This month, Theresa and I had the privilege of visiting Deuber & Partner Saddlery, in Germany.
Good horsemanship is not solely good horse training, but also mindful horse care; feeding, pasture management and of course, good tack and saddle fit.
I initially learnt about Deuber & Partner saddles on a trip to America. I was introduced to the range by Theresa, because of how well they fit to a balanced horse and how adjustable they are. At an Equine Affaire trade show, I watched as a turn of a simple key (an allen wrench!) could change a saddle from narrow, to extra wide! Incredible German engineering, coupled with breathtaking design - I knew these saddles were something unique and very special.
Through my training, I began to understand the utmost importance of a perfect saddle fit. It made me become more aware of not just the horse’s anatomy, but also the build and structures of saddles. Quite often, whilst visiting students, I would see misaligned panels and bridging/knotting from careless or neglected flocking. In some cases, the saddles simply did not fit the horses. More and more I could see why the training was being impacted negatively from the saddles being used and the lack of knowledge surrounding it. It is so important for me, as a horse trainer, to be able to recommend a reliable, well fitting saddle.
I have been recommending the Deuber & Partner saddles to my students for a couple of years now. Their quality and functionality are unprecedented. As the horses change shape, the saddles are also adaptable. We are able to change the gullet width of the saddle over the months and years as required, making these saddles great investments. With proper care and storage, these truly can be saddles for a lifetime.
One of the first things you will notice about these saddles, whether Baroque, Western or English in design, is the high quality of the leathers. Whenever I see a new Deuber & Partner saddle, I am immediately transported to a little room tucked by the side of their workshop - full of leather! It smells divine… Rolls of leather wait to be selected; it’s incredible knowing they will eventually become someone’s saddle.
During my time in Germany, I was under the expert eye of Darja, who trained me how to service the saddles and explained the reasons why we do the things we do. She showed me the importance of getting the flocking just right. It was a far cry from what I’ve seen being done to my old saddles over the years. This whole process took care and time - and alot of spanking! The flocking was manipulated and worked. I learnt how each piece of soft flocking contributed to a layer and time would be taken to ensure there were no gaps or knots. As a consequence, the saddles’ flocking can come in different thicknesses. The cellular rubber inlay used in Deuber & Partner saddles help to prevent the flocking from knotting and becoming uneven. This, I had never seen before! It seems that the attention to detail does not end with intricate designs on the outside, but also utmost care is taken with sewing the leathers, flocking the saddles and every process of the production. The flocking used is a soft synthetic wool flocking which can be manipulated nicely for an even finish.
People often notice, especially with the Baroque and Quantum ranges, that the saddles sit well clear of the spine. I love this feature! The channel width of the saddles can also be adjusted to the individual. The panels of the saddle are only attached to the front and the back of the tree, to give a better freedom of movement for the horse. This allows the horse’s back to move, as it should. You will notice that the back of the saddles almost “scoop” up off the spine, allowing for the rider’s weight to come down without restricting the horse’s movement.
So I come back to the United Kingdom in awe. I knew these saddles were beautiful, I knew that the horses (and riders!) love them. However, I was not aware of just how much of the saddle making process is still done by hand and how much attention to detail is taken for every order made. These saddles are treasures!
Deuber & Partner are really doing something right! They aren’t just churning out saddles, but really taking care with all they do. A company who still values the importance of apprenticeships and teaching people an art, Deuber & Partner have awoken a real interest and love for the art of saddle making in me.
Thank you to the Deuber & Partner family:
You are all doing an incredible job! You are keeping this craft alive and bringing each of my customers something truly special to their tack room!
I would like to personally thank Marco, Kerstin, Lena, Darja and Lukas for giving me their time and allowing me to train with them. I am honoured to be representing the Deuber & Partner brand here in the UK.
If you would like to book a saddle consultation, please do get in touch by clicking on the button below!
You can see our range of Baroque saddles here: https://www.senseequine.com/baroquesaddles