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Hints on horsemanship, to a nephew and niece : or, Common sense and common errors in common riding / by an officer of the Household Brigade of Cavalry [i.e. George Greenwood]. Greenwood, George, 1799-1875. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b98-57-43602832 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Hints on horsemanship, to a nephew and niece : or, Common sense and common errors in common riding / by an officer of the Household Brigade of Cavalry [i.e. George Greenwood]. Greenwood, George, 1799-1875. E. Moxon, London : 1839. 105 p. : ill. ; 17 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 2000. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PA-23166-98) ; SOL MN08681.05 KUK) s2000 gaun a Printing Master B98-57. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Horsemanship. Horses.An officer of the Household Brigade of Cavalry. HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. -U iE a This page in the original text is blank. HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP, A Nepbetu anlt Wiae; oit, COMMON SENSE AND COMMON ERRORS IN COMMON RIDING. BY AN OFFICER OF TIHE HOUSEHOLD BRIGADE OF CAVALRY. , 0N1) ON: EDl7'.kRf) MOXON, DOV'ER STREET. LONDON: PRADBURY AND EVANS, PRINTERS, WHIThFIJA RS. HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. WHEN you wish to turn to the right, pull the right rein stronger than the left: this is common sense. The common error is precisely the reverse: the common error is, when you wish to turn to the right, to pass the hand to the right. By this, the right rein is slackened, and the left rein is tight- ened, across the horse's neck; and the horse is required to turn to the right, when the left rein is pulled. It is to correct this common error, this monstrous and perpetual source of bad riding, and bad usage to good animals, that these pages are written. England is the only European country which admits of B ITINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. more than one style of riding. But in all Europe, even in England, there is but one style of riding taught, as a system: that style is the manege, or military style. The military style is, and must ever be, essentially a one-handed style, for the soldier must have his right hand at liberty for his weapons. The recruit is, indeed, made to ride with a single snaffle, in two hands; but only as a preparatory step to the one-handed style. His left hand then becomes his bridle hand: and that hand must hold the reins in such a manner as will require the least possible aid from the sword hand to shorten them, as occasion may require. This is with the fourth finger from the thumb only between them. For these reasons, as far as soldiers are concerned, I do not see how the present system can be altered for the better; unless it be by placing three fingers of the left hand between the reins, instead of the fourth finger only: namely, the second, third, and fourth fingers from the thumb of the left hand. The reins held in this way, are as easily and as quickly 2 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. shortened, by drawing them with- the right hand through the left, as if they wvere separated by the fourth finger only. I always adopt this mode myself when my sword is in my hand, and should think it worth trial for all soldiers. But I see no reason why, because soldiers are compelled to guide their horses with the left hand only, and with the fourth finger only between the reins, that ladies and civilians should be condemned to the same system. On the contrary, I would have ladies ride in general with single-curb bridles. But they, as well as gentlemen, when double bridles are used, should ride with only one at a time. The rein of the other .should lie loose or knotted up on the horse's neck: and they should use both hands to the reins, whether of the curb or the snaffle, precisely the same as a rough-rider, or colt-breaker, uses the reins of a single snaffle; except that the reins should pass outside the fourth fingers from the thumb, instead of between them and the third fingers. Fasten the ends of a rein, or a piece of tape of the same B3 2 3 4HINTS ON' 1ORSEMAN.SHIP. length, to the upper part of the outside rails of the back of a chair: pull the reins enough to raise two of the legs off the ground, and to keep the chair balanced on the remaining two. Take vour reins as ladies and soldiers are taught to take them, both grasped in the left hand, the fourth finger only between them, an(l (I quote from the regulations of the English cavalry) " the top of the thumb firmly closed on them-the upper part of the arm hanging straight down from the shoulder-the left elbow lightly touching the hip-the lower part of the arm square to the upper-little finger on a level with the elbow-wrist rounded outwards-the back of the hand to the front-the thumb pointing across the body- the hand opposite the centre of the body, and three inches from it.' In this position, we are taught, " the little finger of the bridle hand has four lines of action:-First, towards the breast (to stop or rein back); second, towards the right shoulder (to turn to the right); third, towards the left shoulder (to turn to the left) ; fourth, towards the horse's 4 hINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. 5 head (to advance)." Try the second motion: you wvill find it a very nice operation, and that you are capable of shortening the right rein only in a very slight degree. You will also find that, if the hand ceases to be precisely opposite the centre of the body,-that the moment it is passed to the right, the right rein becomes slackened, and the left rein is pulled. This is still more the case when the horse's neck is between the reins; the left rein is then instantly shortened across the neck. I will not assert that the art of riding thus is unattainable and impossible, though it has ever been so to me; and though, in my own experience, I never knew a cavalry soldier, rough- rider, riding-master, or any horseman whatever, who turned his horse, single-handed, on the proper rein. But I may assert, that it is an exceedingly nice and difficult art. It is the opera--dancing of riding; and it would be as absurd to put the skill of its professors in requisition, in common ridling or across country, as to require Taglioni to chasser over HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. a ploughed field:-for single-handed indications, supposing them to be correctly given, which, as I said before, I have never known; but, supposing them to be correctly given, they are not sufficiently distinct to turn a horse, except in a case of optimism: that is, supposing for a short time, a perfectly broken horse, in perfect temper. perfectly on his haunches, going perfectly up to his bit, and on perfect ground. Without all these perfections,-suppose even the circum- stance of the horse being excited or alarmed, or becoming violent from any other cause; that he is sluggish, or sullen; that he stiffens his neck, or pokes his nose,-single-handed indications are worth nothing. But as for riding a horse perfectly on his haunches, through a long day's journey, or in rough or deep ground, or across country, one might as well require infantry to make long, forced marches at ordinary time, and strictly preserving their touch and dressing, or -still to compare it with opera-dancing-Coulon to go through a day's shooting with the pas (le Zwphir. 6 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. But correct, single-handed indications, with the fourth finger only between the reins, will not be obeyed by one horse in ten thousand. Try them in driving: there the terret- pad prevents their being given incorrectly, and a bearing rein, a severe bit, and a whip, give you every advantage in keeping your horse collected : you will find them wholly inefficient. The soldier, who is compelled to turn to the right, by word of command, when the correct indication is unanswered, in despair throws his hand to the right. The consequence is, that no horse is a good soldier's horse, till he has been trained to turn on the wrong rein. Without the same excuse for it, the sanie may be said of all ladies, and all civilians, who ride with one hand only; and of almost all who ride with two hanlds; for, strange to say, in turning, both hands are generally passed to the right or left; and I have known many of what may be called the most perfect straiqlidforward hands--that is men, who, on the turf, would hold the mIiost difficult three-year-old to the steady HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. stroke of the two-mile course, and place him as a winner to half a length; who, in the hunting-field, wvould ride the hottest, or the most phlegmatic made hunter, with equal skill, through all difficulties of ground, and over every species of fence, with admirable precision and equality of hand; or, who, on the exercise ground, would place his broken charger on his haunches, and make him walk four miles an hour, canter six and an half; trot eight and an half, and gallop eleven, without being out in either pace a second of time; but who have marred all by the besetting sin of side-feeling-of turning the horse on the wrong rein. The consequence is, that they can ride nothing which has not been trained to answer wrong indications. This is something like steaming without steering. Set them on a finely-broken horse or a colt, and they become helpless children,-the powerless prisoners of the brutes that they bestride. How often does one see one's acquaintance in this distressing situation, with courage enough to dare what man HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. dare, but without the power to do what the rough-rider has just done ! First comes the false indication of the rider; then the confusion and hesitation of the horse; next the violence of the rider; then the despair and rebellion of the horse. The finish is a fractured limb, from a rear or a runaway; the poor brute is set down as restive, and in fact becomes more or less a misanthrope for the rest of his days. I have seen the gentle and brave, under such circumstances, act very much like the cruel and cowardly; that is to say, first rough an innocent animal for their own fault, and then yield to his resistance. It is in consequence of this that we find so many restive horses ; that so fev thorouogh-bred horses-that is horses of the highest courage-can be made hunters ; that, in fact, almost all high-couraged young horses become restive, after leaving the colt-breaker's hands. It is, indeed, in consequence of this that the class of people called colt-breakers exists at all. For if we all rode on their principle, which is the true 9 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. principle, any groom, or moderately good rider, could break any colt, or ride any restive horse. There is a common error, both in theory and practice, with regard to the restive horse. He is very apt to rear side- ways against the nearest wall or paling. It is the common error to suppose that he does so with the view of rubbing his rider off. Do not give him credit for intellect sufficient to generate such a scheme. It is, that when there, the common error is to pull his headfrom the wall. This brings the rider's knee in contact with it; consequently all farther chastisement ceases. For were the rider to make his horse plunge, his knee would be crushed against the wall. The horse, finding this, probably thinks that it is the very thing desired, and remains there; at least he will always again fly to a wall for shelter. Instead of from the wall, pull his head towards it, so as to place his eye, instead of your knee, against it; continue to use the spur, and he will never go near a wall again. 10 HINTS ON HORSEMANS\I1P. No horse becomes restive in the colt-breaker's hands; nor do any when placed in their hands remain so. The reason is, that they invariably ride with one bridle and two hands, instead of two bridles and one hand. When they wish to go to the right, they pull the right rein stronger than the left. When they wish to go to the left, they pull the left rein stronger than the right. These are indications which, if the colt will not obey, he will at least understand, the first moment he is mounted; and which the most obstinate will not long resist. But, as may be supposed, it takes a long time to make him under- stan(l that lie is to turn to the right when the left rein is pulledl, and to the lcft when the right rein is pulled; and it is only the meek sI)irited and docile who will do this at all. Such however is the general docility of the animal, that a great proportion are, after long ill usage, taught to answer these false indications. In the same way that a cart-horse is brought to turn right or left, by the touch of the whip on the I I 12 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. opposite side of the neck, or by word from his driver; and indeed, such is the nicety to which it may be brought, that you constantly hear persons boast that their horses will " turn by the weight of the reins on the neck." This, however, only proves the docility of the horse, and how badly he has been ridden; for a horse which has been finely broken, should take notice only of the indications of his rider's hand on his mouth, not of any feeling of the reins against his neck. By indications generally, I mean the motions and applica- tion of the hands, legs, and whip, to direct and determine the paces, turnings, movements, and carriage of the horse. I have used the word throughout instead of " aids," as being nerhaps more explanatory, and certainly less liable to abuse. For common sense tells us that a horse receives no aid from a pull in the mouth with a piece of iron, or a blow from a whip, or a kick in the side from an armed heel, however these may indicate to him the wishes or commands of his rider. It is the common error to suppose that he is aided HINTS ON HORSEIMANSHIP. and supporte(l both by the hand and leg. I beg my pupil to believe, that the horse's legs support the rider, and not the ridser's the horse; that the horse carries the rider, and not the rider the horse -- more than this, that the rider cannot lift the horse, nor hold him up, when in the act of falling. How often do wve hear a man assert, that he has taken his horse up, between his hands and legs, and lifted him over a fence; that he has recovered his horse on the other side, or that his horse would have fallen with him forty times, if he had not held him up! These are vulgar errors, and mechanical impossibilities. Could ten men, with hand-spikes, lift the weight of a horse Probably. Attach the weight to the thin rein of a ladlys bridle ! Could a lady lift it with the left hand I think not. Though it is commonly supposed she could. A pull from a curb will, indeed, give the horse so much pain in the mouth that he will throw his head up; and this so flatters the hand that its prowess has saved him, that the rider exclaims, " It may be impossible, but it happens 13 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. every day. Shall I not believe my own senses " The answer is, No, not if it can be explained how the senses are deceived: otherwise we should still believe, as, till some few centuries ago the world did believe, that the diurnal motion was in the sun, and not in the earth. Otherwise we must subscribe to the philosophy of the Turk, who "Saw with his own eyes the MAoon was round, Was also certain that the Earth was square, Because he'd journey'd fifty miles and found No sign of its being circular any where." But these errors are not harmless errors. They induce an ambitious interference with the horse at the moment, in which he should be left unconfused to the use of his own energies. If by pulling, and giving him pain in the mouth, you force him to throw up his head and neck; you prevent his seeing how to foot out any unsafe ground, or where to take off at a fence: and, in the case of stumbling, you pre- vent an action dictated alike by nature and philosophy. 14 HINTS ON HORSEMANSSI1P. When an unmounted horse stumbles, nature teaches him to drop his head and neck; philosophy teaches us the reason of it. During the instant that his head and neck are dropping, the shoulders are relieved from their weight, and that is the instant that the horse makes his effort to recover himself. If, by giving him pain in his mouth, you force him to raise his head and neck instead of sinking them, his shoulders will still remain encumbered with the weight of them:-more than this, as action and reaction are equal and in opposite direc- tions, the muscular power employed to raise the head and neck, will act to sink his knees. The mechanical impossibility of the rider assisting his horse when falling may be demonstrated thus :-No motion can be given to a body without a foreign force, or a foreign fulcrum. Your strength is not a foreign force, since it is employed entirely on the horse; nor can it be employed on the foreign fulcrum, the ground, through the medium of your reins. As much as you pull up, so much will you pull down. If a man 1 _ IHINTS ON HIOIRSEMANSIIIP. in a boat uses an oar, he can accelerate or impede the motion of the boat, because his strength is employed, through the medium of the oar on the water, which is a foreign fulcrum; but if he take hold of the chain at the head of the boat, his whole strength will not accelerate, nor impede, the motion of the boat, because there is neither foreign force nor foreign fulcrum. His whole strength is employed within the boat, and as much as he pulls backward with his hands, he pushes forward with his feet. All the arguments which I have heard adduced against the doctrine here laid down, would also go to prove that a horse cannot fall which has a bearing-rein and crupper, that is, whose head is tied to his tail. Sir Francis Head's observations about bearing-reins, in the " Bubbles of the Brunnen," are quite philosophical. They should never be used except for purposes of parade, or to acquire greater power over a dif- ficult team. Sir Francis's observations are also true of the harness used by the peasantry of Nassau, which he describes; 1 6 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. but I think this arises from the poverty, not the philosophy, of the peasants. Those among them, who have money enough to but smart harness, have the most elaborate bearing-reins. One-a chain-from the lower part of the collar, which binds the horse's chin to his breast, and another over the upper part of the collar, along the back, to the tail, independent of the terret-pad and crupper:-this is tying a horse's head to his tail with a vengeance.-To be consistent, the opponents of the theory which I have laid down should act on this principle, -though I have never known them go quite so far: Sed quis custodes custodiet ipsos What is to prevent the tail from falling forward with the body They indeed argue, " Surely if you throw back the weight of the shoulders over the croupe of your horse, you relieve his forehand, and diminish the chance of his falling." This is rather to propose a new method of preventing a horse from falling, than to prove the advan- tage of pulling at the mouth while he is falling; for if it be of any advantage to throw back your weight, then the less C 17 HINTS ON HORSEFMNNSHIP. you pull at the mouth the better; for the more you pull, the less you are at liberty to throw back your weight. Bat, in truth, it is of no advantage to throw back the weight, when the stumble is made. If a position be previously taken up on the croupe of a horse, the pressure will be less upon the fore- hand than if you were placed in a forward position. But during the time that the position is in the act of being shifted; that is, during the time that the horse is falling, the act of throwing your own weight backward, produces an exactly equivalent pressure forward; in all respects the counterpart of your own motion backward, in intensity and duration. It is useless to dwell on this subject, or to adduce the familiar illustrations that it admits of. It is a simple proposition of mechanical equilibrium, and any one who is conversant with such subjects will assent to it. The question whether a jockey can mechanically assist his horse, does not rest on the same footing. I believe he can. Thus:-If a man sits astride a chair, with his 8s HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. feet off the ground, and clasps the chair with his legs, by the muscular exertion of his lower limbs lie can jump the chair along. The muscular force is there employed on the foreign fulcrum, the ground, through the medium of the legs of the chair. His muscular action strikes the chair downward and backward; and if the chair be on ice, it will recede, so would also the feet of a horse in attempting to strike forward. If the chair be on soft ground, it will sink; so would also a horse. in proportion to the force of the muscular stroke. But if the resistance of the ground be complete, the re-action, which is precisely equal, and in opposite directions to the action, will throw the body of the man upward and for- ward: and by clasping with his legs he will draw the chair also vaith him. But he can only accomplish in this way a very little distance, with a very great exertion. If the jockey made this muscular exertion every time his horse struck with his hind feet, his strength would be em- ployed on the foreign fulcrum, the ground, through the c 2 I 9 HINTS ON IIORSEI.1ANSHIP'. medium of his horse's bony frame. Thus the jockey would contribute to the horizontal impulse of his own weight; and exactly in proportion to the muscular power exerted by the jockey, the muscular system of the horse would be relieved. At the same time, no additional task is thrown on the bony frame of the horse; since, if the jockey had not used his muscular power on it in impelling his own weight, the mus- cular system of the horse must have been so employed on it. It is true, not much is done after all with a prodigious exertion, but if that little gain six inches in a hardly contested race, it may make the difference of its being lost or won. Thus an easy race is no exertion to a jockey, but after a hardly contested one, he returns with his lips parched, his tongue sticking to the roof of his mouth, and every muscle quivering. Chifney, and perhaps one or two first-rate jockeys, may attempt this at the end of a race, for the last four or five strokes, for no strength would stand it longer; but woe to the moderate jockey who attempts it at all! For without 20 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. the nicest tact in timing the operation, the confusion, over- balancing, swerving, and shifting of legs resulting from it, would lose the best horse his race. A mounted horse will overtake a dismounted horse, his superior in speed. It is commonly supposed that this results from the mechanical assistance of the rider. The real reason is, that the dismounted horse goes off, like an inexperienced jockey, at his utmost speed. No horse can (10 this for five hundred yards without being distressed for wvind. The rider starts at a pace which he knows his horse can keep; and the dismounted horse, though he gains at first on him, comes hack to 1im, as the jockeys say. For a horse, which has been distressed forwind in the first five hun- dred yards, will not arrive at the end of a mile nearly so soon as if he had gone the whole at the best pace he could stay at. Here the assistance from the rider is mental, not mechanical. Woe also to the sportsman who ambitiously attempts to lift his horse mechanically over a fence, on the 21 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. principle discussed above! He is much more likely to throw him into it. He had better content himself with sitting quietly on his horse, holding him only just enough to keep his head straight and regulate his pace, and trust the rest to his horse's honour. The body should not previously be thrown back; but, as the horse springs, the lower part of the rider being firmly fixed in the saddle, and the upper part perfectly pliable, the body will fall back of itself. And with strong jumping horses. or at down leaps, the shoulders of fine riders will constantly meet their horse's croupes. The more vertical the thigh, the greater the strain in taking this position:-the disciples of the Duke of Newcastle would break in two in the performance. I abstain, however, from giving any parti- cular directions about the seat; because I think good handling is the cause, and good and graceful sitting the consequence, of good riding; and because, though I consider the rules here laid down for the hands as applicable to every species of riding, (I have excepted the soldier with his 22 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. weapon in his right hand), I think there is a peculiar seat proper to many different styles of riding. The ex- tremes are the man ge and the Eastern styles, both admlirable in their way, and perfectly practical, but each wholly inapplicable to the performances of the other. What can be more perfect than the seats of M. de Kraut and the Marquis de Beauvilliers, in De la Gueriniere's work or the engraving of that of Al. de Nestier But I do not think that a man in such a seat would look well, or perform well, in a five-pound saddle, over the beacon course; still less that he could lay the reins on the neck of a well-bred horse, and at full speed lie along his horse's side, and with his own body below his horse's back, prime and load a long gun, jump up and use both hands to fire to the right, or left, or over his horse's croupe; or that he could wield a long heavy lance with the power of a Cossack; or, at full gallop, hurl the djerid to the rear with the force of the Persian, and again, without any diminution of speed, pick it from the ground. 23 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. On the other hand, his peculiar seat renders the Eastern horseman so utterly helpless in the performances of the manege, that he is unable to make his horse rein back, or passage sideways a step; and I have seen three hundred Mussulman troops, from the northern parts of Persia, (each of whom would perform forty such feats as the above,) take more than an hour to form a very bad parade line, in single rank. When one of them had an interval between him and the dressing hand, however small, as he could not make his horse passage sideways, he was obliged to turn round to the rear, and ride into the ranks afresh; and so in succession every man beyond him. I should say, that the most perfect seat for the manege should be shortened by a hole or two for the soldier, to give him power with his weapons; that the military rider should take up his stirrups a hole or two when he goes hunting; the hunter a hole or two when he rides a race; and for tours de force. I consider the short stirrup-leather, and broad stirrup- 24 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. iron of the East, indispensable. It gives, in fact, the strength of the standing, instead of the sitting, posture. The Cossack retains this standing posture even at a trot. Few Eastern horsemen allow that pace at all, but make their horses walk, amble, or gallop. It is singular that of all people the English only rise in the stirrup in trotting. It is not so singular that most European nations are beginning to follow their example. The English hunting seat is, in point of length, the medium of those mentioned; and perhaps that seat, or something between that and the military seat, is the best adapted to common riding. It unites, in a greater degree than any other, ease, utility, power, and grace. The most perfect exemplifi- cation of this seat is Lord Catheart's. A bad horseman throws his horse down, which a good one does not. That is, because the bad horseman hurries his horse over hard or rough ground, or down hill, or over loose stones; allows him to choose his own ground; lets him flounder into difficulties, and, when there, hauls him so that he cannot see, 25 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. or exert himself to get out of them; and expecting chastise- ment, the horse springs to avoid it, before he has recovered his feet, and goes down with a tremendous impetus. If he has to cross a rut to the right, he probably forces his horse across it, when the right foot is on the ground. In this case, unless the horse collects himself and jumps-if he attempts to step across it-the probability is that in crossing his legs, he knocks one against the other, and falls. The reverse of all this should be the case. If you have not sufficient tact to feel which of your horse's feet is on the ground, you must allow him to choose his own time for crossing, which will be when the left foot is on the ground. You should habitually choose your horse's ground for him, for notwithstanding his often vaunted sagacity and safety, the wisest among horses will, to avoid a moving leaf, put his foot over a precipice. This will become as easy to you as choosing your own path when walking. If your horse has made a stumble or is in difficulties, you cannot leave him too much at liberty, or be too quiet with him. The 26 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. only notice to be taken is to reassure him by caressing him, if you see that he expects chastisement from previous brutal treatment. I will add that you should also habitually prevent your horse out-walking, or lagging behind, his companions. He is either very unsociable, or a bad horseman, who does not keep abreast of his companions. Besides, horses being gregarious, are apt to follow one another. This should not be. Your horse should be in perpetual obedience to the indi- cations that your hands and legs give him, and to nothing else. These indications should not only decide the pace which lie is to take, but deal out to him the rate at which each pace is to be executed, and also determine his carriage during the performance of it, that is, the degree in which he is to collect himself, or the degree of liberty which is to be allowed him. The indications of the hands are of two sorts-guiding and retaining. Those of the legs and whip are also of two sorts-- guiding and urging. Suppose a horse standing still, with full 27 28 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. liberty, and fully extended; if the retaining indication of the hands only be given, he will go backward in a loose and extended form; if, on the contrary, the urging indication of the legs or whip only be given, he will move forward in a loose and extended form, at a walk, trot, or gallop, according to the vivacity with which the indication is given. If these two opposite indications be given at the same time, the horse will, as it is termed, collect himself. That is, being pulled backward and urged forward at the same time, in obeying both indications, a sort of condensation of the horse-I know nothow toexpress it otherwise-will result. If both indications be continued and increased, the horse will piaff; that is, con- tinue collected, in motion, without progressing; or he will make the courbette, or rear. If both indications be discon- tinued, he will resume the extended position of repose. If again, in this position, both indications be given, but the retaining one the strongest, the horse will go backward in a collected form. If both be given, but the urging indication HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. the strongest, he will move forward in a collected form, at a walk, trot, or canter, according to the vivacity with which the indications are given. If the retaining and urging indi- cations be given equally strong, but the right rein be felt the strongest, which is the guiding indication of the hand to the right, and the left leg be pressed the strongest, which is the guiding indication of the leg to the right, the horse will passage, that is, cross his legs and go sideways to the right, bending and looking to the right. in a collected form. If both indications are given equally strong, but the right rein and the right leg the strongest, the horse will perform what is called " the right shoulder in," (in towards the centre of the longe or man6ge,) that is, he will cross his legs and go side- ways to the left, bending and looking to the right, in a collected form. When the horse is in movement, there should be a constant touch, or feeling, or play, or bearing,-it is difficult to express it-between his mouth and the rider's hands. rhis is called 2.9 HINTS ON ITORSEMANS'ITP. the appui. I prefer, however, to use the English phrase of bearing on the horse's mouth; since to those who do not understand French, oppui will convey no meaning at all, and to those who do understand it, it will convey the false idea of the necessity of supporting the horse. It is impossible to bestow too much pains and attention on the acquirement of this; it is the index of the horse's actions, temper, and inten- tions it forewarns the rider of what he is about to do, and by it he feels whether his horse requires more liberty or more collecting. And it is impossible that in this bearing on the horse's mouth, or in the indications of the hands and legs generally, or in shortening and lengthening the reins, the rider can be too delicate, gradual, smooth, firm, and light. The hands, in t':e bearing on the horse's mouth, in their indi- cations generally, as well as in shortening and lengthening the reins, should be perfectly free from any approach to a jerk, a loose rein, or uneven feeling of the mouth. The legs should be kept from any action approaching to a kick, except when HTINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. the spur is given,-that should be always present, and when used, given smartly and withdrawn instantly;-but the pres- sure of the legs should be perfectly smooth and gradual, though, if necessary, strong. If good riding is worth your attention, do not think these things beneath your notice; for the acquirement of the bearing on the horse's mouth, the turn- ing your horse on the proper rein, smoothness of indications, and in shortening the reins, the power of collecting your horse, and the working together of your hands and legs, are the unseen and unappreciated foundation on which good riding stands. These, and not strength or violence, command the animal. 'With these, your horse will rely on your hand, com- ply to it; and, without force on your part, he will bend to your hand in every articulation. Without these, however unintentionally on your part, you will be perpetually subject- ing him to the severest torture, to defend himself against which, he will resist your hand, poke his nose, and stiffen his neck and every other part of his body. The horse can en- 31 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. dure no greater torture than that resulting from an uneven hand. This is known to every hack-cabman:-every hack- cabman has hourly experience that a job in the mouth will compel his jaded slave into a trot, when the solicitations of the whip have been long unanswered; and I recollect one of the greatest proficients I know, both in the theory and practice of horsemanship, who, to train his sister and wife to this perfect evenness of hand, used to make them draw up a window curtain with bells attached to the lower part, so that notice was given of the least jerk or uneven feeling. To keep the horse, when in movement, to a collected pace, the opposite indications of urging and retaining him must be con- tinued. This working together of the hands and legs, and the power of collec ing the horse, are also most essential in turning; a horse should never be turned without being made to collect himself; without being retained by the hands, and urged by the legs, as well as guided by both; that is, in turning to the right, both hands should retain him, and the right hand guide 32 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. him, by being used the strongest; both legs should urge him, and the left guide him, by being pressed the strongest. The ridler should also lean his weight to the right; and the shorter the turn, and the quicker the pace, the more the horse should be made to collect himself, and the more both he and his rider should lean to the right. This is well seen, when a man, standing on the saddle, gallops round the circle at Astley's. There the man must keep his position by balance alone; and, were he not to lean inwards,-were he, for a moment, to stand perpendicularly,-he would be thrown outside the circle by the centrifugal force. In turning suddenly and at a quick pace to the right, unless the rider lean his weight to the right, he will, in like manner, have a tendency to fall off on the left. If, by clasping with his legs, he prevent this, his horse will of course be incommoded, by being overbalanced to the left, when turning to the right. It is bad, in turning to the right, to run into the contrary extreme, to the one-handed system, and, slackening the left rein, to haul the horse's head round with D 33 HINTS ON HORSEMANSIIIP. the right rein only. The horse's head should not be pulled farther round than to allow the rider to see the right eye. The legs, and particularly the left leg, should then urge the horse to follow the guiding rein. Preciselythe same indications, namely, an increased retention of both reins, the right the strongest, and an increased pressure of both legs, the left the strongest, but differently modified, are used to start a horse in a canter with the right leg; also, as has been stated, to make him passage, that is, to cross his legs, and go sideways to the right. But in making a horse canter with his right leg, the over indi- cation of the right rein should be so trifling, as only to develop his right nostril. The over indication of the left leg should also be very trifling, or his haunches will be cast to the right, and they will not follow his shoulders truly. The weight of the rider should not lean to either side, but incline the least in the world forward at starting, and be instantly replaced when off. In indicating the passage to the right, the horse must be more strongly retained with both hands. The 34 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. over indication of the right rein should be enough to nmake his head and shoulders lead, that is, to keep them more to the right than his haunches. The rider's weight should be the least in the world to the right. The indi- cation of the right leg should be enough to keep the horse square, collected, and up to his bit; while the over indication of the left leg must be strong enough to induce him to cross his legs and go sideways to the right. If, during the right passage, the indications of the legs are continued the same, and those of the hands reversed, that is, if the tension of the left rein is made stronger than that of the right, the horse changes from right passage to left shoulder in; that is, he continues to cross his legs and go sideways to the right, but he bends and looks to the left. As the hands alone make this change, they may be said to guide here. If, from the left shoulder in, the indications of the hands are continued the same, and those of the legs reversed; that is, if the pressure of the right leg is made greater than that of the left, the D 2 31, HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. horse chances from left shoulder in to left passage, that is, he continues to look to the left, but crosses his legs and goes sideways to the left, instead of to the right. As the legs alone make this change, they may be said to guide here. These are useful lessons, and together with reining back, should be taught to all horses and all horsemen, if only for the facility they give in opening gates and hurdles. To practise the indications of the hands, take the bridle, which is attached to the chair, at full length, with the tips of the four fingers of the left hand between the reins, at the centre, securing them between the tips of the second and third fingers and thumb, the first and fourth fingers detached, to facilitate their workino on the rein proper to each, the wrist turned down, and the back of the hand to the front. If the length of the rein suits, they may be so held when you have occasion to stand still for a length of time; for the horse, when in repose, is in his most extended posture. If, indeed, you force him to stand collected for a length oftime, he will be 36 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. uneasy and fidget. In long rides the reins may be also held so, when the horse is going quietly at an extended walk; but neither rein must be loose. The bearing on his mouth, how- ever lightly, must still be felt; and if the horse in attempting to stare about,-as colts and ill-ridden horses will,-should throw his head to the right, it must be stopped by the feeling of the tip of the fourth finger on the left rein; or if he throw his head to the left, by that of the first finger on the right rein; but, provided the bearing on the horse's mouth, and this power of keeping his head straight, be preserved, a horse cannot have too much liberty under the circumstances sup- posed. Observe, a lady should never rest her hand on her knee, nor a gentleman his on the pummel or neck. If a gradual turn be made to the right, both reins must be pulled, the right the strongest, by feeling the tip of the first finger towards your right shoulder. Both legs must be pressed, the left the strongest. The lady, if her horse vill answer the leg, must press it ; if not, she must touch the left shoulder with 37 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. the whip. A lady must always carry a whip, from not having a spur, or the power to use the leg on both sides. A man should only carry one in riding a young horse, and then only till the horse receives the pressure of the leg as an indication to advance; this he soon will, if the legs are closed whenever the whip is used. The whip should not be carried below the hand, like a jockey, but upright, like a manege or rough- rider, in order to use it on either shoulder, to make your horse follow the guiding rein. To turn to the left, the left rein is pulled the strongest, by feeling the tip of the fourth finger towards your left shoulder. Both legs must be pressed, the right leg the strongest. The lady must touch the right shoulder with the whip. Should you have to pass a camp of gipsies, a carriage, or any other object at which your horse may be expected, or has been taught habitually, to shy; if the object be on the left press the right hand on the right rein, about a foot below the left hand, so as to keep his head straight, and to prevent 38 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. his turning towards the object, and fronting it. This will be sufficient if the horse has always been well ridden; if he has been badly ridden, you must turn his head from the object of his alarm at least sufficiently to see his right eye. And if he has been ill-used for being alarmed, you must turn his head still more towards the hedge or ditch on the right-hand side, so as to make him pass the object with his head inclined from it, and his croupe towards it. Do not imagine that there will be any danger of his going into the ditch on that account, the very contrary will be the case. If, indeed, you pull his head towards the object of his alarm, and oblige him to face it, he is very likely, indeed, to run backwards from it; and while his whole attention is fixed before him, he will go back- wards over Dover cliff, if it chance to be behind him. Under such circumstances, you cannot too soon turn your horse's head, and his attention, from the fancied to the substantial ill. But on common occasions the turning his head to the right, should be as gradual and imperceptible as possible. 39 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. No chastisement should be allowed in any case. If lie make a start, the rider should endeavour not to make a consequent one. You should not, indeed, take more notice of a shy than you can possibly avoid; and unless the horse has been pre- viously brutalised, and to re-assure him, you should not even caress him, lest even that should make him suspect that something awful is about to happen. The common error is the reverse of all this. The common error is to pull the horse's head towards the object of his fear, and when he is facing it, to begin with whip and spur. Expecting to be crammed under the carriage-wheel, the horse probably rears, or runs back into a ditch, or, at least, becomes more nervous and more riotous at every carriage that he meets. Horses are instan- taneously made shy by this treatment, and as instantaneously cured by the converse of it. It is thus that all young or bad riders make high-couraged horses shy; but none ever remain so in the hands of a good horseman; who, in fact, in some sort, prevents his horse looking at an object which he would 40 HINTS ON 11ORSE1IANSIIP. start at, if seen. Should the object which the horse is expected to shy at, be on the right; the right hand must take the place of the left, at the centre of the reins, and the left hand must be pressed on the left rein, about a foot below the right hand. When the right hand holds the reins in the centre, the horse is turned to the right by feeling the tip of the fourth finger of the right hand towards your right shoulder. This indication must also be given when he shies to the left. He is turned to the left by feeling the tip of the first finger towards your left shoulder. The same indication if he shies to the right. In making these indications, the greatest care must be taken to keep the hand exactly opposite the centre of the body, and not to pass it to the right or left, which would shorten the wrong rein, across the neck of the horse; but in these cases the vacant hand may be pressed on the guiding rein as before directed, particularly by gentlemen, who have a leg on each side to urge the horse with. If it be desired to make the horse walk in a collected form, 41 4HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. to shorten the reins for that purpose, place both hands at the centre of the reins. Separate the hands by drawing them smoothly and lightly along the reins, till there are about eighteen inches or two feet between the hands. Then bring the hands together, letting the loop of the reins fall, and hang downwards between the hands. In this way a lady should first take up her reins when she mounts, and a gentleman when his reins are on his horse's neck, or when he changes the bridle with which he rides. A gentleman cannot ride too much with his reins thus separated, as lie has the power of urging his horse up to his hands with his two legs; nor can a lady, provided the horse is going freely up to the bit. But should the lady's horse require the whip to keep him up to the bit, she must cross the reins in the left hand, by letting the right rein slip through the right hand, far enough to allow the right hand to pass behind the left; laying the right rein flat on the left rein, and securing both between the tips of the second and third fingers and the thumb of the left 42 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. hand, the first and fourth fingers detached, as before directed. The right hand is then at liberty to use the whip. To trot, the horse must be still more collected ; consequently the reins still inore shortened, particularly if a collected trot be required. To do this, the gentleman, who has his reins separated, must first cross them in either hand-suppose the left, as directed for the lady-then take the right rein with the right hand, at any distance from the left which may be required, and cross the reins in the right hand, by passing the left hand behind the right, laying the left rein flat on the right, and securing both between the tips of the second and third fingers and thumb of the right hand. The left hand then takes the left rein in front of the right hand, and if it be intended to ride with the reins separated, lets the rein slip till both are of equal length in the two hands. If from the trot the horse is required to canter, the reins must be again shortened, and he muse be again more collected. The pupil cannot bestow too much pains and practice on this mode of 4S HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. shortening the reins, by successively crossing them in one hand and the other, and again separating them, one rein in each hand. He should take the reins at the full extent, hold the chair balanced and motionless on two legs only, and con- tinue shortening the reins in the mode prescribed, till lie arrives at the chair. In doing this, the hands cannot be kept too near the body, provided there is room to pass the hand which is to quit the rein, behind that which is to receive it. But the greatest care must be taken to avoid bringing the hands so near the body as to prevent the hand which is to quit the rein from passing behind that which.is to receive it; otherwise the hand which is to receive the rein must be thrust forward, to give room for the hand which is to quit the rein to pass behind it; this would not only disturb the bearing on the horse's mouth, but would actually slacken one rein at the very moment that it is desired to shorten both. The reins should not be crossed when two hands are employed on them; but should be kept completely separated, one in each 44 HIINTS ON HORSEMIANSIITP. hand, and should not be held both together between the hands, as some jockeys do, by the thumbs and first fingers of the two hands. This is not meant as a direction for race- riding, but for common riding. The elbows should by no means touch the hips or sides. I would not have them raised as high, and thrust out like those of Lord Anglesca's imitators; but I Vouldl have them as free from the sides, and hang as gracefully, as Lord Anglesea's own do. They should be the least in the world squared, the wrists the least in the world down, and the back of the hands to the front, as you see good dlrivers drive, and above all things the wrists supple, easy, and rounded a little. The best models for this are to be found in the equestrian figures on the frieze of the Parthenon, among the Elgin marbles. They have invariably two hands to their horses, except when one is otherwise in use; and are as perfectly horsemanlike, as they are exquisitely graceful. I imagine from a view of these figures, that when the Greeks held their reins separated, one in each hand, the parts coming 4 5 4HINTS ON HORSEMANSHTP. from the horse's mouth entered the hands between the first and second fingers from the thumbs; were secured by the grasp of the second, third, and fourth fingers, and by the pressure between the first joints of the thumbs, and the second joints of the second fingers; that the ends of the reins, that is, the parts which form the loop at the centre of the reins, quitted the hands at the fourth fingers; not over the first fingers, as with us in riding, but as they do with us in driving. When the reins were placed both in one hand, which appears to be done indifferently in either, the rein proper to that hand remained as described; the other was not crossed, but placed flat on it, in the full grasp of the hand, both ends quitting the hand at the fourth finger, the same as with us in driving. This leaves the first finger between the reins, which appears to be capable of more dis- tinct indications on them than the fourth finger, as used in the more barbarous after-ages. For the Greeks appear to have used the tip of the first finger on either rein. Observe, 46g HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. that with us, in driving, the left hand takes the reins from below, with the back of the hand downward; while the right hand works from above, with the back of the hand upwards. Whereas, in all cases, the Greeks appear to have worked with both hands from above, with the back of the hands upward. I think it a very easy, graceful, and effective mode of riding. 1, however, prefer the mode I have endeavoured to explain, for many reasons, especially for ladies. They have to use the whip with the right hand to urge the horse, and, in conse- quence, must frequently ride with the reins in the left hand only. In this case, by the mode I have advocated, as they will have four fingers between the reins, instead of one only, they will be the better enabled to give distinct indications with them. Also this mode is better adapted for the use of the tips of the fingers on the bridle; and when the reins are taken in the full grasp, the whole of each hand may be employed instead of three fingers only; whereby at once infinitely greater delicacy, and infinitely greater power, are gained for the bearing on the horse's mouth. 47 4HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. In going through the practices enjoined above, there should be nothing approaching to a jerk or shake of either rein. Neither rein should be for an instant loosened; but an equal tension kept on both; and both should be of precisely equal length when crossed in one hand. To lengthen the reins, the pupil has only to let them slip through the hands, paying equal attention to prevent jerking, or uneven feeling on the horse's mouth. This adjustment of the length of the reins should, in riding high-couraged, hot, or pulling horses, be perpetually going on, so as to give the appearance of playing with them; and the facility of doing it smoothly, and without disturbing the bearing on the horse's mouth, or his being aware of it, is a most essential feature in riding. Practise it well with the chair, with the reins held by the tips of the fingers as directed, and also with the reins held in the full grasp of the hand, the parts coming from the horse's mouth entering the hands at the fourth fingers, and the parts running towards the centre of the reins 48 HINTS ON HIORSEMANSIUP., quitting the hands between the first joints of the thumbs an(l the second joints of the first fingers. Be assured, however childish it may appear to you, it will teach you the true principle of handling your horse; and give to the bearing, and indications of your hands on his mouth, a delicate elasticity and resilience, resulting from the play of every articulation from the tips of the fingers to the slioulders. At the same time, if power be required, instead of having the left hand only, with the fourth finger only between the reins, by taking them in the full grasp of the hands it allows you to employ the whole strength of both shoulders. On the other hand, the riding school is too apt to teach you to sit on your horse as stiff as a stake; to let your right arm hang down as useless as if God had never gifted you with one; to pin your elbows to the sides; to stick your left hand out, with a stiff straight wrist, like a bolt-sprit ; and to turn your horse invariably on the wrong rein. I do not mean to E 4.9 .HINTS ON IIORSEMANSHIIP. say that this is ever taught in the school; but I may say that all this is almost always learnt there. The mode of shortening the reins in twvo-handed riding, which I have seen rough-riders use, and which I have seen recruits taught, when using the single snaffle, in all riding- houses, English and Foreign, and which is detailed in the 6cole du cavalier, in the French cavalry ordonnance, is wholly vicious. There are no directions at all given for this in the treatise on military equitation, in the regulations for the English cavalry, nor have I ever met with any in any book, English or or otherwise, except in the French ordonnance. To shorten the right rein, on the system in question (the reins being held in the full grasp of the hInds as last described, but enter- ing, the hands between the third and fourth fingers), bring the thumbs together, take the right rein with the thumb and first finger of the left hand, the thumbs touching, raise the left hand, and let the right rein slip, till the thumbs are one inch apart. With the right rein thus one inch shorter than ;;0 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. the left, if it be required to shorten the left equally, by management, you may bring the two thumbs together again without loosening the left rein;-I say, by management, you may do so, but the chances are that the longest rein is inva- riably thus slackened previously to being shortened, and con- sequently the bearing on the horse's mouth disturbed ; but supposing it possible to manage this by an inch at a time, it is quite impossible to manage it at a greater distance. If, therefore, you have to shorten both reins a foot, you cannot effect it without twenty-four operations. This is not at all an unlikely occurrence in riding unruly horses; for such horses are commanded by being made to bend or collect themselves: their most frequent defence is jerking their heads away and extending themselves; and the facility of adjusting the length of your reins to the degree in which they extend or collect themselves, makes the difference of whether you can ride such horses or not. If, in riding a half-broken, hot, or violent horse, he jerks his head down, so as to draw one rein six E 2 5] HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. inches longer than the other, it is impossiblc to bring the thumbs together without slackening the longest rein-at the moment you wish it tightened-four or five inches. I need not dilate on the effect of this in riding such a horse as I have supposed. When the reins are crossed in the right hand, on the tips of the fingers, to pull the right rein, feel the tip of the fourth finger towards your right shoulder: do the same if the horse shies to the left. To pull the left rein, feel the tip of the first finger towards your left shoulder: the same if lie shies to the right. When the reins arc crossed in the full grasp of the right hand, to pull the righllt rein, feel the middle joint of the fourth finger towardls your right shoulder: the same if lie shies to the left. To pull the left rein, feel the middle joint of the first finger towards your left shoulder: (10 the same if lie shies to the right. When the reins are crossed in the left band, on the tips of the fingers, to pull the right rein, feel the tip of the first finger towards your right shoulder: do the same HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. if lie shies to the left. To pull the left rein, feel the tip of the fourth finger towards your left shoulder: do the same if he shies to the right. When the reins are crossed in the full grasp of the left hand, to pull the right rein, feel the middle joint of the first finger towards your right shoulder: (1o the same if he shics to the left. To pull the left rein, feel the middle joint of the fourth finger towards your left shoulder: do the same if he shies to the right. These indications cannot be too direct from the hand to the horse's mouth, without any feeling of the rein against his neck. The least motion of the hand to the right or left, from precisely opposite the centre of the body, will shorten the wrong rein across the neck. Observe also, that in turning, there should be an increased retention of both reins, that of the guiding one the strongest; also -in order to make the horse collect hiimself,-an increased urgingr indication on both sides, but strongest on the side opposite the guiding rein. But in placing the horse to pass the object at which lie shies, there should be an increased HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. retention of the guiding rein only. The bearing on the non- guiding rein should be in no respect altered: nor should there be any increased collection of the horse, or urging indi- cation of the leg or whip; though their guiding indication may be gently applied on the same side as the guiding indi- cation of the hands, so as to cause the horse's croupe to be inclined towards the object at which he shies. But this must not be attempted, if the horse is the least alarmed or in expectation of chastisement. Horses in a state of excitement, and which have been in bad hands, will require the reins in the full grasp of the hands; and sometimes the whole strength of the strongest man. But this strength must be employed with smoothness, otherwise they will be driven to despair by pain, and resist instead of yielding to it. Stiffening themselves and pulling is their defence against hard, harsh handling; but none ever remained permanently a puller, with a smooth and gentle hand. 54 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. The single case in which a jerk in the mouth is admissible, is when your horse is about to kick, and some one is within reach of his heels. The jerk causes him to throw his head up, and he cannot without difficulty raise his croupe at the same time; !but, except to save life or limb, supposing no one within reach, hold your hands high, and pull severely but smoothly; do not jerk. This in general wvill be sufficient to prevent his kicking; but it is better that your horse should occasionally kick, than that he should always go as stiff as if he were made of wood; which is the inevitable result of jerking. Directions to use both bridles at once are perhaps out of place in these pages, which profess only to treat of common riding. For lie must be a very uncommon horse- man who should attempt it. To use both bridles, and adjust their length, without disturbing the double bearing on the horse's mouth, requires infinite tact and delicacy. I should recommend the snaffle to be worked exactly as directed for 05 5 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. the single rein, in the full grasp of the hand; and the reins of the curb to be held with the middle joint of the second finger from the thumb between them. When the reins of the snaffle are crossed from one hand into the other, those of the curb should also be shifted to the second finger of that hand. In this way,-especially in breaking horses to the bit,-the bit may be used to induce them to bend or collect themselves, and the snaffle to turn them. Violent habitual pullers will sometimes be beaten from their modes of resisting the bit, by this double bearing on their mouths. In this case I should recommend the reins of both bridles being used at once, pre- cisely in the way laid down for the reins of a single bridle, except that the snaffle and curb reins should be kept separated by the fourth finger of each hand. A martingale should in no case be used except as a defence; that is, supposing the necessity of mounting a high, harsh hand on a susceptible horse. In this case, ain easy snaffle, with a running martingale, will at least 56 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. 57 counteract the height of the hand, and the friction will, to a certain degree, steady and counteract the unequal bearing on the horse's mouth. A low, smooth band is the only true martingale: this will never be acquired as long as an implement is used which tends to permit harsh, high handling with impunity. If you have anything to carry which entirely occupies one hand, and which may occasionally require both, such as an umbrella in wind, or an over-fresh horse to lead at a quick pace, I recommend you to knot up your reins like a jockey, by twisting them twice round the two first fingers of the left hand, and passing the end double through the loop, so as to form a bow; this will neither get slack, nor so tight as to crease the reins, or to draw out with difficulty. It obviates the possibility of a horse, wild with his head, drawing the reins through the hands, and consequently the necessity of using both hands to shorten them: at the same time, being held with the breadth of the whole hand at the centre, distinct HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. single-handed indications can be given on them. A soldier should go to a single combat with one of his reins in this way. In the case of his adversary gaining his left rear, by dropping the reins, the sword is then instantly shifted to the left hand, and the rein as instantly grasped with the right, at the proper length. As the soldier is only trained to use his sword with his right hand, it is not, indeed, likely that his left hand will be a match for his adversary's right; but he will at least be able to keep him at a distance, by striking, or pointing at his horse's head. This would be a hopeless affair with the right hand, particularly for a cuirassier. A pulling horse may be ridden with one or both reins knotted in this way also a restive horse. His usual mode of defence is running back and rearing; because, from fear of his falling backward, chastisement then usually ceases. In such a case, drop the reins, lay hold of the mane with both hands, ply both spurs severely, even while the horse is on his hind legs; and the moment he flies from them, the reins are seized, in the mode to 58 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. 59 be used most powerfully, without requiring any adjustment. They should be so knotted previously to trying any of the feats of the Eastern horseman, such as picking a piece of money from the ground at a gallop, jumping off, or vaulting on, or over, at a gallop, or using both hands to fire a carbine to the rear, at a gallop, &c. &c. The reins should never be so knotted in hunting, or in swimming a horse; for, by catching across the neck, they act like a bearing-rein, and oblige the horse to carry his nose in, and his head up. In hunting, this would bring his hind legs on his fences, and oblige him to leap from the top of his banks, and, as it is called, to land allfours, instead of extending himself, and letting himself down gently. In swimming, it pulls his nose down, and obliges him to swim with his head and neck out of water. For common riding the objection is, thatyou cannot lengthen or shorten the rein; therefore, to give more liberty, or to collect the horse more, the hand must go from or to the body. If, therefore, the reins be knotted, so that the hands should 6 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. be at a convenient distance from the body when the horse is collected, they would be at a very inconvenient distance lwhen he is extended. A side-saddle should have no right-hand pummel. It is useless to the seat, and impedes the working of the right hand. The appearance when mounted is infinitely improved by the absence of it. It should have what is called a third pummel, or leaping horn. In case of any unusual motion of the horse, such as leaping, an ebullition of gaiety, or vio- lence from any other cause, by pressing upwards with the front part above the left knee, and downwards with the back part above the right knee, a wonderfully strong grasp is ob- tained, much stronger than the grasp obtained by the mode in which men ride. This will be quite clear to you, if, when sitting in your chair, you press your two knees together, and afterwards, by crossing thern over, press them, one down and the other up. Besides this, when a man clasps his horse, however firmly it fixes the clasping parts, it has a tendency 60g MINTS ON IHORSEMANSHIP. to raise the seat from the saddle. This is not the case with the claisp obtained in a side-saddle; and for a tour deforce, I find I am much stronger in a side-saddle than in my own. There is no danger in this third pummel, since there is not the danger of being thrown on it. Mfore than this, it renders it next to impossible that the rider should be throwvn against or upon the other pummels. In the ease of the horse backing, without the leaping horn, there is nothing to prevent the lady from being thrown up. The right knee is thus disen- gra ged from the pummel, and all hold lost. The leaping horn prevents the left knee from being thrown up, and from that fulcrum great force may be employed to keep the right knee down in its proper place. If the horse, in violent action, throws himself suddenly to the left, the upper part of the rider's body will tend downwards to the right, and the lower limbs upwards to the left: nothing can counteract this but the appui afforded by the leaping horn. This tendency to overbalance to the right, causes so many ladies to guard them- Gl 6;2 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. selves by hanging off their saddles to the left. The leaping horn is also of infinite use with a hard puller, or in riding down steep places; for without it, in either case, there is nothing to prevent the lady from sliding forward. It has also the advantage, that should one rider like it, and another not, it is easily screwed on, or taken off. The saddle should be kept in its place by the elastic webbing girths, and not, as the common error is,-probably from the facility of tightening it,-by the hard, unyielding, leather surcingle. The use of this surcingle is to prevent the small flap on the off side from turning up, and the large flap on the off side from being blown about with wind, and it should not be drawn tighter than is sufficient for these purposes. The part coming from the near side should not be attached, as at present, to the small flap, but to the lower part of the large flap on the near side. This will leave the small flap on the near side loose, as in a man's saddle, and allow liberty for the use of a spring bar. It will also lessen the friction against the habit and leg, by rendering HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIIP. the side of the saddle perfectly smooth, except the stirrup- leather. To lessen the friction from that, I recommend a single, thin strap, as broad as a gentleman's, instead of the present double, narrow, thick one. The stirrup should be in all respects the same as a man's, and to make assurance doubly sure, it should open at the side with a spring. This might be useful in case of a fall on the off side, when the action of the spring bar of the saddle might be impeded. But, if the stirrup be as large and as heavy as a man's, it is next to impossible that the foot should be entangled in it. It is the common error to suppose that persons are dragged owing to the stirrup being too large, and the foot passing through it,-but the reason is its being too small, and the foot being clasped by the pressure of the upper part of the stirrup on the toe, and the lowver part on the sole of the foot. The strap should take on and off it by means of a loop, like a slip-knot: it should be fixed over the spring bar of the saddle, by a buckle similar to that of a man's stirrup-leather, and which, though it be only attached 6)3 THINTS ON IHORSEMANSHIP. to the strap by the tongue, will be perfectly secure recom- mend this stirrup-leather to gentlemen also. The stirrup- leather, which passes under the horse's body, and is fixed to the off side of the side-saddle, is supposed to prevent the saddle from. turning round. This is a mechanical error. But the great objection to this sort of stirrup-leather is, that it can- not with safety be used with the spring bar; for, when off the bar, it remains attached to the saddle, and acts as a scourge to the horse. I once saw a frightful instance of this. I think the best way for a lady to mount is, to place the left hand on the pummel, the right hand on the off side of the cantle, or as far towards it as possible, and to give the left foot to the person who assists her. In this way she may use the strength of both arms to raise and balance herself. This should be practised on any piece of furniture as high as, or higher than a horse; for accidents easily may, and in fact constantly do, occur in mounting. I have no feeling to prevent me descending to what may G 4 HINTS ON IIORSEMANSHIIP. be called trifles; in fact, that never shall be too trifling for 1110 which can in the smallest degree contribute to your pleasure or safety. Good riding, as a whole, is indeed no trifle, and it is worth acquiring by those whose pleasure or business it is to ride; because it is soon and easily acquire(d, and, when acquired, it becomes habitual, and is as easy, nay much more easym and infinitely more safe, than bad riding Good riding also will last through age, sickness, and decrepi- tude; but bad riding will last only as long as youth, health, and strength, supply courage: for good riding is an affair of skill, but bad riding an affair of courage. A bold bad rider must not be merely brave, he must be fool-hardy; for lie is perpetually in as muchl danger as a blind man among pre- cipices. It is, indeed, in riding as in most other things, langer is for the timid and the unskilful ; or rather courage and skill, timidity and want of skill, are synonymoul0s terms. Thus the skilful rider, when apparently courting danger in the field, deserves no more credit for courage than for sitting a. 66 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. in his arm-chair; and the unskilful no more the imputation of timidity for his backwardness, than one who, without any pre- vious initiation in the art of funambulism, should decline fol- lowing Madame Saqui on the tight-rope. Depend on it, the bold bad rider is the hero. There is nothing heroic, nothing grand in good riding, when dissected. The whole thing is a matter of detail-a collection of trifles; and its principles are so simple in theory, and so easy in practice, that they are despised. The pupil on hearing them assents, " Of course! We need no ghost to tell us that."-But, in fact, the great unpractised secrets in riding are simply these :-WVhen you go to the right, pull the right rein stronger than the left: when you go to the left, the left rein stronger than the right. Urge the horse strongest on the side opposite to the guiding rein, and let your bearing on his mouth be smooth and gentle. He who does so, if not a perfect horseman, will at least be a more perfect one than a million out of a million and one. But, because I would divest horsemanship of the bom- 66f HINTS ON HIORSEMANSHIP. bastic mysticism of its foreign eulogists, do not fall into the contrary extreme and despise the whole, because its parts are insignificant. If you do, for the same reason, you may despise all arts, all sciences:-I may say all greatness whatever. For what are these but a knowledge,-a collection-a multiplicity of trifles The arch, the palace, the pyramid, would never have been built, if their architects had singly quarrelled with each particle of their material, on the score of its individual want of importance. On account of ease to the rider, a lady's horse is only per- mittcel to canter with the right leg. Where this is the case, he should never be cantered circles to the left, or turned at a canter to the left; as, unless the horse shifts his leg, it will be an unfair exertion to demand of hiili; that is, he must be made to collect himself very much, or he will probably fall. Cantering circles to the right, in open ground, where the horse has nothing to bias him but the indications he receives from the rider's hands and legs, is an admirable practice for a , 2 67 68 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. lady. In doing so, if the horse will answer the leg, collects himself, and goes freely up to the bit, lie should bc ridden with both hands. If lie requires the whip to keep him up'to the hand, and make him collect himself, the reins must be crossed in the left hand, and the whip applied chiefly on the left shoulder, constantly if required, with as much gentleness as is possible, but as much severity as is necessary. The bear- ing on the mouth should be light but firm; constantly giving and taking to each stroke of the horse; the right rein felt so much stronger than the left, as to allow you to see the horse's right nostril. An occasional race-who can canter slowest- is also good practice both for horse and rider. This must not be often repeated, nor must the horse be forced from a fair canter, into a hobble or amble. With horses obstinately addicted to the left leg, which is frequently a result of being longed only to the left, it is a good plan to canter them side- footed to the right, that is on a level line, on the side of a hill which rises to the right. In this case, a very slight declina- HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. 69 tion will incline a horse to take his right leg, and, on the side of a steep hill, he can scarcely avoid doing so. To give the bit its most powerful action, it should be placed so low as only just to clear the tusks in a horse's mouth, and to be one inch above the dorner teeth in a mare's mouth. The curb-chain should be so tight as not to admit of more than one finger between it and the chin. These rules are simple, and should be attended to by all riders, ladies as well as gentlemen, for no groom knows how to bit a horse; and a horseman should no more mount with his bit improperly placed, than a seaman set sail with his rudder out of order. A twitch round the lower jaw, under the tongue, on the bars or bare parts of the mouth, is perhaps the most certain, powerful, and severe instrument to hold a horse with, and it may be tightened till it becomes a dreadful implement of torture. Next to this is what is called the dealer's halter; which is merely a narrow thong of leather in like manner tied round the lower jaw, under the tongue, but incapable of being HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. tightened or slackened like the twitch. The bit is a most ingenious attempt to grasp the lower jaw by the same parts with the capability of contracting or perfectly relaxing the grasp, by the application or withdrawal of the powers of the lever. This is the intended action of the bit-the philoso- pher's stone, after which all bit-projectors and makers have laboured. The obstacles to be overcome are various and perhaps insuperable-and, indeed, could the powers of the lever be employed on such exquisitely tender parts as the bars, when within this iron vice, I think no hand could be sufficiently delicate to use them. By pressing your finger-nail against your own gums, you may form some idea of the agony such an implement would have the power of giving to a horse. Anything approaching to harsh, hard handling with it, would drive him desperate, and force him to throw himself over backwards. The idea of lifting his weight by such parts grasped with iron is absurd; still more preposterously bar- barous that of arresting the headlong impetus of a falling d0 UINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. horse by them. Fortunately, the power of the rider is here very limited, and the horse defends himself against it by throwing his head upward and backward, and thus the rider only breaks his horses' knees instead of his jaws. But an ordinary bit placed in the ordinary way, never touches the horse's bars at all. It is usually placed higher than as directed above, and as it pivots on the eye-that part to which the head-stall is attached-wvhen in use, it rises in the horse's mouth-higher, in proportion to the looseness of the curb-chain and the length of the check, or upper part of the branch or side of the bit,-and inside the mouth, it has a mixed action, on the fleshy part of the gums, above the bars, on the lips, and, owing to the narrowness of the porte, on the tongue,-and outside the mouth, it acts on the coarse part of the two jaw-bones, above the fine part of the chin, where the two jaw-bones meet, where the curb-clhain was originally placed, and where it should act; and I consider this sort of upward yratin9 action as calculated to excite, rather than to ,1 72 HINTS ON IHORSEMANSHIIP. restrain a horse. A chifney bit, as it pivots on the mouth- piece, avoids this, its action is quite independent of the head- stall, and precisely on the parts where it is originally placed. The horse employs his tongue as a defence against the bit, passively as a cushion to protect the more tender parts on -which. the bit was intended to work, and actively he uses the muscles of the tongue in resistance to it. This may be proved by using a straight mouth-piece, or one arched upward or downward, but without a porte. From under these a horse w-ill never withdraw his tongue; and he will go with a dead bearing on the hand, though equal, that is not more on one side of the mouth than the other. Even a very narrow porte, not a quarter the width of the tongue, will suffice, when pres- sure is used, to defeat this defence, and completely to engage the tongue within the porte. But being then much com- pressed, it wvill sustain a great part of the leverage, and the horse will endeavour still more to make his tongue the fulcrum of the bit, and to relieve his bars from that office, by HITNTS ON HIORSEMANSIHIP. protruIding the tongue, and thus forcing the thick part of it within the porte. It is a common error to make the porte narrow, highl, and the upper part uneven; and by closing the horse's mouth with a nose-band, to make it act on the roof of the mouth. This is a useless and barbarous absur- (lity, and, like jerking a horse's mouth, much more likely to excite him to action, than to induce him to cease from it. If the porte be made wide, so as to allow space for the tongue, the corners formed by the porte and the cannons,-those parts between the porte and the branclhes,-are apt to work injuri- ously against the bars, and also to slip quite off them, which makes the action of such bits uncertain; though they are very effective and severe, if the mouth-picce be no wider than the horse's mouth. But the mouthpiece which gives complete room for the tongue, and yet brings the cannons into perfect contact with the bars, is that of which Ml. de Solleysell claims the invention, and vhich lhe describes as " a pas d'asne with the porte gained from the thickness of the heels." Let the _,, 7HINTS ON 1IORSEMANSIIP. mouthpiece be in width four inches inside: this, I believe, will be sufficient for most horses; since the part of a horse's mouth where the bit should work is narrowest, and the checks should consequently be set outwards. Let the entrance to the porte between the heels be three-fourths of an inch, and the porte open laterally to two an(l-a-half inches inside. But when the tongue is perfectly disengaged from the bars by the porte, the horse wvil still defend them by drawing his lip in on one side, interposing it between one bar and one cannon of the bit, and pulling on one side of his mouth only. This may be partially remedied by using the snaffle at the sanme time as the curb. It is a common error to attribute this to nature haying formed one bar stronger, or bad handling having made it more callous, than the other. But these and other tricks are not to be looked upon as the results of natural defects, but as habitual defences against the pain resulting fromn a hard harsh bearing on the horse's bars. With a smooth and gentle bearing, he will not take to them, or 74 HINTS ON IHORSEMANSHIP. ' ;) will discontinue them. For callous bars Xenophon pre- scribes gentle friction with oil! and the practice of the Augustan age of the manage, recommended by Berenger, was to amputate that part of the tongue which a horse protruded or lolled out! One of the most common defences against the bit, is the taking the leg, the lower part of the branch, in the mouth. This is commonly counteracted by a lip-strap, but it may be prevented by having the leg bent like that of a military bit. This avoids the use of the lip- strap, which, to be effectual, must be so tight as, in some degree, to gag the horse. The objection to the bent leg is, that its appearance is itnsportibg. This, however, does not apply as an objection to a lady's bit. The action of one branch independently of the other, resulting from the mouth- piece being jointed, or the porte movable, increases the faci- lity of taking the leg in the mouth. For when the right branch is in action, the leg is drawn back, and the bearing of the lip-strap slackened, and the check in going forward HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. draws the check of the left branch back, through the medium of the curb-chain, which protrudes the leg of the left branch. This also gives a sawing action to the curb- chain. If the theories laid down are true, it will result that the common bits are best for the common run of coarse hands, as being less severe, from their action being divided, and on less sensible parts: and also, that they should be curbed more loosely, and placed higher in the horse's mouth in proportion to the degree of coarseness to be expected in the rider's hand. As the collected paces of the parade are not in vogue in England, a gentleman rarely has occasion for his curb at all; except to train a horse for a lady, or in the case where a commanding power is required with a horse, who, by bad or cruel handling, has become habitually restive (for I dis- believe the existence of one naturally so), or whose animal impetuosity or ferocity leads him to attack his neighbours. 76 IhINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. In such a case a chifnve bit, on the principle described, with half the length of branch, and a third part of the weight, will be found more effective than a clipper bit; and at the same time that weight is got rid of, danger is avoided, which, wvith branches running far below the horse's mouth, is very great in going through living fences or coverts. The reins should be extremely thin and supple; they xvill last the longer for it. For reins break from being stiff and cracking an(d suppleness of reins is essential for delicacy of hand. Witlh such a bit, so placed, I have seen the taper tips of the most beautiful fingers in the world, constrain the liighest- mettled and hottest thorough-bred horses, and " rule them when they're wildest." It is an implement, which vill give to the weakest hand the powver of the strongest ; which most of the strongest hands cannot be trusted to wield, and which, if ladies' hands are light, equal, and smooth, xvill give them the power of ridiii- horses such as few men might venture to mount. 117 8 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. Provided the indications from the hand arc true and gentle, no danger to the rider, or resistance from the horse, will result from power; but, on the contrary, safety to the rider, and obedience from the horse. This is the only mode of accounting for the fact that there are thousands of hands which perform to admiration in driving, with the most severe bits, but are quite unfit to be trusted in riding with any thing but a snaffle bridle. For, in driving the terret-pad prevents false indications on the bit; therefore, to ensure true ones being given, two hands are used, or when one only, two or more fingers are placed between the reins instead of the fourth finger only; consequently the horse obeys the slightest touch, and consequently, his mouth and the rider's hand become mutually more light. But put the driver and the driven together, as rider and ridden, with the same bit, the reins in one hand and the fourth finger only between them, and what will follow the rider gives a wrong indication; the horse turns the wrong way, or stops. The ridler insists, 78 hINTS ON IIORSEMANSIHIP. and applies more force ; the horse rears. One or both fall backwards. The blame is laid on the severity, instead of the wrong application, of the bit, and the brute force of the rider. And observe, it is power which I advocate, and not force. 'Tis wvell to have the giant's strength, but tyrannous to use it like a giant." As Lord Pembroke remarks in his admirable treatise, his hand is the best wvho gets his horse to do what he wishes with the least force; whose indications are so clear that his horse cannot mistake them, and whose gentleness and fearlessness alike induce obedience to them. The noblest animal will obey such a rider, as surely as lie will disregard the poltroon, or rebel against tile savage. I say the noblest, because it is ever the noblest among them which rebel the most. For the dominion of man over the horse is a usurped dominion. And, in riding a colt, or a restive horse, wve should never forget that he has the right to resist, and that, at least is far as he can judge, we have not the right to insist. When the stag is taken in the toils, the hunter feels 7.9 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. neither anger nor surprise at his struggles and alarm; and, indeed, would he not be very unreasonable were he to chastise the poor animal on account of them But there is no more reason in nature why a horse should submit, without resistance, to be ridden, than the stag to be slain; why the horse shoul(l give up his liberty to us, than the stag his life. In both these cases our " wish is father to the deed ;" and if our arro- gance insinuates that a bountiful nature created these animals for our service, assuredly bountiful nature left them in igno- rance of the fact. And it is to the sportsman and the colt- breaker that we must apply, if we wish to know whose victims are the most willing; not to the cockney casuist, whose know- ledge of the stag is confined to his venison, and who never trusts himself on the horse, till it has been "long trained in shackles to procession pace." If he did, he would find that the unfettered four-year-old shows the same alarm and resistance to the halter as the stag to the toils. And, in breaking horses, the thing to be aimed at, next to the poower 80 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. of indicating our wishes, is the power of winning obedience to those wishes. These, and these only, are the two things to be aimed at, from the putting the first halter on the colt, to his performance of the pirouette renversee au galop,-which is perhaps the most perfect trial and triumph of the most exquisitely finished horsemanship, and in which the horse must exert every faculty of his mind to discover, and every muscle of his body to execute, the wishes of his rider. It is a vulgar error, an abuse of terms, the mere jargon of jockeyship, to say that the horse needs suppling to perform this, or any other air of the manage, or any thing else that man can make him do. All that he wants is, to be made acquainted with the wishes of his rider, and inspired with the desire to execute them. For example, among the innumerable antics which I have seen fresh young troopers go through, when being led to and from the farrier's shop, I have seen them perform this very air, the pirouette renversee au galop, to the right round the man who leads them. I have seen them G 81 HUNTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. perform the figure perfectly,-with the exception that, instead of the right nostril leading, the head and neck has been straight on the diameter of the circle,-at the same time, detacher raiyuillette and mingle courbettes, hallotades, and even cabrioles with it, combinations which La Broue, the Duke of Newcastle, De la Gueriniere, or Pellier, would scarcely dream of :-this a horse will do in the gaiety of his heart, and without requiring any suppling. Take the same horse into the school, follow him with the longe-whip, and try to make him do it; he will think you a most unreasonable person; he will by no means be able to discover your meaning, and will, if you press him, finish by being exceedingly sulky. Mount him, and try to indicate your wishes to him through the medium of your hands, legs, and whip, or, if you prefer the terms, give him their aid and support; I will venture to say that you will be nearer two years than one, before you can get him to do what he has not only done, but done for his own delight. In the mean time, if, during his two years of 82 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. sIppling, you have never given him a false indication, or ever forced him, lie will be no more stiff than when he first began. But if, as a million riders out of a million and one would have done, you have been in the constant habit of doing both; the horse will long ago have become as stiff as a piece of wood. Is it to be supposed that the best suppled manage horse is more supple than the colt at the foot of his dam Can any one, who has watched his pranks, think so How often have I been told by a rider to observe how supple his horse's neck has become !-that he could now get his head round to his knee; whereas he could not at first accomplish more than to see his horse's eye. If the same horse, loose, wished to scratch his shoulder, or his ribs, or the root of his tail, would he not forthwith do it with his teeth When a cabriolet or cart is turned in a narrow street or road, the horse is forced to make half a pirouette, without any questions being asked as to his capabilities or suppleness; and the rein being pulled strongest on one side, the whip applied on the other, G 2 83 4ITN-TS ON ITORSPNMANSSTI'. the shafts to prevent his turning short, and probably with evident reason why he should not go ahead, he sees what is required, and does it without difficulty. But the same horse will not do the same mounted, in the middle of a grass field, with nothing but his rider's aids to bias him, or indicate what is required of him. Put a halter on a four-year-old who has never seen one, how many courbettes will he make Put on a crupper, how many ballotades Girth him, how many cabrioles I have seen a young horse, when led in a dealer's halter, if eager after his companions, do the epaule en dedans.' When placed against a wall to be measured, I have seen him piaff, make the courbette, ballotade, cabriole, pointe, and ditacher l'aiquillette. This he will do, as long as he is raw and unused to his tackle. After he has become accustomed to it, try to make him perform these airs at your will; and, as I have said, it will be two years before he will understand and obey you. But these will be the reasons, not his want of suppleness. Jump on him the first moment he is 84 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. saddled, he will probably run away; then stop him if you can:- or he will resist you by sulking, rearing, or throwing himself down; then make him gallop if you can, or take either leg, at your will, at a collected canter. Is it from want of suppleness 2 or want of disposition to obey because he can't or because he won't -I think the last. Turn him away loose to his com- panions in the green fields, and lie will gambol with the light- ness of a bird, and the elasticity of an eel; and when you want to catch hinm again, he will gallop fast enough, or proba- bly inflating his nostrils, and spreading his tail, he will make such a "passage"-I use it in the French sense, the cadenced or collected trot-- as, if you were on him, you would think an ample reward for two years' labour. The great thing in horsemanship is to get your horse to be of your party; not only to obey, but to obey wil- lingly. For this reason a young horse cannot be begun with too early, and his lessons cannot be, too gradually progressive. He should wear a head-stall from the begin- 85 8 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. ning; be accustomed to be held. and made fast by the head; to give up all four feet; to bear the girthing of a roller; to be led, &c. When a horse hangs back and leads unwillingly, the common error is to get in front of him, and pull him. This may answer when the man is stronger than the horse, but even then it would be an irksome process. In leading, you never should be farther forward than your horse's shoulder: with your right hand hold his head in front of you, by the bridle, close to his mouth, or the head-stall, and with the left hand touch him with the whip behind you as far back as you can; if you have no whip, the spring bar will allow of the stirrup and leather being easily taken off and on, which will make a good substitute. The colt should also be led out by the side of old horses, while at exercise, to accustom him to leave home and see strange objects; but he should not be made to face them, still less be forced up to them. The great use of longing is, not that it supples your horse, it 86 ITINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. is a farce to suppose it; but that, next to being held by the head and leading, it is the easiest act of obedience you can require of him. In good hands it is a powerful and certain mode of reducing a horse to submission,-of getting him to go freely forward at your order, and it will never stiffen him. In bad hands, it is the fruitful source of spavins, curbs, and thorough-pins; and far from suppling, it annually stiffens and breaks down, thousands of horses: for the guiding and urging indications are both on the same side of the horse. His head and shoulders are forcibly hauled into the circle by the cord, and his haunches driven out of it by the whip. A horse should only be longed at a walk till he circles without force. He should never be compelled to canter in the longe, though he may be permitted to do it of himself. He must not be stopped by pulling the cord, which would pull him across, but by meeting him, or by running his head towards a wall, or hedge; so that he stops himself straight. A skilful person will, single-handed, longe a horse in many 87 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. figures, and, by heading him with the whip, change him without stopping, and longe him in the figure of 8. No man is fit to be trusted with such powerful implements as the longe-cord and whip who cannot do this; for lie must be ignorant of the principles of urging, guiding, and stopping the horse in the longe. When the colt goes without force, lie should be longed on the snaffle, instead of the cavevon; it will facilitate his being guided, and held by the mouth, when first mounted. In the longe, he should be accustomed to feel the stirrups against his sides, and to carry the cross with a great-coat on it. When the reins are buckled to it- which should be long at first, and shortened by degrees-the inward should be so much shorter than the outward rein as would allow the rider, if the horse were mounted, to see his inward nostril. As a practice of submission, placing him on the bit is good, not to improve his mouth, it spoils that; for colts left in this way, tightly buckled up, bear heavily, and even go to sleep, 88 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. on the bit. The immediate consequence is raw, and after- wards, callous lips. It is better to fix the straps from the cross and pillars to the caveon, instead of to the bit. Clean- ing him on the bit, that is on an easy colt's mouthing-piece, is an admirable practice. The reins should be on the sides of the stalls, and the horse's head towards the manger:-when dressed on the pillar-straps, there is danger of capping his houghs by kicking against the manger. The brush acts as the urging indication: the head of the stall as well as the reins, inform the horse that he is not to advance; the result is that he collects himself to the bit. Here then the common theory would make him to be taken up, and collected, not between the hands and legs, not " dans la main et dans les talons," but " dans the sides of the stall, et dans the horse- brush :" that is, it would make him to be actively and mecha- nically lifted by two passive and stationary pieces of timber, and supported by the hog's bristles of the horse-brush. It is precisely the same as putting him between the pillars in 89) HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. a manege, which is an admirable explanatory practice to a horse. For when retained by the-pillars at his head, which indicate to him that he is not to advance, and urged from behind, by the application of the longe-whip to his tail, he sees what is required, that he has nothing to do but to collect himself, and he does it. With the longe-whip in skilful hands, the head and sides of the stall give infinite advantages over the pillars in the man6ge. The stall should be well littered, to prevent slipping: for the danger is, urging him so far as to induce rearing: a fall backwards on pavement might be fatal. Both teach the horse the same lesson, namely, that when urged up to the bit, that is, when retained and urged at the same time, he is required to collect himself. Anything which facilitates this is of infinite value; for, when mounted, apply these opposite indications to a colt, he will do anything but obey them-anything but collect himself. If you insist, he will resist. He will end in overt acts of rebellion, or at least in dogged sulks; and that, from not 90 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. understanding or not choosing to obey your aids, not from want of suppleness. Let art supple the temper and under- standing of colts, and leave nature to supple their limbs. Cleaning a horse on the bit has also the additional merit of preventing him from wearing his teeth, the sides of the stall, and the manger, by biting them while being cleaned: this last is probably the origin of crib-biting. By holding the colt's head by the caveyon, or halter, or the strap of a riding-school snaffle, which passes behind the chin, close and fronting to a wall, and touching him with a whip on the side, he may be easily made to passage, that is, cross his legs and go sideways to either hand. For with the wall to show him that lhe is not to advance, the hand to make his head and shoulders lead, and the whip on one side, he instantly apprehends what is required. He should also be taught to rein back by the caveon or halter: it is more simple than the bit, which, from its severity, he at first mistakes for a punishment, instead of an indication to rein back, and so becomes confused, and, 91 2HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. if force is used, sulky. These are important steps, as prac- tices of obedience as wvell as of intelligence. There cannot be a better time than when the colt is in his longing lessons, to teach him to leap. The bar itself should be onlv six feet long. The posts which support it should be four feet six inches high. The side rails attached to them, thirty feet in length, with a post in the centre at fifteen feet from either end, and they should slope down to three feet. They should rest on the tops of the posts, and be flush with them and perfectly smooth, so that the longe-cord may pass freely along, and over them without catching. The pace should be invariably a walk, as far as the middle post, thence a slow trot. The horse must not be suffered to rush, or he will refuse, or at least pull up and jump standing. The reins of the snaffle should be taken over the head and passed through the ring, on the left side of the snaffle, and the longe-cord buckled to them. Hold the rein close to where it passes through the ring. It will clasp the horse's lower 92 ITINTS ON' HORSEMANSHITP. jaw, like a slip-knot, and give you great power to hold him, and prevent rushing. This should be done with a perfectly smooth, firmn feeling, and without jerk. All over-fresh horses should be led in this way when not mounted; without it, a horse will contrive to pull with the top of his head, instead of his jaw, and with force sufficient to break any reins, or pull any man over. If the horse does refuse, the bar should be lowered till he ceases to do so. He should be alwavs touched with the whip, if he hesitates; but never forced over anything higher than a foot from the ground. And as long as he rushes, or shows nervousness, he cannot be kept too low. When he goes freely and steadily, raise the bar, bole by hole. Two or three times each day over the bar would make him, before he is out of the breaker's hands, as high and temperate a timber-fencer as the most practised hunter-a high gate would be a joke to him. If he has no use for this accomplishment in after-life, it is at least excellent as an exaction of obedience. Any good-natured groom might 9.1 4HINTS ON' HORSEMANSHIP. teach these things to a colt from the moment he is weaned, and it would save him much brutality, as a three or four-year-old. In doing so, it is impossible to have too much forbearance. The whole thing is an affair of patience. Put off the evil dayof force. Forgive him seventy times seventy times a day, and be assured that what does not come to-day, will to-morrow. The grand thing is to get rid of dogged sulks and coltishness-of that way- ward, swerving, hesitating gait, which says, " Here's my foot, and there's my foot," or "There is a lion in the street, I can- not go forth ! " This is the besetting sin of colts, and this it is, which on the turf, gives so great an advantage to a young horse, who has another to make play, or cut out the running for him. For this indisposition to go freely forward, results, as well from their seeing no necessity to give up their will to yours, as from their incapacity to perceive and obey the indi- cations of their rider,'without swerving, shifting the leg, &c., and additional labour to themselves. All this is spared to the young horse by the follow-my-leader system. 94 HINTS ON HORSEMANSITIP. Everything should be resorted to, to avoid alarm on the colt's, and force on the man's side, and gradually to induce familiarity and cheerful obedience-to reconcile him to the me- lancholy change from gregarious liberty, to a solitary stall, and a state of slavery. I should say, he is the best colt-breaker who soonest inspires him with the animnus eundi; who soonest gets hinm to go freely straight forward; who soonest, and with the least force, gets the colt without company five miles along the road from home, with the least unwillingness. Violence- never did that yet ;-but violence increases his reluctance, and makes it last ten times longer. Indeed it causes the colt to stiffen and defend himself; and this never is got rid of. It is true that by force you may make him your sullen slave, but that is not the object; the object is to make him your willing subject, and long, gentle usage will alone do this. Above all things, do not be perpetually playing the wolf to him. Deal in rewards where it is possible, and in punishment only where it cannot be avoided. It is no doubt 95 6HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. our duty to create the happiness, and to prevent the misery, of every living thing. But with our horse this is also a matter of policy. Xenophon has a most charming remark, that we should endeavour to make ourselves to our horse the organ of pleasure, and that he should associate with our presence the idea of the absence of pain. I should like to quote one more golden rule from this most christian-like heathen, namely, that nothing should be done to the horse in anger. The colt should be caressed, rubbed, and spoken to kindly. He should be fed from the hand, with anything he may fancy, such as an apple or carrot, or sugar, and be made to come for it when whistled to, or called by name. A good way to familiarise them is, when their heads are fastened to the cross, or saddle, so that they cannot reach to help them- selves, to gather boughs or grass, and give it them on calling their name, or whistling. In this way they will soon go with you loose like a dog. When their heads are loose, by throw- ing pieces of apple or carrot on the ground, they will learn to 96 HINTS ON ITORSEMANSIIIP. watch your hand like a dog, and will soon pick up your glove, or handkerchief, or whip, and bring it in exchange for the reward; or, when mounted, put their heads back to place it in your hand. These may be " foolish things to all the wise ;" but nothing is useless which familiarises the horse ; which increases the confidence and intimacy between him and his rider; or which teaches him to look to man for the indications of his will, and to obey them, whether from fear, interest, or attachment. Till the colt is inured to the imprisonment and atmosphere of the stable, he cannot be led out too frequently or too long in the open air; at the least twice a-day. Warm clothing is by no means objectionable for horses, nor even a warm stable; but in all cases plenty of fresh air should be admitted. Horses, in grazing, must, doubtless; swallow much earth. Those kept in stables, and feeding only on hay and oats, will often, if allowed, when out, seize any opportunity to eat earth; IH 97 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. or when first unbridled in the stable, will lick every particle of it off their feet ; or if they can get at the wall, will lick the whitewash off it. I think all horses should have a lump of rock-salt, and a lump of chalk, in their mangers; and I very much doubt whether, with this exception, they should in any case have any medicine whatever. Most of their disorders are the results of close confinement in close stables, and are to be prevented or remedied only by proper stable management, plenty of gentle exercise, and air. Their infirmities and un- soundnesses are almost invariably caused by too much work. Do not, on that account, proceed to drug and poison them internally with patent medicines; or externally to subject their skin and sinews to operations and tortures which would not disgrace the Inquisition. But trust only to a loose place and perfect rest. In the case of wounds, nature, wholly unassisted, will perform cures almost miraculous, if not obstructed by what is called art. Shoes are necessary to a horse who works much on hard '98 HINTS ON HORSIIEMANShII1.9 gi-ouwld. For take a horse with the soundest and hardest hoof-that is, one bred on the driest and most upland pas- ture-he will, perhaps, gallop ten or twenty miles unshod, on a hard road, without breaking or injuring his foot; but let him travel thirty miles a-day, even at a slow pace, for thirty successive days, and before he has performed a quarter part, his foot will be worn to the quick. Still less will lie be able to stand a daily stage in a coach. Even the Greeks shod their mules and draught-horses. But the modern shoe of the West,-and I believe it to be better than that of the East, -compels the horse to stand in a most unnatural manner; namely on the ciiust, or outside rim of the foot only. This evil can be remedied during the time that the horse is in the stable by the pad invented for this purpose, by that inge- nious and original thinker, Mr. Cherry. This pad is broader than the interior opening of the shoe: must be compressed in order to be placed within it ; and remains there when the foot is lifted, merely from the pressure caused against the If 2 9 9 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. interior sides of the shoe by the tendency of the felt to expand itself. Let one or two thicknesses of leather-. of the same breadth as the interior opening of the shoe-that is, of less breadth than the pad-be attached to the pad by being sewed down the middle only; so as to allow the felt to be bent and compressed to place it in the foot. The leather should protrude beyond the shoe about one-eighth of an inch. By this a bearing will be got on the whole internal part of the foot, as well as on the shoe; at the same time that the pad will be prevented from coming in contact with any moisture. I think it essential that this internal support of the foot should be dry; for though it is true that horses at large in moist pastures have invariably open heels, I attribute this not to the moisture directly, but to the softness of the tread result- ing from the moisture, and consequently to the perfect sup- port and pressure on the whole interior part of the foot. It is equally certain that horses on such ground have invariably diseased frogs and thrushes. To cure this, I believe with 100 H1NTS ON IIORSENIANSIIIP. Xenophon that drought is essential; and I think with him that the foot should never be wetted unnecessarily-not even washed. For this reason, and also to keep the stable sweet, the horse should stand all day without litter. But above all things he should stand on a flat plane. Nothing can be more painful or more detrimental to a horse than obliging him, as is now often the case, to stand up-hill. If there is a drain, it should be towards the centre of the stall,- if none, the paving-stones should have deep interstices between them, so that their surface should be always dry. I think the most perfect standing for a horse who is shod, would be a stall, laid a foot or eighlteen inches deep, with fine shingle, or sifted( gravel. T his wvould yield to the horse's tread till there was an equal bearing on every part of the foot, be always changing, always dry, and alwvays cool. But I have not had opportunity to try this, even as a standing for the day time nor to prove how far it might be fitted for the horse to lie on without litter; or how far, if it were littered down for the 101 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. night, the litter might with convenience be removed to form a standing for the day time. Xenophon, with a different object in view, recommends a standing of this sort for the unshod horse while being cleaned out of doors. All horses, but particularly broken-winded horses, should have water always within their reach. Setting them pre- viously to speedy galloping, is the only exception; and this is almost invariably overdone. Such horses, however, whether race-horses or hunters, are the best judges of how much chilled water they should drink after their exertion. The groom may be competent and supreme in the case of his own potations; but his judgment in this case for the horse is, I think, the frequent source of fever, inflammation, and cholic. It is the common error to stint broken-winded horses of water, This is a barbarous mistake. The object should be to prevent them distending themselves by immoderate draughts. This is best accomplished by giving them the opportunity of making frequent moderate draughts. 102 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. Such things as the above, which relate to the future and permanent well-being of the horse, should be attended to by the master; for even good grooms are too apt to confine their cares to the present state and condition of the horse; and are careless or ignorant that their daily treatment of him is surely, though imperceptibly, laying the foundation of broken wind, stiffened sinews and joints, crippled and con- tracted feet, &c. I cannot finish without one word to deprecate a piece of in- humanity, practised as much, perhaps more, by ladies than gentlemen-the riding the horse fast on hard ground. I pray them to consider that horses do not die of old age, but are killed because they become crippled; and that he who cripples them is the cause of their death, not he who pulls the trigger. The practice is as unhorsemanlike as it is inhuman. It is true that money will replace the poor slaves as you use them up, and if the occasion requires it, they must, alas! be used up; but, in my opinion, nothing but a case of life and death I (ID HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. can justify the deed. If the ground be hard and even, a collected canter may be allowed, but if hard and uneven, a moderate trot at most. One hour's gallop on such ground would do the soundest horse irremediable mischief. Those who boast of having gone such a distance, in such a time, on the ground supposed, show ignorance or inhumanity. Such feats require cruelty only, not courage. Nay they are per- formed most commonly by the very persons who are too cowardly or too unskilful to dare to trust their horse with his foot on the elastic turf, or to stand with him the chances of the hunting field: and such is the inconsistency of human nature, that they are performed by persons who would shudder at the sight of the bleeding flank of the race- horse! or who would lay down with disgust and some expres- sion of maudlin, morbid humanity, the truly interesting Narrative of that most intrepid and enduring of all gallopers, Sir Francis Head. But compare the cases. In the case of the race-horse, he has his skin wounded to urge him to a 104 HINTS ON HORSEMANSHIP. two, or at most a five minutes' exertion, from which in ten minutes he is perfectly recovered, and ready, nay eager, to start again. In the case of the wild horse of the Pampas, he is urged for two, three, or perhaps five hours to the utmost distress for wind, as wvell as muscular fatigue; lie is enlarged,-and in three or four days lie is precisely the same as if he had never been ridden. But in the case of the English road-rider, though no spur is used, unfair advantage is taken of the horse's impetuous freedom of nature; his sinews are strained; his joints permanently stiffened ; lie is deprived at once and for ever of his elasticity and action, and brought, prematurely a cripple, to the grave. THE END. 10.; LONDI)O.N: 1:11OADIBURY AND EVAN., PRiN1Ii&;, WIlI'rrPRIAR',