Straightness training is about perfecting mother nature. It’s not working against the nature of the horse. It is all about helping our horse flourish and become the best they can be.
The artificial movements in straightness training are derived from the natural movements of the horse’s body and they are meant to perfect Mother Nature.
For example: A stallion that meets another horse will have a beautiful appearance.
When a strange horse comes upon the scene, or he sees himself in the mirror the attention of the stallion is naturally aroused and his body prepares for action.
He raises his head, arches his back, and brings his legs more under his body. This makes it easier for him to make sudden changes of direction.In this ‘natural’ collection the horse’s haunches are bended, the front is lifted, the neck is lengthened……. and this is exactly what we are looking for in straightness training.
Through straightness training, the horse learns to collect itself when requested to do so by the human.
Let it arise organically, don’t produce it mechanically
Training horses is like sculpting. It’s like creating the David statue – the marble statue of the well muscled the Biblical hero David – which is is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture, created between 1501 and 1504 by the Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer Michelangelo.
Now the story goes that people asked Michelangelo how he made the statue, and that he said something like:
“I didn’t create it, it was already in the marble block, I just had to take away the excess pieces of marble and then it came out”..
That’s a nice metaphor when it comes to training horses, because also there it’s important to not produce things ‘mechanically’ with our tools and techniques, but to allow the horse to let his quality in the performance arise ‘organically’.
So we should never ‘squeeze’ a horse into an exercise because that might create tension. And the exercises are meant to do the opposite; to help the horse to get supple, mobile and agile and strong.
Remember, the horse is not for the exercises; the exercises are for the horse. He should not fit in the exercises; the exercises should fit the horse.
All ST exercises are derived from natural movements and they are meant to perfect Mother Nature.
ST never wants to work against the horse’s nature, it’ always helping the horse so he can be prepared for his job; to carry a rider and he can do this in a healthy and happy way until an old age.
So take care not to produce things mechanically with your tools and techniques, remember, it’s already there; you just have to allow it to come out, so just let it arise organically.