Why is it so hard for me to hold a dressage whip/crop while riding? lol
Seriously I don't understand why it is so hard for me to hold it and keep it still, I tried riding with one yesterday, and I mean just holding it helps my horse behave lol, but when I hold it, I can barely maneuver it or even use it for the matter, it just like sticks out to the side and i mean im flopping this thing around so bad Im convinced it spooked the sh*t out of my horse the other day cause he flipped when I asked for the trot. What can I do? I tried to rest it on my thigh but its still waving around, and when I go to use it, I cant get it to even touch his side behind my leg like your supposed to do.
If its waving around its a good sign that your hands are not as quiet as you thought ;)
How are you holding the whip at the moment?
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Try using a crop first. They are smaller and will "wave around" less. I dont let my students carry them until their hands are quiet enough to not flop it around and scare the horse. Also, if you're just carrying it for the sake of making the horse behave, and not actually using it- your horse needs to respect you more. MAKE him listen to you, with or without a whip.
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The best way to learn is to carry it and get used to how it feels. However, it's not the best idea to learn how to carry one with a horse that is very sensitive to it as it sounds like this horse is.
It also sounds like the whip may be a bit of a "band aid" for training issues that this horse has if he is misbehaving without the whip being there.
Also try holding it in your other hand. I started using one in my right hand(since I'm right handed) but I'm useless with it in my right,I can hold it steady, but when it comes to using it forget it lol, when I put it in my left I have no problem using it at all. I have been practicing using it in my right hand but I'm still not as effective with it.
My biggest problem is I always end up having longer rein in whatever inside hand the crop is being used in. I haven't really had a chance to work on this yet as my main lesson horse doesn't need one.
Are you holding it super tight? I found when holding a crop, I tensed my handles more and moved them around more. I had to relax and it helped a bit. I became quieter.
I remember one of my first lessons with Eric Horgan. I dropped the whip once and that was it. He went outside and picked up 2 marble-sized rocks. I had to hold one in each hand- if I dropped one, I wasn't holding my reins OR my whip tight enough. Its a good little thing to try on your own. Just to help you focus on holding your hands tight enough.
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I do have a crop and I can hold a crop just fine though I want to use the dressage whip because I want to tap BEHIND my leg and not his shoulder because his problem is that he is not listening to my leg aids well, and I know this is sort of a band-aid for a horse with a training issue.
I have a huge problem with keeping him forward, he is the laziest thoroughbred I have ever seen, he walks like hes going to a funeral, Ive corrected this by bumping him with the heels until he walks with the pace I feel is right, BUT here is an issue, when I ask him for the trot He DOES NOT take me seriously and will throw his head in a fit, he does what I ask but I have to get on him for it and this makes him throw his head and offset my hold on the reins, My trainer thinks he does this because he thinks I am going to pull on his face, but it is the exact opposite I GIVE him the rein when I ask him to trot or move forward. How do I correct this? I have found the dressage whip helps with me steering cause he likes to move his hindquarters out and cut corners and also it helps him behave a teeny bit more responsively to my leg if I wave it a little... But he is still not taking me seriously and i have done a lot of groundwork with him, its just he lacks respect when Im in the saddle.
I had the same exact problem!
I never used a dressage whip before, and my instructor tells me to use one. Cloud was entirely dead to my leg in any arena situation. The first time I think I banged Cloud 10 times by accident for every 1 time on purpose D;
So after that I started riding with one every day. I place it on my thigh so that the tip is resting above the saddle on whichever rein we're on. Moving your hand with the bit makes the whip slide a little on your leg, but does not cause a big movement. When I use it, move the hand out and rotate the wrist so your palm is up, twice. This will just tap your horse right behind the girth, and it allows you to remain in contact with the bit.
Don't get me wrong it takes practice to use one- especially if you're not used to carrying anything!
Firstly, a crop shouldn't be used on the shoulder. Just as a brief aside. xD
Anyway, it sounds to me like the only thing that is going to fix this problem is time. Are you a Dressage rider? Or?
Perhaps you could work on the lunge line some, so you could focus solely on the whip and keeping it steady, until you've got the hang of it. Maybe you could ask your trainer for some pointers, too?
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