They Did It. So Can You.

Hear from Scholars who made their dream with their horse come true!

Callie Klein from the USA


Ivana from the Czech Republic


Gita Andersone from Latvia


From Caterpillar To Butterfly

Gita: ❝ 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 will 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 isn'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. 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 a 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!

Since I was working on ST exercises alone for a long time in Scholars program, I saw a huge opportunity for growing. This program gives me a huge boost of inspiration, knowledge and positive energy. It also squeezes me as a lemon to sharp my skills, every tiny little detail. I've broaden my view on my work with Lady - it's frustrating to look at your-self from a side and see things you never recognize before. Also it was nice to hear from Marijke de Jong- "I like it". In first month, I didn't catch up the schedule and didn't get the whole feedback as supposed. But August was fulfilled with hard work, broadening, deepening and polishing my skills and knowledge. And what a surprise when I was encouraged to make groundwork 2 sequence in liberty and that it works! Lady was a super willing and gives her best aikido :)

I still have a lot to learn and have a goal to get on level Grade 2. So continuing in Scholars program will keep me on a track, help organize my schedule and continue never-ending growing.

To people who wonder if the Scholars Program would work for them, what would you say: the Scholars Program is great opportunity to get online feedback from Marijke de Jong three times in a month. You'll be guided thru Mastery program and evaluation step by step not to become overwhelmed by huge amount of information in portal. All sessions are a fantastic opportunity to see and hear Marijke in person and it feels good to be able to ask questions in real time. Also when looking other scholars videos sometimes a comment or topic comes up that will help to find missing piece of a puzzle. Also it is a chance to soak up Marijke's enthusiasm and knowledge and to hear what insights other students are having in their journeys.

See Gita and Lady Dee in action in their Breakthrough session:


Cynthia Adams from Canada


The Evolution of Straightness Training

Cynthia: ❝ Hi, my name is Cynthia Adams, I live in Alberta, Canada.

I have been a Straightness Training Mastery student since 2017. This year, 2020, has been a busy year for me ... doing on-line classes for Straightness Training. In January, I joined the Rising Stars class. In March, I joined Marijke’s self mastery series. And in July, I became one of the very first students to enter the Scholar Program.

Straightness Training has been a godsend for me and my mare. Straightness Training Exercises have been an integral part in strengthening my mare’s back, which has been essential in helping her cope with previous injuries. I’ve always had a good relationship with my mare; however, liberty has been super helpful in developing an even stronger bond.

Prior to the Rising Stars class, I had reached a stage where I needed a bit more guidance to reach my Straightness Training goals. I didn’t have access to instructors in my area and had reached a bit of a plateau working on my own. With the introduction of the new hotseat sessions, I got the guidance I was looking. Marijke experimented with the first ever Hotseat and breakthrough sessions during the Rising Stars Class. Both these amazing sessions are now offered on a monthly basis in the Scholar Program.

I feel that the Scholar Program is the next step of evolution for Straightness Training. Not only does the Scholar program have the extensive library of the Mastery program, it has SO much more. For me, I would describe the Scholar Program as a delux training program. Each month is packed with Hotseat, Breakthrough and Mastermind sessions to list a few things.

Not only does the Scholar Program help members develop their Straightness Training skills, it is also provides valuable information on areas of self-improvement. In order to be a good trainer for our horses, we need to create good patterns and habits in ourselves.

A central theme in the self-mastery portion of the program, stems around a quote from Victor Frankel. It states … “between Stimulus and response there is a space. And in that space, is our power to choose our response”.

You can take two different people and put them in the same situation. One might become very successful and the other might fail … simply based on their responses to the same stimulus. Therefore, if we are not getting the results we want, we need to change our responses!

One of my Favorite quotes from Marijke’s Self Mastery class is …. “if we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change”.
Sometimes we feel down about things that are completely out of our control. However, if we change how we perceive those things, we can take back control of how WE FEEL about them.

2020 has definitely been a strange year with Covid 19. Its a good example of things being "out of our control" with government lockdowns and job instability. This pandemic has created a situation where many people were, or are, emotionally out-of-balance. As an individual, we can choose how we handle our emotions and responses. Do we want to wallow in self-pity and give up in tough times, or do we look for the good that might arise … do we grow from adversity.

At first glance, self-mastery may not seem like something you feel is necessary to help train your horse; however, self-mastery has a huge impact on how we choose to live our lives. If we can master our own emotions, actions and habits, we will be far more successful in guiding our horses.

I have enjoyed all aspects of the Scholar Program. If I could pick only one thing that helped me the most, I would say the biggest transformation for me and my horse came out of watching the hotseat sessions. The hotseat sessions helped me develop my eye, as well as my inner picture. They answered so many of the questions I had.

During the Rising Stars class, I was able to watch 5 amazing months of hotseats and breakthrough sessions. Due to Covid 19, I was not able to submit a hotseat video, in the Rising Stars Class, as I had planned. The stable I had my mare boarded at went into lockdown … just as I was planning on preparing for videotaping. Despite this, I learned an incredible amount by being able to watch all the participants. Many people had the same struggles as me; therefore, many of the questions I had were answered simply by watching the other participants. I feel I learned just as much from watching, as I would have from participating at the time.

I was finally able to submit my own hotseat video in July, during the very first month of the Scholar program. It was well worth the wait. Marijke pointed out the area’s I needed to work on, and gave me homework specific to my needs … which was exactly the guidance I needed.

To people who wonder if becoming a Scholar would work for them, I would ask … do you want to improve your horse in body and mind? Do you want to build a better relationship with your horse? Do you need a bit of help with your own self mastery? If so, then definitely give the Scholar Program a try.

My one suggestion for new people, would be to take things slow! Trying to jump right into submitting videos might become overwhelming.

You can learn an incredible amount just by auditing for many months. This worked really well for me, and I am actually glad I only audit for the first 5 months of hotseats and breakthrough sessions. After auditing, I feel I had a lot of information to process in my own lab before being ready to submit a video myself.

I feel the Scholar program presents a wonderful opportunity for growth and learning. It will benefit both our horses as well as their humans. I highly recommend it.


Karin Jespers from the Netherlands


Michelle Masselink from Canada


Every Scholar in these videos started off exactly where you are today — wanting to become a next-level horse trainer and to make a positive difference for their horse. It’s time to take a chance on yourself and see what results you can create in 2021!

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