Conference 2023

Conference 2023

Because we love horses!

The Equidemia conference –
February 2023
Where Science meets Horsemanship and human meets horse

Thank you for the wonderful conference 2021, sharing knowledge and cooperation!

We are working on a line up for 2023. Sign into our Newsletter for staying up to date, or send me an email to if you like to contribute as a speaker.
See you online!


This was 2021!

Perspectives around a life with horses. Speakers joining forces: Bent Branderup (DK), Sonja Barkhofen (Ger), Sue Dyson (GB), Hanna Engström (Swe), Noora Ehnqvist (Fin), Agnetha Egenvall (Swe), Brigitte Kaluza (Ger), Piet Nibbelink (NL), Eef Nibbelink (NL), Frauke Musial (NO), Cecilia Müller (Swe), Conny Röhm (Ger), Warwick Schiller (USA), Celina Skogan (NO), Jenifer Zeligs (USA).

Since many years, I always was sad that there was little interdisciplinary exchange. On May 14th, I dare to take that vision online. Scientists and Horseman will exchange knowledge, and present their thoughts and findings to you. This is for you if you love horses and thus want to be the best horse person you can possibly become. The weekend after the conference, I am inviting you to join the online course with Bent Branderup, where we can put ideas directly into practise. Join us! Discuss with us in our FB Group – Click. Thank you for sharing the event with your friends!

Wonderful speakers are participating and sharing knowledge with you. Speakers among others:
Bent Branderup, Hanna Engström, Eef Nibbelink, Piet Nibbelink, Conny Röhm, Dr. Cecilia Müller, Dr. Jenifer Zeligs, Dr. Sue Dyson, Prof. Frauke Musial, Dr. Brigitte Kaluza, Dr. Sonja Barkhofen, Noora Ehnqvist, Warwick Schiller, Celina Skogan. The line up is still work in progress, but get a taste of what we prepare for you:


When training ist not enough

11:00 1.  Introduction: Learn from experience: When Training is not enough – Celina Skogan
11:15 2.   Obese or muscled? – Cecilia Müller
11:35 3.  Silent suffering – Conny Röhm
11.55 4.  Three crucial things to know about forage! – Prof. Cecilia Müller

12:15 15 min discussion and Q&A
12:30  15 min Coffee

Understanding Horse Human interaction

12:45  5.“The mind of the horse” – Bio-psychological basics of equine behavior – Prof. Dr. Frauke Musial 
13:05  6. Dynamics and cybernetics of the horse-rider interaction (… or how to ride a horse by seat aids without knowing about it) – Dr. Brigitte Kaluza
13:25 7. Understanding Biomechanics for a better seat – Bent Branderup 
13:45 8. Move to talk – about the language of the soul (Embodiment )- Kathrine Buur

14: 05 15 min discussion and Q&A

14:20 – 15:15 Break

The Human Factor
15:15  9.    You CAN educate feeling!  – Hanna Engström 
15:30 10.    The other end of the rein – the adult learner – Dr. Sonja Barkhofen
15:50 11.    When are we most developed? – Piet Nibbelink

16: 10 15 min Discussion and Q& A 
16: 25 15 min CoffeeBreak 

Considering Biomechanics

16:40  12. How to really see your horse – Celina Skogan
17:00  13. The fall and rise of the forehand – Prof. Agnetha Egenvall 
17:20 14. Soundness in horses – Dr. Sue Dyson
17:40  15. What is good riding? Bent Branderup 

18:00 15 min Diskussion and Q&A & 15 min Coffee break

Rehabilitation and Connection

18:30 16. A “Grand Unification Theory” of behavior- what we all have in common! – Dr Jenifer Zeligs
18:50  17. The rehabilitation horse – Eef Nibbelink
19:10  18. How I discovered connection – Warwick Schiller 
19:30 19. Connecting and keeping Connected during training – Noora Ehnqvist

– End of the day –

Speakers in alphabetical order

Cecilia Müller, Nutrition
Swedisch Institute for Agriculture and Science
Cecilia Müller is an Assistant Professor in Equine feed science at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science in Uppsala, Sweden. She is a senior lecturer in equine nutrition and management and teaches equine nutrition and feeding to animal and veterinary science students on all levels and performs research within the same area, with a special focus on forages for horses.

Conny Röhm
Nutrition and Equine Science, Germany
Connyis an equine scientist and nutritionist. She runs the largest independent scientific consultancy for equine nutrition and equine health studies in Germany. As a speaker and lecturer, she provides lectures and seminars for horse owners, stable managers, therapists and veterinarians. As an expert and author of several books, she consults and writes for well-known journals on nutritional and training issues. She studied and lived in England and the Netherlands for several years, graduating, among others, to an MSc Equine Science at University of Essex and lectured at an Institute of Wageningen University. Today, she is a welcome guest lecturer at many European Universities. She is considered a specialist for gastrointestinal diseases and exercise physiology in horses. For several years she now owns the  Animal Science Institute (TWI), one of the leading institutions for education in field of animal sciences.
Since 2013, Mrs. Röhm lives with her husband, horses, ponies and mule and two dogs in the remote part of the Eifel. She describes herself as a passionate trail rider and driver.

Celina Skogan, Equine Osteopath and Trainer
With all her heart, Celina is a horse girl. A rider and trainer in the Academic Art of Riding system, she belongs to the liscensed trainer group since 2013. She is trained as an equine therapist in Osteopathy, Cranio Sacral Therapy and energy work and continues her journey to understand the equine body, mind and soul more each day. Additional, she has trained as a systemic coach. She believes that each horse deserves to be truly seen, and that this only be reached by truly seeing the human, too. German born, she lives since 2019 with her horses and family in Norway. Celina offers several online and offline possibilities to study with her.

Frauke Musial,
Neuroscience, Norway

Frauke Musial is an ambitioned leisure and para-rider. With her professional background in Neuroscience and Bio-psychology, she has developed a special interest in Equitation Science and the Bio-psychology of the horse. She is the dedicated human of two proud islandic gelding. She currently holds the position of a professor for healthcare research – alternative treatment at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway.

Dr Brigitte Kaluza

Brigitte Kaluza is a biologist and has a doctor’s degree in science. She holds the view that a horse can be ridden by seat aids only and finds supporting evidence for this in the scientific and historic literature. Her daily research in this field is supported by a research team of three horses. In her recent book, she describes the principles of riding with seat aids and explains how it can be learned.

She also published a book, that mirrors her topic during the congress: Reiten nur mit Sitzhilfe, published by Cadmos Verlag

Bent Branderup
Grandmaster of the Academic Art of Riding, Denmark

Bent is a livelong horseman. His work with his horses and students he calls ´living archeology´
He tries to recapture as much knowledge of the old masters as possible and at the same time learning from modern science. During this congress, he shares his knowledge in two lectures.
He published several books in German and English (among others Academic Art of Riding) and supports a series where his trainers are publishing a shared view on the academic art of riding, published by Müller Rüschlikon.

Hanna Engström,
Seat Trainer, Sweden

My name is Hanna Engström, aged 52 and with a livelong passion for horses. Where I grew up, horses where a part of the daily lifestyle.I am living on Sweden´s biggest island Gotland together with my family. We are running a horse farm since 25 years. I am an artist, founder of Ekeskogs Ridingacademy, a Bent Branderup licence trainer, a mother and a rider myself. After experiencing trauma in my body after a bad car accident, I experienced a period of no feeling in my body. As part of my rehabilitation, I developed a seat program that helps riders since 15 years to get access to their strongest tool, their feeling seat.

My offers:
STAAR APP a seat training app, just fresch during construction – keep your eyes opend. First louch on social media has been done already for the first group of STAAR riders!

The other end of the rein — the adult learner
In horse training, we focus strongly on how our partner -the horse- can
learn easily: We prepare the young horse physically and mentally to
become our training partner, we find fitting equipment and provide a
pleasant working environment and good living conditions.
Thus, we put a lot of effort into achieving perfect learning conditions
for the horse. However, often we neglect the question, how we -as the rider and educator of our horses- develop best. What is the best strategy to
increase our knowledge and how to put ourselves in the best shape to
learn efficiently? In this talk, we will concentrate on “this end of the rein”, discuss how we as grown-up humans, in particular horse riders, learn best and why this is typically different from what we experienced in school.
On top, we will present a profiling of adult learners, the
“learnalities”, which gives a rough categorization of rider personalities.
Here, we identify four basic types of learners, a scheme which was
inspired by the horsenality concept introduced by Pat Parelli in the
early 1990s. These types of adult learners can help you to understand which means will help you best to learn and develop your skills. In the end, we will briefly discuss some examples of human-horse learnality-horsenality combinations and share our thoughts what might be easy to achieve for such a couple and where the challenges in their joint journey may lie.

The authors:
Dr. Sonja Barkhofen is a passionate rider and member of the knighthood
of the academic art of riding. With her family and her horses she lives
in Paderborn, Germany, and there she educates interested riders in the
academic art of riding. In her second live, she is a quantum physicist
at the Paderborn university, gives lectures and research seminars and
performs experiments with complex quantum systems.
Alexandra Bohl ( is a licensed Bent
Branderup trainer, squire in the knighthood of the academic art of
riding and organiser of clinics with Bent Branderup in Hessen, Germany.
Joy Rosenow-Gerhard is a rider and educator for humans and horses. She
lives with her husband and horse in Marburg, Germany. In her business
life, she is a researcher in adult education, human resource development
and social innovation design and gives lectures at Trier University.

Noora Ehnqvist
Bodyworker, Sensitiv Horse Training

Several longer term stays (up to 1,5 years) in horsemanship farms in the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, USA..
An invited member of Finnish Ethical Animal trainer organization. Co-Trainer with several clinicians and horse trainers. Studied learning theory and ethical training aspects. Forever student in this growing field of consciousness. Noora is an enthusiastic (salsa) dancer and she loves to study health and wellbeing. Noora has experienced many physical challenges and those challenges became her great teacher, leading to a greater understanding of inner body awareness and conscious movement as medicine. She is passionate about her sharing her experience. Since 2009 Noora has been travelling globally teaching horse people how to deeply understand and connect with horses in the emotional, physical and core level. BodyAwareness has proved to be in the leading role in the energy- aware communication, in the understanding of self and the other and in maintaining the openness and health of people and horses. Noora has a very appreciated self-study online BodyAwareness Wisdom course, for own inner Bodyawareness and health. The course can be found in For the horse work, Noora’s website is: 
In this lecture I will talk about the wholesome, deeper connection between a horse and human. Connection with emotional safety, freedom to explore, mutual dialogue and respecting the essence of the horse. How do we build it? Why is it essential? How do we keep it while we focus on details while training the strength and bodyawareness of the horse, and of ourself?

Jenifer Zeligs, Ph.D.,
Animal Behaviourist, California
With a wealth of experience in many species, both domestic and exotic, and specifically with horses, Dr. Zeligs will guide you to greater successes by helping you develop a better relationship with your horse through mindful training. Jenifer Zeligs, Ph.D. is a world-renown animal behaviorist with over 40 years of experience, award winning presentations on animal behavior modification, and numerous publications to her credit. In 2014 she published what has been called the new industry “bible” Animal Training 101: The complete and practical guide to the art and science of behavior modification.  Dr. Zeligs is the owner of Animal Training and Research International which oversees an animal facility affiliated with the California State University system where she currently teaches. Dr. Zeligs has worked with dozens of species both terrestrial and aquatic across the vast animal care industry including collaborating with and consulting for countless private and public facilities and organizations, as well as training animals for companionship, competition, liberty work, veterinary procedures, research, feature films and documentaries, and public display.  Her talk on “The Grand Unification Theory of Behavior” will bring together ideas from across disciplines and species to apply to the modern horse enthusiast. Contact:

Due to Corona, this project is really lacking fundings. Jenifer and her team are happy for each pence they collect. Donate on:

Eef Nibbelink
Horsetrainer, Netherlands
Eef is a passionate trainer of both horses and their humans. She grew up with horses as her teachers and still learns from them everyday. Eef discovered the Academic Art of Riding over 12 years ago and follows this path ever since. The art in the Academic Art of Riding is for her those magical moments that everything comes together, when horse and human think and move as one. As a teacher, she enjoys helping others towards these moments. 
More information:
Rehabilitating horses Eef has experience rehabilitating different injuries in very different body types. She developed a thorough understanding of the details of correct movement fitting to the unique individual that is the horse at hand. She will not offer you ready to use solutions, but will help you gain insight in how to tackle your problem and inspire you to look beyond what you thought was possible.

Agneta Egenvall
´the rise and fall of the forehand´
Agneta is a veterinarian, professor in veterinary epidemiology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Uppsala), working mainly with equine biomechanics, including horse-rider interaction and various forms of asymmetry including lameness and laterality. 

Dr. Sue Dyson
MA VetMB PhD FRCVSEBVS® European Specialist in Veterinary Sports Medicine and RehabilitationMember of European College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation and European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging

Dr Sue Dyson is an equine veterinarian who specialises in lameness and poor performance. As a rider who has trained horses up to advanced national level in both eventing and showjumping, which have subsequently competed at European and World Championships and Olympic Games, Sue is passionate about the importance of evaluating horses ridden and understanding how they adapt to musculoskeletal pain, the rider’s position and the fit of the saddle to horse and rider. Sue, a European Specialist in Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, has taught world-wide, published more than 300 scientific papers and continues to learn by looking, observing and thinking.Contact:

Warwick Schiller
Warwick is a horseman, coach and podcaster form California. In recent years, his interest shifted towards true and healthy communication. His journey into a better horsemanship he shares on YouTube and in his ´Journey on´ Podcast. Warwick offers trainings and online classes to the inspired horseman.