Why choose a made to measure saddle? This question, you will certainly hear it several times a month if you are a regular visitor to riding schools. Some people claim that a mass-produced saddle is as good as a custom made saddle, others claim that nothing beats a...
The custom saddle
Made in France.
KNOW-HOW OF EXCELLENCE
We wanted to put forward the French saddlery know-how to model and manufacture all our leather saddles to measure and half-measures. The 40 years of experience and the exceptional know-how of this factory in the southwest of France make it possible to work with French materials to design aesthetic curves and create technical and performing products. This workshop located near our offices also allows us to innovate and control quality at all times.
In the heart of this Basque workshop, the passionate and experienced leatherworkers select with great care the skins that they cut and assemble. Beyond the aesthetics, it is also the design and manufacturing process that is innovative. Thanks to the optimization of the material via digital cutting which guarantees an ultra precise cut and perfect symmetry. But also, with a sizer and a slitter to facilitate the demanding work of leather craftsmen. Or with a 3D printer for prototyping and a laser engraving machine allow a classic design to be reimagined.
Creating high end saddles require many steps to be completed by hand. This work calls for an extreme attention to detail. The ask to sew and glue more than 75 pieces together, taking about 40 hours of work for one dream saddle.
In this artisanal workshop infused with new technologies, French saddlers work in a traditional way. Fashioning unique pieces with patience, rigor, strength, and refinement. Moreover, all Arion saddles are given exclusive numbers. Our team can call back upon each individual, custom-made saddle.
The family-run workshop is also committed to a CSR approach, thanks to a quasi-parity between men and women, the promotion of employment and employees, the treatment and recycling of leather scraps, the use of 100% renewable energy and the installation of solar panels.
NATURAL AND LOCAL ORIGIN
95% of the components used in the design of an Arion saddle are natural materials, mainly leather.
Imitated but never equaled, animal leather is a unique and irreplaceable material due to its structure. Its use and nature are very similar to those of the wood with which our pommels are made. Timeless and elegant, leather has always been a guarantee of quality and resistance, which Arion relies on to dress its high quality and comfortable riding saddles.
We demand a premium quality raw material, therefore; we only use leathers of French origin. Our exceptional leathers come exclusively from the food industry. This means that the cattle, raised in France with respect to animal welfare, are slaughtered for their meat. Moreover, we only choose high quality leathers. Because they reflect the animal’s experience and testify to its good living conditions.
The animal skin is then recovered, perpetuating a practice that man has been doing since the dawn of time. Thus, the work of the leather represents the oldest activity of valorization of the biowastes. This makes leather a noble and authentic material to be favored when we are part of a sustainable consumption mode.
In addition, leather is exceptionally durable. This is why the life of a well-made saddle is indefinite. Arion offers a longer-lasting option for our saddles with a reinforcement option on the double flap jumping saddle and mono-flap cross-country saddle. This reinforced leather is an extra piece of durbale leather to uphold the inevitable movement of the rider’s legs while riding.
At Arion, we have also chosen to offer saddles that can be repaired or modified in their entirety to extend their durability. We offer products based on natural ingredients to maintain the leather of your saddle for as long as possible.
Because we favor short supply circuits and companies committed to limiting their environmental impact, our leathers are sublimated in French tanneries that have a unique traditional know-how passed down from generation to generation.
Our grained leathers are treated with vegetable tanning based on chestnut or mimosa. This technique allows us to reduce our ecological footprint on the one hand. But also to obtain deeper colors and a nice patina. The mineral tanning is only used for the back straps to ensure the leather’s rigidity and therefore the saddle’s stability.
Our soft leathers, with a waxy touch, come from a family tannery. This leather is produced made-to-order and is used to supply the most beautiful luxury houses in France.
As for the buffalo leather, its velvety finish comes from a full grain leather, carefully tanned, and finely polished.
Saddles that ae 100% made for you and your horse.
The semi-custom saddles.
A LITTLE HISTORY
The Basque Country. A renowned land of leather.
Arion saddles are completely made in Basque Country with high quality leather from French tanneries. They are thus part of a leather tradition in the South-West of France.
At the end of the 19th century, the region lived at the rhythm of agricultural breeding and the leather industry was in full swing. More than 230 tanners and leather workers settled in the province of Labourd. Because it offerings, a ground favourable to the activity of vegetable tanning, and thanks to the presence of resources and the tauzin oak, one of the essences necessary to obtain the tanning.
As time went on, the urban elite developed a passion for the Basque rural world. But also for this iconic know-how around the work of leather. Numerous brands of leather goods, shoes, and saddlery were born in the region. Unfortunately, imports, competition from industrial tanneries, and oak disease tarnished the activity in the 1950s.
The leather tradition persists in the region thanks to the saddlery workshops. For decades, they have been perpetuating a local know-how cultivated by meticulous and rigorous craftsmen.
Committed to the French tanneries and its workshop in the Basque Country, Arion immortalizes this ancestral heritage. By offering a custom-made saddle our brand contributes to the development of the economy of our territory.