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Prestige Meredith Saddle Review

Product Review: Prestige Meredith Saddle

Prestige Meredith SaddleProduct Details

Prestige Meredith Saddle
Retail Price: $3,400
What I Paid: $3,000
Purchased: February 2014

Prestige Meredith Saddle Review

Last winter I found myself in desperate need of a new saddle. I had a vague idea of what I wanted, but not much clue about what I needed. After a long and arduous search, I met a Prestige rep through a fellow blogger [thanks a million Emily!] who brought several models for Miles and I to try. In the end, the Prestige Meredith saddle won out and I ordered it the next day. For those that are unfamiliar with the brand, Prestige Italia was founded in 1974 and built around the concept that “the saddle must be developed around a tree of new design, characterized by the utmost flexibility, intended to distribute the weight of the rider uniformly over the horse’s back, and able to adapt to different morphologies.” The company is represented by professional riders such as Nona Garson, Lucy Davis, Meredith Michaels Beerbaum, Ian Miller and Sinead Halpin.

Meredith Michaels Beerbaum
Meredith Michaels Beerbaum rides in the Prestige Meredith Saddle.

Prestige saddles are what I would consider “semi-custom” because they offer several customizable options beyond what you’d expect to find with brands at your local tack store, such as leather type, flap size and shape, knee and thigh block size, etc. Additionally, Prestige saddle trees are measured in centimeters, not your typical medium, wide, etc. In my opinion, this gives you the option for a closer fit for your horse and the rep will take wither tracings and measurements to send to the master saddlers in Italy to confirm the size you need. The best thing about the Prestige saddle trees though is that they are somewhat adjustable. My understanding of the process is that the trees can be changed +/- approx. 2 cm throughout the lifetime of the saddle. You have to send the saddle to the NJ warehouse and it costs around $400, but that’s still way cheaper than buying a new saddle if you end up needing a different size.

Another really cool feature of these saddles are the billet straps. My understanding is that on many saddle brands, two of the three billet straps are actually attached to the saddle tree at the same place. This means that it really doesn’t matter which two straps you use to attach the girth. But on Prestige saddles, all three billets are attached at slightly different places, which allows you to ever so slightly change the balance of the saddle depending on which ones you use. I was super skeptical of this proclamation at first, but I’ve found it to be 110% accurate. I notice a difference in balance depending on which billets I use with Miles, and I’ve found I use different configurations to fit differently shaped horses.

Prestige Meredith Saddle

Okay, okay. Enough about the brand — what I do think of this saddle? It’s amazing. For all the horror stories I’ve heard of ordering custom saddles, my experience was painless. The Prestige rep came to my barn and I tried several different models. Then she measured Miles and we talked about options. The rep told me to sleep on the decision for a few days; she wouldn’t allow me to order on the spot which I greatly appreciated. I never once felt obligated or pressured to buy. The saddle took about 6 weeks to come in and was shipped with free leathers and leather balm. It came out of the box beautiful and ready to go; the calfskin is deliciously beautiful, smooth, soft and supple; I had absolutely no break-in time.

Miles trotting on course at August Delaware

I love the design of this saddle, although I don’t believe this model is for everyone. It feels like you’re sitting on a cloud, but the seat is fairly deep [which I happen to really like]. It allows me to feel secure and I’m able to really “sink down” into a nice, rocking canter but at the same time, I don’t have trouble getting up out of it for half seat or two point. The medium-sized knee and thigh blocks really help stabilize my leg position; I never realized I was fighting against my previous saddle until I sat in the Prestige Meredith!

May Delaware 2014 Limit Hunters

Miles loves the saddle too! It has great wither clearance which is difficult to find for my high-withered Thoroughbred and the panels are great for his long, flat back. He moves more freely in this saddle than he ever did in my old saddle and I can tell it’s allowed his shoulder a much larger range of motion.

So far, the saddle has held up perfectly to regular use over the last year. It cleans up perfectly with a bit of Higher Standards Leather Soap and Prestige Balm; the leather is as supple and soft as ever with hardly any signs of wear, and the Prestige rep has continued to be amazing. I’ve emailed and texted her a few times since the purchase with questions and she’s always been prompt and responsive.

Samshield Shadowmatt Helmet in Action

The Recommendation

Saddles are very personal purchases; it has to feel right for both you and your horse. I believe that not every model or every brand is right for all horses or riders. With that said though, I highly recommend the Prestige brand and it’s definitely worth trying out. The quality is amazing [especially for the price], the customer service I’ve received has been outstanding and overall the make a high-quality, excellent product.

Prestige Meredith Saddle

Prestige Meredith Saddle
9.6

Design

10/10

    Quality

    10/10

      Durability

      10/10

        Fit

        10/10

          Value

          9/10

            The Good

            • Adjustable Tree
            • Unique Billet Configuration
            • High-Quality Leather
            • Excellent Fit for Horse & Rider
            • Fantastic Customer Service

            The Bad

            • None!

            Tracy

            Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

            19 thoughts on “Product Review: Prestige Meredith Saddle

            1. I had a Prestige for a short period. It was a German model, ordered in from Germany by my trainer at the time. It fit Stampede really well but really was not the right saddle for me. Definitely had more of a jumper rider look to it with big blocks and the white stripe on the cantle. The other great thing about it besides it fitting Stampede was that the leather was ridiculously easy to clean. I have no idea why but it just didn’t hold onto dirt. I hope yours is like that!
              I do wonder if there are as many options in the US as Germany? If Stampede comes back to full work and my Butet doesn’t go back to fitting him (it doesn’t fit very well currently after time off) I will have to go on another saddle search!

            2. It’s such a lovely saddle! Glad to hear a good review for future reference…maybe one day I will be able to afford one for whichever one of my young horses wants to jump over stuff 🙂

            3. So wait, is it on a flex tree? (IF ONLY THE INTERNET COULD ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS, but I’m asking you instead.) I saw this crazy thing a little while ago where some folks were trying a few saddles on a mare with the help of a fitter. Mare would NOT MOVE under the flex tree. Would not move. It freaked her out. But I’ve seen some horses go super well in them.

              Horses, man. They’ve always got an opinion on something.

            4. yay so glad you love your saddle and had an easy time finding the right fit for you both! i definitely appreciate the measurements in centimeters bc one saddler’s narrow can easily be another’s medium (looking at YOU, county! haha). the adjustability factor is also awesome!

            5. I think they changed their billet system because they used to break off at very inopportune times…like the middle of cross country. I have sat in this saddle at the tack shop and it seems absolutely dreamy!

            6. Yay for you and a great saddle that was purchased from a great rep . I’m happy to hear you had such an excellent experience and even a year later, love your saddle. That sounds like a very good value. Remind me again–is yours wool flocked or foam? I think they have both?

            7. If I hadn’t found a decent deal on a CWD I was going to really look at the Prestige saddles, I like the way they look, I just didn’t k ow anyone with one to try. Thanks for a detailed review.

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