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Discussion Starter #1
Dressage to Become a Blood Sport?! | eurodressage

Dressage a bloodsport now? We have finally started moving away from the flashy, tight, tense movers and 'rollkur' with those who barely knew the word dressage starting threads here there and everywhere about how cruel dressage is because all dressage riders use rollkur yada yada yada...

And now this? Great... just give those uneducated, PETA bandwagon folk with nothing better to do than scream that dressage is cruel.. some new ammo? :-|

Thoughts on this 'dressage becoming a bloodsport' topic of interest???
 

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Go bitless.
LMAO!

But seriously all dressage trainers in area I know are very gentle towards horses, and don't support any gimmicks, much less rough hands. Bad riders are in EVERY discipline. Every. No exception. If you want to punish for such - go for it (I'll be all support), jump on those bad riders, but there is no need to go about discipline itself.

As for bitless... How different is the pain on nose comparable to the pain of the lips? I'd be very curious to see the research. The ONLY way to go is brideless. :lol: Then I can say - indeed no pressure on horse.
 

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Well... Here is the thing about dressage...

You spend all your time clipping and braiding and bathing and shoeing and riding and ... oh wait... uh... You use bits and saddles and ... No, uh... You put them in stalls and you feed them supplements and you wrap their legs up tight and you ... No, you ... uh... See, with dressage you force the horse to listen to music while it rides around in a ring and...

Oh screw it. You are just bad people because you ride dressage! So there!
 

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Oh screw it. You are just bad people because you ride dressage! So there!
Hmmmmm.... I'm tempted to jump on WP after these words. May be I have to go support spirithorse in his thread now!
 

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I doubt that you could show ANY discipline where you won't, on occasion, find bleeding. Yes, I think it should be studied in each case and eliminations should be made in the case of abuse. The big question is....where is the line drawn?
 

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I've only been involved in the lower levels of dressage and I'm assuming what is discussed in the article happens in the higher levels and I'm also assuming that's not every horse, every time but just an occasional occurence?
 

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It's okay, apparently jumping and eventing are the evil step-sisters now.

"It looks as if jumping and eventing are dictating FEI rules and policy and dressage has become the unwanted foster child that needs to comply to the wishes of its evil stepsisters."
Dressage is cinderella! xD Oh yes, because jumping and eventing are "the big money-making disciplines".

Have they ever met an eventer before? Most of us are dead broke, lol. I understand their concern about the rule revision that's being discussed, but they took their argument a little over the top, and I find it a bit offensive, personally.
 

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I'm not a dressage rider, so please bear with me :)

If you asked me what a blood sport was, I would have immediately said fox hunting or bullfighting.

What causes the bloody mouth on a dressage horse? I'm just trying to understand, not accusing any person or discipline. My horses don't have a bloody mouth when I ride, so I'm at a loss as to why there might be blood there.

Ok in jumping, if a horse scrapes the jump, I can see a scratch bleeding there. In dressage, if a hoof strikes a leg, I can see bleeding from there. But what would cause the mouth to bleed?

When I'm watching dressage riders, they look so calm and still, beautiful to watch them move with the horse. I cannot imagine these people doing something that would cause the mouth of the horse to bleed, yet there are pictures there of blood tinted foam on the mouth.

So what is causing this? And why wouldn't the equestrian federation that regulates the sport want to stop anything that is causing a bloody mouth? I am asking in all sincerity. Please educate me.
 

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Dressage is about the only equine sport that I've never tried my hand (or seat) at. There IS blood occasionally in pretty much any area of the equine world. Is it common, no. Do I think because of that article it's common in dressage, no. The photos also seem to be of one horse. I'm not sold on it being a big problem.
 

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I can't remember EVER having a horse bleed through bit trauma. I have had horses bash themselves on a jump getting hurt, I have had bits pinch the corners of their mouth before I noticed and tossed the bit, but never blood from a cut from a bit usage.

I sure have SEEN it, though. When I saw thin twisted wire bits bring bloody froth in a saddleseat morgan's mouth, I blamed the rider, not the discipline.
 

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I sure have SEEN it, though. When I saw thin twisted wire bits bring bloody froth in a saddleseat morgan's mouth, I blamed the rider, not the discipline.

Grr twisted wire bits. I've seen them do their damage. Though I've never seen a horse bleeding at a competition. Generally even the horrible riders (whether is moral or talent) are trying their best to look spotless, not be sen yanking on their horse.

I really would like PETA to just step off. 95% of horse poeple love and respect their partners, or are so broke they can't afford them to be hurt. If we didn't, why do we have uuber fluffy pads, wraps, blankets, magnetic stuff for their joints, shoes, supplements, etc if we didn't want them healthy and sound. I love that jumping/eventing is the wicked step sister. Perhaps they should have been at Pony Club Championships and seen the kids pulling their horses up on course for fear of heat exhaustion.
 

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The only blood that I ever see on my horse is my blood when I whack my face on a tree or get ditched and then climb back on...........
 

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Read Gate Farm (and others) -

When you are watching these horses compete at these big events, like WEG, or the Pan Ams, or the Olympics, you need to look at the horse as a whole and the experience they are going through.
To begin with, a good international dressage horse is going to be high strung and very sensitive. At least this is usually the preference that the horse will then be easier to train to very light aids and will be willing to engage his body.
So now, our sensitive, flightly horse is put on a plane or trailer and flown or driven for a couple hours when he is finally unloaded to a strange place where it can be up to 40 degrees warmer or cooler than what he is used to, the grass smells funny and he is confined to areas which have been thouroughly dinsinfected to prevent the spead of disease. Many of these places have an FEI horse grazing area, usually about the size of a small backyard, and there are only a few designated areas for hand walking. Now the horse is schooled for a few days at the place, and the day before the competition is let in the competition arena for about 15 minutes, with no spectators in the stands and about 20 other horses with him in the arena.
Finally, the next day, after being cooped up for nearly a week now, our sensitive, flightly horse is tacked up, polished up, braided up, etc.. and after the warm up enters the competition ring with thousands of spectators, talking, clapping, cheering and is completely alone. I can't think of any level headed horse who wouldn't be nervous in that situation. So, the horse is nervously chewing his bits and gets his tounge accidentally - now he's bleeding and is eliminated by no fault of the rider.

I have seen horses bite their tounges in nervous situations without a rider on their backs or a bit in their mouth. It's purely nervous tension.
 
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well heres the thing ive found. no matter what sport, theres always going to be those uneduacted or abuseive owners who cause pain to their horses, it just deoends on the person mostly, not the sport as a whole
 

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I feel it's the responsibility of the human to take care of their horses. It's not his choice to be "there."

1) If he is so tense that he bites his tongue, then I believe he's too tense to go flying around the country, no matter how fantastic his performance might be.

2) Going bitless is not an answer. If your horse cannot be ridden in a bridle without pinching or somehow injuring his mouth, he's not ready to be shown. I also feel it should not be required for advanced horses to have extra metal in their mouths. If they can handle it, and it adds to finesse, then fine! Otherwise, I think simpler should always be acceptable.

Indeed, it is a fine line between a normal accident and a chronic problem. Bleeding isn't rare for horses, certainly nothing they get hyped over; nevertheless, bleeding COULD show the effects of extreme, inhumane (by my standards) schooling at home, leaving little scars that bleed easily.

In my tiny personal space, all I can do is show that I care, and hope it catches on.
 

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The only horse that I have personally ever seen bleed at a show was a high strung horse in a low level "back yard" type show. He was grey (white) and the owner got angry when he didn't take the right lead and kicked him severely with spurs. Blood ran all over his beautiful white coat. He was excused from the show the rider was boo-ed by the crowd.
I was only 14, and I secretly hoped that the rider would fall into the pits of Hades.............
 

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Beling, I don't think you understand the nature of these horses, nor the atmosphere at these competitions. Yes the horses get used to it but only after exposure to such a competition venue. How does a horse get used to flying if you never put it on a plane? How does the horse get used to thousands of spectators in big grandstands if you only ever school at home?
That is why we show up a week before, or earlier, is to get the horses used to the venue but its not as cut and dry as "well its the responsibility of the rider not to put the horse in a stressful situation". All we as riders can do is expose the horse to as much as we can, school with tact and a cool head and ride the horse to his best performance every day. Until the horse has experienced a big venue a few times, or more, he will be unsettled. And some of them never settle!
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Discussion Starter #20
I felt terrible for Adelinde when Parzival bit his tongue at WEG 2010.
Update: Parzival Out of WEG But Will Receive Gold Medal | 
I think the proposed blood rule is fair enough in cases like theirs, however, it gives further ammo for those who like to kick up a fuss about dressage being 'cruel'. People will start linking rolkur with the breeding mouths, which is absolutely ridiculous. I don't think I have seen even once, a bleeding mouth on a horse engaged in rolkur during a warmup.
How about the FEI enforces a few rules about the curb not being parallel to the ground for an entire test? I feel THAT is more of a welfare issue than some blood in the mouth because of a bitten tongue.
 
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