This letter is in response to a post about rollkur on the PBS TV Show Horse and Rider. It outlines more of what went on during training of the horses and production of the show.
I appreciate your passion. It’s upsetting to me to when I have no control over details like the editing. I fully explained to the PBS people about the history of both horses, but much of it got cut out in production. They even added stuff like whinnying when it wasn’t happening. I guess they thought it was “artsy”.
I wish she wasn’t overbent too, but if it makes you feel better, both horses ended up (over time) happily working in normal frames and balance. I absolutely do not advocate rollkur, but both horses were projects that needed to be “reclaimed”.
I took the mare on because even though she had been severely abused, she had a great brain. So, I thought I could help her. She learned everything in the GP, and now is a happy First Level horse for a lady who likes to ride her bareback. The lady is even trying to get some of the dressage shows to offer bareback classes because she has so much fun. So the story has a happy ending. (By the way, she has a white eye…You can see it when she’s in the stall.)
The gelding became so confident and trusting over time that he actually was a school horse for Ruth in her riding program! He’s now happily retired on her farm at 28. (Although he felt it was his “job” to take care of a neighboring mare prior to and during foaling this spring!)
Oh, yes…She has a white eye. You can see it in the stall.