Some Rotten Riding in Denmark

So now it’s Danish dressage officials defending riders forcibly over-flexing their horses at the recent national championships. It doesn’t take a genius to look at the pictures posted by spectator Veronica Starstone Merlin and see that “aggressive force” is most certainly being used to crank these horses into these postures. Never mind that the FEI explicitly deemed this type of force “not acceptable” more than two years ago.

Call it rollkur, low/deep/round or anything else, it’s forcing a horse into a position isn’t good for him. Can I prove that? No. Do I know it to be true with every fiber of my being. Yes. Not sure? Read this for some sensible, knowledgeable information.

I’m just happy to see the issue continues to get coverage on the web and in social media. Bravo to Ms. Merlin and to Danish-based for calling it as they see it and to every other person and media outlet that speaks out against this awful excuse for training.
(Photo above courtesy Veronica Starstone Merlin)


5 thoughts on “Some Rotten Riding in Denmark

  1. I think what THEY do, should not be considered or called Dressage. If it was called something ELSE, then it would hopefully become disassociated with the discipline many of us have been trying to achieve for YEARS, even on a small, non-competitive scale. It causes those of us who believe in Dressage as a pathway to a partnership with our horses, to be embarrassed, angered, and frustrated. If THAT is what is accepted and promoted by the governing body of the sport, I certainly don’t want to follow in their footsteps.

    • Isn’t it amazing how so many people, in their endless search for something bigger and better, completely mess up a good thing. If a little is good, a hideous caricature must be better. Think “big lick” Tennessee Walking Horses or those awful sideways-canted troping stock horses.
      If more people could envision dressage as a pathway to horse/human partnership, the process of training would be so much better for the horses and, I sincerely believe, much more satisfying for the riders.

      • Troping?

        Now my neck hurts. A lot. And my back. Because I kept wanting to ride those poor horses forward out of that awful twist and into a soft hand.

        Musculature doesn’t lie. Those muscles are screaming about what’s been done to those horses.

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