Newbie ? - what is the dressage whip for in lower level?

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Newbie ? - what is the dressage whip for in lower level?

This is a discussion on Newbie ? - what is the dressage whip for in lower level? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Changin directions dressage whip
  • Do upper level dressage riders use a whip

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    11-02-2011, 12:47 PM
Newbie ? - what is the dressage whip for in lower level?

Hi all - I'm just beginning dressage, and I don't use a whip at all...and at every low level test I have seen, the rider carries one but I've never seen it being used. I know it is used to ask for more impulsion, but at low level, is it something I should be using? Do I have to carry one in a test?

Sorry for my dumb ?'s...I'd ask my instructor at my next lesson but don't want to wait that long...
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    11-02-2011, 01:00 PM
Green Broke
You are not required to carry or use one in a test.

Every horse is different, I currently carry one but I do not use it. My horse is pretty terrified of whips, I have de-sensitized him on the ground and now I am working on it under-saddle. If I was to actually use it, I'd be a bloody splotch 2 counties over. He does not need me to use it, he was lazy and lacking in impulsion so my trainer and I worked on that until he no longer was. I am working on the de-sensitization because he was having issues with other riders that were carrying one, passing him.

Personally, I prefer a horse that does not *need* one. It's just one more thing to remember, haul around and have to deal with.
    11-02-2011, 01:00 PM
I never carry one in a test, Mr G doesn't need it
    11-02-2011, 01:04 PM
I carry one all the time. I sometime have to tap when my qh decides it's enough and doesn't listen to my leg, to remind her to stay forward (mostly at the walk). I almost never use it on my paint because she has enough "go" already (too much sometime).
Northernstar likes this.
    11-02-2011, 05:00 PM
I don't show dressage but some of my friends do. I was told that some riders carry a whip as reinforcement but don't actually use it because the judge may mark you for doing so. You aren't obligated to have one so if you don't need it, don't bother :)
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    11-02-2011, 05:36 PM
My trainer is making me learn to carry it; no small feat for someone as uncoordinated as me. What I find particularly challenging is the switch of the whip hand when changing directions, although I am getting much better through sheer repetition.

I do use it very occasionally as extra reinforcement for my leg, right behind the girth. We're working on turns on the forehand, so I sometimes use it when working on that. I don't show so can't comment on that.
    11-02-2011, 06:07 PM
Super Moderator
I carry one most, but not all, of the time. I rarely change sides while riding. I carry it on the horse's bad side to help reinforce my leg. I don't often have to use it because the horse is taught to respect my leg. But, just in case he forgets....When I do use it, it is so subtle it is hard to catch.

Jack LeGoff (the old timers will know him) told me that "a good rider always carries a whip, and never uses it".
LoveTheSaddlebreds likes this.
    11-02-2011, 06:39 PM
Thanks everyone - you've cleared up my confusion..I used a crop in Hunt Seat classes many years ago, but havent had the need for it with this horse so wondered why I see so many carry one but not using it. I think I'd be best just not to carry it, as I already have so much going through my mind I just don't need one more item to have to think about!
    11-02-2011, 06:42 PM
Originally Posted by Spyder    
Not really.
Then what do you use it for? I did mention I'm a newbie...if you could elaborate it would be quite helpful.
    11-02-2011, 06:43 PM
Originally Posted by Allison Finch    
I rarely change sides while riding.

Jack LeGoff (the old timers will know him) told me that "a good rider always carries a whip, and never uses it".
Allison, can you explain why you don't change sides? For some reason my instructor really found this to be important, I will ask her why next time I see her, but I was under the impression this was an important part of being able to handle it correctly.

Also, she quoted something very similar to what you said about good riders.

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