A RIDING instructor has sparked an RSPCA probe after hitting a horse with a pole in a shocking TikTok.
Emma Tate, 34, was filmed striking and poking the animal on its rear end in Saddington, near Leicester.
The shocking footage was shot at Saddington Riding School and Livery where Tate used a long red and white jumping-esque pole on the horse.
It was then uploaded to TikTok with Tate receiving heavy criticism, although others have supported her.
The original social media post has since been removed.
Footage shows the horse being hit on the back before it edges away backwards.
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Tate then moves out of the way before bending down to pick something up from the ground and hurling it at the animal which flinches and makes a sound.
She then picks up the pole again and lashes out at the innocent animal before it backs away.
Another voice is then heard shouting "move forward" as the horse moves before its hind quarters collide with a metal gate.
Saddington Riding School and Livery posted a defence, signed off by Tate, comparing hitting a horse with a pole and a whip.
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The post revealed that the horse is called Echo who is prone to "napping" which means that it was refusing to move forward.
It reads: "I could have got a lunge whip and used that on her like someone suggested, but I chose not to as I'm not a whip fan, I find these harsh and I wouldn't like to have a whip whacked against my backside, so instead I waved a hollow plastic pole behind her to try and make her go forward.
"When this didn't work, I did POKE her with it on her backside to encourage her to move forward. I can't get my head around how this would be classed as abuse but a sting from a whip would be okay!? Don't forget where the video is angled…"
The statement continues to defend the actions, saying: '"After she went over the mounting block, you can clearly see I pulled the block out of the way to stop her hurting herself on it.
"She then went backwards again so I threw sand at her rear end to get her to go forwards which unfortunately didn't work, so the plastic hollow pole came out again to encourage her to go forward.
"People might say why a pole? Well… firstly a prod with a hollow plastic pole isn't going to sting like a whip and to be honest, the mood she was in I didn't want to get close to her back legs, so for my safety as well as Echo's and the rider's, I thought a pole would be better so that she could see it and it would also maintain distance whilst trying to encourage her to go forward.
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"After she got her backside wedged in the gateway, I thought leading her away is my safest option as if she tried to strike out with her front legs, I was in a better position to move out of the way, so I continued to lead her."
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: "This footage is upsetting, and we are looking into it and would urge anyone with first-hand information about this incident to contact us on 0300 123 4999."
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