• VOLUME 50 • © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine
Well, what can I say. I am overwhelmed by your so eloquent article in the Enough is Enough Issue. We CAN make a change! I do hope that Americans will show some courage at the WEG in Kentucky.
Big Hugs to you for all your grand efforts.
Finally, this evening, I could take my time and slowly begin at the beginning of Vol. 48.
I am so honored to be a part of this issue. And the layout! To show engagement with dignity in the first piece, by Carlos Tabernaberri, then move to mine, Susanna’s and yours. I can’t tell you how happy I am with the way you pulled this together.
Sending you a heartfelt and very big hug,
Thank you for publishing the article about Anja Beran's clinic in California. Everything the authors say is absolutely true as I was one of the attendees at the clinic.
When you sent the e-mail announcing the Enough is Enough issue of HFL you wrote this:
“At the same time I am worried too many, may like me, want to run away at what they see - hit exit, close, never to look again, not to read the words of truly incredible horsemen on this subject. But you know not to look, not to gaze into the faces of these horses is to protect yourself, it does not protect them. If you honour these horses, it is your duty to look, to be shocked, to get angry, to cry, and then do something with that anger, with that rage. You WILL do more if you look. It will be harder for you, but it is only fair to the horses to at least look and let them know that whether in sympathy or concern we will not ever look away.”
It hit me like a rock, especially this part:
it is your duty to look, to be shocked, to get angry, to cry, and then do something with that anger, with that rage.
Your words were like a wakeup call for me, you are simply right! So yes, you can quote me, for this poor horse on the photo’s and all those other horses that have no one to speak up for them.
I understand you feel like you do right now, and frankly I hope all the people that read the magazine feel the same! Publishing and reading these articles may be the only way to set things in motion. It seems people need to be confronted with these images again and again. One day enough people will feel like we do now, and things will change. I do believe that with my whole heart!
I wish you all the best,
Regarding your Horses For LIFE article on perfect piaffe. I take it the horse is Balagur since some of his piaffes have been marked a 10. However, your article (IMO incorrectly) states that "One must assume that the piaffe that is marked a ten is perfect." This is absolutely Not the case. Reading the descriptors for each numeric mark, the descriptor for 10 is excellent, not perfect. So while I agree that his grounded foreleg is pedestaling (i.e. BTV) which is incorrect and that he is not poll high which is also incorrect it could still be that his piaffe is excellent. I never saw him perform but have heard good things about him. He certainly tucks at the L-S joint and sits and perhaps his rhythm was good and he was straight and had other features in his piaffe that still appropriately earned it at 10 for being excellent (not perfect, which is not the requirement for a 10).
Thanks God I was close to finishing a book on twenty century's irrational philosophy when I read the "answer" to Phillippe Karl (PK) by the German federation (GF).
For some irrational philosophy an answer is a text, and texts do not need to be read in context, but rather are autonomous things, for some re-created by the readers. For any modern person (to be contrasted to post-modern), an answer addresses the issues and is far more than a collection of words in response to a previously emitted collection of words. Not just a text prompted by a text.
Phillippe Karl, as modern (meaning rational) man, begins by indicating the observation of a changing context:
"Due to the increasing professionalisation of equestrian sports and the growing pressure of economic constraints, the official interpretation of good riding has changed dramatically in the past 30 years."
The GF answers:
"The riding system in effect till today as it is described in the Richtlinien fur Reiten und Fahren is based on the 1912 Manual of the German cavalry ( Heeresdienstvorschrift ) and has essentially been subjected to an optical and linguistic overhaul. Its principles, which even at the time were geared to the wellbeing of the horse, remain unchanged to this day."
refers to the text suppressing the context. The GF opposes to PK "official interpretation" a there is no official interpretation: "For instance, the LPO does not contain any detailed specifications on the scoring, as you call for in some of your points" that opens the gate for the co-writing of the rules by the reader (in this case the judge).
The distance I perceive is far greater than classical dressage or competitive dressage. The "answer" is not an answer.
I have always been taught that the double bridle is used to add refinement. In these pictures of Rollkur it is apparent that it is being used as an instrument of torture! The pressure exerted on the poll and tongue is obviously causing the horses great pain. If someone can be banned for misuse of the whip, then why can't they be banned for misuse of the double bridle? This is an abuse of the horses trust! Perhaps everybody should be made to compete in a snaffle. Then we would see the results of correct training as opposed to force.
Dear horses for life!!
[Editors Note: This is our most frequent request/complaint. We too would love to see the magazine in print. We worry that the cost that we would need to charge to cover the cost of printing and then shipping a non-adverised magazine would be so high that we just could not support a print option at a reasonable cost to you our subscibers, cost estimates to date range about the cost of a small book - probably between $25 and $35 per issue. We have thought long and hard re advertising and have decided that this is not the way to go for us and the standards we are trying to uphold. The other concern is the increased work load on an already overworked staff and volunteer support group. Yes volunteer group. Horses For LIFE survives and grows because of an incredible cadre of volunteers! Editors, writers, photographers, artists, trainers that are strained to the their limits to bring Horses For LIFE to life, issue after issue. We are blessed with the support of so many. We already have so many new projects that we are involved in, from the flip version of the magazine, to re-entering video back into our issues that we just can't keep up to those projects that we are involved with, let alone take one more on. But having said that, we keep looking and investigating this option, so don't think that it may not happen in one format or another at one time or another. Stay tuned.]