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Tapping a Horse

Modern horsemanship has brought with it some new applications for traditional tools like the whip.

Just the name conjures up images of brutality. But even in days past, the whip wasn't always used to inflict pain upon a horse; it could also be a more subtle communication device. French trainer J.P. Giacomini.

"Touch somebody with a whip with any kind of energy, it's sharp. It stings. And if it stings it gives adrenaline. Somebody comes behind you by surprise and gives you two or three little friendly taps, you're not going turn around ready to punch them. You're going to say, 'Oh. Who is that? What do you want?' The horse does the same thing."

J.P. uses a device he has named the Endo-Stick, which has a handle like a whip, but a foam rubber ball instead of a lash on the end. He rhythmically taps the horse with his Endo-Stick to calm the horse and put it in a learning frame of mind.


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