In this 6th part of presenting my favourite brands and sponsors it is all about a very new and exciting company I got to know last autumn: Winderen Equestrian produces very innovative and technical saddle pads and as I am always looking for ways to improve the well-being of my horses I was happy to test the pads over a few months. I felt that especially the young horses did not tire as fast in the back. I then had the horses examined by my vet and physiotherapist who too came to the same conclusion. The pad definitely had improved the horses during training and helped avoiding to much stress in that sensitive area of the back.
I thought it would be exciting to read a bit about the history and even more so about the future plans of Winderen Equestrian.
How did you come to build up a company for equestrian equipment, and why (what drives you)?
We are a group of people who combine their work with passion. We are coming from fields of technology, design and industrial manufacturing but privately we are horse riders. Riding has always been our greatest passion and a way of life.
Winderen brand was created from linking professional experience with real needs of horses and riders that we experienced. By observing the world around us, we noticed that there is a room for innovative products that can make horses and riders life easier, more comfortable and – most of all – safer.
Our driving force is satisfaction of the people who notice (usually quite fast) the difference in their riding comfort and horse behavior while using Winderen’s products. And for us it’s just amazing to witness it working and bringing joy!
What is the company’s philosophy?
In Winderen we decided to focus on creating products that have real and noticeable impact on the riding issues we are aware of. Each and every one of our products helps riders, horses or both in the same time.
Moreover, our brand aims to bring new technologies into the equestrian world and by that helps to increase the comfort of riding in a new way. We also care about design!
What materials & technology do you use and how do you test it? What is your policy concerning environment and recyclable materials?
Our production process starts from identifying the need – once we know what kind of issue we want to solve we start to build prototype and search for material that we can use.
Finding the right components is the first step. We test solutions that are already on the market and consult our partners from different fields, e.g. chemistry or physics. Sometimes we find out that there is no known component that we can use and in that case we move on to creating unique material only for our usage. We collaborate with global manufacturers and we make sure all of the materials are safe for horses and riders.
Once the materials are in place we’re moving to phase two: prototyping. First prototypes are always tested on our own horses – we know them best and we can easily observe the impact of the product on them. Prototyping phase is the most important and also most time-consuming. It means constant iteration: making materials better, shaping product differently, testing, applying corrections. In that phase the product changes constantly both visually and functionally.
Later on, we’re expanding our trail groups with Winderen‘s Ambassadors and Consultants – it’s a group of people we trust when it comes to honest feedback on the product. All of these people work with horses on daily basis (as professional riders, vets, trainers, physiotherapists) and they just know how to “hear what horses have to say”.
Throughout entire process we have just one thing on our minds – the product has to work. It has to solve issues we are addressing and serve horses and riders. In reality in means months of work and endless trails. But it’s all worth it!
In the moment when we are sure the product has all the functions needed we’re moving to phase three: design. Here we’re focusing on visual side of the product. We’re selecting shapes, colours and adding finish touches, also creating packages and accessories.
Although we are using components from around the world, we decided to focus our manufacturing locally – in Poland. We wanted to make sure that we have an impact on factories and vendors we collaborate with, making sure it’s all done sustainably and with the respect to environment. We know each and every single one of our producers personally. We see them face to face and they understand the philosophy behind Winderen.
What are your plans & goals for the future? Are there new products/lines/etc planned?
In the nearest future we’re launching three new products: stirrups, bits and tack lockers. Every single one of these product bring new quality to the market.
First, Winderen‘s stirrups are designed to have double absorbers system – something eventers and jumpers can truly appreciate as the main purpose of the stirrups is to reduce the excessive forces on riders legs and joints. Next, our synthetic, resilient to the bites bits with interchangeable shank were created to suit even the most sensitive horses. And last but not least, Winderen‘s electric drive tack lockers with it’s own power supply, electric dryer, freezes, music player, phone charging slots, electric saddle pads dryer and many things that every rider can make a use of during competitions.
Once all of these three product are on the market we’ll be back to working on more prototypes. And we can assure you – our heads are full of new ideas!