How To Choose The Best Riding Crop

Riding crops, contrary to what some people think, are not tools for beating a horse, but rather another layer of communication between a horse and a rider. When you need that extra little bit of encouragement and legs and voice are not quite enough, it’s helpful to have a riding crop just to remind your horse to keep his mind on the job. You can get riding crops made especially for different equestrian disciplines; for example a jumping crop is different from a dressage one and a hunting one, and so on.

Best Riding Crop Reviews

If you’re looking for the best riding crop you are in luck, because we have trawled the listings and found the three best products on the market for you to choose from.

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Riding Crops

Price

GABraden 18' Riding Crop Jump Premium Quality Crops,Equestrianism Horse Crop(Black)GABraden Horse Riding Crop

A great, functional crop, light weight and easy to handle .

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18' Real Riding Crop English Whip with Genuine Leather Top | Premium Quality Crops | Equestrianism Horse CropEnglish Whip With Genuine Leather Top

A good, standard crop for your horse.

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Jack Hardy Supply 18 inch Premium Riding Crop Whip for Equestrian SportsJack Hardy Supply Riding Crop

Universal crop, suitable for any discipline.

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1. GABraden 18” Jump Bat and Faux Leather Horse Riding Crop Review

GABraden 18' Riding Crop Jump Premium Quality Crops,Equestrianism Horse Crop(Black)

This is a good, no nonsense crop that is well made and will do exactly what it’s meant to. You can even choose an option to have a bit of rhinestone bling on the handle!

Pros

  • Ergonomic design makes this crop comfortable in the hand – The handle is designed to fit snugly in your hand, so it will be easy to hold and to manipulate.
  • Jump bat is high quality leather – Leather is a strong material, very suitable for horse riding equipment as it is hard wearing and durable, and will last for a long time.
  • Handle has a collar to prevent it slipping – There’s nothing worse than losing your crop mid ride and having to scramble about to get it back again. This one has a band that slips over your wrist so it’s not going anywhere even if you let go of it.
  • Light weight and easy to handle – You will barely even notice that you are carrying this crop, as it is carefully crafted to make sure it doesn’t add to your weight while riding.

Cons

  • Comes as a two pack – While this is not usually a down side of any product, if you are looking for just one type of riding crop then you will find yourself with one, potentially useless, extra when you buy this one.

Recommendation

A great, functional riding crop which is made from good materials and is designed with riding in mind, this one will undoubtedly become your favorite when out and about.

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2. 18” Real Riding Crop English Whip With Genuine Leather Top Review

18' Real Riding Crop English Whip with Genuine Leather Top | Premium Quality Crops | Equestrianism Horse Crop

A good riding crop which has the desired length and offers a good incentive for your horse.

Pros

  • Genuine leather construction – Many riding crops use cheap, fake leather materials, which are not as strong as real leather and do not have the same longevity. This one is the real deal, and its quality shines through.
  • 100% money back satisfaction guarantee – If you don’t like this crop you can easily return it for a refund, no questions asked. You shouldn’t have to, of course, but it’s comforting to have this back up.
  • Light weight and comfortable to carry – This crop’s shaft is made from fibreglass, which is sturdy and strong, yet light enough to not cause you problems carrying it. It is wrapped with nylon webbing to keep it protected.
  • A good incentive for your horse without pain – Taking care of our four legged friends is very important to all riders. This crop will give him the little jog he needs, without hurting him.

Cons

  • May arrive bent due to packaging – Some users have reported that this crop was delivered with the end bent, and that it is difficult to straighten out again.

Recommendation

A good, standard crop for helping your horse remember the job he has to do, without being cruel.

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3. Jack Hardy Supply Riding Crop For Horse Review

Jack Hardy Supply 18 inch Premium Riding Crop Whip for Equestrian Sports

This crop is perfect for beginners and professionals, and everyone in between. Unlike many, this one is suitable for any discipline and can be used for any type of riding.

Pros

  • Longer than most at 21” – If you have a larger than average horse, or you have shorter arms and need a longer crop to reach the right area, this is the one for you.
  • Comfortable hand grip with wrist loop – Having a crop that is comfortable in the hand is a must, and this one is designed to barely register when you carry it. It also has a handy wrist strap so that you won’t lose it overboard if you let go of it.
  • Perfect for training horses – This crop has a loud, commanding snap but will not make your horse feel any pain, making it ideal for getting youngsters used to doing what they are asked without hurting them.
  • No questions asked refund if you’re not happy – You can simply return this crop and receive your money back if it is not what you are looking for. This shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s nice to know.

Cons

  • Not 100% leather – For the purists who want all their equipment to made of the finest quality, this may not be the crop for you.

Recommendation

This is a good standard crop, designed for any rider doing any job. It is light and comfortable, and will make your horse sit up and take notice – just what you want from a riding crop.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does a riding crop hurt a horse?

It is said that today’s foam cushioned, lightweight riding crops do not hurt horses; however, there is quite a bit of controversy surrounding this. Modern riding crops are said to be designed to make a loud noise that startles the horse and does not to harm the horse.

Old-fashioned riding crops are another matter altogether. riding crops of old were quite heavy and could definitely cause some pain. Even so, the argument could certainly be made that startling your horse is not the best or kindest way to elicit results and that not all harm is physical.

Why use a riding crop?

A skilled rider can use a crop as a signal to the horse. Rather than hitting the horse with the crop, a skilled and knowledgeable rider might tap the horse lightly on the hindquarters or ahead of the saddle on the shoulder to signal intent.

When used in this way, a riding crop is a supplement to signals sent through the shifting of weight, legs cues and reins.

What are riding crops made of?

Modern riding crops typically have a light fiberglass or cane shaft that is sheathed in fabric or leather. The crop has a thick handle at one end for the rider to hold, a slim, flexible shaft and a very thin tress or cord called the keeper.

This is the only part of the crop that should make contact with the horse’s hide. There may also be a leather loop on the handle for the rider to slip over his or her wrist. The handle, itself, may be mushroom shaped for an easier grip.

What is the difference between a whip and a crop?

A whip is typically quite a bit longer than a crop. For example, a dressage whip is about 43 inches long. There are also hunting whips which are not actually used as whips. Instead, this type of whip has a hook on one end that facilitates the shutting and opening of the gates while on horseback.

On the other end of a hunting whip is a long, leather thong that can be used to prevent the hunting dogs from getting kicked by being too close to the horses’ legs.

Why is a riding crop shorter than a whip?

A riding crop is significantly shorter than a whip because it is intended to work on the principle of leverage. The rider should use just quick, controlled flicks of the wrist to implement the riding crop. A whip is a longer tool that is used from a distance for driving and for groundwork.

Is a riding crop a weapon?

A riding crop should never be used as a weapon or means of punishment against a horse, donkey or mule. The riding crop is intended specifically be used as a communication aid, not a form of punishment.

Modern riding crops wouldn’t make much of a weapon because they do not inflict much pain. Having said that, old-fashioned riding crops could be modified for use as a weapon.

In fact, in the old Sherlock Holmes novels, Holmes often used a loaded riding crop (one filled with lead or some other heavy material) as a preferred weapon.


Conclusion

When you are shopping for a riding crop, you want something that is strong and sturdy, one that will last a long time and that will give your horse the right kind of wake up call, without causing him any pain. The best riding crop will sit comfortably in your hand and will stick to you like glue – those wrist straps are especially helpful on hairy rides! Have a look through our lists and hopefully you can find the perfect riding crop for you and your horse.

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