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Business Showcase
09 October,2017

Business Showcase: Introducing HippoLogic

Hello, I am Sandra Poppema, B.Sc. and I am the proud founder of HippoLogic. I connect equestrians to their inner wisdom and teach them the principles of learning, so they become confident and knowledgeable to train their own horse safely and effectively.

HippoLogic offers online coaching via Skype, courses in Equestrian goal setting and training challenges. Since HippoLogic went online I have had clients all over the world. I will tell the story how HippoLogic evolved from a rural business to an international business in the next blog.

My dream

When I was a little girl I had a very romantic view of horses. I always wanted to befriend them and train them in a non-violent way.  I used reward-based training for as long as I can remember, but to be honest it wasn’t very effective. I worked with horses the traditional way and rewarded them in ways I knew: praise, giving them a long rein to stretch their neck after an intensive exercise and once in a while a treat.


During my study Animal Management in The Netherlands I learned about the science of animal training and I discovered how to ‘measure’ my effectiveness. It was so simple and at the same time a huge eye-opener: if you get more of the desired behaviour, you are doing the right thing. If you don’t, the behaviour was not reinforced. I never approached my riding and training this way!

At the same time, I learned how I could motivate the horse with positive reinforcement (adding something pleasurable for the animal in order to strengthen behaviour ). When I started to apply these principles my riding and training became very effective!

I found an effective and fun training method

Training and riding my horse also became much more fun: I knew how to avoid frustration, I got results much faster and best of all I finally got the relationship with horses I always dreamt of.

HippoLogic’s training method brings so much clarity and understanding between horse and human that it really feels magical, even though it is all science-based. I knew I had to tell others about this and help them get the relationship and training results they longed for. That’s why I started HippoLogic.

Riding instructor

In 2007, I became a certified “Basic Instructor Dressage & Jumping” at the Royal Dutch Horse Sports Federation. In 2011 I became a Level 1 Certified Centered Riding instructor, because I wanted to learn more about the rider’s seat and how it influences the horse’s movement. Helping riders to get a balanced seat was another huge step forward in getting results quickly.

From horse trainer to coaching owners

A lot of my clients have horses with minor behavioural issues. Their horses were hard to catch in the field, difficult to halter, bridle, saddle, de-worm or trailer load. Sometimes their horses showed undesired behaviours during handling, like biting or walking away while being mounted.

This is how I started helping riders train their own horses. I see much more value in coaching a horse owner how to train their horse, than me training their horse. If I do the work, the horse will listen to me, but I am not the person working with the horse on a daily basis. What I believe horse owners really need is that their horse behaves safely around them and responds to their cues.

Sandra Poppema

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