Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
They're cruel if used wrongly... and I'll admit, I've used a whip wrongly before on my mare before I really understood much about horseback riding/care and stuff... but at least now if she's acting up, all I have to do is ACT like I'm going to break a switch and she calms right down because she remembers the first time I ever laid a whip to her hindquarters.
If they're used right, I think they're fine.
I, for one, will not hesitate to pop a horse HARD across the hindquarters/back/shoulder/neck if they threaten me. I've raised welts on a horses rear more than once by laying a whip to them, but only if they threaten my own welfare by 'rushing' me, kicking at me, or something like that. Most times, it only took once and the horse learned that it wasn't supposed to do that.
It may seem cruel, but if it keeps me alive...
I will not, however, whip a horse for nothing. In the years that I've owned horses I'm glad to say that I've learned a lot more than I knew back then when I first got my mare and I'm very glad to say that I can keep a wrap on my temper now.
If a horse refuses something they've done a thousand times or more, I'll pop them, but if it's something they're not used to, I only tap them to encourage them to move on forwrds and 'face their fears'.
That's my take on it, anyway...
Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)