past 8 years. If I needed a jumping saddle, I wouldn't hesitate to try another model.
          Patience pays.


          • #6
            I ride in ansur saddles on a few horses. The arabian has a more prominent whither and we need one of the whither pads under her saddle.

            The draft cross does not need much.

            There was a thoroughbred that rode in one also, and he also needed a whither pad to elevate the saddle a bit.

            The biggest 'problem' is making sure the girth is tight enough. I am notorious for loose girths, but since there is no tree, there is nothing to keep the saddle relatively straight on the horse and it takes stepping in the stirrup just a bit, with a loose girth, for the saddle to start to slip.

            That is also why mounting from the ground is about impossible.

            Other than that, I have never had a problem riding in an ansur saddle, but like any saddle you will do best to test it out first.


            • #7
              I have had several treeless saddles. I would also suggest trying the Sensation which has jumping model as does heather Moffet (Phoenix in the US) Demo if you can, its worth paying the fee. As like treed saddles not all are right for all horses. Yes I would say your position needs to be more secure than in a treed mainly bc these do not come with calf blocks or big honkin knee roles.

              You can try the usual suspects, tack trader, ebay, craigslist etc, also yahoo has a treeless saddle group, they can be a wealth of educated information and free at that, and they often have dealers or independent consultants that will weigh in for free on what they think might work best for you horse, esp if you post pix of your horses back. Ansur has a yahoo group as well and people often post saddle for sale on these groups as well, so you maybe able to find a used one that way. There was an Ansur on ebay just a few days ago, the jumping model, may still be there, but again I would reccomend doing a demo first, unless you don't mind reselling late if it doesnt work. As with anything do your research. Ultimately though your horse will let you know, right?

              Def invest in a good pad that doesnt' slip, (no synthetics wool, gets slippery when sweaty) I swear by my mattes pad. Padding becomes much more important with treeless that with treed bc of the closer contact, potential to slip more, help with weight distribution etc.

              My horse moves better, much more free in the shoulder with treeless, but i went back to my Albion for Xross country, since my position is not always what it should be and the added terrain issue of hills and drops etc. But I do know of a lady that fox hunts in hers and swears by it. Hers is a Sensation Saddle.
              "A horse!!! A horse!!! my Kingdom for a horse!
              Proud founder of the "Plain Little Brown Mare-nothing Plain or Little 'bout her!" clique


              • #8
                Love love love my Carlton. Finally after a year of working with saddle fit issues (thus the treeless) and OCD stifle surgery and then a round of Gastroguard, my horse went like a million bucks today. We didn't do much because literally we haven't ridden much in the last year but the POWER he had in his trot and the freedom of movement up front was amazing. It definitely is a combination of all these resolutions but I can tell you that none of the myths in regards to treeless saddles hold up as far as the Carlton at least.

                I do not girth up as tight as a treed saddle and my saddle doesn't slip when I mount anymore than my treed saddles did. My horse is 17H so I can't get on w/o help anyways. I do not use anything but a regular pad BUT this may not be the case for every horse and I may end up slipping a sheepskin half pad underneath when we are truly working hard this year. BTW Christ Lamfelle makes the BEST sheepskin.

                My position is BETTER in my Carlton then any treed saddle I've used. Finally I feel "right" after fighting all last year to figure out why I felt so paranoid in the saddle. I'm not restricted by the pommel and best of all I'm not locked into a "position." I have complete freedom of movement but never once have I felt any more unstable then simply due to a moment of poor balance and techique. Also - ALL treed saddles would slip to my horse's left side...this one does not. I have been riding bareback walking just for 15 min at a time this winter while my horse was getting back into work so that has improved my center of balance. I can see how not being locked into position will be a problem for some people but at the risk of sounding like an elitist - that's your problem as a rider and you should be dedicated to fixing it.

                Some folks have noted that the saddle puts them in a chair seat. This could very possibly be true - often the length and angle of the flap and where the stirrup bar is set will make or break whether a saddle can work for a person or not. However, with these saddles not having a tree and padding, you have to figure that out for yourself. Your horse's conformation, muscling and balance will affect yours and you could solve the problem simply by putting padding or shims in the right places to fix how you are balanced..as the horse muscles up sometimes you can just get rid of them. And then..the problem could simply be tight hip flexors keeping you from truly riding with your weight over your thighs.


                • #9
                  I had one...

                  I had both the dressage saddle and the hunt seat model. I loved how my horse felt in both (especially the dressage saddle), but I felt like I was constantly fighting the dreaded chair seat, and in the hunt seat saddle, I had a hard time sitting as deeply and securely as I needed to....that being said, others I know love these saddles and have not had the dame difficulties with the "chair seat syndrome." It took me a few months to undo the seat I had acquired in that saddle.

                  Eventually, I contacted Trumbull Mountain tack and they helped me find the perfect saddle for me, and my horse! He was extremely hard to fit. I probably bought and/or tried two dozen saddles in a 12 month period..

                  Good luck, whatever you decide


                  • #10
                    Just wanted to add that I have a Carlton and a Konklusion, and I love them both. I have no problem mounting from the ground (biggest horse is 16.1), although I try to avoid it, and I do not over-tighten my girths -- if anything, I under-tighten them

                    That said, I do agree that you need a pretty balanced seat to ride in an Ansur. I spent years riding in a cheap fuzzy bareback pad (no stirrups), and it really helped with my balance. I also spent a year learning dressage on the end of a lunge line, walk/trot, no reins, until I learned how to use my seat properly (I had been "riding" for more than 25 years at the time).

                    I highly recommend Ansur saddles, but make sure you are balanced and have a really good seat.

                    I found mine on eBay and tacktrader.com
                    "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."


                    • #11
                      I know I said I had problems with mounting from the ground in an earlier post...I need to retract that now. It must have been the horse I used it on before because I used it on 2 horses over the weekend (borrowed a Classic from a friend) and had absolutely no troubles mounting from the ground this time. Also, my STB mare cantered very nicely with the Ansur - something I haven't been able to get her to do at all in my trees saddle. She almost seemed excited to be able to canter and was breaking into canter over and over, which is the exact opposite of how it's been in my Wintec where she falls back into race trot when she's unbalanced. I was thrilled! I rode her this morning again in the wintec - no canter .


                      • #12
                        I have ridden treeless for several years but only on the flat. I like them but don't find my horse goes particularly differently from my treed saddles (which are fitted twice a year)

                        I've looked at Ansurs and spoken to the owner at Equine Affaire. My concerns were the following:

                        - If you have a long femur it will put you in a chair seat unless you get a custom flap, which you can't try first.
                        - The newer Ansurs are built with a gullet which negates the need for a special pad. However, they have no studies that show how weight is distributed or whether there are an pressure points. I wish they had done Port Lewis impression pad testing.
                        - When you are jumping, there is a lot of weight in your stirrups. Without a tree (and depending on the above point about weight distribution), it could put a lot of pressure right over your horse's withers.

                        I like the look of the Heather Moffitt jumping saddle. If one ever comes up used at a good price I might have to buy one!
                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hundredacres View Post
                          Also, my STB mare cantered very nicely with the Ansur - something I haven't been able to get her to do at all in my trees saddle. She almost seemed excited to be able to canter and was breaking into canter over and over, which is the exact opposite of how it's been in my Wintec where she falls back into race trot when she's unbalanced. I was thrilled! I rode her this morning again in the wintec - no canter .
                          With all due respect it sounds like you are riding your horse in a treed saddle that doesn't fit. Not the best comparison to a treeless.
                          Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                          EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bogie View Post
                            With all due respect it sounds like you are riding your horse in a treed saddle that doesn't fit. Not the best comparison to a treeless.
                            Could be - which is why I tried something different. I'm going to try more saddles before I make any decisions.


                            • #15
                              The newest models of the Hunter styles are MUCH more like a traditional saddle than the old ones. And yes, if you mount properly, as you should, you CAN mount from the ground But since most people don't mount with as little weight in the stirrup as they should, yes, it would be a problem with the treeless.

                              I had the original new model of the Hunter Elite and it was incredibly comfortable and supportive *for me*. Not everyone feels like that. I rode in the older "weird looking" model, and the difference in feel was night and day.

                              Do give Ansur a call to see if there's a rep in your area to bring you a saddle to try
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET