A riding crop is used as a supplement to other riding equipment and can serve as an additional aid in communication between the horse and rider. A riding crop is not intended for punishing the horse but rather for providing clarification, encouragement, and, in some situations, correction.
As a correction, a riding crop is used only when necessary, such as to avoid a dangerous situation.
Dressage WhipA dressage whip is longer and slightly thinner, tapering at the end, often with a small thin flap or lash at the tip. The dressage whip is used delicately, and with small movements, you can tap or "touch" the horse to communicate various aids and signals. This can be done both from the ground and when mounted. When a dressage whip is used from the ground, it is seen as an extension of the rider's or handler's arm and is used to point or tap the horse for precise cues. The rider needs to move their hand very minimally to touch the horse with the dressage whip; only very small movements are required. The horse is touched on areas where it needs to engage its muscles to achieve the correct position in various types of collection. A dressage whip is primarily for clarifying communication between the horse and rider and is used only during training; it is not allowed during dressage competition. A dressage whip is usually around 100-110 centimeters long.
Jumping WhipA jumping whip is meant to be used on the horse's shoulder and is therefore much shorter than a dressage whip. The jumping whip is slightly thicker compared to the thin dressage whip and has a slightly larger or wider flap at the end called a "klatsch," which is typically made of leather or some type of synthetic material. The klatsch is intended to produce a sound that grabs the horse's attention. A common length for jumping whips is 60-65 cm, but longer options are also available. Weight and length can be determining factors in choosing a comfortable whip. Jumping whips can be used in show jumping competitions, and current regulations state that they can be a maximum of 75 centimeters long. In the competition's specific rulebook for each discipline, you can find information about all the rules regarding the horse's and rider's equipment in the competition. As mentioned earlier, no whip is meant for punishing the horse but may be used for correction when necessary.
All-Purpose WhipAn all-purpose whip could be considered a middle ground between a jumping and dressage whip, slightly longer than a jumping whip and somewhat shorter than a dressage whip. Some all-purpose whips have a loop that you can put around your wrist to prevent dropping it.