When I see images like this, regularly, I just shake my head. Then when the inevitable comments excuses follow I’m heart-broken because these horses don’t seem to stand a chance of being ridden in a more empathetic manner.
“I had broken the contract. I had let personal feelings dictate my actions every time we encountered. Not once did I ever turn and simply ride off, without first giving chase. My father, bumbling and slow as I thought of him when it came to herding cattle, had almost corralled her and, except for the antics of a well meaning hunter, would have. She had fulfilled her part of the contract, She had, in spite of her wildness, given me a calf every year. In fact, as I learned the next day, She had renewed her end of it, for she had been pregnant. I, in return, had caused her death simply to show her who was boss. I sure enough showed her.”
As for his reputation as a trainer, overall there’s been mixed reviews online, largely complaints that he relies too heavily on his lunge whips to guide the horses during performances (he does a lot of liberty/circus/Cavalia type shows).
If you’re unfamiliar with the article, I cannot recommend enough that you read it cover to cover to better understand the true rate of skeletal maturation in the horse. Also why it is a bad idea to start 2 year olds under saddle.
For those who are already familiar, this is an updated version of the old, original article. You could also print out a few copies to have on hand to share with other equestrians who question why you haven’t “just started” your horse already.
Is there really any viable reason for abusing a horse? According to the Parelli’s there are several. But hey, we all make beginner mistakes out of frustration and emotion; and it’s what we do with those mistakes that defines us; and the Parelli’s have chosen to make excuse after excuse and then invite us to watch a demonstration of their “edutainment”.
By remaining silent, by accepting these empty excuses, by quietly accepting this behavior in public we are indirectly helping extreme Animal Right’s groups prove their point. That equestrians are incapable of humane treatment of the horses in their care and their community and shouldn’t be allowed to own horses.
Essentially that $500 foal is being produced because the breeder likes producing baby horses. It isn’t to improve the breed, to improve upon the parents. It certainly isn’t because they’re running a business of any kind. They are hobbyists who are flooding a market where the victim is the horse because they face a future of uncertainty.
The first Rollkur ban went into effect January 1st, 2014 in Switzerland, and it looks like it may put pressure on other Countries to follow suit. Denmark is now in more serious talks about applying a similar ban.
Finally, a step in the right direction! Switzerland officials enacted a law prohibiting the use of hyperflexion (aka Rollkur) in their country. While this doesn’t solve the big picture of horse abuse created by extreme flexion of the horse’s neck, it is an improvement over the fictitious ban created by the FEI.
Which would you prefer; to be happy, or to prove you’re right no matter what? I know what my choice is, yet sometimes I let myself get confused with the thought that being right will make me happy, even if I have to feel absolutely miserable in the process.
After watching the trailer I know I’ll be looking for this in my Netflix queue.. maybe NSFW in some instances.
“My father was a harness racing jockey and he went into horse breeding and training. I know for a fact that he wasn’t always above board, and he’s the reason why it means nothing to me when I’m told some person’s been in the business for fifty years and therefore they can’t be doing it wrong. I grew up around very successful people who made a lot of money and I know that’s no guarantee of admirable ethics.”
This brief German documentary is worth a watch – last about 30 minutes. Interviews with Ludger Beerbaum, Princess Haya, Gerd Heuschmann.
I’d have a hard time deciding too, which is why I can’t accept the claim that LDR is different from Rollkur. When you do some digging into the past the truth starts to reveal itself. Sustainable Dressage, a blog which covered Rollkur and the damaging effects of it (to the extent that Sjef and Anky tried to sue her) documents the evolution of Rollkur, LDR and what those two terms really mean.
Since Sjef and Anky, Rollkur has woven its way down the levels of Dressage and crept past the discipline to find common ground with reining. And in all the time we’ve watched the Rollkur/hyperflexion/LDR debate unfold I’ve been writing about how detrimental it is. With that being said, I’M NOW READY TO ADMIT THAT I WAS WRONG. All my criticisms were actually evidence of my jealousy and it’s time I come clean.
I poo-pooed the use of a bitless bridle in a previous post, which received mixed reactions from readers. Much of what I learned about riding bitless or bitted came from the teachings of one instructor whose view was along the lines of, “bit problems are never a problem with the bit and always a problem with the rider’s hands.”
I still agree that bit problems – even if applied to a bitless bridle – are always a problem with the rider’s hands, but I’ve also softened to the idea that there is a space and time appropriate for using a bitless bridle.