Technical paper by Finn Lux: Facial expressions and expressive behaviour of horses

Can you read your horse’s facial expressions?

Technical article by Finn Lux

This is a question I have been dealing with a lot in the last few years. In fact, the study “investigating equestrians’ perceptions of horse happiness” by Tanja Bornmann (2021) showed that 93% of the riders surveyed falsely described stressed horses as happy.

Personally, I was shocked by these figures. At the same time, in my everyday life as a trainer, I unfortunately actually see mostly horses with stress facial expressions or pain fuses. Be it in the boarding business, on the showground or in the local children’s riding school.

Horse face with happy facial expression
Horse face with happy facial expression

Unlike dogs or cats, for example, horses have no sound for pain. As prey animals, they also try not to show it. This is because an ailing horse would be the first to be attacked by the predator. If a horse is lame, it can therefore be assumed that it has been suffering from pain for a much longer time, but has been able to hide it successfully so far.

For our domesticated horses, this means that we humans often do not even notice that they are not well and train over their needs. Horses are often labelled as lazy, bitchy or stubborn without recognising the actual cause of their undesirable behaviour.

Pain face on a horse in the pasture
Pain face on a horse in the pasture

Basically, I first assume that riders and horse owners love their animals and do not want to harm them. Therefore, I see the problem in a lack of education and it is a project close to my heart to change something about it. To spread knowledge based on scientific facts without criticising individuals.

Much more, I would like to offer help for self-help. I want to give horse people the knowledge they need to recognise that a horse is not doing well. What they then do with this knowledge is up to each reader.

This is how my e-book “Mimic and Expressive Behaviour of Horses” came into being, which I published at the end of January 2023.

E-book on the expression behaviour of horses
E-book on the expression behaviour of horses

Orders by e-mail to:

Please include name and billing address

Cost: 20€

Format: PDF with 60 pages and over 120 colour photos

E-book on the expression behaviour of horses
E-book on the expression behaviour of horses

Orders by e-mail to:

Please include name and billing address

Cost: 20€

Format: PDF with 60 pages and over 120 colour photos

I also clear up the issue of concentration in my book. Concentration is often used as a justification for recognisable tension in a horse’s face, but in fact it hardly shows at all in the horse’s facial expression. Only the alignment of eyes and ears as sensory organs reveal what a horse is concentrating on at the moment.

Tense chewing muscles, flared nostrils, worry lines over the eyes, earlobes pressed against the base of the skull … All of what is often called a concentrated facial expression by trainers and riders is actually an expression of stress, pain and discomfort.

Stress face of a ridden horse
Stress face of a ridden horse
Stress face of a ridden horse
Stress face of a ridden horse
Stress face of a ridden horse
Stress face of a ridden horse
Stress face of a ridden horse
Stress face of a ridden horse

Another problem I see is that the social media, but also photo calendars or posters in the children’s room predominantly depict stressed horses. Why is that? Obviously, the sight of a relaxed, happy horse is too boring for us. Does it always have to be action? Higher, faster, further?

The result: we get used to what we see all the time. Our brain stores the stressed facial expressions as normal and we no longer even notice a horse’s discomfort.

I wish I could encourage more people to question. Perhaps in the future you will consider what you base your assertion on when you say or think that a horse is just fine. What scientifically proven facts confirm this hypothesis?

After all, we all want one thing: for both rider and horse to have fun.

I would like to thank Finn very much for this important contribution to our blog! Even or especially because it can be uncomfortable for many horse owners to face up to it (93%!) and say goodbye to old beliefs, this topic really deserves our attention, because we all want the best for our horses after all.

Technical paper on carrying weakness by Karin Kattwinkel

How good is your horse’s back? Is it strong enough for the rider’s weight or tired and weak?

Article by horse health trainer Karin Kattwinkel (Dipl. Ing. agr.)

Have you ever asked yourself whether your horse can really carry you? And if so, how long without suffering damage? Are horses actually strong enough by nature to carry a rider?

Certainly not the latter. Because they are “constructed” by nature as grazing animals without a load on their backs. Because their food was originally quite low in energy (steppe grass) and they had to move many kilometres day in, day out to get their fill and find water, they carry more than half of their own weight without having to use muscle power thanks to the neck-back ligament system and some ingenious details in the skeleton. The longer and lower the neck is carried (grazing posture), the less effort is required. In this posture, more than half of the rider’s weight is carried without muscular effort. But also the wide forward stride of the hindquarters makes it easier to carry the rider’s own weight (and also that of the rider). That is why forward-downward riding and skilful driving towards the bit are guarantors for healthy riding horse backs. Unfortunately, you see them less and less.

Pulling” in the front and “stabbing” in the back is just as damaging as “riding without contact”. 

Where ambitious sport riders and imitators pull the horse’s neck short and the nose behind the vertical, the horse’s back is definitely tense. But many recreational riders who deliberately do not want to make these mistakes are also harming their horses. Long riding on a loose rein and/or too little driving also makes the horse’s back tired.

Many horses get into a state of weakness at a young age because they have already been loaded with rider’s weight during unfavourable growth phases and had to “walk on the reins”. Then you buy this old burden with them, so to speak. Most horses do not get out of this condition on their own.

Horse model with low withers
Horse model with low withers

Young horse in overbuilt growth phase or also stretcher exhausted horse – in both the rump lies low and the croup appears higher than the withers. (Photo and model: Ralf Döringshoff)

Horse model with raised torso/withers
Horse model with raised torso/withers

Condition with raised torso/withers – this is the only way to activate the abdominal muscles! (Photo and model: Ralf Döringshoff)

Horse model with low withers
Horse model with low withers

Young horse in overbuilt growth phase or also stretcher exhausted horse – in both the rump lies low and the croup appears higher than the withers. (Photo and model: Ralf Döringshoff)

Horse model with raised torso/withers
Horse model with raised torso/withers

Condition with raised torso/withers – this is the only way to activate the abdominal muscles! (Photo and model: Ralf Döringshoff)

How to recognise carrying weakness

This is when the chest and back sag downwards. This overloads the chest muscles and overstretches the neck muscles. The shoulder blade muscles tense to achieve stability. The croup muscles pull to lift the back from behind. The hindquarter muscles (trouser muscles) pull to stabilise the pelvis. They are often overdeveloped. Often the carrying weakness is associated with blockages in the base of the neck and the neck joints. It is often caused by improper and too early breaking in.

Other or additional causes can be

  • Too heavy a rider
  • Too much weight of the horse itself (pasture belly, pregnancy)
  • Riding for too long for the horse’s current state of training
  • Too short and/or always the same rein measure
  • Use of short and/or rigid auxiliary reins
  • Clamping saddle
  • Clamping rider
  • Active rearing with the hand
  • Disharmonious hoof balance
  • Pain in the legs/hooves
  • Lack of impulsion from behind (hindquarters do not go under)


What to do when the horse’s back is tired?

Any measures that reduce the pressure on the back, allow the back to stretch, stimulate the abdominal and thoracic muscles to work again and activate the hindquarters are helpful.

These include:

  • Working freely or on the lunge line without a saddle and without a girth at a brisk pace (after the warm-up phase) with many transitions between gaits and at the pace of each gait.
  • Initially work only on large lines
  • Include cavaletti and small jumps
  • Extensive walks in the countryside or as a hand horse
  • Circus lessons: Bowing, complimenting, platform work (only front legs on platform, important: mount with low head)
  • Work on the hand: Shoulder in at a walk alternating with voltes
  • At the earliest in 3 months, cautious re-start (light, well seated rider, optimally fitting saddle, lots of cross-country – uphill and downhill, calm cantering)
Schematic representation of the torso muscles
Schematic representation of the torso muscles

Schematic representation of the suspension of the thorax between the front legs/shoulders (Graphic: Ralf Döringshoff and Peter Selbach)

Schematic representation of trunk muscles with weak load-bearing capacity
Schematic representation of trunk muscles with weak load-bearing capacity

Suspension of the thorax in the state of carrying weakness (Graphic: Ralf Döringshoff and Peter Selbach)

Schematic representation of the torso muscles
Schematic representation of the torso muscles

Schematic representation of the suspension of the thorax between the front legs/shoulders (Graphic: Ralf Döringshoff and Peter Selbach)

Schematic representation of trunk muscles with weak load-bearing capacity
Schematic representation of trunk muscles with weak load-bearing capacity

Suspension of the thorax in the state of carrying weakness (Graphic: Ralf Döringshoff and Peter Selbach)

Horse with markings of skeleton and musculature
Horse with markings of skeleton and musculature

red: m. serratus (neck part and thorax part), yellow: long hyoid muscle and neck part of the m. longissimus, grey: scapula and upper arm (Photo: Peter Selbach)

Rocking helps: By rocking back and forth on the seesaw, many tensions are released and the coordination of the muscles improves. It is a varied exercise for horses.

Longitudinal rocking strengthens the ventral muscle chain and relaxes the topline.
Lateral rocking strengthens the thoracic and thorax stabilising muscles.
The build-up phase should be accompanied by physiotherapeutic exercises such as lengthening the topline via tail traction, lifting the belly via provocation with the fingers along the abdominal seam, closing the hindquarters in stance as well as circus lessons such as bowing or standing with the front legs on a platform while eating from the ground.

More info on this and many other topics at Recordings of the webinar series “Raus aus der Trageschwäche” as well as the hybrid calendars with step-by-step plan for therapy and training including instruction videos
FB group “Raus aus der Trageschwäche”.

I would like to thank Karin very much for this important and informative contribution to our blog! It is such a significant topic and really deserves our attention in training.

If you want to offer your horse exceptional deep muscle training, mobilisation and fun rehab (or prevention!), we have another very special offer for you here: The Steigerwald.Trainer for horse rocking will start soon. Here you will learn from the beginnings to the challenging lessons how to use the horse rocker in an optimal and versatile way for health maintenance, rehabilitation training and muscle building. I will accompany you and your horse individually and closely, which is why places are limited, so take your chance and invest in your horse’s health!

Comprehensive online health course with horse seesaw

In February, the Steigerwald. T seesaw trainer starts as an online course. It is suitable for everyone who wants to take this wonderful full-body workout to a really good level with their horse.

A lot has happened since I invented skid rockers for horses in 2014. Initially dismissed as a crank or a gimmick, more and more horse people are becoming aware of horse rockers.

The advantages are manifold! For example, you can train regardless of ground conditions. The arena is muddy or frozen? No problem with the right Steigerwald.T rocker frame. Are the horseflies pestering you and your horse outside? Train indoors. The small space requirement of a horse rocker compared to what you need for riding, lunging or manual work is a real plus.

In addition, training with horse rockers is suitable for all age groups. A young horse easily and playfully learns to know and consciously move its body. Not everyone can offer their horse varied trails. If it lives on an average paddock and a “normal” horse pasture, sensorimotor stimuli are missing. However, these are important for the development and maintenance of a good body feeling.

A large part of the health problems of horses is related to the musculoskeletal system. Training with horse rockers makes an important contribution to prevention and is used very successfully in rehabilitation.

Recently, a veterinarian reported that horses in the brine chamber on the seesaw are much better at sliming down. Rocker training not only has a positive effect on the musculoskeletal system, but also influences the internal organs. These are partly “suspended” from the spine by fasciae and are gently massaged and activated during rocking.

But how do you get there with your horse? As always in life and in training, many roads lead to Rome and I would like to make it possible for all horse lovers to find out and successfully follow the path that suits their horse with the rocker trainer online course. The biggest challenges are beautiful, flowing rocker wapps and correct hank flexion for the advanced riders.

You can expect the following contents:

  • Prerequisites: Politeness, walk along, stop, stay
  • Moving with feed points
  • single steps forward and backward
  • Moving hooves manually (modelling)
  • Tail and nose target
  • Walk on limited ground
  • Reduce padding and stabilisation
  • Create luffing movements
  • Transitions to independent rocking
  • Extending independent activity to the target: Ten flowing teeter-totter bends
  • Two-legged bob for the forehand
  • Two-legged rocker for the hindquarters

An all-round carefree package! Simply everything you need for a healthy and sound training with a horse from the beginning up to the really demanding lessons.

You’ve already bought an existing webinar on rocker training and you’re not sure how much is new? Don’t worry, for one thing: This course is much more comprehensive and special: I personally coach you and your horse on your way. On the other hand: All purchasers of an existing webinar on seesaw training will receive the full purchase price credited to the online course!

Not all details have been finalised yet. However, it is certain that we will limit the number of participants so that I can coach you individually. So if you already know that this is the right thing for you and your horse, take the chance and secure your place for more health and joy of movement: Steigerwald. T seesaw trainer as an online course

Back activity on the horse rocker
Back activity on the horse rocker

Steigerwald.T New Year’s Eve Challenge: Impulses and their control

Does your pet also suffer on New Year’s Eve? Do the unfortunate noise, the light stimuli and the stench trigger strong fear reactions in him? I have repeatedly read on Facebook about fatal colic or injuries at the turn of the year.

The good news is that this does not have to happen! You have a good deal of control over preparing your beloved four-legged friend for this event with its terrifying effects. Back in 2019, I launched the New Year’s Eve Challenge. Through the training of at least thirty different acoustic, visual and also olfactory stimuli, our animals learn that it is not so bad after all. On the contrary, through so-called operant conditioning, your pet may even have pleasant feelings when it hisses and bangs. This is because, unlike methods such as “pooping out”, the reactions of the animals are taken into account.

New Year's Eve Challenge - relaxed into the new year
New Year's Eve Challenge - relaxed into the new year

The procedure is as simple as it is captivating: You wave a balloon, for example. When your dog, horse or cat stays relaxed on the spot or lies down, you click and give him a little bit of food. Through the number of repetitions, the idea of “Wow, that’s worth it!” builds up in the brain. The perceived stimulus becomes an announcer of something good.

Now, of course, your pet may immediately flee at the sight of a wildly wiggling balloon and you may not even get around to rewarding holding still. Then the key is to reduce the stimulus. You can do this by putting more distance between you and him or, in this example, simply holding the balloon up. Believe me, there is always a distance at which your animal can control its impulse to move away from the stimulus. You can find out exactly how to do this in the Challenge webinar.

You don’t have to set off fireworks to train fireworks either. The Challenge process leads to generalisation. With sufficient variability and quantity of stimuli, your animal will put the firecracker in a drawer with everything that you have linked as pleasant in the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve through targeted training.

New Year's Eve Challenge with dogs- relaxed into the new year
New Year's Eve Challenge with dogs- relaxed into the new year

It is said that behaviour is driven by its consequences. In the wild, our animals would move as far away as possible from fireworks because the consequence of flight is relief. And it is more than understandable that they want that relief so badly. As a self-confessed country bumpkin, I can only confirm this. But what if the relief cannot come because a fence or the walls of the home prevent escape? Faintness and fear are the result, the impulse to flee looks for another way, the animal is helplessly at the mercy of its fear and does not know what to do with itself.
Through intensive training, you offer alternatives to escape and help your animal to see the “civilised” world differently. Create pleasant consequences for relaxed reactions to a variety of stimuli. Always increase them so that your animal can still say “yes!” and accompany it on the path to self-efficacy.

Register here for the Steigerwald.T New Year’s Eve Challenge and receive valuable tips for your training and the support you need to give your pet a relaxed start to the new year.

New Year's Eve Challenge with horses- relaxed into the new year
New Year's Eve Challenge with horses- relaxed into the new year

And while we’re on the subject of giving gifts: I really care about the well-being of all animals, so of course I will reward your efforts for your darling! See “Special Callenge Bonus”.

What we can learn from chickens for horse and dog training

Why on earth would you train chickens?

Participants in our courses often receive a mixture of amused disbelief, coupled with scepticism as to whether this person is not taking their love of animals too far. Yet everyone who has had the opportunity to train with chickens knows: they are incredibly good teachers and train our interaction with other animal species bluntly and precisely!

We have different ways and possibilities of communicating and interacting with animals. Let’s look at the level of behaviour: What do humans want collies and cobs, huskies and Hanoverians, dachshunds and tinkers to behave and move together?

Words usually don’t get us anywhere at the beginning. So the human being does something, he moves in order to achieve a reaction from his animal counterpart. If this reaction is a desired one, your animal will learn over time what is worthwhile and what is not. The more precisely you can make your “requests” to your animal, the more likely you are to get answers that please you. Chickens, because of their speed, help you to distinguish right from wrong promptly. So you are more likely to be able to fine-tune your behaviour to your animal’s responses. The speed also results in a high repetition rate, which also means: many opportunities to improve. To see, decide and react more quickly.

Clicked chicken on the little seesaw
Clicked chicken on the little seesaw

In addition, there is the missing cuddle factor with chickens. Everyone is much more attentive with a foreign species and an unknown counterpart because you don’t fall into the “old married couple knows how the other one ticks” trap. Transfer the attention you have gained for small signals to your animal in everyday interactions and you will be amazed at how much better you can understand your horse or dog! And you will also be understood and perceived by them.

The chicken modules were developed decades ago by the great Bob Bailey and his wife. I am happy and grateful to have learned so much about learning as a participant with Viviane Theby at the Scheuerhof and to be able to pass on this knowledge today.

Two horses bobbing in front of the mountain landscape of southern France
Two horses bobbing in front of the mountain landscape of southern France

One of my passions that grew out of the chicken seminars is horse bobbing training. Equipped with the theoretical and practical skills from these seminars, it was suddenly possible for me to work out unusual, small and fine movements. The results and effects on the musculoskeletal system will convince any osteopath, riding instructor or physiotherapist. You too can teach your horse or dog what is good for it and what inspires you.

The pony Wolfang climbs on the 2 metre seesaw
The pony Wolfang climbs on the 2 metre seesaw

Start your entry into a completely new dimension of training now: Module 1 with the topics “Timing, Criteria, Reward Rate” will take place near Göttingen from 07 to 11 October 2022. There are still a few places available! Take advantage of the rare opportunity that I have to travel back to Germany for a few courses and register for Chicken Module 1 in the Steigerwald.T online shop.

Cooperation in medical training

nina horse injection coopertation

Today I would like to explain the topic of cooperation with horses in medical training and give you an insight into this form of training.

What does cooperation mean in dealing & training with horses?

“Uncertainty and helplessness versus self-determination”.

In many situations in everyday life with our horses we depend on the cooperation, trust and participation of our horses. In the life of a horse there are some scary or frightening moments and unknown situations. A very special unpleasant and difficult situation for many horses is the treatment at the vet.

It is tied up, possibly in pain. You, as his confidant, are agitated. In addition, there is the veterinarian, whose presence has often been associated with less than pleasant experiences for your horse in the past.

Your horse finds himself in a situation where he knows that he is in for acutely unpleasant measures and possibly also pain. The tension level rises and with it the stress hormones. Your horse’s instinctive behavior would be to flee or fight back. However, the more tense the muscles, the more intensely it will feel pain. Your horse is stuck in a vicious circle and the horse’s brain stores the situation under the heading “acutely bad”. Consequently, in the future, when it thinks it perceives indications of a comparable situation, it will react with defensiveness from the outset.

An animal-friendly way out of this vicious circle is to give your horse a say and control over the course of a treatment. In this way, he can actively give you his “okay”, knowing full well that it may become uncomfortable in a moment.

Your horse gets a say & self-determination and is willing to cooperate with you and the veterinarian. In other words, it cooperates and actively collaborates.

What goals do you achieve with this?

When we have worked out this willingness to cooperate in the horse, many fear and fright moments for your horse can be avoided. He does not store the visit & treatment of the veterinarian negatively and a possibly before always necessary sedation or nose brake is no longer necessary.

The bottom line is that everyone involved wins: your horse regains its self-determination, you gain more security and a smooth process, the vet gains an enormous reduction in workload and everyone together gains much more confidence in dealing with each other.

In addition, medical training does wonders for the relationship between you and your horse. Please have a look at this blog Medical Training works wonders in the relationship.

How you can develop this willingness to cooperate in your horse?

For exactly this development of cooperation and self-determination there is the so-called “Medical Training”. I have developed a whole training concept for horse owners, trainers, veterinarians and other professionals in the equine field.

This training is especially focused on health care and veterinary situations. You will learn methods to practice certain scary and frightening situations like the injection, a worming treatment, etc. and take away your horse’s fear of them.

In my Steigerwald.T -Online Academy, you will find a variety of educational content in the form of webinars under the section Medical Training.

With which you can build and develop this cooperation!

In medical training we work with cooperation signals.

A cooperation signal is a behavior established through reward learning that gives you information about your horse’s willingness to endure and even actively cooperate with subsequent manipulations.

The main use for cooperation signals is in the area of grooming or medical procedures. They enable your horse to control the course of such measures.

Thanks to the self-efficacy thus achieved and the positive link established through the training path, your horse can learn to endure the often uncomfortable, unpleasant or even painful procedures in the treatment in a calm and relaxed manner.

Examples of cooperation signals include assuming a certain posture or performing body targets with or without aids.

The most commonly chosen cooperation signals include:

  • the basic position
  • a hoof target (ground target)
  • lower jaw target on a cooperator (see photo)
  • stationary nose target
horse cooperation

There are many other cooperation signals, supporting tools and exercises in medical training.

If you want to learn more about Medical Training and get a taste of it, I have something for you in my store. The free webinar “Introduction Medical Training”.

In this webinar with me and veterinarian Samantha Krost-Reuhl, you will learn about the basics of medical training as well as the contents of the Steigerwald.T Medical Trainer training. In addition to the theoretical background, you will get an overview of the various possibilities of application on the horse as well as first ideas for your training at home.

In order to deepen and concretize these first ideas for the training as well as for your concrete questions, there will be the live webinar Cooperation in (Medical) Training | Live Webinar on 12.07.2022 at 19:30. Here you can register directly.

Variety in training with horse rockers – The rotary plate

With this blog I would like to introduce you to the Steigerwald.T turntable as well as its advantages for health-promoting horse rocker training.

A Steigerwald.T horse rocker in round or oval offers endless training possibilities for a full-body workout.

I have been using this innovative therapy aid and training device for many years. My very first turntable consisted of the edge of an old wagon wheel on which I had screwed planks and a rubber mat. From the bottom there was a stable screw supported by a hemisphere.

The second was made from an old cable drum from civil engineering 😅. In the meantime, we have practical and more manageable ones at our Steigerwald.T horse rocker shop.

On it, every movement opens up new incentives for more health through conscious movement. Fitness, mobility, safety – the turntable offers endless possibilities.

The charm lies in the variable simulation of tilting movements, which provoke corresponding balancing movements. A turntable can be used in as many ways as few other gymnastic equipment for horses.

  • Trains the deep muscles as well as the core muscles in the abdomen and back
  • Improves strength endurance
  • Develops cognitive and sensory-motor skills
  • Improves coordination skills and thus surefootedness
  • Strengthens concentration
  • Creates flexibility in the brain through new movement patterns
  • Perfect physical preparation for trailer rides
Variety in training with horse rocker

You should definitely introduce your horse to instability in small steps. After all, it has to cognitively process what you want from it. On the other hand, the many small muscles along the spine have to get used to their new task.

As preparation and for the introduction, I recommend my course “Starting with seesaw training” and then, building on this, the live webinar on training with the turntable on 30.05.2022.

In training you can encourage your horse with several options after getting used to it:

The compass needle: Your horse turns on the spot. Hoof by hoof, it finds its footing on the limited surface – or not, as each repositioning changes the entire balance structure. In this way, it learns to move on a small, unstable surface and to stabilize itself at the same time.

The rocker: Due to the absence of runners, you only have to be careful that there are no unsightly pock-pock impact moments. But if your horse stands on only one half of the turntable, you can train nice, even swinging back and forth. The same applies to rocking from left to right.

The king’s way: Your horse shifts his weight from the back to the front, to the right, to the back, to the left, to the front again… And this in a fluid loop, so that part of the outer edge always keeps contact with the ground and there are no floating moments. None of mine have got that far yet. But you have to have goals too 😉 .

The Shaker: Through a hula-hoop-like movement coming from the entire torso, the plate rotates a bit on its hemisphere. The plate is in a hover for a moment, but moves to one side. The longer the shake provides the rotational movement, the better.

The Buddhist: Your horse keeps the plate in balance as long as possible so that the outer edge does not touch the ground.

In this video you can see different training options with the turntable.

Would you like to teach your horse these highly interesting movements? The live webinar for the brand new training will already take place on 30.05.2022 at 19:30. Secure your place and register here.

The Motionclick Trainer Network

The Motionclick Trainer Network

Growing together with horses

My colleague Sylvia Czarnecki has launched an initiative: The Motionclick Trainer Network. It is an initiative for trainings based on positive reinforcement as well as for non-violent horse training.

With this we want to contribute to the spread of non-violent training.

“Clicking” is so much more than using a clicker and stuffing the horse with treats 😉

In particular, the network is intended to help people looking for qualified trainers and continuing education opportunities. On the Motionclick Trainer Network page, you also have the option to search for a qualified trainer in your area.

The quality of the trainers is ensured through an admission process based on the Motionclick network guidelines.

Our goal and vision is to promote the understanding of methods based on scientific evidence as well as to make knowledge about these training methods easily accessible and centrally available.

Have you always wanted to learn or start learning about these training methodologies? But you didn’t have the time, or a suitable trainer or information was missing? Or maybe you just want to have a look at the topic?

Terms like “feed point”; “reward rate”, “operant conditioning” you might have heard before but had no idea what they mean in training with horses?

For that, we members of the Motionclick Trainer Network have started an info series on Facebook and Instagram.

Technical terms simply explained. From April 1 to 17, we will explain important technical terms from clicker training in a short and crisp way.

With the series “Technical terms of clicker training simply explained”, you will receive a special technical term from clicker training explained by qualified trainers every day. Since every day a different trainer from the Motionclick trainer network explains a technical term, you have the opportunity to get to know the trainers of the network at the same time.

Through this series of “clicker training terms” and the content of the trainers, you get the opportunity to get a taste of the methodology and training forms, to acquire knowledge in “small bites” and to integrate them directly into your everyday life with your horse, to try them out or to test them.

Here you get high quality knowledge and this for free. So join us and follow us on Facebook and / or Instagram.

And if you should have missed a day, this is not bad. You can also read all the terms or contributions in the aftermath.

On April 18, we’ll wrap it all up with a podcast episode of fair.strength – positive solutions for training with your horse, where we’ll summarize all the terms once again.

We are very happy to offer you with this initiative the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with the training form of positivev reinforcement.

Steigerwald.T Seesaw-Trainer

Frieda on the the horse seesaw

The enthusiasm for horse seesaws is growing at an impressive pace. The many positive effects on a wide variety of horses and ponies mean that more and more equids are enjoying the benefits of a rocker. The Steigerwald.T seesaw models can be used in many different ways: Even simply stepping on or over them promotes the work of the deep muscles and is a real challenge for the coordination skills. However, if you want to achieve the best for your horse, it is worth working towards independent, flowing “seesaws”. This activity strengthens the muscles and, most importantly, gently softens the fascia. To do this, your horse shifts its weight rhythmically back and forth. And please do all this without bending the joints or using the neck.
Teeter training is complex, training teeter-totters requires good timing and a certain amount of practice. And this is where the Steigerwald.T seesaw trainers come into play: they guide you and your horse to muscle training with fun and understanding. To receive the certificate, practical participation on a weekend at Hof Steigerwald is a prerequisite. On both days, all participants train with horses of different levels of knowledge. From stepping on a confined surface to first instability, creating rocking movements, independent rocking wapps to Hanken flexion, everything is included. So you not only get a comprehensive picture of the structure and procedures in teeter-totter training, you also learn practically which pitfalls to avoid and what to change if things don’t go as planned. And that is quite often the case with horses in real life ? .
Then it’s a matter of training two “journeyman horses” and documenting the training by video and writing. Regine Witten from Plus-R Pferdtraining met the challenge with flying colours with two Icelandic mares. You can find the training sequences for 10 bobbing wapps for a click as well as from the first step to the hank bend on Youtube.
This year, Simone Mender from Simones Pferdetraining and Nadine Senekowitsch from Positv Fairstärkt have fulfilled the requirements and help interested and committed people train with the horse seesaws. We are very happy that even more horses will be able to enjoy seesaw training and congratulate them!