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 Traditional Dressage / articles

rollkur explained

I have explained the biomechaincs behind rollkur and its detrimental effects in this informational video, i have simplified it as much as i can to make it clear and not overload people with informatio...

A modern disease

Horses teach us to "handle power and to be able to handle even more of it than one ever dreamed on when reaching out towards harmony.

The place above and between the two opposites.

Sadly many modern trainers are now teaching riders (and top international competitors as well...) to block and to render neutral the energy of life, the essence of dressage training. The horses are not ridden, they are "manipulated" from the front and this is very wrong.


"RK is not pretty, neither is bad riding and not just dressage bad riding, what of some top showjumpers?? talk about hollow backs, panicked horses, ugly riding...."


Yes of course. But there is an important difference here:

what is dangerous for the horse is when horses feel trapped, physically AND mentally.

When a prey animal is fighting or showing discomfort, he is still alive and mentally ok. His body suffers maybe and is sore, but he can answer back, kick out and go above the bit, pull or whatever.

In Rollkur, he cannot, only his eyes show the struggle he is living within.

The reason why rollkur horses are so accurate during tests, so metronom-like (faultless even at times) and move like if they are on hot coal with angular joints, is because they have been put in "LEARNED HELPLESSNESS", a very well known state, which describes how trapped prey animals feel when they are caught by a predator or in a life/death situation, unable to move.

Even their heart rate can slow down.. they just give in..

Rollkur does block the horses from moving too (their middle).

The essence of dressage has been taken away and we are left with the "enveloppe", the "surface" that shines and the glitter (the legs moving super high)...

Inside the horse is "locked in".

The horse is trapped in his own body. If he reacts and tries to say NO, he would be strapped down more, till his breathing is affected, reducing the oxygen to his brain and creating much sweating and tension.

Then the horse is forced to do whatever the rider teaches him to do, as the horse's mind is deadened to the point of just acting out...

This most forceful phase usually happens at home, behind close door and at shows, during the warm-ups, the horses need only a little reminder....

One needs to be an expert, a true expert eye, to see when a horse has been rollkured or not. And this is the job of the judges, who should be experts at seeing how a horse has been trained.

And for those who accuse the people who are speaking up against rollkur to be emotional:

strangely enough it is the top FEI international judges themselves, in magazines around the world, who are telling the world that they cry of joy, are belated and jumped up and down when they saw what they like.....

"When emotions take over they make us blind, deaf and do the opposite of what one should do."

Worried eyes

Rollkur: researchers explore neck hyperflexion in horses study of the Rollkur technique used in dressage horse training has been carried o...