Tag Archives: rollkur

Question of the weekend: what good few top dressage horses have in common with Elena Mukhina? (answer at the bottom of the post)

By Wiola Grabowska

There was once a brilliant young girl who could do what others wouldn’t dream of trying. She had a coach and an ambitious management team and was going to the Olympics. Do take 6 minutes  to get to know her if you haven’t heard of her before, meet Elena

I’ve heard of Elena because, for better or worse, and despite the fact I purposefully focus on grassroots vs professional sport, I still like to follow the “top” in many different disciplines. Many non-sport-specific coaching methods are not that dissimilar across all sports and I find it interesting to learn beyond equestrianism.

This weekend, a dressage rider well known for using rollkur, won the third leg of the World Cup Dressage 2017/2018 Western European League.

There have been so many outcries, social media posts and online actions against rollkur and other abusive training methods yet riders who use them still win at the top of the game. The pursuit of impossible is so ingrained in our human nature that it overlooks everything on the way. If a body is able to do it, or we think it is, we will try to make it do – whether animal or human. Limits seemingly do not exists.

Considering a horse and rider in a competition are a sports team, even though riders of all levels have coaches, the rider is effectively a unique type of a coach to their horse. They are also a performance manager to the horse. They are actually, everything training related to that horse.

And that horse might as well be called Elena.

For refreshingly different communication and possibilities, you might want to watch these Olympic riders: Karen & David O’Connor – another level of communication

*Answer: They have the same kind of coach

Not for faint hearted: 11 Rules of Being a Supportive Amateur Equestrian

A couple of mornings a week I try to catch up with various equestrian forums, both English and Polish (sometimes I venture onto Portuguese, Swedish and Norwegian sites too), read about what riders like to learn about and what might be giving them trouble with progressing their riding. It keeps me on my toes, makes me always search for better answers, consolidate some things, open others for more discussions.

We equestrian bunch are a rather opinionated one. I put together a little Guide on the basis of what I read this and past week. I would be interested in your thoughts…

RULES OF BEING A SUPPORTIVE EQUESTRIAN

Here is the thing. We are all in this sport together. Critiquing methods and techniques displayed by Olympic riders is just not ON…

1. You know those pictures and short videos of various “advanced training methods” you see online and that make you feel a little uneasy and kind of like you felt when someone skinned a dog alive and they showed bits and bobs of it on TV? Don’t worry. It’s just this amazing speed of a shutter, if you were there you wouldn’t even spotted this because your eyes, the eyes of a rider who never trained at that level, have no ability to see that kind of movement. Rest assured all this is normal and fine, many world famous judges cannot be wrong, it’s totally unnecessary that you comment on what you see. Just buy a ticket to an event and enjoy it for gods sake.

http://www.galopuje.pl/foto_news/rollkur2_300.jpg

2. It’s important that you do not criticise anything (unless you are also a top rider than perhaps you can add a point or two) even if it makes you a little sick inside when you watch some training methods. Just realise, these are very sensitive horses, they would probably kill you if not for the methods they are being trained with, please understand.

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