Another fabulous time with everyone at the second ST Mastery Clinic in the US!
Thanks to ST Instructor Meg Brauch and Luther Brauch for accommodating me and Marc and for offering your STunning venue Narnia Stables for the ST Mastery Clinic! You guys did a super job! 😍 🎉
And high fives to all participants with their lovely horses for attending and making the 3-day clinic such a success:
- Lyda Pola and🐴Poca
- Lee Ann Kagy and🐴Eclipse
- Caryl Richardson and🐴Jack
- Ashley Edmonds Boswell and🐴Riker
- Lynn Punturi and🐴Edison
- Meg Brauch and🐴Paladin
You all have such great attitudes towards the work and it is awesome to be able to really dive into the 2mm details in the ‘optimizing’ phase and to learn new things together in the ‘teaching’ phase. It was so great to work with this variety of breeds, personalities, shapes and sizes and it was wonderful to see the breakthroughs and improvements that happened in each lesson! 👏 Way to go everyone! 😍🎉
And a special thanks for our spectators for the supportive atmosphere! It was great to meet ST Mastery STudents, Home Study Course STudents as well as a new, fresh group of riders from 24 States and Canada. You all rock! 😍 🎉
Looking forward to seeing you all at one of our future ST events in the States. In the meantime have fun with your horses with ST Instructors Meg Brauch, Rebecca Gilbert ST Instructor, Carolin Moldenhauer ST-Instructor and Kim Steutel ST Instructor who also teach in the US and Canada!
Every day we started with a one-hour theory session. And during the Saturday session we streamed live during a Facebook Live session and the recordings can be found here:
During the clinic Marc and Luther filmed with a professional camera and parts of these footings will be visible in the ST Mastery Program in the future.
However, this video is made with our Samsung, Iphone and Drone camera’s to give you an impression of the atmosphere during the clinic:
Check out the photo album of the second Straightness Training Mastery clinic in the US and in the album you’ll find 32 photo’s with helpful explanations and valuable comments and feedback alongside each pic.
Nr #1 Insights of Participants shared on Facebook
Katie Chaput There was so much valuable information that I took with me from the first day, but my number one would be a clearer and deeper understanding of the stand still exercises and their importance. The analogy of the bow leaking energy and what the avoidance behaviors can tell you. To be persistent and clear with what you are asking and RRR at the slightest try. Can’t wait to learn more!!!
Jody L. Kiefer my take away for the weekend, really difficult to name just one, but I think it would have to be, no matter how small the effort is from the horse, recognize it and R, R, R (release, reward, relax).
Dora Hebrock Finding balance is like finding the right temperature in the shower. First too hot, then too cold, with a bit of tweaking eventually just right. And every shower is different 😀
Lise Lunde When you lose the picture and feeling- the horse can know this even before you realize it yourself. Being present is key.
Delaine M Wright How about how magical the standstill exercises can be(!!) – in placing the nose/positioning the poll, creating a tomato shape right from the start, finding and releasing blocks… and as you move into LFS – “lighting up the Christmas tree” by reminding your horse to use the stomach, outside hind, inside hind – then nose comes on vertical and you have a lovely connection from behind and over the top line.
I also can’t express enough how grateful I am to have been a part of the amazing experience. Wonderful Marijke! Only “one thing” seems like positive punishment… lol – but the standstill exercises to supple up and place the head in the teaching phase of RENVERS (!!)… breaking it down step by step – be particular, and precise…. WAITING until your horse is supple to ask for ONE QUALITY step forward and KEEPING that outside bend / renvers position after that step – then “capture” – BINGO with Release-Reward-Relax!! So that HE takes the responsibility for the shape!! Crisp, clear communication. Absolutely beautiful! LUV this ST process and community – safe travels home all and have fun in your laboratories!
Shawn Ratliff So far my biggest takeaway is that we need to work more towards creating a “thinking” horse, and the mental training must come before the physical training can happen.
Katja Mueller Establishe that the horse pays attention to you before you start, work on the relationship, are we together, eyes on me.
Carolyn McEvitt Allowing the horse to keep the shape you would like from them….how repetition is important in teaching them to be responsible for the position themselves without you having to support them all the time. They should not be robots. I LOVE ST! I was an auditor this time around with Marijke and got so many insights from her lectures and observing how she worked with each of the participants. The #1 take away for me was to have a framework that the horse may work in, but to be sure to allow the horse to take the responsibility to maintain that framework. It was such a common theme through all the lessons. It is repetition, it is consistency, it is relaxing and praising when even one moment is correct…cementing the concept and communication with the horse. I ALWAYS get something out of the ST clinics!!
Mary Ann Brewer Many questions were answered yesterday! One of the biggest is how to help remain in the tomato shape posture on the lunge. I now see the lunge work as a bridge to keeping the posture for riding! Ultimately, every training pillar supports the whole picture.
Kimberly Nemchek My favorite moment from today was when Marijke said “If you can’t do it, do it.”
Adrienne Cohn So many, but after going straight to my laboratory yesterday, the “Christmas tree” concept and the horse taking responsibility made a HUGE difference! We started to get the diagonal off the wall!! Also, your wonderful break down of teaching the Renver. Got ONE step. Wonderful! Thank you so much.
Jennifer Morris My insights (so far, there is a lot to ponder and try)
1) dexterity with the whip isn’t optional–you need to be precise, quick & light
2) the stretch zone is for both of us–and I have to take responsibility for regularly challenging myself and my horse
3) if there is a clinic with Marijke de Jong–get there!
Bonus insight: When Mana and I started to work tonight, what stuck in my mind was Marijke’s absolute faith and trust that the horses would figure it out and how she inspired the clinic participants to find the same inner picture and feeling. . and the horses resonated to that inner picture and feeling and visibly took more responsibility and pride in their jobs. Now, I love my horse and I trust my horse and I have fun with my horse, but that isn’t enough . So tonight I tried to believe with all my heart, which resulted in a great working session in total harmony with each other while chaos reigned outside the arena (it turns out the construction that was supposed to be done, was not–shortly after we walked into the arena the lights came on, the people with the orange vests ran around, grinders and chippers and drillers and pounders all started grinding and chopping and drilling and pounding. We went and looked to be certain it was safe, he agreed I had all that noisy, bright, irritating stuff covered, and no problem. I am starting to think there is something to this inner picture, inner feeling thing 🙂
Stefanie Thielemann “Let them do it themselves!” Position them and release them to be responsible for doing the behavior! Also, redirect negative behavior instead of just ignoring it, as anything practiced will get better!! SO valuable.
Caryl Richardson I feel so grateful to have been a participant at this clinic. Marijke is a fantastic teacher. She has an amazing radar that finds the essential piece of the puzzle you need–not always the piece you thought you were looking for. I loved watching her take my horse for a moment and seeing how he responded to her clear, precise body language. The theme that kept coming up for Jack and me, woven through all the other wonderful learning, was the importance of connection. Marijke helped be find a heart/mind connection with Jack that will help us with our liberty work, but more importantly, help us with our relationship. Jack and I have a long history together, not all of it pretty. I love that we are healing each other with our ST work. The idea of connection continued in our ridden lesson with me working on feeling for the inside leg to support me and allow Jack to soften and search for the outside rein, feeling for the physical connection between us. Another idea that came clearer for me, one that we have all heard in the ST materials over and over: what’s that phrase? Which foot, how fast, how much? I realized that that means DO IT NOW, DO IT ALWAYS, raise my standard.
Joan Muller Marijke excelled in communicating—when explaining theory, when giving explicit guidance to participants (while making her comments very much in context for audience understanding) and also when handling horses herself to demonstrate details, nuances and small shifts to improve quality in a horse’s mind or movement. How valuable to see the change from “teaching phase” to optimizing (my personal favorite), or watch a horse and rider duo go into the stretch zone and integrate new learning right before our eyes. Having been both a participant and auditor in an ST clinic, I can confirm that both experiences are deeply rich and will influence an ST member far beyond the event!
Kathleen Coleman Ladendecker I loved the metaphor of “the wind in the sails” to describe the whip and rein connection, twinkling the whip to create the energy to “fill the sails” and create roundness, shown in-hand. Beautiful imagery and a beautiful energy to work in. For those that didn’t have the pleasure of seeing it, I must note that the energy created the shape, not so much the hands and reins, following ST principles. It was as if the wind filled the space of the sail and created the shape, and beautiful balanced movement followed.
Alice Moon-Fanelli Superb lectures and instruction! Thank you for everything! My brain is spent and I can’t think at the moment of one particularly important “takeaway” that was more valuable than the others. Perhaps having a feeling of better understanding of the “pieces” and a strong desire to return to the “blue” level of self mastery for a new perspective of training and developing my relationship with my horse. I see the light at the beginning of the tunnel and it’s taking shape!
Lyda Pola I have spent my first night home trying to portray on paper (being an artist) the feelings I had while riding Poca in a LFS circle with Marijke leading from the ground. I could feel every footstep Poca took and started to feel where each hoof should land for self carriage with relaxation. My homework is doing this for 7 days, (which I have never done) and I will post my insights and progress in the Mastery page in the coming days. Watching all the participants and their wonderful horses added so many new approaches for me to influence all of my horses and their development. My knees are still shaking.
Lee Ann Kagy Feeling full of Love for my horses and my horse world family. It was so inspiring to get to know some of you better, some for the first time and to connect with you all on a deeper level. Feeling full of Gratitude for having found the Straightness Mastery Program and for Marijke de Jong who is committed to teaching us how to be able to share in her life gift of deeply understanding both horses and humans. I am so grateful for the opportunity to participant in the clinic. I am still in awe that it is a reality. I am filled with Respect for all of my horse brothers and sisters who have decided to take this Straightness journey as well. You are special. I have been asked what my clinic take away is. In my minds eye ST is like this gigantic thousand piece puzzle. During the clinic and because of the instruction received I have been able to connect pieces of that puzzle particularly for the haunches in and the start of working in hand. I have that feeling inside like when I was a kid putting together a picture puzzle. I have found some connecting pieces!!!
Bird’s Eye View on Narnia Stables
During our stay at Narnia Stables we made a video from ‘above’ with our drone camera ;).
The video is starring Katherine Nee and her horse Babaloo, who made the photo’s during the clinic, which are visible in the photo album on Facebook.
ST Instructor Meg Brauch
Looking forward to seeing you all at one of our future ST events in the States.
In the meantime have fun with your horses with ST Instructor Meg Brauch who teaches all over the US: