I truly find this article ridiculous, but I'd like to see what you all think. The author touches on a whole smorgasbord of issues in rather opinionated way.
Here's the whole thing: Rollkur (Hyperflexion) - What it is and where it came from.
"Now we can understand a few relevant reasons people these days prefer warmbloods. First, the warmbloods inherited longer necks (often a little flexed already
) due to being bred for light draft (agricultural
) use, which helps them lean and pull. This is also present in more extreme cases in the coldbloods (heavy drafts
), which is why they are also used for that type of work.
The second important reason for using warmbloods is that their temperament is somewhat dull (which was needed for the work on the farm)
, and so they are less prone to refuse or fight the inadequate rider. Once programmed to do a particular work they become almost like some biological computers, which is great for the farmer, but not something that a decent rider would prefer, because of the dulled responsiveness of such animal. (Today’s warmbloods are predominantly the offspring of the agricultural types rather than the riding type, since between the two world wars there was hardly any need for riding horses, while agriculture still lacked the technology of tractors and pickup trucks. Hence, the breeders adjusted the breeding to the agricultural type that they could sell; simple economics.)
Since these warmbloods have longer necks and duller temperaments it is easier for them to perform this nonsense that is called dressage these days.
These foolish dressage riders are completely ignorant of the fact that most of the warmbloods, as well as all coldbloods, are front heavy. They were bred to lean into the harness and not bred for riding. They flex at the neck and lean forward because of their body weight distribution, which was bred into them, and because the work load was placed behind them rather on the top (simple physics and zoology)
In short, these horses are completely unsuitable for riding purposes, especially for dressage, which explains all the injuries in dressage.
All the injuries in dressage horses can be very easily explained. As mentioned above, most horses are not suitable physically for the sport, but because they have the tendency to flex in the neck they are preferred. The weight of these horses adds to the problem, since we are talking about extreme lateral stress when riding in dressage rings.
To add to this, the flexing of the neck sets the horse’s head below the impulsion line, throws the horse more on the forehand (desired for pulling
), and then when you add the natural attribute of the front-end-heavy warmbloods it’s no wonder that so many go lame.
Many of these horses are shod with wedge pads and bar shoes to prevent injuries of the overstressed front end. The fact that most of those in the higher levels of "this dressage" shoe horses to prevent injuries to the front only testifies to the fact that these horses travel very heavy on the front end due to all the attributes described above.
In reality one has to wonder just how tough some of these horses (very few lucky ones
) have to be when managing to do this for few years. However, most will break down from this riding that is actually supposed to make the carrying of the rider safer for the animal. As it is, the opposite is true. "
As mentioned before, I do not agree with it. All I see is someone theorizing with little or no factual evidence.
Your thoughts and comments on this article?