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View Full Version : Newly Noisy Saddle... What Do These Sounds Mean?? *New [LONG] Update - Post #42*



ReeseTheBeast
Oct. 27, 2011, 12:07 PM
I did post this in the already-existing thread re: "Squeaking Tree on Antares" here in the H/J forum, but thought I'd start a new thread since that one doesn't seem to be getting any traffic.

During last night's ride, I discovered that my Antares is suddenly making odd sounds.

There's this 'clicking' or 'popping' sound coming from the pommel when I walk or trot... It didn't do it consistently for the entire ride, but at the beginning, it was very noticeable. By the end of the ride, I could hear it only every once in a while; but it was still happening.

I bought the saddle used from Antares, I've only had it for about 3 months... hopefully they won't charge me to fix anything if anything is in fact broken.

I'm paranoid... and quietly freaking out. Does anyone know what that popping/clicking sound from my pommel may be indicative of (vs. squeaking)??

Someone hold my hand... or give me a tranquilizer :winkgrin:

ETA: Here is the information on my saddle... no idea what it means, but maybe some of you who are also having problems will notice similarities in the year/model/etc.

16 - Q1N - EJ - Antares Saddle -
Calfskin Leather - Light Brown - With
Blocks - M10 Panels - # EJ363 2004 04x3.

buck22
Oct. 27, 2011, 05:17 PM
Those are classic signs indicative of a broken tree, maybe a headplate, or screw/nail broken, etc. Especially if the noise is new. The saddle may or may not flex poorly, headplate breaks or broken screws/nails don't always cause a saddle to flex noticeably broken.

I have only come across one broken tree and it made a popping sound in the pommel. FWIW squeaking too *can* be a sign of a compromised tree too.

I would contact Antares asap, and *I* personally would stop riding the saddle for the sake of my horse's back. Chiro bills on top of saddle fix costs would really be a bummer.

This is a really good blog if you have time to prowl around, she has an entry or three on tree breaks and how insidious they are
http://saddlefitter.blogspot.com/

Sorry. Few things suck worse. Antares is a good company, and hopefully will stand behind their product.

ReeseTheBeast
Oct. 28, 2011, 08:22 AM
Well f*ck.

Definitely not the news I wanted to hear, although it's what I suspected.

I'll see if I can make an appointment to bring it up to the Antares rep some time next week... I just don't understand how it could have happened. There's been no trauma to my saddle, nothing. It just started making that noise on Wednesday.

:no: :no: :no:

Trixie
Oct. 28, 2011, 11:44 AM
My butet did that, also without any trauma. It was a broken tree, but journeyman was able to fix it for around $300.

BAC
Oct. 28, 2011, 02:11 PM
My first thought is a broken tree, but it could also be a dislodged screw, rivet, etc. Antares has great customer service though, definitely stop riding in the saddle and contact them immediately.

FineAlready
Oct. 28, 2011, 03:16 PM
I'm sorry, but that sounds like it is likely *at a minimum* a popped rivet, and possibly a tree that is broken across the front of the pommel. If the rep tries to just visually inspect it and give it a few squeezes, please demand that they send it to one of their saddlers to have it properly inspected. This involves opening the saddle up to inspect the tree.

When my tree was broken (the first time), the rep tried to tell me it was fine multiple times. It was not. The tree was broken. I rode my poor horse in a saddle with a broken tree for several months as a result.

Demand that they have that sucker opened up and inspected, and stop riding in it until it has been properly assessed. If it is a popped rivet, it can evetually progress to a broken tree if you keep riding in it. And, either way, it's not a good idea to continue to ride in an unsound saddle.

Oh, and your tree is still under warranty if it is only 3 months old. The tree warranty is 5 years, and they won't give you any pushback on fixing it at their own cost.

mephistopheles
Oct. 28, 2011, 08:58 PM
The tree is probably broken at the head.

ReeseTheBeast
Nov. 3, 2011, 12:23 PM
So I wanted to follow up on this thread, for anyone who may be interested. I also need to vent, which is the primary reason for my updating :o

So after discovering my saddle's newly-acquired popping and clicking noises during last week's ride, I asked my trainer to ride in my saddle to see what she thought.

She told me that she didn't hear a single thing while riding in it, and that it wouldn't flex for her, etc.; and that it should be fine.

So I rode in my saddle again last night, but this time the popping and clicking were actually *worse* (more frequent and louder by far) than the last time. And last night, I could tell that the noise was primarily coming from the left side of the pommel (although the right side would occasionally pop and click too).

While I was riding last night, I stuck my hand under the pommel as far as I could, and I could definitely feel something inside the saddle moving/popping.

Not good.

So this morning I emailed the guy at Antares who I made my original transaction with to let him know what was going on, and to hear his thoughts on the matter.

I literally *just* got a phone call back from him, and he said that a popping or clicking noise almost ALWAYS (as in 99.9% of the time) means that the head of the tree is broken. He said that they can order me a new tree and have it and the seat replaced... for $1400. I bought the damn thing for $1900!!!! I told him that I would most likely not be going that route, because it just doesn't make a lot of financial sense- I'd rather put that money into a different/replacement saddle without any existing issues.

I learned that Antares only holds a 5 year warranty on their saddles/trees, and my saddle was made in 2004 (I bought it used). So of course the warranty doesn't apply in this instance.

Another option we have is to send the saddle to a repair shop Antares uses in Illinois, have their people open the saddle up to see if it's just a popped rivet (which is highly unlikely, given the noises that its making). Of course, all of this would be at my expense; and would only be for diagnostic purposes to see if the tree is, in fact broken. Which in all likelihood, it is. Which means that it would still have to be replaced. And I would have to pay for it.

And another option is having the Antares rep come out to the farm, listen to the saddle while I ride in it, give it a hands-on evaluation, and depending on what the rep thinks; trade the saddle in for a different one at whatever discount equals the worth of my current saddle (which, due to the broken tree, is only worth about $400-500... And without a broken tree? It would be worth over $1600. And wouldn't need to be replaced, but I digress). I am just sick about this. I JUST bought this saddle 3 months ago!!!!

And I bought it from Antares instead of a private party or random tack shop *specifically because* I wanted to avoid issues like this. I know it's not Antares' fault, and it's not like they could have known that this was going to happen; but in my mind, I just assumed that buying from a certified source meant a better chance of better quality. Ah, assumptions. :no:

The actual rep who would be visiting the farm was out of the office at the time that I received the phone call, but is due to call me to schedule a visit to the farm for an evaluation; since that's where I would be most comfortable starting this whole process.

I literally feel sick to my stomach. And I suddenly have a splitting headache. And I want to cry. Yes, there are worse things in the world, I know that I shouldn't be so upset... but because of how much time, drama, and energy it took me to find something to fit Reese, me, and my budget; this is truly devastating.

Not to mention, I really felt that Antares would be of better quality than to turn up with a broken tree at 7 years old; which is why I was willing to spend so much money on a used saddle. I mean, shit happens, I get it. I just don't have ANY money to replace or repair this saddle, and I don't know what to do.



I'm so, so upset. :( :cry:

KateKat
Nov. 3, 2011, 12:36 PM
I would talk to Antares again. Tell them your concerns and that you just don't have the money to invest in another saddle. They may be willing to work with you on the cost of repairs. You will probably have to pay *something* but maybe just not the original $1400 quoted price.

Oh and wanted to add...really sorry this is happening to you. It freaking sucks.

Trixie
Nov. 3, 2011, 12:44 PM
I would be furious.

And I would do my damndest to make sure they took it back. You have only had it for three months, charging you nearly the equivalent of buying it again is insane - you were expecting better by buying from a reputable company and you expect them to stand behind the quality of their products. I would continue repeating that.

If on any level that fails I would call Journeyman. When my Butet had a broken tree they charged me only a few hundred to replace it.

FineAlready
Nov. 3, 2011, 01:00 PM
I'm sorry, but this IS their fault. I personally believe that they are more than aware of the problems with their trees, despite what they may tell you. The tree in my 2007 saddle has broken twice now. Two trees, actually, because the first one was replaced.

They owe you a refund. You bought the saddle three MONTHS ago. I don't give a damn how long the tree warranty is. This is a defective product issue, not a warranty issue. That is just my personal opinion.

BAC
Nov. 3, 2011, 01:08 PM
I think you should continue to pursue this with Antares. You only bought it a short time ago and I think they need to stand behind their product. I would not give up so easily on trying to get them to either fix it or replace it, and not for $1400!

On a more positive note, there have been a couple of threads here about saddles making strange noises and it turned out to be a popped rivet instead of a broken tree. I realize its a small chance, but it might be worth pursuing that, just in case it is something so small.

ReeseTheBeast
Nov. 3, 2011, 02:57 PM
Thanks guys, I appreciate all the support. I'm planning to keep pursuing this with Antares, and pushing for a better outcome than what's been projected by the guy I spoke to.

If worse comes to worse, maybe I can send him this thread....

Updates ensue!

doublesstable
Nov. 3, 2011, 03:14 PM
When you bought the saddle used from them, did they say or offer any written warranty with the used saddle?

I would think for good customer service of their product they would help you out. Possibly refund your money and offer up another used option that has been inspected.

And don't worry about how you are feeling; I have been feeling the same way about a saddle issue I am having right now as well.... your not alone!

mostlynothing
Nov. 3, 2011, 03:32 PM
It seems to me from watching posts and listening to the comments and experiences of friends that Antares has more than its fair share of tree problems. This is so much so that when I bought mine I really questioned them about it. As it turns out I had a grest deal of trouble getting a saddle with a straight tree....when I finally had to give up on getting a brand new custom I had to settle for a lightly used that was a custom for someone else. Tree was straight but it was not wide enough for the horse it was intended for in the first place. I have to say Antares was good to work with but the saddles just were not meant for me or my horses. But given they obviously know they have a tree problem and esp with the older ones I would enter into more discussion with them. I think they need to replace that tree for you at their expense or at minimal cost or they need to apply the full purchase price you paid to another saddle they have for sale or on an order. I would not accept the word of one rep.....contact one of the owners.

BAC
Nov. 3, 2011, 04:37 PM
I would not accept the word of one rep.....contact one of the owners.

I have found Evelyn, one of the owners, excellent to deal with, I would contact her, or Brad Van Kirk in customer service. Brad is also wonderful, although not an owner. Both are in the MD location, at least they used to be. Haven't dealt with them in a while.

ReeseTheBeast
Nov. 3, 2011, 05:37 PM
As of right now, I have an appointment at 10am this upcoming Sunday with a guy named Terry (? Heavy accent, hard to tell). I honestly want a refund so that I can take my business elsewhere... like to a company that doesn't have a history of defective saddle trees. I can't believe I'm just now finding out about these issues. I've only ever heard about how much people love their Antares; never a complaint!! Until now :( I really thought I had done my homework and due diligence ... I'm so blown!!

If I still drank, I would be at least 5 deep by now; just to "take the edge off." Because "edgy" is a laughably insufficient description of how I currently feel.
:o

KateKat
Nov. 3, 2011, 06:56 PM
Maybe its Thierry, who is one of the owners of the company. Hopefully they present a more reasonable solution. I have never had any problems with them in terms of customer service, they have always been more than willing to work with me (including giving me a significant discount when I bought my new saddle, and throwing in some freebies).

hasahorse
Nov. 3, 2011, 07:06 PM
When I had an Antares, and the barn I rode at had a tack room full of them, I cannot tell you how many problems there were. I will say that Thierry is much better to deal with than Evelyn. I had nothing but bad dealings with her, to the point I vowed never to deal with them again. I couldn't get rid of my Antares fast enough.

LexInVA
Nov. 3, 2011, 08:10 PM
I hope this is resolved in a beneficial way. It is their responsibility to refurbish the saddle (if need be) after a thorough examination of the internals, before you get your paws on it, instead of giving you something that goes boom right after you buy it. Given the precedents for things like this, I wouldn't be surprised if they sold you something that had been "used" a bit more than they advertised. It was probably taken for numerous test-drives and thrown around the shelves before you got a hold of it. That is unacceptable.

Brooke
Nov. 3, 2011, 09:18 PM
I hope you can get this resolved. Terrible! I'm saving up for a custom saddle - and now I know I Won't be looking at an Antares.

ReeseTheBeast
Nov. 4, 2011, 11:32 AM
I have found Evelyn, one of the owners, excellent to deal with, I would contact her, or Brad Van Kirk in customer service. Brad is also wonderful, although not an owner. Both are in the MD location, at least they used to be. Haven't dealt with them in a while.

Brad is the gentleman I made my initial transaction with, and who I initially spoke with yesterday. He really is great. Very sweet, very professional, very understanding. I haven't spoken to Evelyn.


Maybe its Thierry, who is one of the owners of the company. Hopefully they present a more reasonable solution. I have never had any problems with them in terms of customer service, they have always been more than willing to work with me (including giving me a significant discount when I bought my new saddle, and throwing in some freebies).

Yes, I believe you're right- that it was Thierry I spoke with yesterday. Although I'm anxious as hell, I'm still looking forward to Sunday, in hopes that a positive outcome can be reached in this situation. I'm trying to think positively, otherwise I'd be crying at my desk again today like I was yesterday. And nobody likes desk crying :lol:

In thinking over things this morning, I'm leaning more towards just wanting a refund for the saddle, so I could use that money to buy another brand of saddle... you know, one without prolific tree defects.

:sigh:

What a pain in the ass.

ReeseTheBeast
Nov. 4, 2011, 12:44 PM
...If on any level that fails I would call Journeyman. When my Butet had a broken tree they charged me only a few hundred to replace it.


Trixie, do you have any contact information for Journeyman? Or could you tell me their location so I can look it up? I'd like to have it handy just in case...

BAC
Nov. 4, 2011, 12:46 PM
Journeyman is in VA, just google them.

Trixie
Nov. 4, 2011, 01:18 PM
Journeymen - 2 West Federal Street, Middleburg, Virginia 540-687-5888

Right up the street from the Tack Exchange and across from the Tack Box. Just in case you needed other tack.

ReeseTheBeast
Nov. 4, 2011, 02:13 PM
Thank you, BAC and Trixie!

hollyhorse2000
Nov. 4, 2011, 04:44 PM
I didn't keep my brand new Antares long enough to have a tree problem. It didn't fit the horse it was fitted to and never would. It was gone in a year and I just took the hit to the wallet and moved on.

FineAlready
Nov. 4, 2011, 08:07 PM
[QUOTE=ReeseTheBeast;5936801] In thinking over things this morning, I'm leaning more towards just wanting a refund for the saddle, so I could use that money to buy another brand of saddle... you know, one without prolific tree defects.
QUOTE]

Well, in that case...prepare to be disappointed and to have some of the most frustrating and fruitless conversations of your life.

When the company fails to provide you with any reasonable solution at all, feel free to send me a PM, as I have an idea as to how a number of us may be able to get our concerns addressed properly.

sadlmakr
Nov. 4, 2011, 08:26 PM
I am sorry to hear of this unfortunate experience you are having.
I personally feel that $1,400 is an outrageous price to fix a saddle you bought from them.
I do not remember who it is in Connecticutt that has a man that repairs trees. A friend had her saddle repaired by that company and it turned out very nice.
It sounds to me like the tree is broken also.
I do hope you have the original receipt from the purchase of this saddle.
Aslo let us know what happens when you see the Company Rep or VP.
I had no idea that the Antares had such a bad tree problem. I am hoping for the best for you.
Kind regards, sadlmakr

ReeseTheBeast
Nov. 6, 2011, 02:22 PM
Hey guys,

Thierry came out to my farm this morning and took a look at my saddle.
He was unable to flex the tree (just as we at my farm were not able to), and declared it not broken.

Once he saw it on Reese, he did say that Reese was not muscled symmetrically (true), and that he was weaker to the right (also true). So Theirry placed 2 shims under the right side of my saddle and had me get on to see how things felt.

He also noticed that my right stirrup was approximately 2 holes too long (I had always felt it was too long, but when I would put it up, it would definitely be too short).

So he put my stirrup up and had me go on for a ride.

HUGE difference. No popping, no
clicking, nothing- no noises whatsoever. I felt more balanced than I ever have, and so did Reese. He was more willing to move out to the right, and bend to the right; two things that usually took us the entire ride to achieve.

As an aside, Thierry was *extremely* nice, and very knowledgeable. He also insisted that I call him if I have any other questions or problems.

I am very happy that it only took 2 shims and a stirrup length adjustment to resolve this situation; but I'm peeved that I had to pay for the shims... but, better $75 than a new saddle.

That said, a woman at my farm wants to buy it for her daughter; and I'm seriously considering selling it to them... as I stated before, I don't want to ever get to the point of experiencing any issues with the tree, so I'd like to remain a step ahead of the game and get it off my hands now.

So I've been doing some browsing online this afternoon and have found a small Tad that I think would fit us; a used CWD that I think would work nicely; and an Amerigo Vega that I think would fit us as well.

My $2000 budget is definitely going to remain a limiting factor in purchasing a new [used] saddle; but I'll be working to add to it as much as possible; and I'll keep looking.

I'm open to suggestions if anyone knows of any saddles that would be a good fit for a horse with a broad back/shoulders; and a really small rider with no ass, long femur and shorter shin; please share your thoughts!

And of course, I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on the new developments in my saddle saga.

Trixie
Nov. 6, 2011, 02:32 PM
If it fits, isn't broken and he's going in it that nicely, I might just leave it. But then again, I'm still wincing from saddle shopping last time.

ReeseTheBeast
Nov. 6, 2011, 02:36 PM
If it fits, isn't broken and he's going in it that nicely, I might just leave it. But then again, I'm still wincing from saddle shopping last time.

Trust me, I'm still wincing from my last go-round with saddle shopping as well. It took me 2 years to sell the first saddle I bought for me and Reese (semi-custom from Beval), and find the Antares that fit us.

I *do* have reservations about getting rid of it for that reason; but on the other hand, learning about all of the issues people have been having with their Antares' trees, I'm inclined to get it off my hands- I see it as a ticking time bomb.

But then again at this point, I am paranoid about all saddles and feel like it's a big hit-or-miss shitshow...

alto
Nov. 6, 2011, 04:15 PM
If I were in the US I'd definitely consider Verhan (priced out shipping & insurance & border time & it just wasn't feasible from Canada (re fit adjustments)). They don't seem to hold their value as well as CWD & Antares so you can pick one up for lower cost - AFAIK they are an individual saddle rather than a company saddle so will never have the popularity/distribution of Antares etc.

County should fit your horse well & has wool flocking so if you want to work on the asymmetry,this is my preferance over foam & shims - downside though is that wool will compress & you will need to factor in annual adjustments (but then I feel I'd do those anyway ...).

Equipes are very well made/designed & a lesser name in NA, so tend to get more for your budget - but last year the company (Italy) changed over to direct distribution in NA (but no dedicated NA reps AFAIK) so also take that into account.

I think that $75 for the shims is decent - I certainly couldn't have anyone out to look at a saddle for less than $125 call fee + fitting adjustment fee (starting at ~$100); you can buy an Antares locally (& CWD etc) but you certainly will never have Thierry dropping by to suss out any issues!



As an aside, Thierry was *extremely* nice, and very knowledgeable. He also insisted that I call him if I have any other questions or problems.



This I have heard & if there was any chance he'd be along to fit my Antares, I'd buy one :lol:

For used saddles sold on by the manufacturing company though, I expect a 1 yr warranty to extend to the saddle that they have inspected & sold on as in "good condition/sound tree" etc

ReeseTheBeast
Nov. 6, 2011, 04:51 PM
Alto, I rode in a Todd Minikus Verhan several years ago and absolutely loved it (as did Reese). I like that they have additional options in addition to the Minikus with Verhan, as I really need something with a more forward flap due to my thigh/shin ratio. But unfortunately, I really can't afford a new saddle- Verhan or otherwise! Used is pretty much the only way I can afford to go right now, at least for higher-quality/higher-end saddles.

I'm really having a hard time deciding what to do in this situation... it is great that Thierry is available and accessible; but I don't know how long that will be for- they may be looking for another rep to take over this region (the old rep was let go, from what I understand, and that's when Thierry started handling fittings and such).

I wish I could afford to hold on to the Antares while I try other saddles so I could really be sure I want a different one; but the reality is that I'm not bankrolled like that at this time, and would need the money from the sale of the Antares to back the trial and subsequent purchase of a new saddle.

I am having a really hard time deciding what to do; obviously. If anybody has any advice or words of wisdom to share with me, it would be greatly appreciated!

alto
Nov. 6, 2011, 05:32 PM
Call up Patricia at Fine Used Saddles & see if she has anything in your budget that will fit your horse

Verhan (http://www.fine-used-saddles.com/catalog.htm?Iit=986&Ict=3)
Vega (http://www.fine-used-saddles.com/catalog.htm?Iit=1153&Ict=3)

You might tentatively accept an offer on your saddle with a 2 week subject clause (so you can trial at least a couple of saddles).

Send some letters off to Antares about your concerns, see if they have isolated a supplier or model numbers on the trees that have failed - or have there really only been a very limited number compared to the number of saddles that went out with those trees?
How much would it cost to have the tree looked at - though I suspect this is no guarantee either - I'd still be somewhat concerned about the noises that were coming out of the saddle.

If you don't have a cc that will allow you to trial multiple saddles, maybe someone in your family etc? It's not as if you will buy the saddle on that cc, but do make sure that you include insurance on all shipping.

ReeseTheBeast
Nov. 6, 2011, 06:06 PM
Alto, the Vega you linked to is the one I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm interested in! Great minds, and all that :)

I like the Verhan a lot too, but the largest I can go in terms of seat size is 16.5", and even that is pushing it (I'm really petite and have a hard time keeping my position in larger saddles).

I'm hoping that I can make up my mind soon on what to do. I hate being so indecisive. :no:

mvp
Nov. 6, 2011, 07:19 PM
As of right now, I have an appointment at 10am this upcoming Sunday with a guy named Terry (? Heavy accent, hard to tell). I honestly want a refund so that I can take my business elsewhere... like to a company that doesn't have a history of defective saddle trees. I can't believe I'm just now finding out about these issues. I've only ever heard about how much people love their Antares; never a complaint!! Until now :( I really thought I had done my homework and due diligence ... I'm so blown!!

If I still drank, I would be at least 5 deep by now; just to "take the edge off." Because "edgy" is a laughably insufficient description of how I currently feel.
:o


Hey guys,

Thierry came out to my farm this morning and took a look at my saddle.
He was unable to flex the tree (just as we at my farm were not able to), and declared it not broken.

Once he saw it on Reese, he did say that Reese was not muscled symmetrically (true), and that he was weaker to the right (also true). So Theirry placed 2 shims under the right side of my saddle and had me get on to see how things felt.

He also noticed that my right stirrup was approximately 2 holes too long (I had always felt it was too long, but when I would put it up, it would definitely be too short).

So he put my stirrup up and had me go on for a ride.

HUGE difference. No popping, no
clicking, nothing- no noises whatsoever. I felt more balanced than I ever have, and so did Reese. He was more willing to move out to the right, and bend to the right; two things that usually took us the entire ride to achieve.

As an aside, Thierry was *extremely* nice, and very knowledgeable. He also insisted that I call him if I have any other questions or problems.

I am very happy that it only took 2 shims and a stirrup length adjustment to resolve this situation; but I'm peeved that I had to pay for the shims... but, better $75 than a new saddle.

That said, a woman at my farm wants to buy it for her daughter; and I'm seriously considering selling it to them... as I stated before, I don't want to ever get to the point of experiencing any issues with the tree, so I'd like to remain a step ahead of the game and get it off my hands now.

So I've been doing some browsing online this afternoon and have found a small Tad that I think would fit us; a used CWD that I think would work nicely; and an Amerigo Vega that I think would fit us as well.

My $2000 budget is definitely going to remain a limiting factor in purchasing a new [used] saddle; but I'll be working to add to it as much as possible; and I'll keep looking.

I'm open to suggestions if anyone knows of any saddles that would be a good fit for a horse with a broad back/shoulders; and a really small rider with no ass, long femur and shorter shin; please share your thoughts!

And of course, I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on the new developments in my saddle saga.


OP, you need to take a breath.

I agree with LexInVA-- buying a used saddle directly from the manufacturer would lead one to believe that they had checked it out and would stand behind it.

To date, you don't know whether or not Antares does this with the used saddles they stock, right? (I believe CWD tells you what they inspect or do to the used saddles they sell).

You still want to sell this saddle and get out of an Antares because the tree in yours might have been broken.

The Antares owner found your tree to be sound but your horse asymmetrical and you riding with stirrups 2 holes uneven ?!? That's a big difference, IME.

Those were evened up and now you, horse and saddle are happy.

I understand why you started the thread. I'm grateful for the update. But I don't think Antares or their trees are in the wrong in this situation, do you?

If not, why wig out and spend money starting over with another used saddle?

Star's Ascent
Nov. 6, 2011, 08:07 PM
So....want to share where the used CWD is? :) We ride in the same size and I'm tentatively shopping (have to sell the 16.5 Antares first, so right now just dreaming. I'm wanting to go back to a 16 which fits a little better.)

I will agree with who ever mentioned the Equipe. I had a 15.5 which my filly outgrew so I had to send it off on consignment (If I can get that one sold I can finally get a trailer!) It was very well made. I think I was only able to use it for about 8 months before she outgrew it and it still looks brand new! It was a nice dark brown with calfskin. There aren't a ton around and unless you want a 15.5 pony (like I had, which actually measured 15 3/4) you have to get a 16.5.

alto
Nov. 6, 2011, 08:22 PM
Riding with uneven stirrups (I suspect the difference was not 2 holes until the saddle was adjusted) in a saddle on an asymmetric horse rarely causes progressive audible popping & clicking noises ... without a thorough examination of the tree I would still be suspicious of (at least) rivet issues.

Now if Antares feels confident the tree is sound, it should not be difficult for them to warranty their used saddle - which has just been inspected by an upper level company representative - for a reasonable time period, say, 1 year.
This would alleviate all concerns & cost the company nothing!

FineAlready
Nov. 6, 2011, 08:40 PM
Riding with uneven stirrups (I suspect the difference was not 2 holes until the saddle was adjusted) in a saddle on an asymmetric horse rarely causes progressive audible popping & clicking noises ... without a thorough examination of the tree I would still be suspicious of (at least) rivet issues.

Now if Antares feels confident the tree is sound, it should not be difficult for them to warranty their used saddle - which has just been inspected by an upper level company representative - for a reasonable time period, say, 1 year.
This would alleviate all concerns & cost the company nothing!

I agree with this. The first time my Antares tree was broken, the Antares rep repeatedly told me it was not broken (based partly on that stupid "flex" test, which proves nothing). It was not until I DEMANDED that they take it apart and look at it that they discovered that it was broken at the top, right under the pommel.

OP - didn't you say you could feel something moving under there? That is not normal. Did that go away now? I hate to sound jaded...but...I'm jaded.

KateKat
Nov. 6, 2011, 09:07 PM
At this point I would stick with your antares. I like the idea though to get in writing from them about extending the warranty for you in the event the popping comes back.

FWIW, I used my saddle on a different horse this weekend and the squeaking I had previously heard disappeared too. Not one peep. I also rode my horse for a short period of time and no squeaking either. I think like any other major company there will be issues. But it seems like Antares has tried to do right for you so far.

ReeseTheBeast
Nov. 8, 2011, 11:49 AM
I agree with this. The first time my Antares tree was broken, the Antares rep repeatedly told me it was not broken (based partly on that stupid "flex" test, which proves nothing). It was not until I DEMANDED that they take it apart and look at it that they discovered that it was broken at the top, right under the pommel.

OP - didn't you say you could feel something moving under there? That is not normal. Did that go away now? I hate to sound jaded...but...I'm jaded.


FineAlready, yes, I did say that I had felt something moving inside of the saddle when it was making the popping and clicking noises. The noises completely stopped once the shims were put in place; which was great! But, like you, I'm jaded; and I just don't trust it. :no:

I don't believe that the tree in the Antares isn't a ticking time bomb, waiting for an even more inopportune moment to completely blow up in my face.

So, I have decided to sell it to the young girl at my farm. HAHA, wow, I just realized how F-ed up that sounds... but before you think I'm a huge jerk, read on: Her mother will be paying the me the full $1900 that I paid for it back in July. Just so you guys don't think I'm a real asshole, I will tell you that she is well aware of the tree issue. And even if it *had* been broken, she still wanted to buy it from me for the $1900 I paid for it, and then pay the $1400 to have the tree repaired.

Interestingly enough, the saddle was actually brought to our farm *for* this young girl, as her parents were supposed to buy it for her. But she had a scary ride one day and just stopped showing up for her lessons. She was gone for ~5 months, and during that time, I had sold my old saddle and needed a new one... the Antares that had been brought in for her fit the bill; so I bought it.

The little girl then started taking lessons again about 1 month after that. I always felt kind of bad about buying the saddle out from underneath of them; although not *too* bad, since nobody knew if they were coming back or not.

But I digress.

I know a lot of you have suggested that I get something in writing from Antares that basically warranties the saddle for 'X' amount of time. And although *I* like the idea, I honestly don't think the company would see that to be a reasonable request, since they already carried a warranty on that saddle- one that expired 2 years ago. I have significant doubts they'd agree to go along with something like that. And not to mention, one year isn't that long of a period of time, and God forbid the tree break after any hypothetical warranty ends... I'm still out a saddle and a good deal of money (I don't see my salary increasing, or my mortgage/board/utilities shrinking, any time in the foreseeable future!).

So, at this time, I'm more comfortable with just getting rid of the Antares and replacing it with something that I'm not going to be totally paranoid about.

I'm really happy that the tree isn't broken (at least according to the 7-second 'flex test' performed by Thierry [although in my opinion, it is a test of questionable validity]).

And I'm happy that I already have a buyer lined up and ready to pay full price for the saddle. In my experience, that in and of itself usually takes forever; given that every saddle I've ever owned has been quite tiny due to my small size. Not a whole lot of parents in this area are willing to buy an expensive saddle for a growing kid; and there's even fewer adults built like me.

My last saddle, which was a really beautiful Beval Natural that had literally only ridden in ~20 times in the entire 3 years I owned it (due to Reese being lame); took over 7 months to sell on consignment, and I had it at a very reputable tack shop in Middleburg that is known for being popular among the pony crowds.

At this point with the Antares, I feel like the stars and moon are in the right alignment (:lol:) and that I'm in the best position I'm ever going to be in to replace it with a saddle I'm more comfortable with, 'tree-wise.'

It wasn't an easy decision to come to, trust me- the Antares is easily in the top 3 of the most comfortable saddles I've ever ridden in, and it fit Reese and I really well (which is rare enough in itself)... but I'm just not comfortable holding on to it, knowing what I know now about the potential tree problems associated with the brand.

I'd rather be spooked and paranoid now; than stuck with a broken tree and unable to afford a new saddle later.

I've found a pretty decent number of really nice saddles that are well within my price range and within my and Reese's size requirements; so I'm optimistic about my future saddle ownership endeavors.

I'm sure I'll be asking lots of questions of all of you in the very near future about different saddle brands, your recommendations and experiences, and general advice.

thank you all for responding to my thread, and for all the support throughout this entire shitshow. :yes:

COTH really is the best!:D

Trevelyan96
Nov. 9, 2011, 08:09 PM
Reese - before you commit to selling the saddle, why not give Susie Coffey a call and see if she can take a look at the tree for you. She's excellent and very reasonable.