Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Interesting Facts About "The Duchess" Dressage Saddle

For those of you who don't know, Riding Couture designed a beautiful dressage saddle available for custom order called "The Duchess." My friend, Karen Borne', is the owner of Borne' Saddlery in Texas and is also the manufacturer of The Duchess. All Borne' saddles are manufactured in Scotland by master saddler, Andy Sankey. Karen just recently posted some very interesting information on her blog about different aspects of the saddles, so I thought I would share this information with my readers. Please enjoy!

"Borné Saddles . . . location, location, location!

"I know that sounds pretty funny coming from a saddle manufacturer, but location is key when it comes to the selection of materials used in our saddles.

"Did you know, for example, animals that live in hot climates such as Spain or India will tend to produce hides that are dry and become brittle, which can eventually lead to cracking? If I was in the business of manufacturing saddle soap this would sound wonderful, but I'm not.

"At Borné Saddlery we purchase animal hides from Europe, primarily Sweden, Scandinavia, and France, due to the more moderate climate. We want our leather to stay supple and offer more longevity to our consumer. The hides are imported from these countries in their original form and tanned to our specifications in the United Kingdom. For this reason we have more control over what happens to the hide once it is shipped to our manufacturing facility.

"Another interesting fact is that in these more moderate climates the animals are not subjected to as many bug bites and barbed wire is against the law, so our hides are not as prone to imperfection as other hides. Speak to one of our clients and the first comment usually made is one of praise about the quality and craftsmanship of our work. I attribute this in part to the choices we make in our material selection.

"Wool choice is just as key to Borné Saddlery as the hide. Obviously, the panel is the area that is designed to fit on your horse's back and what goes in that panel is critical. Any qualified flocking person can tell you stories about poorly-flocked panels that would raise the hair on the back of your neck.

"All Borné Saddles are flocked with 100% lambswool, but not just any lambswool. We purchase our wool from Pringle of Scotland Mills, which is one of the finest wool mills anywhere in the world. Pringle is known for luxury fashion knitwear such as cashmere (yes, your horse deserves the very best)! I would invite you to read more about the history of Pringle of Scotland at

"The reason our Saddler selected Scottish wool is, again, location. The wool is sheared from Scottish Highland Sheep and is not prewashed, so it stays in its purest form. Scotland is a very wet country due to the amount of rain and the wool is already moist (as opposed to a dryer climate where the wool holds no moisture). When your horse sweats into the panel, the additional moisture helps the wool to hold its form and not break down, which can lead to excessive balling and compression. When wool is dry, the sweat from the horse is absorbed more quickly, which leads to compressed panels and unhappy horses. All wool will shift and compress over time but, we look for wool that will hold its shape as long as possible. Our beautiful wool is also approved by The British Wool Society.

"Often we will send saddles to clients with several billeting options. Your horse's girth groove determines which billets must be used to avoid the saddle sliding forward or backward. The general idea on billets is that you want them parallel to your horse’s girth groove. If you are not sure which billets to use on your horse, I am always happy to make a recommendation.

Karen Borne
Owner, Borné Saddlery

1 comment:

david said...

Yes design fo saddle should be very good and quality of saddle should be good , because comfort come with quality , i have Western Saddle very comfortable.