Spanish-Norman Gestüt Herian

Spanish-Norman Gestüt Herian
by Isabella Neukirchen-John

On a cold gray day in winter 2005, we were on the highway to a small town in area of middle Germany called Hunsrück.  We were Isabella John and Rainer Neukirchen and it was our wedding day.
 We were searching for the ideal horse for us, and we had an appointment with Katharina and Horst Fehring to meet the first Spanish-Norman horse in Europe.

Isabella and Bengala Germanika F. (yearling)

The horse of our dreams would be tall enough for us, but not a giant, and strong, but not a massive draft horse. I dreamed of a beautiful head and baroque proportion. The perfect horse for our medieval activities.  In that moment I saw Afortunado Germaniko F. the first time, I knew, that our dreams had come true. We had found our perfect horse.


At that time I didn’t want to buy a horse younger than three years of age, and the responsibility of a yearling worried me.  But Katharina had a deep feeling that we were the right owners and new family for two of her fillies, and it was impossible for me to say no.

Bengala Germanika F., Spanish-Norman mare. Ridden by Isabella Neukirchen-John

My heart was beating for Bengala Germanika F. from the moment I saw her. Now, eleven years later, my passion comes true.

Bengala Germanika F. is the perfect horse to fearlessly break a wall of armed warriors.





May 2006 Borina (1 year) and Rainer, in the background Bengala Germanika F.

Borina Germanika F., half-sister of Bengala, is my husband’s warhorse.

She loves to climb high and strike her front legs against the shield of a warrior.

Both horses have very different talents but in action they each show their Spanish temperament. In any moment we can ride through a crowd of people with perfect discipline. That is what we need.

August 2016 Borina Germanika F., Spanish-Norman, fighting against warrier. Ridden by Isabella Neukirchen-John

If we are not on the battle field with our horses we love long trail rides.

Rainer and Isabella Neukirchen-John Trail Riding with their Spanish-Norman Horses.

In north-east Germany, where we found our home, the landscape is beautiful,  characterized by gentle hills and many lakes. Large agricultural areas and grasslands determine the peaceful rural idyll.

We are very fortunate to be in direct neighborhood to the Müritz National Park. We also have the official permission to ride in the National Park with guests.


For a broader audience, I breed Spanish-Norman horses of the second generation. We have found that many riders are overwhelmed by the mighty appearance of our horses.

The Spanish-Norman Horses of Gestüt Herian Left to right: Borna (Rainer), Bengala, Duna, Cathwynn, Isabella, Cahira, Maya, Arvakyr

The first foal of the second generation I owe to Ina Ferl and her stallion Beso de Cisne. Cahira Cisne Herian is fantastic. She has an extraordinary courage, and is calm and very intelligent. Cahira has inherited the elegance of her father and the strength of her mother (Bengala Germanika F.). Only 8 weeks old, she accompanied us at medieval time’s festivals. Next year, Cahira will be ridden and in the future she will be available for horseback rides to our guests. I’m sure the riders will be thrilled.

In spring 2017 we are waiting for three Spanish-Norman foals. And we are planning the breeding of Cathwynn Cisne Herian with the wonderful black stallion Hampon XII owned by Maria and Hendrik Mersiowsky. This new sire is very important.

In this spring Cahira and Arvakyr will create the third generation. Cahira is 25% Percheron and 75% P.R.E, Arvakyr is 50% Percheron and P.R.E. The very elegant Cahira and the very baroque Arvakyr will breed a very special interesting generation.

With the next births we reach the number of horses we need for our riding company. Then I will have to decide which of our Spanish-Norman horses is for sale.

Isabella with Lena, Maria and Franzy, who help with our horses.

The future is uncertain, but today is a wonderful day,
so saddle the horses and let’s ride!