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  1. #1

    Default New study: Horses tell what they think of Rollkur

    Posted in the Eurodressage community. Scroll down to read about study.

    http://www.barnmice.com/group/theeur...hyperflexion-3



  2. #2
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    Hahahahahahahah.

    ANd people get to publish this nonsense.

    wowsers.

    Or is this early April Fool's Day?

    OTOH, a new plateau reached in scientific method.

    ROFLMAO
    one oak, lots of canyons

    http://horsesportnews.wordpress.com/



  3. #3
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    Cool

    I thought I had a headache, now I know I do.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  4. #4
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    I'm not a professional animal behaviorist, so I'm not qualified to pass judgment on the study, but it did make sense to me.

    I also know that the University of Guelph where the study was done is respected internationally as one of the leading centres of research and care in the field of equine health, with some of the foremost equine scientists in the world. If anyone is interested in finding out about them you can Google Equine Guelph or University of Guelph.

    In my experience and from what I have observed, horses do know that when they go either along a certain route or to a specific location, they will be worked in a certain type of way. That is the primary reason some horses balk at entering the training ring, the show ring, etc. Some horse refuse to even walk along the path leading to the training ring - it is not uncommon at all and is an issue that trainers working with young or sour horses sometimes deal with.

    I think observation of that type of behaviour would be what inspired the study, although I can't say for sure.



  5. #5
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    Default rolkur

    Gladys,
    I thought it was very interesting but you don't need a study to prove that horses do not like rolkur. The look in a horses eye and pain in their face is proof enough for me coupled with the tension in their body. When I see a horse in hyper flexion it reminds me of a human having his arm twisted behind his back in pain and screaming uncle , it is the same look.



  6. #6
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    Well said, 1faith.



  7. #7
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    Since I imagine rollkur is harder work than "normal flexion", these horses may have just been avoiding doing more work. Which can be said of almost all mammals, if given the choice
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbara_F View Post
    Posted in the Eurodressage community. Scroll down to read about study.

    http://www.barnmice.com/group/theeur...hyperflexion-3
    It's better to post this on TOB, you will certainly find much more supporters

    But if you want see what it'sall about you have to watch and listen to this clinic of Edward Gal and his 6 years old Totilas.

    http://www.viddler.com/explore/dressagedoc/videos/68/

    Theo



  9. #9
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    Okay, just wondering what TOB is? I see people mention it a lot when they think something is... maybe more classical thought? Not sure. Anyway, just wondering = )



  10. #10
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    Haha, just read about that study...

    Kind of reminds me of those social psych experiments you read about in school where you go "duh" after you read the results of the test.

    Of course a horse is going to prefer to go where he gets to work more easily. Working in Rollkur position is VERY hard for a horse. It'd probably have had the same result if it got to choose to go to the ring where it walked the whole time or the ring where it had to work in a collected trot.

    Also, many horses get very excited during strenuous work. Isn't it pretty established that Rollkur is strenuous? So it's not really that surprising that a horse would react more strongly to fear stimulus when his mind is in a more excited state.

    Anyway, this is not me advocating Rollkur, it's just me thinking this study was kind of a "yeah, obviously" kind of study. But I suppose it's good for the few people out there that might somehow think that riding in a hyperflexed position feels good to a horse... Who are those people? Don't think I'd want to meet them.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bort84 View Post
    Haha, just read about that study...

    Kind of reminds me of those social psych experiments you read about in school where you go "duh" after you read the results of the test.

    Of course a horse is going to prefer to go where he gets to work more easily. Working in Rollkur position is VERY hard for a horse. It'd probably have had the same result if it got to choose to go to the ring where it walked the whole time or the ring where it had to work in a collected trot.

    Also, many horses get very excited during strenuous work. Isn't it pretty established that Rollkur is strenuous? So it's not really that surprising that a horse would react more strongly to fear stimulus when his mind is in a more excited state.

    Anyway, this is not me advocating Rollkur, it's just me thinking this study was kind of a "yeah, obviously" kind of study. But I suppose it's good for the few people out there that might somehow think that riding in a hyperflexed position feels good to a horse... Who are those people? Don't think I'd want to meet them.
    If the horses ridden in hyperflexion are light, balanced, and using themselves like those who use it claim, then shouldn't the work be about the same as a horse ridden in the classical frame being worked through the same maneuvers? If I'm not mistaken those who make use of it claim it's better because it makes it easier for the horse to use himself so wouldn't that mean if it did what it is claimed to that it would actually probably be easier?
    "A horse doesn't care how much you know until he knows how much you care."

    "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of fight in the dog."



  12. #12
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    Meh, I don't think anyone actually believes that though, just their propoganda to keep people from writing newspaper exposes about them all the time. I mean, even if it's an exercise to produce a light balanced horse (meh), the exercise itself is not easy, and i can't imagine anyone trying to pretend it is.

    No way Anky actually thinks riding her horse with his nose to his chest is easier than him bopping along at or in front of the vertical, haha. She may say it's an exercise that produces a light balanced animal that can use itself more easily after the flexion. But as experienced as she is, I doubt she'd say a horse would consistently choose rollkur over normal flexion. And really, there are a lot of things dressage strives for that create a better balanced horse that a horse would never choose to do. Like, would he rather go to the ring where he works a half pass at the trot? Or to the ring where he works a medium trot down the rail. Horses will always choose what is easiest for them to do. It's horsey/human nature.

    Not me saying rollkur is a good exercise, just that it's one that even its advocates would admit is not an easy thing for a horse to do.

    But again, that's why I said, perhaps the study is good for those who think that position feels good, haha. It certainly is useful to those unfamiliar with the issue (and unfamiliar with horsemanship) that might think it's just a nice stretchy for their pony.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gladys View Post
    .

    I also know that the University of Guelph where the study was done is respected internationally as one of the leading centres of research and care in the field of equine health, with some of the foremost equine scientists in the world. If anyone is interested in finding out about them you can Google Equine Guelph or University of Guelph.
    I think observation of that type of behaviour would be what inspired the study, although I can't say for sure.
    Strictly speaking this researcher works at Kemptville College (a college of agricultural technology) which is affiliated with the University of Guelph. She is a PhD not a vet or an anatomist (which is neither here nor there, I agree). I am not a behavioral scientist but I have reservations about taking this kind of study too seriously...there are way too many variables.
    * <-- RR Certified Gold Star {) <-- RR Golden Croissant Award
    Training Tip of the Day: If you can’t beat your best competitor, buy his horse.
    NO! What was the question?



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gladys View Post
    I'm not a professional animal behaviorist, so I'm not qualified to pass judgment on the study, but it did make sense to me.

    I also know that the University of Guelph where the study was done is respected internationally as one of the leading centres of research and care in the field of equine health, with some of the foremost equine scientists in the world. If anyone is interested in finding out about them you can Google Equine Guelph or University of Guelph.

    In my experience and from what I have observed, horses do know that when they go either along a certain route or to a specific location, they will be worked in a certain type of way. That is the primary reason some horses balk at entering the training ring, the show ring, etc. Some horse refuse to even walk along the path leading to the training ring - it is not uncommon at all and is an issue that trainers working with young or sour horses sometimes deal with.

    I think observation of that type of behaviour would be what inspired the study, although I can't say for sure.
    Yes our children have the same behaviour when I give them the choice going left to school or right to DisneyWorld.
    Last edited by freestyle2music; Jan. 28, 2009 at 09:49 PM.



  15. #15
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    How would you guys design a study to determine this?

    I can see issues with this one--the suggestion that it's "harder" (vs more painful) for the horse to work in rollkur is a legitimate concern.

    But clearly horses, like lab rats, are capable of acts of memory and learning consistent with avoidance of an unpleasant stimulus, so there's nothing inherently laughable about the basic maze design--it's both clever and reasonable.

    Particularly when you have 14 out of 15 horses choosing the non-rollkur route, there is certainly food for thought.

    One way to create a blind comparison would be to test the randomness of the choice before the rollkur training was introduced. Also the rider is a variable--a rider might give a subtle cue they were not aware of, but again, having a prior run with no training and the rider(s) unaware of which direction would eventually lead to rollkur could help control for this.

    And obviously it needs to be reproduced by other researchers, like any study.

    Do you feel this isn't a legitimate area of study at all, or is it just the design of this one? If it's the design, then what would work better?



  16. #16
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    At least you need to give this horses a third choice

    BACK TO MY STABLE



  17. #17
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    When they did a study to determine how horses travel - backwards, angle or frontwards (?), they used heart monitors, blood tests for stress hormones, temperatures, urine for lactose, etc. If a horse is being stressed during rollkur, that would be indicated I'd think.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot's View Post
    When they did a study to determine how horses travel - backwards, angle or frontwards (?), they used heart monitors, blood tests for stress hormones, temperatures, urine for lactose, etc. If a horse is being stressed during rollkur, that would be indicated I'd think.
    This has already been done several times.

    Google around and you will find it !



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by freestyle2music View Post

    But if you want see what it'sall about you have to watch and listen to this clinic of Edward Gal and his 6 years old Totilas.

    http://www.viddler.com/explore/dressagedoc/videos/68/

    Theo
    Theo -

    It would be great to listen to this clinic, unfortunately I don't speak the language. Is there an english translation?
    SherryM
    WildSwan Hanoverians



  20. #20
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    There's a mention of increased heart rate but not much else in the overview article.

    Equine Science Update is subscription only so without seeing the entire study it's not clear what if anything else they monitored.

    Theo, I did find some biological indicator studies, one of which compared "elite" trained dressage horses and "recreationally" trained horses, and came to the conclusion that the heart rate of the elite trained horses 30 minutes POST exercise was lower; thus they experienced less stress.

    However that seems like a 'doh' in itself. I think we can easily conclude that 30 minutes later, the heart rate of an elite athlete will show less stress than the heart rate of an untrained athlete after the same exercise. The study itself refers to the difference in exercise and turn-out being a confounding factor.

    Plus that study, and the others regarding biological factors, called for further study which includes "behavioral" indicators of pain. So maybe there's more to be learned. It is science, after all. Takes awhile to get there.



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