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Talk to me about Antares Dressage saddle (not Passier, but Antares)

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  • Talk to me about Antares Dressage saddle (not Passier, but Antares)

    There are a lot of treads about saddles and I looked through them all, but couldnt find any related into. I'm looking for my first dressage saddle (being a hunters convert) and could not believe how hard it will be to get a comfortable saddle. My Butet was the second saddle I have tried, I loved it, it fit the horse, that was the end of saddle shopping. With dressage saddle Im about to go crazy. I have tried everything while at Rolex this year and loved Schleese Wave, however, when I got it for a trial I wasnt really happy with all the bulk and depth of the seat. So, by now I know I want something not too deep with as less leather as possible and as close to horse as possible. One option is Antares, its monoflap and feels good.
    Does anyone have any experience with these saddles? How hard to fit are they? Any other saddled to take into consideration?

  • #2
    I personally love antares monoflap saddles, but I did used to ride in their dressage saddle and I am sad to say I hated it. It was so wide I felt like my thighs were miles away from my horse and I could never get into the right position.


    • #3
      I found them super comfy in the store. However they did not fit my horse and since they are not adjustable it was a no go for me. Dressage saddles are a pain in the arse to fit. Close contacts are sooo much easier. Have you tried the Butet dressage saddle?


      • #4
        I have an Antares and absoutely love it. Once I received mine, several others at my barn began ordering. The leather is unbelievable and the panels are sooo soft for the horses. People that ride in my saddle always comment on how comfortable it is. Also, it is extremely light and with the monoflap, I feel very close to the horse. I highly recommend the saddle and the company! If you need any further information, I am happy to help.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by Rival View Post
          I found them super comfy in the store. However they did not fit my horse and since they are not adjustable it was a no go for me. Dressage saddles are a pain in the arse to fit. Close contacts are sooo much easier. Have you tried the Butet dressage saddle?
          Huh, interesting point, I was under impression that they ARE adjustable, and frankly, for $4600 they better be The funny thing is that when I tried it in store, I didnt like it at all. Of course I was under Schleese Wave spell at that moment Well, I have made an appointment with Antares rep for next week, will see what he has to say. I looked at Butet dressage and it looks comfy and is a mono flap. I think I will take it out on a trial. Have you ridden in it?


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by Kingland Farm View Post
            I have an Antares and absoutely love it. Once I received mine, several others at my barn began ordering. The leather is unbelievable and the panels are sooo soft for the horses. People that ride in my saddle always comment on how comfortable it is. Also, it is extremely light and with the monoflap, I feel very close to the horse. I highly recommend the saddle and the company! If you need any further information, I am happy to help.
            Thank you for reply! How long did it take them to ship you the saddle? Did you get a calf skin or buffalo leather? The one I have tried was a calf skin and its really nice and soft but a bit sticky but for a $800 in price difference Im willing to live with it


            • #7
              I think I have the calf skin. A customer of mine has the buffalo and loves it. I think, like anything else, its personal preference. The reps can tell you better--whatever they told me, it was within a week of that. I have to say that it was worth the wait. And they don't need to be "broken in". They are like a sofa instantly. My horses have always done really well in it . . . I ride many horses in one saddle and just add a Mattes pad for minor changes. Where are you located? You are welcome to come out and try one of ours at the barn if you are in the Northern Virginia area. I think you will be very happy with the saddle and the service.


              • #8
                Be careful. If you need adjustability, Antares saddles present the same issue all french saddles have....foam panels and limited tree shapes/sizes. The 'adjustability' is limited to selecting a tree size (regular/large) and if the panels aren't the right shape/size then you have to remove and replace the panels to achieve a better fit (not really as simple as it sounds and I'm not convinced saddle manufacturer's really want to do this as a fitting solution). My experience is that these saddles either fit from the beginning, or not at all. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground of adjustability that you would have from a manufacturer who offers saddle trees in millimeter sizes and different shapes (Albion, for example) and with wool flocking that can be shaped to conform to the shape of the horse's back much easier than foam panels.


                • #9
                  ditto what "in limine" says.

                  If the saddle fits you and your horse, then all is good. It is a very nice saddle for some people--well-made, nice materials, pretty good balance.

                  BUT--if it does not fit, chances are good no further 'adjustments' are going to make it fit much better.

                  I've ridden in 2,maybe 3 of their dressage saddles now. I liked it a lot on one horse, was not crazy about it on the other two horses as I did not think the panels did justice for the horses' backs.
                  Must admits, as I'm short-legged, I loved the monoflap for me,LOL. ANd I thought the balance of the saddles were OK for me as a rider, but not my favorite.
                  one oak, lots of canyons



                  • #10
                    I prefer the foam over the wool flocking because the flocking constantly needs to be adjusted. My horses became sore in the interum. I agree, make sure that it fits you and your horse . . . which is the idea of a custom saddle. I, unlike with the wool flocking, have never had back problems on my horses again. I might add that my horses are checked by accupunct. and massage therapists regularly. If you feel the panels (the new ones), you will see why horses are so comfortable in them. In my opinion, they're the best.


                    • #11
                      foam is great if the panel shape fits. . . the issue is if you adjust the saddle (not sure if antares are adjustable or not) if the panel no longer fits you gotta get anew panel put on . . .
                      Qualified Saddle Fitter with the S.M.S.


                      • #12
                        I sent you a pm.
                        The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry


                        • Original Poster

                          Here is an update and a cry for help. So, the new horse finally came in and Antares rep came out and to try the saddle. It does not fit at all, the medium tree is too narrow, the wide is too wide, back of panel is off the horse by an inch and generally it’s a big NO. So, we tried Hermes, since they were at the same place at the same time, fits better but not enough clearance in the gullet and the fit isn’t perfect.
                          Then I put my jumping Butet on him. It’s okay as far as the tree goes, and looks balanced, but again the back of the saddle is a little bit off the horse, which turned out into "its off the horse and visibly goes up and down" at the posting trot. By the end of the ride, a half of the pad was chewed up in the gullet channel. I have ordered ThinPad with extra padding in the back to fill that space with Butet, but it’s a temp solution, I know. He is only 5 and the last thing I want to do is to ruin his back.
                          Since he is only 5, I understand I will probably need to get the saddle reflocked and readjusted pretty often until he grows. The first saddle which does customization and came to my mind is County and I have a rep coming out next week. Maybe we could fill Butet up in the back, although I doubt it. And again, I need a dressage saddle
                          Any suggestions, recommendation??

                          Here is link to his video, there is a picture in the beginning


                          • #14
                            From you description of the Butet, the tree is too wide so stuffing only the back won't help. A full half pad may help as long as the tree is the right shape for the horse's back. Btw, the vid didn't seem to show much as it was too blurry.

                            If I were you with a horse that age, I would only consider saddles with adjustable trees and wool flocking (meaning can be changed by a professional saddler). That list would include Passier and Kiefer (bates as well but if your horse has wider shoulders/whithers then the saddle needs to be able to work the metal gullet plate to adjust the curvature properly). Btw, good quality flocking shouldn't have to be changed/played with all that often unless the horse's back changes.


                            • #15

                              Try Devoucoux. They have reps everywhere and are at every major show. I love their saddles-they custom fit the horse and you!!


                              from the reps you can also find great used saddle for only like 2,500 dollars instead of the regular 4,600-5,200. They have different choices of monoflaps-and leathers. I think the difference between devoucoux and antares is personal prefrence though because they both have the foam stuffing-- but devoucoux is more custom and they solve any saddle problems fitting you and your horse anyone could ever have!! (and some of their reps are from france!)


                              • #16
                                I had the same problem with my Antares on my Trak gelding (who's very TB-y). Wide was too wide, and the panels were the wrong shape.

                                Right now, I have an Amerigo (screaming deal off Ebay) CC monoflap jump saddle. The trees are adjustable one whole size from the original, and they're wool-flocked. They also have different tree/panel combinations to fit different types. My dressage saddle is a Prestige -also adjustable tree. I'd look into getting one of those (either Prestige or Amerigo) for the adjustability on a young horse who's likely to change shape.

                                Btw, we have a Devoucoux at our barn, and have yet to find a horse that it fits.
                                "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                                So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."