Having just returned from WEF and Global Dressage at Wellington Florida, I can say that I’ve watched so many horses competing, performing and being privately schooled that I’m in overload – or nearly!
What has impressed me so much is the standard of schooling generally, both privately and publicly, where I saw minimal “abuse” being shown by riders or trainers. Not that it doesn’t happen of course, but like most things, it’s a matter of a real definition of what constitutes abuse and a genuine assessment of what that looks like – in riding and training, in horsemanship, horse husbandry, equine health and mental practices and if necessary re-education to ensure legal standards are being met. In a perfect world legalisation should not be necessary but we do not live in a perfect world so it is.
Social media has surely helped drive the standard in equine sports but it has also shown the world what abuse can look like. If we, as equine enthusiasts, cannot help define what abuse is, and in the very near future, we will certainly be at a great disadvantage.
This is a wonderful article on the subject! http://eventingnation.com/william-micklem-abuse-in-the-sport-horse-world-part-i/