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Harmony through Knowledge

Welcome to my new website!

Horses have always been a great inspiration and motivation in my life.

Thanks to the horses I have experienced countless wonderful moments.

I am committed to always treating them with the utmost respect, and in a way that nurtures their well-being and health. This deep commitment leads me to constantly strive to increase my equine knowledge. Regardless of the discipline, I see the horse as my friend and partner, and am grateful that this wonderful animal allows me to create a special relationship with him.

Harmony between horse and rider is my main intention. I want both to enjoy the partnership.

My goal is to live up to my principles and be a role model for others.

It would be my pleasure to help you establish a better relationship with your horse, and be able to truly enjoy your ride.

About

From as far back as I can remember, I have always been attracted to horses. At the age of 10, I finally managed to convince my parents to sign me up at the local riding club. In the coming years I rode many different horses, attended Dressage and Hunter shows, went on trail rides, and participated in mounted games and musical rides.

After graduating, I began a three year full-time apprenticeship at the “Gut Hanbruch” riding club in Aachen, Germany, to become a “Pferdewirt Schwerpunkt Reiten”  which is the German term for a professional coach that focusses on training riders and horses in Dressage and Show Jumping. I learned to start young horses and train them to 2nd Level Dressage, and to jump up to 1.20 meters. In addition, I taught riding lessons and lunge lessons on a daily basis.  It was also my job to feed the 50 horses, help clean stalls and keep the riding facility clean. Once a week I attended a special school for horse professionals to learn about veterinary care, feeding and nutrition, conformation, horse training including the “trainings scale”, and biomechanics. In July 1993, I successfully passed my certification exams.

Following this schooling, I worked at several horse clubs and riding schools as a full-time coach and trainer until 2005. Most of these clubs had lesson horses and it was my job to teach 4-5 group lessons, and ride 3-4 horses per day. During this time I developed a seat clinic and taught various clinics, preparing the riders to pass the equivalent of the Rider Level Tests, and the Trail Rider certification.

Over the years, I have been so fortunate to ride many well-trained Dressage horses including several that were trained up to the Grand Prix level.

Egon von Neindorff (1923-2004), the famous master rider, has been an important influence and role model for me. For five decades he operated a riding institute with more than 30 lesson horses including Lipizzaner and Andalusians – many of them were trained up to the “airs above the ground” level. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to take several lessons with him, and his horses were without a doubt, the best horses I have ever ridden. They were trained to respond to the slightest aids, making riding them a pure pleasure and absolutely effortless.

My Qualifications:

  • Schleese Saddlefit 4 Life Equine Ergonomist (2015)  schleese.com
  • Equine Management Certificate Level 3 – Horse Competence Center Germany (2015) hccg.de
  • International Passport Coach Level 2 (2014) certified and current with Horse Council BC
  • Coach for Riding as a Fitness Sport, Germany (2001) (emphasis on promoting riding as a healthy activity by incorporating fitness exercises and centered riding exercises into regular riding lessons)
  • Riding Instructor for people with disabilities, German Association for Therapeutic Riding DKThR (1998)
  • Trainer B Licence Horse Riding (equivalent to Competition Coach Specialist in Canada) – DSB/German Sport Association (1997)
  • Professional Coach for Dressage and Show Jumping, Germany (1993)

Riding Lessons

Would you like to improve your riding skills? A better ride starts with speaking your horses language. Horses communicate with their body language, not words. I will help you to learn this non verbal communication.

All riding lessons are based on the guidelines of the German Equestrian Federation (FN), and the training scale. My main focus is the harmony between horse and rider.

Riding is a very demanding sport in terms of coordination and balance, and the rider has a major responsibility for the well-being of the horse. The physical abilities of the rider and a profound knowledge about horses, are essential for a good partnership between horse and rider. Patience with the horse and oneself are important qualities on the path to becoming a good rider, and it is a privilege for me to guide my students on this journey.

Your safety is my main concern. That’s why all my students are required to wear a riding helmet.

Horse Training

When I train a horse, I want to guarantee a solid foundation.

Dressage is not so much about fancy movements.  Rather, the focus in training is on  the level of execution and the quality of the movement.

Beside suppleness, balance is an important factor when training a horse. A supple horse is able to perform the full range of motion without tense muscles restricting the movement. A balanced horse is less likely to lean on the bit, or hurry through it’s work. The horse will learn how to use his body more effectively which enables the longevity of joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

When I introduce a new movement to the horse, I make sure that it understands what I am asking. I don’t ask for too much to avoid frustrating the horse. My first step is to establish a level of communication with the horse, that allows me to improve the horse’s level of understanding.

Instead of forcing the horse to do something my way, I will look for the “why?”. Why does it seem to be hard for the horse to perform a certain movement? How can I help the horse work through the difficulty? I take the biomechanics into consideration as well as the saddle fit and health-related issues.

The conformation of the horse can make it easy or difficult for the horse to perform specific movements. My goal is always to make sure that the horse is set up for success and prepared for his job.

Every training session starts with a proper warm up, and ends with a cool down. Before riding a horse, the tack and health of the horse are checked.

Each training session is varied , and over the course of the training period, may consist of dressage, jumping and trail rides.

 

 

 

Saddle Fitting

Often riders are not aware that many behavioral issues are caused by poor saddle fit.  My training in saddle fitting enables me to detect saddle fitting issues that might restrict your  horse’s performance.

To help you evaluate your saddle fit, I offer the following services:

  • saddle fitting demos (2 hours): $10.00 per person
  • saddle fitting workshops ( 1 day): $80.00 per person
  • saddle fitting workshop ( 3 days): $250.00 per person
  • laser scan of your horse’s back horseshape.com 
  • Scan includes mileage in the Dawson Creek area, internet access to data, but without Fitting Set :  $140.00
  • Fitting Set (cardboard template,  laser cut in Germany incl. shipping):  $100.00
  • Schleese 80 Point Saddle Fit Evaluations, schleese.com  / complete static and dynamic evaluation of horse and saddle approx. 2.5 hours:  $120.00