Rollkur on trial

By Rebecca Gibson

General news

17 December 2010 10:42

The debate on the practice of rollkur – that is riding a horse in extreme flexion – is not one that’s going to go away any time soon. It has been rumbling on for some thirty years already, but as public uproar reaches fever pitch Your Horse investigates both sides of the argument.

Founder of the Classical Riding Club, Sylvia Loch has been campaigning against the use of rollkur for many years, but in issue 329 of Your Horse she gives her strongest argument yet against the practice. “The use of such techniques is a sad reflection of the state of dressage as a sport,” Sylvia says. She then goes on to talk about why horses like Totillas are diluting the classical foundations of dressage.

But leading scientific equine researcher and associate dean for research at Hartpury College, Dr David Marlin believes there’s not yet enough scientific research to justify a ban on the practice. “It hasn’t been proven, certainly not beyond any reasonable doubt that riding a horse is rollkur has any lasting physical or psychological effects. Until it is, I don’t see that the FEI can prohibit the practice.”

For the full story, see issue 329 of the magazine, on sale now.