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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sport Horse Biomechanics DVD Rollout: "If Horses Could Speak"--Would They Scream "Ouch"? German Vet Thinks So.

by Fran Jurga | 7 April 2009 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog

The trailer for our new "If Horses Could Speak" DVD is in German with subtitles but the DVD we are selling has been re-engineered with an English soundtrack.

Enjoy this trailer for the feature-length DVD now offered for sale by Hoofcare Publishing.

What are the potential ill effects of training methods used for "sport" dressage vs the "classical" way of riding and training? Known for his campaign against "rollkur" (hyperflexion), Dr Gerd Heuschmann's If Horses Could Speak DVD goes even further in this dvd and condemns "modern" training and riding methods that he feels are damaging to horses, even though they produce an upper level dressage horse in a shorter time and the judges seem to like what he considers incorrect movement.

Warning: this DVD is graphic and sometimes even violent; at other times it is beautiful and poetic and the special 3-d animated anatomy graphics are spectacular, if all too brief. The scenes of an anesthestized horse being prepped for surgery may be upsetting to someone who hasn't seen it before and the DVD is not specific about the nature of the leg tendon or suspensory ligament injury surgery and how it is related to improper training or movement.

For all of you who ever thought of dressage as being akin to "watching paint dry", here's your wake-up call.

Specifics:75 minute DVD format in English • USA DVD format (may not play on all Euro systems) • "Starring" Dr. Gerd Heuschmann with commentary by Oberberieter Johann Riegler of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna and Professor Heinz Meyer and Peter Kreinberg, riding by Grand Prix rider David de Wispelaere, with introduction and epilogue by the esteemed equestrian historian Hans-Heinrich Isenbart and so much more. • Special effects and animation by Pixomondo • Produced by Isabella Sonntag and Wu-Wei VerlagPrice $60US plus $6 post in USA, $12 post to the rest of the world. (Companion book, Tug of War, is $25 plus $6 post.)

Click here for more information on ordering the complete 75-minute dvd with new English narration and/or Dr Heuschmann's best-selling book Tug of War. Alternately, call 01 978 281 3222 or fax 01 978 283 8775 with Visa/Mastercard information, send checks to Hoofcare Books, 19 Harbor Loop, Gloucester MA 01930, or email our office.

Click here to watch an interview with Dr. Heuschmann posted previously on The Hoof Blog.

Disclaimer: Opinions stated in the DVD are open to interpretation according to some anatomists and biomechanics experts. Trainers and riders and veterinarians and farriers and anyone who works around these horses shares their moments of pain and knows their athletic prowess. There are no easy answers and anyone interested in this area should follow the research of biomechancs leaders like Drs. Hilary Clayton and Jean-Marie Denoix as well as the equine spinal research of Drs. Rachel Murray, Sue Dyson or Kevin Haussler (to name but a few).

The Hoof Blog
tries to keep readers abreast of new developments in this area and they are coming along at a fast clip, which must be very encouraging for Dr. Heuschmann and others who have rattled a stick on the fence to get attention for the welfare of competition horses.

Please let me know what you think of this DVD after you have watched it. Whether you agree with this DVD or not, you will have to agree that the window is open to a new world of science and research and that Heuschmann's passionate work legitimizes and demands more of the new field of equine sport science. Thank you, Dr. Heuschmann.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. No use without permission. You only need to ask.

Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page).

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