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Straight with LFS

straight-with-lfsLFS on a straight line is an important exercise to reduce the thrust of the hind legs, to improve the coordination with the inside hind leg and to connect the inside hind leg to the center of mass.

LFS stands for:

1. L ateral bending of the body
2. F orward-down tendency of head and neck
3. S tepping under with the inside hind leg under the center of mass.

So the L is for Lateral bending, the F stands for Forward-down and the S for Stepping under.

When the LFS is correct, the horse moves in a balanced way on a straight line, without falling on the inside shoulder, or leaning against the wall with the outside shoulder.


LFS on a straight line is a good exercise to prepare the horse for the exercises shoulder-fore and shoulder-in.

During shoulder-fore and shoulder-in you are working with an outside rein, but it is important to understand that you can only start to bring the shoulders in with this outside rein, once the horse is soft and supple on the inside rein.

LFS on a straight line helps the horse to find softness and suppleness on this inside rein.

LFS vs Shoulder-fore vs Shoulder-in

  • In LFS we strive to have the horse step with the inside hind leg at least into the track of the inside front leg. So both inside legs are aligned. We also call this ‘bended straight’.
  • In shoulder-fore (picture on the left) we strive to have the horse step with the inside hind leg in between the tracks of the two front legs. Here both outside legs are aligned.
  • In shoulder-in we strive to have the horse step with the inside hind leg into the track of the outside front leg – on three tracks (middle picture) –  or even move on four tracks (right picture), depending on the extent of the bend.

LFS on a straight line can be done in groundwork, where you work with a single line. Shoulder-fore and shoulder-in can also done in work in hand with help of the indirect outside rein.

Straightness Exercises

From left to right: shoulder-fore, shoulder-in on three tracks, shoulder-in on four tracks

Teaching the exercise to the horse

Bringing the 3 keys on the straight line can lead to a real breakthrough in the training of your horse and can bring your horse to the next level of balance.

In this video I’ll show you how to teach it to your horse and how it worked out for my horse Toronto:

Links to Related and Recommended Articles

Join My Free Training

Jump on over to my free training were you get a three-step process for implementing Straightness Training in your training sessions right now.

Watch two videos and download your free eBook about the ST Exercises which will help you put the information into action right away:

5 thoughts on “Straight with LFS

Comment author said

By Camille Houston on 12 September 2015 at 11:17

I have been doing some ST with my mare, only by following your free videos. I really think that it has helped her step under herself easier. Thank you for letting us see this wonderful training. I’m unable to afford the home study course but will continue to watch with interest!


Comment author said

By Emma Bruce on 3 November 2015 at 14:31

Great video with really good results and easy to follow and understand. Thank you


Comment author said

By Simone on 14 November 2015 at 16:25

Dear Marijke, thanks a lot for those free videos and comments. I have been reading Steinbrecht and I`ve noticed, that he tells some failures in shoulder or haunches in, that make the horse not stepping correctly under the point of weight. I wondered if it would be possible to create some more videos showing wrong-doings and mistakes so that it would be more easy to recognize them. That would be a great help!
Thank you so much for your inspiring work and the “translation” of the old masters to our generation 🙂


Comment author said

By Judy Rothwell on 17 April 2016 at 11:18

So good to see Toronto struggling in the beginning, as it shows me that Poppy and I can also hope to achieve our straightness goal. I am going on a Straightness training day next month in Salisbury, and hope to embark on your home study course after that. Having just had major back surgery, my beautiful but troubled mare and l needed a way forward. We both know that you are our key. Thankyou!


Comment author said

By Nelleke Alers on 1 July 2016 at 19:15

Bonjour Marijke,
First of all i would like to thank you for all your information!
Living in France ( origine Hollandaise) i would like to be able to share this with French talking horsefriends. Is all your information available en Francais? I wish you well in improving the world for horses!!


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