« PreviousContinue »
ieft leg over the right (at the time when the right and opening files, it is almost every moment
ENDURE Norses, ALARMS, SIGHTS, &c.
, each rein helping the other by their properly and different noises, use them to it by degrees in mixed effects. In working to the right the rider's the stable at feeding-time; and, instead of being left leg helps the hinder parts on to the right, and frightened at it, they will soon come to like it as his right leg stops them if they get too forwards; a signal for eating. With regard to such horses and so vice versâ to the left; but neither ought as are afraid of burning objects, begin by keepto be used, till the hand being employed in a ing them still at a certain distance from some proper manner has failed, or finds that a greater lighted straw: caress the horse; and in proporforce is necessary to bring about what is required tion as his fright diminishes, bring gradually the than it can effect alone; for the legs should not burning straw nearer, and increase the size of it. only be corresponding with, but also subservient By this means he may very quickly be brought to to, the hand; and all unnecessary aids, as well be so familiar with it, as to walk undaunted even as all force, ought always to be avoided as much through it. as possible.
As to horses that are apt to lie down in the In the execution of all lessons the equilibrium water, if animating them, and attacking them of the rider's body is of great use to the horse; vigorously, should not have the desired effect, . it ought always to go with, and accompany every then break a straw-bottle full of water upon their motion of the animal; when to the right, to the heads, and let the water run into their ears, which right; and when to the left, to the left. Upon is a thing they dislike very much. all horses, in every lesson and action, it must be All troop horses must be taught to stand quiet observed, that there is no horse but has his own and still when they are fired from, to stop the peculiar appui or degree of bearing, and also a moment you present, and not to move after firing sensibility of mouth, as likewise a rate of his till they are required to do it: in short, the own, which it is absolutely necessary for the rider horse must be taught to suffer the rider to act to discover. A bad rider always takes off' at upon him with the same freedom as if he was on least the delicacy of both. The horse will in- foot. Patience, coolness, and temper, are the form his rider when has got his proper bearing only means requisite for accomplishing this end. in the mouth, by playing pleasantly and steadily Begin by walking the horse gently; then stop and with his bit, and by the spray about his chaps. keep him from stirring for some time, so as to A delicate and good hand will not only always accustom him by degrees pot to have the least preserve a light appui or bearing in his sensi- idea of moving without orders: if he does, then bility; but also of a heavy one, whether natural back him: and when you stop him, and he is or acquired, make a light one. The lighter this quite still, leave the reins loose. appui can be made, the better, provided that the To use a horse to fire-arms, first put a pistol rider's hand corresponds with it; if it does not, or carabine in the manger with his seed; then the more the horse is properly prepared, so much use him to the sound of the lock and the pan; the worse.
after which, when you are upon him, show the Instances of this inconvenience of the best of piece to him, presenting it forwards, sometimes appuis, when the rider is not equally taught with on one side, sometimes on the other : when he the horse, may be seen every day. Gentlemen is thus far reconciled, proceed to flash in the try to get their horses bitted, as they call it, pan; after which, put a small charge into the without being suitable prepared themselves for piece, and so continue augmenting it by degrees riding them; the consequence of which is, that to the quantity which is commonly used : if he they ride in danger of breaking their necks; seems uneasy, walk him forward a few steps till at length, after much pulling about, and by slowly; and then stop, back, and caress him. the joint insensibility and ignorance of them- Horses are also often disquieted and unsteady at selves and grooms, the poor horse gradually be- the clash, and drawing, and returning of swords; comes a mere senseless unfeeling automaton; all which they must be familiarised to gradually and thereby grows what is called settled. When and gently. the proper appui is found, and made of course It is necessary for cavalry in general, but paras light as possible, it must not be kept duly fixed ticularly for light cavalry horses, to be very ready without any variation, but be played with; other- and expert in leaping ditches, hedges, gates, &c. wise one equally continued tension of reins would The leaps, of whatever sort, to which horses are render both the rider's hand and the horse's at first brought, ought to be very small, and the mouth very dull. Slight and frequent giving rider must keep his body back, raise his hands and taking is therefore necessary to keep both a little in order to help the fore parts of the perfect
horse up, and be very attentive to his equilibrium. Whatever pace or degree of quickness you It is best to begin at a low bar covered with work in, be it ever so fast, or ever so slow, it furze, which pricking the horse's legs, if he does must be cadenced; time is as necessary for a not raise himself sufficiently, prevents his conhorseman as for a musician. This lesson of the tracting a sluggish and dangerous habit of touchhead and of the tail to the wall is especially to ing, as he goes over. Let the ditches also you be taught every soldier; scarcely any manæu- first bring horses to be narrow. Accustom spre can be performed without it. In closing them to come up to every thing which they are
to leap over, and to stand coolly at it for some Sect. VII.—Of Curing RESTIVENESS, Vicitime; then to raise theinselves gently up in
OUSNESS, STARTING, &c. order to form an idea of the distance. When Whenever a horse .makes resistance, one they leap well standing, use them to walk gently ought to examine very minutely all the tackle up to the leap, and to go over it without first about him; if any thing hurt or tickle him; halting at it. After this practice is familiar to whether he have any natural or accidental weakthem, repeat it in a gentle trot, and so by, de ness, &c. For want of this precaution many grees faster and faster, till at length it is as disasters happen, and the aninial is frequently familiar to them to leap Aying on a full gallop as accused falsely of being restive and vicious.
Correction, according to the way it is used, As horses are apt to be frightened at the sight throws a horse into more or less violent action, and smell of the dead of their own species, it is which, if he be weak, he cannot support; but a advisable to habituate them to walk and leap vicious strong horse is to be considered in a over carcasses; but the greatest gentleness ought very different light, being able both to undergo, here to be used. Horses should also be accus- and consequently to profit by all lessons; and is tomed to swim; and a very small portion of far preferable to the best natured weak one strength is sufficient to guide a horse in the water, upon earth. Patience and attention are never where they must be permitted to heave their failing means to reclaim such a horse; in whatheads, and be no way constrained
soever manner he defends himself, bring him The practice of cutting off extremities from back frequently with gentleness (not, however, horses is in all cases very pernicious. It is par- without having given him proper chastisement ticularly so in regard to a troop-horse's tail. It if necessary) to the lesson which he seems most is almost incredible how much they suffer at the piquet for the want of it; kicking about and
Horses are by degrees made obedient, through laming one another; whilst other horses, with the hope of reward and the fear of punishment. their tails on, brush off all flies, are cool and at To blend the operation of the two judiciously their ease, and mend daily.
together is very difficult; requiring much
thought and practice, a good head, and a good Sect. VI.—Or Reining Back, AND Moving disposition. The coolest and best-natured rider FORWARD
AFTER; Piafing will always succeed best. If a horse be impaPillars, &c.
tient, or choleric, never strike him, unless he ab
solutely refuse to go forward ; which you must Never finish your work by reiving back with then resolutely oblige him to do, and which will horses that have any disposition towards retain- be of itself a correction. Resistance in horses ing themselves; but always move them forwards, is sometimes a mark of strength and vigor, and and a little upon the haunches also, after it, be- proceeds from spirit, as well as sometimes from fore you dismount, unless they retain themselves viciousness or weakness. Great care should, very much indeed; in which case nothing at all therefore, be taken to distinguish from which of must be demanded from the haunches. This these causes a horse's resistance arises, before lesson of reining back, and piafing, is proper to any remedy or punishment is adopted. It is conclude with, and puts a horse well on the sometimes a bad sign when horses do not at all haunches : it may be done, according as horses resist, and may proceed from a sluggish disposiare more or less suppled, either going forward, tion. Horses again are oftener spoilt by having backing, or in the same place : if it is done too much done to them, and by attempts to dress well advancing, or at most on the same spot, it them in too great a hurry. is sufficient for a soldier's horse. For to piafe After a horse has been well suppled, if there in backing is too much to be expected in the are no impediments, natural or accidental, and hurry of training numbers of men and horses he still resist, chastisement becomes necessary; together.
but this must not be frequent, but always firm, This lesson should indeed never be attempted and as little violent as possible. Some horses at all, till lorses are very well suppled, and ac- have quicker parts and more cunning than customed to be put together; otherwise it will others. Many will imperceptibly gain a little create restiveness. If they refuse to back, and every day on the rider. Various, in short, are stand motionless, the rider's legs must be ap- their dispositions and capacities. It is the proached with the greatest gentleness to the rider's business to find these out, and to make a horse's sides : at the same time that the hand is horse sensible of attachment, but at the same acting on the reins to solicit his backing. This time that he will be master, seldom fails of procurir.g the desired effect, by Plunging is a common defence among restive raising one of the horse's fore legs, wbich is and vicious horses; if they do it while backing, consequently very easily brought backwards by they must, by the rider's legs and spurs firmly a small degree of tension in the reins.
applied, be obliged to go forward, and their Well performed, this lesson is particularly heads kept up high. But, if they do it flying serviceable, when pillars are used. Very few forwards, keep them back, and ride them gently regimental riding-houses have pillars, and it is and very slow for a good while together. Of fortunate they have not; for though, when used all bad tempers and qualities in horses, those with skill, they are one of the greatest and which are occasioned by harsh treatment and best discoveries in horsemanship; they must be ignorant riders are the worst. Jlowed to be very dangerous and pernicious Rearing is a vicious habit, and, in weak when not under proper direction.
horses especially, a very dangerous one. While
the horse is up, the rider must yield his hand; pleases, hefore the rein is short enough in your and, when the horse is descending, he must hand to prevent him. It is common likewise vigorously determine him forwards; if this be for an awkward rider, as soon as his foot is in done at any other time but while the horse is the stirrup, to throw himself with all his force to coming down, it may add a spring to his rearing, gain his seat; which he cannot do, perhaps, til and make him fall backwards. With a skilful he has first overbalanced himself on one side hand on them, horses seldom persist in this or the other. The way to mount with ease and habit. If the foregoing method fail, make the safety is, to stand rather before than behind the horse kick up behind by getting somebody on stirrup. In this posture take the bridle short, foot to strike him behind with a whip; or by and the mane together in your left hand, helping pricking him with a goad.
yourself to your stirrup with your right, so that Starting often proceeds from a defect in the your toe may not touch the horse in mounting. sight, which, therefore, must be carefully ex- When your left foot is in the stirrup, move on amined. Whatever the horse is afraid of, bring your right, till you face the side of the horse, him up to gently, and caress him at every step. looking across over the saddle. Then with your Nothing but great gentleness can correct this right hand grasp the hinder part of the saddle; fault. If you let him pass the object without and with that and your left, which holds the bringing him up to it, you increase the fault, mane and bridle, lift yourself upright on your and confirm him in his fear. Before such horses left foot. Remain thus a mere instant ou your as are to a great degree fearful of any object, stirrup, only so as to divide the action into two make a quiet horse, proceed towards it, and motions. While you are in this posture you gradually entice them to approach nearer and have a sure hold with both hands, and are at
If the horse thus alarmed be undisci- liberty either to get safely down, or to throw plined and headstrong, he will probably run your leg over and gain your seat. By this deli away with his rider; when his head must be berate motion likewise you avoid, what every kept up high, and the snaffle moved backwards good horseman will endeavour to avoid, putting and forwards from right to left, taking up and the horse into a flutter. yielding the reins of it, as well as the reins of the To dismount, hold the bridle and mane tobit; but this last must not be moved backwards gether in your left hand, as when you mounted; and forwards like the snaffle, but only taken up put your right hand on the pommel of the sadand yielded properly. No man ever yet did, or dle, to raise yourself; throw your leg back over ever will, stop a horse, or gain any point over the horse; grasp the hinder part of the saddle him by main force, or by pulling against him. with your right hand ; remain a moment on your Sect. VIII.-RULES FOR INEXPERIENCED
stirrup; and in every respect reverse the actions
of mounting your horse. "Take care not to bend HORSEMEN.
your right knee in dismounting, lest your spur On this subject Mr. Thompson has given the should rub against the horse. following rules :- In the first place, every horse When you ride, hold your bridle at a conveshould be accustomed to stand still when he is nient length. Sit square, and let not the purmounted. One would imagine this might be chase of the bridle pull forward your shoulder: readily granted; yet we see how much the con- but keep your body even, as it would be if each trary is practised. When a gentleman mounts hand held a rein. Hold your reins with the at a livery stable, the groom takes the horse by whole grasp of your hand, dividing them with the bit, which he bends tight round his under your little finger. Let your hand be perpendijaw: the horse, striving to go on, is forced back; cular; your thumb will then be uppermost and advancing again, he frets, as he is again stopped placed on the bridle. Bend your wrist a little short, and hurt by the manner of holding him. outward; and, when you pull the bridle, raise The rider, in the mean time, mounting without your hand towards your breast, and the lower the bridle, or at least holding it but slightly, is part of the palm rather more than the upper. helped to it by the groom, who, being thoroughly Let the bridle be at such a length in your hand, employed by the horse's futtering, has at the as, if the horse should stumble, you may be able same time both bridle and stirrup to give. This to raise his head, and support it by the strength confusion would be prevented, if every horse of your arnis, and the weight of your body were taught to stand still when he is mounted. thrown backward. If you hold the rein too Forbid your groom, therefore, when he rides long, you are subject to fall backward as your your horse to water, to throw himself over from horse rises. If, knowing your horse perfectly a horse-block, and kick him with his leg even well, you think a tight rein unnecessary, advance before he is fairly upon him. This wrong man- your arm a little (but not your shoulder) towards ner of mounting is what chiefly teaches horses the horse's head, and keep your usual length of this vicious habit.
rein. By this means you have a check upon A constant practice of mounting in the proper your horse, while you indulge him. manner is all that is necessary to prevent a If you ride with a curb, make it a rule to horse from going on till the rider is fairly in the hook on the chain yourself; the most quiet saddle.
A common method is to stand near the horse may bring his rider into danger, should croup or hinder part of the horse, with the bri- the curb hurt him. If, in fixing the curb, you dlc held long. By this manner of holding the turn the chain to the right, the links will unfold bridle, before you mount, you are liable to be themselves, and then oppose a farther turning. kicked; and, when you are mounted, your horse Put on the chain loose enough to hang down on inay go on some time, or play what gambols he the horse's under lip, so that it may not risc and
press his jaw till the reins of the bridle are must fit well. In general the saddle presses moderately pulled. If your horse has been used as nearly as possible on that part which we have to stand still when he is mounted, there will be described as the point of union between the no occasion for a groom to hold him; but if be man and the horse; but so as not to obstruct does, suffer him not to touch the reins, but that the motion of the horse's shoulders. Place yourpart of the bridle which comes down the cheek self in the middle or lowest part of it: sit erect; of the horse. He cannot then interfere with the but with as little constraint as in a chair. The management of the reins, which belongs to the ease of action marks the good rider: you may rider only; and holding a horse by the curb repose yourself, but not lounge. The studied (which is ever painful to him) is evidently im- exactness acquired in the riding-house, by those proper when he is to stand still.
whose deportment is not easy, appears ungenTake care not to ride with your arms and el- teel and unnatural. bows as high as your shoulders; nor let them If
your horse stops short, or endeavours, by shake up and down with the motion of the raising and kicking, to unseat you, do not bend horse. The posture is unbecoming, and the your body forward, as many do in those circumweight of the arms (and of the body too if the stances: that motion throws the breech forward, rider does not sit still) acts in continual jerks on and the rider out of his seat; whereas the adthe jaw of the horse, which must give him pain, yancing the lower part of the body, and bending and make him unquiet, if he has either a tender back the upper part and shoulders, is the method mouth or any spirit.
both to keep your seat, and to recover it when Riders wonder why horses are gentle as soon lost. The bending your body back, and that in as they are mounted by skilful horsemen. The a great degree, is the greatest security in flying reason is, the horse goes on at his ease, yet finds leaps; it is a security, too, when your horse all his motions watched; which he has sagacity leaps standing. The horse's rising does not try enough to discover. Such a rider hides his the rider's seat; the lash of his hind legs ought whip, if he finds his horse is afraid of it; and chiefly to be guarded against, and is best done keeps his legs from his sides. Avoid the un- by the body being greatly inclined back. Stiffen graceful custom of letting your legs shake against not your legs or thighs; and let your body be the sides of the horse: and as you are not to pliable in the loins, like the coachman's on his box. keep your arms and elbows high, and in motion, This manner of sitting will counter-balance so you are not to rivet them to your sides, but every rough motion of the horse ; whereas the let them fall easy: an awkward horseman seems fixture of the knees, so commonly laid a stress flying off at all points.
on, will in great shocks conduce to the violence It is often said with emphasis, that such a one of the fall. Were the cricket-player, when the has no seat on horseback; meaning not only that ball is struck with the greatest force, to hold his he does not ride well, but that he does not sit on hand firm and fixed to receive it, the hand would the right part of the horse. To have a good seat be bruised, or perhaps the bones fractured by is to sit on that part of the horse which, as he the resistance. To obviate this, he yields his springs, is the centre of motion; and from which, hand to the motion of the ball for a certain disof course, any weight would be with most diffi- tance; and thus, by a due mixture of opposition culty shaken. As in the rising and falling of a and obedience, catches it without sustaining the board, placed in equilibrio, the centre will be least injury. The case is exactly the same in always most at rest, the true seat will be found riding: the skillful horseman will recover his in that part of your saddle into which your body poise by giving some way to the motion; and would naturally slide if you rode without stir- the ignorant horseman will be flung out of his rups; and is only to be preserved by a proper seat by endeavouring to be fixed. poise of the body, though the generality of riders Stretch not out your legs before you ; this will imagine it is to be done by the grasp of the push you against the back of the saddle; neither thighs and knees. The rider should consider gather up your knees, like a man riding on a himself as united to his horse in this point; and, pack; this throws your thighs upwards; each when shaken from it, endeavour to restore the practice unseats you. Keep your legs straight balance.
down; and sit not on the most fleshy part of The mention of the two extremities of a bad the thighs, but turn them inwards, so as to bring seat may help to point out the true one. The one in your knees and toes. It is more safe to ride is, when the rider sits very far back on the saddle, with the ball of the foot pressing on the stirrup, so that his weight presses the loins of the horse; than with the stirrup as far back as the heel ; for the other, when his body hangs forward over the pressure of the heel, being in that case behind the pommel of the saddle. The first may be seen the stirrup, keeps the thighs down. practised by grooms when they ride with their When you find your thighs thrown upwards, stirrups affectedly short; the latter by fearful widen your knees to get them and the upper horsemen on the least flutter of the horse. Every part of your fork Tower down on the borse. good rider has, even on the hunting saddle, as Grasp the saddle with the hollow or inner part determined a place for his thighs as can be made of your thighs, but not more than just to assist for him by the bars of a demi-peak. Indeed the balance of your body: this will also enable there is no difference between the seat of either : you to keep the spurs from the horse's sides, and only, as in the first you ride with shorter stir- to bring your toes in. Sink your heels straight rups, your body will be consequently more be- down; for, while your heels and thighs keep hind your knees.
down, you cannot fall; this, aided by the bend To have a good seat for the rider, the saddle of the back, gives the security of a seat to those
who bear themselves up in their stirrups in a continued pull, but stop, and back him ofter swift gallop, or in the alternate rising and falling just shaking the reins, and making repeated in full trot.
pulls till he obeys. Horses are so accustomed Let your seat determine the length of your to bear on the bit when they go forward, that stirrups, rather than the stirrups your seat. If they are discouraged if the rider will not let them more precision is requisite, let your stirrups, in do so. If a horse is loose-necked, he will throw the hunting saddle, be of such a length, as that, up his head at a continued pull; in which situwhen you stand in them, there may be the ation the rider, seeing the front of his face, can breadth of four fingers between your seat and the have no power over him. When your horse saddle. It would greatly assist a learner, if he does thus, drop your hand, and give the bridle would practice in a large circle, as directed in play, and he will of course drop his head again Sect. II., without stirrups; keeping his face into its proper place: while it is coming down looking on the outward part of the circle, so as make a second gentle pull, and you will find not to have a full view of the horse's head, his mouth. With a little practice, this is done but just of that which is on the outward part almost instantaneously; and this method will of the circle; and his shoulder, which is to- stop, at the distance of a few yards, a horse wards the centre of the circle, very forward. which will run away with those who pull at him You thus learn to balance your body, and keep with all their might. a true seat, independent of your stirrups; you Almost every one has observed, that when a may probably likewise escape a fall, should you horse feels hiuis pulled with
bridle, even at any time lose them by being accidentally sha- when he is going gently, he often mistakes what ken from your seat.
was designed to stop him, as a direction to bear As the seat in some measure depends on the on the bit, and go faster. Keep your horse's saddle, because a saddle with a high pommel is head high, that he may raise his neck and crest; thought dangerous, the other extreme prevails, play a little with the rein, and move the bit in and the pommel is scarcely allowed to be highei his mouth, that he may not press on it in one than the middle of the saddle. The saddle constant and continued manner; be not afraid should lie as near the back-bone as can be. of raising his head too high; he will naturally without hurting the horse; for the nearer you be too ready to bring it down, and tire your arms sit to his back, the better seat you have. If it with its weight, on the least abatement of his does so, it is plain the pommel must rise enough mettle. When you feel him heavy, stop him, to secure the withers from pressure ; therefore a and make him go back a few paces: thus you horse, whose withers are higher than common, break by degrees his propensity to press on his requires a high pommel. If, to avoid this, you
bridle. make the saddle straight, the inconvenience Many are pleased with a round neck, and a spoken of follows; you sit too much above the head drawn in towards his breast ; but this is a horse's back, nor can the saddle form a proper mistake. Let your horse carry his head bridling seat. There should be no ridge from the button in, provided he carries it high, and his neck at the side of the pommel, to the back part of the arching upwards: but if his neck bends downsaddle. That line also should be a little con wards his figure is bad, his sight is too near his cave for your thighs to lie at ease. In short, a toes, he leans on the bridle, and you have no saddle ought to be, as nearly as possible, as if command over him. If he goes pressing but cut out of the horse.
lightly on the bridle, he is the more sure-footed, When you want your horse to move forward, and goes pleasanter, as your wrist only may guide raise his head a little, and touch him gently with him. If he hangs down his head, and makes your whip; or else press the calves of your legs you support the weight of that and his neck with against his sides. If he does not move fast your arms bearing on his fore legs (which is enough, press them with more force, and so till called being on his shoulders), he will strike bis the spur just touches him. By this practice he toes against the ground, and stumble. If your will, if he has any spirit, move upon the least horse is heavy upon the bit, tie him every day pressure of the leg. Never spur him by a kick; for an hour or two, with liis tail to the manger, but, if it be necessary to spur him briskly, keep and his head as high as you can make him lift your heels close to his sides, and slacken their it, by a rein on each post of the stall, tied to the force as he becomes obedient. When your rings of the snafile-bit. horse attempts to be vicious, take each rein Ilorse-breakers and grooms have a great proseparate, one in each hand, and, advancing your pensity to bring a horse's head down, and seem arms forward, hold him very short. In this to have no seat without a strong hold by the case it is common for the rider to pull him hard, bridle. They know indeed that the head should with his arms low. But the horse, thus having yield to the reins, and the neck form an arch; his head low too, has it more in his power to but do not take the proper pains to make an arch throw out his heels: whereas, if his head be upward. A temporary effect of attempting to raised very high, and his nose thrown out a raise the horse's head may perhaps be making little, he can neither rise before nor behind; be- him push out his nose. They will here tell you, cause he can give himself neither of those mo- that his head is too high already; whereas it is tions, without having his head at liberty. A not the distance from the nose, but from the top plank, placed in equilibrio, cannot rise at one end of his head to the ground, which determines the unless it sinks at the other.
head to be high or low. Besides, although the If your horse is headstrong, pull not with one fault is said to be in the manner of carrying the