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Do artificial aids belong on the trail?

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  • Do artificial aids belong on the trail?

    Fellow trail riders-

    Heading out on the trail is supposed to be relaxing, thrilling, and overall positive with as much nature and horse-human bonding as possible right? So do any of you ever take a crop with you? How much repeated, unprovoked (no physical pain, no yappy dogs etc.) negative behavior has to occur before you are willing to consider using it?... If ever?

    -NR

  • #2
    Occasionally I carry a dressage whip, but it's not for my mare, it's for warding off dogs, moving low tree branches, etc.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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    • #3
      Heck yes I carry a crop when I'm riding Maggie. She will phone it in all day long. She's got the rest of her life to star gaze and find shapes in the clouds. While I'm up there, knock it out of the park, please.

      What is this bonding nonsense that magically occurs on the trail? cue the music.

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      • #4
        Does a fly whisk count?

        Seriously though, we have a horse that USED to balk at going in the lead on narrow trails (yes, it was that specific). Carrying a crop for a while made the difference between a horse win-you lose situation and what we have now - a horse that willingly takes the lead on narrow trails.

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        • #5
          I always carry a crop when I'm hacking. Comes in useful for chasing off dogs, opening gates, chasing flies.
          Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by kookicat View Post
            I always carry a crop when I'm hacking. Comes in useful for chasing off dogs, opening gates, chasing flies.
            That's great for desensitizing too.. my mare doesn't even blink when I randomly start flailing my whip around in the air like a lunatic if I see a horse fly.
            Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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            • #7
              Thought this was going to be about using drawreins on the trail, found out it was about boring whips.
              http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                I always carry my crop on the trail, too. Useful for all kinds of things besides discipline, and I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Besides, trail or arena doesn't matter, if the horse tests me/misbehaves and doesn't listen to my leg, then it will get a stronger correction that it WILL listen to. Being out on the trail is no reason to go easy on bad behavior. If the horse knows there will be no funny business, no matter the venue, and acts accordingly, the ride will be more enjoyable for all concerned and I won't have to use the crop, anyway

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                • #9
                  Methinks your screen name says it all!

                  Non.sen.si.cal

                  1.Meaningless

                  Having no sense or meaning

                  2. Laughable

                  Deserving ridicule

                  Rogue (noun)

                  1. Somebody mischievous

                  A mischievously playful person, especially a naughty child

                  2. Somebody dishonest

                  An unscrupulous or dishonest person, especially somebody who is also likable
                  "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork

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                  • #10
                    I seldom use a crop. I've no objection to them, and use them when necessary (usually with younger horses) but my riding discipline requires the free hand be "free" and that means most correction/communication comes from one hand, the seat, and the leg.

                    I disagree that riding on a trail means any less discipline or attention to detail than work in the school. If anything it will require more as there are many more hazards in trail riding than arena riding.

                    G.
                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                    • #11
                      I've schooled a lot of horses out on the trail and accordingly so, have carried a crop.

                      Horses that get extremely buddy sour get the crop after having a chance to work through it. The ones that suddenly become chicken livers and refuse to lead get the crop depending on their issues.

                      I find it a handy tool and can reinforce my leg which can be weak from time to time due to a knee injury from a horse.

                      I've especially carried a crop reschooling horses that have taken to biting or kicking on the trail. Tadah, one or two reschooling sessions and the horses are usually good to go for their little kids again.
                      Semi Feral

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kookicat View Post
                        I always carry a crop when I'm hacking. Comes in useful for chasing off dogs, opening gates, chasing flies.
                        Pretty much this. I ride a lot of young horses and feel that I'd rather have a whip and not need it than not have one and need it. Even when I'm riding an old one I'm sure I don't need one on, I usually stick one in my boot just in case I encounter something on a trail where I think I could use one (horseflies or dogs being my main nemeses).

                        Although I usually carry one I rarely use them. As far as other training aids, I feel spurs may be appropriate if the horse is accustomed to them (for example, on my 4th level dressage horse I usually wore spurs and kept the whip tucked away while hacking) but draw reins or any similar aids designed to force the head down (not speaking of martingales adjusted so that they only come into play when the horse raises its head dangerously high) are dangerous when you're asking a horse to navigate varied terrain.
                        exploring the relationship between horse and human

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
                          That's great for desensitizing too.. my mare doesn't even blink when I randomly start flailing my whip around in the air like a lunatic if I see a horse fly.
                          True. I can nail a wasp at arm's length now. Hubby bought me one of those battery powered fly zappers, but I think that's going a little too far.
                          Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NonsensicalRogue View Post
                            Fellow trail riders-

                            Heading out on the trail is supposed to be relaxing, thrilling, and overall positive with as much nature and horse-human bonding as possible right? So do any of you ever take a crop with you? How much repeated, unprovoked (no physical pain, no yappy dogs etc.) negative behavior has to occur before you are willing to consider using it?... If ever?

                            -NR
                            I was always taught that you always carry a whip/crop or you are not turned out correctly. Doesn't mean you HAVE to use it, but like spurs it is invaluable if you DO need it.

                            What exactly makes a whip "artificial" ?
                            ... _. ._ .._. .._

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by katarine View Post
                              What is this bonding nonsense that magically occurs on the trail? cue the music.
                              What, you mean you don't love your horse? My horse knows I love her so she is happy and never needs beating on the trail. Maybe you should let your mare know you love her more and stop riding her so much, she obviously doesn't like it. If you have to hit her to make her go, then Hello Katarine! wake up call.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                                I was always taught that you always carry a whip/crop or you are not turned out correctly. Doesn't mean you HAVE to use it, but like spurs it is invaluable if you DO need it.

                                What exactly makes a whip "artificial" ?
                                I'm guessing the OP was taught like I was, that anything other than boots on sides and hands on bit and seat on saddle is artificial. That means whips, spurs, whatever. It is a rather arbitrary line though. After all shoving a piece of metal in a horse's mouth is pretty darn artificial.
                                exploring the relationship between horse and human

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                                • #17
                                  I doubt that a horse finds a person sitting on their back natural.
                                  ... _. ._ .._. .._

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                                  • #18
                                    I'm still trying to parse the combination of "relaxing" and "thrilling"...
                                    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

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                                    • #19
                                      Lol Katarine and Ghazzu, my thoughts exactly.

                                      Perhaps it is because my normal trail horses are horses I am reschooling for some reason or another, or horses that just have issues, but I almost never head out on the trail without a dressage whip in my back pocket and spurs on my boots. Doesn't mean I USE them, but like the poster above mentioned-they're nice to have if you find yourself in a pickle.
                                      Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                                      Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                                      Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                                      Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

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                                      • #20
                                        I always carry a crop. In the ring, arena, and trail. If I need it I want to have it. It's mostly used to move branches, swat flies, and occassionally a scratcher for my back for those pesky mosquitoes that seem to never leave me alone...

                                        I'm with the others. Someone cue the music...
                                        Riding the winds of change

                                        Heeling NRG Aussies
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