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Tex-Over Farms Founder Paul Kathen, Award-Winning Dressage Expert
Tex-Over Farms Founder


Award-Winning Dressage Trainer

Biography and Credentials

Our Instructors

Unless otherwise noted, Photography by K. McChesney


The Evolution of Tex-Over Farms

When we first opened our doors in 1980 the emphasis was on Cross Country riding. Most of my students wanted to “event”. Both my horses “Sammy” and “Cloud Dancer” were successful jumping Cross Country and at Dressage. In the first picture Sammy negotiates a hay wagon. Adios was a Hanoverian Stallion and belonged to a family from Switzerland, he was a talented jumper and kept me on the jumper tour until he was sold to New Mexico. The second picture shows him competing at the Gulf Coast Mercedes Grand Prix show.

The arrival of Grandduell at Tex-over was covered by the Houston Post under the headline “the Hanoverian Invasion” and was the start of my lean towards Dressage. Grandduell excelled at both disciplines but I had left the jumping to my assistant Jo Hancock and began to concentrate on Dressage.  (Pictures three and four). Another main reason for this shift towards Dressage was Gaby. April Wayland bought Gaby as a three year old and brought her to us for training. Gaby trained hard and competed successfully until she was eighteen. When April retired her a fellow professional said: “An era comes to and end.” She was that good. She is the white mare in the main picture. I am pleased to say that she is alive and well at Tex-over today at age thirty one.

Another very influential horse was Witboy. Sam and Carol Judge and I traveled to Germany to look for a horse for Carol. We found Witboy on a farm in a little town in Northern Germany. He was only four years old but we liked him, Carol bought him and he was turned over to me for training. Unfortunately for Carol he did not stop growing until he was eight and became too large for her. This allowed me to be the one showing him. Witboy is the horse in the next three pictures. I ride all my horses out in the field and continue to jump some of them. Witboy would have made a great jumper also so I used jumping as a way to keep his work interesting for him. He was retired from competition in 2009 but continued to work as a schoolmaster.

Along with Sammy, Adios, Grandduell, Gaby and Witboy there were many other horses that we trained and showed successfully. Of great importance to me was Sans Souci because without him I might have had trouble at the final exam in Germany to be licensed as a Senior Riding Instructor. I had to borrow horses for the lessons and exams and could not find one good enough to be able to jump the demanding course. The day before the exam Eva Roehmer, one of our instructors, talked Sans Souci’s owner into letting me ride him. He was only five years old with a great deal of talent but little experience. Sans Souci, French for ‘without worry”, lived up to his name and I passed the exam. When I told this story back at the farm, Sam Judge inquired about him and bought him. He was turned over to Jo for training and she competed him with much success to Grand Prix.

Roncalli keeps me working at the upper levels while I bring my own horse Merino along. Originally Merino was only to keep me riding while I was retired. He is so good that I not only unretired but also started competing again and fortunately winning. As the pictures indicate, I have become more and more involved in teaching clinics, seminars and workshops passing on to others what I have learned. Looking back over the last thirty one years it becomes clear that the horses shaped my carrier and we here at Tex-over have lived up to our motto: “Dedicated to the horse.” In the last picture Larry Mahan, many times World Champion Cowboy, eloquently sums up my feelings about our sport.   


Paul Kathen, founded Tex-Over Farms in 1980. Since then Tex-Over has grown to become one of the state’s top equestrian centers. Paul’s specialty is helping amateur riders get the most from their relationship with their horses, whether they enjoy competition or ride simply for the joy of the sport. Paul’s own training has been through the German system where he has earned bronze and silver medals from the German Federation Equestre Nationale for riding and teaching expertise in dressage and jumping. He has also received bronze and silver medals for riding achievement from the United States Dressage Federation. In 1997, Paul was honored as Horseman of the Year for U.S.D.F. Region 9 which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Further testament to his character came in 2001, when Kathen was the recipient of the Charlotte Raisbeck Sportsmanship Award for Dressage. In addition to teaching and training at Tex-Over Farms, Paul conducts dressage clinics across the U.S. and travels regularly to his native Germany to continue his own education by working with world renown equestrian experts.

Paul Kathen's Equestrian Credentials:

Teaching certificate from the prestigious Westfaelische Reit und Fahrschule in Muenster, Germany.
Bronze and Silver medals from the German Federation Equestre Nationale (FN) for teaching and training.
Bronze and Silver medals for rider achievement from the United States Dressage Federation.
Trainer of significant numbers of students who have earned bronze, silver, and gold medals for rider achievement from the U.S.D.F.
Numerous Horse of the Year Awards as rider and trainer from both the American Horse Show Association and the United States Dressage Federation.
Past president of the Houston Dressage Society.
1997 Horseperson of the Year for U.S.D.F. Region 9 which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.
Only expert chosen to represent the English riding disciplines at the 1999 and 2000 nationally acclaimed "Top Guns" Clinics of the Western riding world.
Recipient of the 2001 Charlotte Raisbeck Sportsmanship Award for Dressage.
2007 USDF Newsletter Award - Best General Interest Orginal Article:
"Lightness - An Elusive Quality"
2008 USDF Newsletter Award - Best General Interest Orginal Article:
"Anticipation - Both Natural and Needed"
2009 USDF Newsletter Award - Best General Interest Orginal Article:
"Are Dressage Riders Unfair to Their Horses"
2010 USDF Region 9 Teaching Excellence Award
Dressage Foundation Article on 2010 USDF Region 9 Teaching Excellence Award"


Tex-Over Farms
13217 Kidd Road, Conroe, TX 77302
Phone (936) 273-2416
Fax (936) 273-2401