WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — An Austrian horse instructor, who has traveled the world with some of the most renowned horse trainers, has found herself living and working in the Sunflower State.

Verena Bragg, 35, is an advanced instructor and equine trainer who specializes in Dressage, Western, and Horsemanship. She is one of the newest employees at Wichita Riding Academy, home to the largest lesson program in the area.

Courtesy: Verena Bragg

“The fortunate thing about here is it’s not just a riding school because we have boarders too, so we have so much variation in that. I can have these clinics where I can offer my own teaching and my own plans,” Bragg said.

“Her resume is very impressive. All of her certifications and experience, so that was very exciting to get somebody of that caliber here in Wichita,” said Wichita Riding Academy Owner Cheryl Manahan.

How did Bragg end up in Kansas? The simple answer is love.

“I met him online through a friends group, and we hung out more and more together. At that time, we didn’t end up together because that was a long distance, but eventually, we kept coming back, and we met each other and met again in Wichita. I traveled to his place. He traveled to mine. Later on, we decided why not try it,” she said.

Bragg and her husband now live in Derby. She works six days a week at the Wichita Riding Academy, doing private lessons and taking care of boarded horses. She is hopeful the riders she works with are learning more than riding skills.

“I would like them to find a little bit more peace when they are here,” Bragg said. “I think once they are in the state of mind where they have all these struggles at home, but once they are on a horse, it kind of goes away, so that is what I am trying to achieve a little bit more.”

KSN asked Bragg what she misses most about Austria.

“One thing that is a little hard on me coming from Austria is I am used to mountains and hiking, so that’s a little bit off, but I say the best part of Kansas is the horses,” she said.

Bragg added she was pleasantly surprised by the many lakes Kansas has to offer. She was also impressed with the horse knowledge of her co-workers.

“It’s fulfilling for me to know that somebody over here has been working with horses for so long and has the same ideas as someone from over in Austria,” she said.

Bragg and her husband hope to buy a house with a garden in the near future.