Two and a half months ago I stood in the consignment section of my local tack shop, looking through all of the used saddles and mulling over the impossible task of finding the perfect one. Blessed are those with the butt of an adult and the legs of a child, right?
Selling the Devoucoux to TrainerM kicked my saddle hunt into high gear. I’m thankful to be in a lesson program that lets me borrow equipment, but I don’t want to be an inconvenience! I started scouring local shops, checking Facebook groups, and talking to online sellers. It didn’t take long to figure out that 1.) there are very few high quality used English saddles available in my area, 2.) shopping online for a saddle sucks, and 3.) there aren’t any saddle fitters near me that offer services for riders looking to buy used.
With every saddle I looked at, I got more frustrated. Nothing was quite right, and the saddles that seemed “close enough” already had me thinking about reselling and upgrading down the line. Did I really want to be stuck buying and selling saddles for the foreseeable future? Meanwhile, last year InstructorA went the custom route and she’s had nothing but glowing praise to say about her Prestige, so…
Prestige is an Italian saddlery that dates back to the 70s. Above all else, Prestige strives to combine “artisan craftsmanship with a continuous desire for technological improvement”. They created the first synthetic fiber (nylon/fiberglass) tree, and they craft their saddles from a unique combination of Swiss leather and parchment leather. The craftsmen behind Prestige aren’t just mavericks, they literally defined the words “made in Italy” for the saddle-making industry. You can read more about Prestige on their site!
Olson’s Tack, which is about an hour south of me, has a Prestige representative on staff. She came up north to meet Raglan and I and measure the two of us for our new saddle. She brought three different models out. Raglan’s back narrowed us down to two, the Prestige DX and the Prestige Passion K.
I felt more comfortable in the Prestige DX—which wasn’t necessarily a good thing. The DX is a more eventer-type model that puts the rider deeper in the seat. Riding in the DX was a lot like riding in the Devoucoux; it wanted to pull me into a defensive position that left me lagging behind Raglan’s motion.
I couldn’t really feel how detrimental the Devoucoux has been to my position until I rode in the Passion K, though. The moment I got up into my half seat in the Passion K, it was like night and day. We picked up the canter and I felt like I was really with Raglan for the first time. When I went into my two point I floated on top of my horse instead of being sucked backwards into the saddle. I wanted to canter for days!
And then I hopped over a tiny vertical in it and all of my reservations were GONE.
What’s the price tag on that fantastic feeling, you ask? The Prestige Passion K retails for a whopping $2,950. Add in fitting, customization, and overseas delivery, and I’m in for a grand total of $4,130.50 😱
I paid half of that when I put in the order and the other half will be due when the saddle is delivered in two and a half months—YES, THAT’S RIGHT, I HAVE TO WAIT TWO AND A HALF MONTHS. Was it super expensive? Absolutely. But, at the same time, if I had a friend that was a diehard fisherman and they wanted to by a $4,000 boat (with pink trim) I’d tell them to go for it, so 😎