We had our first encounter with a bad dog while riding near the house this weekend. I would like to invest in a stock whip? Hunting whip? what? Something to use from the saddle to deal with dogs zooming in to nip heels or bother our dogs that occasionally ride with us.
The horses we trail ride are broke to popping whips, good about riding into dogs and I'm comfortable using the horse, too...but man I wanted to pop the snot out of a dog this weekend and didn't have a darn thing handy to do so! I would of course practice before I just started out and got myself in a wreck
I am not open to sprays, paint balls, etc. I'm really only interested in input around whips to assist in this sort of scenario. Thanks much!
I've been carrying a hunt whip for several years now (5, maybe?) while trail riding. We don't see loose dogs too often around here, but where I used to board, there was a dog who would hide in the bushes & leap out at the horses.
One day he tried that with us, and I turned Prozac Pony towards him, trotted forward, cracked the whip, and growled, "GIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!"
And thereafter, he stayed back by the house to bark at the horses.
A while ago in this neighborhood, The Chihuahua of Death would rush out of his yard and chase the horses. Trotting at him & cracking the whip would make him retreat, but as soon as we turned away, he'd come right back out. He has since disappeared - I expect he might have become Coyote Chow.
Anyway, as long as your horse doesn't mind the whip, I'd say go for it. It has worked for me when I've used it.
Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
"When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother
If you are used to using bull whips, I'd go with that. Either way, you want to make sure you have at least 6 feet of thong to be able to nail dogs nipping at heels, 8 feet is better. With a good 'popper' on the end, not because in this case you want to make noise with the whip, but you want that little extra sting.
And, of course, if you are deploying said whip to avert attacks from the rear, you want to make sure the horse is okay with thong under tail as the likelihood of that is good. But if they are used to packing and already been schooled re lead ropes under tail, you shouldn't have a problem. For horses not so schooled, it can be a cheap thrill, and yes I speak from experience.
A *really* good but relatively inexpensive (was 99$ for me)whip is the "beginner bullwhip" at the "aussie saddle co", link below. Note: there are lots of whips available at this site, so make sure you pick the right one!!! It has a pretty da*n nice crack to it for the price. If you are wanting to know more about how to crack a whip, their DVD "Whip Cracking With the Masters, vol 1 is good..explains the technique. I use mine on cattle (and the occasional cowdog). And though, technically, one is only supposed to use only the "crack" to work stock with, the occasional "pop" on the ol' hide gets the message across better.
For fox hunting, I use a traditional hunt whip, with my own version of a popper. I also bought a nice kangaroo stockwhip for a good deal when I bought with the "beginner whip" , but it's so nice, I hate to use it! The western tack store whips I've bought have not been very good at all and are the same price as the Aussie bull whip.
They also sell spare poppers, which might be worth it. Personally, I just braid up a really skinny braided popper out of bailing twine, but it takes more time to separate out the small lengths of twine than to actually braid. You can also use very narrow guage nylon cord (hollow) with a commercially available popper that is about 6" long and fairly stiff. These are available often at ranch supply stores. They are a fairly stiff popper but make for a good "business" end when you want meaning attached to the crack. Not really necessary for the average hound, but cowdogs, bulls and onery cows, yes.
My husband and I always carry our hunt whips when we ride the roads. I had a very serious dog come after my mare two summers ago and that hunt whip saved the day! Hunting whips are a little pricey so the bull whip would be a good option.