The “Kinder, Gentler Riding Crop” Is a Load Of…

The whip, of course, is an instrument of abuse; it motivates a racehorse to run faster through pain and fear. Anyone with a working set of eyes can see that. Even the pro-racing equine medical director of California, Dr. Rick Arthur, knows it: “There are those who argue that whipping doesn’t hurt horses, but that’s nonsense, and we all know that. Whips are noxious stimuli; they hurt, that’s why they’re used. Run fast or I’ll hit you again.” (International Conference of Horseracing Authorities, 10/7/19)

For its part, the industry tries its damndest to convince us that the “riding crop” – they refuse to use the word whip – is but a harmless guide, an indispensable tool that helps protect both horse and rider. But in 2021, rapidly evolving public sentiment – it’s more than just “optics” – is forcing their hand. The result is ever-more-restrictive strike rules and new designs – the “kinder, gentler crop,” like this one:

I don’t know, still looks like it packs a wallop to me. Anyhow, I quite enjoyed jockey McCarthy’s assessment: “The horses will respond to it but, you know, not get overabused as well.” That’s right, Mr. McCarthy, not get overabused, because your propaganda (“steering,” “encouragement” – love that word) aside, you know full well that, as I said at the top, whipping a horse, whipping any domesticated animal, is, at the very least, garden-variety, root-word abuse. Period.

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  1. These morons need a HS physics class. If I wrap a baseball bat with a pillow can I hit you in the head with it?

  2. Ooops..in the interview we missed a demonstration of the kinder device on the shoulders and hind quarters of the one who delivers the steering and encouragement to their mount.

  3. What the HELL is “KINDER MORE LOVING” about WHIPPING? I think this jockey needs a good whipping with her “KINDER” whip. Forgive her God, for she doesn’t know what she does (or cares) to the poor horses she whips with “kindness”.

  4. When any animal is obviously beaten repeatedly, as fast and hard as he/she can possibly be, it is cruelty. The LINK between animal abuse/cruelty and human violence is well established—so much so that the FBI keeps a database of convictions. The LINK exists even if simply witnessing animal cruelty or abuse—such as the violent, brutal, publicly-viewed beating of any horse—every horse, in every race—with everyone cheering, condoning, and supporting the suffering inflicted. What does this teach vulnerable or impressionable minors (same with rodeo’s abject cruelty)? Maybe laws should be enacted to make such events legally “off-limits” to minors…“adults only”).
    Horseracing needs to be banned, but if there is any other workaround or piling on of “evidence” to destroy its foundations, it may help create the laws to make it a crime.
    If the whip is so innocuous, doesn’t hurt, then there should be no resistance or opposition to banning it.

  5. The incessant whipping/beating of racehorses who are, most likely, sore and/or tired is blatant cruelty.
    Furthermore, it doesn’t only motivate them, but forces them to comply directly due to the pain.
    If the whip is so soft ,as this video claims, than why use it all?
    If racehorses “love to run” than why do you have to beat them to comply?
    Racehorses are profit slaves and disposable gambling chips to this industry and the whips are their torture tools used to force compliance in order to churn gambling profits.
    There are no amount of pro-horse racing videos that can mask their true intentions just like they mask the ongoing injuries of racehorses to flip a buck for them.
    This vile business belongs on the history book shelves of an antique museum not in a civilized society.

  6. Overabused, Trev? I think that’ll become my new favorite jockeyism. In fact, you’ve added a whole new set of words to the lexicon of how racing treats its beloved “athletes.”
    Overbeaten. Overslaughtered. Overisolated. Overdoped. Overmutilated. Overexploited. Overdumped. Overbroken. Overlame. Overvanned. Overeuthanized…
    Well, you get the idea. And aren’t they great? (Overgreat?)
    I’m sure all your fellow racing creeps will enjoy using these fantastic terms, and many others, right along with their corollaries, the “Unders” — Underdrugged. Underinjured. Underbrutalized, etc.
    So, thanks, and happy racing!

  7. Racing continually compares its horses with human athletes, but when have you ever seen a coach use a whip to make their players run faster or pitch harder? If human athletes spent the majority of their time locked in a phone booth (size ratio), were slapped around by their coaches, and were dumped behind the bleachers after sustaining serious injuries, then there might be somewhat of an argument.
    And whips are no different than bits or spurs or any other noxious stimuli used. If it didn’t cause discomfort to one degree or another, it wouldn’t be used. Even if these whips were “gentler” or “kinder” – which is hip deep BS – the fact that these jockeys use overhead swings and such a rapid succession of blows would negate that.
    If this whip truly is “gentler” and “kinder” why didn’t the interviewer or the jockey offer a demonstration against their own hide? It’s obvious: because they know the truth. There is no such thing as a torture device that is gentle or kind. It does what it is made to do.

    • Great points and I would like to add this.
      Human athletes have a voice and actually consent to participating vs. racehorses who don’t have a voice and don’t consent to the misery bestowed upon them to flip a buck.
      Human pro-athletes actually get paid for their work and control their earnings for retirement.
      Racehorses don’t get the benefit of either not even a mandatory 1% for aftercare earnings in an industry that brags about their million dollar wagering profits and sales.
      When has anybody seen a human athlete sent to slaughter after football is done crippling them?

  8. These people that can suggest that there is anything kind about whips and whipping in any remote way are candidates for an old-fashioned whipping. Tie these people to a fence or a post and deliver the whipping of a lifetime to their body parts. Let them get welts on their legs, rear-end, wherever the whip strikes. Let these horse-whipping animal abusers feel the stinging pain of being whipped. Let them have welts that turn to black and blue and purple bruises. Then over a period of time, let them watch their black and blue bruises turn to green and eventually yellow and finally back to normal skin color. I can’t even imagine the bruising under the horses’ hair.

  9. How would the human perpetrators feel if they were whipped instead? I think these people need to learn a lesson!

    • Not to mention- a lot of jockeys don’t even use this whip, and tracks don’t mandate it. So many are riding with the traditional nastier whip.

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