Is The ST Academy Right For Me?
The ST Academy is extraordinary, but it isn’t right for everyone.
Get answers to the most frequently asked questions, so you can make the best decision for you!
The Straightness Training (ST) Academy is an online learning program for riders who want to transform their difficult horse into a balanced horse, or want to take their partnership and work with their horse to the next levels.
The ST Academy will help you:
Training your horse requires a vision and the ability to execute on the right strategies.
Without a roadmap or guidance, the process can be overwhelming.
The ST Academy helps you do the right things and to do things right.
The program can fast-track your growth and save you years of expensive trial and error.
The ST Academy is intensive and challenging.
There are no quick fixes, magic wands, simple formulas, or guaranteed results.
We’ve got a special page for you that explains everything you get, all the course materials and the group classes, and how it works:
The power of the ST Academy does not lie in propriety videos or secret formulas. All the information you could ever need to train your horse is available for free online, right now.
As the American biologist Edward Osborne Wilson remarked: “We’re drowning in information, but starving for wisdom.”
If you’re not aware of what you need to know to train your horse — and what you don’t — all the free information in the world doesn’t help.
The ST Academy is a transformative experience. It’s action-oriented and intense. It’s not about access to secret videos or hidden information. It’s about doing the work, being seen for who you are, leveraging your unique strengths, and getting challenged to grow into your full potential.
The real value is in the skills and capabilities you’ll develop, the risks you’ll take to step out of your comfort zone, and the relationships you’ll build with your horse and your fellow Scholars.
In our humble opinion, who you’ll become as a result of completing our program is priceless.
If you plan to follow the schedule we layout for you, we recommend between 4-6 hours per week to read the manuals, watch the training, join the group classes, complete your growth assignments, and - if you'd like - engage with other Scholars and ST Instructors in the ST Community.
If you're not able to care out that much time at first, don't worry. You can easily work at your own pace, on your own schedule. Most of our students have full-time jobs or businesses and families. This experience is designed to stretch you, but it can also be customized to your life.
The more focus and dedication you put into the Scholar Program, the more you'll get out of it. But many of our students go through the program as best they can according to their own schedule.
Other factors that affect how much time you’ll need, include:
To be clear, there are no fast or guaranteed results. Training a horse is not a one month project, nor a linear event. This program mirrors the reality of horsemanship — it’s intense, time-consuming, demanding, and something you’ll work on for the rest of your life.
Good question, and just recently, we received this question:
“Does your program really does not help just people with years and years of horse training experience, but also a quite ordinary, horse in the garden type ladies and gents? That we too actually can get this to work... if we put our minds to it? There are many of us out there, you see, who watch things like this, even sign up, and by the end of the day...well, it is just another thing that will not really work, because one cannot get one’s head around it. Full of good intentions... but it does not work, even when you try. Been there, done that....”
The answer is...
The ST Academy will work GREAT for ANY kind of rider, and we believe it can help you too!
But, even though the ST Academy has been wonderfully designed to help you master the Straightness Training principles in a structured way as easily as possible...
It still requires some dedication and persistent effort on your part.
At the end of the day, YOU are the only person who can make a difference for your horse, not me, not a book, not a set of ‘how-to’ videos, not a spot in the ST Academy, not a special program….
So we're not about to insult your intelligence by telling you this Scholar Program will do the magic for you.
However, it works:
We do know riders need help with what they are struggling with or what their horses are struggling with.
So that's why we created the ST Academy.
And this ST Academy has been running strong since 2013. We’re often imitated but never duplicated.
The ST Academy is action-oriented, purpose-driven, and transformative.
We deeply care about you and your horse — our two- and four-legged students.
We’re constantly updating and improving every aspect of the program, and our Scholars get those updates free of extra charge.
Over the years, we’ve cultivated a growth-minded experience that helps you create results.
This Is What Students Have To Say
Here is what some students have shared about how the ST Academy experience is different:
"In this day and age we can get a bit cynical with all the different 'must have' 'early bird' 'sign now' etc. etc. 'best thing since sliced bread' blah, blah, blah! BUT here is the rub ST is genuinely the exception to the rule - it is the 'Real Deal' and is worth that leap of faith and diving in, taking your horse with you. You truly do get out whatever you are prepared to put in, it is not a quick fix - but it is a fix, it may not suit every human - BUT - it does suit every horse. If you are open to change, challenge and prepared to be the best human you can be for your horse - then this is moST certainly the programme for you." - Denise Jones, UK
"The Mastery program is some of the best horse educational dollars that I have ever spent. Ummm and I have spent lots of horse educational dollars! LOL The amount and volume of information is presented in an incredibly positive way. If you love detail, this is the course for you! " - Bonnie Siegel, USA
"To say the program has opened doors for me is an understatement. As an ST Mastery student, I have developed an understanding of theory that translates across all disciplines. Marijke has compiled information in such an easy to follow and structured manner. I teach university-level classes online as my primary profession, and the ST Mastery program is one of the most comprehensive and well-structured online courses I have ever seen. With the freedom to move at your own pace and lifetime access to the material, the investment pays for itself quickly." - Elizabeth Micheel, Houston, USA
There’s more free information available to more people on every imaginable subject - including horse training - than ever before in human history.
But if you’re not aware of what you need to know and what you don’t, all the free information in the world won’t help.
It’s not about access to a set of hidden videos or secret formulas. It’s about doing the work, being seen for who you are, and leveraging your unique strengths.
Putting yourself in the ST Academy means putting yourself in an environment designed to help you unleash your full potential and that of your horse.
Whether you’re a total beginner, advanced rider, or starting a new horse, look at the ST Academy reviews from our Mastery students here »
We provide three online programs to study Straightness Training:
With the Kick STart courses it works like this:
With the ST Mastery Program it works like this:
The Scholars Program is our membership:
So what’s the best choice for you?
Yes, after two years in theScholars program, you will have access to the entire library of the STclopedia with all its modules and lessons.
As a Primary, Premium, or Private Scholar you get access to this STclopedia, and to avoid overwhelm, we will serve it in bite-sized chunks in the form of monthly Mastery Lectures so you know exactly where to start and what to do next.
Many people become overwhelmed upon receiving access to all Modules of the ST Encyclopedia at once, so this is how it works:
This way, you don't get overwhelmed by all the modules, sections, lessons, videos, and manuals in the STclopedia and you never get the feeling of "getting behind".
In the ST Academy Scholars Program the decision was made to stagger the release of the Modules so that people keep up, and don't get lost along the way.
Marijke has selected the order in which to release the Mastery Modules and Lessons, so as to provide the most logical and structured way to work through the materials.
The ST Academy is geared for big-hearted horse lovers, novice riders, ambitious leisure riders, advanced horse trainers, and instructors.
It’s for committed beginners and evolving professionals who want direction, clarity, and skills.
Our scholars span over several equestrian disciplines, over 100 breeds, and across 50 countries.
And there are riders who are taking the course right along with you who have lots of problems with their horse all the way up to riders and instructors with highly trained horses. It’s really exciting to work with such a broad spectrum.
The rich range of diverse riders and horses we have in the ST Academy is one of our distinct advantages. We spent a lot of time working on this course so that it works for all of you.
The experience is designed to help you get started and to help you become the best horse trainer you can be for your horse.
The ST Academy is perfect for people who embrace our philosophy:
In the ST Academy we use our Self-Mastery P.O.W.E.R.S. which is an acronym for Perspective - Ownership – Wisdom - Essence - Response-ability - Sherlock Holmes.
Straightness Training is about teaching students to be their own independent learners and thinkers, who are then able to train their own horses.
There is a vast amount of information provided and students are encouraged to 'think first, ask later' and try and find their own answers in the material and videos before being 'given' the answer.
This has been the philosophy of our program since its inception, and through this approach we have created many highly-skilled, independent, problem-solving horse trainers.
To develop this way of thinking in our students we do not, spoon-feed them, we don't give them fish, we teach them how to fish.
In essence, everything you need is available, and a lot of the journey is about developing a 'Sherlock Holmes' mindset and working things out for yourself.
This is why we are an Academy - the journey is not easy, but it will be worthwhile!
The ST Academy is not right if you’re looking for a quick fix. Instead, it's a great fix over a long period of time.
Our program is not right for those looking for help with breaking in and getting their horse used to saddle and rider.
Our program is not right if you’re looking to market to your fellow students (such as your own tack, your private lessons, your own way of teachings). The ST Academy is a pitch-free environment.
Our program is not right if you're a member of a 'one-tool-tribe' or a 'one-concept-camp'. In ST, we avoid the extreme, we stay in green, which means, we're not against whips or pressure, nor do we favor positive reinforcement over negative reinforcement, or the other way around. We believe it's always the human behind the tool, technique, strategy, concept, framework, and approach: each will work if you do. So we do not step into the house of applying an 'avoidance' strategy, but we teach our students to use everything in an empowering way. The more tools you have in your toolkit, the more you can provide a tailor-made approach to your horse. Therefore, if you are a fundamentalist or an extremist and think the world is a nail, and you're the hammer - this experience is not right for you.
This program is not right if you hope to learn by osmosis. The ST Academy is for action-takers, researchers, and investigators who understand that real change starts from within, through constant and never-ending improvement, and with consistent, focused effort over time.
The ST Academy is not right for someone looking for a cookie cutter 'plug and play' system, as if your horse is a bicycle with hair on it where you can just push a button, and it will ring. To phrase Steinbrecht: "As long as a horse is of flesh and blood, just like with the "philosopher’s stone”, people will search in vain for a tool to make gymnastic exercises redundant.'
The ST Academy is not right for someone who likes to show off and is happy with a look-a-like. To phrase François Robichon de La Guérinière: "Practice – stripped of sound principles – is nothing more than routine that only results in a false brilliance that fascinates the demi-connoisseurs, who are often amazed by the horse’s kindness, rather than by the rider’s skill."
Our program is not for people who want to be spoon-fed and don't like to figure things out in their own laboratory - whether it's their ST lab, or their life lab, or tech lab, or whatever lab. And it's not for people who'd like to walk in the footsteps of the old grandmasters, instead, it's for riders who want to seek what they sought. Scholars are forever students and researchers for life.
Yes, the ST Academy provides a coaching program for horse lovers of all levels!
We've had students come into the Academy with no experience, ending up with several Touchstone and Grade certificates in the ST Evaluation Program. To be clear, developing your horse is not a 12-month, linear event. Our most successful total beginners have taken anywhere from several months (rare) to several years to optimize their knowledge and skills, and actualize their horse's potential.
While we can't guarantee that outcome for you, what we can say is this:
The ST Academy is ideal if you're just starting out, because it will train you to think like a horseman, and avoid many of the mistakes we make when we start training a horse. Plus, included in your tuition is a Mastery Module especially for total beginners, called Horse Training 101. It tackles some of the biggest, toughest obstacles you may be facing such as:
Horse Training 101 walks you through exactly what you need to understand, know - and most importantly - do in order to train in the right way.
Plus, if you know you're certain that you're meant to be one of the good horse trainers, there's no better environment to put yourself in than as a Scholar in the ST Academy.
In the ST Academy, there will be riders who have lots of problems with their horse all the way up to riders and instructors with highly trained horses in the program.
And we spent a lot of time working on this coaching program so that it works for all of you, whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider.
If you are an advanced rider, professional horse trainer, or riding instructor, this program will help you to take your work to the next level, and achieve extraordinary results!
This is what you get in the ST Academy:
Especially, if you are experiencing a plateau for some time, you need to adjust with 2mm at a time, because 'the devil is in the detail'. By changing your approach with 2mm at a time you'll reach the goals you’re after.
But we will start at the beginning, because we strongly believe that repetition is the mother of all skill. And even though you are starting at the beginning, you are not repeating what you already know! You are widening, deepening and broadening your knowledge, understanding, and experience in ST with the important 2mm!
And this is very important if you want to become an ST instructor.
The mission of the ST Academy is to develop:
And we'd love to have you join us!
With the ST Academy, we aim to form a group of loyal and dedicated instructors in different disciplines to the cause of improving health, joy, and beauty in working with horses based on the principles of Straightness Training.
To qualify for the admission to the International ST Instructor Program, you have to start with the ST Academy Scholars Program.
When you have passed a certain set of Touchstones in the Training Pillars groundwork, longeing, work in hand, riding, and liberty, you can be invited by Marijke de Jong personally to enroll in the international ST Instructor Program.
So if you'd like to become an ST Instructor, the first step is joining the ST Academy.
The exact steps to become an ST Instructor are as follow:
1) Join the Premium Scholar Program for at least a year.
2) Study the theory of the Mastery Program and start training your horse(s).
3) Submit Hot Seat and Breakthrough Sessions, and Touchstones through the Evaluation Program and do that in a consistent way, on a monthly basis.
4) Pass 5 Touchstones in Grade 1 to graduate on the level of Grade 1.
5) Pass another 5 Touchstones to graduate at the level of Grade 2.
6) Marijke de Jong will personally invite candidates who are on the level of Grade 2 who she thinks could be successful in helping horses and riders, growing the ST movement and running a prosperous ST practice for themselves.
So becoming an ST Instructor is not a quick fix, and how fast you can become an ST Instructor depends on the amount of hunger, heart, and hard work you put into the development of yourself as an ST trainer.
The ST Academys Scholars Program exists on its own, so it's also perfectly suitable for you if you are completely happy to work on your own progress and that of your own horse.
So if you're not interested in teaching, you don't have to teach!
If you have no ambition and aspirations in that direction, you are very welcome to school yourself into a horse trainer expert with the help of the Scholars Program.
So no matter your dreams and aspirations, you're very welcome to join the ST Academy.
We're proud to have graduates in 58 countries on all continents, from many equestrian disciplines, from all levels, and across 100+ horse breeds.
You see, one of the key principles is: ST is for the horse, the horse is not for ST!
This means, ST is beneficial to all kinds of horses - no matter what breed!
From Thoroughbreds, warmbloods, coldbloods, draught horses, sports horses, Selle Français, Frisians, Andalusians, Quarters, Icelandics, Norwegians, Lippizaners, Shetties, Arabs, Haflingers, Gypsy cobs, Welsh cobs, Paints, Appaloosas, Knabstruppers Morgans, Mustangs, Lusitanos, Foxtrotters, Saddlebreds, Boereperden, Frederiksborgers, Akhal-Tekes, Shires, Percherons, Freibergers, Highlands, Mangalarga Marchadors, Criollos, Pasu Peruano, New Forests, Connemaras, and many other breeds and mixed breeds.
Because every horse is asymmetrical by nature - in body and limbs - so we need to rebalance and him so that he can carry us in a healthy way - no matter what breed, no matter what gait.
Whatever gait you practice, from the natural gaits as the walk, trot, and canter, to the artifical gaits such as piaffe and passage, to the special gaits as the pace, tölt, marcha picada, single foot, running walk, fox trot, rack or revaal.
Your horse will be very grateful to have you as his Straightness Training coach, as he will perform all these gaits with a solid support of the hind legs instead of leaning on the fragile front legs.
Every flavor or rider is on board of the ST Academy: from newbie to ambitious leisure rider, from professional horse trainers to instructors, and riders from all kinds of equestrian disciplines such as dressage, classical riding, natural horsemanship, trail riding, western, show jumping, eventing, and trick training.
ST is really a wonderful ‘add-on’ method because it helps to rebalance your horse, no matter what breed or discipline.
With ST you can create the best possible physique for your horse, so your equine partner can do the job in the best possible way, so you can perform at your best in your own discipline!
What if you consulted the vet, the dentist, the farrier, different kinds of instructors, and it’s still not easy to ride your horse?
Well, if you have tried everything to solve your problems - such as rearing, bucking or spooky or stubborn behaviour - and got told that ‘’it must be a problem between your horse’s ears’’, then try Straightness Training!
So yes, you are welcome to join the ST Academy as a Scholar, so we can guide you to help your 'problem horse' the best you can.
Straightness Training is about 'Think First, Act Later' so it's not a problem that you don't have your own horse yet.
And perhaps you can ask the riding school to let you work with the same horse for a while. Some riding schools are really forthcoming to ST and let you practice in groundwork in your own time when it's not busy at the riding school. So perhaps there are opportunities at your riding school as well. Just ask, and you will find out.
In Straightness Training, we always start bitless to spare the mouth and to preserve the sensitivity of the mouth. Because in the beginning, most horses are a kind of stiff in the body, because of the natural asymmetry. Therefore, a bit is only introduced later on in the horse's education - but ONLY if a rider would like to. So of course, a bit isn't mandatory and if you wish to carry on bitless that is fine.
However, we're not 'against' bits, so if you're an extremist when it comes to bits make sure to check FAQ 2.2.
We range from total beginner riders to professionals, and we have well-educated horses and horses who bring along a lot of challenges. And this rich diversity of horses and authentic riders in the ST Academy are one of our distinct advantages.
No matter our age, no matter what equestrian discipline, no matter what level, we all must understand how to counteract the natural asymmetry effectively, how to rebalance our horse, and how to create a loving relationship and respectful working partnership with our horse.
Regardless of our horse, the nature of every horse is that we need to know how to bond, how to build trust, how to educate a horse, how to create understanding and motivation, how to stretch his comfort zone, how to deal with challenges that we ALL face, no one excluded, and how to turn things around and make a positive change for our horse.
So if you train horses, the ST Academy can help.
Since we have customers in over 50 different countries, unfortunately, it is impossible to serve all these countries with educational materials in their own language. But the good thing is, that I'm not a native speaker myself when it comes to English. Therefore, I use only simple words, short sentences and I speak slowly. So also for students from for example Italy, Spain, France, Brazil, Russia or whatever non-native-English speaking country you live in, the program is easy to follow. And people laugh about my 'Dunglish' expressions (Dutch + English). And we always enjoy the Swenglish, Danglish, and Genglish way of writing of our Swedish, Danish and German students. We can understand each other perfectly and feel the message and good intentions no matter what. We are not limited by perfection! So if you speak a little Franglais, Spanglish, Russlish, or another exotic English variant, you're very welcome to join the club!
No. While the majority of our students are women, we have a powerful and growing audience of male Scholars. The content is not gender specific, and everyone is welcome in the ST Academy!
We’ve had one 80+ year old student purchase his first laptop (ever) to do the program. As long as you’re hungry to learn and a researcher for life, you’ll be fine.
The ST Academy is a single membership program - meaning, one person per membership. If you’d like to do the program along with your partner, please enroll separately.
The prices differ because we offer you currency options (USD, GBP, EURO).
Since we have to make additional currency conversion and administration costs, the Dollar price and Briths Pound price are a bit higher than the price in Euros.
We get many requests for special payment plans or scholarships, and in the past, we offered those.
However, it's our experience that the dedication and effort decline once people don't have to put effort into entering the ST Academy. In the end, it's not the price, it's the value. And when something is obtained for free, it's often perceived as less valuable.
Therefore, we don't offer scholarships and special (lower) payment plans. We recommend that you save money over a period of time to be able to enroll.
In the meantime, please take advantage of everything that is available for free. You can download our free ebook, watch our free videos, read our article and blog posts.
Just click this link with an overview on where to start. And make sure to follow us on social media to be notified when we announce sales or special promotions.
For additional support, you can also join one of our public ST Facebook groups.
A lot of riders are 'the only one' doing Straightness Training in the riding arena...
Or at the barn...
Or in their home-town...
Or even in the country!
And that's the wonderful thing about the ST Academy:
You’ll reach ST experts and like-minded Academy students all across the world, but you never have to leave home!
Now there's an African Proverb that says:
So we believe in 'together is better'!
And thanks to the internet we can do great things together...
And we can get more results...
And get far!
Experience shows, that riders from all over the world really come a long way thanks to online instruction and coaching in the ST Academy.
We have riders in the US, UK, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Europe, and other parts of the world doing really well with their horses through distance learning!
Thanks to the educational videos in the ST Mastery and ST Evaluation Program you have a good visual example:
✔️ By having this good strong image, you are able to apply what you have seen, with your horse.
✔️ By repeatedly watching the videos, you are able to see what needs more attention in the training
✔️ By having the visual images, you have a good 'benchmark' guide to work to.
✔️ The videos have been carefully compiled in a clear, professional, informative manner and are very easy to follow.
And as you have seen in our FREE training, we will provide:
And this is a very powerful combo:
When you are able to 'watch' and 'read' and 'do' around a subject, the learning experience is much clearer and more deeply understood.
People learn in different ways, some learn by 'watching', others by 'reading' and others by 'doing'.
In reality, it is a blend of these in how we learn, but everyone is unique and one person may have more of a learning style dominated by watching and another by reading, others by doing.
So by providing both a video and written documents in combination with the video lessons in the ST Evaluation Program, it supports more peoples learning styles.
Because not everyone is lucky enough to have an ST Instructor who can help both rider and horse because there are not many ST Instructors around the globe yet (we are working on it!).
So in the ST Academy, you and I work together as a team in your development, whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider, towards your goal and the results you seek!
And together with all Mastery Students, we can build a world in which the vast majority of riders go home every day feeling fulfilled by training their horse!
We believe in a bright future and our ability to build it together!
Dynamic, multi-faceted, caring support is the backbone of the ST Academy. Once you join the Scholars Program, you’ll have guidance and support from a team of like-minded horse lovers in a safe and encouraging environment.
Here’s what you as a Scholar have access to:
Monthly Online Live Group Classes
In the ST Academy, you can hop on live group classes with Marijke. She’ll tackle your toughest questions and provide guidance to move you ahead. We also record our sessions so you can watch and learn at your convenience.
You can submit three videos a month, which are videos of your work with your horse, and it will be evaluated by Marijke and her team of ST Evaluators. Through coaching in the monthly group class or a written evaluation form you'll receive valuable tips, advice, and feedback on what you do well and how to tweak your work with the important 2mm. This way, you can create the best possible training habits and skills!
Support and FAQ Modules
You’ll have access to dozens of other students’ questions, along with answers from Marijke, so you’ll always have precise wisdom at your fingertips.
Customer Happiness Service
We take customer care to heart. If you have technical issues or are simply having a challenge you need help with, write us at [email protected] and we’ll take care of you as quickly as we can.
We’re proud to have one of the most active, encouraging and supportive global communities on the planet. In our private, Scholars-only Facebook Group you can share ideas, get feedback and connect with other Scholars, ST Instructors, ST Evaluators and Marijke.
In this group you’re invited to comment, post your questions and get the help you need. Often within minutes or hours, you’ll have a response!
Get Support, Give Support
You’ll have ST Instructors and experienced Scholars present in the Scholars FB Group to help answer your questions and provide guidance, encouragement and feedback during the live program. These seniors bring expertise from groundwork, longeing, work in hand, riding and liberty training. In the ST Community, you’ll never feel lost or left behind!
No worries: our ST Community is super supportive!
We have a really - really - friendly and helpful group of people who are very like-minded.
And in fact, they are the inspiration for what I share with you in the ST Academy!
So in the ST Academy, we will be working together as a group of like-minded horse lovers.
Everybody who is familiar with the ST Community will acknowledge that the atmosphere is always very positive, and constructive.
The ST Community is one of the internet’s most incredible, supportive, dynamic, and passionate community out there.
The added benefits for you working with this group is that you will be able to share your stories and challenges and successes as we go along and you will experience the benefit of a mastermind group effect.
The other students will become your supporters and friends during the coaching program and beyond.
So it will really be a magical adventure, and we’ll make it a great 'movement'!
Therefore, being part of the ST Community on Facebook gives an extra dimension to your Scholars experience.
Because in between your group classes, video lessons and mastermind sessions, you will feel the aliveness of this program on a daily basis.
That's invaluable because we know, horse training can be a lonely business especially if you are the only one doing ST out there!
The loving support of the whole ST community including the ST Instructors, ST Evaluators and Marijke is very beneficial to you because you’re getting positive help constantly and we work with you and help you genuinely.
The daily lifeline will keep you going; you'll not lose momentum!
In the ST Academy, you can receive several certificates:
When going through the ST Evaluation Program in the ST Academy, you'll have the opportunity to submit one official Touchstone a month so you can show us your work on a video.
When your work matches a certain standard, you'll pass this Touchstone and receive a Touchstone certificate.
Once you passed all Touchstones in groundwork, longeing, work in hand, riding and liberty on a certain grade, you'll receive a Grade certificate.
ST Instructor Certificate
Once you reached Grade 2 in the ST Evaluation Program, you can be invited to the ST Instructor Program. With a good result, you'll be certified as an official ST Instructor.
ST Evaluator Certificate
As an ST Instructor, you can be invited for the ST Evaluator Program. With a good result, you'll be certified as an official ST Evaluator.
Click here to hear what Mastery Students have to say about their experience with the ST Academy.