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Prestige Saddle fitting/ Equipe?

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  • Prestige Saddle fitting/ Equipe?

    I picked up a used prestige nona garson and am going back and forth about returning it or not. Super comfy for me, not sure about the horse.

    I know in the ideal world i would have a saddle fitter out... but believe me I have looked and theres none to be had (in the middle of barrel racing country).

    She currently goes in either an old circuit (stamped wide) or an old collegiate (stamped medium) but both measure about 5" dot to dot. Both of these saddles fit her pretty well but selfishly want something a liittle comfier for me.

    Prestige is stamped a 34 (measures 4.5" dot to dot) but I still have 4+ fingers of wither clearance. But it is a forward flap so it sits further back on her withers which is throwing me off. Also a slight amount of bridging in the middle of the panels (all but disappears when girthed up and she is standing balanced and under herself). Other than that saddle doesnt rock side/side back/front.

    I know these trees can be let out, would letting it out to a 35 help? Or should I just return it and start over.

    Thank you!!!

    Also, she is super flat backed, normal withers. From what I have read here prestige seems to be a good fit for most tbs, but shes really built more like my appendix (pretty wide) am I looking at the wrong brand?

  • #2
    My Prestige Meredith is a 34cm tree and fits almost every horse I've put it on. I rode 2 TBs in it for years with a sheepskin half-pad and it fits my current big-bodied Holsteiner perfectly with no half pad (confirmed by a saddle fitter). Hard to say without some pictures whether widening the tree would help. One thing I would make sure of is that you aren't putting it too far forward. My saddle fitter said almost everyone in our discipline does that, and it can make a properly-fitting saddle pinch their shoulders and make it seem too narrow.

    I'm obviously biased towards Prestiges, but if you like the saddle for you, I personally would lean towards widening it versus trying other brands, if it seems like that's what is needed. But maybe if you post some pics on here others can chime in and help with fit since you are not able to get a fitter out.


    • #3
      You may want to call Paul at VTO Saddlery in VA. I talked to him a while back about Prestige and he was super nice/helpful, and by several accounts, one of the "go-to" people on Prestige (including he has the machine to widen it). It maybe at least worth giving him a call to pick his brain, esp since you don't have a fitter nearby.

      I'm in saddle-ftting hell myself - QH (not appendix, but big, wide, wither, but drops up into a "tricky" back")...and I haven't found anything to work yet. Thinking County maybe an options for us, but can't get my hands on one in our size/width to try, yet - and I don't want to call the rep. It's hard. Oh so hard.


      • #4
        4 + fingers of wither clearance screams (to me) a saddle that is too narrow.
        "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


        • #5
          Hokie— I own that same horse, but in the Paint family. I had to go with a custom County to deal with the width and weird back drop. I actually own two of them but the horse is retired! So comfy! Made my buy so happy to have a saddle that actually worked without pads and lifts and.... PM if you have questions about them.
          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


          • #6
            I second the rec to talk to Paul at VTO.

            When you say flat back, do you mean from withers to loin, or from one side of the spine to the other? If the latter, Prestige is probably not going to fit (speaking from experience here). Look at British brands like Hastilow, Frank Baines, County, Black Country. (PS--I have a Black Country Solare that gives a very similar ride to my old Prestige Michel Roberts, which was similar to the Nona.)

            If the former, it might work, but you may need to widen it. To check if you have it in the right spot, I've been told to position the points a couple of fingers behind the back of the scapula while the horse is standing square.

            Good luck, neither of my current horses fit in Prestige trees but I've owned and loved a few!
            Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!


            • Original Poster

              Thanks everyone!! I sent it back She is flat from withers to loin, other than that I think her back is pretty average not table top wide or anything like that. I think it *may* have worked if I let the tree out a cm or two but I didnt want to gamble.

              Anyone have any experience with equipe? I ordered an used expression for a trial which is *supposed* to be good for horses with a flatter back. Also seems like they run wider in the tree. If this doesnt work my bum is just going to have to deal with the collegiate Shipping adds up fast!


              • #8
                I recently rode in a couple Equipe jumping saddles and liked them. I bought my horse a custom Equipe dressage saddle this year. I would say they run pretty standard width (horse took a wide in the dressage saddle and he is usually more like a MW in others). I did like that they had some different tree shape options.