Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sidesaddle Canes/Whips - Part 1

The English rider's whip is carried on the off (right) side, and is used in place of the rider's right leg to cue the horse on the off side. The sidesaddle whip is between two and four feet long, depending on style of equipment and competition rules, when applicable. Western riders generally use the romal (a type of long quirt attached to the end of a set of closed reins) to support cues in place of the right leg.

Sidesaddle Riding Canes and Whips historically have been made of different materials, usually depending upon what was available to the manufactures and merchants. Also, depending upon whether the rider was taking a stroll down Rotten Row or galloping the field with hounds on a hunt! Here are a few examples. This is a string covered antique wood whip, a bit longer than the normal riding crop.

This one has a wood shaft with a decorative topper.

Here is another one made of wood - intricately carved out of one piece!
I would be afraid that I could break this beautiful piece of art!

Bamboo was and still is today an excellent choice for a sidesaddle cane.

Whale bone whips were very popular and some very decorative in the 1800's.

This is another whale bone whip. Most, as you can see in this picture have a curvature along the rod.My choice is a bamboo cane. It is strong and straight enough to be used to replace the pressure signals I want to give Oliver since my leg is not there. In fact - we lovingly call it my 'wooden leg'!


Analise said...

Hi! I'm analise over on COTH and found your blog though a thread you made there regarding your monthly giveaways. Anyway, I've always thought sidesaddle was pretty neat and had the opportunity this past weekend to see what it felt like to sit aside (except not on a horse!) and now I'm very interested. Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

sidesaddlegirl said...

I find for hacking out, that Hattie is better with a cane but for dressage she goes better in long whip. She tends to ignore the cane for dressage butwith the whip, she just sees it and I don't actually have to use it.

The cane useful for me when hacking because it helps me keep her over to the side of the road.

I have an early Edwardian long side saddle whip that I use for dressage, it even has a little silver horse leg for the handle!

Do you find that you alternate between a whip and cane for hacking or schooling?

Julie said...

Sidesaddle girl - I only use a cane. I need to strong shaft for applying pressure...no matter what kind of riding we are doing.

cravingcocoa said...

I just found a bamboo walking cane from the 1880's with a silver cap on it that was actually owned by a local Michigan senator. It is 34" long. I know it's not an actual side saddle cane, but could it be used as one?