JBK Festival, It’s All Legal?

Okay, since people clearly aren’t much for following the link to the drop box and looking over the pictures themselves, I will post a few more. First, drop box link;


Here we go then. I have been told in my previous post that I am rather uneducated, and stupid, (I am rephrasing here, the kind of language some people use…) and that all of what I have pictures off are not only legal, but not cruel at all.

So, here, the one nose band, replaced by a chain. Legal? If it is, we have a problem, because rant and rave all you want people, that is cruel, and if we can treat our horses like that, the sport is very, very sick.


(Drop box, uncropped picture, name 6909)

I have had a few ask me if there were anyone using hackamores, because I didn’t have any pictures of that, and I mentioned it. Well, they are in the drop box. But yes, hackamore, and bit, all joined together in one happy- legal and none abusive- rider’s hand.



(Uncropped picture, drop box, name 6323)

I repeat, we do have a problem, when our very best riders needs that much force to control their horses. Especially when it is legal to do so.


(Uncropped picture, drop box, name 5514)

Don’t even get me started on the tight, double nose bands….

And then we have the rollkur. I believe that in the world of dressage, we have been fighting the ridicules rule that dressage horses are allowed to be hyperflexed for ten minutes at the time, because ten minutes is a LONG time to endure abuse.


With the jumpers, there is no rules at all. These horses can be hyperflexed as much as their riders desire, even across the obstacles. Call me stupid, call me fucking uneducated, call me any name in the book, but while you are at it, please explain to me, how that is not abusive?


(Uncropped picture, drop box, name 5956)

I watched horses being hyperflexed for half an hour, at least, with no breaks and no remarks from the stewards. Who, by the way, was rather hard to come by, once again…



(Uncropped picture, drop box, name 6861)




And don’t ask me if I can do better, don’t ask me what I know of high strung horses, don’t, just don’t, make it about me. That only speaks to your own lack of understanding for what I am trying to do here. I am not out to “get” any of the riders. I am trying to have FEI create a set of rules, protecting our horses, from pain, abuse and force in the sport. I am desperately hoping that we won’t one day, end up on the race track, where horses “just rupture blood vessels” and die on the track every single day. Let us not accept that, in the equestrian sport. Let us do better. For the sake of the animal, we all claim to love.


(Uncropped picture, drop box, name 7518, “ny mappe”)

Let us help it, survive the equestrian world.


(Uncropped picture, drop box, name 5659)

And those of you, who still want to go after me as a person, do me a favor. Read my book first, then judge me education and my skills.


I am quite a master when it comes to high strung horses, if I may say so myself. I have been working with beaten, broken, isolated, damaged and dangerous horses, all of my life. I have been picking up the pieces of this world, for as long as I can remember. And I have never once felt the need to use a draw rein and a gag bit and a martingale and a pole bit on the same horse, and I have never once accepted that my horse suddenly happened to bleed from the nose, or suffered any other kind of abuse from my hands.

But yes, I am uneducated. Everything I know, I learned from my horses, because no human could ever teach me the same lesson. Still, my education aside, these pictures speak for themselves. There shouldn’t even be a debate about whether or not this is acceptable.

It is not.

The debate should be about how we make FEI change their rules. How we make the sport less abusive towards our horses. How we make our riders change. How we make our sponsors realize what it is they are supporting.

A blood sport.

Bull fighting, dog fighting, cock fighting… blood and death. If we don’t call a halt now, if we don’t ask for at least a blood rule in show jumping, where the horse cannot “just rupture a vessel” in the show ring, where then are we doing to end up? How can anyone think that is acceptable?


In the end, thank you, all of you who have supported me, who have shared my pictures and my post. I am overwhelmed by how many people we truly are, who wants a better sport for our horses. It warms my cold soul to find that I am not alone in thinking that we DO have a problem.

And if I don’t answer something, right away, or over look a comment, please be patient. This blog has had more than 70.000 views in the last 48 hours. I am only human.

Thank you guys. Each and every one of you.


About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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37 Responses to JBK Festival, It’s All Legal?

  1. I also work with abused horses. I think it is excellent that you shine the spotlight on these issues of cruelty and abuse! Keep up the great work, I hope it brings many necessary changes in these awful competitive sports that use horses. Best! Rachel

  2. Jay says:

    Commenting on everything here lol
    High strung , strong. NO excuse! soft hands go a long way! to me leave your horses mouth, make then listen to weight, seat, and position of rider. your mouth pressure to slow down shorten and so on. No need for over bending your horse like that! you can teach a horse to self carry, if you so badly want your horse in a “frame”
    So sick that in the second hackamore photos the horse at the back has its head pulled in with a bungie 😦
    And the sad thing is these horses still do there job and don’t argue when it comes to jumping heights 😦 Such amazing animals! ❤

  3. liccau says:

    Keep up the good work! I know what it’s like getting the “you don’t know much about horses, do you?”, “these people are professionals”, “do you ride grand prix? Until then, shut up” comments. They make it about you instead of seeing the problem at hand. Maybe it is too hard for them to truly look at. These people probably admire these riders and dream about riding in the Olympics,they think results in FEI competitions are the objective standard of a “good rider”. Sadly, they can’t see it for what it truly is. You are much needed to break that illusion down. You’re doing a great job as well, don’t let the idiots drag you down… here’s some support and love from Sweden. ❤

  4. Eva says:

    Hi from France! Just wanted to tell you to keep up the good work, you’ve got my entire support for all this. Clearly the horses’ eyes tell it all…

    Here in France people are not really “aware” of these things happening. I think one of the reasons is because a lot of French people cannot read English and thus can’t read what you guys dig up. Another reason might be that we are not a “dressage nation”, so as the awareness of this abuse kind of started in the dressage world, we might have been oblivious to that… I would really like people here to realise there is something wrong with this sport, especially as the World championships are drawing near, and they will take place in Normandy. I am wondering about sending your dropbox link or a link to your first article on JBK to the main French equestrian TV channel, which is going to transmit everything during the Normandy games, and to ask them what they think about it, if you’ll allow me to do that.

    Please do not stop what you’re doing. It may not be much, but you have my whole support ❤

    • Starstone says:

      Hi, you feel free to do that 🙂 I am having a strange kind of problem with the drop box at the moment, but I am working on it… It seems that the link stopped working for some reason… But hopefully, I’ll fix it, or I’ll set up a new one 😉

  5. It is yet another example of “…but we’ve always done it this way…”
    In the majority of cases, the horses are highly strung for some 80-90% through incorrect feeding and the rest from riders who may be technically (relatively) competent but actually have little or no true affinity with horses.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. margaret says:

    do we not also look into the fact that when a horse is totally overcollected that there is a pressure point between the ears, when this abuse happens these beautiful animals suffer horendous pain through this area, this in its-self should be enough to stop this sort of abuse but these animals just give everthing they can and carry on. It is abuse at the hands of the riders (no not riders just go hards)

  7. leonie says:

    Just taken this from the FEI Show Jumping rule book:
    Hackamore: Cheeks may not exceed 17cm (Measurement should be carried out in a straight line from the middle of the upper ring to the middle of the lower ring. For models with a “curb chain” or strap, measurement should be taken from the middle of the bottom ring to the point of junction where the shank connects to the nose piece. Refer to the Memorandum for International Jumping Events on the FEI website for photographs.)
    NB: No hackamore may be used in combination with a bit.
    I have just gone and had a look at some of the FEI biting rules: From FEI Website: FEI JUMPING RULES ANNEX XII 105
    8. Nosebands must be flat. Nosebands constructed from materials other than leather are not permitted. A small disc of sheepskin may be used in the intersection of the two leather straps of a crossed noseband.
    So REALLY don’t understand how the rider the “chain” noseband got away with that one!!!! Feel so sorry for these poor horses.

  8. Carmien says:

    Amen Sister.
    Hyperflexing where the horse’s face is no longer perpendicular to the ground = Unacceptable. 1 or 2 Nosebands tied tightly = Unacceptable. ANY restriction when jumping = Unacceptable. I also feel there should be restrictions on the type of spurs riders are allowed to use, espesially in jumping where your leg, regardless of how careful you are, can veer up the horse’s ribcage in the air. But the use of a draw rein, I personally feel is acceptable since it is adjustable at all times and acts as a second pair of reins. BUT only under the following circumstances: The draw rein is only used for flatwork NOT for jumping since you cannot be certain it wouldn’t restrict the horse’s movement; the horse’s back and neck musles are slowly (small intervals and allowed to stretch out often) made used to working ‘on the bit’, with the aid of softly spunging with your hands on the draw rein, and of course it should NEVER be used to hold the horse’s neck in any way or even worse in some unrealistic fashion where it can’t even move or see in front of itself.
    Let me know where I have to sign 😉

  9. Kelly Bick says:

    May one day your voice, and those like you, be heard in the highest halls of the Equine Industry, and somewhere, somehow the veil of “there is nothing wrong with what is going on” be lifted and they start to look, listen and understand.
    Thank you for putting words and images to the horrific abuse that horses suffer at the hands of humans every day. There needs to be more people like you around – prepared to speak up and speak out.
    Don’t let the critics and personal jibes get you down, they are just afraid. There are many many people out here cheering you on.
    All the best

  10. sarah says:

    I think you guys are doing such a great job wish we had someone of your calibre here is SA to unfold the Roll Kur and abusive biting and hands. Keep it up great work. I work with bits but cannot at any period condone the use of multiple bits this to me means the horses/ riders have not had the correct training. Horrific cannot believe it

  11. nadja says:

    Disgusting pictures. I will share you post.

  12. Erin Palmer says:

    As a horse lover I am so ashamed when I see pictures like this causing pain and suffering to these beautiful animals by fellow so called horse lovers. It makes me feel physically and just because someone rides well it doesn’t make them decent horse people. If you have no understanding of or affinity to these amazingly patient animals either learn or take up bloody cricket. Seen too many horses and ponies destroyed by humans and its funny how its always the horse is dangerous or bad etc. Keep up the good work.

  13. we have at the present moment 8 rescue Horses … Oh my god—> after riding professionally in EUROPE in Horses Shows & musical – I learned to LISTEN TO HORSES & they told us clearly IT CAN GO WITHOUT a BIT – we now ride them all bridle´less & have the most happiest HORSES!
    http://www.being-with-horses.com http://www.heraling-with-horses.com THANK YOU FOR YOUR BLOG & RAISING AWARENESS !!!

  14. Judy Burg says:

    I have a comment. Poor animals and very bad riders. No excuse! For the French person. You seem to see that what is happening is wrong but many in your country eat our poor horses. How do we make sure they know how cruel horse slaughter is and to stop buying horse meat from Canada and Mexico where American horses are taken to the cruelest slaughter. I have 3 beautiful horses rescued by kindness and they are happy, healthy and loved. It is big business and until people in France speak out and the French government becomes involved, the cruelty will continue. Causing pain is one thing but senseless murder for profit of healthy, beautiful animals, loving horses is far worse. I have 3 and wish I could save them all. Help! Please!

    • Starstone says:

      First off, I don’t eat meat of any kind. Second, the rules for horse slaughter in Denmark are very tight, it is almost impossible to slaughter a horse these days. As for the horse owner, you can register your horse by its chip- required chip, by law- and remove it from the slaughter list, meaning that if you once register your horse on that list, it can never be slaughtered.
      All of my horses are on that list, for two reasons. One, should I die suddenly, I don’t want them ending up at a slaughter house, and two, being on that list, I can treat them with the medication they may need, if they should get sick. Lots of rules and laws in Denmark, but that is through the government. So if you have a problem with Americans shipping horses off across the border, it is not your animal welfare laws you need to have changed, it is your rules for what humans are allowed to eat. In Denmark, a horse once treated with a special kind of antibiotcs, for instance, can never be eaten by a human and we use the chip and the horses papers to keep track of that. Of course their will always be people who cheat, but mostly, it is a good rule, simply because the slaughter houses are doing something illegal if they take in horses without a chip, or horses with a chip, who are on that list. So only horses with a chip, and not on the list, can be slaughtered in Denmark.

  15. Nevilene says:

    Who needs to use running reins with a double bridle? If a horse is schooled to the level where it can be ridden in a double bridle then it very definitely would not need running reins! Not to mention some of the other atrocities highlighted here.
    Ignore all those that say you don’t know what you’re talking about, or ignorant. Just because someone is fortunate enough to compete at the top levels doesn’t mean they’re a better a rider than you!!
    Keep going you’re doing a great job.

  16. fosterforever says:

    Hard pictures to view, but thank you for bringing it to our attention. I often thought horses look over flexed or over bent but niavely thought that was the way they were trained, no wonder with all that tack on they feel forced to hold their heads in that position for so long. Keep up the good work i say, knowledge is power after all 🙂

  17. Reblogged this on crazy stories and the gilded cage and commented:
    Words of truth!

  18. You certainly do know what you are talking about and its so good to see how you are bringing these barbaric practices to the attention of us all. We need people like you who are passionate about these beautiful creatures and I, for one, am very much in your corner !

  19. Linda says:

    so hard to see these pictures, poor poor horses. You are a real star to highlight this ignorance and cruelty. What can we do to stop it?

  20. Deb Long says:

    Very disturbing pictures…but they do need to be seen. So many equine sports are so brutal on these poor animals. Including driving. And these are people who claim to love horses! Can we just put all these horrible contraptions on the trainers, riders and drivers!? Yes…keep up the good work! =-)

  21. Alplily says:

    This is bloody awful. Thank you for shining a bold, bright light on this darkness. If I ever feel I need to do that to a horse, I should not be allowed near one. You go, girl. Keep the pressure on. Many of us are on your side.

  22. Linda walker says:

    You have my total support. It’s an outrage that these sadistic practices are encouraged by individuals who ought to know better. This is not sport. It’s torture. How these beautiful, noble horses carry on without throwing these idiots off is a miracle I can’t bear to spectate at any of these events. Everyone should boycott them.

    • Starstone says:

      That’s always a problem though, because if all of us who don’t think its okay, stay away, who is to call a halt then? This was a free event though, I didn’t pay anything to get it, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone… I am not supporting it… 😉

  23. Judy Burg says:

    It is good that micro chipped horses in Denmark cannot be slaughtered but slaughter in the USA is also prohibited. However the demand for horsemeat is so high that traders buy our horses at auction and ship them out of the country. The Canadians who run the business of selling horse meat say that the demand is greater than the supply so educating people to stop eating horse meat and legislation in France, Japan and other countries is the only way we have to keep horses alive. Bed riders and bad training is an abuse but cruel slaughter is only going to stop when people stop eating horse meat. In the U K there was a huge outcry when horsemeat was found in ground beef. Horse meat is tainted by disease, worming medications and parasites as well as antibiotics yet people still eat it. Women still use creams made from pregnant made urine. The only way to stop it is to reeducate those who eat horse meat and apply or ingest pregnant made urine is that it is unhealthy and risky and that is why I ask people who love horses all over the world to speak out. Cruelty is cruelty and if you showed photos of horses mouths, you can also show photos of the next step that befalls these horses. They do their best to please their riders and then when the horse doesn’t win it goes down the pike and ends its life in a slaughter house. Ever since people stopped using horses for transportation, their fate is up to us to limit breeding and valuing each horse as if our lives depended upon it. Competition is grand until people become so desperate to win that they become abusive to the very animals that allow them to indulge themselves in equine activities. Judges need to stop pinning horses who are being abused and people who abuse need to be reported to the authorities for it to stop.
    Politics permits abuse and political pressure is the only way it will stop. Speak out and touch the people in power.

    • Starstone says:

      And what about the pigs? And the chickens? And the cows? They deserve to be locked up, beaten, castrated without sedation, killed with boiling water and electro chock, and so forth, because people must be allowed to eat meat? I am not fighting that fight, frankly there are too many idiots out there who freak out over horse slaughter, but who happily eat bacon…
      Again, I don’t eat meat, but I can not change the world. Would if I could, but I have been vegan all my life, and I have had a very hard time with it, especially since my family keep treating me as if there is something wrong with me… So no, not my fight. I am doing what I can on that front. Are you?

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