Eleven weeks ago, I declared my saddle hunt officially over when I finalized a $4,000 order for a custom Prestige Passion K. Black leather, pink trim, 17″ seat, super short flap, measured to fit Raglan… #hellyeah!
Typical delivery time for a custom Prestige saddle is eight to ten weeks. When the ten week mark passed, I started to get nervous. I sent an email out to my sales rep, only to find out that my saddle was going to take another five weeks to get to me. Needless to say, I was not happy.
That’s where things get crazy. I asked the sales rep for a demo saddle to use while I waited. She didn’t have anything available, but she was sorry for the “couple week delay”. The way her email was phrased sparked my temper, so I shot the Prestige USA an email on the sly and made a discovery: apparently every year Prestige shuts down their factory for the entire month of August and then has to catch back up afterwards, which can cause delays that my rep had completely failed to warn me about.
I was FURIOUS. I replied back to my rep’s email, telling her off for “an extreme lack of transparency and accountability”. And, because I’ve got 0 patience when it comes to being jerked around over a $4,000 purchase, I forwarded my complaints to the owner of the local tack shop she works for, too.
The shop owner tried to smooth things over with a pair of ultra fancy stirrup leathers. It would have worked… but then the sales rep replied back promising to deliver a “matching” set of BROWN 57″ leathers with my saddle. Not only is my saddle BLACK, but I also need stirrup leathers that are 48″ max (child size LOL). Suddenly I was questioning whether she’d even submitted the correct order.
Not going to lie, I spent the day stewing and then I FLIPPED THE HELL OUT.
“The lack of communication and the staggering amount of ineptitude happening in this order is ludicrous.” – what angry writers type in angry emails
I looped Prestige USA’s warehouse manager into the email. I demanded a copy of my order that the sales rep had submitted to Prestige and a list of other reps in the area so that I could “pursue other options for the delivery and fitting of my saddle”. Then I hit send and went to bed.
I can only assume that everyone read my email the next morning and lost their minds. By the time I was starting my day I already had a missed call, a voicemail, and a text from the tack store owner. I finished running a couple of errands, got a pep talk from TrainerK (I’m terrible at phone calls and if I get too angry I burst into tears HA HA HA), and then sat down to call him back.
The store that I ordered my saddle through carries high quality products and has a reputation for being a bit overpriced—maybe even a little snooty. The owner, though, is generally considered to be a kind, upstanding guy. He listened to my complaints, then gave me the full story: it wasn’t the annual shut down that delayed my order, but instead the retirement of one of the factory’s most prominent customization experts. My custom flap/color trim combo had landed my saddle in Prestige’s most swamped department.
But despite the fact that the delay is a Prestige problem, he understood that the lack of communication was something his shop needed to take responsibility for—and he was determined to make it right.
My order originally totaled out to a whopping $4,130.50 (#GOODBYEMONEY). But after the nightmare that the last few days has become, the shop owner and Prestige have come together to waive all of my fitting, customization, and overseas delivery fees. The only thing I’ll be paying is the base price of the saddle ($2950) and the taxes (~$250). Add that all together and it’s a savings of ~$925! And on top of that the shop owner is also throwing in the Prestige stirrup leathers he promised me (~$145 value) and a padded saddle case (~$70 value). That’s $1,140 worth of compensation.
So not only am I relieved that this whole mess has been sorted out, but I’m also significantly less broke than I thought I was. Of course, there’s still the fact that my saddle won’t be delivered until November 15th…
But in the mean time, the tack shop did track down a Prestige I can borrow for the next month 😎
So apparently Monday just isn’t my day. 🙃
Our lesson started out… okay. I had a busy weekend, which meant that Raglan had a couple of days off. Sunday evening I came to the barn to make grain baggies and let him romp around in the arena to get some of his wiggles out, plus he had turnout Monday morning, so he should’ve been fine.
My normal lesson buddy was sick, so LJO (TrainerK?) hopped on a training horse while I warmed up. She rode alongside me while coaching me to push him forward and to use more inside leg through the corners to push him into the outside rein. She wanted square corners (#dressagestyle) and for my hands to stop wiggling (yeah, me too). Less micromanaging, more letting him fail—“embrace the suck!”
During our flat work, Raglan felt a little bit #FIERCE. I rode conservatively. He was making me nervous—getting distracted by things outside, threatening to spook, acting snotty when I put on my inside leg, etc. I had a feeling that he needed a lunge—but apparently I’m stupid, so we carried on.
When my head felt like it was about to burst, we moved onto the grid (crossrail-one-vertical-two-vertical-one-vertical). TrainerK had me experiment with my release (including one very funny line where I did an old school very dramatic all the way up the neck crest release—she was appalled LOL). She also pointed out the consequences of being left behind: if I wasn’t with him for the first jump, then I spent half the grid catching up and I didn’t have the ability to make decisions and provide him with input.
Raglan kept blasting through the grid at 100mph (and I kept smashing him into the wall at the end), so once I figured out how to stay active there was A LOT OF HALF HALTS. My last attempt at the grid was very well ridden—I really held him back and told him to wait the whole way through, he was much more controlled—and then we got to the end and he was like “LOL BYYYYEEEE”.
So TrainerK climbed aboard. Needless to say, his attitude did not improve.
So we’re in a SUCKTASTIC stage of training. His ego’s over-inflated. He thinks he knows better than the rider and he’s mad that we’re making him be more accountable. There are things that I could have done differently today (lunged him, done circles between grid elements, gotten more assertive about halting, etc.), but in the end this is just something we’re going to have to work through.
I signed Raglan up for a training ride (AKA an ASS-KICKING) while I’m gone this weekend. With any luck I won’t have to put him into full time training to make it through this.