Thursday, October 22, 2009

hideous video of World cup warm-up abuse

This is so horrible I couldn't bear to put it here on my blog. Please if you watch it and are as horrified as I am, write/call the FEI and protest this abuse.


Grey Horse Matters said...

*sigh*...Now that this form of training is becoming the norm, I wonder if there is even anything to be done about it. If no one will speak up, or stop these riders(and I use that term lightly), it will be near impossible to stop this abuse.

billie said...

I'm still in shock that people are standing there in the video watching this. And that no official comes out and excuses the rider from the freaking competition.

I couldn't watch the entire thing. It made me ill.

ponymaid said...

Some humans truly are depraved. What a sad and pathetic display of vanity and hubris. Those aren't hands attached to that human - they're a pair of vise grips.

billie said...

Sheaffer, I agree. Stay tuned for a well-written post by Dr. Thomas Ritter that outlines a number of things we can do to voice our disgust in ways that might shift the tide.

jme said...

well that was horrible. it's maybe a good thing i wasn't there, or i probably would have been escorted from the premises for shouting nasty things at him every time he passed or after ripping the bridle off the horse's face or something (assuming i coud refrain from pulling him off his horse and kicking his ass!)

but seriously, there must be a way to let the governing orgs know we don't want to see this in our sport and won't stand for rewarding these riders for abusing their animals. and i'd love to mount a campaign to boycott any products of sponsors, for example, i refuse to buy any product with anky's name on it or officially endorsed by her. we're resourceful people, so i'm sure we can come up with some way to make ourselves heard. looking forward to the dr. ritter post.

Michelle said...

I can't view this video here at work, but I'm not even sure I want to after reading the comments. I can only imagine what it contains. I look forward to the Ritter post and will surely put my voice out there. Thanks, Billie.

billie said...

jme, I would have had a very hard time being there and hearing an official say they were not going to react to the abuse.

I've already decided that anywhere I am, and see any such abuse of equines, I'm going to call 911 and go through the animal control system rather than through the officials at the site.

Maybe if law enforcement shows up, and officials have to use up their time and energy explaining, and riders actually have to allow their horses to be inspected and themselves be questioned, they will at the very least be inconvenienced.

billie said...

Michelle, it was horrible. I would watch just enough of it so you see for yourself.

I'm home now and will get the "what we can do" post up soon. I have a house guest coming in shortly and lots of animals to hug, so it may be later this weekend... :)

Unknown said...

Not being a horse person, I don't understand the exact nature of the abuse. It looks horrible, though. Does this mean the horse was cyanotic? Not get enough oxygen?

billie said...

Kyle, at this level of dressage competition, a double bridle (meaning the bridle has two separate bits and two sets of reins) is required.

In the video, Patrik Kittel is hyper-flexing the horse's head and neck, a practice called Rollkur, in the warm-up. In dressage, the nose of the horse is not supposed to go behind "the vertical" - which means the front face of the horse, when viewed from the side, be perpendicular to the ground. If the nose goes behind the vertical line, the horse's throat latch is closed off, which does affect breathing.

It also means the horse can't see forward, but can only look down at the ground.

And it also hyper-stretches the neck muscles.

This rider rode the horse in this position for so long, and with so much pressure on his mouth, that the tongue was compressed (by the bits) to the point that it lost circulation and simply flopped helplessly.

According to the videographer for Epona TV, the horse was ridden this way for several hours. Kittel got off at one point and shoved the horse's tongue into back into his mouth.

Aside from being painful in the moment, this kind of riding does damage to the horse physically in the long term.

I believe psychological damage is done as well.

M said...

I am so happy to see that more and more people want to take a stand against this sort of handdriven riding. The measure used today in most horse training is horrible. We need to get the FEI to act!!!

billie said...

Thanks, M. As a sideline to the uprising against Rollkur, there is an equally important mission: to get the FEI to compel judges to judge according to the existing FEI standards. If they all did that, these riders would no longer win, and these techniques would presumably fall by the wayside.

I also feel though that it is important to label abuse as exactly that.