Klaus Balkenhol was born as the third of four siblings. The family lived at Gut Ross, where his father worked as a manager and also bred horses. After school, Klaus Balkenhol graduated from an agricultural teaching on the family farm, which he in agriculture training at the police allowed to follow due to the uncertain future. Through agricultural education, which also included field work with horses, arose early contact with horses, which was the evening deepened in the riding club.
When police rider Balkenhol received the 1971 Hanoverian gelding bully as stripes horse. From books and from watching it brought him dressage lessons up to high school with. The step for tournament moderate dressage was late and rather random. With 38 years Klaus Balkenhol wanted as a police rider once join a training course and sought an invitation to Warendorf. In this course he was discovered by Willi Schultheis, who called him a bully as one of the top eight couples in Germany. Thus, the course led to major changes in Balkenhol's life. Schultheis led to the Home Office that Balkenhol could compete with bully on national and international dressage competitions and that he received a grant by the German Equestrian Federation.
Klaus Balkenhol is a founding member of the society founded in 2005 for the preservation and promotion of classical riding Culture ( Xenophon ). He was from 2005, first vice-chairman, later first chairman. In November 2012, he put down the presidency of age.
His first major successes celebrated Balkenhol with bully in 1979 as German vice-champion and team champion dressage rider, as well as second in the German Dressage Derby. In addition, Klaus Balkenhol became a member of the Olympic team. Bully in 1979 was the most successful dressage horse of the world rankings.
With his boss Werner Vatter Balkenhol discovered in 1981 during a tour of the Remontenabteilung the riding school the Cologne - Westfalen gelding gold star. How bully was Gold Star, a police horse that came into use also in carnival parades and football games in addition to his training. The difficult temperament of gold star designed the training relatively long, but the breakthrough came in 1991 with numerous titles, medals and trophies. At the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 both had their greatest success so far: Olympic gold in the team competition. From the former Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker, Klaus Balkenhol was awarded the Silver Laurel Leaf. In 1994 came the victory at the World Championships in the team classification as well as the European Championship team gold in Mondorf. The crowning glory was winning of World Cup silver in the individual in The Hague. 1996 won Balkenhol and gold star once more together with the German team the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Atlanta and sixth place in the individual standings. The chestnut gelding was adopted at the Equitana in Essen from the major sports in 1999.
Since 1992 Klaus Balkenhol coached Nadine Capellmann, on which he passed Gracioso, with which it could obtain a place in the German dressage team for the first time.
Until the end of 2000 Balkenhol senior national coach dressage was in Germany. In his time the German team was twice team gold at the European Championships and one each at World Championships and Olympic Games win. There were also an Olympic silver and bronze medals, a gold and bronze medal at the World Championships, as well as gold, silver and bronze at the European Championships in the individual competition.
From 2001 through 2008 he coached the U.S. dressage riders, with whom he could reach at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera and team silver at the Olympic Games in Athens team bronze.
Since November 2008, he re-trained Nadine Capellmann. In addition, he trained, among others, Laura Bechtolsheimer and his daughter Anabel Balkenhol.