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County, Prestige, Antares Saddles - Help

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  • County, Prestige, Antares Saddles - Help

    I OD on saddle shopping this summer and had to step back.

    With the summer more or less behind its time to get this over with already (yes I have ridden in all of them and they each feel pretty darn good in their own way)

    A) County Stabilizer

    B) Antares Custom Jumper (spendy) or Hampton Classic (more affordable but not custom & a bit snug in the shoulder for the 17H Oldenburg I ride)

    C) Prestige Meredith or Paris (wool flocked)

    Comments on durability, balance, comfort, utility (WBs to Thoroughbreds) , customer service, resale etc welcome.

    If you had 2800-3500K to spend which would you get - especially if you intended on this being your saddle for the next 10 yrs.


  • #2
    I love my County Stabilizer.

    Since you want something that will last 10 years get something wool flocked so the saddle can be adjusted if need be. You say the Antares is tight in the shoulder for your horse so I would rule that one out as a not fit.


    • #3
      Love the Antares saddles. If you want something really durable and don't care about the price splurge on the buffalo. There are a lot of great deals on used saddles right now. If you keep an eye out on ebay and also contact CWD and Antares you'll probably be able to find what you need used.

      Lots said about the wool flocking versus the memory foam. Wool MUST be adjusted on a regular basis. If you don't have a saddle fitter who is nearby then go with the memory foam. Truthfully I like it better than wool especially if you have more than one horse and your horse doesn't have any special needs.


      • #4
        I have a Stabilizer and LOVE it.
        I ride at a small, private farm, with 8 boarders. 7 of us have Stabilizers, and two also have Competitors.

        I had a Prestige prior to my Stabilizer and it never fit correctly - on any of the horses I rode.

        You can't beat a County. My mare is incredibly sensitive to saddle fit - she goes beautifully in my Stabilizer. I love how much the saddle can be tweaked by changing/adjusting the flocking. I have found their customer service to be good.
        I purchased mine used for $1800. It was barely broken in and had no flaws.

        If I had mega bucks to spend, I'd probably still go with a used County (something to be said for buying a saddle that has already been broken in) and use the rest of the cash for a nice new Edgewood and Beval boots.


        • #5
          First choice would be the County Stabilizer (love mine!), then the Antares (whichever model you prefer).
          "To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong


          • Original Poster

            The Antares Hampton was a little snug. The custom Jumper can be made to fit but its $4K.

            Thanks for the comments so far.


            • #7
              The "utility" part is really, really dependent on the horses. I can't comment on the Antares or Hampton, but the Prestige and County are going to fit roughly the same shape horses - not too curvy, not too flat. Nothing with really high withers.

              Beyond that, the width will be the next biggest factor. So, with that in mind, if you're really going to be riding a variety of horses, go nothing less than 36cm with the Prestige and nothing less than a #5/XW tree on the County. Those will be up to 2-4cm too wide for some horses, but that's what well-applied shims are for

              Beyond THAT, get whichever one puts you in the best position for what you normally ride
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


              • Original Poster

                I have heard the Antares calf saddles wear out pretty quickly. I only ride 3x a week so I would think that should be fine.

                Buffalo would be ideal but it means more money.

                For context I started with a 2K budget but that was tossed out the window on long ago lol.

                I am looking on ebay etc for gently used Antares and CWDs but I would like a new saddle fit to my horse - but with some flexibility for horses to come.


                • #9
                  I love Prestige and have a Prestige dressage saddle and their leather is amazing, BUT I feel that their leather isn't as durable as some (Stubben's leather, for example) and because you see more wear on jumping saddles (from moving around so much more) I wouldn't get one of their jumping saddles if I'd be riding in it a lot for the next 10 years and expect it to look good for most of that time.

                  On the other hand, Prestige saddles can be adjusted up/down 2cm from their original size which is very nice.

                  If you're looking for something that will look good for the next 10 years, go for the County as you have options for different types of leather.

                  If the worn look doesn't bother you, go for the (Prestige!!) one that works best for you & your horse.
                  Originally posted by RugBug
                  Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.


                  • #10
                    I heart my Stabilizer

                    Great leather quality, wool flocked, as a general rule my breed (Morgans) loooooooove them... yeah, I'm happy. My butt and leg both ADORE this saddle and I'm convinced it saved my tushie in the showring last week when my horse decided that the rail was a Terrifying Monster and went from an extended trot into a leap sideways into the center of the ring in about .002 seconds. In my old saddle Ye Olde Face would have met Ye Olde Ring Dirte.

                    Could not be happier with my Stabilizer, and to me, that is worth every single penny.


                    • #11
                      With Prestige, the leather depends on the saddle. Yes, calfskin feels sooooo nice, but because of that it will also wear out more quickly - that goes regardless of brand.

                      The Prestige Versailles, I believe, comes in printed leather, which won't feel as luxurious when new, but will last a lot longer. I'm pretty sure a few other models also come with the printed leather - maybe the Paris and the Hunter.

                      The "D" versions (ie Versailles D, Hunter Classic D) are the "double leather" versions - thin layer of calfskin on top, which wears through relatively quickly.
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                      • #12
                        I think the Stabilizers are "apples" compared with the broad category holding Prestige and Anteres saddles.

                        The shapes of the tree will be different in the thoroughly British versus European ones.

                        The prescribed position for your leg wlll also be different. Stabilizers (most of 'em) have a pretty straight flap in comparison with the Euro saddles.

                        Which shape of horse will you ride, and how short do you like your stirrups? These are the questions I'd ask first. Then I'd ride in all three before doing anything else.
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat


                        • #13
                          Well... I have a wool flocked Meredith and love it too death! I can't ride in a Stabalizer to save my life, the flaps are way too straight for my long legs even in the most forward they come. I've had my Prestige for years and it's the nice calf skin leather... no problelms with wear... I've also had the tree widened with a growing horse and love the ability to do that County's don't offer...


                          • #14
                            I love my County Stabilizer XTR.
                            Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
                            Takaupas Top Gold
                            Gifts Black Gold Knight


                            • Original Poster

                              I thought the Meredith only came with latex panels. The Paris offers both latex or wool flocked panels.

                              You can get the Paris in printed leather and maybe even the Meredith.

                              Bad news on horse front though. He was just diagnosed with significant navicular problems (thought it was lyme initially) in both front feet and is going to lawn ornament status.

                              So now I am looking at no horse to custom fit. I will be riding a Hanoverian cross (mare - hunter) who is broad but not like the Oldenburg and not quite as big over all. Flatter back which is nice (he was cantle down) but not a horse I will be riding for more than a few months.

                              So I may have to go with a swiss army knife saddle that will fit many horses or wait on the custom job.

                              I could go with wide Stabilizer or a 36cm Prestige as noted above and likely fit a wide range of horses.

                              The Prestige's ability to adjust up or down 2cm is looking a little better in this new scenario.

                              I think a custom Antares is out given the $4K price tag and no horse to custom fit.

                              [QUOTE=lohsela;4370277]Well... I have a wool flocked Meredith and love it too death! I can't ride in a Stabalizer to save my life, the flaps are way too straight for my long legs even in the most forward they come. I've had my Prestige for years and it's the nice calf skin leather... no problelms with wear... I've also had the tree widened with a growing horse and love the ability to do that County's don't offer...[/QUOTE


                              • #16
                                If you're looking at a slightly flatter horse, then look at Black County - Quantum, or Maelstrom for example. I don't know enough about the newer Ricochet. Those saddles can be had/ordered with upswept panels (for the curvier/shorter back) or gusseted for the flatter back.

                                www.trumbullmtn.com - take wither tracings, send in, talk to them, very nice folks.
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                • Original Poster

                                  I did test ride the Black County - Quantum and Maelstrom. I liked them but for some reason I was fighting the motion a bit.

                                  A more custom fit to my horse would have addressed some if not all of that but now he is going bye bye.

                                  So I am not sure what type of back I will have next.

                                  I tend to favor warmbloods but a nice Irish Sporthorse or Thoroughbred would be refreshing.

                                  So on the odd chance I have a higher wither to deal with I don't know what I am going to do.

                                  Originally posted by JB View Post
                                  If you're looking at a slightly flatter horse, then look at Black County - Quantum, or Maelstrom for example. I don't know enough about the newer Ricochet. Those saddles can be had/ordered with upswept panels (for the curvier/shorter back) or gusseted for the flatter back.

                                  www.trumbullmtn.com - take wither tracings, send in, talk to them, very nice folks.


                                  • #18
                                    If you would like a saddle that fits many then ask the saddle makers what they sell to the professionals. That tree generally fits a very wide range of horses adequately. If you own more than one horse, ride a bunch of different horses and can't afford a saddle for each then that is what they recommend.

                                    I'd ask around what tree etc that is and then look for it used. There are some really great deals out there right now and you'd probably be able to get a buffalo saddle in what you are looking for in the 2000-2500 price range. The used saddle market has lost quite a lot of value in the past year or two.


                                    • #19
                                      Stubben! I have had all the others...I am much more impressed with my new Stubben Roxanne's quality, fit and ride. Check them out.