Rolkur now banned in Switzerland - Page 2

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Rolkur now banned in Switzerland

This is a discussion on Rolkur now banned in Switzerland within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    01-10-2014, 11:24 AM
Some fallacy in the argument here... Rollkur has not actually been proven to be detrimental to the horse. The FEI can't (or won't) define it. And the oldest horses at the top of dressage right now are being ridden by those evil Rollkur people like Adelinde and Parzival who is 17 this year I do believe, might even be 18.. And truly, if you were into the I hate Rollkur/LDR train, you'd be beefing with Carl Hester, Charlotte D, Isabelle Werth, Ulla S, etc... But wait you like those riders? Too bad. Now you can't because you're on the anti side and there is a whole list of people for you to hate now. (I will pull it up if you'd like)

But whatever, continue the bash fest. Because one day you'll all be GP dressage riders on 80% horses and able to show these guys how it's done, or maybe you can just coach them. Actually, I would pay to fly one of you to Anky's barn to tell her how to ride a horse. I'll come too and film....
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    01-10-2014, 12:03 PM
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    

But whatever, continue the bash fest. Because one day you'll all be GP dressage riders on 80% horses and able to show these guys how it's done, or maybe you can just coach them. Actually, I would pay to fly one of you to Anky's barn to tell her how to ride a horse. I'll come too and film....
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While I am not an expert or a vet, I can understand the posted X-rays, videos and diagrams of how Rolkur can be detrimental to a Horse.

But send me a plane ticket, I will love to ride with experts and be filmed by you

    01-10-2014, 12:18 PM
I do not have a lot of experience with rolkur but from what I understand when used appropriately it can be a factor of safety. The horse I groomed for was taught using rolkur, but it was only ever done once or twice a month and only when he was being very spooky or flighty (as is his nature) and bound to get someone hurt, and it was never held for more than two or three strides. He has no damage whatsoever from this use and is none the worse off from having had it done (we don't use it on him, that was his previous trainers in the Netherlands). His x rays looked nothing like those even though he had had a run in with rolkur.

While I'm glad that it's being banned in the ring (a slight step forward imo) I won't immediately condemn it because I don't have the experience of working with a knowledgeable trainer who uses it, nor many horses who have had it done and there are some conflicting medical reports about it. (And I never disagree with an x ray or other lab test so it's pretty strange for me to say that!)

I think that many of the extreme detrimental effects come when it's used inappropriately and by people who don't know what they're doing or don't care. I'm not saying that I necessarily agree with rolkur wholeheartedly, nor discredit the fact that it DOES have side effects on the horse's health. I guess I'm just conflicted about it. I don't think I'd ever do it, nor wish it on a horse but I can see where in the right hands and in the right condition it might be useful as a matter of safety.
    01-10-2014, 12:28 PM
In that x ray you can't even tell if it's a horse or not, let alone what part of the body. And the quality is so crappy that arrow could be pointed to a legitimate piece of bone, and there is no legitimate information accompanying the picture. This is all the kind of pseudo science that the anti rolkur crowd depends on. Oh look I can animate something and make a video. Wow. That doesn't make it anatomically correct.

ALL of the peer reviewed and published studies I've read have not found Rolkur to be any more detrimental than riding a horse in a poll high frame. Some even went as far as to name absolute elevation as more detrimental than just riding, and more detrimental than rolkur!

I'm not saying for every horse and every rider rolkur is a good tool, and definitely in not saying that everyone should pick it up and try it. But for the professionals at the top of the sport, it is quite obviously not detrimental to the horses.
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    01-10-2014, 12:43 PM
Anebel, what is the exact purpose of rolkur in training? Especially since it's showing up in reining it seems, I'm curious to know why it's used. Not that I'm going to start using it because I don't ride seriously enough to even consider that, but I'd like to hear more from the other side.
    01-10-2014, 01:11 PM
Super Moderator
I have never seen anything that says Carl Hester or Charlotte use Rolkurr in their training and they are very transparent and in the public eye all the time. Carl used to compete at one of the same local shows as us (Hartpury) where we also often went along just to watch and I don't think I ever saw him use Rolkurr in the warm up arena
Maybe some people don't understand the difference between working a horse in a low round frame and using slight hyperflexion with the horse just behind the vertical for very short periods with actual Rolkurr where the horse has its head held aggressively against its chest for prolonged periods
This is the difference
Beling likes this.
    01-10-2014, 01:35 PM
Super Moderator
Rolkuur is when the horse is bent behind the vertical, when done it is to get the horse very light in the hand. However, where it has gone very wrong is when the horse is hauled in and harshly held there, as seen in the second video posted by Jaydee.

A while back there was an article in the Horse and Hound about the effects of Rolkuur and after a fair amount of testing not a lot of harm was done when the horse was asked to over flex correctly.
    01-10-2014, 01:41 PM
Big names winning big money or big awards for doing something isn't really proof that the 'thing' is or isn't harmful or uncomfortable for the horse. All it proves is that certain 'things' are highly prized & awarded, so others try to follow suit.
WP peanut rollers & the Walker's big lick are two 'things' that come to mind (along with skinny jeans).

Whatever wins will be the 'thing' to strive for. Maybe Rolkur puts a horse in a frame to perform special maneuvers, I don't really know. I know when my mare puts herself in Rolkur she is planning on doing some special moves not to my liking.
    01-10-2014, 01:52 PM
Super Moderator
Interesting or not, I have seen several performances of the Spanish Riding School and there are several times during a performance when the horse that has not been going quite as well as it should be, is asked to hyper flex for a short period of times.
On two occasions I have been able to be behind scenes and watched them all working the horses and there were times when the horse was hyper flexed.

None of it was done harshly nor for very long, just a question of asking and getting obedience.
    01-10-2014, 02:47 PM
Of course there are people out there that abuse exercises and use them in such a way to harm the horse or 'strong-arm' the horse into a frame they think the horse needs to be in. Then there are those that have brought a horse along on a routine of give and take, slowly and carefully conditioning the animal to encourage self-carriage and elastic, loose movement that glorifies what the horse IS. It is ridiculous to say that a certain exercise is harmful to all horses. Harmful to the green horse that is tight and tense, yes. Harmful to the athlete that has released all the muscles of the topline and is moving in a balanced, relaxed cadence? I doubt it.

It is like outlawing curb bits because some yahoo broke his horse's jaw in a warm-up pen. Give the same bit to Buck Brannaman and watch a beautiful display of horsemanship.

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