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Everything is already before us – we just have to learn to see it.

About the company HIT Active Stable®

Thorsten Hinrichs

founder & CEO of HIT

Two equally large open stables with a sufficient arena for exercise: The horses move about a kilometre a day in one stable, but ten kilometres in the other! How is that possible?

In 1991, while Thorsten Hinrichs was at the Federal Research Institute for Agriculture in Braunschweig-Völkenrode as part of his agricultural studies, it was Professor Piotrowski who brought to his attention the then-current attempts to optimise horse husbandry. The professor’s idea seemed simple: divide the functional areas for rest, feed and water intake and feed them multiple times a day with the help of automated feeders – as a result of moving through the different areas, the horses exercise ten times more than in conventional open stables… and that has a significantly positive impact on the horses’ health and behaviour. These fascinating findings have never ceased to captivate Thorsten Hinrichs…

Upon earning his degree, Thorsten Hinrichs worked from 1992 – 2000 as a product manager and product development manager in an international stable construction company. At one point his boss asked him for ideas of how the company could expand their product portfolio. How could the product range be expanded? As Thorsten Hinrichs had already implemented Professor Piotrowski’s ideas with his family’s three horses and some boarding horses on his own farm, he drafted a marketing concept for the design of species-appropriate group husbandry for horses and the sale of the necessary products for this purpose. His boss was an expert in his field, which was unfortunately not horse husbandry. Therefore, after much consideration the concept was turned down. Where should he go from here? Thorsten Hinrichs was so motivated to put his plans into action that, after some consideration, he decided to set up his own business.

Upon earning his degree, Thorsten Hinrichs worked from 1992 – 2000 as a product manager and product development manager in an international stable construction company. At one point his boss asked him for ideas of how the company could expand their product portfolio. How could the product range be expanded? As Thorsten Hinrichs had already implemented Professor Piotrowski’s ideas with his family’s three horses and some boarding horses on his own farm, he drafted a marketing concept for the design of species-appropriate group husbandry for horses and the sale of the necessary products for this purpose. His boss was an expert in his field, which was unfortunately not horse husbandry. Therefore, after much consideration the concept was turned down. Where should he go from here? Thorsten Hinrichs was so motivated to put his plans into action that, after some consideration, he decided to set up his own business.

The preparation phase for his own company was an exciting matter. When a man is convinced of an idea, specialised, focused and furthermore able to solve a key problem of a target group, you can be certain he is going to do everything within his power to make it happen! There are always some “coincidences” during this phase which help guide future development. Originally, Thorsten Hinrichs wanted to name his new company “Meteor” – after the successful Holstein jumper owned by Fritz Thiedemann. During one of his first customer consultations – which led Thorsten Hinrichs to an open stable in Baden-Württemberg – a momentous conversation with the stable operator ensued. He enquired very closely about Hinrichs’ plans regarding the launch of his new company. Then he cleverly commented: People today have absolutely no connection to a horse that rose to fame in the fifties and sixties.

When asked whether he had any other names for the company in mind the answer was, “Yes.” He was also already considering the name HIT ( … which stands for Hinrichs Innovation and Technology).” Without hesitation the customer said that this would be the best name. Thorsten Hinrichs then asked why the man was so interested in these details. Well, as the editor of the biggest German horse journal – CAVALLO – he was experiencing a growing number of horse owners sending in letters complaining about the bad conditions in traditional box stabling. He gladly welcomed the idea that a company was on its way to actively innovating the market and shaking up old mindsets and dogmas about horse husbandry. Without knowing it, Thorsten Hinrichs was talking to the editor of CAVALLO – Hannes Scholten – who would go on to generously support the young company in its founding years with all means at his disposal. The first four-page review in CAVALLO in 2001 instantly established HIT on the scene. Hannes Scholten also facilitated the first special presentation of EQUITANA – Active Stable at HIT’s first trade exhibition outing in 2001. Following this presentation, many stable operators and horse owners approached HIT. The first HIT Active Stables were planned and realised in the months that followed.

When asked whether he had any other names for the company in mind the answer was, “Yes.” He was also already considering the name HIT ( … which stands for Hinrichs Innovation and Technology).” Without hesitation the customer said that this would be the best name. Thorsten Hinrichs then asked why the man was so interested in these details. Well, as the editor of the biggest German horse journal – CAVALLO – he was experiencing a growing number of horse owners sending in letters complaining about the bad conditions in traditional box stabling. He gladly welcomed the idea that a company was on its way to actively innovating the market and shaking up old mindsets and dogmas about horse husbandry. Without knowing it, Thorsten Hinrichs was talking to the editor of CAVALLO – Hannes Scholten – who would go on to generously support the young company in its founding years with all means at his disposal. The first four-page review in CAVALLO in 2001 instantly established HIT on the scene. Hannes Scholten also facilitated the first special presentation of EQUITANA – Active Stable at HIT’s first trade exhibition outing in 2001. Following this presentation, many stable operators and horse owners approached HIT. The first HIT Active Stables were planned and realised in the months that followed.

It didn’t take long until the first English brochure had to be printed. An American horse owner translated the German documents and noted that there was no equivalent English term for ‘Bewegungsstall’ (which loosely translates to “movement enabling stable”). After some consideration, the term ‘HIT Active Stable’ was born. In a twist of events, this inspired us to change the German working title ‘Bewegungsstall’ into the brand name ‘HIT-Aktivstall’.

At this juncture we could add many stories and anecdotes as well as reports of mishaps, some of which will surely be recounted by our customers and employees and are therefore not lost…

The HIT Active Stable concept continues to increasingly attract interested people like a magnet. This results in numerous supporters of the idea, enthusiastic customers and highly motivated HIT employees. After more than 15 years of continuous work the result is remarkable: more than 20,000 sites for species-appropriate husbandry have been planned and put into practice!

HIT Active Stable® Hof Kinzigtal

Equestrian Business Beate Uffelmann

The HIT Active Stable at Hof Kinzigtal in Steinau an der Straße has been in operation since 2004. There you will find 50 boarding horses living in perfect harmony, on the farm situated in the fabulous natural surroundings of Kinzigtal, framed by the Spessart and Vogelsberg hills. The stable owner Beate Uffelmann is realising her dream of a particularly species-appropriate group husbandry. Using her extensive expertise and dedication to horses and riders, she has continually expanded her HIT Active Stable and turned it into an oasis of well-being.

Her chance meeting with a Hamburg-based digital media agency ( www.2do-digital.de ) in Spring 2016 gave rise to the idea of presenting her business in an unusual way. After the summer storms, subsequent hay harvest and a thorough sprucing up, the day finally came in late summer. Under the expert guidance of a creative team, with the help of drones and 360° cameras, a unique HIT Active Stable video was born. The video leaves absolutely no doubt in our minds as to why we will never tire of championing species-appropriate group husbandry. We are confident that it is only a matter of time before this becomes the only way of looking after horses in the equestrian business.