When people start Straightness Training or start with one of my online programs, frequently asked questions are:
- Do I need to quit riding when I start ST?
- Should I treat my horse as if I am starting my horse all over from scratch?
- Is groundwork all that you do with your horse in the first months?
- Or do people still ride during this time?
- Or would riding during slow down or even inhibit the process of building the correct muscles in groundwork?
When riders start to get enthusiastic about Straightness Training, the most common questions are:
- Where do I start?
- How often do I need to train?
- How many days a week?
- How many minutes a day?
Here are 7 tips to get a grip on how train your horse with ST!
When people start doing Straightness Training some of the most frequently asked questions are:
- Can I mix Straightness Training with (other types of) riding?
- What if I do jumping/ eventing/ hacking out/ classical equitation/ western / natural horsemanship/.... is Straightness Training something I do alongside this?
- What if I ride bitless?
- While I build up the exercises from the ground, what do you suggest about riding my horse in the meantime?
- Or do I need to give up what I LOVE?
During Straightness Training it's important that your horse not only understands what you want him to do, but that he's is also inspired and willing and motivated to meet your request.
Especialy during ST at liberty it's important that your horse feels inspired, because when you ask your horse to do something ‘difficult’ or if you ask for something that requires a lot of effort and energy, such as the piaffe, it's important that he will still choose to stay with you rather than to leave you.
Now at liberty a horse may stay with you when you don’t ask him anything or when all the things you ask him to do are very easy. But as soon as he has to work a little harder, or you leave the ‘comfort zone’ and you enter the ‘stretch zone’ with your horse, he may choose to leave. But he will not if he’s inspired and motivated to meet your request from the inside out.
Therefore you need to be sure your horse is interested in and inspired by you, that he’s motivated to work with you and that he’s attracted to you. If you have enough draw for your horse, if he sees you as the best place to be, no matter what, he will not leave you at liberty, even though he has to work a little extra or has to put some serious effort to get the job done.
Of course the same 'spirit' of the horse is also desirable not only at liberty but also in the other training components - groundwork, longeing, work in hand or riding.
Now here are 8 tips on how to inspire your horse: