Kadri Mäkišev from Estonia graduated in the Straightness Training Academy in Grade 1. Congratulations Kadri, keep up the fabulous work in the Scholar Program!
And thanks, Kadri, for taking the time to share your experience with the program:
❝ I have been a horse-crazy person for most of my life. When I was 12 years old I finally got a chance to go riding.
In March 2016 I had bought myself a young 4-years old Tori breed mare who I knew since her birth and now some years later she had suddenly came back into my life. Until joining the ST academy we had mainly done horse carriage work and when I started riding I felt that she was tensed, unbalanced. And as I had previously some quite bad falls from horses, this made me quite insecure, I did not want unpleasant experiences with her. So when I experienced that the riding sessions were not fun at all, I started to search for a solution, some guidance on how to train a young horse in a horse-friendly way, and of course, improve my own quite poor riding skills. As a very sensitive horse, she showed me signs that my approach did not suit her, it took some effort to catch her from the paddock and I saw that my horse is not enjoying my company.
Then I heard through my friend about a method that is horse friendly and focuses on their natural asymmetry – Straightness Training. I started to search for more information about it and after joining Mini-Mastery at the end of 2016 I felt that this concept resonates with me very well.
So at the beginning of 2017, I joined the Home Study Course, but when I dived into this I felt some overwhelm. Then I got an e-mail from Marijke that the doors of ST Mastery are reopened for 24 hours and I decided to take this huge step and join the Mastery program. This was the beginning of a huge path of horse training and self-development. The first topic that resonated with me in this big program was self-development – as in order to be a great horse trainer, we have to be the very best example ourselves. At that time I was having hard times so the human psychology part was what I needed the most at the beginning. But when I started to train my horse, it was a very bumpy road.
The whole first year was a huge challenge… I passed the first Groundwork Grade 1 Touchstone and I thought that now I know something, but working with the next pillars revealed that there was still a lot to learn. So after getting my fourth “Please resubmit“. I decided to return to the main basic pillar – Groundwork, to establish a solid foundation.
Next year I decided that I want to see what real Straightness Training looks like, to widen and broaden my knowledge base. So I and my study buddy Anu decided to travel to Finland to visit ST Instructor Kim Steutel’s workshop. Next month I traveled alone to Sweden to visit ST Instructor Carolin Moldenhauer’s workshop. I picked up many insights and lightbulb moments there and started to work hard in the Groundwork pillar. This created much better awareness in other pillars as well, but the real turnaround took place when Carolin suggested in my Touchstone feedback to me to dive deep into the Liberty pillar, to improve our mental connection. Visiting ST Instructor Rebecca Gilbert’s Mastery Clinics in the Netherlands and Germany gave a lot of tips on how to approach the Liberty pillar.
At the end of 2019, I decided to join the ReSTart program, which turned into the Rising STars Project where Marijke introduced new conception Hot Seats, which is an online review of the training videos that are taken according to a Touchstone script. I got so much knowledge and awareness from there, also it trained my eye a lot to start analyzing my own training videos even though I did not submit any videos myself yet.
When the Scholars Program was introduced in July 2020, I knew that this is the next step that I want to take. So I was so happy when I won a free month in Scholars and as I loved this intensive way of approach I decided to continue and now I have done already 5 continuous cycles of submitting Hot Seats, Breakthroughs, and Touchstones!
During the last months, I have worked hard in the Riding pillar. As most of the time of my life, I have been a pleasure rider, doing hacking out, I have experienced a lot of imbalance and crookedness in my own body which has been challenging to improve. But with the help of Marijke in the HotSeats, Breakthroughs, and Mastermind sessions and the feedback from Carolin in my submitted Touchstones I feel that now finally I am getting somewhere.
The Scholars Program is just a fantastic way to go! And of course, seeing the other Scholars’ work, the challenges they are facing and the feedback they are given provides so much value and awareness. And of course our community- the most supportive and empowering community I have ever belonged to. So I can say that there are not enough words to describe how grateful I am that I got this challenging horse, who guided me onto this new road of my life! ❞
~ Kadri Mäkišev from Estonia
Kadri is a Scholar in the ST Academy, and this month, she passed her Riding Grade 1 Touchstone with her mare Lemmi, and with that milestone, she has passed all 5 Touchstones in Grade 1 – learn more here »