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ST Mastery Clinic in South Africa

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What an amazing time it has been during the very FIRST Straightness Training Mastery Clinic at Cadence Equine Center of ST Instructor Zaneta Georgiades in South Africa!!!


What a fantastic ST community in South Africa! Every single person brought open-minds and fantastic attitudes to the clinic, ready to learn and support each other! The entire clinic had an exciting, celebratory vibe and it has solidified our community’s foundation!


We were so thrilled by the participants – Zaneta Georgiades, Doerte Cappellato, Astrid Van Der Laan, Ansa Claassen, Bridget Hampton, and Lizelle Van Vuuren – and spectators who came from all over South Africa, as well as from Namibia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, to be a part of this unique event.

These two videos will give you an impression of the clinic and of the lovely diner we had together on Friday evening, perfectly organized by Zaneta’s other Charlene Georgiades:

Theory sessions

frameworksDuring the theory we spoke a lot about teaching our horse to do Straightness Training. And this schooling process depends on the relationship you have with your horse, mutual understanding and motivation. So we spoke about the following schooling frameworks:

  • 3 Schooling requirements: relationship, communication, and motivation.
  • 3 Schooling zones: comfort, stretch and stress zone.
  • 3 Schooling phases: teaching, optimizing and improving phase.
  • The Interaction Quadrant with the axis together-opposed and above-below.
  • The Motivation Quadrant with +R, -R, +P and -P.
  • The RRRRR formula with release, relax, reward, repeat and redirect and the Hot-Cold concept.
  • And many more frameworks.

And especially in the quadrants we found out that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ quadrant, but it’s important to stay in the balanced ‘green’ center and to avoid the extreme ‘red’ edges.

We also realised that these frameworks are just a ‘map of the territory‘: it helps you to navigate properly in the complex 3D world of the horse, but they are just ‘technical’ concepts and we have to fill in the ‘organical’ details when we start training the horse in practice. In all unique practical situations the science of ST needs to be combined with the art of ST.

Number #1 Insights

Here you can read the number #1 insights from some of the participants who where so generous to share their insight she ones who couldn’t make it this time can benefit from your experience too!

Liesl Kruger Awesome clinic thanks a million! My insights were how quickly horses can learn something in the teaching phase if the human’s timing is accurate. And that we don’t need to micro-manage all the time! Can’t wait to get back to my own lab!!

Lorraine Fenton One of the most valuable things I learned was if you are correcting in front you need to be twinkling with your whip behind or on the belly and then capture and shape that energy,all in a millisecond 🙂

Zuzette Van Zyl My insights was the value of release. The opening of the hand! Then also to progress in smaller steps of greater quality. Also I saw what impact the wrong tools could have. Dit was fantasties! Baie dankie Marijke! When the horse gets it: release, reward and relax! Improvise if things aren’t working. Listen to the horse’s feedback! Oh – that’s 3 and the list could go on 🙂

Madeleine Mahieu For me the mystery of the half halt revealed was invaluable. In all the years i have been riding i have been taught to half halt and have been teaching pupils to half halt but that was an eye opener. Also the timing of the half halt, the value of release,the different whip triggers, rest, release, relax and the list goes on!. I was amazed and touched how quickly our horses wil learn when we are tuned into each other. I am very excited for the future. Thank you Zaneta Georgiades and Marijke de Jong. What an awesome weekend!

Ansa Claassen The Release = Liberty… the feel and energy behind that concept is completely different to the one I had! And….my horse is a President (from a different country) and we are allies and drive together in stretch Mercedes to meetings.

Samantha Aronson Insights from the clinic… how to choose a single one!? I learned a wealth of “framework” knowledge that I’m excited to start exploring with my own horse! But I also learned the importance of the feel and the art. I’m a little bit guilty of living in the “Blue” house of Absolute Truth. And what was amazing was to witness first hand that you can have all the technicalities and “truths” in your corner but if you can’t FEEL the horse those extra 2mm you won’t get the best quality that you and your horse are capable of. How awesome to watch Marijke in action teaching people how to FEEL! It was also so great seeing how each participants own personality shone through their training style – I really like it! We can’t hope to gain feel by just copying other people. We need to integrate it into our core and make it a part of our selves 🙂 … Thanks for a super cool clinic!

Karen Dethioux The awareness of the hind leg when asking for the canter. Also “owning the canter” . Phenomenal clinic, so valuable! Thank you so much Zaneta and Marijke.

Kathryn Patricia Aronson Awesome clinic – what a privilege to meet Marijke de Jong in person – her energy + skill is even more amazing when seen in person . My favorite sayings from Marijke were : ” if you can t stop ….. You HAVE to stop” , ” Release-Relax-Reward” , ” Slay the Monsters while they are small” , and for me the best insight was “observe and be sensitive to horse’s behaviour – it is valuable Feedback”. Thank you Zaneta Georgiades and Marijke de Jong for an inspirational Clinic.

Tonie van den Heever As a spectator, my number 1 insight was to open the hand to allow for self carriage.

Doerte Cappellato Difficult to single one out, but the quickness of the half halt, followed by release, as well as implementing the farmer’s concept ALL the time probably changed my approach the most! Thank you thank you thank you Marijke and Zaneta.

Christine Blackett The farmer concept was the biggest eye opener for me, I often just leave the horses on a windy day but might actually start working through that now that I’ve seen it in play. I have also learned to be even more pedantic about releasing at the right moment.

Patricia Du Plooy “To be aware of what you are releasing for….” has just hit home as I realized my reaction to my daughter’s gelding pulling his head away from me (as if I might do him harm) as I wanted to take hold of his fly mask to pull out a stalk of hay, before putting on the halter to lead him off, I pulled back where I should have continued moving forward till he stopped! We are reinforcing his sometimes strange behaviour. °Light bulb moment°.

Kathleen Herrington The aids set the horse up for success – but it is the release (at the right time) that teaches him/her.

Wayne Lourens For me, it is that I should recognise more the smallest response-abilities of my gelding and be faster on my timing of release, reward, relax. Also, in our home laboratory, I need to experiment more in achieving and maintaining more motivation from him, which I have seen sporadically. He’s willing, and I have a distinct advantage in that Kathy (Herrington) has enough experience to help between Zaneta’s clinics.

Madeleine Mahieu All these comments are such awesome revision of everything learnt – enjoying reading them 🙂

Jordan Reinecke Not to just ignore problems and reward better behaviour. Playing the hot cold game and letting the horse know when he is cold(going off track), not only hot(on the right track).

Astrid Van Der Laan My number one insight was to stop thinking in boxes. Groundwork, liberty, WIH, longing are defined as pillars in ST, a science as you explained, but being a true artist is in combining all the skills and knowledge in the right moment and the right time… and then to release, reward and relax!

Nadja Steil How to select one insight after suffering frontal lobe heamotoma from trying to osmos every one of Marijke’s wisdoms. Walk like a cat and don’t keep ringing when the door has been answered. Words fail to express my appreciation… Thank you Marijke and Zaneta.

Mona Hassan For me it was the farmer concept. My boy didn’t know what happened to him and suddenly he saw me and listened to me. He can actually concentrate longer than 2 sec 🙂

And here’s some more feedback that was posted on Facebook:

Kathleen Herrington What an awesome weekend we have had spectating at Marijke de Jong’s first South African Straightness Training clinic. Learned and clarified many points. This is the most holistic way of training the horse AND RIDER using classical principles, and incorporating so many ‘methods’ into one cohesive whole that can be relatively easily followed, that I have yet experienced. Lovely to see the progress of all the participants. Thank you Zaneta Georgiades for organizing this event and for looking after us all so well. You are wonderful !!!!!!!!! , and we are really looking forward to seeing you in Natal in a few weeks time.

Tracy Vosloo An amazing 3 days full of inspiring life lessons and training tips to help all of us as we go onward and forward head on into our ST laboratory.

Sarah Hugow Thanks so much everyone, it was a wonderful experience! What a lovely ST community of practice we are building! Marijke and Zaneta we are so blessed to have you!

Ann Dormehl Such a fantastic workshop, well worth the trip! Learnt so much.

MarcKerstin de la Rue Thank you so much for organizing this event. It was fantastic and so wonderful to meet all the other ST students. We are very blessed to have Marijke and Zaneta as such inspiring teachers.

Hayley Kruger What a fantastic weekend!! Thanks Zaneta Georgiades and Marijke de Jong – learnt HEAPS !!!

Alette Rencken Wonderful clinic. Overload on all the info. Marijke grabs both riders and horses with her vibrant positive energy. An amazing woman !!!

STunning Cake

Jade Meyer made a STunning ST chocolate cake for all participants! And it tasted fantaSTic!

ST Cake st-cake


During the clinic it was very hot and the sun was burning, so we had to protect ourselves against the sun, therefore we looked like real gangters:

The Cadence Equestrian Team

Behind the scenes the Cadence Equestrian team did a great job by taking care of all horses:

Do you need ST help in Africa?

Then please contact ST Instructor Zaneta Georgiades here:

* Website: http://www.dance-in-harmony.com/

* FB Profile: https://www.facebook.com/zaneta.georgiades

* FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/DanceInHarmony.ZanetaGeorgiades

* FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/StraightnessTrainingSouthAfrica

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