About Tanja (Tanya)

Tanja holds a Master of Science degree in Equine Science [distinction] from the prestigious University of Edinburgh and is a qualified German classical dressage competition coach (level 2), trainer and rider. She specialises in classical dressage training, including in-hand work, groundwork, long-lining, liberty, clicker and trick training, and can teach you and your horse the basics up to the more advanced high school movements. In addition, Tanja is (competition-)experienced in show-jumping and eventing and qualified to teach lessons in the latter disciplines. 


Being an equine/equitation scientist, Tanja has extensive knowledge of equine behaviour and learning, physiology, and biomechanics. She can help you form a better connection with your horse by teaching you how to correctly apply equine learning theory in your daily interactions with your horse (learn more about the importance of learning theory in horse training). With her scientific and hands-on knowledge of equine behaviour and learning, Tanja can help you retrain 'problem' horses by turning 'unwanted' into 'wanted' behaviours. She competed in dressage, show-jumping, eventing and young horse performance classes in Germany and the United Arab Emirates, earning the UAE's national dressage championships title on her young mare. Tanja's teaching experience and client portfolio is vast and varied, and includes professional trainers, equestrian athletes, leisure riders, riders with special needs, children and seniors.


Horse and rider are trained following a mixture of selected classical principles based on the training approaches of BaucherGueriniereDecarpentry, and the classical Portuguese system in combination with evidence-based equitation (including learning theory) and a solid understanding of horse-rider biomechanics. Each horse is seen as an individual, considering his specific training needs. Being an academic member of the International Society for Equitation Science, Tanja adheres to the society's scientific training principles developed by a range of well-known and reputable international equitation science and welfare experts.


Improving horse welfare through educating riders and trainers about the correct application of learning theory and evidence-based horse training principles is Tanja’s main aim. Each rider and horse owner can learn to correctly train and handle horses without compromising rider safety and horse welfare. The basic principles of learning theory are very simple to understand and apply, and do not require previous experience in animal training. Contact us today to start this enlightening journey.


Tanja's formal education

  • MSc Equine Science [distinction]: University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Certificate in Animal Behaviour and Welfare: University of Edinburgh, UK
  • MSc Quality Management [distinction]: University of Wollongong, Australia
  • Diplom-Sozialpaedagogin [distinction] (MSc Social Work): University Coburg, Germany
  • Graduate Diploma Management of Social Organisations: University Coburg, Germany
  • Trainer B (FN) Leistungsport Dressur (level 2 performance coach, dressage), Germany
  • International Group for Equestrian Qualifications coach (level 2), UK
  • Internal Quality Management Systems Auditor: Lloyd's, UK
  • Specialisation in client-centered therapy
  • Army officer training and examinations: Bundeswehr, Germany

Equestrian experience

  • Successfully trained and competed horses as a teen/young rider at shows in Germany in dressage, jumpers, and breeders’ cups;
  • 2008 onwards: Worked at different public and private barns and as freelance riding instructor in Dubai (e.g., Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, Desert Palm Equestrian Centre, Emirates Equestrian Centre);
  • 2010: UAE National Dressage Champion;
  • 2010: Trainer C license, German Equestrian Federation (equivalent to coach level I);
  • 2010: International Group for Equestrian Qualifications Passport, UK;
  • 2011: Trainer B license, German Equestrian Federation (equivalent to dressage performance coach, level II);
  • 2013: Founder of Academic Equitation, operating since then (evidence-based equine services);
  • 2014-2015: Instructor Volunteer Riders, The Equestrian Association for the Disabled, Hamilton, ON;
  • 2014-2016: Intensive training in high-level dressage at Grelo Farms / training horses / teaching lessons to private riders at Grelo Farms, ON;
  • Participated in numerous clinics throughout my equestrian life, e.g., with Olympic Riders, National Champions.




Always wondered what equitation science is all about and how it can help you become a better rider?


Canadian Horse Journals included an article about equitation science in its 2020 Equine Guide and I had the honour of having been interviewed on this important topic. 


You can read the full article here: 







Located in North Glengarry, ON, we also serve clients beyond this area. Contact us for rates and availability. 

Email:          info@academicequitation.com

Telephone:  (+1)226.222.2224

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