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effect seems to be produced, that rein should be eased, and. the bridoon-rein borne up.
In fencing, the snaffle or bridoon bit and rein only ought to be used; this the rider should particularly bear in mind. A rider with a hold of the curb-rein in fencing, getting the least out of his equilibrium, or giving an involuntary check to the curb, may put any wellmouthed animal entirely out of his own way, preventing his jumping safely and confidently, and probably causing accidents. One of several reasons why the Irish horses excel in fencing is, that it is very much the custom in that country to use snaffles in cross-country riding. The curb-rein may be taken up, if necessary, after the jump is over. (Some horses, however, are such violent pullers, that, in the full tilt of going to hounds, where the country is close and fencing frequent, it is almost impossible to avoid using the curb-rein occasionally in the act of jumping.)
While touching on cross-country riding, it may be observed that many men who ought to know better, often make a serious mistake in not leaving hunters more to themselves than they do when going at and taking their fences. Horses vary in their mode of progression; and whether the gait be slow or fast, anything of a trained animal, when interfered with under these circumstances, will be put put of his own way (which is generally best suited to his peculiar temper or ability), in placing his legs advantageously to make his jump with safety.*
ing, especially in anything of a rough attempt to "rein back" with; indeed, this latter point of training should be accomplished with the bridoon only.
* One can scarcely repress a smile on hearing cross-country mis
Let your horse, if he is anything of a fencer, choose his own way and pace to take his jumps.
In riding to hounds, if practicable, it is well to avoid newly made or repaired ditches or fences: your steed is apt to encounter such with diffidence; he does not take the jump with the same will, fears there's "something up," and from want of confidence may very possibly make a mistake.
It would be well, for cross-country horsemen more especially, to bear in mind Sir Francis Head's observation, as applied to riders as well as horses, that "the belly lifts the legs;" meaning, I take it, that if man or horse is out of tone from derangement of the stomach or general debility, he cannot be up to the mark or fit for any physical exertion. It is well known to steeplechase riders and men who ride straight to hounds, that occasionally, in consequence of inertion, indulgence, or dissipation, having deranged the stomach or nervous system, a rider will be done up before his steed, who, oppressed with a comparatively dead weight knocking about on his back, will himself follow suit from want of being held together, and probably come a burster at some jump before the finish.
To a practical horseman the act of standing in the stirrups will suggest itself as a matter of expediency to ease himself, when the horse is pulling hard at or near his full galloping pace.
The great advantage of a rider easing his bearer by
fortunes related, as they frequently are, in pretty nearly the following terms :—" I found my horse going sluggishly at his fences; and one place looking rather biggish, I shook him up with the bit, and put both heels into him to rouse him, but somehow or other the brute took off too soon, caught his fore feet, I suppose, against something, and came such a cropper on the other side !" or, "The beast kept going at such a bat at his fences that I brought him to book with my hands down, and with a good pull steadied him; but the brute with his awkwardness missed his footing on landing, dropped his hind legs into the brook somehow, and fell back on me, giving me a regular sousing t"
walking up-hill is treated of under the head of " Work," page 36.
"When a rider finds his horse going tender or lame, lie ought immediately to dismount and examine his feet. If a stone has become bedded between the clefts of the frog, or got between shoe and sole, and a picker does not happen to be at hand, a suitable stone should be sought wherewith to dislodge the one in the foot. If no stone in the foot can be discovered as causing the lameness, closer examination must be made in search of a nail, a piece of iron or rough glass, or other damage to the sole. If no apparent means of relief present itself, the sooner the beast is led to the nearest place where a proper examination of the foot can tak'e place the better.* For the amount of work a horse can do, see remarks on that subject, under the head of "Work," page 35; and to avoid broken knees, see hints on that subject, pages 51 and 141.
Mounting of Lady in Side-Saddle.—The mounter, being as close as possible to the animal, should place Ids right hand on his right knee, and in it receive the lady's left foot. When she springs she should straighten her left knee, at the same time having in her right hand the reins, with a fast hold of the middle crutch, and her left hand on the mounter's shoulder to help her to spring up.
* In obscure lameness, to aid towards discovery of the affected part, having first decided which leg or foot is diseased, it is not a bad plan to walk the animal into a stream above the knees and take him out again (or have water dashed at once fully over the member), then kneel and closely observe which spot on the surface dries first—that which does so will probably prove to be the most inflamed part.
The General Mounting, whether of .brass or silver-plated (to correspond with the mountings of the carriage), or with leather-covered buckles, is all a matter of taste; the leather being, however, the least durable.
A Dry Harness - Room is indispensable, in which there should be shallow presses with pegs, but no shelves; otherwise, coverings should be provided for harness and saddles to preserve them from flying dust.
Style.—In pairing horses for draught, if one be rather larger than the other, the larger should be placed on the near or left side, as the left-hand side of the road being that on which vehicles travel, the nearside horse will generally be going an inch or more lower than the off-side one, and the difference of size in the pair will be less perceptible.
If the animals are of an even size, and one be more lazy than the other, that one should be placed at the off side, being thus more conveniently situated to receive gentle reminders from the whip without observation. If one of the pair will carry his head higher than the other, his coupling-rein* should run under that of the animal that leans his head the most, so as to bring their heads as much on a level as possible. An ivory ring, to run the coupling-reins through, looks and acts well.
Both manes should be trained to flow either in or
* In double harness, to increase your power in turning, shorten the coupling-reins; and to ease your horses, lengthen these to let their heads work more straight forward.