Rollkur: The Positives
This NOT your general rollkur debate as there are many threads about that. But rather, I have been writing finals research paper about modern dressage vs. classical and quiet obviously a sub-section is rollkur.
But, you can't have a good paper without including both sides. I am venomously against the use of rollkur, but I know there are people out there that condone it and I would love to hear from them. To understand the other side and include the points in my paper.
I'm not pro-rollkur, but here's a few bits:
"In the mid fifties, Jack Licartreferred to the lowering of the neck as an “extension”. The words were in agreement with the author’s philosophy; the thought of a neck extending out of the shoulders and elongating eventually the back muscles."
Pretty much, many rollkur advocates believe that the lowering of the neck and curling stretches the back muscles, even though that isn't true. Some also believe that the greater 'mobility' of the horse's vertebral column eases the horse. This is also not true. Another point they make is that the lowering relaxes the neck muscles and makes it easier for the neck muscles, but inherently this is fault as the stress is then put on the lower neck muscles and ligaments, so yet again this is not true. I guess you can just cut out the "it's not true" part:lol:
From Chronicle HF, an article:
Huff And Puff Training And Leadership: An Opinion On The FEI Rollkur Decision | The Chronicle of the Horse
From an FEI meeting in 2006:
"Two major conclusions were reached at this meeting, which the FEI formulated as following: "There was clearly no evidence that structural damage is created by this training exercise, when used in the right way by expert riders. However, the use of that technique by inexperienced people was a possible threat to the welfare of the horse. The role of top dressage riders as role models in the sport was underlined. Most of the participants agreed that the terminology “Rollkur” was not comprehensible and decided it would be better to use a term which could be understood by riders, trainers and the general public. After an extensive discussion, it was proposed that the draft wording might be ‘hyperflexion of the neck.’ "
Thank you! That is exactly what I needed - just some points right out front. I'm so anti-rollkur, that i just dismiss people positive receptions of it. So, it was proving difficult to actually gather some insight about it. I guessed that a lot of positives would be about stretching either the neck or raising the back, and I just laugh at such ignorant statements...
I would point out that Rolkur is hyperflexion but hyperflexion is not just longitudinal but lateral as well.
When you take in the whole concept of overbending in all its facets you realize that almost everyone does it.
The main difference is the duration of the flexion.
When you say "everyone" does it, are you referring each discipline, or each person that rides? I completely agrees that every discipline uses hyper flexion in a sense of the word, but not every rider.
Such as, "western" riders hyperflex laterally -- it's common, especially in the natural horsemanship area.
Within the discipline and also individuals such as you mentioned the western bending of the horse to the riders leg sometimes used in the one rein stop. In dressage where they are not thinking of the Anky rolkur, the over bending of the horse laterally can be used to loosen the horse up. The "carrot" stretches is another example of rolkur but with a different intention in mind.
All my students will in the beginning over flex the horse left and right and hold it for a few seconds. Very good exercise if the horse is getting older and will have initial stiffness problems.
It is all in a sense Rolkur but like everything it is always a matter of how much is too much.
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