What is the difference between the Passier Optimum and the Grand Gilbert? I quite like the Optimum but I haven't tried the GG and want to know if it's worth driving out to god knows where to pick one up for testing.
I own two Passier saddles, an Optimum and a GT. I have not ridden in a GG but from the descriptions and measurements provided on various websites, I think the GG has a deeper seat than either the Optimum or the GT and a longer flap. My Optimum has a very open and rather flat seat with flaps that are about 1 inch shorter than the GGs I've seen for sale. FWIW, my GT, has a slightly deeper seat than the Optimum, a slightly forward cut to the flaps, set back stirrup bars and pencil blocks. The twist on the GT is slightly wider than the Optimum but still narrow - don't know about the twist on the GG. Both of my saddles are what I would consider minimalist style - not much there to keep the rider in position and definitely close contact with the horse. Love them both! :-)
I love my GG, the seat is not excessively deep, it offers support but does not restrict me. Passiers fit me and my horse, the last time I had it checked by my saddle fitter, he said "it fits like a glove" I know so many people who struggle with finding a saddle that fits both the rider and the horse.
I too love my GG. I have one for my 13 hand pony. It fits both of us very well. It definitely does not put me in a chair seat; however, if I were to put it on a horse it didn't fit then I could easily see where that might happen. I find the flap length and placement of the stirrup bar help accommodate my longer femur (I am short and I have no waste, just thigh).