Lost my grip and my whip slips. Advice?

The title says it all. Because of arthritis in my hands weakening my grip I am finding that my whip is slipping through my hand by about 6 inches. I have no problems with the lines but whips being tapered the way they are slide through. Any suggestions? Gloves make things worse because of the bulk. Do I need a better balanced whip or is this just the way it’s going to be and I need to adjust? I’m using a cheaper driving whip with a short dropped lash right now and a dressage whip (good length for the mini) and it’s the same with both, I may be better with the dropped lash but not much. TIA.

Try wrapping some dark (black)
vet wrap strategically around the whip as a bumper ~ to stop the slide through ••• Or to hold.

Once you decided on placement you may wish to replace the vet wrap with Latex wrap … used to wrap bits.

  • remember to double back the end of wrapping material so you can remove and replace as needed without using a knife.

^ if I understood what is happening ?

You have “handholds” sewn on your lines correct ?


Zu_Zu I think this will work! Thank you :slight_smile:
I don’t have hand holds on my lines. I do have a pair but I’m hesitant to use them, partly because I’m afraid they will make my hands “hard”.

Before you wrap it with electric or duct tape I would wrap it with Velcro (the straps that stick to themselves, easy to find in Amazon) then put the electric or duct tape over the Velcro. That way you can adjust it without leaving perma sticky stuff on your whip handle. (I have to add bumper handholds to my riding and driving reins for similar reasons and this is my go to method. Also the Velcro straps make the BEST extra keepers for harnesses.

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who said electrical or duct tape ?

One should not leave any wrap on their whip handle indefinitely unless a practice whip/ certainly not their show whip - the wrap must be maintained in order not to mar the whip handle, but I would never ‘fix’ my driving equipment with electrical or duct tape !
Any vet wrap or latex would be a small amount - and doubled back for easy removal.

Hand holds do not ‘make heavy hands’,
they enable one to grasp without slippage (as any adjustment is made in fingers, wrists or elbows, when and if necessary - thus ensuring gentle hands - IMHO

Usually three loops / hand holds are sewn on driving lines for training and show.

  • Hand holds are loops sewn on lines, and infrequently on reins, to help one hold their lines / reins accurately and securely without the need to grab their lines/reins shorter or allow their lines to slip through their hands to a longer length.

The sewn on hand holds are better than the type one attaches to the lines.

I’m not understanding what ‘bumper hand holds’ are ? You are combining two terms ?
Hand Holds with hand stops ???
Please provide a picture.

Nunn Finer reins with hand stops help with secure hands on reins.

Hand holds can be sewn on either reins or lines.
I’m not familiar with bumper handholds on any driving lines used for show.

What am I missing here ?!

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Bumper handholds intrigue me. Are they so the lines/reins don’t slip looser? Are the placed behind your hands so if horse get strong reins won’t slid through?

Cayuse, my term for the reinforcement I add to my rein stops (riding and driving) on my rein (with stops of course). About 12 years ago I had a near amputation of the thumb on my dominant arm, between that and various arm surgeries, keeping reins stabilized in my hands requires a wee bit of assistance (recovering from rotator cuff sx currently… Sigh). This really helps considerably!

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Bless your heart…

But I did “fix” it for my hands. And at a national championship to boot.

Good for you ! Sounds lovely !

Btw * You’re not the only one who drives after rotator cuff surgery and I still do not use electrical tape or duct tape on my harnesses !

Hand holds professionally sewn onto reins and lines are for aiding in secure handling of reins and lines !

Bless your heart & your electrical and duct tape !

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The reins have rein stops and 20 days post sx, I certainly haven’t driven yet, but that never really was the issue.

Interesting how many of us drivers have rotator cuff issues. All my years driving, I had at least one torn rotator cuff, and in later years, both. I never got either one fixed. There are days I can’t even wash my hair properly, but I never had any adaptive equipment. It helps that the pony I drove most of my driving years was very lazy, and had no concept of pulling. I didn’t compete, so I could use verbal commands for him instead of rein cues.

My husband gave me a lesson with a pair of Percherons for my birthday one year, and they hadn’t been out for months. The owner said “they might be a bit fresh.” Um, yeah, I thought I was going to dislocate both shoulders, but they were still a thrill to drive. Big difference between them and my ponies.


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No No - my rotator cuff surgery - complete tear was due to a flying dismount / body slam off my 3 yr. old ASB. My heart horse ~ completely my fault … a case of she caught me not paying attention and a gust wind blowing a ton of leaves in the door of the indoor across our pathway. She was just being a green three year old.

Never affected my driving or riding once repaired … no modifications needed

Like I said a few times above, the rotator cuff is not the problem, never was, even when I competed all last season at intermediate with it torn. It was having the thumb reattached. Turns out my hand strength/mobility just ain’t what it used to be, but in the word of my surgeon, it’s attached and I think we can all agree the alternative was less fun.

Either way we can still chalk it up to a personal failing that has clearly offended ZuZu for reasons that would mystify me if this was someone I respected or hell, even knew.

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I was simply answering c.’s post ? concerning her whip/ hand slippage. I was alarmed with the idea of using electrical tape or duct tape on harness/ driving equipment. It’s simply against my religion …I’ve only ever had a skilled leather man, a professional, modify or repair my equipment.

I did not bring up the rotator surgery
I did not start the “Bless your heart cra_

I am not the Coth bitch, but I will no longer allow others to take swipes at me. I stand by my posts. Stop playing the “victim” !
Again • as you so elegantly said “Bless Your Heart”


Since OP asked about a whip, may I suggest suggest using tennis racquet handle wrap? There are various kinds, both thin and padded. The thicker, padded type could increase the whip diameter, grippy feel, to reduce any slipping. They come in black, not real eye grabbing, when driving. We almost never actually hold a whip by the handle portion, balance is off with the length tipping your hand all the time. So wrapping from the handle (or covering it to blend better) can be easily done farther up the stick to the balance point… Wrap it twice or more if a big diameter handle is easier to grip. My arthritic friends seem to prefer bigger diameter things to hold, not so much finger bending.

I also use the thin tennis handle wrap on the carriages to cover metal hand grips, prevent hands slipping for getting on or off, wet days, MARATHON times! I find a length covers about14-18 inches, depending on how much overlap you do. Packages usually have 3 lengths. They seem to last a year or so, depending on how often you or groom uses the carriage handles. Gloves are recommended for MORE grip when holding on. Wrap lengths have no stick-um, so are easy to remove, no residue on the metal. Aged Vetrap is HORRIBLE! It leaves lots of glue on the metal, which takes a lot of work removing. I found Vetrap to not last long with daily use as handle wrap, quite slippery when wet. The tennis wrap has been a nice improvement for grip.

On the reins, I would not recommend any sticky tapes, because the glues leave residue. Duct tape and electric both leave everlasting stickiness on my stuff! Sure do not want that on my nice leather reins! Options might be rosin, like the baseball kids put on their gloves. Certainly increases “grippyness!” I have not noticed it discoloring leather on light color baseball gloves, so it should be OK for tan reins. You might want to try rosin on your driving gloves first, see if that is enough stick-um to not need rosin on the reins at all. Easier to change gloves than a nice pair of reins!

Another option is the webbing handle reins of cotton. Or the rubberized web reins sold by various harness makers. Zilco, Ideal, etc. The cotton webbing is just for the hand parts. Or cut a pair of reins to change hand parts to webbing. A harness maker can do that for you. Just cut far enough back that webbing is not running thru any rings to wear on it. We got a set of webbing handed reins with other tack, husband likes them on rainy days, not slippery like wet leather gets. Cotton webbing is thicker than most “ladies or pony” reins, so might be easier to grip comfortably pleasure driving.

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Learn something new about the world every day…didn’t know that parts of the driving world hate electrical tape. I’ve long been taught to use it on exposed snaps if (for some reason) they can’t be replaced with a buckle. So, the tool box on the cart has electrical tape in it. Then again, nothing is actual leather either…
But, on reins, I can see avoiding the sticky stuff.
A question for the OP? I’ve found that a thicker whip is easier in some instances and a thinner one in others. It sounds like the thinner whip is better, but perhaps not as well balanced as the heavier one? For a long term solution, I’d be playing around with what combo of thickness and weight is best, it may take an awful lot of experimentation. Thin and heavy can be created.


Do you find the tennis wrap better than the bat wrap? That’s what I use on my old MCR whip I use at home (that’s another recommendation, I don’t think there’s a lighter, more balanced one out there, it’s even lighter than the speck carbon fiber whips).

I totally agree with you about any sticky or self sticking stuff, it’s going to leave residue sooner or later, sooner in the deep south. The key is to wrap a thin Velcro strap around the rein, then put the [insert sticky thing that causes you the least personal angst]. Then the only thing it leaves a residue on is the thing you can take off. Also the velcro helps make the stop or bumper a bit bigger, and you can make more wraps depending on how thick you need it.

These are the things I use. They are also extremely useful to create an emergency keeper. I’m very popular on marathon days when I break out a pack of velcro straps.

VELCRO Brand ONE-WRAP Cable Ties | 100Pk | 8 x 1/2" Black Cord Organization Straps | Thin Pre-Cut Design | Wire Management for Organizing Home, Office and Data Centers https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001E1Y5O6/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_FP7QZ46HB1HN2C3DHMN2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

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Great suggestions DMK! I will definately trying them out. The little velcro straps sound really handy. I have them, just never used them as you describe.

I never saw bat wrap for sale. I will have to search it out and give it a try. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Those MCR whips are really light, great in helping arthritic hands and fragile wrists. I think you meant Fleck whips as a second choice, but auto-correct “helped” you call them specks instead. We like both brands.

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Gel handled whip ?

Gel wrap;


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Gel wrap looks intriguing and comfortable.
I may invest in a better whip and see if that helps.