The Story of How We Met

Storchenhof Janssen


The unconventional lovestory of Lena and Dirk has its beginning at one of the biggest horse shows in of the world in Wellington, Florida in 2009.  At that point in time, Lena and the rest of her family owned and operated a dressage training and sales stable in Connecticut, USA ( Part of the concept of the facility was the daily training of client horses', lessons and competitions.  

At the same time, Dirk operated and still operates an indoor playground right next to the Alfsee in Rieste, Germany ( The playground offers everything kids and adults can dream of.  Go-carts, trampolines, a basketball and soccer court, rock climbing, bungee trampolines, sleds, mini soccer golf, a fitness lounge, table tennis, pool tables and a restaurant.  A staff of over 40 people makes children and adult dreams come true. 

The distance between Connecticut and Rieste soon became too much and Lena quickly packed her bags and horses to start the journey back to Germany.  The wedding took place in the summer of 2010 among friends and family from Germany and the United States.  In the meantime, the entire Hildmann family has moved to the Alfsee area.  

Lena’s sister, Hanna, travels between Germany and the United States and provides her clients with different types of equine therapy equipment (  
Anton Hildmann is responsible for breeding the next generation of dressage horses and is always there when advice or training is needed.  Siggi Hildmann takes care of the whole family’s well being and especially the well being of grandson Till.  He was born in 2011 and has enriched the Hildmann-Janssen's family life ever since.  

Our facility has not been named Storchenhof without a reason.  It is situated in a natural preserve which provides shelter, food and breeding grounds for many species of birds, especially the endangered stork.  We are hoping that the storks will use the shelter that we have built for them on our farm.

Why this particular location?
Our second business venture, the indoor playgroung Bullermeck (  is located in the next town over in Rieste.  It is a beautiful vacation area that offers many leisure activities.  There are a lot of local businesses that cater to the visitors of the Alfsee area.  There is everything from restaurants, water skiing, outdoor go-carts, camping grounds, pony rides, etc.