Click here for more info about the licence type >>
Certification & Licensing as ST Evaluator
2022: ST Trainee Evaluator
“I’m Hannah and am based in the South East of the UK. Before starting Straightness Training, I had been a ‘happy hacker’ for many years and used to go out exploring the local countryside on horseback for hours. When I bought Bluebell my 13. 2hh New Forest mare, I planned to do much the same with her. I bought her as an almost unhandled 5-year-old as a project pony. I started by taking her out in hand to desensitise her to the weird and wonderful world of humans – the local golf course, cyclists, umbrellas etc.
Then I started to prepare her for riding and did a little work with her in the arena. When I started to asked her to trot on a circle on the longe, I began to realise that she had asymmetry. She was not able to stay on a circle in trot and rather than turning, moved on a straighter path. I also noticed that one of her hips seemed to be a little higher than the other. I had heard someone mention Marijke de Jong and Straightness Training so I googled and was hooked! It looked to be the missing link for training Bluebell! My main goal with Bluebell has always been to keep her healthy for as long as possible and I dream of her being with me into her 30s.
I could see that Straightness Training really aligned with this and could help me in this goal.
I started with what was then the online Home Study Course. Now, because I prefer kinesthetic learning, I looked for an ST instructor and started lessons. This helped me to put the online learning into practice and to help build my confidence that I could do this thing! A short while afterwards at the beginning of 2017, I joined the Mastery programme, while continuing lessons. I loved that the Mastery Modules broke everything down into small steps so even someone like me with very limited experience of schooling and dressage could learn how to do this. I found this really empowering.
I slowly worked through the pillars of Groundwork, Longeing, Liberty, Work in Hand, and Riding and gradually came to understand the fluidity between them and how each adds something to the other. I found that these helped Bluebell physically, as she became stronger and more balanced. Over time it was no longer such a challenge for her to trot on a circle! When I first rode her after preparing her on the ground in the other pillars, I was amazed by how she felt – so strong and balanced and so unlike any pony I had ridden before! Mentally, our connection deepened and we have a stronger partnership. I can’t wait to experience how this will depend and grow the more years we are together. Bluebell is such a fantastic teacher for me, she is so patient and tries so hard. As I have progressed with ST I have slowly become aware of mental habits I have sub-consciously developed, some of which help, and others that I am working on changing. This has taken my learning to a whole new level.
My learning has changed over the last couple of years, firstly with the introduction of Scholars which has really been fantastic. Being able to watch so many classes as well as having lessons myself keeps me learning. The self-mastery has been so good for me: I have become better at managing my inner crocodile so I can switch from a disempowering state to a more empowering one much quicker than I could previously.
2021 was a special year for me. I was honoured to have been invited to become an ST Instructor and Evaluator. The training was quite intense but totally worth it and I have been a licensed Straightness Training Instructor and Evaluator since the start of this year! I learned so much which I could bring back to my own training with Bluebell and gained a deeper understanding of Straightness training. I am really enjoying being able to go out in person and help others learn about Straightness Training and to see them, and their horses, grow in body, mind, heart, and soul. I also love the evaluation process and seeing people online progress with their horses. It’s just fantastic to be able to help people and their horses wherever they are in the world!”