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Saddle Review: Prestige X-Helen

With blocks that follow the horse’s anatomy and a design that allows the rider close contact without hindering movement, this saddle is a real winner. 

Horses have brought Katrina Park a range of globe-trotting experiences. Born in the UK she grew up feeding ponies at the local riding school, an activity that later evolved into riding lessons. Some years down the track, and she had earned a Diploma in Equine Studies, followed by a Bachelor then a Masters in Equine Science.

Her tutor encouraged her to apply for an internship with Kentucky Equine Research in the US, an application that was successful. After completing the 12 month internship, Katrina was invited to manage the Caddel Equine Rehabilitation Centre, which she did for six years.

Her US adventure came to an end when relatives in Melbourne invited her to come and explore Australia – an opportunity which she eagerly accepted. After finding employment on a stud farm, she started training and working with horses of all ages, leading to the development of her business Cadence Horse Training. Based in Nar Nar Goon, Victoria, Katrina offers a range of training programs and online courses, all backed by her knowledge of biomechanics, exercise physiology and rehabilitation, skills which blend perfectly with her aptitude for training horses.

Katrina’s current horse Lucifer is a six-year-old Warmblood gelding. He came to her as a two-year-old and although he wasn’t always “the nicest person to be around,” he was quite smart and very good looking. Originally planning to take him on as a project horse, his charm won Katrina over. Since those early days he’s come along in leaps and bounds under her guidance, and no longer lives up to his namesake!

Lucifer was first ridden in a Bates Arena, purchased as an interim saddle while he was being started and still growing. However, Katrina decided it was time to upgrade to a new saddle to be used long term, something that would be a good fit for them both. In particular, Lucifer, who was still growing, needed a saddle that gave his shoulders freedom of movement.

Katrina’s saddle fitter recommended the Prestige X-Helen Dressage saddle, which would be wide enough to accommodate Lucifer, with a narrow twist to suit Katrina.

Currently Available: Prestige Helen X 17″ ~ $4995.00

Through Facebook, Katrina was delighted to discover that they had a Prestige X-Helen available. A seamless, stress-free experience with prompt communication and shipping followed. Katrina had a few questions for the saddle’s owner, which were quickly answered with The Saddle Hub acting as “an excellent middleman.”

After a tick of approval from the saddle fitter, Lucifer is now enjoying his comfortable new saddle and showing great improvement. Meanwhile Katrina, who plans to compete with Lucifer in the near future, loves the secure and correct position the Prestige X-Helen puts her in. Even better, the saddle has been successfully refitted several times as Lucifer continues to grow.

Feature Image: Katrina and Lucifer look more than comfortable in their Prestige X-Helen Dressage saddle.