SADDLE UP, THERE'S MARE TO COME

Enhancing the natural beauty of the Arabian horse through hand-made bridles and halters for the last 350 years is the house of Sheikh Sroujie, which literally means the leaders in the saddle trade.

By Ilyas Qureshi

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Published: Sat 10 Apr 2004, 2:43 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:31 AM

The Amman-based company was started in 1796 in Damascus, Syria and moved to the Jordanian capital in 1920 and has been catering to the demands of the owners and breeders not only in the Middle East but in England, USA, France, Germany and Asia as well.

Disclosing the company background was Khalil Sheikh Sroujie who was exhibiting and selling colourful handmade saddles, bridles and halters at the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship held recently at the Dubai World Trade Centre. "I have been coming down for the Arab Horse Show for the last 10 years but this show is unique because it's exploring the beauty of the Arab horse. It's now that our work is being appreciated much more at this first of its kind championship," said Khalil.

He went on to inform that his company's saddles are made of best quality textile and silk embroidery while the surface is made of pads of natural wool stuffed with cotton for comfort both for the rider and the precious horse. "The Arab saddles are 100 per cent handmade. They are made to order as the owners and breeders can get their choice of flags and names embroidered in matching shades complementing the horse's skin colour. The bridles, chest and saddles come in a standard size and are also custom-made from calf leather and may weigh from 7.5kgs to 9.5kgs," said Khalil. "Our saddles are not only known for their durability and reliability but also bring dignity to the rider and the fillies and colts. We make sure the horsemen feel comfortable while riding and our products stand the test of time during various endurance races," he said.

Owners in the region know Khalil very well and keep constantly in touch with him for their requirements of horse accessories from time to time. But it's surprising that even owners in Europe depend on him for their supplies of colourful saddles suiting the profile of the Arabian horse. "I travel throughout the year to attend to horse shows in many countries and have built up a good rapport with not only the Middle Eastern owners but also ones from Western countries who ask for newer designs everytime and we keep rediscovering ourselves to keep afloat.

"There isn't much competition in this field but we have to keep our age-old tradition of producing saddles alive," said Khalil.

Details and price list of Sheikh Sroujie saddles can be had from their official e-mail: arabstores53@yahoo.com



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