The Early Years
Volker was born in Northern Germany, where his interest in the horse world started at the local riding club. He went on to apprentice in the German Equestrian Federation training program. Volker became a licensed Bereiter, F.N. in 1980, and a Pferdewirtschaftsmeister (this license is best known in the US as Reitlehrer, F.N.) in 1988 under the guidelines of the German Equestrian Federation.
Work with Walter Christensen
Volker apprenticed with Walter Christensen in Tasdorf, Germany, and continued riding with Walter until 1990. Christensen was a trainer that believed in the basics; he was thorough and thoughtful in his approach. He was the trainer for many successful competitors such as Tinne Wilhelmson, Louise Nathhorst, and Susan Blinks.
Moving to the US
In 1981, Volker was asked by Priscilla Endicott (author of "Taking Up the Reins") to be the trainer at her stable, The Ark, in Harvard, Massachusetts, replacing Louise Nathhorst of Sweden. In the mid- to late-1980s, he worked with sales barns and private stables, training and competing. He operated a training business in Massachusetts, training and competing his own horse as well as those belonging to clients.
Volker currently resides in Auburn, California, just east of Sacramento. He coaches his students at shows, and he gives clinics throughout the United States. He also trains a few select horses at his home base near Sacramento, California.
Work with Klaus Balkenhol
Volker started working with Klaus Balkenhol (former coach of the German and the U.S. Dressage Team, and an Olympic medalist himself) in 1994. Consequently, Volker became Klaus's translator at many U.S. Team clinics for over 10 years, which gave Volker a lot of insight into the training of advanced dressage horses and riders.
Volker is a USDF Medalist and has trained numerous horses and horse/rider combinations to various USDF Medals. He trains and competes through the FEI level, as well as coaching other upper level riders.
Volker has written numerous articles on dressage techniques for magazines including Practical Horseman and DressageTODAY (downloads are available), and he continues to contribute articles. Volker has been the guest speaker for many dressage organizations in different parts of the U.S., and he always welcomes the opportunity to talk and educate about our sport of dressage.