Along with innovation and craftsmanship – the two spearheads of the Gaston Mercier brand – customer experience is now the corner stone of our strategy to meet customer expectations, through a shared passion: the search for more and more comfort for both horses and riders.
A digital simulation tool, the new saddle configurator is now available on the Gaston Mercier website. It helps customers make the right choice by customizing their own saddle: the configurator allows customers to select the colors of their choice for the different saddle parts, with a wide range of nuances available; the type and size of the seat; and lastly the length and type of material for the panels.
Characterized by its creative craftsmanship for personalized saddles, Gaston Mercier’s innovation offers a more interactive approach to its customers, and a more practical one to its workshop.
Thanks to the interactive configurator, customers can now enjoy an immediate snapshot of their personalized saddle.
« In the future, this helpful decision-making tool is meant to evolve from a technical point of view. Of course, the configurator will not replace our attention to clients’ needs, customized advices, and saddle testing services. Those remain at the heart of our business and will also benefit from new and innovative concepts that are currently being developed to improve customer experience. »
Gaston Mercier, a ‘saddle fitting’ pioneer
With a saddle concept that is unique in the world, 100% French materials and manufacturing, along with a well-known quality craftsmanship, Gaston Mercier has been integrating the idea of ‘saddle fitting’ into its innovative approach for years. As early as 1983, as he was not satisfied with commercialized saddles, Gaston Mercier himself created his first saddles, on the basis of a major observation: ‘it was necessary to move the rider’s position backwards and find the perfect balance in the saddle, while easing the weight on the horse’s shoulders’, reports Manuel Mercier.
And the secret of the Gaston Mercier saddle lies in the saddletree. As its first designs empowered him to win several gold medals at the European Endurance championships, Gaston Mercier went on to start up his craft business in 1998 with a view to manufacturing saddles that would be less constraining for horses and more comfortable for riders. ‘Even though we integrated the concept of “saddle fitting” into our designs before everybody else, instead, we prefer talking about adjusting the saddle for both the horse and the rider; something we refer to as True Measure (or La Juste Mesure in French). This philosophy seems more appropriate to us than the ‘tailor-made’ one, because horses go through constant changes while training, especially when they are still growing. ‘Our “True Measure” concept takes this into account thanks to a flexible saddletree’, as explained by Manuel Mercier.
‘Furthermore, being able to customize their own saddles in terms of color, material, type of seat, etc., is one of our clients’ major expectations, which we already meet and to which we were willing to add a new digital simulation tool. Our objective is not only to provide customers with the products of their dreams, but also with saddles that will help them improve performance and ensure balance while increasing comfort for both horses et riders. A saddle should create harmony between a horse and his ridder’, adds Manuel Mercier.
A saddle should create harmony between a horse and his ridder
Empowering riders to enjoy riding freely is the true leitmotiv of the saddler, who has been known as the outdoor riding specialist for a long time. Yet for several years now, the Saddle Designer and Manufacturer has developed new designs for other horse-riding disciplines to meet market expectations. Indeed, the well-known balance provided by the saddler’s original designs has convinced new customers, be they showjumping or dressage riders, to choose a Gaston Mercier saddle.
The first step towards Gaston Mercier’s next ride
‘Just like everybody else, we went through some turbulences during the health crisis. Yet our customers have been incredible during this difficult time; they have trusted us. As a local stakeholder, the crisis has strengthened our beliefs and our commitments towards sustainable development, while helping us take stock of our business model. This digital configurator is the first step towards developing an exceptional customer experience. We now pursue the adventure while listening to our clients still. ‘We have the right saddle to go far and our firm is ready for tomorrow’s world!’, Manuel Mercier concludes.
« We have the right saddle to go far and our firm is ready for tomorrow’s world! »
Manuel Mercier concludes.
ABOUT GASTON MERCIER DEVELOPMENT ‘True Measure’
Since 1998, Gaston Mercier Development has been known for its unique saddle concept and its expertise in outdoor riding.
With its testing center, its unique and exceptional site for real-life tests, its show-room, workshop, and offices based on the Mas de Vinaigre family domaine in Aveyron, a French region, the firm remains a craftsman at heart, offering quality and noble materials. Today we design, manufacture, and commercialize a wide range of saddles and accessories for different horse-riding disciplines.
Having anchored its values in innovation, quality, and authenticity, Gaston Mercier was awarded the ‘Living Heritage Company’ (in French the ‘Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant’) label in 2013 – a testimony to its exceptional French know-how – as well as the ‘Made in Aveyron’ label.