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Horses for life!

"Horses for life!"

This program was originally developed by Dr. Ludwig Christmann originally as an initiative of the Hanoverian Verband. It was named Enjoy Hanoverians and has since evolved into a broader movement within the German horse breeding scene. Originally the Verband served as both a host and organizer of the initiative but beginning of 2013 a marketing association was founded to help establish a marketing structure that would help interested individual equestrians and their families find the suitable prospects. The proram is designed to cater to the enormous market of leisure riders in the factual sense. The need for such initiative had become obvious after a wide-based survey performed on behalf of the German equestrian federation in 2001 (named YPSOS) had revealed some surprising facts about the national equestrian scene: It had turned out the vast majority of riders is not interested in competitive riding at all. Motives these non-competitive riders named to be essential for their equestrian activity were to...

  • Experience the partnership between horse and rider

  • Improve their own riding skills and level of fitness

  • Socialize / ride in a group of friends

  • Roam outdoors

  • Relax from job-related stress

A shockingly low number of interviewed equestrians deemed these incentives satisfactorily served by the institutions in place and the FN found an increasing number of private businesses was addressing this clientele in a very heterogenous form. Subsequently efforts were made to adjust the FN-politics to the new facts. It was also found that aspects such as 

  • Equine welfare

  • Adult beginner riders

  • Modern horse-husbandry

were equally underrepresented in the equestrian world of the present.
Based on these facts the Hanoverian Verband raised further questions and took action to promote the Hanoverian as being the suitable horse for non-competitive riders as well as equine top-athletes. They felt it was reasonably proven the Hanoverian breed is capable of dominating the sport as far as olympic disciplines are concerned. Now a new goal was determined: To pay attention to the needs of those roughly 90% of riders who never participate in shows or not participate anymore for some reason.
So partner farms were selected and a cooperation begun with a trainer specializing in training leisure horses and riders, Peter Kreinberg as well as with leading representatives of the German leisure-riding-scene such as the Leisure-Rider academy Reken founded by the widely reknown Ursula Bruns. 
Criteria for partner farms were they had to 

  • Establish horse-welfare standards in husbandry (e.g. having year-round turnout available for the horses)

  • Provide quality upbringing and training programs

  • Make special efforts to provide qualified 'amateur-proof' horses

  • Provide an opportunity for outdoor riding

Activities the project has established so far are

  • Sales Week

  • Created test sites for the GLP-test initiated by the FN

  • Trained horsemen and -women in ground schooling techniques

  • Represent the program at various fairs all over German