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Eurobreederstour
Nov. 1, 2006, 11:48 AM
Hi,
I just got home from the Global Dressage Forum. I know there will be a lot of discussion about this, but I thought I'd react to it while it was all fresh in my mind.

It was an intense two days filled with inspiration and crushing dissapointment in some of those who claim to be critical thinkers in the dressage media.

It started with a fantastic demonstration by Hubertus Schmidt on the stunning horse Fuerst Fabio (Fidermark x Worldchamp). It is always awe inspiring to watch this man work, and although the conclusion was reached by many that he "makes it look too easy" I think there was a lot to be gained from listening and watching. He started with a nice light warm up stressing that because his horse was a bit fresh and very sensitive his aim was to relax him and make sure that he was able to get him to stretch down to the bit in a way that showed he was ready to move on into a collected frame. He stressed that it was mostly important to show the horse could stretch down low and did not feel in any way that doing this would make it harder to bring them back up. To the contrary he said it was necessary that the horse remains connected to the rider, and that stretching and relaxing in the movement made it far easier to then bring them up because they were then ready to be asked to move forwards without running. He did say that if the horse was a heavier slower type that they could of course simply be asked more quickly to go forwards, but that one had to be careful with a sensitive hot horse that could have a tendency to run if pushed too hard too quickly. He said a hot horse will never get tired enough to slow down. They will be exhausted but continue running flatly out of pure adrenaline, and this accomplishes nothing.

The GDF will be sending us extensive notes on all of this so I won't repeat it all here, but suffice it to say this demonstration was very well applauded by everyone there.

The next demonstration was by the sport psychologist "Dr. Rico Schuijers", and this was also very interesting. He gave an excellent lecture discussing the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems within the body, and showed how stress can elevate the heart rate, breathing, and disrupt the digestive system. This of course leading to a loss of concentration and disruption of being able to perform in an ideal state. He talked about breathing exercises and the redirection of what the rider is focusing on to bring them into a better state of mind.

My favorite part of his lecture was his "Circles of Attention". The first circle really being where one should be for optimal performance and then goes outward from there.
1. Me and My Task
2. Direct Distractions (weather, etc.)
3. Is-Should Be Comparison (when the rider is having a discussion with themselves during the ride about how that move was compared to how it should be)
4. Win/Lose (when the rider is too focused on winning or losing, especially in the middle of the ride)
5. Consequenses of Win/Lose (when the rider goes even further into thinking about how losing will mean this or that, i.e. not qualifying for something, etc.)
6. What am I doing here???

He said when you hit number six a lot of the time the reaction is to then give up and say "oh I'll just ride!" and then the person does sooo much better. He said the main thing one needs to do is develop the mental skills and ability to focus on the process letting the body take over and work.

He also discussed coaching and the best ways to motivate riders as well. His website is http://www.ricoschuijers.net and I think he mentioned trying to get it translated into English. Hopefully he will soon.

The evening demonstration was a little off the beaten path. It was Monty Roberts doing his thing. I respect Monty immensely and I thought it was interesting to have an outsider like this there to offer some different points of view. I will say that I thought he did a little too much self promoting which wasn't necessary, but his lecture and demonstration were quite good. He showed some horrible videos of the "traditional" methods of breaking horses and warned the audience of using words like traditional and classical. He made it clear that although no one works out of a vacuum and the past should be studied and respected it should never simply be frozen and preserved in a static state. He also bantered a little back and forth with Anky about whether or not she could have prepared Salinero better for the medal ceremony in Aachen where he ran away with her. She wasn't too happy about that, but both Beatrice and she agreed they would look at his methods.

Oh, and one other thing he threw out there was that if he were in charge of dressage he would throw the piaffe out. I never heard him really explain that however. Certainly raised some eyebrows.

The next morning we started off with Dr. Andrew McLean which was a good segway from Monty's lecture. It of course took that discussion into a more scientific place. He gave an excellent lecture on behavioural conditioning and "applied ethology". He outlined Cognition (Mental Ability), Ethology (Natural Behaviours), and Psychology (Learned Behaviours). He stressed how important it is that we realize the horse simply does not think and exist like we do. They are always living in the here and now and are not capable of abstract reasoning as we are. They also have photographic memory which they do not "corrupt" and alter as we do over time. He said a horse which learned a relatively complicated process of switching and pulling levers to get at some food was able to immediately repeat the routine after 4 years. This is something to keep in mind when you are about to lose your tempers, and add pain to an already confusing or scary situation for a horse. That memory will not be forgotten the next time the situation arises.

He then discussed the Psychology in more detail. He classified this into 4 sections:
1. Habituation: Desensitizing to stimuli
2. Operant Conditioning: Trial and Error, Reward and Punishment
3. Classical Conditioning: Associations (i.e. Pavlov's dog)
4. Shaping: Progressive Building

He went into more detail about Operant conditioning and noted what he felt were correct negative reinforcements. He feels that pressure and the release of it is a good negative reinforcement when done in a measured way with an emphasis on correct timing of the pressure and release of it. As an example of incorrect negative reinforcement he noted that beating a horse with a whip to get them into a trailer will have a totally opposite effect of what the person wanted because the horse will then most likely focus on the whipping, kick out at it, rebel even more, and forever associate pain with the trailer.

He went from there into discussing the notion of "Learned Helplessness". He mentioned the videos that Monty had shown the evening before of brutally roping and beating a horse into full surrender. He said that the stress levels in a horse in a case where they are forced to feel totally helpless will cause the Cortisol and Prolactin levels to increase so much that they will induce brain atrophy. This will also cause symptoms of chronic stress including permanent stomach and digestive damage that can of course be fatal.

After the lecture he gave a great demonstration working with a naughty young stallion that simply did not want to do anything but pull the girl who was leading him around back into the barn. Within 10 minutes or so Dr. Mclean had that stallion standing stark still as he walked in front of him and from side to side. It would take a little more work before he totally stopped leaning on the bit in hand, but he lightened up considerably. One of the things that both Monty and he used was backing up. They would lead a bit forwards and then immediately make the horse move backwards a few steps. Dr. Mclean noted that this will imbed the idea of stopping into the neuro muscular mechanics. Since this stallion was very dull already to the bit he used the tapping of a dressage whip on the front legs to accomplish the task.

One question I sent up to Dr. Mclean had to do with the handling or not of foals. I've read that scientists have found human children do an extensive amount of learning between the ages of 0 and 5 years old. This is acutally considered the best time to teach children languages so that the neurons in the brain form around the new language (we all know how danged hard it is to learn a language when you are older!). At any rate I asked if this was also true in horses. His answer was yes. They have found that a great deal of learning is also going on and that a large segment of the learning shuts down at the ages of 3 and 4 years old. He only quickly answered, but added that the foal will be out there learning whether it's turned out in the field or not, but that once it's learned life patterns only formed around being semi wild with little or no human interaction it's difficult to fill in the gaps. Obviously no one is advocating riding or forced exercise, but I think more ground work and behavioral work could be done with foals and young horses. I'd like to see this discussed more in the future.

I've got to take a coffee break now, but I'll get to the juicy stuff in a little while. ;)

Eurobreederstour
Nov. 1, 2006, 02:21 PM
Ok, back to it.
I decided that I want to write a little more about Hubertus Schmidt's session. The gelding he's riding is young and has been competing this season under Herr Schmidt in PSG. So one of the things he did with him was work a little on the pirouettes. He said that horses tend to place themselves into a traver going into the pirouette in order to help balance themselves. It is not incorrect, but if the horse exaggerates this out of anticipation which very often happens then they can actually loose their balance. He said he tries to think of a little shoulder fore coming out of the corner in order to control the straightness and balance. He then demonstrated the beginning of their passage and piaffe work noting again how young the horse was, and that it was very important to not ask too much especially with regard to the horse stepping under his body. He said his back just isn't ready for that and he felt it was important to ask for more activity through tapping with the whip rather than using the leg which would encourage the stepping under too much.

These were light quick taps and he did say that if the horse didn't respond that a slightly stronger stroke with the whip was ok to reinforce the aid, but that if you do that you must let the horse jump forwards and not demand they continue piaffing during the correction. Once they've reacted to the stronger whip then you can quietly ask them again to come back to the piaffe.

During some of this work we could hear the horse grinding his teeth. It wasn't strong and was very intermittent. It was asked whether or not the judges would take note of this and score it down if this occured in a test. O judge, Steven Clark, took the question and I think answered it very well. He said that he felt this was simply a young horse that was starting work that was difficult for it at the moment, and that as he strengthened this would no longer be an issue. He said that in a test he would give the horse the same consideration if no other outward signs of tension and stress were there. He said it doesn't take tail swishing nor teeth grinding to signal when a horse is stiff, resistant, and tense. If as in this horse's case there were no other signs of tension or stress he would not score it down. However, if it were stronger than this and were accompanied by the other signs he would score it down.

So back to the second day;
After Dr. Mclean's session Mariette Withages hosted the review of WEG scoring. I was dissapointed in this session. It was too short, and I believe Mrs. Withages tried a little too hard to make it about scoring the audience on their judging skills rather than simply have a good review and explanation of the scores that were actually given at the WEG. They played the Grand Prix Special rides of Bernadette Pujals on Vincent, Isabell Werth on Satchmo, and Andreas Helgestrand on Matine. They gave the audience score sheets which we were to fill out. I didn't because I didn't have a scribe and I simply wanted to watch the rides (I'm also not a judge). They then starting going over certain moves playing all three rides at the same time which was difficult to focus on. Suffice it to say the only thing that I was given an explanation for was why Bernadette did not score higher than she did. Vincent was not good in the contact with the bit and was more resistant in the mouth than I had realized from a distance. They said generally they were very impressed with her ride and she did get the highest scores for the one tempis. For the most part I think they justified the scores they gave for the little we were able to review.

The only controversial moment in this session was when Astrid Appels of Euro Dressage attacked the judges for giving Debbie MacDonald a score of 70% when she felt the horse was clearly "lame" and should have been rung out of the arena. Steven Clark once again responded, and said that was a "totally unfair" statement. He did agree that she showed uneveness in the extended trots, but that during the rest of the test there were no signs whatsoever of unlevelness and her movements were exceptionally good. He said they did score the extended trots down considerably because of the uneveness, but with no other signs during the test of lameness he felt they did the right thing.

The last two sessions were given by Sjef Janssen, Dr. Rene' van Weeren, and Anky van Grunsven. First Sjef and Dr. Weeren gave a lecture on the research findings of the work that was done over the past year studying the effects of hyperflexion of the neck on the overall movement and biomechanics of the horse. From what I have gathered this was essentially a repeat of the lecture given in Laussane at the FEI workshop which included Professor Frank Odberg, Professor Leo Jeffcott, Mariette Withages, Sjef Janssen, Professor Eric van Breda, Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, Dr. Andrew McLean, Professor Hilary Clayton, Dr. Andrew Higgins, Dr. Emile Welling, and of course Dr. Weeren. You can read more about this at: http://www.eurodressage.com/news/dressage/fei/06-02-workshop.html

The basic findings and conclusions thus far from this workshop and the research is that when performed by professionals with the correct timing skills the hyperflexion of the neck is not abusive nor structurally damaging to the horse. They in fact showed evidence that it does assist in the gymnasticising of the back. The low and deep positioning of the neck has a flexing influence on the thoracic back and an extending influence on the lumbar region of the back. It also increases the total range of motion of the back far more than any other position, and increases the range of motion of the front and back legs.

This was a necessary lecture, but unfortunately, Dr. Weeren and Sjef were lecturing as if they were talking to scientists and I think they lost quite a few people in the process.

After that Sjef gave another short lecture which is still a little confusing to me. I think he was trying to build upon what Dr. Schuijers had said the day before, but Sjef was not there on the first day and there was far too much of a disconnect between the two. He went through a strange comparison of Anky and Isabell from a sports psychology and coaching point of view. He was in no way derogatory to Isabell, but I think was trying to point out how one needs to tailor the coaching style to the personality of the rider. Not really sure.

At any rate, they finally started with the demonstration of Anky riding. She rode Painted Black who had been off for a week and was a little strong. Certainly a very very impressive young stallion. They did the warm up in a rising trot emphasizing "speed control" quite a bit. It played on what Dr. McLean had been doing in hand with the young stallion earlier in the day and it was interesting to see the connection with this as well as what Hubertus Schmidt had also underlined with his horse.

I would say Anky works a little more with transitioning the speed and length of stride in the gait than Hubertus does, but they both use this idea. At this stage Anky's horse was in a long, open and relaxed frame. Sjef had emphasized earlier that the work with the hyperflexion must be progressive to start with, and that when it is done it should be for short periods of time followed immediately by a break. Once they felt the horse was warmed up Anky did start to ride the horse quite deep. At times it was what I would almost call chest biting, and she did keep him there for longer than I've seen her do in the past at warm up's for big shows, but it never went on for more than 5 minutes at a time before she allowed the horse to stretch down more or take a walk break opening the horse's neck entirely. Then she would pick it back up and do some work in the schooling pirouettes and at the end some work in the passage and piaffe. She was able to place the horse wherever she chose. She brought the horse up rather easily into a higher frame several times and it was not short in the neck, nor did the horse ever look stressed or unhappy. He certainly was NOT stiff or tense.

It was noted that she came out of the saddle a few times during the session when having the horse in a deep frame, but I think Anky answered that well be noting that she is getting pretty far along in her pregnancy and when the horse is strong she doesn't have the stomach muscles at the moment to sit as correctly as she should.

There was a representative from Sankt George magazine that was invited by the Forum to be a member of the review panel for these demonstrations given by Anky and Sjef. I'm sure most of you realize the history between them so it was not so surprising when the comment came that the author from St. George felt Anky was holding the horse by force with the hands in this deep position. Anky disputed that noting that she is a very light woman, she can't deal with a horse that is heavy in the hand, and that she simply didn't have the strength to physically force and hold the horse in that position. It was totally against what she wants to achieve for a light, easy horse to ride. Dr. Hilary Clayton was also on this panel and she said it was physically impossible for any human to force a horse into this postion either from the ground or from the back with just a bridle and reins. It was definitely her conclusion that Anky was not doing this because she could not even if she wanted to.

The author from St. George then made some sort of nasty remark, but to be honest I missed it. The audience booed and hissed at her, and David Hunt let her have it, but I don't know what she said. Probably didn't miss much.

Another audience member asked if it was possible to do a scientific study on the stress levels of the horse when it's placed in this position. Dr. McLean spoke up and said it was certainly possible because one could measure the cortisol and prolactin levels as well as place monitors on the horse to measure the heart rate. He said he would be happy to help structure a study that did just that.

Kyra Kyrkland was another member of the panel. Her response was that she sees how successful Anky has been with this method, and that she doesn't generally have a problem with it. However, she does not use it because she doesn't understand it. She repeated the fact that she didn't understand it once more, but I was left wondering what exactly it was she didn't understand about it. I would have liked to have let that conversation continue a little more. Kyra also asked if this method would be applicable and useful for a normal rider with a normal horse or if it was really more for an elite rider with an elite horse. Good question and probably a good future debate, but it didn't really get a good answer here.

At this point with all of the extensive research that has been done, the promises of more studies to be done, and a brave attempt by Anky and Sjef to put themselves and their methods out there once again for review and debate one would think we had reached a respectful level of critical thought and discussion. But think again. The microphone was then handed to Brigit Popp who noted that Sjef had said earlier in his lecture that the hyperflexion of the neck was not his system, but rather a tool within his system that he uses progressively. She then asked him "do you also consider learned helplessness to be one of your tools?".

Of course Sjef and Anky refused to even respond to this ignorant and vindictive statement, but Richard handed the microphone to Dr. McLean who had used the term in his lectures and his response was that this in no way shape or form was "learned helplessness". The horse was clearly happy to do his work and showed no signs of negative stress, let alone having been beaten down into a state of total surrender.

It left me very sad that someone who claims to be a professional in this business would lower themselves to such a level. Jennie Loriston-Clark defended Anky and Painted Black wonderfully and I was happy that we could leave things on a more positive note, but I won't soon forget it. I don't believe that there is a place for witch burning in a critical debate that we can all learn a great deal from.

At any rate, other than that last unfortunate incident I think it was a great forum and the discussions will continue.

retrofit
Nov. 1, 2006, 02:41 PM
Thanks for the long & detailed report!

slpeders
Nov. 1, 2006, 02:50 PM
Agreed- - very thought-provoking information.
Thanks for sharing!!

YoungFilly
Nov. 1, 2006, 04:56 PM
The evening demonstration was a little off the beaten path. It was Monty Roberts doing his thing. I respect Monty immensely and I thought it was interesting to have an outsider like this there to offer some different points of view. I will say that I thought he did a little too much self promoting which wasn't necessary, but his lecture and demonstration were quite good. He showed some horrible videos of the "traditional" methods of breaking horses and warned the audience of using words like traditional and classical. He made it clear that although no one works out of a vacuum and the past should be studied and respected it should never simply be frozen and preserved in a static state. He also bantered a little back and forth with Anky about whether or not she could have prepared Salinero better for the medal ceremony in Aachen where he ran away with her. She wasn't too happy about that, but both Beatrice and she agreed they would look at his methods.

Oh, and one other thing he threw out there was that if he were in charge of dressage he would throw the piaffe out. I never heard him really explain that however. Certainly raised some eyebrows.


I have to say this totally blows my mind this guy went to the GDF.



The only controversial moment in this session was when Astrid Appels of Euro Dressage attacked the judges for giving Debbie MacDonald a score of 70% when she felt the horse was clearly "lame" and should have been rung out of the arena. Steven Clark once again responded, and said that was a "totally unfair" statement. He did agree that she showed uneveness in the extended trots, but that during the rest of the test there were no signs whatsoever of unlevelness and her movements were exceptionally good. He said they did score the extended trots down considerably because of the uneveness, but with no other signs during the test of lameness he felt they did the right thing.

I think this is not that surpising because Debbie McDonald mentioned something about people that she was expecting to be decent to her on DressageDaily during the WEG were not. Maybe this is who she was referring too.

Calhoun
Nov. 1, 2006, 05:48 PM
Great report and thanks for taking the time to type it for us.

fiona
Nov. 1, 2006, 05:50 PM
My earlier post seems to have got lost in cyber space:

Thanks for the report EBT.
First reactions are that i need to read it again and ask more questions! In the meantime;
Great that we have lots of (British) people with the cajones to tell it like it is and not be bullied by a hysterical minority.
A few members of the equestrian press come across as ignorant vindictive and utterly devoid of any professional integrity.

egontoast
Nov. 1, 2006, 06:13 PM
Very interesting.

Thank you so much for your interesting and comprehensive report. I don't understand why Monty Roberts was there but am happy to hear that Andrew Maclean was part of it. I have been reading his stuff for years.

I'm also glad to hear that the witch hunters were not allowed to have a bloodbath.

canyonoak
Nov. 1, 2006, 06:29 PM
Thanks EBT...what a wonderful report. The insights and perspectives will resonate for me a long time.

merrygoround
Nov. 1, 2006, 07:09 PM
Very interesting reading. Thank you for giving the time, and having the patience to post it.:)

Bundy
Nov. 1, 2006, 07:12 PM
One tiny correction on an otherwise excellent report!
Fuerst Fabio belongs to Cesar Parra (and sponsors). FF has been in the USA all season showing. I saw him at the Paxton CDI and he was at Devon also. Competing at 3rd and 4th level. He is USDF top 20 ranked at 3rd level this year. THe horse is only 6 years old if memory serves me.

canyonoak
Nov. 1, 2006, 07:22 PM
Furst Fabio is seven years old and is trained by Hubertus Schmidt, as are most of Cesar Parra's horses.

Bundy
Nov. 1, 2006, 08:49 PM
true - he is 7. But FF spent all of 2006 up until after Devon in the USA. He had a bit of a bad go at Devon this year.

HS hasn't been "training" him this year. He was at HS' place before coming this winter to Florida but not since. He is also a stressy kind of horse - a bit high strung. He is always walked for about an hour each morning at the shows before showing in the afternoon. What a talent though! Incredible moving horse and gorgeous to boot! HS has been known to say that FF is one of the most naturally talented horses he has had in his barn.

CK1
Nov. 1, 2006, 09:06 PM
Another thank you for your time involved in sharing this important and thought provoking information!

Sabine
Nov. 2, 2006, 12:46 AM
AWESOME report- EBT- thank you for putting in the time to type all these words-- and let's burn that german witch...how disgusting of her- but I think as my mom always used to say: what goes around comes around- she has just disqualified herself to the degree- where she will no longer be invited...Hopefully ( I am talking about Birgit Popp...)

and yes - I am German. :)

belambi
Nov. 2, 2006, 01:25 AM
Thankyou for your insight..very interesting and worthwhile reading for all.

fiona
Nov. 2, 2006, 03:18 AM
He is always walked for about an hour each morning at the shows before showing in the afternoon.

That's standard practice amongst all professionals, it's nice thing to do, we do it with every horse.

retrofit
Nov. 2, 2006, 10:19 AM
Ammies too. :) It doesn't take any particular skill to hand-walk a horse!

siegi b.
Nov. 2, 2006, 10:21 AM
Very, very well written and interesting report, Eurobreederstour! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this.

As a matter of fact, I think it's much better reporting than we ever see from Birgit Poop (oops - it's Popp) ! :-)

fiona
Nov. 2, 2006, 11:49 AM
It doesn't take any particular skill to hand-walk a horse!

Actually it does. Read above. However that does not mean an amateur wouldn't have/couldn't learn those skills.

My point was that if you compete in the afternoon you don't leave the horse in the box all day long and if you compete in the morning you walk them later. It's not a reflection on the training or the horses temperament it's just what we do.

edited to add: there's a great report of the Brits not standing for any ****! on eurosewerage.

Bundy
Nov. 2, 2006, 12:23 PM
Agree that walking in the morning is not unusual.

However this horse (Fuerst Fabio) is a high energy, brilliant,edgy kind of horse - that is walked for relaxation a couple of times a day. But it is this brilliant energy that makes him a superstar! But he is a nervous type of horse. He is walked with a rider on him - not handwalked that I have seen.

Eurobreederstour
Nov. 2, 2006, 12:28 PM
Hi,
Glad everyone is enjoying the report.

This was my first time seeing Fabio, and I can only go on what Hubertus Schmidt told us in the session. Kyra Kyrkland said that this was the best horse she's ever seen Hubertus on and asked about his background. Hubertus said that he had ridden him a few times when he was younger, but just got him back this summer and is now riding and training him regularly. Kyra said she hopes the horse stays under him (I don't think that was meant to be deragotory to anyone else because she didn't know the background, just hopeful to see Hubertus take a horse like this to the top).

I did read on the internet that he won the 2002 National German Championships for the 3 year olds under the German rider, Katja Camp, and then Parra's sponsors bought the horse for him. I'll never understand that, but I guess that's how this world works sometimes. Just hope he does stay under Hubertus because it was breathtaking to watch.

And yes, Sabine I agree. I don't see how any self respecting journal or magazine would ever publish anything written by these people who clearly have personal scores to settle and no interest in the horse or the sport. I don't mind criticism, we all learn from that, but as far as I'm concerned Birgit Popp owes all of us an apology. She completely wasted our time and money turning all of the attention on herself. It interupted the atmosphere and energy to such an acute degree that there was no possibility we could have gotten back to an intelligent conversation.

What would be sad is if her attack worked to push Anky and Sjef back into isolation. All of us would suffer from that. After the GDF was over and people were starting to leave Sjef went over to Kyra and it looked like they were having a good discussion. That's what we were supposed to hear. I hope someday we will hear more about what they talked about.

araho
Nov. 2, 2006, 12:29 PM
Thanks very much for this excellent report. There is lots to think about here! Your note about Stephen Clarke's response to teeth grinding or other outward signs of tension is interesting.

egontoast
Nov. 2, 2006, 12:42 PM
And yes, Sabine I agree. I don't see how any self respecting journal or magazine would ever publish anything written by these people who clearly have personal scores to settle and no interest in the horse or the sport. I don't mind criticism, we all learn from that, but as far as I'm concerned Birgit Popp owes all of us an apology. She completely wasted our time and money turning all of the attention on herself. It interupted the atmosphere and energy to such an acute degree that there was no possibility we could have gotten back to an intelligent conversation.



Oh yes and similar unprofessional comments on her friend's website. You know, the website that could be so wonderful if they would show more journalistic professionalism . There are ways to report things, even if you don't approve, without sounding so petty, biased and unprofessional.

fiona
Nov. 2, 2006, 12:50 PM
The sad thing about this new bout of shoddy behaviour by a vindictive minority is that the riders stick more together but push away the public and become wary of speaking their minds and thus courting controversy.

Those of us that are lucky enough to have sponsors/owners generally find they are in the sport because they like horses, like to see them competed and want to have an enjoyable time. These journalists don't make it a very attractive prospect to get involved in dressage at any public level. You can criticise in the correct manner far more effectively if that's what you want to do but no one respects the gutter press.

Eurobreederstour
Nov. 2, 2006, 01:16 PM
I agree. It's very damaging to the sport overall, but I think that if we take action by refusing to spend any money on the magazines that publish or back this type of trash we can shut it down. We really have to demand professionalism at all levels. These writers have to be reminded that they were the only ones in that room being handed the microphone that were not elite riders, elite judges, or elite trainers. They are not qualified to appoint themselves supreme judges sitting on a self made pedestal looking down upon the rest of the sport. It is simply not acceptable.

For example, I like Euro Dressage very much and I think Astrid Appels has done a wonderful job. She also brought up an important question and topic, but it was the way she came across that was inexcusable. She was already the judge, jury, and executioner. Instead of simply and respectively asking the question, she had already determined she was more qualified than an Olympic judge or the Chairman of the FEI. The arrogance of the media is just getting out of control.

I do think it's far better in the States and not all of the media is this irresponsible, but over here it's out of control. I know for certain that one of the authors at St. George had been dating Martin Schaudt. Amazing how wonderful the articles were about him until he dumped her to go back to Nadine. After that he was lumped in with Anky and Co. Is that really what we want to support for our sport? Why is anyone buying these magazines?

fiona
Nov. 2, 2006, 01:38 PM
The only person qualified to diagnose a horse as lame is a veterinary surgeon. Period. This is why judges don't write on a test sheet "your horse is lame"

I agree it is a valid question to ask what mark was given to a horse that shows irregularity in the extended trot or any other movement and then re question if the mark allocated was low enough for the perceived uneveness. Personally i don't buy the magazines, i don't subscribe to the websites and i never will. I like the format of Eurodressage the photos are often superb and the results service very valuable but the editorial content has little to recommend it and to describe it as "journalism" is an insult to the profession.

SGray
Nov. 2, 2006, 02:46 PM
.......but I think that if we take action by refusing to spend any money on the magazines that publish or back this type of trash we can shut it down. We really have to demand professionalism at all levels. ...........
.....Why is anyone buying these magazines?

Birgit Popp writes for The COTH - whose BB this is - whose hospitality and generosity we should consider when posting here

Sabine
Nov. 2, 2006, 02:58 PM
She is not employed by COTH- she writes articles- just like many free lance journalists. It is up to COTH editors to decide if they want to continue publishing her articles... we shall see....

slc2
Nov. 2, 2006, 03:09 PM
the same extended trot uneven but not lame issue has occured on other occasions, perhaps most notably with corlandus.

FEI_JR2004
Nov. 3, 2006, 01:28 AM
Also interesting that in her coverage of the GDF, Astrid Appels doesn't own up to her comment. She writes that a Belgian journalist questioned the scores for Brentina given the issues shown with irregularity but does not admit that she was this Belgian journalist. Very interesting.

Sabine
Nov. 3, 2006, 01:29 AM
yup - there are many ways to hide the sheep...sometimes a wolf hides under the sheep skin...:)))!!

pinecone
Nov. 3, 2006, 01:52 PM
Yes, thank you EBT for the report. If only you could replace both Astrid and Birgit, AND that woman from St Georg (Gabrielle?)

SGray, you are correct that Birgit has written reports which have appeared in the COTH. And as is typical of her style, they contained their own fair share of subtle (and not so subtle) digs at top riders. If she cannot contain herself and behave respectfully, she neither belongs at the GDF nor being printed by the COTH (or anyone else) if you want my opinion. It is not an attack on the COTH for us to question the wisdom of printing articles by someone like Ms. Popp. I was equally put off by the recent "Letter to the Editor" by WAZ which was printed in this month's Dressage Today. I respect and approve of that magazine generally, but they do sometimes seem to want to wallow in controversy in a way in which I do not approve. Smut of any sort does not belong in any respected magazine nor on any respected website (nor any website which aspires to be respected.)

Very interesting, FEIJR. I haven't read the article yet myself, as the previous link to eurosewerage wasn't quite working ;).

Atlantis
Nov. 3, 2006, 02:42 PM
Bravo Eurobreederstour! What a refreshing report, after having read Astrid's version already.

slc2
Nov. 3, 2006, 02:48 PM
i don't feel the top riders deserve a sort of 'respect' that involves adoring blindness, but what is disturbing about many of the nasty remarks is that they are usually inaccurate or just downright incorrect, to say nothing of just being more of a bad reflection on the speaker than anything else. people see what they want to see, like trashing martin schaudt and throwing him in with anky and the other evil ones once one is not dating martin any more.

egontoast
Nov. 3, 2006, 03:38 PM
or using bizarre over the top comments like someone was "publicly butchered" because someone would not debate with them. "Publicly butchered?":no: :confused: It reflects badly on the reporter.

fiona
Nov. 3, 2006, 03:50 PM
"reporter" ?

Atlantis
Nov. 3, 2006, 03:59 PM
'respect' that involves adoring blindness

I don't think respect implies adoring blindness. ;)

Astrid and Birgit not only are often disrespectful, they are also often rude, arrogant, and often flat out wrong as well.

Astrid in this case may even have had a valid point to make, but it could have been made in a much more appropriate manner. These types want to approach everything as if it is a battle, and then they wonder why it is hard to have a productive discussion. Nobody can read Astrid's report and honestly say it is any sort of fair unbiased journalistic reporting. Her bitterness seeps into nearly every word.

As for Birgit and the St Georg journalist, there appears to be no hope for those two.

Luv T Ryd
Nov. 3, 2006, 04:51 PM
I find it odd that most of you can only accept one point of view and you want to ban people that don't find rollkur respectful of the HORSE!! Talk about respect- how about respecting the horse that has to carry these disrespectful riders around?

I find nothing disrespectful in asking about learned helplessness. That is disrespectful?? How about actually answering the question?

Groupies...that describes it.

SMUT from Waz?? No, smut is preventing a horse from seeing where he is going.

egontoast
Nov. 3, 2006, 05:27 PM
Hmm. Not sure what you mean about banning people? Nothing wrong with people expressing opinions or questioning training methods but when the opinion is presented as reporting or journalism and yet is so clearly biased and adversarial, then there is a problem with it. .

If reporting, for example, that someone would not discuss an issue with his detractors, a reporter could certainly get that across and even include what was actually said without saying something bizarre like they 'publicly butchered' the person. That's beyond spin. Just one little example.

There should be an attempt to present a balanced report. It should be the job of the self described 'reporter' to 'report' what went on and allow others to draw conclusions , not to dive into the mudpit. Speaking GENERALLY, if a reporter has some sort of personal vendetta , perhaps he or she is not the best person to cover the assignment, .

I can't comment on the Dressage Today letter as I haven't seen it but I suspect that it is not 'smut"!:)

As far as the 'learned helplessness question" it reminds me a little of the old law school example of an improper leading question- "When did you stop beating your wife" which assumes something that is in fact denied. Learned helplessness is not a desired state as Andrew MacLean had explained and so to ask if it is a training 'tool' can only be taken as intending offence.

fiona
Nov. 3, 2006, 06:28 PM
I find it odd that most of you can only accept one point of view and you want to ban people that don't find rollkur respectful of the HORSE!!
I find it odd that people assume those of us who are against a layperson assuming the role of a qualified veterinary surgeon and want to see participants in the sport treated within the principles of basic justice are "for" or "against" any particular training method.

Atlantis
Nov. 3, 2006, 06:45 PM
I find it odd that most of you can only accept one point of view and you want to ban people that don't find rollkur respectful of the HORSE!! Talk about respect- how about respecting the horse that has to carry these disrespectful riders around?

I find nothing disrespectful in asking about learned helplessness. That is disrespectful?? How about actually answering the question?

Groupies...that describes it.

SMUT from Waz?? No, smut is preventing a horse from seeing where he is going.

This is precisely the type of attack mentality, irrationality, and agression that is such a turn off. Don't you think you could have posed all of your questions in a more reasonable and less aggressive manner? Not to mention that there are so many flaws in your logic that a reasonable person might well decide it's not worth discussing serious matters with you anyhow, as your post could easily make you appear too unreasonable to maturely participate in the conversation.

pinecone
Nov. 3, 2006, 07:16 PM
Luv T Ryd, have you even read the WAZ letter?

I find it to be nothing more than the same old emotional rhetoric and grandstanding, combined with malicious false claims such as "horses are being run into the ground at the cost of their health" and a shameless plug for Xenophon. I am sticking with my original assessment that this letter is intended purely to stir up controversy, and as such, I do not approve.

I prefer facts, thank you. THIS is the reason I don't like Astrid's nor Birgit's reporting and THIS is why I don't like the WAZ letter.:no:

:confused: Who are we groupies for, by the way? Are you accusing us of being groupies for Eurobreederstour, for preferring her coverage of the GDF over Astrid's?

Sabine
Nov. 4, 2006, 12:18 AM
I find it odd that most of you can only accept one point of view and you want to ban people that don't find rollkur respectful of the HORSE!! Talk about respect- how about respecting the horse that has to carry these disrespectful riders around?

I find nothing disrespectful in asking about learned helplessness. That is disrespectful?? How about actually answering the question?

Groupies...that describes it.

SMUT from Waz?? No, smut is preventing a horse from seeing where he is going.

you sound like you wandered over from that other board- where people actually do get banned because they don't agree with the party line- hello- this is a very democratic board with a basic request for respectful interaction...something really not too complicated to comprehend.

Astrid has had another issue like this in her comments about the Devon show and a GP rider there- it might be language related but I am thinking it might be more intonation of the actual question- which gives away in itself a lot of attitude and expectation on the potential answer. Culturally this is not well digested in the US. I say this with confidence- because I am Euopean, have lived in Germany and France, but am also American and have lived here for a long time. Our sensitivity to intonation- especially during a Q&A period during an 'official event' is a tad higher than most europeans.

Birgit- that's another story- one I do not want to discuss here. Nonetheless- let's not digress into yucky RK discussion here- and please feel free to find a more 'matching' fellowship on the 'other board'....:)

WAZ comments were those of a let's call him 'beloved' but 'slightly out of touch' old man...he still deserves a world of respect- but maybe doesn't have the main beat quite under control anymore...dressagewise I mean...:LOL!
And sadly- it makes it harder for me to respect him- if he feels he needs to go into the ring with what is currently being ridden and trained. I think the major active trainers and riders, like HS should speak- they have the say now- they are at the pinnacle...WAZ is retired in my book.

Sorry to be so honest...:(

Eurobreederstour
Nov. 4, 2006, 09:14 AM
Just wanted to let you know that I found out that Sjef and Kyra did not continue the discussion of the training when he went over to talk to her.

Hopefully there will be a future venue where we can get them and maybe people like Hubertus Schmidt together.

Eurobreederstour
Nov. 4, 2006, 09:58 AM
I find it odd that most of you can only accept one point of view and you want to ban people that don't find rollkur respectful of the HORSE!! Talk about respect- how about respecting the horse that has to carry these disrespectful riders around?

I find nothing disrespectful in asking about learned helplessness. That is disrespectful?? How about actually answering the question?

Groupies...that describes it.

SMUT from Waz?? No, smut is preventing a horse from seeing where he is going.

Are you telling me that if someone walked up to you and asked you if roping and beating your horse into total surrender was a normal part of your training philosophy that you would actually dignify that question with a response?

The question was in fact relayed to the top behavioral scientist in the world and the answer was a resounding NO.

Over 12 top scientists and veterinarians from all over the world spent a year studying the structural biomechanics of what the different neck positions including hyperflexion do to the movement and body of the horse out of respect for the horse. Did they find that hyperflexion structurally damages or inhibits the horse? Again the answer was a resounding NO. As a matter of fact they found it does the most good concerning the elasticity of the back and increasing the range of motion of the limbs.

Is Anky forcing hyperflexion on her horse which is yet another assumption more than implied in the accusation of abuse? I'll simply refer to one of the most respected researchers of biomechanics, Dr. Hilary Clayton. The answer was again a resounding NO.

A study is now being put together by Dr. McLean to study the stress levels of the horse during training. We will then have a more defining and scientific response to the question of whether or not the horse is unhappy "not being able to see where he's going". In the meantime I think we can defer to top judges and trainers that see Anky's horse as being "a happy horse willing to do his work". An observation also made by Dr. McLean.

As for the groupie comment you have no idea how I, nor most likely anyone else on this post feels about hyperflexion as a training tool. I suggest you think about what you are going to write before jumping to such ridiculous conclusions. Listening carefully to scientists, leading trainers and judges in the sport is hardly being a "groupie". I would only challenge you to open your mind and eye to what you have clearly already judged and discarded with no critical evaluation.

Bundy
Nov. 4, 2006, 10:05 AM
Eurobreeders- you have a PM regarding getting Hubertus.

ideayoda
Nov. 4, 2006, 11:23 AM
For those who are interested: I suggest you all get "Open Wounds" (soon to be out in english, available in german) written by a veterinary surgeon who spent 12 years doing research on the subject(Gerd Haushman). As well as Philippe Karls new book, and Anje Berans "In Deference", and Nancy Nicholsens "Anatomy". (They must 'clearly out of touch' young people who observe the entire body of the horse and effects upon it. Guess Wahl (retired head of the srs) is also out of touch.)

An interesting effect of any overflexion is that the hand can create over a ton of pressure (based upon 120 rider on 1200 pound horse) on a 1/4" vertebral area according to studies. And with the mouth strapped shut, it is even stronger. Anyone wonder about the lack of chewing, a keynote of a relaxed horse?

And just a question: was the horse shown in the GDF just taken down or laterally as well? To the riders toes repeatedly? Kicked when he (tried to) came up? And for how long (an hour/two/in piaffe)? (That is the part of operant conditioning isnt often revealed in public situations any more). Was the fact that the nuchal ligament is usually staying on one side throughout the ride(s) addressed?

And the most underlying questions: what is it that cannot be done more easily in a traditional way which allows more progressive operant conditioning? And why does everyone line up copy the idea of someone who rode three years when starting his method? Feeling the flames now.....

canyonoak
Nov. 4, 2006, 11:27 AM
"Open Wounds" by a veterinary sugeon..

So I guess this will be a treatise on the best techniques for suturing and treating open wounds of horses.
How very interesting!

Eurobreederstour
Nov. 4, 2006, 11:43 AM
Wow. I just read the Eurodressage report. Quite the angle on things.

By no stretch of the imagination was the jury of judges "awestruck" by Astrid's attack. They responded quite confidently and strongly that her assumption and attack was "totally unfair". Not only did Steven Clark explain the judges point of view that the horse was not lame and that this word was not even appropriate in the conversation, but Mrs. Withages also responded to Astrid's follow up question, "why did they pull her out of the competition?" with the answer that this is not their call. It is only up to them to judge the horse in the arena in front of them. They did score the uneven medium's down accordingly, and that was all their job was. Steven Clark also responded by saying he applauded the decision if they felt something was wrong with the horse to the point where riding her further would risk a real and damaging injury. And I also strongly contest the fact that Kyra Kyrkland and Anky applauded Astrid's questions/attack. No one did. You could have heard a pin drop in the place when that discussion was finished.

Another thing I would strongly disagree with was the statement that "Matine's poor trot work was discussed". No one said anything about Matine's trot work being poor. There was one piaffe we looked at where she was losing her balance in her body and the judges gave her a 7 for it. It's clear the later piaffe's were better in my mind, but we didn't get past the first piaffe because of the time limit. The one passage we saw was given 9's and no collected trot work was even reviewed except for the half pass in which she was given 7's and 8's with the explanation that the tail swishing was taken into account. The general impression given by Mrs. Withages and Steven Clark is that this is a young horse that will definitely improve in time and could become even better.

And only briefly and slightly did Satchmo come behind the vertical. It was noticed a bit in the extended trot, and the judges said that is why he got an 8 instead of a 9.

Sjef also did in fact respond to a number of the questions. He said he wasn't going to repeat his entire lecture again to the Sankt George journalist, but her question was again far more of an attack than a question. She in fact was the one that at first refused to even give a response. Richard who was moderating explained to her that she was invited to be a member of the review panel so that we could hear her point of view and questions. Only then did she say she felt Anky was using a strong hand to force the horse into the hyperflexion (by the way, the term Roll Kuer was thrown out by the FEI as being confusing and misleading and it is recommended that this term not be used). Anky gave a good answer explaining that she isn't big and strong enough to do this and that doing so would go against her entire philosophy of having a horse in a light contact. At that point Dr. Clayton said that it was impossible to force a horse into that frame.

The only "question" that Sjef blatenly refused to dignify was of course the "learned helplessness" shot.

And I don't think it's fair to say that Hubertus Schmidt is not a member of the top German riders. He was there.

I also don't agree that people were lulled to sleep by Dr. McLean's session. It clearly has large implications for the sport with regard to training and training techniques. If we don't truly understand the behavioral mechanics of the horse how can we even begin to discuss the implications of certain training techniques as opposed to others? As far as I'm concerned the work he's doing is the basis of everything we're doing and we would be well advised to pay attention.

Can't wait to read her "detailed" report if this is any example.

Eurobreederstour
Nov. 4, 2006, 12:06 PM
Ideayoda:
Dr. Gerd Hueschmann was a member of the FEI workshop in January 2006 that concluded the hyperflexion of the neck does "no structural damage". I believe the statistics you are quoting have to do with his study of the use of draw reins, not just a normal bridle. No one is advocating draw reins due to the extensive skeletal damage they can do. Not to mention that they only help strengthen the resistive muscles. I saw Dr. Heuschmann's lecture on the subject at the 2002 GDF. It was very good.

Anky's horse was chewing quite well. She also did not bend the horse laterally very much at all in this case, and when she did it was for a very brief moment. She also changed direction quite often thus your comment about the nuchal ligament always being to one side is not applicable.

Eurobreederstour
Nov. 4, 2006, 12:21 PM
One thing Ideayoda just made me think of however, is a question that I don't think has been answered. The conclusions of the FEI workshop were that all positions of the neck including the hyperflexion should not be held for a prolonged period of time. One of the comments from the Sankt Georg author (sorry I can never remember her name) was that she felt that Anky kept the horse in this frame for longer than she felt they were claiming they did.

So the question hat I think needs to be answered is "how long is too long?" I didn't time Anky, but my guess was that the horse was held in the hyperflexed position for maybe 3 to 5 minutes at a time before she either gave the reins allowing him to stretch down or out, and/or took a break letting him walk with his nose poked out.

I'm sure Dr. Heuschmann must be considering this and I'd like to hear more from him since this study and workshop were done. Dr. Weeren did say that when they put the horses on the treadmill to take the measurements for the study that they were held in the position for about 10 minutes.

Sabine
Nov. 4, 2006, 12:25 PM
And just a question: was the horse shown in the GDF just taken down or laterally as well? To the riders toes repeatedly? Kicked when he (tried to) came up? And for how long (an hour/two/in piaffe)? (That is the part of operant conditioning isnt often revealed in public situations any more). Was the fact that the nuchal ligament is usually staying on one side throughout the ride(s) addressed?

...

just by asking this question- when full well knowing that this was a well planned event with a time table to be followed- you have disqualified yourself from a meaningful discussion and shown that you much rather discuss 2 hour tormentation of the horse...how sick!

fiona
Nov. 4, 2006, 12:31 PM
a veterinary surgeon who spent 12 years doing research on the subject

So that's ONE vet who has written a book, is touring the world promoting it whilst earning fees for lecturing and clinics, with a website and organisation tapping into a equine education and experience starved public. Please forgive me if i'm impressed by the marketing not the message.

fiona
Nov. 4, 2006, 12:38 PM
And just a question: was the horse shown in the GDF just taken down or laterally as well? To the riders toes repeatedly? Kicked when he (tried to) came up? And for how long (an hour/two/in piaffe)? (That is the part of operant conditioning isnt often revealed in public situations any more). Was the fact that the nuchal ligament is usually staying on one side throughout the ride(s) addressed?


Have you, yourself personally, seen this or is it hearsay and gossip?



And the most underlying questions: what is it that cannot be done more easily in a traditional way which allows more progressive operant conditioning? And why does everyone line up copy the idea of someone who rode three years when starting his method? Feeling the flames now.....
To answer your questions

1. I don't know. You could ask Anky or Sjef.
2. They don't.

Moll
Nov. 4, 2006, 12:54 PM
Ideayoda:
Dr. Gerd Hueschmann was a member of the FEI workshop in January 2006 that concluded the hyperflexion of the neck does "no structural damage".
Dr Heuschmann also sent a letter to the FEI regarding the "conclusion" (he didn't agree with the FEI take on what was concluded) which can be found at the FEI website somewhere.

Luv T Ryd
Nov. 4, 2006, 04:01 PM
Since I don't have time to spend hours on the internet like some do, I now have a few minutes to spare to counter YOUR attacks. Do I care though that you attack? Not a bit. I never try to change the minds of people who are firmly in one camp. I only speak to let the mob mentality crowd realize that others do not agree with them. And there are also MANY likeminded who don't bother to give the other view because what is the point?? Still, I WILL interject when I feel like it- just so you know that not all fall for what passes as dressage training and riding on the international scene. Get over yourselves!

1) If someone asked ME if I beat my horse as part of my training I WOULD answer. Why would I not? Being silent because one supposedly won't dignify the question is plain stupid. IF you don't beat your horse why not simply say NO!!!!! if you don't think you horse has been programmed for learned helplessness, say no. Is that really hard? Saying I won't answer is the childish way out.

2) you are the people saying things like "ban" "smut" etc. It seems YOU are the irrational group, not I. It proves you cannot listen to another POV. It is not I (or Popp etc)that says YOU should be banned from speaking. Again, get over yourselves.

3) I am a qualified, licensed veterinary nurse who has worked with excellent equine surgeons. So, blah on you. I know for a fact that veterinarians can differ markedly on how they view things or diagnose for that matter. Let's just say in vet medicine I probably am waaay more qualified than little ole you! You know, continuing ED and all that...

4) I am free to "wander" over here any time I choose. Really WHAT are you afraid of?

egontoast
Nov. 4, 2006, 04:37 PM
Of course you are free to express your opinion and other people are free to disagree with you and also to comment on the tone of your delivery. :eek: We can do that here. Perhaps we are individuals with opinions of our own, not a mob. Consider that. I don't check with anyone else before I post what I think.

I know, isn't it shocking that people are allowed to disagree here.;)

neVar
Nov. 4, 2006, 05:17 PM
Fantastic report thanks (Better then i see in most magazines that right it up!)

egontoast
Nov. 4, 2006, 05:31 PM
And PS, we are individuals .

For example, I would not say anything against WAZ because I have a little soft spot for him. :)

That does not mean I agree with everything he says, though. Respect is not the same as mindless adoration.

It's possible to respect WAZ and Anky and Isabel and Klaus and so on without agreeing with everything they say and do.

Bogey2
Nov. 4, 2006, 06:37 PM
Klaus Balkenhol and Dr Gerd Heuschmann


Fiona..make that two vets. I just got home from the NEDA clinic where there was a lecture concerning how to develope the horses properly for collection through correct riding.
They made a compelling presentation. I will try to post more tomorrow.

Tamara in TN
Nov. 4, 2006, 07:28 PM
And PS, we are individuals .

It's possible to respect WAZ and Anky and Isabel and Klaus and so on without agreeing with everything they say and do.

the part that SLAYS me as a total outsider to most all of dressage is how that showboat Monty Roberts got that kind of gig ??????? :winkgrin:

that is more "damaging to dressage" to me as a hick nobody no nothing than Madme Anky and the over bent pony and who said what to whom and why....:yes:

Tamara in TN

Touchstone Farm
Nov. 4, 2006, 09:13 PM
So that's ONE vet who has written a book, is touring the world promoting it whilst earning fees for lecturing and clinics, with a website and organisation tapping into a equine education and experience starved public. Please forgive me if i'm impressed by the marketing not the message.

So how is that different from Anky and Sjef's marketing? I don't think that automatically disqualifies someone's knowledge/opinion.

What struck me in this global forum was that they had a journalist act as an "expert" on a panel? Why wasn't it someone like WAZ or Balkenhol or someone who is an actual rider/trainer? Seems like it was a poorly defined panel for the purpose of the discussion.

And Anky saying she doesn't have the strength to pull her horse into that position? Really, when you add metal in a mouth that works on the tongue, bars, and roof of the mouth and leverage with reins and the angle/weight of a person behind it...it doesn't take that much strength to pull and hold a horse in that position. She does it, so why does she say she doesn't or it isn't possible?! If she and Sjef thinks it's a legitimate way of training, why that response?

While I enjoyed Monty Roberts' book, I have to wonder about the choice of him as a presenter. And no piaffe? Does he have any suggestions for having horses stop that out in their pasture if it's so bad?

ideayoda
Nov. 4, 2006, 09:15 PM
I have watched many changes of direction done with NO flipping of the nuchal ligament many times (ears tilted as well).

It does not take strength per se to keep a horse btv, it is easily done easy once the horse knows the drill. That said, why the torqued curbs all the time? Based upon operant conditioning a steadily/routinely taken btv would be learned helplessness, and coming up a scarey place to be. Go there, stay there, or you will be poked in the ribs if you dare to come up unless the rider allows it. Uphoff was honest about her reasons, the rest not so much. And if it all works so well, why is the 10 minutes of test preceeded by hours of repeated work hyperflexed? Even the walk sets are hyperflexed, even to the riders toe or horses chest. Not once, but many times. Occasionally, a few minutes, ok....again and again...what has the horse learned and why does it 'need' such huge messages? The point, according to the rules, is the have a horse which learns to perform/react all the time with imperceptable aids. I just dont get the premise which doesnt progressive train the horse other than how your want it perform.

Structural damange and how things make an effect are two different things.

Open wounds is the translation for 'finger on the wound'. It is an interesting follow up to "In Deference" done with Anja Beran (which a discussion between a vet and a rider). And interestingly enough his study was just a study, its conclusions even more interesting. Have you sat and talked to him about the entire thing, seen the pain in his eyes about the entire thing? Definately not done to go on some circuit. He is a surgeon, he didnt need 'the circuit', he has been pulled in. All from a study based upon Udo Burgers work imho.

Sabine
Nov. 4, 2006, 11:15 PM
So how is that different from Anky and Sjef's marketing? I don't think that automatically disqualifies someone's knowledge/opinion.

What struck me in this global forum was that they had a journalist act as an "expert" on a panel? Why wasn't it someone like WAZ or Balkenhol or someone who is an actual rider/trainer? Seems like it was a poorly defined panel for the purpose of the discussion.

And Anky saying she doesn't have the strength to pull her horse into that position? Really, when you add metal in a mouth that works on the tongue, bars, and roof of the mouth and leverage with reins and the angle/weight of a person behind it...it doesn't take that much strength to pull and hold a horse in that position. She does it, so why does she say she doesn't or it isn't possible?! If she and Sjef thinks it's a legitimate way of training, why that response?

While I enjoyed Monty Roberts' book, I have to wonder about the choice of him as a presenter. And no piaffe? Does he have any suggestions for having horses stop that out in their pasture if it's so bad?

It was a journalist from this publication that started this whole process...remember??
Have you ridden a horse like Sal? Or ever sat on one like that? do you have any clue what you are referring to?This is a very big horse with a very skinny lite lady on it...she weighs maybe 115pds and the horse is 17.1 at least...it's not about learned helplessness- it's about gaits- if you haven't figured this out yet- that's why Brentina never won- that's why HS never won...that's the game...don't like it- don't subscribe to it...noone is forcing you!

Monty knows everyone- he probably thought it was a good thing to be involved with- and they thought after heavy discussions - it would be good to have something...well- entertaining?

Moll
Nov. 5, 2006, 02:29 AM
Respect is not the same as mindless adoration.

Wow. That is wise - and something a LOT of people should remember.

Moll
Nov. 5, 2006, 02:31 AM
Oh, and second: I cannot believe that dressage people who compete on an international level allow their horse to be near to impossible to hand walk. Unbelievable. That's just sad.

fiona
Nov. 5, 2006, 05:23 AM
Klaus Balkenhol and Dr Gerd Heuschmann
Fiona..make that two vets.

Is Klaus a vet? who is the other?
Those two must be making a good living out of their presentations they're everywhere! Good for them. To take time with a young horse and build his body slowly step by step through a logical progressive training scale and to not be extreme in any method is basic common sense to me not a revelation.

Bogey2
Nov. 5, 2006, 05:38 AM
Fiona...you said one vet...I added Dr. Gerd H....he makes it two.

Eurobreederstour
Nov. 5, 2006, 06:13 AM
And Anky saying she doesn't have the strength to pull her horse into that position? Really, when you add metal in a mouth that works on the tongue, bars, and roof of the mouth and leverage with reins and the angle/weight of a person behind it...it doesn't take that much strength to pull and hold a horse in that position. She does it, so why does she say she doesn't or it isn't possible?! If she and Sjef thinks it's a legitimate way of training, why that response?

Dr. Clayton explained that while the tongue is very sensitive it can take a great deal of pressure. She equated it with the fingers. Our fingertips are also very sensitive but we can do a handstand putting a lot of wieght on them without it hurting. She suggested going home and trying to force the horse into this position (without draw reins of course). She said you'll find you can't do it. And certainly someone the size of Anky who is pregnant and showing is no match for the neck muscles of any of her horses.

And as for Ideayoda's charge of a horse being trained progressively into this deep position being learned helplessness this is absurd beyond belief. Force and abuse would never result in a horse accepting this position and go on to relaxing the muscles, and being able to come up into a beautiful relaxed frame as her horses do. It's mind boggling that you consider yourself to be a better judge of this than an entire panel of vets, especially Dr. McLean who is the leading researcher on this subject.

And your comments on the nuchal ligament make it clear you have no understanding whatsoever of the horses anatomy and biomechanics. But then again having seen you drill the horses into the ground in one of your clinics I'm not surprised. You might want to consider the classic method of doing transitions a little more often than once every 20 to 30 minutes. I've never seen such locked up backs in my life.

And to be very clear Sjef of course answered NO to the attack by Birgit. He literally said "NO, that's ridiculous, and I won't respond to that". So can we please drop that? He also said it was a major concern of his that people might try to copy the method without understanding it and how it works in the training. He asked people to please not do this.

And last count was one vet. The vet that Fiona was referring to was Dr. Heuschmann.

I found the letter by Dr. Heuschmann. My take on it is that he is very concerned about the use of force in achieving the hyperflexion of the neck. This being possible through the use of draw reins and other mechanical means. I do think this is a serious matter, and could through this type of force be considered learned helplessness. Mariette Withages did say that the FEI will be continuing with studies on learned helplessness, and as I mentioned before Dr. McLean will be leading a study on measuring stress levels through blood tests (cortisol and prolactin levels) and by using a heart rate monitor. I do however reiterate that Dr. McLean was very confident that Anky's horse did not show any signs of stress, and he did not feel in any way shape or form that the horse was reacting from learned helplessness. I think horses that have been put through that show themselves very well.

Here is the letter:
Gerd Heuschmann wrote as comment after the FEI report :
"Returning back home from lausanne, i was more surprised to read the FEI
statement on horsesport.org! It felt to me a little bit, like I had not been
part of that workshop at all.
I believed, we all were in good favour and realized that we have to work more
intensively and scientifically in the near future on the effects of
"over-flexing" of horses in training. In your announcement, it sounds like
over-flexing or hyperflexing is fine, if done by experienced riders over a
certain time frame. That is at least, how people understand this statement.
Needless to say, that the responses I got from many countries are very negative.
Your announcement did not point out at all, that we are rejecting very much any
aggressive and hard way of that method. That would have been in my opinion a
very important fact to say. The statement sounds like a general agreement. That
is not the case.
The "scientific work" of the Swiss Dutch and Swedish group in my opnion is a big
problem. I am not doubting their measurements and those results, but I think
their interpretation is wrong and will lead us to very dangerous conlusions,
which will effect the welfare and soundess of many horses in the long run.
During the meeting already, I could not understand the fact that the horses back
is supposed to have the best mobility in position 4(rollkur). It took me a few
days of thinking, researching and realizing all facts :
In a loose, supple horse the back has to a certain degree its own dynamic swing
which does not go with the withers 100%. If you make artificial tension on the
neck ligament then the back ligament will get tense as wel and the back has to
follow the ups and do wns of the withers. This does make a higher amplitude, but
not a better mobility of the back. This cannot be the goal of correct training
of the horse. Therefore, I believe, that this study presented in Lausanne is a
dangerous and possibly misleading paper.
In my opinion it is very dangerous to relate to this study, to make up an
official FEI-opinion. I believe that the FEI should be very careful with a final
statement like this. Hundreds of years of experience cannot be so wrong".
So the FEI's report is not truthful of what really happened during the meeting,
and we have a lovely new term to use for horses that are FORCED into using
their neck in an overstretched manner (not offered by the horse like in
classical
schooling) it is "LEARNED HELPNESSNESS".
It seems a good term to me.
Definitively, the scientific groups now are working towards demonstrating how
stress and
pain cannot be x-rayed.
It is only a start. The mistke the pro Rollkur have made is to form a "mutual
adoration society" sat on top of the Federation. The danger with this is that
their abuse of that power may lead to their own destruction by behaving too
aggressively, like the system they protect, and will lead some intelligences to
wake up to stop this non sense.

Bogey2
Nov. 5, 2006, 06:50 AM
Force and abuse would never result in a horse accepting this position and go on to relaxing the muscles, and being able to come up into a beautiful relaxed frame as her horses do.

Well that's sort of the problem...I don't view her horse as relaxed (Salerno).

Sorry about the vet thing...I thought there was another one mentioned who was concerned about the training method.

egontoast
Nov. 5, 2006, 07:19 AM
Salierno is not my favourite either but maybe he is more relaxed than he was before. He's a hot horse.

Eurobreederstour
Nov. 5, 2006, 08:05 AM
It's true that Salinero is a hot horse and is not always as relaxed as he could be, but I agree that he is getting better not worse. It's also hard to say what this horse would look like with another rider and training method. Not every horse that has been trained "classically" is totally void of tension. I loved Fabio, but he's certainly will be one that won't always be relaxed in the arena either. He was jumpy and tense with Hubertus, but I don't blame the riding or the training for that, and I also think that this will improve with time. Fabio was described by one of the delegates as a "Ferrari" and Hubertus made it clear that this is not the type of horse that could be ridden successfully by an amateur. He is too sensitive for that, but he said they need that type of sensitivity to achieve the highest degree of performance in the Grand Prix.

Painted Black looks like he'll be better in that regard than Salinero is. Bonfire, Gigolo, Flim Flam, and Rembrandt were definitely better than Salinero as well. That level of tension is not the type of negative stress that is shown with "learned helplessness". That's a completely different world.

I think what is very important to realize that even Dr. Heuschmann recognizes that it is possible for a horse to achieve the position of hyperflexion while being supple and relaxed. He NEVER makes the statement that the position can ONLY be achieved through force. Just because Anky, Isabell, and Dr. Schultenbaumer's methods are difficult to understand and reproduce without a lot of study doesn't mean that these horses must have been forced through mechanical means and learned helplessness. I would simply ask that people open thier minds to that possibility, and realize that there is something to be learned here.

Eurobreederstour
Nov. 5, 2006, 08:17 AM
It should also be noted that during the WEG review Mrs. Withages said the reason Satchmo won that day was because he was the "most relaxed". Even move by move it was clear there wasn't a bit of negative tension in that horse's body. His half passes were breathtaking.

ToN Farm
Nov. 5, 2006, 09:52 AM
I loved Fabio, but he's certainly will be one that won't always be relaxed in the arena either. He was jumpy and tense......<snipped>
Hubertus made it clear that this is not the type of horse that could be ridden successfully by an amateur. He is too sensitive for that, but he said they need that type of sensitivity to achieve the highest degree of performance in the Grand Prix.

I understand this logic, but I don't necessarily agree with it. It seems there are two standards; one for us average competitors riding below the GP where tenseness and lack of relaxation are heavily penalized and one for those riding International GP horses where this is acceptable in order to achieve the highest degree of performance. Has this always been the case with Olympic level dressage?

Is a horse that is excited, jumpy, and tense a 'happy athlete'? Maybe so, just asking?

ideayoda
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:12 AM
Has anyone actually seen GH's powerpoint presentation on this subject? It makes some pretty clear points about traditional bearing and what constitutes force.

Caroline Weber
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:13 AM
Could the attacks stop? If you disagree with someone, just say so and state YOUR point of view rather than saying that the person is incompetent, abusive, et cetera. Out of curiosity, if the person you were disagreeing with was your employer, would you be this rude?

Believe it or not, I'd actually like to read discussion, and that is difficult when there is more attack than discussion taking place.

Bogey2
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:17 AM
I did see it yesterday...the GH presentation. It was very thorough and eye opening.
Caroline, I believe I am having a discussion as is ideayoda???

Caroline Weber
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:22 AM
Caroline, I believe I am having a discussion as is ideayoda???

I wasn't referring to specific people in my post - due to the large amount of attacking, I just made a general post. I don't really expect anyone to read my post, or care, but I got it out of my system, at least.

You are indeed one of the people who is discussing rather than attacking.

Sabine
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:30 AM
I think there are a lot of good points made here- the tension statement especially- as there is so much emphasis placed on it in the lower levels. But I do come back to the same observation- the complete gymnastizing of the horse that creates the superb gaits- the magic HPs, the extensions that are just breath taking- are created by certain training methods- some are maybe more prone to create tension but also push the horse more to its absolute ability- whereas other methds (Brentina for example) create some but not superb expressions.

The big question at the end of this discussion should only be: did Sal or Satchmo or Painted Black take physical harm because they were trained that way- harm beyond the normal wear and tear of an international GP horse?

Bogey2
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:45 AM
actually the big discussion to me is on what is being rewarded. The training scale/system or the extravagant gaits. It was interesting to see the position of the back, withers etc. on a horse using it's back correctly, and one who was just "on the vertical" or throwing it's front legs out without using the hind leg correctly.
I still need to "study" some of what I learned.

Moll
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:56 AM
The big question at the end of this discussion should only be: did Sal or Satchmo or Painted Black take physical harm because they were trained that way- harm beyond the normal wear and tear of an international GP horse?

The thing that interests me, as well, is how many horses does it take to make one of those?

canyonoak
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:58 AM
let's see.
Monty Roberts.
I happened to be standing with Joep Bartels at World Cup 2005 when the idea of Monty Roberts came up.
Monty Roberts was INVITED because he is an American who is well-known and admired in Europe for his ideas, as represented in his books, ad campaigns,etc. Sure, many of us know the man is a huckster supreme, but the underlying concepts are interesting if not all wonderful.

Salinero has been a hot, difficult diva-kind of horse since the first day anyone sat on him, and heaven knows Anky had NO desire to sit on him for nearly a year. But his talent for the difficult movements in dressage, and the hope/realization that with proper schooling, his brain and heart could be reached made him a worthwhile project. Whether people on this BB like him or not, many of our sport's top judges see his power, suppleness, rhythm, elasticity, balance, etc.

Thank you, EBT, for the always succinct and well-reasoned posts re: sorting out the REAL meaning of such terms as 'learned helplessness', what Dr. Heuschmann is actually talking about, etc etc.

I was in the audience for the USDF Symposium lecture by Dr. Heuschmann, and felt, as do others, that promoting the correct foundation of taking one's time, etc etc, is obviously a good idea. I know of no one who seriously believes tension is a good idea.
Some of his biomechanics made little or no sense to me and still do not (the idea as to what muscles the horse is using when the rider sits on its back and how the other parts of the body are used in locomotion).

I have posted here already on Dr. Clayton's finding re: hyperflexion. FWIW, she states that it in no way impairs breathing:

From the Kentucky Horse Park forum--

<<Horse biomechanics with Hilary Clayton was also a lecture illustrated with slow motion video. She filmed horses from Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, and World Games Las Vegas 2005. he discussion of rollkur was inconclusive. Hilary said she tried to get a test horse to assume the position, and could not do so even when the horse was sedated. She spent one Christmas vacation teaching her own dressage horse to stand in the rollkur position so she could take some measurements. She can say that in rollkur, the middle part of the neck is hyperflexed. Horses can see in this position, can breathe, can use their under neck muscles, and they can swallow.>>

Why do people get so excited over all this anyway?
If someone is happy with their training, go for it.

There just are no shortcuts. The reality of our sport is--a rider who stays on the road will ruin a few horses along the way, through ignorance, through mis-management, through whatever.
it is a road filled with frustration, and is why there is a great need for humor and humility, or else one can go quite crazy.

here's to humor and humility!

Sonesta
Nov. 5, 2006, 11:24 AM
It seems there are two standards; one for us average competitors riding below the GP where tenseness and lack of relaxation are heavily penalized and one for those riding International GP horses where this is acceptable in order to achieve the highest degree of performance. Has this always been the case with Olympic level dressage?

This is a huge concern to me as well. Even at TRAINING level the judges will slam a horse that shows tension. But at GP it's almost expected. Seems bass-ackwards to me.

ToN Farm
Nov. 5, 2006, 11:38 AM
the complete gymnastizing of the horse that creates the superb gaits- the magic HPs, the extensions that are just breath taking- are created by certain training methods- some are maybe more prone to create tension but also push the horse more to its absolute ability- whereas other methds (Brentina for example) create some but not superb expressions.
And the later is the one that ends up lame. Ironic.

claire
Nov. 5, 2006, 11:40 AM
Why do people get so excited over all this anyway?
If someone is happy with their training, go for it.

There just are no shortcuts. The reality of our sport is--a rider who stays on the road will ruin a few horses along the way, through ignorance, through mis-management, through whatever.
it is a road filled with frustration, and is why there is a great need for humor and humility, or else one can go quite crazy.

here's to humor and humility!

I am sorry but I don't find "Ruining a few horses along the way" to be funny or humerous...just a very sad testimonial to what some people consider "Modern Dressage" :confused:

canyonoak
Nov. 5, 2006, 11:49 AM
No--that was not a humorous statement.
it was a statement of fact, made to me in all sober seriousness by a trainer who has trained countless horses, many to international success. A trainer who is considered one of the benevolent forces of our sport.
A trainer who in no way condones or uses rollkur.

That is the reality: No one trains as well as they could on the start of the road. If they did--what would be the point of the road?
The sad part is that the other 'piece of equipment' in our sport is a live, sentient being, the horse.

And the argument here and elsewhere is, as always, in the eyes of the perceiver, is the training that is going on 'fair', 'sympathetic', let alone 'correct'.
THAT is the main debate-- perception and who is doing the perceiving.
To talk about 'truth' in training horses is, I think, not worthwhile. That is why one MUST maintain humor and humility--to recognize that the horse is the best teacher and tells us what is going on, if only we can listen and hear and respond.

A real rider is always aware of the paradox, always on the side of the horse, always on the side of power through relaxation, to borrow from Hubertus Schmidt.

fiona
Nov. 5, 2006, 01:03 PM
Wasn't it Olivera who wrote in one of his books "i have ruined more horses than i have trained"
It's a misguided fool that thinks they have learned to ride and train without ever causing a horse harm.


It seems there are two standards: one for us average competitors riding below the GP where tenseness and lack of relaxation are heavily penalized and one for those riding International GP horses where this is acceptable in order to achieve the highest degree of performance. Has this always been the case with Olympic level dressage?


This is a huge concern to me as well. Even at TRAINING level the judges will slam a horse that shows tension. But at GP it's almost expected. Seems bass-ackwards to me.

Of course at Training level the horse should have an absence of tension - the reason it gets slammed by the judges as you put it is because you cannot train a tense horse, they can't process the information so you have no future as a developing partnership. Along the training journey as the horse develops more power and expression he will show more exuberance in the way of going and amplitude in the paces. By the time the horse is competing GP he should be practically overflowing with power and excitement in the test, the Germans have a word that describes this quality which i can't remember - too much of it and it does become the wrong tension but just right and the horse takes you through the GP like dancing on air.

If when judging non international classes a score for "potential GP capability of partnership" was awarded very few 10's would be given. If the score was for "nice to watch but not likely to go international and certainly not at GP" i'm sure the 10's would fly off the pen. What is so wrong with that? It's reality not double standards.

The reason we all get on the attack over these issues is because the argument is presented thus:

Anky and Sjef have won by being the most cruel, if you train this way you are torturing your horse. If you speak out at any time in their defence or are perceived to you are endorsing this cruelty and perpetrating it by default.
Anky and Sjef have had their horses xrayed by prominent vets and publicly explained their system. Nobody has proven that it is cruel or detrimental to the horse equally it is not proven that it is not.

Gerd Heuschman with Klaus and others has made something of a crusade of explaining biomechanics and the dangers of over training young horses.
Followers of this crusade are adamant that if you don't follow this "classical" path you must be being cruel. If you show any scepticism over the real message you are deemed to support A&S and are thus cruel.


In WEG the horse trained by the ex First Chief Rider of the SRS displayed an awful lot of tension. This is a great pity because in the odd moments of relaxation it looked lovely however it shows that even in the classical world stuff goes wrong it's not always that easy and horses get tense.

FEI_JR2004
Nov. 5, 2006, 01:26 PM
Oh, and second: I cannot believe that dressage people who compete on an international level allow their horse to be near to impossible to hand walk. Unbelievable. That's just sad.

Many of them are not. For example, at the WEG in Aachen, I witnessed Salinero being led around the barns with only a chain-link fence between him and a huge crowd of loud, moving people. He walked around with his head down, no chain, half-asleep. This is how all the best horses are - they know when to turn on the heat, and when to relax. They aren't always the hotheads you will occasionally see in the ring.

egontoast
Nov. 5, 2006, 01:47 PM
Gerd Heuschman with Klaus and others has made something of a crusade of explaining biomechanics and the dangers of over training young horses.
Followers of this crusade are adamant that if you don't follow this "classical" path you must be being cruel. If you show any scepticism over the real message you are deemed to support A&S and are thus cruel

They are targets because they are successful in competition. The very vocal KB coaches a team that would like to beat them. it would be more convincing if they would get out there and beat them using their allegedly more holy methods rather than alleging cruelty which so far cannot be proven.

I think there is a reason that you don't see other successful competitors like Kyra K, Hubertus S, Isabel, and so on joining the mob. They know that training is malleable and deep positioning is part of it.

Tonja
Nov. 5, 2006, 02:18 PM
“…it is possible for a horse to achieve the position of hyperflexion while being supple and relaxed.”

Then suppleness and relaxation must have been redefined. :dead:

Riding the horse in rollkur/zwangsjacke puts the horse out of balance. So much so that it makes it impossible for the horse to relax and carry itself naturally/correctly. Imbalance creates tension – not relaxation.

Suppleness is the unimpeded flow of energy through the horse, from the hind hooves to the bit. When the horse is ridden behind the vertical the thrusting energy of the hind legs can’t travel through to the poll. The energy only gets as far as the point where the vertebra in the neck are ‘broken’. After that, the energy is stifled by the heavy head and remaining neck that are hanging downward off the front of the horse. Imagine trying to shoot a broken arrow.

Horses trained in rollkur/zwangsjacke look like front heavy teeter-totters, from poll to tail, with the withers as the fulcrum. The horses look like they are using their heads and necks as levers to actually pull the haunches up, giving the horses an appearance of tippy-toeing behind. Even on the occasions where the haunches are somewhat bent, they don’t appear to be carrying a significant amount of weight – but how can they when the neck is hanging down off the front like that.

egontoast
Nov. 5, 2006, 02:23 PM
Are the judges all stupid and uninformed then if it is so clear to those who post opinions on certain discussion forums?

Tonja
Nov. 5, 2006, 02:34 PM
egontoast

Are the judges all stupid and uninformed then if it is so clear to those who post opinions on certain discussion forums?

Even the judges don’t seem to be on the same page these days.

slc2
Nov. 5, 2006, 03:31 PM
on the same page with who?

you?

Caroline Weber
Nov. 5, 2006, 03:33 PM
on the same page with who?

you?


No. With each other.

fiona
Nov. 5, 2006, 03:35 PM
Think you'll find the judges are on the correct page it's other people that are reading from the wrong book!Gutter Press for Dummies?

egontoast
Nov. 5, 2006, 03:39 PM
I think it's fair to say that generally speaking the judges are not stupid and uninformed and they probably have a much better chance of being on the right page than most of us do.

Caroline Weber
Nov. 5, 2006, 03:41 PM
I think it's fair to say that generally speaking the judges are not stupid and uninformed and they probably have a much better chance of being on the right page than most of us do.

Amen.

slc2
Nov. 5, 2006, 04:39 PM
agree, this whole thing is based on the judges being complete jackasses, or totally corrupt, or both.

YoungFilly
Nov. 5, 2006, 05:46 PM
I think it's fair to say that generally speaking the judges are not stupid and uninformed and they probably have a much better chance of being on the right page than most of us do.


Read USEF or Connections lately? Do you have any idea how much time the judges put into perfecting their judging skills? Judges are absolutely mortified when they make mistakes. They are people too you know.

Caroline Weber
Nov. 5, 2006, 06:14 PM
Read USEF or Connections lately? Do you have any idea how much time the judges put into perfecting their judging skills? Judges are absolutely mortified when they make mistakes. They are people too you know.

Youngfilly, did you read what egontoast wrote? She said that judges are generally NOT stupid and NOT uninformed and that they have a much BETTER chance of knowing what they are doing. I'm sorry if I sound like I'm shouting here, but I'm just trying to point out the important parts of Egon's post.

Sabine
Nov. 5, 2006, 06:29 PM
They are targets because they are successful in competition. The very vocal KB coaches a team that would like to beat them. it would be more convincing if they would get out there and beat them using their allegedly more holy methods rather than alleging cruelty which so far cannot be proven.

I think there is a reason that you don't see other successful competitors like Kyra K, Hubertus S, Isabel, and so on joining the mob. They know that training is malleable and deep positioning is part of it.

Great response Eggie- and right in the BULL's EYE region of this argument...gotta say it when I read it...:)

YoungFilly
Nov. 5, 2006, 06:35 PM
I was agreeing with her. :) Not aimed at her.

Caroline Weber
Nov. 5, 2006, 06:44 PM
I was agreeing with her. :) Not aimed at her.


Alright - I can see where you were coming from - it just seemed like you were disagreeing.

Sorry 'bout that.

eqipoize
Nov. 6, 2006, 01:22 AM
I'm sure most of you realize the history between them so it was not so surprising when the comment came that the author from St. George felt Anky was holding the horse by force with the hands in this deep position. Anky disputed that noting that she is a very light woman, she can't deal with a horse that is heavy in the hand, and that she simply didn't have the strength to physically force and hold the horse in that position. It was totally against what she wants to achieve for a light, easy horse to ride. Dr. Hilary Clayton was also on this panel and she said it was physically impossible for any human to force a horse into this postion either from the ground or from the back with just a bridle and reins. It was definitely her conclusion that Anky was not doing this because she could not even if she wanted to.

I am wondering - how 'big' does someone have to be to be capable of 'forcing' a horse into learned helplessness? I mean, I have handled Mini horses that 3 adults could barely subdue just trying to physically restrain a colt who didn't want a shot! So, if 3 people can't bully a 400 lb equine into submission, how big does someone have to be???? Is there ANY rider who is really able to physically force a horse to do anything? Isn't strong arm training all basically a case of applying pain that the horse finally choses to avoid and so the horse surrenders? Because physically, I just don't think Any Normal human has the power to 'force' a horse. I was on a mule who didn't want to turn at the canter - I had both hands on one rein, I had his nose on my knee, we were looking eye to eye with each other - we went on down the rail for 3/4 of a lap!!! He didn't 'have' to turn when he finally gave in, he could have kept going straight for as long as he wanted. I was maxed out. He just decided that it was uncomfortable running along with his neck twisted like that, and he decided to turn - basically out of the kindness of his little mulish heart! So, I just have to wonder when someone says "I am not strong enough to force a horse" as if a 'stronger' person WOULD be able to accomplish such a task. I just don't think strength is part of the equation. I think applying pressure that the horse eventually choses to avoid is what 'force' training is all about - and it come in many forms. And even in forced training, eventually the pressure applied becomes very light - almost symbolic. the horse Knows the higher level of pressure, and has already made the choice Not to contest that pressure/pain, so he surrenders. You can call it learned helplessness, or surrender, but essentially, the horse choses NOT to resist, even though he is physically capable of doing so. This is training through negative reinforcement - removal of a physical negative stimula as reward. It can also be coupled with negative adversion training - application of a negative stimuli if the horse does something wrong.

Anyone who thinks that leaning back with a braced back, and pulling Hard on a curb rein doesn't apply painful pressure on the horse's face, in several different places, hasn't really studied the effects of the curb bit. No, it doesn't actually 'force' the horse to put his head in the hyperflexion posture, it just rewards the horse for going into that posture by releasing the pressure. And an untrained horse would NOT be capable of flexing his neck into the extreme hyperflexion posture - no matter How much pressure was applied, whether through draw reins or through a curb bit. So, I doubt that Dr Clayton's weekend training session with her own horse really got a true chest biting posture. (But that is a whole different discussion. She claims that the horse 'can see' - well, I don't think anyone thinks hyperflexion actually 'blinds' the horse, it just limits WHERE the horse can see - and I just don't see how she was able to verify that a horse with his nose parallel to the ground was able to clearly see out in front of him? )

but back to Anky's claim that she is not strong enough to force a horse into hyperflexion - who IS strong enough to accomplish such a thing? IS there any one out there who believes you can really muscle a horse physically? I believe that every moment I am on a horse's back, it is purely by his submission, not because I am strong enough to hang on! In fact, I had that pretty clearly demonstrated a long time ago, by a mare who was athletic enough and brave enough, and strong enough, to buck, flip herself over mid air, and come down on top of a rodeo cowboy. He hung on for the buck, but strength didn't save him from the separated shoulder and concussion. Happily, very few horses are that resistant to being ridden. But NO amount of strength was going to make that mare get ridden.

Now, I will admit, a stronger person can bully a horse more effectively than a weak or small rider - it is possible to apply More Pain through the same equipment when you have muscles - but still, at some point, the horse has to 'give in' and surrender to avoid the applied negative stimuli. It might take draw reins, and a gouge, but if you apply enough painful pressure, most horses will give in, very few have the courage and resistant personality to take the flip over route! And once the horse is conditioned to yeild to avoid painful pressure, it just doesn't take much pressure to get the job done. But that doesn't change the root of the training technique - pain avoidance. This is not the only way to train a horse, the other option is Positive reinforcement - giving Positive stimuli when the horse does the right thing. It can take a little longer, because the horse has to be praised for very small attempts in the right direction, but the horse's attitude towards the work is very different from the horse trained through pain avoidance. And I honestly thing THAT is the crux of the matter. Do we support training that is negative reinforcement, or do we want to look for signs that a horse has been trained through Positive reinforcement. And Can the judges tell? Can Anyone tell? Does it matter?

Sabine
Nov. 6, 2006, 01:36 AM
JEez- you must be Capricorn- it took me forever to read thru your post- just to get to the ghist of it...well yes- I think the choice is one you make as an experienced trainer in the beginning...if you get a white piece of paper- meaning a relatively 'virgin' horse- you would hopefully choose the 'positive reinforcement technique' assuming that you are a top notch - high quality trainer with a lot of intuition and experience...but- let's say BUUUUT!!! most of the time- you do not get a white piece of paper- you get something grey at best- or sometimes- you get something black with silver sparkly stars on it..(meaning something with a dubious reputation)...and we all know that means something that many wannabees have tried their hand on, have failed, abused it (because that's what most do when they know they have failed...just before they give up- yes it's a wonderful trait of the human professsional trainer that I have witnessed many times)..and then what do you masterful trainer suggest?? eh!?? I suppose you will hold up the white flag and hope for the best- and once you've gotten your hiney hitched into the blue yonder- you'll think about -....what might work better???

Come one-...stop that stuff- let's get back to the pro- discussion about training top notch horses..and how to stay ethical in the process!!!

FEI_JR2004
Nov. 6, 2006, 01:46 AM
JEez- you must be Capricorn- it took me forever to read thru your post- just to get to the ghist of it...

Sabine - What, exactly are you implying about Capricorns???? (imagine a winking, laughing smiley face here, because I'm not sure how to use those)

Sabine
Nov. 6, 2006, 01:52 AM
Sabine - What, exactly are you implying about Capricorns???? (imagine a winking, laughing smiley face here, because I'm not sure how to use those)

Oh- don't get me started...I am a Cancer and I have had nothing but Capricorn boyfriends and husband (s)...:)

let's say they are = if born in the 1st and 2nd part- very detail oriented, sometimes anal and very longwinded- and of course reliable beyond belief!!
3rd part is usually a party animal....so that's what I have now!- I have wised up!!.....but I love them- can you tell...?

Tonja
Nov. 6, 2006, 07:39 AM
YoungFilly wrote:



Originally Posted by egontoast
I think it's fair to say that generally speaking the judges are not stupid and uninformed and they probably have a much better chance of being on the right page than most of us do.
Read USEF or Connections lately? Do you have any idea how much time the judges put into perfecting their judging skills? Judges are absolutely mortified when they make mistakes. They are people too you know.
I do understand that judges are human. That’s why I really don’t put much stock in a judge’s opinion at times when the judge says that everything is good and the horse’s imbalance, tension, broken rhythm, lack of throughness and lack of engagement says something completely different.

claire
Nov. 6, 2006, 07:42 AM
eventually the pressure applied becomes very light - almost symbolic. This is training through negative reinforcement - removal of a physical negative stimula as reward. It can also be coupled with negative adversion training - application of a negative stimuli if the horse does something wrong. And once the horse is conditioned to yeild to avoid painful pressure, it just doesn't take much pressure to get the job done.

equipoze, Very helpful examples of negative reinforcement.

But a question about LDR/RK and learned helplessness/negative reinforcement training.

Why does this sort of training with negative reinforcement (LDR/RK)
have to be repeated in the warm-up before every competition?

If it is a learned helplessness behavior wouldn't these horses be trained to go into the "position" without the constant application/removal of negative stimuli at every warm-up?

IOW, wouldn't the more trained the horse was to LDR/RK technique; the less this technique would have to be used?

egontoast
Nov. 6, 2006, 08:31 AM
I do understand that judges are human. That’s why I really don’t put much stock in a judge’s opinion at times when the judge says that everything is good and the horse’s imbalance, tension, broken rhythm, lack of throughness and lack of engagement says something completely different.

If you can see it, don't you think an O judge or an I judge, make that a panel of them, could see it even on a bad day?. Perhaps they are seeing something you are missing. I mean it's possible that you are right and they are all wrong but it's also possible that most of the time they know what they are doing.

slc2
Nov. 6, 2006, 09:09 AM
but not even the guy who invented the term 'learned helplessness', believes that's what's happening with rollkur. even he wouldn't agree with you.

scottishgirl
Nov. 6, 2006, 09:24 AM
he didnt invent the term (although i dont know he was the first to apply it to horses in this contex) its been around for donkeys years in psychology in general.

"individuals can acquire it through developments of beliefs and/or expectations that the course of undesirable phenomena is completely out of their control"

:winkgrin: and flees from the fray...........................

slc2
Nov. 6, 2006, 10:19 AM
yeah, it's been around a long time, but not in this context. he didn't even 'invented it' being applied to rollkur, and openly disagreed with that in the meeting.

canyonoak
Nov. 6, 2006, 10:22 AM
The GDF had Hubertus Schmidt, demonstrating and then commenting on his system, his insights, and the way he thinks about the horse ands training.

It has Andrew McLean ,explaining, among other things, that 'negative reinforcvement' is NOT NOT NOT a negative way to train, but an expression used in behavior studies and psychology, etc etc.

It had Monty Roberts show how he goes about gaining trust and cooperation long before a saddle is involved.

It had Rico Schuijers talking about the latest ideas in how to focus, concentrate and succeed in sports, including riding.

And oh yes, Anky and Sjef discussed their training techniques in light of sports psychology,in light of animal psychology to gain trust and cooperation, in light of veterinary study, in light of the appearance of their own horses, in light of continued application of their techniques, refining them and trying to find that elusive point where power and relaxation meet and both athlete-partners are 'in the zone'...

Do ya think we could discuss any of the above??

I remember that someone on this BB, back East, was having Rico Schuijers come to do a clinic..Did that happen?

ideayoda
Nov. 6, 2006, 10:46 AM
A rider gains trust (with a bridle) by riding the horse softly into contact, getting flexion/lifting/arching/self carriage as it is supported by the (degree of folding of the joints of the) hindlegs. A finished gp horse can certainly be asked to go lower or round, but why oh why in warm up after warm up is the riders hand taken hugely backwards, the nose put to the foot/chest with a horizontal curb and a kick in the gut if the horse dares to come up? Once 'there' it can be easily sustained if it doesnt feel the instinct to rebalance itself and reuse its balancing rod/neck (which it should be using as a result of proper engagement). Is that horse sport pscyhology or refined technique for trust and confindence? Why does the horse still struggle against the hand in such a way that it continues to challenge the it to the extend that kicking is necessary, or that it attempts to flee the rider? All the ground work in the world and all the trust is betrayed when we ask the horse to stay out of balance as a training vehicle.

scottishgirl
Nov. 6, 2006, 10:46 AM
As an aside I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of discussion on US sites about rollkur and its derivatives, and this is an argument that doesnt really exist in the UK.

On the assumption that it is Wrong, what would you propose to do about it? It cant be banned as a training technique, how would it be policed? Other than banning it up in warmup, there doesnt seem to be much that can be done about it.

For me it seem to fall into the grey area that we are all subject to when training animals. I think that ALL of us do things that would be frowned upon by others, whether for good reason or not.

So, my point is, why do so many people get their knickers in a twist about it when there are animals out there being abused in a manner where there is no grey area? Id much rather worry about them than Ankys etc horses which get the best of everything Im sure.

Indi41
Nov. 6, 2006, 10:48 AM
Indi stumbles in... headfirst due to the hangover (does that mean I'm a Capricorn party animal Sabine???)

Judges are only human - yep we are! Now I'm not an O Judge or even an I Judge but I can state that all judges can only judge what is in front of them at any given time. Judges are not vets - yes they can see when a horse is unlevel (or hopefully they can!) but its not our job to decide WHY the horse is unlevel.

98% of the time you give the rider the benefit of the doubt - sometimes unlevel steps can be seen due to tension over the horse's back, a dodgy contact from the rider or just plain nerves. Ringing the bell for lameness is just a horrid thing for the judge to have to do and even worse for the rider. Will another few minutes of riding the horse make a 'possible' lameness any worse - probably not. Better to mark down the movements in which unlevel steps are seen and make the comment at the end of the sheet.

Sometimes, I will let a horse finish and then speak to the rider to say 'I am concerned that your horse is not quite right and your marks reflect this'.

Yes Debbie's horse was pulled and yes there was some unlevelness in the steps in the extended trot - this was marked accordingly. Would anyone else have pulled the horse out during the test? If so, why? Does some unlevelness in the extended trot AUTOMATICALLY indicate lameness?? I would think not for the reasons given above - and again its not the judge's job to give a vet's diagnosis. They can judge and comment on the way of going.

As to whether you need strength to achieve the rolkur .. is this not a pressure release thing? You hold the pressure the horse releases to it and goes deeper. That's 'holding' not pulling back or forcing. Presumably as time goes on you have the hold for shorter periods as the horse learns to give to it and can go deeper and deeper. I probably haven't explained that very well but I know what I mean ....

Indi wanders off to find some water and pain-killers ... hopefully use of the English language will return once de-toxed ...:)

eqipoize
Nov. 6, 2006, 11:03 AM
equipoze, Very helpful examples of negative reinforcement.

But a question about LDR/RK and learned helplessness/negative reinforcement training.

Why does this sort of training with negative reinforcement (LDR/RK)
have to be repeated in the warm-up before every competition?

If it is a learned helplessness behavior wouldn't these horses be trained to go into the "position" without the constant application/removal of negative stimuli at every warm-up?

IOW, wouldn't the more trained the horse was to LDR/RK technique; the less this technique would have to be used?

But it Does take less to get the job done by the time the horse is in the warm up ring. At least if the video interview of Anky that had Sjef in the background riding a horse in draw reins, curb bridle And a Gouge is any example. However, the excitement of the show warm up, probably challenges previous conditioning, so somre 'reminder' applications may be required.

I think a good example of 'learned helplessness' is a physically abused child/wife. They are generally Very obedient in public, and actually can be seen to be very 'affectionate' to the abusing parent/husband. The abusing person Does praise the victim 'just enough' to keep them desperately trying to measure up, and Fear keeps them highly motivated! About the only difference is that a human can understand the concept of delayed punishment, so the parent/husband can 'punish' the child/wife after the fact, for any public infractions. With the horses, it is necessary to correct on the scene - so you still see some pulling on curbs. Now before people jump on me saying I am calling Anky an abuser, I am NOT saying her training method is the same as someone who breaks their kids arm because the kid failed a class in school. I am simply talking about a very classic example of learned helplessness. Especially in wife beating - initially, the woman has the option of leaving the man - but usually the abuse starts out very subtley, and progresses over time. By the time it is life threatening, the woman is trained to accept this as her lot in life, so she stands by her man - "Learned helplessness".

Anyway, as far as why everyone in this system still warms up their horse with hyperflexion, I would guess it is because they honestly believe it is needed to 'supple' the horse. Also, if you are relying on the blinker effect of the head position to prevent spooking, then you NEED the horse in this posture until he has worked long enough to be too tired to act up. In the hunter world, this is accomplished with LTD - Longe til Dead. If you have a very hot horse, you can wear him out and then get a few minutes of relative obedience.

By the way, I would guess Dr McLean is being pretty politically correct - if he were to say the LDR horses Were in Learned Helplessness, I seriously doubt he would ever be invited back to one of these forums. And I don't know if he would get to do the study he is proposing. So, perhaps he is keeping his cards close to his chest, and not revealing what he honestly believes - OR he may really think Painted Black is Happy. And given that horses are pretty darned accepting of almost anything, I don't think that is an impossible situation.

I still wonder if anyone really buys the 'I am not strong enough to force a horse' arguement. Several people seemed to support it, saying she is just barely over 110 lbs. I mean, actually it IS true, but NO ONE is really strong enough to force a horse, right? But we all know situations where the horse has been physically punished until he submits, right? So, most horses Can be intimidated into doing something they really don't want to do, and while muscle power permits more intimidation, does being smaller than the horse really mean that you can't intimidate him?

My other subject for discussion is whether the end products of the different training techniques are recognisable and if so, do we agree that both are acceptable representations of the ideals of dressage? I really think THAT is what needs to be discussed internationally - what do we WANT dressage to look like, and are we moving in the right direction towards that ideal? Because I think that is really what is at issue - not just how one group trains, and is it abuse. Because if the decision is reached that tension and flamboyance do not take precedence over relaxation, and IF you can sufficiently define the body language of a horse that represents he is in the best frame of mind for dressage, then judging will start to reward those signs. On the other hand, if the raw power of wild athleticism is considered the ideal, then you are going to have to accept whatever techniques produce that desired look.

While I have a great deal of respect for judges, I also think there is significant disagreement as to what is the desired final product - and even more, what is almost right, vs what is completely off track. A score is an opinion, and like belly buttons, Everyone has one. So, it is NOT legitimate to tell Anyone that they are not entitled to their opinion as to what is very good and what is insufficient. You ARE allowed to weigh what value YOU place on each opinion, but you are not allowed to take away another person's right to have an opinion. So long as it is expressed in a civil manner, Opinions are a democratic right - and happily, most of the world has embrassed democracy. So, please resist shouting down those people who have an opinion that differs from your own, or that of the international judges.

(oh, and I was born on the 14th, where does that put me? I do throw Great parties - Every detail is in place!!! :lol: )

fiona
Nov. 6, 2006, 12:58 PM
Fear keeps them highly motivated! About the only difference is that a human can understand the concept of delayed punishment, so the parent/husband can 'punish' the child/wife after the fact, for any public infractions. With the horses, it is necessary to correct on the scene - so you still see some pulling on curbs. Now before people jump on me saying I am calling Anky an abuser,


Ok. i'm people and i am going to jump. In that paragraph you have implied Anky uses fear to intimidate her horses at home to the extent that in public a small threat is enough to get the response she wants. If that's not what you meant maybe you shold go back and rewrite it.


My other subject for discussion is whether the end products of the different training techniques are recognisable and if so, do we agree that both are acceptable representations of the ideals of dressage? I really think THAT is what needs to be discussed internationally - what do we WANT dressage to look like, and are we moving in the right direction towards that ideal? Because I think that is really what is at issue - not just how one group trains, and

Of course they are recogniseable. Especially to the O and I judges who for the most part are experienced even prolific trainers and riders. In my experience of riding in front of these people at FEI they don't miss a darned thing. Yes we are moving in the right direction within the sport, more talented horses are bred than ever before, more talented riders and trainers exist than ever before and there is access for more people across the globe to the best of the old traditions like the SRS and the NH of countries like the USA and Australia. What could be better?
Oh yes a press/public that didn't accuse one group of people of torturing their horses at home to the extent that they were so happy in the ring they won.

Sabine
Nov. 6, 2006, 01:39 PM
Ok. i'm people and i am going to jump. In that paragraph you have implied Anky uses fear to intimidate her horses at home to the extent that in public a small threat is enough to get the response she wants. If that's not what you meant maybe you shold go back and rewrite it.



Of course they are recogniseable. Especially to the O and I judges who for the most part are experienced even prolific trainers and riders. In my experience of riding in front of these people at FEI they don't miss a darned thing. Yes we are moving in the right direction within the sport, more talented horses are bred than ever before, more talented riders and trainers exist than ever before and there is access for more people across the globe to the best of the old traditions like the SRS and the NH of countries like the USA and Australia. What could be better?
Oh yes a press/public that didn't accuse one group of people of torturing their horses at home to the extent that they were so happy in the ring they won.

I tend to agree with Fiona. This is sidetracking from the real topic at hand and kind of gives away a limited experience in the international/FEI level scene on the poster's part.

Atlantis
Nov. 6, 2006, 02:30 PM
I think a good example of 'learned helplessness' is a physically abused child/wife. They are generally Very obedient in public, and actually can be seen to be very 'affectionate' to the abusing parent/husband. The abusing person Does praise the victim 'just enough' to keep them desperately trying to measure up, and Fear keeps them highly motivated! About the only difference is that a human can understand the concept of delayed punishment, so the parent/husband can 'punish' the child/wife after the fact, for any public infractions. With the horses, it is necessary to correct on the scene - so you still see some pulling on curbs. Now before people jump on me saying I am calling Anky an abuser, I am NOT saying her training method is the same as someone who breaks their kids arm because the kid failed a class in school. I am simply talking about a very classic example of learned helplessness. Especially in wife beating - initially, the woman has the option of leaving the man - but usually the abuse starts out very subtley, and progresses over time. By the time it is life threatening, the woman is trained to accept this as her lot in life, so she stands by her man - "Learned helplessness".

The problem with this paragraph, beyond the subtle inference that Anky is abusive and her technique is "learned helplessness", is the idea that if a horse is given any correction, or any training which includes any degree of "negative reinforcement", then the horse is some sort of "victim" and his behavior is the result of "learned helplessness".

Horses will be horses, and yes they are more prone to naughtiness in new surroundings (such as a show), and because we must always maintain authority over the horse especially when riding "it is necessary to correct on the scene" (as you say) and therefore "so you still see some pulling on curbs" (again, as you say.) I don't see this as a huge "problem", and most of all I don't see this as something unique to Anky or hyperflexion or international level riding or anything else, and therefore shouldn't be attributed in any special way to Anky or hyperflexion or international level riding.


If you have a very hot horse, you can wear him out and then get a few minutes of relative obedience.

You do offer some intelligent discussion, and are articulate, but you do like to slip in an undertone which I do not agree with, and you say things which on the surface may seem almost right, but really are not quite. ;) Such as this one I've quoted. I don't think it is the goal of anyone to "wear their horse out", and I wouldn't call a GP ride a mere "few minutes", and I wouldn't call what we are seeing "relative" obedience. I also wouldn't equate hyperflexion with endless lunging, as their is a much higher degree of human involvement, judgment, varying of the exercise, etc., with hyperflexion. If the idea were just to tire the horse "hunter style", why wouldn't dressage riders also simply lunge the horses? Why bother with LDR? And if the idea were about positioning the neck ONLY, a person could use overly shortened sidereins to accomplish this - Balkenhol has tried to demonstrate this. But the reality is that it is NOT only about the positioning of the neck and it is NOT only about making the horse tired.


By the way, I would guess Dr McLean is being pretty politically correct - if he were to say the LDR horses Were in Learned Helplessness, I seriously doubt he would ever be invited back to one of these forums. And I don't know if he would get to do the study he is proposing.

Again I disagree with your assumption/implication. If the St Georg woman was invited, as well as Astrid and Birgit, it would seem pretty clear that people CAN still be invited even if they don't agree with the majority. So I think it is false to imply Dr. McLean only says what he says, out of fear of not being invited back. I suspect the truth is, instead, that if Dr McLean SAYS the LDR horses are not in learned helplessness, he BELIEVES they are not in a state of learned helplessness.

As for finding backing for the study he is proposing, don't you think if he said it was his goal to set out to prove hyperflexion ABUSIVE, there would be plenty of people quick to jump on that bandwagon and support him from that camp? So I don't find this assumption to be accurate either.


I still wonder if anyone really buys the 'I am not strong enough to force a horse' arguement.

The flip side to this is all of the people who have been arguing all along that the horse IS forced into this position. Either you can or you can't, and either it is or it isn't. And I would still maintain that no horse which is being trained thru FORCE could perform as well as Anky's horses can (Anky's horses, and other horses trained with LDR as well!)


My other subject for discussion is whether the end products of the different training techniques are recognisable and if so, do we agree that both are acceptable representations of the ideals of dressage? I really think THAT is what needs to be discussed internationally - what do we WANT dressage to look like, and are we moving in the right direction towards that ideal? Because I think that is really what is at issue - not just how one group trains, and is it abuse.

The issue of how one group trains and whether it is abuse has specifically arisen because of people seeking to stop one group from training the way they train, and their basis for trying to stop them from training the way they train is by CLAIMING IT IS ABUSIVE. THAT is how it has reached this point.


A score is an opinion, and like belly buttons, Everyone has one. So, it is NOT legitimate to tell Anyone that they are not entitled to their opinion as to what is very good and what is insufficient.

Yes, a score is like a belly button and everyone has one. However, these judges are specially experienced, trained, and qualified to offer the scores they do. (And for the most part, there is NOT as much disagreement as some like to portray.) So whilst everyone is entitled to an opinion, it is the opinions of the judges which are of much more importance and carry more weight than the opinions of the average Poster Joe.

Eurobreederstour, you have made many very good points and discussions, thank you for participating! This discussion has lured out all sorts of new posters!

eqipoize
Nov. 6, 2006, 03:48 PM
The problem with this paragraph, beyond the subtle inference that Anky is abusive and her technique is "learned helplessness", is the idea that if a horse is given any correction, or any training which includes any degree of "negative reinforcement", then the horse is some sort of "victim" and his behavior is the result of "learned helplessness".

Well, I DO think her training IS learned helplessness - but so is a LOT of other trainers techniques. I also think that many people have a complete misconception about how a being in a state of learned helplessness looks and acts. The assumption is that they will seem depressed and not interact with other people, and they will 'hate' their abuser. And in some cases the receiver of this form of training, whether human, dog or horse, WILL be lackluster in their preformance. And some will become angry and sullen. but there are certian personalities that actually try harder and harder. Even though the result of their efforts is rarely if ever good enough. Patty Duke Aston describes exactly this sort of psychological/physical domination in her autobiography. And she was hardly an underachiever - she was an incredibly successful child actress. Yet she lived in terror of her foster stage mother. To the point that once when acting on stage, she heard the woman simply clear her throat, and she almost fell apart! Why? because that quiet little "Ahem" was usually a signal from 'Mom" that she had screwed up. In this case, it turned out Mom just had a little tickle in her throat. But I use this as a living human example of a dominated subject who performed perfectly in public, and the "cues" were very subtle, but there was some pretty harsh treatment to create this perfect little actress.

Look, I LIKE Anky, I think she is an incredible rider, super talented and with fantastic feel for a horse. However, I think she is developing a method of training that extracts preformance from a horse through domination, not through partnership. And I think the defense that she isn't physically strong enough to dominate a horse just doesn't wash. And I think that people who say 'but her horses preform too well to be mistreated' also don't understand that a horse Can be coerced into incredible preformance, but that winning doesn't make it acceptable - at least not to some of us.


Horses will be horses, and yes they are more prone to naughtiness in new surroundings (such as a show), and because we must always maintain authority over the horse especially when riding "it is necessary to correct on the scene" (as you say) and therefore "so you still see some pulling on curbs" (again, as you say.) I don't see this as a huge "problem", and most of all I don't see this as something unique to Anky or hyperflexion or international level riding or anything else, and therefore shouldn't be attributed in any special way to Anky or hyperflexion or international level riding.
No, it isn't Just Anky, or even just the LDR - BUT this method HAS managed to win and is now being imulated all around the world, and it is a trend that needs to be fully considered. Also, I think that when a trainer takes the time to develop a relationship with a horse based on Trust not domination, then the acting up in new surroundings is minimized, and is usually exuberance, not spooking or bolting. Much of the behavior that is considered 'acceptable' in the international GP ring would have evoked responses of HORROR just 30 years ago. Is this Really progress?




You do offer some intelligent discussion, and are articulate, but you do like to slip in an undertone which I do not agree with, and you say things which on the surface may seem almost right, but really are not quite. ;) Such as this one I've quoted. I don't think it is the goal of anyone to "wear their horse out", and I wouldn't call a GP ride a mere "few minutes", and I wouldn't call what we are seeing "relative" obedience. I also wouldn't equate hyperflexion with endless lunging, as their is a much higher degree of human involvement, judgment, varying of the exercise, etc., with hyperflexion. If the idea were just to tire the horse "hunter style", why wouldn't dressage riders also simply lunge the horses? Why bother with LDR? And if the idea were about positioning the neck ONLY, a person could use overly shortened sidereins to accomplish this - Balkenhol has tried to demonstrate this. But the reality is that it is NOT only about the positioning of the neck and it is NOT only about making the horse tired.
If it isn't about taking the edge off through fatigue or reinforcement of submission, then why Are these horses requiring such long warm ups? I watched Dr Klimke warm up Biotop in LA for WC95 - he rode twice - first in a snaffle, then a short session with the full bridle on. This horse was HOT HOT HOT! but the training during the warm up was essentially a tour up the training scale. No hyperflexion, no leaping, no sharp spurring, no wringing wet horse coming in at A. Why don't we see this more often anymore?




Again I disagree with your assumption/implication. If the St Georg woman was invited, as well as Astrid and Birgit, it would seem pretty clear that people CAN still be invited even if they don't agree with the majority. So I think it is false to imply Dr. McLean only says what he says, out of fear of not being invited back. I suspect the truth is, instead, that if Dr McLean SAYS the LDR horses are not in learned helplessness, he BELIEVES they are not in a state of learned helplessness.

As for finding backing for the study he is proposing, don't you think if he said it was his goal to set out to prove hyperflexion ABUSIVE, there would be plenty of people quick to jump on that bandwagon and support him from that camp? So I don't find this assumption to be accurate either. Actually, you left out part of what I said - I did say, he may think the horse IS happy, and that was actually possible, since horses are incredibly adaptable, And because of what I said earlier about the behavior of a dominated psyche not Always being represented by a depressed lifeless being. But I confess, it IS all conjecture on my part, I don't know what Andrew McLean thinks or why he says what he says. I was surprized to read that he Didn't think this training represented learned helplessness. But for all I know, he LOVES the way the LDR horses work, and he thinks the training is ideal operant conditioning.




The flip side to this is all of the people who have been arguing all along that the horse IS forced into this position. Either you can or you can't, and either it is or it isn't. And I would still maintain that no horse which is being trained thru FORCE could perform as well as Anky's horses can (Anky's horses, and other horses trained with LDR as well!) Well, my point is that you Can't physically force a horse no matter who you are, BUT there are training methods that are typically referred to as forceful, which are really coercive - and they usually use pain as an intimidator. I think a horizontal curb IS painful to a horse - and I think a sharp jab with a spur is also pain. This doesn't mean that a trainer should NEVER use these things, we Are smaller than horses, and sometimes they realize that, and we have to try to convince them to treat us well even if we Are puny little creatures. However, once that basic mutual respect is established, I think complex advanced training OUGHT to be built on trust, not out of fear of punishment. I think a horse's submission ought to be willingly given, not extracted. And my experience has been that when a horse Does trust his trainer, he is recognisably calmer and more relaxed than a horse who has been trained through coercive intimidation. Now, that calm relaxation may lack the brilliance of the horse who is 'on edge' but I never found hysteria to be beautiful, even if it is fascinating to watch.




The issue of how one group trains and whether it is abuse has specifically arisen because of people seeking to stop one group from training the way they train, and their basis for trying to stop them from training the way they train is by CLAIMING IT IS ABUSIVE. THAT is how it has reached this point. And I am saying we need to get away from that debate, because it is too subjective, and too charged on both sides. I think the fact that at least some dressage experts think that many of the current winning horses are lacking proper balance, show poor engagement, faulty movement and extreme tension at least merits consideration. I think if more people focused on that aspect - Is the Finished Product Really representative of the ideal of dressage - then we might get more rational discussion. But it keeps coming back to 'Bad Bad Bad - mean old horsetrainers' and then the opposition is simply up and arms and everyone is defensive and no one discussed anything.




Yes, a score is like a belly button and everyone has one. However, these judges are specially experienced, trained, and qualified to offer the scores they do. (And for the most part, there is NOT as much disagreement as some like to portray.) So whilst everyone is entitled to an opinion, it is the opinions of the judges which are of much more importance and carry more weight than the opinions of the average Poster Joe.

But of course, this also tends to shut down discussion. We have one side saying "you are a bunch of mean old horse abusers" and the other side says "you are poor losers, sour grapes, old fuddy duddies, and know nothings" - If you discount the opinion of one side as without value, you have relieved yourself from having to discuss your position. I just don't find this helpful.

fiona
Nov. 6, 2006, 04:32 PM
I also think that many people have a complete misconception about how a being in a state of learned helplessness looks and acts. The assumption is that they will seem depressed and not interact with other people, and they will 'hate' their abuser. And in some cases the receiver of this form of training, whether human, dog or horse, WILL be lackluster in their preformance. And some will become angry and sullen. but there are certian personalities that actually try harder and harder. Even though the result of their efforts is rarely if ever good enough. Patty Duke Aston describes exactly this sort of psychological/physical domination in her autobiography.

You really need to go read what has been written about the ability of horses to reason like humans and stop confusing the two creatures. A child actress and a horse are not the same thing.


No hyperflexion, no leaping, no sharp spurring, no wringing wet horse coming in at A. Why don't we see this more often anymore?

Actually you see this all the time at international shows. If there is tension it is marked down, if there is a lack of harmony it is marked down. At the European Championships in Hickstead a number of horses acheived 10's most notably Rusty. After WEG this year one of the judges (stephen clarke?) commented that although there were some outstanding tests tension was present for whatever reason so the 10's were less frequent.

Sabine
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:57 AM
Well, I DO think her training IS learned helplessness - but so is a LOT of other trainers techniques. I also think that many people have a complete misconception about how a being in a state of learned helplessness looks and acts. The assumption is that they will seem depressed and not interact with other people, and they will 'hate' their abuser. And in some cases the receiver of this form of training, whether human, dog or horse, WILL be lackluster in their preformance. And some will become angry and sullen. but there are certian personalities that actually try harder and harder. Even though the result of their efforts is rarely if ever good enough. Patty Duke Aston describes exactly this sort of psychological/physical domination in her autobiography. And she was hardly an underachiever - she was an incredibly successful child actress. Yet she lived in terror of her foster stage mother. To the point that once when acting on stage, she heard the woman simply clear her throat, and she almost fell apart! Why? because that quiet little "Ahem" was usually a signal from 'Mom" that she had screwed up. In this case, it turned out Mom just had a little tickle in her throat. But I use this as a living human example of a dominated subject who performed perfectly in public, and the "cues" were very subtle, but there was some pretty harsh treatment to create this perfect little actress. .

you are very gifted at mixing things up- to the point where noone wants to respond- because it is to f...ing exhausting to retract all your intellectual outbursts...some are quite fun to read- but sadly have very little to do with training a horse and I wonder if you have ever been near a horse. Learned helplessness is a 'retarded expression' - you can liken it to any trained response- human or animal- you can liken it to complicated psychological reflexes that combine fear, submission and descruction of self.

This does not fit into horse training. There is no way to beat the horse down to a pulp and then reinvigorate it into what you later describe a 'hysteric' performance...Kiddo- you are WAYYYY out there...and if I have the time to read your posts- I scratch my head and wonder what it is that you are trying to do...mostly confuse everyone- and shut down the thread--


Look, I LIKE Anky, I think she is an incredible rider, super talented and with fantastic feel for a horse. However, I think she is developing a method of training that extracts preformance from a horse through domination, not through partnership. And I think the defense that she isn't physically strong enough to dominate a horse just doesn't wash. And I think that people who say 'but her horses preform too well to be mistreated' also don't understand that a horse Can be coerced into incredible preformance, but that winning doesn't make it acceptable - at least not to some of us.
No, it isn't Just Anky, or even just the LDR - BUT this method HAS managed to win and is now being imulated all around the world, and it is a trend that needs to be fully considered. Also, I think that when a trainer takes the time to develop a relationship with a horse based on Trust not domination, then the acting up in new surroundings is minimized, and is usually exuberance, not spooking or bolting. Much of the behavior that is considered 'acceptable' in the international GP ring would have evoked responses of HORROR just 30 years ago. Is this Really progress? .

I bet you have never in your life sat on a competitive GP horse..so you are into trust and not domination...HMM- do you know how much fitness and strength it takes for a GP horse to compete at the level these horses compete- do you know how pumped up they are? They act out when they can not digest something that happens around them- trust or not..your statements sadly reflect your own limited experience. And again- they spoil the main topic of this thread-...btw 30 years ago- not sure you were alive- if you were- they were no dressage competitions anywhere even halfway closely resembling the WEG in Aachen this year...assuming you refer to the famous bolt of SAL- which you must be.





If it isn't about taking the edge off through fatigue or reinforcement of submission, then why Are these horses requiring such long warm ups? I watched Dr Klimke warm up Biotop in LA for WC95 - he rode twice - first in a snaffle, then a short session with the full bridle on. This horse was HOT HOT HOT! but the training during the warm up was essentially a tour up the training scale. No hyperflexion, no leaping, no sharp spurring, no wringing wet horse coming in at A. Why don't we see this more often anymore?

Actually, you left out part of what I said - I did say, he may think the horse IS happy, and that was actually possible, since horses are incredibly adaptable, And because of what I said earlier about the behavior of a dominated psyche not Always being represented by a depressed lifeless being. But I confess, it IS all conjecture on my part, I don't know what Andrew McLean thinks or why he says what he says. I was surprized to read that he Didn't think this training represented learned helplessness. But for all I know, he LOVES the way the LDR horses work, and he thinks the training is ideal operant conditioning.



Well, my point is that you Can't physically force a horse no matter who you are, BUT there are training methods that are typically referred to as forceful, which are really coercive - and they usually use pain as an intimidator. I think a horizontal curb IS painful to a horse - and I think a sharp jab with a spur is also pain. This doesn't mean that a trainer should NEVER use these things, we Are smaller than horses, and sometimes they realize that, and we have to try to convince them to treat us well even if we Are puny little creatures. However, once that basic mutual respect is established, I think complex advanced training OUGHT to be built on trust, not out of fear of punishment. I think a horse's submission ought to be willingly given, not extracted. And my experience has been that when a horse Does trust his trainer, he is recognisably calmer and more relaxed than a horse who has been trained through coercive intimidation. Now, that calm relaxation may lack the brilliance of the horse who is 'on edge' but I never found hysteria to be beautiful, even if it is fascinating to watch.

And I am saying we need to get away from that debate, because it is too subjective, and too charged on both sides. I think the fact that at least some dressage experts think that many of the current winning horses are lacking proper balance, show poor engagement, faulty movement and extreme tension at least merits consideration. I think if more people focused on that aspect - Is the Finished Product Really representative of the ideal of dressage - then we might get more rational discussion. But it keeps coming back to 'Bad Bad Bad - mean old horsetrainers' and then the opposition is simply up and arms and everyone is defensive and no one discussed anything.

But of course, this also tends to shut down discussion. We have one side saying "you are a bunch of mean old horse abusers" and the other side says "you are poor losers, sour grapes, old fuddy duddies, and know nothings" - If you discount the opinion of one side as without value, you have relieved yourself from having to discuss your position. I just don't find this helpful.

In summary- after wading through all these- at times utterly conjecture-based statements- I still don't get your point? It is hidden in a mess of emotional assumptions and a mixture of book knowledge and psychological conclusions that are not always applicable. Why don't you just say what you want to say in 2 sentences- clear and concise...then we can talk....:)

mbm
Nov. 7, 2006, 02:27 AM
I bet you have never in your life sat on a competitive GP horse..so you are into trust and not domination...HMM- do you know how much fitness and strength it takes for a GP horse to compete at the level these horses compete- do you know how pumped up they are? They act out when they can not digest something that happens around them- trust or not..your statements sadly reflect your own limited experience. And again- they spoil the main topic of this thread-...btw 30 years ago- not sure you were alive- if you were- they were no dressage competitions anywhere even halfway closely resembling the WEG in Aachen this year...assuming you refer to the famous bolt of SAL- which you must be.

sabine i found your posts very interesting :)

take the above comment..... your post alludes to the fact that competitive GP horses are so wild that they need to be dominated with no trust to be seen.Then you say that these horses are so pumped up that they act out at the smallest thing they don't understand... well if that is how it is then NO WONDER some folks need rollkur to keep these horses in line.... who would blame them? I mean even I know that putting the horses head down immediately makes the horse calmer and more behaved.

anyway, i guess the obvious question is: how many competitive GP horses have you ridden? because it sounds like you have a lot of experience riding them so i am curious....

Also you seem to have some in depth knowledge of the international "scene" .... it would be really great if you let us nobodies in on all the stuff you are privy to when you hob nob with the elite and go to all these great shows all over the world .

i hope this post serves to get this thread back on topic.

fiona
Nov. 7, 2006, 03:00 AM
Also you seem to have some in depth knowledge of the international "scene" .... it would be really great if you let us nobodies in on all the stuff you are privy to when you hob nob with the elite and go to all these great shows all over the world .

You see that's a prime example of the sort of scathing sneering attitude that makes the top riders shut themsleves away in their own barns and not want to openly interact with the public. Sabina happened to grow up in the same area and train with one of the top riders of any generation i think at the last count this rider has 15 European and Olympic medals, Sabina also organises clinics in the US with high calibre Olympic riders that she invited others to go watch for free. You can't accuse her of not sharing or not knowing a little about the international scene.

claire
Nov. 7, 2006, 07:31 AM
But of course, this also tends to shut down discussion. We have one side saying "you are a bunch of mean old horse abusers" and the other side says "you are poor losers, sour grapes, old fuddy duddies, and know nothings" - If you discount the opinion of one side as without value, you have relieved yourself from having to discuss your position. I just don't find this helpful.

equipoze, Thank You for trying to have a civil, objective discussion and give your views about one of the topics of the GDF (Dr. McLean's demonstration of operant conditioning of the horse).

Unfortunately, the last few posts just proved your last point (quoted above)
"You are poor losers,sour grapes,old fuddy duddies,and know nothings"
Indeed! :no:

rileyt
Nov. 7, 2006, 07:53 AM
Thanks for setting us straight on Sabine's record fiona, but I think mbm was rightfully responding to Sabine's somewhat scathing remarks to a previous poster, in which Sabine basically implied if that poster hadn't trained numerous Grand Prix horses and competed internationally, she couldn't possibly have anything to add to this discussion. Who knows if she's right or wrong, but generally, I hate the "How many GP horses have YOU trained" one-ups-manship that occurs here with some frequency. Its just offensive to imply that a poster is an Intro-level no-nothing simply because you disagree with her. Even if its true, its rude nonetheless.

Atlantis
Nov. 7, 2006, 08:51 AM
At what point did things like Obedience, Respect, Submission, etc. get twisted into "Learned Helplessness"?

eqipoize
Nov. 7, 2006, 09:38 AM
Just for the record - Yes, I have ridden competition level GP horses, as well at a couple top level reining horses. Both need the ability to respond with incredible athletic energy at a moments notice. I do NOT agree that they have to be pumped up on adrenaline to be competitive - but that is just my personal experience. Yours is clearly different - which of course is part of the core of the debate. Oh and I am nearing 50- have been riding for 45 years, and involved in dressage since 1982. Just to clear up my credentials, so I MIGHT be permitted to have an opinion. Sorry that took more than two sentences. I will try to be sufficiently concise so those with limited time or attention spans can follow along.

You can train a horse through positive reinforcement or intimidation. Learned Helplessness is differintiated from obedience and submission by the fact that a horse become resigned (LH) when it is put in a position where he must do something physically painful, or mentally frightening OR face punishment. If the rider can make the punishment more frightening or painful than the assigned task, then the horse will do the hard or scary thing. IF this is repeated enough, the horse will stop most resistance and obey, dispite the stress this causes him. It IS training - and commonly done in all forms of the horse world - from Arab halter to natural horsemanship. There isn't a clear line where training becomes slavery, it is a gradiant. But at some point, it just isn't right. short enough???

Indi41
Nov. 7, 2006, 09:50 AM
Ok so if we go down the 'Learned Helplessness' route - surely every horse that submits to being saddled and bridled has learned helplessness???? I mean they were not exactly designed to be ridden were they?

And whilst there may not be pain in all ridden horses I bet there is discomfort and it probably is mentally painfull .....

This is rather like the vegetarian who wears leather shoes!!!

Sabine
Nov. 7, 2006, 10:11 AM
Just for the record - Yes, I have ridden competition level GP horses, as well at a couple top level reining horses. Both need the ability to respond with incredible athletic energy at a moments notice. I do NOT agree that they have to be pumped up on adrenaline to be competitive - but that is just my personal experience. Yours is clearly different - which of course is part of the core of the debate. Oh and I am nearing 50- have been riding for 45 years, and involved in dressage since 1982. Just to clear up my credentials, so I MIGHT be permitted to have an opinion. Sorry that took more than two sentences. I will try to be sufficiently concise so those with limited time or attention spans can follow along.

You can train a horse through positive reinforcement or intimidation. Learned Helplessness is differintiated from obedience and submission by the fact that a horse become resigned (LH) when it is put in a position where he must do something physically painful, or mentally frightening OR face punishment. If the rider can make the punishment more frightening or painful than the assigned task, then the horse will do the hard or scary thing. IF this is repeated enough, the horse will stop most resistance and obey, dispite the stress this causes him. It IS training - and commonly done in all forms of the horse world - from Arab halter to natural horsemanship. There isn't a clear line where training becomes slavery, it is a gradiant. But at some point, it just isn't right. short enough???

Thank you- that was great :), I never implied that there is no right to an opinion- again- please just read what I asked. Neither your age nor your credentials are needed- however I would like to ask you about the last sentence: but at some point if just isn't right.

Please explain further what you mean by that. I assume that you also rode and trained reining horses- which are usually trained with different bits. You take exception to a certain degree of severeness - can you describe where that severeness starts.....undoubtedly there are some conditioning/reinforcement phases you go thru as a trainer- when and where do you draw the line?

eqipoize
Nov. 7, 2006, 10:11 AM
(edit to add this was a reply to Indy - not Sabine - who's post came in while I was typing)
No - I do not agree that if one form of traiining is domination, then ALL forms of training are domination. Not even degrees of domination. I have horses who are EAGER to work - in fact, one stable I work at, the horses in pasture wait at the gate, hoping they are the ones chosen to be worked. Not all of them, only the ones I have trained in the past. So, they WANT to come out and play dressage. A well fitted saddle should not hurt any more than your shoes hurt you. And if your shoes hurt you, you ought to be allowed to complain about it - which is the difference between partnership and learned helplessness. If a horse has a problem with the task at hand, the trainer can either find a way to resolve the problem, OR apply intimidation and make the horse do it no matter what his opinion is. THAt is when the helplessness situation is created - when the horse is no longer allowed an opinion. And if you are one who believes that All Horses, given a choice, would be left alone and never ridden, then I am sorry for your past equestrian experiences - you have been shortchanged. There is another riding experience, one of willing partnership, and I hope someday you discover it. I hope that for Everyone who rides.

siegi b.
Nov. 7, 2006, 10:28 AM
No, eqipoize, international level GP horses do not need to respond at a moments notice, they need to be responding ALL the time. There is not much value in comparing the outburst of speed required of a reining horse with the physical demands put on a horse during the WHOLE GP test. In addition, a GP horse needs to be "expressive" - just riding the movements isn't going to get the top scores. Last time I checked, it was ok for a reining horses (regardless at what level) to be on the wrong lead, wring their tails, pin their ears, etc.

And claire, please spare us the verbal vomit of your pseudo psychology. As somebody else mentioned, comparing a horse to an abused child just doesn't work and will not elicit the response desired by you (poor, poor horsey!).

I thought that all you TOB folks had gone back to your own playground.... :-) What's the matter? Not enough yes-saying over there?

Tonja
Nov. 7, 2006, 10:41 AM
eqipoize wrote:

I think the fact that at least some dressage experts think that many of the current winning horses are lacking proper balance, show poor engagement, faulty movement and extreme tension at least merits consideration. I think if more people focused on that aspect - Is the Finished Product Really representative of the ideal of dressage - then we might get more rational discussion.
I agree. This is exactly where the focus needs to be!

eqipoize
Nov. 7, 2006, 11:23 AM
No, eqipoize, international level GP horses do not need to respond at a moments notice, they need to be responding ALL the time. There is not much value in comparing the outburst of speed required of a reining horse with the physical demands put on a horse during the WHOLE GP test. In addition, a GP horse needs to be "expressive" - just riding the movements isn't going to get the top scores. Last time I checked, it was ok for a reining horses (regardless at what level) to be on the wrong lead, wring their tails, pin their ears, etc.
And claire, please spare us the verbal vomit of your pseudo psychology. As somebody else mentioned, comparing a horse to an abused child just doesn't work and will not elicit the response desired by you (poor, poor horsey!).

I thought that all you TOB folks had gone back to your own playground.... :-) What's the matter? Not enough yes-saying over there?

Gee, I thought it was OK for dressage horses to be on the wrong lead, wring their tails (see Matine) and pin their ears? No, that is NOT ok in reining - at least not last time I checked - but it isnt my field. However, I do consider the physical, mental and emotional challenges to be comparable.

Verbal vomit - gee, there is intelligent discussion! It IS possible to compare the emotional response of a child and a horse - assuming you believe horses are thinking feeling beings - I guess you don't.

And all the time, I hear how THIS bb is open minded, welcomes all opinions, etc, etc. Yeah, sure, Whatever. I just think some people here are unable to subtantiate their opinions, and have to resort to insults towards the opposition. Either the answer is too long, too intellectual, or the poster is lacking credential or is an emotional anthropomorphosing idiot.

I am just trying to get people to consider the possibility that some training techniques, not matter how effective, are unjust to the horse's emotional wellbeing. But of course, you would have to believe that a horse is entitled to emotional well being - or that a horse is even intelligent enough to think or feel.

And for the record - I think the Majority of the current winning horses manifest movement and postures that indicate that they are overly stressed, and I am opposed to that current trend. I also care deeply about Dressage, and I think if enough people complain, it makes the leadership, AND the judges reconsider where their priorities are. As was stated above, suddenly, at Achen, the judges noticed More Tension in the horses, and so the marks were lowered accordingly. I think we need to continue to hold the judges feet to the fire, and let them know that WE SEE the problems, and we expect THEM to see them as well, and NOT ignore tension and resistance. So, I continue to post wherever I think someone might notice, and I also send letters on occasion. It is the small contribution I can make. Don't like it, seigi? Poor Poor You!

egontoast
Nov. 7, 2006, 11:44 AM
So which is it? Are today's top dressage horses too hot and explosive or are they dull, depressed and apathetic (learned helplessness).You can't have it both ways.

I am inclined to give some credence to anything Andrew MacLean has to say about the matter. I doubt very much that he is a toady.

eqipoize
Nov. 7, 2006, 11:46 AM
- however I would like to ask you about the last sentence: but at some point IT just isn't right.

Please explain further what you mean by that. I assume that you also rode and trained reining horses- which are usually trained with different bits. You take exception to a certain degree of severeness - can you describe where that severeness starts.....undoubtedly there are some conditioning/reinforcement phases you go thru as a trainer- when and where do you draw the line?


Reining horses are often schooled in snaffles - the curb is usually reserved for competition - quite similar to good dressage training. I worked with several reining horses, helping improve their spins - using basic dressage to improve their use of their hind leg, and their balance in their stops. Two were already trained horses one was a youngster.

I think that things just are not right from the moment the rider decides NOT to listen to the horse. The moment a trainer applies punishment to insist that the horse do what is physically not possible for him to do without pain. Can you train without going over the horse's physical limit? YES, but it DOES take longer, and you have to really listen to the horse, and work with the basic assumption that once you have a working relationship with a horse, a horse will not resist without a good reason. Therefore, you should be able to train through positive progressive shaping of behavior. Obviously with spoiled horses, some punishment is needed to stop some ugly resistances, but ONCE you have a relationship with the horse, and get him to stop fighting you long enough to notice that you are fair and reasonable, he learns to trust you, then you should NEVER have to go back to the harshness of negative adversion training.

For me, there is something very wrong with riders in competitive warm up who are having to resort to strong corrections, at show after show. And I am NOT just picking on any one international competitor - I see it at local shows, and regional rated dressage competitions. Maybe at the first few shows a horse goes to, he might blow his mind, but if it is happening at every show, then he is being pushed over his limit on a regular basis, and feels a need to defend himself. A horse who is scared to the point that he feels a need to run for his life does NOT trust his rider. If I can't get a horse to trust me, I don't see any point in advancing his training. I don't want to hold my dance partner at gun point.

mbm
Nov. 7, 2006, 11:56 AM
You see that's a prime example of the sort of scathing sneering attitude that makes the top riders shut themsleves away in their own barns and not want to openly interact with the public. Sabina happened to grow up in the same area and train with one of the top riders of any generation i think at the last count this rider has 15 European and Olympic medals, Sabina also organises clinics in the US with high calibre Olympic riders that she invited others to go watch for free. You can't accuse her of not sharing or not knowing a little about the international scene.

what scathing? i was responding to things that sabine said of herself in her post - she seems to hold herself above us since she has more info... so i was asking for her to share a bit so we can understand her better.... then this board would be more democratic :) (no elites and all)

and now sabine is toprider and my comments are going to drive all the other toprides into suclusion? god what power! (but wait.. i thought no topriders read BBs.... now i am confused.:( )

as for clinics with topriders - that is great and i thnk we need more good trainers teaching here in the US - but sabine is not the only person who can organize a clinic.... i mean i myself have ridden with an olympian... and clearly i am no elite rider.

in any case.... since sabine required someone to post their creds i am waiting sabine's creds.... how many top competitive GP horses? how many top shows? and i am ONLY asking since she has brought creds into the conversation - :) and says that she has far more info than us.... so i am just curious.....

sm
Nov. 7, 2006, 11:57 AM
thank you for the detailed report, here are photos on Global Dressage Forum http://www.globaldressageforum.com/home/

does anyone else besides me notice that the GDF logo and GDF statue have a horse clearly BTV? http://www.globaldressageforum.com/home/

Also on the home page, center para, "A forum of top trainers, riders, judges and journalists will evaluate every clinic. Constructive criticism and open debate will be encouraged. " So I hope this was the case with the "offensive" question on learned helplessness. The point of not going BTV is to give the horse a choice to be a partner -- a part of a test that Balkenhol believes in. I don't know if this was ever debated or not, based on the OP notes of the event.

mbm
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:01 PM
So which is it? Are today's top dressage horses too hot and explosive or are they dull, depressed and apathetic (learned helplessness).You can't have it both ways.
.

i actually think you can.... I have witnessed horses acting out *because* they were being treated in a manner that is against their nature.. so a normally quiet or regular ole hot (unexplosive) horse will go wild if they think they are being treated badly, over faced, think they have no way out etc etc etc)

(disclaimer : i am in no way implying one way or the other anything about AVG and her horses here - just to be clear)

eqipoize
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:19 PM
So which is it? Are today's top dressage horses too hot and explosive or are they dull, depressed and apathetic (learned helplessness).You can't have it both ways.

I am inclined to give some credence to anything Andrew MacLean has to say about the matter. I doubt very much that he is a toady.

I repeat , you are operating on the assumption that learned helplessness is always manifest as dull depressed aan apathetic. I gave a proven HUMAN example and was booed down - but it was an example of a being in learned helplessness who EXCELLED in her public preformances. You can watch every Patty Duke movie ever made, and she looks like the ultimate Perky Kid! The only proof of her mental state is HER report. We can't get first hand accounts from horses, unless you are an animal communicator (and we won't even GO there for credibility!) or you can draw your own conclusions based on looking at facial expressions and body language of the horses - and again, credibility only goes as far as your confidence in that interpretation. And we CLEARLY have controversy on what horse's body language is saying - at one GDF Salerino was voted 'happiest horse' - (and why is THAT any less verbal vomit than Poor Poor horsie???) But Egg, you have your mind fully made up, and believe me, I am NOT attempting to alter your opinion even one little bit - any more than I would try to push a boulder uphill. And I am not saying that opinion isn't valid - it just isn't the same as mine. And probably equally entrenched. Anyway, I CAN have it both ways - I see international dressage horses who manifest their frustration at being trapped between a rock and a hard place - sometimes they act out and are explosive, and sometimes they are resigned and operate from learned helplessness. As many have said, they are Not machines, they don't just act one way all the time. Sometimes after YEARS of programing, you Can get a horse who is completely resigned (old rent string horses are a pretty good example) but at that point, you usually DO lose the brilliance of preformance. The question is - should that be the goal of dressage - complete resignation and total obedience? Or do we want to really take the risk of having a partnership and permitting the horse to have some input into the task at hand. Each rider can make a personal decision about what THEY want to ride, but for judging standards, we need to consider what is being rewarded, and what it represents.

sm
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:24 PM
from post 130, "At what point did things like Obedience, Respect, Submission, etc. get twisted into "Learned Helplessness"?"

Round about when the horse's neck is bent at the 3/4th vertabrae and not at the poll. For the incorrect bend not at the poll, look at Global Dressage Forum logo and statue http://www.globaldressageforum.com/home/

Also on the home page, center para, "A forum of top trainers, riders, judges and journalists will evaluate every clinic. Constructive criticism and open debate will be encouraged. " So I hope this was the case with the "offensive" question on learned helplessness. The point of not going BTV is to give the horse a choice to be a partner -- a part of a test that Balkenhol believes in. I don't know if this was ever debated or not, based on the OP notes of the event.

egontoast
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:25 PM
actually think you can.... I have witnessed horses acting out *because* they were being treated in a manner that is against their nature.. so a normally quiet or regular ole hot (unexplosive) horse will go wild if they think they are being treated badly, over faced, think they have no way out etc etc etc)


That has nothing to do with the concept of 'learned helplessness" though, does it? I am willing to bet that you do not employ 'learned helplessness' in your training. .

egontoast
Nov. 7, 2006, 01:08 PM
I have no idea whether Patty Duke experienced learned helplessness or not.

No idea.

I do know that horses tend to live in the moment and are not on the whole great thespians except at the level of Lassie( Timmy is in the well!) and the Black Stallion. They can learn clever tricks but I don't think they can pretend brilliance if they are in fact beaten down.

I understand from what Dr. MacLean has said about it that this is not learned helplessness.

Atlantis
Nov. 7, 2006, 01:14 PM
Ok so if we go down the 'Learned Helplessness' route - surely every horse that submits to being saddled and bridled has learned helplessness???? I mean they were not exactly designed to be ridden were they?

You make a good point here.

At what point are we going to determine training has crossed the line from creating obedient submissive horses, to creating "victims of learned helplessness"? It is as unclear as attempting to define when "deep" becomes "hyperflexion", or it is as unclear as trying to determine how much hyperflexion is "too much".

"Learned helplessness" has become the latest buzzword of the "anti" camp, some of whom don't even understand what it means. Now it is "learned helplessness" this, and "learned helplessness" that.

BTW, anthropomorphism is the term for when people attempt to assume human thoughts/behaviors for animals. ;)

Atlantis
Nov. 7, 2006, 01:17 PM
And claire, please spare us the verbal vomit of your pseudo psychology.

This gave me a chuckle. "Verbal vomit", it does apply, doesn't it!

Atlantis
Nov. 7, 2006, 01:25 PM
mbm, surely you do not think sabine should be expected to respond, or defend herself, from you? Your attacks don't even merit her wasting her time to respond to you.

Coreene
Nov. 7, 2006, 01:35 PM
NH is still a bit of a "thing du jour" in some European countries, which is probably why Roberts was there.

I was trying to decide whether or not to go next year, because I emphatically do not go to the mother country when the weather has a chance of being cold, but I think I need to go next year. Sounds too interesting to miss.

Atlantis
Nov. 7, 2006, 01:41 PM
Sometimes after YEARS of programing, you Can get a horse who is completely resigned (old rent string horses are a pretty good example) but at that point, you usually DO lose the brilliance of preformance. The question is - should that be the goal of dressage - complete resignation and total obedience?

So, which is it? Are modern international level horses wild, crazy, and hot, and sacrificing harmony for brillliance, or are they completely resigned dull victims of total obedience? The most recent accusations from the anti's paint dressage as being too interested in the wow factor and making it exciting for spectators, with people on the edge of their seats to see if the rider will even be able to complete the ride with their wild beasts, so how does this fit in with your newest comments about "complete resignation and total obedience"?

*It's PERformance;)

Sabine
Nov. 7, 2006, 02:00 PM
For me, there is something very wrong with riders in competitive warm up who are having to resort to strong corrections, at show after show. And I am NOT just picking on any one international competitor - I see it at local shows, and regional rated dressage competitions. Maybe at the first few shows a horse goes to, he might blow his mind, but if it is happening at every show, then he is being pushed over his limit on a regular basis, and feels a need to defend himself. A horse who is scared to the point that he feels a need to run for his life does NOT trust his rider. If I can't get a horse to trust me, I don't see any point in advancing his training. I don't want to hold my dance partner at gun point.

I agree with you and I think the honest impression would be that you can see this at local shows, even CDIs sometimes-and it is not the way I would want to train either.
But I am not at all convinced that this statement can be made as a blanket statement in regards to the international top 20 or specifically Anky.
More than ever I feel that the lack of honest dialogue between top riders and those that profess to admire them and want to learn from them is being squashed by special interest groups, overzealous journalists and those that have an agenda that promotes beating out 'another style' and helping their own pockets.

The ones that faithfully attend, pay the entry fee and hope for a glimmer of wisdom get embarrassing moments, emotional reactions from those that could so easily be treated better so that they would feel comfortable sharing their experiences....something that sometimes happens in the same way here on this board...:(

eqipoize
Nov. 7, 2006, 02:09 PM
Well, while your reading skills are good enough to catch a typo, they don't seem to have cognitive connection. I said IF you exert training until you have complete learned helplessness, then you LOSE the brilliance and have flat footed accuracy, which will not score well in international circles. No one seems to want that, except the beginner who is safest on just such a horse. So, if a training program aims in a direction for imposed obedience, as opposed to willing partnership, then the apex of such training WOULD be 'dead accuracy'. Just as if the training program seeks to create Wild flamboyance, with an 'almost out of control' look, then the top end would be to BE out of control, right? Since neither end product seems to be in line with the stated ideals of dressage, why would you want to reward a presentation that represents training moving in EITHER direction? I don't agree that current trends are to satisfying an ignorant crowd of thrill seeking spectators, so since I don't say that, I don't have to defend it.

I think right now the judges are having a hard time knowing exactly WHAT they want to see - they seem to Love the wild flying front end trot extensions, even if there is a complete absense of tracking up, and yet they also seem to require laser accuracy on P/P transitions. Wouldn't it be lovely if their main emphasis were the engagement of the quarters, the overall lateral and longitudinal balance and the fluid expression of harmony? I watched WC95 and saw a horse who was SO tense she trembled her uppper lip constantly. When the score was revealed, it was very low. I was impressed with the judges. The crowd booed. And then the scores were AMMENDED, and suddenly she won 3rd place. I lost faith in the judges then, and while I still think many ARE good at what they do, I also wonder about where their priorities are.

And if it requires extreme training to produce the results that win, isn't something wrong? Just like the Tennesee walking horse, if soring is a "Necessary" part of training to create the winning look, don't you think they ought to change what the winning look is? IF the current trend in judging is 'Forcing' riders to over stress their horses then we need to change what wins. jmo.

sm
Nov. 7, 2006, 02:51 PM
from post 147, ""Learned helplessness" has become the latest buzzword of the "anti" camp, some of whom don't even understand what it means. Now it is "learned helplessness" this, and "learned helplessness" that."

It's not all that confusing to understand what it means. My coments are in all caps. Following that are a couple excerpts from COTH March 24, 2006 Issue, "FEI Rollkur Forum Creates More Questions Than Answers." Then I cut and pasted the entire article.


LEARNED HELPLESNESS: PAIN AVOIDANCE OR SCHOOLING SUPPLENESS?
"It relies on the immediate release of pressure as an instantaneous reward and, in the best cases, is very subtle," according to McLean. "Overbending as a learned response may be as acceptable as other forms of negatively reinforced postural responses, such as lateral bending," he continued. "However, cervical flexion as a result of sustained bit pressure has a lot more to do with compliance and pain avoidance than suppleness. Therefore, some forms of Rollkur may be extreme, dangerous and capable of compromising welfare."

VICTORY LAPS IN DRESSAGE: WHERE ARE THE BRAKES? WHY DON'T OTHER EQUINE SPORTS HAVE THIS PROBLEM?
McLean cautioned that the training method could lead to bolting and other unwelcome behavior because the brakes were "deadened."

_______
HERE'S THE ARTICLE IN IT'S ENTIRETY
FEI Rollkur Forum Creates More Questions Than Answers - March 24, 2006 Issue, by Sara Lieser

How far would riders and trainers go to win in dressage? Would they subject their horses to something painful, something psychologically debilitating, something that could break all but the best horses, yet put those exceptional athletes on the podium time after time?

These accusations and more are just part of the hubbub that has surrounded the technique of training, called Rollkur by some, round and deep by others, and now hyperflexion by the Federation Equestre Internationale.

And so with rumors flying and tempers rising, members of the FEI Dressage and Welfare committees decided to organize a workshop on this controversial technique. They invited 50 representatives from all aspects of international dressage and equestrian sport to a whirlwind conference on Jan. 31 in Lausanne, Switzerland, to discuss the pros and cons of overbending, or Rollkur.

One of their first goals was to define Rollkur. "A lot of trainers who are opposed to this technique would often train their horses in some kind of a round or lower frame," said Dr. Hillary Clayton, who's done a number of influential studies on how horses function in training and competition. "We're looking at something specific and a little bit different."

Clayton, who was a speaker at the forum, holds the McPhail Dressage Chair in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University.

At the workshop, participants considered the term "hyperflexion" and agreed on a working definition: "Hyperflexion of the neck is a technique of working/training to provide a degree of longitudinal flexion of the mid-region of the neck that cannot be self-maintained by the horse for a prolonged time without welfare implications."

But that definition didn't come close to ending the debate on the exact nature of hyperflexion.

The Netherlands' Sjef Janssen, one of the most well-known proponents of "low, deep and round" (or LDR), explained that this technique was just one of the many tools in his system of training.

His horses' daily routine includes warm-up, transitions, specific movements and short spells of LDR followed by relaxation. Janssen said that many people were confused about LDR training, which only involves short periods of extreme flexion alternated with extension of the neck, versus Rollkur where flexion is maintained over a long period of time.

Regardless of the definition, all the delegates agreed that "horses must not be seen to be put under pressure by this or any other training technique; the welfare of the horse must remain paramount."

Does It Hurt Them?
Thus, one of the first topics was whether or not hyperflexion actually causes horses to endure physical harm.

Professor Jean-Marie Denoix of France explained that the neck is critical in all disciplines. He discussed the different clinical signs of neck pain and pointed out that a rider was often totally unaware of any injury to the horse.

"Hyperflexion or overbending of the neck would cause stresses in the intervertebral discs, in the nuchal area and in the withers. Such extreme movements would not necessarily cause primary lesions but may cause pain in horses with pre-existing conditions."

Dr. Emile Welling, a Dutch veterinarian and member of the FEI Veterinary Committee, also spoke on cervical pain.

"Horses with clinical and radiological discomfort in the neck suffer mainly from spondylosis, arthropathy and vertebral stenosis. Another common radiological finding is calcification and new bone formation (exostosis) at the attachment of the ligamentum nuchae to the nuchal crest of the occipital bone."

He referenced a study done in 2000, where researchers dissected the ligamentum nuchae attachment of 60 horses and found abnormal calcification and exostosis in 80 percent of them. These horses came from a variety of backgrounds and training methods.

Professor P.R. van Weeren presented a study he and his colleagues at Utrecht University (the Netherlands) had done on the effect of different head and neck positions on the thoracolumbar kinematics in the unridden horse.

They looked at seven upper-level dressage horses on a treadmill with their head and neck in six positions: head and neck unrestrained; neck raised, bridge of the nose in front of the vertical; neck raised, nose behind the vertical; head and neck lowered, nose behind the vertical; head and neck in extreme high position; and head and neck forward and down.

They found that the position with lowered head and neck and nose behind the vertical decreased stride length and increased range of motion, lending credibility to the idea that this position could be valuable in training, depending on how it was applied.

Another Dutch study, this one by Dr. Eric van Breda of the Maastricht University, measured stress in recreationally trained horses versus Grand Prix dressage horses trained using Rollkur.

He measured stress by taking heart rates 30 minutes post-feeding and 30 minutes post-exercise. There was no significant difference between the heart rates at rest, but the Grand Prix horses showed less stress after training.

"The findings of the present study suggest that the health and well-being of elite trained horses is maintained despite non-natural biomechanical positions," said van Breda.

But Gerd Heuschmann of Germany, a veterinarian and certified trainer, vehemently disagreed that horses trained using hyperflexion, specifically young horses, wouldn't be harmed.

"The goal is to nurture a relaxed skeletal muscle system and a well developed 'long back muscle,' which runs horizontally and functions as a stabilizer," said Heuschmann.

"Throughout training, each muscle must have a chance to relax after it is 'charged' and this is specific to back muscles. The goal here is to minimize tension. A horse that is developed by way of tension will never be truly 'through.' "

Heuschmann stated that young horses should always be ridden with a forward and downward neck to develop the top line muscles in the neck area.

He found that horses that didn't get this basic program tended to have lateral or stiff walks, exaggerated trots with impure rhythm and sometimes even four-beat canters.

Does It Damage Their Psyche?
Not all of the objections to Rollkur center on the fact that it's physically difficult and possibly painful for the horses. There is also a mental component, as it appears that horses trained using hyperflexion for long periods of time might be unduly forced to submit.

Dr. Andrew McLean, a professor in the Australian Equine Behavior Centre at the University of Sydney, presented his colleagues' research on equitation and learning theory.

Several different types of conditioning can be used in training different species of animals, but for dressage the most common is negative reinforcement.

"It relies on the immediate release of pressure as an instantaneous reward and, in the best cases, is very subtle," according to McLean.

"Overbending as a learned response may be as acceptable as other forms of negatively reinforced postural responses, such as lateral bending," he continued. "However, cervical flexion as a result of sustained bit pressure has a lot more to do with compliance and pain avoidance than suppleness. Therefore, some forms of Rollkur may be extreme, dangerous and capable of compromising welfare."

McLean cautioned that the training method could lead to bolting and other unwelcome behavior because the brakes were "deadened." It may also teach the horse "learned helplessness," because horses learn that there's nothing they can do to remove the pressure.

"The animal no longer has any resistance to what's being done to it," explained Clayton. "If his neck is in a bad position and it hurts, there's no way to get away from it. They give up a lot of their resistances. It's something that's hard to prove, though."

And proof of what exactly Rollkur does to horses was lacking from most of the research studies.

"It's difficult because the way one person rides a horse is not the same as the way another person rides the horse," said Clayton. "Outwardly the horse can look similar, but some riders can put on a lot more pressure than others."

In the perfect research situation, veterinarians would need to be able to reproduce the training technique exactly every time.

"In an ideal world, you'd have an equal number of horses trained the classical way versus the hyperflexion way, and you'd have them trained by the same rider, and they'd all have equal talent," said Clayton. "You'd need a hundred in each group. But it's not possible to do that."

How Do We Find Out For Sure?
Even though the ideal research situation doesn't exist, Clayton was adamant that much more research should be done on Rollkur before deciding that it isn't harmful to horses.

"So far they've not been able to identify a direct connection between horses trained this way and a higher incidence of neck pathology," said Clayton.

She's doing a study that uses fluoroscopy (a type of radiography) to measure the angulations between the vertebrae in the neck when horses are in this very flexed position. This is a preliminary study that will define the hyperflexed position for application in future research studies.

And even if the position turns out not to be harmful physically, it's important to learn how much stress it causes, she said.

"You can measure heart rates in horses and you can measure cortisol in the saliva," explained Clayton. "But you expect some stress with training, and some stress isn't bad."

The FEI committees agreed not only to continue researching hyperflexion, but also to start supervising the technique. Even though harmful effects haven't yet been proven, inexperienced or unscrupulous riders can clearly abuse the rollkur technique.

Andrew Higgins, chairman for the FEI Welfare Subcommittee acknowledged that as long as people perceive Rollkur to be a welfare issue, it will be.

"While the [FEI Welfare Subcommittee] considers that in sound, experienced professional hands at a top-level event, Rollkur or Rollkur-like practices are unlikely to cause lasting harm to a horse, it may well cause discomfort and apprehension and could therefore be a welfare concern," said Higgins.

"The [committee] does believe that there is a serious risk that less-experienced riders (including minors) or trainers may imitate techniques seen and attempt to develop similar training methods at locations outside the FEI's jurisdiction," he continued. "The [committee] believes that in such circumstances there may well be a serious welfare issue."

But even those cautious statements left many participants unsatisfied. "Of course an experienced rider will be more likely to recognize when there is too much stress to the horse," said Gabriele Pochhammer, chief editor of the German dressage magazine, St. Georg. "But this group of people is often more ambitious, and there is more money involved."

Does Hyperflexion Training Create Correct Horses?
Although the main topic of the FEI Rollkur Conference focused on veterinarians trying to discern whether or not overbending is physically or mentally harmful to the horse, there was another underlying concern about what Rollkur training does to the sport of dressage.

Some participants raised concerns that horses trained using Rollkur may show flamboyant, but impure gaits.

"In today's arenas, instead of demonstrating correctness in the basic gaits, some are more interested in the show effect and 'wowing' the crowd," said Dr. Gerd Heuschmann of Germany.

Gabriele Pochhammer, chief editor of St. Georg magazine in Germany, concurred, wondering where the sport of dressage is headed.

"Do we want horses who have 'learnt' special movements by any methods, as long as there isn't proven damage?" she asked. "Or do we want the horse as an athlete to fulfill the lessons with physical training that follows the rules of nature, strengthens the body, and keeps the mind well-balanced?"

While not everyone feels as strongly as Pochhammer, there was a consensus that judges must not reward spectacular but incorrect movement over classically correct movement.

"The judges have to be very astute in giving the good marks," said Dr. Hillary Clayton. "Your brain can only pick up a certain number of aspects of the movement at one time. The judges have a very difficult job, but a very important job to keep the sport on the right track.

"The judges have to judge well, because the trainers produce whatever is scoring good marks. And then as long as they're getting the correct results without hurting the horses, then I don't know how you can legislate against one training method."

_______

siegi b.
Nov. 7, 2006, 02:58 PM
Equipoize - to follow your "logic", would you describe Brentina as a horse suffering from LH? After all, here is a horse that does all her movements quite correctly but sort of "flat footed"?

Also, why is it that whenever the RK argument escalates, the con camp rolls out the soring = RK point? Haven't we been through that ad nauseum? The minute you witness Sjef or Anky taking a hot object to their horses' legs you have something to discuss.

If you can't defend a point, then it's a point you specifically didn't make. How lame can it get?

Why, oh why don't I see your involvement in all the animal abuse cases that are going on as we speak? There are plenty of critters that need your voice and passion. And I don't mean your $25.00 tax deductible contribution... Why waste your precious emotions on a sport that is "elitist" and only concerns a few animals that are treated like royalty?

sm
Nov. 7, 2006, 03:09 PM
Global Dressage Forum - who funds it?

I visited the site, http://www.globaldressageforum.com/home, but can't find where the money comes from. There are sponsors, but as often appears in an USA organization, there is not a level of sponsorship posted. (For example, a non-profit in USA by law must disclose info.)

Is it special interest groups, since the GDF logo and statue to the entrance of their building obviously rollkur-esque? For instance:

if bending the horse at the 4/5th vertabrae becomes acceptable in training (and it's clearly not in any dressage school in the entire history of dressage) then a young horse can be brought along and sold so much quicker with less training. Who, or possibly what, does this help the most?

So again, where did the funding for GDF come from, I can't find anything on the founding members.

Sabine
Nov. 7, 2006, 03:13 PM
Global Dressage Forum - who funds it?

I visited the site, http://www.globaldressageforum.com/home, but can't find where the money comes from. There are sponsors, but as often appears in an USA organization, there is not a level of sponsorship posted. (For example, a non-profit in USA by law must disclose info.)

Is it special interest groups, since the GDF logo and statue to the entrance of their building obviously rollkur-esque? For instance:

if bending the horse at the 4/5th vertabrae becomes acceptable in training (and it's clearly not in any dressage school in the entire history of dressage) then a young horse can be brought along and sold so much quicker with less training. Who or possibly what does this help the most?

So again, where did the funding for GDF come from, I can't find anything on the founding members.

I think Joep Schellenkens organized it...but that's all I know...??

Coreene
Nov. 7, 2006, 03:26 PM
Joep Bartels. And it is funded by the 650 Euros you pay to attend and by sponsorship revenue.

Sweet Jesus, why does any thread that mentions Anky and Sjef need to turn into a witch hunt? What, you think the person who designed the logo had a rollkur agenda? :lol:

Sabine
Nov. 7, 2006, 03:58 PM
Joep Bartels. And it is funded by the 650 Euros you pay to attend and by sponsorship revenue.

Sweet Jesus, why does any thread that mentions Anky and Sjef need to turn into a witch hunt? What, you think the person who designed the logo had a rollkur agenda? :lol:

sorry dutch girl- got the names mixed up...naa...where did I read it though...yeah you're right...none the less- who pays 650 Euros? everyone attending? WOW- that is steeper than I thought...and not to worry- it's not a witch hunt- because there is nothing to hunt- other than more Gold Medals...and we all know they'll be fought out between......(insert your favorite riders name) and (insert your second favorite riders name)....

in my case Anky and Isabel...:)

Coreene
Nov. 7, 2006, 04:11 PM
Yeah, but A) it's not cheap to run and B) it's not like there are zillions of people watching, so you've got to cover costs somehow. They have super sponsors as well. :D

eqipoize
Nov. 7, 2006, 04:12 PM
Equipoize - to follow your "logic", would you describe Brentina as a horse suffering from LH? After all, here is a horse that does all her movements quite correctly but sort of "flat footed"?

Also, why is it that whenever the RK argument escalates, the con camp rolls out the soring = RK point? Haven't we been through that ad nauseum? The minute you witness Sjef or Anky taking a hot object to their horses' legs you have something to discuss.

If you can't defend a point, then it's a point you specifically didn't make. How lame can it get?

Why, oh why don't I see your involvement in all the animal abuse cases that are going on as we speak? There are plenty of critters that need your voice and passion. And I don't mean your $25.00 tax deductible contribution... Why waste your precious emotions on a sport that is "elitist" and only concerns a few animals that are treated like royalty?

Boy am I tired of people tellling me where to put my energy. If I think dressage needs someone holding the judges feet to the fire, that is MY RIGHT - you are NOT entitled to tell me other horses need my attention more. I do my personal fair share of rescue work - that is none of your business, and you have NO idea what I do about abuse, neglect and other attocities. How many neglect rescues are sitting in YOUR barn gaining weight, having their teeth cared for, and being retrained so they can have a servicable life????????

Now, I figured someone would come up with Brentina as an example of a lackluster horse - but that does NOT mean she has been subjected to LH style training. In my opinion, you develop steady obedience, and then strive to add brilliance on top of that - and how brilliant the horse will be depends on the horse's personal style. I would MUCH rather see a calm steady horse, with bright eyes and alert ears than a flamboyant one with pursed lips and a strained expression.

Regarding your next point, I am Not directly connecting Hyperflexion with soring, except to say that some 'training methods' that produce winning results cross the line in terms of what is acceptable in the name of success. If you have trouble with comprehending complex comparison, I am sorry, I can try to keep it simpler for you. Regarding my not defending the statement that dressage had become an extreme sport where people want to hang on the edge of their seats to see if a horse will stay in the arena, well, I don't agree with it, so why would I be expected to defend it? And since I don't agree with it, you can't claim I am contradicting myself because it doesn't coincide with points that I have made, so what is the point? That doesn't seem lame at all.

oh, and just so you know, soring doesn't usually involve a 'hot object' - it involves various chemicals that burn the skin through irritation. Just wanted to clarify that.

SGray
Nov. 7, 2006, 04:38 PM
....."Overbending as a learned response may be as acceptable as other forms of negatively reinforced postural responses, such as lateral bending," he continued. "However, cervical flexion as a result of sustained bit pressure has a lot more to do with compliance and pain avoidance than suppleness. Therefore, some forms of Rollkur may be extreme, dangerous and capable of compromising welfare."

McLean cautioned that the training method could lead to bolting and other unwelcome behavior because the brakes were "deadened." It may also teach the horse "learned helplessness," because horses learn that there's nothing they can do to remove the pressure......

egontoast
Nov. 7, 2006, 04:45 PM
McLean cautioned that the training method could lead to bolting and other unwelcome behavior because the brakes were "deadened." It may also teach the horse "learned helplessness," because horses learn that there's nothing they can do to remove the pressure......
__________________

key word is "could". At the more recent event, the GDF, according to the Op who attended, he said that this was not the case with Anky and Salinero. Just wanted to clarify.


She then asked him "do you also consider learned helplessness to be one of your tools?".

Of course Sjef and Anky refused to even respond to this ignorant and vindictive statement, but Richard handed the microphone to Dr. McLean who had used the term in his lectures and his response was that this in no way shape or form was "learned helplessness". The horse was clearly happy to do his work and showed no signs of negative stress, let alone having been beaten down into a state of total surrender

Sabine
Nov. 7, 2006, 05:02 PM
Jeez it must be the Full Moon that is unleashing all these enormous emotions around here and the point and blame attitude.

Any of you have kids? How many of those have you messed up? Of course we all 'do stuff to each other', husbands submit wives, wives cheat on husbands, fathers kick the dog, mothers scream at their kids, dressage trainers use spurs and double bridles and whips...

At the end of the day- does the horse come out and want to work, does the wife hug the husband, does the dog wave its tail, does the horse prick the ears and come to the front of the stall and say 'Hi'...that's what counts.

In between- we all 'train' each other in one way or another. 'Learned Helplessness' to me is a bunch of BS!

egontoast
Nov. 7, 2006, 05:06 PM
Of course we all 'do stuff to each other', husbands submit wives, wives cheat on husbands, fathers kick the dog, mothers scream at their kids,


Yikes. No kicking the dog.Please.

fiona
Nov. 7, 2006, 06:27 PM
Timmy is quite definitively down the well.

eqipoize
Nov. 7, 2006, 06:28 PM
Of Course, on a bad day, any one of us can lose our temper, have a case of bad judgement, try some technique, and have bad results. The difference is the repetition of such a method. If you yell at your husband once a month, he will probably attribute it to PMS and let it pass. Do it on a daily basis, and he might reconsider the relationship. And there are some behaviors that I consider zero tolerance violations - having an affair is one, kicking the dog on purpose is another. Have I ever hit a horse when he didn't deserve it, sure, I admit to being less than perfect. Have I ever pulled a horse LDR to keep him from spooking or bolting? equally guilty. However, I don't TEACH this as a proven successful technique. And I don't make a regular habit of either. I think this is NOT a good justification for looking the other way on any training method that is equivalent to kicking the dog. How would you feel about a dog training video course that advocated kicking the dog as a method of correcting bad behavior??? What would you think of a marriage councilor who suggested regular affairs to resolve relationship problems?? I just don't think any of it is acceptable, and only some of it is forgivable.

Maybe you think learned helplessness is bs, but the words "truckling obedience" used to be part of the directives of dressage - as an UNDESIRABLE trait - seems like LH and truckling obedience are about the same thing. But I guess it doesn't exist, which is why those words were dropped, eh? Those ODG's who wrote the words originally were just Full of BS, which is why we need to update the wording - more Happy Athletes, no Calm. Well, I don't think change is always progress.

mbm
Nov. 7, 2006, 06:34 PM
mbm, surely you do not think sabine should be expected to respond, or defend herself, from you? Your attacks don't even merit her wasting her time to respond to you.

attacks? thats funny. :)

actually, in my first post i was being sarcastic and just playing along and having fun - (couldn't you tell from the part about getting the thread back on topic?)

and actually i was just taking the things that had said and turning them back to the poster in a question. (to make a point about how it might not be so nice to ask or say certain things)

I actually bear no ill will to anyone here..... just... sometimes people say things that are so over the top i have to comment :cool:

Sabine
Nov. 7, 2006, 06:53 PM
Of Course, on a bad day, any one of us can lose our temper, have a case of bad judgement, try some technique, and have bad results. The difference is the repetition of such a method. If you yell at your husband once a month, he will probably attribute it to PMS and let it pass. Do it on a daily basis, and he might reconsider the relationship. And there are some behaviors that I consider zero tolerance violations - having an affair is one, kicking the dog on purpose is another. Have I ever hit a horse when he didn't deserve it, sure, I admit to being less than perfect. Have I ever pulled a horse LDR to keep him from spooking or bolting? equally guilty. However, I don't TEACH this as a proven successful technique. And I don't make a regular habit of either. I think this is NOT a good justification for looking the other way on any training method that is equivalent to kicking the dog. How would you feel about a dog training video course that advocated kicking the dog as a method of correcting bad behavior??? What would you think of a marriage councilor who suggested regular affairs to resolve relationship problems?? I just don't think any of it is acceptable, and only some of it is forgivable.

Maybe you think learned helplessness is bs, but the words "truckling obedience" used to be part of the directives of dressage - as an UNDESIRABLE trait - seems like LH and truckling obedience are about the same thing. But I guess it doesn't exist, which is why those words were dropped, eh? Those ODG's who wrote the words originally were just Full of BS, which is why we need to update the wording - more Happy Athletes, no Calm. Well, I don't think change is always progress.

Good- now I have got you where I wanted you!!
We all have our inner ethics which prevent us from consistently hurting, consistently inflicting pain, consistently and exaggeratedly violating the tolerance of pain or submission or helplessness.
Each one of us has a different measuring stick for this. Some do it once a month, some do it once a week- we all do it in some form.

The difference is the amount and the 'knowingly afflicting pain' piece. This is what is pretty much assumed by those that are very much anti RK and condemn this style of training.
Personally I am completely incapable of being involved in anything like that. I am not a good enough rider to ride RK and I am emotionally not able to inflict pain consistently and knowingly.

However- I do not think that there is anyone out there who feels different- I think no pro rider WANTS to inflict pain, WANTS to create helplessness- that's why I think this term is BS. What they want is to train and tune the horse beyond the level that the horse offers willingly- kind of train it into a elevated stage.

For example- if you look at our military expert forces that train extremely hard to be super fit and capable to go on special missions and accomplish unheard of tasks- they suffer, get sore, get injured etc.and eventually become good enough to be true experts/stars in what they do. If you look at our pro basketball teams and how these kids start at 14 and 15 and train and get injured and have surgeries,and get injections etc- they eventually make it- and some don't make it...

I think it's the same with training top notch horses...there are different ways to go about it- but the assumption that one group has a serious ethical dysfunction because they apply consistent and repetitive measures that perceivedly afflict pain- is ludicrous!

fiona
Nov. 7, 2006, 07:30 PM
couldn't you tell no.sorry.

claire
Nov. 7, 2006, 09:40 PM
And claire, please spare us the verbal vomit of your pseudo psychology. As somebody else mentioned, comparing a horse to an abused child just doesn't work and will not elicit the response desired by you (poor, poor horsey!).

I thought that all you TOB folks had gone back to your own playground.... :-) What's the matter? Not enough yes-saying over there?


seigi, Very interesting and well thought out reply...:lol: I guess you and atlantis have difficulty defending your position in a rational way and so must resort to rudeness...:confused:

ps. Please give credit to the correct poster: I believe eqipoize was the one who used the example of an abused child to explain learned helplessness :D ( A good explanation of the term I thought)

eqipoize
Nov. 7, 2006, 11:18 PM
Sabine - in one way, I will agree with you - no trainer sets out to inflict pain to horses - if someone hated horses they wouldn't be in the business. But I also think many wife beaters Love their wifes - they actually Believe it is the Wife's fault that the man is 'forced' to punish her by excessive beatings. He will even appologize and say he is sorry, he will Also say "why do you disobey me and Force me to do this to you". However, I don't think the fact that he has 'good intentions' or that he loves his wife makes his actions forgivable, or even fully understandable.

Likewise, well meaning horse trainers who have grown up around people who use questionable techniques and therefore they wind up Using less than enlightened methods - perhaps because they don't know any alternative, or maybe because they don't see a Need for an alternative. Humans are incredible at rationalizing their actions. There can be justification for almost any action.

I DO agree with you, each of us has an internal control and it does vary from person to person. Which is why there are LAWS that regulate morality - because some people do NOT have inner ethics that are considered suitable for society. And Society's determination of what is ethical, and therefore legal, does evolve. So, while beating your wife and kids USED to be perfectly OK, now it is not. And these changes have taken place because some concerned citizens kept defending the abused family members, and they presented rational arguements as to WHY certian actions could no longer be considered acceptable. Even if it was a successful way for a man to 'keep order in his household'.

Likewise, in the horse world, we have to pass laws that regulate what is considered acceptable horse training tactics. Poling is illegal, yet it really didn't do any provable physical harm to the jumping horse. But it was deemed "unfair" to the horse to have him look at a jump that was one height, and then have it raised After he took off. I think LDR could be considered Very similar to polling. And yes, I WOULD like to see it banned from show grounds. I know we can't legislate what people do at home, but at least the governing bodies would be making a statement about the ethics of such training.

So I don't accept the concept that we just have to listen to our own internal ethics and we must turn a blind eye to the actions of others and just let them be controlled by their personal ethics. Because history has shown that too many people Can't control themselves to standards that society considers acceptable. We have jumper riders who put glass shards inside leg boots, we have trainers who have horses killed to collect insurance money, we have western Pleasure trainers who destroy the nerves in horses tails, either by chemicals or by surgery, we have Arab halter trainers who have lyposuction done on horses to trim their necks. Clearly, THEIR inner ethics didn't limit their behavior. Yet I am sure that Each One felt justified in what they did, and ALL of them were Highly successful WINNING trainers. As I stated earlier, IF this is what it takes to win, maybe we need to change the parameters of winning - in other words the judges need to reward a different look that Doesn't require extreme training tactics.

And while there are humans who volunterily abuse their bodies (for money, fame, patriotic fervor, whatever) they are able to make that choice. A horse who is trained through intimidation has had his ability to express his opinion taken away from him, so basically he Doesn't have a choice - short of turning rogue and Killing someone. And I DO have opinions about very young gymnasts, who are sent off to gymnastic boot camp at age 10 - I don't think they really are at an age where they can make an intelligent decision, and I think the parents, and the coach's motives are suspect. In my opinion, this is Just As Unethical than many horse training situations.

I consider myself an Advocate for the horse, and since Equus is unable to speak for himself, I will do my best to make sure that people involved in the care and training of dressage horses conduct themselves in a humane manner. And most of all, I at least want to ensure that the horses that win top level international competitions represent the ideals of the sport in a manner that encourages empathetic considerate training, and Not a style that requires trainers to push their horses Over The Limit.

So, where is it that you thought you had me?

Sabine
Nov. 7, 2006, 11:49 PM
just talking sense- now you did.
You're a pro and I'm an ammie- you see a lot more than me- although I was trained by great folks and grew up in an ideal setting and still have many good friends in the sport - some of which I consider completely above par and at the top of the sport. I don't know what you see and I can not comment other than I feel sad that you apparently see these things in the american horse training business and I agree- if what you describe is true -it has to be improved.

you just didn't answer one question- since this was the GDF- do you fold Anky and Co. into that group that you described...because that's where the buck stops for me. 100%. Sorry.

eqipoize
Nov. 8, 2006, 01:26 AM
I DID equate hyperflexion with polling - to me it is more psychologically 'unfair' than it is clearly physically abusive. Perhaps future studies will indicate that it does clear physical damage - but I doubt it can be any more damaging that a lot of bad riding - if horse works hollow long enough, he develops 'kissing spine' syndrome. Does that make all the fools plunking around on hollow horses abusers? Well, maybe.....but it is too gray an area to defend.

The cases I mentioned are Internationally known - well, except for the Big Name Arab trainer who did cosmetic surgery on his horses. That may not have interested anyone outside of the US. The glass shards situation was spotted at Aachen about 6 years ago. The denerving of tails was such a problem that the QH industry had to invent a machine to test tails!!!! This is not just stuff I have personally seen, it is well documented. I consider myself very lucky to own my own barn and not have to deal with anyone who I don't want to be here. So, I don't have to see the daily mistreatment of horses by so called professional trainers. But I still hear stories, and I do read the news. I thought my references were so well known that you would recognise them right off. I guess you are even luckier than I am. Consider it a blessing. But know that these are all cases that were tried by ASHA or the appropriate show authority, and the trainers in question were suspended. So, the laws Do work - but without them, these sorts of unethical and inhumane practices would go unchecked. Good heavens, even WITH the rules, we have people drugging, bleeding, whipping, spurring, tying horses heads up to the rafters over night, soring gaited horses, training reining horse spins with cattle prods, basically every short cut ever dreamed of. Mankind just does not run out of ways to take advantage of Equus' benevolent nature.

As I said, I think hyperflexion should be banned from the show grounds. I think it would be easy to allow the ring steward to make a judgement call if someone were riding too deep for too long. Yes, it would be a judgement call, but so is excessive spurring, and excessive use of the whip. So, some shows, a rider might get away with more 'suppling' than at another, depending on who was watching the ring - but I think just having the rule in place would stop the prolonged chest biting sessions that are now getting to be rather prevalent. If the FEI can ban polling, I don't see why it can't also ban Hyperflexion - neither is proved to be physical abuse, but both are extreme techniques, designed to push a horse beyond reasonable limits. I think it would be very beneficial to the public image of dressage. And I am sure that Anky would find a way to train so she could Still please the judges. She is smart and talented, and driven to succeed. If it really is just suppling, then they can do an hours worth of carrot stretches in the stall. And if she can't produce winning rides without the long HF warm up, then I question the validity of the over all training program.

I Thought I had been talking sense all along, but I guess I wasn't making sense to you. sorry.

claire
Nov. 8, 2006, 01:34 AM
Of Course, on a bad day, any one of us can lose our temper, have a case of bad judgement, try some technique, and have bad results. The difference is the repetition of such a method.

This is exactly the point that I don't understand about the RK/LDR training method. And I am not doing a "Poor Horsie" here ;)

I think any of Pro Trainers here will say that "Come to Jesus" moments will happen in the training of a horse. You cannot have a 1200+ lb. animal being the "boss". Yet,having a CTJ meeting is probably not something they find fun/humorous or take lightly...

BUT, I think most trainers on this BB would agree that if you have to have CTJ meetings during EVERY warm-up/schooling session...they would perhaps start to think that something is not working here. Physical problem or maybe the horse is just not suited to the discipline.

The thing is, that the FEI has not sponsored any clinical studies of the scope and magnitude that would allow any scientist to draw any concrete conclusions about RK/LDR. Alot of "could" statements.

But, I do find it telling that the FEI did find it necessary to put some pretty serious qualifications on RK/LDR training (in expert hands and for short time periods) I would think, then, it might be in the best interest of the horse to err on the conservative side. At least until there were some true clinical studies of some scope which could result in accurate findings.

Finally, I agree with eqipoize: Maybe the REAL discussion should be about
defining the standards of Dressage. Exactly WHAT should the judges reward. Perhaps have an overhaul of the scoring (like ice skating went thru). Not that a subjective sport is ever going to be judged in a way all will be happy! :D

Sabine
Nov. 8, 2006, 01:35 AM
I Thought I had been talking sense all along, but I guess I wasn't making sense to you. sorry.

no worries- lots of pieces made sense- the over emotional parts threw me off though. I prefer to discuss things logically and I am happy not to know about reiners, arabian and other disciplines.I don't have the time nor the nerve for it.
I can see your point about the warmup and I don't see that being a problem- at least it shouldn't be. :)

SGray
Nov. 8, 2006, 09:31 AM
I was disappointed and sad when they removed "truckling subservience" - loved that term

Tamara in TN
Nov. 8, 2006, 10:04 AM
oh, and just so you know, soring doesn't usually involve a 'hot object' - it involves various chemicals that burn the skin through irritation. Just wanted to clarify that.

no...soring involves the whole spectrum from chemical to mechanical foundering thru riding barefoot to improper cooling down (builing up of lactic acid in the mucles for the next "session") to buildup of scar tissue thru abrasiveness...it is a mindest not a single thing...the pro "soring" team would however like to see it broken down and specific so that they can "carry on" with the other things un molested by outsiders.....

Tamara in TN

Tamara in TN
Nov. 8, 2006, 10:06 AM
As I said, I think hyperflexion should be banned from the show grounds.
.


from every breed, every where? or just dressage ?

Tamara in TN

eqipoize
Nov. 8, 2006, 10:18 AM
Regarding soring - you are right, I forgot about induced founder - I was simply responding to Seige saying it was putting a hot iron on the coronet band.

As far as banning hyperflexion, FEI would only legislate international dressage events most likely. I don't think it is much of an issue in the other sports that they control. Whether USEF would follow suit, and make it illegal at the national level can only be hoped for. Then it would be a question of whether IAHA took up the cause - because it is mostly in the Arab world that I see the problem - outside of dressage. And to be honest, I don't see it to the extreme that I have witnessed in dressage. But you have to start somewhere, and I say work from the top and see what trickled down.

slc2
Nov. 8, 2006, 10:33 AM
soring in tennessee walkers is done with chemicals, not a hot iron. the chemicals are called 'scooting juice' and leave bumps and lumps on the lowr legs that are visible.

sm
Nov. 8, 2006, 10:41 AM
thank you for the answer to who funds GDF: "Joep Bartels. And it is funded by the 650 Euros you pay to attend and by sponsorship revenue." Best I could find is he is an organizer, not a FUNDER.

Still pretty blurry regarding facts of who/what is behind GDF and the clearly rollkur-esque logo/statue they have chosen for their corporate symbol. It's odd to go digging for info. Take for comparison Equine Canada, usdf or usef and countless other sites: the history, staff and corporate particiants, and mission statement are an open book.

In a great Public Relations move of non-information, the only thing I was able to find on the site is: "As independent annual global convention, the Global Dressage Forum is quite unique and it’s goal is to assist in the promotion and development of dressage. "

Meanwhile between the horizontal rules below, here's an eurodressage report, excerpt from: http://www.eurodressage.com/reports/shows/2005/05gdf/rep1.html :

_____

There is no need to mention that our expectations for the 2005 Global Dressage Forum were extremely high. To us, this trend setting convention, which has to push the dressage sport forwards, needed to be ground breaking, thought provoking and polemical in order to fulfil its reputation. With St.Georg's controversial "Dressur Pervers" article still quaking the dressage world, the GDF would have been the perfect platform to openly discuss rollkur versus classical dressage amongst riders, trainers, judges and other dressage experts.

Unfortunately this was not the case. Any mention of rollkur, or riding behind the vertical was hushed and swept under the carpet by the speakers' panel. It seemed as if the topic was complete taboo and not to be discussed at the forum. This is a great pity. This year's GDF should have been totally devoted to that debate and should have included a thorough discussion on the current judging system, which completely derailed at the CDIO Aachen in August.

None of this happened and instead we had to listen to platitude and commercial statements that lacked guts. Fortunately, three sessions saved the 2005 Global Dressage Forum and those were the ones conducted by Cees Slings & Victor Kerkhof, Dr. Hilary Clayton and Kyra Kyrklund.
_____

pinecone
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:03 AM
Still pretty blurry regarding facts of who/what is behind GDF and the clearly rollkur-esque logo/statue they have chosen for their corporate symbol.

You're really hung up on this. There are actually quite a lot of historical statues and drawings and paintings depicting horses as what you would apparently call "rollkur-esque".

As far as the GDF, continue on with the ridiculous conspiracy theories, but Atlantis has already pointed out how foolish most of this speculation is.

egontoast
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:27 AM
Do you (some of you) honestly believe that all these people like all the O judges, all the I judges, Andrew MacLean, Kyra Kirklund, and so on , are in on some huge international conspiracy? Do you really believe that? WOW.
Cue the twilight zone music. Have you ever considered that you might be wrong? Anything is possible. Have you never been certain about something and then three years later realized your folly? I have and so I am not so quick to judge others from above.

I'm not even pro rollkur. I am anti judgemental political witch hunt. Remember, politics works both ways. The 'losers' may use politics too to undermine the winners. Have you ever wondered why Anky has been singled out. Where is the outrage about Edward Gal, Imke Bartels, Isabel and so on. Politics?

Who is raising these questions? Think about it. Keep your mind open (though not so open that your brain falls out).

fiona
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:43 AM
I am anti judgemental political witch hunt.
me too.

two simple - i have no idea of what you are talking about but it sounds horrific. where do you live? do you have any equivalent of our society for the prevention of cruelty to animals? Here people are prosecuted and banned for such acts, if they happen at all. what can you do about it? are you doing anything?

egontoast
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:44 AM
just to clarify

I thought we had been SAVED from

Too STunned!

It's ALIVE! ALIVE!



GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh

Coreene
Nov. 8, 2006, 12:25 PM
thank you for the answer to who funds GDF: "Joep Bartels. And it is funded by the 650 Euros you pay to attend and by sponsorship revenue." Best I could find is he is an organizer, not a FUNDER.
And if you actually knew Joep, you'd know that he was more than the Forum organizer.

sm
Nov. 8, 2006, 12:26 PM
"You're really hung up on this. There are actually quite a lot of historical statues and drawings and paintings depicting horses as what you would apparently call "rollkur-esque". As far as the GDF, continue on with the ridiculous conspiracy theories, but Atlantis has already pointed out how foolish most of this speculation is."


Just asking if someone knows who put this project together --- seems a reasonable question that (as I mentioned before) is very public info to most groups.

Don't know why you're off on a conspiracy tangent, wow! That's a bizarre conclusion. Next time just try to read my posts, and if you can shed some light on the answers instead of attacking my questions I would appreciate it.



"And if you actually knew Joep, you'd know that he was more than the Forum organizer."

Thank you for the info Coreene, I searched the internet but was unable to find any indication of funding by him.

Coreene
Nov. 8, 2006, 12:31 PM
Joep is the organizer. He is the guy in charge. He's also one of the Grand Fromages at BCM, which is a large event company in Europe and a publishing company as well. The sponsors are what make the event possible. It's not a conspiracy or some secret thing, it's not Ouija Boards and voodo. Events that cost a lot of $$ to put on, hence the need of sponsors to cover a good chunk of the costs. Same as a sponsor at any other event. If the price of admission paid for everything, no one could afford to go.

pinecone
Nov. 8, 2006, 01:05 PM
Do you mean to say, the GDF is NOT a big conspiracy, secretly funded by rollkur and modern dressage proponents? Do you mean, the speakers are NOT secretly paid off, do you mean, they actually DO mean the things they say? Are you saying, that when Dr McLean says Anky's horses are not victims of "learned helplessness", he MEANS it? Do you mean the organizers of the GDF are NOT part of some secret society?

Lol. Won't this come as a surprise to some people. They probably still won't believe it.

Tonja
Nov. 8, 2006, 01:13 PM
egontoast wrote:

Do you (some of you) honestly believe that all these people like all the O judges, all the I judges, Andrew MacLean, Kyra Kirklund, and so on , are in on some huge international conspiracy? Do you really believe that? WOW.

I can’t speak to the motives of the judges. All I can say is that when I see judges saying that everything is good and the horse’s imbalance, tension, broken rhythm, lack of throughness and lack of engagement saying that something is seriously wrong, I’ll take the horse’s word over the judge’s every time.

Are you really not seeing the subsequent imbalance, tension, broken rhythm, lack of throughness and lack of engagement resulting from rollkur or do you see it but feel that these problems are relatively insignificant?

Sabine
Nov. 8, 2006, 01:36 PM
Do you mean to say, the GDF is NOT a big conspiracy, secretly funded by rollkur and modern dressage proponents? Do you mean, the speakers are NOT secretly paid off, do you mean, they actually DO mean the things they say? Are you saying, that when Dr McLean says Anky's horses are not victims of "learned helplessness", he MEANS it? Do you mean the organizers of the GDF are NOT part of some secret society?

Lol. Won't this come as a surprise to some people. They probably still won't believe it.

Probably ? are you kidding....SURELY is the word here...and I can already give you a list of who will be chiming in shortly....:(....but I won't, haha....

egontoast
Nov. 8, 2006, 02:23 PM
I am a very active member of Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH),

I find this sad. Why not befriend the Unsound horses. Surely they need friends even more.:cry: :sadsmile: :(

egontoast
Nov. 8, 2006, 02:55 PM
feel free to send me a private message

Hahaha. No.

mp
Nov. 8, 2006, 03:10 PM
You mean Michael Boggs? Yes. And his name needs to be said often, and in the context to which deserves. What he did to Arabian halter horses was deplorable.

Say "Michael Boggs" all you want. The scoundrel suspended by the IAHA for having cosmetic surgery performed on halter horses is
David Boggs.

Tamara in TN
Nov. 8, 2006, 04:06 PM
I find this sad. Why not befriend the Unsound horses. Surely they need friends even more.:cry: :sadsmile: :(

Friends of the Sound horse came out of the then defunct International Plantation Walking Horse Association (IPWHA) of which I was a member back in the early 1990's....(not that you have any idea who I am :winkgrin: )

the "sound horse" part of the name came from being aligned with non soring trainers and owners here in TN....I have known some of the FOSH people since 1992....esp some of the driving forces who are now retired or have left....

as a group they try to do the right thing...sometimes single members have really pissed me off :lol: ...but I can over look it for a common good:yes:

Tamara in TN

eqipoize
Nov. 8, 2006, 04:23 PM
Just to cut Eggy a little slack - I really think she was trying to make a little jokipoo. The sad thing is, the TWH big lick folks are VERY Friendly with some Very Unsound horses - it's what makes them move like spiders on a hot skillet (the horses that is, when the good ole boys move like that, you can probably blame moonshine and banjo music!) So, I also understand the defense of the organizations name. Maybe Supporters of Sound Walking horses would be more accurate, but I get the drift of what is intended. And while I seriously doubt dressage will ever reach the degree of cruelty that has become so firmly entrenched in gaited horse training, I also recognise the tendancy in humans to do 'whatever it takes to win', at least when the recipient of the extreme activity is a mute horse. So, I don't think HF trainers sore their horses, and I don't think it is quite the same thing, BUT I do think it is a very tiny version of the same wrong thinking.

Regarding 'conspiracy' - NO one said anything about a conspiracy - however, when I hear Ads during political campaigns, I want to know who PAID for that ad, it tells me a Lot about who is pulling the strings. So, likewise, I would want to know who is putting up the big bucks for a huge forum like the GDF - because it is a big public relations investment, and somebody must be getting Something out of it. And it IS interesting to note that Anky and Sjef are presenters Every Year - while the rest of the presenters seem to be different. So, I do think there is a bit of an agenda involved - if you don't think so, well, please do attend and support with your registration fees. Wonder why the German's didn't show up? Maybe THEY are all delusional with conspiracy theories as well???

Lordy, you people are just nasty.

Indi41
Nov. 8, 2006, 04:58 PM
Well just to add to the conspiracy theory ... the British Dressage National Convention has Anky as the host this weekend....

OMG British Dressage must be advocating Rolkur!!!

ClaraLuisa
Nov. 8, 2006, 06:18 PM
I'm terrified but have to ask.
Just read the other RK-y thread showing the victory round with horse overbent. So, to clarify and please don't kill me...
As far as I can see there are 2 very different phenomena being discussed, often at the same time.
1) Overbending to control a spooky or otherwise (potentially) disobedient horse, as in the victory lap video. Seems straightforward. It's an effective control method. Seems the same approach as one sees with jumper riders who may warm up or school a very powerful, hot GP horse overbent so they can hold him and steer him. No claims made for improvement in gaits, but clearly a good tactic to forestall unwanted fireworks, one which many of us have used when needed.
2) Overbending, in RK, as a consistent training method, with claims being made for a positive impact on the horse's gaits.
The visual impression at a point in time is obviously very similar.
Are there differences? What are the differences?

Ellie K
Nov. 8, 2006, 06:43 PM
It goes without saying that someone would be getting something out of it—that someone being the entirely private business enterprise that has chosen to use their facility to put it on, at the expense of their own time and effort, and at their own risk of liability and financial loss, to which they invite the public as customers—just like any other commercial enterprise. Whether they see it as a larger good, something they feel they are contributing to a community, and only intend to break even--or whether they wish to make a profit on it, is entirely up to them. We have the option to be consumers of their products and services, or not. Our choice. Just as it is their choice to run their business as they see fit, and offer the events that they wish to offer, and invite participants of their choosing. We may do the same at our own facilities. And perhaps even call it the “Global Dressage Forum”, since the name doesn’t appear to be trademarked.

There was a similar forum in Florida a few years back. I think it was at the Poulins, and Withages was there, but I can’t recall the other big name. They chose to call it a “North American” forum, rather than a “Global” one. Their choice. We were free to attend, or not. Our choice. We are also free to use our own talents and hard work to make such a significant contribution to the international sport that our name is universally known, our “product” is seen as prestigious, and therefore notable people (a/k/a “customers”) around the world will want to participate in the activities we have chosen to offer. The Bartels have no obligation to represent my opinion or anyone else’s. I can choose to consume their products and services, or not. And I can start my own competing business if I feel I have a better product to offer.


Take for comparison Equine Canada, usdf or usef and countless other sites: the history, staff and corporate particiants, and mission statement are an open book.It is thorougly invalid to compare the activities of a private business enterprise, offering a product/service to free choice customers, with those of a public or quasi-public membership organisation sanctioned by either state or NOC to govern a sport on a monopolistic basis. You are obliged to join--or otherwise come under the auspices of--the USEF for the purposes of competition. USEF has a charter from its NOC for that purpose, which has a charter from the US Congress on the basis of federal law, and from the IOC on the basis of the Olympic Charter. This makes it “quasi-public” in the sense of structure and accountability to its members, because it has a protected monopoly on a particular market, and the usual 501(c)3 obligations. In what way is this remotely similar to a private company offering an optional activity, as part of its business operations that are not in any way chartered, monopolised, protected, etc.? If we compete in/organise/officiate at USEF-recognised events, we are stakeholders in the USEF. If we compete in/organise/officiate at FEI-recognised events, we are stakeholders in the FEI. We are not stakeholders in anybody’s private business enterprise. Caveat emptor, and all that.

egontoast
Nov. 8, 2006, 08:02 PM
Actually - the deal is that egontoast chooses to personally attack me, and my posts, and pick them apart on many threads I post on.

Huh? No I tend to pick apart all idiotic posts, so please don't feel singled out.:winkgrin:

Atlantis
Nov. 8, 2006, 08:17 PM
And it IS interesting to note that Anky and Sjef are presenters Every Year - while the rest of the presenters seem to be different. So, I do think there is a bit of an agenda involved

Anky has also remained one of the highest ranked and most successful riders in the world, and hyperflexion has remained one of the hottest topics in dressage, so taking those two facts into consideration, it really is NOT that surprising (nor indicative of any type of agenda) that she and Sjef would be invited back.

egontoast
Nov. 8, 2006, 08:22 PM
it's a Conspiracy, I tell you!

siegi b.
Nov. 8, 2006, 08:28 PM
egontoast - I really wish you would quit stalking Two Simple!!!

egontoast
Nov. 8, 2006, 08:37 PM
I've got MB on the phone and he is extremely upset that his good name is being bandied about willy nilly.

editing at request of hoopooe so as not to besmirch an innocent person dragged in here by , guess who, Too Simple.

pinecone
Nov. 8, 2006, 08:47 PM
Atlantis stop being so logical, you're blowing the conspiracy theory to pieces!

canyonoak
Nov. 8, 2006, 08:54 PM
Juts because I am so bloody tired of all the blathering and Big Lie-presented as truth-rammed down -your-throat-- ahem, here is a short history of the GDF:

2001

Jurgen Koschel -- work in Hand (was coach of Dutch team, still trains several internationally successful riders)

Sjef and Anky

Kyra Kyrklund working with juniors

Eric Lette, O judge and chef for the Swedish team at that time

Rafael Soto, Invasor's wonderful partner

Jo Hinnemann, top German trainer, togethe with Coby baalen, producer of several top Olympic riders and horses

2002

Robert Dover: backgrounds of US medals
Ernst Hoyos: From classical Vienna to modern sport
Forum: Evaluation WEG Jerez
Klaus Miesner: breeding top dressage horses
'Warendorf: from young rider to Grand Prix'
Johan Hinnemann. why, it's Germany. Again.

2003

Clinic of Ulla Salzgeber
.

IDTC project on Olympic Judging

Evaluation of European Championships Hickstead (GB)
.

Clinic of Arthur Kottas

Clinic of Richard Weis (Aus)

Weis from Australia. He is an Alexander therapist and specialized in the correct sit of the rider.The quality of collection



The afternoon session was for the German National Federation (FN). Veterinarian dr. Gerd Heuschman gave a lecture on the anatomy of the horse. Christoph Hess from the FN and Holger Schmezer, who is the national trainer of Germany, presented 4 horses and riders from top national young rider level to Grand Prix. Why, it's the entire German National Federation!

2004

FEI Sport Director Michael Stone's presentation on the scope of the FEII

Carlos Lopes, from the Portuguese Equestrian Federation

John Long, CEO of the United States Equestrian Federation

Ulli Kasselmann and the PSI team presented their training methods with a selection of horses guaranteed to induce the 'wow factor'.

Dirk Willem Rosie, of the KWPN Studbook, and physiologist Dr Eric van Breda came a thought provoking scientifically based examination of how the horse can be a "happy athlete", and how that can be achieved.of competition testing and measurement."

International rider and trainer Kyra Kyrklund partnered with her top pupil, European silver medallist Jan Brink, to present their training philosophy.

An evaluation session using videos of the six top tests in Athens

German trainer Rudolph Zeilinger concluded the Forum with a demonstration of his training philosophy based on the six-point German system.

2005

The Theodorescus, George and Monica

Klaus Balkenhol

Dr. Volker Moritz will present the FEI Dressage Handbook (NB: hahahahahah)

Mariette Withages-- the Freestyle of the World Cup Final in Las Vegas

Cees Slings and Victor Kerkhof talk about creating kur music

Kyra Kyrklund

Dr. Hilary Clayton

and now, of course, 2006.

So as I see it, the conspiracy is WITHOUT A DOUBT the desire of Kyra Kyrklund to take over the dressage world, aided and abetted by the other power-crazed trainers in the IDTC!

Sabine
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:34 PM
Jeez- you guys- bad, bad, bad behavior- you chased away all the Loffely visitors from TOB...I guess the unity is OVERWHELMING....LOL!!!

so there won't be any highly logical and smart posts from the other side anytime soon- especially since Ellie K put everything into the level-logical middle...you just make TOO much sense girl...where did you learn that??

eqipoize
Nov. 9, 2006, 12:09 AM
So as I see it, the conspiracy is WITHOUT A DOUBT the desire of Kyra Kyrklund to take over the dressage world, aided and abetted by the other power-crazed trainers in the IDTC!

We should be so lucky!


Jeez- you guys- bad, bad, bad behavior- you chased away all the Loffely visitors from TOB...
YOU should be so lucky

Sabine
Nov. 9, 2006, 12:24 AM
We should be so lucky!


YOU should be so lucky

so YOU are from TOB???...wouldn't have thought that....

egontoast
Nov. 9, 2006, 03:31 AM
So as I see it, the conspiracy is WITHOUT A DOUBT the desire of Kyra Kyrklund to take over the dressage world, aided and abetted by the other power-crazed trainers in the IDTC!

:lol:

Never let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory!:cool:

egontoast
Nov. 9, 2006, 09:42 AM
There is no [M.... B...], so good luck with that.


M will be very interested to hear that.

deleting name at request of hoopooe so as not to besmirch an innocent person dragged through the mud by Too Simple.

eqipoize
Nov. 9, 2006, 10:02 AM
Actually, he is sort of cute, in a boy band member sort of way!

http://www.apparelsearch.com/Models/apparel_search_model_michael_boggs.htm

But hey, if you want to get into acting, Any publicity is Good publicity, so I am sure M will be glad to have his name on this bb!

And just for the record, I am from Venus, but I also have been sited on a variety of OB's.

And I guess I was wrong about Sjef and Anky being presenters at GDF, must have been Hallucinating, might have been the brownies I ate.

hoopoe
Nov. 9, 2006, 10:09 AM
There is no M...... B...., so good luck with that

TS I am about to alert the mods on these respose items

there is indeed a MB he is a leading horseman here in the PNW and he and his present and past extended family have been deeply involved with top show horses ; hunters jumpers and sporthorses in hand.

He was for many years the face of a large and well known breeding facility.

Neither he nor the other Mr B belong in this topic thread

I would kindly ask you and eggy to go back and either delete your responses or edit the names so that M B does not have his name superficially bandied about in a negative manner.

Feel free to carry on with the original Mr B topic elsewhere.

ClaraLuisa
Nov. 9, 2006, 10:27 AM
OK, I guess this is too much of an in-group thing for outsiders to learn from...back to lurking.

eqipoize
Nov. 9, 2006, 10:51 AM
Interesting that there are so many MB's- a google search brings up quite a variety. I DOUBT that the horse trainer in PNW would worry about an already admitted error - if the shoe doesn't fit, don't bother putting it on. I am sure that Michael Boggs has already had to deal with some degree of name confusion - and David Boggs is much more to blame for that than the people who remember a last name, and not a first one. Of course, that is why I didn't put any names on my original post - it wasn't relavant - my original point (and it is MY fault this is part of this topic at all) is that professional horse trainers, who are very successful, often lack inner ethics to ensure that they operate in a manner that considers the humane care of the horses left in their charge. Clearly, DAVID Boggs thought it was OK to cheat in this manner -using whatever rationalization he came up with to make that work for him. So, it is quite possible that some dressage trainers are Also violating their horses better nature, and training in a manner that is clearly unethical to those of us standing outside looking in. And therefore the arguement that Inhumane treatment doesn't win is invalidated, as is the belief that horse trainers MUST love horses, so they couldn't abuse their horses. People DO abuse horses, and it is up to the governing bodies to draw a line to decide where training stops and abuse begins. Because we can't legislate mind sets - if we could, we would just insist that Everyone who works with horses has to consider the horses well being MORE IMPORTANT than anything else, including winning some big prize, or making a lot of money. Sadly, that isn't always the case, thus we have reports of humane violations every month. It is just reality, and therefore, the FEI MUST make rulings on what is humane and fair to the horse. Hyperflexion is under debate, because at least some proportion of the horse loving population considers it INHUMANE. And in some cases, appearance of impropriety is serious enough to require regulation, even if it Isn't really a problem. I think FEI needs to operate from this consideration, just to stop the controversy. It won't go away, but if it isn't seen in the warm up at rated shows, it will minimize the situation. THEN we can get back the important task of reoriented judging priorities, so horses are expected to be calm and balanced, and what goes on behind becomes MORE important that what we see out front. But that is a whole nuther can of worms!!!!

hoopoe
Nov. 9, 2006, 11:18 AM
yes but many people are guilty of reading superficially and for lack of clarity.

What sticks with them is the name and a negative impression.

A few weeks months years from now they will not remember why they remember only that they remember it superficially.

I think it unfair that the names are impressed for a fair internet eternity and that you expect people to dig through your posts to find the correction.

The damage is done, I just asked you to do what you can to undo it

instead you impressed the name further and more


nice :no:

sm
Nov. 9, 2006, 11:59 AM
Pinecone, why do you keep on bringing up the word CONSPIRACY ? Are you trying to think of " Special Interest Group" ? Because, conspiracy involves something unlawful:

con-spir-a-cy /Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kuhn-spir-uh-see] –noun, plural -cies.
1. the act of conspiring.
2. an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.
3. a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
4. Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.

It's amusing though you bring up the word CONSPIRACY and then provide your own rebuttal -- carry on, you seem to be having fun arguing with yourself. Just be sure to attribute the conspiracy charges to yourself, where it belongs, don't wrongly blame anyone else for that weird accusation.

If you're interested in Special Interest Groups, just look at the marketplace. You might want to start with Lobbyists, who are hired by special interest groups to change laws... Perfectly legal and a part of everyday business for the most part.

sm
Nov. 9, 2006, 12:21 PM
Ellie K, just to respond, although I'm not interested in "beating a dead horse." On the other hand, I feel I owe you atleast a response to your post 207.

If you don't care for my comparison of GDF disclosure of info to usdf, usef, etc, then maybe perhaps you'd approve of a comparison to EquineAffaire: mgt and staff http://www.equineaffaire.com/common/contact/index.html ;
mission statement http://www.equineaffaire.com/common/about_us/mission.html

Standard fare in sharing info, no big deal. And yes, I'd agree wholeheartedly with your Caveat Emptor statement.


____
Ellie K on post 207: " It is thorougly invalid to compare the activities of a private business enterprise, offering a product/service to free choice customers, with those of a public or quasi-public membership organisation sanctioned by either state or NOC to govern a sport on a monopolistic basis. You are obliged to join--or otherwise come under the auspices of--the USEF for the purposes of competition. USEF has a charter from its NOC for that purpose, which has a charter from the US Congress on the basis of federal law, and from the IOC on the basis of the Olympic Charter. This makes it “quasi-public” in the sense of structure and accountability to its members, because it has a protected monopoly on a particular market, and the usual 501(c)3 obligations. In what way is this remotely similar to a private company offering an optional activity, as part of its business operations that are not in any way chartered, monopolised, protected, etc.? If we compete in/organise/officiate at USEF-recognised events, we are stakeholders in the USEF. If we compete in/organise/officiate at FEI-recognised events, we are stakeholders in the FEI. We are not stakeholders in anybody’s private business enterprise. Caveat emptor, and all that."

egontoast
Nov. 9, 2006, 03:57 PM
hoopoe, just getting back here now (Real life intervenes!) and so edited as requested.

Of course, good luck getting trainwreck ho to do the same.

I agree with you that these things can be very damaging because people do not remember the clarifications. I even know how it feels to have Too Simple post a lie about you.

I have no respect for liars.

mbm
Nov. 9, 2006, 04:00 PM
Of course, good luck getting trainwreck ho to do the same.

*edited , cause its a nice sunny day*

egontoast
Nov. 9, 2006, 04:08 PM
MBm says

i'm sorry, but i thought that you had to be over 13 to join here???

Gee, I don't know. YOU are here. I stand by anything I post. Take it up with the moderators.

egontoast
Nov. 9, 2006, 04:37 PM
I'm pretty sure referring to someone as a "ho" violates bulletin board rules

I don't know. Ho may be short for Horseperson but in this case....Take it up with the moderators. Ask them to confirm as well that you were lying when you posted that I had sent you several nasty PMs. I think they can confirm that I have never sent you ANY Pms.

Lie much?

Erin
Nov. 9, 2006, 04:47 PM
Howzabout this? I'm sick of both of you. TS, I'm sick of your alerts after alerts after alerts, and egon, I'm sick of your needling someone in a public forum. And I'd like to just be rid of both of you, so you're both banned for two weeks, and hopefully when you come back you'll act like adults.

Ellie K
Nov. 11, 2006, 05:32 PM
sm, why is it that in order to obtain the link you provided, you were able/willing, on the Equine Affaire home page, to:
1) click on one of several state-specific links not even indicating where to find contact information, to get to another page, where you have to
2) scroll through several options to select and negotiate the correct drop-down menu, and then
3) click on the "Contact Information" option to arrive at the page you linked to, which logically provides contact details as well as various options to obtain other types of information.

Yet strangely, on the GDF home page, you are not able/willing to:
1) click on "Contact" which directly links to the following contact details for the GDF and its parent operation:


For more information please contact the secretariat of the Global Dressage Forum. To make a reservation for the Global Forum ask for an ENTRY FORM.

Secretariat Global Dressage Forum:
Academy
Mrs. Esther Tacken / Mrs. Annet Broeckx
Koestraat 9
5095 BD Hooge Mierde
The Netherlands
Tel: + 31 13 509 1666
Fax: + 31 13 509 2719

E-mail: info@globaldressageforum.com

Website: www.globaldressageforum.com (http://www.globaldressageforum.com)
www.academybartels.com (http://www.academybartels.com) There is no impropriety, no secrecy or failure to disclose information; this is entirely a figment of your own imagination, which you have chosen to reinforce by selectively ignoring/misinterpreting various information provided to you here, as well as substantial further information that now some 350+ people annually (mostly non-native speakers of English, at that) manage to locate, apparently without any problem. Are you just lacking in the basic Web navigational skills that could be reasonably expected of the average trained chimpanzee? Or is it at all possible that you are trying to manipulate the facts around your pre-formed agenda, in pathetic attempts to validate baseless and inappropriate public insinuations of something untoward?

Duly noting that you have changed the original demand from your false sense of entitlement to financial and corporate information, to merely a need for contact details (see above) and a silly "mission statement," all you are doing by demanding the latter is demonstrating your own intercultural illiteracy, lol, since if you operate in the international arena for oh, about a month, you will see that the need to beat people over the head with redundant proclamations of information that is in fact self-evident by simple inference tends to be largely an American cultural construct. Cultural Awareness 101.

There is nothing wrong with simply being ignorant. One can be completely uninvolved in international dressage and need to request information without making unsubstantiated insinuations in a public forum. Example:
"Hi, I'm a newbie and I don't know much about the international dressage world. I heard about this Global Dressage Forum but what is "the Academy" and who is Joep Bartels? I can't find the contact information because my mouse only works on certain websites. Also I do not like that they have their statue rollkured, and I would like to file a complaint with People for the Ethical Treatment of Metal Horse Statues. Can anyone tell me how to find more information?"
This does not imply anything secretive or untoward. It does not disparage the person/business about whom you lack knowledge. It simply admits you lack knowledge (and computer skills). Do you not see the difference?


If you don't care for my comparison of GDF disclosure of info to usdf, usef, etc, then maybe perhaps you'd approve of a comparison to EquineAffaireWhy are you trying to make this about what I "care for," and what I "approve of"? Don't try to turn it on me. This is not about me, or anyone else who has responded to your nonsense. It's about you posting baseless incendiary bullshit on a public forum and being called on it, then trying to play the victim when people do so. Since a number of people have taken issue with your postings here, you can't possibly be so arrogant and in denial as to try to claim the problem is mine. Take responsibility for your own behaviour (your posts) instead of blaming others because you don't like the way you are perceived.

Just to save time I'll pre-emptively respond to the predictable comebacks:

a) You're an Anky groupie!! (no)
b) You love rollkur!! (no)
c) You're a friend of theirs so you're defending them!! (no)
d) I "investigated" Academy Bartels and guess what! They're close with Anky and Sjef!! (no shit, Sherlock)
e) I "investigated" Joep Bartels and guess what! He used to direct the World Cup! (no shit, Sherlock, he sort of invented it)
f) Stop attacking my posts!! (alter your behaviour)
g) What a long post, you're obsessed!! (looks like I'm obsessed with calling bullshit and correcting false and disparaging insinuations. Whereas another party is obsessed with posting the bullshit and doing the disparaging -- that's worse!)
h) blah, blah, blah

siegi b.
Nov. 11, 2006, 06:26 PM
Thank you Ellie K. - I admire your style!

Touchstone Farm
Nov. 11, 2006, 09:54 PM
It was a journalist from this publication that started this whole process...remember??
Have you ridden a horse like Sal? Or ever sat on one like that? do you have any clue what you are referring to?This is a very big horse with a very skinny lite lady on it...she weighs maybe 115pds and the horse is 17.1 at least...it's not about learned helplessness- it's about gaits- if you haven't figured this out yet- that's why Brentina never won- that's why HS never won...that's the game...don't like it- don't subscribe to it...noone is forcing you!

Monty knows everyone- he probably thought it was a good thing to be involved with- and they thought after heavy discussions - it would be good to have something...well- entertaining?

Sabine, ahhh, yes, I "remember" the whole publication saga. So what's your point?

Have I ever sat on a horse like Sal? No. (And I wouldn't want to. Doesn't look enjoyable.) Further, I've never been a prima ballerina but I can still understand and enjoy it...and know when the performance is lackluster or "off." I've never played professional football, but I still know the rules and can enjoy watching the game and can understand the "penalties" involved. I've never played piano professionally, but having taken lessons for 12 years and played in a for-fun jazz band years ago doesn't mean I can't understand or enjoy classical or jazz piano -- or know when it's not done well. So...what's your point?

"It's about gaits - if you haven't figured this out yet..." "You don't have a clue..." Sabine,why so sarcastic? Why not discuss things like Equipoize does who puts out her thoughts and ideas without attacking? Especially since you also posted this on this thread: "...no worries- lots of pieces made sense- the over emotional parts threw me off though. I prefer to discuss things logically.." Just because I don't agree with you...doesn't mean I "don't have a clue."

Sabine
Nov. 12, 2006, 12:48 AM
Sabine, ahhh, yes, I "remember" the whole publication saga. So what's your point?

Have I ever sat on a horse like Sal? No. (And I wouldn't want to. Doesn't look enjoyable.) Further, I've never been a prima ballerina but I can still understand and enjoy it...and know when the performance is lackluster or "off." I've never played professional football, but I still know the rules and can enjoy watching the game and can understand the "penalties" involved. I've never played piano professionally, but having taken lessons for 12 years and played in a for-fun jazz band years ago doesn't mean I can't understand or enjoy classical or jazz piano -- or know when it's not done well. So...what's your point?

"It's about gaits - if you haven't figured this out yet..." "You don't have a clue..." Sabine,why so sarcastic? Why not discuss things like Equipoize does who puts out her thoughts and ideas without attacking? Especially since you also posted this on this thread: "...no worries- lots of pieces made sense- the over emotional parts threw me off though. I prefer to discuss things logically.." Just because I don't agree with you...doesn't mean I "don't have a clue."


jeez- took you a long time to circle back...must be boring on UDBB these days...LOL!

here is what you posted and here is what I answered:

Originally Posted by Touchstone Farm
So how is that different from Anky and Sjef's marketing? I don't think that automatically disqualifies someone's knowledge/opinion.

What struck me in this global forum was that they had a journalist act as an "expert" on a panel? Why wasn't it someone like WAZ or Balkenhol or someone who is an actual rider/trainer? Seems like it was a poorly defined panel for the purpose of the discussion.

And Anky saying she doesn't have the strength to pull her horse into that position? Really, when you add metal in a mouth that works on the tongue, bars, and roof of the mouth and leverage with reins and the angle/weight of a person behind it...it doesn't take that much strength to pull and hold a horse in that position. She does it, so why does she say she doesn't or it isn't possible?! If she and Sjef thinks it's a legitimate way of training, why that response?

While I enjoyed Monty Roberts' book, I have to wonder about the choice of him as a presenter. And no piaffe? Does he have any suggestions for having horses stop that out in their pasture if it's so bad?

Sabine's Reply to Touchstone Farms Post:
It was a journalist from this publication that started this whole process...remember??
Have you ridden a horse like Sal? Or ever sat on one like that? do you have any clue what you are referring to?This is a very big horse with a very skinny lite lady on it...she weighs maybe 115pds and the horse is 17.1 at least...it's not about learned helplessness- it's about gaits- if you haven't figured this out yet- that's why Brentina never won- that's why HS never won...that's the game...don't like it- don't subscribe to it...noone is forcing you!

Monty knows everyone- he probably thought it was a good thing to be involved with- and they thought after heavy discussions - it would be good to have something...well- entertaining?



NOW- all I can say- remove the chip from your shoulder- take a deep breath- and carry on! I am not attacking- at all- I am resentful at your underhanded stabbing...no bueno..maybe you can figure that out for yourself. Just because you state things in a disguised but accusatory way- doesn't mean you get to get away with it.

Touchstone Farm
Nov. 12, 2006, 08:07 PM
Sabine, no chip on my shoulder. Guess I'm just having a difficult time seeing where your response to my post was not "emotional" and only "logical" as you claim to prefer. So not sure where you think I was committing "underhanded stabbing" or stating "things in a disguised but accusatory way- doesn't mean you get to get away with it." (Not clear to me how your statements are not "emotional" but "logical," but to each his own definition, I guess!)

I'm just looking for good discussion, whether I agree with someone's viewpoint or they agree with mine. Certainly not trying to "get away with anything," as you stated.! So as you said, "take a deep breath, carry on...' And I'll add -- maybe have a glass of wine and some chocolate.

Thanks to Equipoize, canyonoaks, tonja, claire, sm, eurobreedstour and several others for the interesting discussion...which is what it's all about!

sm
Nov. 13, 2006, 11:09 AM
Ellie K, in relpy to your post 238: Whether you care for the navigation on any particular site or not -- the info on the members of STAFF and MANAGEMENT is clearly posted on equineaffaire, but not on GDF. http://www.equineaffaire.com/common/contact/index.html

The info you provided on post 238 says nothing about who is responsible for corporate decisions and setting agenda over there - who is the MANAGEMENT. Which is fine, if you prefer non-disclosure. But add that to a rollkur-esque logo? Let's review:

Global DRESSAGE Forum that chooses for it's corporate statue a horse/pony that is in violation of FEI dressage (rounded at 3/4th vertabrae as in RK, clearly not correctly at the poll; open mouth which is a fault in dressage). http://www.globaldressageforum.com/home/

That's like starting a GLOBAL CIVIL RIGHTS FORUM and having a swastika as your corporate symbol. Or even some symbol of the Klu Klux Klan.

In comparison, let's look at your average equine corporate symbols, none of which is in business to promote dressage. But none are in violation of FEI dressage principles either:

Juan Valdez and his happy equine athlete
http://www.juanvaldez.com/menu/logos/index.html

Pegasus Mobil logo
http://www.gassigns.org/mobil.htm

uset logo, scroll to bottom of page
http://www.uset.org/about.php

Ford Mustang logo
http://www.gardenofspeedin.com/products.asp?detail=697&sub=29

***
All I'm asking is for clarification on who the GDF mgt and staff members are, it really shouldn't be such a big deal! Not so much the secretary or person picking up the mail over there, Ellie K.

sm
Nov. 13, 2006, 11:49 AM
Ellie K, I did get an answer on this thread about a source of funding, thanks. But it is not officially posted anywhere that I could find, so I am looking for more info, nothing to duly note yourself over. Sorry if it's upsetting you so much, why should it... this is a discussion forum, yes?

Try to read up on Special Interest Groups and the marketplace, and take something to relax, LOL:

Post 238: "Duly noting that you have changed the original demand from your false sense of entitlement to financial and corporate information, to merely a need for contact details (see above) and a silly "mission statement," all you are doing by demanding the latter is demonstrating your own intercultural illiteracy, lol, since if you operate in the international arena for oh, about a month, you will see that the need to beat people over the head with redundant proclamations of information that is in fact self-evident by simple inference tends to be largely an American cultural construct. Cultural Awareness 101."

AND if you're going to attack me with Cultural Awareness 101, try to be correct in your facts. FEI STAFF and MGT, click on CONTACT bar http://www.horsesport.org

mp
Nov. 13, 2006, 11:56 AM
I've got MB on the phone and he is extremely upset that his good name is being bandied about willy nilly.

editing at request of hoopooe so as not to besmirch an innocent person dragged in here by , guess who, Too Simple.

But what about Willy Nilly? Doesn't he have rights, too?

sm -- you seem to have a lot of time on your hands ...

sm
Nov. 13, 2006, 12:05 PM
yep, I sure do MP :) Maybe I can design a willy nilly logo...

eqipoize
Nov. 13, 2006, 03:51 PM
Mr. William S. Nilly, of Rancho Cucamunga has requested that we CEASE and DESIST from using His name to imply random actions without thought. He has trademarked his name and also has portrait rights to any likenesses of his image, and he Will pursue legal action - he is planning on using the same legal firm as Sjef and Anky!!! So Watch Out!!!! ;) :D

indyblue
Nov. 13, 2006, 04:14 PM
I know William Nilly.He is a butcher here in Helensville.I allways thought he had a secret agenda..........Got a shifty eye and an unhealthy sausage fetish.

sm
Nov. 14, 2006, 05:41 PM
Detailed report from eurodressage, " ‘Curbed’ Discussions at the 2006 Global Dressage Forum." And another shot of the GDF corporate symbol, this time from a new angle. Not so much just a horse with an open mouth BTV, more noticably here "biting the chest" :

http://www.eurodressage.com/reports/shows/2006/06gdf/rep1.html

The Germans did not attend at any point of the forum.

Coreene
Nov. 14, 2006, 05:58 PM
Detailed report from eurodressage, " ‘Curbed’ Discussions at the 2006 Global Dressage Forum." And another shot of the GDF corporate symbol, this time from a new angle. Not so much just a horse with an open mouth BTV, more noticably here "biting the chest" :

http://www.eurodressage.com/reports/shows/2006/06gdf/rep1.html

The Germans did not attend at any point of the forum.
Ya know, if I take the time and money etc to organize something, I'm going to invite people who are a big draw, who are available that day, bla bla bla. And if I want to call it Her Royal Highness The Princess Coreene's International Dressage Forum, it doesn't mean that I have a conspiracy if I do not invite people from, say, Belgium.

BTW, there were certainly Germans attending GDF. Did you not get a copy of the attendee list?

Rusty Stirrup
Nov. 15, 2006, 06:46 AM
I thought dressage was about "training". Is it now about being a means to an end?

sm
Nov. 15, 2006, 11:44 AM
Thank you for an opportunity to clarify, I was not as clear as the report, last page of the report http://www.eurodressage.com/reports/...6gdf/rep1.html, " The absence of the top German dressage riders and trainers at the 2006 Global Dressage Forum was very striking and a great pity..."

This of course begs the question: was Blakenhol and the USET riders there, were the Canadian Olympic team there, the Brits...

And a big yes, of course there is no conspiracy, why does that word "conspiracy" keep coming up? The GDF logo and corporate symbol can't be any clearer:


from post 250: "Ya know, if I take the time and money etc to organize something, I'm going to invite people who are a big draw, who are available that day, bla bla bla. And if I want to call it Her Royal Highness The Princess Coreene's International Dressage Forum, it doesn't mean that I have a conspiracy if I do not invite people from, say, Belgium. BTW, there were certainly Germans attending GDF. Did you not get a copy of the attendee list? "

Coreene
Nov. 15, 2006, 12:47 PM
The GDF logo and corporate symbol can't be any clearer:
I am sure if you look at the logo - designed by a random graphic designer - of many, many, many equestrian-related things / events / farms / etc., and even the designs you can buy on t-shirts, you'll probably find that many things will fall into your conspiracy theory. But to think that GDF is some pro-rollkur thang, right down to the logo, makes me wonder what other paranoias you have.

sm
Nov. 15, 2006, 01:28 PM
again, what conspiracy? See back on post 229, and this word keeps coming up.

It's kind of interesting to me who the rider on the logo represents, but that is really a side issue.

As to my background: I developed logos and international marketing material for 20 plus years, and helped to launch many new products internationally. And helped the old products remain successful. For both advertising agencies and also directly for corporations. So it's really a skill set that I have.

Nicely avoiding any discussion or anything you can add on GDF to enlighten me though. Oh well, time to ride my FEI dressage horse!

fiona
Nov. 15, 2006, 01:52 PM
the brits were there....
mostly telling people to behave.
do i need to enlighten?

class
Nov. 15, 2006, 02:03 PM
Thank you for an opportunity to clarify, I was not as clear as the report, last page of the report http://www.eurodressage.com/reports/...6gdf/rep1.html, " The absence of the top German dressage riders and trainers at the 2006 Global Dressage Forum was very striking and a great pity..."


i'm confused, because the second page of the report http://www.eurodressage.com/reports/shows/2006/06gdf/rep2.html says, "The first speaker was German Olympic team rider Hubertus Schmidt. He is one of the most prolific dressage trainers in the world, having trained over thirty horses to Grand Prix level." so what am i missing?

pinecone
Nov. 15, 2006, 02:13 PM
so there won't be any highly logical and smart posts from the other side anytime soon

There were logical and smart posts from the other side?:lol: LOL, Sabine!

sm, get over yourself. The ridiculous implications about conspiracies etc are being implied by the folks on your side. Our side, on the other hand, just happens to have a better sense of humor.

class, you are right about Hubertus, but some people are avoiding this fact, as it doesn't feed into their conspiracy theory that this is an all Dutch hyperflexion propotional seminar, complete with logo:winkgrin: . (Yup, sm, there it is again.)

eurodressage
Nov. 15, 2006, 02:22 PM
To be more specific.. One day one: the top level German trainers/riders who were there were: Hubertus Schmidt (who did his session but who did not participate in any other discussion), Johann Hinnemann (who spoke once and then disappeared), and Wolfram Wittig (who stood in the back and didn't say anything). On day two, no German trainers were spotted in the audience or panels.

Coreene
Nov. 15, 2006, 03:02 PM
again, what conspiracy? See back on post 229, and this word keeps coming up.

It's kind of interesting to me who the rider on the logo represents, but that is really a side issue.

As to my background: I developed logos and international marketing material for 20 plus years, and helped to launch many new products internationally. And helped the old products remain successful. For both advertising agencies and also directly for corporations. So it's really a skill set that I have.

Nicely avoiding any discussion or anything you can add on GDF to enlighten me though. Oh well, time to ride my FEI dressage horse!
What the hell do you need enlightening on? It was a clinic. People have clinics all over the world all the time.

Ellie K
Nov. 15, 2006, 08:09 PM
Nicely avoiding any discussion or anything you can add on GDF to enlighten me though.Just as you have "nicely" avoided the questions posed to you as to why you are willing to explore totally unrelated websites to make sure freaking Juan Valdez is not rollkuring his little virtual burro or whatever he's got there, yet continue to refuse to simply click on the websites of GDF and its very well-known company, Academy Bartels, to obtain the plethora of information available to you there. Hypocrisy much?

It's not anyone else's job to do your reading for you. We're not in the babysitting business here. Of course, had you not acted like a total jackass with your baseless allegations and related idiocy, we might have been more accommodating. Take responsibility for your own ignorance and go avail yourself of the readily accessible information on the websites which continue to remain available to you. In other words, do what normal people do when they want information on an event programme: read the published reports on the event's website! And do what normal people do when they want to learn about the company which 'owns' the event in question: click on the link to their website! And then click some more! It's really fun once you get the hang of it! Of course, leave it to those sneaky Dutch to make Dutch the default language!!! The nerve! :lol: Do you think you can figure out how to click on the Union Jack?

siegi b.
Nov. 15, 2006, 09:08 PM
Ellie K - you're casting pearls before swine... :-)
sm doesn't want to understand and I am starting to believe that she also isn't able due to lack of brainpower.

Ellie K
Nov. 15, 2006, 10:20 PM
well it was hard for me to believe a semi-computer literate human being could be that obtuse...so I was getting the impression she must be playing dumb.:yes:

are you a Nederlander too? omg then you're in on it. And Coreene. Dirty conspirators. I just noticed sm wasn't even able to correctly interpret the meaning of her own copy-pasted definition either, lol. So yes, conspiracy IS a correct term for what she is falsely alleging - - a clandestine plot with "secret" (only to her) "special interest groups"... no "unlawful" activity required! She doesn't seem to understand the difference between "and" and "or." So how can we expect her to understand the fascinating world of international sport?

The lack of ability to correctly interpret the written word rang a bell...I now realise this is the same poster...I had forgotten...that was on quite a dogged campaign earlier in the year to convince the entire COTH that the FEI had defined "rollkur" as "anything at all behind the vertical." Too bad it was a total fiction and never happened. :rolleyes:

Sabine
Nov. 16, 2006, 12:03 AM
are you a Nederlander too? omg then you're in on it. And Coreene. Dirty conspirators. :rolleyes:

NOPE! Siegi is from Germany- as am I- from the same place just about- and if anything is close to there - it would be Ulla......

Coreene of course flies the orange flag all day long....nothing wrong with that...and yep the Brits were there and again Anky went to the British Dressage Forum in London last weekend- teaching and meeting and clinicing...things like that happen all over the world...those that stay close minded usually miss the boat-it's that way in business, technology and dressage :) :)

BTW Ulla did last years British Dressage Forum- me thinks the Brits are the smart ones in this context...they listen to all methods and figure it out for themselves...what a concept...without condemning anyone...WHOA!