Rollkur a “banned technique“


Magali Chamberland

Rollkur it’s a technique that had been banished from the dressage arena years ago but sadly it seems that it’s not always the case. 

We think it had been banned because the riders that still use this technique tend to keep this away from cameras.

So what is this technique?

Rollkur is a controversial training technique that comes from European countries many decades ago. This technique includes the aggressive force of the bit in the mouth of the horse, this simply obligates the horse to over-flexion of its neck for a long period of time.

Thankfully, this technique was declared unacceptable for abuse and banned by the FEI (Féderation Equestre International) some years ago. Following public pressure after a video posted on the internet of an international team using Rollkur while warming up for a competition. The horse’s tongue appeared to turn blue, and the animal showed signs of distress. Untersdably the horse tries to put a resistance when the riders ride in Rolkur. 


You can see in some dressage competition that the horse keep is head vertically. But this is not due to the pressure of the bit in the horse’s mouth, it’s done by the leg into contact as an encouragement to stretch.

The result of asking the horse to work in this way develops suppleness, relaxation, and connection over a loose and free topline. If the front of the face is creating a vertical line, it means that the horse is working correctly.

Working behind the vertical should not be confused whit Rollkur.