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This is a discussion on Rollkur within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What is bad about rollkurrs
  • ROLLKUR METHOD for Horses

 
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    06-16-2010, 10:22 PM
  #1
Weanling
Post Rollkur

Is Rollkur good or bad? I’ve done a little research and found information on both parts of the story. As any good horseman/woman, a person should be able to look at and understand both sides. So what are the pros and cons of Rollkur? Does it actually hurt the horse? Is there proof it has hurt any horse? Is it a good training method? What do you think?
Here is some quotes of what I have heard from both sides.
Rollkur is bad-

“Hyper flexion, otherwise known as “Rolkur,” is such a strong reminder of how much horses do for us in spite of our ignorance, our mistakes and, in this case, our need to win. I think any real horse lover gets a terrible feeling in their stomach when they see this kind of torture all in the name of performance. Not only is there the potential physical damage and pain, but the mental and emotional indignity is, to us, even worse. Here is this beautiful animal forced into a helpless position where he can see nothing but the ground underneath him...and what for? To win a prize that means nothing to the horse?”
Rollkur is good-

“Rollkur teaches the horse to lower its head and round its neck as it works. Working "deep" so that the head is pulled inward. Often promoted as being a fix-all for suppling and stretching the horse’s neck it has also gained popularity as being able to raise and strengthen the back. Because of the way in which Rollkur changes the horses balance it will help to promote very flashy knee action, Rollkur will indeed stretch certain muscles in the neck”

So whats your opinion?


     
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    06-16-2010, 10:31 PM
  #2
Trained
Walk around with you head pinned to your chest for 15 minutes and get back to us...

Sorry to be so bitter, but that's my take on Rolkur. Very harsh stuff.
     
    06-16-2010, 10:36 PM
  #3
Trained
Very old debate, been brought up multiple times. Have a look through the dressage and english riding threads, there are multitudes of rollkur posts.
Yeah some riders swear by it, I don't think it's necessary. If you need to pin a horses head to it's chest for half an hour to make it soft you need to re-evaluate your riding.
     
    06-16-2010, 10:40 PM
  #4
Weanling
^^ completely agree. Rollkur also cuts off breathing and can suffocate a horse. I know a horse that lives a few stalls down from mine and he had been a jumper and then was sold to a "dressage" lady. She strongly believed in Rollkur. Now, Oliver's (the horse) back is crap and he is in and out of lameness all the time.

I am also bitter about it. It's a very evil shortcut.
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    06-16-2010, 10:42 PM
  #5
Trained
Oops sorry I didn't read though your whole post just saw rollkur haha.
As for the con's of it, there was a study done in Holland that tested the stress levels of horses trained with rollkur against those trained without. There were 5 of each horse (5 rollkur trained, 5 'other') put in the same environment, stabled in the same location, ridden at the same time of day etc. the only difference being the training method.
Monitors were attached to them after their ride each day for 2 weeks to determine their stress levels. They found that the rollkur horses were actually less stressed than the 'other' horses.

Also, there hasn't been any solid proof as such that rollkur is immediately detrimental to the horses health. Riders who use and defend rollkur, claim that using rollkur lifts and engages the horse's back

This said, I'm not keen on it as I said above. Why use it to 'engage a horse's back' (I don't understand how this can be achieved using rollkur due to the way a horse is built) when you can use 'normal' methods to achieve the same outcome, minus the controversy and very uncomfortable looking horses.
     
    06-16-2010, 10:52 PM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty    
Oops sorry I didn't read though your whole post just saw rollkur haha.
As for the con's of it, there was a study done in Holland that tested the stress levels of horses trained with rollkur against those trained without. There were 5 of each horse (5 rollkur trained, 5 'other') put in the same environment, stabled in the same location, ridden at the same time of day etc. the only difference being the training method.
Monitors were attached to them after their ride each day for 2 weeks to determine their stress levels. They found that the rollkur horses were actually less stressed than the 'other' horses.

Also, there hasn't been any solid proof as such that rollkur is immediately detrimental to the horses health. Riders who use and defend rollkur, claim that using rollkur lifts and engages the horse's back

This said, I'm not keen on it as I said above. Why use it to 'engage a horse's back' (I don't understand how this can be achieved using rollkur due to the way a horse is built) when you can use 'normal' methods to achieve the same outcome, minus the controversy and very uncomfortable looking horses.
hmm I've never heard that. Sounds intersting.
Btw im not saying I agree or disagree with rollkur. Just looking for opinions.
     
    06-16-2010, 10:53 PM
  #7
Foal
I recently did a project on school about this and found sustainabledressage.com helpful. She takes a view point of con Rollkur. I am also against it, but it is totaly your opinion in the end. I recommend reading the whole site and then reviewing before making your final decision.
     
    06-17-2010, 08:24 AM
  #8
Yearling
I agree that I think it's a pretty rough way to get your horse round. All horses need (with that issue) is a good rider, and lots of transitions from nice slow jogs/trots, to extended trots. Oh, and I forgot to add the half-halts and sitting deep in your seat at the same time too.

Kayty: You should be a super mod. :)
     
    06-17-2010, 08:29 AM
  #9
Trained
Another oops I just realised... in my last post I wrote the 'cons' of rollkur, it was meant to be the 'pros' ;)

PechosGoldenChance... super mod????
     
    06-17-2010, 08:51 AM
  #10
Green Broke
Personally I don't condone the use of Rollkur, I find it excessive and unnecessary. That said, I don't compete at a level where it would be of any benefit to me or my horses.

One point though, I found the quote chosen to illustrate the negative effects of Rollkur to be written in a persuasive tone, appealling to peoples emotions rather than actually outlining WHY it is a bad idea:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sorelhorse    
Rollkur is bad-

“Hyper flexion, otherwise known as “Rolkur,” is such a strong reminder of how much horses do for us in spite of our ignorance, our mistakes and, in this case, our need to win. I think any real horse lover gets a terrible feeling in their stomach when they see this kind of torture all in the name of performance. Not only is there the potential physical damage and pain, but the mental and emotional indignity is, to us, even worse. Here is this beautiful animal forced into a helpless position where he can see nothing but the ground underneath him...and what for? To win a prize that means nothing to the horse?”



Here is another description that is a little more factual:

"Those who disagree with rollkur say it goes against the principles of classical dressage and the written rules of the FEI. This includes the fact that the horse is physically behind the vertical. This makes it difficult to check if the horse is correctly accepting the bit. During hyperflexion of the neck the cervical vertebrae are compressed, where classical dressage promotes lengthening and relaxation of the neck. With rollkur, impulsion and throughness may be lost due to a stiff, improperly stretched back. This can easily occur when the hand of the rider is not gently asking the horse to come low (but pulling in) - and/ or the horse is not accepting the hand, but bending in an attempt to evade the hand. A pure disadvantage is that the horse is encouraged to bring its point of gravity towards the forehand.
There is also a great debate as to whether rollkur constitutes animal abuse, both physically due to the held over-flexed position, and mentally due to forced submission. Given that a similar practice is longstanding and routinely seen with the use of draw reins in schooling horses for events such as western pleasure, where it is close to being a universal practice (though also controversial in some circles), the debate has major ramifications across different disciplines."

Ripped straight from Wikipedia, not having a go at you SorrelHorse, just wanted to include a quote that sounds a little more solid!

P.S. I agree, Kayty for super mod!!! Responses are always well thought out, honest and respectful, good on you.
     

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