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View Full Version : Why doesn't Antares want my money?



HorsRdr477
May. 19, 2010, 03:16 PM
So I am seriously in the market for a saddle and have left two emails through frenchusedsaddles.com to no response! I am a bit annoyed because I really have my heart set on an Antares, but wasn't too sure if I want brand new or a used/demo saddle. It would be nice to have a conversation with someone to find out what size and options would be best for me. A while back I went to the Antares tent at an LA area show to check out the goods, but really didn't feel like they wanted to give me the time of day. How do I figure out which sizes are best for me without having to go through a rep so I can just search for something on my own? Can I take measurements of myself and go from there? I am 5'7" and 140lbs, so I guess I would be a 3L flap or even a 3A? Help!

Haf N Haf
May. 19, 2010, 03:35 PM
I feel your pain. When I was saddle shopping, I was aghasted at the trouble I had getting retailers or companies to answer my emails. Even if I followed it up with a phone call!

One company had instructions on their site to use an email address to send photos and tracings and they'd email you back with suggestios. After a few days I called and the woman said, "I got your email, but didn't know what to do with it so I ignored it." :mad:

So it all boils down to my question, why do you want to buy from someone who doesn't want your business? ;)

jn4jenny
May. 19, 2010, 04:14 PM
Saddle fitting is a frustrating process, but try to remember that these people get dozens of inquiry every day. Most of which are, frankly, tire kickers who are not likely to buy yourself a saddle.

I find that the same advice that applies to horse buying applies to saddle buying: send an email AND leave a phone message. They take you more seriously. And they're likely to answer the phone call.

Then just breathe deep and try to stay patient. I know it's hard. I'm not being sarcastic either--saddle shopping is extremely frustrating. The only thing worse than not having a suitable horse is having a suitable horse and not having the equipment to ride it.

As for the Antares reps, I can't explain that. Except to say that just like all other horse people, some saddle reps are very good communicators and others are not. And unfortunately it's luck of the draw.

shmon
May. 19, 2010, 04:33 PM
I was looking for a long, forward flap saddle a little while ago and sent an email to frenchusedsaddles as well. While it did take her a few days to get back to me, once the conversation was initiated, Kate was FABULOUS. She got more detailed information on my measurements and what/how I rode, and searched her entire inventory for things that might fit (and fit my budget). Unfortunately the only thing we found that would fit me was too expensive, but I wouldn't hesitate to contact her again when I'm shopping because her service was wonderful.

To answer your other question, I'm guessing a 3A *might* be large for you, depending on your inseam. I am 5'9 or 5'10, with a 34" inseam (and around your weight), and the 3A fits me really well. You could get away with it if you ride with much shorter stirrups (high jumpers/xc) but it might feel a little big otherwise. The nice thing about a lot of used saddle centers is that you can get them on demo, so if you hate it, you can always send it back with a better understanding of what you need in a flap (and as long as you don't mind being out $100). Also, it feels like the seat sizes run a hair big...I typically ride in a 17.5" and I could have gotten a 17 in the Antares (mine is the half deep). Hope that helps!

Tha Ridge
May. 19, 2010, 04:36 PM
Saddle fitting is a frustrating process, but try to remember that these people get dozens of inquiry every day. Most of which are, frankly, tire kickers who are not likely to buy yourself a saddle.

Really? Is that an excuse for poor customer service now? Wouldn't (or shouldn't) a reputable company reply to every e-mail, whether it be a serious buyer or an 11-year-old kid, with the same level of respect and service?

Gry2Yng
May. 19, 2010, 04:47 PM
Call my rep. Paul Grana. He is fantastic. Including, after having my new saddle stolen 4 weeks after I received it, he put me to the front of production and I got another new saddle in three weeks, plus he gave me a loaner while I waited. I could go on and on.

847-691-3083 He is based in the midwest but should be able to answer questions and maybe get your rep on the ball. Please tell him you got his number from Chris Lies. Has done a lot for me, would like him to know that I am supporting him as well.

sptraining
May. 19, 2010, 04:49 PM
Quite honestly, I've ridden in a lot of Antares and can't say they've won me over. I've spent a lot of time recently talking to saddle fitters and saddle makers and vets about saddles and saddle fit. I'd recommend talking to Paul down at Broken Horn before going with the Antares. He's a wealth of knowledge and might be able to give you some good suggestions. www.superiorsaddlery.com

From my vet: It's easier to find a husband than a saddle that fits both you and your horse. Sigh. True Story.

Good luck.

Gry2Yng
May. 19, 2010, 05:00 PM
From my vet: It's easier to find a husband than a saddle that fits both you and your horse. Sigh. True Story.

Good luck.

True enough. :D

jn4jenny
May. 19, 2010, 05:03 PM
Really? Is that an excuse for poor customer service now? Wouldn't (or shouldn't) a reputable company reply to every e-mail, whether it be a serious buyer or an 11-year-old kid, with the same level of respect and service?

I didn't say it was an excuse, in fact I'm pretty sure I didn't make any value judgment about whether it's good or bad. I am simply stating the contextual reality. They get a lot of inquiries, most of which are probably not very serious. Each company and individual rep decides how they're going to handle that.

Tha Ridge
May. 19, 2010, 05:40 PM
I didn't say it was an excuse, in fact I'm pretty sure I didn't make any value judgment about whether it's good or bad. I am simply stating the contextual reality. They get a lot of inquiries, most of which are probably not very serious. Each company and individual rep decides how they're going to handle that.

Oh, I know, I wasn't attacking you or anything - just really disappointed if companies are beginning to make value judgments about customers through e-mail correspondence. But hey, I guess it's money they're losing.

norcalammie
May. 19, 2010, 05:47 PM
Everyone told me I would love Antares saddles. Had the rep out and he spent like 10 minutes with me and determined what I needed + tons of pads. No that is not what I needed!

I called the County rep and she spent about 2 hours with me letting me try a variety of saddles and took measurements of both me and my horse. While I had to order the saddle she was great in that when County was not happy with the hides they got, she loaned me a saddle as delivery was delayed.

I have been very happy with service from County and am glad now I bought something wool flocked as I have had it adjusted a couple of times. I don't think you can solve all fit problems by adding more pads as the Antares rep wanted me to do!

lphoeb
May. 19, 2010, 05:48 PM
Wow, I'm surprised. I just bought a saddle off the Antares used site and had wonderful customer service. I found a used one on the site, emailed with questions and it was sent to me to try for one week. I loved the saddle and kept it. If you have any more trouble PM me and I will give you the email for the woman I spoke with.

mvp
May. 19, 2010, 06:16 PM
I don't know how a company can distinguish a tire-kicker from a potential buyer except in retrospect and then only putting the mystery person in one category or another based on whether or not they bought a saddle!

It turns out that there are plenty of serious people who don't buy particular saddles for some serious reasons.

But if you treat them badly out of the box, you can be sure they will become tire kickers so far as your brand is concerned.

sptraining
May. 19, 2010, 06:23 PM
I don't know how a company can distinguish a tire-kicker from a potential buyer except in retrospect and then only putting the mystery person in one category or another based on whether or not they bought a saddle!

It turns out that there are plenty of serious people who don't buy particular saddles for some serious reasons.

But if you treat them badly out of the box, you can be sure they will become tire kickers so far as your brand is concerned.

I work in a non-horse related industry selling a pretty expensive home improvement product. You never know who is going to ante up with the money so you have to treat everyone like they're going to buy. It's exhausting for sure to keep chasing after everyone, but it's the only way to make sales happen. Maybe the Antares rep isn't that hungry...

I've found though in general that emails are quite passive. If you want something done, you have to get someone on the phone (which can be a task in and of itself). If I were you, I'd still be checking out different brands. I had a lovely experience with the County rep in Los Angeles and a good experience with Paul as well...

FineAlready
May. 19, 2010, 06:44 PM
Call my rep. Paul Grana. He is fantastic. Including, after having my new saddle stolen 4 weeks after I received it, he put me to the front of production and I got another new saddle in three weeks, plus he gave me a loaner while I waited. I could go on and on.

847-691-3083 He is based in the midwest but should be able to answer questions and maybe get your rep on the ball. Please tell him you got his number from Chris Lies. Has done a lot for me, would like him to know that I am supporting him as well.

Interesting. I have worked with Paul as well. Purchased a saddle from him, in fact. I was not particularly impressed by him or his customer service. I do love my saddle now that I finally have it in one non-damaged piece, but there were a LOT of problems along the way and I did not find him very supportive in helping to resolve those issues until I pressed in a big way. That said, things were ultimately resolved to my satisfaction, so it's all really water under the bridge at this point.

I do know others who have positive things to say about him, though. To each his or her own, I suppose.

Tegan
May. 19, 2010, 06:56 PM
I have a 17.5" 3A flap and I am 5'9" and a "little" heavier than you. I think that size may work, depending on your leg length.

Try contacting Patricia at Fineusedsaddles.com
She will be able to help you with sizing and they usually carry a lot of Antares in great condition.

I would try to find a used or demo, they take a long time to make, and why pay more when you don't have to?

kates93
May. 19, 2010, 07:54 PM
I had a slow response a few months back from Antares re: a problem I needed fixed on my saddle.

I did get a call from Brad (Maryland) eventually, and he explained that if you submit an inquiry through their website, it can often get routed through France ... and it can take awhile to sort it out and get it to the right rep in the US. So I would recommend calling a rep direct, because they are very nice and helpful once they get your message.

LexInVA
May. 19, 2010, 07:55 PM
Find a good rep who is knowledgeable and can get you fitted properly. That will save you more frustration and grief than you can imagine.

Across Sicily
May. 19, 2010, 08:41 PM
Really? Is that an excuse for poor customer service now? Wouldn't (or shouldn't) a reputable company reply to every e-mail, whether it be a serious buyer or an 11-year-old kid, with the same level of respect and service?

No kidding. I read that quote and went :eek:

I've gotten to the point where I refuse to deal with crap customer service anymore. Just not worth it. If they don't want my money, fine... I'll be happy to give it to someone else. Has sure left me an awful lot happier overall!

AndNirina
May. 19, 2010, 10:00 PM
I dealt with a LA-area rep a few years ago, but I believe there is a different one now at Antares (yes, sorry.. that was no help!). I'm 5'9" and around your weight and have a 17" 3A flap, although most of my leg length is in my femur. When I look at my saddle the flap looks awfully forward (more than I would like.. almost cross country-ish) but when I'm in the tack it fits my leg perfectly, so I've gotten over it. :)

I went around and around with Antares for months, but mostly due to fitting issues with my mare. Eventually, they got it right and I've been very happy with the saddle. Are you set on full calf, or do you need it to fit a specific horse? If not, you may want to at least test ride the Spooner model from Antares. (Our local, local tack shop carries it.. I'm sure she'd let you demo it) I actually liked it a lot, but had to get custom for the fat mare.

The Memorial Day show at LAEC is right around the corner. You may want to pop by the Antares tent then if you can. You may just get luckier.

Renn/aissance
May. 19, 2010, 11:11 PM
Call them- and phone the main office, not the rep. But this doesn't terribly surprise me.

HorsRdr477
May. 20, 2010, 04:20 PM
Thanks for all the replies! So I am so over waiting to hear back from Antares! Maybe I'm not cool enough :rolleyes: I have been in contact with CWD over the last week so we'll see how it goes! For those of you with CWDs, how do you like them?

KristieBee
May. 20, 2010, 04:34 PM
For what it's worth, I've recently realized that these French saddles are mostly just glorified off the rack saddles. Additionally, it seems you can't really modify the tree after the fact, and if your horse's back changes, the foam panels require total repanelling to the tune of about $500 when changes are necessary, instead of simply reflocking, for under $200, which you can do with wool.

My horse has grown/changed a lot in the two years since I paid top dollar for my full buffalo calf Antares with a medium tree, and now I'm left with no option but to sell it for probably half what I paid. Feels like SUCH a waste! This time around, (after frustrating saddle trial after saddle trial, lol i give up) I've decided to get a *truly* custom saddle built by Paul from superiorsaddlery.com for about the same price. He came out with six different trees yesterday to see which shape best fit my medium-wide horse. I love knowing the trees he uses can be modified if I ever should need, and that he will reflock the saddle as needed to keep it fitting my horse comfortably along the way.

So far he's been great customer service wise, am going to choose leather and seats very soon. He said I should have the saddle within three or four weeks. Will let you know how it goes! But if you decide to go with CWD - my advice, be sure your horse won't change TOO much and try to get it flocked with wool.

Best
KB

shmon
May. 20, 2010, 04:37 PM
I got rid of my CWD (too wide) for the Antares (with a more forward flap). They're both lovely saddles - I'd have a hard time picking between the two, to be totally honest. Each fit the horse it was intended for and fit me pretty well (the CWD was not quite forward enough). They were both grain leather with calf seat and knee pads and had front and back blocks. I can't really pick one over another - both have lovely craftsmanship, quality leather, and a comfortable seat, and felt nicely balanced on the horse.

BAC
May. 20, 2010, 04:43 PM
For those of you with CWDs, how do you like them?

I love mine, have had it almost 5 years now. My dealings with the company have been excellent, great customer service.

I always call Brad in Antares customer service when I am in need of something, in fact IMO nobody beats their customer service. I'm surprised you had such a different experience.

BABYGREENTB
May. 20, 2010, 04:49 PM
So I am seriously in the market for a saddle and have left two emails through frenchusedsaddles.com to no response! I am a bit annoyed because I really have my heart set on an Antares, but wasn't too sure if I want brand new or a used/demo saddle. It would be nice to have a conversation with someone to find out what size and options would be best for me. A while back I went to the Antares tent at an LA area show to check out the goods, but really didn't feel like they wanted to give me the time of day. How do I figure out which sizes are best for me without having to go through a rep so I can just search for something on my own? Can I take measurements of myself and go from there? I am 5'7" and 140lbs, so I guess I would be a 3L flap or even a 3A? Help!

Check your junk email folder - when I first emailed them, it went to my spam folder.

Antares_Nia
May. 24, 2010, 04:45 PM
Hello NorCal (and beyond) hunter-jumpers,

My name is Nia Davis and I am the newest addition to Antares Custom Saddles' Sales Rep team, servicing Northern CA and the Central Coast. As saddle-fitters and customer care providers, we are here to listen to your concerns and to come up with solutions in a timely and professional manner. I will be monitoring these forums, so if you have an issue/question/comment/praise, please feel free to contact me at 415-624-4447 or at nia@antaressaddle.com. We are happy to help and we're always striving for improvement. Your feedback is appreciated.

The Antares booth will be at the upcoming Golden State and Pickwick shows and I'll be there. I look forward to working with you and your horses.

All best,

Nia
Facebook "Antares Custom Saddles NorCal"

tallygirl
May. 29, 2010, 09:27 PM
i LOVEEEEEEE CWD... they are AMAZING and the customer service is superb. no one can touch their customer service.

seeuatx
May. 29, 2010, 10:11 PM
I don't have one, but I've heard fabulous things about Stackhouse saddles and their reps. Might be worth a look. http://www.stackhousesaddles.com/finalaboutus.html

LeeB10
May. 30, 2010, 10:12 AM
My daughter got an Antares for her first real saddle. We got it because they had a great buy back program and a fitter who came and fit both her and her horse. When we traded that saddle in and got the second one we still got that same great service... the time came for the third saddle - which was just over a year ago. Antares customer service has hit rock bottom. They wouldn't come to the barn but were willing to talk to us at Golden State. The rep only had time to "eyeball" the size with my daugher sitting on the saddle while on a saddle horse. He would not come fit the saddle on the two horses - who were at the show - so that is how it went. My daughter is just under 5'4" and the rep ordered her a LONG flap from "eyeballing" the fit. The flaps came to the bottom of her feet and the saddle did not fit either horse. When I called they still would not come and fit my daughter or her horses so I just sent the saddle back (mind you this was 4 friggin months into this mess) and asked for my money back. I sold her current (at the time) Antares saddle on E-bay and got way more than I was offered for it by Antares and had the Stubben rep come to the barn and fit my daughter. My daughter got one of the new Stubben Biomex saddles and couldn't be happier. The rep spent two hours at the barn and the saddle fits both my daughter and her horses perfectly. Next saddle we might look into CWD but I had heard horror stories from other mothers about their customer service as well so maybe not.