During the past three years, FEIF and its representative bodies (riders, horse handlers, judges and member associations) have been faced with the issue of so-called hyperflexion or ‘Rollkur’.
Bearing in mind that the welfare of the horse is one of FEIF’s most important concerns, riders, trainers and judges have various experiences and different opinions on hyperflexion. Therefore FEIF has started a process of asking for advice and recommendations from experts (veterinarians, physiotherapist, etc.), the results of which will be integrated in the ongoing Task Force-process of revision and integration of rules in the different departments of FEIF.
FEIF wants to stress that hyperflexion is not an acceptable method in training, presenting and showing Icelandic horses. Judges and Ring Stewards are required to react upon all manner of violent behavior towards the horse. FEIF encourages teachers and instructors to promote an understanding of the anatomical, physiological and mental aspects of hyperflexion. These questions will include the use of bending, flexing and extension in a way that it advances the training of the horse, improves riding skills and promotes the welfare of the horse.
Accordingly to FEIF’s motto to “put the welfare of the horse in everything we do”, FEIF will take an active part in the ongoing discussions on that topic, and inform its associated members and bodies about the latest results available from scientific research.
To improve horsemanship FEIF announces 2012 to the “Year of Good and Harmonious Riding” (further details to follow soon).