Banning whip use in racing (except for safety)

Ban use of whips to make racehorses run faster (but use for safety still allowed)?


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Elf On A Shelf

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I disagree what the whips don't hurt. I have watched closely and see that although the end of the whip, the part supposedly for hitting with, (much like the flappy leather bit on a short crop) don't look hard. The stick part is still hard. And these horses are getting belted, full on, repeatedly with the whole length of the whip. don't try to tell me my own eyes are not telling me the truth.
Have you actually seen a racing whip? Half is rubber grip to hold onto, then you get a cm or 2 solid then the rest is thick padding. If you hit the horse with the whole whip you would be severly out of balance and you would crack your wrist off of the horse.

As for belted full on - nah. These whips make FAR more noise than inflict pain. The best way to use them in to go with the flow and as you are about to hit the horse let your wrist go lax so the whip bounces - like playing the drums - you don't want to be holding the sticks solid in your hands to achieve the best result.
 
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Yet they are "sensitive" enough that whacking/tapping them with a whip does make a difference, despite the thick skin and adrenaline - supposedly.
I'm interested to know how this 'thicker' skin results in horses juddering madly when they can feel something as light as a fly land on them and it drives them to the point of distraction.

I think, if you actually had any understanding physiology (human or horse) you'd realise that we actually made of the same stuff - it isn't thicker or thinner.

You'd also realise that weight doesn't alter horse or humans perception of pain.

Finally if the pro-cush causes no pain common sense would tell us that there is little point having it so you are in fact condoning the idea of no whips at all!

Quite frankly your post smacks of convenient anthropromophism; I say "convenient" because it conveniently produces 'facts' that allow humans to justify their behaviour.
 

fburton

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I'm interested to know how this 'thicker' skin results in horses juddering madly when they can feel something as light as a fly land on them and it drives them to the point of distraction.
Methinks your beef is with Chrisritch, not me! Go back and read the whole message you're quoting. I was saying horse can feel the whip, even when the horse is jazzed up on adrenaline and even if having a thicker skin does make a difference. It doesn't make sense to argue the horse can't feel it, because if it can't what is the point of whipping it in the first place?!

Accepting that the horse does feel it, we can go on to question whether it is pleasant or not. It's fairly obvious to me it must be unpleasant, otherwise why does the horse respond by trying to run faster? It's not like the whip is rewarding the horse for goodness sake!

I think, if you actually had any understanding physiology (human or horse) you'd realise that we actually made of the same stuff - it isn't thicker or thinner.
As part of my current job, I teach physiology to medics. In the past, I have taught equine behaviour to vet students. I also have associations with a vet anatomy department where I have done research, dissections, etc. so I am not unfamiliar with equine skin. I also have quite a thick skin myself, so don't feel too bad about implying I am ignorant. ;)

You'd also realise that weight doesn't alter horse or humans perception of pain.
Perception of pain is a higher cortical function. There's no way we can tell what pain feels like to a horse, just as I can't tell how the colour red looks like to you. However, we can observe an animal's responses and infer that, as a rule, what would be felt as pain by us is felt by and is aversive to horses. I am also happy to give other mammals the benefit of the doubt and assume, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that pain has potentially the same degree of subjective "nastiness" to them as it has to us - so we have a moral duty to avoid inflicting it on animals unnecessarily. We share very similar hardware, after all. In the end, though, all we can go on is an animal's reactions in any given situation.

Quite frankly your post smacks of convenient anthropromophism; I say "convenient" because it conveniently produces 'facts' that allow humans to justify their behaviour.
Believe it or not, I am quite touchy about anthropomorphism. I hope you do not still think I am guilty of it in the light of this reply.
 

fburton

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As for belted full on - nah. These whips make FAR more noise than inflict pain. The best way to use them in to go with the flow and as you are about to hit the horse let your wrist go lax so the whip bounces - like playing the drums - you don't want to be holding the sticks solid in your hands to achieve the best result.
Someone was telling me recently about how Clare Balding and Willie Carson were discussing whip use on the TV racing and how Willie gave Clare a good-natured thwack to show how it didn't hurt - to which Clare responded by saying "Ouch! That did hurt!" (or words to that effect). :)

(Of course, I could have it wrong - Chinese whispers etc. - but I think the gist was correct.)
 

amandap

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23 June 2009
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Okay, so what would be the disadvantages of disallowing whip use for 'acceleration'?
I honestly can't think of one. :cool: As I said before it would be a level playing field.
Oh, just thought of one. The ungainly sight of jockeys using extreme hands and heels. :D I don't mention effect on the horse because I actually don't know how much the heel can affect the horse with the foot position due to stirrup length jockeys use. I do wonder how much the extreme rocking of jockeys doing this has on inhibiting the horses gait by unbalancing them though.
 
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