News:


Back from a wonderful Straightness Training weekend (22./23. Sept.) in Bella Italia , Tuscany organized by ST Mastery student Silvia Tave 

One of the topics this weekend was how to motivate our horses in our training sessions. Whenever we train or be with our equine partners we need to be a good example and leader to them. So a good relationship comes first and only then our horses will trust us and will give their best effort to please us 

With the motivational quadrant, we have different options to let our horses now if they are doing good (so if they are on track) or if they are not understanding our request (being off track). Therefore in ST, we are not using only the scientific terms positive (+R) and negative (-R) reinforcement but also positive (+P) and negative (-P) punishment.
Now punishment always sounds a bit mean but we could also use the word 'correction' or any other word, which suits us best. Using all four types gives us flexibility and helps us to keep the balance between all four 

Easy we can get trapped in one extreme e.g. using too many treats or never correcting the horse for an undesired behaviour e.g. interfering with our space and stepping on our toes. Then, of course, we will use pressure...actually a lot of physical pressure to get that heavy hoof of our toes  So the use of pressure in horse training is fine as long as it is used in a balanced way 

We had a lovely group of riders and horses, some explored ST for the very first time and others dived into some advanced exercises as half pass, pirouette and renver. We have seen some lovely Liberty, Longeing and Work in hand sessions and everybody was open-minded for new input.

Now this is just a small insight of many other topics, which came up during the workshop. Exploring and daring to make mistakes are very important as there are no failures only outcomes, who lead us in the right direction 
A big thank you to Silvia for organizing and taking care of me, her sister Barbara Taverni for the delicious food and Tina Petrera for her endless dedication to translating everything into Italian.

Thanks to all riders ST Mastery students Silvia with Stella, Francesca Pelloniwith Arius and Timna Panfietti Monaco with Canidà. Then we had Elia Taverniwith Ribot, Eleonora Niccolini with Pesame, Manuela Maccari with Ice, Loretta Manneschi with Camomilla and Fabrizio Peppoloni with Ventuno.
You all did a very good job in guiding your horses and a big thanks to all the spectators, who brought a lovely atmosphere and nice questions to the table 

Happy ST to you all e ci vediamo l'anno prossimo. Ho intenzione di praticare di piu e poi forse fare una lezione in italiano 

If I missed one please tag yourself as I am not friends with all 


 

Back from a wonderful ST weekend (6./7. July) with private lessons in Bella Italia 🇮🇹   Altamura organized by ST Mastery student Tina Petrera.

One of the main topics in this workshop was the relationship we have with our horses. We had new rider/horse combos who met for the first time as well as riders with their own horses and some even just bought a horse a few weeks/months ago 

It was very interesting to dive into the different concepts of how to build trust and to establish a good and forever lasting relationship to be able to communicate in a clear way with our horses. Without these schooling fundamentals, horse training with respect and balance in all four areas (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritual) is impossible 

Another interesting topic was to explore the use of less physical aids such as line, rein, whip or hand instead to guide our horses primarily with our inner picture/inner feeling (IP/IF) and body language. We humans always tend to ‘do’ or ‘control’ things but the secret lays in more ‘being’ and letting the exercises arise more organically instead of creating them mechanically 

In the pillar Liberty, we are actually forced to find ways how to communicate with our horses as we have no safety net such as (cavesson, line or rein). To prepare for that and to let the feeling of Liberty even shine through in the other pillars of ST as in Groundwork or Longeing, some riders worked on synchronicity in the leading exercises. It was lovely to see how the horses started to resonate primarily on our IP/IF) and body language 

Every horse rider combo did a wonderful job in emptying their cup before for the lessons and was open-minded to fill it with new insights, concepts, ideas.  
Well done Tina Petrea with Brendon and Brigida, ST Mastery student Paola Di Noya with Asso, Francesco Nardelli with Isidoro, ST Mastery student Francesca Pelloni with Brigida and Morello, ST Mastery student Annarita Trevite Pienadigioia with Isidoro, Rossana Lella with Torero, Alessandra Amadesi with Zaira, Paolo Grassi with Vento, Stefania Stef with Zaira. 

A big thank you to all riders, auditors and helping hands who made this Workshop a full success. 
Auditors were ST Mastery student Saby Nussbaum, ST Mastery student Silvia TaveEleonora Niccolini, Martino Loparco and Filippo 

I look very much forward to seeing your progress and homework in October.

Happy ST 


I am still so thrilled about the fantastic ST clinic we had last weekend (15./16. June) with my dear colleague Rebecca Gilbert ST Instructor. Super horses, super people, super weather (with a lot of flies though but what else can you ask for 😍🦄🐴

My biggest insight was the laboratory in the Longeing towards Grade 4. Now I truly know what it feels like to have the horses between the aids and why the triangle in Longeing is so important. Once the wind (energy) is there, which you capture in the triangle a light dialogue through the line starts to rise and the half halts feel light and effortless. Also, the performance becomes more athletic and effortless. The big slack I had in the line vanished while Misfit was curling around and the center of mass (COM) stayed better in place. 
Another challenge was to keep up with the rhythm especially in canter. In the pics you can see that my steps are irregular as I was figuring out how to move in order to support Misfit the best.

Beside the Longeing I tweaked my S-changes in walk and trot as Misfit started to lift his head losing balance, suppleness and shape. Isolation was the key so I practised for a few times only the S-changes and the moment he showed me the slightest better I gave RRR (release, reward, relax) to anchor that exact behaviour. Amazing how fast the horses learn once we are clear in our body language, mind and tool handling 

Furthermore, we addressed and talked a bit about Groundwork and Liberty. What to expect in Grade 4 and how to get there. I realized in order to step up and to be able to progress to a higher level we both, Misfit and I have to come out of the ‘comfort zone’. He is from nature a low energy horse and it is challenging to keep him motivated and ask him to put effort into the more difficult exercises. So the happy ‘Flat-liner’ time is over now and I sent it to a forever vacation. I look so much forward working out every little detail I gained in this clinic and I am very happy to welcome Rebecca next year again.

Thank you again, Rebecca for all your valuable tips and guidance 💕


I am looking back to a wonderful inspirational weekend at Eva Žaludková place in Zadveric Czech Republic (9./10.June)

We started the day with some theory discussing the mysterie of half halts. When do we use a Steinbrecht check, which is an observing half halt or what does Baucher and Guérinière half halts mean or how do they all blend into each other? The main goal is to always to have the horse in balance with its center of mass in its place. But how and when do we do what?

In the practical lessons we explored these concepts from the ground and in riding. It was a joy to watch and teach this super group as we could dive into the famous 2mm, who made a big difference in the posture and movement of the horses. Squeezing the sponge in a soft but clear way draining out the water till the horse is yielding and softening his pole was one of the themes during the weekend 
In addition keeping the horses connected from behind so we have majestic and round horses moving with elegance and feeling light in front. The pressure & release technique became a different meaning as well as body language and posture 

Have a look at the lovely photos, which say more than a thousand words.

A big thank you to ST Mastery Student and rider Hanča Chrastecká with Gordon for organizing it, ST Mastery Student and rider Eva Žaludková with Ari for hosting the workshop at her lovely place, ST Mastery Student Katřina Chrastecká with Dusty, ST Mastery Student Ivana Kovaříková with Spotty. It was a great pleasure to meet you and Spotty in person, Ivana and hats off for coming all the way close to Praque to attend the Workshop. Also ST Mastery Student Erika Varga Varga came all the way from Hungary to be a part of it. It was a pleasure to meet you, Erika! Radka Hájková with Flo, Klára Dohodilová with her lovely mare Alotrie and least but not last the wonderful audience, who brought interesting questions to the table. You all did a wonderful job in guiding your horses in a nice harmonious way.

I look very much forward to seeing your progress next time and till then see you in fb or in the Evaluation program.

Happy Straightness Training 


Back again from a wonderful 3 days-workshop at Anna Wojtowicz’s place  (25.05.-27.05.)

It was a small but very fine group and what was really amazing to see was the participation of very young riders from Anna’s riding school, who attended for the second time to find out more about ST.

These young girls are the new generation to spread the concepts of Straightness Training into the world. You go Girls 

We dived a bit into the mystery of the half halts and how and when to do what to reach a proper (L)ateral bending, (F)orward down tendency and (S)tepping under of the inside hind leg towards the center of mass. We have discussed different approaches and it was great to see how everyone was giving his best effort to reach balance with their horses.

We investigated how much or how less influence is needed in front (leading hand) or in behind (twinkly whip) to create a yielding and searching but at the same time keeping the horse a bit connected so that we feel the horse becoming round in his posture. We had a big variety of horses to learn from (school horses, rescue horses and jumping horses) and all of them went through nice changes over the 3 days.

What else shown through was to be patient…patience, you should have with yourself and the horse. To give yourself time to learn, understand and to grow into new exercises and new habits, because the small steps matters and add up to a nice foundation to build on.

The concept of the 3 R's (release, reward and relax) applies also beautifully to the riders  We too have to understand the what, why, how and when. Small brakes in between will help us to reflect and digest so it can sink down deep into our nervous system.

It was a great weekend with lovely people and horses 😍🦄
Thank you, Agata Korzeniowska, Monika with Natawa & Arabeska, Zuzia with Dukat & Latka, ST Mastery student Ewa with Skopia and Siwa, Bozena (Epona Konie) with Baksa, Zenit & Karmelita and our a very special thanks to our organizer and host ST Mastery student Anna with Mr. Arab and Lazar. You guys rock 

Keep exploring in your laboratories and I look forward to seeing your progress next time 


Auch dieses Jahr kann ich mit Stolz mein neues Logo als lizensierter ST Instructor präsentieren als auch weiterhin das Logo eines offiziellen Straightness Training Evaluators.

 

I am very proud to present my new Logo also for 2018 as a licensed ST Instructor as well as being an official Straightness Training Evaluator.



I am looking back gratefully to a wonderful year full of growth, joy and happiness with ups and downs as there is no highway to success ;-)

 

But as we say in Straightness Training: …“if something is out of balance, see it as a challenge”...

So off to the next adventures year 2018J

 

I look very much forward meeting, supporting, helping, sharing, caring, laughing and having fun together with my family, friends, students and horses.

 

 

I am wishing you all around the world a healthy, horsy and joyful HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018