Letter from St. Catherines, Canada

Letter from St. Catherines, Canada
Letter regarding your editorial and article on page 17
(Global Dressage Forum) St. George, December edition.

 

Dear Frau Pochammer,

Again, I must thank you for your efforts in promoting the humane treatment of our horses and their training. All horsemen can only hope that you will continue to further advocate the beauty of our dressage sport.

Respectfully yours, Walter Zettl

St. Catharines, Canada

What a splendid comparison, Frau Pochammer gave us with the old and new cars and the old and new way of riding. In the past we considered the horse to be our partner, and only a classical education would lead to the highest level of performance. One had to work with horses bread for multiple equestrian disciplines.

Today riders can sit on quality dressage horses that we could only have dreamed of. In my second book, I write that on must be very grateful to our breeders for what classical horses are now available for our riders. Unfortunately, these high-bred horses with their indescribable movements are daily ridden over their limits, until they resist this treatment and can only be controlled with extreme force. This is called "Genius and devil," these horses are so afraid that they can hardly walk or stand still long enough for the rider to greet the judges.

Why isn't the halt removed from the dressage test? Just like Martin Schaudt wishes that the walk is taken out of the Grand Prix. Why not just let the rider show only what his horse does best?

Where will our top representatives like Davis Hunt, chairman of the International Dressage trainers-club and Mariette Wighages, chairwoman of the FEI Dressage committee lead us, if they believe that a training system must be good as long as it brings the best results. Regardless of how much the horse has to suffer. And when I have to read, that a Global Dressage Forum the present discussion regarding the so-called "Rollkur" is regarded as backwards by Fr. MW, and requested spectators to shut up right from the beginning, I got frightened. This would not be possible in North America. Are we again in a dictatorship where only the leadership controls the way, even if the way leads our horses and the classical dressage into the abyss?

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Walter Zettl

I believe in dressage as art, and I have practiced that art throughout my professional life.”
-Walter A. Zettl

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