clients / katherin heller

Travel report

Once I decided I wanted to buy a young dressage horse, I looked intensely for six months here in the US without finding the horse of my dreams. I drove all over the North East and even up to Canada looking at horses. I made several plane trips. My husband complained that I was never home! I saw some nice animals but none priced realistically with the talent that I wanted. At one of the farms I visited, someone suggested that I go to Germany myself and buy one there. That put the idea in my head of traveling to Europe to buy my horse.

Katherine Heller

I researched traveling to Holland, Sweden and Denmark as well as Germany. I finally decided on Germany as my destination for two reasons. First, the dollar is so strong in Germany that I thought that I could afford a better horse. Second, I found Barbara Manor and German Sporthorse Consulting. I contacted Barbara by e-mail. I told her what I was looking for and expressed my serious ambivalence and outright fear about buying a horse on another continent. Numerous people I knew told me I was crazy to go to Germany and said I would have to be really careful about the soundness of the horses. Barbara reassured me (no easy task) and held my hand through my decision to go, buying tickets, etc.. I must have sent her 20 e-mails and phoned her several times. I must have driven her crazy but she was very patient with me.

Barbara picked my husband and me up at the airport in Hamburg. She drove us to our first appointment where we looked at 5 nice young horses and right away I knew I had made the right decision. The farms we visited were beautiful. The pride with which the German horse people maintain their facilities is evident. Coming from the U.S. it is hard to imagine how uniformly impressive these stables were. It is worth the trip just to observe the German horse industry at work!

The people Barbara introduced us to were very nice. There was not one farm that we visited that we did not sit in the kitchen or the office of the proprietor and drink coffee. Barbara translated many conversations for us.

Having traveled to Germany to purchase one young horse, I ended up buying two. Both horses arrived in perfect condition and both a doing really well. I was truly impressed with the depth and breadth of the quality of the German warmbloods. So much so that I plan to go back next year and buy more. Traveling with Barbara brought me to farms I never could have found myself. She made all the arrangements to ship my horses home and continues to answer questions I have months after her "job" is done. I learned so much traveling with Barbara and had a great time too!