Main Points:-

  • The bit is forced against areas of the horse’s mouth that are known to have an extremely high density of sensory receptors. The only possible experience for a horse of this pressure from the bit in its mouth is pain.

  • Studies show Injuries from bit use range from lesions in soft tissue and bruising, to chronic impediment of a horse’s ability to breathe or swallow normally. The bit induces high levels of pain that can override all other pain a horse might experience, including fear. It’s this attribute that makes bits the highly effective, albeit cruel instrument of control they are.

  • Bits allow riders to push horses well past safe physiological limits, control them in painful and frightening circumstances, and are a contributing factor, if not the cause of many of the falls, shattered limbs, asphyxia and sudden death experienced by horses on the racetrack.

  • Because the general horse-loving public and non-racing horse riders often do not recognise the behaviours that indicate pain caused by bits, the magnitude of the problem is hugely underestimated. 

  • In general, people don’t want to contribute to cruelty to horses, so as awareness grows of the suffering, bit use must come under question.

  • If the Industry cannot force horses to run without the infliction of extraordinary cruelty and pain, is it ethical that they should be allowed to practice in our society at all?

 

Read the full Coalition For The Protection Of Racehorses article here