|Born and raised in Germany, I first learned about the needs of performance horses in my youth in Germany during an FN Trainer (Bereiter) apprenticeship. After raising a family and years in the corporate world, I returned to working with horses in 2007, this time with the goal to help horses perform to their best ability.
A certification in Equine Massage (WMSEM 2007) and the Masterson Method® in 2008 provided the basis for my practice. The experience during my education with Jim Masterson was eye-opening and I soon became the first person to be certified in the Masterson Method® and the first certified instructor in this method, which has now won worldwide acclaim.
In 2010, I was honored to co-author Jim Masterson’s book on his method “Beyond Horse Massage”, which has now been translated into multiple languages.
My strong interest in horse wellness motivated me to translate several equestrian books (by Christian Schacht, Eckart Meyners) into the English language. In 2014 I published my translation of the H. Dv. 12 German Cavalry Manual through Xenophon Press.
Having worked with thousands of different horses over the years—from 4-H ponies to champion endurance horses and top breeding studs in Germany—I now combine my experience in equine bodywork, ground work, training, and classical German horsemanship into a three-prong approach to achieve optimal wellness in horses: The Path to Performance™ approach (relax, supple, gymnasticize) that incorporates release of tension, suppling exercises, and strengthening exercises to create a basis for healthy performance in any horse. (Visit the Services page here…)
|I have been fortunate to have had opportunities to present at the Midwest Horse Fair, Equine Affaire, Hoosier Horse Fair, Illinois Horse Fair, Holistic Horse Fair & other events. (Visit the event page here…)
My home base is in Beloit, Wisconsin, where I live with horses Paladin and Fredi, dogs Betty and Bruno, and cat Harmony – and friends and family, who visit to ‘keep the house warm’.
I will be happy to travel to your location. Please inquire here…
If you’d like to know a bit more about my background – here it is:
I grew up riding an abundance of school horses and trail hacks—all of them considered friends—and later moved on to a ‘Bereiter’ (German National Equestrian Federation certified trainer) apprenticeship in Germany.
Becoming an FN-certified horse trainer in Germany is and was then (1970s) ‘serious business’ as it is regulated by an apprenticeship system, where the future trainer trains under a Master Rider, attends a vocational school, has homework assignments in anatomy, horse care, riding theory, etc. and usually competes, takes exams and finally passes the final exam to become an ‘FN Trainer’ (Bereiter). Only then can the trainer work in his/her profession for several years to then also (if desired) take the classes and exams required to become a ‘FN Master Rider’.
As a kid and teen in the 1970s, I still had the opportunity to ride with former cavalry men, who had now become instructors. Yes, there was a lot of yelling (“You sit on the horse like a cat in a thunder storm”) but also very good instruction. The sport, however, was already very much leaning toward commercialization and fast results, often leading to the demise of horses.
I was apprenticing in a commercial barn that had specialized on turning around promising, talented, well-bred horses that usually had some sort of behavior issue and then selling these horses for a profit. This fast-paced environment had clear performance expectations and there were little prospects for horses that did not ‘turn around’. This put a stamp on me, in that I started seeing a more serious side to the sport I loved, meaning it opened my eyes to the suffering of horses under the care of humans.
Late in my apprenticeship I reconsidered my career choice. Two years of education and training, often working 60 hours per week, however, gave me a solid basis for understanding the needs of performance horses, but also the type of dilemmas horse and human can find themselves in when performance is the primary objective.
During my trainer apprenticeship, I received an estimated: