Local Coaching

or how we can get together

Local Coaching means that you and I meet in person for our Coaching sessions. Most of the time that would be at my house in my Coaching office, but if you find it easier or better for you to talk at a coffee shop or while we are going for a walk, I am happy to find a great individual solution for both of us!

The single sessions look like this: you come in, we have a chat and a coffee or tea. When you are ready to start, we will spend some time getting clear on your goal for the session. Once we have that goal, we’ll check how that fits in with your long-term plans, with the people around you, how it is in line with your values, how you would know that you have arrived where you wanted to be and how to get there.  All of the content will come from you, while the structure, the questions and some little exercises to help you sharpen or deepen your thoughts come from me. Every now and then, I might suggest to try out a certain tool or exercise that might help with the issue that you are working on. You are always free to decide whether you want to try it out or not.

You don’t lie on a couch, you just make yourself comfortable. I don’t take hidden notes about your progress, but we will take notes together that might help you keep track of your goals and decisions.

In between our sessions, I will send you our notes via email if you like and ask you to think about your goals for the next session. You are free to email me with any questions you have or ask me to send you reminders about certain tasks that you decided to work on.

And that’s it. Sounds simple? It is and the best thing about it is that it really works!!Just send me an email and set up your first free session.


This is the very dry list of all that I have learned. To get back to the shorter and more colourful version, go to Annika.

Currently: Self-employed Coach • Online-Coaching • Horse-Assisted Coaching • Kelowna • British Columbia, Canada

Until September 2016: Riding Instructor • Riding Therapist • Equine Assisted Coaching • Coaching • Dalarna Stables • Kattendorf • Germany

Including: Board Member • Team-Coaching • administration • development of resources • training horses and other riding teachers


2015 International Coaching Foundation Accredited Coach

 2014 European Association for Horse Assisted Education, Accredited Member

2014 Erickson Certified Coach

2003 Diploma [German Masters] in Motology with distinction, Philipps-Universität, Marburg, Germany

2002 Certificate in ‘Adventure Pedagogy’  Institute of the Science of Sport, Philipps-Universität, Marburg, Germany

2001 National Exam in Education [German Bachelors] with distinction, Universität Hamburg, Germany, Specialization: pedagogy for special needs children, childhood development, science of sports


Other Qualifications

2015 Additional qualification for Trainers, Seat and Balance in Horse-Riding, German National Federation for Equestrian [FN]

2002 Trainer License B in Equestrian, German National Federation for Equestrian [FN]

1998 Trainer License C in Equestrian, German National Federation for Equestrian [FN]

1998 License for Alpine Ski Instructor for Children, Universität Hamburg



2011-2014 Childhood development Consultant at EMMANUEL INTERNATIONAL, Malawi [part-time] • Missionary of the Presbyterian Church in Canada • Board Member of Sir Harry Johnston International School, Zomba, Malawi

2006-2010 Riding Instructor • Riding Therapist • Dalarna Stables • Kattendorf • Germany [part-time]

Including: administration • development of resources • training horses and other riding teachers • also developing a riding program in coordination with the local Nursery Schools, including training their teachers

2005-06 German Instructor for post-Graduate Students • Faculty of Religious Studies • McGill University • Montreal

2005–06 Riding Therapist • Lucky Harvest Project • Hinchinbrooke • Quebec [part-time]

Including: training other instructors to become Riding Therapists (grant provided by the Canadian government)

2003-04 Riding Instructor • Riding Therapist • Dalarna Stables • Kattendorf • Germany [part-time]

2002-03 Leader of two psycho-motoric therapy groups for children with behavioural challenges • Marburg • Germany

2001 Research Assistant • Institute of the Science of Sport • Philipps-Universität • Marburg • Germany

1999 Research Assistant in Field Study: “Are kids still able to walk backwards?” Universität Hamburg • Germany

Nov. 1995-Jan. 1996 tutor to a German Lutheran missionary pair’s two children, Tanzania



or what you might want to know


ICF (International Coaching Foundation) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:

  • Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
  • Encourage client self-discovery
  • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
  • Hold the client responsible and accountable

This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.”

This is the official definition of coaching through the International Coaching Federation that ensures quality in training and practice from qualified coaches all over the world. As many people call themselves coaches, I am glad to say that there is one official organization that certifies Coaches only after a controlled education and examination process.


Someone new to coaching might hear the word “coach” and think football, but sports coaches generally are in charge, setting the goals and the path to victory. Teaching, correcting, and managing are all skills a sports coach would use. Professional life, business or executive coaching is the opposite; it’s you who sets the goals and gets you to where you want to be.


Unlike therapists and counselors, coaches don’t focus on the childhood or past experiences that might be the root of the way a person lives or feels. Instead they help you get clear on what you want in the future, why you want it, and how you are going to achieve it.

That is of course a bit simplified, but it is only supposed to explain the core difference. If I feel that a client would be better suited with a therapy, I will always discuss that with you openly. We might decide to stop Coaching for a while and I might suggest a therapist for you in the meantime.


It’s a tricky question, but that’s why it should be answered…

You won’t find out you need Coaching because your doctor prescribes it.

Coaching is something you need to do for yourself! In some cases, a person close to you might have said something like “Have you thought about talking to someone about that?”. But most of the time, you just feel that something isn’t right, that you are stuck or just that something needs to be different in your life. You might also just feel that there should be more to life, to your job or to your relationships, that you haven’t really reached your potential. Or you know that there are some serious changes ahead and you want to prepare for them. You might have to make some big decisions yourself and want to make sure you get a good look at it from every possible perspective. Or you feel like you just need a safe place for you to think, feel, plan and someone to listen.

So, you need Coaching in the same way as you need general maintenance in a lot of other areas of your life. You go to a hair salon every now and then? You visit a Fitness Center? You bring your car in for a check-up? You get your teeth done? You could just do all these things by yourself at home, but you trust that at a place of expertise, you will get it done better and with longer lasting effects. Where do you go to get maintenance for your mind?


Coaching is simple:

  • You tell me what you want to work on.
  • You decide the goals you are going for.
  • I make sure you have a good plan and we both know what you want to explore.
  • I ask questions to get you thinking, brainstorming, feeling, imagining.
  • You figure it out! Because you are the expert on your life, you know best which way to go –  I just make sure you stay on the path and keep going.
  • Sounds easy? It is and it really works!

For a more detailed understanding, there are a few terms that can explain a bit more about the specifics of Coaching.

Coaching is

  • Solution-Focused

which means that we are working with your desired future outcome in mind, instead of concentrating on your past experiences or reasons for some of your present dissatisfaction.

  • Systematic

Meaning that I am always taking the whole person into the Coaching process when I am working with you. We will always ensure that everything we do and decide fits in with your bigger picture of yourself, the people around you and your circumstances.

  • Client-Centered

which means that I am very much trusting your inner resources and skills, respecting your agenda goals (As long as they don’t intervene with current laws and regulations or do not endanger you or me. You can read more about that in the ICF’s Code of Ethics that I adhere to.) Coaching is an advice free zone.

  • Action Oriented

which means that I believe very much that change always includes action. We work together on breaking down the necessary change into specific, inspired steps that lead to fundamental shifts in your attitude, behavior and habit formation.

Within the partnership, what does the coach do? The individual?

The coach:

  • Provides objective assessment and observations that foster the individual’s or team’s self-awareness and awareness of others
  • Listens closely to fully understand the individual’s circumstances
  • Acts as a sounding board in exploring possibilities and implementing thoughtful planning and decision making
  • Champions opportunities and potential, encouraging stretch and challenge commensurate with personal strengths and aspirations
  • Fosters shifts in thinking that reveal fresh perspectives
  • Challenges blind spots to illuminate new possibilities and support the creation of alternative scenario
  • Maintains professional boundaries in the coaching relationship, including confidentiality, and adheres to the coaching profession’s code of ethics

The individual:

  • Creates the coaching agenda based on personally meaningful coaching goals
  • Uses assessment and observations to enhance self-awareness and awareness of others
  • Envisions personal success
  • Assumes full responsibility for personal decisions and actions
  • Utilizes the coaching process to promote possibility thinking and fresh perspectives
  • Takes courageous action in alignment with personal goals and aspirations
  • Engages big-picture thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Takes the tools, concepts, models and principles provided by the coach and engages in effective forward actions


As Coaching is relatively new, there is always a fair bit of scepticism against it as well as a lot of enthusiasm. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing as doubting always forces us to look deeper and ensure continuously good results. The ICF has done its homework and come up with some research that shows the overall results of Coaching. More information on benefits of coaching can be found in the ICF Research Portal, including case studies and industry reports.


So basically, what you are asking is: what can horses do that Annika can’t 🙂
And I am happy to answer that!
I would say what makes Coaching with horses so special is that they can be:
– a mirror
– a loyal companion
– getting you to be fully present
– not people

This is the very short version of it. If you would like to know more about my thoughts and experiences, you can read on here.

Coaching with horses

or why horses are awesome

Maybe you have heard of Coaching with horses before?

Maybe the thought never crossed your mind and you got here just thinking “What the heck”??

Well, however you got here, I think you should consider Coaching with horses as an amazing opportunity for your own personal development. I absolutely love working with horses and people because I think we make the very best Co-Coaches possible.

Whether you are scared of horses or an advanced rider, whether you would like to learn how to ride or just understand what they can add to Coaching, you will make A decision that will change your life.

In the menu above or just by  following these links you can find more info on what I have to offer and how you can get involved. Enjoy and I hope to be able to introduce you to my horses soon!

When you talk about why horses are so great to work with, you would normally have to come up with a seriously big book, but I will only go into a few points here. Working with horses has many sides to it. There is a whole chapter on physical benefits whether you are in good shape or bring something to work on. If you are not sure, talk to your GP and or to me about how we can handle your specific situation!

I will go into some of the reasons even apart from the physical benefits that might be a bit less known. According to my knowledge and experience the reasons why I think horses are so ingeniously great for the Coaching process are the following.

Stepping out of your comfort zone

By creating a new and unusual setting for our normal behaviour, we step into a zone where learning takes place on a fresh, experiential level. Our partners in this new experience are horses! They react to you completely intuitively and mirror your outward manner  as much as your internal attitude.

Stepping out of your comfort zone can look very differently for each individual. For someone working in higher management it can mean doing a development day in a field with animals instead of an office and a whiteboard. For someone living with anxiety it can mean making it out of the house to come and see me. For a child with a disability that has been to many therapists, it can make a huge difference that this new experience seems more like an adventure any kid is itching for and not just another place to remind it her or him that they are special.

Being completely present

Horses live in the present moment – in today’s language it would be fair to call them Masters of Mindfulness. If we are not 100%present while working with them, they will let us know; if on the other hand, you do manage to be completely mindful, it will open up endless possibilities of “outside-of-time” experiences. A horse will follow when it senses self-confidence, trustworthiness, authenticity and credibility. And it will react differently if this is missing. The horse as a partner helps to recognize personal strengths and areas for improvement.

Here is a little story to illustrate what I am saying: I was cantering bareback around our pastures on my favourite mare Mae and was just thinking about the fact that I should probably stop up there on the hill when I almost flew right over Mae’s head. Why? Well, I thought about what I wanted to do before I actually wanted to do it. And Mae, knowing me pretty well, must have felt something in my body that signalled to her that I was thinking about stopping, so she stopped!
That was a good reminder for me to stay present, I can tell you!

But if you don’t have a competent Coach on your side when you start getting reminders like that, you might just think your horse was naughty. It happens all the time and I was and am for sure guilty of thinking exactly that many times in my life. Having a third person along to observe what I happening and stepping in at those crucial moments to explain, is worth so much more than you might imagine.

Clear and direct communication

Horses communicate non-verbally, using body language to mirror your leadership behaviour. It’s not what you say but how you say and do it that makes a difference. So when you communicate clearly and directly, you achieve your chosen goal. No masks, no sales strategies – just the very core of who you authentically are.

While that is fascinating for all of us to experience, imagine what that means to a girl with nutrition disorder. Totally focussed on he body, she can’t imagine anyone looking beyond that and seeing any worth in herself. But the horse does! Like client of mine said:”This is the first time, I feel that someone is totally aware of me, just me!”

And then imagine a person who isn’t able to communicate verbally. What an incredible relief to work with a horse that doesn’t need you to speak! It is amazing to see how many kids actually start talking when they feel the pressure is off and someone is willing to take them just as they are.

Honest feedback

People in leadership have recognized for a long time, how important it is to be able to receive honest feedback as well as to be able to process such feedback in a constructive way. Numerous exercises and theories are the result and yet –  it still is one of  the hardest things to do! Getting feedback from a horse on the other hand is so much easier, because we know  that their responses aren’t personal. Horses are completely non-judgemental and they let you try again and again until you get it right!

And one more time: That can look very different for each person. For a child with hyperactivity, the host feedback might come in the form of a sudden and unexpected trot because they wiggled their legs too much. For someone with depression it might be realizing what a difference your posture makes when you work with a horse. For a mother it might be the moment where she admits that the horse reacts to her bidding in exactly the same way as her youngest child. What will it be for you?

Having a loyal companion

Horses are just great to be with! Tell them anything, they won’t give you away. They will carry you and they will make you relax. Little girls all over the world run to horses to tell them of their problems, to cuddle them, to feel loved and understood. There is a reason for that and you don’t have to be a little girl to experience it. You just have to try it out!


or when computers make sense

Online Coaching is a great new version of Coaching that enables us to meet virtually while we can be in different time zones and even in different countries. But even if we are in the same town, it is sometimes easier to meet online than having to get to each other in person. And you don’t have to be a computer genius to handle it!

I am working with a program called webex. When we want to meet, I will send you an email with an invite. Click on it and it will automatically guide you through the downloading and to the free use of the program. If you have any problems with it, we can always get through it together via email or Skype or phone.

The idea of meeting on a computer to talk might seem strange for you to begin with (at least it was for me…), but after our first session together, you will have to agree that it is perfectly suited for Coaching. For some people it makes things even easier as you don’t feel like you have to look straight into my eyes the whole time or think I am observing you while you are thinking, feeling, talking… But even if you’d rather see me on the other end, Online-Coaching still works great!

More advantages?

  •  You can get Online-Coaching from home or even from your office in a short open time window without having to drive to an appointment.
  • You can even throw on your comfiest pants and lounge in your comfiest chair 🙂
  • No transport costs or times!
  • Automatic saving of our paperwork on your computer or within the program.
  • If you are interested, you can also record the session to listen to it later again!
  • Easier rescheduling if you have to miss an appointment or you can get coached even when you have to be at home sick or if you have to stay with a sick child or spouse.

So why don’t you try it out and ask for your free session right now?!