Who am I, and what DO i Do?

About me
ServicesMy Approach
Horsegirl since ’98

“Horses have always been a stable factor in my life.”

About Janneke

Very cliché, but I cannot imagine a life without horses. They have always been a stable factor in my life. As soon as I was allowed I started horse riding lessons and going to summer camps, and as soon as I could I started studying equine management and sports. A lot of employees gave me the freedom to “experiment” with the horses at the yard, and one of those horses became my greatest student AND master. This is how I found my path to alternative ways of keeping and training horses. From the conventional competitive world on to natural horsemanship and straightness training, to what I passionately do now.

I’m a huge fan of all animals; I have a cat and a snake at home. Other hobbies and passions of mine are writing and photography, and I’m 100% addicted to Netflix.

Creativity and humour are what comes to people’s minds when I ask what they think of me as a horse person and trainer. And that’s fitting because I find FUN to be a crucial factor when interacting with any living creature.


What I stand for

My mission

I stand for creating harmony in horse-human relationships, and making learning a pleasant experience for everyone. To have a great friendship is to both be equal, and that means both individuals need to feel secure and autonomous. This plays a huge role in our lessons where we take behaviour not just as a result of our training, but as valuable information. Information we need to change or continue our approach, and help us take care of the emotional as well as the physical wellbeing of the horse.

By adding structure, clarity, understanding, goodwill, variety, fairness and fun into practice I hope to address any underlying emotional issues, and vice versa! I want to share my passion, knowledge and experience through any medium I can make my own.

What do I give High priority to?

Strongly valued

Emotional well-being

Sometimes just working on behaviour will cause desirable emotions to join the party later, but sometimes we have to let training go and create (self)confidence and goodwill before we return to the exercises.

You cannot address or change emotions directly, but we can take them into account by looking at calming signals, and staying below the threshold of aversiveness and too much stress.

Mental balance

It’s so much fun to observe horses solving puzzles and problems all on their own. I’m always looking for the exact right amount of challenge for them.

This is one of the reasons I prefer working at liberty. This stimulates autonomy, freedom of choice and resourcefulness. Teaching a horse to anticipate during training, as opposed to tolerating everything, is a huge game changer. We don’t want the horse to just do it, but the horse to like doing it.


Physical health

My groundwork and riding lessons are probably not what you’re normally used to. I don’t necessarily want to see flashy or perfect movement; safety, health and fun come first. It’s all about exploring and finding what feels good within different postures and movements.

Whether your horse needs to lose some weight, or work on his posture and balance, or just needs some senior-friendly gym: I can help you.

Modern & ethical learning for horses:

Cognitive Gymnastics

Stretching out the horse’s comfort zones by challenging mind and body. Gymnastics for the horse’s brain in the form of puzzles, and gymnastics for the horse’s body by providing unique exercises focusing on full body awareness and proprioception. Read more below.

Concepts, excercises and (problem) behaviours

By applying positive reinforcement based methods I can help you teach your horse desirable behaviours: from picking up feet to lunging at liberty. We can also teach concepts like duration (“patience”), distance, discrimination (colours, shapes, scents) and dealing with distraction.

You can come to me with common issues like food anxiety, fear of abandonment, grazing, aggression, fear or refusing to load as well.

Emotions, signals and thresholds

Thanks to scientists, psychologists and dog trainers more and more sources become available about animals having emotions and experiencing stress. The amount of research about what horses think, feel, and do (and why) has rapidly shown growth as well.

You might take your horse’s response personally, a natural thing to do, but it is completely unnecessary. It is valuable information we can use to create or adjust our plans accordingly. I will gladly help you explore and discover calming and stress signals in your horse, and show you how this knowledge can be applied during training and interaction with them.

Using the stage: antecedent arrangement

Setting yourself and your horse up for success is crucial, no matter what method you use. I am a huge fan of using the environment to my advantage. An example of this is working in protected contact if there’s any danger or insecurity involved. Using cones to map out a route to follow in the arena and creating a sense of purpose. Using poles and noodles is a great way to do that and inspire more movement as well.

The location matters too: we start at a place that I will call your Happy Place where you and your horse are so comfortable that you would almost be able to take a nap right then and there. A place to return to every time you start something new or faced something too challenging somewhere else.

Balance, coordination and proprioception

When a horse is being trained with positive reinforcement based methods, you get a few things for free: his attention, relaxation and motivation. They will find themselves in the perfect mental state to face new cognitive or physical challenges.

Your horse anticipates during the exercises and becomes really conscious of what he’s doing with every part of his body because you are telling him exactly when he is doing an awesome job. With exercises inspired by Straightness Training, Dual Aktiverung, Intrinzen and Pfergo therapy I will show you how to do yoga and pilates with your horse.

When we are not training

Not everything is about training, of course. Health, housing, nutrition, quality time and daily enrichment are at least as important. Some things you can’t fix with training if the cause lies in one of the pillars of living the good life.

I love taking a holistic approach and would love to help you take a look at the big picture with your horse.

What can I do for you?

What did others have to say?

Any questions?