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View Full Version : Carrying a crop/bat.....



Oldenburg99
Oct. 16, 2009, 09:22 AM
I have a very lazy, not-an-over-achiever gelding. :lol: He recently got his hocks done for the first time, so he's feeling like a whole new man. He is still lazy but his work ethic about moving forward is much improved. Several people have told me I need to try riding him without a crop now that he is going better. The line I'm hearing is "I like show hunters look so much better without a crop". I've heard this from more than one person. Does anyone else have this theory?

ExJumper
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:00 AM
Not that theory in particular, but many people subscribe to the theory that one should ALWAYS carry a crop just in case you need it. I tend to agree. My old horse didn't need one but I carried it just in case he was naughty and I did use it a few times. My new horse DOES need one, so it's easier to remember to bring it along ;)

AmandaandTuff
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:06 AM
I always try to carry one, you never know when you'll need it. I'd rather have it and not use it than need it and not have it.

myvanya
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:12 AM
I subscribe to the school of thought that says to ALWAYS carry one, but I admit I do jumpers not hunters.

mikali
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:33 AM
I was once told by a rather famous rider that "your crop and spurs are like your underwear, you should never leave home without them" ;-)

eclipse
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:49 AM
I too always carry one & believe you never know when you may need it! Only once have I been caught without one & wouldn't you know it, my saintly mare who never ever stopped, piled on the binders like there was no tomorrow & I had nothing but the flat of my hand to get her going again! yeah, THAT worked well! :lol: :lol:

SarahandSam
Oct. 16, 2009, 10:51 AM
My old trainer said when I came down to the ring without a crop, "Would you go into war without a weapon?"

I don't generally ever need one with my horse, but I do try to carry one every time, because the one time I need it will be when I'm empty-handed... murphy's law!

EquitationRider
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:10 AM
My old trainer said when I came down to the ring without a crop, "Would you go into war without a weapon?"

I don't generally ever need one with my horse, but I do try to carry one every time, because the one time I need it will be when I'm empty-handed... murphy's law!

My trainer saids that only a little different phrased... "Never go to war without your weapon!"
I always have my crop and spurs. At some shows i will drop the crop for the over fence stuff because my horse does get excited and goes better without one, but i definitly need my spurs!

AmandaandTuff
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:15 AM
I drop the spurs for home, but some shows I do need them. When we went to our first event I was so happy I had both my crop and spurs, I had them at the fences I needed them.

trubandloki
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:16 AM
Add me to the group that was taught you always carry your crop.

chunky munky
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:20 AM
Not sure what "I like a hunter without a crop" means, but as far as competition I don't think any one would penalize you in any way for carrying a bat. Using it in the ring, not so much.

SkipChange
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:23 AM
If the horse has a stop in it, how embarrassing to be caught without a weapon! I never leave the barn without a crop for the pony. I flat the jumper with a crop but I usually ditch it for jumping because I get a more even feel without a crop in my hand and I don't really need it (I always jump him in spurs). I can see where it makes a prettier picture without a crop but gosh darn it you won't have a picture if you can't get the horse moving!

analise
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:37 AM
My previous instructor pretty much had a rule, "you come to class, you bring a crop." If the horse was moving well and it became obvious you didn't need it, you could drop the crop but if the horse wasn't moving well and you needed a little extra oomph, it was always a hassle to stop and find someone with an extra crop for you to use.

Serah
Oct. 16, 2009, 11:56 AM
I am definitely of the school of thought that proper turnout requires a stick. I was told, "if you always carry a crop, you'll never need one" On any horse in the show ring I have a crop, and i actually think it completes the turnout.

RugBug
Oct. 16, 2009, 12:15 PM
I'm in the always carry a crop and wear your spurs crowd.

Imagine my chagrin with the new horse that is soo sensitive to the crop that if I'm carrying it and move my finger a tad, he scoots off. :sigh: The worst part is that he needs a crop, but then he gets super worried about it.

see u at x
Oct. 16, 2009, 12:15 PM
I have one horse I always ride with a crop and a second one who I never ride with a crop. However, I do believe that it's smart to always carry one in case you need it. I keep one handy with my second horse, but because she's a little more sensitive and my leg is usually enough to keep her going forward, I don't use it. That may change as we get further along with our training, but for now, it works out OK.

M. O'Connor
Oct. 16, 2009, 12:49 PM
The only times I notice crops are when the rider is having difficulty and isn't carrying one. They are pretty useless sitting back at the barn.

lesyl
Oct. 16, 2009, 01:06 PM
Apologies in advance for being slightly off topic. I am leasing a horse and the owner is pretty adamant about not carrying a crop when riding. Horse has a little habit of slowing/stopping when he decides he is done (particularly on the right lead). Any suggestions for how to help owner understand that when carrying the crop and using only when needed is the right thing? The concern is that if you do provide correction with the crop he get upset.

Oldenburg99
Oct. 16, 2009, 01:10 PM
I was once told by a rather famous rider that "your crop and spurs are like your underwear, you should never leave home without them" ;-)

lmao!!! love that quote!!

hhhmmmm....interesting......thanks for the input everyone :) I definitely need spurs, if I didn't have them I would need an oxygen tank to get my horse around. I haven't actually had to use a crop - its more of a threat to this guy (and its not that he's bad, just lazy). If I wiggle it or turn my hand enough he can see it, I can get the reaction I want. The theory of "having it in case you need it " is a strong argument. I've had days where I've dropped it in the middle of the course not needing.

pwrpfflynn
Oct. 16, 2009, 01:35 PM
I always say I need "tools" or refer to them as "weapons of mass Destruction". I find the crop is more effective for my horse than spurs plus I don't want to dig into his sides accidently when I jump since I am new to jumping and he is too and tends to be a way over achiever.

theroanypony
Oct. 16, 2009, 01:56 PM
I hack a lot of different ponies, and always bring a bat along. No matter what. People tell me that this pony or that pony doesn't need one, but I always keep it with me. If I don't need it, I simply don't use it. Better to be prepared, plus my trainer doesn't approve of showing up to a lesson with a whip, so that really got me in the habit.

myvanya
Oct. 16, 2009, 02:01 PM
I figure I can carry it but I don't have to use it...I like the underwear analogy though :lol:

I ride an OTQH who can be pretty strong at times and is VERY reactive to the crop, but I carry it anyway and am careful to only use it if I really really need it.

But, I will never forget my old trainer singing to me, use your whip, use your whip, use your whip whip whip...." since he couldn't sing at all it really didn't have the desired effect of getting me to use my crop...invariably I would end up laughing on my horses neck, but I rememebr to use my crop now when i need to do so :winkgrin:

RugBug
Oct. 16, 2009, 02:08 PM
Apologies in advance for being slightly off topic. I am leasing a horse and the owner is pretty adamant about not carrying a crop when riding. Horse has a little habit of slowing/stopping when he decides he is done (particularly on the right lead). Any suggestions for how to help owner understand that when carrying the crop and using only when needed is the right thing? The concern is that if you do provide correction with the crop he get upset.

Since it's not your horse, I'm not sure there is anything you can do.

There is currently a beginner at our barn who is wondering whether she wants to continue to take lessons because she has to use a crop on the horse. She literally told my trainer that she 'was raised not to hit animals.' That's all well and good...I don't "hit" my animals either, but I do use a crop/whip whatever. (I was slightly offended because of the implication in her statement that those of us who do use a crop are being abusive).

A crop or whip, when properly used, is an important reinforcement of the natural aids. It's only used when the horse doesn't listen to the other aids.

Personal Champ
Oct. 16, 2009, 02:20 PM
I hardly ever use a whip or bat. Don't usually carry one, either. But I have really long legs and can count on one hand when they haven't come through for me! :lol:

There are a few horses that were sulky to my leg that I have carried a weapon temporarily. And a stopper, I would definitely have one with.

KateKat
Oct. 16, 2009, 02:28 PM
I like to carry them as well, especially since I only ride schoolies. The ones that I ride tend to get lazy since they are often able to get away with a lot of stuff. Me just carrying the crop is usually enough to reinforce that they need to listen!

And when it is used, its just a tap. Thats why I like bats, they not only tap but have that great "pop". I would hardly consider that animal abuse!

theroanypony
Oct. 16, 2009, 02:31 PM
...and can count on one hand when they haven't come through for me! :lol:

I tried this once, it was a great experience. :lol:

I ride a medium that truly HATES whips, yet is the laziest pony ever. After getting bucked around so much, I began to rely on my spurs and would leave the crop in the barn. One day my trainer was watching me ride him and asked me to give him a pop with my crop, I started panicking because I didn't have one so I reached back and slapped with my hand. Only, when I reached back the pony leaped forward and threw his butt sideways away from my hand. After he went forward, I tried again, this time my hand reached him but slipped and I cracked my wrist. I've never seen my trainer laugh so hard.

I feel very awkward without a whip in my hand.

JinxyFish313
Oct. 16, 2009, 02:48 PM
I carry a bat and spurs on everything I ride, including the really forward horses.

I do wish some people were not ALLOWED to carry one though. Hate going to the show and seeing kids, ammies and even pro's completely blow a spot and beat the daylights out of the horse who stopped to save himself from crashing.

whbar158
Oct. 16, 2009, 03:03 PM
I pretty much carry a bat on most horses it can depend, but if I am asked to ride something because it has a problem you bet I show up with a bat and/or spurs. My horse super lazy needs bat and spurs, on babies I usually just carry a bat then as needed add spurs later. What kills me are people who carry a bat their horse stops and they don't use it. What is the point of the bat? Then wonder why their horse keeps stopping! Maybe because it learned it doesn't have to go over the first time?

Go Fish
Oct. 16, 2009, 03:07 PM
I hardly ever use a whip or bat. Don't usually carry one, either. But I have really long legs and can count on one hand when they haven't come through for me! :lol:

There are a few horses that were sulky to my leg that I have carried a weapon temporarily. And a stopper, I would definitely have one with.

Never need one. I can do more damage with my long legs and spurs than a bat could ever do.

SprinklerBandit
Oct. 16, 2009, 04:23 PM
I always carry a whip. My girl is not-so-forward, so I have to. I rarely actually touch her with it, though. Just the thought of it is enough to keep her going.

On my OTTB though, I only ever carried a crop for XC. I think I used it a grand total of once, but it was good insurance to have.

dogchushu
Oct. 16, 2009, 04:56 PM
A hunter looks better without a crop? Huh. I've always seen the riders carrying them! ;-)

Seriously, I believe you should always carry one if there's the smallest chance you'll need it. I haven't heard any judges who say they'll mark you down for having a crop. Perhaps there's one judge out there somewhere, but every judge is going to mark you down if you don't have one and your horse decides to be a slug!


Since it's not your horse, I'm not sure there is anything you can do.

There is currently a beginner at our barn who is wondering whether she wants to continue to take lessons because she has to use a crop on the horse. She literally told my trainer that she 'was raised not to hit animals.' That's all well and good...I don't "hit" my animals either, but I do use a crop/whip whatever. (I was slightly offended because of the implication in her statement that those of us who do use a crop are being abusive).

A crop or whip, when properly used, is an important reinforcement of the natural aids. It's only used when the horse doesn't listen to the other aids.

Yeah. If it's not your horse you're stuck.

Personally, I think a quick tap with a crop is much better than the constant kick, kick, kicking many beginners do. Sometimes people understand that when it's explained. Sometimes they don't.

As someone who thwacked herself with a crop when starting out (klutz that I am), it doesn't hurt all that bad!

indygirl2560
Oct. 16, 2009, 05:14 PM
In lessons, it depends on what horse I'm riding but I usually end up carrying a crop or wearing tiny spurs. At shows, I always have my spurs on and I only carry a crop depending on the class type.

snaffle635
Oct. 16, 2009, 05:17 PM
On the other hand, you probably don't want to carry a crop in a hunter flat class, unless you really need it. Perhaps that's what 'people' meant?

RugBug
Oct. 16, 2009, 05:23 PM
On the other hand, you probably don't want to carry a crop in a hunter flat class, unless you really need it. Perhaps that's what 'people' meant?

Yea...I know this is the trend...but I personally hate it.

[warning: begin wee rant...not directed at snaffle635]

Why shouldn't someone carry a crop in the hack? ? To add to the 'my horse is so simple to ride' picture? Carry that logic out and at some point we're going to have to take our spurs off, too. It's silly, IMO. Everyone knows if you have to USE your crop in the hunter/eq ring, either over fences or on the flat, you're out of it...but to not even be able to carry one? Such silliness. Blargh!!!

[/rant]

AmandaandTuff
Oct. 16, 2009, 05:26 PM
I carry a bat and spurs on everything I ride, including the really forward horses.

I do wish some people were not ALLOWED to carry one though. Hate going to the show and seeing kids, ammies and even pro's completely blow a spot and beat the daylights out of the horse who stopped to save himself from crashing.

I never use my crop to punish, and I hate to see people use it as a way of punishing the horse. But I guess if my horse refuses I know I'm doing something wrong, she's a saint for a 5 year old and hasn't refused any reasonable request from me.

LudgerFan
Oct. 16, 2009, 08:22 PM
lmao!!! love that quote!!

hhhmmmm....interesting......thanks for the input everyone :) I definitely need spurs, if I didn't have them I would need an oxygen tank to get my horse around. I haven't actually had to use a crop - its more of a threat to this guy (and its not that he's bad, just lazy). If I wiggle it or turn my hand enough he can see it, I can get the reaction I want. The theory of "having it in case you need it " is a strong argument. I've had days where I've dropped it in the middle of the course not needing.

From a classical perspective, spurs are not for getting the horse more forward. That is the job of the whip or crop -- to educate the horse to be responsive to the lightest forward leg aid, and to correct him when he is not. If you have to use your spurs to keep your horse forward, well, HE'S the one that has educated YOU. ;) Using the spur continuously to get the horse forward only causes him to contract his abdominal muscles in self-defense, and that is counter-productive. Use your leg once, and if you don't get instant response in the amount you desire, use the crop/whip strongly once...the next time you ask with your leg, you should get the "why then, yes ma'am" response. Repeat whenever he starts to get slow to the leg aid. You're life (and his) will be much more harmonious. Refuse to be a nag. Truthfully, he doesn't like it either.

Spurs should be used when asking for a lateral response to the leg. The horse should already be promptly responsive to the forward leg aid and have already established the prerequisite rhythm and relaxation at all gaits of the leg before the spur is worn.

According to a bunch of old dead guys :D that hardly anyone ever listens to anymore :(

Lucassb
Oct. 17, 2009, 11:47 AM
Apologies in advance for being slightly off topic. I am leasing a horse and the owner is pretty adamant about not carrying a crop when riding. Horse has a little habit of slowing/stopping when he decides he is done (particularly on the right lead). Any suggestions for how to help owner understand that when carrying the crop and using only when needed is the right thing? The concern is that if you do provide correction with the crop he get upset.

I would ask the owner, politely, why they feel so strongly about this. Perhaps they had a bad experience with a previous lessor who used a stick inappropriately, and now feel that the prohibition is more or less a "better safe than sorry" precaution.

I firmly believe that all horses need to learn to tolerate the rider carrying a stick, and that all riders should carry one and know how to use it appropriately. Like spurs, they should be "often carried and seldom used," as Jeff Cook likes to say. You teach the horse to go on soft natural aids with the proper use of the artificial ones; they are reinforcements, not replacements for the rider's leg & seat.

If the horse has a habit of slowing and stopping and the owner will not allow the use of a stick, I'd just ride with spurs and do a boatload of transitions to sharpen his response to the leg. I have a horse that would love to stay behind my leg all day long and in my lessons, we do quite a bit of work on this at least 3-4 times a week. My trainer will have us start in regular posting trot for a few strides, transition to walk for a stride or two (treating it as a forward exercise where the horse marches right into the outside rein), then to posting trot again for a few steps, then to collected sitting trot for a few steps, then forward again, then to walk again, etc. There are days when we'll do that for 30-40 minutes, until the horse is *really* listening and on the aids.

Anytime the response to a *soft* leg aid is not immediate, he gets a reminder (I use a stick behind my leg, but you could use a spur) and is sent strongly forward. You want an over-reaction with a stick or spur in that case - if you settle for a response that is just the amount of forward you originally asked for, you teach the horse to associate the amplified aid with that response, not the softer aid which is what you really want.

mortebella
Oct. 17, 2009, 01:45 PM
I strongly believe in carrying one if you need it. To leave it out for the sake of a "picture" or presentation is going to be undone the second the animal misbehaves, and you can't forestall it quickly with a strong enough aid. If you have a real saint, well ok. But otherwise...I don't regard a crop as a "weapon," just a usually needful thing. Most horses will try you. They will try you again later :) A crop used right just demonstrates you, also, have teeth of your own and can use them appropriately. APPROPRIATELY is the word we all work to understand with each horse, because each is an individual. Knowing when a horse is trying you and when there is another reason for a behavior is also part of the requisite judgment to make a good decision about applying pressure/punishment. But if your horse doesn't try you frequently and you can manage it effectively with leg and hand, there may be genuinely no need for a crop - these are rare, rare beasts in my experience. Some of it may also depend on the riding you're doing. You can school with a crop for more quickness and alertness til you need it less and less. Associate the crop aid with leg and cluck, for example, then leg and/or cluck are enough by themselves - but you wouldn't have gotten there without the stick first. Thereafter use it only when you need a refresher.

lesyl
Oct. 17, 2009, 04:45 PM
I would ask the owner, politely, why they feel so strongly about this. Perhaps they had a bad experience with a previous lessor who used a stick inappropriately, and now feel that the prohibition is more or less a "better safe than sorry" precaution.

I firmly believe that all horses need to learn to tolerate the rider carrying a stick, and that all riders should carry one and know how to use it appropriately. Like spurs, they should be "often carried and seldom used," as Jeff Cook likes to say. You teach the horse to go on soft natural aids with the proper use of the artificial ones; they are reinforcements, not replacements for the rider's leg & seat.

If the horse has a habit of slowing and stopping and the owner will not allow the use of a stick, I'd just ride with spurs and do a boatload of transitions to sharpen his response to the leg. I have a horse that would love to stay behind my leg all day long and in my lessons, we do quite a bit of work on this at least 3-4 times a week. My trainer will have us start in regular posting trot for a few strides, transition to walk for a stride or two (treating it as a forward exercise where the horse marches right into the outside rein), then to posting trot again for a few steps, then to collected sitting trot for a few steps, then forward again, then to walk again, etc. There are days when we'll do that for 30-40 minutes, until the horse is *really* listening and on the aids.

Anytime the response to a *soft* leg aid is not immediate, he gets a reminder (I use a stick behind my leg, but you could use a spur) and is sent strongly forward. You want an over-reaction with a stick or spur in that case - if you settle for a response that is just the amount of forward you originally asked for, you teach the horse to associate the amplified aid with that response, not the softer aid which is what you really want.
Thanks RugBug and Luccasb.
Yes RugBug I agree, it is her horse and they are a little new to riding. He is a good boy, but just got away with the stopping when someone other than the trainer was riding.

Luccasb - I am the first person to lease horse and I know this is a tough call for them. I am leasing as I haven't quite been ready to buy another, and they wanted to reduce expenses. I'll chat with the trainer again, she thought the crop was good idea, and I much prefer it to the kick, kick method.

I like your suggestion on the transition. He gets antsy about them so that would be good practice. He starts to anticpate your next cue and I am working on him relaxing and waiting until I ask. Any tips on that are welcome.

As for the OT - I think that carrying a crop in some respects completes the picture a bit for a hunter.

tpup
Oct. 17, 2009, 05:36 PM
My once VERY barn sour horse would practically flip me the bird if I dropped my crop on the way to the trails. We would ride a fenceline to get to the trails and a few times my crop got knocked out of my hand if it bumped the fence a bit. My horse knew I no longer had the crop and would plant his feet and say, "Not going!" :lol: I quickly learned that I had to hop off and get it and remount.

Interesting though...when I simply carry it, he's fine except for needing a tiny tap or flick every now and then. But he definitely knows when I don't have it. I always carry mine and thank goodness he's no longer barn sour and goes happily!

lauriep
Oct. 17, 2009, 07:18 PM
Always. Period.

Lucassb
Oct. 17, 2009, 07:36 PM
(snip)

Luccasb - I am the first person to lease horse and I know this is a tough call for them. I am leasing as I haven't quite been ready to buy another, and they wanted to reduce expenses. I'll chat with the trainer again, she thought the crop was good idea, and I much prefer it to the kick, kick method.

I like your suggestion on the transition. He gets antsy about them so that would be good practice. He starts to anticpate your next cue and I am working on him relaxing and waiting until I ask. Any tips on that are welcome .

It sounds to me like they equate a stick = beating and that is something that the trainer will probably have more success addressing than you will. If you have the opportunity, you can gently explain to them that it is kinder to teach the horse properly by using the stick once, appropriately, behind the leg, than it is to kick the horse repeatedly and teach it to tune the rider out.

As for transitions... really it's all about disciplined practice. It helps enormously to have someone on the ground, since particularly at first, you will be likely be concentrating on several things at once and it's easy to unconsciously do stuff with your own body to sabotage the horse's balance or compliance.

For example, my horse is a bit stiff tracking left. Unfortunately, I have a habit of letting my right hand slide out in front of me instead of keeping the elbow at my side and minding that outside shoulder. When I am *really* thinking about pushing him into that outside rein with my inside leg, and guarding the right hind with my outside leg, my horse will frequently try to slow down since it is harder for him to step under with that inside hind leg. If I am not *actively thinking * about that right hand - it scoots forward. (ugh, such a bad habit.) Having my trainer remind me to maintain the contact on that rein is an enormous help, since that outside rein is our balance, and that rein is the one that creates the transitions.

For a horse that worries and anticipates, simply do the opposite of whatever they are trying to do. If they want to speed up, put them on a (generous) circle and spiral in and out off your outside/inside leg. If they want to go slow, do lots of upward transitions and do them in quick succession. Trot for a few strides and go forward for 5-6 steps, then walk for not more than one or two steps and trot forward again. Then work within the trot, going forward and coming back. The contact remains consistent, as does your seat; you simply add a bit of leg to go forward, and softly stretch up in your back and half halt on the outside rein to collect.

The key is to *always* use a soft, quiet leg aid - do NOT kick, do not lean, do not push with your seat, don't flail around, just use a normal leg aid.

If the horse does not immediately go forward, you give them a swat with the stick just behind the leg (or maybe a big nudge with your spur, if they won't let you use a stick) and create a BIG forward response. You want a big TROT by the way, not a canter. If the horse canters, which is certainly possible, then make it canter MORE forward for 8-10 strides. Get a reaction, without any emotion on your part. Your demeanor is always calm and quiet. Your position does not change.

This is a very important point, actually, as you want to be sure you do not lose your balance and inadvertently punish the horse when it goes forward. Maintain a normal soft contact and stay in balance with your seat bones in contact with your tack at all times. Do not give up your position to get a change in gait; the horse needs to listen to your leg, and if it ignores your leg, you use a stick (or spur if your horse's owner won't allow a stick) to correct the horse and educate it about the aid.

One final thought - a lot of people worry about where the horse's head is when they are working on this stuff. Don't be one of them! If the horse wants to carry its head a bit high, just maintain a normal contact and ignore it, concentrating on pushing the horse forward into your outside rein with your inside leg. When the horse is balanced and working from behind (which comes from your LEGS!) you will find the horse will eventually soften and relax through the topline. You can't create it by pulling on the reins, anyway (which is why that is called a false frame) so don't bother. Let the horse work it out.

Have fun :)

thegirlwonder
Oct. 17, 2009, 07:47 PM
I've never applied myself to the school of thought that one "always" should carry a crop. I do a lot of free jumping with my horses which teaches them that taking off isn't as scary as it might seem, so stopping has never really been an issue. If they are having a particularly "slow" day I might use some tom thumb spurs for the flat, but I'm not a believer in batting or kicking your horse over a fence. If your horse is too scared to jump, it probably shouldn't be. If your horse won't take off from a certain spot, you probably shouldn't be showing. If your horse is generally just lazy - then go for it, but I think spurs are a better option for the slowbie. It makes a prettier picture than a fidgety hand. :)

Alterrain
Oct. 17, 2009, 11:32 PM
My trainer won't let us carry one in the show ring. (jumper ring and green beans can have one). She says on a hunter carrying a crop looks like you expect to have to use it. I carry it in the warmup, then leave it at the gate. My old horse was a SLOW POKE and I would use it to warm up, give him a big SMACK as I was entering the gate, then drop the crop.

But yes, always at home. Even on my worrier. :)

billiebob
Oct. 17, 2009, 11:50 PM
I generally don't use either a crop or spurs. My horse is pretty honest and generally pretty forward so I don't feel they're necessary. I have worn my itty bitty spurs on him just to see if he cared (he didn't). He's a bit nervous about crops but isn't too bad if I just carry it. I've hit him with a crop exactly once, when he decided cool horses don't pick up their right lead canter. I got him going into a corner and that was good enough for.....the rest of my rides since then.:lol: He knows when I use my left leg he needs to listen! All I have to do is flash the crop at him and then he's good. He's a greenie and I think it's good to get him to tolerate spurs and a crop so they do come out of my bag occasionally.

I don't have an issue with someone carrying a crop or wearing spurs every ride--better to have them and not need them instead of needing them and not having them. And I've been known to make a "crop" out of a tree branch when circumstances call for it.

2hsmommy
Oct. 18, 2009, 12:30 PM
The only times I notice crops are when the rider is having difficulty and isn't carrying one. They are pretty useless sitting back at the barn.

Agreed :)

lesyl
Oct. 18, 2009, 11:50 PM
Thanks Lucassb!

I did discuss the carrying a crop with both the owner and our trainer. I'll work on the soft arms and the legs as you suggested. We did some of that in the lesson today, and I could feel that when I sat up, asked with soft arms we had smooth upward transitions.

Feeling like I should send you some flowers for the suggestions.

JumpWithPanache
Oct. 19, 2009, 02:59 PM
I used to be in the habit of crop and spurs for every ride. But when I started foxhunting I wore spurs and carried a hound whip, even when exercising I wore my spurs but didn't grap a whip. With chasers I'd sometimes grab a race bat, but usually didn't bother, they were ready to go anyway. Now that I have my rather sensitive mare who is now maturing past her silliness, I've started carrying a short bat on occassion for her to get accustomed to. I need to start wearing spurs again too. I think it's definitely nice to have the tools available when they are needed, but not always a requirement to carry/wear them.

Lucassb
Oct. 19, 2009, 11:52 PM
Thanks Lucassb!

I did discuss the carrying a crop with both the owner and our trainer. I'll work on the soft arms and the legs as you suggested. We did some of that in the lesson today, and I could feel that when I sat up, asked with soft arms we had smooth upward transitions.

Feeling like I should send you some flowers for the suggestions.

Wonderful!! I am so glad it helped :) No need for flowers, LOL - the neat thing about this BB is the opportunity to share ideas.