Hunting Whip Thongs & How to Attach Them

Googling “How to attach a hunting whip thong” can yield some interesting results and is probably better not attempted in a public place.
There are instructions on various websites but my inability to think in 3D makes them difficult to follow.

So I thought to look in some old books:
In “The Horsewoman – A Practical Guide to Sidesaddle Riding” Alice Hayes gives us illustrations of thongs that are properly attached, incorrectly attached and “Not quite right”.

Correctly attached whip thongs

Correctly attached whip thongs


Incorrectly attached whip thongs

Incorrectly attached whip thongs

I find her instructions a little difficult to follow :
“The thong is about three feet ten inches long, is furnished with a lash,
which is about a foot long, and is attached to the keeper, which is a
leather loop at the end of the crop. Men generally like a thong of white
pipe-clayed leather, but as the colour is apt to come off and soil one’s
habit, a brown leather thong is best for ladies.

The keeper of the modern hunting whip has a slit, near its end, through
both thicknesses of leather. In attaching the thong, the loop at its
upper end is placed over the end of the keeper, and it is then passed
through the slit and drawn tightly (Fig. 86). The old-fashioned keeper,
which is still greatly in use, is a simple loop of leather, over which
the loop of the thong is put, and the remainder of the thong is threaded
through the opening at the end of the keeper (Fig. 87). A wrong way to
put on the thong is, in the first instance, to pass the loop of the
thong through (instead of over) the keeper (Fig. 88). Some authorities
might take exception to the way the thong is put on in Fig. 89.”

Next stop, “To Whom The Goddess” by Lady Diana Shedden and Lady Aspley, who give this marvellous advice :
“With regard to hunting-whips – do not call them “crops”; whip is the older word. They should never be ornamented, except with a plain silver band on which it is useful to have your name and address inscribed. The “thong” should be properly put on to the keeper – a good groom will show you how.” Not fabulously useful.

So this is my technique :

1)Turn the loop of plain leather at the top of the thong inside out
2)Post it through the slot in the keeper
3)Fold it back over the tip of the keeper (so that it’s no longer inside out)
4)Post the lash end of the thong through the loop and feed the whole thong through
5)Draw it tight

Well, it works for me.

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