Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Southern Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
I work in an "LDR" frame, as described by Anabel, sometimes as well. But I think the problem is that people train in the frame for too long, too deep, etcetera. And aggression and force can sometimes take other forms than the obvious. Quiet abuse. The statement that they have made has so many visible loopholes to it, which leads me to predict the cheeky celebrity rollkur-riders of today are going to use excuses like, "He was about to spook," or "He needed sharp correction for his behaviour, which is caused by something totally unrelated to me," etc. People could now say to uninformed spectators or young riders, "They are training in LDR, not rollkur! LDR is humane and anyone can use it!"
I realize the situation the FEI is in. I'm sure most of us draw up with a blank about where to stand in balance with classical versus modern, and what action to take to keep both sides content (as much as I'd love to see Sjef, Anky, Edward, and the others go pout in the corner, that won't happen). But, it's also a nasty circle that the FEI has somewhat created for themselves. Where does the requirement for excessive methods come from? For the win and for the cash, of course. To stay on top and in style, and to buy, sell, and train horses quickly; riders are pressured, and they can become okay with blatantly abusing a horse, dispite all of the claims against it. It becomes a job, and I think people forget why they became involved with horses in the first place.
We can point fingers at judges, because they decide what is rewarded. It's like training a horse, but are they rewarding bad behaviour? Maybe if they weren't so obsessed with chin-hitting knees and were actually looking for correctly ridden and trained movements, weren't over-scoring every test, and weren't so political and placing the same people in first place every time, then people wouldn't get desperate and begin going against what they wanted for their horses.
And it isn't just Dressage that this mentality and cycle is present in. Western pleasure, hunters, reiners even. Lots of the equestrian sports.
But, back to the hyperflexion (LDR, if you will) subject, I think the biggest question is this: how much is too much?
That is where the debate ensues. How do we answer that question?
The rollkur debate, as I've mentioned in my post, is obviously not the only thing wrong with international dressage today. So many things need to be changed in the FEI's competitions right now (the judging, especially), and I don't expect anything to happen right away. Or for a really long time. It's difficult, it's sad, it's mind bending, and just... stupidly tedious. They dug this hole, so they have to fill it back in. I just hope that things change for the better and for the horse.
sing mε a blazing northεrn sky.