Pariani Saddlery: a century of tradition, a century of innovation
Who could have imagined that a Milan fashion shop could become one of the world’s most famous saddleries? Yet this is exactly how the history of Pariani Saddlery started. In 1903, a stone’s throw from the Cathedral of Milan in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, stood a shop called “Mode Pariani, Biancheria Confezionata su misura, camicie, cravatte e guanti. Articoli inglesi” (Pariani Fashions, tailored clothes, shirts, ties and gloves – English items). Prompted by his love of quality and attention to detail and at the insistence of many customers who kept asking why, instead of buying saddles from England, he did not produce his own, Adolfo Pariani, both owner and inspiration of Mode Pariani, set out on a path that would form part of Italy’s history.
In Adolfo Pariani’s opinion things were either done well or better not done at all. He thus turned for help to the greatest of all riders, Federico Caprilli who at the time was revolutionising equitation. Pariani needed advice, Caprilli needed a saddle that could help him implement his studies on a riding seat that would aid, rather than contrast, the horse’s movements. This is how the magic started and the Pinerolo saddle, named after the town that hosted the famous Italian Cavalry School, was born. This saddle turned out to be so innovative that in later years its features were studied in England. Pariani was the first Saddlery in the world to use a saddle tree that was flexible, making it elastic and shock-absorbent.
Since then the history of Selleria Pariani is interweaved with the great names that influenced the twentieth century, and not only in equestrian fields: both a long list of Cavalry officers that spread Caprilli’s philosophy throughout the world and then personalities such as George Patton, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth II… as well as many of Italy’s most renowned riders such as the D’Inzeo brothers, Graziano Mancinelli, Giorgio Nuti, Guido Dominci and Filippo Moyersoen. Over the years Pariani Saddlery broadened its scope. Hence the history of horse-racing is full of successes in which the Pariani saddles played their part. Horses such as Nearco and Ribot achieved their record wins and became legends with a Pariani saddle on their backs.
Although faithful to tradition, Pariani has always worked on innovation, but this should come as no surprise; indeed, the Milan saddlery was founded on innovation. Pariani has always been forward-looking and never failed to seek the best technical advice available, namely that of professional riders.
The constant striving to create saddles that were each perfect for a specific use meant that Pariani was the first saddlemaker in Italy to study saddles for Paralympic riders and for horse therapy, a highly demanding task that Selleria Pariani approached with its usual enthusiasm and care.
The same passion Pariani devotes to innovation is dedicated to the search for the best materials and exquisite craftsmanship. Now, as in the past, artisans whose skills have been honed through years of experience work the finest leathers to create tailor-made saddles that can satisfy the needs of every single rider and every single horse. Today’s unique saddles are the result of a passion that has remained unchanged through the years, and can boast a wealth of experience gleaned in over a century.