Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I was fortunate enough to find this saddle for 1250 on ebay in new condition. I bought it when I had no horse because I recognized that the price was incredible and figured I could resell it for a profit. When I was trying horses, I brought it with me and had many people trying to buy it off me on the spot! I have a 17.5" Calf Skin Deep Seat Model. This model retails for $3,900 new (now you see why $1250 was incredible)!
Likes: The saddle is gorgeous - the leather is soft and supple, the seat is perfectly balanced, and the monoflap design is better than any saddle I have ever ridden in. I feel so close to my horse! I event and do a little jumpers and equitation. I wound up using this saddle for cross-country and dressage phases because it is so well balanced. However, its deep seat can be a little restricting for jumpers/eq because I have a hard time riding with a very light seat.
Dislikes: So, unfortunately I have some negative thoughts. I love the saddle, it fits me amazingly well and I ride my absolute best in this saddle. However, I have yet to find a horse it fits properly (this was a medium tree)!
1. I do not like their foam flocking. Antares claims that foam is superior to wool, and they have a lot to say about this. However, the saddle just fit every horse I put it on so awkwardly! I eventually gave up and had the panels converted to wool to allow it to be more custom fit to my horse and that has been much better. Antares does offer a service where they can carve the foam to fit your horse's back but my trainer has tried this with poor results.
2. One of my main complaints is that the billets are set pretty far back on the flap, forcing the saddle to sit farther forward in order for the girth to be in the proper place.
I still love the saddle and with bi-annual adjustments my horse likes it as well. Still recommended, but not ideal for the hard to fit horses!
Quality: Quality is top of the line. The leather is the best I have ever felt and the construction is wonderful. Many people say the calf skin is too soft and not durable but I have ridden in the saddle hard for at last two years - it has jumped into many water complexes, been through rainstorms and snowstorms, been ridden in jeans, and overall treated pretty poorly. After a quick wipe down this saddle looks brand new and people think I take impeccable care of it (not quite...). Billets show little sign of use!
Summary: Wonderful saddle, worth the money. Not ideal for a hard to fit horse (especially muscled but wirey thoroughbred event horses).
Usefulness Rating: 3.375 out of 5.
56 reader(s) voted.
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