Determining forces generated using a padded whip and impacts on the horse

Charles Sturt University

  • Project code: PRJ-006578

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Friday, June 1, 2012

  • Project completion date: Friday, April 11, 2014

  • National Priority: HOR-Thoroughbred diseases and parasites


This research aims to increase our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of whips on horses and the welfare costs of whip usage. It will establish a framework within which future whip research may be undertaken to address additional questions that may be asked in the future.
The long term aim of this work is to provide science-based information to industry bodies to assist in formulation of policies and guidelines concerning use of the whip.


Thoroughbred Horses

Research Organisation

Charles Sturt University

Objective Summary

1. To objectively measure the force generated by a padded and a non-padded whip, in a laboratory setting and in a simulated racing situation
2. To compare the force generated by a padded whip with other types of contact or pressure exerted on a horse and/or a pain threshold.
3. To evaluate methods aimed at determining changes in pain threshold after the use of the whip and determine pain sensitivity in different areas where the whip may be applied.
4. To objectively measure the effect on maintaining speed, time to run to fatigue and locomotory responses of the horse to the application of a padded whip compared with using no whip.