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OUR PHILOSOPHY


The right pace: the right position

Observe the posture that for centuries has been preferred by horseriding nomads. Not be constrained by the rules obeyed by the master horsemen. Be capable of listening to what the horse whispers into the ears of humans. This is how Gaston Mercier invented a unique saddle that is placed over the horse’s 13th dorsal vertebra. Tack designed to foster harmony between the horse and its rider. Its huge popularity and developments in the equestrian world testify to this: Gaston was right. Perhaps this is the most wonderful endurance test he ever won!

The right place: the saddle that suits you

Choosing a saddle is no simple matter. It is a painstaking process, requiring meticulousness and precision. We begin by engaging in a dialogue with you to identify the equipment that is most suitable for your body, your riding and your horse. As riders ourselves, we are in a position to fully understand your needs and queries. If need be, we can send you a saddle for a trial period. Ideally, you should come and test our saddles at Mas de Vinaigre, our production site where training tracks and loose boxes are available for your horse.

The right pace: all aboard!

Horse riding is a shared pleasure: This is Gaston Mercier’s approach. Our products are designed to meet your needs whether you are a professional, a beginner, a trail rider, or a horse whisperer… everyone who, at his or her own pace, engages in an equestrian practice. Gaston Mercier, who is not excessively inclined towards the rigid codes of tradition, invented the coloured saddle. And a whole range of girths, stirrup leathers, socks, bridles, covers and saddlebags that awaits you! Ideal for mixing the practical with the enjoyable.

The right pace: in step with your expectations

The Gaston Mercier saddlery is in tune with equestrian trends. We care about making accessories for you that will make your life easier. The latest innovation to come out of our workshops is the Spahi saddlebag that attaches to any saddle without touching the horse. Gaston Mercier explored his own little museum to design this colourful, very practical and stylish bag. It is in tradition that we find the material for innovation!





Background


  • 1983. Gaston Mercier, a horse breeder and trail ride guide in the Aveyron, creates his first saddle. This is a model that is positioned over the 13th dorsal vertebra with a suspended seat, that he designed for his own use. At the time, he was competing regularly in the equestrian endurance.
  • 1987. Marketing begins. That year, Gaston Mercier wins the European Championship at Erlangen (Germany) with his horse Mao.
  • 1989. At Luriano (Italy), Gaston Mercier wins his second title in succession as the European Champion of equestrian endurance with the same horse Mao, an achievement that has never been equalled.
  • 1991. Beginning of saddle exports, in particular to Germany.
  • 1998. Formation of the company Gaston Mercier Développement.
  • 2000. Launch of a complete range of products. Showpiece in the catalogue: an innovative saddle, the Séverac, designed in cooperation with the world mounted-orienteering Champion, Olivier Gradwohl.
  • 2004. The Dune saddle, specially designed for endurance, wins the equestrianism trophy at the Paris Horse Show.
  • 2007. The workshop showroom and the company’s offices set up their premises at the family property of the Mas de Vinaigre, part of the Saint-Léons municipal area north of Millau (Aveyron). A test centre is established.
  • 2008. Gaston Mercier hands over the company’s reins to his son Manuel.
  • 2013. Obtains the “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” (EPV – Living Heritage Business) label in recognition of excellence in French know-how, as well as the “Made in Aveyron” label.
  • 2014. Branches out into the Olympic disciplines. Launch of the carbon fibre Bi-relax stirrup.
  • 2016. The Mercier saddlery rides on, blazing the trail and innovating!




SHOWROOM & TEST CENTRE

The production premises, test centre and sales outlet for the Gaston Mercier saddlery are located in the region of the Grands Causses, at the Mas de Vinaigre in the Aveyron department. It is just a few kilometres north of the Millau bridge in the municipality of Saint-Léons that lies on the border between the Causse Rouge plateau and the Lévézou massif.
This is Gaston and Manuel Mercier’s family estate. The main farm building, which is a large masonry construction made with the local stone, and the nearby facilities are devoted to their passion for horses.
Our showroom is where we welcome you. Here, the full range of our production is presented with our famous saddles, from the Compiègne to the Aubrac, in pride of place along with all the accessories.
Our Test Centre offers you the option of testing your saddle on the spot! There is an arena, a lunging ring, a 1300 m galloping track, paddocks, and more then 300 km of country paths and trails that you can use at your discretion. You can talk with our teams, compare equipment and choose your saddle on the basis of the precise information you will receive. Our loose boxes and the adjacent fields can accommodate your horse under the very best conditions.

OUR WORKSHOP

It is here in the Aveyron that Gaston Mercier saddles are manufactured. The workshop is the pounding heart of the “Mas de Vinaigre”.
From cutting out the leather to the assembly of the pieces, our team works with the precision of a watchmaker to a very high standard of quality. No defects are tolerated in the leather used for a Gaston Mercier saddle: not the slightest scratch, not the shadow of a blemish. Our staff are relentlessly stringent when choosing the leather so that your saddle can be a supreme product. They approach each saddle as a unique object, one that they will perfect with a meticulous finish, for instance coloured edging.
Our leathers come from cattle and are tanned locally in the Aveyron. All our accessories are made in our Mazamet (Tarn) workshop, an establishment where craftsmen follow the time-honoured tradition of saddlery and leatherwork. Our saddle trees are made by a firm in the Lot.
All of our products are 100%-made in the region. Gaston’s achievement as twofold European Long Distance Champion does not prevent us from thinking global and acting local!