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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    716

    Question Staff Horse

    I have a question for all you whips out there...how long did it take your horse to get used to 1) the whip 2) the hounds. I have a lovely horse that I really do not want to sell (if I sell, I will most likely not hunt, which I do not want to do), but I cannot get him to not spook away from the whip (even just leisurly hanging/swinging) and he also has no regard for the hounds (ie. wouldnt mind stepping on one when he spooked away from the whip). I am also relatively new to whipping-in, so i don't have a 100% handle on what I'm doing and am feeling a tad overwhelmed. Any advice would be much appreciated!
    It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 2, 2007
    Location
    Gilroy, CA
    Posts
    134

    Default

    First off, what kind of whip do you use?

    I have found that the softer lashes can be more tolerable for sensitive horses. But it will be harder to crack when needed.

    Secondly, the best time to desensitize a horse to a whip is not with hounds. It's out on your usual, regular ride.

    I like to play a little game where I swing the whip very slowly in a circle that is parrellel with my horse and just let the tip of the popper hit the ground. As you walk on varying ground this can be a little difficult. And as the horse becomes more comfortable with the sound of the whip cutting the air, you can speed up the circles. The key to this is never to let the whip hit your horse.
    The more we look for that perfect spot, the harder it is to find.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    716

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Outfox View Post
    First off, what kind of whip do you use?

    I have found that the softer lashes can be more tolerable for sensitive horses. But it will be harder to crack when needed.

    Secondly, the best time to desensitize a horse to a whip is not with hounds. It's out on your usual, regular ride.

    I like to play a little game where I swing the whip very slowly in a circle that is parrellel with my horse and just let the tip of the popper hit the ground. As you walk on varying ground this can be a little difficult. And as the horse becomes more comfortable with the sound of the whip cutting the air, you can speed up the circles. The key to this is never to let the whip hit your horse.
    Thats exactly what I do with him, and it took my previous horse about a week, but I have been at it for a while with this guy. I have a pretty soft lash that I condition with the rest of my tack on a regular basis. He doesnt like it when another person cracks it, but he's not nearly as bad, so maybe I'll try that approach.
    It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2005
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    6,699

    Default

    Well, ya know, summer is here, the perfect time to play with your would be staff horse!

    For the whip- just start swinging it around while standing on the ground if you need to- perhaps while hand grazing. And pop it occasionally. And then as noted carry it every time you ride, swinging, popping, etc in a relaxed and leisurely manner.

    Consumer warning: Even a horse who doesn't mind the cracking of the whip can spook mightily if said whip gets caught under the tail on the follow through. Ask me how I know. A splendid cure for this is the same technique as used to accustom pack horses to the possibility of having a lead rope under their tail. Namely, about an 18" length of broomstick. With horse in roundpen or other safe arena, lift tail, put broomstick under tail, get the heck out of the way as horse clamps tail. Horse will think he is about to die until by happenstance he relaxes the tail, and the horse eating broomstick piece drops harmlessly to the ground. Repeat until horse says 'oh, ya can't fool me, I know that one,' and simply refuses to clamp down the tail.

    As for your description of 'no regard for hounds'-- from your description, I perceive that he doesn't have a fear or dislike of hounds- i.e. doesn't want to kick or paw them- just would step on one leaping sideways away from whip? Not really a concern in my book, 'any' horse spooking is not going to be looking for hounds. So long as he is 'nonviolent' and neutral toward hounds, you're okay. Over time you simply school him, subtly, to give hounds right of way.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    716

    Default

    Things wouldn't be so bad if I just had one more hand to hold both reins and use the whip at the same time. Then the little hounds wouldn't be in danger of flying feet. He is certainly not aggressive towards them, if anything a little oblivious, but never malicious.
    It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2008
    Posts
    1,635

    Default

    I started cracking and swinging my whip while the horses were eating-they soon ignored the sound completely.
    Last edited by lesson junkie; May. 26, 2008 at 11:04 PM. Reason: spelling!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    Default

    Lesson junkie- thats a good idea, i will give that a try.
    It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2003
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    1,333

    Default

    so here is my two cents:

    for the whip phobic horses you have to break it down into really, really small bites. As soon as he can digest a whip being dropped from its curled up position move to the gentle swing at a rock, etc. Just listen to your gut (you already know all this stuff) and only add more to his plate when he is confirmed at the current step. Colonial took to it pretty quickly, I gave up on Remi after 5 years and gave him to a dressage home, Chandler took a long time and Toddy and Piper somehow took to it right away. Lucky for you he is a great horse and you are a dedicated horseperson



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2003
    Location
    Wildwood, MO USA
    Posts
    2,602

    Default

    Geez, right about now I'm thinking I'm the only person in the whole world that grabs a horse out of the pasture, tacks it up, grabs a hunt whip and goes over and opens the door to the kennels and takes them out roading.

    I never even thought about whether the poor things would spook from the whip. My two year olds I just take out with the dog hounds the first time as there's usually a lot less excitement with them. I worry more about how they react to the hounds than the whip.

    Actually the first time I blow the horn usually gets more response than when I use the whip but then I dont' usually have to use the whip much with the beagles.

    I guess I just assume they will deal with it and so far they have. Course my youngster's are third generation hunt horses.
    -Painted Wings

    Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2000
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH USA
    Posts
    1,021

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lesson junkie View Post
    I started cracking and swinging my whip while the horses were eating-they soon ignored the sound completely.
    I started mine unmounted too. When I would hand graze him after a bath I would bring the whip along, drag it around in the grass, lay it over his rump, flop it around on the ground a little etc. Usually the grass was much more interesting and he learned to ignore it.

    Downside: He is pain to lunge....ignores the whip :-)



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2003
    Location
    NE FL
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    6,569

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    I usually carry it with me all the time in the barn, while I am tacking up etc, and it just becomes an extension of me to the horses, and part of what we do.
    While riding, I do as others said, gradually start dropping it, then swinging it, then twirling, etc. They make great spiderweb catchers on the trail
    carrying a fly whisk is also a great prelude to a whip

    I think one of the most important things is don't use a longe whip on your horse if you expect him to be a field hunter. If you teach him that the whip lash or the whip popping means go when you are longeing, don't expect him to know that it means stand (or not run off) when you are hunting.

    I need to have some whip review with my older mare, I'll be whipping in off her again some this season, and I'm still working with the 5 year old on it, although she is doing very well.
    The older mare had been taught about the longe whip so we had to overcome that, but the young mare is a homebred and I made a point of never using a longe whip or carrying a bat on her for that express reason. The older mare still really doesn't like the whip (she was beaten before I got her) although she will accept it, but the young mare doesn't know any different.

    The key is really to go at the horses pace, until he figures out that it's ok and you aren't going to beat him with it. Sometimes I drape the whip across their hind quarters, or between their ears or all over them while I'm working with them, but that takes a little time, depending on the horse.
    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2005
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    Sandy, Utah
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    6,699

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaegermonster View Post
    I
    I think one of the most important things is don't use a longe whip on your horse if you expect him to be a field hunter. If you teach him that the whip lash or the whip popping means go when you are longeing, don't expect him to know that it means stand (or not run off) when you are hunting.
    I've never had any trouble with horses confusing the two. But I don't really crack the longe whip, much, they know that just a flick toward them means go faster (or don't slow down).



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2003
    Location
    NE FL
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    Default

    That's the thing, don't crack it. Most people don't get that, and then wonder why their horse wigs out on them when they want to use their hunt whip. But either way, a field hunter can't be whip shy.
    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin



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