** Just a note before I post the link **
This DOES NOT affect National level and lower competitions!! Unless you are competing at a CDI1* or higher level competitions (Ie. Riding FEI Childrens thru Young Riders or FEI PSG and above in a CDI) SANCTIONED BY THE FEI, you are not affected!! All competitions sanctioned by your National governing body do not have to follow these guidelines, although some national bodies MAY adopt them in the future.
FEI Publishes Diagrams for Stewards Manual on Warm-Up Techniques
Tue, 05/11/2010 - 22:19 Diagram of permitted head and neck position during warm-up
FEI Dressage News
The FEI released the three diagrams that illustrate the permitted positions of the horse's head and neck during pre- and post- competition training. The new Annex (XIII), which has now been completed, was created by the Working Group that produced a revised FEI Stewards Manual on warm-up techniques for Dressage.
One of the key stipulations in the Working Group’s report was that all unacceptable training methods and techniques must be stopped immediately. The Working Group was also insistent that abuse of the horse must be avoided and, in particular, stressing the horse, aggressive riding and inflicting pain and/or discomfort on the horse must be prevented.
The current FEI Stewards Manual already includes instructions covering aggressive riding, but the new Annex (XIII) has clear instructions on action to be taken if necessary relating to flexion of the horse’s neck during pre and post-competition training.
Any head and neck position obtained through the use of aggressive force is not acceptable. Movements which involve having the horse’s head and neck carriage in a sustained or fixed position should only be performed for periods not exceeding approximately 10 minutes without change.
Deliberate extreme flexions of the neck involving either high, low or lateral head carriages, should only be performed for very short periods. If these deliberate extreme flexions are performed for longer periods the Steward will intervene.
It is the Steward’s responsibility to ensure that riders respect these procedures.
“Used in conjunction with the new Stewards Manual, these illustrations now provide the Stewards with the final piece in the jigsaw that will allow them to do their job more effectively, ensuring that horse welfare is maintained at all times”, said Working Group Chair Frank Kemperman.
The diagrams show examples of acceptable head and neck positions.
The illustrated FEI Stewards Manual Dressage has been sent to all National Federations today, with a request to forward it to all their Stewards immediately for implementation on schedule from 15 May 2010 onwards. Dressage will be the first discipline to use the new Stewards Manual, with the other FEI disciplines currently reviewing their individual requirements.
The Guidelines, which were produced by the Working Group formed after the round-table conference held in Lausanne on 9 February 2010, were approved at the FEI Bureau meeting in Geneva on 15 April 2010. More information on the Guidelines can be obtained here.
The Working Group was made up of Dressage Committee Chair Frank Kemperman (Chairman), Richard Davison (GBR), Rider/Trainer; John P. Roche (IRL), FEI Director Jumping/Stewarding; Jacques Van Daele (BEL), FEI Honorary Dressage Steward General/Judge; Wolfram Wittig (GER), Trainer; and Trond Asmyr (NOR), FEI Dressage and Para Equestrian Dressage Director/Judge. Input was also received from Dr Gerd Heuschmann and Sjef Janssen and from the FEI Jumping Committee.
^Thanks. I'm not a fan of LDR, but it's great to see that they're making progress in the Stewarding area. It makes me wonder, however, how they determined the specific angles of the head, as in what angle is too steep and which one is acceptable and for how long.
Thanks for posting this - it's definitely interesting.
This may be a really stupid question, but what are the benefits of LDR over long-and-low? A correct LAL, that is, with the horse actively coming from behind, working over his back, and seeking contact. I school that quite a bit with some of the horses I ride, and I don't see how LDR would make a phenomenal difference.
I'm confused... Are those the only positions your horse can be in? Not in the classic vertical head position? Because, in those pictures none of the horses seem to be "on the bit" it looks like the first two are curling up.
I think it's fantastic that they are taking steps to correct the problem. However, since the show steward is in charge of making these decisions, who will ensure the stewards are actually enforcing this?
I think those are in place for the people who like to use Rolkur and shrimp curl positions, I don't think those affect normal head carriage, they are there so there is no excuse for the shrimp curl or any other such carriage since it is posted, someone cannot do it and call it long and low or low and whatever... They have a clear picture of what is acceptable.
Now they cannot use the excuse, but who is to say what those proper positions are... finally. Now if only it will be properly enforced.