July 14, 2008 by janesavoie
I've had a bunch of questions lately on handling the dressage whip. Many of you tell me you feel awkward when you switch the whip from one hand to the other. Here's a step-by-step method to switch it without disturbing the contact with your horse's mouth. 1. Put both reins and the whip in the same hand.For example, put both reins and the whip in your right hand. 2. Turn your right hand so your thumb is facing down and your baby finger is pointed up. With your hand in this position, the butt end of the whip points toward the withers and the lash of the whip points straight toward the sky. 3. Now, turn your left hand upside down so your left thumb is on top of your right baby finger. 4. With your left hand in that "upside down" position, curl your fingers around the whip. 5. Use your left hand to pull the whip straight up toward the sky. (Your whip is now in your left hand and the two reins are in your right hand.) 6. Separate your reins so you have one in each hand. You've now switched your whip without twisting the bit in your horse's mouth or scaring him by pulling it up across his withers.