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Coby van Baalen and student NOT GUILTY in Power and Paint case

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  • Coby van Baalen and student NOT GUILTY in Power and Paint case

    This week Power and Paint won the Pony of the Year award.

    Next to this Coby, Angela etc.... were found NOT Guilty on any of the accusations concernig the Power and Paint case. Also the Royal Dutch Horse Federation was forced to publish all the documents concerning this accusations and the findings of the court on their website.

    Merry Christmas

    Added : I just red the 30 pages which were published on the KNHS website, and I can tell you that this was a extensive study with very good documented conclussions from the court.
    Here is the link : http://www.knhs.nl/objects/00008319.pdf

    When I can find some time I will translate the most important parts !
    Last edited by freestyle2music; Dec. 24, 2007, 07:35 PM.

  • #2
    Theo; unfortunately I think she has already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.
    *** 4 More Years ***
    *** 4 More Years ***


    • Original Poster

      Yes I know

      Originally posted by Dalfan View Post
      Theo; unfortunately I think she has already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.
      You are probably right, but I think you over-estimate the power of the BB's and or media, because on every BB you have the silent majority. But what we have seen in Europe (the last week) is the fact that the van Baalen's and their horses get extra applause and recognition. Choosing Power and Paint as the "Pony of the Year" was decided by Internet votes ! And the media have to make a deep bow now, while for the first time ever the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation was forced to publish the outcome of this courtcase on their website and in their magazine.

      It seems that there are still many people who believe the experts and don't have an agenda or a frustration !


      • #4
        Not guilty of what? What were the charges?


        • #5
          I have to agree with Dalfan. While, on paper, she was not found guilty, she has still lost the respect of many people in the dressage community.
          Pictures of my horses and I.

          "God forbid that I should go to a Heaven in which there are no horses"


          • #6
            Ah, they must have spent a lot of money on a very good lawyer!
            \"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.\"--Pogo


            • #7
              Originally posted by Dalfan View Post
              Theo; unfortunately I think she has already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.
              Sad thought. Possibly not true AND won't mean much for COBY and CO.


              • Original Poster

                Yes it did

                Originally posted by Hazelnut View Post
                Sad thought. Possibly not true AND won't mean much for COBY and CO.
                The hardest part for Coby was not the BB's, but the fact that the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation started this courtcase against her and the junior rider. Yes the KNHS was butchered down by the judges but it always will stay a "Pirus Victorie" for Coby and her stable. I don't think it is different in all other countries, but specially in Holland the managers of the KNHS have very long toes. And since these same people decide who is invited for international competitions it can become a problem (also for Coby and Marlies's students).

                And Mary in Area 1 don't worry about the cost of the expensive lawyers, because the KNHS is also convicted in the cost of the procedure, probably meaning that they just raise the cost of starting at competitions

                One of the most remarkable things in this courtcase is that the court has based their conclussions (next to the reports of the experts etc..etc..) on a German book called "Richtlinien für Reiten und Fahren Part 6 Longieren"


                • #9
                  So now will she feel free to be more "forthcoming" about what she was doing and why she was doing it?


                  • Original Poster

                    Strange behaviour

                    Originally posted by sing View Post
                    So now will she feel free to be more "forthcoming" about what she was doing and why she was doing it?
                    Everything is very well documented in the manyyy pages of the courtcase.

                    Exceptional (for the court) was also the fact that the photographer's statements on the internet changed from day to day and that he refused to give a written statement nor wanted to be heared in this case by the court.


                    • #11
                      You can rejoice in the court case all you want, Theo. Because you are a friend of van Baalen I just don't think you can be counted on in this particular situation to have a balanced point of view.

                      I don't think van Baalen is any criminal either, I see her as more of a victem of this method than anything else. She's just doing what a lot of people are doing. And I'm sure the photographer did everything he could to make it look as bad as possible, and may not want to say exactly in detail how he did that, and I'm sure there was pressure on him both to go to court and to NOT go to court (hell the dog organization got death threats when they took away degeneres's dog) ....and I'm also sure that the pony was longed in very short side reins.

                      I'm not sure I really care how long it was done for, or any of the details. The details are constantly being argued, so are hard to establish for sure, but I'm not sure they really matter, either. They aren't the question, the question is -

                      Say you own a talented top class horse that you campaign internationally. Do you want people to see that you allow your trainer to train him this way? Do you want people to think it requires extreme methods to get him to do his work? Can you sell horses by your stallion to the legion of average riders, and convince them they need to like this kind of training if they want to win? You might not be able to. it is a risk. Does someone spend a million dollars on a breeding stallion and let him go around like this? Perhaps, it seems like an acceptable risk less and less as we go forward.

                      I think the back of rollkur is broken by this incident, the change will not be instant, of course it will take a lot of time, but I think the time of the extreme training position is starting to narrow down. I do think it's ok to have a horse in a little bit of a deep position and I think that will continue. But I also think that the popularity of the extreme positioning is going to start to be affected.

                      And no. Not just among the fabled group of American middle aged, ignorant, housewife non riders you so strongly have said are the only ones that object to this.

                      The other trouble is the argument, 'It wins'. If someone beats horses trained in an extreme posture by using other methods, that tends to make it not look like something one necessarily has to do.

                      I don't think it's abuse, I think the horses can breathe ok, and I don't think it destroys their performance utterly, but I still think there are better ways that create a better performance, and I think there are methods that can be taught to lower level riders with less risk of them screwing it up.

                      I've taken a very impartial and at times 'well at least let's examine this a little less hysterically' and received a lot of insults for doing even that - I still don't feel it's painful - but I still see people training horses to perform very well - without a lot of extreme positioning.

                      There are just more and more trainers like Hubertus Schmidt and others who train the horses pretty much without this.

                      I don't agree that permanently sticking a horse up in 'up and open' posture is any better than rollkur, resulting in a flat stiff back and less range of motion...and I don't agree that a horse should spend its entire life with its head in the dirt 'stretching'....but I do think that there are methods that give better results than rollkur. And that, I think, more than anything, is what will break its back.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by canticle View Post
                        Not guilty of what? What were the charges?
                        Here you go:




                        I never really thought they would do anything about this. How can they when it's so commonly practiced over there by their highest level riders. To do so would be to admit that it might be "harmful" even in the hands of an experienced person like Coby.


                        • Original Poster

                          SLC you could be right

                          SLC you could be right

                          However as we look at the red-line in all these disputes. More and more experts are coming with studies telling us that these new generation of horses benefit from this toolbox. And NO these are not only the Dutch experts.

                          A part off the conclussions of the court was build on the German Book "Richtliniën für Reiten und Fahren, Band 6, Longieren"

                          My own translation

                          While lunging the older/schooled horses it is general accepted (depending on the build of a horse) that the Lauffezügel (Drawreins ?) goes from short to long...........................................

                          The general findings: during this courtcase it became clear that this method of lunging for Power and Paint was necessary and acceptable. Power and Paint has a short and strong neck and a weak back and needed this short to long Lauffezügel.....

                          I think the further we come, we get more and more research that it is beneficial for specific horses and certainly not pain- or stressfull.


                          • #14
                            I say this out of deepest respect for both of you - Theo for your experience as a freestyle designer hob nobbing with the dressage world and getting exposure to a lot of interesting discussions, and Daydream Believer as a person who tries to be nice to her horses and has strong beliefs.

                            Because one person says it in a book, Theo, doesn't mean everyone agrees. Because a bunch of mutual a** kissing went on at some meeting, doesn't mean Holland has a solution.

                            Point of fact - this is no solution for HOlland. It makes them look - VERY BAD.

                            This is, in fact, a public relations problem, and as usual, perception is 9/10ths of the law, and facts that either side can trumpet are just plain bullhockey and nothing more.

                            And I saw NOWHERE in that book where it said that 'short to long' means putting a pony's chin on his chest on THAT short of a siderein. NO - WHERE. We've done 'short to long' for 25 yrs, but NEVER like that.

                            And I think if you cornered the author and challenged him with that, he'd say, 'sh** no, i never said THAT short, let me outta here'. I bet he'd support you not at all if he was cornered. "Did you tell Coby to put her pony's chin on his chest?" He'd be on his feet with car keys in hand.

                            You see, I don't think EITHER Theo OR Daydream Believer have a realistic handle on this situation - or a solution, which I think is far, far more important than what any opinion is.

                            They represent two extremes - extremes I don't agree with.

                            First of all, I think it defies every single principle of physics and athletic training and conditioning, to suggest that short side reins ALONE would produce correct supple back muscle on a weak backed horse. That's absurd.

                            That's where I think you are wrong, DB. To 'admit it's harmful', they'd have to have some indication that it IS harmful - I think the sense of the word as you're using it is - 'mentally and physically abusive, causing both immediate horrible pain, discomfort, and mental anguish, AND long term physical and mental damage that is cumulative'.

                            They don't have that. And they are very unlikely to get that. And even if they did, do you REALLY think people on the opposite extreme would accept it? YOu're not THAT naive, I hope.

                            But this you have to try and understand - there are people who will NEVER believe that it is painful or abusive, and that argument just isn't going to work with alot of people - whether you think that's fair or not. That people do not see it exactly as you do - does not make them abusive or bad people or horse killers. It means they see it differently from you. You'll never get anywhere with this cause til you accept that. That is VERY important.

                            What you have to try and understand is that there is only one argument that will REALLY work to get rid of it - that you can score better, win more, have a better trained horse, using a different method.

                            And yes, I think the fact that alot of people use the method affects how cavalierly someone can judge against it.

                            Say you were to feel that overcheck bits were harmful to fine harness horses, or that draw reins were harmful to jumpers, or even further, that sliding stops are harmful to reining horses, or that jumping combinations is linked to hock arthritis - it would be ETREMELY awkward for any riding organization to take any official action against methods and practices. It can, conceivably, result in the outlawing of horseback riding or competition - study a bit if you don't believe that.

                            The FEI and judges have no precedent, really, to get involved in training and warmup methods - many methods have incited public comment or even outrage, but the FEI has really historically pretty much stayed out of that.
                            Last edited by slc2; Dec. 25, 2007, 10:01 AM.


                            • #15
                              Yes but didn't the FEI say last year (or whenever that was) in that Rollkur symposium that they held that hyperflexion could be harmful in inexperienced hands? My point was that to convict Coby of abuse would have meant that their original definition of "who" could correctly use hyperflection safely might not have been correct....that even an experienced trainer could misuse this "technique."

                              Have any of you read Dr. Gerd Heuschmann's "Tug of War: Classical Versus 'Modern' Dressage?" He sets out to prove in there that these sorts of training methods as well as others can be harmful. I have not finished it yet but am just getting into the interesting parts now.


                              • Original Poster

                                but the FEI has really historically pretty much stayed out of that.

                                but the FEI has really historically pretty much stayed out of that.
                                No they didn't because they (the FEI) gave Coby an official warning. However they have to withdraw this warning now, because it seems to be based on nothing.

                                I don't give/gave you my own statements I just describe/translate what is in the documents which were used and published by the court (tuchtcollege).

                                But before you draw your conclussions it might be wise to read all these documents.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                                  Yes but didn't the FEI say last year (or whenever that was) in that Rollkur symposium that they held that hyperflexion could be harmful in inexperienced hands? My point was that to convict Coby of abuse would have meant that their original definition of "who" could correctly use hyperflection safely might not have been correct....that even an experienced trainer could misuse this "technique."

                                  Have any of you read Dr. Gerd Heuschmann's "Tug of War: Classical Versus 'Modern' Dressage?" He sets out to prove in there that these sorts of training methods as well as others can be harmful. I have not finished it yet but am just getting into the interesting parts now.
                                  Every horse in inexperienced hands is in danger !

                                  And I have listened to Dr. Gerd Heuschmann's statements during the Global Dressage Forum (some years ago). And as long he doesn't tell me why he suddenly changed his mind about this subject, he is and stays for me somebody who "goes with the flow".



                                  • #18
                                    A very experienced trainer (Olympic medals, trained umpteen horses of various breed to international and national GP, etc etc etc) once said to me:

                                    "If God herself comes down and tells you to do something --you still have all the responsibility yourself for your ride."
                                    one oak, lots of canyons



                                    • #19
                                      I did a research paper on Rollkur and used the Power and Paint case as one reference... I was trying to prove them GUILTY. Poo!


                                      • #20
                                        The only thing that really matters, the only thing you really can control, is how you take care of and train your own horses in the near term. I have to go re-arrange our stalls so our little 'worthless' Welsh pony filly doesn't get stuck in the fence again. We're celebrating Christmas with an electric drill and hammer and pliers, but at least we're celebrating it in a stable, ROFLMAO!

                                        This thing will change slowly. There will always be some people who do it, but I think that gradually, you will see less and less of it at show warmups, even in cases where people use it at home. There will always be 'private stuff' of various types - you will never totally get away with that. 30 yrs ago my friend went to a top stable in Germany to buy an FEI horse - after everyone left, out came the ankle rollers to get the feet up in the air on the horses that were a little - dee dee dee, LOL. You never totally get away from every little thing.

                                        The public perception does put pressure on trainers and riders - slowly...and in the end, I think that is the best way to have it go away.

                                        The most interesting thing for me in 2007 was seeing for myself that really extreme positioning isn't necessary - even at the most competitive levels.