Originally Posted by Bagheera
Carrying a crop all depends on the horse you are riding. Some horses never need a crop and others need it once in a blue moon. Top riders tend to know their mounts pretty well, so they know if they need to carry a crop with a particular horse. There is not an expectation to carry one what so ever. Also, every horse is an individual. You'd be surprised to learn how many of those top horses are not as nutty as they seem.
I agree with this and more. It might even depend on how the horse feels that day, the environment, conditions, a particular round, etc.
Steve Guerdat won the Geneva Grand Prix that was televised on NBC the other day and also won the Individual Gold Medal for Show Jumping at the London Olympics, on the same horse. At Geneva he did not carry a crop. For the Olympics, he did carry a crop.