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Devoucoux contact problems? Opinions on "new" PJs?

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  • Devoucoux contact problems? Opinions on "new" PJs?

    So after 10 years I've grown out of my 16" Butet and am in need of a new saddle. I have been riding in a friend's "new" PJ Premiere and I actually really like it. The only real hesitation I have about buying one is that I know they are made in Morocco now, are made with a polypropylene tree (and are much heavier bc of it) and aren't as high quality as the old PJ's. Because of that I was looking into nicer saddles to try before resorting to that one. First question: What are your opinions on the "new" PJ's?

    Saddles I've tried that didn't work out (for horse fitting issues or whatever): Butet's that fit me, Antares jumping saddle, PJ USA, "old" PJ original, "old" PJ pro, "new" PJ pro euro. *sigh*

    Now the Devoucoux problem. I had the rep, David, come out to fit myself and a few others at my barn. I liked the saddles but the one I needed he didn't seem to have (I apparently need the Biarritz with a semi-forward flap). I rode in one that the flap worked, but the seat was too small, and one where the flap wasn't forward enough, but the seat worked. Anyways, he told me to call him a week later when they were at Rolex to see if he would have the saddle I needed there. So a week later I called him and he said they had it. I told him, "great, I'll take it!" He then proceeded to tell me that he would not sell me the saddle because it was a demo.... Pretty sure he just sold a demo to a person at our barn a week earlier. So then after some arguing I agreed to take a loaner saddle while I ordered one, but he would have to call me on Monday to take my order after the Rolex.

    After I thought about it, I decided if I was going to have to wait for a month to order a saddle, I wanted to demo the demo (lol). So I called him back 10 minutes after I just spoke to him and he didn't answer (no surprise). I left a message saying I wanted to demo the saddle just to be sure since I hadn't ridden in it, and waited for him to call me back on Monday. He didn't call me back on Monday, so I called him back on Tuesday and left a message. So that's where I'm at now. I have read the issues with Devoucoux, but all of them seem to be in the past or with different issues. Second question(s): Has anyone had problems like this? Has anyone not been "allowed" to buy a demo saddle?? I mean, I'm trying to give them money...

    Thanks and sorry for the novel!
    Originally posted by rustbreeches
    [George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis
  • Original Poster

    #2
    No thoughts on the new PJ's?

    Anyone have any experiences with the Antares fitters or B. Delgrange?
    Originally posted by rustbreeches
    [George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's the problem with selling demo saddles.... after you sell them you have no demo saddle anymore. I don't know about Devoucoux, but when you have to buy your own demos and then you are expected to sell them as demos at a discount, it becomes very hard to make a living. Usually, demos are sold because they have become too worn, are an older model or are an undesirable color, flap length, etc.

      Also, I can tell you some fitters get very sentimental and attached to some of our demo saddles. I have one or two that have become like old friends.

      Comment


      • #4
        The "new" PJ saddles - various models & trees to choose, the Premier offers a rather nice saddle at that price point unless you want to go used ...

        Delgrange also offers nice saddles but it really depends on which saddle fits your horse & you the best.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by alto View Post
          The "new" PJ saddles - various models & trees to choose, the Premier offers a rather nice saddle at that price point unless you want to go used ...

          Delgrange also offers nice saddles but it really depends on which saddle fits your horse & you the best.
          Yea, I am also having problems with saddles that fit my horse. The Devoucoux's seem to fit him without a saddle pad, but add a single pad (of any thickness) and it's too narrow.

          The only thing that makes me ask about the "new" PJ's is they seem a little inconsistent and I was curious if anyone saw similar issues with them. Three people at my farm all have new (within the past 2 years) PJ Premiere's, and while they are all the same tree and the same saddle, they all fit completely different, and one came with a different leather color (un-cleaned or oiled). I know every saddle cannot be made the same, but is it normal for saddles made around the same time to vary that much in fit and leather appearance? One saddle fit my horse fine, while the other two wouldn't fit to save his life. All were used on horses of similar musculature.

          Does anyone have opinions on plastic trees vs traditional wooden trees--do they really make that much of a difference? What other big-name saddles (other than the PJ Premiere) use plastic trees?
          Originally posted by rustbreeches
          [George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by NCSaddleFitter View Post
            Here's the problem with selling demo saddles.... after you sell them you have no demo saddle anymore. I don't know about Devoucoux, but when you have to buy your own demos and then you are expected to sell them as demos at a discount, it becomes very hard to make a living. Usually, demos are sold because they have become too worn, are an older model or are an undesirable color, flap length, etc.

            Also, I can tell you some fitters get very sentimental and attached to some of our demo saddles. I have one or two that have become like old friends.
            I do understand that. It just is a little disconcerting when they will sell one to someone right beside me, but then say no to me Doesn't really encourage me to want to do business with them, ya know?
            Originally posted by rustbreeches
            [George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jlphilli View Post
              Does anyone have opinions on plastic trees vs traditional wooden trees--do they really make that much of a difference? What other big-name saddles (other than the PJ Premiere) use plastic trees?
              Many companies use plastic trees - they just give them fancy names
              "carbon fiber"
              "advanced technology"
              "composite fibers"
              I'm a saddle dinosaur - I like wood spring trees & wool flocking ... BUT I've also been trying to keep up wth a rapidly changing young horse
              Just don't buy into those "flex" trees that adjust to fit "any horse" (an independent company posted some data on how much pressure was required to "flex" the tree from a medium fit to a wide fit - not something I'd use my horse's back to do )

              The Devoucoux's seem to fit him without a saddle pad, but add a single pad (of any thickness) and it's too narrow.
              I would want a wider saddle than this - if he muscles up at all, saddle fit will be an issue, I'd also wonder about what the tree points/angles are doing. Also consider physiological changes as the horse moves, effect of rider weight, compression/adjustment of the foam panels.


              The only thing that makes me ask about the "new" PJ's is they seem a little inconsistent and I was curious if anyone saw similar issues with them. Three people at my farm all have new (within the past 2 years) PJ Premiere's, and while they are all the same tree and the same saddle, they all fit completely different, and one came with a different leather color (un-cleaned or oiled). I know every saddle cannot be made the same, but is it normal for saddles made around the same time to vary that much in fit and leather appearance? One saddle fit my horse fine, while the other two wouldn't fit to save his life. All were used on horses of similar musculature.
              I suspect this is pretty typical of lower cost saddles - there just isn't the margin available to be as rigorous with quality control; OTOH you do end up with a saddle that fits a wider variety of horses ... of course this also happens with high end saddles but there we attribute it to "custom" order

              Leather is chosen for suitablility to be a saddle at this price point & less for consistency of color/texture (leather prices & availability have changed alot in recent years).
              A local shop brought in a couple of these saddles last year, both were lovely & sold quickly.

              Paying for an experienced saddle fitter is one of the better things you can do for your horse - & yourself!
              Read wookie's story

              It just is a little disconcerting when they will sell one to someone right beside me, but then say no to me Doesn't really encourage me to want to do business with them, ya know?
              I suspect this was not personal at all but just a function of him having that particular saddle availble for sale (possibly due to having a new version about to arrive etc).

              Comment


              • #8
                Have not seen the new PJs - DD just sold her PJ Lite and I wasn't sure about the new ones either for the same reasons.

                Have talked to Kirsten @ Delgrange on and off since December and she is very nice - came by our farm last week so DD could try a few of their saddles to try to fit her xlong femur.

                She is riding in an older, borrowed Delgrange right now and really liked the Virtuose when she tried it so I think that is what we will try to find for her - need an x flap though - ugh!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I also have experienced difficulty with Devoucoux. I purchased what was supposed to be a custom fit saddle for my mare who was having back issues. Well, the situation didn't get any better. I finally had Schlesse come to do an evaluation and measure her back. He spends a good two to three hours measuring the horse and rider. This saddle was so far off. This mare was to the point of pinning her ears back and biting me when I went to put the saddle on her back. It was pinching the nerves in her shoulders. The tree was so narrow and the saddle sloped backwards. I had Devoucoux come back for another $750 (on top of the $5000 I had spent on the saddle to begin with) to correct their original mistake. It still sits backwards and the tree is still too narrow. They haven't done anything for me. I asked for a refund of the $750 which was a useless waste. Nothing. I sent a letter in writing with photos. Nothing. Needless to say, I am an unhappy customer. I am now in the process of having a custom saddle built for another of my warmbloods by Schlesse that will fit precisely. They answer their phones, they respond to customers, they measure horses, they fix the problem---guaranteed---for the life of the horse. Finding the right fit for your horse can mean the difference between a happy and healthy horse or one that develops problems. Many of these "well known" saddle companies are doing the numbers and truly are not fitting the horses. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way and bought a name much like buying a Louis bag. Nothing more. It didn't do the horse any good at all. It felt fine for me but felt like garbage for her to the point it was a horse I didn't recognize. Shame on companies like this. I was a good customer.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    THANK YOU all--everything mentioned is very helpful!!

                    I am having Kirsten from Delgrange come out in a couple of weeks, as well as the Antares guy next week (maybe a wider tree would fit him?). I want to make sure I cover all my basis so I don't get stuck feeling like "well, this one is the closest to fitting from this saddle company" type thing (like I've seen people I know do recently).

                    On another note, ever since I sent an "unhappy contact request" on Devoucoux's site, David has left me 2 voicemail's about ordering the saddle (which I've never ridden in). The last one though mentioned that he's coming to my farm again for someone else (on the same day as the Antares guy...awkwaard), and he could bring the saddle for me to try. Guess I'm not really sure what to say. I guess after Alto's comments, I'm quite convinced their normal tree won't fit with any normal pads whatsoever, so even if I tried one it won't work. Not sure if I should call him back and inform him of my decision or wait until I see him at the farm (I'm bad at this sort of thing), lol.

                    Now I see why everyone gets so frustrated shopping for saddles!
                    Originally posted by rustbreeches
                    [George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Breaking_News View Post
                      I also have experienced difficulty with Devoucoux. I purchased what was supposed to be a custom fit saddle for my mare who was having back issues. Well, the situation didn't get any better. I finally had Schlesse come to do an evaluation and measure her back. He spends a good two to three hours measuring the horse and rider. This saddle was so far off. This mare was to the point of pinning her ears back and biting me when I went to put the saddle on her back. It was pinching the nerves in her shoulders. The tree was so narrow and the saddle sloped backwards. I had Devoucoux come back for another $750 (on top of the $5000 I had spent on the saddle to begin with) to correct their original mistake. It still sits backwards and the tree is still too narrow. They haven't done anything for me. I asked for a refund of the $750 which was a useless waste. Nothing. I sent a letter in writing with photos. Nothing. Needless to say, I am an unhappy customer. I am now in the process of having a custom saddle built for another of my warmbloods by Schlesse that will fit precisely. They answer their phones, they respond to customers, they measure horses, they fix the problem---guaranteed---for the life of the horse. Finding the right fit for your horse can mean the difference between a happy and healthy horse or one that develops problems. Many of these "well known" saddle companies are doing the numbers and truly are not fitting the horses. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way and bought a name much like buying a Louis bag. Nothing more. It didn't do the horse any good at all. It felt fine for me but felt like garbage for her to the point it was a horse I didn't recognize. Shame on companies like this. I was a good customer.
                      That's terrible! I have read so many stories like this.

                      My trainer ordered a saddle from Devoucoux at a show last year in November, and they sent her the wrong one. She ended up keeping it (no idea why...I think she is going to talk to the guy when he comes out again), but this is just another reason why I really don't want to order one.
                      Originally posted by rustbreeches
                      [George Morris] doesn't always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        FWIW, both my horse and I are extremely happy with the Devoucoux Biarritz...that I bought used...from a friend... Sorry I'm of no help, but my point is - it's a great saddle, maybe you can try one that belongs to someone else, then purchase used/not go through the company?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jlphilli View Post
                          I do understand that. It just is a little disconcerting when they will sell one to someone right beside me, but then say no to me Doesn't really encourage me to want to do business with them, ya know?
                          It has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with what saddles he has available to him at the time. Devoucoux may have sent him two of the same size/shape demo, and told him to sell one. These saddle companies almost never sell demos, unless they have duplicates or are getting the new year models in.

                          They also frequently trade with one another for different sized demos to please clients. It sounds like he didn't have one in your size, so went and FOUND one for you to *try*. At which point you pitched a fit that you couldn't buy it on the spot and instead had to wait to have one made.

                          Just another perspective.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I tried both the old and new PJ pro as well as a used Devoucoux. I've also heard about the newer PJs being lesser quality, but I honestly thought the exact opposite. The "old" PJ seemed just average quality leather in need of oiling. The pommel was uncomfortable and I could barely last an hour in it. The "new" PJ was a gorgeous saddle with extremely soft leather that came pre-oiled. My only concern was the leather may end up almost black. The pommel on the new PJ wasn't a problem but I felt like I was being pushed forward. Originally I thought it was because I was riding in a new saddle without tall boots, but my saddle fitter thought it might be seat.

                            The newer PJ was a 17.5" wide tree with their "standard" (forward) flap. The Devoucoux was 18", regular tree, custom panel (originally for another horse), regular flap. They both fit my horse and I equally. I was hung up between the two, they absolutely seemed comparable quality. I decided on the Devoucoux because I didn't want to take the risk on the balance issue with the PJ. But, I didn't have to deal with the Devoucoux reps.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Does David's last name begin with an A? If so - you can PM me for my experience, with ordering a custom saddle from him. It was not positive.
                              **********
                              We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                              -PaulaEdwina

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We have a new PJ at my school. I am not the most fond of it, however I like it much better than the old PJ. For us, it seemed to take forever to break in. Also, it was never the most comfortable in my eyes. I have a devocoux biaritz (spelling?) at home and cannot wait to sit in it again. Although it is extremely large (lots of padding) I love it to death. I have buffalo leather and it is 2 years old and still holding up great!
                                Hope you find a saddle you enjoy. You should never base your saddle opinions off of others opinions because every saddle is different as is every rider. Be sure to try as many saddles as possible before making your final decision!!

                                Comment

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