Straightness Training Progress Report

Taliana at 1 month of age

Taliana, is a 3 yo Hungarian warmblood, out of a Weltemeyer line dam, by Fabuleux, a Hanoverian stallion from Briddlewood Farm. She is, from being born on our farm, the subject of our experiment with the straightness training implemented by Klaus and Gabriele Schoneich. Fresh from our time in Germany, I could not wait to get her started. She had had no training at that point when I started working with her 8 weeks ago. Her training unfortunately, due to our work commitments and obligations, has not been as consistent as I would have liked but all in all, she has had, at least 5 working weeks.

We did an initial gait analysis/ body evaluation at the start of her training and found some minor muscle issues and soreness just from being a 3 yo living outside as any other 3 yo would. It is in our opinion, to best have the body soreness and pain resolved before the horse starts working. The Schoneichs on the other hand, feel that the body issues will resolve if the crookedness is corrected. We, unfortunately haven’t spent enough time at the Center for Anatomically Correct Horsemanship to assess that fully, and it would be our desire to do a formal study to pursue that further. Hey, we only need time and money…just like everybody else on this planet!

Tali has been a moderate right front limb dominant horse, which means that she wants to come IN, on the circle when lunged to the right, using that right front as a post. Going left, she wants to fall out on an OUTER circle (centrifugal force). At this stage, I have definitely seen a difference in her way of moving, from when I started. She has acquired a clear rhythm and is getting more balanced longitudinally and diagonally. As Gustav Steinbrecht would have expressed, she is starting to “use her 4 legs equally to step forward in the direction of movement”.

We still haven’t reached the “forward and downward” that the Schoneichs would expect at the end of an 8 week period, but that could be in part, due to my own training inability. I am learning as I am teaching her, which might not be an ideal scenario, but I am on a quest for straightness and true lightness, so Tali will be one of my many teachers, I presume!

We will keep you apraised of her progress and share with you, hopefully the highs and also, maybe the frustrations of her training!

Christine Heraud-Ridgway

6 Responses to “Straightness Training Progress Report”

  1. Anita Says:

    Hi would it be possible for you to blog your progress as I am very interested in this method. I have a lovely ish who does not move well , or as well as he should , and I am trying to improve his way of going and rather than use traditional methods ie side reins etc I feel this is the way forward . I have the book correct movement in horses but while it keeps it simple I would love more info ..am going to start longing today .

    • ridgwaydvm Says:

      Unfortunately with our traveling commitments for lectures and clinics, I had to interrupt the training to some extent and will resume in September. We did spend a couple of days with the Schoneichs in August, and it made me realize some of the things that I was doing wrong.
      We are hoping to bring them to the East Coast, in the US beginning of December, if we can get enough people interested in such an essential method.

  2. Helen Says:

    I’m very interested to hear/see/read how this progresses. Have the US book, but found it insufficient to implement the proposed program.

    Oh, and Excalibur (who went by Moose in his youth) says “HI Dr. Kerry!” He’s 22 now and loves Florida as much as I do.

    • ridgwaydvm Says:

      Great to hear from you. We might try to video maybe some segments to show you and also try to explain a little more how it is done.
      We are leaving again to go to the International Acupuncture Congress where Kerry is speaking, but we are looking forward to being home for most of September. Maybe we could convince you to come up for the Schoneichs clinic in December. It would be great to see you again!

  3. Helen Says:

    I’d love to come up in December, though the weather is usually nicer down here 😉 Please do let me know when you have firm dates.

  4. Anita Says:

    Hi there, what do you mean exactly forward and down ? Is it when the horse releases thro neck ? Because they have found their balance on four legs , sorry if this sounds basic .

    Anita

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