Arno Honstetter demonstrates a sliding stop on a reining horse
rno Honstetter Arizona Reining Horse Training on the ranch
Arno Honstetter demonstrates how to circle a reining horse

Arno Honstetter Bio

Arno Honstetter grew up in Liggeringen Germany, which is in the southern part of Germany in the Bodensee on the Lake of Konstanz. While growing up Arno worked for his family in their German restaurant, Kranz, which is located in their home and has been in their family for 3 generations. Arno’s dad, Markus always enjoyed horses and wanted to have his children be involved with them early on in their lives. Markus bought a pony and an Arabian for his kids to learn with. Markus really wanted Arno to learn the western discipline even though English riding was more popular in their area. So, he started his quest to see what this western discipline was all about and found that Quarter Horses were the best for the western discipline. He came upon two Quarter Horses in Switzerland and bought them both. One of the horses was a young one that needed to get started and the other was an older horse he took home for the kids to play with. Markus started looking for different trainers in their area to train the new young Quarter Horse, Shirley. He learned of Stephan Ostiadal a western all around horse trainer out of Bavaria, and decided to send Shirley to him. After Stephan started and trained Shirley, Arno took over and rode her in all disciplines at local horse shows. He did everything from Trail to Reining on Shirley and loved every minute being in the show pen. While Shirley was in training, Stephan invited Markus to go with him to the US for a horse-shopping trip. They flew to Phoenix, Arizona, to Wes Sutton's place and found Keen Freckles, by Kernel Freckles. They decided to purchase the horse and shipped him back to Germany where he was shown in cutting and was undefeated his first year. After two years of being shown Markus decided to bring Keen home to their place in Liggeningen to start breeding. He bred quite a few of their own mares and let Arno start training all the babies.

In 1998 Markus took Arno-then 16 years old-to Ken Wold Training Stables in Northern California. Arno wanted to learn everything about horses to being a cowboy. He lived with Ken’s mother, Betty Wold where she took him in under her wing and treated him like her son. He spent four years with Ken, Ramona and Betty learning so many valuable lessons in life and meeting many great people in the Reining and Cow Horse industry. Those are four years he will never forget and will always hold a special place in his heart.

After his time at Wold Stables, Arno moved home to Germany where he rode more of his dad’s horses that were mostly breed by their stud Keen Freckles. Arno then got a job with Bram Quarter Horses in the Netherlands where he worked for Chris Feichter. He was able learn a lot about showing horses while working for Bram Quarter Horses. He then went back to German to work for Uwe Gerbig. While working for Uwe in 2004 Arno won the German Futurity on Judith Pepper Pride.

After he was in Northern California Arno always knew he wanted to go back to the US to train horses. He was fortunate to get a job with Fappani Performance Horses out of Scottsdale, Arizona Arno ended up working for Andrea for seven years. He really became part of the Fappani family spending many holidays and vacations with them. He was there when Andrea and Tish's boys Luca and Jeremy were born and was very involved in their lives. He was able to see them grow up and enjoyed all the great times they had together. In 2006 Arno won the Limited Open Futurity Championship on Gunnin For Diamonds owned by Justin Palmer. He also made the Intermediate and Open finals on Gunny. Arno learned many thing while working from Andrea, he saw the business side of the industry and learned how important strong work ethics are to be successful in the business.

In 2009 Arno took a year and went to learn from Randy Paul of Extreme Performance Horses. Arno had a great time and learned a ton while working at Extreme Performance Horse and became good friends with Randy and Andi Paul but decided to go back to California to work for Fappani Performance Horses once again.

In 2010 while back working for Fappani Performance Horses Arno won the Intermediate Open Futurity Championship on Chicsdundreamin owned by Rancho Oso Rio and was 5th in the Open Futurity and in 2011 Arno showed Show Me The Buckles to a Reserve Open Futurity Championships. This is one of Arno's biggest accomplishments in the reining industry. He gives so much credit to Andrea for allowing him to show so many nice horses and trusting him to do a good job with all of them.

In August 2012 Arno decided it was time for him to start his own training business and thus, Honstetter Performance. Based out of Scottsdale, Arizona, he is now concentrating on Open Futurity and Derby horses as well as having Non Pros and youth riders. Arno is looking forward to the future and is very excited about all the new adventures that are in front of him. He enjoys spending his free time in the desert hunting and enjoys going to Washington in the summers to go salmon fishing.