Crafted since the foundation of the company, the saddles are still made in the pure Hermès tradition, still nestled at the heart of 24 Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
At the Origin of Hermès, is the love of Horses
When Thierry Hermès founded his house in 1837, he actually opened a boutique specializing in saddlery and horse harnessing. The era was in equestrian transport and quickly, Hermès became a master in the field.
From the second half of the 19th century, now located at 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Hermès possessed a flawless reputation. Having won in 1867 the first class medal at the Paris World Fair, the house made exceptional saddles that adapted to all types of horses and riders.
So when the car superseded the horse, Hermès certainly diversified its production, but never abandoned the know-how of the saddles. And still today, between 400 and 500 saddles come out of 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré each year. This is where we always find workshops rich in expertise as luxurious as it is effective.
“Our first client is the horse; the second, the rider” declared Jean-Louis Dumas. Because if the horse is no longer so common, the house drew from its roots aesthetic codes that were quick to inspire its logo or its mythical square. Above all, Hermès drew from its archives the ideal techniques for innovating in the field of saddles.
And in this area, the Hermès registers trace all the saddles produced since 1909 – each of them are numbered.
The Design Of Hermès Saddles
Minimalist and efficient. As Laurent Goblet, master saddler at Hermès for over 40 years, and responsible for horse riding development, put it: “I’m not a saddler for making museum pieces! My job is to produce saddles adapted to the needs of riders with materials and technologies that best meet their expectations.”
At the heart of Hermès creations since its origins, the saddlery profession is indeed of considerable importance in the production of exceptional pieces. Among these, Hermès saddles hold the upper hand.
The time and passion invested in research and development on the ergonomics of saddles has led Hermès to not only improve the comfort of the horse and that of the rider, but also to offer modular saddles, simple to upgrade.
In the workshops of 24 Faubourg Saint-Honoré, a small group of 7 artisans work every day. And each of their talents is compiled to lead to the making of exemplary saddles – shaping in turn the sashes, olives, troussequins, or faux-quarters, all cut from the wonderful leathers of the house of Hermès.
“At the beginning we learned to work with tools, then after we have the right to dream, we have the right to reinvent, to transform” – Laurent Goblet initiated the Talaris saddle in 2010.
The Saddles From the Hermès Catalog
In the Hermès catalog, there are around ten saddles. Three for the obstacle: the Cavale, Allegro and Steinkraus saddles. A mixed saddle named Oxer; another outdoor, the Senlis. One cross saddle, another polo saddle. And two more for training the Corlandus and the Arpège saddle. And the Talaris.
When other luxury houses base their success on marketing, Hermès prefers to cultivate excellence – and it is in a product as efficient as the saddle that we read this quest.
In 2010, Laurent Goblet imagined the Talaris saddle. “This skeleton of wood and steel prevented any evolution. We looked at how to take advantage of the new materials to offer a saddle offering better sensations to the rider and the horse,” he explains.
Rigid but flexible, solid but fine, the Talaris offers the ideal lightness for the obstacle. Designed around a carbon and titanium tree, its seamless seat and injected foam panels allow an excellent distribution of the effort on the horse’s back.
In 2013, the Hermès Cavale saddle emerged. The stools follow each other and are not alike.
The Steinkraus saddle, flat and designed for balancing, is intended for show jumping and hunter riders. Designed for sporty, sober and natural riding.
The Oxer is a sporty saddle. Designed for riders who practice several disciplines with one dominant obstacle, it is cut around one of a semi-hollow tree – to instantly regain balance.
Developed with Margit Otto-Crépin, dressage champion, the Corlandus saddle is dedicated to the practice of high level dressage. It offers the rider to accurately perceive the attitudes of the horse.
All these saddles are obviously stamped with the discreet luxury and beauty given by Hermès pieces. They are in themselves true works of art which, although designed to be functional, they carry the art of harnessing high.