Q&A Webinar June 8

webinar1 150x150 Q&A Webinar June 8If you missed the live straightness training webinar, you can now watch the recordings below.

To view a recording, choose which part of the webinar you want to watch, then click on the white arrow.

.The first part of the webinar:


Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:


Part 5:

The webinar was great!!
We had some very good questions and the audience was great!!

webinar11 150x150 Q&A Webinar June 8During the webinar we did a lottery. The winners of a membership to the Home Study Course Straightness Training are:

- Ellis from Denmark
- Conny from Sweden
- Dorothea from Germany
- Astaroth from Russia
- Tony from the UK

Thanks for watching
Best wishes,

handtekening Q&A Webinar June 8

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  1.   Vivianeon 06 Jun 2011 at 18:11

    Hi Marijke,
    first thank you for all I learned from you.
    Although you already explained it: Wy do the curb and the snaffle bit work so different. I didn´t understand that. You said how they work but I don´t understand why. Can you explain that again please?

    And how can I train my eye to see when the horse is falling on the inside or outside shoulder? If this is not really obvious this makes me problems.

    Thanks a lot for all what you are doing

  2.   Jamieon 06 Jun 2011 at 18:18

    Hi Marijke-thank you so much for making so much information available to us. I am just beginning to work with my horse in a “formal” way – to develop her self-carriage and her topline. But I don’t understand “straightness” at all, I think. How can I tell if my horse is or isn’t “straight?” How can a horse be “straight” on a circle? Thank you!

  3.   Ann Cragoon 06 Jun 2011 at 18:22

    Hi Marijke
    Just a quick question….My Ziggy has been taking lessons for just a year. He is just 7 years old now…and is ready to truly start learning to refine his transitions and so on at “Training Level ” He is an old style Draft type Haflinger ( stocky with thicker neck) and travels still a little too much on his forehand.
    My question is…do you think it would be OK to play with a leverage -type bit ( pelham ) just to give him the idea of lifting his head and front-end. I won’t use it everyday…but just ” play” with it and see what happens…Also should I use a curb-chain or not ??
    Thank you :)

  4.   Sabineon 06 Jun 2011 at 18:38

    Hi Marijke!
    First of all, I love your explanations about Straightness Training. It`s so important for the horses health.
    Now my question. I got recently a 6 year old Frisian Mare, a big, sporty type (1,68 m at the withers and long long legs). She is not ridden much yet, and had a foal last year. Raina is uneven at her back. The left side seems to be lower than the right side. When you sit on her, the saddle goes automatically to the left side, which causes problems for her and for me (i get also back pains on my left side). She can`t step so much under with her left foot, it`s a different from nearly a hoof length. She seems to be stiv, has no happyness at work. Hardly to move forward. (in the past she was ridden with too short reins, so she has a wrong neck position)
    I started with the Straightness training you explain, but it seems she does not progress, she just get tired.
    Can you give me some helpfull tips what I can do to come on the right way? How can I motivate her properly to like to bend and work. Is it ok to ride her, or would you just work with her from the ground? I ordered an corrigation pad to rise the left side of the saddle, can you recommend this or would you like to build the muscles equally up before mounting her again?
    A lot of questions…would love you come to Norway a time, so that we in the North can learn from you!
    Thank you!
    Best regards
    Sabine & Raina

  5.   Marinaon 06 Jun 2011 at 19:57

    Hi Marijke!

    I know that you do not recommend the begining of the training before 3 or 4 years old. But my 2 year old arabian mare doesn`t live in a herd so I can not leave her playing with the foals of the same year old. She knows leading, stop, backing up, stelling and forward down even on my voice and gesture.
    Do you think I may start LFS with her if working very slowly and carefully? To be honest I have already tried and I found her rather difficult to step under the point of weight in walk and to be active doing forward down in trot.
    Will you recommend me some exercises to bring her more impulse in trot or it may only be done when horse get older?
    And what do you think about working with youngers on longe? Will not it damage her leg joints?
    Thank you!

  6.   Dawna Vivianon 06 Jun 2011 at 20:38

    Hello Marijke.

    I very much admire your outlook that seeks the longterm wellbeing of the horse. I also very much admire your balance in the saddle. Philosophically, I am hoping that balance in the rider can help achieve balance in the horse. To that end, I am striving to learn to feel and know what it is I am feeling, in the saddle. Do you have any advise for exercises that help transfer the sensations felt at walk to a CLEAR understanding of what the horse’s legs are doing? When I focus, I can feel the shoulders drift, for example, or feel stiffness in the back, or feel that the shoulder is not responding to my leg and continues to drift. I would like to have a better feel for helping the hind leg step under, as well as a better feel for blocking the shoulder, as I would like to be absolutely certain I understand what the horse’s legs are doing as I work to develop a correct shoulder in and hindquarter in. Sometimes when we are starting out, my horse feels almost tippy, as though I need to correct each step with my seat bones/leg as he falls through one shoulder and then falls through the other. Is it reasonable to work so much through the seat and leg? I am very reluctant to rely on the reins, as my image of true balance is a horse who would need minimal or perhaps NO rein contact. Can clear understanding of the horse’s movement through the saddle help with this goal?

    Sorry for the length of this question that touches on many different areas. If you are able to respond, please feel free to abbreviate it as necessary!! Thanks again for your efforts to help our riding and our horses. I love the discipline that it must take to advance, but just a little at a time!!


  7.   Audrey Muschteron 06 Jun 2011 at 20:39

    Hoi Marijke,

    Ik heb een bijna 5 jarige connemara ruin die ik sinds februari zadelmak heb gemaakt. Heb recentelijke besloten hem te willen tainen volgens de principes van de academisch rijkunst om zo lang mogelijk van hem te kunnen genieten en ben dus begonnen met jouw gratis E-book te downloaden. Hij pakt alles heel goed is heel icht alleen ik heb een probleem met hem op de rechter hand. Zowel aan de longe als onder het zadel valt hij rechts naar binnen en neemt dus geen aanleuning op zijn buitenteugel. Ik moet eerlijk bekennen dat mijn rechterkant ook mijn zwakke kant is (ben linkshandig en na 3 kinderen is alles niet meer zo soepel als vroeger). Hoe los ik dit voor ons beide het beste op.

    Vele groetjes

  8.   Satuon 06 Jun 2011 at 20:51

    Hello Marijke, have 2 different challenge with 2 young horse; how to raise gallop? How to practice/teach the horses? Other one is slow for the leg and takes trott before galop. The other one is opposite, not lazy but goes too fast and also fastening trott before galop. Both have difficulties to raise galop but the other one a bit freezess, slow down and the other one goes too fast. What to do on the horseback & excersises? What about in hand and in lunging; sidereins etc. Thanking hugely! Satu

  9.   Kyla Latreilleon 06 Jun 2011 at 21:00

    Hi Marijke
    I have noticed from watching the many videos on you tube of students riding in the academic art of riding, that the head position is “long and low” or as you say “forward and down”. While I do recognize that this is a very important position for stretching the back muscles etc., I am wondering when would you ask for the horse’s head to come in a higher position? I did watch a video of you, Marijke, riding one of your horses and the head was in a much higher position but perhaps this horse was more advanced in your program. There are many studies that show that the lower the horses head is, although this benefits the back, the more weight is transferred to the forehand and vice versa. How long should one ride in this forward and down position.? Thanks Marijke

    Kyla (trying desperately to learn all the way from Canada)

  10.   RAon 06 Jun 2011 at 21:10

    Is it correct that the rider can make a horse crooked? if so do you have a method of knowing if the rider is crooked and that I could use to see if I’m straight or not. Should 2 lines be used for lunging or or is 1 line ok?

  11.   Shelley Algeon 06 Jun 2011 at 22:47


    Thank you for all the excellent and helpful information on your website. I have a 4 year old holstener x kwpn warmblood mare. She is 15.2 hh. I have had her from a yearling andshe is well handled. She will do stelling quite nicely now in walk on a circle and in straight line if I am quite close to her (no more than 1 metre away) but as soon as I try and move her onto a bigger circle we lost the lateral bend. If I use the half halt to ask for stelling and the whip to the inside hind she just trots. I have been working on this since mid April and now feeling a bit stuck. She is obedient to commands to trot, walk, halt etc.. and will lower her head quite happily with a light feel on the line. Should I just persist? And should I bring in some other stuff (trot over some poles or a little jump) to keep her interest up.

    I won’t be ableto listen in on Weds eve this time but hope to see the replies on line afterwards – will this be possible?

    many thanks.


  12.   Andrea Procteron 06 Jun 2011 at 23:19


    I’m a disabled rider with a very weak right leg due to polio. I have my own young horse who with help I backed. He’s quite unbalanced and I’m aware that my imbalances could be affecting him (I get him checked over regularly by either an equine touch person or a physio). He falls in on the right rein and again I’m concerned some of this is down to my inability to support him on the inside with my right leg and possibly blocking him with the left.

    Out hacking he sometimes seems to walk like a banana rather than go straight but not to one particular side, but I think this is more him just looking around!

  13.   dawnon 07 Jun 2011 at 03:21

    Dear Marijke,

    I am getting ready to re-start my spanish gelding under saddle. He had been healing from a pasture injury. I have noticed he has a tendency to drop his back and not use it properly. I have started the shoulder-in on the rail and circle on the ground and he is doing well. His foot fall is supple and has good rhythm. What would be the best exercises to do for his back and neck. I do not want to ride him until i know he is ready for a rider’s weight. He is a very special and sensitive boy, and when i first started him he was just amazing. I don’t want to do anything too soon to lose his trust. Thank you for the generousity of your time and willingness to share.


  14.   savannahon 07 Jun 2011 at 04:59


    I have a question. I have a very interesting health system for horses that I have found to be the first thing do before I do any training- on horses as young as 6 months.
    I find almost all of the above situations on a daily basis, and correct most of them with this health system I have developed and practiced for 15 years. I am a professional rider also, and I will not even get into riding or training of any sort until they are aligned totally in their bodies.

    When this is the case, they hold their straightness and all of their training and they will NEVER regress, even if turned out for 6 months or more (other than just basic fitness).

    I was wondering if you have a very competent physio-therapist/osteopath working with the horses to eliminate physical biomechanics imbalances so you can get the most out of the training and the most happiness and comfort out of the horses?

    One test- putting your hands on the hip bones from behind the horse- touching the furthest forward and highest point of the hip bones. This will show you if they are level or if they need work.
    There are many more tests I use such as this for the whole body, but this one, most people can try to feel on their own.

    Thanks! looking forward to the 8th!

    Savannah Aly Jackson

  15.   Anna Von 07 Jun 2011 at 22:36

    Hello Marijke!
    We managed shoulder in in the last months and my horse became more symmetrical and flexible, and everything with it goes just fine. Thanks for your advice and information.
    I want to ask something about the sequence of your training and educating your horses in general.
    When do you start work under saddle and what goals does this work have? If I understood correctly, all new things are learned in hands, so what do we need work under rider for? Does it give for the development of the horse something work in hands can not give? It is very interesting to know your opinoin.
    Do you think that the horse should have some physical work (active moving) to stay sound? Because when we work in hands, horse can learn a lot, but it can be that it moves a little during her lesson. Many trainers say us it is nessesarry to load a horse physically. Do you think the same? And if yes, what is desired amout of physical work?
    Thank you :)

  16.   ChristinaInColoradoon 08 Jun 2011 at 03:39

    Hi Marijke, I expect my question comes too late, but just in case it ties in with something else, here it is:

    This evening I was riding my Saddlebred around the neighborhood roads, and I noticed that he was landing more heavily on his right front in the walk. He’s right handed and left bended, and I thought the solution might be to loosen up my left seatbone, and then I thought that a right shoulder-fore, or shoulder-in would do the trick. It did! Is this how you would approach this kind of an issue, or what suggestion might you have?

    Many thanks!

  17.   Marc Dickinsonon 08 Jun 2011 at 10:42

    Hi Marijke,

    My question is on straightness training: I have not done horse training before, just started 7 months ago. My horse is 8 years and had little training before. When we work on the left rein lunging he is fine, but when on the right rein, he falls in on the shoulder (smaller circles). If i understand correctly he is left hollow (bent). We work on the shoulder exercises and quaters. Is my understanding and training correct? What would you recommend? Thankyou.

  18.   Susan Coombeson 08 Jun 2011 at 14:42

    I have the DVD by Brent Branderup and there are some words which I am not clear on. ‘Standing’ I assume to be the same as flexion. He explains it very clearly. I have learned to do flexions by lifting the rein so as to avoid the bars (although I agree that starting with the cavesson) is best. You make no mention of flexions, is this an ommission. I found it to be useful prior to the LFS as ‘a softenning from front to back’ procedure. It was a real breakthrough for me and my horse. I understand that not all horses need flexions. I am not sure if it is so automatic for some riders that they forget to teach it.

  19.   Shannon Hudsonon 08 Jun 2011 at 14:45

    Hello! I have a horse that I have been using your straigntness training techniques, and he is coming along beautifully. He is starting to develop a head tilt, with myself and other riders. He literally will look like this: /

    I am unsure how to proceed from here. I have tried different bits, had his ears and teeth checked, lowered my hands, raised the hands, etc, and nothing seems to work. He seems to do this as an escape, and nobody I have worked with can say how to fix it. How do I have a horse travel straight, when his head and neck are slightly twisted? Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

    With kind regards,

  20.   Susan Coombeson 08 Jun 2011 at 14:47

    another question then I will save the rest for Suffolk clinic!
    What are the prerequisites for riding out. We call it hacking out the americans call it trail riding. How far along the 6 keys do we need to be before riding out. I am sure I rode out to soon but we are ok now.

  21.   Annaon 08 Jun 2011 at 15:04

    Dear Marijke!
    Thank you so much that you share your knowledge with us! Before I found your lessons I hadn’t realized that horses are unbalanced and we have to train them in specific way. I started straightness training with my 10 years old gelding and after 2 weeks I see that now he is much more confident on right side!
    My questions are:
    1. Can I ride during the straightness training (for example after the practise of straightness training can I go for a ride to the forest)? If not how to recognize that horse is ready for carrying the rider?
    2. How to prevent the rotation of the horse to the center during a stop on the lunge? When I stop him he always turns and facing in my direction..
    See you on your webinar ;)
    Best regards!

  22.   Irmgardon 08 Jun 2011 at 15:20

    Hello Marijke,
    I am looking forward to yr webinar and would like to know what tip you can give, if a horse has problems lowering his head when moving. Forward-downward with handwork (not riding him yet) he is doing fine when standing still, as soon we move his head goes up. I will not put pressure on him because I think he will give a wrong reaction.
    Do I just keep on trying, and he will be lowering his head sometime or do you have another advice.
    Best regards,

  23.   Karen Sahulkaon 08 Jun 2011 at 15:27

    Hi Marijke,

    I am very interested in hearing your answer to Susan Coombe’s question at 14:47 and Anna’s question at 15:04. Thank you! Warmest regards, Karen

  24.   Anna Von 08 Jun 2011 at 15:32

    Hi Marijke,
    forgot about one more problem…
    How do you plan your work with a horse? When you learn something new, do you always work like “several days work – several days rest – several days work – several days rest…”? How do you deside how many days you work and how many you give a break?
    And when your horse understands the task, do you continue working with the excersise in this work-rest manner? Or you stop giving rest days (may be make working period longer and resting – shorter…)?
    The last – in general, how often do you work with for example lateral movements or forward-down? Should it be done each training session or we can combine it with something else and work every other time (or for example every other week, every other two weeks)? What do you think is more effective?

  25.   Camillaon 08 Jun 2011 at 16:15

    My friesian is weaker in his right hind leg and does not want to carry as much weight on the right side. His “shoulder in” to the right is quite ok now and his “haunches in” to the left has improved a lot lately, but he is struggeling with the halfpass and looses all forward movement. How can I help him here? Would it be a point in riding him differently on each side to compensate for his weakness or do I just ride the same and he will become strong enough with time ? PS: He also (of course) struggles with having his head in the correct position to the right, he puts it straight all the time, can this be connected to the weak leg?

  26.   Debbie Antolakon 08 Jun 2011 at 16:17

    Hi there, my questions have mostly been asked by others but I will add for emphasis:) I too would like to hear your comments about the use of side reins. They seem to have helped my youngster with lifting his back and becoming more straight on a circle without the weight of a rider. Just wondering if you feel my older 18 yr old horse who tends to be more inverted would also benefit from the use of side reins or what other exercises could I use to help him round up his back more. I know he is not straight either so will be listening intently to your discussions:)

  27.   Claireon 08 Jun 2011 at 16:26

    I have a 2 year old that I was intending to do some ground work with this summer, I will not be backing him till summer 2012, is it to soon to start straigtness training with him, I would normally just do the very basic manners at 2, but if it would benefit him I will try it. So to be clear my question is ….. Is 2 too young to start straightness training ? Love what you do and how you do it ;-)

  28.   Gwen Lindseyon 08 Jun 2011 at 16:41

    I so love watching your technique and I greatly appreciate the concept of straightness training. In that regard, why do you lunge with a single line? I thought one line is a problem. For example, Monty Roberts states, “Hang the weight of even a light long line on one side of your horse’s head for any amount of time and it will affect how the horse carries its head, which in turn will affect how its body travels as well – out of balance.” Could you comment, please, on why you do not use double-lines at all times? Many thanks.

  29.   Anaon 08 Jun 2011 at 16:51

    Ok, this is my first time, lemme see if I can sum up my question.
    it’s about a 4 year old little stallion I’ve backed some time ago and done only trail riding with him (trying to focus on bone density, dexterity and ligament strenght first).
    Anyway, for safety reasons and to keep schooling interestning I taught him leg yield, then shoulder-in, travers and the variances. He knows all the basics except one thing; that canter is not meant to be faster than trot, just different.
    Now I only do this stuff as entertainment so don’t “work” at it but I’d like to once he turns 5 years old.

    My main concern now is that he finds it fairly easy to lower his croup both by using his abdominals and by flexing his hind legs, but on the other hand he has short deep sloped shoulders and a low set neck. The result is that in walk and canter he remains round and soft but in trot he falls on the forehand and uses his lower neck muscles to lift his knees as high as he can so they stay out of his hindleg’s way (he has a very long stride with his hinds and a lot of swing to his back, although it’s a short back).
    What gymnastic do you recommend I should mainly focus on considering is conformation?

  30.   nancy daltonon 08 Jun 2011 at 17:04

    My horse came to me labled as a misfit. He, with patience and time has evolved into a wonderful horse. One of the problems and most likely the greatest contributor to his behavior was a undiagnosed rib problem. He has bucked at the canter, right front fore was narrower than the left. The right foot also grew taller. Very girthy and irritable. Could not touch under his right leg and chest.
    I have tried alot but when I started getting interested in classical dressage , the importance of loading the legs, keeping the horse straight I noticed a significant change. Your web site has confirmed and influential to my efforts.Thanks I an looking forward to hearing you again. I hope that you have a chance to come to the USA sometime in the future.
    How do I get him to lift his back ? How do you get them to move hauches ?

  31.   Shayna Adleron 08 Jun 2011 at 18:26

    I love watching your instructive videos, and I enjoyed your free web book as well! I’m looking so very forward to watching your webinar today. Greetings from California! Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience and wisdom with the world.

  32.   Vikaon 08 Jun 2011 at 19:15

    Thenk you for one more seminar!

  33.   Ksenjaon 08 Jun 2011 at 20:21

    I hope, we will be able to watch recordings of the live webinar, this is so much (so good) information! I have a question: My horse is clearly bend to the left, still he avoids bending correctly and taking weight with the inner hind leg on both reins (!) by stepping outside the track of the front legs with his hind legs. The only solution I found is to lunge him with the help of a wall or fence. Is there anything else I can do (of course I request minimal bending to avoid hom drifting away with his hind quarters). Do you ride shoulder in on 3 or 4 tracks?
    Regards from Slovenia!

  34.   Shayna Adleron 08 Jun 2011 at 20:45

    Could any elements of academic riding promote confidence in a spooky horses? Will just the focus required in the movement encourage confidence?

  35.   Søsser Lundon 08 Jun 2011 at 20:46

    Thank you Marijke for sharing your knowledge with us. My two horses and I enjoy it.
    Regards from Søsser, Denmark

  36.   Carolynon 08 Jun 2011 at 21:07

    I am loving the webinar but for some reason cannot sign in to chat!? Not to worry am appreciating being here.
    Carolyn B

  37.   Catharina Holmon 08 Jun 2011 at 21:56

    could I send in my friend Kikkis name and email adress so that she could get yuor free E-book?
    I could help her with the language – like prima vista translation.
    She really needs some help.
    She has two icelandic mares – both have severe straitness problems.
    The chiropractor tryed to explain how she should train her mares – but she has great difficulty in understanding the explanations.
    i.e that the one mare is hollow on the left side – falls out over the right shoulder. Further the mare is “left handed” – the left forleg is going over to the right.
    I think that the pictures and the text in your E-book would be very helpful for her.
    Catharina aka Katuschka tonight

  38.   Eelcoon 08 Jun 2011 at 22:16

    Hey Marijke, you’re crushing it, awesome!

    Take care,

  39.   Tabitaon 08 Jun 2011 at 22:53


    I am wondering what saddle to use? i heard about the Epona but i also heard that nobody makes it anymore. what kind of saddle do you use? what would you recomand when rider and horse are still not very long in their education?

    Thank you for at good webinar!


  40.   Jeffon 08 Jun 2011 at 23:29

    Can you talk about piaffe and straightness training. My horse piaffes, but appears “lazy?” How do I get more dynamic rhythm using straightness

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