September 13, 2002, Newsletter Issue #90: Using the Artificial Aids #3

Tip of the Week

Whips are considered to be an Artificial Aid in Riding. Technically speaking the whip is to be considered (by the Rider) to be nothing more than an extension to the arm of the Rider. The use and the application of a whip, should always have this rule over the use of any whip. A Whip and Spurs should never, ever be used on a horse in anger, ever. The whip, or spurs are only to reinforce the application of the leg of the rider upon the horse. Both Artificial aids are used only for this purpose in Riding, no matter the Discipline ridden.

The Knob Handle of the whip is held in the main part of the hand, and is always carried by the "inside" hand of the Rider. It is easiest to use a whip in a "rapping or a rolling motion" on or across the inside shoulder; but most frequently a horse has been already trained to have the whip applied to the inside hip area...except in Dressage, when the length of the whip always predicates the use to the rear inside hind leg area. Should a horse not respond to a Natural aid given, the whip should accompany the Natural aid the very next time that it is applied. A whip can be used to support the outside leg, but most frequently, the whip will be required to support the inside leg aids.

In the "other" Disciplines, whips are used in Cross Country Hunting, Eventing, Saddleseat, Saddleseat In-Hand, Sidesaddle, Racing and Driving. We have covered Gymkhana Games under Western, last week.

In Cross Country Hunting, the whip resembles a combination of a "cane" and a "bull whip" (which is used on cattle). The entire whip lash is usually about 30" to 36" in length. It is generally only used by the Hunt Master, and again, is usually not required by the rest of the field. In Eventing, the Rider usually carries a bat similar to those used in Stadium Jumping. In Saddleseat, and Saddleseat In-Hand, the whip is very similar in construction and length to the Dressage whip. Matter of fact, unless the head of the whip is very large in the "mushroom" (as it can be in some Dressage circles) and very long, it would be undetected as a Saddleseat or Dressage whip, in Saddleseat venues. In Sidesaddle, the Rider carries a whip that corresponds to the Discipline Dress. Such as, if a Rider is wearing Western attire, then a Western bat would be suitable, if a whip would be carried....such as, in Open Western Pleasure, it is not regulation to carry a whip or bat. If wearing Dressage attire, then a Dressage whip would be expected, etc. In Racing, the whip or bat is always at least, double and more often, triple in thickness to other whips. The length is only 24" to 28", but the thickness is quite substantial, compared to whips of every other use.

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