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Certification & Licensing as ST Evaluator
2022: ST Trainee Evaluator
“All it takes to succeed with Straightness Training is Hunger, Heart and hard work Hi everyone, my name is Hanne Friberg, I am a certified Straightness Training Instructor, from Denmark.
I want to share my story as I hope my it can inspire you to know that you all have what it takes to become a better horsetrainer: hunger, heart and hard work. We all have these three things in us.
I have the typical horse-girl background. I have been riding all my life, – in a riding school, or on my own ponies or others horses. Then came career and kids and put it on hold. And I promised myself that when my girls were old enough that they did not need me that much anymore, I would buy myself a horse. And then learn the right way to ride.
Because I have always wondered why it was necessary to have strong upper arms to ride a horse, knowing that I had a piece of iron in its mouth. AND I also wondered why most horses are sweet and calm in the stable and then when you get on them they got “wild and unbalanced” I had a great desire to understand more about horse, but no one in my riding world could give me answers or explanations. It made me both frustrated and sad to have to hold on so much to the reins of all the horses I rode and I did not understand what made them so unbalanced and insecure.
In 2014, I bought my dream horse and I rode him in the same way everyone else around me rode their horses. But I was so sad that I had to hold on to him so hard. It did not feel right to have to wear gloves to protect my hands to ride him every day. I wanted lightness and I dreamed of being able to ride without using the reins. Bucefalo had no problems and he was great to ride, but the lightness I was looking for I did not find with the help of the teachers I had. I wanted to find a teacher who could teach me to ride in the right way and who could teach me to understand my horse so I could build a partnership with my horse. I wanted every day to be a joy, for him, as well as for me.
But how do you get the opportunity to get lessons from exactly the instructor that you most want to learn from. The best instructors are usually impossible to access. Partly because they are expensive, maybe live far from you and then because many riders want to be their students.In December 2016, I had a proper winter flu and lay sick in my bed for many days. I got bored and scrolled around on my Ipad. And that when I found Marijke de Jong, she had an offer of a free Mini course. I jumped on and I was blown away by what I got out of that mini course. My first understanding of the horse’s natural asymmetry and a lot of other theory which enabled me to see my horse with new eyes and with an understanding of his behavior.
In January 2017, I signed up for ST Mastery and in the following years I changed my whole way of training my horse. I went all in on ST. It was a fantastic journey with ups and downs, the way life is. AND as Marijke teaches us, “fail, fast, forward” & “you win, or you learn” I failed a lot and learned a lot. The most amazing thing was having found a direction in my training. I knew that the road was long but I also knew deep down that I was going in the right direction. Basicly I signed up for everything new that Marijke came up with. It was great! The only downside there was in the Mastery program was that it took a long time from I submitted my touchstones until I got my feedback and it sometimes made it hard to transfer the feedback back to my training again.
In 2020, Marijke invited me to join the ST Scholar Program. With new and even better opportunities to get great training, get my eyes educated in seeing when the horse is moving in balance and when the horse needs our help to become balanced and how we then give the horse that help. The ST Scholar Program is super exciting and engaging. It’s great to be part of a community where everyone wants the same thing, namely to understand their horses and make life healthier and better for them.
I have now access to getting lessons from the best coaches available in the world without having to travel far and I can even have lessons several times each month. When I submit my films and Touchstones of my training with Bucefalo, I get lessons and feedback on the film the next day and can quickly take it with me back to my training. It has been a big game changer for me, my Bucefalo and our training.
At the end of 2020, I was invited to become a Straightness Training Instructor. It was my dream come true scenario. It was an intense year of studying, filled with fantastic teaching and a thorough education in the what, why, how of the art of horse training. It’s a huge topic and I love that Steinbrecht, who spent his whole life understanding and training horses, writes in his amazing book that only when our eyebrows turn gray can we hope to have gained some understanding and knowledge of the horses mind, balance and movements. So there is still hope for all of us;)
I’m now in a place where I know I know a lot, but I also know, that there is so much more for me to find out. Life is 50% ups and 50% downs, whether you are at the beginning of your ST journey or you are high up in the Grades. But the hours we spent with your horse become more fun and fulfilling, because you learn to do the right thing to help your horse. With all the hours and resources we spend on our horses, it just has to be great to be with them and it is only when you can calm down because you know that you do your utmost to develop your horse to become healthy , strong, supple and happy. Onwards and upwards.”