JD Saddlery, a producer of horse saddles from Orašje, is the only company of its kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and likely also on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The company produces the so-called "Western saddles" rather than the ordinary type. CEO of JD Saddlery, Ivo Mijić explained that Western saddles are made for longer horseback rides. To illustrate the difference between a Western and an ordinary saddle, he compared them with a racing motorcycle and a chopper.
The right choice
"I started the company in 2007, after an informal conversation with a businessman from the Posavina Canton and representatives of a German agency, after which the owner of the company decided to move to Orašje. He was debating between opening a company in Romania or BiH, and we are very happy he decided in favor of our country," Mijić told us.
After ten years, this company proved to be the right choice. The owner of the company and its employees are satisfied with its progression, and are making plans for the coming ten years.
"We are working on our promotion strategies, and our goal is to position ourselves in Southeastern Europe. We don't want to compete with our parent company, which sells saddles in Germany, the Netherlands, the U.K, South Africa, New Zealand, and the U.S. We would like to expand to the Turkish market and perhaps to a few Middle Eastern countries," Mijić explained. He just recently presented his saddles at the economic fair in Mostar.
Each saddle requires a specific production process, and it takes a lot of effort to reach the final product. The skin, a tanned cowhide from natural materials, comes from Mexico. Machines cut it into pieces, and then place it onto the saddle skeleton, made out of wood or plastic. Sponges and engravings are added, after which it is all sewn together. Mijić told us that it takes 12 employees to make an average of three saddles a day.
"Our saddles have become increasingly popular in BiH, and I expect this upward trend to continue. Western-type saddles are used in horseback riding schools, which are becoming more popular in our country. In the coming period we will work a lot for the U.S market, but our goal remains to increase our visibility in Southeastern Europe, and to expand our global market reach. We will remain based in Orašje, but our plan is to expand our capacity step by step," Mijić said.
A saddle can cost anywhere between 1,200 and 1,500 euro, with more intricate models costing up to 2,000 euro. JD Saddlery allows for the personalization of the saddle's design.
Translated by: Tea IVANOVIĆ
(Original version: Western sedla iz Orašja za svjetsko tržište)