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:
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.