Ines Kaiser, pictured, moved to Luxembourg in 2002
Photo: Ines Kaiser
Starting over: Working my way up in a bank to become an equi therapist
Starting over: Ines Kaiser, from Liechtenstein, has spent her life around horses. She tells Delano how, after a rewarding career in banking, she set up The Grace Approach, offering personal development and therapy, assisted by horses.
Jess Bauldry: Tell us a bit about yourself
Ines Kaiser: I moved to Luxembourg in 2002. I had the idea to change careers at the same time.
What was your career path?
I came to Luxembourg with the plan I would work for a bank for a while and be able to pay for training in what I really wanted to do: at first I wanted to be a body-oriented psychotherapist.
I began my studies in 2002, the year I came to Luxembourg. I travelled back and forth between Luxembourg and Switzerland. It was modular so I went back every two months. Luckily I had a lot of vacation in Luxembourg working in a bank. But it was hard. At the beginning I was working as an administrator in client services, I moved up the career ladder to become a team leader and more teams were added. I was a manager for several years. In the end I was in a vice president position.
Almost every year I had some type of change. I was quite dedicated to both. I didn’t plan to make a career in banking, it kind of happened. It was a brilliant experience!
I finished my studies in 2007 then I decided to continue with other courses. I finished all the supervision in 2009.
How did you get the idea to become an equi-therapist?
The idea to work with horses was already very present when I was a child. At the time there weren’t many opportunities to do so, so I moved that to the back of my mind.
Before Luxembourg I spent two years in a training stables in the south of France where I learned about horsemanship. Then, at some point, I realised a lot of people in horse training had a tendency to instrumentalise horses. It means they use the horse for their pleasure or purpose.
They were not so interested in whether the horse likes the activity they are asking it to do. I didn’t like the idea.
In 2010 the idea of working with horses grew stronger again. I became aware the field of equine-facilitated intervention for therapy had evolved enormously over the last 10 to 15 years.
Photo: Ines Kaiser
How did you make it work?
In 2009 I started to work part time at the bank, at first 80 % then 60 % in 2011 and did a course in the US, where I added the horses to the therapy work. I finished in 2012 and in 2013 I took the step and left the bank.
The horses came on board little by little. I had five and added two more in 2012, including Grace. She was the inspiration for this work.
The contact with horses can be very subtle. When I met Grace, the first time I saw her, I immediately felt the connection. When I explored further, I realised she was touching my heart. I felt that through contact with her, my heart was opening. That brought me to want to help other people experience this connection with horses.
The first year was like any start-up—at the beginning it was a bit slow. The second year I started the collaboration with a friend, who has an equi-therapy school in Luxembourg.
What’s changed since then?
It’s totally changed me. It brought me much closer to what I genuinely want to do--to work with people in an authentic way and to help people find that path as well. Through social conditioning of our society a lot of people struggle to find inspiration and something that’s meaningful to them. A lot of the time clients have burn out or depression as well as all types of personal crises.
I help them to clean up their past and free up their energy so they can create something meaningful.
I feel it’s constantly evolving. I published my first book in May, which I co-wrote with Doctor Anna Evans, who is a vet. It’s about us collaborating with our approaches.