Thursday, February 11, 2010

lest we think the FEI is not listening or reading...

I just received this comment:

I'm Malina Gueorguiev, FEI Press Manager, and as you know I follow your blog with great interest.

On this particular topic, I wanted to let you know The low, deep and round (LDR) training technique, providing it achieves flexion without undue force, was approved as acceptable by the participants at the round-table conference. The term “low” was used in the press statement sent out after the meeting and in FEI Dressage Director Trond Asmyr’s video message posted on YouTube, but a typo resulted in “low” being changed to “long” on the FEI website. This has now been corrected to reflect the decision taken by the participants in the round-table conference.

Check it out here

All the best,

I wanted to put this comment out front, because I think it's important to give credit to the FEI for listening and reading, and now responding - as we "regular horse people" discuss and write about the issues we see in the sport as a whole.

Thank you, Malina. I hope the dialogue can continue, because this kind of communication can only help in making the sport one we can enjoy and support.


Dougie Donk said...

Thanks so much for your carefully phrased & passionate updates!

I'm part of the planning committee for an ex-racehorse owners club & have shamelessly borrowed a lot of what you've said & posted it on our member's forum. Hope you don't mind, but I though that the more people who were aware of the issue, the better & I don't have your writer's way with words!

Glad we are making an impact & thanks again for keeping me so well informed.


Grey Horse Matters said...

It's nice to know that they are reading and listening to us 'regular riders'.

Kate said...

I'm glad they're reading - perhaps they'll get the message - although I think it's all just smoke and mirrors and the "wording change" is just a means of permitting the same old abusive practices under another name.

billie said...

Dougie Donk, feel free. I appreciate your very kind words!

billie said...

Arlene, I agree. We have a lot to say.

billie said...

Kate, thanks for your perspective. I am trying to assume the best and allow for the possibility that the tide is beginning to turn.

The first step to real change is dialogue - with folks outside the "inner circle." It's true that actions speak louder than words, but the words preceding action are usually what get us to the new place.

So I welcome anything Malina has to say, and will assume the best until I see/hear otherwise. I've found that to be the best way to proceed in these kinds of situations.

Victoria Cummings said...

I think it's really to your credit, Billie, that Malina is responding to you - It means that all this good, hard work you are doing is being heard by the FEI. I've referred so many people to your blog to learn about this issue, and we all owe you a great deal of thanks for taking the time to keep us informed in such a well-expressed and thoughtful way. And yes, every one of us can make a difference!

billie said...

Thank you, Victoria - I appreciate that!

And on a totally personal note: I have been meaning to email you but then couldn't find your email address. A few weeks back you commented and the comment was inadvertently rejected - I've been getting a lot of spam comments lately and thus have gotten used to hitting reject - and now if I don't pay close attention, I will do the dyslexic thing and hit the wrong button! Just wanted you to know that, in the event you noticed and wondered where your comment went!

I also have a book title that I need to pass on to you, but I'll head over to your blog and leave it there, as it's pertinent to your new post. I visited yesterday but got interrupted before I could leave the comment!

sylvialoch said...

It's a great achievement Billie to have this feedback from the FEI and thank you so much for all you are doing for horses.
Whilst I feel the Statement from the FEI is a huge step in the right direction, I am disappointed LDR does NOT mean LONG, Deep and Round. That would have indicated good classical practice, i.e. allowing the horse to flex and stretch into a long, gently asking rein. This is a very valuable exercise to relax the horse and release tension as well as to build muscles. I just hope some riders will not interpret the Low/Deep and Round as an excuse to shorten the neck again.
Sylvia Loch, Founder of The Classical Riding Club

billie said...

Sylvia, it is WONDERFUL to get your take on this. I know you've been working on this issue for a very long time, and your perspective is invaluable.

I too was disappointed that long ended up being a typo. My Jungian self hopes it was no accident but perhaps a glimmer of what is to come, if we can keep the movement rolling.

If you have something already written or would be willing to write up something helping clarify the differences between all these terms and phrases, I would love to feature it here, or post a link to it on your website. (which is a wonderful resource, for anyone reading who has not already visited Sylvia's web pages)

sylvialoch said...

Hi again Billie - I would be delighted to write a short resume on my take of the different terms. Just finalising our latest Newsletter but will send you something next week. Keep up the good work and keep smiling.

billie said...

Wonderful! I will keep my eye out for it, and will be very happy to post it for all of us to read and learn/think/discuss.

ponymaid said...

Billie, see, Sylvia Loch herself reads your blog! THAT is how well you present the argument against the dreaded Rollkur - and by the way, how well you write. Your donkey admirers have always looked to you for leadership and now the rest of the world is taking notice. I feel confident that Sylvia herself is a great lover of donkeys. How could it be otherwise?

Spokesdonkey Sheaffer,
Donkeys united against Rollkur

billie said...

Sheaffer, if Sylvia does not yet know donkeys, she has just met one of the most intelligent, well-written ones I know of - YOU! :)

If donkeys were in charge, we would all have plenty to eat, lots of quiet but highly intelligent discussion, regular play time, daily sunshine siestas, and many gentle donkey hugs. Who could ask for more?

As you know, Rafer Johnson and Redford are behind your cause 110%!

Janet said...

Hey billie,
I love the platform you have created for open, honest and respectful dialogue from all on this issue. Thank you for doing this!

billie said...

Janet, thank you for bringing your special harmony here - I always feel it when you visit!

Sylvia Loch said...

Of course I love donkeys, and ex-racehores and indeed any kind of equine. Keep up the good work all of you. Best wishes, Sylvia

ponymaid said...

Billie, it has been confirmed - Sylvia Loch, a god-like figure in the world of equine sports is anti-Rollkur and pro-donkey. The universe may indeed be unfolding as it should. Keep up the good work. You are all officially invited to my PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary fundraising event in May, where we will drink gallons of tea and loudly denounce Rollkur.

Billie for president.
Sylvia for Prime Minister.
Endorsed by donkeys everywhere.

billie said...

LOL, Sheaffer! I am not sure if the US (or the world) is ready for me as president!

But if I am elected, I officially invite you to be my Chief of Staff. :)