Dressage & Groundwork
for Horses and People
On and Off-SiteTraining,
Welcome to Katja Elk
and Gentle Solutions for Horses and People
Gentle Solutions is about honoring the amazing bond between horse and rider.
It's about using non-violent techniques and an 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.
Katja Elk, German Dressage rider, horse trainer, instructor and clinician, located in Central California, 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.
"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 am thrilled to help 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.
Available for select off-site
training and lessons in the
Santa Ynez and
Arroyo Grande areas
Presence Training for Riders
"I humbly bow to all the animals — goblins, wizards, spellbinders — light bearers all of them."