View Full Version : Extension for your lungeing whip, to give you more reach!

31-01-12, 11:49 AM
I found this very good tip in my Jane Savoie book, "Dressage 101". She remaked that often our lungeing whips are not quite long enough, and if you need to give your horse a bit of a "ping" every now and then (as opposed to him meekly obeying mere gestures with the whip), then you're often forced to walk in constant small circles in the middle of his larger ones. Tiring, no? Who's doing all the work here??

Ok, so we make the whip a bit longer, and get more reach, to make up for the lack of gibbon arms! Jane suggests attaching a shoelace to the end of the whip, and this seemed like a good idea to yours truly, so I did it. But I am the world's most dyslexic person with anything long and thin and capable of being tangled, and found a flat sports shoelace was too lightweight, and it continually wanted to tangle around the rest of the whip, or even around itself. So I had a rummage and found some light cord/rope. It's a bit thinner than a pencil, and is that woven stuff around a core of something else. It has a bit of "body", and is not keen to tangle.

I've attached a good foot and a bit of it to the end of my whip, and stitched it in place with some plaiting thread; then put a small piece of duct tape around the former "end", to keep it neatly aligned with the extension. The ends are sealed with a quick burn/melt from a match, to prevent fraying and picking up crap off the ground.

It works a treat - still "cracks" nicely, and I can get Elmo working on a decent circle and still reach to "ping" him on the bum if he starts to slack off.... and he knows it, so is less inclined to slack off now!

You can make your extension as long as you like - you might like to start with more length and shorten as necessary after a trial run. You can get the cord from Bunnings for all of $2, a great length of it wound onto a flat plastic holder. Don't be tempted to get the really soft stuff, like baby marine rope - it's too soft and floppy - you need something with a bit of body, and a bit thinner than a pencil, for best results.

Here's what it looks like:



31-01-12, 12:52 PM
i used to have a leather shoelace, about 4mm square. It worked a treat. :D

31-01-12, 03:51 PM
I was about to write the same, they're nice 'n' fine but a fraction weightier - the leather tongs, that is.

31-01-12, 04:16 PM
When I replace a lunge whip I pull out the core of the old one, which is usually the same cord that the lash is made from and gives you enough for several extension.

31-01-12, 04:21 PM
This is where having a slightly whip-shy horse comes in handy.. just holding a dressage whip in my hand when lungeing is enough to encourage plenty of forward!

31-01-12, 10:52 PM
Good ol' Freddy! You have to actually "ping" Elmo with it till he believes you! Otherwise he considers it an empty threat. I must say, after getting pinged a few times, he now knows I can reach him, so he's lungeing a lot better. He's only just started being worked with a roller & side reins, but is catching on quite quickly.

31-01-12, 11:43 PM
Alternatively you just have a horse who is a PITA to lunge, so you just don't bother :p

But its a nifty, cheap and easy idea!

01-02-12, 10:15 AM
What happens if you want to ask the horse to try a bit harder and pick up the whip and as you go to whip him he moves out beautifully and then the tail of the whip flips over and gives him one anyway for his effort..:eek:
Nope, give me a shorter whip or stick or a flag.. something that I have instant control off..I want my timing to be as perfect as I can get it .. :o
Might be just me, but if I have to ping a horse to make him go I have a forward problem and hitting him will not solve it ..
Just because Jane Savorie said so might not make it correct..:rolleyes:
Just because I said so might not make it correct either.. but its all food for thought..:cool:

01-02-12, 10:32 AM
"but if I have to ping a horse to make him go I have a forward problem and hitting him will not solve it"

what reata said: and i don't mind backing her up on this one at all - it's all about r.e.s.p.e.c.t and you don't get that by threats ....

ps: please don't be offended sef.... : /

01-02-12, 11:02 AM
Perhaps a little misunderstanding here. :)

The whip is always an extension of the arm. It's an encouragement, not to be used to "hit" or "whip" the horse.

The trainer should carry the whip under his right arm, if lungeing to the left, with the end of the whip pointing behind him so it is never seen as a threat. There should not be any need to pick up the whip - it should be there instantly ready to use. He shouldn't "crack" the whip - that really is cowboy stuff (although I've been known to!) but merely touch the horse on the lower leg, below the hock. Not on his body.

If the trainer aims for this part of the horse, the whip will miss if the horse has seen it coming and moved forward properly. It's always a matter of correct application.

01-02-12, 12:02 PM
You give the horse the option of moving forward when you ask first off by aiming the whip behind but a distance from going anywhere near the horse, if the horse is still being tardy at your request then you have the ability to back up you ask with a bit of a ping. But the opportunity to respond without being flicked must be given first.

Asking and asking and asking but the horse knows that there are no repercussions i.e. you can flick the whip around behind them all day long and they just dag along. It isn't about flogging the daylights out of them, it is a gentle reminder to get a wriggle on.

The other thing is to practice your soft flicking skills away from the horse so you know that if you do need to give a reminder you can do this gently but you do have the option of upping the ante if the horse still dags along.

I am thinking you would only need to do this a couple of times until the horse realises that there will be consequences for his actions or lack of.

01-02-12, 12:02 PM
--------------double post

01-02-12, 02:53 PM
Exactly as GnG says. Some of us have horses who are a bit lazy and a bit too smart for their own good. If they know you can reach to ping them, then after a few pings, they start to realise that the way to avoid it is to do as they're asked. Merely showing Elmo I have a whip doesn't even raise an eyebrow for him.... but when he knows I am quite capable of reaching him with it, he changes his tune considerably. Getting the odd ping with the end of a lunge whip when he's slacking off is way different from being flogged about with a stock whip (which I've seen done by some people.)

He's now working a lot better - much more responsive, and is listening to my voice and for the instructions. He's twigged that when he does as he's asked, it's really fairly easy - and also, when he does everything he's asked, he doesn't have to work for very long.

Yes Reata & Midnightly, in an ideal world everybody respects everybody else and nobody needs anything stronger than a bit of string and a whip tucked under their arm. But we aren't in an ideal world. We are only human, and horses are only horses, so we do our best to be fair and sensible, and reward them when they do the right thing for us. I love my horses dearly, but there are times when I need to boss them, and they need to know they must do as they're asked. And if an extension on a lunge whip is one way to get there, then so be it.

01-02-12, 03:58 PM
No no no SEF ... I said that's how to hold the whip, so it's ready to use whenever necessary. I agree that you need to touch the horse with it at times.

I just don't like to see people assuming a threatening stance, outstretched arm, whip at the ready, when the horse is doing what they want. And I didn't suggest you do that at all.

01-02-12, 04:25 PM
Yes VERY important point midnightly, keep the whip quiet and if possible obscure when not in use otherwise it starts to mean nothing if it is flapping about through unnecessary movement or being held out in constant threat.

I get the irrates when I see people flicking the whip behind the horse when it is doing what they have asked. Akin to mum, mum, mum, mum, mum, mum from a tiresome child, you soon switch off.

01-02-12, 04:30 PM
I've always been taught that when lunging you form a right angled triangle with the horse.
Roughly: if you are the 'point' of the triangle: the whip is the adjacent side, the horse the opposite side, and the lunge rein the hypotenuse.
You should be roughly level with the flank of the horse and never infront of the shoulder, the whip should be kept behind the horse and following them with 'neutral' having it pointing at the floor and the lash either trailing in the dirt or caught up in your hand. This way you can quickly get it up when needed.

I was also always taught that you walk & move with the horse when lunging (so walking smaller circles) not forming a central point for them to pivot around. Lunging whips are the lenght they are for a reason, not just manufacturing convenience. Moving with the horse allows you to 'drive' them more effectively and have greater control of the circle size and pace. Frequency of use depends what you are doing, if just cruising on a big circle I'll set the pace then into neutral, but on small circles if asking for more impulsion I'll flick it behind the horse regularly while saying trot trot trot to encourage them to keep pushing round the circle the voice helps dictate the speed so they dont just bugger off :cool:

Thats just IMHO ;) and assuming you lunge as a schooling tool not to just as a hoon period to burn off excess energy.

01-02-12, 06:07 PM
I never used to be a lunger, but I had an idea it might benefit Elmo's training. So he gets togged up in his shin boots, roller, minimalist bridle, side reins and lungeing cavesson (all nicely colour coordinated too, by coincidence) I think it's teaching him to listen, pay attention, and find his balance a bit better. Definitely not for hooning, Flick!

I like the way he's getting quite good at obeying the vocal instructions, and he's learned not to come into the middle to me unless specifically asked. That's such an annoying habit, when they do that every time you ask them to change rein.

01-02-12, 09:55 PM
SEF comment wasn't aimed at you or anyone - incase it came across that way...

02-02-12, 07:22 PM
Agree with you SEF, I did that once with a lazy horse, one little touch just once created a whole new respect for the activity :) As for lunging with a stockwhip (?) - that's an exercise in intimidation. Rgds