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Rollkur - Out; Zwangsjacke - In!

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  • Rollkur - Out; Zwangsjacke - In!

    From Colonel Albrecht von Ziegner, as written in the current issue of Dressage Today.

    "It is hard to believe that a workshop under the leadership of the FEI is going down the path of such misconception. In an effort to give Rollkur a chance, they decided to try giving it a pseudoscientific term. 'Hyperflexion' has an academic connotation and hence it carries a higher status!

    "I do agree that the term has to be found which makes sense to riders, trainers and the general public and which describes what it really is: Zwangsjacke or Camisole de Force (straightjacket). To me it appears to be high time to bring these misconceptions to a standstill. Those who are responsible in the equestrian community have to concentrate with great determination on the goal. It can only be the wholehearted effort to maintain the pure doctrines in the way they are implied by the art of classical riding and also to counteract the decline of this important cultural assets into some sort of 'equi-capitalism.' "
    Last edited by Mike Matson; May. 25, 2006, 12:08 PM.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

  • #2
    And awaaayyyy we go...

    Comment


    • #3
      Mike,
      I'm really disappointed that you felt it necessary to stir things up again...
      Siegi
      Siegi Belz
      www.stalleuropa.com
      2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
      Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ooo - train wreck coming - let me go get some popcorn.....

        I like the straitjacket analogy.
        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
        -Rudyard Kipling

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Siegi B,

          I don't think you would have been disappointed in the editor's response.

          Mike
          "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

          Comment


          • #6

            Comment


            • #7
              thanks for the post, Mike Matson.

              You give us a chance for an intelligent discussion. We'll see...

              Comment


              • #8
                Zzzzzzz.....Zzzzzzzz.....Zzzzzzz......

                BTW Mike, what's a workship? Does it float?

                Comment


                • #9
                  But how?

                  How is it going to be an intelligent discussion when the author of the article refers to the training technique as "straightjacket"? He has set the debate up in a pejorative framework. I actually think that it is useful to decide first on an objective name for the practise then explore, research, debate etc on whether it is good or bad or good for some and bad for most or good sometimes or bad always or.. or.. whatever.

                  I would actually not mind seeing a dispassionate, objective, knowledgeable debate on the subject. I personally don't have the background or knowledge to take part in a debate like that. I believe some here do. Unfortunately, in cyber space at least, it seems to bring out posters who end up resorting to name calling and nationality bashing.

                  I would love to be proven wrong.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Atleast we finally have some more widley-known/recognized masters speaking out against the BS that has become internation competitive dressage. After watching several performances on RFD-TV at GP competitions, it's quite distressing to see "extended" trots that don't track up, piaffes and passages where the horse is swinging his hind end all over the place, and piaffes where there is a ton of forward movement. When are people going to realize that this is NOT correct training?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think the term “zwangsjacke” is very fitting. It’s far more descriptive than “rollkur” or “hyperflexion”.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm with you Mozart, I'd "love to be proven wrong" too. Otherwise I'm wasting my time here at COTH -- and some people do have the indepth knowledge for an intelligent discussion.

                        ****
                        Mozart writes, "How is it going to be an intelligent discussion when the author of the article refers to the training technique as "straightjacket"? He has set the debate up in a pejorative framework. I actually think that it is useful to decide first on an objective name for the practise then explore, research, debate etc on whether it is good or bad or good for some and bad for most or good sometimes or bad always or.. or.. whatever.

                        I would actually not mind seeing a dispassionate, objective, knowledgeable debate on the subject. I personally don't have the background or knowledge to take part in a debate like that. I believe some here do. Unfortunately, in cyber space at least, it seems to bring out posters who end up resorting to name calling and nationality bashing.

                        I would love to be proven wrong."

                        ****

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm in the camp, myself. BTDT on the debate. What it's called doesn't matter one whit. The practice is what it is - do it or don't but why discuss ad nauseum any more?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DressageGuy
                            Atleast we finally have some more widley-known/recognized masters speaking out against the BS that has become internation competitive dressage. After watching several performances on RFD-TV at GP competitions, it's quite distressing to see "extended" trots that don't track up, piaffes and passages where the horse is swinging his hind end all over the place, and piaffes where there is a ton of forward movement. When are people going to realize that this is NOT correct training?
                            Many people already do realize it is not correct and the results produced by it are not correct (ducks for cover. ) I've had some very interesting conversations with my dressage coach who is an R judge and very against rollkur and all it's lesser variations. She feels the change back to classical and correct principles will begin here in the US and spread back to Europe. It is interesting to hear the perspective of someone who has trained several GP horses without rollkur and who is very upset at the modern trends.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't see it starting here in the US. I see it spreading much further here first, before the sheeple realize that just because someone's winning everything in sight, does NOT mean that they train correctly. Our country is so hung up on winning, that I really cannot foresee the trend starting here. I see it possibly beginning in Germany, but I really have no idea. I've talked to several BNT's and upper-level trainers, and all felt that RK is a bane on classical dressage.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Those who use traditional methods, and more importantly seek uphill balance and collection, have not ever varied from the course. Those with only a short time in the sport who happened to come to power (by mistaken reasoning) have no committment to the long term survival of the support, and certainly no traditional to uphold. The written guidelines of the FEI still promote that balance as well; people with a long term commitment to the horse feel differently. So, we should either follow the directives for balance, etc, or honestly abandon them and write new guidelines. That part is clear. And if no one wants to uphold the principles, then start another group full of flashy movement, tense gaits, and loud music (how can a horse's hearing taken what makes peoples heads hurt to listen to?). Those who seek to sustain the principles do not sign up for this equivocation, although they should have stopped it earlier instead of thinking it would disappear by itself. Why should they? And those who do not believe in the guidelines are delicately cloaked by (AvZ's well stated) 'camisole de force' image. Well the camisole is thin, and the balance even more suspect.

                                The people who stand against lack of balance are not of one country, but of one (uphill) balance and correct collection. French/spanish/swiss/german/scandanavian/even dutch.
                                Last edited by ideayoda; May. 25, 2006, 03:32 PM.
                                I.D.E.A. yoda

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think that I am not convinced that it doesn't have physiological ramifications and I'm not sure how that can be proven. For instance, in the hyperflexion position my concern would be that it can narrow the airway and therfore reduce the ability of oxygen intake. If held for a sustained period of time, a reduction of O2 will cause fatigue which may lead to injury to the different systems but mainly muscle and ligament. So, my thoughts are from a medical perspective first and formost.
                                  Whether the horses are "Happy" or not well each horse is different. One theory I have discussed with a very well known trainer..... says that when a horses head is down as when eating there is a natural release of seritonin... so relaxation may occur when in the hyperflexion position. When a horses head is up is when adrenalin is released and therefore they have increased and hightened sense of awareness. So, I take no position on the matter only wonder about these things. Thoughts?
                                  "The well being of a horse should never be compromised for the ego of a human" dlg 06

                                  http://qualitytack4sale.webs.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My perception of rollkur/zwangsjacke issue:

                                    Rollkur and riding the horse behind the vertical have become widely accepted in the dressage competition community and there are those who would like any further discussion on rollkur to go away but as long as rollkur is promoted as ‘dressage’ training the controversy will continue. It’s not a matter of argumentativeness or close mindedness. There are valid reasons why many supporters of the Equestrian Art can not accept horses being ridden behind the vertical as dressage:

                                    • The horse’s natural head and neck position express the horse’s balance (or imbalance) or discomfort. Riding the horse in a forced frame takes away the horse’s voice.

                                    • Either the horse must use incorrect neck muscles in order to hold its face behind the vertical or the rider must actively hold the horse behind the vertical. Either way, undue tension is created.

                                    • Riding the horse behind the vertical constrains the horse's neck, restricts its movements, distorts its gaits and is in direct conflict with the horse’s nature.

                                    • Riding the horse behind the vertical makes it impossible for the horse to use it haunches correctly and find the relaxation that enables the horse to enjoy its freedom of movement and independent balance.

                                    • When the horse’s face is behind the vertical the horse can not carry its head and neck in balance over its shoulders so that the forehand can be efficiently lifted and carried with the assistance of the haunches.

                                    • The thrusting energy of the hind legs does not travel through to the poll. The energy only makes it to the area in the neck where the vertebra are ‘broken’, at which point the energy is stifled by the head and remaining neck that are hanging downward heavily off the front end of the horse. The weight of the already overburdened forehand is increased.

                                    The purpose of the Equestrian Art is to harmoniously develop the physique and ability of the horse by improving the rhythm and purity of its gaits to the point where the horse relaxes and naturally reaches forward with its whole spine to offer the rider a soft elastic contact with the bit, thereby enabling the rider to refine the horse’s balance and energy to collection. It’s improving the horse’s balance that not only makes the horse more enjoyable to ride, it can help extend its useful and pain free life. Keep in mind that the high airs above the ground – the display of ultimate refinement of balance and energy – don’t require extreme ‘stretching’. The classical principles that the art is based on were not arrived at as a matter of personal taste. They were derived from the laws of balance and behavior science, with clear objectives in mind. Balance is a matter of physics and can not be influenced by personal preference.

                                    It doesn’t take an expert to see that even the ‘top’ horses who have been trained behind the vertical or with rollkur (Albrecht von Ziegner's uses the fitting term, “zwangsjacke”), exhibit increased weight on the forehand, distorted gaits, tension, false head sets, lack of throughness and imbalance, all of which inhibit engagement. In essence, riding the horse behind the vertical produces the opposite effect of what the Equestrian Art sets out to accomplish. I see the focus on rollkur as a distraction created to take attention away from the heart of the issue, which is that horses, performing fundamentally incorrect work by classical standards, are being highly rewarded in competition.

                                    The FEI instituted the International Dressage Event in order to protect the Equestrian Art from the abuses to which it can be exposed and to preserve the Art in the purity of its principles. Either the FEI will uphold the enduring classical principles of dressage or it won’t. The development of the sport at the expense of its principles can not, in all honesty, be considered ‘development’ of the sport of Dressage. It is the development of another riding style and ought to be officially recognized as such.

                                    If the FEI is going to offer Dressage in competition then the FEI owes it to it’s the equestrian community to carefully select judges who understand and uncompromisingly uphold the classical Art in the purity of its principles and who will recognize and reward correctly working balanced horses.

                                    http://www.ridingart.com/visual-points.htm
                                    http://www.ridingart.com/balance.htm

                                    Tonja Dausend

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      who is making the Tshirt?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by DressageGuy
                                        I don't see it starting here in the US. I see it spreading much further here first, before the sheeple realize that just because someone's winning everything in sight, does NOT mean that they train correctly. Our country is so hung up on winning, that I really cannot foresee the trend starting here. I see it possibly beginning in Germany, but I really have no idea. I've talked to several BNT's and upper-level trainers, and all felt that RK is a bane on classical dressage.
                                        It was just her opinion and I dare not say why here or I will get slammed for certain. She did have some logical thought behind that comment.

                                        Tonya, I really enjoyed your post and feel you made some very good points.

                                        Comment

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