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 With Challenges

"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

"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

The ST Mastery Program has made a huge difference to my 12-year-old mare Raya and I. Raya has always had a weak right hind leg, tension in the lumbar and sacroiliac areas and a very difficult canter under saddle. I am so happy with the changes ST has brought. It would be too long to list them all but here are a few :

  • She used to walk with her tail going a lot more to the right than to the left, this doesn't happen anymore
  • She used to be a lot stiffer in her hind legs in winter time (even picking up her hind feet is easier now)
  • She used to trot behind and canter in the front. Now, her canter is not perfect yet, but at least it actually IS canter.” 

Chloe Vic | Namur, Belgium

Raya, mare, 12 yo

"The Mastery Program has given me the opportunity to train my horse from the very beginning: I had no experience in horse training, but following strictly this program we reached some really nice results yet. It is not always easy, but for sure it is worth it!

Before I had a wild mare, now I have a horse that is open-minded, has much more physical and mental balance and has a good connection with me.

I couldn't recommend something better!"
Chiara Mineo |‍‍ ‍‍Reggio Emilia, Italy 

"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

"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 am a nice example of a person who sees a half-full glass as half-empty. My horse is a nice example of a grass-eating head. Together we were destined to take ST journey.
I bought Spotty for trail riding when he was 4,5 years old in November 2014. After two years I felt neither me or the horse was happy. Spotty was spooky, not able to trot or canter straight in the countryside. We ended at the arena where his asymmetry caused even bigger frustration of both of us.

My ST journey started in 2016 with the starters course and I upgraded to full Mastery Program in 2017. Following the email coaching steps, I sent my first evaluation request in March to find out I need these ''lessons on paper" every month to be sure of doing the right steps. My first resubmit in July was accompanied by feelings of failure. The Mastery FB group, with such positive approach of the community, and more studies about levels of consciousness helped me to overcome this first big obstacle. Liberty and Riding have further proved to be a huge chunk to swallow with many resubmits needed. Each lesson kicked me forward to find out what was missing.

I love the immense scope of the Mastery program. 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, gelding, 8 yo

“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

Fernando, warmblood, gelding, 8 yo & Limerick

“The Mastery Program made a huge difference for my so-called 'problem' horses because I knew what groundwork can do but never that groundwork can have so much more effect.

And all the training pillars together affect each other more than I could imagine befor starting ST.

So 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

"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

Teddy, German Warmblood, gelding, 15 yo

"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."

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!"

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."

"Within a short time of starting my horse was moving differently. Her physio commented on the change!"

Liz Ward-Holmes
Shoreham-by-Sea, UK


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.