Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle of nowhere, Missouri
• Horses: 0
My husband is a trainer, has been professionally (Saddlebreds in particular) since 1987. I asked him one time about popping the whip and this is what he explained and showed me.
If you are hearing a loud 'POP', the horse is fine, it's the popper at the end making the noise and the trainer is driving it off of the noise. In our round pens you will hear a lot of popping, but if you watch, the whip doesn't touch the horse, just right next to them.
If someone is using a long whip and you are NOT hearing a pop, then they are whipping the animal. They are laying the length of the whip on the body and giving 'stress worms' or actually cutting the flesh. We rarely have that here, but he has had a couple that were just nasty that got a 'stress worm' or two across it's butt. Usually only takes one time to establish who is on top.
Now I am far from advocating whipping a horse, but we do use whips here daily. For you to really do harm, you have to be whaling the hell out of that whip. A lead horse does far, far worse for a far longer period of time when they want to.
Do I carry a whip when I ride? The answer is yes. The reason, sometimes we have dogs come up on us and one in particular is nasty, I use the whip to drive the dog off. My daughter carries a crop while on her ASB as an aid to changing gaits because he's kind of lazy at times.
Wow, looks like I've written a book. I guess what I'm trying to say is that whips have their place in the horse world as long as the person holding it has a good head on their shoulders and isn't out to 'teach a lesson'.