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My name is Fenja, and I was born and raised in Germany, and lived there most of my life. I moved to Northern California late 2020 and have been here ever since.

I’ve always loved animals and science and had actually been in University studying Biology, when I decided to go into the field of equine bodywork instead.

Take the opportunity to read by story below or review my education for my information on my areas of study and expertise.

My Story

My mare continuously coming up with different kinds of (physical and behavioral) problems was one of the main reasons I decided to pursue bodywork. She was very clear in showing me that she was uncomfortable and was showing various signs of something clearly being ‘wrong’. But even after several different vets, chiropractors, acupuncturists, bringing her to a clinic to have her checked from head to toe, etc., I still wasn’t any closer to figuring out what was going on. Whatever bodywork modality I tried and/or whatever changes I made to other aspects of her life and training, things would often temporarily help, but would only last for a few days or weeks. That went on for a few years, until I finally heard of Osteopathy and tried an Osteopath instead – that was the first time I saw better and longer lasting results, and yet still, a lot of things kept coming back. I tried a few different Osteopaths and found one that put every other bodyworker into the shadows for me. She had trained at the same school I am currently doing my degree at and was finally able to help me achieve some long-lasting results and help my mare feel better overall.

By that time, I had already decided to study a few other modalities, including equine thermography and equine acupuncture, and I’m glad I did, because especially acupuncture is a wonderful extension of Osteopathy!

I was really intrigued by what that EDO® was able to do, so that same day I went online to do some research on that particular school. After that it just became a matter of figuring out how to make it happen, but I knew that was what I wanted to be doing and that I wanted to go to that school. “The Vluggen Institute for Equine Osteopathy and Education” has one branch in Southern Germany (Waldfeucht) and one in the US (Texas).

There are many schools for equine osteopathy in Germany, but most of the ones I looked at would only offer trainings that would last up to 1.5 years, nothing more. And for a lot of them, you only learned about a part of osteopathy (the parietal part) and you had to take extra courses for the visceral and cranio-sacral part of osteopathy. Which I don’t believe every one that calls themselves an equine osteopath does; hence the reason so many osteopaths I had out to treat my horse weren’t able to get to the root cause of what was going on, because they weren’t using the whole spectrum of osteopathy. Don’t get me wrong, they were definitely helping, but personally I was so sick of only being able to put band-aids on symptoms that were showing up and I wanted results that would last.


Deciding to go study at the Vluggen Institute was the best choice I could’ve made, not only in that regard. It’s a very extensive and in depth four year training to the highest standards of osteopathy. The founder of the school, Janek Vluggen, was a human Osteopath first, before he became one of the leading experts in equine osteopathy and then later creating the school. He wanted the training in equine osteopathy to be as good and to the level as human osteopathy was, which is why it is such a long and extensive training, with a lot of theory but also tons of hands-on practice.

After 4 years of intense studying at the Institute, I am now a registered Equine Osteopath EDO®.

I can easily say it is one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life so far. There were many times where I was questioning my path, didn’t believe I’d ever be able to retain all the information we needed to know and actually become an excellent osteopath. But working on and with animals, and horses especially, and seeing their responses to what osteopathy can do, makes it more than worth it. I am very glad I stuck with it so that I can continue to help many other animals find a healthier balance – both mentally and physically.

Because the psychosomatic effects on the body is something that is very important to consider, I continue to immerse myself in my own self-growth, working on my emotional well-being and wholeness, in order to be able to show up for your animal to the best of my ability.

I believe that only when we look at the animal in its entirety, including the psychosomatic side of things, its environment, its guardians, its social life, etc., do we have a chance of finding the root cause of the symptoms that your animal is showing me and addressing it fully.


Equine Osteopath EDO®, graduated from the Vluggen Institute for Equine Osteopathy and Education in July 2023 (Texas, USA) – registered with the IREO – Member of the WAEO

Certified in Equine Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture (TCM) at „Seminarzentrum Beke Lichtenberg“ (Germany) since 2019

Certified in Equine and Canine Thermography at “ Seminarzentrum Beke Lichtenberg“ (Germany) since 2019

Several Continuing Education courses in myofascial release techniques, animal psychology, different massage techniques, cranio-sacral therapy and energy work.


I will show up for you and your animal to the best of my abilities.

Full transparency and honesty are important to me when I’m there to work on your animal. And that goes both ways: I need to know the accurate history and things that have happened to safely to my job, and I will also always give you my honest feedback to the best of my knowledge about what might be going on with your horse. I am not someone to sugarcoat things, because I don’t believe that helps you or your animal.

I also want to manage expectations. While I 100% believe in Osteopathy and what it’s capable of, I’m not a magician. For some cases it might be necessary to work in conjunction with other practitioners, such as dentists, farriers, and/or vets. And often times more than one session will be necessary to be able to fully address the things that are keeping your animal out of a healthy homeostatic balance. How many sessions are necessary will also depend on your animal.

It’s very important to me that I listen to the animals feedback to what I am doing. Not just behaviorally, but also what I feel in the body and tissue. If the body is telling me it’s not ready for something I’d like to or need to do in order to address something specific, I will move that to another session. If I do something that the body isn’t ready for yet, there’s a good chance, that it will just come right back because the body wasn’t ready for it and therefore can’t maintain it.

Bottom line, I will adapt my sessions to the animals needs and what it is communicating to me – some animals will need a slower approach, while others are ok with doing a full session the first time I see them.

Often clients ask me to come because what they have tried in the past or what they are currently doing is not working, so there has to be a certain openness and willingness to change and potentially adjust some things on your part as the client and guardian of your animal. Be that in what is being fed, suppleted, or how the animal is being managed and worked.

Lastly, I can’t and won’t promise a specific outcome. My goal as an Osteopath and Equine Bodyworker is to help the animals‘ body find a healthier state of being with an ideal balance between all its different systems, so that the body’s innate ability to self-heal can function optimally.

In the words of the founder of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still: „Find it, Fix it, and leave it alone [and let nature do the rest]!“

I am a good fit for you and your animal, if....

…you are willing to work with me as a team; that means doing your part in supporting your animal to the best of your ability to bring it back into a healthier homeostatic balance.

…you are open to exploring different ways of bringing your animal back to health and potentially changing the way you are currently doing things to be able to achieve that.

…you are aware that helping your animal be as healthy as possible might require a team of different practitioners, such as dentists, farriers, saddle fitters, physiotherapists, trainers and/or vets.

…you are willing to take an honest look at what in yourself might be causing or exacerbating the issue that your animal is showing me.

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