So Grateful for Antares

I want to retract a statement that I previously made in a thread on COTH. Long story short, I have an older Antares saddle that has incurred some typical wear and tear due to its age. In frustration over having to face the cost of routine maintenance on this saddle, I vented my frustrations on COTH about Antares. The truth is, the saddle is the ideal saddle for me and my horse and there is not another brand out there that I trust for the pair of us. I would like to thank Antares for being willing and able to fix my saddle. Their commitment to my account means the world to me. Sometimes the reality of the costs involved with this sport can become overwhelming but it’s reassuring to know that there are companies like Antares out there that are willing to stand by their brand. I am happy to say that I am an Antares rider for life.

I love my Antares saddle too. Glad you got your issues resolved.

Very glad they resolved your issue, but they must have really hooked you up to have you take back the fact that you had a broken tree! Compounded by the fact they offered to buy it back and admitted they would resell it. I understand you got a good resolution but I think your earlier warning was a good one.

Personally, I don’t think a broken tree is “typical wear and tear” on any saddle.

So how much did they threaten to sue you for?


Sounds like their attorneys demanded you “retract your statement(s)”, as you put it. That’s just as dirty and underhanded as not fixing a broken tree, or planning to sell a saddle with a broken tree to another buyer… If not more so. Thank goodness there are other companies to shop with, I won’t touch Antares with a 10’ stick if this is how they do business.

Sounds like their attorneys demanded you “retract your statement(s)”, as you put it. That’s just as dirty and underhanded as not fixing a broken tree, or planning to sell a saddle with a broken tree to another buyer… If not more so. Thank goodness there are other companies to shop with, I won’t touch Antares with a 10’ stick if this is how they do business.


A short (incomplete) walk down memory lane :dead:

[QUOTE=bluebuckets;7329092]1. scrap this saddle and buy a new one (I refuse to buy another French saddle after hearing about the specific problems with their trees)
2. order an Antares tree, wait for it to come, and have it put into this saddle. The saddle is already 11 years old; ___ is not a fan of this option. ($1200, 2-3 months total)
3. Have ___ fix this saddle as best he can. He only thinks this will get me through another year, maybe 2 at max. (1 month, $800)



Trainer is Antares sponsored, to keep the sponsorship he has to refer at least $2000 worth of business to them every 6 months. Sponsorship gets him a new saddle every year? I believe. Maybe every 6 months. So yes, I smell a rat as well. He’s the one who pushed me to buy this saddle that was apparently a POS when I bought it two years ago.[/QUOTE]

The Antares did not fit when I bought it. It was only after a year and a half of it giving her horrible wither rubs and my trainer claiming it was fine that I sent it to ___ to have a new, built-for-this-one-horse set of panels put on: problem solved.[/QUOTE]

Intriguing that tree replacement is [QUOTE=bluebuckets;7386460] routine maintenance [/QUOTE]

This is typical wear and tear for an 11 year old saddle :confused:

extraordinary :uhoh:

(or should I say unfortunate choice of words from someone … )

Also interested in how this came about, as I followed the original thread, too. I would not consider a broken tree to be any type of routine maintenance, particularly after 11 years.

I had a Butet older than that with NONE of those issues. That is certainly NOT “typical wear and tear on an older saddle” OR “routine maintenance.” bleh

At least you have something that’s working for you now!

Glad you now have a saddle you like.
It sure does sound like there is an interesting story to go with it.

I’m glad you finally got a resolution to your saddle problem but you should be ashamed of yourself trying to excuse your previous problems with this saddle. A broken tree is not normal wear and tear. Glad you brought out the fact that Antares knowingly re-sells saddles with broken trees though, your “retraction” is too little too late, we all know the truth now.

Jeez, folks. COTHers can turn anything into a case of major sour grapes.

I agree that bluebuckets’ recent thread about her conversation with Antares re: broken trees was very troubling. Without being the NSA, we can’t hear the actual conversation. I’d be curious to know if bluebuckets’ report was accurate. I hesitate to say that I’ve had similarly shocking conversations with a variety of French brands (not specifically about broken trees, but about business practices they engage in that I find very questionable) AND I’ve had situations where clearly, something was lost in translation between me/the client and the thick French accent from the rep. :lol: For example, I know plenty of companies that will take in saddles with broken trees and resell them for peanuts to saddlers who do fix the trees and resell. I also know companies that will take a saddle with a broken tree and resell it to a customer, then insert the appropriate tree for that customer in it after everyone has agreed that that’s the right tree for the horse. So yes, I can see ways that that conversation could have been totally legit and bluebuckets misunderstood what Antares meant by “we resell saddles with broken trees” or failed to clarify the particulars. I can also imagine a world–well, actually I know for a fact that I live in a world–where some saddlers resell saddles in conditions that I consider unethical for resale. So I’m shelving that for now and responding purely to the idea of “bluebuckets deciding to repair a broken Antares and stop raging about the situation on COTH.”

I agree that saddle trees should not routinely break around the 10 or 11 year mark. But you know what? Sometimes saddle trees break. If you make enough copies of any consumer product, even a high-quality consumer product, some of them are going to fail earlier than they should. Just like sometimes, you’ve got a 5-year-old car with a blown transmission or a two-year-old laptop dies an untimely early death. It was against the odds, but somebody always wins that anti-lottery.

Bluebuckets may be kicking herself a little extra for buying a brand that’s been known to have some tree problems in the past, just like you might kick yourself for buying that car you LOVED but that you knew had a reputation for transmission issues and you looked past that because you liked everything else about the car. But it’s not like 10 to 11 years is one or two years. 10 years = 5 years beyond the Antares tree warranty period (and btw, 5 years is a perfectly typical tree warranty period in the saddle industry. A precious few brands offer a lifetime warranty, but the vast majority of them only warranty the tree for 1 to 5 years.). It’s like being pissed that your car blew its transmission at 120,000 miles; yeah it’s super annoying and super expensive and you got unlucky that it blew so early, but it’s not like the car is young at 120K.

So perhaps what bluebuckets is trying to say is that now that she’s gotten over the initial hulksmash annoyance of being so unlucky, she’s realizing that Antares is actually being pretty decent about the situation. Her saddle is well out of the promised 5-year tree warranty period. If Antares wanted, they could be dicks and refuse to send her local saddler an Antares OEM saddle tree. They could insist that she send it back to the East Coast, or worse, all the way to France, and charge her an arm and a leg for the tree itself + the installation by Antares’ authorized repair facility. I can name other French companies who would, and have, insisted on those options for customers in bluebuckets’ situation. I even know some companies who said “Tough cookies, we refuse to help you fix it. Buy a new one if you like.” :eek: Is “offering to facilitate the repair” as awesome as Antares saying, “We’ll stand by the product for life and put in a new tree for free?” No, but again, most car companies wouldn’t offer to replace your tranny for free at 120,000 miles either. And even if bluebuckets decided she didn’t want to keep the Antares, tree replacement is the only way she could reasonably resell the saddle and recoup even a portion of its value.

As for the rest of it, well, bluebuckets is hardly the first person on this forum to buy a saddle that didn’t fit her horse. She’s also not the first person to ever miscommunicate with a trainer. It sounds like the trainer may have been motivated by being an Antares sponsored rider, which would be gross, but you know what? If my friend or client had already put a ton of cash into custom panels on an Antares that fit a hard-to-fit horse, I might encourage her to stick with that saddle too, even if there was nothing in it for me. She likes how the saddle rides. She’s been happy with the saddle’s performance on her horse, once she got the custom panels fixed. Walking away from this saddle would mean an uphill battle to find another saddle that fits her budget and her needs. I can’t blame her for a) being initially very annoyed and b) coming around to the idea of just doing the repair and admitting that the company’s not being totally rotten about it. I also would not blame the trainer, Antares-sponsored or not, for suggesting that bluebuckets consider getting another used or new Antares. Again, it’s a brand that’s been working for the horse. Sometimes “ain’t broke don’t fix it” (pardon the situational pun) has some merit.

There are ways to get out of a situation with grace & not kick everyone else on the way out …

I would also give bluebuckets the benefit of the doubt but something about the tone of the statement just seems really…fake and sarcastic. That’s whats making me think something is up and its either a forced retraction or ???..

If bb had come on & said wow guys I was so wrong, Antares is wonderful … no issue - but going back & erasing the posts that bind multiple topics … better to have requested that mod’s remove the topics entirely, thank everyone for their kindnesses & considerations … or even, “admitting” that her horse had rolled/fallen with the saddle …
there are many ways to exit a mess.

If I were a certain saddler, I’d be suggesting she take her business elsewhere - she should’ve made sure that all references to him by name were removed at the same time that she was busy retracting - again, forum moderators would’ve assisted with this.

Totally sounds like she got a call from someone, threatening something, and this plus deletion of her other posts is the result.


This is a bizarre 180 but I hope the reality is that they really did come through for the OP in a big way. I really, really hope that’s what happened. I’d still NEVER BUY ONE. It shouldn’t take this long and this much hassle to get some satisfaction… and the idea that perhaps they sometimes re-sell broken trees without disclosure-- that’s not something I have any interest in dealing with.

Hi COTHers!
I work for Antares selling their used saddles online and I can assure you we do not sell saddles with known broken trees. Every used saddle brought in is thoroughly checked for repairs. We often replace seats, billets, trees etc. Just like our customers, we have very high standards in terms of quality, comfort and safety for both the horse and rider.
I apologize for any misunderstanding that this thread has stirred up. If you have any questions I’d be happy to answer on here or you can email me at

Mercedsva- did anyone from Antares or an associate/client/employee contact the original poster of these threads and point this out or did the original poster decide to re post on her own?