Manufacturer: Crosby (View all products by Crosby)
Model: Prix De Nations (View all Prix De Nations reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I've had this saddle for about 14 years. I got it new when I was about 11 years old (I'm now 25), and I think it was somewhere in the $500 range.
Likes: I love this saddle, and am absolutely going to hate getting rid of it when that day finally comes. The newer saddles are so bulked up with knee rolls, thigh rolls, calf rolls, and padding all over the place that you can't feel your horse and are not able to develop an effective position on your own. I've used this saddle on literally hundreds of horses, and it has always fit everyone suitably well. I do sometimes think the tree is a bit narrow for some horses. I usually pad it up pretty good, and I've never had an identifiable problem, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it if you own a warmblood. I've used it on many warmbloods on an occasional basis, however, and have had no problems. It fits my two TBs just fine, though.
Dislikes: There are two things I don't like about this saddle. First, I'm not a huge fan of its color. The seat is quite a bit lighter than the rest of the saddle, and that's always bothered me a tiny bit. Second, because I got this saddle when I was 11 years old, I got the shorter flap. Now, at 25, the flap is a bit too short for me (I'm 5'6"). It doesn't bother me to ride in it with the flap shorter (to the contrary, I actually prefer it because it brings me closer to the horse's sides), but it does look short, which is not so good. This flap issue isn't really an issue with the saddle; it's purely because I purchased it with the shorter flap.
Quality: This saddle has held up unbelievably well for years and years and years. All of the stitching is still in great shape. I did have to replace the billets, which was not a big deal. There is also definite wear; you can see the entire shape of my leg and rear end on the saddle, but that's just the way I like it, nice and worn in! Keep in mind that I've had the saddle for 14 years, and for about 10 of those 14 years I was riding 5-7 horses six days a week, as well as horse showing. I'm sure that with less "love" this saddle wouldn't be so worn!
Summary: Love it, even though I know that people are into more padded, knee-rolled saddles these days. If you are an old-school traditionalist that owns a narrower TB-type horse or rides a lot of different horses, and can find this saddle used for a good price, I would highly recommend it.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
10 reader(s) voted.
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