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What is the difference between Straightness Training and…

Riders who want to develop their horse to the highest possible level when it comes to dressage...

... but are not (only) interested in

  • Sports dressage
  • Competition dressage
  • Modern dressage
  • Natural horsemanship riding
  • or trick training

... will often be attracted to the principles of the old grandmasters and their ‘classical’ way of training horses.

Nowadays, there are many classical styles available under the names:

  • Classical riding
  • Classical dressage
  • Classical equitation
  • Classical horsemanship
  • Classical art of riding
  • Academic art of riding
  • Academic riding
  • Art to ride
  • Art of riding
  • Art of horsemanship
  • Artistic dressage
  • Equestrian art
  • Baroque riding
  • Renaissance riding
  • German dressage
  • French dressage
  • Spanish riding
  • Italian school
  • Working equitation
  • Vaquero riding

etc...

So a frequently asked question is:

What's the difference between Straightness Training and these classical styles?

To give you the answer, let's first dive into some history...

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Avoid Too Much, Too Long, Too Often, Sudden, Steady Pressure

When we practice Straightness Training (ST) exercises - for example the exercise 'forward down' - we need to avoid:

❌too much pressure
❌too long pressure
❌too often pressure
❌sudden pressure
❌steady pressure

Because these kinds of pressure might trigger the following:

⛔️The horse goes in the opposite direction and in a state of 'flight'

⛔️The horse goes against the pressure and gets in a state of 'fight'

⛔️The horse ignores the pressure and gets in a state of 'freeze'

 

As a result you end up in a push/pull contest or a nipping/biting game!

Now don't think it's the horse's fault...

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