"Now I say that with cruelty and oppression it is everybody's business to interfere when they see it."

~Anna Sewell

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rollkur - What's the deal?

Alright, I'm an ignorant hunter and I know next to nothing about dressage. So enlighten me.

1) What is the purpose of Rollkur?

2) Out of all the photos and videos I've seen, all the horses looked angry, miserable, and looking like they wanted to drop dead. What would possess someone to crank a horse's head back to the point where he's rasping and heaving like an asthmatic cow?

3) Hyperflexion is extremely damaging to horses and yet I've heard that Rollkur is used as a training tool by some dressage trainers. WHY???

4) A good rider wouldn't hyperflex her horse, at least for any long period of time. I can't think of when a horse would need to be stretched that severely in any situation. So again, why?

5) What is considered non-abusive Rollkur? Where do you draw the line?

Based on what I've seen and heard, Rollkur is supposedly fine in small doses. I can't see any way that this would be okay or beneficial to the horse. If it's supposed to teach collection, that makes me even more opposed to it. Nobody needs to suffocate their horse in order to teach him to collect himself. That's what lunging, side reins, and competant riding is for.

Do any of these horses look remotely comfortable? They look tortured to me. And Lord knows I'm against anything that causes a horse an iota of discomfort. Even in short intervals, why would hyperflexion be a good thing? I'm having a hard time researching it because I'm trying to weed out biased and one-sided articles. Does anyone have first-hand knowledge or experience with this?

It looks pretty abusive to me.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I totally agree that rollkur is cruel and awful and should never be done. But, a horse that I ride, will sometimes hyperflex himself with or without contact. I think that for a second, if a horse does it (not an awful human using force with a double bridle or even a snaffle.), it does round the horse's back and it stretches and feels good. But, I never encourage him to do it and I always push him forward to make him stop. I ride him with a sidepull bridle, so its not like he's doing it to escape pain from a bit or a shanked hakamore.