You zip up your vest, click into your pinny, grab your whip, and take a deep breath as you get a leg up before cross country. In the start box as the timer counts down, a million things race through your mind. Your fingers grip the reins and squeeze your whip extra tight as nerves and excitement fill your body. THIS is why you event.
But something’s different. The golden glint of your whip shimmers through the morning fog. Your name on the handle gives you confidence as if to say, “I’ve made it. I can do this.” Your team logo peeks through to remind why the early mornings and late nights … they’re counting on you.
Introducing Arias Whips. I had the opportunity to try a custom Arias Whip recently and while excited, I started out a bit skeptical. How would this be different than other whips on the market? Are they really so much better than a stock whip?
The process was a bit daunting at first — you really do customize everything from the popper, to the thread, and shaft. I’ll be honest, 25 years of riding and even working at the racetrack for a couple of years, and I had no clue what a popper was! As it turns out, it’s the flicky-thing at the end of the whip. You can choose a variety of different poppers and the website explains what each of them will do. It goes on the show all the options for colors, and customization, with detailed instructions on how each item should be decided. I was like a kid in a candy store! It was extremely difficult to pick a theme, colors, and what the handle should look like. I finally decided on black handle with gold sparkle and black shaft, to keep it simple so it would look classy for years to come. I chose my name and barn logo on the handle.
It took a few weeks to arrive, as expected, because Arias Whips deals in quality, not quantity. When it finally arrived (I saw the delivery driver lumber up our gravel drive), I was so excited I ran up to meet him! “My whip is here!” I spent 10 minutes relishing the beauty of the whip, the gorgeous detailing, and the extra soft grip … before panic set in. I had just finished riding my young horse River when the package came, put him in his stall, and forgot to latch the gate! I sprinted back to the barn, whip in hand — he was just standing there in his stall, gate wide open, happily munching his hay.
There’s something magical about this quality whip. The attention to detail, the craftsmanship, the lightweight body with a soft grip. When I held it in my hand, I felt like I was holding a magic wand of eventing.
Carlos Arias spent three decades as a jockey, and in 2007 he purchased a whip business from former jockey Orlando Garrido. Located in California near the Santa Anita Racetrack, he has elevated whip making to an art form. They offer jumping/eventing whips, and even dressage whips for jog ups.
If you have one whip in your career, make it an Arias Whip.
EN readers: Use the promo code ARIAS2017 for $20 off your next jump whip purchase!
Excitement: *** 3 Stars
Durability: *** 3 Stars
Variety: **** 4 Stars