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

An Osteopath’s Look at Horse Rockers

Horse rockers & osteopathy

Gymnastics with Steigerwald equipment is a great way to promote your horse’s bodily and mental health. On Sunday, 4 November 2018, Antje Tjarks of PferdeReha Friesland will hold a workshop at Hof Steigerwald.

We will concentrate on physiologically benefical seesawing techniques, because the correct technique matters a great deal. In order to achieve the highest possible benefit for the musculoskeletal system of the horses, we need to develop a good eye for the desired muscle activities. Equally important is practical knowledge of the individual training steps, the choice of the right feeding points and, of course, exact timing.

Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Price: 60 Euros

Sign up online at our shop

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!

Heri’s recovery through horserockers

In several video clips we will cover little Heri’s story, an unbelievable recovery from severe injury.

What to do after an injury, surgery or illness when the physical skills need to be restored?

Specific physiotherapy not only helps people, it is first choice for horses, too, in order to regain bodily health. With the two-year old Islandic horse Heri I experienced first-hand how incredibly powerful such training can be.

Heri was born in May 2015. At only 4 months he suffered from a severe accident in the pasture on his right hind leg. Deep injuries and extensive scar tissue on the tubular bone prevented a proper diagnosis with imaging methods.  For several months the foal stood on only three legs. At the age of seven months Heri contracts a strangles infection. Following the infection, he was out-fitted with a hoof boot to help him using his left hind leg. At twelve months he was castrated in order to more easily integrate him into a herd of quiet mares.

At that time, he made only little use of his hind leg, putting only very limited weight on it, and his movement pattern was badly restricted. His motoric skills were disturbingly underdeveloped because of muscle weakness, bad coordination, and limited balance. Because of his massive physical handicap he cannot integrate into the herd. The following twelve months fail to see any improvement despite the intensive care of his owner and further physiotherapy. Heri started to show signs of emotional stress and isolation, loosing his vitality.

Heri was considered incurable, and in the spring 2017 his owners Juliane Uhlig and Steffen Baumann of Tempelhof asked themselves, if a life without constant suffering still could be achieved for Heri, or if they were forced to put him down for mercy’s sake. Then, by sheer luck, Juliane and I got into contact and talked about poor Heri’s fate.

On April 12, 2017, Heri moved to the Steigerwald Ranch for ten weeks of therapeutic training. With the aim of improving his muscle condition, coordination and balance I chose a couple of specific training equipment for him: the whole-body rocker, the 3-Meter rocker, the rotary disk and the horse stepper.  Later in his training we added the balance beam in order to train his deep sensibility. He mastered all these training devices with enthusiasm and zest.

The turning point in his therapy came with training with positive reinforcement, giving him full control over his body and situation, moving from success to success with the added benefit of earning tasty titbits for his efforts. My wealth of experience in behavioural analysis provided a key element in determining the optimal training path for each horse in my care.

At the end of June 2017 and daily training sessions of only 20 minutes Heri was not the same horse anymore. Through consequent training his skills have immensely improved. The highly successful physio training helped Heri to catch up bodily with youngsters of the same age, and he gained a new zest for life through a newly developed body awareness and trust in his own motoric skills.

In my own small horse community at the Steigerwald Ranch I see with incredible joy that Heri acts and lives like any other “normal” two-year old. Therefore, he will be able to return home at the end of the month. I wish him all the very best.

Photos and video by Nina Steigerwald