dressage people know what they are doing and does the dressage federation have
any idea what is going on? Dressage has become a riding religion formed by
beliefs and theories, and filled with never-ending arguments, and presented as
some silly circus shows to
entertain the clueless public.
This is mainly caused by the fact that this style of riding was infiltrated by the so-called people of intellect (amateurs), who either invent theories to justify their actions, or invent theories to be followed, while having no understanding of horses whatsoever.
The worst contributors to this confusion are the veterinarians, as well as the so-called credible or famous dressage people, and most of all the clueless judges, who like scientists theorize life instead of living it.
In any case, how did we get to this point of riding horses with flexed/bent necks instead of in the poll, which, of course, brings the horse’s head too low, often below the impulsion line? Well, the only people that can explain this to you are people that have been there, done it, have grown out of it and moved on.
This is how fools teach others to sit, as in collapsing in the hips as the instructor on the ground is demonstrating, all this to prevent the bouncing on the horse.
This girl is what I call a "clueless" rider.
It took her less than 15 minutes in the posting trot (it's easier when standing in the irons) to get the horse to flex at the neck using the described greenhorn method, as before the horse was refusing the rider's hands by putting its head up. The horse is obviously on the forehand, but not as bad as in most advanced levels of today's dressage.
The horse may refuse couple of times, but if hands stiff enough and unyielding, the horse will learn to yield to the bit/hands.
Eventually the horse will yield and give in at the neck. Frequent resting of the horse is prudent, and in time any greenhorn can look as if he or she knows something. At least this girl knows that she is clueless, and yet she did not have the need for any noseband, spurs, or other related contraptions like draw reins and such. Just how bad must be the folks that actually use the draw reins?
No martingales, no draw reins, no tie downs, no nosebands, no curb bit, no spurs! If you need more than this on the horse's head you suck! And that goes for any horse in any discipline. Soldiers rode horses like this in the battles for God sake, and we cannot ride horses like this just for the pleasure sake?
If you cannot ride, try at least not to be crude and nasty to the horse!
CAUSION! If you try the above greenhorn method with spurs and a tight noseband, especially when dropped click here to see what could happen. In the more "advanced" stage it looks like this.
This is how the amateur greenhorns got
dressage to the state that it is in now. You can practice this at home and see how
absurd the whole thing is. Remember what matters most to people when they start
Once when the greenhorn gets to this
stage he becomes concerned with the position of the horse's head, and no matter
what he tries with his hands, the horse’s head is just too far up in the air.
(He/she THINKS this is really bad.) He tries all sorts of training with side
nosebands and such, and almost invents a new technology just for that purpose. He still cannot
accomplish it but keeps on trying.
The following will describe
what is actually happening when horses flex at the neck and why, and how
this could be accomplished on any green horse with just few days of
riding by any clueless
The horse may try to free itself a couple of times by pulling
up (the length of the reins is a factor), but if the hands remain solid
(unyielding), the horse will shortly discover it can release the bit pressure by
flexing its neck, putting its head closer to the chest to yield to it (this
in reality is bit refusal). In short, it frees itself from the discomfort,
and stays free from it for a short time. Needless to say that you cannot do
this if the horse is not moving forward, obviously.
So now what? Well, now you have to learn how to keep your hands stiff and steady enough so it feels to the horse the same way as when they’re pressed against the neck. But how do we get the horse’s head down again? Very brutally and simply: just bother the poor creature in the mouth by pulling on the bit, keeping the reins tight (you know, the take and give bullshit), while urging the horse to keep going forward, and at the same time pulling the bit through the mouth a couple of times.
As soon as the horse flexes its neck keep your hands still
enough that it feels to the horse as if they are on the neck (fixed). The trick
here is not to have your hands go back at the moment the horse flexes its neck
(the horse must feel the bit pressure release), otherwise the horse will throw
its head back up. This is where the horse finds some peace from the nuisance of
the unyielding bit, and since the bit does not yield to the horse, the horse
will learn to yield to the bit (again
this is a bit refusal).
Horses that are trained like this will very often put their heads
behind the vertical, as a way to simply yield to the bit-or, in other
words, they learn to refuse the bit by putting their heads closer to their
chests. (Women just love the
flexed-curved necks. It looks pretty to them, so they have to find some
way to justify it.)
This is how absurd and brutal this whole thing is in dressage these days for most of the participants. In the old days of judging dressage the head past the vertical was considered a refusal. It was equivalent to rearing up or bucking and disqualification was in order. Today it is rewarded and scored for god’s sake!
This is how preposterous all this is, brutal and simple, because this is all that these amateurs can accomplish. Now you can see where all the theories and justification come from, like the nonsense of “riding the horse into the bit,” because that is what it is. Rollkur now makes sense, because in order for the horse to retain this deformed position for the duration of the ride, it needs to stretch its neck in all sorts of extreme and unnatural ways, hence the new name by the English speaking countries for Rollkur (German term) the Hyperflexion (hyper means excessive, excessively), which speaks for itself.
Dressage today reflects the obsession of the amateur dressage riders with the
position of the horse’s head, which reflects their amateur incompetence. They
simply cannot go on from this point and grow as riders, because the whole
concept of riding the horse's head and neck is preposterous. At this point you
can now understand their need for Rollkur and its
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.
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.
This is not a gallop/canter but a trot!
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 my younger days no one used the terms flexing or bending the horse or its neck. We used the terms like setting the horse to the right or left hand; no bending or flexing of anything was ever mentioned.
To sum up the above, dressage today is all about the head and neck and its position, outside other nonsense like high stepping and such. When finally accomplished to the desired level it completely contradicts the nature of the horse and its movement, not to mention the riding rationales of dressage. Therefore the need for Rollkur to stretch the muscles of the horse to the extremes where they were not meant to be stretched, nor need to be for any riding purpose.
of course results in complete distortion of the horse’s movement, which for
most part is ignored by the judges, because it is not about how a horse moves
but how the horse looks to
the baby boom generation of the Barbie doll horse.
(That thing has a flexed neck)
(That thing has a flexed neck)
What I find most absurd is when people argue or debate a complete nonsense. I am
including some links on this issue, and all you need to be just a little open
minded to see it.
I will be frank, unbiased and without any prejudice, and of course politically
incorrect, when I say that women did this and the men let them, because most of
the participant and judges, instructors and teachers are women.
By nature they do more thinking than living, while most refuse
to do anything without explanations and justifications. This results in people
trying to ride horses according to some theory instead of according to the
nature of the particular horse.
Riding is something you learn first by doing it before understanding it, hoping that one day the understanding will come, hence the riding student should literally obey his teacher without asking any question or without demanding explanations.
I have yet to see a modern woman that is willing to obey another human being
without asking question or without demanding explanations or justifications.
Even if she would somehow manage to scramble up enough self-discipline to keep
her mouth shut, she would be thinking about what she has done the rest of the
day and half the night, while most men would simply go for beer and think no
In conclusion, anyone that is even debating Rollkur, not to mention recommending it, is a downright idiot. The same goes for anyone who uses terms like “riding the horse deep” or "low and long" and such and so forth, as all these are the products of female thinking for justifying the rider's incompetence.
All these are new age inventions of people that failed to
learn and understand the “old ways” before trying to improve on them. There
are several millennia of human interaction and experience with horses, which
these THINKERS consider useless, because they see themselves as intellectually
superior to the simple horsemen (and people that did not have refrigerators,
cell phones and
such) and THINK that in their short lives they’ve learned more about horses
than the human race did in thousands of years.
If you like to be with horses to
release the stress of your frightened life, please don't, lest you will make
another horse crazy, because these creatures by nature
adjust to the
environment, which they then reflect, which unfortunately (for the horse) also
So they can go like this...
because they cannot do this
Short and deep?
How can people be so stupid to even debate this?
This is what
you get if you ride the horse's head. Of course you need to stretch the
poor sucker's neck to extremes, as on the left, so the horse will stay in
this crippling position at least for ten minutes.
There are no
tricks for this. No side reins or lunging
will help. You have to know something to get this done-not that this is
perfect (loss of collection = insufficient impulsion), but the expressions of all the depicted
horses speak for themselves. As I have said, just open your eyes and look
This is a torture!
This is brutal!
This is acceptable.
The problem any mediocre rider faces, when riding in hand, is not to
have the horse flexing at the neck but at the poll, which
requires a skillful rider. When a horse flexes at the neck when ridden, it is a
problem, not an accomplishment for god sake! Instead of learning how to prevent
it, they justify it, hence a fault and inadequacy in riding becomes an official
attribute in today's "dressage"
and gets rewarded.
The lowering of the dressage (equestrian) standards rewards the dressage federation with more members (membership fees and show entries, ensuring its own existence), because it becomes more feasible for the amateur public.
It is a business like any other and the welfare of the animal means nothing, though they have to defend it against those that do not like such treatment. And who do they call for help? Of course the "very reliable and trustful" veterinarian, who gets rich from fixing up and drugging these poor creatures that get injured through this human greed, arrogance and ignorance. Of course the vet will say that it is OK, since he needs these fools to bring him sore horses to make money on. It's just that simple, though some people don't want to believe it, since they put so much trust in these veterinarians.
The most deplorable fact of those that debate the training method of Rollkur is that no one at these debates even mentions the main problems that this causes: forcing the horse on its forehand, which is what actually leads to the injuries of dressage horses. These so-called experts are so stupid that they don't even see it. They overlook such stupid, brutal and obvious errors as one leg on the ground during the trot, while they debate whether or not the Rollkur hurts the horse's neck. It just could not get more absurd if one would try.
Possible danger of Rollkur to the rider (Your horse may develop a bad habit)
Neck flexing and other stretching exercises. Do we need it?
Here, some actual debates on this nonsense:
or just type Rollkur into Google search engine, you will not believe some of the websites.
If dressage is not
easy for the rider, or if the horse does not look easy-going, or if it does not
look to a less experienced rider as if most riders could do it, then it is not
Edited by J. G. April 28th, 2006
Written by Ludvik K Stanek a.k.a Lee Stanek