For some 60 years now, the saddles and accessories from the SOMMER family-run company have been bringing rider and horse together. A saddle made by SOMMER combines the traditional craft of the saddle maker and modern technology in terms of design and fit. With great love of detail, SOMMER creates high-quality products by hand that feature continuing development, innovations and out-of-the-ordinary designs. To design and manufacture products of high quality is our aim and it is what we attempt to achieve at all times for the well-being of horse and rider.
TRADITION & HISTORY
1965 Theo SOMMER founds the company with three employees in Munich.
1966 The development of the patented, thermoplastic saddle tree made of synthetic material causes a revolution. It has found imitators all over the world.
1970 A new production plant is erected in Pirmasens and the company leaves Munich.
1971 A second production plant is erected for accessories and an economically priced range of saddles.
1973 A new dressage saddle is developed in co-operation with Egon v. Neindorff.
1974 Sommer provides the equipment for the Olympic champion Josef Neckermann.
1975 Three people are employed as external sales force.
1976 Sommer is awarded the "Staatspreis" of Germany for outstanding achievements.
1977 A trail ride across the USA that last 6,000 kilometers makes Sommer saddles famous all over the world.
1980 Extension of the company facilities in Pirmasens.
1982 Member of the Bundesverband der Deutschen Sportartikelindustrie (BSI = the German federal sports-equipment trade association)
1985 Efforts to increase the international market share.
1990 Alexander René SOMMER wins the regional and the statewide saddle-craft contest.
1991 SOMMER provides the equipment for the French national team.
1993 A new mix of materials makes SOMMER saddles continuously adjustable.
1994 Alexander René Sommer passes the exam for master craftsmen in the field of saddles in Bavaria.
1995 The founder of the company, Theo Sommer, hands the company over to his son Alexander Renße Sommer.
1995 Development of a specail saddle for trail rides ("Evolution").
1996 "Staatspreis" fo Germany for arts and crafts.
1998 Building a distribution network in the USA.2000 The facilities in Pirmasens are extended.
2001 A new´saddle panel in sandwich construction is develped.
2007 Serial production of the new leisure saddle "Spirit" starts.
2009 Custom-made saddles are added to the product range.
2010 Extension of production and increase in employees.
2011 The newly developed saddle line "Remos" is launched successfully.
BACK TO FUTURE
As a family-run company, we are committed to social, innovative and sustainable business practices and this for more than 50 years.
Sustainability creates appreciation towards our employees, our products and our customers. This guiding principle and the interaction of different aspects is what characterizes our company and a Sommer Saddle.
This is the only way to create a product that lives up to the claim: "The best that can be made from leather".
Made in the south-west and therefore from Germany. Sommer Saddles are produced exclusively in Pirmasens and that is important to us, because only in this way can we supply our customers with a product that meets our standards.
The production in Germany has many advantages for us and thus also for our customers.
Transport distances are low because we source many materials from the region. The production costs are at a good level, as the main cost factor of a Sommer Saddle is not the human but the high quality of the materials we use. Therefore, a Sommer Saddle is a piece of craftsmanship, produced in Germany to create " The best that can be made from leather ".
"Made in Germany" means product responsibility in every way.
On the edge of the Pfälzer Wald (Palatinate Forest), the district of Südwestpfalz is located in one of the most beautiful forest regions in Germany. Once the shoe capital of Germany and the world, today the Südwestpfalz is once again an upcoming region. Cohesion and the willingness to go new ways have always characterized the Pfalz (Platinate) and its people. We see ourselves as a deeply rooted part of this community with a regional responsibility.
We work closely with regional companies including leather dealers, constructors, social institutions, and IT companies. The know-how around the leather craft is high in the region, competences are bundled for the benefit of all.
In addition, we also see it as our duty to support regional equestrian sports. We sponsor many regional riders and support equestrian clubs at events as well as their promotion of young people by providing training saddles.
For the region.
What began in 1965 in a small factory is now a living company history. Theo Sommer was one of the pioneers of modern saddle manufacturing. His son Alexander Rene Sommer continues this tradition, and the next generation is ready to go.
Familiar, Together and Fair - today the company has over 50 employees and many of them have been working for the company for over 10 years. A fair and social relationship to work is important to us. We offer our employees a stable, secure job with responsibility and opportunities to participate in the company. Motivated employees who enjoy working for their company are important to us. Among other things, we offer our employees the opportunity to visit a regional fitness studio free of charge.
Togetherness is particularly important for the success of the company. Joint activities such as Christmas celebrations, summer party’s and visits to equestrian events are supported.
The youth is the future and so we have been training young, well-trained equestrian saddlers for many decades. Over the years, our company has produced many regional and national champions in the saddlery trade. We currently have Germany's best apprentice saddler (2019) and the best regional apprentice saddler (2020), who is now also responsible for the further training of our apprentices.
A safe job is important to us for our well-trained journeymen, we usually take on our apprentices. But many former employees also remain loyal to our company later and sell our products worldwide as independent equestrian saddlers.
In addition to our trained saddlers, we also employ many former employees from the shoe industry. In this way, we also offer "older" people from the region a perspective on the job market, who provide us with valuable work with their many years of know-how from the leather-processing industry.
Fairness and togetherness create appreciation towards our employees, retailers and customers.
Familiar, together and fair.
Natural resources are the basis for our life on earth. Only the careful use of resources can preserve an environment worth living in and they are the foundation for clean and sustainable business success.
We are working hard to save and conserve resources in all areas of the company. Leather material residues, as an example, are collected and processed by a regional company, so that even the smallest pieces of leather can be put to good use.
Our leathers are carefully selected high-quality goods from Germany and Italy, some of them produced especially for us. The leathers are produced in a gentle and environmentally friendly process (vegetable) and are not harmful to horses, humans or the environment.
A Sommer Saddle will be with you for many years. It can be adapted to the anatomical requirements of horse and rider at any time and in many ways, directly on site and in the shortest possible time. This makes it a loyal companion for a lifetime, which is what our products are designed for.
We want our customers to enjoy them for as long as possible. However, a saddle is a piece of equipment that is exposed to high stress and wear in daily use. Wear and damage are not the end of a high-quality Sommer saddle. For smaller and larger repairs and conversions, we offer our own in-house repair and conversion service. In this way, we extend the life cycle of a Sommer product over many years. Repairing what you love is worthwhile, for a lifetime.
The craft of saddlery is one of the oldest in human history. Even today, most production processes are done by hand, the use of machines is limited. But its professional production cannot do without the use of machines - machines require a lot of energy. In order to cover our energy needs and produce our own energy, we have been operating a large photovoltaic system on the roofs of our company buildings since 2013. Today, we produce about 45,000 kWh per year ourselves and can therefore cover a large part of our electricity needs.
Master craftsmanship and self-generated electricity - the mix makes it!
SOMMER is a family-run company and is recognised as one of the leading saddle brands worldwide.
The core values on which SOMMER’s success was built include the willingness to innovate, the awareness of our traditions and the unique quality of our work. Because we realise that a team of qualified and dedicated staff is the basis for the long-term success of this family business, staff members are given the freedom they need to develop their skills and talents on both a professional and personal level. And to ensure that our company remains fit for the future, we are always on the lookout for ambitious and motivated staff.