Deep'n'Round - Overbending in Modern Dressage Training...

minkymoo

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 July 2007
Messages
1,852
Location
Beautiful Hampshire
Visit site
I found this website (though I think another HHOer had found it 1st!) and I think it is so interesting. I have always struggled to understand 'overbent' and 'on the bit' etc, and I found this Blog really informative.

I was somewhat horrified by the Rolkur - How & Why not? section. It sort of made me realise that this really is not an attractive way for a horse to look and I struggle to understand how this can be condoned really.

Just wondering what peoples thoughts were, so Rolkur - Why or why not?
 

YorkshireLass

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 December 2003
Messages
739
Visit site
I think Rolkur is just a way that little women can manage to ride big horses. In 10 years time when the average size of a warmblood is 23 hands... expect to see more of it.

Seriously though, I quit my BHS membership because they refused to criticise the practice.
 

horsegirl

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 June 2006
Messages
10,432
Visit site
It's horrible. I find it funny when people on here post pics of what they clearly think is their horse on the bit because he has his head right down but it really overbent
 

burtie

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 October 2003
Messages
4,335
Location
New Forest
Visit site
I do think the whole thing has been blown massively out of proportion. The best way to stop extreme training practices is penalise tight overbent horses in a test. IMO.
 

kerilli

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 April 2002
Messages
27,417
Location
Lovely Northamptonshire again!
Visit site
burtie, the trouble is that the top riders don't ride in their tests like that, but they train and warm up like it. we need judges in warm-up, tbh.
until the judges stop giving top marks to horses that trot as if they're goose-stepping, with their forelegs raised waaay higher than their hindlegs, at totally different angles (and therefore totally incorrect, however gasp-inducing!), riders will keep using rollkur, because that is what it creates.
frown.gif
frown.gif
 

Nudibranch

Well-Known Member
Joined
21 April 2007
Messages
7,070
Location
Shropshire
Visit site
Agreed! I have always been taught that the horse's face should be at the vertical and no further - just take a look at the number of horses who are clearly way behind this.
crazy.gif
 

Blizzard

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 September 2006
Messages
7,760
Location
South Africa
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
It's horrible. I find it funny when people on here post pics of what they clearly think is their horse on the bit because he has his head right down but it really overbent

[/ QUOTE ]

what do you mean? 'the horse has his head right down?'
 

Blizzard

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 September 2006
Messages
7,760
Location
South Africa
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
Looking at the side profile of a horses head it should be vertical. If it was a clock face, anything before 6 o'clock is overbent.

[/ QUOTE ]

LOL I wasnt asking that, I was asking what horsegirl meant.

ETS: i think there is a lot more about being on the bit than where the horse's head is, its the overall picture and half the problem with Rollkur is that the horse is hollow and not working through,the extreme overbending is just part of it.
 

little_flea

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 September 2007
Messages
3,339
Location
London (but Swedish)
Visit site
On Swedish website Hippson is currently a really interesting article by Peter Markhne (who is a top dressage rider, and also, interestingly, Malin Baryard's showjumping trainer) where he talks about "round and low" - his opinion is that around 80% of training work should be with the horse in a lower, deeper form, and only around 20% of working time in a more "competition-like" shape as horses with riders on are not strong enough to work in that outline much more than that - but that the key with the "lower" outline is of course to have a self-carrying horse who is strengthening his topline - his analogy is that the horse should feel like an uphills wheel, which I think is a great comparison.
 

hatters

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 March 2007
Messages
799
Location
Notts
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
burtie, the trouble is that the top riders don't ride in their tests like that, but they train and warm up like it. we need judges in warm-up, tbh.
until the judges stop giving top marks to horses that trot as if they're goose-stepping, with their forelegs raised waaay higher than their hindlegs, at totally different angles (and therefore totally incorrect, however gasp-inducing!), riders will keep using rollkur, because that is what it creates.
frown.gif
frown.gif


[/ QUOTE ]

Well said! Couldn't put it any better myself.
 

burtie

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 October 2003
Messages
4,335
Location
New Forest
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
burtie, the trouble is that the top riders don't ride in their tests like that, but they train and warm up like it. we need judges in warm-up, tbh.
until the judges stop giving top marks to horses that trot as if they're goose-stepping, with their forelegs raised waaay higher than their hindlegs, at totally different angles (and therefore totally incorrect, however gasp-inducing!), riders will keep using rollkur, because that is what it creates.


[/ QUOTE ]

Well OK, I sort of agree and was trying to say something similar. You can;t really ban training methods as you can't monitor every horse and rider all the time, even if you ban it in the warm up it will still go on at home if it gets the results, so my point was that you have to change the way the judges mark so that those training methods are penalised that way. I agree at top level it does produce horses whi move just like you say but further back in the lower levels I do constantly see the overbent tight horses aswell which leads ultimately to this way of going. I|'m not sure I'm getting my point across very well here!
 

Tierra

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 September 2006
Messages
3,041
Location
Denmark
dressage.wordpress.com
Hate rollkur, its about as far removed from my favoured methodologies as can be however, as Kerelli pointed out, until judges start marking harshly the horses that are clearly trained using these methods; they wont disappear.

It's not hard to spot the horses that are trained using rollkur. The standard of piaffe and passage in modern competition is one major area that has been affected by these methodologies.

There is so much pressure these days for riders to produce grand prix horses fast that the fact remains, corners must be cut. People don't have the time to wait for horses to mature correctly and be schooled correctly anymore.

One note of caution however. Just because a horse has its head "down" does not necessarily mean they riders are using any form of incorrect training. While the poll as the highest point and the nose on the vertical are the classical "ideal", riding a horse like this all the time is not possible and verges on being as cruel as rollkur. Riding long and low (not to be confused with short and deep of course) is an extremely important part of training. The actual amount of time that horses, even classically trained high school horses are kept in that "up" position through their necks is quite small.
 

Blizzard

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 September 2006
Messages
7,760
Location
South Africa
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]


One note of caution however. Just because a horse has its head "down" does not necessarily mean they riders are using any form of incorrect training. While the poll as the highest point and the nose on the vertical are the classical "ideal", riding a horse like this all the time is not possible and verges on being as cruel as rollkur. Riding long and low (not to be confused with short and deep of course) is an extremely important part of training. The actual amount of time that horses, even classically trained high school horses are kept in that "up" position through their necks is quite small.

[/ QUOTE ]

Absolutely just look at all the horses you see in a false outline permanently because they know if they keep their head at the vertical they wont get nagged at by the rider.some people just think it looks pretty but it has no benefit to the horse whatsoever!

afterall the whole reason why a horses head even goes into that position naturally is about balance and self carriage, not about just having the head at an angle.

Likewise just because a horse doesnt have its head at, as someone described it as, 6 o clock, doesnt mean they arent working correctly.
 

Tierra

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 September 2006
Messages
3,041
Location
Denmark
dressage.wordpress.com
Yes indeed. The classical ideal dictates the poll being the highest point and the head on the vertical with the horse rounded over the back and engaged correctly behind. However, this is the aim of the horses that have been trained for years and years and its unrealistic to expect that from younger or greener horses.

Indeed research done by Dr Gerd Heushmann showed that it took two years of being worked correctly with the outline differing between long, low and stretching down and slightly more "up" but still lower than required by the ideal, before a horse even had the correct muscles to make the so called classical ideal a realistic possibility. (Dr Gerd Heushmann has been working quite extensively with a very well known classical rider by the name of Anja Beran)

I must admit, even when working long and down, i prefer the horses head to remain on the vertical although the neck is naturally lower over all resulting in a break more often than not in the middle of the neck but this stretching is imperative for the horses training.

The most important thing, which i believe is lost so often these days is that everything has to come from behind. The horse first has to be taught to engage its back end and begin to work over its back (which is completly against its natural reaction to hollow away from the weight on its back) and then, through correct gymnasticising and a sympathetic contact, the outline starts to come more into shape. However it should be the horse seeking a contact from the riders hand and not the rider seeking a contact from the horse. Equally the outline shouldn't come at all from the hand, but again, from the correct gymnasticising of the horse, on both reins, with a sympathetic hand that the horse can trust. It will never begin to seek out that hand contact if the rider continuously jabs it in the mouth or grinds its head backwards and forwards every stride.
 

Touchwood

Well-Known Member
Joined
26 July 2007
Messages
789
Location
The Cotswolds
www.touchwoodstud.co.uk
This is not about horses being behind the vertical, which for some reason people seem to jump on - this should always be penalised in a test but is not necessarily the devil incarnate when training. Personally I think that part of gymnastically working a horse is to be able to put it in a variety of outlines, remain soft over their back, working from behind and being relaxed.
The problem comes if you have a tight, tense horse, hauled in and not using it's backend. But personally I have seen some pretty awful sights at the local unaffiliated too which have nothing to do with Rolkur.....

Top level international dressage seems to be becoming a little 'circus like' with scant regard for FEI directives, I like watching the national circuit more, when you come across some beautifully trained horses.
 

Tia

Well-Known Member
Joined
21 January 2004
Messages
26,100
Visit site
I absolutely dislike rollkur intensely. Quite unnecessary in my opinion.

I really don't like photos posted on this site where some of the horses are seriously overbent; and as I'm predominantly a western rider these days, it often doesn't surprise me when I read about some of these same horses starting to develop problems.

Nope I'll stick with my "barely any contact" western riding thank you very much.
 

moneypit1

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 January 2007
Messages
2,246
Location
North Devon
Visit site
Have to say I struggle with Fly when asking him to come soft and round as he will overbend straight away. I have to keep "up up" and push his head up but it is a very exhausting battle. Why does he do this? Perhaps he finds it easier or do you think he was he trained to do it previously to me owning him?
 

Tierra

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 September 2006
Messages
3,041
Location
Denmark
dressage.wordpress.com
Dropping behind is a form of evasion. The horse can avoid taking the contact and working into it correctly by dropping behind the verticle.

Check whats going on behind before worrying about the head
smile.gif
 

happy_talk

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 August 2007
Messages
521
Visit site
Whilst everybody attacks dressage for the use of rollkur "behind the scenes", what about all the showjumpers? I can easily picture in my head SJers cantering around with the horses noses in their chests?? surely that is rollkur, and blatantly done in front of the viewing public. I don't understand why SJing isn't feeling the attack, like dressage. I'm not saying all showjumpers ride like this, but then I'm sure not all dressage riders do either.
What's your thoughts?
 
Top