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An Irritating Saddle Question about Antares

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  • An Irritating Saddle Question about Antares

    So. New horse = new saddle. Lucky me?

    To make a long story short, I'm looking for a new saddle, and my barn has a lot of Antares lurking around. I've borrowed and ridden in two that were theoretically my size, basic shape (forward flap for one, standard the other, etc) and should have been a pretty decent fit for me. But I hated both of them. Desperately. Couldn't climb out of either one quickly enough. No WAY would I consider jumping even a stick in either of them. They just weren't Right. So I wrote Antares off and continued on Quest the Second for The Perfect Saddle.

    Last week, someone at my barn has suggested having our local Antares guy out for a fitting anyway, *just to see*, before I drop a wad on another saddle I've found that I very much like and fits my new guy well (and was the very first brand I tried this time around, hence the indecision?). Antares rep assures me that it's just about finding the right (Antares..) saddle that fits. I am unconvinced. Is it going to be a colossal waste of time to have this guy out, have him fit both my horse and me, and possibly loathe everything I sit in? On the one hand, I doubt we'll find anything, but on the other, I don't want to regret not checking them out. Antares was pretty high on my list before I actually rode in their saddles!

    Thanks in advance... this seems like such a silly question, but I just can't decide what to do. There is also a tiny time constraint... my current saddle doesn't fit my new guy so well, and I'd really, really like to get a new one that's better suited for him ASAP. I've already spent a month trying saddles and/or tracking down reps (mostly the latter...). Antares guy wouldn't be able to come out for another week and a half, maybe two weeks. Gah.

  • #2
    If you've found another one you like, that fits you AND your horse, then I would buy it unless it's absurdly expensive. I'm just thinking that I've ridden in some saddles that I hated, and riding in MORE of a very similar style of the same brand didn't make me hate them less.


    • #3
      If you rode in the deep seat, it may have felt like you were stuck in it. I felt that way in them. I have a med deep seat, and I ADORE it. I think I'd have them fit you to one, and see what you think, just to be sure.


      • #4
        I have a full deep and don't feel nearly as stuck in it as I was in a half deep that was smaller.

        I'm in a 17.5 now when I was in a 16.5 before.

        I feel slightly stuck in my 17 zaldi, and seriously stuck in a 16.5 devon that has no blocks, padding or anything that should keep me there.

        It's worth sitting in every saddle you can before buying one.
        friend of bar.ka


        • #5
          I have a Butet that I love (flat seat, minimum padding) and have ridden in other Butets that I've loved. However, I've also ridden in plenty of Butets that I did not like at all. Some had a deeper seat, some a more forward flap, etc. I've never ridden in 2 that were exactly the same. So I wouldn't write off Antares (or any other brand) even if you've sat in 5 that you hated.


          • #6
            Your rep is right...there are many different variations of Antares.

            If you're buying a new custom Antares, it's probably going to take 6-8 weeks to get the saddle made and sent to you.
            ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


            • #7
              Sounds like a mute point since you have found the right saddle that fits you both. And that's not easy as you obviously know, so why drag it out. For my horse there actually was NO antares that fit him even though the rep was certain on two occasions he had the perfect saddle coming. There was just no way to make their tree fit him within their paneling options. Now he is in a devoucoux that fits like a glove and he's enjoying his work instead of trying to buck off the saddle! And best of all I feel "at home" in my saddle so its really a win-win. Its ironic since I always said "oh, pass on devoucoux, I hear they don't fit any horse."

              So I'm in no way advocating devoucoux as the better saddle just saying that sometimes one thing won't ever work for one pair even though it will be perfect for another. I guess that is why there is SO many saddle brands out there.


              • #8
                Oh, and if your like me, the rep will come out with about 9-10 saddles, not of which are just right, but some close close. So rep says this will make it perfect... orders saddle... wait almost 3 months without a well fitting saddle...new saddle clearly doesn't fit... horse hates it... start. over. again! In the mean time, I could have been looking for the saddle that would actually work. And yes, devoucoux actually had a demo was perfect in every way for the horse and they let me keep it while I waited for mine with a half inch smaller seat and in my dream color


                • #9
                  I'm not a huge fan of Antares or CWD. They "customize" the saddle to you but don't do much fitting for the horse. If your horse is a straight forward fit, the saddle will work. If not, then no. If you don't like it, don't buy it. It costs a ton of money to have something you and/or your horse don't really like.

                  If you see a barn with a lot of the same kinds of saddles it's most likely because the trainer is getting a commission per saddle sale.

                  I like the way Nike shoes look, but if I walk in them for more than five minutes I'm crippled. Same thing with the saddles...


                  • #10
                    I have tried to get an Antares tree to fit my horse and have failed. Had to send back the most beautiful custom saddle twice as the tree torked in transit.When I tried to ride in it to try to figure out the problem I got bucked off several times after much tail swishing. Used a loaner for a time and got bucked off many times, finally got one that seemed to fit both the horse and me and got bucked off many times. Everytime I went back to my Childeric (that was not the best fit) and all was good...no getting bucked off. Gave up on Antares for that horse....friend rode the horse many months later with their Antares and got bucked off within 10 mins. So it would seem this horse can not and will not wear an Antares tree...he is now happy as a clam in his CWD. I think some brands are just not for some horses. The Antares I did end up with fit all my other horses. It is now a lovely saddle owned by someone else and they are very happy with the saddle.


                    • #11
                      Not an Antares fan

                      Had the Antares rep out years ago to fit my horse. He spent very little time with me and assured me he could get the saddle to fit perfectly by using a combination of pads!

                      So had scheduled an appointment with the rep who had both Albion and County. She brought out a ton of saddles. Spent almost 2 hours with me and my horse trying various saddles. Found one I liked and then had to wait months to get my County Stabilizer XTR which I love but she loaned me a ProFit in the interim which was an okay fit but not perfect. My horse loves his saddle.

                      Right now I understand County has theie demos on sale so you might want to give County a try. My original County rep now only sells Albion but she can still fit any saddle and my new County rep is great as well. Maybe give County a try as I have seen the difference in the way horses move with a properly fitting saddle.


                      • #12
                        add me to the list of people who are NOT antares fans. I went through SEVERAL demos and customized saddles for two different horses (different saddle for each horse) and none of them ended up fitting right (myself OR the horse). I personally felt like I was always fighting the saddle to stay in a correct position (all of them, not just one). They work for some people and horses, but I had an aweful experience and wasted lots of time and money to figure out that I needed to try something else.


                        • #13
                          I just got my new Antares a few months ago and I love it and it fits my horses great, however there is nothing hard to fit about them. My old saddle was a devoucoux and I loved it too and it seemed to fit all the horses I had as well.


                          • #14
                            I love my Antares and it was a relatively easy process (the first one I ordered was a deep seat. After getting it, I hated it but that was my fault as I hadn't jumped in the demo deep seat. Got the medium deep and love it). My trainer bought one from The Farm House back in 2001 and loved it. In the years since, she has asked Antares to make her the exact same saddle just a 1/2 bigger seat and slightly longer flaps. Many saddles later (2 of which she ended up keeping but wasn't super happy) they never succeeded in duplicating the first saddle as far as fit to her or the horses.

                            A girl at my barn has been going around in circles with Antares. Rep came out, fitted a saddle to girl and horse, girl bought it, came out to lesson and trainer said "Are you nuts? It's sitting flat on the mare's withers!" Saddle went back, Antares "fixed" it, saddle came back, no better. Rep came out with new saddle, fits it to mare and girl, girl comes out to lesson, trainer says "well, this time it seems to fit your mare better but the seat's too small and the flap too short". Even the non horsey mom could see that. Mom is quickly losing faith with Antares.

                            I think the moral of the story is that if they happen to have one (or you find one) that fits you and your horse you will probably love it. If you have to order one, good luck on it actually fitting you or your horse. Don't rely on the rep - use your own brain about fit.


                            • #15
                              If you found a saddle that fits you and your horse buy it.
                              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                              • Original Poster


                                After all these anecdotes I am really thinking I may just skip Antares. It just seems so pointless, especially adding in an additional 2-week wait to the already 6-8 week production process.

                                The saddle my horse and I like, a new Delgrange to the market, is not what I would consider inexpensive. It's not out of the realm of affordability by any means, but it's also a decision I'd like to carefully consider, because, well, it's still a good bit of cash! With that said, I love love LOVE it, and am astonished by how EASY it is to jump. I almost talked myself into just calling my rep up today and putting in an order for the darn thing already, but I feel weird doing that having not really tried many other saddles on this go-round. I tried four million last time, so when I sat in the Right One, I was absolutely ready to buy it. I guess it's like buying a new horse; who buys the first horse they find and like, really? (although I can't really say I haven't done that... in fact I've done it multiple times... oops!)

                                I've tried to look at County again, but have had a little bit of trouble getting a rep up here - apparently they are having some sort of issue with Customs and saddles? - and as much as I'd love to see how a Stabilizer or Innovation would work out on this horse, I'm starting to lose patience. It's been a month since the rep's and my initial contact, and as much as I'm really trying to be understanding about their situation... well, there's only so long I can feasibly wait.


                                • #17
                                  Why buy a name when you have something that fits. I had the Antares rep out to my barn, this was several years ago, he scratched his head and said it would have to be custom. He had nothing for me to try. I told him what type of fit my horse was and still he was unprepared...I have heard awful stories about the service if the fit is wrong. I tried County and liked the saddle but they said it would have to be custom...didn't want to spend that kind of money on something I hadn't ridden in either. Got another saddle after fitting with templates and it was almost a perfect fit and I love it! So it is not the most popular saddle but my horse liked it and so do I. the best part is my new horse can use it too!
                                  Go with what works not name....
                                  There is a girl in my barn that wanted a "french" saddle but her horse didn't. She got a Pessoa her horse loves it and jumps over the moon now....
                                  Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                                  Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                                  "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"


                                  • #18
                                    A bird in the hand...

                                    If you've found something that fits your horse and that you love, buy it. Why wait?


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Across Sicily View Post

                                      The saddle my horse and I like, a new Delgrange to the market, is not what I would consider inexpensive. It's not out of the realm of affordability by any means, but it's also a decision I'd like to carefully consider, because, well, it's still a good bit of cash! With that said, I love love LOVE it, and am astonished by how EASY it is to jump. .
                                      I just got my new Delgrange at the beginning of June. I spent copious amounts of time with the rep in November and then again in April when I put my order in. All I can say is that I will do whatever I can to never own another any other type of saddle than a Delgrange. I LOVE it. It makes riding so easy. I have the Athena (like the PJ Lite) with a forward flap and it fits me beautifully. My lower leg sits under me, my thigh is as vertical as possible...it's the first saddle I've tried since my old PdN knockoff that feels right to me.

                                      I personally wouldn't be worried about a Delgrange over an Antares. They are both high quality saddles and if one fits you and your horse, well, I wouldn't be looking any further. Personally, I think Antares and CWD are the "names" of today...but Delgrange has been quietly in the background for a long time.
                                      Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                      Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                                      • #20
                                        i have people who were 'fortunate' enough to have one (Antares) fitted to themselves and their horses. 'still a waste' was the only thing i heard. good luck saddle hunting!