Thinking About an Antares

In March I got my first horse, the 16.3 hand dappled grey gelding by Coronet Obolensky; the horse with more scope than I could ever dream of needing.

I’ve owned a CWD since 2015-- it’s an 18" SE02 with 4C flaps and a 4.5" tree. It fits my horse extremely well and it fits me pretty well. But here’s the catch: I rode in my friend’s 18" Antares Connexion over the weekend and it was so comfortable. The next day I rode in my saddle and it literally sent striking pain up my back. So I think I’m on the hunt for a new saddle-- probably Antares since it was super comfortable when I rode in it. I’ve heard whispers of trees breaking, but I’ve never known someone with that actually happening. Does anyone know a lot about Antares? Any insight here would be greatly appreciated.

I’m no Antares pro, but I’ve had mine for a few years now and I just love it. The most comfortable saddle I’ve ever sat in. It has given me 0 issues and our local rep is amazing. I see her out at shows and can contact her with any questions through a text and she gets right back to me.

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I made the switch from CWD (which I loved) to Antares about 4 years ago. The Antares was a better fit for my horse. I am now a huge fan of Antares. It took a few weeks to get used to it, but it has worked out well. Also, it fits just about every horse I ride. I have had no issues with the tree.

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Which model CWD to Antares did you go from (ie I think I may go SE02->Connexion)

I had one for years and LOVED it. Funnily enough I switched to a CWD when I got a new horse that the Antares didn’t fit, haha! I love the CWD but I would’ve kept the Antares if I had a reason to/ever rode any horses it would fit. Broke my heart to get rid of it! Was an absolutely lovely lovely saddle, fit every horse it had been on (excpet the one I bought…) and I never had tree problems. It was a 2013 and I got rid of it last year, went to shows, travelled, etc, and as of when I sold it hte rep was confident the tree was intact.

There are very many at my barn (including mine) and I have never heard of any brand specific problems. We have some brand new and some really old saddles for the school horses and everyone seems pretty happy. A few switched to CWD recently and I would say it’s 50/50 whether people were happy with their decision or not (unhappy for the reasons found in the CWD threads……)

A good friend rides with a top national hunter barn and they all have Antares saddles and love them. She switched from CWD and has been very pleased.

But what about the horse? Saddles are not like one-size fits all pants - you cannot just swap them around and expect a horse to be comfortable. Keep in mind that a broken in saddle will fit you and a horse totally differently than a new saddle will; material compression, flocking adjustments, foam or panel adjustments, etc…

I have two of the exact same (custom) saddles: one was produced in 2013 and the other in 2021. They do not fit the the same horse the same way.

It is likely you pulled something riding in the Antares since it put you in a different seat then you’re used to, and then when you went back to your own saddle you noticed the pain? If you are deadset on this new saddle, make sure you try for a few weeks before you buy.


Antares did go through a period of time where it seemed that they had more trees breaking than they ought, but to my recollection, that was 10+ years ago. I don’t recall hearing about this issue with more recent models.

I’m not familiar with their current models, but the Antares trees used to be better suited to a horse with some curve to the back, whereas I find CWDs to work best on a horse who’s on the straighter side.

I’d be getting something custom and mapped to my horse’s back. If he has changes over time then it’s $900 to redo panels. A small price for both of our comfort, IMO.

Ive had consistent back pain in this saddle for the last year— not just on this horse. The antares was the first saddle in awhile that I felt very secure in and didn’t feel pain in my back.

I’ll definitely be trying every model of antares and ensure that it fits both of us— or I won’t purchase it.


I have an Antares and love it. Standard tree with pro panels. Fits my horse well, and gives him plenty of freedom in shoulder. I have had zero issues with it.

Got a custom Antares and absolutely hated it, didn’t fit my horse at all. We tried to fix it, I ended up selling it and losing a lot of money. Bought a $900 CWD and I ride in that and a used Butet I got for about $1500. Use these for my two A/O hunters. I would never ever ever ever ever get a custom saddle again unless I had a horse with very unique issues.


I will never ever shell out for a new custom saddle. Ridiculous when there are so many fine used saddles and reputable on-line consignment stores.

I love my Antares Spooner, which is a good fit for my white horse, according to my fitter. Antares are generally curvy.

My other horse cannot wear my Antares, and need a saddle for a straighter back. I am trying a CWD that he seems to love. My trainer said he was flopping his ears in rhythm with a very slight wag of his tail. That sounds like a relaxed horse to me.

Bottom line, do some research and educate yourself on saddle fit. Fit your horse and you may have to learn to ride in the saddle it likes. Watch the Noelle Floyd masterclass on saddle fitting.


I’ve known two people with tree issues in the last 5 years. Plus a few other issues. I like riding in an Antares saddle but would be reluctant to buy one as a result.

I have noticed a prevalence of back pain in CWD riders from what I have seen. A sponsored trainer I know recently herniated a disc in her back (lots of wear and tear lead up to this, not just a one off thing but her back would hurt a lot she felt her hips would get tight and she is still young) and I know from riding in CWD (SE02, 17.5" 2Gs) personally that it makes my hips feel super tight, not my fav so I am trying Butet, wool flocked as my boy (also a dapple grey😍) will be muscling up and changing shape and have seen that wool flocked is great for backs, horse and human. I didn’t like the Antares that I rode in, put my leg too far back and it was too tight on my horse and my former trainers Antares make my horse super back sore and put him out of commission for a few weeks so not a fan there. Best of luck!!