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Discussion Starter #1
41000 signatures on Gerd Heuschman's petition!

This article and this article were released today on EuroDressage.
What do you guys make of it? I'm curious to see if there will be actual action taken, or if they will go through with this and supervise warm-up rings and actually call people out.
No mention was made on what qualifies as aggressive, nor anything said about using too much of the method.


Also, this article was released on the Scandic and Kittel incident last month.
So he gets a slap on the wrist. Huh.
 

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Thats interesting. i hope they do something about it! those pictures in those articles are crazy! i never even knew people did stuff like that!!!! I am actually VERY surprized those horses havent tripped and fallen badly from that kind of hyperflexion! how do people even think that looks good?
theres some real crazy horse people out there i guess......... :/
 

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This is what I read:

Blah, blah, blah, political mumbo jumbo, blah, blah, blah, overly tactful and diplomatic word choice with double talk and absolutely no course of resolution, blah, blah, blah, we love to hear ourselves espouse the virtues of which we will never, ever enforce, blah, blah, blah, go ahead and give us a pat on the back, blah, blah, blah, we're so full of horse poo they can smell us in China, blah, blah, blah, talk is cheap, but we've put our heads together and decided to keep right on talking.

How long has this been going on? Research, debate with riding masters, investigation, medical input ... If they'd just asked me I'd have told them years ago it was a display of humanity taking the shortcut at the expense of the vehicle. So what else is new?

Only when I see that pathetic front-legged windmill excuse for an extended trot marked with a big, fat, zero, will I have any faith that something will be done about rolkur.
 

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Slap on the wrist? I would have slapped him on the face. I had a clinic with Gerd H. and he discussed this during a lecture, it was very interesting. I hope something is actually done concerning this issue as I think it is quite thoroughly discussed in the equine world. Also, what about the rollkur in the jumping arenas? I see it all the time, even on TV during the warmups for the top shows. Am I the only one seeing it, or is it just more noticed in the dressage world for whatever reason?
 

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they use it in JUMPING?? this is getting pithetic. seriously, the hrose world needs to beat these so called 'horsemen' until they realize what they are doing, and if they dont realize it, to shun then until they get the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, I hope to see some sort of action. But, I actually doubt it. There are so many loopholes that people could take! I'm sure poor Gerd and the others against the method were just *facepalm* by the end of the conference.

This is what I read:

Blah, blah, blah, political mumbo jumbo, blah, blah, blah, overly tactful and diplomatic word choice with double talk and absolutely no course of resolution, blah, blah, blah, we love to hear ourselves espouse the virtues of which we will never, ever enforce, blah, blah, blah, go ahead and give us a pat on the back, blah, blah, blah, we're so full of horse poo they can smell us in China, blah, blah, blah, talk is cheap, but we've put our heads together and decided to keep right on talking.

How long has this been going on? Research, debate with riding masters, investigation, medical input ... If they'd just asked me I'd have told them years ago it was a display of humanity taking the shortcut at the expense of the vehicle. So what else is new?

Only when I see that pathetic front-legged windmill excuse for an extended trot marked with a big, fat, zero, will I have any faith that something will be done about rolkur.
Exactly.
I think there has to be a balance between classical (humane) methods and modern (humane) methods, and that a sport must grow and change. But, there is absolutely no place for the blatant abuse that is hyperflexion. The idiot overscoring and fixation on the front end also has to go.

Slap on the wrist? I would have slapped him on the face. I had a clinic with Gerd H. and he discussed this during a lecture, it was very interesting.
I would have dumped his butt in jail with a nice, hefty fine and an atomic wedgie for good measure. Of course, the punishment I would hand to Anky and Sjef is too violent to mention on this forum.
I wish I was at that clinic!

they use it in JUMPING??
Actually, in almost every equestrian sport, hyperflexion use has been found, sometimes being covered up with other names and labels. Some people aren't even aware of hyperflexion's existance, let alone that they may be using it in a way that is cruel or hurtful to the horse.
Here's some video examples:
Showjumping!
And... Western!! (Labled as the "bend head down system". *snort*)


On another note, does anybody else think that Sjef looks absolutely out of place in the conference group photo? Seriously hilarious!
 

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To be honest, it sounds to me like the FEI is just putting this out there to try to please everyone without actually doing anything about it.
In this link there is another article, as well as a video, in which they claim that:
"The group redefined hyperflexion/Rollkur as flexion of the horse’s neck achieved through aggressive force, which is therefore unacceptable. The technique known as Low, Deep and Round (LDR), which achieves flexion without undue force, is acceptable."
So basically, they're saying that Rollkur/Hyperflexion is a no-no but LDR, which is basically the same thing, is okay...
 

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[/QUOTE] dressagexlee: Actually, in almost every equestrian sport, hyperflexion use has been found, sometimes being covered up with other names and labels. Some people aren't even aware of hyperflexion's existance, let alone that they may be using it in a way that is cruel or hurtful to the horse.
Here's some video examples:
(Labled as the "bend head down system". *snort*)


On another note, does anybody else think that Sjef looks absolutely out of place in the conference group photo? Seriously hilarious![/QUOTE]


wow...i couldn't believe those videos. that neck position just looks unnatural. i just don't understand where people come up with this stuff
 

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So basically, they're saying that Rollkur/Hyperflexion is a no-no but LDR, which is basically the same thing, is okay...
Rolkur and LDR are not one and the same.
To ride a horse in Rolkur/Hyperflexion is to physically have the horse forced into a BTV frame where the horse's chin is on its chest, and then be asking for lateral flexion half the time as well.

LDR stands for Low, Deep, Round and actually has its merits in a humane training system. First the neck is taken low (in Rolkur, half the time the neck is still high), the horse is stretched deep, but not allowed to take the nose too forward so he becomes very round. This ends up with a horse who if he keeps pushing from behind is very much "into the bridle" and helps to re-enforce the connection. For a horse like mine that has connection issues, work in this frame has really helped. What a lot of people don't realize is that in LDR there is no pulling back by the rider's hands. The neck is simply positioned so the horse is stronger in the contact, where as in Rolkur, the neck is physically pulled shorter.
Although LDR is not "classical", it is humane.

$0.02
 

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I'd like to see a picture comparison of rollkur vs LDR before I make up my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I work in an "LDR" frame, as described by Anabel, sometimes as well. But I think the problem is that people train in the frame for too long, too deep, etcetera. And aggression and force can sometimes take other forms than the obvious. Quiet abuse. The statement that they have made has so many visible loopholes to it, which leads me to predict the cheeky celebrity rollkur-riders of today are going to use excuses like, "He was about to spook," or "He needed sharp correction for his behaviour, which is caused by something totally unrelated to me," etc. People could now say to uninformed spectators or young riders, "They are training in LDR, not rollkur! LDR is humane and anyone can use it!"

I realize the situation the FEI is in. I'm sure most of us draw up with a blank about where to stand in balance with classical versus modern, and what action to take to keep both sides content (as much as I'd love to see Sjef, Anky, Edward, and the others go pout in the corner, that won't happen). But, it's also a nasty circle that the FEI has somewhat created for themselves. Where does the requirement for excessive methods come from? For the win and for the cash, of course. To stay on top and in style, and to buy, sell, and train horses quickly; riders are pressured, and they can become okay with blatantly abusing a horse, dispite all of the claims against it. It becomes a job, and I think people forget why they became involved with horses in the first place.
We can point fingers at judges, because they decide what is rewarded. It's like training a horse, but are they rewarding bad behaviour? Maybe if they weren't so obsessed with chin-hitting knees and were actually looking for correctly ridden and trained movements, weren't over-scoring every test, and weren't so political and placing the same people in first place every time, then people wouldn't get desperate and begin going against what they wanted for their horses.
And it isn't just Dressage that this mentality and cycle is present in. Western pleasure, hunters, reiners even. Lots of the equestrian sports.

But, back to the hyperflexion (LDR, if you will) subject, I think the biggest question is this: how much is too much?
That is where the debate ensues. How do we answer that question?


The rollkur debate, as I've mentioned in my post, is obviously not the only thing wrong with international dressage today. So many things need to be changed in the FEI's competitions right now (the judging, especially), and I don't expect anything to happen right away. Or for a really long time. It's difficult, it's sad, it's mind bending, and just... stupidly tedious. They dug this hole, so they have to fill it back in. I just hope that things change for the better and for the horse.
 

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Rolkur - notice the pulling hands.


LDR - more stretching frame, but held in front to encourage the connection. Not a "classical" frame. There's a FB Groups, Germain Equestrian and although they're a bit fanatic about Isabell Werth, looking some of the pictures it's a decent depiction of LDR.


Sorry it's just a slight pet peeve of mine to see people lump techniques together... :p
 

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I work in an "LDR" frame, as described by Anabel, sometimes as well. But I think the problem is that people train in the frame for too long, too deep, etcetera. And aggression and force can sometimes take other forms than the obvious. Quiet abuse. The statement that they have made has so many visible loopholes to it, which leads me to predict the cheeky celebrity rollkur-riders of today are going to use excuses like, "He was about to spook," or "He needed sharp correction for his behaviour, which is caused by something totally unrelated to me," etc. People could now say to uninformed spectators or young riders, "They are training in LDR, not rollkur! LDR is humane and anyone can use it!"

I realize the situation the FEI is in. I'm sure most of us draw up with a blank about where to stand in balance with classical versus modern, and what action to take to keep both sides content (as much as I'd love to see Sjef, Anky, Edward, and the others go pout in the corner, that won't happen). But, it's also a nasty circle that the FEI has somewhat created for themselves. Where does the requirement for excessive methods come from? For the win and for the cash, of course. To stay on top and in style, and to buy, sell, and train horses quickly; riders are pressured, and they can become okay with blatantly abusing a horse, dispite all of the claims against it. It becomes a job, and I think people forget why they became involved with horses in the first place.
We can point fingers at judges, because they decide what is rewarded. It's like training a horse, but are they rewarding bad behaviour? Maybe if they weren't so obsessed with chin-hitting knees and were actually looking for correctly ridden and trained movements, weren't over-scoring every test, and weren't so political and placing the same people in first place every time, then people wouldn't get desperate and begin going against what they wanted for their horses.
And it isn't just Dressage that this mentality and cycle is present in. Western pleasure, hunters, reiners even. Lots of the equestrian sports.

But, back to the hyperflexion (LDR, if you will) subject, I think the biggest question is this: how much is too much?
That is where the debate ensues. How do we answer that question?


The rollkur debate, as I've mentioned in my post, is obviously not the only thing wrong with international dressage today. So many things need to be changed in the FEI's competitions right now (the judging, especially), and I don't expect anything to happen right away. Or for a really long time. It's difficult, it's sad, it's mind bending, and just... stupidly tedious. They dug this hole, so they have to fill it back in. I just hope that things change for the better and for the horse.
Just a note - Canadian rider Ashley Holzer placed 4th, above Isabell Werth in the CDI 5* last weekend in Wellington. Also, American Steffen Peters took first place in the GP test, although Anky did win the freestyle as usual.
As much as politics run rampant in dressage, I really don't think that most judges are too swayed by it. There are a few judges that are still on a few competitors payrolls, but really in a panel of 5 FEI judges, all of whom have worked for tens of years for their statuses, is one judge giving you a higher score really going to sway your placing that much?? While you may think these scores are inflated, I think that they are fine. These judges have worked very, very hard to be where they are and are under so much scrutiny already that it would be very hard for them to "cheat" and still keep their status.
 

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Thank you for the pictures, it helped to clarify them. I do see the difference and I have actually been using a bit of LDR at times, I just didn't know that was what it was called (my trainer refers to it as downward stretch).
 

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Hmm, now that I see those pictures there is definitely a clear difference, thank you for posting them. I had been running off of a few very convincing people, who "explained" LDR as being the exact same thing, but obviously they are not completely correct. Anyways, I still feel that the FEI left too many loopholes in this, however maybe it is a step in the right direction.. hopefully!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just a note - Canadian rider Ashley Holzer placed 4th, above Isabell Werth in the CDI 5* last weekend in Wellington. Also, American Steffen Peters took first place in the GP test, although Anky did win the freestyle as usual.
As much as politics run rampant in dressage, I really don't think that most judges are too swayed by it. There are a few judges that are still on a few competitors payrolls, but really in a panel of 5 FEI judges, all of whom have worked for tens of years for their statuses, is one judge giving you a higher score really going to sway your placing that much?? While you may think these scores are inflated, I think that they are fine. These judges have worked very, very hard to be where they are and are under so much scrutiny already that it would be very hard for them to "cheat" and still keep their status.
But, there is still the predictable winners (even if said winners completely screw up, etcetera), or they are at least going to place really high. Sometimes, the judging has been absolutely appalling (like at the Olympics in Beijing, or at EuroChamps in Windsor). It is starting to get a little better. Just a little. I never said it wasn't.
And yes, I do think that throwing 90s at a horse like Totilas is ridiculous.


The LDR frame is alot more humane and less damaging to the horse, but as mentioned: loopholes and irresponsible use!
 

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...the horse is stretched deep, but not allowed to take the nose too forward so he becomes very round.
Too forward? Are you kidding me? How about you describe it as it really is...as in, the horse is held significantly behind the vertical.

This ends up with a horse who if he keeps pushing from behind is very much "into the bridle" and helps to re-enforce the connection.
Again, are you kidding me? Where's the push? Oh yeah, the horse is 'into the bridle' alright, in fact he's so much 'into the bridle' that if the rider let go of the rein he'd fall flat on his face.

'



Horse is clearly not coming from behind, easily noticed by the fact the fore leg 'triangle' is significantly larger than the hind limb 'triangle'. Horse is not even close to being engaged stepping barely to the 'back of the saddle', and heavy on the forehand, taking a much larger step in front than behind.

So, not at all achieving what you claim it does. The horse is so much into the bridle in this picture that he's pulled the rider right out of the saddle, all the way down to those lifted heels.





This horse is no more stepping from behind than the first..that outside hind foot isn't even going to land in the forefoot print, not to mention that the inside hind is already halfway off the ground and the outside fore one hasn't even begun to get out of the dirt. Again, clearly on the forehand and not coming through from behind.

Another hunch-shouldered rider with horse reflecting said posture.

LDR - more stretching frame, but held in front to encourage the connection.
Baloney. Hogwash. Connection can not be attained in this manner.

Sorry it's just a slight pet peeve of mine to see people lump techniques together... :p
And it's a pet peeve of mine for someone to argue semantics to justify their actions.
 

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As much as politics run rampant in dressage, I really don't think that most judges are too swayed by it.
Can we say, 'talking out of both sides of one's mouth?'.

The left side of the mouth says...politics runs rampant in dressage, while the right side of the mouth says...but that doesn't sway the judges 'too much'.

Now, where is that *rolleyes* emoticon?
 
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