Talk about a success story. Mornington saddle-maker Peter Horobin Saddlery has been working hard at its craft since 1985. Mornington Peninsula Magazine loves it when locals make good internationally, and this premium saddle business has been doing just that for the past few years with orders now galloping in from across five continents.
Dedicated to the perfection of saddle-making, including aesthetics and rider/horse comfort, this family-owned and operated business is in its second generation of providing clients with premium product and has come a long way from the days of Peter’s saddle apprenticeship at one of the oldest saddleries in Germany. Saddle up, readers, you’re in for a bespoke saddle success story where the hero is hard work — and yes, there’s nothing like the smell of a luscious leather saddle to inspire you even if you’re not much of a rider, in case you were wondering!
It’s all about family and handing down the craft at Peter Horobin Saddlery. Peter and his wife, Julie, began the business after amateur jockey Peter, who had ridden in the Grand National in Germany, returned home. He knew the gig was up after he grew too tall, so he began making bridles and cutting saddles. Peter and Julie met in 1982, got married and got down to the business of crafting on the Mornington Peninsula.
Peter explains. “I knew I was too tall to continue being a jockey, so I decided to make a career out of saddle making. With many years of continual designing and manufacturing, our newest innovation, the StrideFree Tree (inside the saddle), is incredibly flexible, while all our saddles are flocked with 100 per cent wool from sustainable farms throughout Europe and Australia. They’ve been used in both equestrian and racing events, in the Garryowen (equestrian showing class) three times, on Melbourne Cup winners and in the 2000 Olympics. I can’t believe how the business has grown. It’s great to be able to hand down something like this to the next generation and hopefully to the next. It’s around the clock work, though. Sometimes we’re here fitting saddles until 10pm and there’s lots of travel involved. We like to do business one to one.”
Peter has been back and forth to the UK and the EU over the past 12 months. His 27-year-old son Rhys has just returned from 12 months in Germany training saddle fitters and meeting his new Austrian partner, Angie.
Rhys joins in. “Equine back health, optimum performance and great customer service is at the heart of our business. Horse comfort is vital. All our saddles are made from A-grade leather sourced from some of the oldest tanneries in Europe who use eco-friendly tanning methods. It’s great working with the family. Sometimes it gets a little ‘close’, but overall we get along really well.”
Peter concludes. “I still love riding. I’ve just spent six days with Marlee (his daughter, who is also in the business) in the high country in NSW. It never leaves you once you’re hooked.”
A Peter Horobin saddle is a forever fit-like-a-glove work of art. Giddyup and ride high on an Aussie success story home-grown on the Mornington Peninsula. Just brilliant.
PETER HOROBIN SADDLERY
A: 18 Milgate Drive, Mornington
T: 5975 1055