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Dressage Training Legend

Paul Stecken

Paul Stecken dedicated his life to the correct and varied training of horses and riders, working as a trainer, FEI Judge, and team leader in International Riding, and promoting the Classical Riding Principles.

A Life Dedicated to Horses and Riders

Retired Major, the late Paul Stecken (1916-2016), was dedicated to the correct and variated training of horses and riders his entire life. Starting in the Riding Regiment 15 of the Realm Defence, then the Cavalry Regiment 15 of the Defence Force, he was the Chief of the Rider Inspection of the Cavalry School as the war ended. In the 1930s, he assisted in updating the German Cavalry Manual for Training Horse & Rider, known as the HDv12, and continued to work for the implementation and further development of training that prioritized the horse’s well-being.

In 1950 Paul Stecken took over the director position of the Westfalen Riding and Driving School from his father, Heinrich Stecken. For more than 30 years he influenced the training of countless riders and horses, until his retirement from the office in 1985. He continued promoting the Classical Riding Principles through his work as a trainer, FEI Judge, and team leader in International Riding. He was awarded the Riding Cross in Silver and Gold and at the age of 80 was presented with the Gustav-Rau Medallion.

A Trainer of a Lifetime

The Münster born Horseman trained numerous successful horses and riders, leading some to the Olympic Games. He is known for being the mentor of Dr. Reiner Klimke and for training the Olympic champion Ingrid Klimke and her horses until passing away late 2016. In his publication “Observations and connections- findings of a horseman” Paul Stecken shares his experiences and convictions so that the next generation can continue to practice, develop and pass on his passion for the classical training that always has the horse as the number one priority.

His Training Philosophy: “Correct Riding is Enough!

Paul Stecken strongly believes that every rider bears the responsibility to gymnastizise the horse correctly in order to maintain his health regardless of their riding discipline.

Horses do what the rider tells them to do. They don’t differentiate right and wrong and it is, therefore, the rider’s responsibility to teach them correctly. When something goes wrong, every rider should analyze their own riding. Often conflicts or mistakes are the results of misunderstanding, excessive or wrongly expressed demands.

“There is nothing more rewarding than to experience when horses go correctly, experience success, and are satisfied and grateful for it.”

Courses from

Paul Stecken

Members only

Establishing Correct Contact with Young Horses: Exercises and Aids

Members only

Paul Stecken: Correct Riding is Enough

Members only

Just Paul - First Years of Training for the Young Horse

Members only

An Interview with Paul Stecken: Insights of a True Horseman

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