Whip question

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

Abby P

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
148
Reaction score
306
Location
New England
So I have a Hyperbike and have been using a regular dressage whip for driving. What I'm wondering is whether it would make a big difference to switch to a purpose-built driving whip? There are ones made specifically for the Hyperbike that have a shorter shaft and a shorter lash, like this:


My horse is VERY sensitive to whip cues, almost over-sensitive, and I think there might be some negative history there for him. With the dressage whip it is a bit hard for me to give cues on his sides without making it a harder tap than he likes/needs, or also contacting the side of his rump, without switching hands each time. My question is, will the drop lash make it much easier for me to give him cues on his sides without offending him or moving my hands on the lines unnecessarily? Please understand that I am a complete fumbling idiot with my hands at this point so there is going to be a massive learning curve for me to gain control of the little dangly part and make it do what I want! :rolleyes: But, practice. I already struggle with floppy hands/opening fingers/inconsistent contact with the bit (a problem carried over from riding) so anything that would help me keep my hands in place would be good. It's on my to-do list to make a rein board and take Andy Marcoux' class on contact! But that's sort of a separate issue from the whip, I just don't want to make things any harder for myself than they have to be. TIA!
 

Taz

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 3, 2017
Messages
1,049
Reaction score
1,888
Location
Canada
I have absolutely no idea if it's the same for driving but one of the big reasons people have problems with their hands moving when riding is tension in their shoulders, if you can relax that your hands will be 'separate' from your body and stay with the reins as your elbows open and close as needed. Don't know if that helps at all....and not even related to your whip question
 

Willow Flats

MHT Supporter
MHT Supporter
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
934
Reaction score
1,196
Location
Northern California
I don't have a Hyper bike so I can't answer to that, but I can share something new I learned that might help you. When asking for impulsion my trainer said I could just tap the side of shaft instead of his side because my horse was so sensitive. It makes a sound and he responds to that! If he didn't I would of course move up to touching his side. I do also use a voice cue. A thwack on the shaft followed with a voice command. Maybe try it with your horse to see if it works. If you are trying to get him to move over away from pressure you just need to lay your whip on his side with a soft touch.

There is not a lot of information on how and when to use your whip. I start by asking first. A half halt says "Hey listen up I am going to ask you something." Then I ask with my voice cue and if no response then I use the whip but it doesn't take much. I hope that helps.
 

Willow Flats

MHT Supporter
MHT Supporter
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
934
Reaction score
1,196
Location
Northern California
Just thought of something else that helped me. I switched to a fiberglass whip and because they are so light they are much easier to handle for me.
 

Abby P

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
148
Reaction score
306
Location
New England
Thank you both! So the problem with my hands is not so much that they move excessively (although I definitely do have tension in my shoulders too!) but that I tend to open my fingers and let the lines loosen and then end up with a floppy contact or no contact, then I'm in the position of having to snatch them up or scramble to sort them out if I need them suddenly. So, I need to get better at maintaining a consistent and steady contact.

I like the idea of tapping the shaft instead of the horse, that is great!

I've also found I can use the outside line to support a turn (along his side) but of course that requires enough slack for it to drape down which I don't think helps my tendency to "throw away" the contact.
 

Willow Flats

MHT Supporter
MHT Supporter
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
934
Reaction score
1,196
Location
Northern California
It takes practice is all. The fact that you are conscious of your reins draping and losing contact is good. Now you can focus on keeping contact and it will become muscle memory and feel more natural. When our reins are flopping around all that movement translates to the bit too.

Are you pinching your thumbs? And holding your reins like this even if you dont have them between your pinky?

For me it is easier this way.
 

Attachments

Abby P

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
148
Reaction score
306
Location
New England
Yes, I do hold them that way - I just have a terrible ingrained-over-35+-years-of-riding bad habit of allowing my fingers to relax open and "dumping" the horse. I'm sure you're right that with enough time of self-policing I'll be able to train myself out of it!

My pony appreciates certainty and consistency and if you take that away he starts making bad choices. 😂 So I definitely have incentive to get myself sorted out!
 

Cayuse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2015
Messages
2,503
Reaction score
2,165
Location
New England
Have you tried hand-holds on your lines? I do the same things as you but I have arthritis in my hands and my grasp is not what it should be. Several people have recommended hand holds so I don't get that "slip", I did get them, have not has a chance to try them. About the whip, I like a drop lash and it's easier for me to flick my wrist to use it, it take less motion and effort to use (for me) than a straight whip. And I think my guys interpret it as less aggressive looking.
 

Dragon Hill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
220
Reaction score
322
Location
South Carolina
I hope there will be more responses to this thread, as I am following with interest. I don't even carry a whip because I haven't found one light enough and with a small grip for my tiny, arthritic, uncoordinated hands.
 

Abby P

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
Messages
148
Reaction score
306
Location
New England
I have not tried hand-holds but was thinking of it - I have yacht rope lines so I'd have to just tie a loop in them. But I bet a knot or even just a piece of tape to help me keep track of how much I let the lines slip through my hands would be helpful.

That's what I was thinking might be helpful about the drop lash - more of a touch or flick and less of a whack for a sensitive pony.
 

Willow Flats

MHT Supporter
MHT Supporter
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
934
Reaction score
1,196
Location
Northern California
They sell rein markers, but you could also use rubber bands. When I was using the heavier whip my right hand would always slip back a bit because I couldn't hold my grip and my lines would become uneven and I thought about using markers but then I got the lighter whip.
 

Willow Flats

MHT Supporter
MHT Supporter
Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Messages
934
Reaction score
1,196
Location
Northern California
Thank you for that article! My husband made me a rein board following Andy's directions which can be found free on You Tube. I really like the idea of the chair though. Had I known about it I probably would have just done that, but I do have people use the rein board stored in our shop from time to time.
 

Latest posts

Top