Monday, September 21, 2009

Brand New Saddle

I would post a picture, but, typical of me, I forgot to bring anything like a camera out to the barn with me. Whoops.

Anyways, it came late Thursday night, exactly as described. It's an older Ansur KonKlusion, which is their eventing model. It's treeless, but it does have a gullet of sorts. The new model can be seen here: Here's a picture that the seller sent me:

It's a bit darker right now because I very thoroughly cleaned and oiled it last night before I went to bed. The scuff marks are mostly gone, but some things are just a part of an old saddle and that's why we love them. For those of you who are adamantly opposed to Ansur business practices, this one was actually made in the Peter's Tack era. (For the record: I am neither for nor against their business practices. I just like their saddles.)

It definitely feels different than the Classic I was riding. The Classic looks something like this. A Classic is basically a glorified bareback pad. There is no gullet. You sit on on (or into, I guess) the horse. Horses for the most part seem to really like them. I guess I'm so used to it that I didn't really think about gullets and spine clearance on Ansurs. Here's a picture of my best friend riding Cassie in a Classic:

It was one of Cassie's first rides this spring and my friend hadn't been on in over a year, so they look pretty good considering. The KonKlusion (or KK) has a seat to it and almost a twist. Maybe the newer models do have a twist; I'm not wealthy enough to find out. It's a bit more secure feeling than the Classic, but it sure was different.

At any rate, I'm unfamiliar with gulleted but treeless saddles. When I put the new one on Izzy this morning, it looked like the pommel was going to rub her, so I put a little wedge pad underneath it. That kept the pommel off her withers, but after I'd ridden for a while, the gullet was right down on her. So... I don't know. It wasn't hurting or pinching, because her head goes straight up in the air when something hurts. All Ansur saddles are built on the same basic Flex Core, and the Classic sits on the horse's back directly, so maybe it's ok? Still, it seems like a gulleted saddle ought to have gullet clearance.

If that's true, there are various pads made specifically for this purpose. They're kind of spendy, but maybe I can find one used. You'd be surprised what a little dedicated searching can turn up. ;-) Still, if it's not bothering her, is it a problem? I don't know.

In other training news, the weather changed this weekend while I was gone. That always gets the horses a little excited, and as such, Izzy was pretty distracted when I was riding her. When I asked her to move off my left leg and she wouldn't and then I made her, she threw a fit, complete with a nice buck and a lunge forward. After that, we finished out the day by doing lots of bending left and right with little leg yields. We didn't canter because I want to know more about the saddle issue before going much further.


  1. Jean at Horses of Follywoods demos Ansur saddles and might be able to answer your questions about your new saddle.

  2. That is an older model KK and it is possible the trauma system foam has collapsed. That would make the saddle much flatter on the bottom.

    Did you get a gullet pad with it? If so, it will make the bottom of the saddle much more like the Classic.

    You can also use a pad similar to the dorsal supplement pad Ansur sells.

    Keep a close eye on your girl with this saddle for now. The older models have a flatter pommel as well and don't always fit "well withered" horses.

  3. The gullet "pillow" as it's called on the Ansur site is $245. You'll find it on the "replacement parts" page. One originally came with the saddle. I don't know if you could make something similar to fit in the gullet out of foam or not. If you did, it would not look the same but might have the same effect.

    The trauma system is important, but it's hard to tell how significant it might be in your saddle.

    I've seen foam pads in some of the tack stores that might do the job of a dorsal pad to create more gullet. The idea would be to raise the pommel a bit so it doesn't rub Izzy's wither.

    Maybe you will get some more suggestions for pads from other people on the board. I will keep thinking on this to try to think of less expensive alternatives for now.

  4. Wish I knew anything about treeless saddles but unfortunately you're way beyond my area of expertise. I'm sure you'll figure it out though!

  5. New saddles - the headaches - good luck!!! :o)


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