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wht do you think about PJ DelGrande saddles?

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  • wht do you think about PJ DelGrande saddles?

    feedback please do they last, worth the money, true to size, etc? thanks!

  • #2
    DD had a used one that we bought 6-7 years ago for $1600, and then sold last year for $2000. We had sold her horse, and I was looking for one for me. Went for a test ride, and the seller liked the saddle so much, she made the offer! Didn't wind up buying her horse, but she did buy our saddle.


    • #3
      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.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat


      • #4
        I have tried one and loved it! I thought it was overpriced for its age though (it was 17 or18 years old) so didn't buy it. It was in amazing condition though! Super soft leather, it had the big puffy air filled knee pads but they relaxed under my knee so they didn't look funny and over full. It was truly a great saddle! They do tend to run a half size small though. I just bought an '08 for a steal ($1145 with shipping) off ebay. It should be here in a week or so. It's supposed to be in almost new condition. So we will see what it looks like when it gets here! I would love to buy a new one but can't shell out 4k for one! I had tried an Antares at the same time as the one I tried. I had loved the Antares the first time I sat on it (first time sitting in a high end saddle), but as soon a I sat in the Delgrange on the horse I knew that out of the two that was the one I liked better. I'm super excited to try the one I have coming! Hopefully it works too, I have been on a hunt for the perfect saddle for way too long and spent way too much! Technically my husband does not know I bought this one!


        • #5
          I ride in one and love it. My hard-to-fit TB who easily gets a sore back loves it too -- no more bucking after I acquired the PJ.

          I do agree they run a bit smallish -- I am very tall with a hugely long femur and usually ride in a 17.5, my PJ is an 18 and I like the fit. It feels like my other 17.5s. The flaps come in all sorts of configurations, so I do not think they are for tall people only -- depends on what flap and level of forwardness you get. I am sure there are lots of configurations that would not fit me at all (say, anything less than a very long flap!).

          Mine has a medium tree and does well on fat TBs and TB-ish appendix QHs. I would want a wider tree for a WB back type.

          They are deep, the first week might be a bit, um, painful until you figure out how to post in it, if you have been riding in a shallower seat (I'd been in a Crosby PDN and it did take a few rides to get used to it in that respect -- I loved the balance immediately). After a week you will likely be fine. If you've been riding in other deep saddles, you will likely be fine too. I do not feel at all constrained by the saddle, my leg fits where it is supposed to as opposed to the PDN which pitched my lower leg forward due to too-forward stirrup bars for my conformation.

          Like all saddles, it is only going to be good if it fits you and your horse, so try one first. With the same flap/specs you want.

          Mine is smooth/calf and the leather is out of this world lovely, with virtually no wear despite being a 2004 model used well (at least since 2008 when I bought it) (can that really be? I still call it my "new saddle...").


          • #6
            IME they hold up well and hold their value, but have not sat in the newer off the rack PJs so reserve judgement on those.

            You really need to sit in the individual saddle you are considering-some people fit the seat snug in their usual size and need to go up and others don't like where that "sweet spot" puts them. Myself included, felt they put me a smidge further back then I prefer-but I always did Hunters, Jumper riders might find that more comfortable, especially over actual jumps and not speed bumps.

            Obviously, it needs to fit the horse but that's something you can only tell by trying the exact saddle you are considering.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


            • #7
              DD has a PJ Lite and loves it - we bought it used through Beval and it has held up beautifully. We originally bought it for a horse we were leasing - it was the only saddle he went sound and happy in but it has fit everything she has ridden since then. I too have ridden in it and can say it is the most comfortable saddle I have ever sat in and with my neck and back issues the only one that let me go riding without regretting it the next day!

              She went from a 16.5 Crosby Hampton Classic to a 17.5 PJ with a 3L (regular position) flap. Unfortunately, she has had another (and hopefully final) growth spurt so we are going to sell that one and hope to find one with a 3A (forward position) flap.


              • #8
                We have 3 PJs: 2 Originals and 1 PJ Pro.

                Mr. SSR's Original is about twelve years old, in excellent condition, and is buttery soft. He normal takes a 17", and his is a 17.5".

                My PJ Original is around nine years old, a 17.5" and a 4L flap. I could really use an 18", but PJ wasn't making an 18" saddle at that time -- they only went up to 17.5" -- and a forward flap, but again, that wasn't an option at the time. It is in great shape.

                My Pro is two years old, an 18", with forward flaps, and it fits me like a dream. It is very well made, with beautiful leather. However, it is more a wide tree than the normal generous medium-width tree size that most PJs are, so it only fits the WBs in the late spring to early fall until they are hunting fit, then I have to switch back to the Original.

                We have a few horses that get sore backs, or just act uncomfortable, if you ride them in anything other than the PJ Original for any extended length of time.
                Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles


                • #9
                  I have a 12 year old PJ Original - it is an absolutely fabulous saddle and has held up beautifully for all this time. I am in love with it and hope to never have to replace it!


                  • #10
                    I have two young PJ Pros and love them immensely. Wouldn't ride in anything else!
                    Eight Fences Farm. Mansfield, MA


                    • #11
                      I had a PJ Pro before I got my CWD...and loved it. I purchased it used from fineusedsaddles.com. It was about 4 years old when I sold it and it looked fabulous. It was super comfy. I do think they tend to run a bit small in the seat, so be sure to sit in a few to see how they work for you. From what I've seen they do hold their resale value well, so you should not have problems getting a good part of you investment back should the need arise (I was able to get back what I paid for mine ).

                      Happy shopping


                      • #12
                        I've been desperately looking for one for DD, as our entire barn rides in them (with a LOT of upper level riders, that tells you something). I think ONE rider in the barn has a Nona Garson, but everyone else is in a PJ of one style or another. She has borrowed a couple and they seem to balance her nicely.

                        None of them are the "new" pj styles such as the premier or the usa, they are all the older styles pro/euro pro/lite.

                        DD needs a forward flap in a 17 or 17.5, as her leg is SO long and most of it is upper thigh. Everything we've tried so far her knee hangs off the flap.

                        I have a pj on trial now, but it is a 4l and not an "A" and I think when she rides in it tonight we are going to see her knee over the flap again.

                        So I will keep hunting for a used pro in the size I need, as we have all but eliminated most other brands in a "used" model as I cannot afford 4k to go custom.
                        If you love me let me go....


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by alittlegray View Post

                          DD needs a forward flap in a 17 or 17.5, as her leg is SO long and most of it is upper thigh. Everything we've tried so far her knee hangs off the flap.

                          I have a pj on trial now, but it is a 4l and not an "A" and I think when she rides in it tonight we are going to see her knee over the flap again.
                          Hey alittlegray? Just a thought but I have a friend who is really a tall skinny young lady with a beefburger of a WB and the only thing that fit the horse and her knee didn't hang over the flap on was a Nona Garson.

                          It wasn't her first choice but has certainly worked out well for her and she now swears by it. Just a thought, like I said. Sometimes best not to get hung up on brands.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                          • #14
                            I rode in one for a while when I was riding one of my trainer's horses- despite it being a bit too small (I ride in a 17.5 normally, this was a 16.5), it was the. most. comfortable. saddle. ever. And I think it's over 20 years old... Great saddle, the leather was still really nice and it was suuuuuper comfy. Put me in great position also, it's really balanced.
                            Different flavors of crazy, but totally NUTS. You know its true. - GreyHunterHorse



                            • #15
                              I have ridden in one quite a few times and find it a very nice saddle for some, for me I feel there is way too much between me and the horse and I cannot use my leg effectively especially during flat work which I tend to wrap my legs around the horse a bit more. However when I was on a very hot and sensitive horse over fences I really liked it because I never touched him with the spur unintentionally, which he was a big fan of and went super quiet with me.

                              Saddle shopping is all personal preference. My next horse I will buy to fit my Butet, not the other way around


                              • #16
                                I have a PJ Lite that is about 5 years old. I love it! It is comfortable, puts me in a nice position, and still looks brand new. It fits my mare very well, as well as almost every other horse I have tried it on.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by speculation07 View Post
                                  I have ridden in one quite a few times and find it a very nice saddle for some, for me I feel there is way too much between me and the horse and I cannot use my leg effectively especially during flat work which I tend to wrap my legs around the horse a bit more. However when I was on a very hot and sensitive horse over fences I really liked it because I never touched him with the spur unintentionally, which he was a big fan of and went super quiet with me.

                                  Saddle shopping is all personal preference. My next horse I will buy to fit my Butet, not the other way around
                                  I wonder if the one you rode in fit you. There shouldn't be anything more between you and the horse in a PJ than in any other saddle -- the blocks on mine are only there if something goes wrong, where my leg sits there are two thin flaps of leather, same as my PDN and my friend's Butet. I haven't noticed anything thicker about my PJ.

                                  I might feel it to be thick if I had a smaller sized one, though and my knee was sitting too far forward on the knee roll, which is quite cushy with a decent-sized block. They do run smallish as well.

                                  As a taller person I do like the way the Nona Garson balances (my old trainer had one and I rode in in a fair bit) but the flap is too short for someone with really long legs, I would catch the top of my boot on it, which I absolutely hate, it is very distracting.


                                  • #18
                                    I have one I am selling for an Estate. Is there anyway to tell which model it is? It has a serial number and a JS before the seat size..."Jumping Saddle"?
                                    "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"


                                    • #19
                                      Having experience with the newer PJs, I'll throw in my two cents in case anyone is looking for some info...

                                      I bought a PJ USA in June 2011 which was shortly after they released the design. Since I'm an 18", and the design was fairly new, we had to custom order the saddle. The company was amazing to work with, and I still buy other tack (bridles/martingales) from them. On several occasions I have spoken on the phone with and have emailed PJ himself.

                                      I LOVED my saddle, and it held up well for 2.5 yrs of heavy riding. It fit my TB horses well, and it was a great middle-of-the-line-but-still-French saddle. If you're looking to stay under 3500$ they're wonderful.

                                      However, it did not fit my new huge, wide backed Irish sport horse. His back started getting sore and it put my leg too far forward and my seat too far back. Now I have that saddle on the market and am waiting for my Devoucoux (which fits my horse perfectly) to get here

                                      If a PJ fits your horse (and I've had luck with fitting the narrower horses) then they're great great saddles to get without breaking the back. Also, a wonderful company to work with!


                                      • #20
                                        Has anyone had any experience with the PJ Premiere?