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Icelandic Horse Connection

What Are They Applauding?

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After watching the sample video of the World Championship for Icelandic Horses, in Holland, 2007, at the following site:

http://www.notion.net/icelandichorses2007/flash-icelandichorses2007-streaming.html

and:

http://www.notion.net/icelandichorses2007/flash-T1.html

I wonder: what is the audience applauding?!?!?

The first horse shown on the video, moving directly towards the camera, appears to be frothed and fighting the bit.

The next horses shown entering the arena, again, moving towards the camera, are showing the winging flight of poorly conformed legs.

Some big bits are used with nosebands.

The bit evasions are obvious in just about every horse on the video.

What are the people cheering?!?!?

What's up with the current fad of making the horse go behind the vertical?

Is anyone listening to the horses?

What exactly is a slow tolt? Does it have a definition? Is it a two-foot / three-foot support gait? or a one-foot / two-foot support gait? Or is one-foot / two-foot / three-foot support allowed as some of the horses were doing?

Heads tossing, above the bit, behind the bit; mouths trying to open, lips gnashing; odd tipping of the head, crossing the jaws...

Heavy contact... always. Why? Are any of the horses naturally gaited to gait on easy contact?

And the feet.... long... shoes... boots... can any of these horses gait barefoot?

And loosing a foot in the competition?!?!?

That's.... odd.... really odd.

Some of those tolts look pretty bone-jarring, as can be seen in the rider's bodies.

Nosebands.... seems they are tight; some placed relatively low, not allowing the horse to breathe enough?

And the people are cheering.... why?

Whips for ponies?

Tail wringing...

I don't understand what was being judged. There did not appear to be much horsemanship (as horsemanship has an applied meaning of "good" which was not in evidence).

Was the point to see how much force the horse could take from a rider? how much it could lift it's feet without losing a foot?

How much it could run without having enough incoming air?

How much pain it could take in the mouth, bearing the weight of a rider on a broken bit with long shanks?

Or could it be that the horse who could touch his chest with his chin was rated higher?

What in the world were the people cheering and applauding at this competition?

Do *they* even know what they were seeing?

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A reader's comments: "The video was very troubling - if this event served to showcase the talents of the Icelandic breed, it fell far short for me. Not only did the horses look as if they were in extreme distress, but did you notice the grimaces on the faces of the riders (as they had their hands in the horses' mouths)? It's distressing that the audience applauded the obvious mistreatment (my personal observation) of the horses."

From Germany: "I have seen very bad things, everywhere. So I dissociate from the Icey-Szene. They are too hard and brutal. Whatever you see: hoofs, training method, bits, saddles and more. I fear the worst when I think about the Championship."

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