HFL: Earlier, at the very beginning of the conversation, you were talking about how you had seen there was a change, where before most people had the disciplinarian attitude towards their horses "you have to do this", now you have more owners that are more interested in creating a relationship with their horses. But at the same time there was a change about 20-30 years ago. But then there is an third group. I talk to a lot of trainers and they say that over the past 20-30 years certain training methods, and especially in competition, have gone completely over the edge. Weíre now seeing Rollkur abounding everywhere in almost every discipline from dressage to jumping to western; it doesnít matter. I donít know if you saw that recent video that was posted about the horse with the blue tongue?
HFL: It was awful. In essence, the person is riding with his horse strongly in the Rollkur position and the horseís tongue is hanging out of the side of its mouth, which it frequently is when theyíre ridden in this position, and in this case the horseís tongue is turning blue. Now the riderís official explanation for this is that the horse momentarily got his tongue between the two bits of the double bridle and that he corrected that immediately. But it truly has shocked the world. This is currently being talked about on a number of discussion lists. There are two petitions out there. There are new websites springing up because people want to see an end to this. But it seems there is this split, like people are polarising, with the competition riders with what theyíre doing; and the other group of people that are trying to look for fulfilment or trying to create a different reality for horses. I always wonder, Klaus - for the most part I believe people are good people, so a lot of times when they do things incorrectly with their horses, I tell myself that theyíre doing it because of a lack of experience or education, not because of nastiness within their souls. But, then I wonder - why are they doing it? I donít understand, on a personal level, I donít understand and it is so widespread. You have young children that are riding like this because they see the winners in their arena, or on television at the big competitions riding their horses like that.
KH: I see the point. Again, Nadja, if you allow me to start like this. I think that, when I look at myself, when I look at my job in the world as in the videos, the books and the demonstrations that you also have been writing about, Iím trying to do all this in a humble and neutral way. Iím sure that personally there is something for me to do. I have a job to do in the horse world. Iím known, Iím not famous, but Iím known and I can show things like now with the last video [as yet unpublished] for example. What Iím showing is something which is obviously astonishing like when I'm opening the box and this stallion is being led by me with the smallest signs towards a mare when the stallion has been given to me as one of the most criminal of the military horses in Barcelona, so what Iím doing very obviously is very astonishing - it's very controlling and it has a very high level of results. So this is what I can do on one side.
On the other side, all my explanations are coming back to something where I saw Iím not controlling. I am not harvesting. I am not searching for any kind of competition. Absolutely not. So in my person, we have exactly this range - on one side producing very obviously with all the humbleness I have inside, objectively creating very highly visible results, astonishing results, nearly impossible, nearly miraculous results.
But on the other side, people can see how Iím doing it. Iím doing it without all those things which are being produced not only in the normal horse world, but everywhere else. So here I am, this guy who is consciously rejecting all these method things, this stuff, controlling instruments, yet still producing results which are beyond everything we can do with the controlling system. So this is one thing.
Now, we have to look at the world very simply. Weíre in front of a world which is split, which is so threatening with all the conflict out there, and if we look for example at climate change, political situations, the hunger in the world, the misery in the world, the problem of water, of food, etc. itís a disaster without any question. The disaster is becoming bigger and bigger and if we look very clearly at the world we see that even if we stop the pollution from all the cars right now, climate change will not stop anymore. This is what serious scientists are saying. So we are destroying the world. We are destroying the world!
This is in the same way is not to understand (as what we do with the horses). We know we are destroying the world. But we are going to continue, all of us. The point is that, as Nuno Oliveira put it, the way people treat horses is always, and always has been, a mirror of how people treat society, life, the world, themselves, etc. It always is a mirror because the horse is the symbol for exactly all these kinds of things.
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