Seguin Sporthorses' Interview in Warmbloods Today! (unedited)
What inspires you about the Holsteiner breed?
The German Holsteiner Verband says it best for me. Charakter. Charisma. Klasse. Those are the traits that continue to inspire me.
What does the breed have to offer to prospective buyers?
In my experience, the Holsteiner breed is solidly anchored with a generous spirit, outstanding athleticism, and a competitive nature. At Seguin Sporthorses we seek an optimal blend of athleticism and rider-friendly disposition – easy to achieve with Holsteiners. Buyers may also be interested to know that although the horses have a deep foundation of jumping ability, they are also used successfully in dressage, eventing, and even in the hunters. They are versatile and thoroughly enjoyable for a wide range of riders.
In your opinion, what does the inspection process lend to the quality of the Holsteiner horse?
On a personal level, attending inspections has sharpened my eye, increased my understanding of the importance of mare lines and improved my ability to select appropriate stallions for my mares – all resulting in improved quality in our breeding program. Other breeders also take advantage of the opportunities available during inspections and it shows in the high quality horses coming to the inspections. You can see firsthand what other Holsteiner breeders are producing (stallions, mares, and foals) and learn as much as possible from our highly qualified and experienced judges from the U.S. and Germany.
On an organizational level, the inspection process for breeding animals is critically important. I am not a fan of ever changing breeding rules, however standards must be increased as quality improves. The AHHA is always keenly focused on improving quality and adjusting standards to reflect that ongoing progress. We strive to see ever more Holsteiner horses bred in the U.S. competing successfully at the highest levels in their disciplines and to see AHHA Holsteiners recognized as the best of the best sporthorses.
How would you recommend that people learn more about the Holsteiner breed?
I think everyone agrees that visiting Holstein is the best way to learn about the breed, but I started by attending the inspections here in Texas. After a couple of years, I realized I needed more, so I started going to the AHHA Board meetings as a visiting member. I recommend this to anyone who wants to learn a lot in a condensed time from Holsteiner experts here in the U.S. The Board members and other visitors love to talk Holsteiners and there is plenty of time for this after the formal meetings end for the day. You can get a wealth of information from these and other personal connections and friendships. The AHHA bulletin board for members is another great source of information.
What has been your greatest experience as a breeder of Holsteiners?
I have been incredibly fortunate to receive AHHA’s highest award for foal quality across the country. But for me – the smile of a junior rider who wins her classes on a Holsteiner I bred, the excitement when somebody selects a young foal to raise and show, compliments from other horse people about our horses, the safe delivery of healthy foals, the chance to sit on my porch with a glass of wine and watch foals and mammas cavorting around the pasture - all of these little joys.