Lisa has some great insights to share about the Mastery and Evaluation Program, and how it has helped her on her wonderful ST journey:
"My long-time equine partner of 20 years was getting older and I knew that I would need to look at a second horse to carry on as she gets older. Enter my ‘project’ horse, Harvey (aka All Dun Out O Pep) …. Now my Straightness Training Partner.
Harvey came to me as an unbroke 5 ½ yr old. He was a nervous, highly spooky, untrusting, and unbalanced soul, who was very difficult to catch because of these behaviors. I used my typical round pen work and was making some headway, but still, the underlying issues existed. Amongst the trust issues, was a horse unable to 'canter' … he could only walk/trot/gallop! ... and when I say gallop, I am talking tail and head in the air, turf flying, ground thundering! I discovered a holistic bodywork protocol, called Equi-Bow, which helped to balance this guy, physically and emotionally. Shortly after, I stumbled upon Straightness Training on Facebook, completely by accident. I guess ST found me. Curious, I signed up for the Home Study Program in early 2016. I practiced ST for a couple of minutes a day, literally, and then progressed to present, having joined the Straightness Training Mastery Program in July 2016 and now achieved a personal milestone of passing Grade 1. We are a better team now, as ST has helped improve both of our abilities to communicate, connect and work as true partners! By the way, Harvey can now be seen cantering alongside my other horse in the field of his own accord!
I love how ST Mastery and the Straightness Training Evaluation Program provide me the education to continue to help balance my horse, as well as our relationship. After all, it is difficult to have a relationship without balance and trust. The Straightness Training program is extremely well structured, and is a great example of how a distance learning program can succeed, offering educational material, along with a feedback system.
I submitted my first Touchstone and passed. So excited, I thought “I got this … no problem!”. Then came the 2nd Touchstone and I was quickly returned to reality. Reward needs to come from doing your homework, practicing, and not just offering a ‘look alike”.
I quickly learned that I could only grow by studying, practicing and submitting additional Touchstones, digesting the incredibly detailed feedback that I receive from my evaluator, Zaneta Georgiades. Initially, I thought "Oh No, I have the hardest evaluator!! Uggh!!!" I now value her advice so much! After submitting/resubmitting several Touchstones, it is coming together nicely. Harvey is offering skills I never imagined he ever could. I have to remind myself of this because there was a time when I sat back and thought “Am I too old and impatient to train such a youngster?”, with others commenting that I would never train this horse.
The ST community is an added bonus, as it is a unique group of very supportive like-minded individuals. Attending clinics is a great additional option in this program for an additional learning experience. I have attended a handful of clinics when possible, and have even hosted a couple in Canada, with ST Instructor Kim Steutel.
I look forward to what we can achieve in Grade 2 as we grow and learn!"