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post #11 of 28 Old 04-11-2008, 08:07 AM
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I don't like rollkur at all. But some people says it is for streching the horses back and neck for only a minute. But if it is so, why don't do it like this:

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post #12 of 28 Old 04-11-2008, 08:28 AM
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I agree with JustDressageIt to some degree. As in, what she said is totally RIGHT, but it's despicable what riders tend to do with rollkur once they discover it. The number who totally misunderstand the principle of having the horse yield like this ONLY FOR A MOMENT is ridiculous and almost all seem to abuse it terribly. The name rollkur has come to mean exactly what Anky does - use the method to an abusive and cruel degree. When I see the world 'rollkur', this is what I think of, not the proper way of people using it.

It's disgusting, especially coming from a 'top' rider who should know better. Not to mention she's sooooooo fashionable everyone feels the need to defend her and copy her methods.
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post #13 of 28 Old 04-11-2008, 09:41 AM
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I just see it destroying the balance and 'uplift' in the front to engage the hind to have true balance, power, forwardness, etc. You do not need to force a horse's nose to its chest to stretch its back or develop its topline. There are much more humane and classical ways to do so without doing something that strains the horse to that extent. Even if done briefly, it makes a 'break' in the horse as a whole unit. Once you start putting those breaks in the horse it's tough to get them as one piece again, as some of you may know. A horse needs to be 'ridden to the bit' in order to gain true collection, forward, and balance most of all. If you go to such an extreme to make the horse use its back and develop a topline, in my opinion you have missed a few steps prior.
I am no expert, nor do I declare myself, but this I truely believe in and that is why I'm making such a point of it. We are all entitled to our opinions, yes. I am not angry at anyone who believes in this method I just feel I need to state why I do not. Im not trying to start a fued or anything of the sort. :)
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post #14 of 28 Old 04-11-2008, 09:47 AM
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post #15 of 28 Old 04-11-2008, 10:56 AM
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It is a brief overflexion, and it helps to supple the horse and build muscle. I have no problem with it when it is used correctly.
It's the people that take it to the extreme that makes it "bad."
Here's a quote from another thread I read somewhere else:
The main aim of all those employing this method of lowering and curling the head and neck of the horse is said to be to get the horse to raise the back and swing it. For the horse to develop the backmusles correctly they need to be working in a relaxed state and not a shortened cramped state, like some horses start out the riding session.

By bending the neck down, the back is bent up, and by tightening the abdominal muscles the back arches like a bow. This raises the back, relaxes the back muscles and the back starts to 'work'.
To a certain extent this is the truth, at least in a laboratory environment, experimented on the carcasses of dead horses where rubber bands have replaced the muscles' traction.
This is all mechanically doable and quite simple physics

.... and I'm sorry, but you can find almost anything on the internet, so quoting a website that says that it is evil doesn't sway me one bit. I heard about Rollkur as being a bad thing, but I really thought about it and did some reading and came to the conclusion.
Koomy, that webiste you posted has some pretty convincing arguments, but so does this website:

Does anyone remember the House Hippo commercial on TV? Just as with TV, you can't believe everything you read on the internet.
By the way, I'm not saying that you're blindly following this, but I read the exact same stuff as you guys - I was introduced to the Rollkur in the same negative fashion that you guys are - but I thought about it - and realized it actually might be a good idea if used properly.

Have any of you ever done Yoga? Remember seeing the pictures of the people bent in positions you never thought you'd get in, and if you ever tried them that day, you'd have hurt yourself? Well, months later you can do those positions... why? Because your muscles have been trained to - and most Yoga positions include over-flexion, followed by relaxation and letting your body stretch out.

The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography
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post #16 of 28 Old 04-11-2008, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
Originally Posted by Magic
Originally Posted by kitten_Val
Magic, sorry for my uneducated question (I'm not english and especially dressage person in any ways), but can you explain what is wrong?
No problem!

Ok, so "rolking" is a method of dressage riding that she invented. If you look at the horse's head it is being hyper-flexed (It really messes up the horses back, spine, and neck).
I really hate defending this EVERY time it comes up.... but the rollkur is supposed to be brief (10 seconds, max) hyperflexion followed IMMEDIATELY by letting the horse stretch its neck down to the ground.
Unfortunately the top riders have made it cruel by making their horses maintain the rollkur for 10+ minutes without a break.
It's not meant to be used this way, and I think that if it was used correctly it could be very effective - I would use it, and probably will when Maia has more training on her.
yeah, sorry I should probably edit my post, I meant to say that it's only bad when the top riders abuse the rollkur method by using it for 10+ mins. I am buying a horse from someone who is friends with anky and he says that Anky didn't want her methid spreading because she knew that people would abuse it.

If only she didn't abuse it either :(

Thanks for clearing that up, justdressageit :)


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post #17 of 28 Old 04-11-2008, 12:04 PM
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How does doing that raise the back? The head and neck cannot come down comfortably unless the back is already up. Try it yourself. Get down on your hands and knees, drop your back and cram your chin to your chest. See how that feels. Now lift your back, and notice how your head drops with it. So how can cramming the horse's head into its chest encourage it to raise its back? How can a horse raise its back if it isnt being ridden front the back to the front?
I understand there are many websites for anything you want to look up, and there are always opposing views. I respect your opinion on this but that website was enough for me to look and believe that I would never want to cause that class of discomfort to my horse, even if for ten seconds. I'd rather go about it in a more natural encouraging way.
My goal in horse training to to better the horse in every way, balance, movement, soundness and comfort.
So you relate it to yoga, try doing those yoga moves and then exercising in between each movements. Do a stretch, run around. Im sure you'd feel pretty darn stiff, which would enable you to not be able to find the desired 'goal' of the rollkur. I'd much rather encourage my horse to f i n d his way into a soft, swinging and strong topline rather than saying, here let's cram your head down here so when I let go you want to stretch long and low to relieve the tension I just gave you. No thanks.
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post #18 of 28 Old 04-29-2009, 08:18 AM
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Unfortunately it is a popular method of training in the Netherlands.
I think,... People who train as, they have no respect voor their horses...
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post #19 of 28 Old 04-29-2009, 08:20 PM
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I understand what people are saying about it not being harmful if only used for a couple seconds, but I just read an article in Dressage Today about the rollkur (I don't know much about it) and here are some things that they said:
"...In the study, 15 horses were each ridden 30 times through a Y-maze, randomly turning right or left at the fork of the Y. Riding through one arm of the Y-maze was always followed by a short round ridden on a 20-m circle in rollkur. Riding through the other arm was always followed by a short round ridden in normal poll flexion. Immediately after the 30 'conditioning' trips, the horses were again repeatedly ridden into the maze. By this time, the rider (a skilled dressage rider) let the horse decide which arm of the maze to enter. Fourteen of the fifteen horses chose the 'normal' arm of the maze significantly more often than the rollkur arm. The researchers also observed that during rollkur the horses showed more signs of discomfort, such as tail swishing, head tossing and attempted bucks. "Some horses learned to associate a particular arm of the maze with the rollkur treatment after a few conditioning repetitions, before the testing phase," sats Dr. Millman. "These horses were reluctant or resistant to enter the rollkur arm during the conditioning phase and needed more forceful cues to make them do so. In a seperate part of the study, eight of the horses were faced with two 'fear tests'- an umbrella snapping open and a fan blowing plastic strips- after short rides in rollkur and normal flexion. After rollkur, the horses tended to react more strongly to the scary stimuli (as measured by heart rate and behavioral signs) and took longer to approach them." "...but the researchers note that their study, published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science, isn't definitive."
(All rights belong to Elaine Pascoe and PH)

To me, it seems like rollkur is unneeded and can't people find another way to stretch their horses backs and build topline without causing their horse discomfort? There are other, better ways that don't compromise a horse's comfort level. Wow- this is a really long post.
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post #20 of 28 Old 04-29-2009, 08:21 PM
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Sorry- Practical Horseman, not Dressage Today. (oops)
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