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.
In The Media
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.
If you’re an equestrian it’s hard to be unaware of the web-presence that the Fugly Horse of the Day blog commanded. Often referred to as FHOTD, by far it was the most popular horse blog on the internet, even as the content quality took a nosedive while being shuffled around from one blogger to another. A majority of posts earning a thousand comments or more, it was obvious that people were not only ready Fugly, they were engaged.
Then it was gone.
When slavery was legal and the norm in the south, just because you treated your slaves well didn’t extend any freedoms or rights. It just meant that they experienced a level of captivity which was better than many others’ in captivity. Still, they were slaves, captives, subject to the whims of any white person around them. According to most accounts slaves were considered the same as livestock.
In that context let’s look at our horses. They are subject to whatever whim we should have. We buy/sell/trade them as we wish (or the market will support). When they are no longer useful we can put them down, send them to auction or the slaughterhouse. If they misbehave there are torture devices to deal with that – from whips to spurs, harsh bits and even some trainers have been found to use electric cattle prods on their horses.
Yesterday the EquiSearch blog reported that Dutch rider Adelinde Cornellisen’s horse Parzival was hospitalized for cardiac arrhythmia. Adelinde and Parzival stood out on the international scene when they were disqualified at the 2010 WEG. Well, that and their glaring use of rollkur in the warm-up ring. Today in my newsfeed I got this – Now,…
Rolex has come and gone for this year. I am in awe of riders and especially horses that can endure such an athletic feat. There is a heady excitement at show grounds at such a level. It can be intoxicating. I know it all too well from my lifetime of showing. Yet, I can no…
What is the goal of putting in your two cents? When you post a comment are you hoping to lift the person up, tear them down, or perhaps something deeper – offer an insight which they could learn and grow from? Do you go about writing comments with any of these possible options in your…
There has been much news recently about Moorland’s Totilas who is now being ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath, facing a future subjected to the training “guidance” of Sjef Janssen – the strong proponent of Rollkur, or Hyperflexion. I am happy to see that the German Federation of Professional Riders (BBR) is strongly voicing their opposition…
My neck gets sore just watching. It is only during a poorly developed (read spoiled) walk that Edward Gal allows any freedom of the neck to his horse, and during the rest of the ride he keeps him round, round, round. Keep in mind that not only FEI rules but also Classical Dressage Masters have noted that the position of the horse’s face should be anywhere between 45 and 90 degrees depending on the horse’s individual conformation, this horse is well beyond 90 degrees.
Once upon a time ago, the difference between Classical and Competitive Dressage seemed synonymous with the distance between the walls of the Grand Canyon (which happens to be up to 18 miles wide!). Whether it is merely my perception, or the reality, which has changed I have yet to determine. Nonetheless there is still a measure of awe inspired in people when they hear that “so and so” does Classical Dressage. It has a note of magic attached to it, even if it is a tradition based on a bunch of dead guys; or maybe it is because of those dead guys.