Marijke de Jong
Natural crookedness is a muscular problem that can be corrected by proper training. A straight horse: 1. Can bend equally to the left and to the right. 2. Can do all exercises to the left and to the right. 3. Can push and carry equally in both hind legs. 4. Is prepared for collection. Only a straight horse can let itself be collected.
Straightness training is made up of exercises to bend the horse so that it becomes supple and flexible on both sides...(it) consists of diverse exercises such as circles, serpentines, shoulder in, quarter in, renvers and half-pass.
On both sides of its body, the horse is asked to bend laterally, to step under the point of weight and to move forward down.
1. Lateral bending --- The horse on the circle must bend evenly in its spine. When the horse has found the proper lateral bending, the circle will be perfectly round.
2. Stepping under --- With a correct bending of the body, the inside hip will come forward, thus making the inside leg move forward under the point of weight.
3. Forward down --- When the horse bends laterally, the back muscles are relaxed. This makes the horse lower its head and the neck is relaxed, forward down.
When these elements are integrated, the horse moves balanced and in the correct and relaxed self-carrying posture. This makes the use of additional reins unnecessary.