Going cross country without a stick…

Whilst scrolling the realms of Facebook the other day, I came across a debate about carrying a whip in racing and whether it should be banned or not. To my surprise many had responded saying no. Genuinely, I was surprised – how could anyone say no to something that could improve horse welfare? And then one response really shocked me “You wouldn’t expect someone to ride cross country without a stick so why should we expect it of jockeys?”

Wouldn’t we? Is it impossible?

Well, no it isn’t. I have ridden in a BE Event and gone cross country schooling without carrying a stick. Madness I hear you say! But that’s impossible… But I did it and on multiple occasions, I even have photographic evidence.

Floyd in the BE100 at Tweasledown

Do people genuinely think that a horse won’t jump a log or canter through a lake or jump a bush without the threat of a stick by their side? Surely the joy of going across country with your horse and jumping anything that you meet is the partnership, that you are loving it together?

Have I totally missed something or have they? I would love to hear your thoughts…


Pie enjoying himself at Rosehill

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

You may also like


  1. Yeey for you and your horse!

    Do people REALLY think it is impossible to ride eventing without a crop? Wow, I am truly shocked. I must say I don’t go to competitions anymore, because of the traditional ways horses are treated. 😉

    So much has changed over the last two decades: much of the traditional ideas about horse behaviour (alpha horses, dominance, “show them who’s boss”- attitude, etc) are now proven to be false. There are so much scientific studies available for people nowadays. There are also much more studies done on equines, like the one that proved that horses have a much more sensitive skin than people used to believe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *