Rollkur / Hyperflexion

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Rollkur / Hyperflexion

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  • Spanish riding school use rollkur
  • Spanish riding school and rollkur

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    11-06-2008, 01:36 AM
Rollkur / Hyperflexion

Not sure if there is alreadya thread on this but I guess we can discuss it again anyway! :)

The extreme flexing of the horse at the poll and purposly overbending the horse. It's a method used by Anky Van Grunsven and many modern riders today.
Classically the horse were not meant to bend at all past the vertical at the poll, and debates have been created about weather it's bad for the horse. The classical dressage has been lost in the modern world and very limited people actually still train it. Most riders these days ride modernly, without knowing it or admitting to it because they do not completely understand.

If you want a bit more information because your not sure about it type rollkur or hyperflexion into google and loads of articles come up about it.

Here's a realllly detailed explanation from a classical dressage trainer about why it is not a classical method:

What do you think about it? I'll write my thoughts later
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    11-06-2008, 01:58 AM
    11-06-2008, 02:08 AM
Im extremely against that so called method.

The horses are being asked to work blindly, and every single photo I have seen of it the horse has looked horribly uncomfortable. Its totally
Un-natural for the horse ,not to mention a ' cheap ' way of training ....... by that I mean its one of those quick fix ideas, instead of the years of training put into the classical way of getting the same flexion and such.

Makes me furious
    11-06-2008, 04:07 AM
Originally Posted by Bitless    
Im extremely against that so called method.

The horses are being asked to work blindly, and every single photo I have seen of it the horse has looked horribly uncomfortable. Its totally
Un-natural for the horse ,not to mention a ' cheap ' way of training ....... by that I mean its one of those quick fix ideas, instead of the years of training put into the classical way of getting the same flexion and such.

Makes me furious
I couldn't have said it better.
I belong to the Ultimate Dressage forum... and Rollkur is a hot topic there... the consensus being completely against the so called method. To me it's incredibly unnatural... and if they think the horses look lovely doing it... I personally disagree.
    11-06-2008, 09:20 AM
Didn't Anky actually create it (well gave it a name and introduced it to dressage?)? And my friend wonders why I'm extremely anti-Anky and any dressage rider that does that. I am 500% against it even if they do it for a second to get more power for one move. Doing it accidently without realizing is one thing because they aren't purposely trying to hurt the horse, but doing it on purpose for the sake of looks?! ARG that makes me mad

Just look into the eyes of ANY horse that has it done to them. What do you see? Pain? Fear? Confusion? Pain because it overbending them and stretching the muscles too much. Fear because they trusted the rider and that is what they are doing to them....and they have less of a field of vision while in that position. Confusion because this rider whom they followed and possibly loved unconditionally is doing that horrible thing to them.

I in no way or form would say that Rolkur/Hyperflextion is right nor should be done. It's a horrible thing and I'm surprised it's still legal.
    11-06-2008, 01:30 PM
Anky didn't create it, Francios Baucher did around the year of 1850. But Anky and the top riders have modified it, after what I've learnt. The original thought is to keep it for 1-2 seconds to stretch the horse and get it's full attention..I think, I havn't read the whole book yet:P I'm not really sure what I think of it if it's used like that. Maybe I could tolerate it on some horses... I'm not sure.
But as the top riders ride's just disgusting. It's against all what dressage stands for; the horse is on the shoulders, nose far behind the vertical, the aids are all but subtle.. and that's not even mentioning the moral issues and how the horse feel. I'd cramp in my neck if it was held like that more than a minute..
Only thing it does is that the horse keeps the nose in place and thus you eliminate the most obvious sign of inbalance; that the horse throws up the head o regain balance. Even when the horse is allowed in a normal head position, it's still on the withers since it hasn't learnt to carry with the hindquarter.

I ride classical, or I'm trying to learn. My instructor has learnt academic riding (for Bent Branderup, the re-inventor of this type of classical dressage) and I've also been at his stables and had a few lessons for one of his students. She (my instructor) mostly rides centered riding tho, and has been teached from riders in the spanish riding school as well, she mixes it to a good portion of classical dressage, avoiding the overbending in academic and so on.
I'm still as much of a newbie as you can be xD But I've learnt more this few months than I have in 12 years of regular riding :P
I'm very much looking forward to a clinic with Desmond Obrien this spring, this time I'll ride for him too. (Rider in the spanish riding school in Vienna several years ago).
This drifted a bit off topic, but you did mention classical dressage. X) I can reccomend it.
I can also recomend the book ''tug of war'' if you're interested about classical vs modern dressage (fit for the competitions, which I guess mine isn't since it's a bit different yet). The website mentioned before is very good too.
    11-06-2008, 08:20 PM
Oh ok....yeah I just read that Anky created it...but modifying it is close enough lol

Yeah it is really only supposed to be for 1-2 seconds, but in my opinion, it shouldn't be used at all. None of the dressage riders that I've seen do it, do it for 1-2 seconds. Using Anky....she uses for 10 minutes + without stop. THe horse is fighting, trying to buck and rear but it can't....and she totally is cruel about the whole matter.
And if the "professionals" can't do it correctly, and alot of people look up to the professionals, will anyone know how it was supposed to be used? So IMO, though the action for 1-2 seconds might not be too much of a bad thing, people's actions on it and how they are using it should be stopped...and probably the only way to do that is by making it illegal.
    11-06-2008, 09:02 PM
Except that making it illegal probably won't work either.. nobody sees in the backyard..:/
But if the judging system changed, so that judges could rate the rider fairly without worrying about their own future, people with horses on the withers and that can't stand stillin the halt wouldn't win the Olympics..
And thn less people would imitate them..
    11-06-2008, 10:10 PM
Well of course it wouldn't stop people from doing it...Fighting Pits is illegal...yet people still do it.
But getting it out of professional sports would help decrease the users. So many people "look up to" a famous rider and want to be just like them...well 75% of them will also try the techniques also.
If the riders CANNOT make videos, or show doing rolkur that would decrease some of it
    11-06-2008, 10:21 PM
I don't like the idea of rolkur. I don't think a horse should work in that state. If a horse hyperflexes the neck on an doff in the walk a few strides....that might help them stretch out differently and might be nice for training...but doing and more than a few strides in walk with such a frame is terrible and detrimental to the horses state of mind. Its not natural in the least. Doing complete dressage in a hyperflexion state is detrimental!

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