Explorer Tour: Indian Summer in the heart of Germany

Travel Journal of my Explorer Tour in the heart of Germany to discover rare and endangered horses. Nine days with amazing photo stops in autumnal setting.

Explorer Tour in autumnal setting

For my project Forgotten Horses I am still missing a few German breeds on my list. Travelling is proving difficult this year, so I have chosen a rather short and rather spontaneous tour. Combined with a short family mini-holiday at the Haflinger stud farm in Meura, an extended trip to Thuringia seemed the perfect choice. On the way to Thuringia and back I organised some photo sessions with rare and endangered horse breeds. In late October the Thuringian Forest with its colourful trees is the perfect setting for such photo shoots.

Explorer Tour: Forgotten Horses in Germany

On my way to Thuringia I chose a little diversion via Bavaria and a little detour to Saxony to have some rare horses on a route. My way back led me via Hessen directly home.

Explorer Tour in Germany 1: Arenberg-Nordkirchner Pony in Swabia

The start of my journey was a visit to the stallion Night Jumper, a German riding pony with Arenberg-Nordkirchner pony percentages. On a sunny morning and with a beautiful autumnal backdrop, Night Jumper galloped very photogenic over his wide pastures.

Arenberg-Nordkirchner Pony

Explorer Tour in Germany 2: Rottaler Horses in the bavarian mountains

My second stop took me to the beautiful Bavarian Oberland, to a stud farm with rare Rottaler horses. On a pasture with mountain view on one side and autumn forest on the other side, we took pictures of three Rottaler horses. Furthermore the Noriker Tornado snuck on the photos 🙂

Rottaler Pferd

Explorer Tour in Germany 3: Arenberg-Nordkirchner Pony Nairobi and Heavy Warmblood Buppy

For my tour I made further appointments with Arenberg-Nordkirchner Ponies, because they are scattered all over Germany. The beautiful mare Nairobi was my photo model in the Bavarian Franconia, together with her stable mate Buppy, a heavy warmblood mare. After a portrait session, we switched to the pasture for liberty pictures, again with a beautiful forest in the background.

Explorer Tour in Germany 4: blue roan Noriker mare Fritzi

A beautiful blue roan Noriker mare named Fritzi was my next model. In the early morning hours we met for a portrait session, accompanied by morning dew and soft light. I can’t get enough of this weather, especially not of the photos!

Explorer Tour in Germany 5: Arenberg-Nordkirchner Pony Belinda

I met another Arenberg-Nordkirchner pony in the Vogtland, which is already in Saxony. In the beautiful autumn forest I took pictures of Belinda, a 19 year old mare. She has set herself in scene and fits perfectly into this scenery.

Explorer Tour in Germany 6: Haflinger Gestüt Meura

My actual destination on this trip was the Haflinger stud farm Meura. In the middle of the Thuringian Forest I met with my family for a mini holiday. Besides natural pastures, you can take pictures of large Haflinger herds.

Explorer Tour in Germany 7: "Wildlings" of the Thüringeti

A visit to the Thüringeti in Crawinkel was a date I was especially looking forward to. On almost infinitely large areas, pasture farming is carried out with large herbivores such as Heck cattle and water buffaloes. And of course with horses! Typical for such projects are robust breeds such as the Konik. But in the Thüringeti they also use German sport horses, and a small herd of Freibergers. For my project Free Horses I wanted to document that it is possible to keep and breed sports horses in a natural environment.

Explorer Tour in Germany 8: Sächsisch-Thüringisches Schweres Warmblut

The Saxon-Thuringian heavy warmblood has, as the name suggests, its home here in Thuringia. I visited a breeding farm in the heart of the state with two stallions and some mares, which we photographed in portrait and liberty. After the photo shooting with Buppy a few days before, this was my first contact with heavy warmbloods. I was surprised by their elegance, beauty and expression, which I was able to capture photographically.

Explorer Tour in Germany 9: Rheinisch-Deutsches Kaltblut

Another small highlight was my photo shooting with the Rheinisch-Deutsche Kaltblüter (Rhinegerman draft horses). Besides the Süddeutsche Kaltblüter (Oberlander Draft horse), the Rhenish-Germans are a more strongly represented breed, but they are still listed as endangered. We have photographed these impressive giants again in portrait and pasture, from the breeding stallion, to chic mares, to the large herd of broodmares. Simply impressive!

Explorer Tour in Germany 10: Alt-Oldenburger

Already on my way back I made a last stop in Hesse to photograph the beautiful Laurin. The Alt-Oldenburg black stallion was a real jewel for portraits in front of a colourful bush. We rounded off the day with a small dressage session at the riding arena. Another heavy warmblood to fall in love with!

Altoldenburger Hengst Laurin

Forgotten Horses Group on Facebook

This group is part of the Forgotten Horses project and aims to raise awareness of endangered horse breeds and to contribute to the preservation of the diversity of horse breeds and free living and wild horses.
The group provides information and facilitates international exchange on rare and endangered horse breeds.
Arenberg-Nordkirchner Pony
Explore Equine Photography with me

Adventurous Equine Photo Tours

Let us escape on an exciting journey full of horse photography, beautiful places and great people. My Explorer events can be one-day adventures or extend to large expeditions. With changing destinations and themes we will never be bored. You have the choice, I would be happy to welcome you.

Preserve equine diversity

Forgotten Horses

Almost 60% of our equine breeds are endangered or have a vulnerable status with such small populations, that their destiny often depends on the selfless commitment of individual persons. It is my mission now to explore rare and endangered horse breeds and to raise awareness by giving them a new platform and to preserve equine diversity.

Discover the world of equines

Horses of the world

This is a horse breed gallery to show the horses of the world I have photographed for my projects Forgotten Horses and Free Horses, as well as during my other photographic actives, events and travels. 

Forgotten Horses


Risk Level: not at risk
Listed by DAD-IS
Mountain horse breed from France

Altoldenburger Hengst Laurin
Forgotten Horses

Altoldenburger / Ostfriese

Risk Level: at risk
Local Risk Level: Critical
Listed by DAD-IS, GEH
Heavy Warmblood horse breed from Germany

Forgotten Horses

New Forest Pony

Risk Level: at risk
Local Risk Level: Minority
Listed by DAD-IS and RBST


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