I am now the proud owner of one fabulous pony and two Ansur treeless saddles. You can say it. I'm a lucky girl.
Here's my saddle when I first got it yesterday. Note my stylish fleecy penguin blanket stand. I love penguins. The saddle is beautiful and in great shape.
Here is Izzy wearing the saddle after a hard workout. I tried to have Cathy take a couple pictures of us while riding, but they were alternately fuzzy or showing off some of my riding flaws, so you'll have to wait til I have better pictures. (In Cathy's defense, it is ridiculously hard to get good pictures in the doom bubble. The lighting is wonky.)
We had to borrow a girth and I used the leathers from my other Ansur, so they're brown. I really wish I could afford new leathers, a nice girth, and more flexible irons, but that's not really in the cards right now. I have about $100 to find a girth and maybe another dressage pad. I can borrow some irons and leathers and I'm pretending that my bridle actually matches.
The great thing about Ansurs is that Izzy loves them. There's no fitting problems and balkiness when I saddle up. She was very happy in it. She was also having a stupid day, wherein she spooks at absolutely everything and acts like a complete idiot. For whatever reason, I was having a brave day, so I lunged her, then just hopped on. She spooked all over the place at stupid things, and I thought back to the excellent blog post by tango dressage and went, "Hm, I will ride what she's giving me now."
So I did. Izzy would spook and gallop forward. I'd bend her inside and out to soften her. Izzy would spook in place. I'd spank her for getting behind my leg and ride her forward. The great thing was that Izzy was so "up" that she was really forward today. I used that. We didn't take many walk breaks, but we did lots of transitions and work that is hard when she doesn't want to go forward. In my lessons with Cathy, she's been having me give the inside rein and relax my body to get Izzy to settle. I tried this, and after a couple circles, Izzy actually relaxed a bit and quit leaning through my hands constantly. She listened to my seat nicely and gave me a little shoulder-fore while I released my inside hand.
So, all in all, we turned a bad day into a good day, all on a fabulous saddle.