Berlin, Germany (Weltexpress). Public Letter to FEI Executive Board from Bernd Paschel (2014-07-09).
HRH Princess Haya AL HUSSEIN
Fédération Equestre Internationale
HM King Hussein I
Chemin de la Joliette 8
1005 LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND
enclosed a copy of an open letter to the IOC concerning the „Abuse of Horses“. Would you kindly forward it to the national associations?
The undersigned are all sport teachers and riders.
From our point of view as pedagogues and from experience with other sports it must be said that the development of horse riding has stopped in the late Middle Ages. That does not mean that everything in the past was wrong, in the contrary. But a whole lot of the findings in veterinarian medicine, sport science and pedagogics have not yet reached equestrian sports and its institutions. It is asking too much of animal welfarists to interfere at riding events when even the judges do not sanction riders who obviously maltreat their horse – unlike most other sports which do sanction fouls without regard to who commits them.
The pedagogics of civilized societies have gone a long way from violence-based education to non-violent concepts, which, nowadays, include mutual respect and understanding.Respect for horses, on the other hand, is often seen as something for beginners only. In top sport events, from which children take their idols and in which they are looking for good examples, respect for the living being horse does not count much. In the contrary, absolute obedience seems more often than not to be the principle of training and performing.
How are children to understand this?
Finally it must be said that like this a group of highly qualified horsemen and horsewomen is kept away from the riding clubs.
If the riding associations are interested in solving these problems (are you?), everything – equipment, rules, teaching – should be put to the test!
For our children’s sake!