*Warning: post contains sarcasm, name calling and I’m pretty sure I cursed once or twice. Now that you’ve been adequately warned, proceed. It’s happened again. Andreas Helgestrand, being outed for horse abuse. This time our anger can feel vindicated; despite Andreas’ denials of any wrongdoing (aka, the #AndreasBlameGame) the FEI finally agrees with us. But […]
Dressage is dead. There, I said it. Somebody had to. Okay, not dead in the literal sense. Dressage is still alive and kicking. But, the idea of Dressage as some kind of harmonious, artistic venture is dead in the competitive scene. We’ve spent years trying to keep a diseased version of Dressage alive but it’s […]
There is a fantastical love of Carl Hester right now. I get it, I really do. He has a very reassuring and smooth way of explaining things. He’s very careful to present himself well to the public, and at one time I thought he might be a real diamond in a crowd full of debris. But then he started […]
“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.”
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.
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, […]
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.
“In training one always wants to go too fast. To arrive quickly, do not hurry, but be firmly assured of each step. The lesson should be for the horse, as for the horseman, a rewarding exercise, an instructive game which never brings fatigue. When sweat begins to show, it is because the man has gone too far.”
This question is raised frequently – how to soften and flex a horse who is stiff in the neck. There is a problem with the question however, because it assumes that addressing the horse’s stiff neck will actually correct the stiffness. In reality, flexing the horse’s neck alone only causes a disconnection between the neck and the hind legs. If you do not understand the implications of this disconnection you can create more problems later on – making it difficult or impossible to get true collection from the horse.
Despite the FEI’s ruling that Rollkur is a banned practice, and instead has favored the use of LDR (Low, Deep, Round), there is plenty of evidence to the contrary that hyperflexion is a norm for competitors. The World Equestrian Games, hosted in Kentucky this year is already proving the perfect grounds to spot the practice in person.