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Expert on the Cruelty of Bits

August 2022

Just another of the many horrors inflicted on 'race horses'... 'Its self-evident purpose to cause pain is bad enough, but its unintended consequence of asphyxiation brings to mind the method’s similarity to that of waterboarding.'

[Also read Well-Known Trainer on Kentucky Derby Horses: "Every horse is held down with so much equipment it makes my mouth bleed just watching."]

brutalized race horse

The following photos were taken by a photographer friend of HW at Saratoga Race Course July 16. I shared them with Emeritus Professor Robert Cook from Tuft University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and asked for his comments on the bridle equipment. Dr. Cook’s field of research is diseases of the horse’s ear, nose, and throat. On retirement in 1994, he continued his research by exploring what a bit does to a horse, concluding that it is harmful, unnecessary, and insupportable.

“All of these racehorses will run their forthcoming race in pain from the bit. A recognized principle of saddle-fitting is that the saddle should not apply direct pressure on the bone of the spine. The same principle is overlooked in relation to bit use, the declared purpose of which is to apply pressure on the bars of the mouth, the jawbone. Imagine how we would feel if we were ‘trained’ by the repeated pressure of one or more metal rods against both our shins? A horse’s mouth is much more sensitive."



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