Westerwald Equestrian is owned and operated by Erika Wolff of Erika Wolff Enterprises, LLC. She began her riding career at Furnace Brook Farm, under the watchful eye of Erin Van Steenburgh for eight years. Erin fostered a joy for riding, while teaching Erika a strong foundation in horsemanship that would inspire her to pursue a career in the equine industry. Erin also led Erika to many championships, the most prestigious of which was the Morgan Regional and National USEF Champion Training and First Level 2010, as well as the 2010 Morgan Reserve World Champion First Level Junior Rider.
During her under graduate career, Erika studied for a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Management, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Castleton University, while simultaneously learning from Ida Norris, S Judge, who offered a comprehensive, advanced program for developing young trainers. She trained and worked with Ida as her assistant for five years, moving with her to Florida’s Wellington circuit every winter, completing her Florida Dressage Experience Program, a winter intensive program for horse trainers and individuals wishing to improve their horse training skills. During her time with Ida, Erika earned her USDF Bronze Medal, as well as worked extensively with starting young horses and developing dressage horses under saddle, in the long-lines, and in-hand. Erika is looking forward to continuing her education in 2018 through clinics, lessons, and educational programs.
Additionally, through working with Ida, Erika discovered her love of bodywork and biomechanics. She began her initial training by shadowing visiting bodywork professionals, and went on to study with chiropractor/laser therapist Dr. Daniel Kamen, and then to Equissage equine and canine massage school, with founder Mary Schreiber. From Equissage, Erika earned her Equine Sports Massage Therapist (ESMT), and Canine Certified Massage Therapist (CCMT). Through her unique study experiences, Erika has developed her bodywork business to include massage, laser therapy, as well as body and energy alignment that is customer tailored to each individual client.
In the Summer of 2014, Erika moved onto Tylord Farm in Benson, VT, where she began studying breeding from Debra Tyler, one of the premier Trakehner breeders in the United States. Under Debra’s guidance, Erika developed a knowledge of stallion handing, working with broodmare herds, handling foals, and understanding bloodlines.
The greatest asset to Westerwald Equestrian is Erika’s desire to learn, and her understanding of breeding, biomechanics of horse and rider, bodywork, and dressage. The combination of these fields of study have provided her with a unique outlook on the holistic training and strengthening of the horse and rider, taking into account the horse and rider’s physical, as well as, mental wellbeing.
While the above paragraphs speak to Erika’s experiences, they lack one crucial element of why she chose to enter the equine and animal bodywork industry. Ever since she was a small child, Erika has felt a deep connection with animals, and selecting a career that promoted the betterment and healing of animals allows her to work side-by-side in companionship with the creatures she loves. All of the services provided by Erika take into account the animal’s unique personality and well-being at all levels and stages. She believes that developing a relationship based on fear is misguided and produces a timidness in animals that squelches their inner spark. It is her goal to build a partnership based on trust, compassion, respect, and understanding to create a strong and stable foundation, upon which solid work is capable of being converted to art.