BASIC TOOLS - MAKING AND USING A WHIP
The use of whips is very much neglected. We use
the horn and holloas in the same way as the huntsman, so why not the whip? The
whip is used to control the hounds if they are rioting after an animal they
shouldn't be, or to stop the hounds from going onto main roads, railways etc.
The hounds will stop at the whip because they have been trained to be scared of
it. So all the huntsman or whipper-in has to do is to crack the whip and the
hounds will stop dead. If you see a huntsman crack the whip near a hound you
will see it cower in fear. We can use this to our advantage by stopping hounds
when they are in full cry.
MAKING A WHIP The whip is an essential piece of sabbing hardware and is
very easy to make.
For the handle all you need is a piece of dowelling from a hardware shop.
This should be about 2/3 cm thick, and as short as possible so that it will fit
easily into your pocket. The best rope to use is climbing rope (or similar). The
rope for each whip should be about 1.5 metres long - the general rule is to hold
out your arm and let the rope hang to the floor - that is the length you want.
Tape about 8 cm of the rope around the dowelling using strong tape. To fasten
the rope to the dowelling, the best thing is a plastic clip (from electrical or
gardening shops) which, once fastened, can't be undone.
The cracking noise is made by adding a shoe lace, this only needs to be about
20 cm long. Tie this onto the end of the rope and put some tape around it. You
will be able to make it more secure by practising with different ways. Put a
knot near the end of the lace, this helps it to crack.
To crack the whip, lift the stick until the shoelace is just off the ground.
Flick the stick upwards and then downwards very fast so that the stick follows
down the line of the ascending rope. It may take a while but keep trying, you
will be able to do it with practice.
USING THE WHIP
IN THE FIELD The most
obvious place to make use of the whip is when hounds are in cry. Stand on the
line where the quarry has just gone. A few sabs should then start to crack their
whips when the hounds come near. They must also "rate" them (tell them off) so
that they think they are doing the wrong thing. A horn blower should stand at
right angles to the line of the quarry. The horn blower should have holloaed
first, then started to blow fast notes to encourage the hounds to come to them.
In theory the hounds will come to the horn blower and the sabs with the whips
should then move away from the line of the quarry so the huntsman doesn't know
where the quarry has gone.
A good time to use the whip is
when the quarry has changed direction and the sabs run to where the quarry has
gone to stop the hounds following the line. The horn blower should be
encouraging the hounds to hunt on as shown.
The whip can also be employed
when a quarry comes out of a covert. Sabs run in towards the covert and rate the
hounds back with voice and horn calls: