Using a Crop?
How many of you ride with a crop (and use it)? I learned to ride NEVER using a crop. However, the horse I am riding now is trained with a crop. The owners ask me to use it as she is VERY stubborn, and responds (usually) pretty well to a good tap onthe shoulder if she isn't paying attention. I feel bad using it though. I know it doesn't HURT her (and often I don't think I really hit hard enough the first time for her to even "feel" it lol) but I still feel bad. Obviously, my hesitation is picked up by her as well and between that, and me not tapping her very hard sometimes she gets even more headstrong... :S Is it mean to hit her if she is misbehaving? I feel like it is...
There is nothing wrong with using a crop as long as you use it correctly. One thing is never use a crop as punishment. You should only use it to encourage the horse to go forward. Otherwise, if you do use it for punishment, and you give a tap to ask for the canter, the horse might think that they are being punished for picking up the canter. So try to only use it as an encouragement to gain impulsion or move forward.
Also, I ride with a dressage whip. I only have to hold it in my hand and occasionally tap behind the saddle to encourage Jesse's back end to work a little more.
My old instructor's motto was "Going riding without a crop is like going into battle without a weapon" I highly respect that instructor, but I don't necessarily agree with that statement. Iride with a crop 75% of the time. I mostly just hold it in case I need it, and so she knows I have it. Some days I don't need to use it at all, and some days Rizzo needs a bit of encouragement. But I agree with Arksly; it should never be used as a punishment, but it's not wrong to carry on for encouragement.
I just recently got a 3 year old haffy that wouldn't go faster than a walk so I used a crop on her and she moved out nicely after she learned that I had it. It's a highly useful tool, however I wouldnt recommend it as a tool for punishment.
You should never "learn" to ride with a crop its something that comes later . Because it is an extention of your hand & and beginners unsteady hand is no place for a crop.
If I were you I would use a dressage whip to back up your leg instead of tapping her should.
Then you may be able to *kick* to stubborn habit all together lol
If you squeeze (no response) , kick ( Still nothing) then smack with the dressage whip right behind your leg your horse will soon get the hint its easier to move on the squeeze :)
I also learned to ride without a crop or spur. Beginners shouldnt learn to ride with them as they do not have steady hands, could over use it, or use it improperly.
I have no issue using a crop....BEHIND my leg. You shouldnt reach for the crop all the time as it can become ineffective. It should be used as an addition to your legs. I agree with Shalani on the ask(squeeze), tell(kick), demand(crop). Soon the horse will realize that you mean business as right now it sounds like the horse you are riding doesn't respect the little tap you are giving her, so it is time to start giving a harder tap. Sometimes all I have to do is show my horse the crop and he knows that if he doesnt start doing what I want, then he is going to get a nice sound smack.
I always hold a dressage whip and just use it as another aid if my isnt horse is working off his back end or just being that tad lazy.
That is really helpful! Thank you! And Velvets, I think that you are right, I usually don't hit her very hard at all as I don't want to be mean. But that usually means I have to tap her again harder. I'd rather just have to tap her once and be done with it. lol And just as clarification, I don't use it as punishment, I use it to get her attention when she isn't listening. She likes to ignore you when you ask her to trot sometimes, and when it is near dinner time, she has a big problem with stopping at the gate of the arena and refusing to go anywhere. :evil: She is a very very stubborn little mare and is always fighting to be in charge. I just want to be sure I am assertive without being mean.
Thank you all for the input! It was very helpful and I will definitely put it to use. :)
Have you ever heard the phrase " you've gotta be cruel to be kind" It rings true in your situation , Im not saying beat her by any means !
If she knows what your asking and ignores you and challenges you it will continue to be a power struggle for as long as you allow it. Leaving both of you unhappy.
If you go out there with the right mindset( *If I ask you to move you fricken move!*) not to let her get away with any bad behavior and you will have to be firm maybe even hard ( she may call your bluff) you cannot back down!!!!
Oh and always allow a rest / thinking time after she has done the right thing its great reward bout 10-15 sec with a pat on the neck then back to work.
You will only have to put her inline a couple of times then she will accept you as the boss. And you should not have those problems again.
If you are not confident in your riding abilities get a trainer to help you.
^^agree with the power struggle thing.
Being in charge does not equal mean. Use the crop on your leg when you are standing around the next time you are at the barn and you can feel how it is just a pop on your leg. You have to hit a horse really hard with a crop to raise a welt. And I mean REALLY hard.
With her stopping at the gate....dont get off near the gate at all. Get off at the far end, in the middle, on the side....anywhere but the door to go out. Then walk her around before she is allowed to go out. Stop halfway thru your lesson, get off and get back on. If you circle her at the exit end, keep your leg on until she is past, kick her if she is slowing down, and if she drops to a trot from a walk, then go for your crop.
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