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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 we 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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Checklist: How To Move Your Horse To A New Home?

Moving home will cause both you and your horse to leave the comfort zone, so for sure it will be 'stretchful', but it doesn't have to be stressful.

It just requires planning and here are a few things I learned from my experience in moving from the Netherlands to Portugal.

So let's wrap up the 'Moving to Portugal' series with the checklist with 3️⃣8️⃣ items on how to move a horse to a new home.

And I hope that - for those who will move their horses in the (near) future - it will help you and your horse to have your transition as close to comfortable as possible.

Now in this checklist, I divided the entire transition - from the old to the new home - into 6 phases:

  1. Early preparation
  2. Getting ready for transport
  3. Stress-free loading
  4. Traveling to your new location
  5. Arrival at the new home
  6. Reduce risks in the first week
  7. Settling down

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