Rollkur? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 10-07-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Rollkur?

I've been hearing alot about this recently, but never before - what is Rollkur? I know it has to do with the horse's headset in dressage, but is it a tool or a training method or just the headset itself? Also, how do horse's see where they're going and how do they breath like that?
Sorry if this sounds ignorant, I've just never seen something like this.
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post #2 of 33 Old 10-07-2012, 05:41 PM
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Oh, here's a topic for my blood pressure? It's a "training method" according to those who practice it (they prefer to call it low, deep and round or LDR) and a headset. It involves working the horse with it's head curled up behind the vertical supposedly to stretch the topline. And yes, it is very difficult for a horse to see more than his feet in that position (not certain of the effect on breathing). Some studies suggest it causes permanent damage behind the poll and it is clear from watching a horse perform this way that it doesn't encourage engagement of the hind legs and is therefore a false frame. In my book an ugly, cruel and incorrect way to ride a horse (doesn't only happen in dressage either).
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post #3 of 33 Old 10-07-2012, 05:51 PM
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Google and view the images. Wiki also has a nice explanation.
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post #4 of 33 Old 10-07-2012, 05:56 PM
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I see that all of the time here in the warm up ring before a show - some horses drilled at least 30 minutes in long shanked bits (gearing up for western classes) spurs in the sides, head wrenched to their chests - lope, trot - lope, trot over and over and over, rollback, then repeat....

you are right, it isn't only in dressage - it's everywhere like a bad disease...ugh
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post #5 of 33 Old 10-08-2012, 08:47 PM
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When a trainer is Wirth her salt (pun there) it is a slow process like all the other conditioning that is done. The horse's throat will adapt over time when done properly. Problem is too many try to get fast results. A horse will naturally do rolkhur when he's out prancing and strutting around so it's not an unnatural movement which he does briefly. In dressage it must be held longer, thus the lengthy training.
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post #6 of 33 Old 10-08-2012, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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What's the point? To look pretty? It looks horrendous to me. Why would anyone want to make their horse do that? Adapt the structure of their neck and throat just for cosmetics? I've been doing more research on it, thanks everyone for your posts.
I've seen my pony naturally put himself in a proper frame while playing around in his field, my mare will work from her hind end like she should but not fix her head position (she's got a fat neck so I think it's tough for her to have her head down at all). But I've never seen a horse put his chin to his chest for longer than a second while moving. Honestly, you can put your chin down to your neck and walk around, but should you? Think about the structure of their neck and throat, can this honestly be good for them? Seriously, try tucking your chin to your chest, you'll feel a strain down the back of your neck, do it long enough and you'll start feeling a little numb/tingly. You also can't see a darn thing, honestly what's the point of riding a horse so they can't see anything besides it's feet? I thought the point of dressage was to work in partnership with your horse, not to dominate over them and contort their body into horrifically unnatural positions.
When I say unnatural I'm referring to positions their body shouldn't naturally be in, clearly this isn't. Natural doesn't mean what a horse physically can do, with enough stretching and practice I could probably put my foot behind my head, doesn't mean I should do it and it doesn't mean it's natural to put it there. Why should we distort our animals body's simply because it 'looks pretty' to some judges who clearly have no perception of beauty and are only looking for crazy extremes. I would rate this close to Big Licks, no matter how slow you train them to do it.
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post #7 of 33 Old 10-08-2012, 09:09 PM
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Please please please please PLEASE PLEASE don't tag this with Dressage. It happens in any discplines. I've seen show jumpers riding in Dutch gags with draw reins with the horse's chin on it's chest.

Rolkur (hyperflexion, forced helplessness) is when the rider places force on the bit, enough to draw the horse's head down severely behind the vertical, so it is nearly biting its chest. If you look at a horse ridden in rolkur, in the majority of them the horse's mouth is gaping, there is excessive saliva being produced and the rider very often appears to the water skiing off the horse's mouth.
Google "Patrick Kittel Scandic Olympics 2012 warmup photos".

Rolkur is unnecessary, it is a fad. I don't believe it is necessary in any horse. I will willingly ride a horse deep and long, but not by using force on the mouth to do so, and only as a warm up exercise on a horse that tends to brace in front of the wither and has submission issues. Deep and low does not mean rolkur, it is riding the head and neck down, but bringing the head mildly behind the vertical as a suppling exercise. There is no gaping and wildly foaming mouth what so ever.

HOWEVER, I know people preach that rolkur does permanent damage, breaks horses down early etc.
But look at Salinero. He competed in London this year, looking absolutely amazing in condition, not a soundness issue to be seen, at 18 years old. And Anky is a widely known advocator of Rolkur.
I don't think rolkur is something that causes horrendous physical damage. Personally, I believe its more mental damage that occurs, by 'shutting down' the horse.
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post #8 of 33 Old 10-08-2012, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, good to know it's not just dressage, I won't lump them in together. But it's nasty no matter who does it. I agree about the mental damage more so than the physical, it reminds me a lot of laying a horse down.
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post #9 of 33 Old 10-08-2012, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
Please please please please PLEASE PLEASE don't tag this with Dressage. It happens in any discplines. I've seen show jumpers riding in Dutch gags with draw reins with the horse's chin on it's chest.

Rolkur (hyperflexion, forced helplessness) is when the rider places force on the bit, enough to draw the horse's head down severely behind the vertical, so it is nearly biting its chest. If you look at a horse ridden in rolkur, in the majority of them the horse's mouth is gaping, there is excessive saliva being produced and the rider very often appears to the water skiing off the horse's mouth.
Google "Patrick Kittel Scandic Olympics 2012 warmup photos".

Rolkur is unnecessary, it is a fad. I don't believe it is necessary in any horse. I will willingly ride a horse deep and long, but not by using force on the mouth to do so, and only as a warm up exercise on a horse that tends to brace in front of the wither and has submission issues. Deep and low does not mean rolkur, it is riding the head and neck down, but bringing the head mildly behind the vertical as a suppling exercise. There is no gaping and wildly foaming mouth what so ever.

HOWEVER, I know people preach that rolkur does permanent damage, breaks horses down early etc.
But look at Salinero. He competed in London this year, looking absolutely amazing in condition, not a soundness issue to be seen, at 18 years old. And Anky is a widely known advocator of Rolkur.
I don't think rolkur is something that causes horrendous physical damage. Personally, I believe its more mental damage that occurs, by 'shutting down' the horse.
OMG!!!! I just watched the video of that horses tongue! It was blue!!! That is a horrendous display of hormanship, or lack thereof! He was just locked on to that horses face, it looked like it was so hyper flexed that it had to turn its chin sideways to make room for all his rein pressure......shameful!
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post #10 of 33 Old 10-08-2012, 09:40 PM
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PunksTank: you know what I like about you? I like that you ask a question when you don't know what something is! You are humble enough to ask questions! I say this because () today I was riding my guy, and I was working on collection and I was losing impulsion and my lope kind of became all disunited (kind of like he was cross firing or four beating) but I couldn't tell what the heck was going on (I'm trying to reestablish my 'feel' I've been away from riding for a while) and I yelled across the arena to the 12 year old girl 'Hey, I know I should know this, but am I on the correct lead?' haha! I wasn't to humble to ask! Turns out I was on the correct lead! Happens that he started four beating then corrected himself when I urged him out a bit more!
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