And the World Watches
Once again, dressage was dealt an ugly blow in front of the entire world.
Some of you may have seen the warm up picture of Patrik Kittel using rollkur in the Olympic schooling arena. It's gone "viral" on the Internet and is causing an uproar in the dressage community. Bad, indeed, but according to the FEI, no rules were broken and the rollkur was "momentary...." Yeah, right...
Top it off by Adelinde Cornelisson's entrance into the competition area, cranking Parzival's head right, left, right, left over and over every time the horse even took a breath or stretched correctly into the bit. I was screaming at the screen, "For pity's sake, leave his face alone!!!" prompting my friend who was on the phone with me to ask what was wrong.
But it gets worse. Even during the test, Parzival tended to go behind the vertical with the only "payback" to his rider during the reinback. They halted, and then Cornelisson asked for reinback, Parzival momentarily resisted, as if to say, "What do you want? My head curled up, or something else?"
During a replay of the test they showed a close up of Parzival's head with only a scant few inches between his chin and chest.
But the final blow was the score. Second place at over 80%.
As long as that kind of riding gets a reward in the competition arena, it's not going to stop. As long as it's tolerated in the warm up, it will be used.
And now the entire world thinks that's how a dressage horse should be ridden.