I rode in a PJ lite for a couple months and absolutely loved it. It was a bit too small for me, so we ended up not buying it but I loved riding in it. Super super comfy and made my pissy horse happier. It's on my list to buy one when I have the budget and the horse. Going back to my plain old crosby was a bit of shock after that trial experience!
I have a PJ original and I LOVE it. I test rode Devocouxs, Butets, Antares...but the PJ was it. It is a long flap which is great for me (I'm 5'7" but have long legs) and it is a 17.5, I believe. It definitely runs small, as I'm nowhere near a 17.5 in other brands. The leather is sooo buttery soft and it is very secure. It fits my horse so well. It's done so much for my confidence to have a saddle that makes me feel like I'm in the right position and have a good seat. They hold value very well too, so it's comforting to know I have made a good investment.
I tried a PJ Premiere recently and they do run very small... I didn't even come close to fitting our pony, but in truth they sent a wide tree when I asked for narrow that said, they were AMAZING to deal with and were ready to ship me the narrow tree when I found a Butet that fit the bill.
The "Original PJ" initially was all there was. It acquired the name when they developed the "PJ Lite" (with a shallower seat). IME, you will find the Original PJ tight in the seat for its marked size. Riders may not find the same thing in the PJ Lite, depending on how they expect their normal saddle seat size to feel.
I tried them years ago when they were first popular and I didn't like them at all. Sat me funny like being in a chair. I have an Antares that I love. I think it likely depends on the saddle, your body and your horse. Try it and you'll know if you like it.
Make sure you understand that PJ and Bruno Delgrange are no longer associated. Often people refer to PJs and are talking about older PJ's (2008/2009) that were made by Delgrange.
Pierre Jocolier is having saddles made by someone else like the Premiere, PJ USA, original, pro and comfort. They are not the same as the older PJ Pro (our partition) PJ Original ( our virtuose) PJ Lite (our Athena)
I have a Bruno Delgrange Athena...this was the custom version of the off the shelf PJ Lite when I purchased it in 2010. I heart this saddle. It is so very lovely and while I have only had it for about 2.5 years, it still looks like new. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another...or to even go for the PJ lite if I needed a different tree size (my saddle is built for my very narrow TB).
This saddle looks mismarked to me, based on current market. If the saddle is a PJ Original that was made by Delgrange, it should be called a PJ Original. If it's a Bruno Delgrange, it should be called that with the model name (Athena, Partition, etc). Using both terms is trying to hook a larger market....getting included in searches for both PJ Original and Bruno Delgrange, which has been stated in this thread are now two separate things.
Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"
I loved my Bruno Delgrange PJ Pro (partition), unfortunately had to sell it to help offset the cost of my CWD for my hard to fit gelding.
Bruno Delgrange and Pierre Jolicouer have split ways and gone in different directions. The new Pierre Jolicouer saddles are cheaper than the Delgrange's, and from what I have seen in person- are a lesser quality. I purchased a bridle from Pierre and the stitching came loose in less than 5 rides and the leather quality left a lot to be desired. If his new saddles are anything like this, I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole!
If you look hard enough you can find the Bruno Delgrange Original PJ's for a steal online. I had my Delgrange for 4 years before I needed to sell it and it looked just as great 4 years later as it did when it arrived new! Delgrange's are extremely well made, durable saddles that hold their resale value! Not to mention-super comfortable
First, they are PJ Delgrange, not DelGrande, saddles. Bruno Delgrange is the rider/maker and Pierre Jolicoeur is a rider and saddle designer as well. The two are not connected anymore, with Delgrange and Jolicoeur taking their saddles in different directions. Only Jolicoeur offers off-the-shelf saddles; Delgrange saddles need to be ordered.
The PJ Delgrange was the french saddle that taught Americans what a deep but balanced saddle could be. I remember them as unusual in the Prix des Nations era when folks thought of old Stubbens when they encountered deep saddles with knee rolls. The Original PJ was followed by the PJ Lite which had a shallower seat. I don't think you need to go up a size, but do expect the original PJ to put you in one spot. These saddles were beautiful and well balanced. They are flocked with foam, but do a nice job for horses that basically will fit in the curvier tree found in french saddles.
They are soft leather, but hold up and hold their value well. You need to ride in one of approximately the right size to see if you agree with the saddle-maker's design, but after that I think you can buy a used one with confidence. IMO, the size will matter because you'll either enjoy the knee roll or miss the benefit in a size that's way off for you.
Getting a new one differs for PJ and Delgrange. I can't speak to the quality of the new off-the-shelf PJ saddles being made at a lower price, but it might be worth a try if you can't buy a Serious Saddle. Delgrange saddles are made in small numbers and sold through reps. They now come in a range of models that will let you pair different flaps with trees and seats. You may not see as many of these around North America as, say, Antares or CWD, but the quality of Delgrange's design and "fit and finish" is an attractive feature to me in a new saddle.
Hope this helps. I think you'll get lots and lots of opinions here. The bigger questions are about what shape horse (and rider) these saddles please. IMO, you need to know that in order to make sense of anyone's review.
Perfect answer! Although I might be a little (ok a lot) tougher on the new PJ Saddles. For having seen quite a few in person, I really feel that you get even less than what you pay for with these... I especially don't like how PJ tries to get customers confused by tricking them into believing that they are buying a true PJ that would compare to the old ones made by Delgrange. They really don't compare, one is an off-the-rack middle range saddle, and the other one is a high end custom saddle made in France. As in truly completely made in France, not just "assembled" in France as most other French brands. I guess it was Delgrange's mistake for making it possible for a sub contractor's name to be added to their product and somehow gain more recognition than the brand itself. Major marketing fail.
Delgrange saddles are beautiful though, and Bruno Delgrange is a true horseman and accomplished rider, which isn't the case of all saddlers these days.
Last edited by PassionForSaddles; Mar. 13, 2013 at 10:26 PM.