Older Model Prestige Dressage Saddles: Optimax & Grand Dressage

It is time for me to get a dressage saddle, yay!

I went to my trusted saddle fitter and he has some older (new) Prestige models available - of which the Optimax and the Grand Dressage were the most comfortable for me. I have not yet had these saddles on my horse. I am now trying to do some research on these saddles, but it’s proving challenging as these models are older and the Grand Dressage is not on Prestige’s website anymore, and I’m pretty sure the Optimax is an older model than the one on the website.

So my question here: Who has some of these older models and can give me their experience with them? Any reason to or not to go with them? I have a Prestige Versailles that I’m very happy with so I have no problems staying with Prestige.

What year was the Grand Dressage discontinued? How do they hold up after a few years? I am personally partial to monoflaps but my saddle fitter does not have any in stock.

Any and all advice would be appreciated!

I’ve had several Prestige dressage saddles, including one Optimax which was, I believe, the second edition…now there is a third. I don’t know anything about the Grand. I had a Galileo that had a nice open seat and I liked it as did the horse I used it on. Currently I have a D1 Zero and a D1k monoflap and adore them both.

The saddles hold up very well over time, in my experience. The original generation of the Optimax had a fairly sharp angle on the panels as I recall, so didn’t work well on a flat backed horse. The second generation had a more adaptable panel.

I also find the flocking to stay in place and not pack down over time as fast as all wool, and my horses seem quite comfortable with it. The saddles themselves are very well made and comfy.

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Thank you for your insights!!

How do you like their monoflaps versus their normal models? I don’t want to hurry into buying one and I don’t think I can try one from this saddle fitter as he doesn’t stock them.
The other thing is that the Grand has been discontinued for quite some time now and while it is brand new it does make me wonder why no one else has purchased it… I remember sitting in it a year and a half ago! Doesn’t help I can’t seem to find any info on that particular model.

I like the monoflap, but there really isn’t all that much difference. They do change models or update them, and really the best way to know if you like it is to put in on your horse. One thing I liked to do was surf the used sites on the web and see how many of a model are available used. I figure if there are a ton of them out there for sale used, they probably aren’t all that well liked. The 2000D comes to mind…had one and hated it.
Are you looking at new or used? You might want to check online with Anne at Equestrian Imports, as she is a Prestige dealer.

No experience with either of those models but my ‘Lucky’ (pony dressage) is 5 years old and we love it.
We also have an older ‘Eventer’ and it is also wonderful.
I much prefer our Prestige saddles to the Schleese that I had for a different horse.

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I am looking for the best price-quality :wink: I would not be willing to shell out the money for any of their new monoflaps (5,5-6k :eek:)

I just wish my saddle fitter stocked some of the new Prestige dressage models, as I have no way to try them out first… There’s a few on ebay that are catching my eye, but…

I know my fitter would be able to change the tree and flocking to my horse’s liking - but I don’t know if any of the models he doesn’t stock would fit my horse. Then again, the (brand new!) saddles we’re going to try on my horse are “only” about 3k - so I really should start there. I just know from the past that I preferred a monoflap. :confused: So hearing from anyone who has both ridden in a normal and monoflap prestige would be awesome.

@Unfforgettable how do you feel the bulkiness under your leg is compared to the monoflap?

I don’t need to be convinced on the awesomeness of Prestige - I love my Versailles, and the fact that their trees can be changed is just an extra bonus. I just want to make sure I get a model that I’ll truly be happy with, it’s a lot of money!

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Equestrian Imports often has demo models at a good discount. You can also lease, rent or finance through them. They have some that were 6k new for 4k as demos.

I love the trees in my D1zeros…they fit a range and have good shoulder freedom. There is a slight difference between my monoflap and standard flap, but not much.

Even in the same tree size, those two models are going to fit your horse differently. It would be best to try them both. As a rider, I preferred the more open Grand Dressage… the deeper Optimax seat always pitched me forward. Both models are made with the typical Prestige workmanship and hold up well.

I have a Grand Dressage (with new billets!) on consignment at Fine Line tack if you’re interested. I actually bought it used, but it didn’t work well for my horse’s shape. The leather is nice and seems like it will hold up long term. I had no problems with the flocking either.

Overall I’d say it’s a comfortable, well-made saddle.

So I tried out the optimax today (I wanna say it’s first Gen) and holy beep I have never hated a saddle so much in my life :eek: I felt way too locked in and I felt like i was sitting above my horse instead of on her. Funny as I liked sitting in it in the shop! I have the grand dressage to try out, haven’t tried it yet. So I guess it’s a good thing I’m trying out stuff.

So how does the d1 model line feel compared to the optimax?

Thanks for all the responses by the way, it really helps!

Check with your fitter to see if he’s got a Passion K (monoflap) he can get his hands on. It was never on Prestige’s website, but it’s a North American model. I bought one last year and it was reasonably-priced (although the price has gone up since, it’s still not up there with their other $$$$ monoflap models). The leather is beautiful, I like the feel of it personally. It’s a more open, less deep seat, medium twist, medium block.

The D1 is WAY more open seated than the Optimax.

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I sat in the Grand today - much much MUCH better. Will give it another go as we only walked in it today. I will ask him about the Passion K :slight_smile: Thanks guys it helps!!

If you try a D1 (any of the variations), make sure you also use the trapezius pad that goes with it. The saddle does not fit the horse correctly without it. Compared to the Optimax, the D1 has a more forward flap and a less-deep seat, but it is still not as roomy as the Grand Dressage.

Sadly the Grand Dressage made me bounce and not able to find my balance at all in the trot, so that one won’t be it either. I now have a used Venus K waiting in the tack room to be tried out, as well as a 2000D. I really liked the Venus K in the tack shop so we’ll see how it’ll be on the horse. At some point we’ll find something that works for the both of us!!

So, really liked the Venus K, but it’s in pretty rough condition (scratches, visible wear) so I am now looking for a used one, but so far they are incredibly hard to find (used) so if anyone has one - PM me :slight_smile: or if anyone knows of any demo condition ones, I’d be interested too.