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Horse Shopping in Germany -- your experiences?

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  • Horse Shopping in Germany -- your experiences?

    I'm about to start shopping for an amateur friendly dressage schoolmaster. Must have good mind and temperment ..."uncomplicated" first and foremost. Trained/shown to PSG/I1, good gaits, not too tall, no vices, age 10-12ish. You get the picture and I do believe that you get what you pay for in life ... so I'm willing to pay the price. My dressage trainer (originally from Europe) thinks my best bet is to hook up with someone he knows in Germany and shop there. I get that there are lots of very nice well trained horses in Germany -- but also that's its a major production to go there to shop, then import. I know there are very nice horses here as well ... but of course travelling to check them out can also be a major production given that one could have to bounce around from coast to coast.
    Anyway --if anyone here has gone the "go to Germany" route for horse shopping I'd appreciate any thoughts on your experience and/or advice and words of wisdom.

  • #2
    I recommend contacting Catherine Haddad. She is an American, but has been training, competing, and breeding horses in Germany for nearly 20 years. If she doesn't have what you're looking for, then you can trust her to find a suitable horse. Many people have purchased and imported through her.

    I have only purchased one horse (many years ago) per Catherine's recommendation, and even though this particular mare wasn't imported, I can attest to Catherine's eye for quality and talent.

    Good Luck!


    • #3
      Where do you live in the US? I may know of a suitable horse here.


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by dressurpferd01 View Post
        Where do you live in the US? I may know of a suitable horse here.
        Far away from the Southwest ... Western New York State.


        • #5
          I sent you a Private Message


          • #6
            Originally posted by TickleFight View Post
            I recommend contacting Catherine Haddad. She is an American, but has been training, competing, and breeding horses in Germany for nearly 20 years. If she doesn't have what you're looking for, then you can trust her to find a suitable horse. Many people have purchased and imported through her.

            I have only purchased one horse (many years ago) per Catherine's recommendation, and even though this particular mare wasn't imported, I can attest to Catherine's eye for quality and talent.

            Good Luck!
            I second this opinion. Catherine is very honest about horses attributes and is an astute business woman. She would help you find the right horse for you.
            Have fun!
            bad decisions make good stories


            • #7
              Originally posted by schneidepc View Post
              Far away from the Southwest ... Western New York State.

              ....it's a lot closer than Europe though! And a lot cheaper for you to travel, look at and bring back to your barn.
              Home of Welsh Cob stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
              Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness


              • #8
                Found my current horse in Germany, and I love him. You can certainly find some great horses in Europe, and possibly cheaper than you can find one here, although I think there is a markup for American buyers. Cost about $8000 to ship here (3 1/2 years ago). It is really a great experience to go there and see the stables and horses and riders and ride over there. And you can see more horses with less travel there, in my experience.

                That said, I would spend some time looking in the US first, see what you can find. There are some great horses here too. Have fun!


                • #9
                  Go to Europe! It is so amazing, just got back 2 weeks ago. I didn't go for dressage horses, I went for a Jumper, but the horses are amazing, and there are so many horses!!! It was an amazing experience. I will recommend it to any one. Costs start at around 8k for a gelding, 10k for a mare and 12k ++++++++++ for a stallion (Some need to ship alone that is why).

                  PM me if you want me to check with my contacts in Holland and Germany and see if they can recommend agents who specialize in dressage horses.


                  • #10
                    I spent a year flying around the US looking for a horse like the one you describe and had no luck. I went to Germany for 4 days and now have the horse of my dreams. For me, it was absolutely worth it to go to Germany.


                    • #11
                      I would look here, there are some really nice horses here..I got my school master on line! We travelled about 3 1/2 hours and he is awesome....It is certainly worth a look before jumping the pond...
                      Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                      Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                      "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks for the responses. I think I will look here for a bit and then follow up with my trainer's contact in Germany. The advantage as I see it is definitely being able to see a number of quality horses in a limited geographic area. The downside is the major trip over and then the importing. But as I well know, you can spend a lot of time and money flying around this country looking at prospects that don't pan out.


                        • #13
                          Be careful if you try to do it "on your own" or with someone who doesn't have the connections in Germany. I've known a few people who tried to do this - it IS less expensive, less commissions, etc., but they all ended up with problems. Horses who came up with weird soundness issues, etc. One person (at the urging of a few friends) really persevered in a strong second opinion on the PPE (done overseas), and ended up there was a prior severe tendon injury - no one disclosed the prior injury and the over-seas vet hadn't ultrasounded far enough down to find it (I'm sure just an innocent oversight).

                          OTOH, many people have imported with great success - usually with an agent who "knew the ropes".

                          The recommendation to contact someone like Catherine H is an excellent one! There are also some big name importers and breeders who have some nice quality stock here in the US - for example, HW on the East Coast, DG Bar on the West Coast - well worth contacting them to see what they have, then arrange to look at other horses in the area if you visit them...


                          • #14
                            David Blake has a horse for sale that fits your list. Recently imported, psg, not too tall, gelding, beautiful color, right age as well. This horse is typical price wise for age as well if you shop in Germany. Plan on 50k euros for a solid young psg horse. Import is running 8-9k with the current exchange rate.
                            Also check out Alyssa pitts sales list as well.
                            RoseLane Sportponies
                            Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
                            Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
                            Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion


                            • #15
                              Not my horse but thought it sounded like what your interested in.
                              PM if you want more info or an introduction.


                              • Original Poster

                                Honeylips -- thanks for your suggestions. Will look into them both.


                                • #17

                                  My dad has purchased two from her, she's wonderful, has a great eye, is a vet to boot. So she's great at scouting auction horses (can look at the x-rays), and she's a Hanoverian breeder as well.

                                  She just took our 2YO filly (that she bred, Florencio X Hohenstein) to the Mareshow, where she got her 1A rating!

                                  I wouldn't think twice about handing her a big wad of cash and saying I want a horse that is XXX, XXXX and XXXX. I know she'd find something great!

                                  ETA: You will see far more quality horses in far less time by going to Europe IMHO. There are many nice horses in N. America, but by the time you fly all over the place, pay for hotels, and pay to transport the horse, you will most likely spend at least as much as the cost of importing from Europe. I also think you can find what you are looking for a lot cheaper there than here. The fall is a great time to horse shop in Europe, with all the auctions and licensings going on. You'll have a great time!
                                  Last edited by CZF; Jun. 20, 2011, 03:46 PM.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by honeylips View Post
                                    Import is running 8-9k with the current exchange rate.
                                    Really? It's that high now for a gelding? Does that include the quarantine as well? I assume that is the price for going to the west coast? Do you know how much cheaper would it be to the east coast? I imported a mare in 2007, and the bottom line was about 9.5k.


                                    • #19
                                      I viewed a horse at Horseconnection. Was a nice horse but not as amateur friendly as advertised. He was a heavy mover and not an easy ride. Honestly couldn't get the horse to trot. Not sure what the problem was, but he didn't respond till she came out and helped. Was an exhausting horse to ride. But the owner is a nice woman and the horse seemed sane, better than what others showed me on that horse shopping trip.

                                      Giving someone a wad of cash sounds like the best way to end up with empty pockets.


                                      • #20
                                        Check with Terry Smith.....

                                        at Riverside Equestrian in Va. She has a very nice group of dressage horses. She has a grey gelding, 8 y/o I think, his name is Endgame that may be what you're looking for. If not, she may have something else that may fit your criteria. You can see him on her sales page. Just google Riverside Equestrian, Bluemont Va. Good luck.