Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rollkur? Hyperflexion? I'm Finished Watching the WEG

Here's a link. Here's another. There's more on the net. I can't believe with the FEI ruling that rollkur is not allowed, and with all the negative publicity re rollkur / hyperflexion, that it is being openly used in the WEG warm-ups. It's ugly. It isn't dressage. I feel rage when I watch it. What a pathetic excuse for riding and training.
I know how many medals some of these people have won. I don't care - they can't ride or train and neither can the rest of there ilk. 
It is rewarded by (some) FEI judges, thus continues, and it disgusts me beyond words.
I'm ecstatic that Adelinde Cornelissen was eliminated (although not for rollkur). The pictures of her warm up say it all. Serves her right. To all those people expressing sympathy - get a grip.
Can you tell what I think?
I've never said much about it on my blog, because there are plenty of forums devoted to it, but this blatant display on the world stage is too much. Why don't the stewards stop it? Is this supposed to be low, deep and round (the flavor of the week to normalize torturing your horse)? 
Anyway, I could go on much more, but I'm sure anyone reading this has read lots, so I'll stop myself there.
I loved all the comments from yesterday's post and plan to post about them when I calm down from the above.


Kate said...

I'm disgusted too just by the bits that I've seen on people's blogs, and haven't watched any of the WEG dressage. The idea that the poor horse's mouth was bleeding because of an "accident" or he "bit his tongue" is just plain wishful thinking on those who want to avert their eyes from the abuses being perpetuated in warm-up. I hope someone inspected the horse's mouth after he left the ring - I wouldn't be surprised if the tissues of his mouth over the bars and possible the roof of his mouth were bleeding. People who do this sort of stuff to their horses - in any discipline and dressage isn't alone - shouldn't just be disqualified, they should be barred from participating or training in the sport.

Valentino said...

Ditto Carol, and we're not the only ones who feel this way. Your post yesterday was a great example of good dressage training - consideration of the welfare of your horse as your highest priority.

Visit here to find out about the dressage counter revolution :)

Jan said...

Carol, I couldn't agree with you more! It is disgusting; it is so obvious that it is cruel and inhumane to the horse; it is profoundly frustrating that judges allow it and God forbid, encourage it by their scoring. And to see it continue at WEG, or anywhere, is terrible. I'm glad for your words and for it being spoken of; maybe, maybe, maybe, if the judges and officials won't change, the next generation of dressage riders will hear this and will hate it and won't do it with their horses. Maybe a second, alternative dressage organization can be developed that non-rolkur riders can show in....and forget about the current one.

horsemom said...

I so agree! It always seems that there are two worlds in dressage, the one that encourages balance, a quietness in the seat and hands that can't even be seen as a movement changes, engaged hind end, then there is the upper level world of dressage that throws all of that out the window.
I haven't watched many of the WEG rides except for Ravel and the Dutch rider that was dq'ed. Before the bell even rang it just seemed like she was leaning back through the entire ride and hanging on the reins, her legs were constantly wagging. Even when she halted her horse after the bell she hauled back on the horse's mouth. Why does my trainer stress to me that I need to ride with my seat and stop with my seat? Oh, well, she's not an Olympian so I guess that's my answer.
It's kind of like us little guys are suppose to follow the rules and the training pyramid (the proper term escapes me) but once we make it to the top we can scrap all that and the judges will no longer require it.

Jeni said...

I agree Carol... whole heartedly !

TBDancer said...

Rollkur is shameful regardless of discipline. Sadly, dressage is not the only one where riders resort to it. It is NOT the same as "long and low," which is what my equine vet, chiropractor and massage therapist have recommended for my horse during his warmup. He has a slight roach back and is always "tight" in the back, hence their recommendation. People using extreme "postures" like rollkur are no different than those resorting to "loud bits" (a Ron Meredith term) to short-cut their way to the top. It's like tying a horse's head to its tail and leaving it in the round pen for hours or riding with a harsh bit that leaves "cherries" on the sides of the mouth (both of these methods favorites of many Western trainers). Good training takes TIME, and that makes for happy horses that go forward with joy--to me the whole POINT of any kind of riding.

horsemom said...

TBDancer is right. I see that same strange, chin cranked to the left into the chest at a lope, in the warm up ring with the Western Pleasure riders. I think it is just getting more attention with dressage because that is more international.

Carol said...

Glad that people aren't holding back. Sad to hear its used in other disciples too.

Story said...

There are definitely ugly training stories in every discipline, but I think part of what makes it stand out so much in dressage is that it's so counter to what dressage is supposed to be about! But it makes me sad in any discipline. Rollkur in dressage, yank 'n spank in western pleasure, tack poles and rapping for jumpers...I dream of the day that these methods are no longer rewarded.

smazourek said...

I haven't watched a bit of the WEG dressage for this reason, actually I didn't watch the dressage in the last Olympics for this reason too.

I'd love to compete in dressage with my horses and would like to see dressage the way it should be done as inspiration but finding a decent role model in international competition is impossible.

Hurricanes12 said...

sucks how often it's actually used, i found a few photos of edward gal practising it on moorlands totilas, a record breaking horse and it completely ruined how i see the whole partnership now!