Outstanding Dressage Trainer – Gunter Thiede
German trainer, Gunter Thiede, an internationally known and respected dressage trainer, fell in love with horses at a young age, initially doing vaulting for two years at Walter Zettl’s riding school in Germany. One day Walter Zettl put Gunter on a mare called Lila, who was notorious for bucking off every beginner. After surviving Zettl’s challenge, Gunter worked for him every day after school while being trained and became a licensed “reitabzeichen” within 6 months. Within a year Gunter was riding with honors in the area of Ebingen –Tailfingen, Baden- Wuerttemberg, being awarded The Most Successful Young Rider of the region.
Gunter was greatly influenced by the German classical riding principles of Walter Zettl , a world renowned author, rider, clinician and trainer of the Canadian Olympic 3 day event team . Gunter worked for Zettl in Germany for 4 years. He qualified as a professional trainer in Hemmenhofen am Bodensee with the German Riders Federation (FN Warendorf) in 1988 in Nordrhein, Westfalia
Gunter Thiede competed successfully at Grand Prix in international competitions such as Donaueschingen, Aachen, Bremen Classic, Munich Indoors, Schleyerhalle, CDI Vienna, and Hickstead, England.
Because only a select few riders can compete in dressage competition on an international scale, those such as Gunter Thiede who rise to the upper level in this area of equestrian sport, are truly among the top equestrians in the world, writes Berndt-Uwe Hildebrandt, of the German Olympic Federation.
Gunter trained with Olympic coach Harry Bold while working for Grand Prix trainer Wolfgang Boehm. He became head trainer and manager of the breeding farm GESTUET AMMERLAND in Munich where he managed the training, breeding and showing of horses in galas all over Germany such as the Vechta, Oldenburg and Munich Bavaria auctions RIEM. Gunter presented the stallion DUNHILL AMMERLAND, where he quickly won all classes and both became well known in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, England, and France.
Uwe Mechlem, German International FEI judge who judged in the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics and was Chef d’Equipe of the German gold medal team, has known Gunter for many years and calls him “an excellent horse trainer, outstanding competitor and instructor.”
Gunter schooled many European riders and horses to Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special as well as East German champion show jumper, Markus Tanne to 4 star S with winnings.
Gunter moved to Rome, Italy and trained the riders of the Italian Olympic A and B team. He trained two-time Olympian Fausto Puccini and his daughter, Desiere Puccini, rider for the World Cup, Central European League and the B Olympic team.
Anne Gribbons, the new Chef d’Equipe of US dressage team and USEF Chief Technical Delegate, speaks of Thiede’s “drive for success” and “his ability to train and show dressage horses is world-class.”
In the US Gunter trains riders from Beginner to Grand Prix. He works with Grand Prix riders, such as Betsee Finlee and Elisabeth Barkey of New Mexico’s Flint Meadow Equestrian Center. He has taken riders through the levels such as Jane Bagwell, taking her through the championships from First Level to Prix. St Georges and Intermediare I. He has trained riders to qualify for their USDF gold medals.
Gunter Thiede works with Dorothy Morkis, USA bronze Olympic medalist who says “As dressage becomes ever more popular, the competitions require that riders and their horses must have the top level of correct training. Gunter provides this.”
Ashlyn Littmann, who plans to do her Grand Prix debut in October this year says “I have been riding for 23 years, and Gunter has been the only trainer who has truly inspired me to go for my best. I get so motivated by him.”
Students love Gunter’s passion: “Gunter has restored my confidence, I am trying things I never thought I could. I’ve always been a timid rider who has been confused by too many instructions.” says Lucy Guerra of Agoura. “My horse is so happy with the huge in-and-out, the first week he walked around it in a daze. I love coming out to this beautiful, scenic and peaceful barn”
In addition, Gunter takes regular trips to Germany to seek quality horses for his clients, who sometimes accompany him. He is always updating his web-site gunterthiede.com with new horses he has found, for both dressage and jumping.
Actress and film producer, Tane McClure-Arendts bought Lanzar, a Grand Prix Canadian Warmblood from Gunter. Thank you to Gunter Theide for my beautiful horse Lanzar! I just received my first qualifying score at Prix St. George at LAEC’s Cool August Nights. Lanzar is proving to be a wonderful teacher for the upper level movements and is the horse that will take me all the way to Grand Prix. I feel so blessed to have Lanzar as my loving equine companion and athlete!
Gunter does clinics all over the US and Canada such as Vancouver, Chicago, Atlanta, Santa Fe and Tucson. He is currently engaged in the USDF judge’s program.
Beginner Kathryn D. says “Gunter is the best thing that has happened to me. He has shown me the beauty of my horse and what I can achieve with him if I work hard at it – and Gunter certainly makes me work hard, which I love!!”