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Straightness TrainingDid you know that the natural asymmetry of our horses can cause a lot of problems?

Here are a few examples:

  • Struggle to bend one way; the other is easy
  • Leaning on the reins
  • Strong, pushy hind legs
  • A strongly developed underneck
  • Difficulties to turn
  • Speeding up automatically in the canter
  • The saddle slides to one side
  • It’s difficult to ride the horse on the bit
  • Physical damage such as navicular disease and kissing spines

That’s why it’s so important that we recognize the symptoms of natural asymmetry and provide the solution by helping the horse to develop symmetrically in body and limbs.

And this is where we need Straightness Training.

Natural asymmetryBecause Straightness Training consists of a logical and systematic system of exercises to develop the horse symmetrically.

Then, the end result is a straightened horse.

This horse:

  •  is symmetrically developed in body and limbs;
  • is symmetrical in movement and can perform all exercises equally to the left and to the right;
  • and will let itself collect and lift in the front.

Also, it’s important to realize that only a straight horse lets itself be collected and lifted in the front to relieve the front legs and to support the back.

Would you like to see an example?

Let’s take a look at the story of the white stallion Alconchel:

Crooked stallion back on track

Here you can see a video of a crooked stallion who got back on track thanks to the exercises of Straightness Training:

‘Horse Yoga’

Here’s another interesting thing about Straightness Training.

You see, Straightness training can be seen as a kind of ‘horse yoga’ or ‘horse pilates’.

Bad confirmation and natural shortcomings can be corrected by training the horse while using proper exercises.

So we can solve different problems, correct a bad conformation, and solve lameness by helping the horse to do certain gymnastic exercises.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Let’s take a closer look here.

First, we should know that problems that can be solved are:

  • stiff shoulders and/or a stiff back (seen in limited shoulder-freedom),
  • problems with softening into the rider’s hand,
  • and irregular movements.

But it doesn’t end there: even horses with navicular disease, kissing spines, crooked pelvis, and other major problems can be helped with Straightness Training.

Because for example the diagonal imbalance of the horse can lead to navicular disease and the imbalance between the topline/underline can cause kissing spines.

By making the horse perform straightening exercises that fit that specific horse, by making it use and relax the proper muscles and divide its weight equally over its legs, the rider can help the horse improve enormously.

A good rider is even capable of curing a horse that has been given up on by veterinarians!

Can you imagine that?

It may seem impossible but we have seen it happen before, and not just once!

Let’s watch the story of Cunera, the horse that the vets had no hope for:

The complete story of Cunera, including her training schedule, can be found in our full Mastery Program.

For more information on this program, click HERE >>


Movement therapy

Another way to look at Straightness Training is as a movement therapy.

Now, movement therapy has played a major role in human medicine these last years.

For example, someone with certain back problems gets exercises to train his/her abdominal muscles and someone with a stiff arm gets different movement exercises to supple up.

More and more, human doctors are aware of the importance of physical training for their patients.

In some hospitals, patients even need to follow a fitness program before surgery to improve their chances for a speedy recovery afterward.

Well, this importance of doing fitness goes also for the health of our horses.

Many physical problems with horses can be better solved with exercises than just with physiotherapy, osteopathy or drugs.

Of course, these therapies are very valuable but often their effectiveness is improved when the horse also does well-thought gymnastic exercises.

And then there is another thing to consider:

Fighting symptoms or setting conditions?

This is an important question.

Because to get things truly fixed, it is always key to deal with the cause of the problems and not just with the symptoms!

Let me give you an example.

Some riders decide to use side reins and/or special bits to fix problems with the horse’s softness in the mouth, or the head/neck position.

Only, this is not advisable because this approach focuses only on the symptoms.

You see, the symptom of not coming towards the riders’ hands is not caused by something in the horse’s mouth but by the natural asymmetry of his muscles.

And to fix this cause, we need a totally different approach.

Nevertheless, draw reins are still used to make the horse lower its head and become soft and round.

Or a sharper bit is chosen.

But you see, all tools that are used to tie the horse in a certain position, and force it to hold its head in a certain way are, without exception, more harmful than helpful.

It usually even creates new problems such as:

  • resisting the rider,
  • protest,
  • placing the head behind the vertical,
  • leaning on the riders’ hand,
  • developing an underneck,
  • or lameness.


Also, the saliva glands are squeezed between the lower jaw and the tensed underneck muscles, which can lead to infections and can inhibit the production of saliva.

Plus, these additional reins ruin the horse’s mouth, because the communication through the bit can only be done with the soft, feeling, living hand of a rider.

So don’t fight the symptoms, solve the problem.

In most cases, the natural asymmetry is the real problem:

It is a balance issue which can be solved by schooling the riding balance.

And it is a muscle issue which can be solved by training the muscles.

This schooling and training is called Straightness Training.

So let’s get started to get rid of our horses’ issues and:

Solve the root cause of the problem: Sign up for free!

If you want to stop fighting symptoms and start solving problems, then join our free 4 part Mini Mastery Course!

This is what you’ll discover:

  • How to avoid the pitfalls that I’ve fallen into, and almost every rider falls into, and which make riding your horse ten times harder!
  • How the dimensions of natural asymmetry can cause many problems, and how to turn things around in a simple way!
  • How to eliminate unnecessary stress, frustration, and disappointment, and fast-track your progression!
  • Six simple keys to making horse training and riding easy, no matter what discipline you’re in, and no matter what breed or age!

This mini-course really is worth watching – not only useful insights and tips, but also seeing the learning stages that both a less experienced and more experienced horse had to go through to achieve the desired results.

All 4 video clips are accompanied by easy to understand theory and explanations, which makes it easy to follow and the processes even more clear!

Plus,  the downloadable manuals are very informative, useful and helpful!

So don’t miss out on it and join the course, it’s 100% free:

► Click HERE to Join ST Mini Mastery >>

5 thoughts on “Solution

Comment author said

By Frances zysemil on 30 August 2015 at 21:06

This made me cry, I have had so many problems with my horse who is the exact example of alconbel we are gradually finding better results , thanks to you


Comment author said

By Marianne on 10 December 2015 at 18:48

Prachtig om dat “kreupele” paard weer rad te zien lopen na ST. Niks opgeven door dierenartsen, maar ST doen.
En die moeilijke hengst Alconchel wordt na ST een makkie, een juweeltje dus.
Allebei schitterend om te zien en ook ontroerend.
ST is dus ter preventie van en een kuur voor problemen in het lichaam en de geest van een paard, al wordt aan het laatste zelden iets speciaals gedaan, want wat kan je daar aan doen? Ik weet van een heel mooi paard jaren geleden, die moeilijk was om te berijden. Binnen liep ze altijd hard. Buiten steigerde ze wel eens en gooide de ruiter eraf en liep dan iets naar achter en trapte na naar de ruiter. Het paard is toen als gevaarlijk beoordeeld en naar de slager gegaan. Doodzonde. Ze was dus doodongelukkig, maar men had daar geen antwoord op. Met ST is zo’n paard te redden. Je doet mooi werk, Marijke.


Comment author said

By Ilona Marianna Staikou on 19 March 2016 at 09:48

Great video with a very clear precise explanation. Thank you Marijke for sharing it.


Comment author said

By Gylfi Sigurdsson on 20 June 2017 at 23:02

Thanks Marijke for all of the videoes!
It is amazing to see how quickly the horse improves. I guess the length of the training session each day depends on the shape of the horse? Is it wise to train the same horse twice a day? Sitting on my horses they are trained to choose tolt after walk. That means the head must be held higher and a good tolter carries more load on the hind legs. I wonder if you have videos of training of tolting horse or if you can explain the connection between LFS and tolt- I mean in LFS the head is supposed to be low but in tolt higher?


Comment author said

By Straightness Training Team on 21 June 2017 at 13:46

Hi Gylfi, thank you for your questions!

Indeed, the length of a training session depends on the horse. For some horses, especially young ones, it works well to do two short sessions per day, instead of one longer session.
You can read more about this subject here:

As for gaited horses, here you can find a great article about gaited horses and ST:

And are you already a member of our gaited horses Facebook group? You can find the group here:

You are welcome to join 🙂

Good luck!


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