"Dressage, paired with a solid understanding of the horse's natural responses and the ever-present notion of 'I have time' offers a wonderful way to build a trusting, joyful and athletically successful partnership between horse and rider."
Katja's special mission is to illustrate how knowledge about horses' psychology, anatomy and their natural response system enhances the application of classical dressage principles on the ground and under saddle. The training process of horse and rider is one of consistent, non-coercive, clearly defined and positively reinforced communication.
"A tense or tired horse cannot learn anything. Trust and relaxation is the beginning of all training. It is the rider's job to help the horse relax, learn and enjoy each step in his/her development."
Katja's goal is to evoke the rider's and the horse's "Funktionslust," the joy of doing what one does best at any given moment. In the horse's case, the joy of experiencing his/her mental and physical capacity to his/her fullest degree will mean an increase in wanting to work with the rider, because each step toward a new level of performance is fun, enjoyable and constantly leading toward an increased sense of lightness.
"I love helping horses and people to truly bring out the best in each other."
Training programs set up for the individual horse's and rider's needs include riding/training along natural and classical dressage principles, long-lining, building physical and mental strength, gently reshaping undesirable behavioral patterns, mental and physical rehab, trauma treatments, handling untouchable horses as well as guiding owners towards a continuously happy and successful relationship with their horses.
for Horses and People
Katja Elk's Gentle Solutions training methodology is about honoring the unique bond between horse and rider.
It's about using non-violent techniques and the understanding of equine and human psychology and physiology to improve performance and horsemanship.
It's about utilizing groundwork and the principles of classical dressage in ways that will enhance any discipline, breed and level of development.
It’s about being in the Here and Now, about enjoying every moment of togetherness only horses and riders are privileged to experience.
Located in Central California, Katja Elk, GermanDressage rider, horse trainer, instructor and clinician, offers to share her knowledge with horse owners and their equine companions, specializing in gentle training solutions for horses of all ages, breeds and training levels.
Mobile Training Service:
I'll come to you! :)
Santa Ynez Valley, San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara
Become more confident as a person and as a rider.
CHECK IT OUT
Horses and Humans:
Life Coaching Reinvented
"Katja is so intuitive and gentle. She has a deep understanding of the equine mind. Her approach to teaching is based on patience, kindness and relationship building. She teaches you to listen to what your horse is saying, and in doing so, allows you to really develop a bond based on trust and mutual respect. She has been an integral part of the process of gentling and training my young, very apprehensive mustang who, under Katja's mindful eye, is blossoming into a lovely dressage prospect. She is a joy to work with.
— Susan Weber
"My journey with Katja started almost 2 yrs ago when I was having issues with trying to train my 8 yr. old gelding Jax, on my own. It was heading for disaster when she stepped in and started us on a road to success in dressage both on the ground and under saddle. With her lifelong experience training horses and riders, and her outstanding abilities as a life coach, Katja is knowledgable, kind, and very effective at solving equine and human behaviors — the perfect combination for progressing in this demanding discipline. Jax and I both look forward to our lessons and owe all our progress to her, she is a wonder and pleasure.
— Patti Chambers
"Katja is amazing. She not only understands and wants the very best for your horse but also for your partnership with you and your horse. She provides a great mix of ground and saddle work. I don't just consider her my trainer but also my friend."
— Erin Zobel
"Katja is a wonderful instructor who always puts the needs of the horse first. She uses gentle, positive training methods and an understanding of both horses and humans to help both develop in a fun and enjoyable way. My horse and I have been able to achieve more than I ever thought was possible. I highly recommend her.
— Kathy Salazar
Dressage & Groundwork
for Horses and People
Training, Lessons, Clinics, Workshops, Retreats
Fire season is here. Have your horses ready to load into your trailer when time is of the essence!
to watch my latest training videos!
DATES TO COME
at Hacienda Del Valle,
Los Angeles, CA