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Published on Oct 26, 2009
EPONA.tv interviews Anky van Grunsven about the controversial technique, hyperflexion of the neck. Based on the 2006 workshop on rollkur, which was held in Lausanne, Switzerland, the FEI's manual for dressage stewards:
"Providing that a horse is fit and well and not suffering from any back or neck injuries or ailments there are no known clinical side effects specifically arising from the use of Hyperflexion. However, there are concerns for the horses well-being if the technique is not practiced correctly. The FEI does not permit excessive or prolonged Hyperflexion in any equestrian sport."
But what is "correct"? What is "prolonged"? And what is "excessive"? So far, no clear answers have been given by the FEI, and so the ban on "excessive or prolonged" hyperflexion of the neck seems useless. At the 2006 workshop on rollkur, delegates were told that "brief spells of hyperflexion" - lasting no more than 20 seconds - were employed as suppling exercises. Detractors of the method claim that it has little to do with stretching, but is a form of mental abuse which serves only to subordinate the horse.
What do you think?
See www.epona.tv and www.epona.tv/uk for more interviews from the cutting edge of dressage. Professor Heinz Meyer, Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, Dr. Andrew McLean and Professor Hilary Clayton are just some of the names you can find on Epona.tv/uk