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Equestrian sport is not sport at all

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 2, 2012, 4:52:48 AM PDT
Vika says:
I recently read a The Horse Crucified and Risen and some other books of the same topic. Nevzorov's opinion is that equestrian sport has nothing to do with a testing of power and ability of a human sportsmen. It is parasitizing on the abilities of another creatures - horses. Then i watched a show jumping championship and, you know, I incline now to Nevzorov's opinion. Horses on the championship were not happy with all that stuff. They are totally invalids. I think such situation discredits sport at all and devalues services of real sportsmen who test the limits of their abilities and facilities.
But its interesting to know what is your opinion on this?

Posted on Aug 4, 2012, 9:44:36 AM PDT
Any one who has ever ridden a horse knows that it is a sport. Anyone can SIT on a horse heck they might even be able to make him do a little...BUT it takes, skill, strength and knowledge to become a competent RIDER. You watched a show jumping championship...and you felt that the horses were not happy....I can guarantee that IF the horse did not like what he was doing...he/she would not be competing at that level. You cannot force a horse into doing something he does not like and have him do it well. I have one horse who is full of fire and motivation who makes an awesome dressage horse...but who totally SUCKS at being a pleasant trail riding horse. I have another who is fat and lazy and she is wonderful as a "lets just go for a ride" companion but would never make the grade as a show horse because she does not LIKE to do it. Also, I have been a rider almost all of my life...but that does not mean that I could go out and do what your top equestrians do. Sure you could put me on one of the top horses in the field but my guess is I would come off at the first fence as it takes SKILL to stick on and guide a 1200 pound horse, and it takes knowledge and practice working together to function as a team. Next time you watch an equestrian event...really WATCH what the rider is doing up there, then go out, get on a horse and try to do the same thing. You might just change your opinion.

Posted on Aug 5, 2012, 6:22:38 AM PDT
J. Brandt says:
The Olympics also has such "sports" as Team Handball, water polo....I'm not sure those are sports either.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2012, 12:35:59 AM PDT
Vika says:
Sorry, but I cannot agree with your opinion. I really watch the equestrian events and see that horses during competitions and training are forced. And i see what rider is doing. I see that horses are forced with bits in their mouth, with whips. Look at horse's faces on the championships. Their heads are raised high, their mouths are opened from painful impact from the bridle. And this movement has its scientific name - it is called neurocranialis shock. Read the article in the Equestrian Sport: Secrets of the "Art". They conducted special experiments of the impact of the snaffle and whips. That's interesting. I have never heard about such experiments earlier. May be you will change your opinion either.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2012, 6:52:15 PM PDT
Sariah says:
Predators, such as humans and dogs, have eyes that are located in the front of their head. This is helpful for hunting and judging distance. Prey animals, such as horses, have eyes on the sides of their heads. They have a very wide range of vision to spot perdators and are experts at detecting movement, even from a great distance. Horses have what is called binochular vision. This means they can operate their eyes independently. Humans have monocular vision; our eyes only work in tandem. A horse can see roughly 350 degrees around it. There are two blind spots. One is directly behind the tail and the other is directly in front between the eyes. Each blind spot is several feet long and extends until the horse's two vision fields overlap allowing it to see what is ten or twenty feet ahead. When a horse is calm, it will lower its head to graze. When it needs to see something, such as a threat lurking a hundred yards away or a large hurdle, it holds its head very high. Because of the binocular vision, horses have very poor depth perception. By holding their heads high they can partially counter this. Because of the front blind spot, a horse can see the jump that he is approaching. But during the final stride and take-off, he can no longer see the obstacle. The horse is essentially jumping blind. There has to be an a very strong bond between horse and rider based on an incredible amount of thrust for the horse to get around an Olympic level show jumping or cross-country course. Look at other athletes expressions. Look at Hope Solo when she is kicking or Michael Phelps when he is diving. Do they look like they are having fun? She might grit her teeth as she runs to the ball, and he might scrunch up his face and look 'funny' as he gasps large amounts of air. They are not out there grinning like idiots or posing for photographs, but no one doubts that they enjoy their sport. They are concentrating and giving every ounce of effort that they can. The horse is similar. If you subscribe to the theory the if the ears are not pricked forward at all times that means the horse is angry, then you might misjudge the situation. Horses have sixteen different muscles in each ear that enables them to rotate almost 180 degrees. Because of this a horse can isolate the direction a sound is coming from and focus on it. When you are competing with a horse, they will have at least one ear focused on the rider to listen for any cues or commands. I have ridden horses that are extremely talented and well trained. They are powerhouses. If that horse doesn't want to do something you cannot make them. At the Olympic level, those horses are generally between 1100 and 1300 pounds. No human could force an animal that size at that level of extreme fitness to do something. On the note of the whips, equestrian whips are not designed to be cruel like they are in other disciplines. In riding and driving, the whip is merely an extention of the arm, an artificial aid. In driving, the driver is on the carriage and cannot physically touch the horse. The whip is used as a line of communication in place of the rider's leg. It will dictate increases in speed as well as telling the horse which way to turn. I have a horse that I have trained to do liberty work. Liberty means that the horse is loose in a large fenced in area. There are no physical attachments to the horse, not a bridle and not a leading rein. The horse is completely free in the arena. I use a four foot dressage stick #special whip designed to be unobtrusive during riding# to give cues. The whip never touches the horse, but he respects it because it is one of my aids. I use it to signal him to change direction or speed, to back up or walk forward, to move his hind end in a circle around his front or vice-versa. He could leave at any point and there is nothing I could do to stop him. He stays and works because he respects me but does not fear the whip. Lastly, the rider and horse are both world class athletes. Riding is physically exhausting unless you are very fit and have a lot of experience. To get to this level of competition, both horse and rider have trained for years just like any other sport from gymnastics to archery. It takes thousands of hours to become good, and many more to attempt greatness. The horse is also a competitor. Like the amiable child who becomes a ham on stage, the best horses long for the applause. You can watch a horse who is starting to fade but comes alive after the final jump when the crowd roars. The same thing happens in races on the homestretch when the leader realizes a rival is threatening their lead.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 30, 2012, 10:37:52 AM PDT
G. Francis says:
you do realize that "experiments" are not real-life? Why was the experiments undertaken in the first place?....I'm sure the degree of use of the snaffle and whips were much more extreme than what you'd find in a training stable. Also, there are different training methods to be taken into consideration.

If we're going to compare "faces", have you seen the divers? Look at marathoner's faces. How about tennis? ~ oh, Sariah already did that....

Posted on Aug 30, 2012, 11:20:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 30, 2012, 11:24:33 AM PDT
Vika says:
Hmm, "experiments are not real-life"... And what is real life then? You know, you are going to argue with all science, with Einstein's theories, for example, as he did experiments and proved scientific theories on which now we base our opinion in physics. Your post is beyond the science. In such manner you can disprove anything, and your disproving will be false. I propose scientifically proven facts here and I base my own opinion on them, tests and experiments were done and proved by leading russian scientists and these experiments show that snaffle and rider do harm to the horse. Then I look at real horses and see that they show the same things which were presented and proven in the experiments.

Yes, I saw divers faces, i saw swimmers and many other human faces. But these people - sportsmen - test the limits of their abilities and facilities, but horses DO NOT. And in a stable, for example, or in a paddock, you will never see a horse with such face as you can see on the competitions.
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Discussion in:  Sports forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  7
Initial post:  Aug 2, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 30, 2012

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