Marijke de Jong's ST Academy

Mastery Student Reviews - ADVANCED RIDERS

They Did It. So Can You.

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

"High on Marijke de Jong’s Straightness Training Course
I’ve been watching Marijke de Jong’s Straightness Training (ST) program for a couple of years and finally decided to take the plunge and sign up for a course.

Wow! I’m blown away by the way it clarifies my understanding about training horses. The language and concepts in the ST program are familiar to me; I have a long history with classical dressage, beginning with training at the Potomac Horse Center in Gaithersburg, MD in the 1970’s, but the focus and clarity this course brings is welcomed.

I am doing case studies with my 5-year-old Arabian mare, Jalila, and another Arabian mare, Shiraz. Jalila’s compromises were not caused at the hand of man, but Shiraz has experienced the full brunt of misguided training and suffered both physically and mentally from it. The two are exact opposites in their needs and responses; so working with both of them is a perfect storm to enhance my learning curve."

Nancy Camp | Carey Idaho, USA

"I started the Mastery Program in January 2017. The thoroughness of the videos is incredible, the theory and explanations of exercises answered many questions I had. 

As a student and instructor of Natural Horsemanship; although I loved the philosophy, I had started to see soundness issues. Straightness Training not only helped me understand the importance of balance but I realized what I was studying would help the soundness issues.

My Haflinger and I compete in Horse Agility, and for the first 3 months, I had to give her bute for to be able to finish the monthly competition. Started using the ST methods in February and by April I was no longer giving her pain meds. We finished the year 1st in the world! Thanks Marijke, for this amazing program!"

Kim Gieseke | Brighton, USA

"Becoming an ST Mastery student has absolutely changed my WORLD…… Looking back over the last year of studies, I feel a warm fuzzy feeling of knowledge brewing inside of me. I am super excited every day to be on this journey, really… I am barely through Grade 1 in touchstones, but WOW I’ve come so far already.

The depth at which I am beginning to understand Horses, training Horses, humans and the interaction between the two is just incredible.

In the 17 years of being a horse owner, I have always felt comfortable in my day to day interaction and training…… But joining the Mastery Program has opened my world to so many new thoughts and facts.... The WHY of absolutely everything which forms the basis of our training. I could carry on chatting forever, but the absolute cherry on the top is when your horse begins to enjoy the training … and give you his input … and when you begin to recognise this…….. an amazing feeling!"

Jenni von Willich | Cullinan, South Africa

Crusader, Warmblood, gelding, 10 yo


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!"

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".

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".

"Straightness Training changed me and my horses' life - deeply, permanently and amazingly!"

Rosan Veer
Leersum, The Netherlands


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