When we do Straightness Training (ST) we work as follows:
- We are committed to a plan.
- But we are always flexible in our approach.
You could also perceive it like this:
The SCIENCE of Straightness Training
The science of ST and horse training is the plan.
In ST we have the mantra of "think first, act later."
It's 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 and horsemanship is being flexible.
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.
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 horsemanship.
We Need Them Both
Minds are like umbrellas: they only function when they are open!
Especially in Straightness Training it's important to not only follow the 'science', the 'thinking', the rational, conceptual path of horse training.
You also need to add the 'art', your intuition, your gut feeling, the natural, organical path of horse training.
That's the difference between knowing ST intellectually - from the outside in - and knowing it as an experience - from the inside out.
It's a big difference between the two!
But we can only find and create the art if we dare to think outside the scientific boxes.
The Map is not the Territory
If we want to do Straightness Training, then we must be comfortable with the fact that the "map" is not the "territory".
That "words" are no replacement for the "experience".
That the "idea" of Straightness Training is different from the "practice" of it.
That we can have a "plan" on how to approach it, but that we need to be flexible and "tailor made" in our approach.
At the very best, "maps" and "words" and "plans" can only motivate, inspire, or point the way.
Now for the intellectual, rational mind that wants to understand, and explain, and analize everything, this can be quite frustrating sometimes.
But when we’re talking about Straightness Training, we’re just talking about how to orientate ourselves towards the experience.
Words themselves they are not "the thing".
They are just pointing us in a particular direction of our own experience.
Like the map guides us through the territory.
Life is what's happening to you while you're busy making other plans.
Of course we need to "Think first, act later", but it's really important not to hang tightly onto the words, the maps, and our plans.
But instead, allow ourselves experience Straightness Training directly with our horses in our own laboratory, where we listen to our horse, change our approach, until we get what we want.
That's how the Art of Straightness Training will arise.
Now if you'd like to learn more about this:
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