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At liberty

At libertyLiberty training is also an important training pillar in Straightness Training.

Because especially at liberty, the “science” and the “art” of ST come together.

The SCIENCE of Straightness Training

In ST we have the mantra of “Think First, Act Later.”

So the science is about “thinking”, about studying theory, from the outside-in, understanding why we do the things we do when training horses, knowing the exercises intellectually, rationally, conceptually.

This comes from thinking and studying.

The ART of Straightness Training

The art of ST is about “acting”, it’s about knowing how to work in the moment, how to deal in practice with the challenges that arise, it’s about following your feeling, from the inside-out, intuitively.

This comes from experience and practice.

Wonderful Blend

Now ST allows you to bring the two concepts of science and art together:

  • It gives you the concepts so you can understand the asymmetry, anatomy, the biomechanics, the gymnastic benefit of all the exercises we do, along with the science and psychology of animal training and behavior.
  • And it allows you to fill in the details, your personal piece of art, which is unique to each person, because your own experiences, emotions, and energy play a role in your connection with your horse.

Especially ST at liberty and riding without reins give you this wonderful blend of both the science and art of Straightness Training.

Because with the tools, to a great extend you can ‘make’ a horse do things.

But without any tools, you need a deeper connection, to master your energy, and you need to be able to inspire your horse to get things done.

The “Truth”

When you take off the cavesson, the curb, the reins, the longe line, you’re left with one thing: the truth.

You might be able to do a wonderful piaffe with your horse and a bridle, but is he able to do it without?

Does he WANT to do the piaffe rather then to be MADE to perform this exercise?

Does he have not only a balanced body, but also a balanced mind?

And do you have a balanced relationship, so that he stays with you during the exersise and doesn’t leave you?

You can check out this ‘truth’ by doing Straightness Training at liberty.

You will find out if your horse trusts you, if he respects you, if he likes to work with you and if he WANTS to do what you want!

Because at liberty you can’t control your horse physically, you can’t MAKE him do something, and you can’t MAKE him to behave.

At liberty At liberty

Investigate the truth…

At liberty you can do a lot of investigation:

At liberty

  • How does your horse responds to only your inner thoughts, feeling, energy and body language?
  • Does he see the whip as an extension of your energy or is he afraid of it?
  • Is he able to bend to the inside on a circle without any help of cavesson, reins or longe-line?
  • Does he WANT to curve his body to the inside? Or do you notice that you actually have to MAKE him bend all the time?
  • So is his MIND with you during the circle? Is he “thinking” to the inside?
  • At libertyDoes he show self carriage in the more difficult exercises at liberty or can’t he do it without the ‘side wheels’ you give him (support of reins/legs)?
  • Is he asking questions and doing suggestions? Does he offer to do things for you?
  • So is there a nice dialogue between you and the horse?
  • Or is it more like a monologue with only you expressing your thoughts and wants?
  • Is his reaction “Bye, I’m outta here” or “Hello, I’m in!” 😉


  • “Bye, I’m outta here!”
  • No lateral bend
  • Tension
  • Hollow back, high head & neck
  • Out of balance
  • Thinking outside
  • “Hello, I’m in!”
  • Lateral bend
  • Relaxation
  • Round back, low head & neck
  • Balance
  • Thinking inside

At liberty At liberty At liberty

“AHA, that’s interesting”

Whatever end result you get, don’t think “OH NO”, but think “AHA, that’s interesting”.

areas-of-straightness-trainingWhatever happens, whatever the truth is, take responsibility.

See it as a study: study yourself, study your horse, study the body, mind, emotions & spirit, study the relationship.

Know what you want, and change your approach if you don’t have what you want.

The end result of proper straightness training is:

  • A balanced body of the horse
  • A balanced mind of the horse
  • Balanced emotions of the horse
  • A balanced spirit of the horse
  • A balanced body of the rider
  • A balanced mind of the rider
  • Balanced emotions of the rider
  • A balanced spirit of the horse
  • A balanced relationship between both

straightness trainingYou need to see which element is getting out of balance and you have to address it.

So if something is out of balance, see it as a challenge!

STart today: Sign up for free!

If you want to learn more about how to start Straightness Training, then join my free 4 part Mini Mastery Course!

This is what you’ll discover:

  • How to avoid the training pitfalls that I’ve fallen into, and almost every rider falls into, and which make training your horse ten times harder!
  • How to teach your horse a new exercise in a horse-friendly and stress-free way.
  • How to eliminate unnecessary stress, frustration, and disappointment, and fast-track your progression!
  • Six simple keys to make horse training and riding easy, no matter what discipline you’re in, and no matter what breed or age!

This mini course really is worth watching – not only useful insights and tips, but also seeing the learning stages that both a less experienced and more experienced horse had to go through to achieve the desired results.

All 4 video clips are accompanied by easy to understand theory and explanations, which makes it easy to follow and the processes even more clear!

Plus,  the downloadable manuals are very informative, useful and helpful!

So don’t miss out on it and join the course, it’s 100% free:

► Click HERE to Join ST Mini Mastery >>

3 thoughts on “At liberty

Comment author said

By heather fadida on 20 February 2013 at 09:06

Your tips make my day and I love your book thankyou


Comment author said

By kelly on 7 December 2015 at 03:02

Ola meu nome é kelly sou do brasil e quero saber se voce vira novamente ao brasil para uma aula e se as tecnicas aqui ensinadas por voce pode ser feita com qualquer raça de cavalo ?


Comment author said

By Jack on 2 April 2019 at 02:00

Just started liberty with my 13.0 hh gelding and 14.2 hh mare, both appaloosas and I’m LOVING IT! They are too and I notice he is way more in tune to what I ask and how he responds than EVER before! AMAZING!!! Work!

p.s: Thank you for the tips! Really changed my perspective on what the word HORSE truly means. LOL! <3 😉 🙂 😛 XD


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