Questions are welcome!

If you have any questions about whips or whip cracking that are not answered in the FAQ, then feel free to leave a comment here or on the appropriate page.

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8 Responses to Questions are welcome!

  1. Chad Koenen says:

    I would like to crack a whip off of my horse to chase cattle. What Whip you recommend, what motion do I need to learn ( forward crack, overhead crack)? Any help would be great !

    • Andrew says:

      The American bullwhip and the Aussie stock whip are both for cattle herding on horseback, but they are carried and used differently. The bullwhip is carried coiled in a saddlebag (hence the short handle), and the stock whip is worn over the shoulder with the stock (handle) in front and the thong dangling down the back. Stock whips longer than about six or seven feet are just for show and bragging rights, as they would drag on the ground if carried in this way. You don’t want to crack your whip too close to your horse. With a bullwhip you would use an overhead crack for this and with the stock whip you angle the handle out a little and use a forward crack by the side of the horse (or use the overhead crack).

      Of course the horse must be trained to be used to the noise of the whip. I know one of Anthony DeLongis’s old VHS videos had advice on this. I’m not sure if it’s on his current training DVDs but you could drop him a line at and find out.

  2. Dana says:

    Hi there,
    Two of my friends are big fans of Indiana Jones and are getting married soon. As a gift, I would love to get them a lesson in how to crack whips. Do you know of anyone in the New York City area or Northern Virginia (where the wedding will be held) who might be able to do this?
    Many thanks,

    • Andrew says:

      What a great wedding gift! You could try Lauren Muney who is a professional coach and western arts stage performer. She’s based in the Washington/Baltimore area so could probably make it to Northern Virginia. If that doesn’t work out, then join the WhipEnthusiasts group on Yahoo Groups and ask there.

  3. Gary Stuckey says:

    I lead history tours concerning the Santa Fe Trail in the US and would like to demonstrate using a bull whip as an attention-getter for the audience. What is the easiest crack to make? (I have a 10-foot bullwhip as that was a common one used at that time.)
    Thank you.

    • Andrew says:

      Ten foot is quite a long bullwhip to learn on. You might want to start with a six or eight foot whip and learn on that. If you are starting with a ten foot whip, I would go with the overhead crack – with a shorter whip the forward crack. The timing on the forward crack with a long whip is tricky unless you have a coach. Learning the overhead crack you are likely to wrap the whip around your head a few times – do wear eye protection and a cowboy hat, or if you are really risk averse, borrow a motorcycle helmet! Note that you will need lots of space for the overhead crack with a ten foot whip – at minimum a circle 30 feet in diameter. The forward crack happens all in one vertical plane, so you can do it sideways to the audience and have them closer. The overhead crack would be most commonly used on horseback with a bullwhip. Someone driving a wagon would have a longer handled whip and would use the coachman’s crack or forward crack.

      A crack used by a cowboy is to drive cattle, so he just had to keep it away from his horse – hence he cracks overhead and in front of his (well trained) horse. The driver of a stagecoach (called the “whip” just as the guard was the shotgun) cracked to move his team of horses forward, so he would crack behind the horses, but in front of himself, hence the coachman’s crack.

      There’s a great description (involving whips) of the arrival of a caravan on the Santa Fe Trail:

      ‘Los Americanos!’ ‘Los Carros!’ ‘La Entrada de la caravana!’ were to be heard in every direction and crowds of women and boys flocked around to see the new comers; while crowds of leperos hung about as usual to see what they could pilfer. The wagoners were by no means free from excitement at this occasion. Informed of the ordeal they had to pass, they had spent the previous morning in ‘rubbing up,’ and now they were prepared with clean faces, sleek combed hair, and their choicest Sunday suit, to meet the fair eyes of glistening black that were sure to stare at them as they passed. There was yet another preparation to be made in order to ‘show off’ to advantage. Each wagoner must tie a brand new ‘cracker’ to the lash of his whip; for, on driving through the streets and the plaza publica, every one strives to outvie his comrades in the dexterity with which he flourishes this favorite badge of his authority.


  4. Suzanne Langlais says:

    How do you wear a whip? You can’t tuck it into a belt loop – how do you keep it all coiled up, but ready to go?

    • Andrew says:

      You can use a whip holster, which snaps closed around the whip. However, in real use on horseback, a bullwhip would be mostly rolled up in the saddlebag when not in use, and a stock whip worn over the shoulder.

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