about me

Andrea Maria Sillinger


Born  1967 in Bremerhaven, Germany.


Father:  Bernd Sillinger, Radiologist


Mother: Marlies Sillinger-Rindsfuesser, Business Woman


One sister, one brother.


In contact with horses since the age of 8 years. First two years voltage. Since the age of 10 years horseback riding in classic dressage, then in jumping. First own horses at the age of 12. Riding in dressage and jumping competitions  under the rules of the German Equestrian Federation (FN).


1988 Diploma


1988-1992 Education in jewelry design in Hanau near Frankfurt, 1992 Diploma


1992-1998 Studies at the Hochschule fuer Gestaltung in Offenbach, Industrial Design, Dipl. Des. Since 1998


1998-2005 working as design teacher at the Ecosign Academie in Cologne, Industrial Design.


2000 marriage with her husband Siamak Poursharif
2000 birth of the first son
2002 birth of the second son
2004 birth of the third son


2006 move to Tehran, Iran


Since 2008 teaching horseback riding in classical Dressage in Iran and Spain


Since 2009: stable near Tehran, training of horses and riders in classical dressage (German and Spanish) and Jumping


My life with horses


I started my riding career by accident at the age of 8 years: my family just had moved from another town to Bremerhaven, where my father had opened his own clinic of radiology. In the local newspaper there was an article about a riding center nearby, which would open its doors for the public at the following weekend. We went. As I saw these beautiful creatures, I immediately fell in love with them. From this day on after my home works for school my straight way by bicycle was to the riding center.


 In Germany children start horseback riding normally at the age of 10 years. Because I was still too young for horseback riding, I started with voltage. In my opinion this is the perfect beginning for children to become familiar with the horse and to get the perfect balance on it. Because the children sit on the horses back only with the voltage girth, which has two handles. The child sits right on the horses back, feels its warmth and smells it. As you know, children normally have no fear and the fact that the horse is quiet a huge animal, does not mean very much to them, when they have a good teacher, who give them confidence. The kids start slowly, but in progress they run towards the galloping horse (at the lunging rein), jump on it while galloping and make different gymnastics on it. For sure, it is absolute necessary to have a very well trained voltage horse, which is calm tempered and has a good character. Kids in this age immediately get the strong feeling for balance on the horses back, they move in total harmony with the movements of the horse, because they do not think of what might happen if they fall down. Good teachers also train the children in the art of falling right.

I loved voltage and became very good in it. This was the perfect preparation for my beginning of horseback riding at the age of 10 years.  Before starting riding classes, my riding teacher gave me the permit to clean the box of my favorite horse and to care for it. This was a very great honor for me, because he gave this permission only to those kids, who were very engaged in the treatment with horses

My riding teacher was an artist in dressage as well as in jumping:  he was certified riding teacher under the rules of the German Equestrian Federation (FN) and he was very engaged, but also strict.
Because of me and my brother’s great love for horses, my parents also started riding classes and also became addicted to this wonderful sport. After two years, my father bought our first own horse – PRIAMOS – a beautiful 5 year old Hanoverian, colored like Hershey’s Chocolate. He was very well trained by our riding teacher and the whole family learned from him. I started my first competitions at the age of 11 years, first competitions in dressage on the school horses, later also with Priamos.  After two years, I also went to jumping competition for young riders with different horses. Our Priamos had made some difficulties in jumping tournaments, he often refused jumping, so that I was a little worried at my first competition.

 I will never forget this day: it was one of those typical rainy autumn days in the north of Germany: we could not warm up our horses very well outside, because it rained too much. The ground was too wet for jumping. As I entered the hall, I was the first competitor this day, I was told to jump once before the competition would start: I rode against the fence and Priamos became slow and wanted to refuse jumping. I spoke with him, begged him, very calm: he stopped.


All of a sudden, from standing, he jumped in the manner of a helicopter: all legs in the air at the same time. After we jumped this fence, he had never refused jumping in all our competitions. I won a lot of competitions with him and we had a very good time these years.

Thanks god my parents were very engaged, we went on every competition in the region from spring to autumn for years: getting up at four o’clock in the morning, going to the riding center, getting horses and equipment, fixing the trailer, putting the horses on it and driving to the competitions was great fun for years. The competitions mostly were in the villages nearby: the women of these villages used to bake homemade cakes and sold them at the competitions. This is a very strong feeling when I think of my childhood: eating homemade cake and drink hot chocolate at six o’clock in the morning on the competition court with my family




When I was 14 years old, my father bought our second horse, LANZER. Lanzer was also a Hanoverian, not that elegant type as Priamos, but with a great character and very talented in dressage as well as in jumping. He was a fox and in his appearance complete different than Priamos: his legs were white and he had a huge blaze in his face.  He died naturally two years ago at the age of 32 years, he was our partner for 29 years!


Because of the fact that he was very young (3 years old) when we bought him and for me difficult to sit on in trot, I preferred to ride Priamos and another horse, which I cared for, RAMON.


Ramon was not a very high class horse, one of those homemade breeds, a little white stallion, 5 years old, not well educated, but I loved him very much. I started training him in dressage and jumping and because he was not educated, it was my first horse I educated by myself. We were very close to each other, when I entered the riding center, he heard my footsteps and started whinny. I went to competitions with him as well and begged my parents to buy him, but we already owned two horses and he was not compatible with the lengths of my brother, so my father refused. As a matter of fact, every lucky childhood also has its dark sides:


 The owner of Ramon came to me one day, said, I had not cared well for this horse and took it away. He thought in this way it would become easier for me to accept, that he had sold the horse to a slaughterer, because he had decided to breed his own horses and he wanted to get rid of those he had. When I found out the world broke down for me and it took weeks to start riding again our own horses. I was 14 years old.  


Years of riding lessons, workshops and education in stable management, training horses in dressage and jumping, horse health care and the right feeding followed, my brother and I became good and then the time of our own education followed.


 I moved to a city called HANAU and learned goldsmith there. After three years I made my diploma and went to the Design academy of the city of OFFENBACH.  In 1998 I made my certified designer in industrial design. My diploma theme was the creation of an advanced riding saddle in cooperation with the German saddle producer Passier.


In these years I could only go on horseback riding frequently, because riding lessons were very expensive in this area and I was a too good rider for the usual class horses. Horseback riding is like riding bicycle: once you learned it right, you will never forget.


After my studies in Offenbach I moved to COLOGNE. I worked as a design teacher at a private design academy, also gave lessons in goldsmith. I married in 2000 my beloved husband, an Iranian, gave birth to our first son in 2000, the second followed in 2002 and the third in 2004. We all moved to Iran in 2006. Since then, we live in TEHRAN.


In 2008 I fell in love with my first own horse in Spain, ENCINA. My mother lives in the south of Spain and we got in contact with a riding center nearby: its owner is a real artist with horses: he has the similar attitude and affection to horses like me, he is an artist in Spanish Dressage and although we could not properly communicate the first time, we had this kind of non speech understanding, because we both have the same opinion and understanding of the horse:


Jose Luis showed me a few horses and then he brought Encina: A 3 year old Hispano Arabe mare, beautiful, intelligent, nervous and a real leader. I tried her out and after 15minutes Ii said to my husband, this was my horse. We understood each other from the first second: later, Jose Luis told me that he had sold this horse three times and always hat bought it back, because the new owners could not handle her. He was really worried, not to be able to find the right human being for this horse.  Finally he found…

Encina still stands in his riding center and he is training her. Now she is 6 years old, professionally trained and the horse, which immediately reacts on my thoughts

Because of the fact, that I am in close contact to Spain and have a great affection to country, people and horses, my dressage style is something between German and Spanish dressage. I try to pick up those parts of both styles, which harmony together and benefit each other. My favor riding saddle is a Spanish dressage saddle from the Company Zaldi from Salamanca/Spain:

I have the exclusive distribution for this company for Iran since 2009. Zaldi produces high quality equipment in the 5th generation, their saddles are from best quality and very well balanced for both, horse and rider.


I work as a riding teacher especially in dressage in Tehran/ Iran since 2008. My main issues in teaching dressage are increasing the confidence of rider and horse, partnership, equal parts: horseback riding is the only sport connecting two parties: rider and horse. It is absolute necessary to accept the horse as a partner and to allow it to also have bad days, or to be nervous or lazy. Every day is different, for rider as well as for the horse and like human being: every horse is different in its character, in its talents, in his past.


What I found out in Iran is that there are a lot of talented riders but a only few competent teachers, especially in my subject: they want to learn, they are willing to spend a lot of time and money, but especially in the countryside there are very few competent teachers to find to bring classic dressage near

I have riding pupil from all over Iran now, who come to me for riding classes and I am very proud of them, that they take such a burden on themselves to come from far away to my classes and have so much trust in my work.


This winter, I bring the first group of engaged riders to the south of Spain, where they take riding lessons on very well educated Spanish horses with me and Jose Luis at his riding center nearby the city of Aguilas in the region of Murcia.


Next to my family, horses are my world and I am very thankful, that I am able to bring this beautiful creature and this wonderful sport to the people of Iran.

December 2011

Andrea Maria Sillinger







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About me

I am addicted to horses since the age of 3 years.

I got connected with the riding scene in Iran in 2009. Now I give riding workshops in dressage.

I sell equestrian equipment now all over Iran and have my Enzina shop in the west of Tehran