Philosophy

In order to feel fulfilled, I aim to do whatever I do in the best way possible. I constantly endeavor to give something positive to every being – be it human or animal – I come in contact with, and to improve every situation I encounter. 

I was intrigued from the moment I first discovered Marijke de Jong and Straightness Training, and loved the well-structured and logical system in theory and practice. ST is the perfect way for me to achieve my desire to help and improve – not only professionally – but also personally.

Being able to accomplish this depends not so much on Straightness Training itself, but on how well I know myself, and therefore, how well I can keep myself in balance, so that I can apply ST’s correct training principles in a balanced way. This means that my personal life and Straightness Training require a search for self-mastery because the only person anyone can really influence or control is one’s own Self, so this is where I aim to start.

In the horse world, the question of whether training and riding horses is ethical arises at times. For me, this question becomes more about whether or not we should keep horses confined in the first place. As there is only a limited amount of space in our world for horses to roam free, and because horses have evolved along with humans for the last 6,000 years, my answer to this question is “yes”. Therefore, I feel it is of utmost importance that we care for the horses we are responsible for in the best way imaginable, which to me means, in the most natural and healthy way possible.¬†Given that we deprive horses of the ability to fulfill their instinct to roam through the country, forming territories on their search for water and food, we need to make up for this by providing turnout, shelter, social contact, a suitable diet, an enriched environment. We are also obligated to provide movement in the form of exercise, as few horses are able to live in the perfect set up that forces them to move enough in order to stay healthy long term. Yes, I use the term “forces” here deliberately, as many horses avoid moving as much as they physically need to. They are wired to economize their energy in order to be able to survive (call it lazy). Some horses are perfectly happy to just stand around and eat all day, but with more experience, I find that all-around healthy horses do require mental, emotional, physical and spiritual stimulation. They like to have a job. I feel that if a horse does not like to move, something has gone wrong that needs to be investigated. Exercising and riding our horses in a correct, horse-friendly manner, therefore, has to be part of their enrichment and health program.