Thursday, June 2, 2011

A borrowed Classic

I happened to mention to Kate G. that I'd bought an Ansur and was waiting rather impatiently for it to arrive when she said, "Hey, I've got an Ansur Classic. Would you like to borrow it?" Why yes, yes I would.

The first time I popped it on Coriander I put a nice, think pad under it- to give him a little extra protection in case he needed it. I walked him over to the mounting block, put my foot in the stirrup and prepared to swing my leg over.

*First mistake: Putting my foot in the stirrup to mount.

It slid right down his barrel and I plopped back onto the mounting block. I got down, put the saddle back, and then just lifted my leg way up over his back and got on without the stirrup. We then ventured out to the back fields so I could get the feel of it.

*Second mistake: Putting a thick pad under it.

I felt like I was sitting on a skating rink, I just couldn't get that saddle to stay put in the middle of his back. The next time I took it out I put the thick pad away and got out one of my regular, thinner pads. This worked better but there was still some slippage. This time I determined that I didn't have the girth tight enough (I have a rather bad habit of riding around with my girth too loose. I reached down after cantering during a lesson a few weeks ago and found I could put my fist between the girth and the horse, whoops.) Can you tighten a dressage girth while you're sitting in the saddle? I couldn't figure out a way to do it so I left it alone and tightened up the girth more for the next ride.

*Third mistake: Using crappy leathers.

With the lighter pad and the tighter girth the saddle finally stayed put. But now I had another issue, I couldn't get my stirrups even. I think I adjusted my stirrups 5 or 6 times that ride until I finally remembered that I was using my cruddy, spare pair of leathers with a ton of random extra holes- there was probably no way I was going to get those stirrups even.

For the next ride I pulled my good leathers off the Crosby and put those on. Finally! I could get my stirrups even. Feeling successful, I decided to take Coriander out for a longer trail ride. Twenty minutes in my left knee started to ache. Then it started to hurt, ALOT. I had to pull my foot out the stirrup and keep shaking my leg out to ease the pain. That wasn't cool.

I've decided that the Ansur Classic isn't for me. It was super comfy under my bum but I think the lack of a twist was pushing my thighs out wide and putting too much torque on my knee, causing the pain. This saddle was really much wider than anything I'm used to sitting in. I also don't think Coriander liked it that much. He started taking off as soon as I settled in the saddle, something I thought we'd taken care of months ago. He'd also shoot off down the trail ALL THE TIME, especially when we were heading for the barn. This was something quite new for him. Either he really liked the way the saddle felt so he wanted to move, or he really didn't like it and wanted to get back as soon as possible so I'd take it off. It was odd, that's for sure.

The Classic on Coriander

The underside of the Classic = no gullet here
Fortunately the saddle I'm waiting on isn't built like the Classic. It has a twist, which I like, and a gullet, which Coriander seems to like, so we should be just fine. There's still the seven day trial period if it really doesn't work out, but I'm pretty confident it will.

Here's a bonus pick of Coriander playing with Butch, something they've taken up just recently. I need to bulk up on my super spy skills so I can get a better picture next time. You know playing horses- they stop as soon as they know a camera is nearby. I'm happy that he's got a play buddy, but I wish Butch would leave his fly mask on. There's now three missing fly masks floating somewhere around the pasture.


  1. Hate slipping saddles... almost as much as too many extra hole leathers! ;) Glad you got it sorted out.
    Looking forward to hearing about your new saddle.

    I meant to tell you the other day - I love the new header picture. I don't know who is who, and they're both beautiful, but the horse on the right has an absolutely devilish look in it's eye! :)

  2. The slipping was pretty annoying, grrr. New saddle probably won't be here until August. But don't worry, you'll hear all about it when it gets here :)

    Thanks for the compliment on the photo. Gwen is on the left with the blaze down her face. Coriander is the playful one on the right. He's more of a liver chestnut and he's only got a few white hairs on his forehead.

  3. OH MY-THAT is a real "Classic" ANSUR "Classic" One of the first models. Theynhave come ALONG way since that model forsure...the one I took for a spin that my stable mate allowed me to borrow(riding a different horse-post) wwas so compy-though the seat was far too big(18) I put the Sheepskin cover on it and it smalled a bit.

    The thing I noticed, with the bareback saddle riding I've done for the past year,everything slipped- EXCEPT the newer pad I purchased for the (wood) treeless saddle. The "HAF" pad.
    The tiny bubbles of soft anti-microbial matieral is great! Rather sticky and nice gullet made right in.
    Cotton slipped, sheepskin slipped, wool slipped. I even tried a wet shammy under those ere mentioned on tip from my sis..nope..slippage!

    One thing I love about my model of will have the longer billets for the longer girthing! My favorite choice of girth for the non slippage is the "Professionals Choice". The video on the ANSUR web site for girthing is really comprhensive and smart too. Checking the tightness factor-NOT- at the sides but from the bottom, being so carefull to not over tighten the elastic types!

    What MODEL did YOU order? When Do they say it is coming?

    Don Weidner wrote to me last night and gave me directions to their place in Camas, Washington. I am picking up my "Konklusion"- saddle up tomorrow AM!!!

    I got a full refund the the owner of CAVALLO hoof boots!

  4. I bought a Crossover which I guess is a fancy Endeavor, at least that's what it says on my sales contract ;) I ordered it on March 31 so I hope to get it by August 31. They said it would be 12-13 weeks but as you know they've been pushing the dates back a bit.

    I've seen from the Ansur list that people seem to like the professionals choice girths. I went looking for a girth that didn't have elastic and the only one I could find was on Ebay. So I bought it, but I'll probably end up buying one of those in the future. I'll also be looking into that HAF pad.

    Drive carefully getting your new saddle tomorrow! I bet the Wa Mare is eagerly looking forward to it. (and good thing Cavallo gave you a refund, sheesh)

  5. OK, I did chuckle when you put your foot in the stirrup and the saddle slid down his barrel. I did the same thing during one of my first lessons....unfortunately, my foot stayed in stirrup as the horse walked away with me jumping behind her and the saddle under her belly!

    I am not sure what you mean by "twist" and how it was affecting your knee....can you explain?

    p.s. LOVE Hyperbole. :-)

  6. Hee hee, I'm glad you found that little "easter egg." That's all I can think of now whenever I read alot or even a lot.

    The twist of the saddle, viewed from above, is the narrowest portion of the seat, located just behind the pommel.

    Here's what Schleese says: "The twist is what you actually feel between your thighs and under your pubic bone - and paradoxically enough, it is usually very wide (especially in the traditionally made "male" saddles) while the seat itself is very narrow.

    This reflects the actual anatomy of the male pelvis. For women (despite "child-bearing hips") the twist 'usually' is more comfortable when it is very narrow and the seat of the saddle is wider to accommodate the wideness of the seat bones (but this 'feel' is very much subjective, and has nothing to do with what you look like physically from the outside) - there are very slim-hipped 5'6" equestrians who ride most comfortably in an 18" saddle that looks like a frying pan. The articulation of the hip bones is also something which differentiates male and female anatomies and influences the feel of what is between your legs."

    The Classic doesn't have a twist at all so it feels a bit like sitting on a barrel. Some people are fine with that, apparently I'm not.

  7. Thanks for the explanation!! Hope you have a great weekend.

  8. Only three missing fly masks? You ought to be at my place, we're even missing halters. You know the brand new ones, not the old ratty ones. Glad he's got a play buddy.

    I hope your saddle works out for you. I really don't know much about the Ansur's so it's hard for me to leave an intelligent comment. I can attest to the fact that I hate a slipping saddle though.