Marijke de Jong's ST Academy

They Did It. So Can You.

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

Reviews From Mastery Students From Europe

"I started as a hobby rider at a stable where horses were being ridden using NH basics. Later I noticed that at this place I would not be able to develop, that I want something more.

Then I bought Lady Dee. In the beginning, she looked easy to work with and ride. But then she quickly realized that I’m a beginner with horses and become hard for me to ride, so I was looking for interesting exercises for groundwork and found ST Mastery.

There aren't enough words to say how useful it was and how helpful it is! This systematic and well organized educational system helps us to reach goals one by one. But it's not only an educational system, but it is also a philosophy of horse well being and a great and supportive community of horse lovers.

Lady Dee now is more relaxed, self-confident, balanced, happier and we can even ride dressage tests with calmness and good self-carriage.

ST has helped numerous horses in our yard! Horses who never pick up one lead in canter now can make lead changes, all horses become calmer and turn from worms to beautiful butterflies. Horses become more supple and smart! And also strong and athletic. Thank You!"

Gita Andersone | Riga, Latvia

Lady Dee, Latvian Warmblood, mare, 13 yo

"The Mastery Program has made a big impact on my attitude to horse training. A huge amount of theory, manuals, examples, tips, everyday FB mottos, support, and chats is unique. Unlike working with trainers, visiting all kind of seminars, reading books and then returning to old manners this program really enables to become a better horse trainer and as extra bonus becoming a better version of oneself. The program is so complex that now affects my relationship with all living beings around me. 

ST has brought me to many disclosures. Finally, I have grasped the truth that I have to change from inside out to change the outcomes. The more I think about it the more I know all is what lies in my head. The more I try to be calm, grounded, patient and giving, the more my horse thrives. It can be a challenging process indeed, but, after one year of ST experience, I know for sure it is the right direction.

Thank you team ST for helping me so much with my horse training and for making my days bright!"

Ivana Kovaříková | Prague, Czech Republic

Spotty Doc Chex, APH x Belarussian, gelding, 8 yo

"The Mastery Program definitely made me a better horse trainer but also a better person.

Chapter 1 in the ST Academy brought me a huge amount of tools to understand why we are doing what we are doing and how to be able to work on your leadership, your communication, your state of mind, etc. etc. It gave me a huge self-confidence boost.

With that boost, I was able to help my horse get so much stronger in his back and more supple in his body. He starts to carry me with pride, and I finally have felt how it is when my horse pushes his back up and uses his body in a healthy way.

I also was able to help a rescue race-horse to become proud and stronger, emotional and physical. And because of this boost of self-confidence, I made my little-girl-dream come true: I bought a foal for the first time of my life at the age of 56, to have him growing up here, with me!!"

Heleen van Tongeren-Bouman | Gan, France 

Vlex, Dutch Warmblood (KWPN), gelding, 16 yo

I joined the Mastery Program after a year in the starters course. I have to say that it has been life-changing. I expected an online course to show me the a, b, c of horse training, use this rein here, stand here, etc. What I did not expect was the self-mastery, the development of me and the different parts of me. I have had to look internally and discover the truth about myself and my life so far, where it is now and how I want it to be in the future. Through ST, I have developed emotionally, physically and surprising to me, spiritually. I have made enormous changes to my life since joining Mastery, changing my job, starting my dream business and turning away from competitive horsemanship for the benefit of my horse and me. I found ST to address my mares asymmetry, so she would be more balanced in body and limbs. I now have a sound horse, who is growing in confidence and who I look forward to sharing my life with. With Mastery the impossible has been made possible!! Recently my 7-year-old daughter has been joining me with our sessions. She has always sat on my mare during groundwork, but now she is keen to learn how to do ST with both my mare and also her pony."
Joanna Smith | Leicester, UK

Lottie, Connemara, mare, 8 yo

"The Mastery Program has made it possible for me to connect with my horse in the way that I have always wanted to do. Before I started my ST journey I was doing dressage for 40 years, and al the time somewhere in me felt, that it wasn't completely right. Now everything that I do with my horse makes so much sense. I love the way ST respects the intelligence of the horse and the allover wish to ask the horse to "play" with us, not demand. I can feel both me and my horse change and grow during our journey, both in body, spirit, and mind and that I take this change with me in all other things that I do in life, which is really interesting! Also I love all the pictures and little sayings that we use in ST like: "Fall in love with the process", "2mm", "can't pull on the grass to make it grow faster" and "chase one rabbit at the time" It makes such nice pictures in my head, and they make so much sense."

Hanne Friberg | Chalottelund, Denmark

Bucefalo xxxv, PRE, gelding, 9 yo

"The Mastery Program is so complete, it's so much, that I can't describe it in a few words. All the information from Marijke give me big AHA moments, especially the “WHYs “ of all exercises. My horses and I are both so much more in balance: we could not have achieved that without ST, no doubt about that!"
Imke Smit |Ootmarsum, Netherlands

Jack L, gelding, 4 yo

"It’s one word! GREAT!!! Great to have the tools to work, great to have the community that give you input and good wishes and positive feeling, and great that the horses learn so fast when you have a better plan. It's great to be part of the program!"

Julia Vögl | Vienna, Austria

Chivas and I take it step by step at our pace and use Mastery as an encyclopedia. I watch, see, learn and understand what I need to think about and what and how my horse and I need to work next.”

Sonja Gustavsson | Mjölby, Sweden

Chivas, gelding, 9 yo

"I  can honestly say I have enjoyed every minute of the program. The biggest difference for myself is the education of training and understanding horses. Something I have never experienced before, I have always felt other training from elsewhere has been lacking, I have always come away with more questions than answers, but the Mastery Program has given me those answers and more, and I am still learning. Because of the new skills I have learned and the greater deeper understanding of all things horses plus the changes to my own self I now have a wonderful relationship with my horse, I don't think my horse has changed her personality, but because I understand her she is now a relaxed, happy horse.”

Gilly Prime | Staffs, UK

Ellie May, mare, 21 yo

"The Mastery Program makes a huge difference for me and my so-called 'problem' thoroughbred mare.

It has opened my eyes to training horses - both from having better connection and communication with my horse and also from the biomechanics point of view.

Following the program content me and my mare have been changing from the very beginning, and our relationship has been getting much much deeper and closer. Not mentioning the impact on her body condition!

ST also helped us during recovery after a surgery of my mare. The results of the rehab surprised even our vet :)"

Ela Pryka | Krakow Poland

Elite, TB, mare, 15 yo

"The Mastery Program has benefited both my horse, Casino, and me more than I could ever have imagined. Ever since I was a kid, I have been around horses and got used to the phrases "difficult rein," "stiff side," etc., but never really understood why or what I could do to help the horse. It was what it was.

Fast forward many years when I bought myself a large, leggy, wonky donkey, that didn't know he had a back end, was a nightmare to lunge, and felt like he was bucking on every stride in canter. So it was time to get to the bottom of what was going on and see how I could help him out.

Facebook read my mind and up popped Straightness Training in my news feed. Hmmm, what's this? I checked out the website, read the free ebook, went along to a clinic as a spectator, and I was sold - this was definitely for me!

I signed up for the starters course not long after, then the Mastery Program 6 months later. I admit I dipped in and out to begin with, but that was me and my self-mastery that I was struggling with due to personal issues. Now it's safe to say the differences in us both speak for themselves. ST rocks!”

Sharon Richards | Buckinghamshire, UK

Casino, gelding, 9 yo

The Mastery Program helped me to become a focused trainer of my pony, knowing how to read and change (!) the behavior of it, to understand the biomechanics and the WHY beyond the exercises. It`s an amazing collection of insights, frameworks, and philosophy and it shows the way to (self-)mastery. So it is a great help to become a better horse trainer but also become a better wife and mum. The Mastery Program is a wonderful instrument to create growth, connection on a high level of quality and collection of unique moments with the partner horse. I do now understand, how and why horses (or people) react the way they do and that way I can react with much more patience. Since the day I started the Mastery Program, every single moment with my pony had a clear purpose, and with that focus, it was much more fun, and I achieved a quality of harmony, I only dreamed of before.”

Simone Reindl | Gondelsheim, Germany

Malinn, Norwegian, mare, 14 yo

"The Mastery Program came into my life at the perfect moment - when I was 5 months pregnant. I couldn't ride, but I could walk next to my horse. it kept us both fit. And if you can't walk anymore next to your horse, you can do liberty.So I would say if you are pregnant and don´t know what to do, or think about selling your horse or paying someone else to ride. DON´T. Do ST, and your horse will love you.

This program has changed me more than my horses. It is not about making my horse better - making him/her to piaffe or tempo change - it is becoming a better version of yourself. It is more than a way to teach a horse. I love it. I have adapted some thoughts into my everyday life with my child and mate, like: Let's not go there (redirect); Think first, act later; 5R combination (release, reward, relax, repeat and redirect); and so on.

When I look at my horses, they are more at ease, relaxed and motivated. Using the 5R combination my gelding (12 years old), who has been afraid of jumping and obstacles, he started jumping. First at liberty and then with a girl in the saddle. Without hesitation.

After 20 years together, my mare was lying down in the paddock, and I could, for the first time ever go to her and hug her. Took pictures. I cried of joy. She was mentally balanced. She didn´t stand up. She stayed as she was. This is my highlight of this year!"
Anu Marrak |Kambja Vald, Estonia

Karmen, mare, 22 yo

"The Mastery Program has made a big change in my daily training with my horses."

Solvej Lyngby Pedersen - Vejle, Denmark



"The Mastery Program has deepened and broadened my knowledge about training horses, physically and mentally."

Susanne Hansen | Læsø,

"The Mastery Program has taken my horsemanship skills to a level that was beyond my imagination."

Liz Keen | Devizes, United Kingdom

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:

"For my new Icelandic horses I was looking for a holistic horse training - and I found the Mastery Program! What an enrichment!

I, who has only been able to drive on the field for 30 years, has now been given insights and careful instructions for groundwork, longeing, work in hand, riding and liberty training.

My initial fear that I understand too little because everything in English quickly fades - I'm learning by doing it.
To dive deeper into ST, I occasionally organize an ST class and other horse friends, and I practice the ST details with ST Instructor Carolin Moldenhauer.

I embrace ST, which not only brings much to my horse but also with which I personally develop and pay attention to my mental and physical fitness."

Nadja Schmid | Bubikon, Switzerland

Glóð frá Syðri-Hofdölum, Icelandic, mare, 10 yo

"The Mastery Program has turned a Dobbin into a proud athletic 'Dressage' horse - who shines from the inside out. A very kind ex-trekker - that was totally uncoordinated, shut down and introverted has now blossomed into a horse that wants to work, learn, engage, and communicate.

For me, it has shown me the tools to actually DO something for my horses NOT TO them. It has given me the confidence to experiment. It has extended way beyond the STable into my own personal development, and I have achieved so much more than I ever thought possible.

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 program for you."
Denise Jones | Abergavenny, UK

My Laddie, Gypsy horse, gelding, 18 yo

"I can say that by joining the Mastery Program turned the whole new page in my life. The amount of theoretical and practical material is huge, I have learned a lot. It has given knowledge about horses, their needs, behavior, learning skills, how to train them by maintaining their personal character and good relationship between the rider and the horse during the training process.

But what I personally value the most in this program is the part of human psychology. How we communicate with each other, with animals, how to obtain a better mindset, emotions, and thoughts, how to move towards our goals. I can say that for me, the horse training part is a pure bonus in this program!

After training my horse with the principles of ST for more than 1,5 years, I can say that my horse has become much more balanced mentally and physically. I can easily understand her behavior when something is out of balance. Of course, we have had several plateaus during the training process, but when you get there, you have a lot of theoretical material and practical videos to dig into and find a proper solution.”

Kadri Mäkišev | Põltsamaa, Estonia

Lemmi, Tori, mare, 6 yo

"The Mastery Programme is teaching me how to work towards being an independent horse trainer, and the theory helped me understand the biomechanics and essence behind the exercises. It has given me the tools, skills, and encouragement necessary to figure out how to achieve things for myself, seeing the training as a ‘laboratory’ rather than learning mechanically. By learning how to assess your horse’s natural asymmetry and focusing on the simple exercises first, you can see the changes that happen even when you are just starting out; this encourages you to go wider and deeper into the programme to develop your skills. The changes I see in my ‘ordinary’ gypsy pony since we started the programme together are awesome. I started ST to help him with his physical issues, and he has improved beyond measure, feeling and looking taller as he’s developed his muscles and carriage and feeling so much better to ride. He is able to do things I would never have known how to teach him without ST, and he really loves thinking about what he’s doing during his sessions. Best of all, he is developing into a proud and independent spirit."

Kerri Stone | Thirsk, UK

Anton, Gypsy Cob, gelding, 8 yo

"With ST I learned about the WHY! To let the communication with the horse arise with inner picture and feeling before ST, I got " look-alikes" because the essences of exercises I could not transfer from books and other videos. Now I am aware that a tiny movement of the center of mass can not only disturb the balance of the physical body but lead to emotional and mental unbalance, too. And best of all, I can influence this center of mass! It's about becoming the best trainer you can be, and I really feel the difference in my family life, the bond to my horse has grown so much - it's not just about riding concepts but life-changing. More than words can describe!”

Wiebke Rudolf | Bretten, Germany

Jonna, Norwegian horse, mare, 7 yo

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."

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!"

This Program Has Helped Riders Just Like You

"The Mastery Program was very cautiously purchased by me. Having limited money to spend on my ponies through my life, always wanting to keep them well, happy and fulfilled... this has been my priority over competition and gear, which all my friends and acquaintances have pursued, with even more cost and in many cases, produced frustration ... an ugly sight in many cases. The Mastery Program, however, has been a complete breath of fresh air... because, at last, the horse has come first, I feel my passion is supported, and the fresh air has come from the patient and enduring, ceaseless help to nurture the horse to be within the partnership....not an appendage.”

Sally Lugg | Belper, United Kingdom


"In the Mastery Program I found the answer to many, many questions and uncertainties. The more I study the program, watch and observe the many easy to understand videos, the better our communication gets. I am learning so much about having an 'inner feeling' when teaching and exercising, it changed my approach toward horses, and they go for it. It's great!"

Sabine Nussbaum | Ostuni, Italy


“The Mastery Program for me is the missing link between my horsemanship and the shaping of the body of the horse. It gives me a perfect manual to finally understand the way of body training with the horse not against it. Before knowing this program, I had to search for little pieces of information in different books, but could not find a complete overview and content like this.”  

Katja Thieme | Cologne, Germany


"I fell on this program online and being curious clicked on the link for the Mini Mastery Program. I was addicted instantly and was amazed at what I have seen before me. The knowledge, layout and truly professional. Nothing was hidden and all the answers where there to be found. I decided to use my 8 yr old homebred TB stallion as my mastery horse. Even though broken in and very lightly ridden away I felt that he and I needed the help. He had become very dominant and unsettled through lots of moves and was becoming increasingly difficult. To the point where I could hardly work him on the right rein at all. This was resulting in sessions of bolt upright rears, spinning on to the other rein and generally being unethical. My first year of ST mastery has been amazing. If its mastery you want its mastery you get!!! The journey so far has tort me so much. My knowledge i is now much wider and deeper in understanding and the program keeps encouraging you to dig deeper. I can now deal with bitey, pushy horses, help and encourage their mental behaviour. I now can help a horse to physically improve and fix a problem as it arises. Tipsy is now a much-balanced horse both physically and mentally.”

Liz Groves | Faulkland, UK

“When I started the Mastery Program, I had a semi-crippled big 17.2hh Irish Sports horse - my best buddy but injured. And a vet writes off with DDFT damage and collateral ligament damage to both fores. I was just starting to reintroduce very light work when I started ST, and it seemed perfect for him, although he did find it hard at first. I also had a spirited, stress bunny, rising 7, warmblood cross gelding who came to me with many many emotional issues. He could be ridden and handled, but it was not a pleasure. He was very high headed, nappy and unbalanced and really quite weak both physically and mentally. I have been working both horses through the program, but Fernando the warmblood has been my Mastery Evaluation horse and has taught me many lessons along the way! Well, it is now two challenging, exhilarating and fabulous years later and I now have two stunning and highly motivated, sound and happy horses. I cannot believe how much this training program has enriched my life, not just with the amazing improvements to my relationships with my horses, but also in the way I can take some of the Mastery training philosophy and apply it to my work and home life and it has made me overall a much happier person.”  

Sarah Orr | Fife, United Kingdom

"I was looking for information on how to develop my mare's body in a way that would help her have a healthy and happy life as a riding horse. A friend sent me a link to the Mini-Mastery course, and when I learned that there is a magic button to teach my horse to do hunches-in from the ground. I run to see if it worked and it did! I signed up for The Mastery Program right then and have been amazed by the effectiveness of the program. A few months after we started, friends and strangers began asking me what I was doing that Aaghie looked so great. I was a little surprised because I felt that I was just fumbling around, trying to figure things out and yet horseman and woman were seeing wonderful development in her muscles and self-carriage. Aaghie's development is really my testimonial to The Mastery Program. I also love that there is an emphasis on a conversation with our horses through various modalities. We shape their bodies and influence their minds in groundwork, longing, work in hand, riding and then test it all at liberty. This variety keeps things interesting and engaging for me and my very clever mare as we take on more and more technical feats. My mare and I are excited about our future possibilities!"

Zuzanna Poprawski | Malibu, United States

"I started the Mastery Program after seeing the fantastic changes that were happening with Punktur my first horse. What I didn't realise at the time was the incredible impact it would have on my second horse Teddy. Teddy came into my life as a severely lame, physically broken horse, despite previous extensive treatment. Thanks to my ST Instructor's encouragement, help and support, we started working with Teddy. The changes in him physically have been amazing, and I now have a sound, athletic and willing horse. All because we have been addressing his natural asymmetry, helping him to find balance and put less weight on his delicate front legs. I have had to delve deep into the Mastery Program to find some of the answers I needed, but the answers have always been there. Mastery is a fully encompassing program that has given me than I dreamed possible. It's given me skills, knowledge, and a calmer, willing and capable horse. Since starting ST, I've become excited about Teddy's future and what we can achieve."

Helen Wallis | Marlborough, United Kingdom

"I joined the Mastery Program in 2014 and immediately immersed myself in the theoretical modules of the online program. I found these to be some of the most enlightening articles on horsemanship and the biomechanics of the horse's movement that I had ever come across. I finally (after many years of searching) had found an approach that, I felt, truly addressed both the physical and mental aspects of working with horses in such a way that they were not only educated but also benefitted on a number of levels from the training. I was so excited and completely sold on ST! Then, when I started with the practical training, my horses improved in strength and flexibility quite quickly and began to exhibit a softness and lightness which I found completely addictive. Fast forward another 1.5 years, and I am both enthralled and a little gobsmacked by the depth of this program. It's becoming increasingly clear to me that in order for me to reach ever higher with my horses, I have to up my game too. The mastery program, of course, challenges me on a physical and mental level, but equally so on an emotional and spiritual one and it's bringing about changes in my life. Love it!"

Gisela Marnewecke | Cape Town, South Africa

"We have built a more steady foundation, and my horse has begun to be more aware of his body"

Anne-Lie Höög
Östansjö, Sweden

"I think you owe it to your horse to develop yourself as much as he does, or even more! "

Marieke Van Liere
Oosterend, Netherlands

"The Mastery Program is organized very well. I could find many answers that I sought for my horse and me."

Martina Besana
Roccastrada (GR), Italy


Here are some ST Academy statistics that you might find interesting:

Your Questions Answered

Program Details

Learn about the curriculum, timing, and tuition.



Answers to your top questions and concerns.


Join Scholars

Get notified of the next enrollment.