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Title: New Method of Horsemanship - Including the Breaking and Training of Horses, with - Instructions for Obtaining a Good Seat.
Author: Baucher, F.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "New Method of Horsemanship - Including the Breaking and Training of Horses, with - Instructions for Obtaining a Good Seat." ***

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Transcriber's notes :
(1) Typos, spelling mistakes and punctuation errors have been corrected.
(2) Italic text is marked with _underlining_; bold text is marked with
=equals signs=.
(3) Footnotes are marked as [A], [B] and so on, placed at the end of the
relevant paragraph.

[Illustration: MR. BAUCHER, upon Partisan.]



                NEW METHOD

                   OF

               HORSEMANSHIP,

               INCLUDING THE

      BREAKING AND TRAINING OF HORSES,

                   WITH

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR OBTAINING A GOOD SEAT.


                 ILLUSTRATED.


                By F. BAUCHER.

  _Translated from the Ninth Paris Edition._

                  NEW YORK:
        ALBERT COGSWELL, PUBLISHER,
          NO. 139 EIGHTH STREET.



             TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.


The author's introduction to his "Method of Horsemanship" is omitted in
this edition, because containing much that would be uninteresting to the
American reader. It mentions the great difficulties he had in attracting
the attention of the public to his system, and the complete success with
which it was crowned when once this attention was attracted. One
paragraph from it, which contains the principle upon which his whole
method is founded, is here given:

"However favored by nature the horse may be, he requires a preparatory
exercise to enable his forces to afford each other mutual assistance;
without this everything becomes mechanical and hazardous, as well on his
part as on that of the rider.

"What musician could draw melodious sounds from an instrument without
having exercised his fingers in handling it? He would certainly, if he
attempted such a thing, produce only false discordant sounds; and the
same thing occurs in horsemanship when we undertake to make a horse
execute movements for which he has not been prepared."

M. Baucher presents the official documents upon the subject of the
introduction of his method into the French army with the following
introductory remarks:

"Since the first publication of my method, indisputable facts have
attested the truth of the principles therein contained. Field-Marshal
the Minister of War has appointed a commission, presided over by
Lieutenant-General the Marquis Oudinot, to examine into its
advantages.[A]

"Fifty horses, some from the troop, and others belonging to officers,
which had not yet commenced their education, or which were considered
difficult to manage, or vicious, were subjected to the experiment, which
commenced on the 21st March, 1842. The demands of the service of the
garrison of Paris permitting only a small number of cuirassiers,
municipal guards, and first-class lancers to be put at the disposition
of the commission, nearly all the horses were intrusted to riders who
were by no means intelligent, or else whose education was not very much
advanced. The riders themselves exercised their horses. On the 9th of
April--that is to say, after fifteen lessons--Field-Marshal the Minister
of War wished to witness the results of the system he had ordered to be
tried. His Excellency was accompanied by the members of the committee of
cavalry, and many other general officers. The men being completely armed
and equipped, and the horses caparisoned, they executed, individually
and in troop, at all the paces, movements that, up to this time, had
only been required of horses that had been exercised for five or six
months under experienced riders. The Minister of War followed all the
trials with the greatest interest, and before retiring expressed his
complete satisfaction, and announced his intention of having a general
application of it made in the army."

    [A] "The commission was composed of Lieutenant-General Oudinot,
        Col. Carrelet, Commander of the Municipal Guard, the Chef
        d'Escadrons De Novital, commanding the Cavalry Riding-School,
        and the Captain-instructors deGues, of the 5th Cuirassiers,
        and De Mesanges, of the 3d Lancers."

Among the official documents in favor of Baucher's method is a letter
from M. Champmontant, Lieutenant-Colonel of the Staff, Secretary of the
Committee of Cavalry, in which he requests M. Baucher to fix a
convenient time to appear before the committee and explain his system
more completely, that they may consider its adoption in the army;
another from Lieutenant-General Marquis Oudinot to M. Baucher. In this
letter the General informs M. Baucher that the Minister of War has
decided that a series of experiments shall be made upon his method of
breaking new horses and such as were considered difficult to manage.

Then follows the report upon the trials of Baucher's method, and a
recapitulation of the daily operations by the _Chef d'Escadrons_ de
Novital, commanding the Royal School at Saumur. The complete success of
the trial is mentioned above, and an extract only from the report will
be here given:

"But, it may be objected, will not this species of captivity to which
the new method will subject the horse, prevent his lasting? Will it not
be the source of his premature decay? To this it is easy to answer by a
comparison, which to us appears conclusive. When all the wheel work of a
machine fits well together, so that each part furnishes its share of
action, there is harmony, and consequently need of a less force; so
when, in an organized body, we are enabled to obtain suppleness and
pliability in all the parts, the equilibrium becomes easy, there is
suppleness and lightness, and in consequence, a diminution of fatigue.

"Far from injuring the horse, the new method has the advantage of being
a great auxiliary in developing the muscles, particularly in a young
subject."

Extract from the report to Lieutenant-General Oudinot, by M. Carrelet,
Colonel of the Municipal Guard of Paris:

"To shorten this narration, I would say that the officers of the
Municipal Guard are unanimous in their approval of M. Baucher's
proceedings, applied to the breaking of young horses.

"We have assisted at the education of forty troop horses, all more or
less difficult to manage; and we are convinced that, by Baucher's
system, they have been more advanced in fifteen days than they would
have been in six months, by the proceedings we have been accustomed to
follow.

"I am so convinced of the efficiency of the means practised by M.
Baucher, that I am going to subject to them all the horses of my five
squadrons."

Extract from the report of Lieutenant-General Marquis Oudinot to his
Excellency the Marshal the Minister of War:

"That the system of M. Baucher may produce in the army all the
advantages expected from it, it would be necessary to have a certain
number of instructors initiated in it as completely as possible, that
they may be able to teach it afterwards.

"In consequence of which, I have the honor to propose to you to order:

"1st. That upon the return to Saumur of the commanding officer of the
riding-school, the young horses be broken after Baucher's method, and
observations made upon the advantages or disadvantages that it presents.

"2d. That in the Fifth Cuirassiers and the Third Lancers, the
application of this method be continued.

"3d. That the different bodies of cavalry within a circle of twenty-five
leagues around Paris detach, for about two months, their
captain-instructor and one officer, who should come to study the system
of M. Baucher."

The Minister of War immediately issued these three orders, and also
three additional ones:

"4th. M. Baucher, Jr., will repair to the camp at Luneville and
sojourn there during the months of June, July and August. The
captain-instructors and one lieutenant from the troops of horse
stationed in the neighborhood of Paris will be ordered to Luneville
during those months to study the Baucher system.

"5th. M. Baucher, Jr., will receive an indemnity of five hundred francs
a month.

"6th. Each of the bodies of troops of horse and establishments of
unbroken horses will receive two copies of the work entitled 'A New
Method of Horsemanship, by M. Baucher.'"

Extract from the report of the Chef d'Escadrons Grenier, appointed to
the command of the officers detached to Paris, by ministerial decision
of the 20th of May, 1842, to study the method of horsemanship of M.
Baucher:

"The officers detached to Paris were of the number of twenty-two, the
captain-instructor and a lieutenant from each regiment. * * * They
exercised for thirty-nine days. * * * These officers did not all arrive
at Paris with the belief that they could be taught anything. One-half
were captain-instructors, the rest, lieutenants, intended to become the
same. Thus, in the beginning, there was very little confidence, on the
part of the officers, in their new professor, sometimes even opposition,
but always zeal and good will.

"Little by little, confidence came, opposition disappeared; but only at
the end of the first month, after about twenty-five lessons, did all the
officers, without exception, understand the method and recognize the
superiority of M. Baucher's principles over those previously known.

"Before leaving, they all approved of the new method, and desired its
application in their regiments.

"The method of horsemanship of M. Baucher is positive and rational; it
is easy to understand, especially when studied under the direction of
some one who knows it. It is attractive to the rider, gives him a taste
for horses and horsemanship, tends to develop the horse's qualities,
especially that of lightness, which is so delightful to discover in a
saddle-horse. * * Applied to the breaking of young horses, it develops
their instinct, makes them find the domination of the rider easy and
pleasant; it preserves them from the premature ruin that an improper
breaking often brings with it; it may shorten the time devoted to the
education of the horse; and it interests the riders employed in it."

M. Desondes, Lieutenant of the Ninth Cuirassiers, winds up a long and
highly favorable report upon the breaking of young horses for the army
with the words, "To Baucher the cavalry is grateful."

Extracts from the sixth and last report upon the trials of the new
method of horsemanship of M. Baucher:

"The first trials are concluded. The principal movements of the
platoon-drill on horseback, the running at the head and charging, have
completed the exercises. Thus, thirty-five lessons have sufficed to
perfect the instruction of the tractable as well as the intractable
horses confided to me. The first rough work with the horse--that is to
say, the exercises with the snaffle prescribed by the orders--used to
take up as much time as this, and then we scarcely dared to touch the
curb-rein. In this view, the new system is of great utility for
cavalry.

"But the promptness with which we can put new horses in the ranks is not
the only advantage the new method presents; it guarantees, besides, the
preservation of the horse; it develops his faculties and his powers;
these increase by the harmony and proper application of the forces among
themselves and by their rational and opportune use. It is not the
immoderate employment of force which conquers a rebellious horse, but
the well-combined use of an ordinary force. The Baucher system ought to
be considered eminently preservative, since the breaking, being well
graduated and well combined, cannot have an injurious influence upon the
horse's _physique_; and his forces being at the disposition of the
rider, it is he, the absolute dispenser of these forces, who is
responsible for their duration or premature destruction. * * * I repeat
it, that the new method would be a great benefit, an indisputable
improvement for cavalry. * * * I pray then for its adoption, and
ardently desire its prompt introduction into the cavalry.
(Signed)                           DE NOVITAL."

Extract from the _Spectateur Militaire_:

"Passionately fond of a science that, from his childhood, has been the
object of studies as productive as they were persevering, M. Baucher,
after having obtained from the horse a submission almost magical, has
not been willing to be the only one to profit by his meditations; he has
put them cleverly together, and his written method is now in the hands
of all those who occupy themselves with horsemanship. * * * The division
of dragoons, and the instructors of the different bodies of troops of
horse that composed a part of the camp of Luneville, intended to
execute, after the principles of the new method, and in the presence of
their royal highnesses, the Dukes of Orleans and Nemours, equestrian
exercises that would have had thousands of spectators. The mournful
event that deprived France of the prince royal did not allow of this
performance having the _éclat_ that was intended. Nevertheless, M. the
Duke de Nemours, wishing to judge for himself of the results, has had
part of these exercises performed in his presence."

The death of the Duke of Orleans, and the indifference and afterwards
opposition of the Duke de Nemours, were the principal causes of the
system of M. Baucher not being adopted for the whole cavalry of the
French army. The former was an ardent admirer of the system, while the
latter was an equally ardent admirer of a rival professor of
horsemanship.

Extract from a letter of M. de Gouy, Colonel of the First Hussars, to M.
Baucher:

"So far from the muscular power being lessened by the repetition of the
flexions, is it not increased by having all the advantage of exercise
over repose, of work over indolence? Does not the muscular system, in
reason, develop itself, physiologically speaking, in proportion to these
conditions? Will not address and vigor be the result of these
gymnastics? Has the habitual difference between the forces of the right
and left arm any other cause than the difference in the daily use of the
one to the prejudice of the other?"

Baucher says: "To prove the complete success of my mission to Saumur, I
will back, according to my custom, my assertions by positive facts. The
officers present at my course of instruction were of the number of
seventy-two; of this number sixty-nine have sent in reports favorable to
my method. There were but _three dissenting voices_."

This statement is followed by letters from General Prévost, De Novital,
etc., all highly commending the system.

Baucher's method has been reprinted in Belgium and translated into
Dutch and German. In the latter language, several different translations
have been written, one by M. Ritgen, Lieutenant of the Fourth Regiment
of _Houlans_ (Prussian), and the other by M. de Willisen,
Lieutenant-Colonel of the Seventh Cuirassiers (Prussian).

The translator will give some extracts from the preface to M. de
Willisen's translation, as it shows that some of the difficulties met
with by the former were not altogether escaped by his German _confrère_.

"After the most positive results had proved to me most convincingly
that, of all existing methods, that of M. Baucher was the best, I
thought that it would be useful to translate it. This translation seemed
at first much easier than it proved in the sequel; above all, it was
actually impossible for me to render in German, as I wished, such
technical French expressions as _attaques_, _acculement_,
_assouplissement_, _ramener_, _rassembler_, etc., retaining their
clearness and conciseness. In German I could only find expressions that
were incomplete. On this account I have put all the words for which I
could not find a clear equivalent in German in the original French.

"Horses may be broken with much success upon other principles--they have
been broken before M. Baucher's time--but no work has thrown so much
light upon horse education; no other method has taught such simple and
sure means, nor presented a like result with certainty. He who would
ride with safety and satisfaction, ought to be completely master of an
obedient and correct horse. To obtain this result, M. Baucher gives the
surest means and points out the shortest road:

"The exact knowledge of the obstacles that the horse presents to dispose
him to obey easily; the simple manner, easy to understand and easy to
execute, of making these obstacles disappear, distinguish this method
from all preceding ones, and render it of the greatest importance to all
riders.

"The close relations that are established between rider and horse give
the former such a certainty of hand and legs, and the latter such
suppleness and obedience, that a like result has never previously been
obtained.

"Until now, no horseman has ever had such clear and sure means for
breaking a horse given him, even approximatively, as are contained in
this book. The trial will give the most convincing proofs of this when
we undertake to apply the principles therein contained; but that can
only be considered a trial when made by following strictly what is
prescribed in the method. There is no other method that can put the
horse so certainly in the hand and in the legs of the rider; no other
method succeeds in developing so much address and assurance in horse or
rider: the horse feels at his ease, the rider is absolute master of him,
and both are at their ease. * * * This new method teaches, further, what
is of very great importance, the most certain means of making the rider
perfectly in harmony with his horse, so that they can understand and
mutually trust one another, in such a way that the horse obeys as
punctually as the rider guides him skilfully. In place of being obliged
to break every horse after our own particular fashion, we will only,
thanks to this method, have to occupy ourselves with one horse, for it
teaches us that the same means are applicable to all horses. It is
unnecessary to enumerate the advantages the instruction of the rider
gains from it, for he escapes the martyrdom of the lessons being given
him on awkward, badly-broken horses. Riders will sooner become masters
of these managed horses, and will acquire in six weeks a seat that will
come of itself, and their touch will be developed much more quickly.

"Finally, men learn very quickly to put in practice means that are
applied on foot, and there is a great advantage in it; it is that they
can see better the moment that the neck becomes flexible and the jaw
without contraction; besides this, their hand becomes much more delicate
than it would have become in a much greater space of time, if the
application took place in the saddle.

"Until now, only men of great talent were able to break horses; now, by
practising this new method, which demonstrates clearly the means of
breaking, every rider, in a very short time, can acquire the knowledge
necessary to render a horse fit for use. * * * A person commencing to
learn this method, and who is obliged to work from the book, ought to
proceed slowly and cautiously in the application of principles that are
not familiar to him. He ought first to endeavor to perfect his seat, his
position, his touch, the obedience of his horse, and his paces; he will
thus make great progress in the breaking, and be enabled to undertake
the application of the new method.
                                               "DE WILLISEN,
                         "_Lieut.-Col. of the Seventh Cuirassiers_."


M. Baucher received from the King of Prussia a magnificent snuff-box of
elegantly carved gold, as a token of the satisfaction of his majesty
with our author's system.

If anybody has read all this, they will be pleased to hear that there
will be no more proofs of the excellence of the system brought from
across the Atlantic. In consequence of the opposition mentioned above,
Baucher's system was discontinued in the French army, in spite of the
almost unanimous wish of the officers. But he has gained a name as the
first horseman of this or any other age--the first who could not only
manage horses himself, but teach others to do so equally well. This has
been proved under the translator's own eyes.

A gentleman of Philadelphia purchased a horse, four years old, long,
_gangling_, ewe-necked; such a brute as no one but a confident disciple
of Baucher would have had anything to do with. Had he hunted the country
for a horse with but one merit, that of soundness, and possessing that
only because nothing had ever been done to injure it, he could not have
been better suited. Mounted upon this animal, it was painful to see a
good rider in such a quandary; but a quiet, confident smile showed what
was intended to come of it.

In six weeks from that time, without the horse ever having crossed the
threshold of the stable-yard, the writer saw him splendid, with his neck
arched like the steed in Holy Writ, his haunches well under him,
obedient to the lightest touch of hand or heel, ready to do anything
that was demanded of him, because he had been put in a position that
enabled him to do it.

Since that, the same person has broken two other horses of greater
natural capabilities, and the success was proportionately greater.

Every one who takes any interest in horses recollects the horse May-fly,
when first introduced to an American audience, by Sands, of Welsh's
circus. This horse, a thoroughbred, belonging to the racing stud of
Baron Rothschild, was so vicious that he had to be brought upon the
race-course in a van, so that he could see nothing till the moment to
start arrived. With even this and similar precautions, he was considered
dangerous and unmanageable. The master hand was required, and, under
its influence, all such things as vice and being unmanageable
disappeared. Instead of violent force on the part of man, which would
only have produced more violent force on the part of the brute, Baucher
sought out the sources of these resistances, and conquered them in
detail.

Is it not worth a few weeks' pleasant labor with your horse to be able
to make him move with the grace, elegance and majesty of this one, or of
those we have since seen ridden by Derious, and that French Amazon,
Caroline Loyo? It is within the power of every one to do this to a
certain extent; and as the education of the man as a rider advances
progressively with that of the horse, there are, as Baucher himself
says, no limits to the progress of horsemanship, and no performance,
_equestrianly_ possible, that a horseman, who will properly apply his
principles, cannot make his horse execute.


         __________________________



                   BAUCHER'S

         NEW METHOD OF HORSEMANSHIP.


         ---------------------------



                   CHAPTER I.

       NEW MEANS OF OBTAINING A GOOD SEAT


It may undoubtedly be thought astonishing that, in the first editions of
this work, having for its object the horse's education, I should not
have commenced by speaking of the rider's seat. In fact, this, so
important a part of horsemanship, has always been the basis of classical
works on this subject. Nevertheless, it is not without a motive that I
have deferred treating of this question until now. Had I had nothing new
to say on this subject, I might very easily have managed, by consulting
old authors, by transposing a sentence here and changing a word there,
to have sent forth into the equestrian world another inutility. But I
had other ideas; I wished to make a thorough reform. My system for
giving a good seat to the rider, being also an innovation, I feared lest
so many new things at one time should alarm even the best intentioned
amateurs, and give a hold to my adversaries. They would not have failed
to say that my means of managing a horse were impracticable, or that
they could not be applied without recourse to a seat still more
impracticable. But now I have proved the contrary--that, upon my plan,
horses have been broken by troops without regard to the men's seat. To
give more force to my method, and render it more easily comprehensible,
I have divested it of all accessories, and said nothing about those new
principles that concern the rider's seat. I reserved these last until
after the indisputable success of the official trials. By means of these
principles, added to those I have published upon the art of
horse-breaking, I both shorten the man's work, and establish a system
not only precise, but complete in these two important parts of
horsemanship, hitherto so confused.

By following my new instructions relating to the man's seat on
horseback, we will promptly arrive at a certain result; they are as easy
to understand as to demonstrate. Two sentences are sufficient to explain
all to the rider, and he will get a good seat by the simple advice of
the instructor.

_The seat of the rider._--The rider will expand his chest as much as
possible, so that each part of his body rests upon that next below it,
for the purpose of increasing the adhesion of his buttocks to the
saddle; the arms will fall easily by the sides. The thighs and legs
must, by their own strength, find as many points of contact as possible
with the saddle and the horse's sides; the feet will naturally follow
the motion of the legs.

You see by these few lines how simple the rider's seat is.

The means which I point out for quickly obtaining a good seat, remove
all the difficulties which the plan pursued by our predecessors
presented. The pupil used to understand nothing of the long catechism,
recited in a loud voice by the instructor, from the first word to the
last, consequently he could not execute it. Here one word replaces all
those sentences; but we previously go through a course of supplings.
This course will make the rider expert, and consequently intelligent.
One month will not elapse without the most stupid and awkward recruit
being able to seat himself properly without the aid of the word of
command.

_Preparatory lesson (the lesson to last an hour, two lessons a day for a
month)._--The horse is led upon the ground, saddled and bridled. The
instructor must take two pupils; one will hold the horse by the bridle,
all the while watching what the other does, that he may be able to
perform in his turn. The pupil will approach the horse's shoulder and
prepare to mount; for this purpose he will lay hold of and separate,
with the right hand, a handful of mane, and pass it into the left hand,
taking hold as near the roots as possible, without twisting them; he
will seize the pommel of the saddle with the right hand, the four
fingers in, and the thumb outside; then springing lightly, will raise
himself upon his wrists. As soon as his middle is the height of the
horse's withers, he will pass the right leg over the croup, without
touching it, and place himself lightly in the saddle. This vaulting
being very useful in making the man active, he should be made to repeat
it eight or ten times, before letting him finally seat himself. The
repetition of this will soon teach him what he is able to do, using the
powers of his arms and loins.

_Exercise in the saddle._--(This is a stationary exercise on horseback;
an old, quiet horse to be chosen in preference; the reins are knotted,
and hang on his neck.) The pupil being on horseback, the instructor will
examine his natural position, in order to exercise more frequently those
parts which have a tendency to give way or stiffen. The lesson will
commence with the chest. The instructor will make use of the flexions of
the loins, which expand the chest, to straighten the upper part of the
pupil's body; he whose loins are slack will be made to hold himself in
this position for some time, without regard to the stiffness which this
will bring along with it the first few times. It is by the exertion of
force that the pupil will become supple, and not by the _abandon_ so
much and so uselessly recommended. A movement at first obtained by great
effort, will, after a while, not require so much, for he will then have
gained skill, and skill, in this case, is but the result of exertions
combined and employed properly. What is first done with twenty pounds of
force, reduces itself afterwards to fourteen, to ten, to four. Skill
will be the exertion reduced to four pounds. If we commenced by a less,
we would not attain this result. The flexions of the loins will be often
renewed, allowing the pupil often to let himself down into his natural
relaxed position, in order to make him properly employ the force that
quickly gives a good position to the chest. The body being well placed,
the instructor will pass: 1st. To the lesson of the arm, which consists
in moving it in every direction, first bent, and afterwards extended;
2d. To that of the head; this must be turned right and left without its
motions reacting on the shoulders.

When the lessons of the chest, arms, and head give a satisfactory
result, which ought to be at the end of four days (eight lessons), they
will pass to that of the legs.

The pupil will remove one of his thighs as far as possible from the
quarters of the saddle; and afterwards replace it with a rotatory
movement from without inwards, in order to make it adhere to the saddle
by as many points of contact as possible. The instructor will watch
that the thigh does not fall back heavily; it should resume its position
by a slowly progressive motion, and without a jerk. He ought, moreover,
during the first lesson, to take hold of the pupil's leg and direct it,
in order to make him understand the proper way of performing this
displacement. He will thus save him fatigue, and obtain the result more
quickly.

This kind of exercise, very fatiguing at first, requires frequent rests;
it would be wrong to prolong the exercise beyond the powers of the
pupil. The motions of drawing in (_adduction_, which makes the thigh
adhere to the saddle), and putting out (_abduction_, which separates it
from the saddle), becoming more easy, the thighs will have acquired a
suppleness which will admit of their adherence to the saddle in a good
position. Then comes the flexion of the legs.

_Flexion of the legs._--The instructor will watch that the knees always
preserve their perfect adherence to the saddle. The legs will be swung
backward and forward like the pendulum of a clock; that is, the pupil
will raise them so as to touch the cantle of the saddle with his heels.
The repetition of these flexions will soon render the legs supple,
pliable and independent of the thighs. The flexions of the legs and
thighs will be continued for four days (eight lessons). To make each of
these movements more correct and easier, eight days (or sixteen
lessons), will be devoted to it. The fifteen days (thirty lessons),
which remain to complete the month, will continue to be occupied by the
exercise of stationary supplings; but, in order that the pupil may learn
to combine the strength of his arms, and that of his loins, he will be
made to hold at arm's length, progressively, weights of from ten to
forty pounds. This exercise will be commenced in the least fatiguing
position, the arm being bent, and the hand near the shoulder, and this
flexion will be continued to the full extent of the arm. The chest
should not be affected by this exercise, but be kept steady in the same
position.

_Of the knees._--The strength of pressure of the knees will be judged
of, and even obtained, by the aid of the following method: this, which
at first sight will perhaps appear of slight importance, will,
nevertheless, bring about great results. The instructor will take a
narrow piece of leather about twenty inches long; he will place one end
of this strap between the pupil's knee and the side of the saddle. The
pupil will make use of the force of his knees to prevent its slipping,
while the instructor will draw it towards him slowly and progressively.
This process will serve as a dynamometer to judge of the increase of
power.

The strictest watch must be kept that each force which acts separately
does not put other forces in action; that is to say, that the movement
of the arms does not influence the shoulders; it should be the same with
the thighs, with respect to the body; the legs, with respect to the
thighs, etc., etc. The displacement and suppling of each part
separately, being obtained, the chest and seat will be temporarily
displaced, in order to teach the rider to recover his proper position
without assistance. This will be done as follows: the instructor being
placed on one side, will push the pupil's hip, so that his seat will be
moved out of the seat of the saddle. The instructor will then allow him
to get back into the saddle, being careful to watch that, in regaining
his seat, he makes use of his hips and knees only, in order to make him
use only those parts nearest to his seat. In fact, the aid of the
shoulders would soon affect the hand, and this the horse; the assistance
of the legs would have still worse results. In a word, in all the
displacements, the pupil must be taught not to have recourse in order to
direct the horse, to the means which keep him in his seat, and, _vice
versâ_, not to employ, in order to keep his seat, those which direct the
horse.

Here, but a month has elapsed, and these equestrian gymnastics have made
a rider of a person, who at first may have appeared the most unfit for
it. Having mastered the preliminary trials, he will impatiently await
the first movements of the horse, to give himself up to them with the
ease of an experienced rider.

Fifteen days (thirty lessons) will be devoted to the walk, trot and
gallop. Here the pupil should solely endeavor to follow the movements of
the horse; therefore, the instructor will oblige him to occupy himself
only with his seat, and not attempt to guide the horse. He will only
exact that the pupil ride, at first, straight before him, then in every
direction, one rein of the snaffle in each hand. At the end of four days
(eight lessons), he may be made to take the curb-rein in his left hand.

The right hand, which is now free, must be held alongside of the left,
that he may early get the habit of sitting square (with his shoulders on
a level); the horse will trot equally to the right and to the left. When
the seat is firmly settled at all the paces, the instructor will explain
simply, the connection between the wrist and the legs, as well as their
separate effects.

_Education of the horse._--Here the rider will commence the horse's
education, by following the progression I have pointed out, and which
will be found farther on. The pupil will be made to understand all that
there is rational in it, and what an intimate connection exists between
the education of the man and that of the horse.

_Recapitulation and progression._--

                                            Days. Lessons.

    1. Flexion of the loins to expand the
    chest                                      4     8

    2. Extending and replacing of the
    thighs, and flexion of the legs            4     8

    3. General exercise of all the parts in
    succession                                 8    16

    4. Displacement of the man's body,
    exercise of the knees and arms with
    weights in the hands                      15    30

    5. Position of the rider, the horse being
    at a walk, trot and gallop, in order
    to fashion and settle the seat at these
    different paces                           15    30

    6. Education of the horse by the rider    75   150

                                            ----  ----

    Total                                    121   242



                CHAPTER II.

      OF THE FORCES OF THE HORSE.


_Of their causes and effects._--The horse, like all organized beings, is
possessed of a weight and a force peculiar to himself. The weight
inherent to the material of which the animal is composed, renders the
mass inert, and tends to fix it to the ground. The force, on the
contrary, by the faculty it gives him of moving this weight, of dividing
it, of transferring it from one of his parts to another, communicates
movement to his whole being, determines his equilibrium, speed and
direction. To make this truth more evident, let us suppose a horse in
repose. His body will be in perfect equilibrium, if each of its members
supports exactly that part of the weight which devolves upon it in this
position. If he wishes to move forward at a walk, he must first transfer
that part of the weight resting on the leg he moves first to those that
will remain fixed to the ground. It will be the same thing in other
paces, the transfer acting from one diagonal to the other in the trot,
from the front to the rear, and reciprocally in the gallop. We must not
then confound the weight with the force; the latter determines, the
former is subordinate to it. It is by carrying the weight from one
extremity to the other that the force puts them in motion, or makes them
stationary. The slowness or quickness of the transfers fixes the
different paces, which are correct or false, even or uneven, according
as these transfers are executed with correctness or irregularity.

It is understood that this motive power is subdivided _ad infinitum_,
since it is spread over all the muscles of the animal. When the latter
himself determines the use of them, the forces are instinctive; I call
them transmitted when they emanate from the rider. In the first case,
the man governed by his horse remains the plaything of his caprices; in
the second, on the contrary, he makes him a docile instrument,
submissive to all the impulses of his will. The horse, then, from the
moment he is mounted, should only act by transmitted forces. The
invariable application of this principle constitutes the true talent of
the horseman.

But such a result cannot be attained instantaneously. The young horse,
in freedom, having been accustomed to regulate his own movements, will,
at first, submit with difficulty to the strange influence which comes to
take the entire control of them. A struggle necessarily ensues between
the horse and his rider, who will be overcome unless he is possessed of
energy, patience, and, above all, the knowledge necessary to gain his
point. The forces of the animal being the element upon which the rider
must principally work, first to conquer, and finally to direct them, it
is necessary he should fix his attention upon these before anything
else. He will study what they are, whence they spring, the parts where
they contract the most for resistance, the physical causes which
occasion these contractions. When this is discovered, he will proceed
with his pupil by means in accordance with his nature, and his progress
will then be rapid.

Unfortunately, we search in vain in ancient or modern authors, on
horsemanship, I will not say for rational principles, but even for any
data in connection with the forces of the horse. All speak very prettily
about resistances, oppositions, lightness and equilibrium; but none of
them have known how to tell us what causes these resistances, how we can
combat them, destroy them, and obtain this lightness and equilibrium
they so earnestly recommend. It is this gap that has caused the great
doubts and obscurity about the principles of horsemanship; it is this
that has made the art stationary so long a time; it is this gap that, I
think, I am able to fill up.

And first, I lay down the principle that all the resistances of young
horses spring, in the first place, from a physical cause, and that this
cause only becomes a moral one by the awkwardness, ignorance and
brutality of the rider. In fact, besides the natural stiffness peculiar
to all these animals, each of them has a peculiar conformation, the more
or less of perfection in which constitutes the degree of harmony that
exists between the forces and the weight. The want of this harmony
occasions the ungracefulness of their paces, the difficulty of their
movements; in a word, all the obstacles to a good education. In a state
of freedom, whatever may be the bad structure of the horse, instinct is
sufficient to enable him to make such a use of his forces as to maintain
his equilibrium; but there are movements it is impossible for him to
make until a preparatory exercise shall have put him in the way of
supplying the defects of his organization by a better combined use of
his motive power. A horse puts himself in motion only in consequence of
a given position; if his forces are such as to oppose themselves to this
position, they must first be annulled, in order to replace them by the
only ones which can lead to it.

Now, I ask, if before overcoming these first obstacles, the rider adds
to them the weight of his own body, and his unreasonable demands, will
not the animal experience still greater difficulty in executing certain
movements? The efforts we make to compel him to submission, being
contrary to his nature, will they not find in it an insurmountable
obstacle? He will naturally resist, and with so much the more advantage,
that the bad distribution of his forces will of itself be sufficient to
paralyze those of the rider. The resistance then emanates, in this case,
from a physical cause: which becomes a moral one from the moment when,
the struggle going on with the same processes, the horse begins of his
own accord to combine means of resisting the torture imposed on him,
when we undertake to force into operation parts which have not
previously been supplied.

When things get into this state, they can only grow worse. The rider,
soon disgusted with the impotence of his efforts, will cast back upon
the horse the responsibility of his own ignorance; he will brand as a
jade an animal possessing the most brilliant resources, and of whom,
with more discernment and tact, he could have made a hackney as docile
in character, as graceful and agreeable in his paces. I have often
remarked that horses considered indomitable are those which develop the
most energy and vigor, when we know how to remedy those physical defects
which prevent their making use of them. As to those which, in spite of
their bad formation, are by a similar system made to show a semblance of
obedience, we need thank nothing but the softness of their nature; if
they can be made to submit to the simplest exercises, it is only on
condition that we do not demand anything more of them, for they would
soon find their energy again to resist any further attempts. The rider
can then make them go along at different paces to be sure; but how
disconnected, how stiff, how ungraceful in their movements, and how
ridiculous such steeds make their unfortunate riders look, as they toss
them about at will, instead of being guided by them! This state of
things is all perfectly natural, unless we destroy the first cause of
it: _the bad distribution of their forces, and the stiffness caused by a
bad conformation_.

But, it is objected, since, you allow that these difficulties are caused
by the formation of the horse, how is it possible to remedy them? You do
not possibly pretend to change the structure of the animal and reform
the work of nature? Undoubtedly not; but while I confess that it is
impossible to give more breadth to a narrow chest, to lengthen too short
a neck, to lower too high a croup, to shorten and fill out long, weak,
narrow loins, I do not the less insist that if I prevent the different
contractions occasioned by these physical defects, if I supply the
muscles, if I make myself master of the forces so as to use them at
will, it will be easy for me to prevent these resistances, to give more
action to the weak parts, and to moderate those that are too vigorous,
and thus make up for the deficiencies of nature.

Such results, I do not hesitate to say, were and still are forever
denied to the old methods. But if the science of those who follow the
old beaten track finds so constant an obstacle in the great number of
horses of defective formation, there are, unfortunately, some horses
who, by the perfection of their organization, and the consequent
facility of their education, contribute greatly to perpetuate the
impotent routines that have been so unfavorable to the progress of
horsemanship. A well constituted horse is one, all of whose parts being
regularly harmonized, induce the perfect equilibrium of the whole. It
would be as difficult for such a subject to leave this natural
equilibrium, and take up an improper position for the purpose of
resistance, as it is at first painful for the badly formed horse to come
into that just distribution of forces, without which no regularity of
movement can be hoped for.

It is then only in the education of these last that the real
difficulties of horsemanship consist. With the others the breaking ought
to be, so to say, instantaneous, since all the springs being in their
places, there is nothing to be done but to put them in motion; this
result is always obtained by my method. Yet the old principles demand
two or three years to reach this point, and when by feeling your way
without any certainty of success, the horseman gifted with some tact and
experience, ends by accustoming the horse to obey the impressions
communicated to him, he imagines that he has surmounted great
difficulties, and attributes to his skill a state so near that of nature
that correct principles would have obtained it in a few days. Then as
the animal continues to display in all his movements the grace and
lightness natural to his beautiful formation, the rider does not scruple
to take all the merit to himself, thus showing himself as presumptuous
in this case as he was unjust when he would make the badly formed horse
responsible for the failure of his attempts.

If we once admit these truths:

That the education of the horse consists in the complete subjection of
his powers;

That we can only make use of his powers at will by annulling all
resistances;

And that these resistances have their source in the contractions
occasioned by physical defects;

The only thing will be to seek out the parts where these contractions
operate, in order to endeavor to oppose and destroy them.

Long and conscientious observations have shown me that, whatever be the
fault of formation that in the horse prevents a just distribution of his
forces, it is always in the neck that the most immediate effect is felt.
There is no improper movement, no resistance that is not preceded by the
contraction of this part of the animal; and as the jaw is intimately
connected with the neck, the stiffness of the one is instantly
communicated to the other. These two points are the prop upon which the
horse rests, in order to annul all the rider's efforts. We can easily
conceive the immense obstacle they must present to the impulsions of the
latter, since the neck and head, being the two principal levers by which
we direct the animal, it is impossible to obtain anything from him until
we are master of these first and indispensable means of action. Behind,
the parts where the forces contract the most for resistance, are the
loins and the croup (the haunches).

The contractions of these two opposite extremities are, mutually the one
to the other, causes and effects, that is to say, the stiffness of the
neck induces that of the haunches, and reciprocally. We can combat the
one by the other; and as soon as we have succeeded in annulling them, as
soon as we have re-established the equilibrium and harmony that they
prevented between the fore and hind-parts, the education of the horse
will be half finished. I will now point out the means of infallibly
arriving at this result.



                CHAPTER III.

               THE SUPPLINGS.


This work being an exposition of a method which upsets most of the old
principles of horsemanship, it is understood that I only address men
already conversant with the art, and who join to an assured seat a
sufficiently great familiarity with the horse, to understand all that
concerns his mechanism. I will not, then, revert to the elementary
processes; it is for the instructor to judge if his pupil possesses a
proper degree of solidity of seat, and is sufficiently a part of the
horse; for at the same time that a good seat produces this
identification, it favors the easy and regular play of the rider's
extremities.

My present object is to treat principally of the education of the horse;
but this education is too intimately bound up in that of the rider, for
him to make much progress in one without the other. In explaining the
processes which should produce perfection in the animal, I will
necessarily teach the horseman to apply them himself; he will only have
to practise tomorrow what I teach him today. Nevertheless, there is one
thing that no precept can give; that is, a fineness of touch, a delicacy
of equestrian feeling that belongs only to certain privileged
organizations, and without which, we seek in vain to pass certain
limits. Having said this, we will return to our subject.

We now know which are the parts of the horse that contract the most in
resistances, and we feel the necessity of suppling them. Shall we then
seek to attack, exercise and conquer them all at once? No; this would be
to fall back into the old error, of the inefficiency of which we are
convinced. The animal's muscular power is infinitely superior to ours;
his instinctive forces, moreover, being able to sustain themselves the
one by the others, we will inevitably be conquered if we set them in
motion all at once. Since the contractions have their seat in separate
parts, let us profit by this division to combat them separately, as a
skillful general destroys, in detail, forces which, when together, he
would be unable to resist.

For the rest, whatever the age, the disposition, and the structure of my
pupil, my course of proceeding at the start will be always the same. The
results will only be more or less prompt and easy, according to the
degree of perfection in his nature, and the influence of the hand to
which he has been previously subjected. The suppling, which will have no
other object in the case of a well-made horse than that of preparing his
forces to yield to our impulsions, will re-establish calm and confidence
in a horse that has been badly handled, and in a defective formation
will make those contractions disappear, which are the causes of
resistances, and the only obstacles to a perfect equilibrium. The
difficulties to be surmounted will be in proportion to this complication
of obstacles, and will quickly disappear with a little perseverance on
our part. In the progression we are about to pursue in order to subject
the different parts of the animal to suppling, we will naturally
commence with the most important parts, that is to say, with the jaw and
neck.

The head and neck of the horse are at once the rudder and compass of the
rider. By them he directs the animal; by them, also, he can judge of
the regularity and precision of his movements. The equilibrium of the
whole body is perfect, its lightness complete, when the head and neck
remain of themselves easy, pliable and graceful. On the contrary, there
can be no elegance, no ease of the whole, when these two parts are
stiff. Preceding the body of the horse in all its impulsions, they ought
to give warning, and show by their attitude the positions to be taken,
and the movements to be executed. The rider has no power so long as they
remain contracted and rebellious; he disposes of the animal at will,
when once they are flexible and easily handled. If the head and neck do
not first commence the changes of direction, if in circular movements
they are not inclined in a curved line, if in backing they do not bend
back upon themselves, and if their lightness is not always in harmony
with the different paces at which we wish to go, the horse will be free
to execute these movements or not, since he will remain master of the
employment of his own forces.

From the time I first noticed the powerful influence that the stiffness
of the neck exercises on the whole mechanism of the horse, I attentively
sought the means to remedy it. The resistances to the hand are always
either sideways, upward or downward. I at first considered the neck
alone as the source of these resistances, and exercised myself in
suppling the animal by flexions, repeated in every direction. The result
was immense; but, although, at the end of a certain time, the supplings
of the neck rendered me perfectly master of the forces of the fore-parts
of the horse, I still felt a slight resistance which I could not at
first account for. At last I discovered that it proceeded from the jaw.
The flexibility I had communicated to the neck even aided this
stiffness of the muscles of the lower jaw, by permitting the horse in
certain cases to escape the action of the bit. I then bethought me of
the means of combating these resistances in this, their last stronghold;
and, from that time, it is there I always commence my work of suppling.

_First exercise on foot._--Means of making the horse come to the man, of
making him steady to mount, etc., etc.

Before commencing the exercises of flexions, it is essential to give the
horse a first lesson of subjection, and teach him to recognize the power
of man. This first act of submission, which might appear unimportant,
will have the effect of quickly rendering him calm, of giving him
confidence, and of repressing all those movements which might distract
his attention, and mar the success of the commencement of his education.

Two lessons, of a half hour each, will suffice to obtain the preparatory
obedience of every horse. The pleasure we experience in thus playing
with him will naturally lead the rider to continue this exercise for a
few moments each day, and make it both instructive to the horse and
useful to himself. The mode of proceeding is as follows: the rider will
approach the horse, his whip under his arm, without roughness or
timidity; he will speak to him without raising the voice too much, and
will pat him on the face and neck; then with the left hand will lay hold
of the curb-reins, about six or seven inches from the branches of the
bit, keeping his wrist stiff, so as to present as much force as possible
when the horse resists. The whip will be held firmly in the right hand,
the point towards the ground, then slowly raised as high as his chest,
in order to tap it at intervals of a second. The first natural movement
of the horse will be to withdraw from the direction in which the pain
comes; it is by backing that he will endeavor to do this. The rider will
follow this backward movement without discontinuing the firm tension of
the reins, nor the little taps with the whip on the breast, applying
them all the time with the same degree of intensity. The rider should be
perfectly self-possessed, that there may be no indication of anger or
weakness in his motions or looks. Becoming tired of this constraint, the
horse will soon seek by another movement to avoid the infliction, and it
is by coming forward that he will arrive at it; the rider will seize
this second instinctive movement to stop and caress the animal with his
hand and voice. The repetition of this exercise will give the most
surprising results, even in the first lesson. The horse having
discovered and understood the means by which he can avoid the pain, will
not wait till the whip touches him, he will anticipate it by rushing
forward at the least gesture. The rider will take advantage of this to
effect, by a downward force of the bridle hand, the depression of the
neck, and the getting him in hand; he will thus early dispose the horse
for the exercises that are to follow.

This training, besides being a great recreation, will serve to make the
horse steady to mount, will greatly abridge his education and accelerate
the development of his intelligence. Should the horse, by reason of his
restless or wild nature, become very unruly, we should have recourse to
the cavesson, as a means of repressing his disorderly movements, and use
it with little jerks. I would add that it requires great prudence and
discernment to use it with tact and moderation.

_Flexion of the jaw._--The flexions of the jaw, as well as the two
flexions of the neck which follow, are executed standing still, the man
on foot. The horse will be led on the ground saddled and bridled, the
reins on his neck. The man will first see that the bit is properly
placed in the horse's mouth, and that the curb-chain is fastened so that
he can introduce his finger between the links and the horse's chin. Then
looking the animal good-naturedly in the eyes, he will place himself
before him near his head, holding his body straight and firm, his feet a
little apart to steady himself, and dispose himself to struggle with
advantage against all resistances.[B]

    [B] I have divided all the flexions into two parts, and, in
        order to facilitate the understanding of the text, I have added
        to it plates representing the position of the horse at the
        moment the flexion is about to commence, and at the moment it
        is terminated.

1st. In order to execute the flexion to the right, the man will take
hold of the right curb-rein with the right hand, at about six inches
from the branch of the bit, and the left rein with the left hand, at
only three inches from the left branch. He will then draw his right hand
towards his body, pushing out his left hand so as to turn the bit in the
horse's mouth. The force employed ought to be entirely determined by and
proportioned to the resistance of the jaw and neck only, in order not to
affect the _aplomb_, which keeps his body still. If the horse backs to
avoid the flexion, the opposition of the hands should still be
continued. If the preceding exercise has been completely and carefully
practised, it will be easy by the aid of the whip to prevent this
retrograde movement, which is a great obstacle to all kinds of flexions
of the jaw and neck. (Plate I.)

2d. As soon as the flexion is obtained, the left hand will let the left
rein slip to the same length as the right, then drawing the two reins
equally will bring the head near to the breast, in order to hold it
there oblique and perpendicular, until it sustains itself without
assistance in this position. The horse by champing the bit will show his
being in hand as well as his perfect submission. The man, to reward him,
will cease drawing on the reins immediately, and after some seconds will
allow him to resume his natural position. (Plate II.)

[Illustration: Plates I. and II.]

The flexion of the jaw to the left is executed upon the same principles
and by inverse means to the flexion to the right, the man being careful
to pass alternately from one to the other.

The importance of these flexions of the jaw is easily understood. The
result of them is to prepare the horse to yield instantly to the
lightest pressure of the bit, and to supple directly the muscles that
join the head to the neck. As the head ought to precede and determine
the different attitudes of the neck, it is indispensable that the latter
part be always in subjection to the other, and respond to its
impulsions. That would be only partially the case with the flexibility
of the neck alone, which would then make the head obey it, by drawing it
along in its movements. You see, then, why at first I experienced
resistances, in spite of the pliability of the neck, of which I could
not imagine the cause. The followers of my method to whom I have not yet
had an opportunity of making known the new means just explained, will
learn with pleasure that this process not only brings the flexibility of
the neck to a greater degree of perfection, but saves much time in
finishing the suppling. The exercise of the jaw, while fashioning the
mouth and head, brings along with it the flexion of the neck, and
accelerates the getting the horse in hand.

This exercise is the first of our attempts to accustom the forces of the
horse to yield to ours. It is necessary, then, to manage it very nicely,
so as not to discourage him at first. To enter on the flexion roughly
would be to shock the animal's intelligence, who would not have had time
to comprehend what was required of him. The opposition of the hands will
be commenced gently but firmly, not to cease until perfect obedience is
obtained, except, indeed, the horse backs against a wall, or into a
corner; but it will diminish or increase its effect in proportion to the
resistance, in a way always to govern it, but not with too great
violence. The horse that at first will, perhaps, submit with difficulty,
will end by regarding the man's hand as an irresistible regulator, and
will become so used to obeying it, that he will soon obtain, by a simple
pressure of the rein, what at first required the whole strength of our
arms.

At each renewal of the lateral flexions some progress will be made in
the obedience of the horse. As soon as his first resistances are a
little diminished, we will pass to the perpendicular flexions or
depression of the neck.

_Depression of the neck by the direct flexion of the jaw._--

1. The man will place himself as for the lateral flexions of the jaw; he
will take hold of the reins of the snaffle with the left hand, at six
inches from the rings, and the curb-reins at about two inches from the
bit. He will oppose the two hands by effecting the depression with the
left and the proper position with the right. (Plate III.)

2. As soon as the horse's head shall fall of its own accord and by its
own weight, the man will instantly cease all kind of force, and allow
the animal to resume his natural position. (Plate IV.)

[Illustration: Plates III. and IV.]

This exercise being often repeated, will soon bring about the suppling
of the elevating muscles of the neck, which play a prominent part in the
resistances of the horse, and will besides facilitate the direct
flexions and the getting the head in position, which should follow the
lateral flexions. The man can execute this, as well as the preceding
exercise, by himself; yet it would be well to put a second person in the
saddle, in order to accustom the horse to the exercise of the supplings
with a rider. This rider should just hold the snaffle-reins, without
drawing on them, in his right hand, the nails downward.

The flexions of the jaw have already communicated suppleness to the
upper part of the neck, but we have obtained it by means of a powerful
and direct motive power, and we must accustom the horse to yield to a
less direct regulating force. Besides, it is important that the
pliability and flexibility, especially necessary in the upper part of
the neck, should be transmitted throughout its whole extent, so as to
destroy its stiffness entirely.

The force from above downward, practised with the snaffle, acting only
by the headstall on the top of the head, often takes too long to make
the horse lower his head. In this case, we must cross the two
snaffle-reins by taking the left rein in the right, and the right rein
in the left hand, about six or seven inches from the horse's mouth, in
such a way as to cause a pretty strong pressure upon the chin. This
force, like all the others, must be continued until the horse yields.
The flexions being repeated with this more powerful agent, will put him
in a condition to respond to the means previously indicated. If the
horse responded to the first flexions represented by Plate IV., it would
be unnecessary to make use of this one. (Plate V.)

[Illustration: Plate V.]

We can act directly on the jaw so as to render it prompt in moving. To
do this, we take the left curb-rein about six inches from the horse's
mouth and draw it straight towards the left shoulder; at the same
time draw the left rein of the snaffle forward, in such a way that
the wrists of the person holding the two reins shall be opposite and on
a level with each other. The two opposed forces will soon cause a
separation of the jaws and end all resistance. The force ought to be
always proportioned to that of the horse, whether in his resistance, or
in his lightness. Thus, by means of this direct force a few lessons will
be sufficient to give a pliability to the part in question that could
not have been obtained by any other means. (Plate VI.)

[Illustration: Plate VI.]

_Lateral flexions of the neck._--

1. The man will place himself near the horse's shoulder as for the
flexions of the jaw; he will take hold of the right snaffle-rein, which
he will draw upon across the neck, in order to establish an intermediate
point between the impulsion that comes from him and the resistance the
horse presents; he will hold up the left rein with the left hand about a
foot from the bit. As soon as the horse endeavors to avoid the constant
tension of the right rein by inclining his head to the right, he will
let the left rein slip so as to offer no opposition to the flexion of
the neck. Whenever the horse endeavors to escape the constraint of the
right rein by bringing his croup around, he will be brought into place
again by slight pulls of the left rein. (Plate VII.)

2. When the head and neck have entirely yielded to the right, the man
will draw equally on both reins to place the head perpendicularly.
Suppleness and lightness will soon follow this position, and as soon as
the horse evinces, by champing the bit, entire freedom from stiffness,
the man will cease the tension of the reins, being careful that the head
does not take advantage of this moment of freedom to displace itself
suddenly. In this case, it will be sufficient to restrain it by a slight
support of the right rein. After having kept the horse in this
position for some seconds, he will make him resume his former position
by drawing on the left rein. It is most important that the animal in all
his movements should do nothing of his own accord. (Plate VIII.)

[Illustration: Plates VII. and VIII.]

The flexion of the neck to the left is executed after the same
principles, but by inverse means. The man can repeat with the curb what
he has previously done with the snaffle-reins; but the snaffle should
always be employed first, its effect being less powerful and more
direct.

When the horse submits without resistance to the preceding exercises, it
will prove that the suppling of the neck has already made a great step.
The rider can, henceforward, continue his work by operating with a less
direct motive power, and without the animal's being impressed by the
sight of him. He will place himself in the saddle, and commence by
repeating with the full length of the reins, the lateral flexions, in
which he has already exercised his horse.

_Lateral flexions of the neck, the man on horseback._--

1. To execute the flexion to the right, the rider will take one
snaffle-rein in each hand, the left scarcely feeling the bit; the right,
on the contrary, giving a moderate impression at first, but which will
increase in proportion to the resistance of the horse, and in a way
always to govern him. The animal, soon tired of a struggle which, being
prolonged, only makes the pain proceeding from the bit more acute, will
understand that the only way to avoid it is to incline the head in the
direction the pressure is felt. (Plate IX.)

2. As soon as the horse's head is brought round to the right, the left
rein will form opposition, to prevent the nose from passing beyond the
perpendicular. Great stress should be laid on the head's remaining
always in this position, without which the flexion would be imperfect
and the suppleness incomplete. The movement being regularly
accomplished, the horse will be made to resume his natural position by a
slight tension of the left rein. (Plate X.)

[Illustration: Plates IX. and X.]

The flexion to the left is executed in the same way, the rider employing
alternately the snaffle and curb-reins.

I have already mentioned that it is of great importance to supple the
upper part of the neck. After mounting, and having obtained the lateral
flexions without resistance, the rider will often content himself with
executing them half-way, the head and upper part of the neck pivoting
upon the lower part, which will serve as a base or axis. This exercise
must be frequently repeated, even after the horse's education is
completed, in order to keep up the pliability, and facilitate the
getting him in hand.

It now remains for us, in order to complete the suppling of the head and
neck, to combat the contractions which occasion the direct resistances,
and prevent your getting the horse's head in a perpendicular position.

_Direct flexions of the head and neck, or ramener.[C]_--

    [C] _Ramener_ means to place the horse's head in a
         perpendicular position.--TRANSLATOR.

1. The rider will first use the snaffle-reins, which he will hold
together in the left hand as he would the curb-reins. He will rest the
outer edge of the right hand (see Plate XI.) on the reins in front of
the left hand in order to increase the power of the right hand; after
which he will gradually bear on the snaffle-bit. As soon as the horse
yields, it would suffice to raise the right hand to diminish the tension
of the reins and reward the animal. As the hand must only present a
force proportioned to the resistance of the neck, it will only be
necessary to hold the legs rather close to prevent backing. When the
horse obeys the action of the snaffle, he will yield much more quickly
to that of the curb, the effect of which is so much more powerful. The
curb, of course, needs more care in the use of it than the snaffle.
(Plate XI.)

2. The horse will have completely yielded to the action of the hand,
when his head is carried in a position perfectly perpendicular to the
ground; from that time the contraction will cease, which the animal will
show, as in every other case, by champing his bit. The rider must be
careful not to be deceived by the feints of the horse--feints which
consist in yielding one-fourth or one-third of the way, and then
hesitating. If, for example, the nose of the horse having to pass over a
curve of ten degrees to attain the perpendicular position (Plate XI.),
should stop at the fourth or sixth and again resist, the hand should
follow the movement and then remain firm and immovable, for a concession
on its part would encourage resistance and increase the difficulties.
When the nose shall descend to No. 10, the perpendicular position will
be complete and the lightness perfect. The rider can then cease the
tension of the reins, but so as to keep the head in this position, if it
should offer to leave it. If he lets it return at all to its natural
situation, it should be to draw it in over again, and to make the animal
understand that the perpendicular position of the head is the only one
allowed when under the rider's hand. He should, at the outset, accustom
the horse to cease backing at the pressure of the legs, as all backward
movements would enable him to avoid the effects of the hand or create
new means of resistance. (Plate XII.)

[Illustration: Plates XI. and XII.]

This is the most important flexion of all; the others tended principally
to pave the way for it. As soon as it is executed with ease and
promptness, as soon as a slight touch is sufficient to place and keep
the head in a perpendicular position, it will prove that the suppling is
complete, contraction destroyed, lightness and equilibrium established
in the fore-hand. The direction of this part of the animal will,
henceforward, be as easy as it is natural, since we have put it in a
condition to receive all our impressions, and instantly to yield to them
without effort.

As to the functions of the legs, they must support the hind-parts of the
horse, in order to obtain the _ramener_, in such a way that he may not
be able to avoid the effect of the hand by a retrograde movement of his
body. This complete getting in hand is necessary to drive the hind-legs
under the centre. In the first case, we act upon the fore-hand; in the
second, upon the hind-parts; the first serves for the _ramener_, the
second for the _rassembler_, or gathering the horse.[D]

    [D] The full meaning of the word _rassembler_ will be
        understood after reading the chapter, further on in this work,
        under that head. With regard to the other word, _ramener_,
        to avoid the constant circumlocution of saying, "placing the
        horse's head in a perpendicular position," it will be used in
        future wherever it occurs.--TRANSLATOR.

_Combination of effects._--I published four editions of my Method,
without devoting a special article to the combination of effects.
Although I myself made a very frequent use of it, I had not attached
sufficient importance to the great necessity of this principle in the
case of teaching; later experiments have taught me to consider it of
more consequence.

The combination of effects means the continued and exactly opposed force
of the hand and legs. Its object should be to bring back again into a
position of equilibrium all the parts of the horse which leave it, in
order to prevent him from going ahead, without backing him, and _vice
versâ_: finally, it serves to stop any movement from the right to the
left, or the left to the right. By this means, also, we distribute the
weight of the mass equally on the four legs, and produce temporary
immobility. This combination of effects ought to precede and follow each
exercise within the graduated limit assigned to it. It is essential when
we employ the aids (i.e. the hand and legs), in this, that the action of
the legs should precede the other, in order to prevent the horse from
backing against any place, for he might find, in this movement, points
of support that would enable him to increase his resistance. Thus, all
motion of the extremities, proceeding from the horse himself, should be
stopped by a combination of effects; finally, whenever his forces get
scattered, and act inharmoniously, the rider will find in this a
powerful and infallible corrective.

It is by disposing all the parts of the horse in the most exact order,
that we will easily transmit to him the impulsion that should cause the
regular movements of his extremities; it is then also that we will
address his comprehension, and that he will appreciate what we demand of
him; then will follow caresses of the hand and voice as a moral effect;
they should not be used, though, until after he has done what is
demanded of him by the rider's hand and legs.

_The horse's resting his chin on his breast._--Although few horses are
disposed by nature to do this, it is not the less necessary, when it
does occur, to practise on them all the flexions, even the one which
bends down the neck. In this position, the horse's chin comes back near
the breast and rests in contact with the lower part of the neck; too
high a croup, joined to a permanent contraction of the muscles that
lower the neck, is generally the cause of it. These muscles must then be
suppled in order to destroy their intensity, and thereby give to the
muscles that raise the neck, their antagonists, the predominance which
will make the neck rest in a graceful and useful position. This first
accomplished, the horse will be accustomed to go forward freely at the
pressure of the legs, and to respond, without abruptness or excitement,
to the touch of the spurs (_attaques_); the object of these last is to
bring the hind legs near the centre, and to lower the croup. The rider
will then endeavor to raise the horse's head by the aid of the
curb-reins; in this case, the hand will be held some distance above the
saddle, and far from the body[E]; the force it transmits to the horse
ought to be continued until he yields by elevating his head. As these
sorts of horses have generally little action, we must take care to avoid
letting the hand produce an effect from the front to the rear, in which
case it would take away from the impulse necessary for movement. The
pace commencing with the walk, must be kept up at the same rate, while
the hand is producing an elevating effect upon the neck. This precept is
applicable to all the changes of position that the hand makes in the
head and neck; but is particularly essential in the case of a horse
disposed to depress his neck.

    [E] This position of the hand at a distance from the saddle and
        the body will be criticised; but let the rider be reassured,
        eight or ten lessons will suffice to make the horse change the
        position of his head, and allow the hand to resume its normal
        position.

It should be remembered that the horse has two ways of responding to the
pressure of the bit; by one, he yields but withdraws himself at the same
time by shrinking and coming back to his former position; this kind of
yielding is only injurious to his education, for if the hand is held too
forcibly, if he does not wait till the horse changes of his own accord
the position of his head, the backward movement of his body would
precede and be accompanied by a shifting of the weight backwards. In
this case, the contraction of his neck remains all the while the same.
The second kind of yielding, which contributes so greatly to the rapid
and certain education of the horse, consists in giving a half or
three-quarter tension to the reins, then to sustain the hand as forcibly
as possible without bringing it near the body. In a short time the force
of the hand, seconded by the continued pressure of the legs, will make
the horse avoid this slight but constant pressure of the bit, but by
means of his head and neck only. Then the rider will only make use of
the force necessary to displace the head. It is by this means that he
will be able to place the horse's body on a level, and will obtain that
equilibrium,[F] the perfect balance of which has not hitherto been
appreciated.

    [F] The word equilibrium, so often repeated in the course of this
        work, must be categorically explained. People have never rightly
        understood what it means, this true equilibrium of a horse,
        which serves as the basis of his education, and by which he
        takes instantly, at the rider's will, such a pace, or such a
        change or direction.

        It is not here a question of the equilibrium which prevents the
        horse from falling down, but of that upon which depends his
        performance, when it is prompt, graceful and regular, and by
        means of which his paces are either measured or extended at
        will.

                          _Equilibrium of Baucher._
        _Croup_------------------------------------------------_Head._

        Here the weight and the forces are equally distributed. By means
        of this just distribution the different positions, the different
        paces, and the equilibriums that belong to them, are obtained
        without effort on the part of man or horse.

Resuming what we have just explained in the case of a horse who rests
his chin on his breast, we repeat that it is by producing one force from
the rear to the front with the legs, and another from below upwards with
the hand, that we will soon be enabled to improve the position and
movements of the horse. So that whatever may be his disposition at
first, it is by first causing the depression of the neck that we will
quickly gain a masterly and perfect elevation of it.

I will close this chapter by some reflections on the supposed difference
of sensibility in horses' mouths, and the kind of bit which ought to be
used.

_Of the horse's mouth and the bit._--I have already treated this subject
at length in my Comprehensive Dictionary of Equitation; but as in this
work I make a complete exposition of my method, I think it necessary to
repeat it in a few words.

I cannot imagine how people have been able so long to attribute to the
mere difference of formation of the bars,[G] those contrary dispositions
of horses which render them so light or so hard to the hand. How can we
believe that, according as a horse has one or two lines of flesh, more
or less, between the bit and the bone of the lower jaw, he should yield
to the lightest impulse of the hand, or become unmanageable in spite of
all the efforts of two vigorous arms? Nevertheless, it is from remaining
in this inconceiveable error, that people have forged bits of so strange
and various forms, real instruments of torture, the effect of which is
to increase the difficulties they sought to remove.

    [G] The bars are the continuations of the two bones of the
        lower jaw between the masticating and the front teeth. It is on
        these that the bit rests.

Had they gone back a little further to the source of the resistances,
they would have discovered that this one, like all the rest, does not
proceed from the difference of formation of a feeble organ, like the
bars, but from a contraction communicated to the different parts of the
body, and, above all, to the neck, by some serious fault of
constitution. It is, then, in vain that we attach to the reins, and
place in the horse's mouth a more or less murderous instrument; he will
remain insensible to our efforts as long as we do not communicate
suppleness to him, which alone can enable him to yield.

In the first place, then, I lay down as a fact, that there is no
difference of sensibility in the mouths of horses; that all present the
same lightness when in the position called _ramener_, and the same
resistances in proportion as they recede from this position. There are
horses hard to the hand; but this hardness proceeds from the length or
weakness of their loins, from a narrow croup, from short haunches, thin
thighs, straight hocks, or (a most important point) from a croup too
high or too low in proportion to the withers; such are the true causes
of resistances; the contractions of the neck, the closing of the jaws
are only the effects; as to the bars, they are only there to show the
ignorance of self-styled equestrian theoricians. By suppling the neck
and the jaw, this hardness completely disappears. Experiments a hundred
times repeated give me the right to advance this principle boldly;
perhaps it may, at first, appear too arbitrary, but it is none the less
true.

Consequently, I only allow one kind of bit, and this is the form and the
dimensions I give it, to make it as simple as it is easy.

The branches straight and six inches long, measuring from the eye of the
bit to the extremity of the branch; circumference of the canon,[H] two
inches and a half; port, about two inches wide at the bottom, and one
inch at the top. The only variation to be in the width of the bit,
according to the horse's mouth.

    [H] The mouth-piece of the bit consists of three parts: the port, to
        give freedom to the tongue, and the two canons, which are the
        parts that come in contact with the bars.--TRANSLATOR.

I insist that such a bit is sufficient to render passively obedient all
horses that have been prepared by supplings; and I need not add that, as
I deny the utility of severe bits, I reject all means not coming
directly from the rider, such as martingales, piliers, etc.



                 CHAPTER IV.

        CONTINUATION OF SUPPLINGS.


_The hind-parts._--In order to guide the horse, the rider acts directly
on two of his parts: the fore-parts and the hind-parts. To effect this,
he employs two motive powers: the legs, which give the impulse by the
croup; and the hand, which directs and modifies this impulse by the head
and neck. A perfect harmony of forces ought then to exist always between
these two motive powers; but the same harmony is equally necessary
between the parts of the animal they are intended particularly to
impress. In vain would be our labor to render the head and neck
flexible, light, obedient to the touch of the hand; incomplete would be
the results, the equilibrium of the whole imperfect, as long as the
croup remained dull, contracted and rebellious to the direct governing
agent.

I have just explained the simple and easy means of giving to the
fore-parts the qualities indispensable to a good management thereof: it
remains to tell how we will fashion, in the same way, the hind-parts, in
order to complete the suppling of the horse, and bring about a uniform
harmony in the development of all his moving parts. The resistances of
the neck and croup mutually aiding one another, our labor will be more
easy, as we have already destroyed the former.

_The flexions of the croup, and making it movable._--

1. The rider will hold the curb-reins in the left hand, and those of the
snaffle, crossed, in the right, the nails of the right hand held
downward; he will first bring the horse's head into a perpendicular
position, by drawing lightly on the bit; after that, if he wishes to
execute the movement to the right, he will carry the left leg back
behind the girths and fix it near the flanks of the animal, until the
croup yields to this pressure. The rider will at the same time make the
left snaffle-rein felt, proportioning the effect of the rein to the
resistance which is opposed to it. Of these two forces transmitted thus
by the left leg and the rein of the same side, the first is intended to
combat the resistance, and the second, to determine the movement. The
rider should content himself in the beginning with making the croup
execute one or two steps only sideways. (Plate XIII.)

2. The croup having acquired more facility in moving, we can continue
the movement so as to complete to the right and the left reversed
pirouettes.[I] As soon as the haunches yield to the pressure of the leg,
the rider, to cause the perfect equilibrium of the horse, will
immediately draw upon the rein opposite to this leg. The motion of this,
slight at first, will be progressively increased until the head is
inclined to the side towards which the croup is moving, as if to look at
it coming. (Plate XIV.)

    [I] See note, page 63.

[Illustration: Plates XIII. and XIV.]

To make this movement understood, I will add some explanations, the more
important as they are applicable to all the exercises of horsemanship.

The horse, in all his movements, cannot preserve a perfect and constant
equilibrium, without a combination of opposite forces, skillfully
managed by the rider. In the reversed pirouette, for example, if when
the horse has yielded to the pressure of the leg, we continue to oppose
the rein on the same side as this leg, it is evident that we will shoot
beyond the mark, since we will be employing a force which has become
useless. We must then establish two motive powers, the effect of which
balances, without interfering; this, the tension of the rein on the
opposite side from the leg will produce in the pirouette. So, we will
commence with the rein and the leg of the same side, until it is time to
pass to the second part of the work, then with the curb-rein in the left
hand, and finally, with the snaffle-rein opposite to the leg. The forces
will then be kept in a diagonal position, and in consequence, the
equilibrium natural, and the execution of the movement easy. The horse's
head being turned to the side where the croup is moving, adds much to
the gracefulness of the performance, and aids the rider in regulating
the activity of the haunches, and keeping the shoulders in place. For
the rest, tact alone will be able to show him how to use the leg and the
rein, in such a way that their motions will mutually sustain, without at
any time counteracting one another.

I need not remind you that during the whole of this exercise, as on all
occasions, the neck should remain supple and light; the head in position
(perpendicular) and the jaw movable. While the bridle hand keeps them in
this proper position, the right hand, with the aid of the snaffle, is
combating the lateral resistances, and determining the different
inclinations, until the horse is sufficiently well broken to obey a
simple pressure of the bit. If, when combating the contraction of the
croup, we permitted the horse to throw its stiffness into the
fore-parts, our efforts would be vain, and the fruit of our first labors
lost. On the contrary, we will facilitate the subjection of the
hind-parts, by preserving the advantages we have already acquired over
the fore-parts, and by keeping separated those contractions we have yet
to combat.

The leg of the rider opposite to that which determines the rotation of
the croup, must not be kept off during the movement, but remain close to
the horse and keep him in place, while giving from the rear forward an
impulse which the other leg communicates from right to left, or from
left to right. There will thus be one force which keeps the horse in
position, and another which determines the rotation. In order that the
pressure of the two legs should not counteract one another, and in order
to be able to use them both together, the leg intended to move the croup
will be placed farther behind the girths than the other, which will
remain held with a force equal to that of the leg that determines the
movement. Then the action of the legs will be distinct, the one bearing
from right to left, the other from the rear forwards. It is by the aid
of the latter that the hand places and fixes the fore legs.

To accelerate these results, at first, a second person may be employed
who will place himself at the height of the horse's head, holding the
curb-reins in the right hand, and on the side opposite to which we wish
the croup to go. He will lay hold of the reins at six inches from the
branches of the bit, so as to be in a good position to combat the
instinctive resistances of the animal. The one in the saddle will
content himself with holding lightly the snaffle-reins, acting with his
legs as I have already shown. The second person is only useful when we
have to deal with a horse of an intractable disposition, or to aid the
inexperience of the one in the saddle; but, as much should be done
without assistance as possible, in order that the practitioner may judge
by himself of the progress of his horse, seeking all the while for
means to increase the effects of his touch.

Even while this work is in an elementary state, he will make the horse
execute easily all the figures of the _manège de deux pistes_.[J] After
eight days of moderate exercise, he will have accomplished, without
effort, a performance that the old school did not dare to undertake
until after two or three years' studying and working at the horse.

    [J] "_La piste_ is an imaginary line upon which the horse is
        made to walk. When the hind legs follow the same line as the
        fore ones, the horse is said to go _d'une piste_, or on one
        line. He goes _de deux pistes_, or on two lines, when his hind
        legs pass along a line parallel to that traced by the fore
        legs."--_Baucher's Dictionnaire d'Equitation._

When the rider has accustomed the croup of the horse to yield promptly
to the pressure of the legs, he will be able to put it in motion, or fix
it motionless at will, and can, consequently, execute ordinary
pirouettes.[K] For this purpose he will take a snaffle-rein in each
hand, one to direct the neck and shoulders towards the side to which we
wish to wheel, the other to second the opposite leg, if it is not
sufficient to keep the croup still. At the beginning, this leg should be
placed as far back as possible, and not be used until the haunches bear
against it. By careful and progressive management the results will soon
be attained; at the start, the horse should be allowed to rest after
executing two or three steps well, which will give five or six halts in
the complete rotation of the shoulders around the croup.
    [K] "The _pirouette_ is executed on the fore or hind legs, by making
        the horse turn round upon himself, in such a way, that the leg
        on the side he is going, acts as a pivot, and is the principal
        support around which the other three legs move."--_Baucher's
        Dictionnaire d'Equitation._

       _Pirouettes_ are either _ordinary_ or _reversed_. In the ordinary
       _pirouette_, one of the hind legs is the pivot on which the horse
        moves; in the reversed, one of the fore legs.--TRANSLATOR.]

Here the stationary exercises cease. I will now explain how the suppling
of the hind-parts will be completed, by commencing to combine the play
of its springs with those of the fore-parts.

_Backing._--The retrograde movement, otherwise called backing, is an
exercise, the importance of which has not been sufficiently appreciated,
and which yet ought to have a very great influence upon his education.
When practised after the old erroneous methods, it would have been
without success, since the thread of exercises that ought to precede it
were unknown. Backing properly differs essentially from that incorrect
backward movement which carries the horse to the rear with his croup
contracted and his neck stiff; that is, backing away from and avoiding
the effect of the reins. Backing correctly supples the horse, and adds
grace and precision to his natural motions. The first of the conditions
upon which it is to be obtained, is to keep the horse in hand; that is
to say, supple, light in the mouth, steady on his legs, and perfectly
balanced in all his parts. Thus disposed, the animal will be able with
ease to move and elevate equally his fore and hind legs.

It is here that we will be enabled to appreciate the good effects and
the indispensable necessity of suppling the neck and haunches. Backing,
which at first is tolerably painful to the horse, will always lead him
to combat the motions of our hand, by stiffening his neck, and those of
our legs, by contracting his croup; these are the instinctive
resistances. If we cannot obviate the bad disposition of them, how will
we be able to obtain that shifting and re-shifting of weight, which
alone ought to make the execution of this movement perfect? If the
impulsion which, to back him, ought to come from the fore-parts, should
pass over its proper limits, the movement would become painful,
impossible in fact, and occasion, on the part of the animal, sudden,
violent movements which are always injurious to his organization.

On the other hand, the displacements[L] of the croup, by destroying the
harmony which should exist between the relative forces of fore and
hind-parts, would also hinder the proper execution of the backing. The
previous exercise to which we have subjected the croup will aid us in
keeping it in a straight line with the shoulders, in order to preserve
the necessary transferring of the forces and weight.

    [L] These displacements of the croup mean sideway
        displacements, or the horse's croup not being in a line with the
        shoulders.--TRANSLATOR.

To commence the movement, the rider ought first to assure himself that
the haunches are on a line with the shoulders, and the horse light in
hand; then he will slowly close his legs, in order that the action they
will communicate to the hind-parts of the horse may make him lift one of
his hind legs, and prevent the body from yielding before the neck. It is
then that the immediate pressure of the bit, forcing the horse to regain
his equilibrium behind, will produce the first part of the backing. As
soon as the horse obeys, the rider will instantly give the hand to
reward the animal, and not to force the play of his fore-parts. If his
croup is displaced, the rider will bring it back by means of his leg,
and if necessary, use for this purpose the snaffle-rein on that side.

After having defined what I call the proper backing (_reculer_), I ought
to explain what I understand by backing so as to avoid the bit
(_l'acculement_). This movement is too painful to the horse, too
ungraceful, and too much opposed to the right development of his
mechanism, not to have struck any one who has occupied himself at all
with horsemanship. We force a horse backwards in this way, whenever we
crowd too much his forces and weight upon his hind-parts; by so doing we
destroy his equilibrium, and render grace, measure and correctness
impossible. Lightness, always lightness! this is the basis, the
touchstone of all beautiful execution. With this, all is easy, as much
for the horse as the rider. That being the case, it is understood that
the difficulty of horsemanship does not consist in the direction to give
the horse, but in the position to make him assume--a position which
alone can smooth all obstacles. Indeed, if the horse executes, it is the
rider who makes him do so; upon him then rests the responsibility of
every false movement.

It will suffice to exercise the horse for eight days (for five minutes
each lesson), in backing, to make him execute it with facility. The
rider will content himself the first few times with one or two steps to
the rear, followed by the combined effect of the legs and hand,
increasing in proportion to the progress he makes, until he finds no
more difficulty in a backward than in a forward movement.

What an immense step we will then have made in the education of our
pupil! At the start, the defective formation of the animal, his natural
contractions, the resistances we encountered everywhere, seemed as if
they might defy our efforts forever. Without doubt they would have been
vain, had we made use of a bad course of proceeding, but the wise system
of progression that we have introduced into our work, the destruction of
the instinctive forces of the horse, the suppling, the separate
subjection of all the rebellious parts, have soon placed in our power
the whole of the mechanism to such a degree as to enable us to govern it
completely, and to restore that pliability, ease, and harmony of the
parts, which their bad arrangement appeared as if it would always
prevent. As I shall point out hereafter in classing the general division
of the labor, it will be seen that eight or ten days will be sufficient
to obtain these important results.

Was I not right then in saying that if it is not in my power to change
the defective formation of a horse, I can yet prevent the evil effect of
his physical defects, so as to render him as fit to do everything with
grace and natural ease, as the better formed horse? In suppling the
parts of the animal upon which the rider acts directly, in order to
govern and guide him, in accustoming them to yield without difficulty or
hesitation to the different impressions which are communicated to them,
I have, by so doing, destroyed their stiffness and restored the centre
of gravity to its true place, namely, to the middle of the body. I have,
besides, settled the greatest difficulty of horsemanship: that of
subjecting, before everything else, the parts upon which the rider acts
directly, in order to prepare for him infallible means of acting upon
the horse.

It is only by destroying the instinctive forces, and by suppling the
different parts of the horse, that we will obtain this. All the springs
of the animal's body are thus yielded up to the discretion of the rider.
But this first advantage will not be enough to make him a complete
horseman. The employment of these forces thus abandoned to him, demand,
in order to execute the different paces, much study and skill. I will
show in the subsequent chapters the rules to be observed. I will
conclude this one by a rapid recapitulation of the progression to be
followed in the supplings.

_Stationary exercise, the rider on foot. Fore-parts._--

1. Flexions of the jaw to the right and left, using the curb-bit.

2. Direct flexions of the jaw, and depression of the neck.

3. Lateral flexions of the neck with the snaffle-reins and with the
curb.

_Stationary exercise, the rider on horseback._--

1. Lateral flexions of the neck with the snaffle-reins, and with the
curb-reins.

2. Direct flexions of the head or placing it in a perpendicular position
with the snaffle, and with the curb-reins.

_Hind-parts._--

3. Lateral flexions, and moving the croup around the shoulders.

4. Rotation of the shoulders around the haunches.

5. Combining the play of the fore and hind legs of the horse, or
backing.

I have placed the rotation of the shoulders around the haunches in the
nomenclatere of stationary exercise. But the ordinary pivoting, or
_pirouettes_, being a pretty complicated movement, and one difficult for
the horse, he should not be completely exercised in it until he has
acquired the measured time of the walk, and of the trot, and will easily
execute the changes of direction.



                       CHAPTER V.

      OF THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE FORCES OF THE HORSE
                      BY THE RIDER.


When the supplings have subjected the instinctive forces of the horse,
and given them up completely into our power, the animal will be nothing
more in our hand than a passive, expectant machine, ready to act upon
the impulsion we choose to communicate to him. It will be for us, then,
as sovereign disposers of all his forces, to combine the employment of
them in correct proportion to the movements we wish to execute.

The young horse, at first stiff and awkward in the use of his members,
will need a certain degree of management in developing them. In this, as
in every other case, we will follow that rational progression which
tells us to commence with the simple, before passing to the complicated.
By the preceding exercise, we have made our means of acting upon the
horse sure. We must now attend to facilitating his means of execution,
by exercising all his forces together. If the animal responds to the
aids of the rider by the jaw, the neck and the haunches; if he yields by
the general disposition of his body to the impulses communicated to him,
it is by the play of his extremities that he executes the movement. The
mechanism of these parts ought then to be easy, prompt and regular;
their application, well directed in the different paces, will alone be
able to give them these qualities, indispensable to a good education.[M]

    [M] It must not be forgotten that the hand and legs have their
        vocabulary also; and a very concise one. This mute, laconic
        language consists of these few words. _You are doing badly; this
        is what you should do; you do well now._ It is sufficient for
        the rider to be able to translate, by his mechanism, the meaning
        of these three remarks, to possess all the equestrian erudition,
        and share his intelligence with his horse.

_The walk._--This pace is the mother of all the other paces; by it we
will obtain the cadence, the regularity, the extension of the others.
But to obtain these brilliant results, the rider must display as much
knowledge as tact. The preceding exercises have led the horse to bear
the combined effect of hand and legs, which could not have been done
previously to the destruction of the instinctive resistances; we have
now only to act on the inert resistances which appertain to the animal's
weight; upon the forces which only move when an impulse is communicated
to them.

Before making the horse go forward, we should first assure ourselves of
his lightness; that is to say, of his head being perpendicular, his neck
flexible, his hind-part straight and plumb. The legs will then be closed
lightly, to give the body the impulse necessary to move it. But we
should not, in accordance with the precepts of the old method, give the
bridle hand at the same time; for then the neck, being free from all
restraint, would lose its lightness; would contract, and render the
motion of the hand powerless. The rider will remember that his hand
ought to be to the horse an insurmountable barrier, whenever he would
leave the position of _ramener_. The animal will never attempt it,
without pain; and only within this limit will he find ease and comfort.
By the application of my method, the rider will be led to guide his
horse all the time with the reins half tight, except when he wishes to
correct a false movement, or determine a new one.

The walk, I have said, ought to precede the other paces, because the
horse having three supports upon the ground, his action is less, and
consequently easier to regulate than in the trot and gallop. The first
exercises of the supplings will be followed by some turns in the
riding-house at a walk, but only as a relaxation, the rider attending
less to animating his horse than to making him keep his head, while
walking in a perpendicular position. Little by little he will complicate
his work, so as to join to the lightness of the horse that precision of
movement indispensable to the beauty of all his paces.

He will commence light oppositions of the hand and legs to make the
forces of the fore and hind-parts work together in harmony. This
exercise, by accustoming the horse always to yield the use of his forces
to the direction of the rider, will be also useful in forming his
intelligence, as well as in developing his powers. What delights the
expert horseman will experience in the progressive application of his
art! His pupil at first rebellious will insensibly yield himself to his
every wish; will adopt his character, and end by becoming the living
personification of him. Take care, then, rider! If your horse is
capricious, violent, fantastic, we will have the right to say that you
yourself do not shine by the amenity of your disposition, and the
propriety of your proceedings.

In order to keep the measure and quickness of the walk equal and
regular, it is indispensable that the impulsive and governing forces
which come from the rider, should themselves be perfectly in harmony. We
will suppose, for example, that the rider to move his horse forward,
should make use of a force equal to twenty pounds, fifteen for the
impulse forward, and five to bring his head into position. If the legs
increase their motion without the hands increasing theirs in the same
proportion, it is evident that the surplus of communicated force will be
thrown into the neck, cause it to contract, and destroy all lightness.
If, on the contrary, it is the hand which acts with too much violence,
it will be at the expense of the impulsive force necessary to move the
horse forward; on this account, his forward movement will be slackened
and counteracted, at the same time that his position will lose its
gracefulness and power.

This short explanation will suffice to show the harmony that should
exist between the legs and hands. It is understood that their motion
should vary according as the formation of the horse renders it necessary
to support him more or less before or behind; but the rule is the same,
only the proportions are different.

As long as the horse will not keep himself supple and light in his walk,
we will continue to exercise him in a straight line; but as soon as he
acquires more ease and steadiness, we will commence to make him execute
changes of direction to the right and left, while walking.

_Changes of direction._--The use of the wrists, in the changes of
direction, is so simple that it is unnecessary to speak of it here. I
will only call attention to the fact, that the resistances of the horse
ought always to be anticipated by disposing his forces in such a manner
that they all concur in putting him in the way of moving. The head will
be inclined in the direction we wish to go by means of the snaffle-rein
of that side, the curb will then complete the movement. General rule:
the lateral resistances of the neck are always to be opposed by the aid
of the snaffle, being very careful not to commence to wheel until after
destroying the obstacle that opposed it. If the use of the wrists
remains very nearly the same as formerly, it is not so with the legs;
their motion will be diametrically opposite to that given them in the
old style of horsemanship. This innovation is so natural a one, that I
cannot conceive why some one never applied it before me.

It is by bearing the hand to the right, and making the right leg felt,
people have told me, and I have myself at first repeated it, that the
horse is made to turn to the right. With me, practice has always taken
the precedence of reasoning; and this is the way I first perceived the
incorrectness of this principle.

Whatever lightness my horse had in a straight line, I remarked that this
lightness always lost some of its delicacy when moving in small circles,
although my outside leg came to the assistance of the inside one. As
soon as the hind leg put itself in motion to follow the shoulders in the
circle, I immediately felt a slight resistance. I then thought of
changing the use of my aids, and of pressing the leg on the side
opposite to the direction of wheeling. At the same time, in place of
bearing the hand immediately to the right, to determine the shoulders in
that direction, I first, by the aid of this hand, made the opposition
necessary to render the haunches motionless, and to dispose the forces
in such a way as to maintain the equilibrium during the execution of the
movement. This proceeding was completely successful; and in explaining
what ought to be the function of the different extremities, I recognize
this as the only rational way of using them in wheeling.

In fact, in wheeling to the right, for example, it is the right hind leg
which serves as pivot and supports the whole weight of the mass, while
the left hind leg and the fore legs describe a circle more or less
extended. In order that the movement should be correct and free, it is
necessary that this pivot upon which the whole turns be not interfered
with in its action; the simultaneous action of the right hand and the
right leg must necessarily produce this effect. The equilibrium is thus
destroyed, and the regularity of the wheeling rendered impossible.

As soon as the horse executes easily the changes of direction at a walk,
and keeps himself perfectly light, we can commence exercising at a trot.

_The trot._--The rider will commence this pace at a very moderate rate
of speed, following exactly the same principles as for the walk. He will
keep his horse perfectly light, not forgetting that the faster the pace,
the more disposition there will be on the part of the animal to fall
back again into his natural contractions. The hand should then be used
with redoubled nicety, in order to keep the head and neck always
pliable, without affecting the impulse necessary to the movement. The
legs will lightly second the hands, and the horse between these two
barriers, which are obstacles only to his improper movements, will soon
develop all his best faculties, and with precision of movement, will
acquire grace, extension, and the steadiness inherent to the lightness
of the whole.

Although many persons who would not take the trouble to examine
thoroughly my method, have pretended that it is opposed to great speed
in trotting, it is not the less proved that the well-balanced horse can
trot faster than the one destitute of this advantage. I have given
proofs of this whenever they have been demanded of me; but it is in vain
that I have tried to make people understand what constitutes the motions
of the trot, and what are the conditions indispensable for regularity in
executing it. So, I was obliged in a race of which I was judge, to make
the bets void, and to prove that the pretended trotters were not
trotting really, but were ambling.

The condition indispensable to a good trotter, is perfect equilibrium of
the body. Equilibrium which keeps up a regular movement of the diagonal
fore and hind feet, gives them an equal elevation and extension, with
such lightness that the animal can easily execute all changes of
direction, moderate his speed, halt, or increase his speed without
effort. The fore-parts have not, then, the appearance of towing after
them the hind-parts, which keep as far off as possible; everything
becomes easy and graceful for the horse, because his forces being in
perfect harmony, permit the rider to dispose of them in such a way that
they mutually and constantly assist each other.

It would be impossible for me to count up the number of horses that have
been sent me to break, and whose paces have been so spoiled that it was
impossible for them to trot a single step. A few lessons have always
been sufficient for me to get them back into regular paces, and these
are the means I employed.

The difficulty which the horse experiences in keeping himself square in
his trot, almost always proceeds from the hind-parts. Whether these be
of a feeble construction, or be rendered useless by the superior vigor
of the fore-parts, the motions of these parts, which receive the shock
and give the bound, in each case become powerless, and in consequence,
render the movement irregular.[N] There is, then, weakness in one
extremity, or excess of force in the other. The remedy in each case will
be the same, viz: the depression of the neck, which by diminishing the
power of the fore-parts, restores the equilibrium between the two parts.
We have practised this suppling on foot, it will be easy to obtain it on
horseback. We here see the usefulness of this perpendicular flexion,
which allows us to place on a level the forces of the two opposite
extremities of the horse, in order to make them harmonious, and induce
regularity in their working. The horse being thus placed, can bend and
extend his fore and hind legs, before the weight of the body forces them
to resume their support.

    [N] I am not of the opinion of those connoisseurs who imagine
        that the qualities of the horse, as well as his speed in
        trotting, depend principally on the height of his withers. I
        think, that for the horse to be stylish and regular in his
        movements, the croup should be on a level with the withers;
        such was the construction of the old English horses. A certain
        kind of horses, very much _à la mode_, called steppers, are
        constructed after an entirely different fashion; they strike out
        with their fore legs, and drag their hind-parts after them.
        Horses with a low croup, or withers very high in proportion to
        their croup, were preferred by horsemen of the old school, and
        are still in favor now-a-days among amateur horsemen. The German
        horsemen have an equally marked predilection for this sort of
        formation, although it is contrary to strength of the croup, to
        the equilibrium of the horse, and to the regular play of his
        feet and legs. This fault of construction (for it is one) has
        been scarcely noticed till now; nevertheless, it is a great one,
        and really retards the horse's education. In fact, we are
        obliged, in order to render his movements uniform, to lower his
        neck, so that the kind of lever it represents, may serve to
        lighten his hind-parts of the weight with which they are
        overburdened. I ought also to say, that this change of position,
        or of equilibrium, is only obtained by the aid of my principles.
        I explain the cause and effect, and I point out the remedies. Is
        this not the proper way for an author to proceed?

The practice of this and some other principles that I explain in this
work, will place in the rank of choice horses, animals whose inferiority
caused them to be considered jades, and that the old method would never
have raised from their degradation. It will suffice to accustom the
horse to trot well, to exercise him at this pace only five minutes in
each lesson. When he acquires the necessary ease and lightness, he can
be made to execute ordinary _pirouettes_, as well as the exercise on two
lines, at a walk and a trot. I have said that five minutes of trotting
were enough at first, because it is less the continuance of an exercise
than its being properly done that perfects the execution of it. Besides,
as this pace requires a considerable displacement of forces, and as the
animal will have been already subjected to a rather painful exercise, it
would be dangerous to prolong it beyond the time I mention. The horse
will lend himself more willingly to your efforts when nicely managed,
and of short duration; his intelligence, becoming familiar with this
efficient progression, will hasten success. He will submit himself
calmly and without repugnance to work in which there will be nothing
painful to him, and we will be able thus to push his education to the
farthest limits, not only without injury to his physical organization,
but in restoring to their normal state organs that a forced exercise
might have weakened. This regular development of all the organs of the
horse will not only give him grace, but also strength and health, and
will thus prolong his existence, while increasing a hundredfold the
delights of the true horseman.



                       CHAPTER VI.

     OF THE CONCENTRATION OF THE FORCES OF THE HORSE
                      BY THE RIDER.


The rider now understands that the only means of obtaining precision and
regularity of movement in the walk and trot is to keep the horse
perfectly light while he is exercised at these paces. As soon as we are
sure of this lightness while going in a straight line, in changes of
direction, and in circular movements it will be easy to preserve it
while exercising on two lines.[O]

    [O] Previously explained.

I would here treat immediately of the gallop; but this pace, more
complicated than the two others, demands an arrangement on the part of
the horse, and a power on the part of the rider, that the preceding
exercises have not yet been able to give. The proper placing of the
horse's head spreads his forces over the whole of his body; it is
necessary, in order to perform correctly the different exercises at a
gallop, and to enable yourself properly to direct the forces in
energetic movements, to bring them into a common focus--that is, to the
centre of gravity of the animal. I am about to explain how this is to be
done.

_The use of the spurs._--Professors of equitation and authors upon this
subject have said that the spurs are to punish the horse when he does
not respond to the legs, or when he refuses to approach an object that
frightens him. With them, the spur is not an aid, but a means of
chastisement. With me it is, on the contrary, a powerful auxiliary,
without which it would be impossible to break any horse perfectly. How!
you exclaim, you attack with the spur, horses that are sensitive,
excitable, full of fire and action--horses whose powerful make leads
them to become unmanageable, in spite of the hardest bits and the most
vigorous arms! Yes, and it is with the spur that I will moderate the
fury of these too fiery animals, and stop them short in their most
impetuous bounds. It is with the spur, aided of course by the hand, that
I will make the most stubborn natures kind, and perfectly educate the
most intractable animal.

Long before publishing my "_Comprehensive Dictionary of Equitation_," I
was aware of the excellent effects of the spur; but I abstained from
developing my principles, being prevented by an expression of one of my
friends, whom I had shown how to obtain results, which to him appeared
miraculous. "It is extraordinary! It is wonderful!" he exclaimed; "but
it is a razor in the hands of a monkey." It is true that the use of the
spurs requires prudence, tact, and gradation; but the effects of it are
precious. Now that I have proved the efficacy of my method; now that I
see my most violent adversaries become warm partisans of my principles,
I no longer fear to develop a process that I consider one of the most
beautiful results of my long researches in horsemanship.

There is no more difference in sensibility of different horses' flanks
than in their sensibility of mouth--that is to say, that the direct
effect of the spur is nearly the same in them all. I have already shown
that the organization of the bars of the mouth goes for nothing in the
resistances to the hand. It is clear enough that if the nose being
thrown up in the air gives the horse a force of resistance equal to two
hundred pounds, this force will be reduced to one hundred pounds, when
we bring the horse's head half-way towards a perpendicular position; to
fifty pounds when brought still nearer that position, and to nothing
when perfectly placed. The pretended hardness of mouth proceeds in this
case from the bad position of the head caused by the stiffness of the
neck and the faulty construction of the loins and haunches of the horse.
If we carefully examine the causes that produce what is called
sensibility of the flanks, we will discover that they have very much the
same kind of source.

The innumerable conjectures to which people have devoted themselves, in
attributing to the horse's flanks a local sensibility that had no
existence, have necessarily injured the progress of his education,
because it was based upon false data. The greater or less sensibility of
the animal proceeds from his action, from his faulty formation, and bad
position resulting therefrom. To a horse of natural action, but with
long weak loins, and bad action behind, every motion backward is
painful, and the very disposition that leads him to rush ahead, serves
him to avoid the pain of the spur. He returns to this movement whenever
he feels the rider's legs touch him; and far from being a spirited
horse, he is only scared and crazy. The more he feels the spur, the more
he plunges out of hand, and baffles the means intended to make him
obedient. There is everything to fear from such a horse; he will scare
at objects from the very ease he possesses of avoiding them. Now since
his fright proceeds, so to say, from the bad position we allow him to
take, this inconvenience will disappear from the moment we remedy the
first cause of it. We must confine the forces in order to prevent every
displacement. We must separate the _physical_ from the _moral_ horse,
and force these impressions to concentrate in the brain. He will then
be a furious madman whose limbs we have bound to prevent him from
carrying his frenzied thoughts into execution.

The best proof we have that the promptness of a horse in responding to
the effect of the legs and spurs, is not caused by a sensibility of the
flanks, but rather by great action joined to bad formation, is that the
same action is not so manifest in a well-formed horse, and that the
latter bears the spur much better than one whose equilibrium and
organization are inferior.

But the spur is not useful only in moderating the too great energy of
horses of much action; its effect being equally good in combating the
dispositions which lead the animal to throw its centre of gravity too
much forward, or back. I would also use it to stir up those that are
wanting in ardor and vivacity. In horses of action, the forces of the
hind-parts surpass those of the fore-parts. It is the opposite in dull
horses. We can thus account for the quickness of the former; the
slowness and sluggishness of the latter.

By the exercise of suppling, we have completely annulled the instinctive
forces of the horse. We must now reunite these forces in their true
centre of gravity, that is, the middle of the animal's body; it is by
the properly combined opposition of the legs and hands that we will
succeed in this. The advantages we possess already over the horse, will
enable us to combat from their very birth, all the resistances which
tend to make him leave the proper position, the only one in which we can
successfully practice these oppositions. It is also of the first
importance to put into our proceedings tact and gradation, so that, for
example, the legs never give an impulse that the hand is not able to
take hold of and govern at the same moment. I will make this principle
more clear by a short explanation.

We will suppose a horse at a walk, employing a force of forty pounds,
necessary to keep the pace regular till the moment of the opposition of
the hands and legs which follow. By and by comes a slow and gradual
pressure of the legs, which adds ten pounds to the impulse of the pace.
As the horse is supposed to be perfectly in hand, the hand will
immediately feel this passage of forces, and must then make itself
master of them to transfer them to the centre. Meanwhile the legs will
continue their pressure, to the end that these forces thus driven back
may not return to the focus they had left, which would be but a useless
ebbing and flowing of forces. This succession of oppositions well
combined will bring together a great quantity of forces in the centre of
the horse's body, and the more these are increased, the more the animal
will lose its instinctive energy. When the pressure of the legs becomes
insufficient to entirely collect the forces, more energetic means must
be employed, viz.: the touches of the spur.

The spurring ought to be done, not violently, and with much movement of
the legs, but with delicacy and management. The rider ought to close his
legs so gradually, that before coming in actual contact with the horse's
flanks, the spur will not be more than a hair's breadth off, if
possible. The hand should ever be the echo to the light touches with
which we commence; it should then be firmly held, so as to present an
opposition equal to the force communicated by the spur. If by the time
being badly chosen, the hand does not exactly intercept the impulse
given, and the general commotion resulting therefrom, we should, before
recommencing, gather the horse together, and re-establish calm in his
motions. The force of the spurring will be progressively increased until
the horse bears it, when as vigorously applied as possible, without
presenting the least resistance to the hand, without increasing the
speed of his pace, or without displacing himself as long as we operate
with a firm foot.

A horse brought thus to bear spurring, is three-fourths broken, since we
have the free disposition of all his forces. Besides, his centre of
gravity being where his forces are all united, we have brought it to its
proper place, viz.: the middle of the body. All the oscillations of the
animal will then be subordinate to us, and we will be able to transfer
the weight with ease, when necessary.

It is easy now to understand where the resistances have their origin;
whether the horse kicks up behind, rears, or runs away, the cause is
always the centre of gravity being in the wrong place. This very cause
belongs to a defective formation that we cannot change, it is true, but
the effects of which we can always modify. If the horse kicks up, the
centre of gravity is in the shoulders; in his croup when the animal
rears, and too far forward when he runs away. The principal thought of
the rider, then, ought to be to keep the centre of gravity in the middle
of the horse's body, since he will thereby prevent him defending
himself, and bring back the forces of the badly formed horse to their
true place, which they occupy in the finest organizations. It is this
that makes me assert that a well-formed horse will not make resistance
nor move irregularly, for to do so requires supernatural efforts on his
part to destroy the harmony of his moving parts, and so greatly displace
his centre of gravity. So, when I speak of the necessity of giving the
horse a new equilibrium, in order to prevent his defending himself, and
also to remedy the ungracefulness of his form, I allude to the
combination of forces of which I have been treating, or, rather, of the
removal of the centre of gravity from one place to another. This result
obtained, the education of the horse is complete. When the horseman
succeeds in obtaining it, his talent becomes a truth, since it
transforms ugliness into grace, and gives elegance and lightness to
movements which were before heavy and confused.[P]

    [P] I have often proved that horses that were considered dull, or
        unable to move their shoulders freely, have not the defect that
        is supposed; in other words, that it is very rare that they are
        paralyzed in their shoulders so as to injure the regularity and
        speed of their paces, principally as regards trotting. The
        shoulders of the horse, if I may use the comparison, resemble
        the wings of a wind-mill; the impulse given by the hocks
        replaces the motive force. There undoubtedly exist some local
        complaints that affect the shoulders; but this is very rare;
        the defect, if there is one, has its origin in the hind-parts.
        For my part, I have been able to make all such horses very free
        in their movements, and that after fifteen days of exercise,
        half an hour a day.
        The means, like all I employ, are very simple. They consist in
        suppling the neck to get the horse in hand, and then, by the aid
        of the legs, and afterwards slight use of the spurs, in bringing
        his haunches nearer the centre. Then the hocks will obtain a
        leverage, by which they can propel the mass forward, and give
        the shoulders a freedom that people would not expect.

The rider's employment of force, when properly applied, has a moral
effect also on the horse, that accelerates the results. If the impulse
given by the legs finds in the hand the energy and _àpropos_ necessary
to regulate its effects, the pain the animal sustains will be always
proportioned to his resistances, and his instinct will soon make him
understand how he can diminish, and even avoid altogether this
constraint, by promptly yielding to what we demand of him. He will
hasten then to submit, and will even anticipate our desires. But, I
repeat, it is only by means of tact and delicate management that we will
gain this important point. If the legs give too vigorous an impulse,
the horse will quickly overcome the motion of the hands, and resume with
his natural position all the advantages it gives him to foil the efforts
of the rider. If, on the contrary, the hand presents too great a
resistance, the horse will soon overcome the legs, and find a means of
defending himself by backing. Yet these difficulties must not be allowed
to frighten us; they were only serious ones when no rational principle
gave the means of surmounting them. The application of my method will
enable ordinary horsemen to obtain results that otherwise could be
obtained only by the most favored equestrian organizations.

When the animal becomes accustomed by means of the spur to such
oppositions, it will become easy enough to combat with the spur all the
resistances that may afterwards manifest themselves. Since the
resistances are always caused by moving the croup sideways, or getting
it too far back, the spur, by immediately bringing the hind legs towards
the centre of the body, prevents the support of the hocks, which were
able to oppose the proper harmony of forces, and prevent the right
distribution of the weight.

This is the means I always employ to make the horse pass from a swift
gallop to a halt, without straining his hocks, or injuring any of the
joints of his hind-parts. In fact, since it is the hocks which propel
the mass forward, it suffices to destroy their motion to stop the bound.
The spur, by instantly bringing the hind legs under the horse's belly,
destroys their power from the moment the hand comes in the nick of time
to fix them in that position. Then the haunches bend, the croup is
lowered; the weight and forces arrange themselves in the order most
favorable to the free and combined play of each part, and the violence
of the shock, infinitely decomposed, is scarce perceptible to either
horse or rider.

If, on the contrary, we stop the horse by making the hand move first,
the hocks remain far in the rear of the plumb-line; the shock is
violent, painful for the animal, and especially injurious to his
physical organization. Horses that are thus stopped, set themselves
against the bit, extending their neck, and require an arm of iron and a
most violent opposing force. Such is the custom of the Arabs, for
example, in halting suddenly their horses, by making use of murderous
bits that break the bars of their horses' mouths. Thus, notwithstanding
the wonderful powers with which nature has gifted them, are these
excellent animals injured. The use of the spur must not be commenced
till by gathering him we get the horse well in hand; then the first
touch of the spur should be made felt. We will continue to make use of
it, at long intervals, until the horse, after his bound forward,
presents no resistance to the hand, and avoids the pressure of the bit,
by bringing in his chin towards his chest, of his own accord. This
submission once obtained, we can undertake the use of the spurs with
oppositions, but we must be careful to discontinue them when the horse
is in hand. This means has the double advantage of acting morally and
physically. The first attacks will be made with a single spur, and by
bearing on the opposite rein; these transverse oppositions will have a
better effect and give more prompt results. When the horse begins to
contain himself, the two spurs being used separately, we can make them
felt together and with an equal gradation.[Q]

    [Q] I would never have thought that this means, which serves as
        a corrective to the processes used by all horsemen, would have
        aroused the sensibility of some amateurs. These latter have
        preferred to be affected by exaggerated or erroneous reports,
        rather than satisfy themselves by observation, that this
        pretended cruelty is in fact the most innocent thing in the
        world. Must we not teach the horse to respond to the spur as
        well as to the legs and the hand? Is it not by this spurring,
        judiciously applied, that we bring in at will the hind legs more
        or less near the centre of gravity? Is not this the only way of
        increasing or diminishing the leverage of the hocks, whether for
        extending or raising them in motion, or for the purpose of
        halting?

To the work, then, cavaliers! If you will follow my principles, I can
promise you that your purse will be less often emptied into the hands of
horse-dealers, and that you will render the meanest of your hacks
agreeable. You will charm our breeders of horses, who will attribute to
their efforts of regeneration that elegance and grace that your art
alone could have given to your chargers.

_Lowering the hand._--The lowering the hand consists in confirming the
horse in all his lightness--that is, in making him preserve his
equilibrium without the aid of the reins. The suppleness given to all
parts of the horse, the just oppositions of hands and legs, lead him to
keep himself in the best possible position. To find out exactly whether
we are obtaining this result, we must have recourse to frequent lowering
of the hand. It is done in this way: After having slipped the right hand
to the buckle, and having assured yourself that the reins are even, you
will let go of them with the left hand, and lower the right slowly to
the pommel of the saddle. To do this regularly, the horse must neither
increase nor diminish the speed of his pace, and his head and neck
continue to preserve their proper position. The first few times that the
horse is thus given up to himself, he will perhaps only take a few steps
while keeping in position, and at the same rate of speed; the rider
ought then to make his legs felt first, and the hand afterwards, to
bring him into his previous position. The frequent repetition of this
lowering of the hand, after a complete placing of the horse's head in a
perpendicular position, will give him a most exquisite mouth, and the
rider a still greater delicacy of touch. The means of guiding employed
by the latter will immediately be answered by the horse, if his forces
have been previously disposed in a perfectly harmonious state.

The lowerings of the hand ought to be practised first at a walk, then at
a trot, afterwards at a gallop. This semblance of liberty gives such
confidence to the horse that he gives up without knowing it; he becomes
our submissive slave, while supposing that he is preserving an entire
independence.

_Of gathering the horse, or rassembler._--The preceding exercise will
render easy to the rider that important part of horsemanship called
_rassembler_. This has been a great deal talked about by people, as they
have talked about Providence, and all the mysteries that are
impenetrable to human perception. If it were allowable for us to compare
small things to great, we might say that the more or less absurd
theories that have been put forward upon the subject of divine power
have not, fortunately, hindered in any way the unchangeable march of
nature; but with regard to the progress of horsemanship, the case is not
the same as to what has been said and written on the subject of the
_rassembler_. The false principles propagated on this subject have made
the horse the plaything and the victim of the rider's ignorance.

I proclaim it, the gathering a horse has never been understood or
defined before me, for it cannot be perfectly executed without the
regular application of the principles that I have developed for the
first time. You will be convinced of this truth when you know that the
_rassembler_ demands:

1. The suppling, partial and general, of the neck and haunches.

2. The perfect position that results from this suppling.

3. The entire absorption of the forces of the horse by the rider.

Now, as the means of obtaining these different results have never been
pointed out in any treatise on horsemanship, am I not justified in
saying that the true _rassembler_ has never been practised until now? It
is, nevertheless, one of the indispensable conditions of the horse's
education; consequently I think I am right in saying that before my
method, horses of defective formation have never been properly broken.

How is the _rassembler_ defined in the schools of horsemanship? _You
gather your horse by raising the hand and closing the legs._ I ask, what
good can this movement of the rider do upon an animal badly formed,
contracted, and that remains under the influence of all the evil
propensities of its nature? This mechanical support of the hands and
legs, far from preparing the horse for obedience, will only make him
redouble his means of resistance, since, while giving him notice that we
are about to demand a movement on his part, we remain unable to dispose
his forces in such a way as to force him to it.

The real _rassembler_ consists in collecting the forces of the horse in
his centre in order to ease his extremities, and give them up completely
to the disposition of the rider. The animal thus finds himself
transformed into a kind of balance, of which the rider is the
centre-piece. The least touch upon one or other of the extremities,
which represent the scales, will immediately send them in the direction
we wish. The rider will know that his horse is completely gathered when
he feels him ready, as it were, to rise from all four of his legs. The
proper position first, and then the use of the spurs, will make this
beautiful execution of the gathering easy to both horse and rider; and
what splendor, grace and majesty it gives the animal! If we have been
obliged at first to use the spurs in pushing this concentration of
forces to its farthest limits, the legs will afterwards be sufficient to
obtain the gathering necessary for the precision and elevation required
in all complicated movements.

Need I recommend discretion in your demands? I think not. If the rider,
having reached this stage of his horse's education, cannot comprehend
and seize that fineness of touch, that delicacy of process indispensable
to the right application of my principles, it will prove him devoid of
every feeling of a horseman; nothing I can say can remedy this
imperfection of his nature.



                      CHAPTER VII.

      OF THE EMPLOYMENT OF THE FORCES OF THE HORSE
                      BY THE RIDER.

                    (_Continuation._)


_Of the gallop._--I have said that, until now, the greater part of the
resources of horsemanship have not been understood, and had I need of
another proof to support my opinion, I would draw it from the error, the
suppositions, the innumerable contradictions that have been heaped
together in order to explain so simple a movement as the gallop. What
contrary opinions upon the means to employ to make the horse go off with
his right foot? It is the support of the rider's right leg which
determines the movement, one pretends; it is that of the left leg, says
another; it is the equal touch of the two legs, affirms a third; no,
some others remark, very seriously, you must let the horse act
naturally.

How can the truth be made out in the midst of this conflict of such
contrary principles? Besides, they come from such respectable sources;
the most of their authors were possessed of titles and dignities which
are generally only granted to merit. Have they all been deceived for a
hundred and fifty years? This is not possible; for many of them joined
to long practice a perfect knowledge of physics, anatomy, mathematics,
etc., etc. To doubt such authorities would be as presumptuous as
imprudent; it would have been considered a crime of high treason
against horsemanship. So the riders kept their ignorance and the horses
their bad equilibrium; and if any one succeeded, after two or three
years of routine labor, in making certain horses of a privileged
organization start with the desired foot, and in making them change feet
finally, at a fixed point, the difficulty then was to prevent them from
always repeating this movement at the same place.

Thus it is that the most palpable errors gain credit, and often are
perpetuated, until there comes a practical mind, gifted with some amount
of common sense, who contradicts by practice all the learned theories of
its predecessors. They try hard at first to deny the knowledge of the
innovator; but the masses who instinctively know the true, and judge
from what they see, soon range themselves on his side, turn their backs
upon his detractors, and leave them to their solitude and vain
pretensions.

To the mass of horsemen I address myself, when I say, either the horse
is under the influence of your forces, and entirely submissive to your
power, or you are struggling with him. If he gallops off with you,
without your being able to modify or direct with certainty his course,
it proves that, although subject to a certain extent to your power in
thus consenting to carry you about, he, nevertheless, uses his
instinctive forces. In this case, there is a perpetual fight going on
between you and him, the chances of which depend on the temperament and
caprice of the animal, upon the good or bad state of his digestion.
Changes of foot, in such a state, can only be obtained by inclining the
horse very much to one side, which makes the movement both difficult and
ungraceful.

If, on the contrary, the animal is made submissive to a degree that he
cannot contract any one of his parts without the intervention and aid
of the rider, the latter can direct at his pleasure the whole of his
moving parts, and, consequently, can easily and promptly execute changes
of feet.

We know the contraction of any one part of the horse reacts on the neck,
and that the stiffness of this part prevents the proper execution of
every movement. If, then, at the moment of setting off on a gallop, the
horse stiffens one of his extremities, and consequently his neck, of
what use in determining him in starting with the right foot can be the
support of one or the other leg of the rider, or even of that of both at
once? These means will evidently be ineffectual until we go back to the
source of the resistance, for the purpose of combating and destroying
it. Here, as in every other case, we see that suppleness and lightness
alone can make the execution of the work easy.

If, when we wish to make the horse start with the right foot, a slight
contraction of one part of the animal disposes him to start with the
left foot, and we persist in inducing the pace, we must employ two
forces on the same side, viz.: the left leg and the left hand; the first
to determine the movement, the second to combat the contrary disposition
of the horse.

But when the horse, perfectly supple and gathered, only brings his parts
into play after the impression given them by the rider, the latter, in
order to start with the right foot, ought to combine an opposition of
forces proper for keeping the horse in equilibrium, while placing him in
the position required for the movement. He will then bear the hand to
the left, and press his right leg. Here we see that the means mentioned
above, necessary when the horse is not properly placed, would be wrong
when the animal is properly placed, since it would destroy the harmony
then existing between his forces.

This short explanation will, I hope, suffice to make it understood that
things should be studied thoroughly before laying down any principles of
action. Let us have no more systems, then, upon the exclusive use of
such or such leg to determine the gallop; but a settled conviction that
the first condition of this or any other performance is to keep the
horse supple and light--that is _rassemblé_; then, after this, to make
use of one or the other motive power, according as the animal, at the
start, preserves a proper position, or seeks to leave it. It must also
be understood that, while it is the force that gives the position to the
horse, it is position alone upon which the regularity of movement
depends.

Passing frequently from the gallop with the right foot to that with the
left, in a straight line, and with halts, will soon bring the horse to
make these changes of feet by the touch without halting. Violent effects
of force should be avoided, which would bewilder the horse and destroy
his lightness. We must remember that this lightness which should precede
all changes of pace and direction, and make every movement easy,
graceful and inevitable, is the important condition we should seek
before everything else.

It is because they have not understood this principle, and have not felt
that the first condition to dispose a horse for the gallop is to destroy
all the instinctive forces of the animal (forces that oppose the
position the movement demands), that horsemen have laid down so many
erroneous principles, and have all remained unable to show us the proper
means to be employed.

_Of leaping the ditch and the bar._--Although the combinations of
equestrian science alone cannot give to every horse the energy and
vigor necessary to clear a ditch or a bar, there are, nevertheless,
principles by the aid of which we will succeed in partly supplying the
deficiencies in the natural formation of the animal. By giving a good
direction to the forces, we will facilitate the rise and freedom of the
bound. I do not pretend by this, to say, that a horse of ordinary
capabilities will attain the same height and elegance in this movement
as one that is well constituted, but he will, at least, be able to
display in it all the resources of his organization to more purpose.

The great thing is to bring the horse to attempt this performance with
good will. If all the processes prescribed by me for mastering the
instinctive forces of the animal, and putting him under the influence of
ours, have been punctually followed, the utility of this progression
will be recognized by the facility we have of making the horse clear all
the objects that are encountered in his way. For the rest, recourse must
never be had, in case of a contest, to violent means, such as a whip in
the hands of a second person; nor should we seek to excite the animal by
cries; this could only produce a moral effect calculated to frighten
him. It is by physical means that we should before all bring him to
obedience, since they alone will enable him to understand and execute.
We should then carry on the contest calmly, and seek to surmount the
forces that lead him to refuse, by acting directly on them. To make the
horse leap, we will wait till he responds freely to the legs and spur,
in order to have always a sure means of government.

The bar will remain on the ground until the horse goes over it without
hesitation; it will then be raised some inches, progressively increasing
the height until the animal will be just able to clear it without too
violent an effort. To exceed this proper limit would be to risk causing
a disgust on the part of the horse that should be most carefully
avoided. The bar having been thus gradually raised, ought to be made
fast, in order that the horse, disposed to be indolent, should not make
sport of an obstacle which would be no longer serious, when the touch of
his feet sufficed to overturn it. The bar ought not to be wrapped in any
covering that would lessen its hardness; we should be severe when we
demand possibilities, and avoid the abuses that always result from an
ill-devised complaisance.

Before preparing to take the leap, the rider should hold himself
sufficiently firm to prevent his body preceding the motion of the horse.
His loins should be supple, his buttocks well fixed to the saddle, so
that he may experience no shock nor violent reaction. His thighs and
legs exactly enveloping the body and sides of the horse will give him a
power always opportune and infallible. The hand in its natural position
will feel the horse's mouth in order to judge of the effects of
impulsion. It is in this position that the rider should conduct the
horse towards the obstacle; if he comes up to it with the same freedom
of pace, a light opposition of the legs and hand will facilitate the
elevation of the fore-hand, and the bound of the posterior extremity. As
soon as the horse is raised, the hand ceases its effect, to be again
sustained when the fore legs touch the ground, and to prevent them
giving way under the weight of the body.

We should content ourselves with executing a few leaps in accordance
with the horse's powers, and, above all, avoid pushing bravado to the
point of wishing to force the animal to clear obstacles that are beyond
his powers. I have known very good leapers that people have succeeded in
thus disgusting forever, so that no efforts could induce them to clear
things only half the height of those that at first they leaped with
ease.

_Of the piaffer._[R]--Until now, horsemen have maintained that the
nature of each horse permits of only a limited number of movements, and
that if there are some that can be brought to execute a _piaffer_ high
and elegant, or low and precipitate, there are a great number of them to
whom this exercise is for ever interdicted. Their construction, they
say, is opposed to it; it is then nature that has so willed it; ought we
not to bow before this supreme arbiter, and respect its decrees?

    [R] "The _piaffer_ is the horse's raising his legs diagonally,
        as in the trot, but without advancing or receding."--_Baucher's_
        "_Dictionnaire d'Equitation._"

This opinion is undoubtedly convenient for justifying its own ignorance,
but it is none the less false. _We can bring all horses to piaffer_, and
I will prove that in this particularly, without reforming the work of
nature, without deranging the formation of the bones, or that of the
muscles of the animal, we can remedy the consequences of its physical
imperfections, and change the vicious disposition occasioned by faulty
construction. There is no doubt that the horse whose forces and weight
are collected in one of his extremities will be unfit to execute the
elegant cadence of the _piaffer_. But a graduated exercise, the
completion of which is the _rassembler_, soon allows us to remedy such
an inconvenience. We can now reunite all these forces in their true
centre of gravity, and the horse that bears the _rassembler_ perfectly
has all the necessary qualifications for the _piaffer_.

For the _piaffer_ to be regular and graceful, it is necessary that the
horse's legs, moved diagonally, rise together and fall in the same way
upon the ground at as long intervals as possible. The animal ought not
to bear more upon the hand than upon the legs of the rider, that his
equilibrium may present the perfection of that balance of which I have
spoken in another place. When the centre of the forces is thus disposed
in the middle of the body, and when the _rassembler_ is perfect, it is
sufficient, in order to induce a commencement of _piaffer_, to
communicate to the horse with the legs a vibration at first slight, but
often repeated. By vibration I mean an invigoration of forces, of which
the rider ought always to be the agent.

After this first result, the horse will be put at a walk, and the
rider's legs gradually brought close, will give the animal a slight
increase of action. Then, but only then, the hand will sustain itself in
time with the legs, and at the same intervals, in order that these two
motive powers, acting conjointly, may keep up a succession of
imperceptible movements, and produce a slight contraction which will
spread itself over the whole body of the horse. This reiterated activity
will give the extremities a first mobility, which at the beginning will
be far from regular, since the increase of action that this new exercise
makes necessary will for the moment break the harmonious uniformity of
the forces. But this general action is necessary in order to obtain even
an irregular mobility, for without it the movement would be disorderly,
and there would be a want of harmony among the different springs. We
will content ourselves, for the first few days, with a commencement of
mobility of the extremities, being careful to stop each time that the
horse raises or puts down his feet, without advancing them too much, in
order to caress him, and speak to him, and thus calm the invigoration
that a demand, the object of which he does not understand, must cause in
him. Nevertheless, these caresses should be employed with discernment,
and when the horse has done well, for if badly applied they would be
rather injurious than useful. The fit time for ceasing with the hands
and legs is more important still; it demands all the rider's attention.

The mobility of the legs once obtained, we can commence to regulate it,
and fix the intervals of the cadence. Here again, I seek in vain to
indicate with the pen the degree of delicacy necessary in the rider's
proceedings, since his motions ought to be answered by the horse with an
exactness and _à propos_ that is unequaled. It is by the alternated
support of the two legs that he will succeed in prolonging the lateral
balancings of the horse's body, in such way as to keep him longer on one
side or the other. He will seize the moment when the horse prepares to
rest his fore leg on the ground, to make the pressure of his own leg
felt on the same side, and add to the inclination of the animal in the
same direction. If this time is well seized, the horse will balance
himself slowly, and the cadence will acquire that elevation so fit to
bring out all its elegance and all its majesty. These times of the legs
are difficult, and require great practice; but their results are too
splendid for the rider not to strive to seize the light variations of
them.

The precipitate movement of the rider's legs accelerates also the
_piaffer_. It is he, then, who regulates at will the greater or less
degree of quickness of the cadence. The performance of the _piaffer_ is
not elegant and perfect until the horse performs it without repugnance,
which will always be the case when the forces are kept together, and the
position is suitable to the demands of the movement. It is urgent, then,
to be well acquainted with the amount of force necessary for the
performance of the _piaffer_, so as not to overdo it. We should, above
all, be careful to keep the horse _rassemblé_, which, of itself, will
induce the movement without effort.



                CHAPTER VIII.

            DIVISION OF THE WORK.


I have developed all the means to be employed in completing the horse's
education; it remains for me to say how the horseman ought to divide his
work, in order to connect the different exercises and pass by degrees
from the simple to the complicated.

Two months of work, consisting of two lessons a day of a half hour
each--that is to say, one hundred and twenty lessons--will be amply
sufficient to bring the greenest horse to perform regularly all the
preceding exercises. I hold to two short lessons a day, one in the
morning, the other in the afternoon; they are necessary to obtain good
results.

We disgust a young horse by keeping him too long at exercises that
fatigue him, the more so as his intelligence is less prepared to
understand what we wish to demand of him. On the other hand, an interval
of twenty-four hours is too long, in my opinion, for the animal to
remember the next day what he had comprehended the day before.

The general work will be divided into five series or lessons,
distributed in the following order:

_First lesson. Eight days of work._--The first twenty minutes of this
lesson will be devoted to the stationary exercise for the flexions of
the jaw and neck; the rider first on foot, and then on horseback, will
follow the progression I have previously indicated. During the last ten
minutes, he will make the horse go forward at a walk without trying to
animate him, but applying himself all the while to keeping his head in
the position of _ramener_. He will content himself with executing a
single change of hand, in order to go as well to the right hand as to
the left. The fourth or fifth day, the rider, before putting his horse
in motion, will make him commence some slight flexions of the croup.

_Second lesson. Ten days of work._--The first fifteen minutes will be
occupied in the stationary supplings, comprising the flexions of the
croup performed more completely than in the preceding lesson; then will
begin the backing. We will devote the other half of the lesson to the
moving straight ahead, once or twice taking the trot at a very moderate
pace. The rider during this second part of the work, without ceasing to
pay attention to the _ramener_, will yet commence light oppositions of
hands and legs, in order to prepare the horse to bear the combined
effects, and to give regularity to his paces. We will also commence the
changes of direction at a walk, while preserving the _ramener_, and
being careful to make the head and neck always go first.

_Third lesson. Twelve days of work._--Six or eight minutes only will at
first be occupied in the stationary flexions; those of the hind-parts
should be pushed to the completion of the reversed _pirouettes_. We will
continue by the backing; then all the rest of the lesson will be devoted
to perfecting the walk and the trot, commencing at this latter pace the
changes of direction. The rider will often stop the horse, and continue
to watch attentively the _ramener_ during the changes of pace or
direction. He will also commence the exercise _de deux pistes_ at a
walk, as well as the rotation of the shoulders around the haunches.

_Fourth lesson. Fifteen days of work._--After five minutes being devoted
to the stationary supplings, the rider will first repeat all the work of
the preceding lessons; he will commence, with a steady foot, the
_attaques_,[S] in order to confirm the _ramener_ and prepare the
_rassembler_. He will renew the _attaques_ while in motion, and when the
horse bears them patiently, he will commence the gallop. He will content
himself in the commencement with executing four or five lopes only
before resuming the walk, and then start again with a different foot,
unless the horse requires being exercised more often on one foot than
the other. In passing from the gallop to the walk, we should watch with
care that the horse resumes this latter pace as quickly as possible
without taking short steps on a trot, all the while keeping the head and
neck light. He will only be exercised at the gallop at the end of each
lesson.

    [S] The use of the spurs.

_Fifth lesson. Fifteen days of work._--These last fifteen days will be
occupied in assuring the perfect execution of all the preceding work,
and in perfecting the pace of the gallop until we can execute easily
changes of direction, changes of feet at every step, and passaging. We
can then exercise the horse at leaping the bar and at the _piaffer_.
Thus in two months, and upon any horse, we will have accomplished a work
that formerly required years, and then often gave incomplete results.
And I repeat, however insufficient so short a space of time may appear,
it will produce the effect I promise, if you follow exactly all my
directions. I have demonstrated this upon a hundred different occasions,
and many of my pupils are able to prove it as well as myself.

In establishing the above order of work, be it well understood that I
found myself on the dispositions of horses in general. A horseman of any
tact will soon understand the modifications that he ought to make in
their application, according to the particular nature of his pupil. Such
a horse, for example, will require more or less persistence in the
flexions; another one in the backing; this one, dull and apathetic, will
require the use of the spurs before the time I have indicated. All this
is an affair of intelligence; it would be to insult my readers not to
suppose them capable of supplying to the details what it is elsewhere
impossible to particularize. You can readily understand that there are
irritable, ill-disposed horses, whose defective dispositions have been
made worse by previous bad management. With such subjects it is
necessary to put more persistence into the supplings and the walk. In
every case, whatever the slight modifications that the difference in the
dispositions of the subjects render necessary, I persist in saying that
there are no horses whose education ought not to be completed by my
method in the space I designate. I mean here, that this time is
sufficient to give the forces of the horse the fitness necessary for
executing all the movements; the finish of education depends finally on
the nicety of touch of the rider. In fact, my method has the advantages
of recognizing no limits to the progress of equitation, and there is no
performance _equestrianly_ possible that a horseman who understands
properly applying my principles cannot make his horse execute. I am
about to give a convincing proof in support of this assertion, by
explaining the sixteen new figures of the _manège_ that I have added to
the collection of the old masters.



                            CHAPTER IX.

    APPLICATION OF THE PRECEDING PRINCIPLES TO THE PERFORMANCE
     OF THE HORSES, PARTISAN, CAPITAINE, NEPTUNE, AND BURIDAN.


The persons who systematically denied the efficacy of my method ought,
necessarily, also to deny the results shown to them. They were forced to
acknowledge that my performance at the _Cirque-Olympique_ was new and
extraordinary, but attributed it to causes, some more strange than
others; all the while insisting that the equestrian talent of the rider
did not go for nothing in the expertness of the horse. According to
some, I was a second Carter, accustoming my horses to obedience by
depriving them of sleep and food; according to others, I bound their
legs with cords, and thus held them suspended to prepare them for a kind
of puppet-show; some were not far from believing that I fascinated them
by the power of my looks. Finally, a certain portion of the public,
seeing these animals perform in time to the sound of the charming music
of one of my friends, M. Paul Cuzent, insisted seriously that they
undoubtedly possessed, in a very great degree, the instinct of melody,
and that they would stop short with the clarionets and trombones. So,
the sound of the music was more powerful over my horse than I was
myself! The animal obeyed a _do_ or a _sol_ nicely touched; but my legs
and hands went for nothing in their effects. Would it be believed that
such nonsense was uttered by people that passed for riders? I can
comprehend their not having understood my means at first, since my
method was new; but before judging it in so strange a manner, they
ought, at least, it seems to me, to have sought to understand it.

I had found the round of ordinary feats of horsemanship too limited,
since it was sufficient to execute one movement well to immediately
practise the others with the same facility. So, it was proved to me that
the rider who passed with precision along a straight line sideways (_de
deux pistes_) at a walk, trot and gallop, could go in the same way with
the head or the croup to the wall, with the shoulder in, perform the
ordinary or reversed volts, the changes and counterchanges of hands,
etc., etc. As to the _piaffer_, it was, as I have said, nature alone
that settled this. This long and fastidious performance had no other
variations than the different titles of the movements, since it was
sufficient to vanquish one difficulty to be able to surmount all the
others. I then created new figures of the _manège_, the execution of
which rendered necessary more suppleness, more _ensemble_, more finish
in the education of the horse. This was easy to me with my system; and
to convince my adversaries that there was neither magic nor mystery in
my performance at the _Cirque_, I am going to explain by what processes
purely equestrian, and even without having recourse to _piliers_,
cavessons or horse-whips, I have brought my horses to execute the
sixteen figures of the _manège_ that appear so extraordinary.

1. Instantaneous flexion and support in the air of either one of the
fore legs, while the other three legs remain fixed to the ground.

The means of making the horse raise one of his fore legs is very simple,
as soon as the animal is perfectly supple and _rassemblé_. To make him
raise, for example, the right leg, it is sufficient to incline his head
slightly to the right, while making the weight of his body fall upon the
left side. The rider's legs will be sustained firmly (the left a little
more than the right), that the effect of the hand which brings the head
to the right should not react upon the weight, and that the forces which
serve to fasten to the ground the over-weighted part may give the
horse's right leg enough action to make it rise from the ground. By a
repetition of this exercise a few times, you will succeed in keeping
this leg in the air as long a time as you wish.

2. Mobility of the haunches, the horse resting on his fore legs, while
his hind legs balance themselves alternately the one over the other;
when the hind leg which is raised from left to right is moved, and is
placed on the ground to become pivot in its turn, the other to be
instantly raised and to execute the same movement.

The simple mobility of the haunches is one of the exercises that I have
pointed out for the elementary education of the horse. We can complicate
this performance by multiplying the alternate contact of the legs, until
we succeed in easily carrying the horse's croup, one leg over the other,
in such a way that the movement from left to right and from right to
left cannot exceed one step. This exercise is good to give great nicety
of touch to the rider, and to prepare the horse to respond to the
lightest effects.

3. Passing instantly from the slow _piaffer_ to the precipitate
_piaffer_, and _vice versâ_.

After having brought the horse to display great mobility of the legs, we
ought to regulate the movement of them. It is by the slow and alternated
pressure of his legs that the rider will obtain the slow _piaffer_. He
will make it precipitate by multiplying the contact. Both these
_piaffers_ can be obtained from all horses; but as this is among the
great difficulties, perfect tact is indispensable.

4. To back with an equal elevation of the transverse legs, which leave
the ground and are placed again on it at the same time, the horse
executing the movement with as much freedom and facility as if he were
going forward, and without apparent aid from the rider.

Backing is not new, but it certainly is new upon the conditions that I
lay down. It is only by the aid of a complete suppling and _ramener_
that we succeed in so suspending the horse's body that the distribution
of the weight is perfectly regular and the extremities acquire energy
and activity alike. This movement then becomes as easy and graceful as
it is painful and devoid of elegance when it is changed into
_acculement_.[T]

    [T] _Acculement_ and _reculer_ have been previously explained;
        one is the horse backing falsely, the other backing correctly.
        --TRANSLATOR.

5. Simultaneous mobility of the two diagonal legs, the horse stationary.
After having raised the two opposite legs, he carries them to the rear
to bring them back again to the place they first occupied, and
recommences the same movement with the other diagonal.

The suppling, and having got the horse in hand, make this movement easy.
When he no longer presents any resistance, he appreciates the lightest
effects of the rider, intended in this case to displace only the least
possible quantity of forces and weight necessary to set in motion the
opposite extremities. By repeating this exercise, it will in a little
while be rendered familiar to the horse. The finish of the mechanism
will soon give the finish of intelligence.

6. Trot with a sustained extension; the horse, after having raised his
legs, carries them forward, sustaining them an instant in the air before
replacing them on the ground.

The processes that form the basis of my method reproduce themselves in
each simple movement, and with still more reason in the complicated
ones. If equilibrium is only obtained by lightness, in return there is
no lightness without equilibrium; it is by the union of these two
conditions that the horse will acquire the facility of extending his
trot to the farthest possible limits, and will completely change his
original gait.

7. Serpentine trot, the horse turning to the right and to the left, to
return nearly to his starting point, after having made five or six steps
in each direction.

This movement will present no difficulty if we keep the horse in hand
while executing the flexions of the neck at the walk and trot; you can
readily see that such a performance is impossible without this
condition. The leg opposite to the side towards which the neck turns
ought always to be pressed.

8. Instant halt by the aid of the spurs, the horse being at a gallop.

When the horse, being perfectly suppled, will properly bear the
_attaques_ and the _rassembler_, he will be fit to execute the halt upon
the above conditions. In the application of this we will start with a
slow gallop, in order to go on successively to the greatest speed. The
legs preceding the hand, will bring the horse's hind legs under the
middle of his body, then a prompt effect of the hand, by fixing them in
this position, will immediately stop the bound. By this means we spare
the horse's organization, which can thus be always kept free from
blemish.

9. Continued mobility or pawing, while stationary, of one of the horse's
fore legs; the horse, at the rider's will, executing the movement by
which he, of his own accord, often manifests his impatience.

This movement will be obtained by the same process that serves to keep
the horse's leg in the air. In the latter case, the rider's legs must
impress a continued support, in order that the force which holds the
horse's leg raised keep up its effect; while, for the movement now in
question, we must renew the action by a quantity of slight pressures, in
order to cause the motion of the leg held up in the air. This extremity
of the horse will soon acquire a movement subordinate to that of the
rider's legs, and if the time is well seized, it will seem, so to say,
that we make the animal move by the aid of mechanical means.

10. To trot backwards, the horse preserving the same cadence and the
same step as in the trot forwards.

The first condition, in order to obtain the trot backwards, is to keep
the horse in a perfect cadence and as _rassemblé_ as possible. The
second is all in the proceedings of the rider. He ought to seek
insensibly by the combined effects to make the forces of the fore-hand
exceed those of the hind-parts, without affecting the harmony of the
movement. Thus we see that by the _rassembler_ we will successively
obtain the _piaffer_ stationary, and the _piaffer_ backwards, even
without the aid of the reins.

11. To gallop backwards, the time being the same as in the ordinary
gallop; but the fore legs once raised, in place of coming to the ground,
are carried backwards, that the hind-parts may execute the same backward
movement as soon as the fore-feet are placed on the ground.

The principle is the same as for the preceding performance; with a
perfect _rassembler_, the hind legs will find themselves so brought
under the centre, that by raising the fore-hand, the movement of the
hocks can only be an upward one. This performance, though easily
executed with a powerful horse, ought not to be attempted with one not
possessing this quality.

12. Changing feet every step, each time of the gallop being done on a
different leg.

In order to practise this difficult performance, the horse ought to be
accustomed to execute perfectly, and as frequently as possible, changing
feet at the touch. Before attempting these changes of feet every step,
we ought to have brought him to execute this movement at every other
step. Everything depends upon his aptness, and above all, on the
intelligence of the rider; with this latter quality, there is no
obstacle that is not to be surmounted. To execute this performance with
the desirable degree of precision, the horse should remain light, and
preserve the same degree of action; the rider, on his part, should also
avoid roughly inclining the horse's fore-hand to one side or the other.

13. Ordinary _pirouettes_ on three legs, the fore leg on the side
towards which we are turning: remaining in the air during the whole time
of the movement.

Ordinary _pirouettes_ should be familiar to a horse broken after my
method, and I have above shown the means to make him hold up one of his
fore feet. If these two movements are well executed separately, it will
be easy to connect them in a single performance. After having disposed
the horse for the _pirouette_, we will prepare the mass in such a way as
to raise the fore leg; this once in the air, we will throw the weight on
the part opposite to the side towards which we wish to turn, by bearing
upon this part with the hand and leg. The leg of the rider placed on the
converging side, will only act daring this time so as to carry the
forces forward, in order to prevent the hand producing a retrograde
effect.

14. To back with a halt at each step, the right leg of the horse
remaining in front motionless and held out at the full distance that the
left leg has passed over, and _vice versâ_.

This movement depends upon the nicety of touch of the rider, as it
results from an effect of forces impossible to specify. Though this
performance is not very graceful, the experienced rider will do well to
often practise it, in order to learn to modify the effects of forces,
and acquire all the niceties of his art in perfection.

15. Regular _piaffer_ with an instant halt on three legs, the fourth
remaining in the air.

Here, also, as for the ordinary _pirouettes_ upon three legs, it is by
exercising the _piaffer_ and the flexion of one leg separately, that we
will succeed in uniting the two movements in one. We will interrupt the
_piaffer_ by arresting the contraction of three of the legs so as to
leave it in one only. It is sufficient, then, in order to accustom the
horse to this performance, to stop him while he is _piaffing_, by
forcing him to contract one of his legs.

16. Change of feet every time at equal intervals, the horse remaining in
the same place.

This movement is obtained by the same proceedings as are employed for
changing feet every time while advancing; only it is much more
complicated, since we must give an exact impulsion sufficiently strong
to determine the movement of the legs without the body advancing. This
movement consequently demands a great deal of tact on the rider's part,
and cannot be practised except on a perfectly broken horse, but broken
as I understand it.

Such is the vocabulary of the new figures of the _manège_ that I have
created, and so often executed before the public. As you see, this
performance, which appeared so extraordinary that people would not
believe it belonged to equestrianism, becomes very simple and
comprehensible as soon as you have studied the principles of my method.
There is not one of these movements in which is not discovered the
application of the precepts I have developed in this book.

But, I repeat, if I have enriched equitation with a new and interesting
work, I do not pretend to have attained the farthest limits of the art;
and one may come after me, who, if he will study my system and practise
it with intelligence, will be able to pass me on the course, and add
something yet to the results I have obtained.



                           CHAPTER X.

        SUCCINCT EXPOSITION OF THE METHOD BY QUESTIONS
                          AND ANSWERS.


_Question._ What do you understand by force?

_Answer._ The motive power which results from muscular contraction.

_Q._ What do you understand by _instinctive_ forces?

_A._ Those which come from the horse--that is to say, of which he
himself determines the employment.

_Q._ What do you understand by _transmitted_ forces?

_A._ Those which emanate from the rider, and are immediately appreciated
by the horse.

_Q._ What do you understand by resistances?

_A._ The force which the horse presents, and with which he seeks to
establish a struggle to his advantage.

_Q._ Ought we first to set to work to annul the forces the horse
presents for resistance, before demanding any other movements of him?

_A._ Without doubt, as then the force of the rider, which should
displace the weight of the mass, finding itself absorbed by an
equivalent resistance, every movement becomes impossible.

_Q._ By what means can we combat the resistances?

_A._ By the methodical and separate suppling of the jaw, the neck, the
haunches, and the loins.

_Q._ What is the use of the flexions of the jaw?

_A._ As it is upon the lower jaw that the effects of the rider's hand
are first felt, these will be null or incomplete if the jaw is
contracted or closed against the upper one. Besides, as in this case the
displacing of the horse's body is only obtained with difficulty, the
movements resulting therefrom will also be painful.

_Q._ Is it enough that the horse _champ his bit_ for the flexion of his
jaw to leave nothing more to wish for?

_A._ No, it is also necessary that the horse _let go of the bit_--that
is to say, that he should separate (at our will) his jaws as much as
possible.

_Q._ Can all horses have this mobility of jaw?

_A._ All without exception, if we follow the gradation pointed out, and
if the rider does not allow himself to be deceived by the flexion of the
neck. Useful as this is, it would be insufficient without the play of
the jaw.

_Q._ In the direct flexion of the jaw, ought we to give a tension to the
curb-reins and those of the snaffle at the same time?

_A._ No, we must make the snaffle precede (the hand being placed as
indicated in Plate No. III.), until the head and neck are lowered;
afterwards the pressure of the bit, in time with the snaffle, will
promptly make the jaws open.

_Q._ Ought we often to repeat this exercise?

_A._ It should be continued until the jaws separate by a light pressure
of the bit or snaffle.

_Q._ Why is the stiffness of the neck so powerful an obstacle to the
education of the horse?

_A._ Because it absorbs to its profit the force which the rider seeks in
vain to transmit throughout the whole mass.

_Q._ Can the haunches be suppled separately?

_A._ Certainly they can; and this exercise is comprised in what is
called stationary exercise.

_Q._ What is its useful object?

_A._ To prevent the bad effects resulting from the instinctive forces of
the horse, and to make him appreciate the forces transmitted by the
rider without opposing them.

_Q._ Can the horse execute a movement without a shifting of weight?

_A._ It is impossible. We must first seek to make the horse take a
position which causes such a variation in his equilibrium that the
movement may be a natural consequence of it.

_Q._ What do you understand by position?

_A._ An arrangement of the head, neck and body, previously disposed
according to the movements of the horse.

_Q._ In what consists the _ramener_?

_A._ In the perpendicular position of the head, and the lightness that
accompanies it.

_Q._ What is the distribution of the forces and weight in the _ramener_?

_A._ The forces and weight are equally distributed through all the mass.

_Q._ How do we address the intelligence of the horse?

_A._ By the position, because it is that which makes the horse know the
rider's intentions.

_Q._ Why is it necessary that in the backward movements of the horse,
the legs of the rider precede the hand?

_A._ Because we must displace the points of support before placing upon
them the mass that they must sustain.

_Q._ Is it the rider that determines his horse?

_A._ No. The rider gives action and position, which are the language;
the horse answers this demand by the change of pace or direction that
the rider had intended.

_Q._ Is it to the rider or to the horse that we ought to impute the
fault of bad execution?

_A._ To the rider, and always to the rider. As it depends upon him to
supple and place the horse in the way of the movement, and as with these
two conditions faithfully fulfilled, everything becomes regular, it is
then to the rider that the merit or blame ought to belong.

_Q._ What kind of bit is suitable for a horse?

_A._ An easy bit.

_Q._ Why is an easy bit necessary for all horses, whatever may be their
resistance?

_A._ Because the effect of a severe bit is to constrain and surprise a
horse, while it ought to prevent him from doing wrong and enable him to
do well. Now, we cannot obtain these results except by the aid of an
easy bit, and above all, of a skillful hand; for the bit is the hand,
and a good hand is the whole of the rider.

_Q._ Are there any other inconveniences connected with the instruments
of torture called severe bits?

_A._ Certainly there are, for the horse soon learns to avoid the painful
infliction of them by forcing the rider's legs, the power of which can
never be equal to that of this barbarous bit. He succeeds in this by
yielding with his body, and resisting with his neck and jaw, which
misses altogether the aim proposed.

_Q._ How is it that nearly all the horsemen of renown have invented a
particular kind of bit?

_A._ Because being wanting in personal science, they sought to replace
their own insufficiency by aids or strange machines.

_Q._ Can the horse, perfectly in hand, defend himself?

_A._ No; for the just distribution of weight that this position gives
supposes a great regularity of movement, and it would be necessary to
overturn this order that any act of rebellion on the part of the horse
should take place.

_Q._ What is the use of the snaffle?

_A._ The snaffle serves to combat the opposing forces (lateral) of the
neck, to make the head precede in all the changes of direction, while
the horse is not yet familiarized with the effects of the bit; it serves
also to arrange the head and neck in a perfectly straight line.

_Q._ In order to obtain the _ramener_, should we make the legs precede
the hand or the hand the legs?

_A._ The hands ought to precede until they have produced the effect of
giving great suppleness to the neck (this ought to be practised in the
stationary exercises); then come the legs in their turn to combine the
hind and fore-parts in the movement. The continual lightness of the
horse at all paces will be the result of it.

_Q._ Ought the legs and the hands to aid one another or act separately?

_A._ One of these extremities ought always to have the other for
auxiliary.

_Q._ Ought we to leave the horse a long time at the same pace in order
to develop his powers?

_A._ It is useless, since the regularity of movements results from the
regularity of the positions; the horse that makes fifty steps at a trot
regularly is much further advanced in his education than if he made a
thousand in a bad position. We must then attend to his position, that is
to say, his lightness.

_Q._ In what proportions ought we to use the force of the horse?

_A._ This cannot be defined, since these forces vary in different
subjects; but we should be sparing of them, and not expend them without
circumspection, particularly during the course of his education. It is
on this account that we must, so to say, create for them a reservoir
that the horse may not absorb them uselessly, and that the rider may
make a profitable and more lasting use of them.

_Q._ What good will there result to the horse from this judicious
employment of his forces?

_A._ As we will only make use of forces useful for certain movements,
fatigue or exhaustion can only result from the length of time during
which the animal will remain at an accelerated pace, and will not be the
effect of an excessive muscular contraction which would preserve its
intensity, even at a moderate pace.

_Q._ When should we first undertake to make the horse back?

_A._ After the suppling of the neck and haunches.

_Q._ Why should the suppling of the haunches precede that of the loins
(the _reculer_)?

_A._ To keep the horse more easily in a straight line and to render the
flowing back and forward of the weight more easy.

_Q._ Ought these first retrograde movements of the horse to be prolonged
during the first lessons?

_A._ No. As their only object is to annul the instinctive forces of the
horse, we must wait till he is perfectly in hand to obtain a backward
movement, a true _reculer_.

_Q._ What constitutes a true _reculer_?

_A._ The lightness of the horse (head perpendicular), the exact balance
of his body, and the elevation to the same height of the legs
diagonally.

_Q._ At what distance ought the spur to be placed from the horse's
flanks before the _attaque_ commences?

_A._ The rowel should not be farther than two inches from the horse's
flanks.

_Q._ How ought the _attaques_ to be practised?

_A._ They ought to reach the flanks by a movement like the stroke of a
lancet, and be taken away as quickly.

_Q._ Are there circumstances where the _attaque_ ought to be practised
without the aid of the hand?

_A._ Never; since its only object should be to give the impulsion which
serves for the hand to contain (_renfermer_) the horse.

_Q._ Is it the _attaques_ themselves that chastise the horse?

_A._ No. The chastisement is in the contained position that the
_attaques_ and the hand make the horse assume. As the latter then finds
himself in a position where it is impossible to make use of any of his
forces, the chastisement has all its efficiency.

_Q._ In what consists the difference between the _attaques_ practised
after the old principles, and those which the new method prescribed?

_A._ Our predecessors (that we should venerate) practised spurring in
order to throw the horse out of himself; the new method makes use of it
to contain him; that is, to give him that first position which is the
mother of all the others.

_Q._ What are the functions of the legs during the _attaques_?

_A._ The legs ought to remain adherent to the horse's flanks and in no
respect to partake of the movements of the feet.

_Q._ At what moment ought we to commence the _attaques_?

_A._ When the horse supports peaceably a strong pressure of the legs
without getting out of hand.

_Q._ Why does a horse, perfectly in hand, bear the spur without becoming
excited, and even without sudden movement?

_A._ Because the skillful hand of the rider, having prevented all
displacings of the head, never lets the forces escape outwards; it
concentrates them by fixing them. The equal struggle of the forces, or
if you prefer it, their _ensemble_, sufficiently explains the apparent
dullness of the horse in this case.

_Q._ Is it not to be feared that the horse may become insensible to the
legs and lose all that activity necessary for accelerated movements?

_A._ Although this is the opinion of nearly all the people who talk of
this method without understanding it, there is nothing in it. Since all
these means serve only to keep the horse in the most perfect
equilibrium, promptness of movement ought necessarily to be the result
of it, and, consequently, the horse will be disposed to respond to the
progressive contact of the legs, when the hand does not oppose it.

_Q._ How can we judge whether an _attaque_ is regular?

_A._ When, far from making the horse get out of hand, it makes him come
into it.

_Q._ How ought the hand to be supported at the moments of resistance on
the part of the horse?

_A._ The hand ought to stop, fix itself, and only be drawn sufficiently
towards the body to give the reins a three-quarter tension. In the
contrary case, we must wait till the horse bears upon the hand to
present this insurmountable barrier to him.

_Q._ What would be the inconvenience of increasing the pressure of the
bit by drawing the hand towards the body in order to slacken the horse
in his paces by getting him in hand?

_A._ It would not produce an effect upon a particular part, but would
act generally upon all the forces, in displacing the weight instead of
annulling the force of impulsion. We should not wish to incline to one
side what we cannot stop.

_Q._ In what case ought we to make use of the cavesson, and what is its
use?

_A._ We should make use of it when the faulty construction of the horse
leads him to defend himself, when only simple movements are demanded of
him. It is also useful to use the cavesson with restive horses, as its
object is to act upon the moral, while the rider acts upon the physical.

_Q._ How ought we to make use of the cavesson?

_A._ At first, the longe of the cavesson should be held at from fifteen
or twenty inches from the horse's head, held out and supported with a
stiff wrist. We must watch the proper times to diminish or increase the
bearing of the cavesson upon the horse's nose, so as to use it as an
aid. All viciousness that leads him to act badly is to be repressed by
little jerks, which should be given at the very moment of defense. As
soon as the rider's movements begin to be appreciated by the horse, the
longe of the cavesson ought no longer to act; at the end of a few days
the horse will only need the bit, to which he will respond without
hesitation.

_Q._ In what case is the rider less intelligent than the horse?

_A._ When the latter subjects him to his caprices, and does what he
wishes with him.

_Q._ Are the defenses of the horse physical or moral?

_A._ At first they are physical, but afterwards become moral; the rider
ought then to seek out the causes that produce them, and endeavor, by a
preparatory exercise, to re-establish the correct equilibrium that a bad
natural formation prevented.

_Q._ Can the naturally well-balanced horse defend himself?

_A._ It would be as difficult for a subject uniting all that constitutes
a good horse to give himself up to disorderly movements, as it is
impossible for the one that has not received the like gifts from nature,
to have regular movements, if art did not lend him its aid.

_Q._ What do you mean by _rassembler_?

_A._ The reunion of forces at the centre of gravity.

_Q._ Can we _rassembler_ the horse that does not contain himself under
the _attaques_?

_A._ This is altogether impossible; the legs would be insufficient to
counterbalance the effects of the hand.

_Q._ At what time ought we to _rassembler_ the horse?

_A._ When the _ramener_ is complete.

_Q._ Of what service is the _rassembler?_

_A._ To obtain without difficulty everything of a complicated nature in
horsemanship.

_Q._ In what does the _piaffer_ consist?

_A._ In the graceful position of the body and the harmonized precision
of movement of the legs and feet.

_Q._ Is there more than one kind of _piaffer?_

_A._ Two; the slow and the precipitate.

_Q._ Which is to be preferred of these two?

_A._ The slow _piaffer_, since it is only when this is obtained that the
equilibrium is perfect.

_Q._ Ought we to make a horse _piaffe_ who will not bear the
_rassembler?_

_A._ No; for that would be to step out of the logical gradation that
alone can give certain results. Besides, the horse that has not been
brought forward by this chain of principles would only execute with
trouble and ungracefully what he ought to accomplish with pleasure and
nobly.

_Q._ Are all riders alike suited to conquer all the difficulties and
seize all the effects of touch?

_A._ As in horsemanship, intelligence is the starting point for
obtaining every result, everything is subordinate to this innate
disposition; but every rider will have the power to break his horse to
an extent commensurate with his own abilities to instruct.



                       CONCLUSION.


Everybody complains now-a-days of the degeneration of our breeds of
horses. Apprehensive too late of a state of things which threatens even
the national independence,[U] patriotic spirits are seeking to go back
to the source of the evil, and are arranging divers systems for
remedying it as soon as possible. Among the causes which have
contributed the most to the loss of our old breeds, they forget, it
seems to me, to mention the decline of horsemanship, nor do they
consider that the revival of this art is indispensable in bringing about
the regeneration of the horse.

    [U] Much in this chapter, though written for France, applies
        with great appropriateness to our own country.

The difficulties of horsemanship have long been the same, but formerly
constant practice, if not taste, kept it up; these stimulants exist no
longer. Fifty years ago, every man of rank was expected to be able to
handle a horse with skill, and break one if necessary. This study was an
indispensable part of the education of young people of family; and as it
obliged them to devote two or three years to the rough exercises of the
_manège_, in the end they all became horsemen, some by taste, the rest
by habit. These habits once acquired were preserved throughout life;
they then felt the necessity of possessing good horses, and men of
fortune spared nothing in getting them. The sale of fine horses thus
became easy; all gained by it, the breeder as well as the horse. It is
not so now; the aristocracy of fortune, succeeding to that of birth, is
very willing to possess the advantages of the latter, but would dispense
with the onerous obligations which appertained to an elevated rank. The
desire of showing off in public places, or motives still more frivolous,
sometimes lead gentlemen of our times to commence the study of
horsemanship, but, soon wearied of a work without satisfactory results,
they find only a monotonous fatigue where they sought a pleasure, and
are satisfied they know enough as soon as they can stick passably well
in the saddle. So insufficient a knowledge of horsemanship, as dangerous
as it is thoughtless, must necessarily occasion sad accidents. They then
become disgusted with horsemanship and horses, and as nothing obliges
them to continue the exercise, they give it up nearly altogether, and so
much the more easily as they naturally care very little about the breeds
of horses and their perfection. We must then, as a preliminary measure
in the improvement of horses, raise up horsemanship from the low state
into which it has fallen. The government can undoubtedly do much here;
but it is for the masters of the art to supply, if necessary, what it
leaves undone. Let them render attractive and to the purpose studies
which have hitherto been too monotonous and often barren; let rational
and true principles make the scholar see a real progress, that each of
his efforts brings a success with it; and we will soon see young persons
of fortune become passionately fond of an exercise which has been
rendered as interesting to them as it is noble, and discover, with their
love for horses, a lively solicitude for all that concerns their
qualities and education.

But horsemen can aim at still more brilliant results. If they succeed in
rendering easy the education of common horses, they will make the study
of horsemanship popular among the masses; they will put within reach of
moderate fortunes, so numerous in our land of equality, the practice of
an art that has hitherto been confined to the rich. Such has been the
aim of the labors of my whole life. It is in the hope of attaining this
end that I give to the public the fruit of my long researches.

But I should say, however, that if I was upheld by the hope of being one
day useful to my country, it was the army above all that occupied my
thoughts. Though counting many skillful horsemen in its ranks, the
system they are made to follow, impotent in my eyes, is the true cause
of the equestrian inferiority of so many, as well as of their horses
being so awkward and badly broken. I might add that to the same motive
is to be attributed the little taste for horsemanship felt by the
officers and soldiers. How can it be otherwise? The low price allowed by
government for horses of remount, causes few horses of good shape to be
met with in the army, and it is only of these that the education is
easy. The officers themselves, mounted upon a very common sort of
horses, strive in vain to render them docile and agreeable. After two or
three years of fatiguing exercise, they end by gaining a mechanical
obedience, but the same resistances and the same faults of construction
are perpetually recurring. Disgusted by difficulties that appear
insurmountable, they trouble themselves no more about horses and
horsemanship than the demands of the service actually require.

Yet it is indispensable that a cavalry officer be always master of his
horse, so much so as to be able, so to say, to communicate his own
thoughts to him; the uniformity of manoeres, the necessities of command,
the perils of the battle-field, all demand it imperatively. The life of
the rider, every one knows, often depends upon the good or bad
disposition of his steed; in the same way the loss or the gain of a
battle often hangs on the degree of precision in manoeuvring a squadron.
My method will give military men a taste for horsemanship, a taste which
is indispensable in the profession they practise. The nature of
officers' horses, considered as so defective, is exactly the one upon
which the most satisfactory results may be obtained. These animals
generally possess a certain degree of energy, and as soon as we know how
rightly to use their powers by remedying the physical faults that
paralyze them, we will be astonished at the resources they will exhibit.
The rider fashioning the steed by degrees will regard him as the work of
his hand, will become sincerely attached to him, and will find as much
charm in horsemanship as he previously felt _ennui_ and disgust. My
principles are simple, easy in their application, and within the reach
of every mind. They can everywhere make (what is now so rare) skillful
horsemen. I am sure that if my method is adopted and well understood in
the army, where the daily exercise of the horse is a necessary duty, we
will see equestrian capacities spring up among the officers and
sub-officers by thousands. There is not one among them who, with an hour
a day of study would not soon be able to give any horse in less than
three months the following qualities and education:

1. General suppling.

2. Perfect lightness.

3. Graceful position.

4. A steady walk.

5. Trot steady, measured, extended.

6. Backing as easily and freely as going forward.

7. Gallop easy with either foot, and change of foot by the touch.

8. Easy and regular movement of the haunches, comprising ordinary and
reversed _pirouettes_.

9. Leaping the ditch and the bar.

10. _Piaffer._

11. Halt from the gallop, by the aid of first, the pressure of the legs,
and then a light support of the hand. I ask all conscientious men: have
they seen many horsemen of renown obtain similar results in so short a
time?

The education of the men's horses, being less complicated than that of
those intended for officers, would on that account be more rapid. The
principal things will be the supplings and the backing, followed by the
walk, the trot and the gallop, while keeping the horse perfectly in
hand. The colonels will soon appreciate the excellent results of this
exercise, in consequence of the precision with which all the movements
are made. The important flexions of the fore-hand can be executed
without leaving the stables, each rider turning his horse around in the
stall. It is not for me to point out to the colonels of regiments the
exact way of putting my method in practice; it is enough for me to lay
down my principles and to explain them. The instructors will themselves
supply the details of application too long to enumerate here.

I must again repeat, this book is the fruit of twenty years of
observation constantly verified by practice. A long and painful work
without doubt, but what compensation I have found in the results I have
been happy enough to obtain. In order to let the public judge of the
importance of my discoveries, it is sufficient here to give their
nomenclature, and I present these processes as new ones, because I can
conscientiously say that they never were practised before me. I have
added then successively to the manual of the horseman the following
principles and innovations:

1. New means of obtaining a good seat.

2. Means of making the horse come to the man, and rendering him steady
to mount.

3. Distinction between the instinctive forces of the horse and the
communicated forces.

4. Explanation of the influence of a bad formation upon the horse's
resistances.

5. Effect of bad formations on the neck and croup, the principal focuses
of resistance.

6. Means of remedying the faults, or supplings of the two extremities,
and the whole of the horse's body.

7. Annihilation of the instinctive forces of the horse, in order to
substitute for them forces transmitted by the rider, and to give ease
and beauty of motion to the ungraceful animal.

8. Equality of sensibility of mouth in all horses; adoption of a uniform
bit.

9. Equality of sensibility of flanks in all horses; means of accustoming
them all to bear the spur alike.

10. All horses can place their heads in the position of _ramener_ and
acquire the same lightness.

11. Means of bringing the centre of gravity in a badly-formed horse to
the place it occupies in a well-formed one.

12. The rider disposes his horse for a moment, but he does not determine
the movement.

13. Why sound horses often are faulty in their paces. Means of remedying
this in a few lessons.

14. For changes of direction, use of the leg opposite to the side
towards which we turn, so that it may precede the other one.

15. In all backward movements of the horse the rider's legs ought to
precede the hands.

16. Distinction between the _reculer_ and the _acculement_; the good
effect of the former in the horse's education; the bad effect of the
latter.

17. The use of the spurs as a means of education.

18. All horses can _piaffer_; means of rendering this movement slow or
precipitate.

19. Definition of the true _rassembler_; means of obtaining it; of its
usefulness to produce grace and regularity in complicated movements.

20. Means of bringing all horses to step out freely at a trot.

21. Rational means of putting a horse at a gallop.

22. Halt at a gallop, the legs or the spur preceding the hand.

23. Force continued in proportion to the forces of the horse; the rider
should never yield until after having _annulled_ the horse's
resistances.

24. Education of the horse in parts, or means of exercising his forces
separately.

25. Complete education of horses of ordinary formation in less than
three months.

26. Sixteen new figures of the _manège_ proper for giving the finishing
touch to the horse's education, and for perfecting the rider's touch.

It is understood that all the details of application appertaining to
these innovations are new also, and likewise belong to me.

                       THE END.



                        INDEX.


  Backing, 64-107

  Back to, with a halt, 111

  Bit, false and true, yielding to the, 55
    "   form of, 57
    "   pressure of the, 54

  Breaking, succinct exposition of the method of, 113

  Croup, flexions of the, 59

 Gallop, of the, 91

  Horse, concentration by the rider of the forces of the, 78
    "    education of the, 23
    "        "       "    first lesson, 100
    "        "       "    second lesson, 101
    "        "       "    third    "   , 101
    "        "       "    fourth   "   , 102
    "        "       "    fifth    "   , 102
    "    employment of the forces of the, by the rider, 69
    "    gathering the, 88
    "    how to make him come to you, 35
    "    of the forces of the, 35
    "    resting his chin on his breast, 53
    "    education of Partisan, Capitaine, Neptune and Buridan, 104

  Jaw, flexion of the, 36

  Knees, flexions of the, 22

  Leaping, 94

  Legs, flexions of the, 21

  Neck, depression of the, 40
    "   direct flexions of the head and, 48
    "   lateral    "      "    on foot, 45
    "      "       "      "     " horseback, 47

  Piaffer, the, 94

  Riding, preparatory lessons for, 19

  Saddles, exercises in the, 19

  Seat, new means for obtaining a good, 17
    "   of the rider, 18

  Spurs, the use of the, 78

  Supplings, the head and neck, 32-58
    "       Recapitulations, 67

  Trot, the, 74
    "    "  backward, 109

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