Manufacturer: Meyerstone Princeville
Category: Jumping Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle at Classic Saddlery in Galesburg, MI two years ago (summer of 2009). I went to the saddlery to find a saddle which fit my difficult-to-fit Appendix mare. This saddle fit both of us and was appropriate for what I wanted to do. I test rode her in one before buying it and loved it. I acquired it by trading the two saddles which I already owned for it--a close contact which didn't fit her and a dressage which didn't fit me. I know that at Classic they sell these for $999 with free leathers and irons.
Likes: I absolutely adore this saddle. This will be long. 1) It has a very wide gullet and did not pinch my mare where most other saddles did (base of withers). 2) It is very properly balanced--I have never found it to be too low in front or in back on any horse I've put it on and I never feel that it is unbalanced when I am riding in it. 3) The leather is to die for soft and sticky--fantastic for jumping, but not gross sticky and does not rub off on breeches. It does scratch easily, BUT it buffs out immediately just from riding in it and my saddle has not retained any visible scratches even though it has been scratched up a lot. It took no breaking in. I have not had to oil it or clean it in 2 years. Takes little to no maintenance. 4) It is extremely comfortable. Everyone who has ever ridden in my saddle has commented on that. 5) I like the slightly deeper seat--easy to get out of the saddle over jumps, but more secure than other jumping saddles. Great for cross country. Also, since I don't have a dressage saddle anymore, I ride dressage in this saddle, and while dressage in any jumping saddle is not ideal, this one is better than most because of the deeper balanced seat. 6) I have a longer thigh and jump with pretty short stirrups so I like the more forward flap--this is the only saddle I've ever jumped in where my knee did not go off the front of the flap. 7) This saddle fits a lot of horses. Big shoulders or not, high or low withers, high or low backs, narrow or wide, etc.
Dislikes: 1) The twist could be a little narrower. I am a woman with larger thighs and I often have the problem when riding that the twist is too wide for my inner thigh and my inner thigh ends up getting crushed uncomfortably or I can't sit properly. This saddle is better than many in that regard, but I still find myself wishing the twist were more narrow to allow more room for my inner thigh. 2) The leather, while being extremely soft and sticky, scratches very easily (even though it buffs out fantastically--see above) and changes color very easily. I usually ride in black Muck Boot Co boots and they have turned the lower part of the flap black. I have not tried to clean it to see if it will go away. It's pretty minor. Every time it is oiled it gets darker, BUT I have not needed to oil it since I bought it 2 years ago.
Quality: Very high. Very well balanced, very high quality soft leather, good hardware. Billets are strong and yet flexible. The gold nail heads which say "Princeville" seem to wearing a little more than I would expect. One must be careful with the leather because it scratches easily (although buffs out easily from riding) and changes color easily from oil or dye on boots.
Summary: I highly recommend this saddle. I like it more than I like most saddles which are more than twice the price. Especially great for cross country. Everyone who has ridden in my saddle loves it. One girl loved it so much that she bought one of her own. Something potential buyers should note: A new cognac Rosier will appear to be a horrendous orange color. THIS IS NOT THE REAL COLOR. What you are supposed to do is oil it well before riding in it and it will turn into a beautiful Oakbarkish color. So do not let the initial color deter you.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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