Antarès Saddles: Worth the investment

Currently showing in hunters and eq classes.
I recently moved to a barn where everybody owns their own saddles and those who don’t use the older schooling saddles which just happen to be like rock! It’s terrible. So, I’ve started to consider looking at saddles and I’ve noticed a lot of people at the barn I ride at own CWD or ANTARES.
So, I’m looking into an Antares.
I’ve heard that they’re really off the steep end when it comes to saddles, but I’ve heard that you get what you pay for: exceptional comfort, stability and durability.
I would not be getting a custom saddle rather a saddle that would fit a ray of horses; mostly warmbloods.
What is the usual pricing on Antares saddles?
I’d love to hear some suggestions and reviews from Antares Saddle owners!
Any info would be great.
Also, a couple of the trainers at the barn I switched to are sponsored by Antares Sellier (including the woman who owns the barn and her daughter), so I was wondering if by any chance since they get a percentage off their purchases from Antares do you think that I could find a way to get a discount on my purchase? (Just an idea)

I love my Antares. I just bought mine as a demo so it was quite a bit cheaper. You can also buy one used. I find that the Antares saddles let you adjust your position more (ie change my hip angle to fit a horse’s style) where as the CWD’s had me a bit more locked in (but over big fences my leg felt really secure). It really is just a personal preference. Pretty much any french saddle would be an upgrade but if the trainer’s are sponsored by Antares that is probably a good way place to start.

I have had my Antares for 10 years and it was custom made to me as I have a big butt, but short legs. It is a great saddle, held up well and is super comfy. It is calf leather.

I bought one lightly used for $2500. It’s not custom (to me anyway) but it fits like it is for both me and my horse. They’re extremely high quality and will absolutely last if taken care of. I’m not sure about sponsorships and discounts but you can find them used in excellent condition in the $2-3k range.

Nope! Two broken trees in less than three years with no impact or any other reason for them to break.

My friend’s Antares has not held up well. The edge of the saddle flap looked like it was shark bit. There was a row of Antares at the consignment shop, all with the same weakness. It is a wonderful saddle to ride in, though.

I have had one for about eight years. 3 or 4 of those year were riding 4-6 horses daily the rest 4-5 rides per week. In the past year the seat has split some along the seam but other than that I have no problems with it. The flaps other than scuffs and marks from the leathers look pretty much new. I am not exactly gentle to my tack either. It’s gotten wet, been ridden in jeans etc.

It’s comfortable, puts me in a decent position, fits many but obviously not all horses and my mare who it was fitted ( and who I also still have :slight_smile: ) for has had no back issues (I’ve adjusted padding a little for muscle gain/loss).

I have loved all the ones I’ve had. I am only a few weeks away from my first brand new custom one getting here! Woo! I tried the CWD because everyone raved about them. But it was just eh to me. Of course it probably didn’t help that the one she would put me in she didn’t have. So I could try the 17" ones which were too big all around of course and the 16" was just a tad too small. Plus for what I paid for the Antares with calfskin I would have been getting just grain leather with CWD. I had a new/used (it was a 2012 in brand new condition) Antares come in to try the day after I tried the CWD so I was able to compare the two and even though the Antares wasn’t quite the correct flap it was a much better fit and so much more comfortable. At no point did I have a Hallelujah moment with the CWD like I do with the Antares.

Broken tree in 2 places. Like previous poster, no accident to explain the break. I was heartbroken…Yikes!

Did you say that you do not own or lease a horse in your OP? I understand the lesson saddles might be bad; however, there is no way of knowing if the saddle will fit whatever you are going to be riding. Seems a bit risky to buy a high end saddle if you don’t have a specific horse in mind. On the other hand the high end saddles do have very good resale value so if you need to change out you should have a relatively easy time selling. Good luck and hope you find something great.

Out of curisity, which two places did yours break? The first tree to snap for no reason on my saddle broke at the pommel. The replacement tree snapped about two years later at the “waist” (basically under the seat on one side). The second one snapped while I was walking around on a loose rein at the end of a short, quiet ride. One of the owners of the company said on the phone something to the effect that she hated to go there but that maybe it was “the way I ride” that was breaking trees. I’m in my 30s, have been riding my whole life, including showing rated hunters on the A circuit, and I weigh 130 lbs. So if that kind of quality product and great customer service experience is what the OP is looking for, then Antares is the way to go…

OP, I’m not sure I would buy one of the high-end custom saddles if you don’t own/lease a horse. You can get a nice saddle that fits you and will fit a wide array of horses without shelling out that kind of money.

And, as must be stated on every saddle thread, it really comes down to your personal preference. I realize that that doesn’t seem very helpful when you read it, but you really won’t know what you like best without sitting in it. I just accidentally deleted all of what I wrote, so forgive me if this seems disjointed.

As an example, I have 2 CWDs and I love them - they’re super comfortable and they put me in a great position, plus all of the horses I ride seem to like them. I have some friends (and some COTH buddies) who don’t like the CWD saddles as much; they just don’t find them as comfortable/secure/etc. I can’t stand Devoucoux saddles - for me, they just don’t work, I’m always in a chair seat, and I find them really uncomfortable. Lots of people swear by them.

A lot of it comes down to your build and what kind of feeling you prefer. I have heard a fair amount of negative things about Antares saddles (especially about trees breaking), but I have no personal experience with them…

I just got my custom Antares and I absolutely love it. I know other people have had unhappy experiences, but I’ve been very pleased with the customer service.

Wow. Really??

Now I’m wondering what sort of riding would constitute a tendency to break trees. Other than maybe a tendency to make the horse fall down and roll over on the saddle…

[QUOTE=MHM;7191409]

Now I’m wondering what sort of riding would constitute a tendency to break trees. Other than maybe a tendency to make the horse fall down and roll over on the saddle…[/QUOTE]

In which case, the rider probably has a bigger issue than what brand of saddle to use :lol:

FineAlready, that’s insane! I would have wanted to reach through the phone to throttle that person.

Yes, although it might make sense to use relatively inexpensive saddles if it happens a lot.

Or possibly take up tennis. :lol:

[QUOTE=supershorty628;7191397]OP, I’m not sure I would buy one of the high-end custom saddles if you don’t own/lease a horse. You can get a nice saddle that fits you and will fit a wide array of horses without shelling out that kind of money.

And, as must be stated on every saddle thread, it really comes down to your personal preference. I realize that that doesn’t seem very helpful when you read it, but you really won’t know what you like best without sitting in it. I just accidentally deleted all of what I wrote, so forgive me if this seems disjointed.

As an example, I have 2 CWDs and I love them - they’re super comfortable and they put me in a great position, plus all of the horses I ride seem to like them. I have some friends (and some COTH buddies) who don’t like the CWD saddles as much; they just don’t find them as comfortable/secure/etc. I can’t stand Devoucoux saddles - for me, they just don’t work, I’m always in a chair seat, and I find them really uncomfortable. Lots of people swear by them.

A lot of it comes down to your build and what kind of feeling you prefer. I have heard a fair amount of negative things about Antares saddles (especially about trees breaking), but I have no personal experience with them…[/QUOTE]

I’m not leasing during the winter but when it comes time in the spring and summer I will definitely be leasing and horse showing. My trainers said then is the time to buy a saddle but I’m more concerned about now since I know a saddle can entirely affect the way you ride. So, I thought I might start looking now even though my parents too, want me to wait until I’m locked in with a lease for the summer but then again, that’s not the same horse I’m going to be on for more than 5 months since I only do summer lease and it depends if I make it to any big Regionals or Finals in the fall for when I end my lease.

So that’s why I’m looking to have it be a more versatile saddle if that’s even possible…

Hearing about the broken trees makes me really nervous because in no mind would I have the $$ to buy a $3,000 saddle, have the tree break or something like that and send it back to the company to have it fixed.
I definitely DONT want that to happen! So maybe that might steer me away from Antares.
Haven’t heard anything bad about CWD, I’ve ridden in one and its pretty comfy but I haven’t ridden in an Antares so I can only expect the best comfort…

I can’t imagine buying an expensive saddle without knowing what horse you are going to ride. My new horse, a chunky monkey, was ridden in a medium tree at the training barn I bought him from, because that’s what they had. He is a wide tree boy, and my fitter found some pronounced sensitivity on his back from a too small saddle. Luckily he fit my wide trees well enough and he is comfy now.
I imagine you could borrow a saddle or two in the meantime - supershorty is right, you want to try different makes to see what you prefer. There is no magic brand that fits everyone and every horse “the best”.

Yeah, it was pretty incredible, particularly since she has never seen me ride and of the two reps I dealt with in the company, one no longer worked there by the time the second tree broke and the other was my former trainer from when I lived in another state and could certainly attest that I probably don’t suck enough to just snap trees left and right.

Apparently trees can snap landing from huge fences (like, GP). They initially hinted that that might be the problem until I told them I had a baby green hunter and never jumped him more than 3 feet. That was one of the reps. It was the owner that got into the strange territory of suggesting that maybe I just sucked so much that I was like, I don’t know, just snapping them with my fat ass.

Anyway, the trees are covered by a warranty (5 years, I think…or maybe three). It wouldn’t cost you anything to fix it during that time (they are decent about that). But the saddle will be gone for 6 months or so while it is in France being replaced. And they might change your billet configuration without your consent. And you might be so frustrated at that point and so unwilling to send it to France again that you just live with the new configuration. I mean, maybe. That is what happened to me the first time around.

They kinda really suck.

[QUOTE=asterix;7191480]I can’t imagine buying an expensive saddle without knowing what horse you are going to ride. My new horse, a chunky monkey, was ridden in a medium tree at the training barn I bought him from, because that’s what they had. He is a wide tree boy, and my fitter found some pronounced sensitivity on his back from a too small saddle. Luckily he fit my wide trees well enough and he is comfy now.
I imagine you could borrow a saddle or two in the meantime - supershorty is right, you want to try different makes to see what you prefer. There is no magic brand that fits everyone and every horse “the best”.[/QUOTE]

Well that’s the thing, I can’t ride in the owner of whichever horse I’m riding’s tack because they don’t want anybody using it but them since it’s expensive gear.
So then I’m left with the extremely hard, old and what feels like stuff and unbroken in schooling saddles and they’re so uncomfortable I rubbed myself raw from lessoning and hacking in. So I’ve just about had it.
I just got off the phone with the Antares rep for Massachusetts and she said she’d come down to the barn I ride at since they’re sponsored and have me try out the non custom since they’re all over 4,500 and I’m looking to spend nowhere over $2-3,000.00