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The practice of starfishing a horse has been met with mixed reactions, ranging from support to staunch opposition. This article will explain what starfishing a horse entails, why it is viewed as cruel by some, and what barrel racing is.
What is Starfishing a Horse?
The act of starfishing a horse, also known as splaying, is when a rider kicks the horse vigorously and spreads their legs like a starfish, with their bottom in the air, in an attempt to make the horse go faster and impress the audience. This practice is often seen in barrel racing, a rodeo sport where riders race their horses around a set of barrels.
Why is Starfishing a Horse Cruel?
This type of treatment is extremely cruel for the horse, as it is kicked by the rider in an attempt to make the horse go faster, with no other option but to submit to the abuse. Not only is this method of spurring the horse physically painful, it can also cause psychological distress due to the fear of not knowing when and where the next kick might come from. Furthermore, it can lead to long-term physical and behavioural damage.
Aside from the obvious cruelty, this activity is also dangerous for both horse and rider. The horse can suffer from inflammation and bruises, and the rider risks serious injury from hanging in the air with little to no saddle support. Moreover, many barrel racing horses have to be retired early due to injury.
It is understandable why so many horse lovers are strongly opposed to starfishing and barrel racing. Despite this, the sport still continues to exist, and American Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds are often used for it.
This type of racing was initially confined to figure-eight and cloverleaf patterns, but has since evolved to include other elements such as pole bending, keyhole racing and O-Mok-See.
What is Barrel Racing?
Barrel racing is an exciting and popular rodeo sport that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It is a timed event where riders on horseback race around a set of barrels in a cloverleaf pattern. The goal is for the rider to complete the pattern in the fastest time possible.
The event originated in the United States in the 1930s and has since spread to other countries around the world. It has become an increasingly popular spectator sport, with professional barrel racers competing in events for prize money.
In order to compete in barrel racing, riders must possess a range of skills such as balance, coordination, and speed. The horse must also be well trained and experienced in the sport. It is important that the horse is obedient and responsive to the rider’s commands in order to navigate the pattern quickly and accurately. To prepare for a barrel race, riders must practice extensively in order to develop their skills and build a strong bond with their horse. Riders must also practice the specific barrel pattern they will be competing in, in order to gain familiarity with the course.
What Is Starfishing A Horse? Final Thoughts
Starfishing a horse is a controversial practice that is met with divided opinions. While some view it as an acceptable and effective way to make a horse run faster, others view it as cruel and unnecessary. It is important to consider the welfare of the horse when debating whether or not to practice this technique, as it can cause physical and psychological damage. Ultimately, it is up to the rider to decide whether or not to starfish their horse. We at OwnTheHorse do not recommend starfishing a horse.
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I’m Jack Johnson, a proud Texan and passionate horse lover. Growing up around horses has given me a natural affinity for the equine species and I’ve been able to hone my riding and training skills from an early age.
In recent years I’ve been traveling the country with my horses, competing in rodeos and other events. It was this passion that led me to create my own business, Own the Horse, to help aspiring horse lovers learn the fundamentals of horse care and training. I’m also an active member of the equine community, often volunteering my time to help preserve and promote the culture of horsemanship.
When I’m not riding, I love to spend my free time with my family and friends, camping, and fishing. Exploring the great outdoors and taking in the beauty of the Texas Hill Country is one of my favorite pastimes. I’m also an avid reader and enjoy learning more about the history and culture of the horse world.