What Is A Riding Crop Used for?
Riding crops, also called dressage whip, acts as an additional aid for a rider to use to encourage a horse to move forward, sideways, offering more significant commitment.
Frequent light taps to the hindquarters, barrel, or occasionally the shoulder of the horse are not intended to be a punishment, but rather to support the aids a rider performs with his legs, seat, and weight as required.
Riding Crop Segments
In hunter, jumper, cross country, and pleasure disciplines, a riding crop, jumper bat, or show bat are mainly used.
Riding crops range from about 21 “long to about 25”, with a few exceptions. They usually have a small wrist strap on the handle and a reasonably narrow popper on the opposite end.
The handle of a crop is covered with genuine leather. Genuine leathers are synthetic materials.
The riding crop handles are made in a variety of patterns, shapes, widths, and materials designed to provide superior grip; a wrist tie is not attached.
The tip of a bat is finished with a wide popper. The popper is designed to make as much noise as a tap. The popper can be made of genuine or synthetic leather.
Shafts, made of fiberglass, plastic, or other materials in crops and bats, are covered in durable woven material.
The cost of a bat/riding crop will depend on the materials and crafts used in its construction. A leather-covered bat will be more expensive than a shiny crop with a plastic handle.
To choose the desired length of a crop or bat, consider the rider size and horse size. A small rider on a pony will feel more comfortable holding a shorter, lighter crop.
The typical dressage whip measures 43 1/2 “or 47 1/2” long, although some can be found 36 “and 39” long to accommodate small riders or small horses.
A dressage whip is intended to hang just behind the rider’s leg and used for light taps.
To this end, it generally offers some degree of shaft flexibility, which can be made from an engineered composite, fiberglass, or plastic.
Like crops and bats, the shafts are covered in an abrasion-resistant material that can range in color from black (for competition) to bright, light pink for added school fun.
The long handle of a dressage whip are made of braided leather, sticky synthetic material, composite materials, or even a gel, all designed to provide excellent support.
The handle, often topped by some cap, is classic in shape or ergonomically shaped to fit one hand.
The tip of a dressage whip is called a lash and is designed to facilitate a light touch or tickle. Whiplash is factored into overall whip measurement, an important factor to consider if a rider intends to compete within USEF rules.
The cost of a dressage whip depends on the materials and crafts involved in its design and manufacturing.