My name is Marijke de Jong, founder of Straightness Training and the Straightness Training Academy. I am from the Netherlands but live in Portugal together with my partner in life and business Marc Marsman, and I coach ST Instructors across the world who are specialists in Straightness Training (ST).
In the past, I've trained many horses for other people, but there are two drawbacks concerning that approach:
Because remember this story:
One day, an old master looked at a young lady, and he said:
"If l took your horse in about 3 months, l would have him looking a bit like mine.
But if you took my horse in less than half an hour, you could have my horse looking like yours!
So who's the better trainer?!"
Therefore, I decided not to focus on training horses, but on training their trainers.
And to create leverage, we founded the international ST Academy back in 2014.
The ST Academy aims to form a worldwide group of horse trainers and instructors to the cause of improving health, joy, and beauty in working with horses based on the principles of Straightness Training.
A group of loyal and dedicated horse trainers and professional instructors:
✔ who can at all times avoid unnecessary suffering, by addressing the natural asymmetry in the body of their horse.
✔ who can take care of the mental, emotional and spiritual needs of their horse.
✔ who are able to create an amazing relationship with their horse.
✔ who can lead a magnificent life together with their horses!
Now Straightness training is so much more than simply dressage.
It is a joy to travel this path all the way up to an exercise like levade, which I find the summum of Straightness Training so far. In this exercise, the horse carries all his weight – and that of the rider – on his hind legs only.
To be able to do all this with my horse Maestro (Dutch Warmblood, born 1994) is wonderful.
Maestro was once a horse that was misunderstood by humans and who did not understand what he was supposed to do at all.
But we have traveled such a long road, we found what needed to be found, and we enjoy our performances in art together now!
And what an absolute privilege it is to share my journey with the amazing ST Community nowadays to help other riders turn things around for their horse and reach much higher levels.
I’m blessed to share my experiences with all of you through the internet which is available on this magnificent planet!
It all started in 2004, where I began to share my thoughts, insights, and experience through online videos, eBooks, articles, memberships, and clinics - first in Dutch, and as of 2009 also in English.
This way I could warn people for the dangers of the often unrecognized natural asymmetry. And I could teach about the meaning and usefulness of the various gymnastic Straightness Training exercises to rebalance a horse.
With our international website, we served riders anywhere in the world who wanted to discover everything about natural asymmetry and Straightness Training in order to help their horse flourish in body, mind, heart, and soul.
But it was not enough.
The great demand for education and training in Straightness Training inspired us to create the ST Academy which now has thousands of members across the world.
It is truly an unforgettable opportunity to connect with different cultures and such a diversity of wonderful horse-lovers all over this planet!
And I’m honored to meet such kind and inspiring riders in the ST Academy!
Plus, through the help of the ST Instructors and ST Evaluators, we now can help thousands of riders and horses worldwide in over 50 countries!
And we'd love 💕to have you join us!
Thank you for choosing to follow along, thanks for your support, and for being an active participant in our mission to transform lives around the world!