Waldshut-Tiengen: Horses on the farm in Gurtweil – There are more horses here than ever

Perhaps there were not many horses in Gurtweil. Currently, more than 50 animals are on the move on two horse farms in Fischersteg and in Won Weihermatte. How so how do animals live? Horse trainer and riding instructor Sandra Roloff provides insight into the work at the Hochkern Horse Center.

The Hochrhein horse center is in the foreground, south of Gurtweil (in the background).  Exactly one year ago, Sandra Roloff received ...

The Hochrhein horse center is in the foreground, south of Gurtweil (in the background). Exactly one year ago, Sandra Roloff hired Weihermatthof and runs it with great passion. | Photo: Raymond Gregel

Between the past and the present

After World War II, there were few horses as farm animals in the then agricultural village. Meanwhile, four-legged friends are used almost exclusively for recreational activities. And now a professionally designed show is being developed at the Hochkerine Horse Center. Sandra Roloff, an independent horse trainer and riding instructor (Old California Western Riding & Natural Horsemanship), acquired the Weihermatte horse farm a year ago on May 1, 2021 as a tenant.

30 horses of different breeds

There are currently about 30 horses of different breeds and purposes on the farm and pasture with the so-called spur kindergarten. Mothers, pension animals, training horses and school horses live together in a harmonious herd.

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Opportunity for social interaction

Light-colored exercise boxes with connection to the stallion are also available next to the breeding stallions on the farm, so that they, like any other horse, have a chance for social interaction. Sandra Roloff explains: “Only when the psyche of animals is in good shape are they ready to perform.”

Six foals were born at the horse center this spring.  And at the beginning of May, this four-day-old foal was allowed to ...

Six foals were born at the horse center this spring. And at the beginning of May, this four-day-old foal was allowed to go to the animal farm with his mother for the first time. | Photo: Alfred Schäuble

Horse breeding is her passion

She started raising horses twelve years ago and says: “It has become a passion.” Even as a child she had a lot to do with horses through her family. But she only trained as an administrative employee, because her father said, “You have to learn something real.”

Training as a coach also in the south of France

However, in the end, she did not give up her love for horses, and after more years of training as a horse trainer, including in the south of France, she became self-employed in 2008. Above all, according to Sandra Roloff, “the kindness and reflection of her peer charms her utterly For this reason I have now created a little island, a little paradise, as you call it, with a horse farm.

Workers from America and Mexico

The horse lover continues that the basis of the business is the breeding of the so-called quarter horses and Azteca horses. Both are workers from America and Mexico. In addition, there is the Classic Equine Pension with an emphasis on feeding, manure, grazing, veterinary care and the occupational care of animals. The horse center also offers riding lessons for children from the age of four, which children’s riding instructor Tim Woolrap has been in charge of since January 2022.

Horse riding lessons also for adults

There are also professional riding lessons for adults from beginner to advanced. The offer at the horse farm also includes training and education of foreign horses as well as rehabilitation of horses with physical and mental disabilities. “Lots of people come to me and talk about their plight and problems with their horses,” the trainer says.

Re-align your relationship with people

Horses that bite, refuse to ride, and exhibit other misbehavior are reset in relation to people. “I am, so to speak, an interpreter between people and horses,” explains the equine expert. Their clients come from the surrounding cities, both regionally and nationally, and above all from neighboring Switzerland and France.

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In kindergarten instead of boxes

Sandra Roloff has already updated a few things at her new location in Gortwell. It had new pasture fences and the boundaries of the horse riding circuit. It also created the possibility of keeping the herds in the barn instead of in the boxes. Thus, Roloff wants to achieve species-friendly breeding and a relaxed recreational atmosphere for horse owners without too many frills.

In addition, a two-month collaboration with Caritas Hochkeren Workshops was conducted for two employees. The so-called Tandem IV project accompanies persons with disabilities in a socially integrative way in the free labor market. Lina-Marie Schäfer, 14, is currently doing an internship. She says, “I love horses,” and adds, “I might want to be a vet.”

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