Hyperflexion in Review
Hyperflexion—a position in which a horse’s nose is behind the vertical—became a welfare focus in the 1990s. Over the years it has grown increasingly common to see elite dressage horses performing in this head and neck position. And today, the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) has rules against hyperflexion, citing that it’s “mental abuse” to the horse and “a result of aggressive riding.”

Still, some hyperflexion proponents claim the position has positive performance effects.

To determine whether the negative effects outweigh the positive, Uta Koenig von Borstel, PhD, BSc, a professor at the University of Gottingen’s Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, in Germany, carried out a review of the existing scientific liter

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