Crops--cruel or beneficial when used properly? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 49 Old 06-21-2012, 10:57 AM
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When you use it make it count! The goal of a crop is to discourage bad behavior, not to make him move. Ask once, if you don't get a response WHACK him and your leg aides too. This should leave an impression that you mean BUSINESS when you ask him to move forward and he won't soon forget what happened when he didn't move. I'd rather see someone get the point across once then gently tap their horse 100 time and constantly have to ride with a crop.

As for your canter it could be a balance issue. Another common mistake I see is the horse having the energy, but the rider not able to contain it. Don't let him rush forward, hold him and bottle that energy up into the canter. Also, make sure your not doing anything that would hinder him, for example posting, leaning forward, etc. Make sure your cues are solid and consistent. Personally, I live verbals (noises) for transitions to make it all the more clear. I finds it helps a lot when training or tuning a horse.
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post #12 of 49 Old 06-21-2012, 11:10 AM
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It is rare to see me riding my 4YO without a crop. When I ask for something, I want it WHEN I ask. So I always carry my crop as a just in case, whether working on transitions in the ring or crossing water on the trail.
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post #13 of 49 Old 06-21-2012, 12:50 PM
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I wouldn't worry about being too dependent on a crop, or being too harsh. When used correctly, they are very good teaching tools.

I used to ride a paint gelding, laziest horse I have ever ridden, no joke. Some people can't even get this horse to walk, let alone canter or gallop.

I started riding him, and I used a crop to get him to listen. I do the same for any horse that is ignoring my cues, but I always ask in the same order.

1. Ask normal for a trot/canter or for forward movement. Soft cue with your calf/rein

If no response:

2. Ask harder, a sharp jab in the ribs with your heels is usually what I do.

If no response:

3. At this point I am determined to get this horse to move, which is where the crop comes in. He gets a hard, quick whack on the butt or shoulder, depending. I've never had to go past this step to get a horse to move.

When he does move, I take off all that pressure and let him move.

The next time I ask for forward movement, I do the same 3 steps in order, always assuming he will just listen with the first step, and never using the crop until I give him a chance to listen to my slight cues. With most horses, just knowing that you are serious and will use a crop is enough to get them to move off the slight cues, step 1.

I had that paint gelding cantering, bareback in a halter without a crop after only a few weeks, off slight cues. Other people still have trouble getting him to just trot, but if you prove you are serious to the horse, they will take you serious and eventually, hopefully, you won't have to use a crop anymore. The whole goal of a training device, to me, is to get to the point where you no longer need to use it, and the horse still listens to you, that's when you know you've used it properly.

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **
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post #14 of 49 Old 06-21-2012, 01:04 PM
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using riding whips

I got blocked from Rick Gores channel for (correctly) saying to some kid that whips weren't invented for desensitizing horses to loud popping noises but for encouraging horses to go forward. The fact that some people use them for abuse is neither here nor there and I would rather see someone give a horse/pony a quick tap than see a rider constantly banging away at its sides which is actually just going to desensitize them to that so they turn into 'go slow plugs'
I would suggest you introduce your horse to a whip first to see his reaction - just in case the very idea of you carrying one sends it into a mad panic attack (been there, learnt the lesson when I was about 12) If all seems to be OK then get yourself a long schooling whip so you can use it behind your legs while still holding the reins and not yanking him in the mouth. Start gently until you see what sort of reaction you are going to get - you might go off like a rocket or he might need a harder tap. I used to school my horses that were aimed for dressage with a long schooling whip in each hand so that they stayed really light to the leg aids.
Our Irish Draft gets lazy if she has a break and just carrying one works for her - never had to use it
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post #15 of 49 Old 06-21-2012, 05:12 PM
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When used correctly, they are the opposite of cruel. What's better, being told once and then firmly backing it up? Or the nag nag nag nag nag nag (you get it) you see so many people doing with their heels or spurs to get their pony to move.

My childhood trainer (good ol' Max von Blucher from Austria) told us that getting on your pony without a crop was like going in to battle without your sword. There was one pony in the barn that was the exception to the rule, but like I said, he was the exception! If you had not had the "pleasure" of being run off with that pony, you hadn't lived :)
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post #16 of 49 Old 06-22-2012, 05:38 AM
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Ever hit yourself with a crop (like you would if you used it properly)? It doesn't hurt. Makes a good smacking noise though. Old style racing whips are a different story but a smack with the crop on the shoulder when needed is better in my book than letting the horse get away with not working and making a habit of it, or putting a pair of spurs on. So long as you use it as an aid to get his attention on you when he's ignoring your leg, and not as a punishment, I don't see it as cruel. Be aware that some horses are whip shy though.
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post #17 of 49 Old 06-22-2012, 07:02 AM
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Interesting thread, since I just started using a crop myself a couple of weeks ago. Usually my horse is pretty sensitive to the aids, but once in a while, he just doesn't feel like working and ignores them. My trainer hates the nag nag nag someone mentioned above, and gave me a crop. I am sure that they *can* be abused, but what I was taught then is that the right use makes a nice popping sound - I tried this out on my own leg, and it didn't hurt at all.

The process Lakotababii described above is the one I was told to use. Works well, so far. My horse was shocked when I started carrying the crop, though! He didn't believe I'd actually use the thing, so I had to demonstrate that. Now it seems to be enough that he sees me with it, and I don't have to actually use it very often.
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post #18 of 49 Old 06-22-2012, 08:33 AM
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whips - when to use

It really is to me one of those 'safety net' things that is there if you need it and if you don't need it its not such a big hassle to have in your hand. Its a shame that those of us who carry a whip like this have to take all the flack for the minority who use them in temper mostly because they either don't have the patience or someone couldn't be bothered or didn't know how to train the horse right in the first place.
Every young horse that we bred was so well handled and confident around people from the very start that having a saddle put on and then a rider after the basics were sorted was like just another step along the way, they had nothing to fear so lots of people get hold of a horse like this and then think there are going to be some sort of magic buttons on the horses sides that you can just touch and he will jump the corral fence and gallop safely off into the sunset. WRONG!!!!!
There are lazy horses and then there are the ones who just don't understand what you're asking them to do - thats when the whip shouldn't be used and you have to go back to basics and educate them
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post #19 of 49 Old 06-22-2012, 08:37 AM
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Crops are only cruel if the hands that use them are cruel. After reading your issues, a crop would be most beneficial. Just remember to use leg too. Last year I got too dependent on the crop and my legs weren't getting worked. It took me this past year to correct that mistake.
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post #20 of 49 Old 06-22-2012, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all of your input I'm definitely going to start carrying a crop, and using it only when I absolutely need to. Hopefully that will fix any respect issues and get this awesome boy to his fullest potential
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crop , training , whip

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