The short answer is no, you shouldn’t use your crop in the show ring.
Crops are allowed and the rules state crops are permitted and there is a length restriction. The maximum length is 75cm when going over fences and 110 cm when schooling on the flat. You are not permitted to ride with a dressage whip if you are schooling over fences.
According to FEI (Federation Equestrian International) Rule 241 -
“using a whip which is more than 75 cm in length … … on the show grounds or in the immediate vicinity of the show grounds” is cause for elimination.
The rule also states, ” no substitute for a whip may be carried“. This means if you pick up a stick, branch or umbrella to use as a make shift riding crop, it may be cause for elimination.
Three Strikes and You Are Out
Excessive use of the whip or riding crop is taken seriously by show managers, officials and horse owners. If you are using your whip excessively you are under the penalty of disqualification.
According to the rules (FEI Article 243)
‘A horse should never be hit more than three times in a row’
In addition hitting the horse after you have been eliminated or after the horse has jumped the last jump is not permitted. This constitutes hitting the horse in anger and is unsportsmanlike.
Excessive use of the whip in these instances is considered cruel and can be penalized by:
- warning card
Have you ever witnessed any of these at a horse show? what would you do if you saw someone abusing a horse?