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Walter Zettl Speaks on Zwangsjacke

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  • Walter Zettl Speaks on Zwangsjacke

    The following was posted by Walter Zettl on the UDBB:

    "Col. von Ziegner asked me to try to get his response to “The Workshop in Lausanne” published in the Dressage Today. After I read his response, I was happy to offer it to the DT, and they immediately agreed to publish it.

    Col. von Ziegner is an old friend of mine from many years ago. He is also an advocate of classical dressage, like me and many of the BB-friends, as well as of the new Xenophon Gesellschaft. He was one of the founders. They are against the “Zwangsjackenreiterei”. Col. von Ziegner is 84 years old, is still very active in teaching and riding. His remarks touched my soul.

    It is incredible that these people, who are at the head of the FEI, are allowing this kind of riding. One should question their knowledge of horsemanship. Should not their priority be the well-being of the horse? What did they do about the protection of the horses at Lausanne? All they did was create a new word for the Zwangsjackenreiterei – “Hyperflexion of the neck”, and which can only be used by “top” riders. Someone please tell me what is correct about this new riding style? By the way, under Baucher, we already experienced a similar type of riding. The horses were tortured, and they became soulless creatures.

    As a result of force riding, the horses hardly stays still, they are very tense, and they do not do a correct walk or no walk at all. One rider (whose horse does not do a walk at all anymore because he is tense and frightened), made the suggestion to take the walk out of the higher classes of dressage. Why not then take everything with which they might have trouble out? Like a correct collecting trot? The “hyperflexion of the neck” horse does a kind of passage. In the medium and extended trot, the horse throws his front legs unnaturally high, and therefore the horse only takes very short steps with his hind legs to balance himself, and is not covering any ground. It takes half an hour to get across the diagonal! The canter is too short and stiff, and during flying changes, the horse swings to the left and to the right, due to too much leg moving to the back. The pirouettes are 4-beat, because the rules require them to be as small as possible. We have to change the rules to make them bigger so that the horse is able perform them in a correct 3-beat canter. In the piaffe one does not see any forward movement because of force used in the training: too strong hand and leg (spurs) aids. To stay balanced the horse has to cross the front legs or swing to the left and right side. Most of the time, the horse is too short through the neck, and escapes the aids.

    The three gaits should never lose their naturalness, but with hyperflexion of the neck, what is left? Those poor horses are not “gymnastized” to make them physically and mentally stronger, but are trained mechanically to perform a certain test and then they feel they are in a “Zwangsjacke” (straightjacket).

    Please keep up the fight for the classical (humane) training of our horses. They will be thankful and show us their appreciation through their trust and devotion.

    P.S. A short time ago, Dr. Ulrike Thiel got in contact with me. She has a small institute in Holland which researches the training of dressage horses and its effects. She heard of me through my German edition of “Dressage in Harmony”. By reading my book she recognized my philosophy about classical training. I have to admit that this lady left a big impression on me, as she does in Holland (the lion’s den of the Zwangsjackenreiterei) fighting this type of riding. In the meantime, she sent me three DVD’s which show training in the warm-up ring with hyperflexion of the neck. When she asked Anke and Sjef to publish them, they threatened her with a lawsuit. If their training is humane, why would they prohibit her showing those DVD’s? If your are interested in learning more about her and her work, here is her website: www.hippocampus-nl.com."
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

  • #2
    I don't see what is so incredible about it! If they took it out of the dressage warm up, they would have to take it out of the jumper and eventing warm up. As far as the tense walks, that is an error in peak for brilliance and not a result of hyperflexion.
    www.stfrancispetmedals.com

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    • #3
      I ought to know better and stay out of this. Give it new names, call it a new practice. It's NOT new. Anymore than a crop or a spur is "new".

      Put a crop or a spur in the wrong hand or on the wrong foot, and it can be an instrument of abuse.

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      • #4
        Who is Walter Zettl

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        • #5
          sabryant, you keep using this excuse, of, they're just peaking their horses. BULSHIT. You can peak a horse without making its gaits impure. Hell, I got one of my better performances out of Chase yesterday after having him spook. Got some beautiful medium trots, and collected trot. It doesn't mean they have to lose what should be natural for these so-called "top atheletes".

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          • #6
            DG: check your PMs.

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            • #7
              Dress-a little-edgy Guy, I think that I said in a post that peaking a horse was an ART unto itself. A rather lost one, wouldn't you say? Glad you had a good ride today. Hope you got a great score!!
              www.stfrancispetmedals.com

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              • #8
                I realize it's an art, but to do it in such a fashion that you lose the natural beauty of the horse, is not an art to me.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DressageGuy
                  I realize it's an art, but to do it in such a fashion that you lose the natural beauty of the horse, is not an art to me.
                  Aren't you in Europe yet to brush up on the real stuff going on??

                  Glad that you figured out how to use a spook to your advantage..WOW- now take it one step further and get a 'good' spook feeling going all the time...that's one of the many recipes that create a winning ride...


                  Mike Matson- what is it that makes you so happy to bring subjects from TOB to this board?? Could it be that the constant yes-mentality over there is boring the living gageebees out of you...---> back to TOB for you!!
                  "the man mite be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants..." -smart greek woman

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                  • #10
                    Sabine, you really a condescending person. I don't know quite why I'm responding to your childish taunts, but here we are. Yes, I know, that's what I strive for. Try doing it without having had regular lessons in 2 months. You obviously are SOOO much better than we mere mortals. Pleeaassseee, show us the error of our ways. (Insert eye-roll here).

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                    • #11
                      Yikes, you need to get to know her a bit better then. Check the other RK thread. She's one of the most condescending people I've seen on here, and it's acknowledged by others too. And I've had plenty of beers.

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                      • #12
                        thanks DG- just because I don't agree with your rather provincial view on training techniques- doesn't mean I am condescending. In fact I am trying to point out to you that broadening your knowledge might help you understand what this RK thing really is in international dressage- rather than spouting what you read from well respected- yet retired famous horsemen.
                        Go see for yourself- that's all I have said to you.
                        don't worry- carry on...
                        "the man mite be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants..." -smart greek woman

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                        • #13
                          I'm sorry WPF but how can it be classy to belittle someone and keep accusing them for not being able to run to Europe all the time?!?!
                          What continent you are on and what level of riding one personally is at doesn't change a single thing about everybody being entitled to build their own opinion based on what information they have available. The amount of arrogance in these posts is unbelievable. Who are you to judge DressageGuy's level of expereince? As if any of you guys were as close to the scene as you all claim to be *LOL*. Quite ridiculous really. I feel with you DressageGuy. And am out of here. Kindergarteners have more civilized manners than this.
                          Froh zu sein bedarf es wenig...
                          http://www.germanhorseconnection.com
                          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Germa...m/237648984580

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kareen
                            I'm sorry WPF but how can it be classy to belittle someone and keep accusing them for not being able to run to Europe all the time?!?!
                            What continent you are on and what level of riding one personally is at doesn't change a single thing about everybody being entitled to build their own opinion based on what information they have available. The amount of arrogance in these posts is unbelievable. Who are you to judge DressageGuy's level of expereince? As if any of you guys were as close to the scene as you all claim to be *LOL*. Quite ridiculous really. I feel with you DressageGuy. And am out of here. Kindergarteners have more civilized manners than this.
                            Kareen,
                            we all know you sit right in the middle of the hot bed- you just have to stick your neck out your window and can watch international level dressage.
                            All I ever suggested to DG (ironic...) is to take a peek at what is like over there...you playing holier than thou just fits your purpose....go figure...
                            why don't you invite DG to your place for a while and do some good for the American dressage youth...?

                            Lead the way- instead of bemoaning the style....
                            "the man mite be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants..." -smart greek woman

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                            • #15
                              I don't NEED to go to Europe to "broaden my knowledge" as you so kindly put it. I see plenty of it on this side of the pond. Saw a YR at NAYRC 2 years ago riding her horse with his chin on his chest. Nauseated me even then.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by DressageGuy
                                Sabine, you really a condescending person. I don't know quite why I'm responding to your childish taunts, but here we are. Yes, I know, that's what I strive for. Try doing it without having had regular lessons in 2 months. You obviously are SOOO much better than we mere mortals. Pleeaassseee, show us the error of our ways. (Insert eye-roll here).
                                Maybe it is because you are looking for it. I will like to hear your comment about what is said by Walter Zettl, when he mentions that Rollkur is causing that in the Piaffe there is not enough forward movement, in contrast with what you said in the other thread, when your argument was that you can't find a Piaffe in place any longer, that everyone is now always moving a little forward. Or you are going to tell us know that Zettl is wrong. This is what we have been trying to tell you, nothing else. You have all the right of the world to your own opinion, but that doesn't mean that you can't make a mistake, we all do, God knows that I make lots of mistakes.

                                The point is that you are making comments without a strong knowledge basis, I was your age once and I was also passionate and I learned when it was time to get better informed before making such strong comments. If you give yourself time to learn, your arguments are going to be of more value.

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                                • #17
                                  Thank you PRE for your kind and well chosen words. I hope DG listened.
                                  While thinking about this I realize that while I could be DG's mom and am surrounded by my own kids who are bursting with passion and energy for different ventures than dressage- but often show the same attitude...I should know better...bad on me!
                                  "the man mite be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck can turn the head any way she wants..." -smart greek woman

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Sabine
                                    Thank you PRE for your kind and well chosen words. I hope DG listened.
                                    While thinking about this I realize that while I could be DG's mom and am surrounded by my own kids who are bursting with passion and energy for different ventures than dressage- but often show the same attitude...I should know better...bad on me!
                                    I used to think DQ stood for dressage queen, not drama queen.

                                    You sure have a lot of time to post on Internet BB's for someone with so many horses to ride.
                                    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                    -Rudyard Kipling

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      do you always descend to such statements in discussions? JESUS, i may not always agree with sabine but i don't go THAT low. can you kind of make like a line you don't cross, and then be brave about not crossing it?

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                                      • #20
                                        I agree with Mr. Zettl - sorry for the person who has never heard of him! You don't have to look very far to see numerous photos here and over the pond of horses with what is supposed to be an extended trot - but looks more like a "goose step" march stride up front and a hind end that just can't motor up due to the overflexion in the neck.

                                        If some people prefer tight, tense, stilted movements in GP - well then focus on those Rolkur horses - when the reins are released they almost look like they CAN'T stretch their necks forward - probably due to a lactic acid build up in the muscles.

                                        Sadly this "Nose to the Knees" warm-up is now creeping into other disciplines and more often than not by riders who are just plain LOUSY riders themselves. We seem to see more and more people looking for the "quick fix" and if the horse has to suffer a little - well they seem to feel that's o.k. As long as THEY - the riders - don't have to work too hard.

                                        The hardest part breeders like myself face now is "vetting" potential buyers to make sure the horses don't head down this HEAD DOWN ROAD. I would be physically ill if I saw one of our horses ridden this way - and I wouldn't care if it was an Olympic a** on the saddle or an Amateur one.
                                        Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                                        "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

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