Marijke de Jong's ST Academy

Mastery Student Case STudies

They Did It. So Can You.

Hear from Mastery Students who made their dream with their horse come true!

Video Reviews | Case STudies

From a Sway-Back to a Full 17 Hands

Patsy Devine is a professional and a Mastery Student from South Africa, and has a Friesian 14 yo gelding, called Legolas.

Legolas survived a catastrophic injury, which severed most of the intercostals along his midline, and as time passed in his healing, he developed a spectacular sway-back, so they started on a journey of Straightness Training.

Thanks to Patsy's dedication to making a positive difference for her horse, Legolas is now moving far more engaged, lifting his back to a full 17 hands.

Patsy: "ST is as much a Human discipline as it is a Horse Discipline. I really, really, really am grateful to this program. The equestrian world would be a better place if every person strived even just to accomplish Grade 1 in the ST Academy. Anyone can do it....and I repeat my first comment: If you cannot do it, all the more reason you should."

Using a Holistic and Realistic Approach

Mastery Student Gisela Marnewecke is from Cape Town, South Africa. Gisela has a background in natural horsemanship with a preference for negative reinforcement, and pressure and release techniques. Now, Gisela is doing Straightness Training using all motivation quadrants in a holistic and realistic way:

Gisela: "I can say with 100% certainty that ST will make you a better trainer. The level you reach will depend on your hard work and dedication, but even the basic levels will definitely benefit your horse training skills and therefore your horse’s overall happiness and understanding of your requests, as well as their physical balance and strength".

A Journey of Growth

Mastery student Bronwyn de Beer is based in Melbourne, Australia.

Every year, Bronwyn experiences the next layer of improvement in herself. She treats her riding arena as a laboratory, where she loves to figure things out and widens, broadens and deepens her skills, knowledge and experiences:

Bronwyn: "If you enjoy problem-solving with your horse, ST is for you!".

The Power Of Association

Founders of the ST Academy Tonie, Jenni, Ansa and Diedré are based at MooiBly Stalle in Pretoria South Africa. Ansa joined the ST Academy in 2016, the others in 2017. To fast-track their process they associate, as they believe in the African Proverb which says:

  • If you want to go fast, go alone.
  • If you want to go far, go together.

If you associate with the Founders in the ST Academy today, you do not only fast-track your process... You also get life-time access to the materials! Plus, future updates are for free! Listen what Tonie, Jenni, Ansa and Diedré have to say about that:

The Mooibly Stalle group: "To people who wonder if ST would work for them: Do it! You can't lose!"

A Re-Established Relationship

Although at the filming time, the air was full of tiny blood-sucking bugs, but the horse Lemmi still preferred to stay with his owner - Kadri Mäkishev, a Mastery Student from Estonia. In previous years, the horse would have left Kadri in quite a short of time, but thanks to Straightness Training, Kadri has been able to rebalance and re-establish the relationship with Lemmi:

Kadri: "If the English language is not your native language, you can still manage to study it, and it improves your language skills a lot. Your horse breed or conformation is also not a problem as ST is beneficial to all horses no matter what breed they are or how old they are. Even my heavier type of horse has learned to carry herself much more better than before!"

Got A Second Career Unexpectedly

Rebecca Gilbert from the UK started Straightness Training in 2010 with her horse Milly, an Irish draught cross warmblood, Irish sport horse.

Rebecca is a dentist by profession and started a second career by becoming the first international ST Instructor in 2014. In 2019, she became one of the two first B Instructors, and she's also an ST Evaluator of the very first hour.  In this career, Rebecca has helped thousands of ST students - hands-on as well as online - to breakthrough current obstacles and to get to the next levels with their horses:

Rebecca: "With Straightness Training, ordinary people & horses can start achieving extraordinary things".

From Targeted To Enjoying The Process

Samantha Aronson from Cape Town, South Africa is making a positive difference for her 19 yo gelding Bolero, a Namibian Warmblood. Samantha stopped focusing on the destination and is enjoying the process, where she's paying attention to the 2mm and enjoying when she finds them.

Samantha: "The ST program focuses on making 2mm improvements each time you train. Anyone and any horse can make tiny adjustments in the right direction on a daily basis. We  just need to meet yourself where you are and go from there. And you won’t be going at it alone! You’ll have support and guidance available from Marijke, the ST instructors, and the entire community of STudents. Go for it!".

From A Nervous To A Reliable Horse 

Sophie Robson from Scotland has two little children and three horses - the Portuguese mare Poco (8), and the Andalusians Merlie (9) and Riah (10). By working on the mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of her horses, she gained 100% trust and a great connection: 

Sophie: "I really wanted to put across that in my opinion the spiritual, emotional & mental state of the horse (& the trainer) is so important before you being to look at the physical. The enjoyment from seeing horses react to training in an uplifting way is incredible!"

Cleaning Up The Gaits

Anna Whittome from the UK has two Icelandic horses, and uses Straightness Training to help her 12 yo Icelandic mare clean up the different gaits:

Anna: "Anyone can do this, you don't have to be an experienced dressage rider or horse trainer. You just have to be prepared to commit to it, it's not easy but then nothing with high rewards is. And it's not just about horses, it has given me a wealth of knowledge about how we react and interact with everything and everyone in life in general."

Making Her Dreams Come True

Heleen Bouwman is a Mastery Student from France and made a positive difference for her 17 years old Vlex who has sidebones in his left front foot. As a child, Heleen dreamed already of having a foal one day, but she never thought she could do that and was "good enough". But thanks to the development Heleen made in the ST Academy, she bought a foal - Héros - and it’s going wonderful!

Heleen: "One of the huge benefits of the ST Academy is that you don’t only learn to train your horse and do exercises, but you become your own instructor, my own horse trainer, and that has been huge advantage for me!"

A Completely Different Horse

Straightness Training has given Kerri Stone - a Mastery Student from the UK - the tools to adjust a lot of issues, and now her horse Anton is like a completely different horse:

Kerri: "I am learning how to be a really good horse trainer, because in the Mastery Program you just get everything you need!"

Horse Back Into Full Soundness

Joanna Smith from the UK found Straightness Training because of her mare’s natural asymmetry, which made her sort of mechanically lame on one rein - and brought her back into full work and full soundness. Joanna then brought it onto her daughter’s pony who had a lot of push:

Joanna: "Since I’ve been joining the ST Academy, it has changed my relationship with my horse, but also with my family and friends. And I’ve actually changed my career, and my life because of it too!" 

Horse Given Up By The Vets Back To Work

Sarah Orr is a Mastery Student based in Scotland, and her horse Limerick had deep digital flexor tendon damage on both fores, as well as collateral ligament damage. Sarah had been told by the vets that he was unlikely to come back into full work. See how Sarah made a positive difference for not only this horse, but also for her other horse Fernando:

Sarah: "I’ve really found the program very, very helpful for me and my horses. And it has helped me in my relationships with friends, with colleagues, home life, everything. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a fabulous program!"

Meet The One That Makes You Happy!!

The one and only Rosan Veer from the Netherlands is our Customer Happiness Manager and Social Media Manager, and she's taking care of our STudents. Rosan is totally here for the happiness of our STudents and she is dedicated to serving them in the best way possible. Rosan has our STudents backs so all STudents can relax and enjoy the ride and focus on themselves and on their horses: 

Rosan: "I’m really looking forward to meeting many new students, and I feel really privileged to be able to witness their journey as well, and to be able to support them as well ,and to be able to learn from them as well. So if you are thinking about joining the ST Academy, I would really love to meet you, and I would really love to learn from you as well and to support you the best I can on your own personal journey towards mastery!"

Taking Her Yoga To Another Level

Germaine Horowitz-Vogel from South Africa is involved with yoga and has done a couple of yoga teachers' training in different yoga disciplines. By doing Straightness Training it has taken her yoga to another level, and ST feels as though she's doing yoga with her horse, achieving unification of mind, body and soul. In this video, you can see Germaine and her 11 yo Appaloosa mare called Red:

Germaine: "The ST Academy takes you on a positive enriching journey with no limitations - only amazing discovery about yourself and your horse and your relationship with your horse."

Becoming a Better Trainer and a Better Person 

Kim Alford from South Africa started Straightness Training because she had a lot of questions. The Grand Master François Robichon de la Guérinière (1688-1751) once said that “without the theory, the practice will always be uncertain” and this is how she felt as a trainer, prior to starting the Mastery Program. Now Kim has not only grown as a trainer but also as a person.

In this video, you can see Kim with her 10 yo mare Show Girl, a Lusitano/Boertperd:

Kim: "Thanks to Marijke de Jong's practise of Constant And Never-ending Improvement (CANI), the Mastery Program is always evolving, expanding and improving. New material and information is always being added giving us incredible value for our Investment. Straightness Training is for anyone who wants to improve themselves, learn how to be better horse trainers, and have a much more holistic relationship with their horses."

By Listening To Her Horses She Became A Better Trainer 

Susanne Hansen lives on an island in Denmark, and has two Lippizanian horses: Rava, a mare, born in 2002, and Maestoso Alea (Amadeus), a gelding, born in 2005.

By listening to her horses and by changing herself first, her horses changed:

Susanne: "The foundation of ST is sound and solid!!! You cannot disagree with the content. If there is something to disagree with, it will always be because of you/us not wanting to make changes...or not being able to see our own mistakes. When trusting in the process you will see things develope. You will also get valuable feedback from evaluators of your touchstones that help you to progress. So don't give up!!! Your horse will benefit a lot of your hard work!!!"

"Straightness Training Has Been A Life-Saver For Us"

Saska Struik from Calgary, Canada, has two PRE geldings: the 11 yo Don banderin, and the 10 yo Echo. Banderin showed very pushy, spooky and dominant behavior, and the bottle-fed horse Echo used to bite and attack. ST has been a live-saver for all of them, and here's Saskia's STory:

Saskia: "I encourage anyone who is looking to improve their bond with and understanding of their horse and his or her behaviour & needs better to try ST as it truly a program that would benefit anyone, regardless of what your goals are for you and your horses. You can participate fully in the program if you wish but you can also opt to use the library & evaluation program as ‘just’ a resource and learning tool to work and understand your horse and yourself, your actions and reactions better as well."

"Straightness Training Has Changed Our Lives"

This is the ST Cadence group from South Africa: Sarah Hugow, Lizelle van Vuuren, Nastalia Naude, and Astrid van der Laan - and their honorary ST member, Lisa Byers who’s from Canada.

They speak about that their horses are their teachers, the importance of practicing outside outside the arena what you want to achieve inside, and how self-mastery can be a big life-changer:

Nastalia Naude: "Through Straightness Training I’ve met amazing people and my work has improved so much with my horses and in my life personally as well".

From A Horse Blowing Up In Canter To A Brave Horse

Callie Klein's 17 year old Oldenburger mare Sasha couldn't travel well at the right canter. The horse used to be very spooky and unsure of her surroundings. But now she is more confident in her body, mind an emotions as a result of Straightness Training:

Callie: "To people who wonder if ST would work for them, or who wonder if they could do it, I would say: Just Do It! You will learn more than you ever thought possible. Your horse will thank you for it!"

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