Just like every human; every horse is left - or right-handed, both in the front legs and the hind legs. A horse is also bent to the left or right in its body and it carries more weight on the front legs than on the hind legs.
This is not new information! In the 17th century, Grandmaster in the art of riding Antoine de Pluvinel (1552 – 1620) already described the natural asymmetry of horses. François Robichon de La Guérinière (1688 – 1751) and Gustav Steinbrecht (1808 – 1885) also wrote about this phenomenon in their books.
When we do not recognize and correct this natural asymmetry and imbalance of the horse, it can lead to several physical and behavioral problems.
Here are a few examples:
Many of these physical problems with horses can be better solved with exercises than just with physiotherapy, osteopathy, or drugs. That’s why it’s so important that we recognize the symptoms of natural asymmetry and provide the solution. The key is to deal with the cause of the problems and not just with the symptoms! This is where we need Straightness Training.
Straightness training can be seen as a kind of ‘horse Yoga’ or ‘horse Pilates’ that consists of logical systematic movements that develop the horse symmetrically in body and limbs. The horse will then carry the weight properly, collect and be more evenly balanced and thus keep the horse fit, healthy and happy until old age. Anatomically disadvantaged horses with poor conformation and even lameness can be corrected by training for straightness.
No matter if you study the works of Xenophon, a student of Socrates (about 400 b.c.), Robichon de la Guérinière (eighteenth century), or Felix Bürkner (Cavalry School, Berlin, early twentieth century)—the basic straightness training classical dressage principles of dealing and working with horses have been valid across the centuries. They are also valid for all types of riding—not just dressage, but for all other equine sports, even western disciplines, and pleasure / trail riding horses.
All the training starts on the ground and can be done with any age, breed, or size of horse. The in-hand work and correct longing paves the way to good ridden work. Would you like to learn how to help your horse become stronger, straighter, more balanced so that he is more confident and performs better? Every horse is unique and needs a tailor–made Straightness Training program – that is where a certified instructor can help!
Contact email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Gerd Heuschmann book Tug of War proves how incorrect riding has a negative effect on the horse’s health. He then clarifies why it’s worthwhile to train your horse according to time-proven, Classical Principles.” The goal of training should be to further the horse’s capacity to perform and optimize his physical beauty as well as his overall well-being by taking enough time.’
Straightness training is a logical system of progressive exercises.
The founder of straightness training academy is Marijke De Jong and she leads the online coaching program in The ST Academy and certification of ST Instructors. Her mission is to end unnecessary suffering and to help riders have their horse mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually fit into late life.
Winter 2023 Liberty shoulder in left