Horse Seesaws: Which size fits?

What are the questions that horse people who are concerned with sensible gymnastics through seesaw training ask? Of course, a lot is about how to get the horse to move on the seesaw in such a way that his musculoskeletal system gets the greatest possible benefit from it. But before the beautiful muscles can sprout, the right size of seesaw has to be chosen. In our seesaw shop

we offer the so-called full-body seesaws. We created the name because, on the one hand, the whole horse’s body is trained on it and, on the other hand, there is usually not much more space on such a seesaw than for a whole horse’s body.
In the seesaw shop there is a size finder that is based on the horse’s stature, but I would like to address a few other important factors.
An easily measurable parameter for the right horse rocker is the so-called “wheelbase.” There are square and rectangular types of horses, which come in different lengths for the same stick size.
To determine the wheelbase, I recommend the following procedure: You stop your horse from moving and measure the length from the tip of the front hoof to the ball of the equilateral hind hoof. Then let your horse walk a few steps, stop again and measure again. After five measurements, take the cut and find the length your horse needs for full body rocking.

Now, many equids often lie exactly on the border between two rocker sizes. We offer them in 1000, 1250, 1500 and 2000 millimetres length in the footprint. This is also the reason for the product designations, e.g. T-1500 of the Steigerwald.T horse saddles.
What if your horse has a wheelbase of 160 centimetres? Of course it can also bob nicely on a Steigerwald.T- 1500, if it puts itself together a bit there. But it can only bob in this way, because there is simply not enough room for all the other positions. The particularly beneficial effect of the loose swinging on muscles, fasciae, tendons, ligaments and joints cannot be achieved in this way. The reason for this is that your horse has to build up and maintain a certain tension in order to be able to stay on the reduced and unstable support surface at all. The stretching, relieving component of the “teeter-totter” movement is therefore considerably less.
Of course, the “rocking mountain goat” is a great workout and a real eye-catcher especially for people who find it hard to believe that you can get horses on such training equipment at all. Anyone who has ever sat on a horse’s back and felt the different types of seesaws will confirm that there is a lot of tension in the whole body when it pushes itself together on the little horse seesaw.
That’s why I recommend a larger size when choosing a horse rocker. You can place your horse sometimes more open, sometimes more closed, sometimes slightly sawhorse-like like a rocking horse, sometimes more at the front end, sometimes more at the back end of the seesaw. And then you have a much greater variance in the strain on the muscles.
Then, of course, there is the question of how old your horse is, or whether he has physical problems such as spavin or problems with his spine. In this case it makes sense to make the task easier for such a candidate.
Especially stepping on the seesaw is easier if there is more space. This also applies to horse-human teams that do not have much experience with ground work or clicker training. An experienced trainer can set the horse tricky tasks such as a shire on a two-legged see-saw with fewer mistakes and more success.

If the seesaw is to be used more on a trail and for riding over, the T-2000 is a good choice. Due to the longer overhang, it has a fixed end for stepping on and off. This allows horses that need to balance the rider in addition to their own body to move safely into instability. It is approved for up to 800 kilos in wood and up to 1000 kilos in stainless steel and can also be managed by less experienced teams with a little practice.
After all, gymnastics training should be gymnastics with fun! If the tasks are easy to understand and manage, especially at the beginning, the joy is greater on both sides. In the Steigerwald.T Online Academy you can find great webinars on seesaw training (LINK) and there are now some seesaw trainers who can help with questions.
But back to the size of the seesaw. Horses are known to be herd animals and it is possible that several horses share a rocker. The following applies here: Smaller equids can move any size of see-saw, my two Shetty geldings with their 100 and 105 centimetres of stature and 102 and 98 centimeters wheelbase respectively can move all horse seesaws well up to the T-3000. If you have a pony with a wheelbase of 115 centimetres, for example, it will be able to perform versatile seesaw training on a T-1500 or T-2000. A big advantage of a larger footprint horse rocker is that you can rock up and down together with your horse. There are three variations:
1. you let yourself move and let your horse do all the work.
2. you move your horse. This is wonderful for loosening up his muscles and strengthens your hindquarters 😉
3. you find a common groove of alternating activity and passivity. A wonderful way to move together with your horse!
There is no right and wrong, every seesaw moves differently, every hoof length change in position changes the whole balance structure. For transport, I always recommend using a handcart. This is a good way to move all the seesaws from A to B on your own and is easy on the back.
Whichever seesaw you choose and whichever one you are already using, enjoy the valuable training time you spend together with your horse!

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.

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!

Customer Feedback of Rocking Trainer Workshop 2019

Horse-rockers make you happy, and your horse, too.

I have often had the opportunity to look Nina Steigerwald, a pioneer of horse agility and gymnastics with horses, over the shoulder. So, I was all the more pleased that she devoted a whole weekend to a special workshop for holistic gymnastic training and therapy for horses with her special horse rockers.

The participants could familiarize themselves with the topic in advance, learning from two highly informative, free-of-charge webinars about whole-body and two-legged horse rockers and the necessary background knowledge.

Ernst Ferstl puts it in a nutshell when he states that

“The difference between theory and practice is in practice is much higher than in theory.”

That’s why most of the course took place on the well-equipped Steigerwald.T-Agility-Parcours with its numerable possibilities to train horses according to their current performance level. Five guest horses with none to medium rocker experience, from a 3-year-old mini Shetty to a 26-year-old Icelandic horse benefitted from two instructive and animal-friendly training days.

Rocking Trainer 2019

Ready, steady, go – rock! Of course, it was not quite that easy. For safety and physiological reasons, you first need to lay a solid foundation and develop movement and balance competence in the horse. Courteous waiting, safely mounting a limited space (mat) with all 4 (or 2) hooves on signal, correct axle alignment, shifting the center of gravity with firm hoof-ground contact, and again, safely dismounting from the mat are minimum requirements. We used several different types of gymnastic mats. As soon as a horse has mastered these basics it is ready to take on a rocker.

Starting with a fully stabilized rocker, the tilt angle was gradually increased. Even through the thick winter pelts of the Nordic races, it was easy to see how much the muscles and balance of the horses were challenged even by the slightest increase in instability.

Nina’s novel workshop concept of “speed dating training” was well received: all participants, regardless of their prior experience, became an active part of every training step. In each training session each of the participants trained for 5 minutes under the expert guidance of Nina. During this time, the bystanders were able to observe and receive valuable information on how individual coaching decisions directly affected the target behavior and, in addition, they assisted the coach by concentrating on the entire horse and help with valuable observations. Between change of coaches, the status quo was analyzed and the next training steps were planned to promote each horse individually, without overtaxing the animal.

Rocking Trainer 2019

One of the central elements in training health-promoting horse rocking is the so-called feeding point, which encourages the horse to make appropriate movements without physical or psychological pressure. This also requires some physical fitness of the trainers to be able to lure the horse into appropriately helpful positions. At the same time, a high level of alertness and lightning-fast decisions are crucial. The motto is “Click the horse and not the rocker”. The goal is either a dynamic rocking motion with a slight forward-downward stretch or initiating the rocking movement by a flexing of the haunches with plenty of abdominal muscle activity and appropriate top-line in order for a physiologically helpful joint, muscles and the nervous system stimulation.
Nina demonstrated with her own horses how these movements should look in perfection.

Particularly impressive was the development of Shetland Pony Wolfgang. I had been able to observe the very beginnings of his rocking career in the summer of 2018. Now the little guy proved a professional rocking specialist. He proudly presented a nearly perfect school halt to the amazed spectators, perfect with arched back, clearly set haunches and good load bearing. It was fantastic to see such a high performance level without the use of pressure or auxiliary reins, and have fun instead of stress.

One of the many highlights of this weekend was the opportunity to get on a rocker with a professionally trained horse and feel the rocking movements first-hand.
And even without horses, the numerous gymnastic equipment repeatedly invited people to climb onto them and find out how much balance, coordination and muscle activity is required on such a device, and how the joints are gently mobilized at the same time. There’s no experience like first-hand experience, is there?

This instructive and very motivating workshop was rounded off by wonderfully sunny spring weather and culinary delights from the farm’s kitchen. Of course, the traditional pancakes and the liqueur made from eggs from the farm’s own clicker-trained chickens were part of the show as well.

Discount campaign for the Weekend

Einladung zum Tag der offenen Türvisit Steigerwald.T

My wonderful husband has just uploaded our promotional campaign: We have a training equipment sale on the occasion of our Open House day! Visit our webshop at and order your favorite seesaw for your horse. If you pick it up in person while spending some agreeable and informative hours at our ranch, you will save the shipping costs as well. Wouldn’t that be nice?

The weather is perfect, so come and see us in Ochtmannien!