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HOW TO RIDE.
FACING the near side of the horse, stand opposite his girth ; take the reins in the right hand, and with it grasp the pommel of the saddle, shortening the reins until you feel the mouth of the horse.
Hold the stirrup with the left hand, and insert the left foot; seize a lock of the mane in the left hand, close
to the crest of the neck, turning the thumb uppermost.
Rise in the stirrup, aided by both hands, until the left leg is straightened; carry over the right leg, and sink into the saddle.
When the seat is obtained release the holds upon the mane and pommel, and pass the reins into the left hand.
After the left hand has seized the mane the horse cannot prevent the rider reaching his seat; and the rider firmly establishes himself before he withdraws the support of either hand.
There is no difficulty, for one who is not infirm, to mount in this way, and the only objection that can be made to it, so far as I can see, is that by a “cow-kick” the man standing at
the girth may receive an injury. But this is a rare vice, and a horse that kicks is dangerous to approach, for mounting or for any other purpose ; so that it is hardly worth while to abandon a system that is otherwise excellent, because it does not apply to a very small class of vicious brutes, that should not be used for saddle under any circumstances.
On the other hand, nearly every horse will paw with a fore-foot, if at all impatient, and he who stands in front of the shoulder of a horse is not secure from injury. Among the other disadvantages of the generally adopted method I may mention the following :
1. The rider, standing in front of the shoulder of the horses, may be overset by a forward movement; and this danger is greatly increased after the foot is put into
the stirrup. 2. The left hand, entangled and held
in the hairs of the main, cannot
use the reins. 3. The drag upon the cantle of the
saddle must, in all cases, disturb its position, and may cause it
to turn. 4. The right arm fastened to the
cantle of the saddle prevents the right leg passing over the
back of the horse. 5. To pass the right leg over the
horse the right arm must be removed ; thus taking away the principal brace of the body at the most critical time, and allowing the body, in case of any movement, to fall backwards towards the shoulder of the
horse. 6. The absence of a reason for any
one motion in the method.
Upon the seat depends the security of the rider, not only as regards his remaining upon the horse, but in per. mitting him to use that lightness and delicacy of touch that is required to manage and control the horse. It has