Portrait : Léanne, passionate distributor of Gaston Mercier saddles in the Netherlands
[Portrait in the form of a question/answer between Clemence (C.) and Leanne (L.)]
C. Leanne, can you tell us about your job ?
L. As a sales representative for Gaston Mercier, I have the opportunity to advise riders on equipment, whether saddles or accessories. Analysis of the horse's morphology and locomotion, measurement of the horse, and analysis of the rider and rider/horse pair are important elements of my work. With my demonstration equipment, I come to your home to give potential customers a taste of the comfort and quality of the Gaston Mercier brand.
C. Why did you choose this profession?
L. This job came my way, a chance I didn't pass up. In fact, I work for myself from the Netherlands. When I was little, we had a Gaston Mercier saddle at home, and when the need arose to find a new saddle for my mare, I naturally turned to Gaston Mercier. As there was no one else in the Netherlands, I took the chance, first as a sideline to my job with another company, and more recently on a full-time basis.
When the opportunity arose, I was already interested in saddles in general, horse movement, leather work and customer advice.
C. How long have you been in the business and how long have you been part of the saddlery?
L. I've been in this business for 3 years now, and I started my adventure with Gaston Mercier Saddlery.
C. What training did you have to do this job?
L. To do this job, I chose to focus on two areas of training: on the one hand, knowledge of the product, with its possibilities and particularities within the saddlery. And on the other, a deeper understanding of the horse's anatomy and locomotion, as well as the impact of the rider and the saddle on the horse's back.
C. What are the advantages and disadvantages of your job?
L. The greatest advantage of this profession is to be able to help the rider/horse couple in their evolution and in their search for a lighter form of communication. The joy I see in both rider and horse is my greatest reward.
The disadvantage is that not all my clients are close to my home, which means a lot of time spent in the car.
C. Do you love horses and do you ride?
L. I grew up on a farm surrounded by animals, and horses have always been part of my life, which is why I was naturally attracted to horse riding. I mainly ride and have recently started endurance riding with my mare, equipped in Margeride of course.
As well as riding, I like to help my horses find their balance and understand the movements required by working on foot.
My partner and I currently have 4 horses.
C. How would you describe yourself in everyday life?
L. In everyday life I'm curious, positive and ready to help people around me whenever possible.
C. If you had some advice to give to people who want to do the same job as you, what would it be?
L. I think the most important thing is to be curious, to want to learn from every encounter. Horses can't talk, but they can still communicate a lot. So it's very important to listen to them.
Leanne as seen by Clemence: "It's a real pleasure to work with Leanne, she's very conscientious and applies herself to everything she does. I can't wait to see her again in a few weeks' time for the championships in Ermelo."