Originally Posted by mom2pride
Have you tried desensitizing him to the whip, instead of just bringing it out, letting him see it, flip out, and taking it away?
Yes, I've tried desensitizing him to it. His last trainer tried, too. He just doesn't get over his fear of it. We have both a lunge whip and a riding crop, and he's sometimes OK with the crop being near him, but as soon as it touches him -- even just a brush -- he throws a fit, and there's not a lot I can do from the ground but let him run it out.
I'm not just letting him see it and taking it away because he pitches a fit. I've desensitized him to all sorts of other things, and quite honestly, he's never had quite the same severe reaction -- he's always been spooky, but the only thing that'll put him into a bolt is a whip touching him.
I'm told that, when we first got him, he wouldn't get in the trailer and the guys trying to load him ended up using that rope-behind-the-rump trick and a few whips. And he has some barely visible scarring on his hindquarters that look like whip lashings to me. My assumption has always been that he's afraid of whips because of that time.
In summary, I *won't* use a whip on him. He's been just fine with being tapped with the end of a lead, so I will try that.