Behind the scenes at HS Sprenger in Germany
Earlier this year we announced that Chaballo has become the new Australian agency partner for Sprenger Equine. Prior to this we also went to Germany to visit the famous HS Sprenger factory in Iserlohn. If you want to know what is going on behind the scenes of one of the most prestigious equestrian brands, read on...
When we disembarked from the train, there was a friendly looking German gentleman, who smiled and waved at me. I waved back and when I approached him, he said, “Dale? I was pretty sure it was you, you look like your father!” I’m still not sure whether this should be taken as a compliment or an insult?! It was of course none other than company director Martin Sprenger.
Martin felt it would be beneficial for us to first see the town of Iserlohn and get an appreciation of its history. A visit of the town museum gave us an understanding and insight of how steel and iron had shaped the local culture and identity. Martin spent several hours showing us around and it quickly very clear that we were dealing with someone who placed a great deal of importance on upholding the Sprenger legacy that had been passed down to him.
The following morning, Martin took us on a tour of the Hermann Sprenger factory. I have to admit I was feeling the fatigue of spending a month in Europe and not expecting to be inspired by another factory tour - how wrong I would turn out to be.
The Sprenger factory is incredibly complex, not only do they produce equestrian products, but they also specialise in dog sports and boating equipment. What I didn’t fully understand or appreciate before was how much work goes into crafting an individual horse bit for example. A bit is not simply produced by a single machine; every bit passes through the hands of multiple workers, each has a specific role in the production process, whether it be shaping, joining or buffing. Whilst workers may use machinery to help perfect the process, each bit is individually hand crafted and has to go through a series of quality checks before it makes it to the final stage, where the bit is stamped with the official HS Sprenger logo. Only after this stamp has been applied can a bit be dispatched from the factory.
Every workplace we visited had different employees working on different tasks. But they all had one thing in common. Each time we came in to observe, they all stopped working, smiled and came up to shake Martin’s hand. He knew each one of these workers by their first name and what their history in the company was. Consider this for a moment, HS Sprenger is a company that was first established in 1872 and now has over 160 employees. To me this little observation spoke volumes of Martin as a person, not just as a company CEO and director.
We managed to see approximately 90% of the factory, which took nearly 3 ½ hours just to give everyone an idea of the size. At the conclusion the tour we were introduced to Deike Bräutigam and Heiko Koch, who took us through the finer details of each individual bit and product including its design and purpose.
Deike and Heiko specialise in the equestrian operation of HS Sprenger. I was particularly interested in how the company is continually looking to evolve and improve, for example with the recent development of the Sensogan material.
Sensogan is a further improvement of Sprenger’s original bit material known as Aurigan. Aurigan provided many positive features, which resulted in a more sophisticated connection with the horse. Sensogan goes even further, the unique composition of copper, manganese, and zinc creates a smoother process of oxidation which positively influences the taste and salivation for the horse. The Sensogan material is something the Sprenger company is understandably very proud of. It has been designed in consultation with the University of Hanover and is not available in any other brand or even other parts of the Sprenger operation. In other words, Sensogan has been designed specifically for the Sprenger equestrian range.
We are very excited to share more feedback on each Sprenger product, please get in touch if you have specific questions.
You can browse our current range of HS Sprenger products here.
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