So It IS Abuse?

Switzerland is banning Rollkur now. Officially outlawing it. This should feel like a victory, and to a certain extend, it does. Still… it’s a vague ban. As far as I have been able to read up on this new law, it still includes a “time allowed” before Rollkur becomes abuse. Meaning that you can still hyperflex your horses, as long as you don’t do it for too long. So really, this is not news as all, as this was the rules under FEI all along.

It does mean though that there is at least one country that takes Rollkur seriously and that recognize that it is abuse. In the hopes that others, Denmark included, will follow, the Danish Animal Welfare Society is stirring, demanding that Rollkur is outlawed in Denmark as well.

What would it mean if it was? Probably nothing at all. Just that somewhere, someone has decided that it is cruel, but there is no way to stop riders from doing it, and as such if you want to get rid of Rollkur, you need to fire all of the top riders worldwide, because let’s face it, it is precious few who doesn’t do it, openly or not. That would never happen. Which is why, I guess, when Switzerland did criminalize Rollkur, they dared not ban it all together, they still imposed the time guideline, making it completely impossible for stewards at shows to ever stop people from abusing their horses, because how long did he do it? How long is too long, how long is abuse, and how will you prove that any rider exceeded the “time allowed” …. Let’s be honest, it’s just a moment… You can’t tell anything from a moment…



So no, I am not jumping for joy just yet, but it is a step in the right direction. I would just hope that if other countries do follow Switzerland in banning Rollkur, that they would set up clear, easy to follow rules, so the law could actually be enforced.

I look forward to seeing a change of the world elite, come that happy day…


Once again, this feels a bit too much like horse racing. Like there is too much money involved to actually make a change that would matter. I could be wrong. I hope I am.


About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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3 Responses to So It IS Abuse?

  1. saraannon says:

    The law is far less than perfect, but it at least cracks the door for prosecuting those people who cause irreparable harm to the horses in their care, who crush their windpipes and cause tissue, nerve, and bone damage by hyper-flexion and all the attendant abuse. There are people with money who are kind and conscientious. With education and laws like this, they can go after trainers who cripple their horses. Keeping awareness up and demonstrating that horses do better with kindness is the important part now. Offering an alternative is a vital part of change.

  2. saraannon says:

    And yes there is big and dirty money involved in the horse industry that perpetuates horse abuse and requires slaughter to hide the evidence. Educating people about that aspect is also vitally important:

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