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Do Riding Crops Hurt Horses?



Do Riding Crops Hurt Horses

If you own a horse or have ridden one in the past, you must have come across a riding crop. Riding crops are slender, flexible sticks used to encourage a horse to move forward, apply pressure to specific body parts, and control their movements. However, many people have raised concerns about the use of riding crops on horses. They believe that using them may be cruel and painful to the animals.

In this post, we seek to bring you the truth about riding crops and whether they hurt horses.

Can Riding Crops Hurt Horses?

To begin with, riding crops are not inherently harmful to horses. If used correctly by experienced riders or trainers, they can be a useful tool to encourage a horse to be responsive to aids without causing pain or injury. In fact, some horses respond better to a gentle tap with a crop than any other form of encouragement, especially in competitive events like show jumping and horse racing.

That said, the use of riding crops on horses can be painful and harmful if used incorrectly. When a rider uses excessive force, hits the horse in delicate parts of their body, or uses the crop as a punishment tool, the horse may become frightened, uncomfortable, or even injured. Hitting a horse’s face, eye, or ear with a crop, for instance, can cause severe pain, injury, or permanent damage.

Another factor that contributes to the use of riding crops is the type of material used to make them. Some crops are made out of hard materials like bamboo and aluminum, which can cause more pain and discomfort to horses than gentle materials like rubber. Also, the length and thickness of the crop can influence the degree of impact when a rider uses it on a horse.

Additionally, the rider’s experience, technique, and ability to read the horse’s body language can affect the crop’s impact on a horse. As a rider, it is essential to know where and when to apply pressure with the crop appropriately. A skilled rider or trainer can use crops as a beneficial tool that encourages a horse to perform at their best.


The use of riding crops is a contentious issue in the equestrian community, with many people arguing for and against it. The primary purpose of a riding crop is to help riders communicate with their horses, encourage them, and control their movements. However, the use of riding crops must be done responsibly, with respect for the animal’s welfare and safety. Experienced riders and trainers know how to use crops appropriately, but inexperienced riders should refrain from using them, as they may use them inappropriately.

Ultimately, whether a riding crop hurts a horse or not depends on how it is used, and if used accordingly, it can be a useful tool with no detrimental effects on the horse.

I am Tommy, an avid equestrian who is passionate about the lifestyle. Writing for an equestrian blog has been a lifelong dream of mine, as I have been around horses my whole life. My mission is to share all the knowledge and experiences I have gathered throughout the years in order to help others reach their goals in this amazing sport. My dedication and enthusiasm towards horses and all things related to them never cease to amaze me!

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