Although I currently ride dressage, I'm not very active in the dressage show world. In fact, I had never observed or heard about Rollkur until the controversy heated up of late. So when I looked into it, I reacted much the same as I do when I see TV ads promoting reality shows about beauty pageants for five-year-olds. I gazed in disbelief making the same face I do when I step in a dog mess at the park.
What in the world is that all about? And what's the purpose?
The video clip on Camera Obscura credited to Nadja King regarding the physical effects of extreme flexion is hard to watch. In fact, I stopped the video before the end. Just looking at the horse's expression was enough. The poor animal couldn't even see! The horse's head had been placed in such an unnatural position that its eyes were practically in its eyebrows.
I don't understand what is to be gained by placing the horse in a position that makes it impossible to see where it's going and difficult to breathe during an athletic effort.
I guess it's human nature to take things to extremes. Give us a domesticated animal and we'll breed it and handle it in ways that Mother Nature never intended!