What is the difference between Straightness Training and…

Riders who want to develop their horse to the highest possible level when it comes to dressage…

… but are not (only) interested in

  • Sports dressage
  • Competition dressage
  • Modern dressage
  • Natural horsemanship riding
  • or trick training

… will often be attracted to the principles of the old grandmasters and their ‘classical’ way of training horses.

Nowadays, there are many classical styles available under the names:

  • Classical riding
  • Classical dressage
  • Classical equitation
  • Classical horsemanship
  • Classical art of riding
  • Academic art of riding
  • Academic riding
  • Art to ride
  • Art of riding
  • Art of horsemanship
  • Artistic dressage
  • Equestrian art
  • Baroque riding
  • Renaissance riding
  • German dressage
  • French dressage
  • Spanish riding
  • Italian school
  • Working equitation
  • Vaquero riding


So a frequently asked question is:

What’s the difference between Straightness Training and these classical styles?

To give you the answer, let’s first dive into some history…

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Working Equitation for the first time

In Brazil I had the wonderful opportunity to be introduced to Working Equitation at Haras do Castanheiro, the beautiful breeding  of Dr.ª Clélia M. Erwenne Araújo Pinto (see the video at the end of this article).

Working Equitation

Working Equitation (WE) is a working riding discipline for all breeds, which has its origin in the Iberian countries, France and Italy. It grew out of decades of daily work with cattle in the open countryside where the rider had to carry out duties on horseback.

WE consists of 4 phases:

  1. Dressage
  2. Obstacle course with style
  3. Obstacle course with speed
  4. Working with cattle

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