Originally Posted by Four Seasons
When you flex a horse this high, the front end disconnects completely from the back end. You'll get plenty of front leg action, but the hind legs do nothing.
THERE. My first Equitation class this year had one rider who brought this to every ring, Hunter and English Eq. Without a doubt the most disgusting thing I have ever seen, a horse with a broomstick stiff tail and a head as high as it could go---but wait!--- also tucked as much as possible without the horse needing its spine broken in half. It looked like some kind of sea serpent. There were d**ned good riders in that small class, I didn't expect to get in the top 4, but somehow this particular rider surpassed those riders who at least kept steady paces with some relaxation. (I remember feeling sick the next show date at these grounds, when an extremely talented Dressage rider on a similarly talented stallion lost out to a hyperflexed, hollow-backed horse. The young rider was silent as the grave, profoundly disappointed.)
I think several classes passed before something must have happened with the judge, and at the end she stopped us and had a bit check. Surprising that the rider had an illegal bit, huh? The politics in these kinds of shows, where it's the judge and you rather than you and the clock/penalties, is indeed craptastic. That horse was yanked on, pulled around, and reared multiple times in each class, once almost falling over while the judge simply told the rider "Thank you" many times to indicate that she should stop the exercise and return to the rail.