The other day, Eiðfaxi invited a small group of professionals for a chat in order to discuss various issues which have been outstanding in the discussions recently. The meeting was both fun and entertaining and many different angles were detected on the different topics....
The following members were in the group Anton Páll Níelsson, Hinrik Bragason, Mette Manseth and Þorvaldur Árni Þorvaldsson. All of these persons work full time in horse training and instruction work as well as being active in horse shows and competition.
At the end of the discussions Eiðfaxi brought forth a few questions. For example they were asked about their reaction to the outcome of the physical checkup on the competition horses at Landsmót 2011?
The answers our interlocutors gave can be red here below, but the entire article can be viewed in the Eiðfaxi Christmas edition which is here.
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The rider is responsible for the wellbeing of the horse
Hinrik Bragason: „Of course is not good at all that competition horses are injured. Checkup by vets and registration of injuries should result in riders being more conscious of what can be causing those injuries which again would result in awareness of the gear which can be causing those injuries. “
Anton Páll Níelsson: „These results are totally unacceptable and we ask ourselves questions such as where we are situated, and where we are going with equitation. Us horse people have to be responsible and react to this situation in a very profound manner. Everyone has to join in this effort, judges, riders, horse owners, spectators and the organizers of competitions and horse breeding assessments.
We have to reconsider our taste on what we think is good and beautiful and the methods we are using in order to develop that. The rider is responsible for the wellbeing of the horse. To be serving a horse is an art but to misuse a horse is a simple thing to do. “
Mette Manseth: „These results are terrifying. Something drastic has to be done in this matter. Horses should not be injured although results are good. I also thought that the regulations were that the horses had to be injury free if they were to be admitted to participate in a competition, but this is probably a misunderstanding. On the other hand I think that most of the riders who had horses with injuries in the mouth area, especially in the part where they do not have any teeth, that is in the lower jaw, did not know about those injuries, because they did not think of looking for injuries there. These matters will change along with better information on the gear itself. Nobody wants to injure their horse, I am sure. Bit with a bow over the tongue takes the pressure off the tongue, but the pressure goes elsewhere ‒ down to the lower jaw which is more sensitive than the tongue which cannot hide anywhere, like the tongue can.“
Þorvaldur Árni Þorvaldsson: „The injury reports after the LM 2011 are in fact a very serious reminder for us horse people. If we want to call ourselves horse people, then the wellbeing of the horse must be a priority issue for us and to care for a horse is a great responsibility. It is totally up to each rider to be responsible and to make sure that the horse stays healthy through the projects we lead our horse through, and it certainly is a great cause for concern if some riders are not aware of the fact that their horses have injuries in their mouths, for example.“