Steigerwald.T at the EQUITANA 2019

We are on tour for you, because …

…the Equitana – one of the most important global horse fairs – will open its doors in Essen for 9 days! We are very happy to help enrich the Equitana with animal-friendly Steigerwald.Training, our equine gymnastics equipment and horse rockers.

In Hall 6 at Equimondi at booth No K29, you are welcome to hammer us with questions, try out our various horse rockers, have a chat about animal-friendly training and any other horse-related topic might be on your mind!

You can watch our live performances at the Cavallo Ring and Hall 6. You will see True Horse Agility and Medical Training with positive reinforcement. Come and see my two own horses, Frieda and Amadeus, showing that they not only have fun at work on their home turf, but also in the unfamiliar surroundings of a show ring. We will also demonstrate that positive reinforcement is an animal-friendly and effective way of training, that can be implemented with any horse – you only have to know how. You can watch us train horses of other trade fair participants that we have never met before – that will be a particularly exciting part, even for me! Thanks again to all the Facebook friends who helped find volunteers for this challenge.

In addition, I really look forward to stimulating round table discussions about dominance with regard to horses. And there will be even more. In the Horse Health Forum you can watch me talk and demonstrate the importance of the cooperation signal.

For times and places please refer to the timetable below or on the Equitana home page.

meet us at the equitana

Medical Training: Cooperation Signal

Training animal friendly

When training is about potentially unpleasant or even painful procedures and manipulations on the body of our animal, we have to be particularly attentive.

A good training plan helps to visualize the individual training steps, to observe the behavior of our animal in constant comparison, and to react accordingly. The so-called cooperation signal is a great help for humans and animals. The idea is as simple as it is powerful: Only if my animal shows the appropriate signal I will start the procedure. No cooperation signal – no execution of what my horse considers uncomfortable.

The training is clearly structured: First, I teach my horse the behavior of the cooperation signal. This might be, for example, a lowering of the head, the touching of a nose target, a neck or ground target or, as for the mare Tequila, a feach.

 

For example:

  1. The horse lowers its neck – I touch the neck for a second – the horse is holding still – click+treat
  2. Repeat five times.
  3. The horse lowers its neck – I touch the neck for 2 to 4 seconds – the horse is holding still – click+treat
  4. Repeat five times.
  5. The horse lowers its neck – I touch the neck for 2 to 4 seconds and pinch its skin a little – horse is holding still – click+treat
  6. Repeat five times.

This means I get a direct feedback from the horse after each cycle on how the horse felt about the previous cycle. As long as the horse gives the coop signal, I receive the horse’s “go” for the next step. If my horse starts to hesitate or even quits showing the coop signal, I know that I overtaxed the horse and should adapt the next training steps. After that I offer a small aid to trigger the co-op signal, go back a few steps and apply a much lower stimulus, then click and treat again. Remember: the Great Moment of Truth always comes after the treat! If the training setup was solid enough before, I can get my horse back into the game and gradually forward to the area that initially got me a “No.”

The following video is about cooperation for mounting. Please note, the mare has received no riding training before.

Dental Care for Horses

Tequila had massive dental problems, resulting in extractions. During post op care she should have had dental care including interdental cleaning and rinsing. But how to do that when the horse turns its head sideways as soon as the caring hands draw near to its mouth?

The answer is medical training.

There will be a two-step workshop at the VHS Bruchhausen-Vilsen, a theory part at the school on April 12, and a hands-on part on the Steigerwald Ranch, Ochtmannien, on April 26.

Training specialist for Equines

Joost Harenborg accompanied us at the very first seminar of the training specialist horse and captured the mood of this unique seminar format wonderfully.

Since the first series of the Training Specialist for Equines started in September, we have been proudly watching the progress of the twelve highly motivated trainers via our Facebook homework group. Now, we are looking forward to module 2 on November 25 and 26. The topic will be ‘signal control’.  We still have last-minute tickets for participants in the theoretical parts available.