What do we think of endotapping?

This is a spinoff from the licking and chewing thread.

We have a regional ground work trainer that does a nice clinic, mostly very good. He is also a fan of endotapping, which is basically you bop your horse all over with a little rubber ball on a stick until the horse relaxes, licks and chews.

I don’t really like it. The folks that have adopted it seem to bop their horses for longer and with more pressure than seems right to me. The last time I was in his clinic, I took a green Sensitive Flower OTTB mare. She would relax and drop her head if I rubbed her neck. Anything like endotapping would have been totally counter productive.

I was watching other people and not really seeing much positive effect. I’m not sure what the actual mechanism is. Sensory overload? Distraction?

Anyhow does anyone use it productively?

Keeping in mind that licking and chewing could be just relief you’ve stopped bopping the horse.

Seems like if you want some kind of sensory input activity, why not do strapping? At least the horse will look good afterwards…


Hadn’t heard of it until this thread, but we (the royal “we”) think a certain portion of horse owners are desperate to manufacture a greater emotional/spiritual ‘connection’ to their horse than the horse is offering to them (but they’ve bought into this idea that horses should be soul mates). This yearning for connection makes them ripe targets for gadgets, techniques, and training fads that produce a response in the horse that they can label “CONNECTION!”


Never heard of that, but seems that every horse trainer and clinician out there, especially those that are not defined by being at the top of their discipline, chooses some kind of gimmicky stuff to differentiate themselves from the herd.

Some have carrot sticks, special bridles or bits or games or touches or phrases.
I expect endotapping could be part of something like that.


Every horse I ever owned would have kicked me into next week if I tried that.

I’m willing to bet that these touchy-feely-oogie-woogie-snoogums people have those children that need to be in cages. You know the ones…


Duncan Toys Company manufactured the "Hi-Li Paddle Ball Toy "… never used it on a horse but it sure was great to annoy the cat

Wait, what? I don’t bop my horse with anything. I can’t even consider how that would translate into ‘horse’ except in terms of what-the-he!!-is-this-sorcery-for-the-love-of-alfalfa?

I do occasionally boop my horse on her nose. Once. Lightly. Before inserting treat into the receptacle immediately below as a reward for her tolerating my silliness.

Maybe people who come up with this stuff need to just get out of the barn and get their saddle blankets wet more often. Quit pestering them.


I’m confused. Why don’t we just scratch our horses’ withers or rub their polls or do a little massage over their necks, as they prefer?

Is it because a special Endotapping Stick ™ is $100?


I saw a video about this years ago, I think w JP Giacomini. The constant tapping relaxes the horse and it will lower its head. Seems useful.

Yes, that’s what they say. I haven’t really seen it work.

It sounds like a vaguely uncomfortable medical procedure: I have to schedule an endotapping, so I fast before I go?


Yes, that was JP Giacomini, back in the day. I don’t know about relaxation, but I have used a similar (tennis-ball-free) technique to annoy my overly dramatic boys into submission. :grin:


Well, this is not at all what I was envisioning. It’s just a dressage whip with a tiny foam ball on it, doing dressage whip things.The idea on the ground is that when you tap the horse they drop their head, apparently very fast, as if diving for grass? Under saddle it’s quite literally a dressage whip.


The folks I know that do this are also the same ones that:

  • Keep dangerous horses way too long, get hurt by them multiple times but claim their persistence is because they want to do everything they can to save the poor beast
  • Don’t ride or know how to ride their horses in a way that encourages relaxation - i.e overly focused on “the bond” to the point that they don’t notice that yes, they can canter the horse without a bridle but nevermind the fact that he’s moving like an arthritic giraffe
  • Are into all sorts of other “alternative” therapies/training methods and…
  • Happily drink the Koolaid when it comes to all of them

@Abbie.S – I never could understand the kind of “riders” that you described above. However, as I have gotten older and had more time to absorb the wisdom of COTH, I’ve learned a bit. Someone posted one time that there are two, maybe three (possibly more) kinds of “horse owners.” Some own horses to ride: my own kiddos keep their horses at lovely boarding stables and only go out to ride/ train pretty much daily. I have horse acquaintances (used to be horse friends, but not so much now) who have horses on their own property, feed, brush, care for horses daily, but NEVER ride. I have a few who split the difference with riding but only once in a blue moon . . . and (oddest group of all to me) I met when my horse was selected as a Breyer model and was asked to appear at the conference center where the Model Horse Show was being held (huge place, well attended, yes, over 1000 people) Many bought the statue of my horse, then had a picture taken with him --many asked that the picture be with him in his pen --not outside --they were afraid of horses! But had many model horses --and obviously loved horses. Me? I keep mine at home, interact wit them on the ground and in the saddle, ride every day and sometimes twice a day. But I’m retired and rather do as I please.

My point is that maybe everyone doesn’t interact or train their horses how you and I know is best (my pet peeve is folks who treat them like dogs or small children and keep up a constant chatter of explanation of what’s happening --had a lady try to load a horse for better part of 3 hours by telling the horse everything about trailers, trailering, cars, (practically read the owner’s manual) while walking the horse around and around the trailer --stopping now and then to ask the horse, “are you ready to load now?”

Anyway --these folks clearly love their horses and for the most part seem to care for them well. Although I understand their way is not wrong -just different than me --I still rather avoid them --life is too short.


I’m judging everyone who does this now, not just because they call “annoying horse with a foam ball” a training technique, but because none of these people understand how to fit a saddle pad to a saddle and a horse. And that’s probably going to cause the horses more harm than being annoyed by a foam ball.


No foam ball, but a BNT (Dressage) had me doing this with just the whip, on the ground, for a very keyed-up TWH over 10yrs ago.
TapTapTap softly - flank, belly, neck - until head lowered.
It worked to relax the horse, so my ride post-tapping was quieter.

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Agreed, to a certain extent. I have zero issue with “different strokes for different folks” and am fine living and let live. What I’ve noticed over the years about most of the people who fall into one (or more) of the categories I mentioned is while they appear to love their animals (and I don’t doubt they believe they do) they have a misplaced understanding of what “love” is.

I know there are a number of horse owners, including many CoTHers, who don’t believe horses can love, but I simply haven’t found that to be true. A mentor introduced me to the concept of requisite love in horsemanship years ago and it changed how I viewed my role in the horse’s life. My job was not simply just to satisfy their needs when it came to husbandry practices. It wasn’t just to give them exercise and attention. It wasn’t even just to keep them in good health. It was to do ALL of these things in a way that was meaningful first and foremost to the horse. It required much more awareness from me and a willingness to accept the horse’s perspective as the only one that really mattered in my relationship with them.

The result has been rather freeing: I have no timelines or agendas (although I do have goals/things I work towards) and I have no desire to compete with someone else or demonstrate my superiority. I have my horses going with much more consistency and pleasure in their work than I ever have at any other point in my life. I have no room or need for drama, the newest latest and greatest or anything else that might distract from the deeper work I’m doing. My horses are well-mannered, relaxed, fit, happy, healthy and relatively low maintenance, all things considered. All that right there tells me what I need to know about how they feel about me and what I ask of them.

So I don’t begrudge the types of horse folk we’re talking about, but I do recognize where how they operate stems from and that often, as an instructor, I have little chance of changing that. It’s so much deeper than their understanding of horses.


Every person in the video needs to shorten their stirrups by varying degrees.

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The narrator says that the horse is not forced or made to lower it’s head. The guy in the stall with the chestnut is doing exactly that, pulling the horse’s head down while tapping. Min. 1.40

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