The 'Thai Horse Farm' project, flying to Riding.

9 November 1998, Berlin:

Nine years after the political reunification of Germany, Boris is hitch-hiking on the Autobahn and thinks, now would be a good time to go hitch-hiking in Asia. After five days he arrived in Istanbul and shortly thereafter decided to fly to Iran and on to Pakistan. He then travelled to India and after being in country for two months decided that India was not for him.

16 Januar 1999:

Travelling through Colombo, Sri Lanka Boris reached Bangkok and was enthralled by this exotic and beautiful country. He was so impressed that he immediately fell in love with the region. The Thai people are friendly, full of life, helpful and kind hearted. Thailand is clean, flowers are everywhere, no bad smells, no chaos, and people don't get on your nerves and don't shout at you in the streets. Compared to India Thailand seemed like paradise on earth.

His first impressions were so positive that they were to stay with him during his five months of travelling through “Siam”. He constantly thought, “what can I do to stay and live in this beautiful country”.
After travelling and exploring the areas of the north, the central plains and some of the many islands in the south by motorbike, Boris got the same feeling that most Thailand travellers get: he understood that the North was the real, authentic Thailand. The people here are natural, sincere and not addicted to western commercialism. In addition the Northern Thai people a.k.a ‘Muang’ are far too proud and noble in their attitude to cheat guests and foreigners are guests.

May 1999:

Boris believes that if you really want something in life and put your heart and soul into it, you can reach a goal. He wanted to full fill an old dream and at the same time earn a living. He was going to fly, that was it! He quickly managed to get all the bureaucracy out of the way and the authorities gave him the go ahead. In Thailand you can fly a small private airplane, it’s no problem and Boris just had to get a flight schedule.

His plan was to fly a small Cessna from one tourist attraction to another, one adventure to the next with two guests. He would offer different programs lasting one week other time two, three or four weeks. Sometimes he’d stay in a luxury bungalow, sleep next to a camp fire or even under the wings of his Cessna. He’d take part in a trekking tour, a rafting adventure, a jeep safari one night and the next be snorkelling or diving on a deserted island. He’d make his way to all these different beautiful locations gliding flying over picture perfect landscapes in his small Cessna.

2 June 1999, Air Strip Berlin-Saarmund:

After three hours of flight training Boris completed his first solo flight and as a reward received a traditional German bouquet of stinging nettles from his ex fighter pilot flight instructors and of course their congratulations.

In the months that followed he concentrated on completing his flight training. He thought of selling everything he owned to get the cash to buy an aircraft. He'd need to plan the details of the flights to Thailand, which seemed almost impossible.

At this time the Internet had just been invented and Aron, Boris’s son who was 13 at the time managed to find a nice four seater Cessna 172 via the internet. It had the registration number D-EFWY and was located in Chemnitz. This little plane was as old as Boris but still in excellent condition. The six cylinder Rolls-Royce engine had been fitted with new pistons and cylinders, and an extra 120 litre emergency fuel-tank. The cockpit was outfitted with a Buddha statue on the dash and 10 kilos worth of flight cards. A well known tour-operator was so impressed by Boris’ business concept that he took over the responsibility to market his unique flight tours through the 'land of smiles'.

8 February 2000, Berlin-Strasburg:

06:58 “take-off” and destination Thailand, of course this wasn’t a non-stop flight. The flight had the following stops: Hof, Brno, Budapest, Varna, Burgas, Istanbul, Adana, Tabriz, Asfahan, Zaihedan, Quetta, Lahore, Delhi, Varanasi, Pata, Dhaka, Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong and Mae Hong Song.

3 April 2000, Arrival at the International airport in Chiang Mai:

At 6:28 UTC, eight weeks and nearly 70 flight hours later Boris got permission to land at the Chiang Mai airport. Two minutes later Boris’ Cessna touched down and his journey ended.

His dream of flying in Thailand ended abruptly: The department of aviation decided that foreigners could not fly planes in Thailand if they were registered abroad. This ended his dream of flying in Thailand and to top it off he ran out of money. He had no idea what do next.

June 2000, Chiang Mai:

Boris came down with Dengue Fever and was bed ridden for a number of weeks, which meant he couldn’t fly his Cessna back to Germany. Boris wanted to stay in Thailand and with a heavy heart decided to sell his Cessna at a big loss.

Despite these obstacles, Boris knew that his journey would continue, all he needed was an idea. In Thailand it would have to be special, innovative and new. He thought if it interested him it would interest others.

End of August 2000, looking for a distraction:

After Boris sold the Cessna, he decided to go on a motorbike tour to relax and process his sense of loss.

By chance Boris discovered the town of Pharo, a region he wasn’t acquainted with. There wasn’t any mention of the town in any of the travel guides he had been using. But some of the better maps depicted it. This town had no infrastructure in place for tourism.

Boris immediately felt at home here- a small picturesque valley with rice terraces, fruit plantations with sleepy villages and their temples surrounded by lush jungle mountains. The valley seemed to have a magical aura that could transport you back in time. This untouched landscape made Boris forget that the rest of the world existed. If they had clocks in this part of the world, they would tick much differently.

Boris’ feelings of excitement and enchantment made it easy for him to decide to stay get acquainted with the area. He quickly found a small house with an overgrown garden on the outskirts of the village. From his terrace he had a spectacular view of the nearby rice fields, the high mountains on the horizon and bamboo forests reaching up into the crystal clear blue sky. This was a perfect place to relax and get inspired.

A day in October:

Boris thought this is how you feel when you’re in total harmony with yourself and your surroundings:

He saw himself riding through the jungle with two or three tourists on mountain horses in the “golden Triangle” region (He had ridden in the mountains of Nepal and India). He’d ride with a pack horse that carried everything needed to comfortably survive in the jungle for a few days. They could sleep next to a quiet stream or a hidden waterfall or stay with a remote mountain tribe. A local guide could teach them about jungle lore and the local tribes. Then they’d start a camp fire, cook some tasty food and fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle.

When Boris had travelled in Northern Thailand he looked for a good trekking tour to go on but couldn’t find one that offered the chance to experience natural untouched landscapes.

The trekking tours that had been recommended followed the same plan: get picked up by a mini bus, go from one “untouched tourist attraction” to the next and then see an “absolutely authentic tribal village”. He travelled on heavily frequented hiking paths meeting one tourist group after another. The most upsetting and frustrating experience was the so called “Encounters” with the mountain tribes. It was more like being in a zoo and seeing examples of Homo sapiens on the verge of extinction. It was a soap opera which degraded human beings. The women in their traditional clothes selling hand made goods, while the children competed to see who could get the most 10 Maht coins for a nice camera smile. The men sat in the corner looking tired. It was degrading!

Boris wanted his idea to be successful, so he came up with a new strategy.

"Tourism the preserves culture rather than destroying it!"

"Take part in the daily lives of others without having a negative effect on them!"

"With reserved interest we can admire the unique culture of our hosts and give them the feeling that their way of life is beautiful, harmonious and is worthy respect. This can allow them to realise that their way of life is important and worth preserving."

This concept has become the core principle of the Thai Horse Farm.

November 2000, Pharo:

Boris’ parents Bärbel and Karl-Heinz decided to escape the German winter in Thailand. They were also very curious to see what their son was up to in this far-eastern country.

They were happy to see their son again and his new project. The Thai Horse Farm had become a sure thing. The couple of years help Bärbel and Karl-Heinz had promised to invest soon turned into years.

January 2001, Thai Horse Farm:

After weeks of searching they finally managed to find their first two horses, which they proudly led to their new stables.

A few days later Boris’ son Aron arrived from Germany to spend the winter holidays with his dad in Thailand. Now father and son team tackled another crucial problem together. They designed and made horse pack rigging out of army backpacks because the rigging wasn’t readily available in Thailand. They got sleeping bags, tents, provisions, water and took off to reconnoitre the jungle.
Their goal was to explore the mountains in the Pharo region, which are a part of the Sri-Lanna National park. Boris and Aron returned from their expedition a week later with lots of new information. The horses did a fantastic job, they quickly got accustomed to the terrain and at times even helped navigate.

They made an initial sketch of the area which showed places to stay and some trails that still needed to be fully explored.

The most important aspect of this exploration was to ascertain whether or not their idea was feasible.

In the following months Boris got the help of one of his neighbours who he hired as his “stable boy”. Together they went on treks through the jungle trying to come up with an initial ideal route.

On his second trek into the jungle Boris came across a Lahu-tribe village, which was a unique discovery because the path to village was not well known. What Boris saw in this tribal village was completely different in nature compared to what he had seen in the “Tourist villages.” The villagers were surprisingly open and inquisitive although isolated.

Their hospitality was very touching and they were very eager for visits from the occasional horse-riders to their village. They told us about a beautiful waterfall, which they wanted to show Boris at all costs and the wild honey harvest which was in full swing at the time.

The Village elder (who would later become Boris’ father in law) said it would be a great honour for him to have foreigners visit his village. They looked forward to showing them how they lived and in return learn about the foreigners.

July 2001, Nor Lae- A village directly on the Thai-Burmese Border:

Aron is back on vacation again and his first job is to try and get hold of some more horses. Close to the Burmese border a number of tribal groups live who smuggled goods across the border. The same way their ancestors did many hundreds of years ago and they used horses to transport the goods.

For three days Boris and Aron travelled around the region telling people that they wanted to buy four horses and that if anybody was willing to sell, to please come to the village square in Nor Lae on Wednesday afternoon.

They waited with anticipation to see if anybody would show up, and to their surprise many did. The square, a playground for kids was transformed into a horse market, but only some of the animals could be bought as a trekking horse for the farm.

In the evening as the tropical sun set behind the Burmese mountains, Boris and Aron were still testing the best horses on offer. They haggled for the best prices and at the end of the day rode off with four fantastic new horses.


One year after starting his dream of the Thai horse farm Boris had reached many of the goals he had set for himself. His friends in Germany supported him with their marketing expertise and in exchange for a four day trekking tour he got a website and some brochures printed for distribution in Chiang Mai. A guest house was available for guests on the nights before and after a trip. The reality of it all finally hit home when the first adventurers started arriving with expressions full of excitement and anticipation.

In the following years there have been occasional financial set backs, things have changed or been improved, new ideas were integrated into the tour program.

One thing which we have never had is an unsatisfied guest.

We’ve had a number of guests who return often and have helped to spread the good word about our farm. Many of our guests still keep in touch although a number of years have passed. We've made friendships that mean lot to us.

We would like express our heart felt thanks to all guests and friends who have helped us become the biggest operator of horseback adventure treks in South-East Asia.

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