Or should that be LDR? Anky van Grunsven, Dutch dressage gold medallist, is suing Astrid Appels, a journalist on Eurodressage.com, for illustrating an article on rollkur with a picture of Anky's horse Salinero. Anky says her method of training is not rollkur, despite looking to the uninitiated (and I include myself here) remarkably similar. I've written about rollkur before; it's a training technique used by some dressage riders. Anky's version of this she calls Low, Deep, Round. To me they both look the same: the horse is ridden for long periods with its chin pulled into its chest.
I don't like the way a lot of dressage at the top level looks: I am not even at the foothills of dressage, but to me a horse swishing its tail, with its ears back, is an unhappy and tense horse, and that is how some horses look at the top level of the sport. I still think it ludicrous that Anky won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics with a halt that was nothing of the sort, and Isabell Werth won silver with this display:
Dressage judges are doing the sport no favours at all allowing its stars to still win medals with performances which contain such gross errors. It wouldn't happen in other subjectively judged sports: fall off the beam in gymnastics and your chances are gone; hit the ice in figure skating and you have no chance.
Here is Reine Klimke, and Ahlerich in 1984, having won the Olympic gold:
Lovely relaxed horse, and none of this ridiculous oofing about not doing the victory parade because your horse cannot cope with it.