De Baian


De Baian: new concept store breathes new life into Belgian dressage sport

Dressage is sometimes called the art of equestrian sports: the ultimate fusion of two bodies floating in total harmony across the arena. For Heidi Desmet and Stefaan Brauwers, dressage is by all means the ultimate expression of horse training. They recently opened a brand-new concept store in Jabbeke that focuses specifically on the sport. In the specialist shop, you will find all the accessories to equip yourself and your horse to perfection. "But we are about much more than just equestrian clothing and accessories," they sound enthusiastic. "We want to take the whole experience around dressage to the next level."

Heidi and Stefaan lost their hearts to equestrian sports years ago. It was through their daughter Louise that they were first introduced to dressage. As a little girl, she already moved along smoothly and elegantly on the back of her pony. She later made the switch to horse riding herself, to focus specifically on dressage. Nowadays, she competes in national and international competitions. With success, as she has already won the bronze medal three times at the Belgian championships and was lucky enough to compete twice at the European Championships in Oliva (Spain) and Hartpury (Eng). "Our daughter and her horse are our great inspiration and motivation," Heidi and Stefaan tell us. "We have been following Louise at all competitions since she was young. Before that, we regularly had to look for beautiful competition clothes and matching accessories. Often that search took us to Antwerp or even the Netherlands. In West Flanders, horse sport still mainly revolves around jumping. For dressage, you won't find much material. So the idea was born to start our own concept store, specialising in exclusive clothing and accessories. It didn't take long to look for a name. Louise's horse is called 'Jerveaux De Baian', a fantastic, grateful and sensible animal."

Only quality brands

From riding boots to caps, ties, slip coats and even handbags and tack boxes to store equipment. At De Baian, you'll find it all. The focus is on renowned brands such as Vestrum, Animo, Goldberg and l'Evoine. These are complemented by lesser-known quality labels such as Dada Sports, which is also worn by sailors and golfers. "Louise works in the shop and helps determine the range," say Heidi and Stefaan. "Proper equipment is very important for both horse and rider and she knows what is really good. Dressage is a small niche world. The number of quality brands is limited. We want to make our own mark with collections that you don't just find everywhere, but really stand out. Our webshop is also crucial for this. That is where interested parties from all over the world can go."

Personalised outfits

Besides the standard collections, an important emphasis at De Baian is on customisation. Thus, you can have your outfit and that of your horse fully personalised. "Your attire, cap, riding boots, tie, you name it. We provide a tailor-made design that perfectly suits your style and attitude. But equally, we personalise your horse's equipment, from leg guards, blankets, grooming and saddle pads," say the business owners. "In addition, we are also thinking of a De Baian own line, so there will be even more options. This will not only include clothing, but also, for example, jewellery and ceramics."

Encouraging children

The very young are also being considered. "There is a lot of demand for a children's line," states Heidi. "Dressage clothing is not really there yet, but you can buy riding breeches or other clothing for your son or daughter with us. We want to encourage children to go further in dressage. There has always been a lot of attention for show jumping, but it is different for dressage. It would be nice if we could change that. Our big goal is to upgrade dressage in West Flanders and that starts with the youth. We want to help young people who make an effort. For example, by rewarding them if they take part in certain competitions."

Total experience

Needless to say: De Baian is much more than just a specialist dressage shop. Heidi and Stefaan want to take the whole experience surrounding the sport to the next level. For example, they regularly attend competitions with a pop-up stand. In addition, the couple dreams of organising training packages. "The idea is to offer teaching packages, taught by top trainers and coupled with overnight stays and extra activities and workshops. For us, the shop is just the starting point. We want to develop De Baian into a unique concept where you can go for a total experience around dressage."

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