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Slapping the lines - Yes or No?

Updated: May 10, 2022

In the movies we often see people who are driving horses, slap the lines on their backs to ask them to go forward. In the case of stage coach drivers, they are wildly slapping and smashing the lines on their back, to make them go faster and faster. But is this the correct way of asking them to move forward? Is this a respectful way of communicating with our ponies? What is actually happening when we use the lines in this way?

I decided to make a video SHOWING what happens when we pick up our lines, move them and then slap them on our pony. I have opted to NOT show this with the bridle on Zorro because it would not be kind... SPOILER ALERT - SLAPPING THE LINES IS NOT A RESPECTFUL WAY OF COMMUNICATING WITH OUR PONIES!!

Not only is slapping the lines hard on their mouths, anytime you move your hands, move the lines, etc, you are moving the bit in their mouth. So, be mindful of HOW you move your hands, how you handle the lines, whether you are moving them to thread them through the rein turrets, or adjusting the length of the lines in your hands.


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