VOLUME 51 • © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine
Editorial: Who Represents the Horse?
Dressage followers are composed of a mixed following. From the active competitor to the sometime trail rider. For many riders understand that dressage is simply the base, a base of knowledge for the rider and a base of creating a healthy, fit, educated horse. Dressage encompasses all the knowledge from thousands of years of horsemen, that helps us understand and build a better relationship with our horses. Many riders are dressage riders and jumpers, or dressage riders and trail riders, or dressage riders and garrocha riders, the mix is endless.
Thus when the issue of overbending, working behind the vertical and rollkur are raised, it is by a variety of owners, riders, trainers, judges and veternarians. Well educated and experienced, they often are not active competitors. They encompass the spirit of dressage if not the competitive members.
Truly caring for our past as well as our future, so many are striving to protect our rich history which, over the past couple of decades, seems to be disappearing and turning into something that is quite different. Through internet forums, websites and riders, they try to make sure that we do not lose the measureless wealth of knowledge that is out there and so much more, they want to make sure the horses that they love are protected.
Protests, petitions, and letters have poured into the FEI as efforts continue by so many riders who want only to help the horses that they see suffering, realizing that what is happening at the top competitive level has filtered down to all levels - all over the world.
Since the attention has been on many of the top competitors, it only made sense to approach and express our concerns with the FEI.
Or does it?
I started to wonder, after seeing the latest results of the FEI completely ignoring a petition of 40,000. If the FEI continues feeling they have no responsibility to listen to 40,000, then who do they think they have to listen to?
Well, obviously they are listening to the competitors. They are putting the competitors ahead of not only the tens of thousands that have signed the petitions, but all of those that are voicing their concerns all over the world. It is frustrating and disheartening.
I have seen the depression, sadness and even frustrated tears that the lastest announcement of the FEI has brought about. I was stunned that the FEI should pull such tactics, that they completely dismissed 40,000 riders!!
Which got me thinking. Why is the FEI not responding? What gives them the gall to so ignore so many? Where is their responsibility to their membership?
But hold on a moment! I am not a member
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• © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine