The Hog Slapper story.

One day in late February 2001, we got a phone inquiry from a man in Amsterdam who told us he collected toys that had the braided, flexible qualities of singletail whips, but he didn't have a slapper like that, so could we come up with one for one? So Lezlie put on her thinking hat to come up with a suitable design.

Having been a hobby farmer with small livestock (but not pigs) in the not too distant past, she knew there were slappers made for farm use, but she wasn't familiar with all of them. With a bit of digging around (this was back when the internet was young and much smaller than it is now), she got her hands on a couple of the larger nation-wide farm supply mailorder catalogues, and visited several "farm and home" stores in several towns in the Sacramento Valley where a good deal of animals are raised by larger operations, and she came home with a "hog slapper".

Re-envisioning it.

This traditional hog slapper had a long, narrow, flat and rigid leather body sewn together with a steel rod in it's center, although the slapper end of it wasn't all that great. They aren't used to beat on the pigs, to hit them in a disciplinary manner, but to steer them as they move around in the circular show ring so the judges can watch them, see their conformation and if they have the qualities of good meat pigs.

So this thing had to be re-envisioned, completely redesigned, keeping only the basic elements intact. Lezlie pretty quickly visualized her idea, and then called Whipmaker John to discuss it. On his end, there were still plenty of final design elements to flesh out that only he could do, since whipmaking was his specialty, not her's. It only took two experiments in construction and finishing details before both of them were satisfied with their invention! It officially became a Happy Tails product on April 17th, 2001!

The sensations of our Hog Slapper ®.

This is a serious toy that can leave red welts, lines, and marks if wanted. For lighter or warm-up play it can pink up your partner's skin quickly and effortlessly. These leave nice, lingering red marks when used hard. You can weild it overhand, underhand or from the side. You can use a pair, one in each hand, like flexible drumsticks! It's a really fun addition to anyone's toybag!

There are two key elements that make this slapper special. The singletail body is one of them, so there's lots of energy that travels from your hand and wrist actions down the body and into the slapper end when you throw them, and the two rectangular redhide slappers is the second. You'll want to hit your target flatly with the slappers, not on their edges. Using redhide was an important design decision. It's an extremely durable, moisture-resistant thick, heavy cowhide, frequently used to make inexpensive whips and saddlery gear that have to withstand hard use in all kinds of weather on Australia's big stations and many farms. Although it's thick and heavy, it's very flexible and fluid. It's a deep reddish-brown color, hence it's name.

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