Posts Tagged ‘dressage controversy’

“In the mid-2000s the German veterinarian Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, working with German Olympic dressage champion Klaus Balkenhol, created headlines when they publicized the findings of Heuschmann’s anatomical and biomechanical studies of hyperflexion,” writes Jennifer Bryant in “Rollkur: Dressage’s Dirty Word,” a recent article on TheHorse.com. “Heuschmann said that hyperflexion not only fails to develop the proper musculature for upper-level dressage, but the exaggerated flexion can also restrict the horse’s airway. Heuschmann published a book, Tug of War: Classical Versus ‘Modern’ Dressage, detailing his findings and arguing against the practice of hyperflexion.”

According to Bryant, “Some dressage enthusiasts remain convinced that rollkur still occurs. During the dressage competition at the 2012 London Olympic Games, some photos circulated on the Internet, appearing to show Swedish competitor Patrik Kittel on Scandic riding in a hyperflexed position. Online forums and the FEI’s Facebook page, among others, were barraged with expressions of outrage and accusations that the FEI was failing to enforce Annex XIII of the Stewards Manual.”

Dr. Heuschmann agrees that, despite the online uproar, there continues to be a troubling acceptance of certain training techniques amongst those who ride, train, and show horses. Heuschmann says this is not only an international issue, but a local one, and not only a dressage issue, but one that is relevant to the show jumping community and those who participate in competitive Western sports, namely reining.

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Heuschmann’s new book BALANCING ACT: THE HORSE IN SPORT–AN IRRECONCILABLE CONFLICT? is his attempt to keep equestrians around the world focused on the problems at hand, while at the same time offering well-researched, fair, and proven techniques for retraining:

-the tense horse,

-the rein-lame horse,

-the horse with gait deviations, and

-the hyperflexed horse, among others.

BALANCING ACT is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.


And check out the complete article about the debate involving the 2012 Olympics by Jennifer Bryant on TheHorse.com.

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Just in and already flying out the door, THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE is a horse book like no other. We’re all human; we’re all fragile; we all succumb to temptation at one time or another. But the question of the hour is can we look at ourselves in the mirror and say we are the best rider we can be? Can we look our horse in the eye and say we are the best friend and partner we can be?

We all fall from grace. There is no question of that. But have we the will to face our inner demons, acknowledge our faults, learn from our mistakes, and ride better in the end because of it?

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE offers an earnest testimony to the faults most often found in the dressage world, how to identify them, how to conquer them, and in the end, how to rise above our very humanity and meet the horse on the honored plain he inhabits…within our power, and yet forever and always more powerful, true, and honest.

Order your copy of THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

What readers are already saying about THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE:

“A book that touches raw nerves yet leaves you with great hope for redemption. I know I will be a more just rider from here on in.”

“If you ride you will find yourself saying, ‘Amen, brother.'”


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