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Tell me about Antares saddles please!

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  • Tell me about Antares saddles please!

    Sooo in my search for a CWD I came across an Antares that looks really interesting to me. I've looked at them on the rack but never sat in one or given them a whole lot of thought before.

    The one I'm looking at is a deep/wide seat model (good for my middle aged bum lol). It's got the various features I am looking for, though the seat does look really deep. As mentioned in my other thread though I'm doing the bigger jumpers on an ex Grand Prix horse that jumps you out of the tack, and am no spring chicken so I prefer something deeper than an eq/hunter type saddle.

    So could anyone tell me the differences between CWD (which I've been riding in and love) compared to an Antares (which everyone else seems to love!). I know a lot of people complain about the CWD high pommel, does Antares have any "issues". What do you like/not like about them?

    I'm buying sight unseen with a view to reselling if I hate the saddle! Being in Canada and buying from the US it's not practical to consider trials and returns due to the high shipping cost and also having to pay 13% tax the minute it crosses the border here!

    All feedback and insights appreciated

  • #2
    I have a CWD, the high pommel doesn't bother me at all, although they offer an option of a more conventional pommel. I've tried Antares when I was saddle shopping and liked it very much, depending on the options and configurations you might find it very similar to a CWD. Both are "cushy" type saddles and each company offers so many options to customize that it would depend on the particular saddle you are trying whether you like it as well as the CWD.

    I will say Antares (at least in my area) offers outstanding customer service and I own one of their bridles, which I love and think is exceptional leather quality, and wouldn't hesitate to buy their products assuming it fit. I don't care for a deep seat and that locked in feeling it gives but if this saddle offers everything you are looking for and you're willing to resell if it doesn't work for you, I say go for it.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks BAC. The Antares is about 1k cheaper than the only CWD I've found that might work for me, but the Antares has a more forward flap compared to the CWD, which is better for me. Having not sat in one I'm just a bit leary about Antares so it helps for sure to hear from someone who has sat in both


      • #4
        If your horse is jumping large fences, wouldn't you want this saddle to fit your horse?
        If you buy it without seeing it or putting it on your , how can you be sure it will fit him?
        The majority of CWD's and Antares have foam panels and trees that cannot be adjusted, so if doesn't fit you will be stuck with a very expensive ornament.


        • #5
          Originally posted by geldingsRgreat View Post
          The majority of CWD's and Antares have foam panels and trees that cannot be adjusted, so if doesn't fit you will be stuck with a very expensive ornament.
          It is not true that foam panels cannot be adjusted, they can. It generally requires replacing the panel though, which is more costly and time consuming than just reflocking wool. And there is no guarantee that buying a saddle with wool flocking, sight unseen, will fit any better than one with foam panels. Also, foam panels can be replaced with wool flocking and I know for a fact that you can order CWD saddles with wool instead of foam, and I think Antares also offers a wool flocked option too.


          • #6
            LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Antares! I have the med deep seat. I tried the shallow seat, and didn't care for it. It's about 7 yrs old and still looks new. I wear jeans and chaps to ride in, and there is no wear on the pommel.

            It's the only saddle I tried (Butet, Devacoux, Beval natural, County Stabilizer XTR, ) that I don't pinch with my knees in.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by geldingsRgreat View Post
              If your horse is jumping large fences, wouldn't you want this saddle to fit your horse?
              If you buy it without seeing it or putting it on your , how can you be sure it will fit him?
              The majority of CWD's and Antares have foam panels and trees that cannot be adjusted, so if doesn't fit you will be stuck with a very expensive ornament.
              I understand this but it's the risk you take buying a used saddle from another country And it will be going on more than one horse and I can't afford a custom for each horse, wish I could but I can't! As mentioned, if it doesn't fit it will be back up for sale. I'm trying to buy reasonably enough and in a popular saddle that I can resell it up here if necessary.


              • #8
                I bought one of ebay last October for my sensitive chestnut mare after trying every saddle in the barn. I, too, was looking for a saddle that had a deeper seat as she tends to jump me out of the tack even over small fences. I had the Antares rep in my area out and we figured out what kind of tree she needed. I could not go with a new one so I told him to look for a used one for me. I was also watching ebay like a hawk and found one that was the correct tree size. The flap is marked as a long flap, but it fits my leg great. The first ride in it was great and the first time I jumped in it was amazing! Finally, I could be in the center of the horse and be secure. You will have to pry this saddle out of my cold, dead hands!


                • #9
                  I have had an Antares for four years. I am having a CWD made right now - should have it by the end of the month. Why did I switch? The particular Antares that I have, while comfortable, pitches me so far forward that I have a hard time not laying on my hands on the back side of fences. Coupled with the fact my horse is built a bit on the downhill, I don't even have a chance. I never really noticed it as for the first 2 years I had it, I rode about once a month, and I have never had a horse as downhill as the one I have now. I will be very happy when that saddle leaves my sight.
                  My new mantra - \"Life is too short not to eat ice cream.\"
                  ReRiders Clique


                  • #10
                    Murph where are you buying the saddle from?

                    I bought a used Antares saddle last year from CWD in California, great costumer service and when they shipped the saddle they classified it as a gift so no tax when it came across the border.
                    WillowBrook Stables
                    Hunters and Ponies


                    • #11
                      Keep in mind that Antares does both full custom and stock "off the rack" saddles. So my experience (which was with a custom close contact, made with a half deep seat) might be really useful to you... or mean nothing at all, if the one that you are looking for is a different model/configuration!

                      That said, they are very well made saddles, with great workmanship and quality leather. I found their customer service to be outstanding. I think you are correct that you could re-sell the saddle pretty easily if it did not work for you; they hold their value quite well.

                      Generally I have found the Antares to be "more saddle" than others I've ridden in. (I currently have a Butet with a flat seat, and prefer that feel, so you know my bias.) I did feel a little "locked in" in my Antares, which I didn't like BUT you may find it's just the ticket for the problem you are trying to solve. I don't think it would have been possible to get jumped loose in that tack, personally!!

                      Also, to quickly address the foam issue...the POINT of using closed cell foam is that it instantly conforms to the surface it is placed on, unlike wool. So, while a foam flocked saddle is not going to fit every single horse nor solve the problem of an ill-fitting tree... it WILL shape itself to fit a wider variety of backs (and accommodate reasonable changes in fit due to varying degrees of fitness of the horse.) This adaptability is the reason that so many of the high end saddlers use foam now.
                      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BAC View Post
                        It is not true that foam panels cannot be adjusted, they can. It generally requires replacing the panel though, which is more costly and time consuming than just reflocking wool. And there is no guarantee that buying a saddle with wool flocking, sight unseen, will fit any better than one with foam panels. Also, foam panels can be replaced with wool flocking and I know for a fact that you can order CWD saddles with wool instead of foam, and I think Antares also offers a wool flocked option too.
                        Perhaps I should have worded the panel part differently. They CAN be adjusted, but are NOT really designed for it and it is EXPENSIVE and you still DO NOT get a fit you like do with wool. It is also true that not every wool flocked saddle can be adjusted to EVERY horse...I never said it was, however these saddles are designed to be "tinkered with." When I was saddle searching (for almost a year) I never came across a master saddle fitter who liked the CWD or Antares(even the ones that are wool flocked). I came across a lot of riders, trainers, sales reps, etc who LOVED them(me being one of them). I still do love them, but for $2000 less I got a custom made Albion that my horse, vet, saddle fitter and myself liked a lot more.


                        • #13
                          My Antares is a half deep seat. I was used to a fairly deep Amerigo and the Antares feels very flat to me. It also doesn't fit me, so my therein lies my bias (flap is not forward enough). Its a very nice saddle though.


                          • #14
                            I am waiting on my custom antares to come...I was riding in an OLD butet (pretty flat, no blocks) and I needed a new saddle to fit my new horse. The Antares rep came out, i rode my guy in 6 different saddles and we came up with a custom to fit him..I can't wait to get it! Good luck with your Antares...I think you might like it...


                            • #15
                              My horse hates the Antares tree.....I have used 5 different Antares saddles on him and two were custom made for him with different padding depts. He bucked me off everyone of them. Went back to my trusty Childeric that was not a 100% fit for him. Last summer a friend tried her Antares on him and she lasted 9 minutes before she was off. He now has a custom CWD that fits him to a T, his shoulder is so free that he jumps 3 times better than he ever has and he has not bucked once. I am a die hard CWDer now. I do want to say they are a lovely saddle and made well but some horses are not going to go for them. Both the Antares and the CWD are semi deeps but I found the Antares ride deeper and one was a banana tree that was way too restrictive for my liking. The Childeric and the CWD are much heavier saddles than the Antares. The CWD seems to catch me even when my horses are jumping way too well for this old lady to stay immobile. So for me I feel CWD has been the best choice for both me and that particuliar horse. It also fits the other four horses equally well.


                              • #16
                                I love mine, did the custom, it fits both my quarter horse and my irish draught, it fits me great. Great quality, great customer service...Nothing but great things to say.


                                • #17
                                  Most of the people in our barn ride in Antares and all the saddles are different. I rode in one of the trainer's and hated it...I could not get comfortable. Then I rode in another's and loved it.

                                  I think it's really just going to depend on your personal conformation.

                                  BTW, I ordered custom for me and my horse. Turned out my horse needed a different set of panels and it was no biggie to get them changed at all. Our Antares rep in the Chicago area, Paul, was great to work with.
                                  ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


                                  • #18
                                    I have both a medium deep Antares with front/rear blocks and a flat seated Butet with no blocks. Polar opposites, but both hold their own in my training programs.

                                    One thing to note is the newer Antares are built on different trees than the older ones. I've ridden in both the old and the new and I hate the new ones. My Antares is a 2003 and it is built on the older style tree. I'm not sure which year they switched over exactly, I want to say 2005-2006, but don't quote me. You can request that a new saddle be made on an old style tree. A trainer friend of mine had it done recently and loved the outcome. Antares was very accommodating with the request, even though the saddle was a year old.

                                    Whether you buy new or used try the saddle out and see which style tree fits you. The newer tree seemed to push my legs apart (excuse the choice of words), so I felt push back onto my butt. Though at the same time it seemed to pitch my upper body forward. Odd combination, but hard to ride with.

                                    Best of luck!
                                    Originally posted by barka.lounger
                                    bar.ka here
                                    h/j riders are used to bending over, every.time they pay their.show bills at the office. event.ers not so mu.ch.


                                    • #19
                                      I am so excited to get my Antares! My mare went through some back changes, and my Beval LTD2 never did really fit my ridiculously long thigh bone. I ordered mine at the end of August, and they ran through some production problems, so it took quite a bit longer than usual. The customer service has been nothing, but nice about it. My grandfather was buying me the saddle, and he just recently passed away, so they froze his bank accounts. Antares had the saddle shipped to their office here, and are holding it for me until the accounts unfreeze and the check clears.

                                      Their new tree fits my mare like a glove! Which was exciting, since after looking at many other saddles, it seemed a sure I'd have to go completely custom.

                                      Can't wait for it to arrive!


                                      • #20
                                        DarkStarrx, I am so sorry about your grandfather. But you will think of him every time you ride in your new saddle, what a generous last gift from him, enjoy it.