A Dressage Corner

Discussion in 'Blogs (Horse Forum)' started by Alsosusieq2, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    I personally think the Europeans are tougher than here. At least some venues are known for being horribly tough.
     
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  2. GentleGiant1

    GentleGiant1 Full Member

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    In some ways I agree. But a lot of judges over here do not tolerate rollkur/over flexion. So it would be interesting to see. Different styles I guess.
     
  3. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    It's not widely tolerated there either, seriously.
     
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  4. GentleGiant1

    GentleGiant1 Full Member

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    I guess I worded that wrong. But yeah, it isn't. I meant that she's just made a name for herself, so judges might have biases towards other riders in that regard. I don't get why the FEI doesn't take more action though. Plenty of people do it with no consequences.
     
  5. Squeaksmom

    Squeaksmom Senior Member

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    Yesterday was... interesting! There was a point where I was thinking I'd forgotten how to ride. I've been riding an older gelding who knows far more about dressage than I do, and things have generally been going well. Yesterday, tracking left we ruled the world but as soon as I turned to track right (every time) his teeth would start grinding and I'd lose control of his inside shoulder and he'd counter-bend his neck, and I wound up quite contorted trying (and failing) to keep him straight. He's normally a pretty solid citizen with a good work ethic and a lot of try, and I'm quite crooked myself with scoliosis that gives me a lean and makes my hips and shoulders naturally want to face in subtly different directions, and one leg a full 2" longer than the other which makes it feel natural for my hips to be uneven since they are when I stand, so I figured it must be something I was doing.

    Well, I chatted with my coach after my ride (it wasn't a lesson, but she'd come down to bring horses in) and I was saying that I'd probably be wanting some extra lessons soon because obviously I was messing up somewhere... maybe getting more crooked or something? I don't know.... Turns out the horses had had their shots, and he'd reacted and was having trouble bending his neck to the right. This obviously made me very happy that it wasn't me, but also made me very glad that I'd assumed it was me and not him and not gotten after him for being disobedient. I had initially been feeling guilty that we'd spent most of our ride on the left rein since I was getting frustrated going to the right and hadn't wanted to take any of that out on him, but it turns out that was exactly the right thing to do and I'm glad I listened to him. Sometimes it's not what you think, but I try hard not to blame the horse since it's usually far more likely to be me. I hope my big friend is feeling better soon!
     
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  6. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    A giggle for you...

    First real ride through of my first level test today.....and it took for ever because I had to keep going back and doing parts again....*sigh* But another lightbulb moment, there is a trot to canter transition at C, then a 15m circle starting at C.....Who knew, when you have both things starting at one letter, you have to do both things at reg letter, if you do your transition, then start the circle, you get bigger than 15m.....so now we have to make sure to start the circle and the transition at C......Yes, I never said I was bright....but I'm getting there:rofl:
     
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  7. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    saw this today

    dressage sweat.jpg

    I wondered what yours would say? My first quick effort


    Desperately

    Remembering

    Every

    Step

    Striving

    Against

    Gravity

    Elegantly.
     
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  8. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Works for me, what's strived for. Cute ML-!!
     
  9. raisethebar

    raisethebar Senior Member

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    What a fun thread, thanks Alsosusieq2!

    On the note of Rollkur, I felt the need to express my [controversial] thoughts on the matter. This is in no way a plea for idiocy, believe me, but just something that I feel often isn't discussed when this topic comes up. Most often, someone mentions Rolkur and 99% of us "westerners" ears get hot and our heart strings get a little more snug.... and for GOOD reason.. but here is some food for thought.

    "Rollkur" or "Hypertension" or whatever you want to call it, was designed to be used as a training aid. It was developed with no different intention than side reins, or German martingales, or whatever training aids that come to your mind at first consideration. It was intended to be used temporarily as a stretching tool; to stretch the top line and develop additional flexibility in the body. It begs the question, "What is suppleness", and "What is a horse who's truly on the aids?" To me, those two work hand-in-hand; I like to check in periodically and say, "Can you put your hips here?" or "can you bend here?" and while I don't YANK or SHOVE, I gently ask and release to ensure my horse is reactive, responsive and thus 'on my aids'.. Is Rollkur any different? Well, initially it probably wasn't, but like most 'artificial aids', it has become over used, and as such, abused.

    While the riders who practice it heavily most certainly deserve a slap on the wrist, for each individual slap the deciding committee (lets say FEI for simplicity sake) should get two. While I don't expect the FEI to be making unannounced house calls, why is there no enforcement of this in warm up rings, etc? Why do we, as a community, have to become utterly outraged, before something is done? If it was banned from the warm up ring, most logical riders will weed it out of their programs for sake of not 'changing' something the day of the show. Why isn't this being brought to light in western sports (Reining especially), as IMO, it's FAR MORE common in that arena than Dressage... But that's a whole 'nother can of worms...

    When I first began to really focus on Dressage in the early 2000's, I watched the Athens Olympics and absolutely fell in *love* with Anky Van Grunsven and Salinero. As I continued with my training and began using the internet more heavily for training purposes, I found many who felt similar. It wasn't until about 10 years ago now that I began coming across articles and threads that demonized Anky, and eventually, many many more European riders to follow and as such, I found myself questioning myself and this person I had idolized for years... then I found this video.



    As you watch it you may think, 'that stupid woman!' or 'yeah, you better admit it!', but truly and honestly, I have never really been a 'join the herd' type, and constantly push myself to develop my own opinions. As I watched it for the first time, I thought 'yeah, ok that makes sense' and more specifically, 'I don't disagree with the 'tool' necessarily, but I personally wouldn't use it for that long of a duration', and carried on my merry you-tubin' ways.

    So, in closing, I'm not here to say "Rollkur is great!" because it's not, nor am I here to start a fight or advocate for certain training methods. Anything that causes a horse harm is a terrible, terrible thing... but next time you see something painted with a Scarlet A on the internet, *especially* if it's in picture form, catch your judgement, take a step back, and consider... Our community is so quick to jump on people and judge them for their decisions, when we could encourage and educate instead. Is it our desire to constantly compete with one another? I suppose i'll never know.

    Moral of the story. Rolkur is bad, but like most things, it tends to be really blown out of proportion and sway the judgement of those who are lost in the crowd of sheep.
     
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  10. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    I disagree. the Rollkur problem is most certainly not blown out of proportion and every rider training their horses with hyperflexion deserve more than a slap on the wrist.
    Anky an Grunsven and Sjef Janssen really made it take off as "the new thing to do" but even back then there have been other riders using it. Nicole Uphoff, for example.
    The FEI is definitely to fault. Because they didn´t step in before it became a movement, they only reacted when the "training method" received bad press. Because they awarded horses who were trained in Rollkur with the highest scores. They still do.
    The german team coach said a few years ago that you basically had to train your horses in Rollkur because that´s what wins awards. and that the public demands awards from the german riders.
    Now, we are certainly spoiled by how successful our riders have been in the past but I do like to think that most of us would prefer no awards to awarding animal cruelty...then again, it obviously didn´t matter much that poor Totilas went his last Grand Prix very clearly lame in the 2015 EC.
     

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