Hanne Friberg from Denmark graduated in the Straightness Training Academy in Grade 1. Congratulations Hanne, keep up the fabulous work in the Premium Scholar Program!
And thanks, Hanne, for taking the time to share your experience with the program:
❝ I started my journey in Straightness Training in January 2017. I found Marijkes free Mini Mastery Program online and fell in love with the way she explained how I, as a rider, could help my horse stay strong and healthy until an old age.
At that point, I had bought my dream horse, Bucéfalo, in Spain and planned to grow old with him. So I entered the Mastery Program and found that it was all I ever dreamed of finding. Solid explanations on everything you could ever want to know in regard to horses - from how to connect with your horse, how to understand and motivate your horse, and also how to respect their wisdom and tap into that, to become a better trainer for your horse.
I have been riding since I was 4 years old and first saw Pippi Longstocking and her horse “Lila Gubban” on TV and convinced my mom to take me riding. So, even though I have +45 years of experience in traditional dressage riding, my dream is only now starting to come true. I finally have a relationship with my horse like the one I saw with Pippi and Lila Gubban.
I am a visual learner, so all the great metaphors that are in the Mastery Program are so very useful when you have to take the STuff you study in the theory with you into practicing with your horse. The concept of taking 'expeditions up the mountain' and then realizing that you forgot something and having to go back down to fetch that part and bring it with you back up the mountain again, explains so well how the scenic route is planned in ST.
For me, it has been a bumpy road, with lots of holes to fall in and many a ‘lunch break’ in the 'valley of despair', sometimes even a long weekend spent there! Expedition no. 9 has become my favorite one: “It’s always me”. But I now see that I don’t need to be a dull, 'happy flat-liner', it is good to have the downs so I can appreciate the ups. And there will always be new or old holes to fall in and learn from.
The self-mastery-part of ST is amazing. Marijke has a really integrated way of putting all kinds of interesting stuff together and combining it, so it makes so much sense to me. This part of ST has turned out to be so much more than what I thought it would be. Realizing that I have to be in balance - body, mind, heart, and soul before I can ask my horse to be in balance, has been a powerful lightbulb moment, and something to CANI endlessly. Changing the way, I look at things and then seeing that the things I look at change, is brilliant, but not easy. So, it’s nice that I only need to focus on progression and not perfection.
All the abbreviations have also helped me to keep a lot of the complex STuff simple. In the beginning, LFS was the only one to focus on, but now the IP/IF (inner picture and inner feeling) has also become an important one for me to get a grip on. Being able to use IP/IF in my work with Bucéfalo has been and always will be the most important change in my way of being with him. Bucéfalo is strong and healthy in body, mind, heart, and soul – and to me, he is the wise master and I am the student. He is so willing to play with me and to give me his opinion, I just have to learn to listen. When I do that, we have so much fun together.
The Danish thinker, Søren Kierkegaard famously said: – "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards".
I think the same goes for the five pillars in Straightness Training. I had to go forward through Groundwork, Longeing, Work in Hand, and Riding to get to the Liberty pillar, only to realize that it would have made so much sense to start with the Liberty pillar! I never thought I would feel like this because it seemed so difficult to begin with, but the Liberty pillar in ST is where Bucéfalo and I have the most fun. I just love Bucéfalo’s facial expression when we get it right.
In July 2020, I won a month’s membership to the Premium Scholars. At first I was a bit overwhelmed, but I decided to go all-in and stay on board in the following months when Marijke introduced the monthly ‘cycles’ - including Self Mastery live classes, Hot Seats, Breakthroughs, Mastermind sessions, and then a Touchstone at the end of the month.
The Premium Scholars use slogans like “Fail-Fast-Forward” and “5-4-3-2-1-Go”. Getting into the routine of filming and sending in snippets of our work and getting the direct and immediate feedback from Marijke is spinning the learning cycle faster for me so it has taken my ST-journey to the next level.
When I first started my ST journey, I made a notebook just for this, and on the front of it says “Keep up momentum”. I did not know how true this was and how important a motto this would be. Keeping up momentum it so very hard when you are the only one in your area doing it, so the Premium Scholar Program has been the support I needed to do just that.
Getting to where I am today has been all about hunger, heart, and hard work, and, I would add, a little help from my friends! So, thank you to ST Instructor Kim Steutel for all the great hands-on help during our clinics in Denmark, and to ST Instructor Carolin Moldenhauer and ST Instructor Zaneta Georgiades for their inspirational and detailed feedback on my Touchstones, and to Marijke de Jong for making all this possible. Onwards and upwards! ❞
~ Hanne Friberg from Denmark
Hanne is a Premium Scholar in the ST Academy, and this month, she passed her Riding Grade 1 Touchstone with her gelding Bucéfalo, and with that milestone, she has passed all 5 Touchstones in Grade 1 - learn more here »