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The Abuse of Horses for Performance

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    In 2008 a horse named, Appeal to the City was whipped by his jockey, Jeremy Rose. From misusing his whip it was hemorrhaged around Appeal’s eye. Causing terrible pain and misery to Appeal and she was never able to race again.

    Every week on average 24 horses experience breakdowns due to misuse of whips, drugs, shocking devices, and abuse. Breakdowns that cause these horses to never be able to perform again. There is no need to treat horses like this because it’s cruel and unusual punishment that is not needed. Tennessee Walking horses experience soring which is a very painful experience to the horse. People who demonstrate soring, cut the hoof almost to the quick and then tightly nail shoes on to make the horse pick up its feet faster. They use many different products of the feet of these horses such as gasoline, diesel fuel, and mustard oil. They do this to the horses to cause an artificial exaggerate gait. They do this to make them perform better and look more ellagant when performing. It does work; however, it is very wrong and cruel to do this treatment on an animal that doesn’t deserve to be treated this way. Not only are people using whips and drugging horses, some race horses are being traumatized in a different way. Electric shockers that jockeys put on their hand to shock the horse to train them to go fast causes severe sensitivity to all noises and vibrations. The trauma from using the electric shockers causes many episodes of bucking, neighing, kicking, biting, and rearing. The horses become sensitive to even the sound of a cell phone vibrating. A horse that I have seen that was abused with electric shockers was so sensitive even to the buzz of my cell phone when he was being rode. Using treatment and abuse can cost horses their lives and careers.

    Also during the Kentucky Derby win, American Pharoah was struck by a whip 32 times by Victor Espinosa. Many jockeys feel that this is okay because it is how everyone else is training. Everyone else is using the whips so many feel entitled to as well. Horse whips can cause a very painful strike to a horse when used. Leaving bruises, scars, trauma, and broken bones if hit hard enough.

    During my lifetime I have never used a whip. I have trained and ridden horses for many years, since I was eight to be exact. I never use a whip and I am one, to only use voice commands and my legs. I barrel race as well and I never use a whip to get them to go home. A whip is so unnecessary to use on any animal. My mother on the other hand has. She used to use a whip to get the horses to join up. Something we do to show them we are the boss and they can trust us. She had whipped my horse Taz right along his hind end and ever since then we can’t use a whip on him because of the trauma that, that experience caused and created. With Taz he will freak out and start rearing and kicking. He will never forget when he was whipped on the back and the pain it caused. I have seen other people during barrel racing and other horse races aggressively use whips. You immediately see the horse get agitated and pins his or her ears back. This is a sign to not conduct that kind of behavior to an animal that trusts you.

    You might say that getting the horses to do a certain thing or perform a certain way you might do anything to get to the top even if it’s abuse. Getting to the top takes hard work, dedication, and time to get good athletes just like humans. We don’t whip people in today’s society. We don’t whip people who are working athletically. As a society and world we do not hurt people when they are training for the Olympics. When humans are training we work at our own will. Horses are trained to do what they want to do. They work their hardest with the things they are passionate about. Just like humans we train for things that we are passionate about and things that we love. Why should horses be abused doing the things that they love and will do with their whole hearts?

    Abusing horses with drugs is morally incorrect due to that fact that if humans can’t use drugs for performance neither should horses. Alphaprodine is an opioid analgesic is a pain reliever it is used on horses to distract them from the pain that they may be feeling. Just like humans we use pain medicines when we are hurt. I’m not saying that herbal healing and taking breaks for horses is a bad thing. What I am saying is that drugging horses to not feel the pain at all is what will send them to fatal and serious injuries. Using drugs prohibited in races, performance, and shows leads to disqualification or worse the law can get involved and so can PETA.

    Many say that abusing horses to get to the top is the way to go. However that is not the way to go at all. All animals are supposed to be treated with respect and equally just like humans. No one would hit a human athlete with a whip to make them go faster. No one would shock an athlete to go faster, so why would hurt a harmless animal that loves you and is dedicated to you. Now I leave this argument with a question, would you hit a human baby with a whip, or a puppy? All animals and humans are the same and should be treated equally.

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    The Abuse of Horses for Performance. (2021, Nov 24). Retrieved from

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