In my case I use it as support. With all the horses I have had in recent past, a simple tap, let alone a firm smack, would have sent me to the moon so I rarely, if ever, carried one. My current horse can get a little lazy to my leg, but, all I have to do is touch him, and I mean not even tap, with the end of the dressage whip and all of a sudden he is back to his responsive self. I rarely actually carry it as he is more than responsive, nearly too much so, for a few days afterwards. I find that if he gets bored with what we are working on is when he starts to get lazy to my leg..if I change out the exercises and really keep his mind interested and challenged, he enjoys himself more and stays responsive.