(1) Yes, they "blacked out" the riders faces - but it was still pretty darn obvious who a lot of the riders were, as you can see sponsor logos on saddle pads, their horses, and the colors of their country on their shadbellies.
(2) In several of the pictures, many horses could be seen at one time in what I assume to be a warm-up ring. Personally, I find it a bit odd that EVERY horse was being hyperflexed. Yes, people do subject their horses to hyperflexion - but these pictures give the impression that every FEI competitor does so.
Other than those comments, I'm staying out of the "hyperflexion/rollkur/zwangsjacke" debate.
I don't give a damn what its defenders say. None of those horses are calm, relaxed and forward or confident in their work. This is forced. It's a caricature. Hand riding at its worst. And I don't care that this is warmup. It's not peaking - it's not warming up. And it sure as hell isn't dressage.
If any of you ride this way as part of your training methods - I weep for your horses. There is absolutely no reason to contort your horses bodies in this manner - and I noticed the hands of those riders - and the tautness of the reins. This isn't submission - it's weightlifting.
I pity the people you try and bamboozle into thinking this type of work is appropriate - who then go home and try it on their own pitiable mounts. And - like the folks who think it's ok to sore their horses to get the type of movement the judges want - it's inhumane.
And if you disagree with what I've written - too damn bad.
I've been avoiding the rollkur debate until now, but I can tell you a couple of those pictures were just horrifying. In the 10th and 11th from the bottom on the picture page, the "unidentifiable " horse's head is almost approaching the HORIZONTAL! Even if I had never ridden before, those pictures would be disturbing.
I hadn't seen those pictures before. Don't need any words, any justification, any Gold Medals to back you up-- that is just deplorable. Makes me want to go out and join PETA and try to get this crap outlawed. Hauling on the reins like that, the tension on the curb, the tension throughout the whole horse, the look of despair and defeat in their eyes, the waterskiing position of the riders. Gross.
Reminds me of the saddlebred and other gaited horse show crap I saw as a kid. The extreme shoes, the polishing the feet with an electric sander, the breaking of the tails, the chains, the keeping the horse locked up all the time so it is extra explosive and extravagent at the show, the three year old that collapsed in the ring etc etc etc.
If it really is all about the show and doing this crap to win in the ring (apparantly this crap is leading to winning in the biggest ring because two the those riders are clearly the top of the heap from International competition), then something is very wrong with the show. Something is wrong with the gaits and tension that is being so highly rewarded.
Torn, I already bought my Vegas 2007 World Cup Tickets. However this time around I am going to be sitting in my chair hoping some of these riders get catapulted in the freestyle. Not badly hurt or anything but just thrown on their asses.
Maybe all the Rolkur afflicted horses will have a midnight meeting Animal Farm style at the Thomas and Mack Center and all vow to buck those skinny butted little abusers in the dirt. (Horses are really too tolerant a beast to be burdened with the silly whims of egotistical selfish prize hungry "dressage" riders.
I have to have enjoyed Salineros performances in the past but did see the tension there. These are some of the only photos I have seen of Edward Gal and Gribaldi. Really admired him and Lingh at the World Cup. Now hoping the horse catapults his butt too. I am going to be pulling for anyone who truly respects their horse and would not kick, pull, spur, lean back, haul away simultaneously and force the head to the chest just to get that extra bit of extravagence to win that stupid class.
I have taught classical riding and classical dressage for over 30 years and whilst many labour under the illusion that this technique is something to do with dressage, in my professional view rollkur is riding at its worst.
Classical riding is about acquiring the knowledge to tune into the horse so that his natural grandeur and abilities are freed up and maximised. This has got nothing to do with that whatsoever!
This forced and incorrect way of riding will impair the horse's movement and athletic ability and can do much damage both physically and mentally. Practised over a period of time, it generally leads to unsoundness and back pain for the horse.
It places immeasurable strain on joints, muscles and ligaments. A rigid insistence on fixing/forcing a false outline from an early age, plays havoc with the horse's back and central nervous system.
Too often this sort of work results in quantities of confused, damaged and stressed horses, those that become hysterical and dangerous, being quickly sidelined. It's the few brave survivors, who by their stoicism do the greatest damage to their fellows, for it is they who unwittingly have to fly the flag for the latest fad and fashion. "You see my trainer's method really works!" boasts the winning owner, blithely ignoring the consequences on their horse and all the associated problems that go with it.
I'm sick to death of reading about rollkur and how its correct and I'm sick to death of reading why dressage horses can't go out in fields in herds and why they are unpredictable and bad mannered because they are a high level competition horse.
Its bad for horses, its bad for dressage and its time it was outed! And if a rollkur fan appears on here watch out!
This is a website devoted to manipulation of images , deceit in reporting, and generally useless to promote any kind of rational discourse.
it is not meant to promote sport, but to promote a singular fantasy-obsession where all likeminded can gather and feel good about themselves.
Sure--everyone wants their horses(s) to look like partners. Like it is a dance and both partners are equally happy to be there.
And equally surely, I could take a photo of ANYONE in the world and make them look liike a complete chowderhead.
In fact, Oliveira did that himself, when explaining how he used to want to keep his horses up all the time (with photos) and then realized that it was bad for the horse, bad for the movement, etc etc.
But with digital cameras able to click off some astronomical number of frames per SECOND, the ability to present said number of frames as real MINUTES in real life...becomes easy to do and dangerous to believe.
These are repeated IMAGES, not moments in time.
But to present REINERS and Portuguese riders as the epitome of harmony and tact.
Wow, there's a leap of faith I will never make.
That said, I find the above website one big troll.
This is a website devoted to manipulation of images
Funny enough, though: if the images were manipulated - after all, the same images have been online since 2005 - it would surely have been said so by the riders shown. But not one peep out of them. Just the same old thing, portrait rights and whatnot, but the only really effective way to shut down all criticism would have been to say, and prove, that the images are manipulated.