Jessica Hengen Unveils the Essence of European Sport Horse Imports

Jessica Hengen fondatrice di European Sport Horse Imports con un puledrino

Jessica Hengen, the driving force behind European Sport Horse Imports, opens up about horse selection, training, and sales, with a primary focus on the United States.

“Our philosophy is simple: prioritize horses with good brains. Bravery and kindness are non-negotiable, whether it’s for a grand prix arena, a hunter course, or an amateur rider. The key is consistent performance,” asserts Jessica, revealing the core values that guide her stable.

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(c) European Sport Horse Imports

Understanding European vs. American Riders

Jessica, drawing from her dual American-Belgian background, sheds light on the contrasting riding styles prevalent in Europe and the United States. “Europeans excel in the basics and dressage. On the contrary, Americans often lack these foundational skills due to the financial landscape in the equestrian world,” she observes. “European riders are accustomed to a broader spectrum, while Americans tend to favor steadier, slower horses.”

Training Horses for Hunters and Equitation

Discussing the nuanced approach to training, Jessica emphasizes the innate qualities of horses. “Hunters possess a natural aptitude – a lower head carriage and a balance of blood. Equitation horses, akin to jumpers, are more straightforward to train with the right qualities,” she explains.

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(c) European Sport Horse Imports

Challenges and Benefits of Being in Belgium

Jessica explores the unique advantages of being based in Belgium. “There are countless advantages to being in Belgium. It’s a hub for small breeders, offering a variety of horses. The market here is less saturated compared to other regions, providing us with ample opportunities,” she shares.

The Future of Hunter and Equitation Shows in Europe:

While discussing the future of hunter and equitation shows in Europe, Jessica expresses a cautious outlook. “Equitation training, with its emphasis on proper riding, might find a more welcoming space. The European style, I believe, could impart valuable lessons to American riders,” she suggests.

Success Stories and Notable Achievements

Reflecting on success stories, Jessica underlines the emotional resonance of specific achievements. “Beyond the conventional victories, what truly resonates are stories involving happy kids and their horses. The joy of a successful partnership is immeasurable,” she affirms.

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(c) European Sport Horse Imports

Prioritizing Horse Well-being:

Jessica provides a glimpse into her stable’s approach to horse well- being. “Each horse receives individual attention. We avoid pushing them too hard. Their cues guide us; we maintain a flexible training approach tailored to their unique needs,” she details.

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“Horses are not cars. Pushing them beyond their limits leads to burnout and frustration.
At our stable, we prioritize the mental well-being of our horses before selling them, ensuring they are suitable for riders of all levels. You can’t expect a horse to be 100% every single day for the rest of his life.”

— Jessica Hengen, European Sport Horse Imports

Jessica Hengen and European Sport Horse Imports exemplify a nuanced and comprehensive approach to the equestrian world. From philosophy to practice, their commitment to simplicity, horse welfare, and fostering meaningful connections between horses and riders shines through.

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