Marijke de Jong's ST Academy

Mastery Student Reviews

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 North America

"World's First and Best Comprehensive Home Study Program from a Classical Perspective! ST also encompasses a solid base of groundwork and in-hand training. AND it is all based on a sound understanding of Equine Psychology and Physiology. I have been passionate about Classical Dressage and the training of the horse from a very young age and have studied, from beginning to end, every comprehensive horse training program I could get my hands on. Until now, I would either find a good NHS type program that was great on basic training and groundwork but was lacking in a good understanding of how to truly help the horse and rider achieve an ideal posture and balance, OR I would (with great searching) find a Classical Dressage type trainer who understood the fine-tuned results we all dream about, but pretty much the only way to learn from these Masters is to uproot one's life and live next door to them - not possible for most of us! ST serves it all of this up on a platter!"

Shannon Olson | Washington, USA

"The ST Mastery program has taken my horse and I to a new level and given me structure and goals all around the freedom to develop a true art. I came from a western background and new to dressage via rehab of an older mare. 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

"We had tried numerous training methods, worked with three professional trainers, vet, chiropractors, dentist, and professional saddle fitter with no results.

My horse, Silken, was anxious, unbalanced, and would not canter and no one could tell me why or what to do about it!

I found the Mastery Program while doing research of my own. In the Mastery Program, I have found a logical explanation for all of the training issues we were facing as well as the connection between them.

More importantly, we now have a progressive, step-by-step plan of how we can correct these problems!

We still have a long way to go, but I have already learned so much about proper horse training, and Silken is visibly calmer and more balanced in her movements!"

Quiana Casamayor | Calgary, Canada

Silken, Georgian Grande, mare, 12 yo

"This is truly a Master level course. It is a logical progression of training for horse and person that strives to bring us into balance mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It has taken me from a place of frustration, disappointment, anger, and confusion to feeling empowered, encouraged and capable."
Mary OConnor | Southlake, United States 

Everett, TB/Hanoverian, gelding, 17 yo

"Being into the Mastery program, I see horses we've had for years with new eyes after learning how to do a natural asymmetry analysis. I'm blown away by the depth and breadth of content Marijke has developed for the Mastery program. Our horses and I are thoroughly enjoying the exercises. :) The online instructions and the accompanying videos are very helpful. To anyone who wants to do a deep dive into the foundations of classical dressage, I would highly recommend this program."

Sarah Packowski | Ottawa, Canada

Rex Bellorum (Bello), Warlander, gelding

"It has made a huge differents to both of us. I redirected my training from a make, negative approach, both of us were unhappy to a listening to my horse, positive approach being happier and having fun. I have never ever imagined that I would be able to teach my horse all this movements I never done before. The connections between my and my horses has grown to a partnership, and I am forever grateful that Marijke has brought enjoyment back to my time with them."

Katja Ziegenfuss | Smith, USA

Peppy, Quarter, gelding, 9 yo

"Tanner, I love this horse more and more each day, he’s turning in to something quite special, and I’m so thankful that he’s mine. The jumping has improved no end thanks to Marijke de Jong’s Straightness Training. I’m so thankful to be a Straightness Training Mastery student - it’s a lifetime of studying and training but is making me a much better horse trainer and rider, and I have access to so much knowledge and support online as well as help from the ST Instructors - particularly Meg Brauch and Rebecca Gilbert. All the pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together!"

Zoe Donley | USA

Tanner, TB, gelding, 7 yo

"I started the Mastery program after months of searching for thorough, easy to understand Classical horse training. The program has given me the tools I need to really start understanding and implementing proper training. Marijke is so good at explaining and teaching the why's and how's of the exercises and techniques. I feel like every time I read an article or watch a video from the program, I have gained so many golden tips! Not only is this program about horse training, but it also helps me understand and master my energy, body language, self-awareness and more. It has been one of the best things I have done in my life, I have seen an amazing amount of progress in me and my horses, both physically and mentally!"

Jamillah Almutawakil | Litchfield Park, USA

Snookie, mare, 10 yo

The Mastery Program has helped me become a more empathetic and competent horse trainer. The program has given me the ability to recognize and the tools to address the asymmetries that my pony exhibits. Through the Straightness Training (ST) exercises she has become more fit, supple, happy, and relaxed. Each ST pillar allows me to experiment with a different dimension of training while keeping the 3 primary keys of Lateral bending, Forward down, and Stepping under as the connecting thread through all the exercises. The program challenges us a step at a time to venture outside our comfort zone and into the stretch zone while still maintaining quality in our work and growth in our learning. The relationship I have with Abra as well as each horse I work with has become very connected and more spiritual.... we are more like one soul... a unity, rather than two separate entities. The transformation this program has brought to me and my horses on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels is breathtaking.... I am truly inspired by the positive changes we have all made. I am a forever student and supporter of this program and am very grateful to have found it.

Carolyn McEvitt | Amston, USA

Ripleigh's Abra Cadabra (Abra), Connemara, mare, 9 yo

"The Mastery Program has been a much-needed guide for me to begin the training of my 3-year-old mare. I have had many lessons over the years, but very little opportunity for instruction has been available as to how to actually start and train a horse. This program has given me the knowledge and confidence to know that I am starting my mare correctly."

Tracy Betteridge | Ada, Michigan, USA

"The exhaustive compilation of all of the steps and modules have helped me set goals and stay the course like no other program I've tried. It always seemed like other trainers were holding back some secrets. Not so with Marijke, from the minute details, she spells it out Completely. I am so happy I encountered this program as I can already see the positive changes within myself which will undoubtedly transfer to my mare."

Mari Miles | Vero Beach, USA

Paloma, Tennessee Walking Horse, mare, 9 yo

"After joining ST in 2017, I am finally part of a very well organized learning system that teaches me the in-depth essence of the exercises and why they are being performed within suggested timeframes. I am learning to re-train my eye on the ground to ensure that the horse learns and understands what is being asked. This program offers me a natural progression of horse training in a gentle, fair and loving way. ST has also helped me become a better version of myself, and it is making me aware how my thoughts, feelings, and emotions affect my work with others and these magnificent animals. I wish ST training existed when my mare and I got started 11 years ago. It would have saved me a lot of time, money, heartache and tears. My biggest AHA moments thus far are that I am starting to learn about the why and how-to horse training and how to engage my horse’s curiosity and inherent will to work with me instead of against me. This approach has been very rewarding for me as well as for my horse."

Christine Markut | Naraganssett, USA

Mia Stella, Hanoverian/Canadian Warmblood X, mare, 18 yo

"In the beginning, I had an unbalanced young unruly horse who was friendly enough..just untrained. I began following the program and studying and spending time in my "lab". The bottom line is this program works. I now have a balanced, willing partner who is progressing nicely in my discipline of Western Dressage. The transformation is amazing. Of great note is the fact that I have done this on my own with not one other person in my area.

Using the Mastery Student FB stream and the wonderful coaching from the Touchstones I have seen an amazing difference in my animal. I feel that he is well prepared to carry a rider and to begin moving forward to higher level moves. No matter your discipline, level of skill, or profession, these exercises work. Bonus to all of the material is the sharing of the international community. So many people from so many countries coming together in this work adds a very special dimension."

Kristin Kill | Dexter, United States

Flynn, Quarter, gelding, 5 yo

"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

"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

Jalila, Arab, mare, 5 yo

Mastery Students From Canada & USA


Today is the last day you can sign up for the ST Mastery 2017 Class. You get 10 extra bonuses for free when you enroll before January 16th at midnight.

"My ST partner came to me as an unbroke 5 yr old. He was a nervous, highly spooky, untrusting, and unbalanced soul, who was unable to be caught. I used my typical round pen groundwork, and was making some headway, but still the underlying issues existed. Amongst the trust issues, my gelding started as a horse who could not 'canter', only walk/trot/gallop! ... and when I say gallop, I am talking tail/head in the air, turf flying, ground thundering.

I began with ST for a couple of minutes a day, literally, and then progressed to present ... a much better balanced horse, body and mind, who I am riding bareback with cavesson, as we progress through the first levels of ST.

He can now be seen cantering along side my other horse in the field of his own accord! Our connection is better, his spooky reactiveness has improved over 300%!!

We are a better team now, as ST has helped improve both of our abilities to communicate, connect and work as true partners!"

Lisa Byers | Blackstock, Canada

Harvey, gelding, 8 yo


"I adopted my TB Clifford from a rescue in Colorado in the spring of 2014. He was a yearling at the time and hadn’t been handled much. We started out with lots of trust building and groundwork, but nothing seemed to really click for us.

I’ve been an ST Mastery student since November 2015 and let me tell you, this has been a game changer for Cliffi and I. I am super happy with the results thus far.

ST helps body and mind of both, horse and rider. I have attended an ST clinic with ST Instructor Carolin Moldenhauer and was blown away. Everyone here, instructors and fellow students alike, are super supportive and always there to help.

I love how ST looks at the biomechanics and the mind of the horse and puts a lot of focus on building a trusting relationship between you and your equine friend. I can highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to do right by their horse! You won’t be disappointed."

Sabine Reynoso | Growtown, GA, USA

Clifford, TB, gelding, 5 yo

"A fellow working student and I were watching a dressage training session in progress for an accomplished trainer in our area, lamenting the fact the horses were cranked back, looking upset, being forced into the "movements". We went on about how dressage should be more organic, and that there had to be a better way. She turned to me, saying "Have you heard of Marijke and Straightness Training"?

Went home that night, downloaded the free book, and was hooked! When the Mastery program opened up that March, I didn't have the funds to get in, but my students rallied them for me and had me enroll. They wanted what ST could teach me to bring to their horses!

Since then, I am finally able to begin to put the pieces together and begin to unlock how to help my horses be better versions of themselves. Mastery has given me tools to help horses recover from injury, as well as to transform basic grade horses into something people think is a warmblood, all because they move correctly. And there is always more to learn!"

Lara Burau | Cherry Valley, USA

Squire, gelding, 5 yo


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!"

"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."

""I could write a book about this course and how it helped my mare and I. I would not hesitate one moment if you are thinking about joining this Mastery Class.""

Denice Garrou
Salida, United States


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