May 27, 2024


Animal photos and movies are especially popular on social media. This applies not only to regular dogs and cats, but also to horses, and Sarah Hagenauer clearly represents something special for horse lovers. She shares her experience with her 7-year-old Criollo castration Milan on her social network her Instagram, where her one video alone has achieved around 4.6 million views. The video shows the 39-year-old Milan riding his bike, riding next to him, relaxed and completely free, speeding through the forest, with Milan directing him using only his voice.

she lives a down to earth life

A total of 26,600 people follow her on her channel. This teacher from Radolfzell-Stallingen lives a down-to-earth life, far from the glamorous world of influencers. She teaches at the Robert Gerwig School in Singen and commutes from Engen-Zimmerholz to Milan almost every day.

The 39-year-old discovered her love of horses as a child. Her father Axel Hagenauer’s passion for animals was passed on to her. His mare Josie lives with Milan on the Engen Zimmerholz farm and her father and daughter spend much of their time riding and training together.

Sarah Hagenauer inherited her love of horses from her father, Axel. Here they are standing in the steppe with Milan...

Sarah Hagenauer inherited her love of horses from her father, Axel. Here they stand with Milan in a meadow near Zimmerholz’s stables. | Image: White, Jacqueline

Sarah Hagenauer acquired Milan, a Criollo stallion, as a one-year-old and trained him herself. It was a long journey, she said, because Milan had previously lived among herds on the Danube and had no contact with other people. With her slow approach, her owners let her spend hours in the pasture or in the box until her horse became interested in her.

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She reports that at first she thought she might not be able to ride at all, but was happy with the idea of ​​just going for a walk together. Then she threw away all expectations and started getting involved with the situation and the horses. It is important to observe, recognize and interact with each other. “We have formed a bond and have grown together,” the owner explains. “Now that he’s 7 years old, it’s working well. It’s impressive how trusting he is and how relaxed he is in any situation.”

The 39-year-old often drives her gelding to the Danube Valley in a trailer and goes on trail rides and hikes with her. Once they find a meadow where they can spend the night, they continue their journey for several days.

Lakeside Drive: If a father and daughter are traveling to Lake Constance with their two horses, a trailer is fine.

Lakeside Drive: If a father and daughter are traveling to Lake Constance with their two horses, a trailer is fine. | Image: Sarah Hagenauer

Success on Instagram surprised her

She was surprised by her success on Instagram. A video of Milan galloping through the woods sparked a lot of interest in her work with horses. “A lot of people wrote, ‘That’s a dog!’ A dog in a horse costume!” The response was always one of gratitude, and there was great interaction among horse lovers, said the 39-year-old. he is reporting.

Teacher and criollo steer Milan enjoy the beautiful scenery of Hegau during an excursion.

Teacher and criollo steer Milan enjoy the beautiful scenery of Hegau during an excursion. | Image: Sarah Hagenauer

I am often asked how this can be trained, and I am also asked to run training courses and train horses. She has so far declined, saying, “I love being a teacher and would like to stay that way. I have no intention of pursuing a career as an influencer or working with advertising partners.” doing. But the popularity of her internet community has had some effect. Sarah Hagenauer wrote a book about how she developed eye-level relationships with horses.

In it, she explains from Milan’s perspective how a common language is created between humans and horses. In her opinion, you don’t need a lot of courses or expensive trainers. All you need is time and patience to engage with each other. In her case, it took her six years to develop a connection with horses.

Horse owner Sarah Hagenauer gets out into nature with her gelding Milan whenever possible. Preferably in Hegau.  ...

Horse owner Sarah Hagenauer gets out into nature with her gelding Milan whenever possible. Preferably in Hegau. Our understanding of each other has deepened. | Image: Sarah Hagenauer

In her experience, pressure and stress do not lead to success. She advises all horse owners to give themselves and their horses time, approach problems with their playfulness and rejoice in small progress. For example, when loading a horse into a trailer, she needs to give it time to get to know the horse. “As soon as the horse puts one foot on the ramp, it’s already a success,” the teacher explains. The animal should associate entering the trailer with a positive experience. For example, let’s say you’re about to go on a field trip.

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Nature and horses are the ideal balance

For them, peace and quiet, contact with horses and nature is the ideal balance to daily school life. She also realizes how good this is for her students. She once proposed walking with horses as a project, she says. A girl from Syria, who had never spoken in class before, was allowed to pull a horse and she spoke to her in Syriac. When her teacher asked her if she enjoyed her trip, she enthusiastically replied, “I love Milan!” Sarah Hagenauer believes that by working with animals, she can help children and young people in difficult situations.

Beautiful moments, peace and tranquility in nature, that's what Teacher looks forward to when she enjoys trail rides, hikes, and bike rides with her horses.

Beautiful moments and peace in nature are what the teacher seeks in her free time when she trails, hikes and bikes with her horses. | Image: Sarah Hagenauer

As horse owners report, they mirror humans. “When I’m scared, Milan is scared, and when I’m focused, so is he.” She describes the experience from the horse’s perspective, prompting Milan to say: : “We horses sense your inner attitude, your expectations for us, and your frustrations. Don’t fool us, we’re not fooling you either!”





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