And here we go, with the ”you are such an idiot,” remarks. You will excuse me, if I don’t allow those comments on this blog, you see this is MY blog, and I am a bit of a dictator about what I allow strangers to throw at me. Life it just too short for that. Still, I would like to comment on a few of the remarks I have got.
A lot of people seem to not care about the horse that bleeds from the nose as it leaves the show ring. A lot of people seem to want to excuse the rider, to quickly jump to the conclusion that the horse is a bleeder, that its blood vessels break easily, or that it bit its tongue. Poor guy, don’t take his points away over that!
You have got to be kidding me. If the horse is a bleeder, it has no place in international jumping. Then it is a frail horse and it will happen when strained. Imagine a horse, jumping so high, under so much strain that it causes him to bleed inside a lung. Imagine the horror he must feel, when he tastes, and smells the blood. Do we accept that in our sport? For the sake of a riders points?
I have to say, this horse did NOT bite its tongue. This bleeding is coming from the nose. Even if it did “just” bite its tongue, and caused such a bleeding, to we allow that? For a horse to be under so much pressure, we now need to tie his tongue down, so he won’t bite it, or swallow it, in the show ring? Because we all know, that is what some already do, to avoid just that. Are we okay with this? When do “sport” become “Abuse?”
My first thought was that the horse should be tested for doping… but I guess that is too late now.
And lastly, I did read the FEI “blood rule” for show jumpers.
“Horses bleeding on the flank(s), in the mouth or nose or marks indicating excessive use of spurs or of the whip anywhere on the Horse(in minor cases of blood in the mouth, such as where a Horseappears to have bitten its tongue or lip,Officials may authorize the rinsing or wiping of the mouth and allow the Athlete to continue; any further evidence of blood in the mouth will result in Disqualification”
So this horse, I guess could compete, because show jumpers are allowed to bleed – once. Twice and you are out, but just one, small little innocent bleeding, who cares? “The athlete may continue.” Honestly, is this the way we want our sport to be?
The horse can never be an athlete. It should never have to suffer for the sake of human gain. The rider is the athlete. The horse is an animal, whose needs must ALWAYS come first.
Allowing it to bleed- once- how do we accept that? How did we happen to get so close to the race track industry, where horses bleed, break and die on track every single day? If we don’t call a halt now, where then, will the sport end up? As a money driven game? Oh wait… are we already there?
I have been told that I don’t understand the sport. I guess that is a matter of opinion. I understand what the sport SHOULD be. And yes, I understand what it is these days, sadly. I understand that once upon a time, it was impressive to have a horse who trusted you so much, it would jump anything for you. Once upon a time, it was about having a good, faithful companion, for hunting, or for war. Looking at these bound, and tortured animals, I wonder. In a war, how many of them do you think, would try to save their riders lives?
I understand that these days, the sport is just that. A sport. The riders might as well be riding a motorbike, because that would be easier. The motorbike would not act up if not wearing a draw rein, or a gag bit, or a few spikes… and more importantly, the motorbike would not feel pain.
It wouldn’t become your friend either, or be a reliable companion in a war, but you know what, these horses and their riders, are not friends either. So why not pick a sport that does not include torturing innocent animals?
I do understand that the sport I have been in for 20 years, the show jumping sport, has changed, and it is a sport I no longer want to be part of. But for all of you who think that I am just a silly little misinformed girl, who has no idea what she is talking about, and who has been riding bareback and bitless all her life, you are sadly mistaken. You may read my book, “Surviving the Equestrian World,” before you tell me that I don’t know this world.
I know it, and I am sickened by it.
I have been told that moving the bar onto the edge of the holder is not barring. I have been told too, that is so is! I have had people excuse it, explain it, and tell me that I am a hysterical idiot for even bothering to comment on it. Which is why I would like an answer from FEI and DRF, on the matter. It would be nice if we knew what was allowed and what was not, because clearly, ask one simple question, and people start fighting over it. We need clear rules. We need an answer.
I have been told too, that if I think that what I saw was barring, then I have no idea what I was talking about, because real barring is SO much worse. Again with the “it could be worse” excuse. Of course it could be worse. I live in Denmark for pity’s sake, I have SEEN worse, time and time again. I don’t know a single professional show jumper who has not been trained by being hit across the legs while jumping, or by tying metal wires to the obstacles, making the horse fall as it jumps, I have seen it all and no, moving the bar to the side of the holder does not come close, but that was not what I asked.
I asked FEI and DRF if it was legal. Plain and simple. Again, I want to see the rules. I want a clear answer, and not from all of those who think it is okay. I don’t think so, and I want to know if FEI is with me on this, or if they are not.
Just because you can do worse, does that make it alright? Because you can rest assured that the riders do it for a reason, and it is not to give their horse a good jump on the warm up.
I have been told too, that the horses are not forced. That you can’t force a 500 kg animal to do anything they don’t want to do. That they love to jump. Quite frankly, I am getting so tired of that Anky -kind -of -reasoning, that I am going to say it only once more.
OF COURSE YOU CAN FORCE A HORSE! They are kind and gentle animals, they succumb to pain and pressure. You can force a bear, you can force an elephant, and you sure as hell can force a horse.
Anyone who thinks differently, needs a reality check.
And the excuse I hear for the draw rein, over and over again, is so tiresome, and only bears witness to how many people have a fundamental hole in their knowledge of horses, training and riding.
“The draw rein is to get the horse into the right shape.”
Show me ONE horse in a draw rein, who is in the right shape, I dare you. All of you. Show me one.
I have yet to see one. The draw rein forces the horses head down, and in, which causes the horse to lower its back and prevents it from placing weight on its hind legs. Quite the opposite of what “the right shape” is.
It is very easy to spot the difference. I believe I even pointed that out in my previous post, with pictures and everything. But of course, when I wrote, “the difference is subtle,” I was being ironic. Clearly, a lot of people don’t see the difference, or think that the white horse Rolf-Jorgen is jumping, is doing it right?
(I know, he is not wearing a draw rein in the picture, but the shape of that horse is unmistakable.)
Has it truly come to this, that all we can use to judge how a horse is “shaped” is from how much we can curl up its face? Wasn’t that called rollkur, once upon a time? Wasn’t that illegal in dressage, if used for more than ten minutes at the time? These show jumpers were curled up and tied down for half an hour, some of them more, and no one cared.
So how come that the rules for dressage is insufficient, that these horses needs protecting from the draw rein and the rollkur, but with a show jumper, anything goes? It can even bleed, as long as it can be whipped away.
And lastly, let me just say this. Anyone feeling the need to defend this kind of “riding,” and “training” and downright torture of a silent animal, don’t bother commenting on my blog. Here, I don’t have to look at you guys. Out there, in the equestrian world, it is hard to avoid you, but here, I am the border patrol. You may ask questions, I would be happy to explain anything you may not understand, but name calling and “Anky remarks” will be deleted.
There is no way that I will ever accept violence, or abuse, or bleeding horses in the show ring or on the warm up. We should be able to do better. After all, let me say it again. This is the best horses in the world. This is the best riders in the world. Why don’t we expect them to do better?
I have been told that any old donkey couldn’t jump this, and clearly I don’t know anything about these kinds of horses.
Again with the snide remarks, and the jumping to conclusions. First of all, most horses can jump 1,60. Most horses can jump its own height. So no, a donkey might not be able to, but it would probably be able to jump about 1.30, which would be impressive enough, its size taken into account. These horses though, they are the best. They are born and bred for jumping. Blood line after blood line, of pure breeding. If an ordinary horse can jump its own height, why do these horses need this much force and pain to do the same?
Shouldn’t all that breeding and all that pedigree make it easier? Shouldn’t these horses be born to be ridden around a show ring wearing nothing but a cordeo and still be able to jump their own height? Could it be the riders, once again, falling short? Because it can’t be the horses. They should be better than any old donkey…
I do understand the remark though. It means basically, that 1,60 is very high and it takes a lot to get a horse to jump it.
The question I am asking is this then; how much do we want to accept as legal, to make these horses jump?
And don’t tell me that they love it. Don’t tell me that the race horse loves it.
Do feel free to tell me of the last time you were curled up, tied down, beaten and kicked, and asked to do something you love. Tell me how much you would still love it then.
Because I agree. My horses love to jump. Some horses has a flair for it, and a natural joy with doing it. But any horse can be broken. Any joy can be beaten out of you.
The horses I saw at JBK were not happy horses. They were running, jumping for their lives, most of them.
Is this where we want our sport to go? To the race track?
So it is okay to bleed. What about when horses start breaking their legs in the ring. What about the next horse who leaves the ring with a nose bleed? What if that horse dies from it? Should the rider not lose his points then either? Is it okay to pressure an animal like that? So far beyond its breaking point? Where do we draw the line?
FEI and DRF, your equestrians need an answer.
Because clearly, our animal welfare organizations dare not speak up. Imagine though, treating a dog, or a cat, the way these horses are treated. Would you? Kick it, hit it, tie its face down and ask it to jump its own height?
And all of you who tell me that the bit burr with bristles do not hurt the horse, how about you try it. Pressing that into the soft skin around your own mouth and nose and tell me that an animal with much softer skin than you, with much more nerves in it, do not find it painful.
I do understand that it is to “help turn” the horse. Really, shame on you guys. If you can’t turn your horse, without bristles or spikes, pressed into the horses face, then what are you doing in professional riding?
Please don’t defend any of this to me. I understand more than most, what it is I see in my pictures. There can be no excuse. I just want to know if it can truly be legal, all of it.
Because if it is, then we have a real problem.