Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse News
2013 Stallion Issue

The Story of our Mountain Horses in Europe

by Charlotte and Thomas Gärtner

In Springtime 2007 I was looking for a new horse for myself and after some preliminary research, my attention fell right on the Mountain Horses. We went to Hungary where German breeders started selling this new breed of horses. To make a long story short: We wanted to buy one horse – and came back with four. We wanted to keep one and sell three – we sold one and kept three. We were immediately convinced that the characteristics we found from these wonderful horses with the smooth gait, brilliant colors and excellent character was exactly what we were looking for. And to my astonishment, the next wonder happened spontaneously.

My husband Thomas, a non-rider until the age of 52 fell in love with the four year old mare named Penelofae – and started riding her on his own. All the horses had not been worked before, so we had to start from the beginning.

After a while, Penelofae was heavily hurt by another horse in the pasture and it was not sure that she would ever be ridden again. But to our surprise, she eventually came back to life! We had to wait until spring 2008 to get her healthy and Thomas started riding her again. She worked out so well with him that we went on several holidays and trail rides with our horses in 2008 and 2009 and experienced much fun together.

The horse that I ride was the full sister of Penelofae, but one year older. Since things were working out so well with Thomas and our horses, an old dream of mine had been revived; to cross the Alps from Germany through Austria to Meran in Italy. We both believed that we couldn’t have acquired any better of horses for this adventure, so we decided to start out in May 2010.

And what should I say? The dream shortly became a reality. We had to prepare a lot and when we started out the weather was not very nice to us. It was cold, raining and even snowing at times. After a few days on our way, it started getting warmer and we found ourselves enjoying the very beautiful scenery of the mountains, crossing castles, lakes, little villages, forest and all those new exciting wonders you find yourself enjoying on a trail. Riding 6 to 8 hours a day, we made about 400 Kilometers in 12 non-stop riding days. The horses did their job so well and we fortunately had not experienced the smallest problem – not even a little scratch or scrape.

When we arrived in Meran we were really proud of our two girls! We had taken many photos along the way which are pictured here and we hope that you will enjoy them as much as we have. They say a picture is worth a thousand words…and we very much believe just that!

Since then, we have continued with more holidays on trail rides, cow trainings, driving a carriage and after all our satisfying experiences with our lovely Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses, we have a really good reason to say;

THANK YOU VERY MUCH OFAELIA AND PENELOFAE!!! And thank you to, Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association for all that you do to manage and protect this fine breed of extremely delightful horses.