View Full Version : Fhoenix vs. Total Saddle Solutions
13th May 2007, 04:02 PM
Anybody who has ridden in one or both of them? What do you think are the pros and cons of both?
I have ridden my horse in a Total Saddle Solutions one once (not sure what model) and he really lifted his back. Not sure, if it is worth trying out the Fhoenix or Flexion. Did anybody have Mike Bannister come out to them? I would really like to try a few different types/sizes with and without the superpanel. But perhaps it is better to have a weeks trial as it would give more opportunity to test the saddle. If anybody had Mike (or somebody else) come out to them, did they perhaps offer a trial of the saddle you liked best?
Any advise appreciated. PM me, if you don't want to post.
13th May 2007, 04:08 PM
I have both:D but an ansur not a total solutions.
i think its really personal opinion, the saddle do feel very different, so its probably better to trial a fhoenix aswell and see if you prefer it or not:)
13th May 2007, 04:30 PM
They are quite different, the Solutions look and feel a bit more conventional for a start and cost a bit more too. I've not ridden in one but have ridden in an Ansur, which I presume is similar. It's probably worth trying both if you can before you splash that amount of cash as it's a matter of preference for both you and your horse as to which might suit you better.
I know Mike, but not seen him for a while, he's a nice bloke :) He paid us a visit a while ago with a Suberpanel, and it was an incredibly comfortable saddle, my horse seemed to like it too. Did have reservations about its stability though, I use a normal Suber pad with no issues and the one under the saddle seemed too full to mould well onto the horse's back.
13th May 2007, 04:49 PM
The Total Saddle Solutions one I rode in was pretty new and I found the leather very stiff. I felt like my legs weren't even touching my horse and I was flapping about all over the place (at least that's was it felt like). I liked the way my horse lifted its back within minutes of riding him in that saddle.
Which Ansur/Total saddle have you got? Energist or Freestyle?
Looking on the internet I actually thought the Fhoenix looked more conventional than Solutions.
Anyway what is the difference between the suberpanel and the suberpad? Is the panel attached permanently and the pad isn't? It does indeed look a bit bulky. Would like to be quite close to the horse, but also don't want him to feel my seatbones or any other parts pushing down (stirrup attachments or whatever).
13th May 2007, 05:02 PM
I've got an SBS (forerunner to the Fhoenix) and have ridden in an Ansur once so not the best comparison in the world but I didn't like the Ansur at all (quite apart from my moral objections to Ansur). I didn't find it as comfortable as my SBS and my friend actually got rid of it because it was rubbing her horse's withers. I did think that the Ansur was quite stiff and a lot less flexible than my SBS.
I haven't had a single problem with stability on my SBS and my horse isn't exactly a dobbin! I did fall off once .... when I forgot to do the girth up :rolleyes: Even then I got through about 30 minutes in my lesson without it moving an inch. It was only going around the corner in canter when I obviously was leaning slightly to the outside that made it slip so it's not surprising really ;)
I haven't tried the suberpanel Fhoenix because I detest the feeling of the suberpad. I probably will try one when I look at the jumping saddle but so far I'm not a fan of the suber pad.
To answer your question a suber pad is a pad that fits under your saddle like a numnah would. In the suberpanel the 'suberpad' is completely removable and replaceable and takes place of the normal panels.
I am going to try a suberpanel because I felt perched and unstable using the suberpad but as the suber takes place of the panels then this might not be the same feeling.
The Fhoenix does look very 'normal' once it's molded and you're sat on it.
13th May 2007, 05:05 PM
I don't own one, it was a borrowed Ansur Konklusion, and that was also quite stiff but not problematically so other than the fact it was necessary to pad it suitably to give wither clearance on my horses. I've seen the Solutions in the flesh though as it were.
The Suber panel was detachable from the saddle and has a waist, unlike the pad which is tombstone shaped. If you're using it on a wide horse with a thin saddle it does mean you don't have to stretch your hip joints quite as wide. It has less give in it than the pad for whatever reason, perhaps someone who knows more will explain.
13th May 2007, 05:56 PM
Most probably will prefer the Fhoenix as I really didn't like the feel of the Solutions, but obviously my horse did :). So I am not sure what will be best.
(quite apart from my moral objections to Ansur)? Would you like to explain that?
Anyway, my main concern about the Fhoenix is the foam. I understand it moulds as you ride in the saddle. I am a bit concerned what happens if you don't sit absolutely right in it in the beginning or it doesn't lie sqare on the horse. Won't the foam mold wrong? (Sorry, if I didn't explain that very well. Hope you can get what I mean.)
13th May 2007, 06:21 PM
Yes, I get what you mean :D
It does mould to you BUT it reforms again so it doesn't mould and then stay in that shape so you're stuck there forever. The stirrup bars do enable you to sit in a better position (they're set back) and you don't have to fight against them like you have to do in a lot of other saddles.
In short, Ansur sued Heather Moffett for alleged breach of patent. Basically they'd patented the treeless saddle which is rather like Stubben getting a patent on a saddle with a tree and sueing the other saddle companies. It was a ridiculous lawsuit and they behaved appallingly knowing that as a small company Heather would never be able to afford the legal costs to right a most inconsiderable wrong. The patent should never have been allowed and would probably be overturned if anyone could actually afford to fight it.
The SBS was absolutely nothing like the Ansur so it was a bullying tactic by Ansur to get rid of competition.
Then, more recently, people in the US doing a google search for a Fhoenix were directed via a sponsored link to the Ansur website!
(2nd sponsored link)
They also had the word 'Fhoenix' in their metatags so it wasn't a mistake!
Although Peter DeCosemo of TSS was originally involved with Ansur while this was happened he resigned his position and set up TSS in the UK. He's met with Heather and they get on fine so there's no question that TSS can be tarred with the Ansur brush. He even had a photo of him and Heather taken with him sat on the Fhoenix, complete with a very broad grin :D
13th May 2007, 06:57 PM
Didn't even notice this, even though I had searched for Fhoenix saddles before, but then again I never look at the sponsored links, because I resent them being there :D.
Good to know about the foam. Still a bit concered, but perhaps a bit less. Suppose that gives yourself a chance to correct yourself. Does the foam need replacing after a while then? Because won't it get "worn out" after a long time? (Have no idea how long those saddles have been on the market really.)
13th May 2007, 09:45 PM
I suppose like anything it will eventually but I know that someone was still using the Seat Bone Saver (made of the same stuff) for well over 10 years. She's only got a new one because she was bought one as a present. The suede cover is looking a bit worse for wear (though still useable) but the foam is still going strong!
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