View Full Version : Switching the whip in a Dressage test?

Jun. 23, 2011, 02:53 PM
I'm doing my first event of the season next weekend, and it is also my first event since the rule change about carrying a whip during your test..

When riding at home, I always carry my whip to the inside and switch it over when I make a change of direction. Since I've never carried a whip during a test at an event, I don't have experience with the protocol for that. Is it okay to switch your whip over to the inside when you change rein? Or should it stay to one side for the entirety of the test?


Jun. 23, 2011, 03:16 PM
It's OK, but can be distracting, plus it's one more thing you can fumble.

I carry my whip on the side where I need it more and just leave it there. (My horse is crooked, though, so it's easy to know which side to use!)

Jun. 23, 2011, 03:25 PM
I leave mine on my horse's stiff side too. I gave up switching eons ago, too much work, LOL.

Jun. 23, 2011, 03:29 PM
I usually don't do this (it is much better to leave it on the side of the horse that does freaky things: i.e. falls in, doesn't bend correctly, etc), but if you have to change the whip, then just flip it over the horse and grab it by the handle. In other words, act like the whip is a clock hand and rotate the whip over the horse. This is typically much easier unless your horse is super spooky.

Jun. 23, 2011, 03:40 PM
Most people just leave it on one side for the whole test.

Jun. 23, 2011, 03:44 PM
Thanks everyone!

After looking at the test (there are 4 changes of rein) and thinking about it more.. it probably is best to just carry it on our stiff side.

I think that I would go in completely nervous that I would fumble with the change and drop my whip. It had never been a problem before since I couldn't carry one.

Thank you all for the advice~! :)

Heinz 57
Jun. 23, 2011, 04:40 PM
From a judging standpoint...

I'd only change sides IF you're capable of doing so while maintaining the connection and aren't going to disrupt your horse's going.

Jun. 23, 2011, 05:19 PM
My dressage instructor, who is also a judge says it's okay to switch sides if you need it, but only if you can hold reins in one hand (the hand the whip is starting in) and keep contact with the horse's mouth, while reaching over with the free hand to take the whip.... I generally just leave it in my left hand since that's where we are weaker.