Coaching with Connection
Everyone can find harmony and peace with horses.
Clear communication, body awareness and psychological and emotional safety are important cornerstones when operating with horses. Whether you are interested in rider biomechanics, body awareness, emotional regulation or compassionate communicating, Coaching with Connection gives you the tools for change.
No matter where you are in your life, it is the right place to begin your journey.
Katariina was born in Finland, but having lived half of her life in foreign countries, she considers herself a citizen of the world. She currently lives between two countries, Finland and the United States (California).
Horses have been part of Katariina's world since childhood. Her first encounter with a horse was a major turning point in her life; in a flash she fell in love with these beautiful animals. Since then she could not imagine life without them
Although Katariina couldn't afford her own horse for a very long time, through hard work and perhaps also a grain of talent, she learned to ride other people's horses successfully. For the next two decades she competed in three different equestrian disciplines in three different countries from novice to international arenas.
Competing, however, was never Katariina's true passion. As an active and creative child, she was only in her teens when she discovered her love for coaching and teaching others. Already at the young age of 15 Katariina was coaching her own vaulting team and at 17 she started teaching horse back riding.
Vaulting became Katariina's main focus in 1988 when she participated in the World Championships as the first international competitor from Finland. A year later she founded the Finnish National Vaulting Team, which she coached until 1999, when she moved to California. She continued her vaulting coach career in the United States, but when her American team won the Bronze medal at the World Championships in 2004, she felt it was time for something else.
A move to Switzerland in 2005 was a welcome change. Back in Europe, Katariina focused her energy into learning more about rider biomechanics, which had been an interest of hers ever since she graduated from the Sport Institute of Finland in 1994 with a degree in Sport Coaching and Management. Her most influential riding teachers during her time in Switzerland were Mary Wanless and Lynda Davey, both known for the Ride with your Mind technique developed by Mary Wanless.
Despite Katariina's time-consuming life with horses, she has also managed to coach hundreds of children and teens in other sports than vaulting such as soccer, floorball (like indoor hockey) and gymnastics. Her experience in sport coaching taught her that when it comes to finding our true potential, our biggest asset is our mind. Katariina's interest in this hidden potential lead her on a life-long quest of learning, which still continues.
In Switzerland Katariina's relationship with horses also took a new turn. Some might call it a full 180, but she believes it was merely time to start thinking critically and independently. Katariina became interested in many new areas of equine connection. Over the course of ten years she studied behavioural science, learning theory, emotional skills training, positive psychology, operant training, barefoot trimming and animal communication. All this combined with what she already knew about horses and equestrian sports opened up a whole new perspective in the world of humans and horses.
Katariina believes everyone has a unique journey. Her own journey took her away from the traditional way of being with horses and brought her closer connection with everything living. Your story may be different than hers, and that is totally ok. No story is better or worse than another, just different. Katariina's wish is to help you and your horse find a path towards each other in the frame of reference you have created together.
Bachelor in Sport Coaching and Management , The Sport Institute of Finland 1994
MA in English Philology with minor in Education, Helsinki Univeristy 1999
MB Life Coach 2012
Mary Wanless: Ride With Your Mind – teacher training courses (2006-2008, 2015)
Marta Williams animal communication courses (2008, 2010, 2015)
Eponaquest (2009, 2011) Finding Your Authentic Self ja Accessing Authenticity
NLP Coach 2018
Foundations of Positive Psychology, University of Pennsylvania 2018
Trust Technique Practitioner, August 2021
However, more important than any studies, has been the wisdom of the horse, which cannot be learned from books or courses. Although many horses have left a permanent mark in her heart, the most important teacher of Katariina's life has been Little Love, a black Oldenburg mare whom became her teacher for nine years. Little Love didn't only transform the way Katariina thinks of horses, she also taught her something priceless about both humanity and herself. Little Love's wisdom keeps growing and giving, it motivates Katariina to continue her work among horses and humans.