clients / jill frumin / part 1

Horse shopping in Germany: It Really Is Possible

After months of unsuccessfully searching in the U.S. for young, very talented dressage horses, my friend and I decided to take the plunge and go to Germany to go horse shopping. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of terrific horses in the U.S. But on a limited budget, with interesting horses spread over too far a geographic expanse, we eventually gave up and decided to go somewhere where we thought we could see lots of terrific horses in close proximity in a short time period. Germany is definitely that place!

Jill Frumin Last consultations...

The trip took a great deal of careful planning. The single most important part was finding a person to help us once we got there. And here we were very fortunate. Friends recommended Barbara Manor. Barbara is a German Bereiter, who helps Americans find horses in Germany. She also runs German Sporthorse Consulting. We could not have had a successful trip without her.

Barbara met us at the airport, made appointments for us, spent days driving us around northern Germany, introduced us to people we never could have found on our own, and tirelessly translated German into English for us! I was very surprised, but most of the German horse folk that we came in contact with -- breeders, trainers, grooms, and stable staff -- spoke little or no English. While there probably were English-speaking people around, we did not run into too many traveling and meeting genuine horse people in the countryside!

Jill Frumin ...and a good choice is made.

Thus, I would never advise going horse shopping in Germany without either an English speaking guide and competent horse person, or without being fluent in German and knowing the way to the best horse barns that offered horses suitable to your particular riding interests.The countryside in Germany was surprisingly beautiful. It was green and lush.

The country homes were also beautiful. Brick and stone Tudor homes, some of them hundreds of years old, dotted the landscape.Many of the farmhouses are physically attached to the barns, so as you sit in the homes, you hear the nickering of the horses right next door to you.

We saw many indoor arenas, each more attractive than the next. We saw no metal arenas. All were either brick or stone, with brick aisles and tongue and groove kick boards.

In virtually all of them, the top third was glass, which gave very good natural lighting. Some had crystal chandeliers, some had heated seats, many had flowers attractively located inside. All had super footing and were obviously very well maintained. The German people were very warm and nice. They were soft-spoken and very friendly.

König Getting acquainted with the new friend.

The horse folk were all very professional, and we watched many very good riders schooling horses at all different levels of training. Everyone was very willing to help us. For example, at the Westphalian Horse Center near Münster, we tried several different horses, all very nice. But since it was our first day in Germany, we wanted to continue looking. Herr Bruegemann, the head of the Center, made several phone calls to other nearby breeders and trainers to ask whether they had horses for us to try at their farms. He then came back to us with a list of additional farms he thought we might want to visit.

I have never had that happen to me before in America!

The trip was wonderfully planned and organized. The hotels were nice and cozy, the food was fun. The quality of the horses we were shown was excellent. Looking back on the trip, having successfully purchased three terrific horses, with no problems getting them home into our stable, my best advice to Americans thinking of horse shopping in Germany is to definitely give it a try. And, go with German Sporthorse Consulting. They really were the key to a fun time and our success!