Leicestershire Riding School defends itself after video emerged showing horse hit with pole

A Leicestershire riding stable has defended itself after a video of a horse being hit with a post emerged on social media. The film shows the horse being hit and pushed from behind with the pole by a woman while a rider sits on his back at Saddington Riding School and Livery, Saddington near Fleckney.

The horse then backs into a corner before being approached again by the woman, who pushes aside some wooden steps before the horse drives away a short distance. She then bends down and picks up something from the ground and appears to throw it at the horse, which makes an audible noise and startles the animal.

The woman then takes the pole a second time, before the horse backs off. Someone yells then yells “Come on!” before the animal jumps sideways and its hindquarters hit a metal barrier.

READ MORE: Ex-primary teacher charged with animal cruelty over horse slapping video in Crown Court

The images were uploaded to an anonymous Tiktok account yesterday and have since been widely shared on the platform and on Facebook. The broadcast of the video then prompted the team to post a response on its own facebook page.

The post, signed by Emma Tate, says the horse is called Echo, who had developed a habit of ‘napping’, meaning he refused to move forward. He adds that the post was hollow and made of plastic.

The post reads: “I could have gotten a whip and used it on her like someone suggested but I chose not to as I’m not a fan of whipping I find that hard and I wouldn’t like to have a whip slapped against my back, so instead I waved a hollow plastic pole behind her to try and get her going.

“When it didn’t work, I POKE him with it on his back to encourage him to move on. I don’t understand how that would be considered abuse, but a whiplash would be okay!? Remember where the video is oriented…

“After she went over the mounting block, you can clearly see that I pulled the block out of the way to keep her from hurting herself on it. She then backed up again, so I threw some sand at the back to get her going, which unfortunately didn’t work, so the hollow plastic pole came out to encourage her to go.

“People might say why a perch? Well… firstly a prod with a hollow plastic perch isn’t going to sting like a whip and to be honest the mood she was in I didn’t want to go anywhere near her hind legs so for my safety and that of Echo and the runners I thought a pole would be best so she could see it and it would also maintain distance while trying to encourage her to move forward I thought pushing her away was my safest option because if she tried to kick with her front legs I was in a better position to get out of the way, so I kept directing her.”

The post goes on to say that the horse has since been sold to a “nice home” after passing a five-step verification process. He adds : “I have worked with horses for a long time and at no time in my career have I “abused” a horse. All of my horses are well cared for and I have great passion and love for every horse in the stable.

“People who know me know that I would never do anything to hurt an animal. Cyberbullying has a major effect on people’s well-being. PLEASE STOP THIS.”

The RSPCA has confirmed it is investigating the incident.

LeicestershireLive have contacted the team for further comment.

Clyde P. Johnson