The history behind the handmade Arkansas Bullwhip
Born & raised in Heber Springs, AR J.R. was raised up on the farm. At 9 years old, his older brother, Mickey, taught him how to braid. That winter J.R. made his first bullwhip out of 550 paracord. Not until the late 90's though, after experimenting with different handles, the cane handle with a core was the key. That is when Mr. Zoppe, a friend of J.R.'s, brought in a man visiting from Australia that was active in his families circus. He often used a leather bullwhip during his shows & needed J.R. to repair one for him. J.R. did just that, but he also sold him one of his handmade bullwhips as well, which is when he decided to start numbering them. To date he has made over 600 bullwhips since that day.
Most of his bull whips have been made while kicked back in his recliner right here in the upstairs of this old building. When Leah took over, J.R. found him a new spot in front of his big rock fireplace where you can usually find him braiding or cat napping. Each one is made by hand from start to finish & even at 80 years old, he's still going strong! We keep a good stock of colors & sizes, but if you would like one custom made, he will be glad to do it. All custom orders take 1 week to make. Color choices are available in store & pricing is as follows:
SWITCH - $10/foot
BULLWHIP - $12/foot
BULLWHIP WITH BRAIDED HANDLE - $15/foot
We also keep stock of his custom made reins, lead ropes, neck ropes, goat strings, etc. Call us at (501) 327-3667 to see what colors we have in stock or to make sure he can make exactly what you are needing.