Update: Apparently there was some sort of copyright issue with the video. Too bad, as it was a most excellent visual.
Not wanting to be a person who is perceived as someone with some kind of ‘sour-grape’ thing going toward the big-money dressage riders, I thought I’d share this video that demonstrates quite clearly that the hyperflexion I railed against in my previous post is not just abusive but just plain wrong and frankly ineffective.
The commentator is Gerd Heuschmann, the vet/dressage rider who has been going around the world building momentum against the rollkur/hyperflexion phenomenon. I believe that the riders are Andreas Helgstrand (on Blue Hors Matine?) and Guenter Seidel (on Aragon?).
Some may recall that Andreas and Matine caused quite a stir at the World Cup Finals in 2006 when he won a Silver medal in the GP Freestyle. MANY people ooohed and aaaahed about this ‘spectacular’ performance but I did not like it. I said so then, too. And, this clip makes it abundantly clear why. What is not at all clear to me is WHY such a gawd-awful performance would garner such high praise when it is quite obvious that the basic work is flawed. One would think that the judges would at least know it. When will people start to open their eyes and discover that the Emperor is NOT WEARING ANY CLOTHES!? Soon, we can only hope–for the sake of the horse.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Matine was retired to stud after a minor injury a, that she incurred when being unloaded from a horse transport van, a year later. Yes, yes, horses get hurt all the time… s*** happens. But, my theory is that slip was the last straw for a body that was already compromised with strain. Dressage is supposed to be GOOD for the horse’s body. If it isn’t then we need to be working to figure out why.