September 6, 2002, Newsletter Issue #89: Use of The Artificial Aids

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.

Used most frequently in Gymkhana Games, when bursts of speed will determine the winner or the loser of the event. Used most in Barrel Racing, the whip is currently referred to as the Short Poly Bat, the XLong Poly Bat or the Over/Under Whip. The bat or the whip is then used for the demand for the maximum speed that the horse is able to give to the rider...similar to Racing when the Jockey uses the whip on the stretch run.

The Short Poly Bat is the same material and thickness as Western Ropes, but is only 24" or 28" in length. The Loop handle is designed to slip over the horn of the Western Saddle. The rider then uses the bat in a over the wither left-right slapping motion back and forth. The XLong Poly bat is 54" long, and is the same design. The Over/Under Whip is usually leather, but has been popular the past few years in Rainbow colors (similar to Rainbow reins found in Hunter/Jumpers and lesson horse bridles). The Over/Under is not quite as long as Romal Reins. The Over/Under is used either over the wither onto the opposite shoulder as the hand using, or back behind on the rear quarters of the same side as the hand that is utilizing the whip.

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