The Idea of Order: Rollkur…

… because horses don’t need to breathe anyway!

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I don’t usually make particularly charged accusations in my comics, but in light of yet another article involving an international dressage rider being an idiot, I had to say something.

I think most of us who have ever trained a horse can agree that there are times when it just isn’t pretty: an awkward moment, an overly exuberant youngster, horse just deciding he’s done … essentially, crap happens. But if those awkward, ugly moments are making up the majority of your ride then I think you need to do a little honest self-reflection. And if you’re consciously causing said moments you’re probably just a jerk (even if you are a ‘good’ rider).

While I’m not a grand prix rider (yet!), and I acknowledge that I’m not an expert on training horses to that level, it seems to me that this sort of riding is just unnecessary BS. Getting a horse lower and deeper to show him how to lift his back is one thing; making him play a sadistic form of equine Twister is something else entirely. The fact that it continues to be rewarded in the international arena is a real shame.


2015-10-7-future me

Go Riding!

Morgane Schmidt Gabriel is a 32-year-old teacher/artist/dressage trainer/show announcer/ who still hasn’t quite decided what she wants to be when she grows up. A native Floridian, she now lives in Reno, NV, where she’s been able to confirm her suspicion that snow is utterly worthless. Though she has run the gamut of equestrian disciplines, her favorite is dressage. She was recently able to complete her USDF bronze and silver medals and is currently working on her gold. Generally speaking her life is largely ruled by Woody, a 14.2 hand beastly quarter horse, Willie, a now beastly 5-year-old Dutch gelding, and Stormy, her friend’s nearly all white paint gelding with a penchant for finding every mud hole and pee spot in existence. Visit her website at

SVE 15 For Willie 4002

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