From the
Basics up to
Haute École

“It is lightness which truly defines equestrian art and simultaneously shows the rider who has mastered it the true scope of his talents.” Nuno Oliveira

Free to move in lightness –
The Franco-Iberian tradition 
of Légèreté

Riding is a wonderful passion that can develop the body and mind of both rider and horse. Based on the methods of the Franco-Iberian tradition of “Légèreté”, the training leads to a dialogue with the horse in “freedom on a word of honour”.

A solid knowledge of physiology, anatomy, biomechanics (including the important rotations of the spine), behaviour, psychology and pedagogics forms the basis of the training, which is built up systematically and successively. Exercises are not fixed but chosen flexibly and very conscientiously, adapted to the respective strengths and weaknesses of horse and rider. As a result, the horse is gymnasticized very thoroughly and effectively.

The method excludes using training aids or any means of coercion. The concept as a whole is characterised by a high degree of mindfulness, precision as well as a good combination of feeling and technique. Parameters such as balance, relaxation and impulsion are meaningfully coordinated and adjusted to match any situation.

As the key to the weight-carrying ability of the horse, appropriate work in collection secures the horse’s wellbeing and health well into old age. Harmonious dressage training is the principal factor that ensures or restores organic health and emotional balance. A veterinarian should not be a regular visitor but an occasional guest.

Marialva  *27*
Happy Birthday!

Marialva – healthy and lively at a ripe old age through correct training!   

In order to develop its weight-carrying ability, the horse must be guided into collection. Then it will remain completely fit, motivated and strong!

My new film series shows how this can be achieved:

My services –
training from the basics
up to Haute École

My program is aimed at all horse riders and owners who are genuinely interested in delving more deeply into training methods, and who are willing to work on their own abilities. Equally, it is open to all horses, irrespective of breed, age or training level.

It is particularly suitable for trainers, because the concept is extremely logical and didactically clear, as well as being completely oriented towards the horse itself. Despite this systematic structure, the training is always adapted to the individual horse, which allows horse and rider to solve their problems very effectively and experience real progress. Passionate dressage riders who are seeking support to advance their work are also more than welcome.

Since the emphasis is on the satisfaction and health of all individuals involved, training routines are selected according to the physical and mental characteristics of horse and rider.

Offers on site at Gronauer Hof, Bad Vilbel:
!! No external clinics or riding lessons !!

  • Riding lessons on your horse
  • Staying as a guest rider with your horse
  • Work in hand and on the lunge with your horse
  • Demonstration and explanation of the system with my horses

Lectures, evening theory sessions, presentations of books and films: upon request

Films & Learning Material

“The quality of movement makes all the difference!
It’s all about the ‘how’ of an exercise to be mastered with slowness and voluntariness.” Sonja Weber

Sonja Weber has schooled horses, riders, and trainers in the tradition of lightness near Frankfurt/Main, Germany, for more than 20 years.
“From the basics up to high school work”, keeping the horse healthy represents the key concern of the training.

My books for
strong & healthy horses

My books continuously appear on the bestseller lists!

The book vividly illustrates why collection is so crucial to the well-being of a ridden horse. It explains the factors essential to guiding the horse into the vertical: collection and coordination of all physical as well as mental energy, mobilisation, correct position, balance, elasticity, development of the shock-absorbing power of forehand and hindquarters, and the stabilisation of the back. The book includes a detailed critical analysis of the teachings of old masters and a stimulating discussion of modern scientific insights. …

This book explores the potential of the classical work in hand as a fundamental, exemplary tool in the schooling of the horse.

The work in hand serves to collect the horse as well as to improve its strength and weight-carrying ability in order to keep it healthy under saddle. The book explains what collection means and how it can be achieved through practical exercises. It also elaborates on important principles in the schooling of the ridden horse and contains a critical discussion of the concept of working the horse forwards-downwards. …

Here you can order the books and find further publications:

Out now: The film
based on my books

The film series “Riding in Collection for Healthy Horses and Lightness” is based on my successful books. Just like the eponymous book, the series is divided into theory and practice. Parts 1 and 2 introduce the factors crucial to collection and provide a definition of the term. Parts 3, 4 and 5 illustrate through a range of exercises how the theory can be put into practice. The films comprise work in hand, on the lunge and under saddle. They provide detailed guidance on how to put this knowledge to use, explaining both the exercises and the correct aids.
By working your horse in collection and thus improving its weight-carrying ability, you can keep it healthy well into old age!

After buying the films, you have unlimited access to all material with your individual login details.

Here you can find and order the films:

What my teachers
& students