Изображения страниц


[ocr errors]


can, by means of the system I have advised, be readily made quiet to ride." If he becomes shy it will be because his vision is defective. A young horse, properly treated, will acquire so much confidence in his master that he will face objects about which he has grave suspicions. Each time that he finds his terror groundless, his fear of strange objects will be lessened, and I have seen horses, trained in this way, that would shy at nothing when under the saddle.


The precision with which the pirouettes are made, will determine the grace

and facility with which the horse will execute all movements.

Pirouettes on the Fore-hand.


The horse, saddled and bridled, will be taken to some retired spot. The riding-school is, of course, the best place for these lessons, but any smooth ground will answer, where there is nothing to distract his attention.

It is intended that the horse shall carry his croup around his fore-hand, the outside fore-leg acting as the pivot in the movement. The trainer will stand at the shoulder of the horse, and if the first movement is to be made to the right, on the near side of the horse.

With his left hand he will take both


[ocr errors]


reins of the curb at about four inches from the branch of the bit. He will then induce the horse to give his jaw, and to bring his head into a perpendicular position, by drawing the reins in gentle vibrations towards the chest of the horse, yielding the hand whenever the horse answers to the pressure, and repeating the operation whenever the horse shows a disposition to go out of hand. With the whip he will then tap the horse upon the rump until the hind legs are brought well under the body. The horse will then be in a position to make a move in any direction without any further preparation.

The horse being thus collected, the trainer will give gentle taps of the whip upon his near flank, until the



[ocr errors]


animal moves one step to the right, the fore-hand being held stationary by the bit in the left hand, and resistance of that part overcome by feeling the right side of the mouth. As soon as this one step to the right, by the hindquarters, is taken, the taps of the whip must cease, and the horse should be encouraged, so that he may know that his effort has met with approval.

This change of position will throw him out of line, his off fore-leg being too far in rear. By a tap of the whip upon the off fore-arm he will be brought straight, and the trainer should again show his satisfaction by a kind word or a touch of the hand. Let these proceedings be continued until


the horse steps off promptly: but he should not, at first, take more than one step at a time, and must never be permitted to volunteer a movement. After each change of position he is to be put straight, and he will be kept collected by the hand and the whip.

The same means, right and left being interchanged, will teach him to pass in the opposite direction.

These lessons should be repeated at intervals, so that they are not rendered irksome or fatiguing to the horse, until he will complete his circles, either way, without taking up the pivot, or outside foot.

These pirouettes will now be made with the rider in the saddle; and if the

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »