Manufacturer: Crosby (View all products by Crosby)
Model: Prix des Nations (Regular Tree) (View all Prix Des Nations reviews)
Category: Close Contact Saddles
Purchase: I acquired this saddle new from Dover Saddlery close to ten years ago after I rode in my trainers Prix and loved it. Up until that point, I had ridden in many different and expensive brands and had never found the perfect one for myself until this one. I understand that it has since been discontinued and is now sold under the Exselle by Walsall Riding Brand in England. At the time, I paid about $2,000 for it, but it was well worth it as after a decade of hard use, it still looks and feels like new!
Likes: This saddle is well-made with great stitching, top-quality leather, a sound tree, and is very comfortable and balanced. I ordered it with smooth/plain flaps as opposed to the padded ones that are commonly found in most close contact saddles and I found that it still gives the rider security, but allows a closer feel between the horse and rider without any extra bulk under the leg/knee. The saddle is easily maintained and I have not had to have any repairs made at all. Additionally, I have found this saddle to be an easy fit on most horses I have ridden- from narrow-withered Thoroughbreds to light Drafts, Warmbloods, Quarter Horses, and most in-between. I even used this saddle on a gaited Tennessee Walker that I was helping a friend with and it fit and worked fine. I am currently riding my Clydesdale mare with it until my new dressage saddle arrives and the regular tree does not pinch or leave her sore.
Dislikes: There is very little I don't like about this saddle. About the only thing I can think of is that I prefer to use a saddle with a deeper seat for extended trail rides because close contact saddles tend to run shallow and tilt the rider's hips forward slightly to allow you to move easily into two-point and if you are riding all day, it is not terribly comfortable towards the end. This is not limited to the Prix Des Nations though- this is just a general issue with close contact saddles.
Quality: Excellent- it has literally had thousands of hours of riding on it and is still pretty much perfect in every way. I could take it to a show today with just a dash of polish.
Summary: This is a top-notch saddle and I love it and highly recommend it. If you are looking for a solid close contact saddle that you can do pretty much anything with- this is it. It is comfortable, functional, attractive, and well-made. What else can one ask for?
Author: Lauren Hendricks
Usefulness Rating: 3.35 out of 5.
20 reader(s) voted.
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