Mathilde Trinchero (Dance With Him) pays a visit to our workshop

If you’re a rider and a regular on social media, you’ve probably heard of Mathilde Trinchero, better known as “Dance With Him“, the name of her french YouTube channel. Originally a riding instructor, she now has 219,000 YouTube subscribers, 154,000 Instagram followers and 106,800 on TikTok. Mathilde has been an Antarès associate since 2019 and spent a day with us at our workshop in Saintes, together with her partner, Lucas Garcia (minus her famous horse, Olandais).


What did she feel after her day with us? “Well, I’ll never look at my saddle in the same way again”.

A day at Antarès Sellier France

Mathilde has been riding for 15 years and admits she’s always liked Antarès for the style of our saddles, as well as their comfort and technical qualities. Yet, she had little idea of the amount of work it takes to make one of our tailormade saddles.

“When I saddle up Olandais, I think – wow, 40 people worked to make this”.

Mathilde’s thoughts

When Mathilde took a tour of the workshop, she got a proper hands-on insight into all the stages to make a horse riding saddle.

Leatherwork

Each French hide is scrutinised to spot any apparent blemishes. Mathilde was left in no doubt that these tiny details make the difference.

“I was amazed by the person tasked with pinpointing the minute flaws or blemishes as I only saw a third of them.”

Edge bevelling, stitch grooving and dying

To get a proper experience, Mathilde tried out various tools under the expert eyes of the craftsmen and women. You’ll find more details on her video blog.

Panels

Mathilde stresses that communication between the various Antarès team members is key during this stage. In fact, a saddle begins life before it gets to the workshop, when one of our experts conducts a fitting with the horse and rider.

“There is painstaking communication between the salesperson, who sees the horse and rider progress in their career together, and the master saddle-makers, who must tailor each part of the saddle. They convert the salesperson’s comments into a perfectly fitting saddle.”

Covering the blocks in leather

“This time, it’s easy to see how it’s done but it’s really hard to actually do. They tell you how to do it in a few seconds. Add the glue, position it and turn it over. When you try it yourself, it doesn’t exactly turn out the same way”.

While the future saddle is well on its way, there’s still plenty of work to do.

“Most of the saddle has been assembled, including the flaps, the blocks, front pipes and the girth straps. I thought we were almost done but how wrong I was! Each seamstress stitches the parts for 4 to 5 saddles a day, so that’s 5 hours work on each saddle, just for this stage”.

Tensioning

From fitting the saddle tree to tensioning, making a saddle seat is a high-precision task. Mathilde points out:

“It’s enthralling and you really sense that the expertise comes solely from learning by doing. You can’t learn this kind of thing from books. It takes many, many hours to get the perfect tension”.

Seams

The quality of Antarès saddles is due to the fact that all bespoke saddles are handmade.

“Both seams are hand-sewn. Each one requires 90 to 100 stitches. This takes one hour a side even for the most experienced saddle-makers, i.e. two hours per saddle just to assemble the seat and the skirts”.

Symmetry

Saddle symmetry is vital for the comfort of both horse and rider. Mathilde saw the level of accuracy required at this stage.

“They told me that the symmetry had to be perfect for the saddle to successfully pass all subsequent quality control checks. They showed me that my saddle, in front of me, was slightly out of line. If I was checking the symmetry, I would have passed it. So, it takes an expert eye to say, “It just a tiny bit off here”. Yet, we’re talking millimetres. Next, they take it back and readjust it so that the saddle sits perfectly on the horse’s back”.

After her day visiting our workshop, Mathilde published her thoughts in a video on her YouTube channel.

“It helps you understand the time it takes to get a saddle as well as the price. These saddles are premium products that you and your horse will have for many years. They are also the essence of accuracy and astounding expertise to behold.

Her visit to our workshop also left a lasting impression in many ways. The fact that Antarès Sellier is a family firm, the skilled workers are self-taught and the teamwork involved constitute the core values of the business.

What also strikes me is how an oversight at one stage can, in turn, lead to a big issue once the final touches are made to the saddle. So, it’s a huge team effort”.

Get the look Dance With Him x Antarès

Reference Swarovski Eclipse helmet

400,00€

Reference Swarovski Eclipse helmet

Very light, comfortable and beautiful. 

See the product