Horses and their magic have fascinated me for as long as I can think back. However, similar to the schooling of a horse, my education was also not linear. Many years of my life were defined by a great devotion and enthusiasm for horses. But there were also years during which I travelled to other countries and continents as a backpacker. During this time, I stayed in the USA and Great Britain for a few months to work and to improve my English. Following this I decided to pursue a career as a flight attendant.
Today I am grateful for the experiences I was able to make while dealing with people and I am happy to be in a position in which I have combined horses and traveling.
A special thanks goes to my husband as I know that all my animals are always being taken care of very well when I am away from home.
I am now presenting clinics in Germany, South Africa and England and am very happy to have met fantastic people and supporters, of which a few have in the meantime become good friends.
During my childhood, my riding instructor passed the correct and respectful handling of horses and a sensitive way of riding on to me.
Instead of forcing them into a position and applying pressure, her Arabian horses were ridden without nose bands and without any kind of artificial reins such as side reins. This also applied to lunging, which was something quite unique even back then.
Inspired by the schooling systems of Linda Tellington-Jones and Marc de Broissia (trainer in the Iberian art of riding), these lessons left their mark on me early on as far as my view on horse friendly and classical schooling is concerned.
Later on, as a teenager in a riding club in Munich, it was difficult for me to tolerate the pressure to perform which was being applied to both riders and horses.
The pressure and the usual training methods were mirrored by many accidents, injuries and aggressive behaviour of both horse and rider.
Most of the horses appeared to be unhappy and as if they were ‘switched off’. Others would often shy, which led to fear and anger in the riders, which in turn was vented on the horses. This was a vicious circle. The events I experienced as a participant at local jumping shows also caused me to be put off riding. As a result, I stopped riding for the time being.
Some time later I started searching for an alternative to the usual training methods and competitive riding.
This was followed by years of riding horses of various breeds and exploring greatly varying riding styles. I made experiences with gaited horses (Icelandic horses), did endurance rides with Arabs, switched to western riding and was given the wonderful chance of having riding lessons with Marc de Broissia on his own horses in the classical Iberian art of riding.
Today I am profiting a great deal from these experiences in my own teaching.
Later I had my first own horse, a thoroughbred and ex- race- as well as dressage horse. Due to his physical limitations and bad experiences, he displayed a pronounced resistance toward humans. As my riding ability had reached its limit, I first and foremost wanted to gain the trust of this horse in order to be able to build him up physically.
This was the time at which I met my husband, Jan Henn, and from whom I learnt a completely new approach and way of solving things.
This included: horsemanship, liberty work, the natural herd and learning behaviours of horses as well as the correct and respectful handling of horses during daily work. The transitioning of shod horses to barefoot formed a part of my change of view during this time.
Then came clinics with different teachers such as Ray Hunt, Leslie Desmond, Gawani Pony Boy, Alfonso Aguilar and others. We were unfortunately no longer able to meet the brothers Tom und Bill Torrance themselves but instead we met their pupil, Ray Hunt, who substantially changed the way in which we school horses.
During my search for a suitable instructor to combine this knowledge with the classical art of riding, the “dance with the horse as one”, we met Monsieur Philippe Karl (former Ecuyer of the Cadre Noir, French Riding in Saumur and founder of the „École de Légèreté“ - See: www.philippe-karl.com) in 2005.
Philippe Karl’s philosophy regarding learning behaviour, a clear and efficient way of proceeding and the constant respect towards the horse is in harmony with our view on horse friendly and meaningful schooling.
I visited Mon Karl’s clinics since 2005 as a spectator and eventually I received one of the coveted spots in his instructor training clinics in 2007.
In 2011 I passed all of the individual exams and am now a licensed instructor of the École de Légèreté.
The exam consisted of the following individual exams:
- performing a kur on my own horse;
- presentation of a pupil at more or less the same level;
- theory presentation regarding a subject which was not chosen in advance; and
- educational theory (riding lesson to an unknown horse and rider combination).
To this day I am a participant in the continuing instructor clinics and receive riding lesson from Monsieur Karl personally.
In clinics in Germany and abroad as well as during riding lessons at your own premises I would like to share this knowledge and my experiences with different horse breeds and schooling systems.
“… for me, dressage can only be called classical if it is there for every horse, does not require any artificial aids and is useful for every riding discipline, which means also for jumping and outside of the riding arena.” (Philippe Karl, Reiterpraxis 2006)
Meine besondere Liebe gilt der klassischen Reitkunst im Sinne der Ecole de Légèreté und dem Unterrichten und Fördern einzelner Reiter und ihren Pferden.
„Dressage is both a difficult subject to understand and to appreciate, not because of its complexity, though there is that. But because under all of it is a fundamental simplicity which lives in the heart of the horse.“ -Craig P.Stevens
My wish is to make it possible for every individual to experience the feeling of becoming one with his or her horse in complete lightness.
„Good riding is easy for the horse, but difficult for the rider“ - Philippe Karl
A lifetime is not enough to learn how to ride well.
Nevertheless, I want to give my best.
For the horses, for my pupils and for myself.