About us

As a small child already I was allowed to take my parents’ warmblood mare on bareback strolls through woods and meadows. Soon after, I started riding without lead or lunge. Already during elementary school, my parents gave me the opportunity to take professional lessons in dressage, jumping and cross country; first on ponies, later on horses. During my school years I began taking care of and riding other people’s horses and achieved my first riding badges. At this time, our family also discovered Icelandic horses. This is how we came to buy Kjarkur – called “Dicker” which means stouter – as a family horse. He became a wonderful companion during fast-paced hacks with friends in all situations, in the showjumping course and during all sorts of crazy activities like for example skikjoring. With Kjarkur, I achieved the silver riding badge of the IPZV e.V. (German Icelandic Horse Riders and Breeders Association). Together, we won surprisingly many show ribbons but also participated in show demonstrations with like-minded friends. 

All successes aside, the companionship and connectedness with our horses as well as caring for and taking care of them ourselves has always been most important to us. 

A few years later, our family was joined by Kraki – called The Kraken. After having completed a four-week internship in Iceland, I wanted to make my dream of participating in flying pass competitions true with him. While hacking out, however, Kraki turned out to be a notorious bolter. Our ways almost parted, had I not coincidentally come across a clinic held by Bent Branderup. I was immediately determined to further pursue Mr. Branderup’s principles in theory and practice. I started taking lessons and visited clinics with certified coaches, and had them show me exercises from the ground, in-hand and in the saddle. 

Ever since, Kraki has transformed from a headless bolter to a sensitive mount, with a distinct talent for school riding. Also the previously rather uncoordinated Kjarkur has gained an immense amount of mobility and expression. 

In order to solidify my own foundation as a coach, I participated in numerous clinics and passed the IPZV Coach C qualification with distinction. 

I am relentlessly curious and aim to continuously broaden my knowledge and skills. Regular participation in courses held by well reputed teachers is very important to me. From 2009 to 2011, I therefore interned at Bent Branderup’s several times which gave me the opportunity to intensely improve as a rider and coach. Since 2009, I have been participating in Bent Branderup clinics as a riding participant several times a year. Since 2018 I am a licensed trainer of Bent Branderup ®.

 

Kraki vom Mönchhof

Kraki, born in 2001 is my best quadruped teacher.

Through him, I discovered Bent Branderup and the Academic Art of Riding.

When I first bought Kraki in 2006, my single focus was on competitive equestrian sports. This young horse, however, showed himself to be a panicking bolter. After several accidents and many miles travelled in headless gallop, I finally understood his cries for help and transformed my riding towards the Academic Art of Riding. Through this change, Kraki and I finally became a team and are now continuing on this wonderful path together. 

After some time, I managed to achieve increasing levels of “Schwung” (momentum, spark) in all of Kraki’s five gaits and improve his balance in all lateral movements. Our work came to an abrupt halt after an accident on the paddock in autumn 2011. The diagnosis at the veterinarian hospital was sobering: Kraki’s medial meniscus was corroded and the ligaments of his knee were too loose to support it. I was told that I could never again put the slightest strain on my horse. Despite this prognosis I carefully started to build Kraki’s strength up again. Through precise exercise, I managed to counteract his relieving posture, strengthen the muscles supporting the knee and reestablish his mobility. I January 2013, Kraki and I successfully passed the Squire test. He has taught me to work meticulously, subtly and systematically. He sparks my inner child, every day anew. 

 

Almirante

Via a hint and a lot of luck, I found Almirante and had him move in with us in November 2011. Almirante translates to “Admiral” but for me, his true name is Coraco (Heart). 

Almirante is originally from Portugal where he was also started. When I bought him, he was 7 and I was his fourth owner. Thanks to his conformation, many things are physically incredibly easy for him. Mentally, however, he is extremely sensitive and his emotions often brim over. But as the saying goes: “Two minds have to want what two bodies are capable of”. The biggest challenge is therefore winning over his heart and mind. Step by step I have since started to communicate with him, win his trust and strengthen his confidence. In the spring of 2012, I started him on the lunge like a green horse. 

Today, our minds find more and more common ground and our bodies are more and more capable of what both our minds want to achieve. Almirante taught me to open my mind in order to reach the horse; not working towards success but to simply enjoy and let success come to you. 

Kjarkur von Schlichtental

Kjarkur, born in 1998, was bought by my parents in 2003 as a family hacking mount. With Kjarkur and I had a wonderful time during my teenage years. Trail rides, shows, hacking, skikjoring, showjumping, show events, logging… an incredible horse for any eventuality. 

Kjarkur and I went through everything a teenager wants to go through. I took lessons with him, had the saddler come in regularly and tried to do everything right. Most other Icelandic horses would have done just fine. Kjarkur, however, is croup high by 10cm, his sternum is sagged, and his hind legs are almost as stiff and immobile as table legs. Additionally, he personally doesn’t care much for dressage and considers himself more of a jumper and a race horse. With a lot of motivational effort, my mother and I restarted him in-hand and from scratch in 2010. With time, we managed to scholastically reestablish Kjarkur’s movement patterns in walk and trot. Our work was significantly supported by Dr. Kasitz and Edith Kudielka. In 2011, my mother presented Kjarkur under the saddle at a Bent Branderup clinic for the first time. He had become almost unrecognizable. 

Kjarkur showed me the importance of small steps, a lot of motivation and solid basics.