Documentation of the
2005 1st Annual Conference, October 8-9
Erbach (Odenwald), Germany


PDF Downloads:

Conference Programme (129 KB)

Welcome, Mission, Vision, Membership (17 KB)

Next Steps (Only for EAHAE members, 308 KB)


Sonia Struggia, Italy

Conference Presentations

Download for
EAHAE members only.

Registration form: click here.

Sonia Struggia (Italy)
moderating the first conference day.


Dr. Michael Benesch (Austria): Evaluation of a Leadership-Training:
Chances and risks
(655 KB)

Benesch & Mittermayr GmbH

In general the evaluation of trainings plays an important role because evidence is needed that a program is effective; it`s a game of  balance between costs and benefits. We present a concept of evaluating a horse-based leadership training and discuss some aspects of chances and risks. In particular we focus on the study-design, the role of horses as a model for understanding a trainee`s behavior and inner state and it will be discussed how a more or less optimal evaluation program could be developed and implemented. First data have been collected and will be presented.

Dr. Michael Benesch studied Psychology in Vienna. Beside his profession as a consulter in the fields of working psychology and social sciences he teaches statistical methods and psychological diagnostics at the universities of Vienna and Klagenfurt.


Valentin Lawrence Frischknecht (Switzerland): The transfer of learning results of horse assisted trainings into the real world of leadership (1069 KB)


Everyone within the communication training industry knows about the difficulties of measuring training results of soft skill trainings. This presentation gives answers to:

1.) What kind of training results are to be (realistically) expected? Learning transfer examples and a guide for individual development of such transfers.

2.) How can soft skill trainings like horse assisted trainings be measured, monitored and benchmarked? Presentation of a 4 – Level Method.

Valentin Lawrence Frischknecht (1965) is the founder and owner of APC (Advanced Personal Communications) AG / Switzerland. Since the foundation 1994 the Company focussed the fields of sales, teambuilding and leadership. On the Farm of his Father in Virginia (US) the idea of horse assisted trainings started. Today APC offers training with horses within leadership, teambuilding and key accounting. Seminars and personal coachings are the core businesses of APC people development.


David Harris (England): Why do we work with horse? Why are horses so popular for personal development? Why is this modality needed now? (1168 KB)


David explains his journey, why and how he changed his life from a successful MD of a £24 million corporation to a trainer, facilitator and coach. He outlines the major part that horses played in this amazing story and how we can all model horses to achieve our own success.

David Harris is a coach, trainer, equine guided educator and natural horseman. He is a NLP master practitioner and certified NLP coach. He has 30 years experience in the corporate world and has spent most of that time in the IT sector. David’s passion is people and helping them achieve success on their own terms. He is the founder of Acorns-2-Oaks his coaching and equine guided development company.


Gerhard J. Krebs (Germany): Welcome, Vision and Mission of EAHAE (17 KB)

G&K HorseDream GmbH

The number of horse assisted trainings is increasing continuously. In Europe there are  already some 70 seminar providers, in the US more than 300. We assume, that everybody who comes up with such a concept is based on his own life experience, horse experience and leadership experience. Therefore no manager seminar and no team training with horses will be directly comparable with one another.

The European Association for Horse Assisted Education (EAHAE) is a non-profit platform for information, communication, education, certification, research and publication of every kind of Horse Assisted Education. The vision is to establish and develop Horse Assisted Education as a general form of personal and professional development in European enterprises, organisations, institutions, societies and for personal purpose.

Gerhard J. Krebs, born 1949, holds a university degree M.A. in contemporary German literature and political science. He is working as an entrepreneur since 1983, started IT-Trainings in 1986 and founded G&K HorseDream GmbH in 1996 together with his wife Karin. They both started with Horse Assisted Leadership Seminars and Teamtrainings in 1998. Gerhard initiated the EAHAE in August 2004 together with 8 founding members from Austria, Denmark, England, Germany and Switzerland.


Dr. Janet Nagel (Germany): Outdoor Training and Horses (1131 KB)


What is Outdoor Training? The answer is pretty easy: get out of your office, go outside, and do something. Depending on the target of a training "doing something" can be a whole variety of challenges such as team challenges, sportive challenges, or mental challenges.

Horses communicate on a mental level. They reveal strengths as well as weaknesses of their human partners within the exercises. As they behave incorruptibly and authentically without own aims they sensitize their partners to perceive their own natural strength and to apply them in working with other humans.

In this way, Horse-assisted Trainings enlarge the repertoire of an Outdoor Trainer as a powerful method for leadership and team trainings.

Dr. Janet Nagel holds a Ph.D. in engineering and has many years of experience as project manager and executive in engineering, IT, and management systems. Since 2003, she is working as a trainer focussing leadership and team development.


Nastja Raabe (Germany): Leading and Coaching as Common Managing Concepts in Horse Assisted Trainings (276 KB)


Leading and Coaching are often heard. Some people may even think that coaching is a special leading concept. Managers are faced with the demand to become the coach of their employees. In return they ask where coaching can help them in leading their employees. I would like to show why I believe: that the two are completely different and what the differences are, that today’s managers need both and how they should be applied, that horse assisted trainings help to explore and understand the two.

Nastja Raabe, 41, holds a degree in economics, works in personnel development, is a management trainer and systemic coach and was introduced to horse assisted trainings by Susanne Schwaiger.


Rolf R. Scheidegger (Switzerland): A Master Thesis with the Scope to Develop an Equine Guided Leadership Seminar (1024 KB)

Tatanka Leadership

TATANKA® – Leadership is the realization of the two founders’ vision to join their diverse experiences to create a training concept which integrates the domains of leadership theory, leadership practice, and horsemanship to a learning experience which addresses the critical leadership demands of the 21st Century. The rapid move of our industrialized economy towards a knowledge economy is making intangible assets created by the resource people, to one of the main economy drivers. We have declared it to our target to provide a training platform which allows to practice and experience a human oriented and sensitive approach to leading people, enabling to better utilize cooperative interpersonal relationships to create win-win situations for leaders and subordinates. 

Rolf R. Scheidegger, born 1960 in Switzerland, has twenty years of leadership experience in the industry of medical device and machine tools. Having worked in Switzerland and in America, he currently holds a strategic management position in Information Technology in a European division of a large American medical company. His interest in Equine Guided Education started during his MBA study, and gained depth during his Master Thesis, which had the scope to develop an Equine Guided Leadership seminar.


Michaela Schuhmacher (Germany): Horse Sense (225 KB)  Solution Walk (37 KB)

Die Praxis

The Horse Sense Training makes changes of (inner) attitudes possible and probable. For most people it is not too hard to realize emotional blockades on a rational level. They are aware of something that hols them back (to take action e.g.). They can explain this emotion very well, they think about it a lot and try to find a way to get rid of it. So the problem(s) remain(s) and the person(s) concentrate(s) a lot on it/them. But   h o w   does it feel without that little something that is holding back? What is there instead? What inner attitudes are necessary to take action? Which (little) things make a difference? This is what Horse Sense is about: Feel the difference, become aware of it. And: Jump out of your head and take action!”

Michaela Schuhmacher, born 1961 is a psychologist working in her own practise since 2001. She very successfully combines solution focussed therapy with the assistance of horses. More information: www.diepraxis.de


Susanne E. Schwaiger (Germany): Horse Assisted Self-Development (1011 KB)

Das Pegasus Projekt

By interacting with a horse, conditioned patterns and programs are to be seen in the present moment. The coaching process opens a safe space, where by activating personal resources, alternative behaviour can be tried out and later established. Keys are: awareness, openness, rediscovery of the true nature beyond conditioning, clarity, love and the all-decisive wish to change. The very core of this work is the process of relating. Relating is different from establishing a relationship. Relating is a continuing process of experiencing and exploring oneself, other people, horses, nature, the entire life.

Susanne E. Schwaiger, born 1962 in Augsburg, is a learned teacher, certified personal trainer and author of several books about Horse Assisted Self-Development. She very successfully combines her work as a personal trainer with her experience of many years with horses. In 1997 she established “Das Pegasus-Projekt®” which offers open workshops and an education program for Horse Assisted Self-Development Trainers.


Bruno Sperl (Austria): Horse whisperers –  myth and history (1197 KB)

Pferdeseminare Bruno Sperl

Looking for horse whisperers in Europe there is a k. k. Major of the Austrian Cavalry Constantin Balassa who became famous among European horsemen in 1828. He travelled around demonstrating  his method of “Imponieren”  (to impress) with the wildest horses he could find. Among the books he wrote his little brochure “Hufbeschlag ohne Zwang” (Horse shoeing without violence) is a very interesting document still nowadays. “Die Zähmung des Pferdes” (Taming horses), Wien 1844, his main work offers detailed information about the common methods used by European cavalries in those days.

Bruno Sperl is a rider and horsetrainer since 40 years, a father, husband and librarian since 30 years, a project manager for Library Research and Development Projects since 10 years and a convinced equine guided education trainer since 4 years.


David Tidmarsh (Scotland): The big picture - EAHAE, EGEA, EAGALA, and EFMHA (396 KB)