Reflections on the Grand Prix Dressage…

Today more Grand Prix level dressage…
I love dressage and particularly the Grand Prix Dressage.  While  I do adore the sport, I am also quite aware of how some trainers use the “hyperflexion” (“Rollkur” in German) in their training and warmup.  I am totally against this.  I studied dressage (dressur) for many years.  I know what goes on behind the scenes.  The media has also brought some attention to this: yes, it is abusive and it should be done away with.

One German dressage trainer who I highly admire is Klaus Balkenhol, and he is against the use of “hyperflexion”/”rollkur” and use of draw reins.  The  famous French trainer Philippe Karl–the French lightness method–is also against using this method for training dressage horses.   Klaus Balkenhol’s daughter Annabel  is riding in the Grand Prix dressage competition, and I am certain that this is at least one horse who was trained in a decent and natural way.  Annabel’s dressage score (for the first test) is currently 70,973, very good, but she’s not at the top.  I watched her ride and found it to be quite good.  One often wonders though about the riders who achieve near perfection in the Grand Prix Dressage … Well, I do not know what they do in training, but if they use the hyperflexion /rollkur method then I do not have much respect for them…  However, I realize that some do.   For me what is important is what is best for the horse.  And hopefully more riders and trainers think in this way.

And while watching the various riders, I certainly have my favorites…more on that later.

Ciao, enjoy the Olympics

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