Prestige saddles are “semi-custom,” in my opinion because they provide more customization options than what you’d find out about leather type, knee and thigh block size, flap size and shape, and more at your local tack store.
Furthermore, Prestige saddle trees are measured in centimetres rather than the usual mm. This, in my opinion, allows for a better fit for your horse, and the representative will take measurements and wither tracings to send to Italian master saddlers to confirm the size you need.
How to Read Prestige Saddle Serial Number
The two-digit model year is imprinted as part of the serial number on recently manufactured Tex Tan saddles. The year code may be used alone or with numbers that identify the saddle’s production month.
What do the Numbers mean on a Prestige Saddle?
Begin by looking at the four numbers on the saddle flap together. The first two digits indicate the seat size. The seat size in inches will be 16, 17, or 18. The tree size in centimeters is represented by the following two numbers in the four-number block.
More information about Prestige Saddle
One crucial feature of the Prestige saddle trees is that they can be adjusted. According to my understanding of the process, the trees can be moved +/- 2 cm throughout the saddle’s lifetime.
You must ship the saddle to the NJ warehouse, which costs around $400, but it is still far less expensive compared to purchasing a new saddle if you require a slightly different size.
The billet straps are another cool feature of these saddles. Two of the three billet straps are connected directly to the saddle tree at the same time on many saddle brands.
This means it makes no difference which two straps you use to secure the perimeter.
However, on Prestige saddles, all three billets are attached at slightly different locations, allowing you to fine-tune the saddle’s balance depending on which ones you use.
I was initially skeptical of this assertion, but it has proven to be 100 percent correct. I’ve noticed a difference in the balance depending on which billets I use, and I’ve discovered that I use different configurations to fit different shaped horses.
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Okay, fine. Enough about the brand; how do I feel about this saddle?
It’s incredible. Despite all of the horror stories I’ve heard about ordering custom saddles, I had a pleasant experience. When a representative from Prestige came to my barn, I tried out several different models. Then she took my horse’s measurements, and we discussed our options.
The representative advised me to think about it for a few days before ordering; she wouldn’t let me order right away, which I appreciated. I never felt compelled or pressured to buy anything. It took about six weeks for the saddle to arrive, and it came with free leathers and leather balm.
It was beautiful and ready to wear right out of the box; the calfskin is deliciously beautiful, smooth, soft, and supple; and there was no break-in time.
Although I believe this model is not for everyone, I adore the design of this saddle. Although it feels as if you’re sitting on a cloud, the seat is quite deep (which I happen to like). It makes me feel secure, and I can “sink down” into a nice, rocking canter while still being able to get up for half seat or two-point.
The medium-sized knee and thigh blocks help stabilize my leg position; until I sat in the Prestige Meredith, I had no idea I was fighting against my previous saddle!
It has excellent wither clearance, which my high-withered Thoroughbred requires, and the panels are ideal for his long, flat back. He moves more freely in this saddle than he did in my previous saddle, and I can tell that it has helped his shoulder.
So far, the saddle has held up admirably to repeated use over the years. It cleans up beautifully with a little Prestige Leather Balsam and Higher Standards Leather Soap; the leather is as soft and supple as ever, with hardly any signs of wear, and the Prestige rep has remained outstanding.
I’ve emailed and texted her with a few questions since the purchase, and she’s always been quick to respond. Saddles are extremely personal purchases; they must fit both you and your horse perfectly.
Not every model or brand is appropriate for all horses or riders, in my opinion. I strongly recommend the Prestige Italia brand and believe it is well worth trying.
The quality is fantastic (especially for the price), the customer service has been excellent, and they produce a high-quality, excellent product overall.