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"This is all about that my horse is relaxed and supple."

...Ironically, a bird flew into my window right after she said that. Bonk! So many things are backwards with the way she explains it. The things she has done to Nelson and her other horses is anything but "softening and good for them". That horse just looks like a big ball of tension, anger, and learned submission. I see no partnership, I just see a pained horse and a very ignorant and deaf rider.
And the one handed tempis were fail, too. I laughed. "I don't need my hands for this, so I'll ride with one hand!"
Yes, but you're leaning like crazy on that one hand...
Her hands in general are just terrible. Absolutely no give.

I understand her idea of "don't do anything when you don't have to", because it's one of the basic principles of dressage. As is variation in everything. So is relaxation, which her horses are not. The way she justifies and uses hyperflexion is so wrong. A short-lived stretch at the walk and halt? Yes, maybe even I would. A full-body workout, at all the gaits and for more than a few strides? No.
With LDR (which is not the same thing), it at least makes some semblance of sense to ride in at all the gaits for a few minutes at a time. But not hyperflexion. Hyperflexion is just blatant abuse.

The slide at the beginning that says that our arguments against "the modern way of training" (my ***) are "very weak and evidence is lacking" is absolutely absurd! Yes, there must be growth and change in dressage, and the classical ways are not the only way, but hyperflexion does not "improve the sports performance in dressage horses". Training, whether it is new or old, should always be for the happiness, relaxation, function, fitness, and health of the horse, not for the sake of winning, fast training, and a pretty front end.
The "final remarks" slide is so backwards, too. No, they shouldn't be treated like humans, but they shouldn't be thought of as a disposible object entirely for sporting/work uses either. Just because they cannot scream, cannot commit suicide, can't cry, or make choices for themselves, doesn't mean they can't feel pain and depression, or talk to us. They do. They try to communicate with us, and they do tell us what they are feeling. But so many people don't listen, and so many horses eventually give up protesting (forced and learned submission).


This interview I think was taken at the same event. It is Nelson in the video clips.


Not often does this happen, but I can honestly say that I hate eveything about this woman, her trainer/husband, and their whole crew of blind followers. I hold absolutely no respect for anybody who uses hyperflexion like this.
I can praise riders like Isabelle Werth for being soft and giving even when she does train in LDR (she doesn't use hyperflexion), but this group... No feeling, no softness, just a big bag of everything I never want to be. They also sadly happen to be the representations of our sport.
 

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Love the "I don't want to answer your question, so I will blow you off and say come to my clinic and you will get an answer so I never have to answer you."

and "Hyperflexion is the...the... the..um, developed thing..."

"I do not ride them like that all the time".. Every horse I see her riding lately is hyperflexed.

"I don't know how long I ride Hyper flexed... Time flies when you are having fun!"

Geez, this woman gives me a headache... I don't think she should be on an animal...
 

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You know, before I watched the videos, I was sure I was NOT going to like what I saw, but you know, it was actually very beautiful and the horse did look pretty calm and relaxed to me.

What I have seen of dressage before- horses flinging drool and swishing their tails constantly, really didn't show up in these videos, even the "long and deep" parts.

While I may not aspire to do dressage, nor could I ever reach Anky's level, I found it beautiful and non-offensive. I love the collection and impulsion the horse exhibits.

The competition frame, to me, even as a trail rider, is what I think a horse should move like when collected. The only thing I really don't like is the constant rein contact, but that is because I always ride on a loose rein (unless my horse is collected and trotting or cantering).

So I dunno, maybe it's just the mood I am in, but I think it was beautiful.

"Long and deep" looked awkward, but I didn't see her keeping him in the frame for long amounts of time.
 

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Allie don't hate me for this. It's one of those topics that seems to hide in the forums but is brought up over and over again. Those are just the few that came up from last year.
http://www.horseforum.com/dressage/anky-rollkur-30455/

http://www.horseforum.com/horse-pictures/anky-rolkur-7766/

http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/rollkur-38765/

http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/rollkur-hyperflexion-17101/

http://www.horseforum.com/dressage/news-fei-round-table-conference-rollkur-47511/

At home, I've got some excellent shots of Anky working with a stallion while in the Rollkur. Believe I posted them when this topic was brought up last time. I'll come post them on here when I get home.

To an extent I agree with what most of you posted as far as her training methods are concerned and the equipment and forceful methods she uses to get where she is BUT having said that, you also have to look at the rest of her riding. You have to look at how her horses respond to her despite the use of the rollkur.

Another thing you have to look at as well. As good as we all think we are, none of us have the training experience or riding ability these GP riders have and find it's easy to go out and pick out, the most well known dressage rider and talk about something she does and uses.

Do we really know what the others do behind closed doors?
 

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Great point M2G, my thing is, and this is strictly my opinion, if she is this comfortable showing how harsh and forceful she is and this open and uncaring about using Rolkur in public, what does she do when no one is watching? I agree her horses look pretty push button, but just from the way she is to the public eye makes me wonder how harsh she is with her horses behind closed doors to get them that way...

I am just your everyday horseman, no aspirations to go GP or even to compete at all, but to me it seems she is very pompous and doesn't feel she has to answer to anyone. I see this in the way she constantly deflects the persons questions in the interview, she never answers a question directly but rather dances around it until she is pleased she seems like she is doing nothing but right, all the while with an all too pleased whit herself smirk. In my experience it is this type of person who is doing wrong and knows that they are, but gets results with their methods and feel they do not have to answer to anyone for it...

Sure anyone with a harsh use of bits and spurs and gosh knows what else can force a horse into a frame and make them move without question, but it takes a real talent to achieve this w/o the use of unnecessary force. Anyone can be a bully to get what they want. She is definitely not someone I would want my children looking up to as a horseman...

P>S> I love your avatar M2G you look so happy in his arms.
 

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At no time when she put Nelson in his "competition" frame was he correct. He broke way behind the poll, allowing the poll to drop. He was behind the vertical almost constantly.

I just find her rationalizations sad for the sport.
 

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Hyperflexion is a great topic to keep having surface. It's a good debate, it's educational with all the different views on it, and it's a fresh reminder for me as to what I'm working towards being - a good horseperson who lives only for the horse.

At no time when she put Nelson in his "competition" frame was he correct. He broke way behind the poll, allowing the poll to drop. He was behind the vertical almost constantly.
I just find her rationalizations sad for the sport.
Yes, exactly.


As I said, there is almost nothing I like about Anky.
Her horses are "obedient" because they have been trained with a method that inferiorates them and teaches them to submit out of force and pain. That is what hyperflexion does when used like this. They become desensitized to it, they also become less keen to protest against things that make them uncomfortable, scared, or hurt.
I want to train horses to be willing to do things for me because they are motivated by positive feeling, not fearing that I will pull them into a place of pain, blindness, lack of air to breath, etcetera.
To me, hyperflexion like this (meaning irresponsible, over, and cruel use; forced and for a long period of time.) is comparable to pushing and beating a horse to make it lay down and submit. Is that something you would do every time you ride? For no reason?

And, for those of you saying that Nelson is relaxed, this is what I see.
You might be looking at his ears, maybe his tail; I'm looking at his joints, his back, his neck, and his eyes. The effects increase more as he is ridden.
His lumbar spine is visibley locked when he is flexed and stays very tense when he isn't, preventing him from tracking up and working completely through. His legs may be floaty, and his knees high-reaching (which is an effect of hyperflexion. The horse compensates by pulling with his front legs and reaching higher with his knees, which becomes habit and effects their movement, sometimes to the extent that the hind end cannot keep up with the front.), but his hip and shoulder are tight even when in competition frame because the back is tensed. His neck is always visibly locked, in the underline especially (a natural defence against the pain), and in his competition frame, he breaks at the vertebre, not at the poll (this is even present at
; his neck is never properly posistioned), because his neck is incorrectly muscled and probably needs heavy chiropractic work. And you convince me otherwise that the look in his eyes is a happy and relaxed one, because it's not.
An unhappy, tense horse does not always mean a horse that is swishing it's tail (if anything, a hyperflexed horse is less likely to do so, because their lumbar spine is locked) and laying it's ears back.


For shock-worthy fact sake, did you know the breathing power of a horse when hyperflexed is around seventy-five percent less?
 

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Hi! I'm not defending it. I am a trail rider and I know little about dressage. I couldn't tell you if the horse was correct or not.

I guess I hear all this horrible stuff about rolkur and such and thought I was going to see a really shocking video (or several) and was surprised at how un-shocked I was, that's all.

If what is going on is really not correct, then the judges shouldn't be placing her and her horse highly. And I assume they are, so either she isn't that bad, or the judging is messed up. And it could mean the judging is messed up, heck, there are a few other disciplines where I think the judging is messed up! :lol:

I guess I was just expecting the dressage version of the big lick walkers or something!

Me, I am just a simple trail girl. I give a total loose rein at the walk, and give light contact (and try for collection) at the trot and canter. Mostly, I just like to see nature from horseback. :)
 

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I would love to know how many of you have ridden a very hot Dutch bred horse, much like the ones Anky rides.
I myself have, and the horse nearly killed me more than a few times in the 8-10 weeks I rode it. Hell even Anky broke a leg. These horses are not ones that you can just hop on to and go to town tearing off their faces. They can and will attempt to remove you by any means necessary if they do not like what is being done to them.
Do you really think a horse knows what "training system" is being used on it? As far as they are concerned it is just as difficult to w/t/c around in self carriage with a high neck and nose in front of the vertical as it is for them to go around LDR or Hyperflexed.
As long as the horse understands what the rider wants and the training is consistent then the horse is happy to oblige. Therefore the training is "humane".
And I do agree with M2G about all the threads about this lately. Along with all the FEI BS I am getting really sick and tired of debating about Rolkur.
Anky was in my area for a symposium a few years ago. She asked a rider "how do you turn your horse onto a 10m circle" and the rider started to rattle off a detailed, precise list of aids on how she did a circle. After listening patiently to about 10 aids on the list, Anky stopped her and said "No. You turn the horse in a 10m circle, the horse circles and you tell him good boy".
As much as I really don't like how Anky sits in a saddle (ie. stiffly), she is an extremely gifted trainer and is at this point ranked #1 in the world. If I had a chance to go train with her and Sjef I would be on a plane tomorrow.
When you have competed internationally, and successfully on so many horses doing Grand Prix dressage, and only then, will you be on a platform to judge someone like Anky.
I bet that you could also do a better job running the US than Obama?
 

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For me, rolkur and extreme hyperflexion is along the same lines as the peanut rollers or the things some people do to TWH's. It's amazing the things people will do to their horses for a shot at glory.
 

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She could be the nicest trainer of students in the world, but I don't hold any respect for her as a rider or horse trainer.
No, a horse doesn't know what training system is being used on it. No, we can't humanize them, but we can't treat them as if they don't feel, either. They do know what makes sense, what doesn't, and what hurts.
Self carriage is difficult, but it doesn't manipulate a horses bones, overstretch their muscles, threaten suffocation, or make them watch the ground as somebody bosses them around for no reason. Training with fear and pushing the body physically beyond what it can do is not humane, even if the horse eventually "becomes used to it" and obliges. Big Lick Walkers can become used to the abuse they are put through and learn to oblige, too. Horses put up with a great deal more than we give them credit for.
So explain to me the need to abuse a horse with misuse of hyperflexion, in a way that benefits the horse, especially when there are other methods that produce better results in a way that doesn't hurt the horse?


*casts a line baited with cheese*
I'm fishing for sense here, but I'm still trying to figure out the right bait.
 

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There are schools of though in which the use of bits, saddles, spurs etc is thought to be abusive.
As much as Anky's methods are controversial, she still knows a hell of a lot more about training a horse to GP than you or I.
 

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There are schools of though in which the use of bits, saddles, spurs etc is thought to be abusive.
As much as Anky's methods are controversial, she still knows a hell of a lot more about training a horse to GP than you or I.
Just because she's won awards doesn't make what she does right or good.
 

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Just because she's won awards doesn't make what she does right or good.
Have I ever said that Rolkur is the best/only way to train a horse? No. If you knew me, you would know that I am a proponent of classical dressage.

All I am saying is that Anky knows more than you, as "correct" or "incorrect" as her methods are and that people should stop harping about her and Rolkur.

As I say, there are a million people in the US that can run the country better than Obama.
 

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As I say, there are a million people in the US that can run the country better than Obama.
And probably just as many that could get where she was without her training style. But until she retires from the riding world, people will look at her and continue to think that is an okay way to do things.
 

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And probably just as many that could get where she was without her training style. But until she retires from the riding world, people will look at her and continue to think that is an okay way to do things.
And because some Olympic athletes use steroids, DNA, etc.. to increase performance, this means that the general public thinks this is a good way to get places in competitive sport?
 
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