What the fall does
The fall attaches to the thong via a hitch. A fall is there to give the whip balance and to reduce the wear on the thong, so if you hit the ground, sharp rocks etc, it is less likely that you will damage the thong. If you have the wrong size fall for a particular whip, the whip will not work as well and you may do more damage than good.
Some people think if they get a thicker heavier fall they are getting better value, but a fall that is too thick and heavy for a whip will fatigue the thong just behind the fall hitch and will eventually break the thong. A kangaroo leather whip is very susceptible to this. Thicker leather whips such as cow hide whips are more robust, tube whips are very robust and any practical size fall will fit a tube whip and not wear out the thong. A general size fall for different types of whips is stated below.
How to replace a fall
The fall is usually quite easy to replace, the photos below show how to replace the fall on a leather whip and a tube whip. The fall is usually a piece of cow leather about 600mm long and tapered down from about 8mm to 4mm wide and around 3mm to 4mm thick for a kangaroo whip.
For a cow hide whip about 10mm to 5mm wide taper, 3mm to 5mm thick and around 600mm long.
A tube whip can have a braided rope fall of around 5mm thick, 500mm long or a leather fall of about 10mm to 5mm wide, taper 3mm to 5mm thick and around 600mm long.
When the fall is worn back to about 350mm it will need to be replaced, you can replace it yourself or go to your local saddlery shop, they may also be able to replace it for you. Saddlery shops usually stock falls so you can buy one and put it on yourself or you may like them to do it for you, up to you.
Replacing a fall on a leather whip.
Find a fall suitable for your whip.
Feed the new fall over.
Cut the old fall just behind the hitch.
Pull the old fall out.
Feed the new fall through, making sure there is no twists in the fall.
Keep on pulling it through until you nearly get to the end.
Find the piece of leather, put it through the fall loop and pull on the fall tightly. Some hitch knots may not have this.
Trim of leather at end of fall if there is to much.
(WARNING: Because I use a very sharp knife there is hardly any pressure used to make the cut. If you do not have a very sharp knife it is better to cut away from yourself so you do not cut yourself.)
The fall is now replaced and should look like this.
Some falls are attached differently and the whole hitch will have to be untied and retied to replace the fall. You can tie a new hitch on any type of leather whip, the way I have shown in the hitch description.
How to replace a fall on a tube whip (rope fall)
Find a rope about 5mm thick and around 600mm long. Tie a non-slip knot in each end such as a figure eight knot.
Put the fall loop over the loop at the end of the thong.
Put the loop at the other end of the fall through the loop at the end of the thong.
Pull tight and it is done.
How to replace a fall on a tube whip (leather fall)
Put the fall loop over the loop at end of thong.
Put the end of the fall through the loop at the end of thong.
Pull tight and it is done, it should look like this.
Click on the bubbles to find out more about the Australian stock whip.