15 June 2013
In the United States right now, there's a move in many states to stop people from going undercover to attempt to find animal abuse in factory farms or in gaited horse training and so on. It's an odd twist at best. Instead of stopping animal abuse, just stop people from showing the world animal abuse.
Unfortunately, the United States is not alone. In Europe, those who have been documenting the use of rollkur, a severe dressage training method that overbends a horse, in warm-up rings have been met with the same sort of reaction.
Here's an example of rollkur:
This is NOT how horses hold their heads. This is not what will be required in the show ring. This is--oh, just read Tug of War by German veterinarian and certified trainer Dr. Gerd Heuschmann. He damns the technique quite effectively.
But the people who train this way turn out utterly submissive horses that WIN, and that means it's not abuse, right? Winning is everything after all, so, as with the soring of Tennessee walking horses, the answer is not to ban the winning technique, the answer is to attempt to stop people from revealing the dirty little secrets behind the winning.
Here's an article discussing the situation: "If the Shoe Fits"
Here's another photo of non-existent warm-up ring horse abuse:
But you won't be seeing many more of these photos if the trend continues of allowing the abuse to continue while banning attempts to expose it. In the current twisted world of dressage, abuse wins--on many levels.