About Katja Elk

Katja Elk, German Dressage rider from Central California, USA, has worked horses under the tutelage of many great master teachers, such as Annaly von Lewinski (Germany), Michael Bünger (Germany), Olaf Müller (Germany), Tina Steward (USA), Alfred Knopfhard (Austria), Charles De Kunffy (Hungary/USA), Monty Roberts (USA), Steffen Peters (Germany/USA), Arthur Kottas (Austria), Shelley Lawder, (Canada) Sonja Vracko (Germany/USA), Charlotte Bredahl (Denmark/USA), Paul Belasik (USA) and Jan Ebeling (USA). 

Katja offers to share her accumulated knowledge with horse owners and their equine companions as a horse trainer specializing in gentle training solutions for horses of all ages, breeds and training levels.

 “I grew up in Northern Germany riding lots of Trakehners under the tutelage of Guenther Goerke, a former East Prussian cavalry man and riding instructor, as well as under the guidance of a great horsewoman, Annaly von Lewinski, who in the aftermath of WWII courageously fled from the Eastern parts of Germany with her 3 small children and some of her precious horses. Both of these very strong, disciplined and horse-loving people taught me about horses and about life in a way that has shaped my work with horses to this day. 

In my later years, as a young rider, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to the teachings of Walter Christensen, who mentored great riders such as Kyra Kirklund and Louise Nathhorst, and who often had a smile and an encouraging word for me when I couldn’t keep Exi (Excellent), a retired Dressage schoolmaster, from doing one-tempis down the long side of the arena.

In my later years, I learned from a number of wonderful trainers and horse people of various backgrounds and cultures. There are many, such as Michael Buenger, Olaf Müller, Egon von Neindorf and Paul Belasik who have greatly influenced the ways I think, ride and train. I have had mentors, such as Pummel Schroeder, who have guided me from early childhood on and who have inspired me throughout my life. And then there are all those great horses,  teachers in their own right, from whom I continue to learn every day.” 

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