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Title: Ladies on Horseback - Learning, Park-Riding, and Hunting, with Hints upon Costume, - and Numerous Anecdotes
Author: Lambert, Nannie
Language: English
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[Illustration: A woman dressed in riding clothes]



LADIES ON HORSEBACK.

LEARNING, PARK-RIDING, AND HUNTING, WITH HINTS UPON COSTUME, AND
NUMEROUS ANECDOTES.


BY

MRS. POWER O'DONOGHUE
(NANNIE LAMBERT).

AUTHORESS OF "THE KNAVE OF CLUBS," "HORSES AND HORSEMEN,"
"GRANDFATHER'S HUNTER," "ONE IN TEN THOUSAND," "SPRING LEAVES,"
"THOUGHTS ON THE TALMUD," ETC., ETC.


LONDON:
W. H. ALLEN & CO., 13, WATERLOO PLACE, S.W.

1881.

[_All rights reserved._]

LONDON:
PRINTED BY W. H. ALLEN AND CO., 13, WATERLOO PLACE, S.W.



  TO MY FRIEND
  ALFRED E. T. WATSON, ESQ.,
  AUTHOR OF "SKETCHES IN THE HUNTING FIELD," ETC.,
  TO WHOM I OWE
  MUCH OF MY SUCCESS AS A WRITER,
  THESE PAGES
  ARE GRATEFULLY INSCRIBED.



Transcriber's Note: The 15 pages of advertisements preceding the title
page have been moved to the end of this book.



INTRODUCTION.


In preparing this work for the press, I may state that it is composed
chiefly of a series of papers on horses and their riders, which
appeared a short time since in the columns of _The Illustrated Sporting
and Dramatic News_. How they originally came to be written and
published may not prove uninteresting.

One day, in the middle of February 1880, a goodly company, comprising
many thousands of persons, assembled upon the lawn of a nobleman's
residence in the vicinity of Dublin; ostensibly for the purpose of
hunting, but in reality to gaze at and chronicle the doings of a very
distinguished foreign lady, who had lately come to our shores. I was
there, of course; and whilst we waited for the Imperial party, I amused
myself by watching the moving panorama, and taking notes of costume and
effect. Everybody who could procure anything upon which to ride, from a
racehorse to a donkey, was there that day, and vehicles of all
descriptions blocked up every available inch of the lordly avenues and
well-kept carriage-drives.

There is for me so great an attraction in a number of "ladies on
horseback" that I looked at them, and at them alone. One sees gentlemen
riders every hour in the day, but ladies comparatively seldom; every
hunting morning finds about a hundred and fifty mounted males ready for
the start, and only on an average about six mounted females, of whom
probably not more than the half will ride to hounds. This being the
case, I always look most particularly at that which is the greater
novelty, nor am I by any means singular in doing so.

On the day of which I write, however, ladies on horseback were by no
means uncommon: I should say there were at least two hundred present
upon the lawn. Some rode so well, and were so beautifully turned
out, that the most hypercritical could find no fault; but of the
majority--what can I say? Alas! nothing that would sound at all
favourable. Such horses, such saddles, such rusty bridles, such
riding-habits, such hats, whips, and gloves; and, above all, such
_coiffures_! My very soul was sorry. I could not laugh, as some others
were doing. I felt too melancholy for mirth. It seemed to me most
grievous that my own sex (many of them so young and beautiful) should
be thus held up to ridicule. I asked myself was it thus in other
places; and I came to London in the spring, and walked in the Row, and
gazed, and took notes, and was not satisfied. Perhaps I was too
critical. There was very much to praise, certainly, but there was also
much wherewith to find fault. The style of riding was bad; the style of
dressing was incomparably worse. The well-got-up only threw into darker
shadow the notable defects visible in the forms and trappings of their
less fortunate sisterhood. I questioned myself as to how this could be
best remedied. Remonstrance was impossible--advice equally so. Why
could not somebody write a book for lady equestrians, or a series of
papers which might appear in the pages of some fashionable magazine or
journal, patronised and read by them? The idea seemed a good one, but I
lacked time to carry it out, and so it rested in embryo for many
months. Last June, whilst recovering from serious illness, my cherished
project returned to my mind. Forbidden to write, and too weak to hold a
pen, I strove feebly with a pencil to trace my thoughts upon odd scraps
of paper, which I thrust away in my desk without any definite idea as
to what should eventually become of them. In July, whilst staying at a
country house near Shrewsbury, I one day came upon these shorthand
jottings, and, having leisure-time upon my hands, set to work and put
them into form. A line to the Editor of _The Illustrated Sporting
and Dramatic News_, with whom, I may state, I had had no previous
acquaintance, brought an immediate reply, to send my work for
consideration. I did so; called upon him by appointment when I came a
few days later to London; made all arrangements in a three-minutes
interview; and the first of my series of papers appeared shortly after.
That they were successful, far beyond their deserts, is to me a proud
boast. On their conclusion numerous firms negotiated with me for the
copyright: with what result is known; and here to my publishers I
tender my best thanks.

In arranging now these writings--put together and brought before the
public at a time when I had apparently many years of active life before
me--it is to me a melancholy reflection that the things of which they
treat are gone from my eyes,--for alas! I can ride no more. Never again
may my heart be gladdened with the music of the hounds, or my frame
invigorated by the exercise which I so dearly loved. An accident,
sudden and unexpected, has deprived me of my strength, and left me to
speak in mournful whispers of what was for long my happiest theme. Yet
why repine where so much is left? It is but another chapter in our
life's history! We love and cling to one pursuit--and it passes from
us; then another absorbs our attention,--it, too, vanishes; and so
on--perhaps midway to the end--until the "looking back" becomes so
filled with saddened memories, that the "looking forward" is alone
left. And so we turn our wistful eyes where they might never have been
directed, had the prospect behind us been less dark.

A few more words, and I close my preliminary observations and commence
my subject. I cannot but be aware, from the nature of the correspondence
which has flowed in upon me, that although far the greater number of my
readers have agreed with me and entirely coincided in my views, not a
few have been found to cavil. Let not such think that I am oblivious of
their good intentions because I remain unconvinced by their arguments,
and still prefer to maintain my own opinions, which I have not ventured
to set forth without mature deliberation, and the most substantial
reasons for holding them in fixity of tenure. I have spent some
considerable time in turning over in my mind the advisability, or
otherwise, of publishing, as a sort of appendix to this volume, a
selection from the letters which were printed in _The Illustrated
Sporting and Dramatic News_ with reference to my writings in that
journal. After much deliberation I have decided upon suffering the
entire number, with a few trifling exceptions, to appear. They only
form a very small proportion of the voluminous correspondence with
which the Editor and myself were favoured; but, such as they are, I
give them--together with my replies,--not merely because they set forth
the views and impressions of various persons upon topics of universal
interest, but because I conceive that a large amount of useful
information may be gleaned from them, and they may also serve to amuse
my lady readers, who will doubtless be interested in the numerous
queries which I was called upon to answer. Whether or not I have been
able to fight my battles and maintain my cause, must be for others to
determine.

I likewise subjoin a little paper on "Hunting in Ireland"--also already
published--which brought me many letters: some of them from persons
whose word should carry undoubted weight, fully coinciding in and
substantiating my views with regard to the cutting up of grass-lands;
whilst further on will be found my article entitled "Hunting in
America," originally published in _Life_, and copied from that journal
into so many papers throughout the kingdom, and abroad, that it is
now universally known, and cannot be here presented in the form of
a novelty,--but is given for the benefit of those who may not have
chanced to meet with it, and for whom the subject of American sports
and pastimes may happen to possess interest.

N. P. O'D.



CONTENTS.


PART I.

LEARNING.


CHAPTER I.

A Popular Error.--Excellence in Riding attainable without any
Youthful Knowledge of the Art.--The Empress of Austria.--Her
Proficiency.--Her Palace.--Her Occupations.--Her Disposition.
--Her Thoughts and Opinions.--The Age at which to learn.--
Courage indispensable.--Taste a Necessity                           1


CHAPTER II.

Learner's Costume.--The Best Teacher.--Your Bridle.--Your
Saddle.--Your Stirrup.--Danger from "Safety-stirrup."--A Terrible
Situation.--Learning to Ride without any support for the Foot      11


CHAPTER III.

Mounting.--Holding the Reins.--Position in the Saddle.--Use of
the Whip.--Trotting.--Cantering.--Riding from Balance.--Use of
the Stirrup. Leaping.--Whyte Melville's opinion                    23


PART II.

PARK AND ROAD RIDING.


CHAPTER IV.

How to Dress.--A Country-girl's ideas upon the subject.--How
to put on your Riding-gear.--How to preserve it.--First
Road-ride.--Backing.--Rearing, and how to prevent it               44


CHAPTER V.

Running away.--Three Dangerous Adventures.--How to act when
placed in Circumstances of Peril.--How to Ride a Puller.--
Through the City.--To a Meet of Hounds.--Boastful Ladies.--A
Braggart's Resource                                                62


PART III.

HUNTING.


CHAPTER VI.

Hunting-Gear.--Necessary Regard for Safe Shoeing.--Drive to the
Meet.--Scene on arriving.--A Word with the Huntsman.--A Good
Pilot.--The Covert-side.--Disappointment.--A Long Trot             81


CHAPTER VII.

Hounds in Covert.--The First Fence.--Follow your Pilot.--A
River-bath.--A Wise Precaution.--A Label advisable.--Wall and
Water Jumping.--Advice to Fallen Riders.--Hogging.--More Tail      98


CHAPTER VIII.

Holding on to a Prostrate Horse.--Is it Wise or otherwise?--An
Indiscreet Jump.--A Difficult Finish.--The Dangers of Marshy
Grounds.--Encourage Humanity.--A Reclaimed Cabby!                 111


CHAPTER IX.

Selfishness in the Field.--Fording a River.--Shirking a Fence.
--Over-riding the Hounds.--Treatment of Tired Hunters.--Bigwig
and the Major.--Naughty Bigwig.--Hapless Major                    120


CHAPTER X.

Feeding Horses.--Forage-biscuits.--Irish Peasantry.--A Cunning
Idiot.--A Cabin Supper.--The Roguish Mule.--A Day at Courtown.
--Paddy's Opinion of the Empress                                  131


CHAPTER XI.

The Double-rise.--Pointing out the Right Foot.--The force of
Habit.--Various kinds of Fault-finding.--Mr. Sturgess'
Pictures.--An English Harvest-home.--A Jealous Shrew.--A Shy
Blacksmith.--How Irishmen get Partners at a Dance                 144


CHAPTER XII.

Subject of Feeding resumed.--Cooked Food recommended.--Effects of
Raw Oats upon "Pleader."--Servants' Objections.--Snaffle-bridle,
and Bit-and-Bridoon.--Kindness to the Poor.--An Unsympathetic
Lady.--An Ungallant Captain.--What is a Gentleman?--_Au
Revoir!_                                                          159


PART IV.

HUNTING IN IRELAND                                                173


PART V.

HUNTING IN AMERICA                                                183


CORRESPONDENCE                                                    192



LADIES ON HORSEBACK.



PART I.

LEARNING.



CHAPTER I.

A POPULAR ERROR.--EXCELLENCE IN RIDING ATTAINABLE WITHOUT ANY YOUTHFUL
KNOWLEDGE OF THE ART.--THE EMPRESS OF AUSTRIA.--HER PROFICIENCY.--HER
PALACE.--HER OCCUPATIONS.--HER DISPOSITION.--HER THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS.
--THE AGE AT WHICH TO LEARN.--COURAGE INDISPENSABLE.--TASTE A NECESSITY.


It is my belief that hints to ladies from a lady, upon a subject which
now so universally occupies the female mind--hints, not offered in any
cavilling nor carping spirit, but with an affectionate and sisterly
regard for the interests of those addressed--cannot fail to be
appreciated, and must become popular. Men write very well for men, but
in writing for us ladies they cannot, however willing, enter into all
the little delicacies and minutiæ of our tastes and feelings, and so
half the effect is lost.

I do not purpose entering upon any discussion, nor, indeed, touching
more than very lightly upon the treatment and management of the horse.
A subject so exhaustive lies totally outside the limits of my pen,
and has, moreover, been so ably treated by men of knowledge and
experience, as to render one word further respecting the matter almost
superfluous. I shall therefore content myself with surmising that
the horses with which we may have to do throughout these remarks--be
they school-horses, roadsters, or hunters--are at least sound,
good-tempered, and properly trained. Their beauty and other attributes
we shall take for granted, and not trouble ourselves about.

And now, in addressing my readers, I shall endeavour to do so as
though I spoke to each separately, and so shall adopt the term "you,"
as being at once friendly and concise.

My subject shall be divided into three heads. First the acquirement of
the equestrian art; second, road and park riding; third, hunting; with
a few hints upon the costume, &c. required for each, and a slight
sprinkling of anecdote here and there to enliven the whole.

I shall commence by saying that it is a mistake to imagine that
riding, in order to be properly learnt, must be begun in youth: that
nobody can excel as a horsewoman who has not accustomed herself to
the saddle from a mere child. On the contrary some of the finest
_équestriennes_ the world has ever produced have known little or
nothing of the art until the spring-time of their life was past. Her
Imperial Majesty the Empress of Austria, and likewise her sister the
ex-Queen of Naples, cared nothing about riding until comparatively
late in life. I know little, except through hearsay, of the last-named
lady's proficiency in the saddle, but having frequently witnessed
that of the former, and having also been favoured with a personal
introduction at the gracious request of the Empress, I can unhesitatingly
say that anything more superb than her style of riding it would be
impossible to conceive. The manner in which she mounts her horse, sits
him, manages him, and bears him safely through a difficult run, is
something which must be seen to be understood. Her courage is amazing.
Indeed, I have been informed that she finds as little difficulty in
standing upon a bare-backed steed and driving four others in long
reins, as in sitting quietly in one of Kreutzman's saddles. In the
circus attached to her palace at Vienna she almost daily performs
these feats, and encourages by prizes and evidences of personal favour
many of the Viennese ladies who seek to emulate her example. There has
been considerable discussion respecting the question of the Empress's
womanliness, and the reverse. Ladies have averred--oh, jealous
ladies!--that she is _not_ womanly; that her style of dressing is
objectionable, and that she has "no business to ride without her
husband!" These sayings are all open to but one interpretation; ladies
are ever envious of each other, more especially of those who excel.
The Empress is not only a perfect woman, but an angel of light and
goodness. Nor do I say this from any toadyism, nor yet from the
gratitude which I must feel for her kindly favour toward myself. I
speak as I think and believe. Blessed with a beauty rarely given to
mortal, she combines with it a sweetness of character and disposition,
a womanly tenderness, and a thoughtful and untiring charity, which
deserve to gain for her--as they have gained--the hearts as well as
the loving respect and reverence of all with whom she has come in
contact.

I was pleased to find, whilst conversing with her, that many of my
views about riding were hers also, and that she considered it a
pity--as I likewise do--that so many lady riders are utterly spoilt by
pernicious and ignorant teaching. I myself am of opinion that childhood
is not the best time to acquire the art of riding. The muscles are too
young, and the back too weak. The spine is apt to grow crooked, unless
a second saddle be adopted, which enables the learner to sit on
alternate days upon the off-side of the horse; and to this there are
many objections. The best time to learn to ride is about the age of
sixteen. All the delicacy to which the female frame is subject during
the period from the thirteenth to the fifteenth year has then passed
away, and the form is vigorous and strong, and capable of enduring
fatigue.

I know it to be a generally accepted idea that riding is like music and
literature--the earlier it is learnt the better for the learner, and
the more certain the proficiency desired to be attained. This is an
entirely erroneous opinion, and one which should be at once discarded.
I object, as a rule, to children riding. They cannot do so with any
safety, unless put upon horses and ponies which are sheep-like in their
demeanour; and from being accustomed to such, and to none other, they
are nervous and frightened when mounted upon spirited animals which
they feel they have not the strength nor the art to manage, and, being
unused to the science of controlling, they suffer themselves to be
controlled, and thus extinguish their chance of becoming accomplished
horsewomen. I know ladies, certainly, who ride with a great show of
boldness, and tear wildly across country after hounds, averring that
they never knew what fear meant: why should they--having ridden from
the time they were five years old? Very probably, but the bravery of
the few is nothing by which to judge of a system which is, on the
whole, pernicious. It is less objectionable for boys, because their
shoulders are not apt to grow awry by sitting sideways, as little
girls' do; nor are they liable to hang over upon one side; nor have
they such delicate frames and weakly fingers to bring to the front.
Moreover, if they tumble off, what matter? It does them all the good in
the world. A little sticking-plaister and shaking together, and they
are all right again. But I confess I _don't like_ to see a girl come
off. Less than a year ago a sweet little blue-eyed damsel who was
prattling by my side as she rode her grey pony along with me, was
thrown suddenly and without warning upon the road. The animal
stumbled--her tiny hands lacked the strength to pull him together--she
was too childish and inexperienced to know the art of retaining her
seat. She fell! and the remembrance of uplifting her, and carrying her
little hurt form before me upon my saddle to her parents' house, is not
amongst the brightest of my memories.

We will assume, then, that you are a young lady in your sixteenth
year, possessed of the desire to acquire the art of riding, and the
necessary amount of courage to enable you to do so. This latter
attribute is an absolute and positive necessity, for a coward will
_never_ make a horsewoman. If you are a coward, your horse will soon
find it out, and will laugh at you; for horses can and do laugh when
they what is usually termed "gammon" their riders. Nobody who does not
possess unlimited confidence and a determination to know no fear, has
any business aspiring to the art. Courage is indispensable, and must
be there from the outset. All other difficulties may be got over, but
a natural timidity is an insurmountable obstacle.

A cowardly rider labours under a two-fold disadvantage, for she not
only suffers from her own cowardice, but actually imparts it to her
horse. An animal's keen instinct tells him at once whether his master
or his servant is upon his back. The moment your hands touch the reins
the horse knows what your courage is, and usually acts accordingly.

No girl should be taught to ride who has not a taste, and a most
decided one, for the art. Yet I preach this doctrine in vain; for, all
over the world, young persons are forced by injudicious guardians to
acquire various accomplishments for which they have no calling, and at
which they can never excel. It is just as unwise to compel a girl to
mount and manage a horse against her inclination, as it is to force
young persons who have no taste for music to sit for hours daily at a
piano, or thrust pencils and brushes into hands unwilling to use them.
A love for horses, and an earnest desire to acquire the art of riding,
are alike necessary to success. An unwilling learner will have a bad
seat, a bad method, and clumsy hands upon the reins; whereas an
enthusiast will seem to have an innate facility and power to conquer
difficulties, and will possess that magic sense of _touch_, and facile
delicacy of manipulation, which go so far toward making what are
termed "good hands,"--a necessity without which nobody can claim to be
a rider.



CHAPTER II.

LEARNER'S COSTUME.--THE BEST TEACHER.--YOUR BRIDLE.--YOUR SADDLE.--
YOUR STIRRUP.--DANGER FROM "SAFETY-STIRRUP."--A TERRIBLE SITUATION.
--LEARNING TO RIDE WITHOUT ANY SUPPORT FOR THE FOOT.


Having now discussed your age, your nerve, and your taste, we shall say
a few words about your costume as a learner. Put on a pair of strong
well-made boots; heels are not objectionable, but buttons are decidedly
so, as they are apt to catch in the stirrup and cause trouble. Strong
chamois riding-trousers, cloth from the hip down, with straps to fasten
under the boots, and soft padding under the right knee and over the
left, to prevent the friction of the pommels, which, to a beginner,
generally causes much pain and uneasiness. A plain skirt of brown
holland, and any sort of dark jacket, will suit your purpose quite
well, for you are only going to learn; not to show off--yet. Your
hat--any kind will do--must be securely fastened on, and your hair left
flowing, for no matter how well you may fancy you have it fastened, the
motion of the horse will shake it and make it feel unsteady, and the
very first hairpin that drops out, up will go your hand to replace it,
and your reins will be forgotten. As soon as you have put on a pair of
strong loose gloves, and taken a little switch in your hand, you are
ready to mount.

The nicest place in which you can learn is a well-tanned riding-school
or large green paddock, and the nicest person to teach you is a lady or
gentleman friend, who will have the knowledge and the patience to
instruct you. Heaven help the learner who is handed over to the tender
mercies of John, the coachman, or Jem, the groom! Servants are rarely
able to ride a yard themselves, and their attempt at teaching is
proportionately lame. Your horse having been led out, your attendant
looks to his girthing, &c., as stable servants are not always too
particular respecting these necessary matters.

The pleasantest bridle in which to ride is a plain ring-snaffle. Few
horses will go in it; but, remember, I am surmising that yours has been
properly trained. By riding in this bridle you have complete control
over the movements of your horse--can, in fact, manage him with one
hand, and you have the additional advantage of having fewer leathers to
encumber and embarrass your fingers. A beginner is frequently puzzled
to distinguish between the curb and the snaffle when riding with a
double rein, and mistaking one for the other, or pulling equally at
both, is apt to cause the horse much unnecessary irritation. It is
lamentable to see the manner in which grown men and women, who ought to
know so much better, tug and strain at their horses' mouths with an
equal pull upon both reins, when riding, as is the custom, in a bit and
bridoon. Perhaps of the two they draw the curb the tighter. It is not
meant for cruelty--they do not appear to be aware that it _is_ cruel:
but there is no greater sign of utter ignorance. Horses are not
naturally vicious, and very few of them who have had any sort of
fair-play in training, really require a curb, or will go as well or
pleasantly upon it as if ridden in a snaffle-bridle.

Your saddle is another most important point. Never commence, be your
age ever so tender, by riding upon a pad. Accustom yourself from the
beginning to the use of a properly constructed saddle, made as straight
as a board, seat perfectly level, and scarcely any appearance of a
pommel upon the off-side. A leaping-head, or what is commonly termed a
third crutch, is, in my opinion, indispensable. To procure a saddle
such as I describe you must have it made to order, for those of the
present day are all made with something of a dip, which is most
objectionable. I do not like the appearance of much stitching about a
saddle. It has always appeared to me absurd to see the amount of
elaborate embroidery which every old-fashioned saddle carries upon the
near flap. Nothing could be more unnecessary than an outlay of labour
upon a portion of the article which is always concealed beneath the
rider's right leg. There might be some sense, although very little, in
decorating the off-side and imparting to it something of an ornamental
appearance; but in my opinion there cannot be too much simplicity about
everything connected with riding appointments. A plainness, amounting
even to severity, is to be preferred before any outward show. Ribbons,
and coloured veils, and yellow gloves, and showy flowers are alike
objectionable. A gaudy "get up" (to make use of an expressive
common-place) is highly to be condemned, and at once stamps the wearer
as a person of inferior taste. Therefore avoid it. Let your saddle be,
like your personal attire, remarkable only for its perfect freedom from
ornament or display. Have it made to suit yourself--neither too
weighty, nor yet too small--and if you want to ride with grace and
comfort, desire that it be constructed without one particle of the
objectionable dip. There is a very old-established and world-noted firm
in Piccadilly--Peat & Co.--where you can obtain an article such as I
describe, properly made, and of durable materials, at quite a moderate
cost. I can say, speaking from experience, that no trouble will be
spared to afford you satisfaction, and that the workmanship will be not
only lasting, but characterised by that neatness for which I am so
strong an advocate. You should ride _on_ your saddle, not _in_ it, and
you must learn to ride from balance or you will never excel, and this
you can only do by the use of the level seat. A small pocket on the
off-side, and a neat cross strap to support a waterproof, are of course
necessary items.

Your stirrup is the next important matter. I strongly disapprove of the
old-fashioned slipper, as also of the so-called "safety" stirrup, which
is, in my opinion, the fruitful source of many accidents. Half the
lamentable mischances with which our ears are from time to time
shocked, are due to the pertinacity with which ladies will cling to
this murderous safety stirrup. So long as they will persist in doing
so, casualties must be looked for and must occur. The padding over the
instep causes the foot to become firmly imbedded, and in the event of
an accident the consequences are dire, for the mechanism of the stirrup
is almost invariably stiff or out of order, or otherwise refuses to
act. Mr. Oldacre was, I believe, the inventor of the padded stirrup,
and for this we owe him or his memory little thanks, although the
gratitude of all lady riders is undoubtedly due to him for his
admirable invention and patenting of the third crutch, without which
our seat in the saddle would be far less comfortable and less secure.

I dare say that I shall have a large section of aggrieved stirrup-makers
coming down upon me with the phials of their wrath for giving publicity
to this opinion, but in writing as I have done I merely state my own
views, which I deem we are all at liberty to do; and looking upon my
readers as friends, I warn them against an article of which I myself
have had woful experience. I once purchased a safety stirrup at one of
the best houses, and made by one of the best makers. The shopman showed
it off to me in gallant style, expatiating upon its many excellencies,
and adroitly managing the stiff machinery with his deft fingers, until
I was fairly deceived, and gave him a handful of money for what
subsequently proved a cause of trouble. I lost more than one good run
with hounds through the breaking of this dearly-bought stirrup, having
upon one occasion to ride quite a long distance away from the hunt to
seek out a forge at which I might undergo repairs. Nor was this the
worst, for one day, having incautiously plunged into a bog in my
anxiety to be in at the death, my horse got stuck and began to sink,
and of course I sought to release myself from him at once; but no, my
foot was locked fast in that terrible stirrup, and I could not stir. My
position was dreadful, for I had outridden my pilot, my struggling
steed was momentarily sinking lower, and the shades of evening were
fast closing in. I shudder to think what might have been my fate and
that of my gallant horse had not the fox happily turned and led the
hunt back along the skirts of the bog, thus enabling my cries for help
to be heard by one or two brave spirits who came gallantly to my
rescue. I have more than once since then been caught in a treacherous
bog when following the chase, but never have I found any difficulty in
jumping from my horse's back and helping him to struggle gamely on to
the dry land, for I have never since ridden in a safety-stirrup, nor
shall I ever be likely to do so again. It may be said, and probably
with truth, that my servant had neglected to clean it properly from day
to day, and that consequently the spring had got rusted and refused to
act. Such may possibly have been the case, but might not the same thing
occur to anyone, or at any time? Servants are the same all over the
world, and yet you must either trust to them or spend half your time
overlooking them in the stable and harness-room, which for a lady is
neither agreeable nor correct.

There is nothing so pleasant to ride in as a plain little racing-stirrup,
from which the foot is in an instant freed. I have not for a long while
back used anything else myself, nor has my foot ever remained caught,
even in the most dangerous falls.

I conceive it to be an admirable plan to learn to ride without a
stirrup at all. Of course I do not mean by this that a lady should
_ever_ go out park-riding or hunting _sans_ the aid of such
an appendage, but she should be taught the necessity of dispensing with
it in case of emergency. The benefits arising from such training are
manifold. First, it imparts a freedom and independence which cannot
otherwise be acquired; secondly, it gives an admirable and sure seat
over fences; thirdly, it is an excellent means of learning how to ride
from balance; and fourthly, in spite of its apparent difficulties, it
is in the end a mighty simplifier, inasmuch as, when the use of the
stirrup is again permitted, all seems such marvellously plain sailing,
that every obstacle appears to vanish from the learner's path. In
short, a lady who can ride fairly well without a support for her foot,
must, when such is added, be indeed an accomplished horsewoman. I knew
a lady who never made use of a stirrup throughout the whole course of
an unusually long life, and who rode most brilliantly to hounds. Few,
however, could do this, nor is it by any means advisable, but to be
able occasionally to dispense with the support is doubtless of decided
benefit.

I have often found my training in this respect stand me in good stead,
for it has more than once happened that in jumping a stiff fence, or
struggling in a heavy fall, my stirrup-leather has given way, and I
have had not alone to finish the run without it, but to ride many miles
of a journey homeward.

Nothing could be more wearisome to an untutored horsewoman than a long
ride without a stirrup. The weight of her suspended limb becomes after
a moment or two most inconvenient and even painful, whilst the trot of
the horse occasions her to bump continuously in the saddle,--for the
power of rising without artificial aid would appear a sheer impossibility
to an ordinary rider whose teaching had been entrusted to an ordinary
teacher. I would have you then bear in mind that although I advocate
_practising_ without the assistance of a stirrup, I am totally
against your setting out beyond the limits of your own lawn or paddock
without this necessary support.



CHAPTER III.

MOUNTING.--HOLDING THE REINS.--POSITION IN THE SADDLE.--USE OF THE
WHIP.--TROTTING.--CANTERING.--RIDING FROM BALANCE.--USE OF THE STIRRUP.
--LEAPING.--WHYTE MELVILLE'S OPINION.


Having now seen that your bridle, saddle, and stirrup are in proper
order, you prepare to mount, and this will probably take you some time
and practice to accomplish gracefully, being quite an art in itself.
Nothing is more atrocious than to see a lady require a chair to mount
her animal, or hang midway against the side of the saddle when her
cavalier gives her the helping hand. Lay your right hand firmly upon
the pommel of your saddle, and the left upon the shoulder of your
attendant, in whose hand you place your left foot. Have ready some
signal sentence, as "Make ready, go!" or "one, two, three!" Immediately
upon pronouncing the last syllable make your spring, and if your
attendant does his duty properly you will find yourself seated deftly
upon your saddle.

As I have already stated, this requires practice, and you must not be
disappointed if a week or so of failure ensues between trial and
success.

As soon as you are firmly seated, take your rein (which, as I have
said, should be a single one) and adjust it thus. Place the near side
under the little finger of your left hand, and the off one between your
first and second fingers, bringing both in front toward the right hand,
and holding them securely in their place with the pressure of your
thumb. This is merely a hint as to the simplest method for a beginner
to adopt, for there is really no fixed rule for holding reins, nor must
you at all times hold them in one hand only, but frequently--and always
when hunting--put both hands firmly to your bridle. Anything stiff or
stereotyped is to be avoided. A good rider, such as we hope you will
soon become, will change her reins about, and move her position upon
the saddle, so as to be able to watch the surrounding scenery--always
moving gracefully, and without any abrupt or spasmodic jerkings, which
are just as objectionable as the poker-like rigidity which I wish you
to avoid. How common it is to see ladies on horseback sitting as though
they were afraid to budge a hair, with pinioned elbows and
straightly-staring eyes. This is most objectionable; in fact, nothing
can be more unsightly. A graceful, easy seat, is a good horsewoman's
chief characteristic. She is not afraid of tumbling off, and so she
does not look as though she were so; moreover, she has been properly
taught in the commencement, and all such defects have been rectified by
a careful supervision.

With regard to your whip, it must be held point downwards, and if you
have occasion to touch your horse, give it to him down the shoulder,
but always with temperance and kindly judgment. I once had a
riding-master who desired me to hold my whip balanced in three fingers
of my right hand, point upwards, the hand itself being absurdly bowed
and the little finger stuck straight out like a wooden projection. My
natural good sense induced me to rebel against anything so completely
ridiculous, and I quietly asked my teacher why I was to carry my whip
in that particular position. His answer was--"Oh, that you may have it
ready _to strike your horse on the neck_." Shades of Diana! this
is the way our daughters are taught in schools, and we marvel that they
show so little for the heaps of money which we hopefully expend upon
them.

Being then fairly seated upon your saddle, your skirt drawn down and
arranged by your attendant, your reins in your hand and your whip
arranged, you must proceed to walk your horse quietly around the
enclosure, having first gently drawn your bridle through his mouth. You
will feel very strange at first: much as though you were on the back of
a dromedary and were completely at his mercy. Sit perfectly straight
and erect, but without stiffness. Be careful not to hang over upon
either side, and, above all things, avoid the pernicious habit of
clutching nervously with the right hand at the off pommel to save
yourself from some imaginary danger. So much does this unsightly habit
grow upon beginners, that, unless checked, it will follow them through
life. I know grown women who ride every day, and the very moment their
horse breaks into a canter or a trot they lay a grim grip upon the
pommel, and hold firmly on to it until the animal again lapses into a
walk. And this they do unconsciously. The habit, given way to in
childhood, has grown so much into second nature that to tell them of it
would amaze them. I once ventured to offer a gentle remonstrance upon
the subject to a lady with whom I was extremely intimate, and she was
not only astonished, but so displeased with me for noticing it, that
she was never quite the same to me afterwards; and so salutary was the
lesson which I then received that I have since gone upon the principle
of complete non-interference, and if I saw my fellow _équestriennes_
riding gravely upon their horses' heads I would not suggest the
rationality of transferring their weight to the saddle. And this
theory is a good one, or at least a wise one; for humanity is so
inordinately conceited that it will never take a hint kindly, unless
asked for; and not always even then.

To sit erect upon your saddle is a point of great importance; if you
acquire a habit of stooping it will grow upon you, and it is not only a
great disfigurement, but not unfrequently a cause of serious accident,
for if your horse suddenly throws up his head, he hits you upon the
nose, and deprives you of more blood than you may be able to replace in
a good while.

As soon as you can feel yourself quite at home upon your mount, and
have become accustomed to its walking motion, your attendant will urge
him into a gentle trot. And now prepare yourself for the beginning of
sorrows. Your first sensation will be that of being shaken to pieces.
You are, of course, yet quite ignorant of the art of rising in your
saddle, and the trot of the horse fairly churns you. Your hat shakes,
your hair flaps, your elbows bang to your sides, you are altogether
miserable. Still, you hold on bravely, though you are ready to cry from
the horrors of the situation.

Your attendant, by way of relieving you, changes the trot to a canter,
and then you are suddenly transported to Elysium. The motion is
heavenly. You have nothing to do but sit close to your saddle, and you
are borne delightfully along. It is too ecstatic to last. Alas! it will
never teach you to ride, and so you return to the trot and the shaking
and the jogging, the horrors of which are worse than anything you have
ever previously experienced. You try vainly to give yourself some ease,
but fail utterly, and at length dismount--hot, tired, and disheartened.

But against this latter you must resolutely fight. Remember that
nothing can be learned without trouble, and by-and-by you will be
repaid. It is not everybody who has the gift of perseverance, and it is
an invaluable attribute. It is a fact frequently commented upon, not
alone by me but by many others also, that if you go for the hiring of a
horse to any London livery-stable you will be sent a good-looking beast
enough, but he will not be able to trot a yard. Canter, canter, is all
that he can do. And why? He is kept for the express purpose of carrying
young ladies in the Row, and these young ladies have never learnt to
trot. They can dress themselves as vanity suggests in fashionably-cut
habits, suffer themselves to be lifted to the saddle, and sit there,
looking elegant and pretty, whilst their horse canters gaily down the
long ride; but were the animal to break into a trot (which he is far
too well tutored to attempt to do), they would soon present the same
shaken, dilapidated, dishevelled, and utterly miserable appearance
which you yourself do after your first experience of the difficulties
which a learner has to encounter.

The art of rising in the saddle is said to have been invented by one
Dan Seffert, a very famous steeplechase jockey, who had, I believe,
been a riding-master in the days of his youth. If this be true--which
there is no reason to doubt--we have certainly to thank him, for it is
a vast improvement upon the jog-trot adopted by the cavalry, which,
however well it may suit them and impart uniformity of motion to their
"line-riding," is not by any means suited to a lady, either for
appearances or for purposes of health.

You come up for your next day's lesson in a very solemn mood. You are,
in fact, considerably sobered. You had thought it was all plain
sailing: it _looked_ so easy. You had seen hundreds of persons
riding, trotting, and even setting off to hunt, and had never dreamed
that there had been any trouble in learning. Now you know the
difficulties and what is before you.

You recall your sufferings during your first days upon the ice, or on
the rink. How utterly impossible it seemed that you could ever excel;
how you tumbled about; how miserably helpless you felt, and how many
heavy falls you got! Yet you conquered in the end, and so you will
again.

You take courage and mount your steed. First you walk him a little, as
yesterday; and then the jolting begins again. How are you ever to get
into that rise and fall which you have seen with others, and so much
covet? How are you to accomplish it? Only by doing as I tell you, and
persevering in it. As your horse throws out his near foreleg press your
foot upon your stirrup, in time to lift yourself slightly as his off
foreleg is next thrown out. Watch the motion of his legs, press your
foot, and at the same time slightly lift yourself from your saddle. For
a long while, many days perhaps, it will seem to be all wrong; you have
not got into it one bit; you are just as far from it apparently as when
you commenced. You are hot and vexed, and you, perhaps, cry with
mortification and disappointment, as I have seen many a young beginner
do; bitterly worried and disheartened you are, and ready to give up,
when, lo! quite suddenly, as though it had come to you by magic and not
through your own steady perseverance, you find yourself rising and
falling _with_ the trot of the horse, and your labours are
rewarded.

After this your lessons are a source of delight. You no longer come
from them flushed and worried, but joyous and exultant and impatient
for the next. You have begun to feel quite brave, and to throw out
hints that you are longing for a good ride on the road. You now know
how to make your horse trot and canter; the first by a light touch of
your whip and a gentle movement of your bridle through his mouth; the
second by a slight bearing of the rein upon the near side of his mouth,
so as to make him go off upon the right leg, and a little warning touch
of your heel. You fancy, in fact, that you are quite a horsewoman, and
have already rolled up your hair into a neat knot, and hinted to papa
that you should greatly like a habit. But, alas! you have plenty of
trouble yet before you, plenty to learn, plenty of falls to get and to
bear. At present you can ride fairly well on the straight; but you know
nothing of keeping your balance in time of danger. Your horse is very
quiet, but if he chanced to put back his ears you would be off.

You are taught to maintain your balance in the following way:--

Your attendant waits until your horse is cantering pretty briskly in a
circle from left to right, when he suddenly cracks his whip close to
the animal's heels, who immediately swerves and turns the other way.
You have had no warning of the movement, and consequently you tumble
off, and are put up again, feeling a little shaken and a good deal
crestfallen. Most likely you will fall again and again, until you have
thoroughly mastered the art of riding from balance.

This is a method I have seen adopted, especially in schools, with
considerable success, but it is certainly attended with inconvenience
to the learner, and with a goodly portion of the risk from falls which
all who ride _must_ of necessity run. To ride well from balance is
not a thing which can be accomplished in a day, nor a month, nor
perhaps a year. Many pass a life-time without practically comprehending
the meaning of the term. They ride every day, hold on to the bridle,
guide their horses, and trust to chance for the rest; but this is not
true horsemanship. It could no more be called _riding_ than could
a piece of mechanical pianoforte-playing be termed music. When you
have, after much difficulty and delay, mastered the obstacles which
marred your progress, you will then have the happy consciousness of
feeling that however your horse may shy or swerve, or otherwise depart
from his good manners, you can sit him with the ease and closeness of a
young centaur.

This art of riding from balance is not half sufficiently known. It is
one most difficult to acquire, but the study is worth the labour.
Nine-tenths of the lady equestrians, and perhaps even a greater number
of gentlemen, ride from the horse's head; a detestable practice which
cannot be too highly condemned. I must also warn you against placing
too much stress upon the stirrup when your horse is trotting. You must
bear in mind that the stirrup is intended for a support for the
foot--not to be ridden from. By placing your right leg firmly around
the up-pommel, and pressing the left knee against the leaping-head, you
can accomplish the rise in your saddle with slight assistance from the
stirrup; and this is the proper way to ride. The lazy, careless habit
into which many women fall, of resting the entire weight of the body
upon the stirrup, not only frequently causes the leathers to snap at
most inconvenient times, but is the lamentable cause of half the sore
backs and ugly galls from which poor horses suffer so severely.

Having at length perfected yourself in walking, trotting, cantering,
and riding from balance, you have only to acquire the art of
leaping--and then you will be finished, so far as teaching can make you
so. Experience must do the rest.

It is a good thing, when learning, to mount as many different horses as
you possibly can; always, of course, taking care that they are
sufficiently trained not to endeavour to master you. Horses vary
immensely in their action and gait of going: so much so, that if you do
not accustom yourself to a variety you will take your ideas from one
alone, and will, when put upon a strange animal, find yourself
completely at sea.

Do not suffer anything to induce you to take your first leap over a bar
or pole similar to those used in schools. The horse sees the daylight
under it, knows well that it is a sham, goes at it unwillingly, does
not half rise to it, drops his heels when in the air, and knocks it
down with a crash,--only to do the same thing a second time, and a
third, and a fourth also, if urged to do that which he despises.

Choose a nice little hurdle about two feet high, well interwoven with
gorse; trot your horse gently up to it, and let him see what it is;
then, turn him back and send him at it, sitting close glued to your
saddle, with a firm but gentle grip of your reins, and your hands held
low. To throw up the hands is a habit with all beginners, and should at
once be checked. Fifty to one you will stick on all right, and, if you
come off, why it's many a good man's case, and you must regard it as
one of the chances of war.

The next day you may have the gorse raised another half-foot above the
hurdle, and so on by degrees, until you can sit with ease over a jump
of five feet. Always bear in mind to keep your hands quite down upon
your horse's withers, and never interfere with his mouth. Sit well
back, leave him his head, and he will not make a mistake. Of course, I
am again surmising that he has been properly trained, and that you
alone are the novice. To put a learner upon an untrained animal would
be a piece of folly, not to say of wickedness, of which we hope nobody
in this age of enlightenment would dream of being guilty. In jumping a
fence or hurdle do not leave your reins quite slack; hold them lightly
but firmly, as your horse should jump against his bridle, but do not
pull him. A gentle support is alone necessary.

That absurd and vulgar theory about "lifting a horse at his fences," so
freely affected by the ignorant youth of the present day, cannot be too
strongly deprecated. That same "lifting" has broken more horses'
shoulders and more _asses'_ necks than anything else on record. A
good hunter with a bad rider upon his back will actually shake his head
free on coming up to a fence. He knows that he cannot do what is
expected of him if his mouth is to be chucked and worried, any more
than you or I could under similar circumstances, and so he asserts his
liberty. How often, in a steeplechase, one horse early deprived of his
rider will voluntarily go the whole course and jump every obstacle in
perfect safety, even with the reins dangling about his legs, yet never
make a mistake; whilst a score or so of compeers will be tumbling at
every fence. And why? The answer is plain and simple. The free horse
has his head, and his instinct tells him where to put his feet; whereas
the animals with riders upon their backs are dragged and pulled and
sawn at, until irritation deprives them of sense and sight, and,
rushing wildly at their fences (probably getting another tug at the
moment of rising), they fall, and so extinguish their chance of a win.

I do not, of course, in saying this, mean for a moment to question the
judgment and horsemanship of very many excellent jockeys, whose ability
is beyond comment and their riding without reproach. I speak of the
rule, not of the few exceptions.

Half the horses who fall in the hunting-field are thrown down by their
riders; this is a fact too obvious to be contradicted. Men over-riding
their horses, treating them with needless cruelty, riding them when
already beaten: these are the fruitful causes of falls in the field,
together with that most objectionable practice of striving to "lift"
an animal who knows his duties far better than the man upon his back.
It is a pity, and my heart has often bled to see how the noblest of
God's created things is ill-treated and abused by the human brute who
styles himself the master. It is, indeed, a disgrace to our humanity
that this priceless creature, given to a man with a mind highly
wrought, sensitive, yearning for kindness, and capable of appreciating
each word and look of the being whose willing slave it is, should be
treated with cruelty, and in too many cases regarded but as a sort of
machine to do the master's bidding. Who has not seen, and mourned to
see, the tired, patient horse, spurred and dragged at by a remorseless
rider, struggling gamely forward in the hunting-field, with bleeding
mouth and heaving, bloody flanks, to enable a cruel task-master to see
the end of a second run, and even of a third, after having carried him
gallantly through a long and intricate first? It is a piece of
inhumanity which all humane riders see and deplore every day
throughout the hunting season. We cannot stop it, but we can speak
against it and write it down, and discountenance it in every possible
way, as we are all bound to do. Why will not men be brought to see
that in abusing their horses they are compassing their own loss? that
in taxing the powers of a beaten animal they are riding for a fall,
and are consequently endangering the life which God has given them?

There is much to be learnt in the art of fencing besides hurdle-leaping.
A good timber-jumper will often take a ditch or drain in a very
indifferent manner. I have seen a horse jump a five-barred gate in
magnificent style, yet fall short into a comparatively narrow ditch;
and _vice versâ_; therefore, various kinds of jumps must be kept
up, persevered in, and kept constantly in practice. Two things must
always be preserved in view; never sit loosely in your saddle, and
always ride well from balance, never from your horse's head. In taking
an up jump leave him abundance of head-room, and sit _well_ back,
lest in his effort he knock you in the face. If the jump is a down
one--what is known as an "ugly drop"--follow the same rules; but, when
your horse is landing, give him good support from the bridle, as,
should the ground be at all soft or marshy, he might be apt to peck,
and so give you an ugly fall.

It is a disputed point whether or not horses like jumping. I am
inclined to coincide in poor Whyte-Melville's opinion that they do not.
He was a good authority upon most subjects connected with equine
matters, and so he ought to know; but of one thing I am positively
certain: they abhor schooling. However a horse may tolerate or even
enjoy a good fast scurry with hounds, there can be no doubt that he
greatly dislikes being brought to his fences in cold blood. He has not,
when schooling, the impetus which sends him along, nor the example or
excitement to be met with in the hunting-field. The horse is naturally
a timid animal, and this is why he so frequently stops short at his
fences when schooling. He mistrusts his own powers. When running with
hounds he is borne along by speed and by excitement, and so goes skying
over obstacles which appal him when trotted quietly to them on a
schooling day. It is just the difference which an actor feels between a
chilling rehearsal and the night performance, when the theatre is
crowded and the clapping of hands and the shouting of approving voices
lend life and spirit to the part he plays.

You will probably get more falls whilst schooling than ever you will
get in the hunting-field, but a few weeks' steady practice over good
artificial fences or a nice natural country, will give you a firm seat
and an amount of confidence which will stand to you as friends.



PART II.

PARK AND ROAD RIDING.



CHAPTER IV.

HOW TO DRESS.--A COUNTRY-GIRL'S IDEAS UPON THE SUBJECT.--HOW TO PUT
ON YOUR RIDING-GEAR.--HOW TO PRESERVE IT.--FIRST ROAD-RIDE.--BACKING.
--REARING, AND HOW TO PREVENT IT.


Having now mastered the art of riding, you will of course be desirous
of appearing in the parks and on the public roadways, and exhibiting
the prowess which it has cost you so much to gain.

For your outfit you will require, in addition to the articles already
in your possession, a nice well-made habit of dark cloth. If you are a
very young girl, grey will be the most suitable; if not, dark blue. If
you live in London, pay a visit to Mayfair, and get Mr. Wolmershausen
to make it for you; if in Dublin, Mr. Scott, of Sackville Street, will
do equally well; indeed, for any sort of riding-gear, ladies' or
gentlemen's, he is not to be excelled. If you are not within easy
distance of a city, go to the best tailor you can, and give him
directions, which he must not be above taking. Skirt to reach six
inches below the foot, well shaped for the knee, and neatly shotted at
end of hem just below the right foot; elastic band upon inner side, to
catch the left toe, and to retain the skirt in its place. It should be
made tight and spare, without _one inch_ of superfluous cloth;
jacket close-fitting, but sufficiently easy to avoid even the suspicion
of being squeezed; sleeves perfectly tight, except at the setting on,
where a slight puffiness over the shoulder should give the appearance
of increased width of chest. No braiding nor ornamentation of any sort
to appear. A small neat linen collar, upright shape, with cuffs to
correspond, should be worn with the habit, no frilling nor fancy work
being admissible--the collar to be fastened with a plain gold or silver
stud.

The nicest hat to ride in is an ordinary silk one, much lower than they
are usually made, and generally requiring to be manufactured purposely
to fit and suit the head. Of course, if you are a young girl, the melon
shape will not be unsuitable, but the other is more in keeping, more
becoming, and vastly more economical in the end, although few can be
induced to believe this. It is the custom in many households to
purchase articles for their cheapness, without any regard to quality or
durability, and this you should endeavour to avoid. Speaking from
experience, the best things are always the cheapest. I pay from a
guinea to a guinea and a half for a good silk hat, and find that it
wears out four felt ones of the quality usually sold at ten and
sixpence. There is no London house at which you can procure better
articles or better value than at Lincoln, Bennett, & Co., Sackville
Street, Piccadilly. For nearly half a century they have been the
possessors of an admirable contrivance, which should be seen to be
appreciated, by which not alone is the size of the head ascertained,
but its precise shape is definitely marked and suited, thus avoiding
all possibility of that distressing pressure upon the temples, which is
a fruitful source of headache and discomfort to so many riders. Hats
made at this firm require no elastics--if it be considered desirable to
dispense with such--as the fit is guaranteed. Never wear a veil on
horseback, except it be a black one, and nothing with a border looks
well. A plain band of spotted net, just reaching below the nostrils,
and gathered away into a neat knot behind, is the most _distingué_. Do
not wear anything sufficiently long to cover the mouth, or it will
cause you inconvenience on wet and frosty days. For dusty roads a
black gauze veil will be found useful, but avoid, as you would poison,
every temptation to wear even the faintest scrap of colour on
horseback. All such atrocities as blue and green veils have happily
long since vanished, but, even still, a red bow, a gaudy flower stuck
in the button-hole, and, oh, horror of horrors! a pocket handkerchief
appearing at an opening in the bosom, looking like a miniature
fomentation--these still occasionally shock the eyes of sensitive
persons, and cause us to marvel at the wearer's bad taste.

I was once asked to take a young lady with me for a ride in the park,
to witness a field-day, or polo match, or something or another of
especial interest which happened to be going forward. I would generally
prefer being asked to face a battery of Zulus rather than act as
_chaperone_ to young lady _équestriennes_, who are usually
ignorant of riding, and insufferably badly turned out. However, upon
this occasion I could not refuse. The lady's parents were kind, amiable
country folks, who had invested a portion of their wealth in sending
their daughter up to town to get lessons from a fashionable
riding-master, and to ride out with whomsoever might be induced to take
her.

Well, the young lady's horse was the first arrival: a hired hack--usual
style; bones protruding--knees well over--rusty bridle--greasy
reins--dirty girths--and dilapidated saddle, indifferently polished up
for the occasion.

The young lady herself came next, stepping daintily out of a cab, as
though she were quite mistress of the situation. Ye gods! What a get
up! I was positively electrified. Her habit--certainly well made--was
of bright blue cloth, with worked frills at the throat and wrists. She
wore a brilliant knot of scarlet ribbon at her neck, and a huge bouquet
in her button-hole. Her hat was a silk one, set right on the back of
her head, with a velvet rosettte and steel buckle in front, and a long
veil of grey gauze streaming out behind. When we add orange gloves, and
a riding-whip with a gaudy tassel appended to it, you have the details
of a costume at once singular and unique.

I did not at first know whether to get a sudden attack of the measles
or the toothache, and send her out with my groom to escort her, but
discarding the thought as ill-natured, I compromised matters by
bringing her to my own room, and effecting alterations in her toilet
which soon gave her a more civilised appearance. I set the hat straight
upon her head, and bound it securely in its place, removed from it the
gauze and buckle, and tied on one of my own plain black veils of simple
spotted net. I could not do away with the frillings, for they were
stitched on as though they were never meant to come off; but the red
bow I replaced with a silver arrow, threw away the flowers, removed the
whip-tassel, and substituted a pair of my own gloves for the cherished
orange kid. Then we set out.

I wanted to go a quiet way to the park, so as to avoid the streets of
the town, but she would not have it. Nothing would do that girl but to
go bang through the most crowded parts of the city, the hired hack
sliding over the asphalte, and the rider (all unconscious of her
danger) bowing delightedly to her acquaintances as she passed along.
Poor girl! that first day out of the riding-school was a gala day for
her.

The nicest gloves for riding are pale cream leather, worked thickly on
the backs with black. A few pairs of these will keep you going, for
they clean beautifully. A plain riding-whip _without_ a tassel,
and a second habit of dark holland if you live in the country, will
complete your necessary outfit.

I shall now give you a few hints as to the best method of putting on
your riding gear, and of preserving the same after rain or hard
weather. Your habit-maker will, of course, put large hooks around the
waist of your bodice, and eyes of corresponding size attached to the
skirt, so that both may be kept in their place, but if you have been
obliged to entrust your cloth to a country practitioner, who has
neglected these minor necessaries, be sure you look to them yourself,
or you will some day find that the opening of your skirt is right at
your back, and that the place shaped out for your knee has twisted
round until it hangs in unsightly crookedness in front of the buttons
of your bodice.

Let it be a rule with you to avoid using any pins. Put two or three
neat stitches in the back of your collar, so as to affix it to your
jacket, having first measured to see that the ends shall meet exactly
evenly in front, where you will fasten them neatly with a stud. The
ordinary system of placing one pin at the back of the collar and one at
either end is much to be deprecated. Frequently one of these pins
becomes undone, and then the discomfort is incalculable, especially if,
as often occurs, you are out for a long day, and nobody happens to be
able to accommodate you with another.

Pinning cuffs is also a reprehensible habit, for the reason just
stated. Two or three little stitches where they will not show, upon the
inner side of the sleeve, will hold the cuff securely in its place and
prevent it turning round or slipping up or down, any of which will be
calculated to cause discomfort to the rider.

It is not a bad method, either, to stitch a small button at the back of
the neck of the jacket, upon the inner side, upon which the collar can
be secured, fastening the cuffs in the same manner to buttons attached
to the inner portion of each sleeve. In short, anything in the shape of
a device which will check the unseemly habit of using a multiplicity of
pins, may be regarded as a welcome innovation, and at once adopted.

It is a good plan, when you undress from your ride, to ascertain
whether your collar and cuffs are sufficiently clean to serve you
another day, and if they are not, replace them at once by fresh ones;
for it may happen that when you go to attire yourself for your next
ride, you may he too hurried to look after what should always be a
positive necessity, namely, perfectly spotless linen.

There is a material, invented in America and as yet but little known
amongst us here, which is invaluable to all who ride. It is called
Celluloid, and from it collars, cuffs, and shirt-fronts are
manufactured which resemble the finest and whitest linen, yet which
never spot, never crush, never become limp, and never require washing,
save as one would wash a china saucer, in a basin of clear water, using
a fine soft towel for the drying process. I do not know the nature of
the composition, but I can certainly bear testimony to its worth, and
being inexpensive as well as convenient, it cannot fail, when known, to
become highly popular.

The adjusting of your hat is another important item. Stitch a piece of
black elastic (the single-cord round kind is the best) from one
side--the inner one of course--to the other, of just sufficient length
to catch well beneath your hair. This elastic you can stretch over the
leaf of your hat at the back, and then, when the hat is on and nicely
adjusted to your taste in front, you have only to put back your hand
and bring the band of elastic deftly under your hair. The hat will then
be immovable, and the elastic will not show. In fastening your veil, a
short steel pin with a round black head is the best. The steel slips
easily through the leaf of the hat, and the head, being glossy and
large, is easily found without groping or delay, whenever you may
desire to divest yourself of it.

I shall now tell you how to proceed with the various items of your
toilet on coming home, after being overtaken by stress of weather. No
matter how wealthy you may be, or how many servants you may be entitled
to keep, always look after these things yourself.

Hang the skirt of your habit upon a clothes-horse, with a stick placed
across inside to extend it fully. Leave it until thoroughly dry, and
then brush carefully. The bodice must be hung in a cool dry place, but
never placed near the fire, or the cloth will shrink, and probably
discolour.

Dip your veil into clear cold water, give it one or two gentle squeezes,
shake it out, and hang it on a line, spreading it neatly with your
fingers, so that it may take no fold in the drying.

Your hat comes next. Dip a fine small Turkey sponge, kept for the
purpose and freed from sand, into a basin of lukewarm water, and draw
it carefully around the hat. Repeat the process, going over every
portion of it, until crown, leaf, and all are thoroughly cleansed; then
hang in a cool, airy place to dry. In the morning take a soft brush,
which use gently over the entire surface, and you will have a perfectly
new hat. No matter how shabby may have been your headpiece, it will be
quite restored, and will look all the better for its washing. This is
one of the chief advantages of silk hats. Do not omit to brush after
the washing and drying process, or your hat will have that unsightly
appearance of having been ironed, which is so frequently seen in the
hunting-field, because gentlemen who are valeted on returning from
their sport care nothing about the management of their gear, but leave
it all to the valet, who gives the hat the necessary washing, but is
too lazy or too careless to brush it next day, and his master takes it
from his hand and puts it on without ever noticing its unsightliness.
Sometimes it is the master himself whose clumsy handiwork is to blame;
but be it master or servant, the result is too often the same.

Should your gloves be thoroughly, or even slightly wetted, stretch them
upon a pair of wooden hands kept for the purpose, and if they are the
kind which I have recommended to you--I mean the best quality of
double-stitched cream leather--they will be little the worse.

Having now, I think, exhausted the subject of your clothing, and given
you all the friendly hints in my power, I am ready to accompany you
upon your first road ride.

Go out with every confidence, accompanied of course by a companion or
attendant, and make up your mind never to be caught napping, but to be
ever on the alert. You must not lose sight of the fact that a bird
flitting suddenly across, a donkey's head laid without warning against
a gate, a goat's horns appearing over a wall, or even a piece of paper
blown along upon the ground, may cause your horse to shy, and if you
are not sitting close at the time, woe betide you! Always remember the
rule of the road, keep to your left-hand side, and if you have to pass
a vehicle going your way, do so on the right of it. Never neglect this
axiom, no matter how lonely and deserted the highway may appear, for
recollect that if you fail to comply with it, and that any accident
chances to occur, you will get all the blame, and receive no
compensation.

Never trot your horse upon a hard road when you have a bit of grass at
the side on which you can canter him. Even if there are only a few
blades it will be sufficient to take the jar off his feet.

If you meet with a hill or high bridge, trot him up and walk him
quietly down the other side. If going down a steep decline, sit well
back and leave him his head, at the same time keeping a watchful hand
upon the rein for fear he should chance to make a false step, that you
may be able to pull him up; but do not hold him tightly in, as many
timid riders are apt to do, thus hobbling his movements and preventing
him seeing where he is to put his feet. If he has to clamber a steep
hill with you, leave him unlimited head-room, for it is a great ease to
a horse to be able to stretch his neck, instead of being held tightly
in by nervous hands, which is frequently the occasion of his stumbling.

Should your horse show temper and attempt to back with you, leave him
the rein, touch him lightly with your heel, and speak encouragingly to
him; should he persist, your attendant must look to the matter; but a
horse who possesses this dangerous vice should never be ridden by a
lady. I have surmised that yours has been properly trained, and
doubtless you might ride for the greater portion of a lifetime without
having to encounter a decided jibber, but it is as well to be prepared
for all emergencies. Should a horse at any time rear with you, throw
the rein loose, sit close, and bring your whip sharply across his
flank. If this is not effectual, you may give him the butt-end of it
between the ears, which will be pretty sure to bring him down. This is
a point, however, upon which I write with considerable reserve, for
many really excellent riders find fault with the theory set forth and
adopted by me. One old sportsman in particular shows practically how
seriously he objects to it by suffering himself to be tumbled back upon
almost daily by a vicious animal, in preference to adopting coercive
measures for his own safety.

My reasons for striking a rearing horse are set forth with tolerable
clearness in one of the letters which form an appendix to this volume;
but, although I do it myself, I do not undertake the responsibility of
advising others to do likewise, especially if a nervous timidity form a
portion of their nature. I am strongly of opinion, however, that
decisive measures are at times an absolute necessity, and that the most
effectual remedy for an evil is invariably the best to adopt. I have
heard it said by two very eminent horsemen that to break a bottle of
water between the ears of a rearing animal is an excellent and
effectual cure. Perhaps it may be--and, on such authority, we must
suppose that it is--but I should not care to be the one to try it,
although I consider no preventive measure too strong to adopt when
dealing with so dangerous a vice. A horse may be guilty of jibbing,
bolting, kicking, or almost any other fault, through nervousness or
timidity, but rearing is a vicious trick, and must be treated with
prompt determination. It would be useless to speak encouragingly to a
rearer; he is vexing you from vice, not from nervousness, and so he
needs no reassurance--do not waste words upon him, but bring him to his
senses with promptitude, or whilst you are dallying he may tumble back
upon you, and put remonstrance out of your power for some time to come,
if not for ever. In striking him, if you do so, do not indulge in the
belief that you are safe because he drops quickly upon his fore-legs,
but on the contrary, be fully prepared for the kick or buck which will
be pretty sure to follow, and which (unless watched for) will be likely
to unseat even a most skilful rider. Both rearing and plunging may,
however, be effectually prevented by using the circular bit and
martingale, procurable at Messrs. Davis, saddlers, 14, Strand, London.
This admirable contrivance should be fitted above the mouthpiece of an
ordinary snaffle or Pelham bridle. It is infinitely before any other
which I have seen used for the same purpose, has quite a separate
headstall, and should be put on and arranged before the addition of the
customary bridle. Being secured to the breastplate by a standing
martingale, it requires no reins.



CHAPTER V.

RUNNING AWAY.--THREE DANGEROUS ADVENTURES.--HOW TO ACT WHEN PLACED
IN CIRCUMSTANCES OF PERIL.--HOW TO RIDE A PULLER.--THROUGH THE
CITY.--TO A MEET OF HOUNDS.--BOASTFUL LADIES.--A BRAGGART'S RESOURCE.


In the event of a horse running away, you must of course be guided by
circumstances and surroundings, but my advice always is, if you have a
fair road before you, let him go. Do not attempt to hold him in, for
the support which you afford him with the bridle only helps the
mischief. Leave his head quite loose, and when you feel him beginning
to tire--which he will soon do without the support of the rein--flog
him until he is ready to stand still. I warrant that a horse treated
thus, especially if you can breast him up hill, will rarely run away a
second time. He never forgets his punishment, nor seeks to put himself
in for a repetition of it.

I have been run away with three times in my life, but never a second
time by the same horse. It may amuse you to hear how I escaped upon
each occasion.

The first time, I was riding a beautiful little thoroughbred mare,
which a dear lady friend--now, alas! dead--had asked me to try for her.
The mare had been a flat-racer, and, having broken down in one of her
trials, had been purchased at a cheap rate, being still possessed of
beauty and a considerable turn of speed.

Well, we got on splendidly together for an hour or so on the fifteen
acres, Phoenix Park, but, when returning homewards, some boys who
were playing close by struck her with a ball on the leg. In a second
she was off like the wind, tearing down the long road which leads from
the Phoenix to the gates. She had the bit between her teeth, and held
it like a vice. My only fear was lest she should lose her footing and
fall, for the roadway was covered from edge to edge with new shingle.
On she went in her mad career, amidst the shrieks of thousands, for the
day was Easter Monday, and the park was crowded. Soldiers, civilians,
lines of policemen strove to form a barrier for her arrest. In vain!
She knocked down some, fled past others, and continued her headlong
course.

All this time I was sitting as if glued to my saddle. At the mare's
first starting I had endeavoured to pull her up, but finding that this
was hopeless, I left the rein loose upon her neck. Having then no
support for her head, she soon tired, and the instant I felt her speed
relaxing I took up my whip and punished her within an inch of her life.
I _made_ her go when she wanted to stop, and only suffered her to
pull up just within the gates, where she stood covered with foam and
trembling in every limb.

Her owner subsequently told me that during the three years which she
afterwards kept her she never rode so biddable a mare.

I must not forget to mention the comic side of the adventure as well as
the more serious. It struck me as being particularly ludicrous upon
that memorable occasion that an old gentleman, crimson with wrath,
actually attacked my servant in the most irate manner because he had
not clattered after me during the progress of the mare's wild career.
"How dare you, sir," cried this irascible old gentleman, "how dare you
attempt to neglect your young lady in this cowardly manner?" Nor was
his anger at all appeased when informed that I as a matron was my own
care-taker, and that my attendant had strict injunctions _not_ to
follow me in the event of my horse being startled or running away.

My next adventure was much more serious, and occurred also within the
gates of the Phoenix Park.

Some troops were going through a variety of manoeuvres preparing for
a field-day, and a knot of them had been posted behind and around a
large tree with fixed bayonets in their hands. Suddenly they got the
order to move, and at the same instant the sun shone out and glinted
brilliantly upon the glittering steel. I was riding a horse which had
lately been given me; a fine, raking chestnut, with a temper of his own
to manage. He turned like a shot, and sped away at untold speed. I had
no open space before me; therefore I durst not let him go. It was an
enclosed portion of the park, thickly studded with knots of trees, and
I knew that if he bore me through one of these my earthly career would
most probably be ended. I strove with all the strength and all the art
which I possessed to pull him up. It was of no use. I might as well
have been pulling at an oak-tree; it only made him go the faster.

Happily my presence of mind remained. I saw at once that my only chance
was to breast him against the rails of the cricket-ground, and for
these I made straight, prepared for the shock and for the turn over
which I knew must inevitably follow. He dashed up to the rails, and
when within a couple of inches of them he swerved with an awful
suddenness, which, only that I was accustomed to ride from balance,
must have at once unseated me, and darted away at greater speed than
ever. Right before me was a tree, one heavy bough of which hung very
low--and straight for this he made, nor could I turn his course. I knew
my fate, and bent on a level with my saddle, but not low enough, for
the branch caught me in the forehead and sent me reeling senseless to
the ground.

I soon got over the shock, although my arm (which was badly torn by a
projecting branch) gave me some trouble after; but the bough was cut
down the next day by order of the Lord Lieutenant, and the park-rangers
still point out the spot as the place where "the lady was nearly
killed."

My third runaway was a hunting adventure, and occurred only a few
months since.

I had a letter one morning from an old friend, informing me that a
drag-hunt was to take place about thirty miles from Dublin to finish
the season with the county harriers, and that he, my friend, wished
very much that I would come down in my habit by the mid-day train and
ride a big bay horse of his, respecting which he was desirous of
obtaining my opinion. I never take long to make up my mind, so, after a
glance at my tablets, which showed me that I was free for the day, I
donned my habit, and caught the specified train.

At the station at the end of my journey I found the big bay saddled and
awaiting me, and having mounted him I set off for the kennels, from a
field near which the drag was to be run. I took the huntsman for a
pilot, knowing that the servant, who was my attendant, was rather a
duffer at the chase.

The instant that the hounds were laid on and the hunt started, my big
mount commenced to pull hard, and by the time the first fence was
reached his superior strength had completely mastered mine. He was
pulling like a steam-engine, head down, ears laid backward, neck set
like iron. My blistered hands were powerless to hold him. He rushed
wildly at the fence, and striking the horse of a lady who was just
landing over it, turned him and his rider a complete somersault! I
subsequently learned that the lady escaped unhurt, but I could not at
the moment pause to inquire, for my huge mount, clearing the jump and
ten feet beyond it, completely took head, and bore me away from the
field

    Over park, over pale,
    Through bush, through briar,

until my head fairly reeled, and I felt that some terrible calamity
must ensue.

Happily he was a glorious fencer, or I must have perished, for he
jumped every obstacle with a rush; staked fences, wide ditches--so wide
that he landed over them on his belly--tangled gorse, and branches of
rivers swollen by recent rains; he flew them all. At length, when my
strength was quite exhausted and my dizzy brain utterly powerless and
confused, I beheld before me a stone wall, a high one, with heavy
coping-stones upon the top. At this I resolved to breast him, and run
my chance for life or death in the turn over, which, from the pace at
which we were approaching it, I knew must be a mighty one. In a moment
we were up to it and, with a cry to heaven for mercy, I dug him with my
spur and sent him at it. To my utter astonishment, for the wall was six
and a half feet high, he put down his head, rushed at it, cleared it
without ever laying a shoe upon the topmost stones, and landed with a
frightful slip and clatter, but still safely on his feet--where? in the
midst of a farm-yard.

Were it not that this adventure actually occurred to myself, I should
be strongly tempted to question its authenticity. That there are
horses--especially Irish ones--quite capable of compassing such a jump,
there cannot be the slightest doubt; but I have never before or since
seen one who could do it without being steadied as he approached the
obstacle. In the ordinary course of events a runaway steed would strike
it with his head and turn over,--which was what I expected and
desired--but no such thing occurred, and to the latest hour of my life
it must remain a mystery to me that upon the momentous occasion in
question neither horse nor rider was injured, nor did any accident
ensue. Nothing more disastrous than a considerable disturbance in the
farm-yard actually occurred; but it was indeed a mighty one.

Such a commotion amongst fowls was surely never witnessed; the ducks
quacked, the turkeys screeched, the hens ran hither and thither; two
pigs, eating from a trough close by, set up a most terrific squalling,
dogs barked, and two or three women, who were spreading clothes upon a
line, added to the general confusion by flinging down the garments
with which they had been busy and taking to their heels, shrieking
vociferously. In the meantime the big bay, perceiving that he had run
to the end of his tether, stood snorting and foaming, looking hither
and thither in helpless amazement and dismay; whilst I, relieved at
length of my anxiety, burst first into tears, and then into shouts of
hearty laughter, as I fully took in the absurdity of the situation.

After a considerable delay one of the women was induced to come forward
and listen to a recital of my adventure; and the others, being assured
that "the baste" would not actually devour them, came near me also, and
we held an amicable council as to the possibility of my ever getting
out, for the gates were locked, and the owner of the property was away
at a fair in the neighbouring town and had the key stowed away in his
pocket. To jump the wall again was impracticable. No horse that ever
was foaled could do it in cool blood; nor was I willing to risk the
experiment, even if my steed made no objection.

At length we decided upon the only plan. I dismounted, and, taking the
rein over my arm, led my mighty hunter across the yard, induced him to
stoop his head to enter by a back door through a passage in the
farmhouse, and from thence through the kitchen and front door, out on
to the road. I have a cheerful recollection of an old woman, who was
knitting in the chimney-corner, going off into screams and hysterics as
I and my big steed walked in upon her solitude, a loose shoe and a very
audible blowing making the entrance of my equine companion even more
_prononcé_ than it would otherwise have been. The poor old
creature flung down her needles, together with the cat which had been
quietly reposing in her lap, and kicking up her feet yelled and
bellowed at the top of a very discordant voice. It took the combined
efforts of all four women to pacify her, and she was still shrieking
long after I had mounted the big bay and ridden him back to inform his
owner of how charmingly he had behaved.

I have now told you three anecdotes, partly for your amusement and
partly for your instruction; but I would not have you think that it
would be at all times and under all circumstances a wise thing to ride
a runaway horse against so formidable an obstacle as a stone wall. Mine
was, I hope, an exceptional case. When the animal was led down to meet
me at the station, I saw, not without misgiving, that I was destined to
ride in a so-called "safety-stirrup," and at the time when he took head
with me my foot was fixed as in a vice in this dangerous and horrible
trap, from which I could not succeed in releasing it. Feeling that my
brain was whirling, and that I could not longer maintain my seat in the
saddle, I rode for an overthrow, which I deemed infinitely better than
being dragged by the foot over an intricate country, and most probably
having my brains scattered by a pair of crashing heels. If a horse
should at any time run away with you, keep your seat whilst you
_can_ do so, and whilst you have anything of a fair road before
you; but if there is any danger of your being thrown or losing your
seat whilst your foot is caught, then by all means ride for a fall; put
your horse at something that will bring him down, and when he _is_
down struggle on to his head, that he may not rise until somebody has
come to your assistance. Of course the experiment is fraught with
excessive danger, but it is not _certain_ death, as the other
alternative must undoubtedly be. I cannot, however, wish you better
than to hope most fervently that you may never be placed in a position
which would necessitate your making a choice between two such mighty
evils. Avoid riding strange horses. No matter how accomplished a
horsewoman you may become, do not be too ready to comply with the
request to try this or that unknown mount. I have done it myself,
often, and probably shall again;[1] but my experience prompts me to
warn others against a practice which is frequently fraught with danger
to a lady. A horse knows quite well when a strange or timid rider gets
upon his back, and if he does not kill you outright, he will probably
make such a "hare" of you as will not be at all agreeable, either for
yourself or for the lookers-on.

          [1] This was written previous to the accident which has
          disabled me.

Whenever you take a young horse upon grass, whether he be a stranger to
you or otherwise, be prepared for a certain show of friskiness which he
does not usually exhibit upon the road. The soft springy turf beneath
his feet imbues him with feelings of hilarity which he finds himself
powerless to resist, and so you, his rider, must prepare for his little
vagaries. He will, most probably, in the first place try a succession
of bucks, and for these you must prepare by sitting very close to your
saddle, your knee well pressed against the leaping-head, and your
figure erect, but not thrown back, as the shock, or shocks to your
spine would in such a case be not only painful but positively
dangerous, and should therefore be carefully avoided. He will next be
likely to romp away, pulling you much harder than is at all agreeable,
and seemingly inclined to take head with you altogether. As a remedy
against this you must neither yield to him nor pull against him. I have
heard fairly good riders advocate by turns both systems of management,
especially the former; indeed, the expression, "Drop your hands to
him," has become so general amongst teachers of the equestrian art,
that it has almost passed into a proverb. I do not advocate it, nor do
I deem it advisable ever to pull against a pulling horse. When an
animal tries to forereach you, you should neither give up to him nor
yet pull one ounce against him. Close your fingers firmly upon the
reins and keep your arms perfectly motionless, your hands well down,
without giving or taking one quarter of an inch. In a stride or two he
will be sure to yield to your hand, at which moment you should
immediately yield to him, and his wondrous powers of intelligence will
soon enable him to discern that you are not to be trifled with. Were
you to give up to him when he rushes away or romps with his head he
would very soon be going all abroad, and would give you a vast amount
of trouble to pull him into proper form. Above all things, keep clear
of trees, of which I myself have an unbounded dread. Should you have
occasion to ride through a city, give your eyes and attention to your
horse, and not to passing acquaintances, for in the present dangerous
tangle of tramlines, slippery pavements, and ill-driven vehicles, it
will require all your energies to bring you safely through. Never trot
your horse through a town or city: walk him quietly through such
portion of it as you have to pass, and leave him abundant head-room,
that his intelligence may pick out a way for his own steps.

A very nice ride for a lady is to a meet of the hounds, if such should
occur within reasonable distance, say from four to eight miles. The
sight is a very pretty one, and there is not any reason why you should
not thoroughly enjoy it; but having only ridden to see the meet, you
must be careful not to interfere with, nor get in the way of those
about to ride the run. Nothing is more charming than to see three or
four ladies, nicely turned out, arrive to grace the meet with their
presence, but nothing is more abominable than the same number of
amazons coming galloping up in full hunting toggery, although without
the least idea of hunting, and rushing hither and thither, frightening
the hounds and getting in everybody's way, as though they were
personages of the vastest possible importance, and meant to ride with a
skill not second to that of the Nazares. Such women are the horror and
spoliation of every hunting-field. They dash off with the hounds the
moment the fox is found, but happily the first fence stops them, and a
fervent thankfulness is felt by every true lover of the chase as they
pause discomfited, look dismally at the yawning chasm, and jog
crestfallen away to the road.

There are many ladies, and estimable ladies, too, who take out their
horses every hunting-day, and by keeping upon the roadways see all that
they can of the hounds. Sometimes they are fortunate, sometimes not; it
depends upon the line of country taken. Their position is, in my
opinion, a most miserable one; yet they must derive enjoyment from it,
else why do they come? They surely cannot imagine that they are
participating in the hunt; yet it affords them amusement to keep
pottering about, and enables them to make their little harmless boast
to credulous friends of their "hunting days," and the "runs" they have
seen throughout the season. Indeed, so far does this passion for
boasting carry the fair sex, that I myself know two young ladies who
never saw a hound in their lives, except from the inside of a shabby
waggonette, yet who brag in so audacious a manner that they have been
heard to declare to gentlemen at evening dances, "Really we cawn't
dawnce; we are so tired! Out all day with the Wards--and had _such a
clipping run_!"

This sort of thing only makes us smile when we hear it amongst ladies,
but when men resort to it we become inspired with sufficient contempt
to feel a longing desire to offer them severer chastisement than our
derision.

I once asked a little mannikin, who had given himself the name and airs
of a great rider, if he would be kind enough to pilot me over an
intricate piece of country with which I was unacquainted. The creature
pulled his little moustaches, and sniffed, and hemmed and hawed, and
finally said, "Aw, I'm sure I should be delighted, but you see I ride
_so deuced hard_, I should not expect a lady to be able to keep up
with me." I said nothing, but acted as my own pilot, and took
opportunity to watch my hard-riding friend during the course of the
run. He positively never jumped a fence, but worked rampantly at locks
of gates, and bribed country-folks to let him pass through. The last I
saw of him he was whipping his horse over a narrow ditch, preparatory
to scrambling it himself on foot.

And this man was only one of many, for the really accomplished rider
never boasts.



PART III.

HUNTING.



CHAPTER VI.

HUNTING-GEAR.--NECESSARY REGARD FOR SAFE SHOEING.--DRIVE TO THE
MEET.--SCENE ON ARRIVING.--A WORD WITH THE HUNTSMAN.--A GOOD
PILOT.--THE COVERT SIDE.--DISAPPOINTMENT.--A LONG TROT.


Now that you are thoroughly at home on your saddle--in the park, on the
road, and over the country--you are doubtless longing to display your
prowess in the hunting-field, and thither we shall have much pleasure
in accompanying you.

Your outfit will be the first thing to consider; and do not be alarmed
when I tell you that it will require a little more generosity on the
part of papa than you have hitherto called upon him to exercise.

To commence with your feet--which I know is contrary to custom--you
will need two pairs of patent Wellington boots. These are three guineas
per pair, but are a beautiful article, and will last a long time with
care. Woollen stockings of light texture, with a pair of silk ones
drawn over, are the most comfortable for winter wear. A small steel
spur to affix to your left heel will be the next item required. The
nicest kind are those with a strap attached, which crosses the instep,
and buckles securely at the side. Of course, all ladies' spurs are
spring ones, displaying no rowels which could tear the habit, but
simply one steel projection with spring probe within, which, when
pressed to the horse's side, acts most efficiently as an instigator.
Latchford's patent is the best.

Two pairs of chamois riding-trousers, cloth from the hip down, and
buttoning quite close at the ankle to allow of the boot going over,
will be the next necessary; and you must also provide yourself with two
riding corsets of superior shape and make.

Three habits of strong dark cloth, one of them thoroughly waterproof,
will be required--the skirts to be made so short as barely to cover the
foot, and so spare as to fit like glove, without fold or wrinkle. If a
hunting-habit be properly cut it will require no shotting, which will
be an advantage to your horse in diminishing the weight which he would
otherwise have to carry. An elastic band nicely placed upon the inside
in position to catch around the toe of the right foot will be
sufficient to answer all purposes. You cannot do better, to procure an
article such as I describe, than entrust your order to Wolmershausen
(whom I believe I have already named in a former chapter), corner of
Curzon Street, Mayfair, where you will not fail to find your
instructions intelligently carried out. This firm has a speciality for
skirt-cutting,--is, indeed, unapproachable in this particular branch,
of what is in reality an ART; and even in these days of eager
competition the old-established house suffers from no rivalry, and
holds its own in the widely-contested field.

A very neatly-made waterproof jacket will be an addition to your
wardrobe, as also a cape with an elastic band from the back to fasten
around the waist, and hold the front ends securely down. This latter is
an almost indispensable article. It is so light that it can be carried
with ease in your saddle-strap, and in case of an unexpected shower can
be adjusted in a single instant and without assistance, which is not
the case with a jacket. It should be made with a collar, which can be
arranged to stand up close around the neck, and thus prevent the
possibility of damp or wet causing you cold or inconvenience. I approve
of the jacket for decidedly wet days, when it should be donned on going
out, but for a showery day the cape is preferable, as it can be much
more easily taken off and again put on.

Two silk hats, with the addition of a melon-shape if you desire it--a
long-lashed hunting-whip, and a plentiful supply of collars, cuffs,
gloves, veils, and handkerchiefs, will complete your outfit. I, hunting
four days a week, find the above quite sufficient, and if you care your
things (having got them in the first instance of the best quality) it
is surprising how long they may be made to serve. I have told you
_how_ to take care of them, but believe me, if you leave the task
to servants the end will prove disappointing. You will never be
one-half so well turned out, and your outlay will be continual.

It is an excellent precaution for a hunting-day, to look the previous
morning at your horse's shoes; and do this yourself, for it not
unfrequently happens that a careless groom will suffer him to go out
with a loose shoe which gradually becomes looser, and finally drops
off, perhaps in the middle of an exciting run, and obliges you to leave
your place with the hounds and seek the nearest forge. All this sort of
thing could, in nine cases out of ten, be obviated by a little care and
forethought, but the majority of riders are too grand, or too careless,
or too absurdly squeamish about the "propriety" of entering a stable,
and not unfrequently too ignorant of things they ought to know, to see
to such matters themselves, and so they are passed over and neglected.
A groom is too often utterly careless. He is bound to send your horse
from the yard looking shiny, and sleek, and clean. Any deviation from
this would at once attract your attention, and arouse your displeasure.
The groom knows this, and acts accordingly; but he also knows what you
do not--that one of the shoes is three-parts loose; it will probably
hold very well until you begin to go, and then it will drop off and
leave you in a fix, perhaps miles away from a village where the damage
could be repaired. The groom knew all about it, very likely, the day
before, but he saw that you were not troubling yourself, and why should
he? You never made any inquiry about such matters, nor seemed to
interest yourself in them, and why should he be troubled concerning
them? A loose shoe is nothing to him: it does not cause _him_ any
inconvenience, not it; then why worry himself? He does not want to
bring the horse down to the forge through mud and rain, and stand there
awaiting the smith's convenience; not a bit of it. He is much more
comfortable lolling against the stable-door and smoking a pipe with
Tom, Dick, or Harry.

It frequently occurs in the hunting-field that a horse loses a shoe in
going through heavy ground, or in jumping a fence where he brings his
hind feet too close upon the front ones, and, catching the toe of the
hind shoe in the heel of the front, drags the latter forcibly off, and
leaves it either on the ground behind him or carries it for a field or
two hanging by one or two nails to his hoof, before it finally drops
off.

The moment you are made aware that your horse has cast a shoe, which
will generally be by somebody informing you of the fact, ascertain at
once which of the animal's feet has been left unprotected. If the lost
shoe happens to be a hinder one, the matter is less serious, but if a
front one should be cast, do not lose any time in inquiring your road
to the nearest smithy, and, whilst wending your way thither, be careful
to keep as much as possible upon the grass by the roadside, that the
shoeless foot may not become worn, nor suffer from concussion by coming
in contact with the hard road.

It is a good plan to send your horse early to the meet: quite in the
morning; or, should the distance be a long one, despatch him the
previous evening in charge of a careful servant, and stable him for the
night as near as possible to the point at which you may require him
upon the following day. If you are fortunate enough to have a friend's
house to send him to, so much the better a great deal; but under any
circumstances it is pleasanter both for you and your animal that he
should be fresh and lively from his stable, and not that you should get
upon him when he is half-jaded and covered with mud, after a long and
tiresome road journey.

To drive to the meet or go by train yourself is the most agreeable way.
Some ladies ride hacks to covert, and then have their hunters to
replace them, but this is tiresome, and not to be advocated for various
reasons. If the morning is fine the drive will be pleasant, and you can
then send your conveyance to whatever point you deem it most likely the
hunt will leave off. You must, of course, exercise your judgment in the
endeavour to decide this, but you may assist it considerably by asking
the Master or the huntsman to be kind enough to give you a hint as to
the direction in which they will most probably draw.

We will, then, surmise that you drive to the meet. It is an excellent
plan, whether you drive or go by train, to take with you a small bag
containing a change of clothing; leave this in charge of your servant,
with directions where he is to meet you in the evening, and then,
should you come to grief in a dyke or river you can console yourself
with the knowledge that dry garments are awaiting you, and that you
will not have to encounter the risk of cold and rheumatism by sitting
in drenched habiliments in a train or vehicle. You will also, if wise,
take with you a foot-pick and a few yards of strong twine. Even if you
should not require them yourself you may be able to oblige others,
which is always a pleasure to a right-minded and unselfish huntress.
Take, likewise, a few shillings in your pocket to reward, if necessary,
the wreckers, whose tasks are at all times difficult and laborious, and
too often thankless.

Arrived at the meet, your horse and servant are waiting for you in good
time and order; but it is a little early yet, and so you look about
you.

What a pretty sight it is! How full of healthful interest and charming
variety! The day is bright and breezy--a little bit cloudy, perhaps,
but no sign of rain. A glorious hunting morning altogether. Numbers of
vehicles are drawn up, filled with happy-looking occupants, mostly
ladies and children. There are a good many dog-carts, polo-carts, and a
few tandems, from which gentlemen in ulsters and long white
saving-aprons are preparing to alight. It is nice to see their steeds,
so beautifully groomed and turned out, led up to the trap-wheels for
them to mount, without the risk of soiling their boots. Very particular
are these gentlemen. The day is muddy, and they know they must be
splashed and spattered as they ride to the covert-side, but they will
not leave the meet with a speck upon horse or rider. There is a
military-looking man--long, tawny moustache, and most perfect
get-up--divesting himself of his apron, and frowning because his
snow-white breeches are disfigured by just one speck of dirt; probably
it would be unobservable to anybody but himself, yet he is not the less
annoyed. A dapper little gentleman, in drab shorts and gaiters, is
covertly combing his horse's mane; and a hoary old fox-hunter, who has
just mounted, has drawn over close to the hedge, and extends first one
foot and then the other for his servant to remove the blemishes which
mounting has put upon his boots. This extreme fastidiousness is carried
by some to an absurd excess. I remember upon one occasion seeing a
gentleman actually re-enter his dog-cart and drive sulkily away from
the meet because he considered himself too much splashed to join the
cavalcade which was moving away to the covert, although he was fully
aware that a trot of a few hundred yards upon the muddy road in company
with numerous other horses would, under any circumstances, have
speedily reduced him to the condition which he was then lamenting.

A few ladies come upon the scene, and many more gentlemen; and then
comes the huntsman in proud charge of the beauties. The whips and
second horsemen come also, and the Master drives up about the same
time, and loses not a moment in mounting his hunter. The pack looks
superb, and many are the glances and words of commendation which it
receives.

Always have a smile and pleasant word for the huntsman and whips. They
deserve it, and they value it. I always make it a point to have a
little conversation with them before we leave the meet--in fact, I know
many of the hounds in the various packs by name, and I love to notice
them. Nothing pleases the huntsman more than to commend his charge: it
makes him your friend at once. Many a time when I have been holding
good place in a run, we have come across some dangerous fence which it
would be death to ride in a crowd, and the huntsman's shout of "Let the
lady first!" has secured me a safe jump, and a maintenance of my
foremost position.

All being now ready, you mount your horse. It would be well if some
gentleman friend or relative would look first to his girths, &c.; but,
should such not be available, do not be above doing it yourself.
Servants, even the best, are, as aforesaid, often careless, and a horse
may be sent out with girths too loose, throat-lash too tight, runners
out, or any of the thousand and one little deficiencies which an
interested and careful eye will at once detect.

Of course you have not come to hunt without having secured a good
pilot. You have, I hope, selected somebody who rides well and
straight--boldly, and yet with judgment--for, believe me, a display of
silly recklessness does not constitute good riding, however it may be
thought to do so by ignorant or silly persons. Your pilot will ride a
few yards in advance of you, and it will be your duty to keep him well
in view, and not to get separated from him. This latter you may at
times find difficult, as others may ride in between, but you must learn
smartness, and be prepared for all emergencies. Moreover, if your pilot
be a good one, he will see that you keep close to him, and, by glancing
over his shoulder after clearing each obstacle, will satisfy himself
that you also are safely over, and that no mischance has befallen you.
Any man who will not take this trouble is unfit to pilot a lady, for
whilst he is careering onward in all the glories of perfect safety, she
may be down in some ugly dyke, perhaps ridden on, or otherwise hurt;
and, therefore, it is his bounden duty to see that no evil befals her.
I cannot say that I consider the position of a trusty pilot at all an
enviable one, and few men care to occupy it in relation to a beginner
or timorous rider, although they are ever anxious to place their
services at the disposal of a lady who is known to "go straight."

In selecting a pilot, do so with judgment. Choose one who knows the
country, and who will not be too selfish nor too grand to take care of
you; for, remember, you are only a beginner, and will need to be taken
care of. If, then, you have secured the right sort of man, and your own
heart is in the right place, you may prepare to enjoy yourself, for a
real good day's hunting is the keenest enjoyment in which man or woman
can hope to participate in this life.

The trot to the covert-side is usually very pleasant. You and your
horse are quite fresh. You meet and chat with your friends. The two,
three, or four miles, as the case may be, seem to glide away very fast.
Then comes the anxious moment when the beauties are thrown in, and
all wait in eager suspense for the whimper which shall proclaim Reynard
at home. But not a hound gives tongue this morning. You can see
them--heads down, sterns up, beating here and there through the
gorse--but, alas! in silence; and, after a while, someone says, "No fox
here!" and presently your ear catches the sound of the huntsman's horn,
and the hounds come trooping out, almost as disappointed as the field.

Then the master gives the order for the next or nearest covert, and
there is a rush, and a move, and a long cavalcade forms upon the road,
headed, of course, by the hounds. Get well in front, if you can, so as
to be quite up when they reach their next try, for sometimes they find
as soon as ever they are thrown in, and are far away over the country
before the stragglers come up, and great, then, are the lamentations,
for hunting a stern-chase is, to say the least of it, not cheerful. You
will have another advantage, also, in being well forward, for your
horse will get the benefit of a temporary rest, whilst those who, by
lagging, have lost time at the start, are obliged to follow as best
they can upon the track, bucketing their horses, and thus depriving
them of the chance of catching their wind--which is, in a lengthened
run, of very material consequence.

One especial difference you observe between road-riding and hunting:
you are obliged to trot at a fast swinging pace such long tiresome
distances from covert to covert, without pause or rest, and you feel
already half tired out. Hitherto, when riding on the road, or in the
park, if you felt fatigued you have only had to pull up and walk; but
on hunting days there is no walking. The time is too precious, these
short, dark, wintry days, to allow of such "sweet restings." The
evening closes in so rapidly that we cannot afford to lose a moment of
our time, and so we go along at a sweeping pace. Nobody who is unable
to trot long distances without rest has any business hunting.



CHAPTER VII.

HOUNDS IN COVERT.--THE FIRST FENCE.--FOLLOW YOUR PILOT.--A RIVER-BATH.
--A WISE PRECAUTION.--A LABEL ADVISABLE.--WALL AND WATER JUMPING.
--ADVICE TO FALLEN RIDERS.--HOGGING.--MORE TAIL.


You have now arrived at the next covert, and have seen the hounds
thrown in. In an instant there is a whimper, taken up presently by one
and another, until the air rings with the joyous music of the entire
pack, as they rattle their game about, endeavouring to force him to
face the open. The whips are standing warily on the watch, the
huntsman's cheery voice is heard encouraging the hounds, the Master is
galloping from point to point, warning off idlers whose uninvited
presence would be sure to send the "varmint" back into his lair. Your
pilot, knowing that a run from here is a certainty, selects his vantage
ground. Being a shrewd man, he knows that no fox will face a keen
nor'-easter, nor will he be likely to brave the crowd of country
bumpkins, who, despite the Master's entreaties, are clustering about
yonder hedge. In short, there is only one point from which he
_can_ well break, and so your pilot prepares accordingly.

Another anxious moment ere the "Gone away! Tally-ho!" rings out upon
the keen air; and then follows that glorious burst which is worth
giving up a whole year of one's life to see. Hounds running breast
high, fairly flying, in fact; huntsmen, whips, horsemen, all in
magnificent flight, each riding hard for the foremost place, amid such
a chorus of delicious music as is never heard from any save canine
throats; and then, when the first big fence is reached, such hurry and
scurry! such tumbling and picking up again! such scrambling of dogs and
shouting of men! such cold baths for horses and riders! and oh, such
glory amongst the wreckers, as they stand tantalizingly at the edge of
the chasm in which so many are hopelessly struggling, whilst their
audacious cries of "What'll you give me, sir?" "Pull you out for a
sovereign, captain!" are heard and laughed at by the fortunate ones who
are safe upon the other side.

Your pilot has been a wise man. He selected his starting-point at the
sound of the very first opening out, and when the general scrimmage
took place he had his line chosen, and so has led you wide of the ruck,
yet in the wake of the hounds.

And here suffer me to advise you, if you should ever chance to be left
without a leader, do not fall into the mistake of following the others,
for my experience of hunting is that nine-tenths of those out do not
know _where_ they are going, nor where fox or hounds have gone
before them. Cut out a line for yourself, and follow the pack. A pilot
is, of course, a great acquisition, if he be a _good_ one, but
throughout some of my best runs I have performed the office for myself,
and have succeeded in being in at the death. But then I am not a
beginner, and I am surmising that _you_ are. Keep about six yards
behind your leader; follow him unswervingly, and jump after him, but
not on him. Always wait till he is well out of the way before you take
the fence in his wake. Your horse will jump more readily having the
example of his before him, but I cannot too well impress upon you the
necessity of allowing him to get well over before you attempt to
follow. One of the ugliest falls I ever got in my life was through
riding too close upon my leader. The run was a very hot one, and only
four of us were going at the time. None, in fact, but those who had
first-rate horses had been able to live through it. We came to a wide
branch of a river, swollen by recent rains. My pilot, going a rare
pace, jumped it safely; I came too fast upon him. My horse's nose
struck his animal's quarters, which, of course, threw my gallant little
mount off his balance, and prevented his landing. He staggered and fell
back, and we both got a drowning! I was dragged up with a boat-hook,
the horse swam on until he found a place to scramble up the bank, and
then galloped off over the country. I recollect standing dismally by
that river, my pilot and two wreckers scraping the mud from me, and
wringing my drenched garments, whilst two or three more were scouring
the adjacent lands in search of my truant steed. When, at length, he
was caught, I had eleven miles to ride to the place at which I had left
my trap, and was obliged on arriving to change every atom of my
clothing, and wash off the superabundant mud in a horse-bucket, kindly
lent for the occasion.

The fall involved the loss of the run, the loss of a habit, the loss of
many odd shillings to wreckers, the loss of my temper, a wound from the
boat-hook, and a heavy cold, the result of immersion on a perishing
winter day. All these disasters were the punishments consequent upon my
impetuosity in coming too close upon my leader; therefore, having thus
myself suffered, I warn you, from woful experience, never to tread upon
the horse jumping in advance of you. Allowing, even, that you do not
cannon against him, there is another casualty which may not improbably
occur. Supposing that he falls and throws his rider, your horse may in
alighting just chance to plant a foot upon the empty saddle of the
prostrate animal, the slippery nature of which throws him off his
balance, and you and he roll upon the earth together--perhaps receiving
a kick from your pilot's struggling mount. From this species of
accident many evils have from time to time arisen, and therefore I
dutifully endeavour to put you well upon your guard. I would also again
remind you that if you really mean to ride an intricate country, you
should never under any circumstances neglect to bring a change of
clothing, for you may at any moment be dyked, and to remain in wet
garments is highly dangerous,--not so long as you are exercising, but
during the journey to your home. It is not in the saddle, but in
vehicles and railway carriages that colds are contracted and the seeds
of disease are sown. It may not be out of place here to offer you a
piece of wholesome advice. Should you at any time have the ill-fortune
to be riding a kicking horse in the midst of a crowd, always put back
your hand when the cavalcade pauses, to warn those behind not to come
too close to the heels of your unquiet steed. By so doing you may save
an accident, and may, moreover, guard yourself from more than one
anathema. I once saw the horse of a fiery old General kicked by the
mount of a young nobleman, who thought it not worth his while to offer
an apology. "See here, young man," said the irate officer, riding up to
the offender's side, "whenever you come out to hunt on brutes like that
you should paste a danger-card upon your back, and not run the risk of
breaking valuable bones. I have said my say," he added, "and now _you
may go to the devil_!"

A few hints next as to jumping.

If, in the course of a run, you meet with stone walls, do not ride too
fast at them. Always steady your horse at such obstacles, and follow my
oft-repeated advice of leaving him abundant head-room. If you have to
cross a river or very wide ditch, come fast at it, in order that the
impetus may swing you safely over; few horses can cross a wide jump
without having what is called a "run at it." Never expect your animal
to take such obstacles at a stand, or under the disadvantages
consequent upon coming at them at a slow pace. Should the leap be a
river or wide water-jump, suffer your horse to _stretch forward his
head and neck_ when coming up to it. If you fail to do so, you will
most probably go in, for an animal who accomplishes his work requires
his liberty as an absolute necessity, and, if denied it, will teach
you, at the cost of a good wetting, to treat him next time with greater
consideration. You will frequently see men ride pretty boldly up to
some yawning chasm or ugly bullfinch--stop and look at it, hesitate an
instant, and then, by cruel spurring, urge an exhausted animal to take
it at a stand. This is truly bad horsemanship, and leads to many
direful results. A good rider will, on perceiving that the obstacle is
a formidable one, turn his horse round, take him some little distance
from it, and then, again turning, come fast at it--quick gallop, hands
down, horse's head held straight and well in hand, but without any
pulling or nervous reining in. Such a one will be pretty sure to get
safely over.

Should your horse, in jumping a fence, land badly, and slip his hind
legs into a gripe or ditch, do not wait more than an instant to see if
he can recover himself; you will know in that time whether he will be
likely to do so. The best advice I can give you is to kick your foot
free of the stirrup and jump off before he goes back. You will thus
keep your own skin dry; and, if you have been fortunate enough to
retain a light hold of the rein, you can rescue your horse without much
difficulty; for an animal, when immersed, makes such intelligent
efforts to release himself, that a very trifling assistance upon your
part will enable him to struggle safely to your side, when you can
remount him and try your chances of again picking up the hounds. Be
cautious, however, in pulling him up, that you do so over smooth
ground. I had a valuable young horse badly staked last season through
being dragged up over a clump of brushwood after a fall into the Lara
river.

Should your steed peck on landing over a fence you will be pretty
certain to come over his head, for this is an ugly accident, and one
very likely to occur over recently-scoured drains. You _may_,
however, save both yourself and him, if you are _smart_ in using
your hands in assisting him to recover his lost equilibrium.

In the event of your horse jumping short with you, either from having
taken off too soon or from any other cause, and falling upon you into a
gripe, you may (when you gain a little experience) be able to stick to
him without leaving the saddle. The first effort a fallen animal makes
is to try to get up; therefore, if you are not quite thrown, hold on to
his mane, and as he struggles to right himself make your effort to
regain your seat. Be guided, however, in doing this by observing with a
quick glance whether there are thorns or brambles overgrowing the
place, for if there are, and your horse on recovering himself strides
onward in the ditch, seeking a place at which he may get out, your face
will undoubtedly suffer. This sort of thing once occurred to me in the
course of a day's hunting. I held on to my animal when he fell, and
regained my seat without very much difficulty, but before I could
recover my hold of the bridle he had rushed forward, and my face was
terribly punished by the overhanging brambles.

Be very careful, in this matter of holding on to a fallen animal, not
to confound the mane with the rein. By clinging to the former you
assist yourself without in the smallest degree impeding the movements
of your horse; by clinging to the latter you seriously interfere with
his efforts at recovery, and most probably pull him back upon you.

And this brings me to the subject of hogging horses' manes. Never,
under any circumstances, allow an animal of yours to be thus
maltreated. Not only is it a vile disfigurement, depriving the horse of
Nature's loveliest ornament, but it also deprives the rider of a very
chief means of support in case of accident. Many a bad fall have I been
saved by clutching firmly at the mane, which an ignorant groom had oft
implored me to sacrifice; and many a good man and true have I seen
recover himself by a like action, when a hog-maned animal would
undoubtedly have brought him to grief. Grooms are especially fond of
this system of "hogging," and many a beauteous adjunct of Nature's
forming has been ruthlessly sacrificed to their ceaseless importunities
to be permitted to "smarten the baste." Tails, too, are remorselessly
clocked by these gentlemen of the stable; not that they really think it
an improvement, any more than they veritably admire the hogging
process, but it saves them trouble, it lightens their labours, they
have less combing and grooming to attend to. Tails were sent by Nature,
not merely as an ornament, but to enable the animal to whisk away the
flies, which in hot weather render its life a burthen. Man, the
ruthless master, by a cruel process of cutting and searing, deprives
his helpless slave of one of its most valued and most necessary
possessions. I do not myself advocate long switch tails, which are
rarely an ornament, being usually covered with mud; but I maintain that
"docking" is cruel and unnecessary, keeping the hairs closely and
evenly cut being quite sufficient for purposes of cleanliness, without
in any way interfering with the flesh; therefore, do not reject my
oft-repeated plea for "a little more tail."



CHAPTER VIII.

HOLDING ON TO A PROSTRATE HORSE.--IS IT WISE OR OTHERWISE?--AN
INDISCREET JUMP.--A DIFFICULT FINISH.--THE DANGERS OF MARSHY
GROUNDS.--ENCOURAGE HUMANITY.--A RECLAIMED CABBY!


To return to the subject of jumping.

In the event of an ordinary fall in landing over a fence, it is a vexed
question whether or not it is advisable to hold on by the rein whilst
your horse is on the ground. I do not now mean when he is sunk in a
ditch, but when he is prostrate upon even grass-land or upon smooth
earth. Many first-rate riders affirm that it is a highly dangerous
practice, therefore I am afraid to advocate it, and must speak with
reserve--as I did respecting the management of a rearing animal--but
for my own part I always do it. My experience is, that when a horse
struggles to his feet his movement is almost invariably retrograde. He
tries to get away, consequently his heels are turned from me; and so
long as I keep my hold of the bridle his head will be nearest me and
his feet furthest. He will not think of turning to kick me, unless he
be a vilely vicious brute, not worth his keep; and so I can hold him
with safety until I am up myself and ready to remount him. When my
horse falls with me on the flat, I roll clear of him without letting go
the rein, and as the only danger of a kick is whilst he is getting up,
I shield my head with one arm and slip the rein to its fullest length
with the other, thus allowing the animal so much head-room that he is
enabled to make that retrograde movement, or "dragging away," which is
natural to him, and which saves me from the possible contact of his
heels.

This is, in my opinion (which I cannot, of course, pretend to think
infallible), the best course to pursue. It is the one which I always
adopt, and I have never yet, except in one trifling instance, received
a kick from a fallen horse.

I remember one day, a couple of seasons ago, I was riding hard against
a very beautiful Imperial lady, who dearly loves a little bit of
rivalry. Neck and neck we had jumped most of the fences for forty
minutes or so, and both our steeds were pretty well beaten, for
the running had been continuous, without a check. We came to an
awful obstacle--a high thick-set hedge, so impenetrable that there
was no chance of knowing what might be on the other side. There was
but one little apology for a gap, and at this the Empress's pilot
rode--immediately putting up his hand as a warning to us not to follow,
and pointing lower down. I knew that when Bay Middleton thought there
was danger, it did, indeed, exist; but I was too much excited to stop.
We had the hunt all to ourselves, the hounds running right in front
of us, and not a soul with them. I came at the fence with whip, spur,
and a shout! My horse--than which a better never was saddled--rose to
the leap, and landing upon his head after a terrific drop, rolled
completely over. I was not much hurt, and whilst he was on his knees
getting up, I scrambled back to the saddle, and went on; but, oh! under
what dire disadvantages! My rein had caught upon a stake in the fence
and was broken clean off, and I fancy it was this chuck to my animal's
mouth which had thrown him out of his stride and caused him to blunder,
for it was the first and last mistake he ever made with me, nor could
I, in the hurry of regaining my seat unassisted, get my foot into the
stirrup; so I finished the run as if by a miracle, and astonished
myself even more than anybody else by bringing home the fox's brush as
a trophy that I was in at the death.

Always bear in mind when hunting that you are bound to save your horse
as much as possible. Jump no unnecessary fences; look out for a
friendly gate whenever you can find one at hand; and in going up hill
or over ploughed land, ease your animal and take your time. By acting
thus judiciously you will be able to keep going when others are
standing still. Always avoid bogs and heavy bottoms; they are most
treacherous, and swamp many an unwary hunter in their dangerous depths.
If you should ever have the bad fortune to be caught in one, dismount
at once, and lead your horse. It is not a pleasant thing to have to do,
but if you remain upon him, your weight, added to his own, will
probably sink him up to his saddle-girths, and there he will stick.

I would desire particularly to impress upon you that if your horse
carries you safely and brilliantly through one good run, you ought to
be contented with that, and not attempt to ride him a second. It is
through the unwise and cruel habit of riding beaten animals that half
the serious accidents occur. Also remember that if you are waiting at a
covert-side where there seems likely to be a delay, after your steed
has had a gallop or a long trot, you should get off his back and shift
your saddle an inch one way or the other, generally backwards, as
servants are usually apt in the first instance to place the saddle too
close upon the withers. By adopting this plan you will, when you again
get upon him, find him a new animal. If you or I were carrying a heavy
burthen upon our shoulders for a certain number of hours in precisely
the same position, would it not make a new being of us to have it eased
and shifted? And exactly so it is with the horse. A selfish man will
sit all day upon his beast, rather than take the trouble of getting off
his back; but against himself does it tell, for his animal is fagged
and jaded when that of a merciful man is able to keep its place in the
run.

There is nothing which should more fully engross the thoughts of the
humane hunter than kindly consideration towards the noble and beautiful
creature which God has sent to be the help of man. Your horse should be
your companion, your friend, your loved and valued associate, but never
your wronged and over-tasked slave. Humanity cries out with ready
uproar against the long list of grievances which animals have to
endure, yet how few of us exert ourselves to lighten the burthen by so
much as one of our fingers! There is not one of us who may not, if he
choose, be daily and hourly striving to curtail the load of misery
which the equine race is called upon to bear. We may not be fortunate
enough to possess horses ourselves upon which to exercise our humanity,
but can we not do something--yea, much--for others? Surely we can, if
we only possess the courage and the will. Even a word judiciously
spoken will often effect more than we could have hoped or supposed. Two
years ago I saw a cabman in Dublin cruelly ill-treating his horse. The
poor animal was resting its worn and tired body upon the stand, ready
for the wrench which its jaw would receive as soon as the next prospect
of a "fare" should excite the cupidity of its owner. One would have
thought that the sight of so much patient misery would have moved the
stoniest heart to suffer the hapless creature to enjoy its few moments
of needed repose. But no; the driver wanted some amusement, he was
weary of standing by himself, without some sort of employment to divert
his ignoble mind, and so he found such out. How? By beating upon the
front legs and otherwise cruelly worrying with the whip the poor
ill-used slave which he should have felt bound to protect. I saw it
first from a distance--more fully as I came near--and with a heart
bursting with sorrow and indignation, I crossed over and remonstrated
with the man. I said very little; only what I have tried to inculcate
in these pages--that humanity to quadrupeds is not only a duty which we
owe to their Creator, but will in time repay ourselves. I expected
nothing but abuse, and, indeed, the man's angry face and half-raised
whip seemed to augur me no good; but, suddenly, as something that I
said came home to him, his countenance softened, and, laying his hand
quite gently upon the poor beaten side of the animal which he had been
ill-treating, he said: "Well, if there was more like _you_, there
'ud be less like me! _that's_ the thruth, at all events." And then
he said no more, for he was satisfied that I knew I had not spoken in
vain. For two years that man has been my constant driver. He is almost
daily at my door: he drives me to and from the trains when going to and
returning from the hunts, and dearly loves to hear something of the
runs; nor is there a more humane driver nor a better cared horse in any
city of the empire.

I have related this true incident, not from any egotism--God is my
witness--but merely to show you how good is "a word in season." You may
speak many which may be, or may seem to be, of none effect, but, like
the "bread upon the waters," you know not when it may return unto you
blessed.



CHAPTER IX.

SELFISHNESS IN THE FIELD.--FORDING A RIVER.--SHIRKING A FENCE.--
OVER-RIDING THE HOUNDS.--TREATMENT OF TIRED HUNTERS.--BIGWIG
AND THE MAJOR.--NAUGHTY BIGWIG.--HAPLESS MAJOR.


You must be particularly cautious in the hunting-field to avoid being
cannoned against. There is no other place in the whole world where
there is so little ceremony; and so very, very little politeness. It is
verily a case of "Every man for himself, and the devil take the
hindmost!" There is scarcely one man in the entire field who will not
in his heart of hearts resent your presence, and so he will pay you no
court. The crowding at gaps, and at certain negotiable places in
different well-known fences is simply disgraceful; and persons--I
cannot call them gentlemen--ride each other down like dogs. At such
places you will be fortunate if you can enlist a friend to ride behind
you, and thus prevent your being jumped upon in the event of a fall.

I must not omit to remind you that in crossing a ford your horse will
be very apt to lose his footing. You will know when he does so by his
making a kind of plunge, and an endeavour to swim, which he only does
when he feels himself out of his depth. If at such a time you interfere
with his mouth, he will _inevitably_ roll over. Your only chance
is to throw him the reins, and let him scramble or swim as he finds
easiest. If the latter, lift your left leg (with foot still in the
stirrup) completely over the third crutch, that he may not strike your
heel with his near hind foot, or become in any way entangled with the
stirrup or in your skirt. At the same time grasp the up-pommel firmly
with your hand, that you may not be unseated when he makes his second
struggle, which he will do as soon as he recovers his footing at the
bottom of the water.

A horse who shirks his fences is a terrible infliction to have to
ride. Of course the first refusal condemns you to lose your place, for
it is the etiquette of the hunting-field that if your horse refuses
you must at once draw aside and let the whole field go by before you
again essay it. But, provoked though you may be, do not allow yourself
to be vanquished. If you do not now gain the victory your horse will
always be your conqueror. Bring him again to the leap, keeping his
head straight and your hands low and firm. If he refuses a second
time, bring him round again and again, always turning him from right
to left--that is, with the pressure upon you right rein--and not
suffering him to have his own way. Remember that if you suffer him to
conquer you or bring him to any other part of the fence than that
which he is refusing, you will thoroughly spoil him. Do not, however,
treat him with harshness. Coax him and speak gently to him. It may be
nervousness, not temper; and if so, you will soon get him over by
kindly encouragement. The horse is essentially a timid creature. He is
oftentimes subjected to cruelties for his "obstinacy," where a little
kindness and a few reassuring words would be infinitely more
effectual. Every glance of your eye, every look upon your countenance
is noted by your horse whilst he can see you, and, when you are upon
his back, your words fall upon highly sensitive ears. A horse's soul
is full of affection for his owner. He _yearns_ to please him.
He would yield his life to serve him. Alas! how is such nobility
requited? Man's cruelty converts a peerless and incomparable companion
into a terrified and trembling slave. Young limbs are heavily weighted
before they have had time to grow; dark, wretched, solitary
confinement too early takes the place of the open air and free
pasturage to which the creature would fain a little longer cling;
young heads, pining for freedom, are tied or chained up in melancholy
imprisonment. The numerous little devices with which the captive
strives to while away the tedium of its captivity are punished as
"vices" by heartless and ignorant grooms. Nervousness is called bad
temper, and timidity regarded as a punishable offence. All the horrors
of the modern stable are brought to bear upon the priceless creature
who is born to freedom, and whose fettered limbs he is scarce
permitted to stretch. A rack of dry, and oftentimes vitiated hay is
placed _above_ the head which was created to stoop to gather the
juicy grasses of the earth. A measure of hard dry corn, or a bucket of
water, is periodically brought and thrust before the prisoner, who
eats and drinks for mere pastime, often without appetite, and whose
frequent rejection of the offered dainties is regarded as "sulkiness"
or "vice." The whole system of modern stable management is lamentably
at fault. I cannot hope to remedy it. I cannot persuade obstinate
humanity that the expenditure of a few shillings will turn in as many
pounds: that by the bestowal of proper care, proper housing, light,
and exercise, and proper clothing, food, and drink, the slave will
repay by longer life and more active service the care and kindness
which Christianity should deem a pleasure and privilege, instead of,
as now, a compulsory and doled-out gift. I cannot expect to remedy
these wide and universal evils, nor yet can you; but we are bound--you
and I--to guard against such things in our own management. If your
horse oppose you through nervousness, you can conquer him by kindness;
if through obstinacy, which is occasional but not frequent, you must
adopt a different plan. Use your spur and whip, and show that you will
not be mastered, though you stay there till the stars come out. You
will be sure to conquer ere long, unless your horse is one of those
inveterate brutes which are, fortunately, rarely to be met with, and
when you succeed in getting him over the obstacle at which he has
sulked, put him at it again, making him take it backwards and
forwards, and he will not be likely to trouble you by a repetition of
his pranks.

You must be very cautious in the hunting-field not to leave yourself
open to any suspicion of over-riding the hounds; keep close to them,
but never so near as to be upon them. Over-riding hounds is a piece of
unpardonable caddishness of which no gentleman, and certainly no lady,
would be guilty; yet it is done; and then, when the master's wrath is
aroused, the innocent suffer with the guilty, for many who are not
absolutely offenders, ride too close in their zeal for the pleasures of
the chase.

When your day's sport is over, and you are riding back to the place at
which you expect to meet your trap, remember that the easiest way to
bring your horse in is in a quiet jog-trot. It is nonsense to walk him,
for he will only stiffen, and will be the longer away from his stable
and his needed rest. If you chance to come across a piece of water,
ride him to it and let him have a few "go downs,"--six or eight, but
not more. When you get off his back, see that his girths are loosed at
once, and, if very tired, a little water thrown over his feet. He
should then be taken quietly home--if by road, in the same easy
trot--and just washed over and turned into a loose box, where he can
tumble and luxuriate without submitting to any of the worries of
professional grooming. Fifteen minutes after my return from hunting,
my horse--sheeted and comfortable--is feeding quietly in his stall,
enjoying his food and rest; instead of standing in some wet corner of a
cold yard, with his unhappy head tied up by an unsympathizing rope, and
a fussy groom worrying his tired body with a noisy display of most
unnecessary zeal. And this is as it ought to be. Horses are like human
beings,--they like to _rest_ when wearied, and their chief
desire--if we would only believe it--is to be left alone. But we are
incredulous, and so we hang about them, and fuss and worry the fagged
and patient creatures who would fain appeal to us for a cessation of
our attentions.

There are few things more truly delightful than a mutual understanding
and affection between horse and rider, and this can easily be arrived
at by kindness and care. I have a hunter--Bigwig, son of The
Lawyer--who follows me all over the place, knows my voice from any
distance, rubs his nose down my dress, puts it into my pocket to look
for apples, and licks my hands and face like a dog; yet I have done
nothing to induce all this, except treating him with uniform justice
and kindness. He has carried me most brilliantly through three
successive seasons without one single display of sulk or bad temper. He
knows not the _touch_ of a whip. I carry one, that the long lash,
passed through his bridle, may assist him when necessary in getting
over a trappy fence, at which I may deem it prudent to dismount, but
the sight of it never inspires him with fear; if I showed it to him, he
would probably lick it, and then gaze inquiringly at me to see if I
were pleased with the novel performance. To me, this noble and
beautiful creature is a priceless companion; yet, strange to say,
nobody else (not even the most accomplished rider) can obtain any good
of him. It is not that he displays vice, but he simply will not allow
himself to be ridden. I once happened to mention this fact at our
private dinner-table, in presence of a distinguished major, who had
been boasting largely of his prowess in the saddle, and who at once
offered to lay me ten to one that he would master the animal in
question within five minutes. "I do not bet," I said, "but I will
venture to assert that you will not be able to ride him out of the yard
within as many hours." He took me up at once, and, as a good many
sporting men were dining with us, who evidently enjoyed the prospect of
a little excitement, I quietly called a servant, and sent orders to the
groom to saddle Bigwig without delay. It was a lovely evening in
summer, and we all adjourned to the yard to view the performance.

The moment my beautiful pet saw me he whinnied joyously and strove to
approach me, but I dared not go near him, in case it should be thought
that by any sort of "Freemasonry" I induced him to carry out my words.
The sight was most amusing; the gentlemen all standing about, smoking
and laughing; the horse suspicious, and not at ease, quietly held by
the groom, whose face was in a grin of expectation, for none knew
better than he what was likely to ensue. The major prepared to mount,
and Bigwig stood with the utmost placidity; although I must confess he
was naughty enough to cast back an eye, which augured no good to the
gallant representative of Her Majesty's service. He mounted without
difficulty, took up the reins, and evidently prepared for a struggle;
but none such ensued. Bigwig tucked his tail very tight to his body,
walked quietly forward for a yard or two, and then, suddenly standing
up as straight as a whip, the defeated major slid over his tail upon
the hard ground, whilst the horse trotted back to his box.

I have related for you this anecdote, not merely for your amusement,
but to teach you never to boast. A braggart is ever the first to fall,
and nobody sympathizes with him. If you become ever so successful in
your management of horses, do not exert yourself to proclaim it. Suffer
others to find it out if they will; but do not tell them of it, lest
some day you share the fate of the prostrate and discomfited major.



CHAPTER X.

FEEDING HORSES.--FORAGE-BISCUITS.--IRISH PEASANTRY.--A CUNNING
IDIOT.--A CABIN SUPPER.--THE ROGUISH MULE.--A DAY AT COURTOWN.--
PADDY'S OPINION OF THE EMPRESS.


I said at the commencement of these pages that I should offer little or
no discourse upon the general management of horses; yet, in one
reserved instance, I may be permitted to break through my rule. If you
want your hunters to thrive, do not let them have a single grain of raw
oats. People have laughed at me when I said this, and have scarcely
waited for the turning of my back to call me a mad woman; but a few of
the scoffers have since come to thank me, and if you adopt my plan you
will think that this little volume would have been cheap at a ten-pound
note. There are, of course, times when raw oats must be given, for your
horse may not always be in your own stable. At such times it is a good
plan to mix chopped clover or grass through the feeding, taking care
that grain and clover be thoroughly mingled. The judicious mixture of
green meat will go far towards counteracting the binding effects which
raw oats will be likely to have upon a horse not accustomed to it, and
will also induce him to masticate his food, which an animal inured to
softer feeding will otherwise be apt to neglect, wasting the corn by
dropping it from his mouth in a slobbering fashion, making no use
whatever of his grinders, and swallowing a certain portion without
chewing it at all. I am, for various tried reasons, a thorough advocate
for Mayhew's and Shingler's style of feeding upon cooked food, mingled,
of course, with good sweet hay, or an admixture of the juicy grasses
upon which the animal in its unfettered state would be prone to live.

In my stable-yard are a large boiler and an unlimited supply of good
water. The groom boils sufficient oats to do for two or three days,
and, when cool, mixes through it a small proportion of bruised Indian
corn. On this the horses are fed as with ordinary oats three times
daily, and so enjoy the feeding that not one grain is left in the
mangers, which are placed _low upon the ground_. The surest proof
of the efficacy of this excellent and economical feeding is that my
horses never sweat, never blow, never tire. When other hunters are
standing still, mine have not turned a hair; and, as prize-winners and
brilliant goers, they cannot be excelled.

The principle I go on is this:--If I eat a cupful of raw rice, it
certainly does me no good; but if I boil it, it makes three or four
times the quantity of good, wholesome, digestible food, every grain of
which goes to the nourishment of my body. And it is precisely so with
the oats and the horse. In addition to this feeding, I give abundance
of good, sweet, _moist_ hay, varied by green food in summer,
substituting carrots in the winter-time, of which vegetable they are
particularly fond. The carrots are given whole, either from my hand or
put loosely in the manger. I never suffer them to be cut up, unless it
be done _very finely_, either by myself or under my supervision, to
induce a delicate feeder to taste his food through which the chopped
carrots are rubbed. Grooms, with their accustomed ignorance, are almost
always in favour of the "cutting up," but I regard it as a most
dangerous practice. If the carrot be left whole the horse will nibble
at it, and will bite off just such pieces as he knows he can chew and
swallow, but there is more than one instance upon record of horses
choking themselves with pieces of cut carrot, and very many who have
nearly done so. I can feed my horses upon this system for very little
more than half the sum which my neighbours are expending, with
advantages which are certainly fourfold. I consider it an excellent
plan to vary horses' feeding, as it tells quite as beneficially upon
animals as upon ourselves;--and for this purpose there cannot, in my
opinion, be anything better than the forage-biscuits, manufactured
by Spratt & Co., Henry Street, London, ten of which are equal to one
good feed of oats, and are so relished that not so much as a crumb
is suffered to go to waste. They combine all the most nutritious of
grains, with dates and linseed added in such proportions as experience
has pointed out to the inventor to be the best. They are then baked,
and thoroughly dried, so that they are entirely deprived of moisture,
and will consequently keep good for any length of time. The baking
process being complete, they are, when eaten, practically
half-digested,--or, as I may say, they present the materials to the
horse in the most digestible form in which it is possible to give them.
There are certain chemicals used in very minute quantities in the
manufacture of these biscuits, which are productive of highly
beneficial effects upon animals thus fed,--improving their muscular
development, and imparting to their coats a peculiarly healthy and
brilliant appearance. One feed of the forage-biscuits three or four
times weekly is the proper allowance,--and they should be given whole,
as the same objection applies to the breaking of them as I have set
forth in my dissertation upon the cutting up of carrots.

I now desire to warn you that if you hunt in Ireland you must be
prepared for the laughable and most ingenious frauds which the poor
people--alas! _how_ poor--will certainly endeavour to practise upon
you. I can, and do most fully, commiserate their poverty, but with
their attempts at imposition I have long since lost patience. Doubtless
they think that everybody who hunts is of necessity a rich person, and
conceive the idea that by fleecing the wealthy they will aid in
blotting out the poverty of the land. Nothing delights the old
cottage-woman more than to kill an ancient hen or duck on a
hunting-morning, and then, when the hunt comes sweeping past her door,
out rushes the beldame with the bird concealed beneath her apron, and
throwing it deftly--positively by a species of sleight of hand--beneath
your horse's hoofs, kicks up a mighty whining, and declares that you
have "kilt her beauty-ful fowl!" I was so taken aback upon the first of
these occasions that I actually stopped and paid the price demanded;
but, finding that the same thing occurred the following week in a
different locality, I ascertained that it was a trick and declined to
be farther hocussed.

It is likewise a common thing for a man to accost you, demanding a
shilling, and declaring that it was he who pulled your ladyship's horse
out of the ditch or quagmire on such and such a day. You do not
remember ever having seen his face before; but if you are a hard-riding
lady you will be so frequently assisted out of difficulties that you
cannot undertake to say who nor how many may have helped you
unrewarded, and, being unwilling that any should so suffer, you bestow
the coin, most likely in many instances, until you find that your
generosity has become known and is consequently being traded upon.

I remember one day, a couple of winters ago, when returning from
hunting, I lost my way, and being desirous of speedily re-finding it, I
accosted a ragged being whom I saw standing at a corner where four
roads met, and inquired of him the most direct route to the point which
I was desirous of reaching. The creature hitched his shoulders,
scratched his collarless neck, pushed the hat from his sunburnt
forehead, and, finally, looking down and rubbing the fore-finger of his
right hand upon the palm of his left, thus delivered himself:

"I axed him for a ha'penny, and he wouldn't give it to me; but he put
his hand into his pocket and pulled out a pinny, and gave it to me, and
I took it in--ho, ho! and he gave me a letter to take up to Mrs.
Johnston, and when I took it to her, she opened it and read it. Now,
didn't I give her the letter?"

"Really," said I, "I know nothing about Mrs. Johnston nor her letter. I
want to know the nearest way to Dunboyne station."

"I axed him for a ha'penny," began the man again. And then I had the
whole story of the "pinny" and "Mrs. Johnston" repeated for me over and
over, without a smile or any variation, until my vexation vanished, and
I fairly roared with laughter. Guessing at once how the land lay, I
produced a little coin with which I presented him, and which he
immediately pocketed, and, touching his ragged feather, pointed down
one of the roads, and said quite sensibly, "That's the right road, my
lady." And so I found it. This man, I was subsequently informed, made
quite a respectable maintenance by stationing himself at the
cross-roads on daily duty, and informing every passer-by that he "axed
for a ha'penny" but was generously treated to a "pinny," together with
the story of Mrs. Johnston and her letter, accompanied by all the
shruggings, and scratchings, and sniffings, which never failed to
provoke the laughter of the hearer and to elicit the coveted coin.

The Irish, with all their little failings, are a hospitable people, and
full of pungent wit. I was one evening wending my way to Sallins
station, after a long and wearisome day's hunting. My tired horse was
suffering from an over-reach, and I was taking him as quietly as I
could, consistently with my anxiety to be in time to catch the train by
which I desired to return to town. So utterly jaded were we both--I and
my steed--that the way appeared very long indeed, and I asked the first
countryman whom I met how far it was to Sallins. "Three miles," he told
me, and I jogged on again. When we had traversed quite a long distance,
and I thought I must be very near my journey's end, I ventured upon
asking the same question of a farmer whom I met riding a big horse in
an opposite direction to that in which I was myself going. It was a
matter of about two miles, he told me, or mayhap three, but not more he
thought, and I was certainly not going wrong; I was on the right road,
and no mistake. I took out my watch. No hope for me now. I was
undoubtedly late for the train which I had hoped to catch, and must
wait two long hours for the next. A poor-looking little cottage was
close at hand; to it I trotted, and looked in at the door. The family
were at supper, all gathered about a narrow table, in the middle of
which lay a pile of unpeeled potatoes and a little salt. The mule, upon
which much of their fortune depended, was supping with them; thrusting
his poor attenuated nose over the shoulders of the children, and
occasionally snatching a potato, always receiving a box for so doing,
to which, however, he paid no sort of heed. I was at once invited to
enter, and gladly accepted the invitation, for I was cold and tired,
pleased to ease my horse and get him a draught of meal and water. I sat
down in the chimney-corner, thankful for the rest, but determined to
withstand all entreaties to share the family supper, and my risible
faculties were sorely put to the test, when my host, balancing a potato
upon his fork and dipping it in the salt, presented it to me, saying,
"Arrah! take it my lady, just _for the jig o' the thing_!" Of
course I took it; and never have I enjoyed the richest luxury of an
_à la Russe_ dinner more than that simple potato in a poor man's
cabin, in company with the mule and the pigs. When I stood up to go I
carefully inquired the distance, for it was dark, and I had long since
lost the remainder of my party. The man offered to accompany me to the
station, and I believe he was actuated solely by civility, and not by
any hope of gain. My horse was sadly done up; he had stiffened on the
over-reach, and limped painfully. We proceeded but slowly, and, sighing
for the patient suffering of my dearly-loved steed, I made the
observation that the miles were very long indeed. "They _are_
long, my lady," said the man, who was walking before me with a
lanthorn; "but, shure and faith, if they're long they're narra'!" And
with this most intelligent observation he closed his mouth, and left me
to ponder upon it undisturbed until we arrived at the station.

One more anecdote, and I have done with them.

On one of last season's hunting-days the hounds met at Courtown, and
great excitement was abroad, for the Imperial lady was expected to join
the chase. She was, however, prevented through indisposition from
attending, but Prince Liechtenstein and a very distinguished company
came over from Summerhill. As we were trotting to the covert the
country-folks were all on the alert, for not having heard of the
disappointment respecting the Empress they were anxiously expecting
her, and many were the surmises respecting her identity. I was riding
close to the front, escorted by Lord Cloncurry, and as we swept past
one of the wayside cottages, two men and a woman rushed out to stare at
us and to give their opinions upon the "Impress." "Which is she?" cried
the female, shading her eyes to have a good look,--"That must be
_her_ in front, with his lordship. Oh! isn't she lovely? A quane,
every inch!"

"Arrah! shut up, woman," said one of the men, testily interrupting her.
"That's not her at all, nor a taste like her! _The Impress is a
good-lookin' woman._" I need not say that this genuinely-uttered
remark took the wind completely out of my sails, and that I have never
since dreamed of comparing my personal appearance with that of any
woman whom an Irishman would call "good-lookin'."



CHAPTER XI.

THE DOUBLE-RISE.--POINTING OUT THE RIGHT FOOT.--THE FORCE OF HABIT.
--VARIOUS KINDS OF FAULT-FINDING.--MR. STURGESS' PICTURES.--AN
ENGLISH HARVEST-HOME.--A JEALOUS SHREW.--A SHY BLACKSMITH.--HOW
IRISHMEN GET PARTNERS AT A DANCE.


I shall now touch very briefly upon one or two points which I have not
before mentioned, but which may, nevertheless, prove interesting to
some lady riders.

Firstly, then, I shall speak of the annoyance--sometimes a serious
one--which ladies experience from what is known as the _double
rise_ in the trot. I have been asked is it preventible. Before
suggesting a remedy for anything--be it ailment or habit--we must
endeavour to get at the _cause_ of the evil complained of. The
most successful medical men are those who first take time and pains to
ascertain the wherefore, and then seek to effect the cure.

The extremely ungraceful and unpleasant motion known as the "double
rise" is attributable to two distinct causes. It is due either to the
horse or to the rider, and to the one quite as frequently as to the
other. A large, heavy animal, with slow and clumsy action will, if
ridden by a lady, be almost certain to necessitate the double rise.
This I know by the certainty derived from experience. I was staying
some time ago at a house in the midst of our finest hunting county in
Ireland, namely, royal Meath. The owner was a great hunting-man in both
senses of the word, for he was a superb cross-country rider, and, if
put in the scales, would pull down sixteen stone. Being a top-weight he
always rode immense horses--elephants I used to call them, greatly to
his indignation. Very good he was about lending me one of these huge
creatures whenever I felt desirous of joining the chase, which I
confess was but seldom, for the first day upon which I accepted a mount
we left off eighteen miles from home, and I was so exhausted by the
time we arrived there, that I fairly fainted before reaching my own
chamber. It was not the distance which tired me, although it was a
pretty good one, but the fact that I was troubled with the double-rise
all the way. I strove in vain to remedy it by urging my gigantic steed
to a faster trot, and making him go up to his bridle; but the moment I
began to experience a little relief, my companion--dear old man, now in
heaven!--would say, "Well, that is the worst of ladies riding: they
must always either creep in a walk, or bucket their horses along at an
unnecessary pace. _Why_ can't you jog on quietly, as I do?" He
was clearly not suffering from the annoyance which was vexing and
fatiguing me. I looked at him closely, watched his motion in the
saddle--that slow, slow rise and fall--I compared it with mine, our
pace being the same, and the mystery was at once solved. Both horses
were trotting exactly together, keeping step, as the saying goes, yet
my companion was at ease whilst I was in torment. Why was this? Because
he had a leg at either side of his mount, his weight equally
distributed, and an equal support upon both sides; in fact, he had, as
all male riders have, the advantage of a _double_ support in the
rise; consequently, at the moment when his weight was removed from the
saddle, it was thrown upon both feet, and this equal distribution
enabled him to accomplish without fatigue that slow rise and fall which
is so tiring to a lady, whose weight when she is out of the saddle is
thrown entirely upon one delicate limb, thus inducing her to fall
again as soon as possible, which, if riding a clumsy animal, she is
constrained to do _at variance_, as it were, with his tedious and
heavy motion, and hence the inconvenience of the double rise.

To illustrate my meaning, and explain more fully how it happens that
men never complain of this particular evil: a man will be able to stand
in his stirrups for a considerable time, even to ride a gallop so
doing, because he transfers his weight _equally_ to this feet; but
how rarely do we see a lady balanced upon one leg! Never, except it be
for a single instant whilst arranging her skirt or trying her stirrup.
The sensation is not agreeable, and would be, moreover, unpleasantly
productive of wrung backs.

A heavy horse is never in any way suitable to a lady. It _looks_
amiss. The trot is invariably laboured, and if the animal should chance
to fall, he gives his rider what we know in the hunting-field as "a
mighty crusher!" It is, indeed, a rare thing to meet a perfect "lady's
horse." In all my wide experience I have met but two. Breeding is
necessary for stability and speed--two things most essential to a
hunter; but good _light_ action is, for a roadster, positively
indispensable, and a horse who does not possess it is a burden to his
rider, and is, moreover, exceedingly unsafe, as he is apt to stumble at
every rut and stone.

The double rise may also, as I said, be quite attributable to the
rider. A careless way of riding may occasion it, sitting loosely in the
saddle, and allowing your horse to go asleep over his work. Pull you
mount together, so as to throw his weight upon his haunches, not upon
his shoulders. Keep your reins close in hand. Rise, so that you shall
be out of the saddle when his off fore-leg is thrown out, and I do not
think you will have much to complain of from the annoyance occasioned
by the double rise.

I have dwelt upon this subject because so many have asked me privately
for a cure for it, and I have surmised that numerous others, who have
not had opportunity--nor perhaps courage--to ask, will nevertheless be
pleased to receive a hint.

It has also been inquired of me whether there is any remedy for that
excessively unsightly practice of sticking out the right foot when in
the saddle, as we have seen so many ladies do, until the toe is
positively almost resting upon the horse's neck. There is, of course, a
remedy; a most effectual one. _Don't do it._ It is quite possible
and even easy to keep the right leg as close to the saddle as the left,
the toe pointing downward, and the knee well bent. I know, however,
that in some cases the position objected to is consequent upon the
up-pommel of the saddle being placed too near the off one, thus there
is not sufficient space for the leg to lie easily, and consequently it
sticks out in the ungraceful manner so often seen and deplored.

In many instances, also, it is habit; a bad practice, indulged in at
first without notice, and then, when confirmed, most difficult to
eradicate. These pernicious habits are extremely apt to grow upon all
of us, unless most carefully watched, I have seen ladies utterly
disfigure their appearance in the saddle by placing a hand upon their
side, or, worse again, behind their back, and riding along in this
jaunty style with an air as though they thought themselves the most
elegant creatures in creation. Others keep their elbows a-kimbo, and
fairly churn themselves in the saddle with every rise and fall. Others,
again, acquire a habit of tipping their horse with the whip in an
altogether unnecessary manner. It is not actually enough to hurt the
animal, but is amply sufficient to worry and ruffle his temper. No
horse fit to carry a lady requires to be constantly reminded of his
work. A whip in a woman's hand should be more for show, and to give
completeness to the picture, than for purposes of castigation. Nothing
looks worse nor more ungentle than to see it wantonly applied. It has
been said, "Spare the rod and spoil the child," but I cannot agree with
the theory. Rod and whip may be alike useful in (happily) isolated
cases, but I do not envy the disposition of child or animal who cannot
be made amenable by less ungentle means. Practices which are the result
of habit may be checked, and quite effectually, by the bestowal of a
little care. We want first some kindly friend to tell us of them; we
next require the common sense and good feeling not to be offended at
the telling; and, finally, we need the patience and perseverance which
are born of the _determination_ to overcome the fault. With regard
to the telling, how few of us know how to tell! There are just the two
ways, or perhaps I should say three. There is the cold, carping,
disagreeable fault-finding manner, which picks holes for the mere
pleasure of picking them, and the unworthy delight of seeing how the
victim writhes beneath the torture. There is the snake-like, insidious
fault-finding--the worst and most dangerous of all--which invariably
commences with the words, "You know, my dear, I am only telling you for
your own good." This species of fault-finding is peculiar to the
_female_ friend, and is invariably served up with an admixture of
honey and gall, so skilfully compounded that the very soul of the
listener is exercised and deceived. "Her words were smoother than oil,
yet were they drawn swords." Lastly, there is the genuine, honest,
open-hearted, fault-finding, which bears no malice, and is too true to
clothe itself with the garment of deceit. By this alone we should be
influenced or seek to influence others; but, for my own part, as I have
already said, I have found the world so inordinately self-opinionated
and determined _not_ to be advised, that I have long since ceased
to offer counsel, and only give it when requested. Long ago, when I
first began to write, I was jealous of all interference, and invariably
prefaced my letters to my Editors with, "Please do not alter anything
in my MS." Poor blind child I was then, groping about in the dark, and
sadly needing the helping hand which I was so obstinately rejecting.
Well, we gain sense with years, and wisdom with experience. Now that I
have got on in the world, in every sense of the word, I am only too
anxious for advice, and ready to grasp at every friendly hint.

And so it should be with riding as with writing. Take all kindly
counsel in good part, and if given advice ask for more. Bad habits grow
upon us with giant force; they strengthen with our strength, because we
know not of them, or blindly refuse to be controlled. I dare say a good
many of us are acquainted with a very famous queen of song who always
holds her hands crossed and her thumbs turned stiffly up whilst she is
singing. I do not believe she is at all aware of the peculiarity of her
attitude, and perhaps she could not sing half so well nor sweetly if
she altered it. In like manner I told you, in the earlier portion of
this volume, of a young lady who could not ride a yard without laying a
firm grip upon the off-pommel of her saddle. These things are habit;
we do them without consciousness; we are not aware of anything unusual
in ourselves, but when the knowledge comes to us (which it soon will if
we are known to possess sufficient sweetness to take a hint) we should
turn it to advantage, and so improve with time.

I recollect that when these writings of mine were first issued in the
journal to which they originally owed their appearance, a dear lady
wrote to me all the way from Rhode Island, U.S.A., asking me for hints
upon various subjects, and likewise offering me a few such, with so
much sweetness that I not alone accepted, but welcomed and adopted
them. She asked me many questions relative to the pictures with which
my various subjects were illustrated, and admired very warmly the
spirited drawings which Mr. Sturgess had made of my leap into the
farmyard and also of "The first fence." Many of my readers may
recollect them; and as there was, at the time, much discussion
respecting the position of my feet as portrayed in the former picture,
I take this opportunity of ranging myself upon the artist's side, for,
after much thoughtful inspection of the picture, I arrived at the
conclusion that he was perfectly correct, and the position quite such
as must of necessity be, in the event of a runaway steed clearing such
an obstacle with a wearied and startled rider scarce able to retain her
seat upon his back. Even had the artist been mistaken--which I am bound
to say he was not--the matter need scarcely have evoked criticism, for
his strong point is his delineation of horses, and as he has no equal
in this particular branch of art, he may well be forgiven if such
trifles as a lady's feet occasionally puzzle him a little! Moreover, he
draws with a view to producing effect as much as ensuring stereotyped
correctness. I recollect when I saw that picture I sounded my protest
against the flowing skirt and flying veil: two things quite foreign to
my style of riding-dress, which is always severely close-fitting and
_curtailed_. His answer certainly carried weight. The skirt and
veil were necessary to impart an appearance of rapid motion, or flying
through the air. He was quite right, and I was decidedly wrong. I felt
ashamed of myself, begged his pardon mentally, and atoned for my
audacity by henceforward believing blindly in his judgment.

I recollect laughing much at the time at a grave suggestion made to me
by a dear old lady, who thought there might be a particular reason why
Mr. Sturgess was (in her opinion) less successful in depicting lady
equestrians than when pursuing any other branch of his enchanting art.
Neither she nor I had or have, unfortunately, the pleasure of his
personal acquaintance, but we thought there might possibly be somebody
in authority who strongly objected to his studying the details of the
fair creatures whom he has occasionally to draw. To show that such
things may be, and actually are, in real life, I recollect that when I
was staying some two or three years ago at a famous house in the north
of England, a gay harvest-home took place, and the servants and
labourers had a dance in the barn. I and my husband, our host and
hostess, and numerous guests staying at the castle, went out to see the
fun, and greatly was I struck with the gallant appearance of the old
barn, so gaily decorated with corn, and the fiddler fiddling away upon
a beer-barrel! A mighty cheer was raised for us when we all, in full
evening dress, joined the motley company of revellers, and the lord of
the soil led off a country dance with a blushing mountain-lass,
followed by her ladyship with an equally humble partner. The blacksmith
was an Irishman, and looked very shy, as Irishmen invariably do in
presence of the fair sex(?) I knew him as a workman upon the estate--I
knew also that his wife, a very ugly woman, was a terribly jealous
shrew--and, actuated by a spirit of mischief, I went and asked him to
dance; but he only grinned, blushed, and said, "No, thank you, ma'am;
_I'm a married man!_" My husband, who was standing by, said
laughingly, "Why, Brian, you ought to feel flattered to be asked. Give
Mrs. O'Donoghue your arm, and take your place for the dance." "O,
faix," said Brian, hastening to obey, "if _you_ have no objection,
I'm sure _I_ have none. _Let her come on!_ Only," he added,
pausing and scratching his head, "begorrah, _I hope my wife won't see
me!_"



CHAPTER XII.

SUBJECT OF FEEDING RESUMED.--COOKED FOOD RECOMMENDED.--EFFECTS OF
RAW OATS UPON "PLEADER."--SERVANTS' OBJECTIONS.--SNAFFLE-BRIDLE, AND
BIT-AND-BRIDOON.--KINDNESS TO THE POOR.--AN UNSYMPATHETIC LADY.--AN
UNGALLANT CAPTAIN.--WHAT IS A GENTLEMAN?--_AU REVOIR!_


My remarks upon the subject of feeding horses, having gained publicity
through the columns of the press, have called forth much comment and
adverse criticism. Some have evidently considered--and have not
hesitated to say--that I have written the veriest twaddle; but happily
there is a reverse side to the picture, and many (including one very
august personage indeed) have expressed a determination to adopt my
system. Beans are such excellent feeding that I cannot object to an
admixture of them, and to most English horses they are almost a
necessity; but in Ireland we care little about them. It is unwise to
give too much hay. I said "abundance" on a former page, but the word,
as I used it, did not signify a large quantity. For horses fed three
times daily upon a plentiful measure of oats, crushed Indian corn, and
beans if desired, a few handfuls of hay will be amply sufficient, and
this should be placed where the horse can stoop to it, but never above
him, as in the effort to disengage it from the rack the seeds fall in
his eyes and produce irritation, and sometimes permanent disease.

A bran-mash on a Saturday night, or after a hard day, forms an
admirable variety to the ordinary feeding routine. Let the bran be
thoroughly well steeped and mixed, and a portion of cooked oats or
chopped carrots intermingled with it. This will induce almost any
animal to partake of the bran, from which otherwise many delicate
feeders will resolutely turn.

I have strongly recommended cooked feeding, even against the uproar of
a general outcry against it, because I have seen and proved its
efficacy. Last November, on the first Tuesday in the month--the opening
day with the Kildare hounds--we had a splendid run, during which,
however, I was amazed to find that my great horse, Pleader, sweated
heavily--a thing which had never previously been the case. In fact, it
had always been my boast that when other horses were thoroughly done,
mine had not turned a hair; but, on the day in question, he was in a
white lather, and I thought appeared distressed. Upon coming home, and
speaking about it in my stable, I was informed that the boiler was in
some way out of order, and the horses had, unknown to me, been fed upon
uncooked oats during the preceding three days. Had I required any
confirmation of my theory, this circumstance would certainly have
furnished it, and entirely defeats the general supposition that cooked
food renders horses soft.

I have now given the best advice I can upon the subject of feeding, and
I shall not again refer to it, nor to anything connected with the
treatment or stable management of horses, as the subject is an endless
one, everybody entertaining an opinion of his own, which it shall not
be my ambition to upset. What I have said has been in kindness, and
with a view to benefiting both man and beast; but I do not by any means
expect the majority of my readers to coincide in my views. There is a
stolid determination general throughout the world to stick to old
customs and old-fashioned ways and habits, no matter how excellent the
modern ones may be, and so the "horse and mill" go daily round. Masters
object to my system because it involves an outlay in the erecting of a
proper boiler and other necessary adjuncts; servants object to it
because it gives them a little additional trouble. It is far easier to
lounge to the oat-bin, fill a measure from it, and thrust it before the
animal, not caring whether it is rejected or otherwise, than to fetch
the water and fill the boiler and go through the labours of a process
which, in itself exceedingly simple, is made to appear complicated and
laborious by the amount of fuss and discontent which are brought to
bear upon the work. There is an old saying, "If you want a thing well
done, do it yourself"; but, unfortunately, there are some things--and
this is one--which ladies and gentlemen cannot do, and there is no
doubt whatever that servants accustomed to the old style of management
will never willingly adopt the new--unless they belong to that rare and
select and most exclusive _few_ who have their masters' interest
at heart.

Much information has been asked of me relative to the subject of
holding reins. How often shall I say that there is no fixed rule, and
that a method which may look well for park-riding will be totally out
of place in the hunting-field. I have been asked how I hold my own
bridle, and I shall answer that I almost invariably ride with a single
rein, and you can understand my method readily if you will follow me
whilst I endeavour to explain. Take your pocket-handkerchief, pass it
through the back of any ordinary chair, and bring the ends evenly
towards you, holding them for an instant with your right hand, which
must, _pro tem._, represent the buckle. Place your left hand
within the loop thus formed, the little finger resting firmly against
the near-side, about four inches above the right hand; grasp the
opposite side between the forefinger and thumb, left hand (the two
sides of the handkerchief representing the reins); press the off-side
slightly inward with the pressure of your thumb, slipping it entirely
away from the control of the right hand; then bring the near-side,
which still is held loosely by the right, under the thumb of the left,
and hold it firmly. You will thus see that you establish a sort of
"cross rein," and that you have, and are able to maintain, a secure
grip upon either side. By an outward movement or slight turning of the
wrist, accompanied by pressure of the little finger, you will control
your horse upon the near-side of his mouth, whilst by an inward
movement and pressure of the forefinger you will be able to command him
upon the other or off-side. It must be borne in mind that these
movements should be from the wrist _only_, and not from the arm or
shoulder. A good rider will keep the elbows close to the sides, just
drawing the line finely between that pinioned look which is so
disfiguring, and the detestable flapping, like the wings of an unquiet
bird, in which so many riders, both male and female, so frequently
indulge. I have seen ladies, who wished to have an appearance of hard
riding, leaning forward in the saddle and working their elbows in an
unsightly manner, the hands (influenced by the elbows) sawing also, and
the poor horse, with open mouth and straining jaws, staggering along in
distress, fighting his bridle, and presenting altogether a melancholy
spectacle. A firm even seat, elbows close, head erect, and strong
steady hands held _low_--these are the characteristics of a good
and lady-like rider. In going across country put _both_ hands to
your bridle, and keep your horse's head straight and well in hand, but
do not attempt to pull him nor interfere with him at his fences, or you
will undoubtedly come to grief. If you ride with a bit and bridoon my
advice is, ride your horse--even though he be a puller--upon the
snaffle, and keep the curb rein looped over your little finger, hanging
quite loose, yet in such a position that you can if necessary take it
up at a second's notice.

I cannot too often impress upon you the advisability of being
conciliatory and kind in your manner to everybody with whom you may
come in contact. No matter how exalted your rank may be, you can all
the better afford to be courteous to those beneath you. Kind words cost
nothing, and are as balm to the hearer. Many of the lower orders are
quite as much gentry at heart, and far more so, than those who hide
their unworthiness beneath the convenient shadow of a "family tree." I
have been more than once pained upon hunting days by the extreme
contempt and rudeness with which ladies have treated the poor, who have
asked nothing from them save the innocent and inexpensive privilege of
seeing them mount and canter away with the field. It is all very well
to say, "I do not like to be stared at," but even to those who
_most_ dislike it, surely it is worth a little self-sacrifice to
see the undisguised enjoyment and listen to the original observations
of the Irish peasantry, to whom a sight of the hounds--especially when
followed by ladies--is a treat they never care to miss.

I was riding last winter in company with a lady, very noble, very
handsome, very proud. We came up to a branch of a river, upon the brink
of which some country folk had gathered, with the innocent desire of
seeing it jumped. A poor man, very quiet-looking and harmless, was
actually knocked down and immersed in the water by a reckless young
officer, who galloped over him, and went on without even glancing back
at the spot where the poor half-drowned creature stood wringing his
dripping clothing, yet not uttering a syllable of reproach. My
companion roared with laughter, first at the catastrophe, and then at
me for sympathising with the sufferer. "Apologise!" she cried, in a
high key. "_How_ could Captain Dash apologise to a man like that?
It would be different had he been a _gentleman_." I thought so
too, if the meaning of the word "he" had only been reversed; but I said
nothing, and we went on.

A few fields further we came to a terrible obstacle--a high post and
rails, with a deep and yawning ditch upon the landing side. Three or
four of us went at it: the rest turned away and sought the road. I got
over safely, my noble Pleader proving himself, as usual, worthy of my
confidence. Captain Dash came next, safely also; and then my
ill-starred lady friend, whose horse (an inferior timber-jumper)
bungled, and left her completely prostrate upon the wet earth. Never a
pause did Captain Dash make in his onward career, although he glanced
back when he heard her shriek, and, incredible as it may appear, I
thought I saw him smile, for it was ever his saying that ladies had no
business hunting, and always deserved mischance; but the poor man, at
whose immersion she had laughed a few moments before, came running to
her relief, rendered her every assistance in his power, replaced her in
the saddle, expressed regret for her accident, and positively declined
to accept of any remuneration for his services.

Which of these men, think you, was the gentleman? I know what I thought
respecting the question; and I judged that my friend's opinion was
formed as mine, for she now loves and cares the poor, and suffers the
rich to care themselves, as every true-hearted and Christian woman
should; and, moreover, on glancing over a book of my poems which I lent
her some time later, I found a leaf turned down, as though to mark
these lines--

    "What is a gentleman? Is it a thing
    Decked with a scarf-pin, a chain, and a ring,
    Dressed in a suit of immaculate style,
    Sporting an eye-glass, a lisp, and a smile?
    Talking of operas, concerts, and balls,
    Evening assemblies, and afternoon calls,
    Sunning himself at "at homes" and bazaars,
    Whistling mazurkas, and smoking cigars?

    "What is a gentleman? Say, is it one
    Boasting of conquests and deeds he has done,
    One who unblushingly glories to speak
    Things which should call up a flush to his cheek?
    One who, whilst railing at actions unjust,
    Robs some young heart of its pureness and trust;
    Scorns to steal money, or jewels, or wealth,
    Thinks it no crime to take honour by stealth?

    "What is a gentleman? Is it not one
    Knowing instinctively what he should shun,
    Speaking no word that could injure or pain,
    Spreading no scandal and deep'ning no stain?
    One who knows how to put each at his ease,
    Striving instinctively always to please;
    One who can tell by a glance at your cheek
    When to be silent, and when he should speak?

    "What is a gentleman? Is it not one
    Honestly eating the bread he has won,
    Living in uprightness, fearing his God,
    Leaving no stain on the path he has trod?
    Caring not whether his coat may be old,
    Prizing sincerity far above gold,
    Recking not whether his hand may be hard,
    Stretching it boldly to grasp its reward?

    "What is a gentleman? Say, is it birth
    Makes a man noble, or adds to his worth?
    Is there a family-tree to be had
    Shady enough to conceal what is bad?
    Seek out the man who has God for his Guide,
    Nothing to blush for, and nothing to hide;
    Be he a noble, or be he in trade,
    _This_ is the Gentleman NATURE has made."

Now, kind reader, farewell. If I have given you instruction, called a
laugh to your lips, or taught you to prize and cherish the priceless
creature which God has generously sent for our enjoyment and our use,
I shall cheerfully lay aside my pen, happy in the conviction that I
have not written in vain.

Yet, shall I say in the song-words,

    "_Au revoir. Pas adieu!_"

for we meet again, I trust, soon and often; but the subject upon which
I have been writing has come to an end.

Whilst acknowledging the kindness of my friends, I would desire also
to shake hands with my enemies. Life is short, and so it behoves us to
bear no malice. To those who have unkindly criticised me I offer
freely a forgiving hand and heart. I have never wilfully offended any,
and if my efforts have not come quite up to the standard of excellence
which certain captious critics have set up, I have at least done my
best, and have been careful, in propounding theories which might
appear new and uncommon, to state that such things were according to
my notions, in which, however, I did not expect all persons to
coincide. So long as the world lasts so long will there be differences
of opinion; but it is not because such exist that ill-feeling should
creep in, and Christian charity become a thing of nought. In ancient
days, when the Apostles were upon the earth, these things were as they
are now; yet the Great Example, to whose pure and simple teaching we
all hopefully look, inspired the command, "_Let brotherly love
continue._"

So be it, reader, with you and with me.



PART IV.

HUNTING IN IRELAND.


There is at present a mighty outcry in our poor land. Not against
"battle, murder, and sudden death," landlord-killing, and "Boycotting,"
but against our royal pastime--hunting. The tenant-farmers are
uproarious in their opposition to it; and, with a headstrong
determination which cannot be too strongly condemned, refuse to listen
to the voice of the reasoner. We are but in the beginning of our
season, yet is our prospect marred and our pleasure spoilt by the blind
idiotcy, not of the few, but, unfortunately, of the many.

They have but one cry, "You are ruining our grass-lands!" A more
egregious error could not possibly exist. Is it wilful blindness or
merely the desire to banish landlordism from the country which induces
this senseless outcry? If the latter, there is unhappily every
probability that the outcriers will succeed; if the former, there may
be some hope of ultimately unclosing their sealed eyelids.

A body of horsemen galloping over grassland during the hunting season
can never occasion injury; it is simply an absurdity to endeavour to
maintain a contrary theory. A great friend of mine and a most practical
gentleman, who possesses a large common attached to his grounds, upon
which he can, if desirable, exercise his horses, always prefers doing
so throughout the winter upon his finest grass-land. He maintains, and
correctly, that they do it an immensity of good, and once offered (to
prove the correctness of his judgment) to give the use of the said land
to the colonel of a cavalry regiment stationed in his vicinity--to do
all his work upon throughout the winter months. The offer, after some
demur, was accepted, and proved to be most advantageous to the
land-owner.

Being an enthusiastic follower of the Ward Union stag-hounds, I am
enabled to state that I have galloped with them, in company with at
least two hundred other riders, across the Ward Country and over the
Fairyhouse lands, which are--as is well known--of a singularly wet and
holding nature; and this not once, but many times throughout the
season. Yet, so early as April, at which date the famous Fairyhouse
races take place, no track or footmark can be seen upon the luxuriant
grass. Again, when riding in winter through Phoenix Park, I have been
struck by the state of mud to which it has been reduced through the
frequent galloping of horses over its surface; yet, in summer it grows
the finest grass, and is as smooth as a billiard-table. One day in
June, three years ago, a grand Review was held there in honour of the
Queen's birthday. A terrible shower came down--one of those mighty
floods which can, in a few moments, transform a beauteous green sward
into a hideous mass of unsightly mire and dirt. Those on foot ploughed
patiently through it, sinking ankle-deep at every step; those upon
horseback, myself included, churned it beneath their horses' feet,
until not a trace was visible of the emerald carpet, which, one short
hour before, had afforded firm footing for many thousands of
spectators. Three weeks later, I rode through that park again; the
velvety turf was green and fresh as ever, nor was there visible _one
trace_ of the countless feet which had, as it were, waded over it so
short a time before. The day upon which St. Stephen's Park was, through
the princely generosity of Lord Ardilaun, opened to the public, was
a wet, or at least a damp one, and thousands upon thousands of
roughly-shod feet cut up the grassy sward; yet, in a few brief days, it
was rich and verdant as before. Nor do I think there is in our noble
Phoenix Park a more luxuriant stretch of grass-land than is "the nine
acres" upon which polo players continually assemble.

Having thus, then, endeavoured to prove that the galloping of horses
is in no way injurious to pasture lands, I shall proceed to the
consideration of other matters connected with the subject in question.

If hunting in Ireland were abolished, then indeed might the cries of
her children ascend heavenward, for I know not what would become of
her! The gentry who are now resident landlords, maintaining large and
costly establishments, would migrate to other countries and more
genial climes. Servants would seek in vain for employment.
Boot-makers, clothiers, saddlers, harness-makers, would find no
custom. The farmer would sigh vainly for a price for his corn. Hay and
straw would be a drug in the market. Hunting-lodges would remain
unlet, growing mouldy with time and damp. Butchers, bakers,
poulterers, butter-makers would be alike involved in one common ruin;
for the houses of the gentry would be empty, and desolation would
overspread the land! No buyers then for high-priced hunters and
promising colts, which now command so high a figure; no merging of
grades and mingling of classes in that happy contact which the
hunting-field so well engenders; none of that delicious feeling of
equality which the peer and the peasant seem alike to acknowledge
whilst participating side by side in the dangers and excitement of the
chase. All would be stillness, solitude, and gloom!

Suffer me, then, to implore my countrymen and countrywomen to do all
in their power to promote the pleasures of hunting. It must immensely
benefit even those who do not actually participate in the sport,
inasmuch as it brings rich and poor into happy contact, and causes a
vast amount of money to be circulated, which enriches the pockets of
the poorer classes, and brings grist to many a mill which would
otherwise stand desolate, with disused and motionless wheel. To us who
_do_ participate in it, there is no need for speech. Which of us does
not know the pleasures of preparing for the glorious sport? the early
rousing up from slothful slumber, the anxious outward glance at the
weather, that fitful tyrant which makes or mars our enjoyment; the
donning of hunting garments, the packing of sandwich boxes, the
filling of flasks with whisky, or better, _far_ better, with strong
cold tea; the cheery drive to the meet, the many happy faces assembled
there, the greetings amongst friends, the praisings of the pack, the
trot to the covert, the dashing of the hounds into the gorse, the
sweet music which proclaims that Reynard is at home, the joyous sound
of the "Gone away!" the hurry-scurry to be first and foremost in their
wake, the anathemas hurled against those who are over-riding them, the
tumbling at the fences, the picking up again, the drowning in the
rivers, the fishing out by the wreckers, the maddening excitement of
traversing an intricate country, the wild desire to be in at the
death, the saving of our horses over holding lands, the riding of them
up to their bridles where the going is good, the last mighty effort,
the final fence cleared, and the canter up to where the huntsman is
holding aloft the brush and mask, and the hounds are breaking up their
fox! Who that has ever experienced these joys will be likely to forget
them, or will fail to promote, by every means in his power, so
health-giving and enlivening a sport?

We have one very serious drawback to our hunting in Ireland, and,
indeed, in many other places also--namely, wire fencing. I saw
something of a tragic incident occur last season whilst hunting with
the Meath hounds. We came up to an impassable fence, and all made for
the gate, which was open; but the owner of the land rushed out from
his dwelling, shut it in our faces, and insolently refused to allow us
to pass. Threats and entreaties were alike vain. He called us every
name in the calendar, and consigned us all to a very ugly place, in
language which was certainly not parliamentary. Many of the field
turned off and sought another way, but two or three of the bold ones
charged the gate, and got over, clearing man and all! I and one other
took the fence--a mad proceeding, which gave us both an ugly fall; but
we scrambled up somehow, and succeeded in picking up the hounds. Late
in the evening, whilst hunting another fox, he led us over the same
identical ground, and a hard-riding gentleman, first at this mighty
obstacle, charged it boldly, but, alas, with what a result! The farmer
had, during our absence, run a stiff wire through the fence, which,
catching the horse in the breast, turned him completely over, breaking
the rider's arm, and otherwise severely injuring him. Some members of
the hunt, seeing what had occurred, besieged the offender's dwelling,
and he had an extremely uncomfortable ten minutes. I have heard
persons aver that the man was badly treated, and that he had a perfect
right to wire his fences if he so willed. Undoubtedly he had, if it
were done openly and in such a way that the wiring could be discerned,
but not, by petty treachery, to imperil the safety, if not the lives,
of a large number of persons.

My advice to farmers would be this; wire the fences if necessary; but,
at the commencement of the hunting season, cut away, say twenty yards
of the wiring at the poorest point of the field, and mark the spot
with a pole and flag. Every rider would assuredly make for it as being
the only jumpable place, and at the close of the season a few boys
with five-grained forks would speedily set all to rights; nor can
there be any doubt that the best crop in the field would be on that
particular spot. Allowing even for a moment, for argument's sake, that
expense, trouble, or loss might be thus occasioned, there is not a
master of hounds in all Ireland--neither, I fancy, in any other
country--who would not willingly and cheerfully indemnify the owner of
the land. But so long as the world lasts, so long will there be
blindness; and until the "happy hunting-grounds" are reached, horses
and horsemen will be daily anathematised by the self-willed
cultivators of our native soil.



PART V.

HUNTING IN AMERICA.


There is a great land across the Atlantic where they do great things,
and utter great sayings, and patent great inventions, and erect great
buildings--and where, in short, the inhabitants beat us (as they
themselves say) "all to fits!"

A mighty nation they are, too--God prosper them as they deserve; but
there is one thing at least in which we can say, without boasting, we
are able to beat them, and that is, in our hunting. A fox-hunt in
America is a very tame and inglorious proceeding, and one which
decidedly would not come under our definition of "sport."

American hunting differs in the first instance from ours, inasmuch as
it is always a summer pastime. The extreme severity of the winters
necessitates this, as during the cold season neither men nor horses
can work.

The disadvantages of summer hunting are of course numerous. The heat
is excessive, and the crops are in the ground. Most of the American
farmers and graziers own their land, and the greater number of them
will not suffer hoofs to cross it. This is partly from a spirit of
surly independence--partly from an ignorant determination to hold with
stolid obstinacy to that most erroneous belief, that the galloping of
horses is injurious to grass-lands. But, anyhow, the objection exists;
and as it is vain to attempt to overrule it, a compromise is effected
between hunting under difficulties and not hunting at all.

The system pursued is this. A man--usually a stout-limbed peasant--is
sent out, who drags an aniseeded bag across country, and over the
lands and fences of such as will permit it, or who are themselves in
the habit of joining in the chase. Then, when the field has assembled,
the hounds are laid on, and work their way after the drag, a "bag-man"
being provided to blood them at the finish. Sometimes the pack comes
too close upon the dragger, and then a nasty scene ensues, which is
pleasanter not described.

Fortunately for men, horses, and hounds, hunting is but little
indulged in throughout America. I mean, of course, fox-hunting, for I
cannot attempt to cry down the many splendid and manly hunts of other
descriptions in which the Americans carry off the palm.

In many parts of the country--more especially in the States--the
people so affect trotting-horses, that the matter has become a craze.
It is a fact, which has more than once been proved, that four legs
capable of carrying any sort of frame a mile in less than
two-and-a-quarter minutes, will easily fetch a thousand pounds; and if
the animal is in condition to repeat the performance several times in
one day, his price will range correspondingly higher.

The usual arrangement--very seldom varied--is that the "trots" shall
be mile heats; and as the horses are, generally speaking, pretty well
done up at the finish, owing to pace, excitement, and temperature,
twenty minutes are allowed between each heat for "cooling off"
purposes.

When a horse is distanced in one of these trials, he is at once
withdrawn; and the judges have the privilege, which they use, of
distancing a horse for breaking--or, as we would say, commencing to
run--which is, as may be supposed, a thing most difficult to prevent.

Sometimes a racehorse is hitched double with a trotter. This is
called, in American parlance, a running-mate. The runner takes all the
weight and draft of the "sulky," and the trotter merely trots
alongside of him. It requires a very level-headed horse to keep evenly
to his trot, with a runner tearing away at sweeping pace beside him,
and the trial is regarded as simply one of skill, and is rarely
successful. A trotter who can coolly and evenly maintain his trot when
hitched with a racer, can command for his owner any amount of money,
even though he be in all other respects comparatively worthless.

Races, of which many are held at Rhode Island, are as distinct as
possible from trots. The courses are made circular; as much so, at
least, as the lie of the land will permit, and are beautifully
constructed, the grading being especially attended to. They are
generally enclosed by a very high boarded fence, an admission fee
being charged at the opening. This arrangement is found to answer
admirably, as the amount demanded--although not an extravagant one--is
sufficient to exclude a goodly number of racing roughs, whose interest
in the sport is not more keen than their desire to investigate the
contents of their neighbours' pockets.

Trotting-tracks are constructed upon the same principles as
race-courses, but the track is harder. Sometimes, however, although
not frequently, races and trots are held over the same course, and
when this is done the track is carefully softened for the races, by a
harrowing process, which is most carefully carried out.

Most of the hacks and hunters in use in America--a very large portion,
at least, of the saddle-horses--are racers which have been rejected
from the racing-stables. This is particularly the case at East
Greenwich, and throughout the States. Some of these horses are
"weeds," but a few of them are well worthy of the high prices given
for them, being really splendid animals, in spite of the crabbing
which they receive at the judge's hands before they are thrown out of
the contest, and passed over to the proprietorship of dealers in
hacks.

Very fine horses of the hunter class are bred in Kentucky--the
Yorkshire of America--and are sold at comparatively low rates. I saw a
magnificent chestnut, seventeen two in height, with grand action, and
so superbly ribbed-up and built as to be capable of carrying twenty
stone, which had been sold there to an enterprising Irish speculator
for three hundred and twenty dollars, a good deal less than eighty
pounds of our money. The animal afterwards fetched upwards of six
hundred guineas at Tattersall's, to carry a top-weight millionaire
with the Whaddon Chase hounds. This was, however, an exceptional case,
for it is not usually an easy thing, nor even possible, to make money
by trading in Kentucky hunters. A few speculative European dealers
have from time to time tried it, but their efforts have not been
crowned with the anticipated reward, the reason being, that travelling
expenses swallow up profits. Seven days and nights of constant
journeying must be gone through before the animals are brought to the
Atlantic sea-board; and then there is the crossing to encounter, with
its cost and perils. Altogether, it is scarcely a profitable venture,
and some who have embarked in it will, I know, be quite ready to
endorse my opinions upon the subject.

Stag-hunting used to be very prevalent in distant parts of America.
Strangers traversing tracts of country north of the Ohio will be told
this by guides and fellow-travellers, and will marvel that in such a
district it could ever have been a popular sport. Anything more
perilous it would be impossible to conceive, the "going" being
principally up and down precipitous inclines, dotted at frequent
intervals with huge boulders, half buried in the reedy grass, over
which the horses blunder and stumble at almost every stride,--not
unfrequently hurling their riders headlong down some dangerous ravine.

Those who have enjoyed the very doubtful pleasure of hunting at the
Cape, know something of the perils of the Mimosa tree, which grows
there in such deadly luxuriance. A similar danger-trap exists in the
stag-hunting districts of America, the long sharp thorns proving
terribly destructive to the flesh of man and beast.

It is almost impossible to escape these trees. They grow singly and in
groups, with long, light, swaying branches, treacherously
outstretched; and if an excited steed, or an unwary rider comes too
near to one of them, no close-set company of razors could do more
cruel injury, nor make greater havoc of saddlery and clothing.

When we come to regard the question of district hunting in a
comparative light, few will hesitate to admit that in spite of all the
drawbacks consequent upon wire-fencing, fox-trapping, and
hound-poisoning, there are worse countries to hunt in than dear old
England; and we who know the sweet delights of a good gallop over rich
grass-lands, dotted picturesquely with the harmless beech or elm, and
with nothing more dangerous to negotiate than fair broad fences and
five-barred gates, need never sigh for the yawning ravines of foreign
hunting-grounds, with their treacherous boulders and dangerous
Mimosas.



CORRESPONDENCE.

LADIES ON HORSEBACK.

To the Editor of _The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News_.


SIR,--I have read with keen interest the article on "Ladies on
Horseback" in your last number. I find several things in it which
differ from my preconceived ideas, but it is impossible not to
perceive that the writer, Mrs. Power O'Donoghue, speaks from an
experience which makes her an undoubted authority. With reference to
safety-stirrups, for instance. I have always seen that the ladies of
my family were provided with them, and your contributor's objection
seems not to be based upon the mechanism of the stirrup when in proper
order, but on the circumstance that it is "almost invariably stiff,"
through neglect. I must admit that I have seen a lady hung up in a
safety-stirrup; but surely it is possible to see that the stirrup will
work before setting out for a ride or a day's hunting, and if the iron
is large enough, so that "the padding over the instep" will not "cause
the foot to become firmly embedded," are we to understand that the
safety-stirrup is objectionable? Mrs. Power O'Donoghue has a poor
opinion of "John the coachman, and Jem the groom," but I am lucky in
having trustworthy people in my stable. What stirrup would your
contributor have instead of the one with which so large a proportion
of ladies ride? Another thing that I should like to know more about is
the saddle recommended in the article. "Accustom yourself from the
beginning to the use of a properly constructed saddle, made as
straight as a board, no dip whatever," this writer says. Now I have
never, so far as my recollection goes, even seen such a saddle, and
may I ask what are the advantages of a thoroughly straight saddle, and
what are the disadvantages of the inevitable slope or dip? I ask
purely for information, for I am perfectly ready to submit my judgment
and hitherto received notions to the dictum of a lady who is clearly
so competent to treat the matter as your contributor. Would the lady
have straight saddles also for men? is a question which incidentally
occurs to me. I am far from supposing that a thing must be right
because it is in general use, but there seem good reasons for the
adoption of the ordinary shaped saddle, and I should be very glad if
your contributor would let us know her reasons for departing from
custom.

Before concluding, let me thank you for a series of articles which
cannot fail to be of value to those for whom they are intended.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

H. DE V. R.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--I feel bound to answer the letter of "H. de V. R." which
appeared in your journal of last week's issue. With regard to the
"safety-stirrup," there could not be much objection to it if it were
made sufficiently large to prevent the padding over the instep from
causing the foot to become embedded; and if, likewise, some careful
and competent person were ready and willing to give the machinery of
it a thorough examination immediately before entrusting the safety of
a lady to such an uncertain support. But how seldom is this the case?
Servants--even the most careful--are, to say the least of it, apt to
overlook these important details; and when the steed is led to the
door the cavalier who is to escort the lady is too much occupied in
admiring his fair charge, talking to her, arranging with her where
they shall ride, fastening her gloves, or performing a like office for
himself, to worry his head about such an apparently insignificant
thing as her stirrup. Provided he ascertains that it is the required
length, he troubles himself no further about it, and probably in nine
cases out of ten the dandy youth would not even comprehend the meaning
of the term "safety" as applied to the article in question. No doubt
it often happens that an elderly father, a matter-of-fact husband, a
phlegmatic uncle, or a careful brother may be upon the spot, with wits
and hands ready to avert danger; but how frequently, also, is it the
fashionable stripling who escorts the lady--a cousin, or a lover,
perhaps--ignorant of all connected with riding, except the pleasure of
it; or the booted and belted servant, who touches his hat, and thinks
he has done his duty because the saddle is clean and the horse sleek
and shiny; or the riding-master, who has come out in a hurry, anxious
and flurried at the last moment to see that everything _looks_ right,
and who has had no time to see after such minor accessories as
stirrups, or has left the matter (if he thought of it at all) in the
hands of the groom, who has left it alone altogether. This being the
case, I maintain that a stirrup encumbered with machinery is unsuited
to a lady, because, although she may have an escort who will look
after it, there is the possibility that she may not have such good
fortune. Moreover, a stirrup made sufficiently large to bear padding
over the instep, and yet enable the foot to slip easily in and out,
must of necessity be a considerable weight, and this alone would be an
objection, especially to a hunting lady, who calculates to a nicety
every ounce which her steed has to carry. I have said that a small
racing, or jockey-stirrup, is the _nicest_ in which a lady can ride,
and I am bound to adhere to my judgment.

So much for the first portion of "H. de V. R.'s" letter. Now we come
to the second.

My "poor opinion of John, the coachman, and Jem, the groom," is based,
not upon their untrustworthiness, but upon their want of capacity as
teachers of the equine art. I have never yet, in all my experience,
met with any servant who was capable of instructing a lady how to
ride; yet I have been fairly astonished to find the contrary idea
quite general amongst parents in the country, who fondly hope that
their daughters may one day adorn a saddle and grace a hunting-field.
"I shall have Mary and Jenny taught immediately now," said a lady to
me one day in the course of last summer,--"They shall have a pony
a-piece, and John (the groom) shall teach them." Of course, I said
nothing, my principle of noninterference standing me in good stead;
but when an hour or so later, I beheld the said John disporting
himself, and showing off his equestrian skill upon one of the
carriage-horses, I really felt pity for the two charming little girls
who were so soon to be handed over to his doubtful tuition.

And now for the third portion of your correspondent's letter: namely,
the question of the straight saddle. "H. de V. R." says he has never
seen any such; and I consider this extremely probable, for he will
recollect my saying that a saddle such as I described should be made
to order, as it is certainly not in general use--but I am not
altogether singular in my advocacy of it. Peat and Co., Piccadilly, or
Box and Co., Abbey Street, Dublin, will manufacture saddles of this
description in excellent style, but only to order, for they have not
yet found sufficient favour--or, to express it better, are not
sufficiently known--to have become popular, and manufacturers
therefore will not keep them in stock. The advantages of a straight
saddle are manifold. Firstly, it is the only means by which a lady can
learn the necessary art of riding from balance. This can be acquired
by sitting _on_ a saddle, but never by sitting _in_ one. Secondly, she
can, when riding upon a straight saddle, change and shift her
position, which as a necessary consequence changes her weight upon the
horse's back, and saves him from being galled. A noble lady wrote to
me some time since, "I know not how it is; all my horses are laid up
with sore backs; and yet my saddle is well padded." I guessed the
secret at once; she was riding in a sort of well, or chair, from which
her heavy weight could never for an instant shift, and hence the
trouble of which she complained. I sent her a sketch of my saddle,
with the address of the man who had made it, and she has since been a
staunch upholder of my theory. Thirdly, the best figure in the world
would look to disadvantage if seated in a saddle with a dip or slope;
whereas a well-made woman, attired in a habit properly fitted about
the waist and hips, never looks to such complete advantage as when
sitting gracefully and at ease upon a well constructed straight-made
saddle. Fourthly, if in taking an up-jump the horse misses his footing
and struggles in an unsuccessful effort to recover himself, the lady
may--if riding upon a straight saddle--succeed in slipping from it to
a situation of comparative safety; but, if she has a high projection
of iron and stiff leather just behind her, it bars her movement, and
as a consequence the horse falls back _upon_ her, and catching her
between his weight and the edge of the ditch or furrow, as the case
may be, injures her spine, sometimes fatally, and frequently in a
serious manner.

The question, "Do I also advocate straight saddles for men's use?" is
answered by my reminding "H. de V. R." that there is no analogy
between a gentleman's position upon horseback and that of a lady. What
would be a necessity, or at least a _luxury_, for the one would be
eminently unsuited for the other. A man's superior activity and
greater liberty of motion place him ever at an advantage. And whilst
upon this subject I would strongly urge upon all humane riders,
especially the male portion of them, to have their saddles made high
_in front_, so as not to press upon the horse's withers, causing him
much needless suffering. A space capable of accommodating at least two
fingers should be between withers and saddle, and were this attended
to we should see fewer skin abrasions and unsightly lumps upon poor
submissive animals, and less of that stuffing of handkerchiefs between
cruel leather and bleeding flesh which so frequently pains the
sorrowing eyes of sensitive and pitying persons.

I think I have now dealt fully with "H. de V. R.'s" letter, and must
thank the writer of it for his complimentary observations, and his
kindly appreciation of my labours in a cause which I certainly have
very much at heart.

Apologising for trespassing thus far upon your valuable space.

I am, Sir,

Yours obediently,

NANNIE POWER O'DONAGHUE.

October 12, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--Many readers of _The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News_
hope that Mrs. Power O'Donoghue, in her very interesting letters upon
"Ladies on Horseback," will touch fully on the most important thing,
viz. "the ladies' horse." One sees ladies riding all sorts; some too
big, some too small, some good shoulders and no backs, others just the
reverse; not one out of twenty what it ought to be. Also, up to what
weight should it be? What is the average weight of ladies, and the
difference in ordinary dress to the habit? It is often said that,
owing to the peculiar seat, the weight being all on one side, a lady
tires a horse much more than a man; certainly you often see ladies'
horses going short with the near hind leg, possibly from this cause.
Could not the weight of side-saddles be reduced? Those used by the
Empress of Austria could not have weighed 8 lb., and she was herself a
light woman. Anything on this subject will interest many readers.

I am, &c.

EQUES.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--There is one point to which I should like to call the attention
of the writer of the able and interesting articles on "Ladies on
Horseback," which she appears to have altogether overlooked in her
enumeration of the articles of a lady's riding attire. It is the use
of a spur by lady equestrians. The recently invented lady's spur
consists of one sharp point so constructed as not to injure the habit.
In hunting, a spur is indispensable, and in park-riding is very
desirable for a lady, who has so much less control over her horse than
a man. Young girls just beginning to ride will find the use of a spur
most beneficial in managing their steeds. Hired horses are never
altogether to be trusted, and in the case of their showing temper or
laziness, two or three pricks with a lady's spur will subdue them far
more quickly than the application of a whip. I have more than once
ridden a horse that was a confirmed jibber, and have always found a
few determined thrusts with my spur, combined with an efficiently
applied whip, never failed to bring him down. I confidently recommend
all ladies, and especially young girls just beginning the art of
equitation, to procure a lady's spur, and never to mount a horse
without it.

I am, &c.

MABEL FLORENCE RAYNE.

The Firs, Cheltenham,

Oct. 18th, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--I suppose it would be impossible to advance any opinions to
which there would not be objections raised, but I write, not in a
cavilling spirit, but as one really anxious for information, to know
whether Mrs. Power O'Donoghue would seriously advocate striking a
horse between the ears when it rears. Surely such a thing would be
exceedingly dangerous for any lady to attempt, and, as your
correspondent is writing solely for ladies, I conclude she refers to
them in the present instance. I feel very strongly upon this point,
because an uncle of mine, some years ago, when out riding tried this
experiment at the advice of a friend. The horse (not a vicious one)
suddenly reared; my uncle loosened the reins and urged it forward, but
finding this ineffectual, struck it violently between the ears with
his hunting-whip. The animal, maddened, I presume, by the pain, reared
straight on end and fell backward; its rider being a very agile man,
slipped off sideways, and thus escaped nearly certain death; but had
the rider been a lady instead of a gentleman the consequences must
have been fatal; and with so light a switch as a lady usually carries,
a blow between the ears could only serve to irritate without producing
any good effect. I would ask one more question: Why does your
correspondent so strongly object to the use of the "old-fashioned
slipper" stirrup? I am rather curious on this point, because I have
ever since the tender age of four, when my riding experiences began,
used the shoe-stirrup, and I have always thought it so safe, because
my foot slips out in a second. I am aware that it is extremely
unfashionable, as in Rotton Row you hardly see a lady using it; but I
keep to it still, not so much with the idea of its safety, but for
comfort, especially in trotting. I find it extremely difficult to keep
an iron stirrup from slipping back into the instep, and, being used to
rise pressing on the toes, I think that rising from the instep is more
difficult and doubles the exertion of trotting. In conclusion, I must
express a hope that Mrs. Power O'Donoghue will not give me credit for
writing in a spirit of unfriendly criticism; but as I am exceedingly
fond of riding, I feel an interest in working out this subject to its
fullest extent. I am sure all lady riders must feel grateful to Mrs.
Power O'Donoghue for the valuable and useful instructions contained in
her interesting letters, and one has only to pay a visit to the Row
between 12 and 2 in the season, to see how much they are needed by the
generality of the "ladies on horseback."

I am, &c.

EQUESTRINA.

October 13th, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--Though not an "aggrieved stirrup-maker," it may not be out of
place if I, as a saddler of many years' experience and a great lover
of horses, offer a few comments on the "hints and instructions" set
forth in your paper for the benefit of ladies on horseback, written by
one of the sex who is evidently an authority on the subject she treats
so ably. There is no doubt these articles will be read with great
interest by very many ladies who desire to acquit themselves well on
horseback, and also by their gentlemen friends who are anxious to
conduce to the safety and comfort of their fair companions in that
delightful exercise, but cannot have the same knowledge to impart the
theoretical instructions now given by your lady writer, whose
criticisms will therefore be valuable to both. In following her
remarks, it occurs to me that I may perhaps venture on a little
comment without being considered too intrusive. The objection taken to
children riding is no doubt formed on good grounds, but I think that
with care young ladies might be permitted at a much earlier age than
sixteen to acquire some practice in the saddle; it is true that young
girls are liable to curvature of the spine, when allowed to ride day
after day on the same side of their pony, but I have understood that
this danger is obviated by changing their position to the other side
on alternate days, and I should be glad to learn what are the
objections to this. It seems to me rather desirable that ladies should
have equal facility in riding on either side, but there may be reasons
against it of which I am ignorant. This lady says that the nicest
bridle for a beginner is a plain ring-snaffle, but states further that
few horses will go in it; the latter remark, if correct, (which I
should venture to doubt), raises a fatal objection to the
ring-snaffle, as I fear that not one young lady in twenty, under
amateur teaching, would be put upon a perfectly trained nag, desirable
as this must be; and thus an ordinary stout mouth plain snaffle, or
plain bar with single rein, would surely be preferable. I fancy it
would be found of much advantage if riding was taught in the first
instance without the use of reins at all, the horse simply being led
by an attendant; the learner thus gets a proper balance, without
depending on the bridle for support, as many are found to do. For a
young girl I should like to know what is the objection to a pad, or
pilch as they are called, made for use on either side. These, having
no tree, are nearly level, but there is perhaps a chance of its
turning round if the rider does not sit straight; for a grown girl,
the properly made saddle is better every way. In common with your
correspondent "H. de V. R.," I fail quite to understand how a
side-saddle is to be made "as straight as a board." A saddle is made
on a foundation, or tree, of wood and iron, which should be shaped for
the back intended to bear it, and must be raised slightly in front for
the wither and behind to clear the backbone; but it is right that the
seat should be as level as possible. This is probably the lady's
meaning. It is very essential that the saddle should fit the horse
correctly and be of suitable size and shape for the rider; the former
consideration is too often overlooked and thus entails discomfort to
both. There are saddles, and saddles, as ladies often find to their
cost. A very large proportion in use here, and more abroad, are put
together in Birmingham and Walsall on the slop system; they will
please the eyes of an inexperienced purchaser, but are formed with
little regard to the requirements of the poor animals who suffer under
them, or of their riders' comfort, and it is probable that these are
the saddles against which ladies are very properly warned. It is
really indispensable for a lady's comfort in riding that she should
have a good saddle, made by a competent and conscientious saddler,
whose business it is to see that it is suitable. Considering the
number of years that a good saddle with care will last, it is
inconceivable that the comparatively small additional price should be
grudged for a perfect and satisfactory article by a maker of repute,
instead of the machine-made slop rubbish, by which many a good animal
is injured and the temper of his rider seriously chafed. Enough about
saddles for the present, so I will go to the next point under
discussion--the stirrup. Your lady rider must have been very
unfortunate in her use of the safety-stirrup, which, in my opinion,
does in practice usually justify its name. I have known very many
instances in which ladies have owed immunity from serious accident to
its use. As "H. de V. R." justly says, the mechanism of the stirrup
(which is very simple) should not be allowed to get out of order by
neglect; surely the lady or her friends, particularly if so
"knowledgeable" as the writer of the article, might [They "_might_."
That they so often do not, and that danger so frequently results from
the neglect, is the grievance and complaint of our contributor.--ED.
_I.S. & D.N._] take the trouble personally to see that her stirrup is
not out of order from rust, and in no other way but one can it be so;
the other way is that if the groom ignorantly or carelessly adjusts
the stirrup for use hind part before, the inner stirrup cannot be
released, and the rider's foot, in case of a fall, will be helplessly
fixed in the stirrup. This eventuality, however, does not detract from
the real value of the safety-stirrup, for neglect and ignorance will
entail direful consequences in all ways. Next to the safety-stirrup, I
quite believe that a plain steel stirrup of suitable size, with side
pieces at the bottom to take sharp pressure off the foot, is the most
suitable for ladies' use, and I always condemn the small padded
stirrup, which is, indeed, a fruitful source of danger to lady riders.

With the rest of Mrs. O'Donoghue's dissertation I cordially agree, and
believe it would be beneficial if both men and ladies practised riding
without the aid of the stirrup; and the same rule applies to and is
generally practised by men, as I saw a few days ago on a German
barrack-ground, where an awkward squad was being trained in that
manner. The art of putting a lady up is one that should be practised
more than it is by horsemen; my first attempt resulted in the lady
slipping down again, and on my hat, which suffered even more than my
self-esteem. On one occasion in the Crimea, years ago, I was riding
with a lady and her husband, the former dismounted at Mrs. Seacole's
for refreshment, and on being put up again by her husband with more
vigour than skill, the poor lady was sent over her horse's back to the
ground on the other side, and being somewhat portly, was shaken
severely. I fear many ladies have suffered in the same way from the
awkwardness of their attendants, but I have seen ladies so agile as to
mount from the ground without assistance--rather a difficult feat, and
requiring much practice. Having trespassed so much on your space I
must not proceed further now, but shall be happy to air my notions
again, if agreeable to your readers and riders.

Yours, &c.

JERMYN.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--My papers entitled "Ladies on Horseback" have called forth many
letters. Some of these you have printed, some have been forwarded to
me from your office, and many have been received at my own house. I
shall regard it as a favour if you will permit me to reply to a few of
them through the medium of your paper, as in answering one I shall
answer many who have written upon the same subject.

J. V.--When the horse took head with me and leaped into the farm-yard
(as depicted by Mr. Sturgess) I had no way of getting out except by
the passage and kitchen of the farm-house, as the gates of the yard
were locked, and the owner of the place--who was away at the
neighbouring town--had the key in his pocket.

EQUES.--The reason why ladies ride "all sorts of horses" is that
comparatively few keep horses of their own, and those who are without
them and are fond of riding, jump eagerly at the offer of a friend's
mount, whether it be suitable or otherwise. A nice horse for a lady
may be thus described: Height about 15-3; Colour dark bay or brown,
well-set sloping shoulders, good back, arched loins, firm and graceful
neck, small head and ears, shapely clean-cut legs, and good firm feet.
A horse of this description will be well up to 13 or 14 st. For a
heavy weight an animal should be selected with a short wide back,
powerful quarters, big healthy hocks, and stoutly-built fore-legs. The
_average_ weight of ladies is about 9st. Summer costume and riding
gear would weigh about equally, but velvet or sealskin would outweigh
a habit. A lady seated upon a properly-made saddle, if she has been
well taught, will never have her weight "all on one side." The reason
why horses go short with the near hind leg is because ladies ride from
the stirrup, leaning their full weight upon it, and galling the
animal's back. The stirrup is meant to assist, not to _support_, the
rider. Old-fashioned side-saddles are all too heavy; but a
well-constructed modern saddle can scarcely be improved upon. It is a
mistake to ride in too light a saddle, as it brings the weight of the
body too near the horse's back. That used by the Empress of Austria
weighed 12 lbs., which is about a correct standard.

LADYBIRD.--Nobody who has any regard for life and limb now rides
through Dublin. All wise persons gave it up when pavement and
tram-lines made the city what it is. Consequently the park is
deserted, and only a solitary horseman is seen in Stephen's Green.

INQUIRER.--The shoe should be made to _fit the foot_. It is most
cruel, and is a fruitful source of lameness, to pare the foot away to
make it fit a ready-made shoe. If you cannot trust your farrier,
change him. This advice also applies to JAMES R., but I do not
undertake to answer questions respecting the treatment or management
of the horse.

MABEL FLORENCE RAYNE.--I had not forgotten nor overlooked the
important uses of the spur. You will find the subject treated in my
papers upon hunting and hunting-costume. I do not, however, _at all_
approve of its use for beginners, as such are certain, through
nervousness, to press the left heel close to the horse's side, and, if
furnished with a spur, would cause him much needless pain and
irritation, besides endangering their own safety.

ROBERT KEATING.--Best thanks for letter and papers.

G. ELLIOT.--For riding with a bit and bridoon, place a rein between
each finger of your left hand, and hold them securely with your thumb,
reserving your right hand for your whip; or take your reins in both
hands, and ride your horse upon the curb, or snaffle, according to his
temperament. For riding with a single rein, place the near leather
under your little finger and the off one between the first and second
fingers, which is as good a way as any; but I have already said that
there is no fixed rule for holding reins, and a good rider will
constantly change them about, and move the bridle in her horse's
mouth, which prevents him hanging upon his bit.

JANE CARR.--I scarcely know whether to regard your letter as a
compliment or the reverse. My labours have been _totally_ unassisted;
nor has my experience of this world shown me that its occupants are
sufficiently philanthropic to labour that another may reap the merit
and the reward.

L. K.--The subject is not within my province. Mayhew's _Horse
Management_, published by Allen & Co., 13, Waterloo Place, London, is
the best I can recommend.

HUNTSMAN.--It is for ladies I am writing.

ELEANOR.--Thanks; but if I adopted one half of the suggestions
offered, a strange result would ensue. Happily my papers went to press
without _anybody_ (save the Editor) having had a glance at them. He
generously accepted them upon their merits; but had I shown them to
others I should either have altered something in every second line or
have given offence to numerous well-meaning persons. When I was a
child I committed to memory the inimitable fable of "The Miller, his
Son, and his Ass," and have taken the moral of it as a guide through
life.

GOODALL.--A short hunting-crop without a lash would do.

EQUESTRINA.--If a horse rears with me in a vicious manner I hit him
between the ears, but I do not by any means expect my readers to
coincide in all my views, and those who know a better plan can, of
course, adopt it. If an animal rears slightly I lean forward against
his neck, touch him with my heel, and speak to him. If he persists,
and I see any danger of his falling back, I hit him between the ears
with the butt-end of my whip, not sufficiently heavily to "madden
him," nor even to cause him the least pain, but to occasion him to
duck his head, which he invariably does; and if at that instant I hit
him sharply with my heel, he drops at once and lashes out behind.
Allowing for a moment that such a mode of action may be open to
objection, is it not better (seeing that it is frequently efficacious)
than sitting quietly and permitting one's-self to be fallen back upon,
without making any effort to avert the catastrophe? My objection to
the slipper-stirrup is founded on the knowledge that it encourages
ladies to lean their weight upon it. "It feels so comfortable," I
heard a lady say, "so like a resting-board beneath my foot, that I
_cannot help_ riding from it." An iron stirrup with the foot well home
is the proper thing to ride in; and remember it is from the instep and
_not_ from the toes that you should rise. The iron should meet the
waist of the boot-sole, and a long flat heel (I do not mean one of
those atrocities known as a _high_ one) should be worn on the boot.

JERMYN.--Your letter almost answers itself. The pad or pilch _is_ apt
to turn round, for it is only one little girl in twenty who sits
straight. You judge my meaning rightly about the straight saddle, but
I opine that it is the stuffing which should be arranged to guard the
backbone from pressure, and that it is in no way necessary to raise
the _seat_ at the back. I must again say, for the third time, that a
plain ring-snaffle is the _nicest_ for a lady's use, and also maintain
my opinion that few horses will go in it, according to _my_ ideas of
"going." A horse who goes well in a ring-snaffle must have a perfect
temper and a perfect mouth, a combination as rare in the equine as in
the human tribe. For ordinary hunters and roadsters I do not recommend
it, simply because they will not go in such a bridle; but I shall ever
hold to my opinion that it is the nicest and the least puzzling for a
beginner.

KATIE.--Not worth denying. It is one of those worthless untruths which
I have long since learned to treat with contempt.

LIVERPUDLIAN.--Your suggestion is so good that I shall certainly adopt
it. Nothing could be better adapted for riding in than a warm jersey,
buttoned in front. Being elastic it would allow full play for the arms
and shoulders, and would also display a good figure to advantage. If
you, or some other, would only get up a sufficient amount of courage
to turn a deaf ear to the hateful and oft-recurring "What will be
said?" we might have many useful and elegant innovations of which at
present we know nothing.

YOUNG WIFE.--There can be no impropriety in what you say. "Honi soit
qui mal y pense?" So long as you have a good conscience and your
husband's approval you need care little for what the world says.

X. Y. Z., DASHAWAY, and COUNTRYMAN.--I cannot reply to your letters.

Thanking you, Sir, for your kindness in granting me so much of your
valuable space,

I am, &c.

NANNIE POWER O'DONOGHUE.

October 25.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--The "recently-invented lady's spur," mentioned in your last
issue by "Mabel Florence Kayne," was patented towards the close of the
last century, and illustrations of it, and of other spurs on the same
principle, can be seen at the Patent Office. I quite concur in the
recommendation that a lady should always wear a spur, and it will be
seen from the last article by Mrs. Power O'Donoghue that a spur forms
part of her hunting equipment; but I strongly advise ladies to wear a
spur with a rowel having only five points, which should be long and
sharp. The spur with one point and a spring sheath is commonly sold by
saddlers for ladies' use, but is liable to break or get out of order,
and is always discarded in favour of the one with a five-pointed rowel
by ladies who have tried the latter. Mrs. Power O'Donoghue is doing
good service to ladies by protesting against the stirrups facetiously
so-called "safety." I always advise a lady to use a perfectly plain
steel stirrup, but a tolerably heavy one. Why cannot the stirrup be
attached to a lady's saddle in the same manner as to a gentleman's?
Then, in case of accident, the stirrup and leather would come away
together. An excellent bit for a lady's horse is a curb-bit, suspended
in the horse's mouth by two large rings, to which the snaffle-reins
are also attached. This bit is very light or very severe, at the
rider's wish.

I am, &c.

SOUTHERN CROSS.

October 26, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--Continuing my remarks on this subject, I am bound to say that
your contributor gives sufficient answer to the question of the
safety-stirrup in explaining that the objection is removed providing
the inner stirrup is large enough for the foot to be easily
extricated; the stirrup being made in three different sizes, this is a
matter easily adjusted. The shoe-stirrup referred to by "Equestrina"
was in use by ladies for many years, and in point of safety I think no
objection can be raised to it; the same shape of stirrup is much
affected by men in South America.

The instructions in Part Second of Mrs. Power O'Donoghue's writings
are very admirable, except that I do not see the utility of a lady's
striking a rearing horse between the ears, with the few ounces of whip
usually carried. I have known men do so with a loaded whip, and
knocking a horse down to cure him of this vice, but it would be
scarcely advisable for a lady to try this. I am rather surprised to
see it stated as a fact that both rearing and plunging maybe entirely
prevented by using the so-called anti-rearing bit martingale. It
certainly may prevent rearing on the first attempt if the horse's head
is kept down tightly by this martingale attached to the breastplate,
but as the latter is seldom worn except for hunting, it cannot be
intended to recommend it for that purpose, for it would infallibly
follow that the fixed martingale would bring both horse and rider to
grief at the very first fence they attempted to clear, and if the
horse had sufficient liberty of action to jump freely, the martingale
would be no obstruction to his rearing. I know from my own experience
that a horse can be knocked down by a blow on the head. I was once
doing a little private mounted practice at sword exercise, preparatory
to a prize competition, and grasping my sword with thick gloves on,
the weapon somehow turned in my hand, caught my mare below the ear on
the bridle-hand, and knocked her completely off her legs, to our
mutual amazement, though no great harm was done. I do not see what
analogy there can be between the powerful Chifney bit and a rearing
martingale; the effect of the latter may be secured by attaching a
split martingale, with leather or spring billets, to the mouth-rings
of any bit in use, snaffle or Pelham; but I believe that a horse can,
if determined, rear all the same, and it certainly would not prevent
plunging or bucking. For a restive or jibbing horse in saddle I have
always found a short running martingale very useful; the rider should
shorten and lower the right rein well down the horse's shoulder, apply
the right leg and spur sharply, and turn the horse round like a
teetotum until he is dizzy, then give him both spurs when his head is
in the right direction. This will set him going before he knows where
he is, and is a practice I have found very efficacious, but not easily
applicable by ladies.

On the subject of bits, my own favourite is the Hanoverian Pelham; it
will generally hold the strongest puller, and, with a light hand, I
have never met a horse that would not face it. For show or park riding
there is none better; it is, however, not suited to those who trust to
the bridle-reins for their balance in the saddle.

"Eques" inquires "what is the average weight of ladies?" This is a
difficult query, but as ladies ride at all weights between six and
eleven stone, with a margin each way, I should suppose the average
would be about 8-1/2 stone, exclusive of saddle, &c. A lady who is an
indifferent rider would throw more weight on one side than the other,
one cause of so many sore backs from side-saddles; but a thoroughly
good horsewoman would sit with as level a balance as a man. The weight
of good modern side-saddles is much reduced, but they cannot well be
made under 14 lb., with furniture, and are usually considerably more.
If the Empress of Austria uses a saddle of 8 lb. only (as some have
averred), she must ride on a man's steeplechase-saddle, which perhaps
would not be a difficult performance for a lady who is said to be in
the habit of driving four-in-hand.

I am much impressed by the recital of your contributor's adventures
and hair-breadth escapes on the saddle, particularly on the occasion
she refers to when invited by a friend to ride the big bay horse. If
the friend was a gentleman, I must repeat the opinion I heard
expressed by a lady when reading the article--that any man who would
wilfully expose a woman to risk her life on such a brute behaved
disgracefully. There is no object in creation to my mind more
attractive than a graceful woman controlling with ease a fine and
well-trained horse; but no one with due respect for the sex would wish
to see her taking the place of a rough rider.

Yours, &c.

JERMYN.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--Although I care nothing for anything that may be said about
myself, I am ever loyal to my friends, and it seems to me hard that
one of the truest of them should be spoken of as having "behaved
disgracefully" by a writer who, with more impetuosity than judgment,
jumps at conclusions without waiting to hear the truth. When I was
riding homeward after the leap into the farm-yard, I met the owner of
the horse upon the road, driving out with a friend. The moment he
heard what had occurred he took me off the animal, changed my saddle
to the very quiet horse he was driving, and actually, after nearly an
hour's delay, succeeded in putting the harness upon the "big bay,"
and, having done so, drove him home regardless of his own safety, or
rather of his danger, which was imminent. I do not think there are
many men at his time of life, and in his delicate state of health, who
would have done the same thing rather than chance a second runaway. He
had _no_ reason to suppose that any such thing would, in the first
instance, have happened, and I believe it was attributable to the fact
that the horse had been ridden a day or two previously by a very wild
rider, who had spoilt his mouth and manners, and who subsequently
apologised to me for having been the cause of what occurred. I might
have mentioned all this before, and certainly should have done so had
I thought that such necessity should have arisen. I would remind
"Jermyn" that my observations respecting the martingale were confined
to my papers on _road-riding_, not on hunting, and would also thank
him, with my best obeisance, for calling me a rough-rider.

I am, Sir,

Yours obediently,

NANNIE POWER O'DONOGHUE.

October 31, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--I must, in justice to myself, ask you to be so kind as to grant
me space in your influential journal to reply to the very serious
charge "Jermyn" brought against me in your issue of the 30th of the
past month. I am the friend who asked Mrs. Power O'Donoghue to ride
"the big bay," and yet I believe that nobody in all the world has a
higher esteem for that lady, nor a truer regard for her safety than I
have. Indeed there are few men in Ireland (if one) worth being called
the name, who would not willingly lay down their own lives rather than
imperil the life of one so universally beloved. The horse up to the
day of the runaway had been perfectly quiet and most easily managed.
He carried me two seasons to hounds, never making a mistake nor
pulling in the least. Not being able to ride, having shortly before
met with a very serious accident, I lent "the big bay" to a
hard-riding young officer for a day's hunting. He unfortunately must
have made too free use of his long-necked spurs, and, totally unknown
to me, ruffled the horse's temper; the animal remembering the
treatment he received, and finding but a feather on his back, when
excited by the music of the hounds, overpowered his rider; but, thank
Heaven, no serious accident occurred. I was unutterably shocked and
distressed on hearing of the occurrence, and may state that on the day
in question I was driving in my dog-cart, accompanied by a gentleman
(late an officer in Her Majesty's service) who can vouch for the truth
of my statement, when Mrs. O'Donoghue came up to me and told me of her
very narrow escape. I did not hesitate an instant to say, "I will take
out the horse I am driving. You know him to be a perfect mount, and I
will put 'the big bay' in my trap." The lady did not wish me to do so,
knowing the risk I ran in putting a horse in harness that had never
been in such before. I at last succeeded in prevailing on her not to
lose the day's sport, changed the saddle with great difficulty, and
attached "the big bay" to my dog-cart; after a few plunges and an
endeavour to get away, he settled down, and has since gone grandly. My
friend, though a very bold man, would not get in with me for some
time. I hope after this explanation your correspondent will be
sufficiently generous to allow that I did all in my power to insure
the safety of a most precious life. With regard to the term
"rough-rider," as applied by "Jermyn" to Mrs. O'Donoghue, I feel
assured if he knew the lady he would not for worlds have used such an
expression.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient servant,

ONE WHO HAS RIDDEN TO HOUNDS FOR OVER SIXTY YEARS.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--I should by no means recommend a young lady to wear a spur when
learning in a riding-school, but from my own experience I strongly
advise all girls beginning to ride on the road never to mount their
steeds without a sharp spur on their left boot. The second time I went
out riding, when I was fourteen, my cob, startled by some noise,
suddenly began to rear and pitch vigorously. I applied my whip sharply
across his flank, but without effect. I then gave him a series of
sharp pricks with my spur, which completely subdued him. Had I been
without a spur I should probably have been thrown and severely
injured. I should certainly prefer a spur with a rowel as "Southern
Cross" recommends, but would it not be apt to tear the habit?

I am, &c.

MABEL FLORENCE RAYNE.

The Firs, Cheltenham,

November 1, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--A correspondent in your last number advises ladies to use a
rowel spur, with five prongs, long and sharp, so, as a friend of
horses, I am inclined to write an objection to their taking this
advice. In the first place, from the nature of a lady's seat, her
armed heel would often unintentionally irritate and annoy the horse;
and in the second place many would probably use this instrument of
torture too severely, and therefore cruelly. A rowel spur, with five
long and sharp prongs--in fact, a jockey's spur--is a much more severe
instrument than is required for ordinary riding, either by man or
woman, and the advantage of the ladies' bore spur is, that it can only
be applied when intended, and then is quite sufficiently severe. I
have no objection to ladies, who are good horsewomen, wearing a spur,
and using it, too, as severely as necessary, but I have great
objections to any unnecessary pain or annoyance being given to my
friends, the horses. Another lady correspondent of yours says that a
spur is quite indispensable for hunting. If she means that it should
always be worn in case it is required, I agree; but I have ridden a
courageous high-tempered horse for years with hounds without ever
using the spur.

I am, &c.

FAIR PLAY.

Glasgow, 1st November 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--As the subject of spurs and other riding equipment for ladies
seems at the present time to occupy and interest many of your fair
readers, permit me, on behalf of my sisters, who are horsewomen of
some experience, both at home and in the colonies, and who have
practically tried most known riding-costumes, to recommend, through
the medium of your columns, the following as a comfortable and
serviceable riding-dress for a lady, for long country rides, picnics,
&c.; of course not for the Park, or a lawn meet. Habit--a short,
strong hunting-skirt, short enough to walk in with comfort, with
jacket of same cloth as skirt, made loose enough to admit of a jersey
being worn under it if required; a wide leather belt for the waist,
fastening with a buckle. This belt will be found a great comfort and
support when on horseback for many hours. Hat of soft felt, or a
melon-shaped hat. Pantaloons of chamois leather, buttoning close at
the ankles. Hussar or Wellington boots, reaching to about four inches
of the knee, to be worn over the pantaloons, made of Peel leather with
_moderate_-sized heels, tipped with brass, and soles strong but not
thick. A leather stud should be sewn on the left boot, about 2-1/2
inches above the heel, on which stud the spur should rest, and thus be
kept in its place without tight buckling. The spur found to be the
most useful after the trial of many is a rowel spur of plated steel,
about two inches to two and-a-half inches long, strong and light,
hunting shape, and fastened with a strap and buckle, the foot-strap of
plated steel chain. This chain foot-strap looks neater than a leather
one, and does not become cut or worn out when on foot on rough or
rocky ground. The rowel pin is a screw pin; thus the rowel can be
changed at pleasure, and a sharp or a blunt one fitted as is required
by the horse one rides. The spur I mention can be obtained of Messrs.
Maxwell & Co., Piccadilly, London; or of Mr. Thompson, saddler, Dawson
street, Dublin.

Some ladies affect two spurs--one, the right, being fitted with a
blank rowel; this is, of course, for appearance sake when dismounted.
I have not often seen two spurs worn. I am not alluding to Miss Bird's
riding-costume, as described in her books, _Life in the Sandwich
Islands_ and _The Rocky Mountains_. She rode _à la cavalière_, in a
Mexican saddle, and wearing big rowel Mexican spurs, and appears from
her account to have preferred this style of riding to the modern style
and side-saddle. Some years ago I saw a photograph of the Queen of
Naples (I think in 1860), representing the queen mounted _à la
cavalière_, wearing a high felt hat, a long white cloak,
patent-leather jack-boots, and gilt spurs. Can any of your readers
inform me if this style of riding for ladies is a custom of Southern
Italy as well as Mexico and the Sandwich Islands?

I am, &c.

JACK SPUR.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--I cannot regret that my letter has given the authoress of this
work, and also the owner of the "big bay" horse, an opportunity of
explaining the circumstances attending her mount on that puissant but
headstrong animal, and of repudiating the erroneous construction put
upon it, as probably the same idea may have occurred to many other
readers of the anecdote, who may not have cared to express their
sentiments. I must say, however, that I am very sorry if my remarks
occasioned pain to either of your correspondents. The explanation
given shows clearly that no blame was really attributable to the
gentleman who offered the mount, and I can well believe he never
dreamt of danger with the horse in such skilful hands. No one would
doubt the sincerity of the statement given, that the horse was put in
harness for the first time and driven away, after such an experience
of his temper; but it speaks more highly for the courage than
discretion of his owner, and I can well understand the friend's
hesitation to share the driving-seat, for there are few things more
trying to the nerves than to sit behind a determined bolter. Perhaps I
write feelingly, having been in that predicament myself three years
ago, resulting in a fractured hip and permanent lameness. I will most
certainly admit that the chivalrous gentleman did all, and more than
was necessary, to avert further peril to the lady who had so narrow an
escape. As for the obnoxious term "rough rider," to which exception is
taken, it was intended to be used generally and not individually; if
it has unfortunately happened that Mrs. Power O'Donoghue, whom I have
never had the pleasure of seeing, took it in a personal sense, I most
sincerely beg her forgiveness, and will ask her rather to accept, as
applicable to herself, the earlier remarks about ladies on horseback
at the conclusion of my letter, and the assurance of my belief that
such a gentlewoman as she is described could never be a _rough_ rider
in any way.

I am, &c.

JERMYN.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--The spur with a five-pointed rowel was strongly recommended for
ladies' use many years ago in the _Queen_, and is worn by many: it
does not tear the habit, and is not more severe than the spring-sheath
spur with a point of the same length, as only one point of the rowel
can prick the horse at a time; indeed, it is not so severe, as it can
be applied with a very slight touch, which generally is all that is
required, whilst the spring-sheath spur must be applied with
sufficient force to overcome the resistance of the spring, with the
result that the horse is often more sharply pricked than the rider
intends. The points of a lady's spur should be long enough to be
effective if the skirt of the habit intervenes, as, with any
arrangement, it sometimes will do, when, if the points are too short,
the horse does not feel it. I dissent from the statement of "Fairplay"
that, "from the nature of a lady's seat, her armed heel would often
unintentionally irritate and annoy her horse." If applied to a clumsy
rider the statement is accurate, but a lady who is a moderately good
rider has no difficulty in keeping her foot in the proper position,
and a lady's left foot should be in the same position as a man's;
whilst, as a lady has the third crutch to steady her left leg, she has
less excuse than a man would have for the unintentional use of the
spur; but this evil carries its own antidote, for the lady would soon
perceive the result of the irritation, and become more careful. The
best way to cure a boy of turning out his toes and holding on with his
heels is to give him a pair of long-necked spurs, and then put him on
a fidgetty horse; a few minutes' experience teaches him more than a
month of lecturing. I never knew of a mishap occurring to a lady
through accidentally spurring her horse, but I have known many
instances of ladies being put to great inconvenience and annoyance
through not wearing a spur, and I do not understand why a lady should
be more likely than a man to use it with undue severity. That it is an
advantage to a lady is clearly shown by the fact that a lady who once
tries one always continues its use. "Fairplay" is also mistaken about
the spring-sheath spur, for it is as readily applied as any other,
though more force is required, which is objectionable, and especially
so in park riding, when the spring of the horse to an unintentionally
sharp application betrays the action of the rider. I claim to be as
good a friend of horses as "Fairplay," but I have some regard for the
rider as well as for the horse, and I consider that, whilst we are
justified in riding horses, we are justified in using such reasonable
aids as we find most satisfactory to ourselves; and I have no sympathy
with anyone who objects to a lady availing herself of the convenience
and assistance so readily supplied by a judiciously-used spur, which
every horseman knows cannot, in very many cases, be obtained by any
other means, and which he never hesitates to avail himself of. In
these days of locomotion a lady loses a great deal of the pleasures of
travelling, and of the opportunities of seeing the countries she may
visit, unless she can and will ride such horses as she may meet with
in those countries; and even in the rural districts of England there
is many an old nag of the "Proputty Proputty" type, which (though not
possessed of the special points of a lady's horse--"Oh! such a lovely
mane and tail") will carry a lady tolerably well if he feels the spur
occasionally. If "Mabel Florence Rayne" tries the rowel spur and the
bit I mentioned in my former letter, I am sure she will be satisfied
with them, and perhaps she will write her opinion for the benefit of
others. The excellent and sensible letters of Mrs. Power O'Donoghue
will probably convince people that a horse, when he has a lady on his
back, is very much the same kind of animal, and requires very much the
same kind of management, as when he is ridden by a man. If Mrs. Power
O'Donoghue can obtain this result, she will sweep away many of the
peculiar prejudices and ideas that now prevail as to all matters
appertaining to ladies on horseback.

I am, &c.

SOUTHERN CROSS.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--In the article under the above-mentioned heading, published in
your issue of the 6th November, Mrs. Power O'Donoghue recommends that
horses' tails should not be docked. Dealers, when offering horses for
sale, do not usually volunteer any information as to whether the
horses have been docked. I wish, therefore, to inform any intending
purchasers who may not know how to ascertain whether a horse has been
docked, and who may wish to obtain some which have not been disfigured
in this manner, that if the dock (that is, the portion of the tail
which consists of bones and muscles, &c.) is in its natural state, the
hair grows thickly at the end or tip of it, and there is no bare space
there; but if it has been shortened by a portion of it being cut off
(or docked), there is at the end or tip of it a circular space of
about an inch in diameter, entirely bare of hair. When a horse has
been docked, the hair of the tail scarcely grows after it has reached
to within six or seven inches above the hocks. The hocks of a large
horse are about twenty-five inches above the ground. It is a general
custom with London dealers to cut the hair of the tail very short
before offering a horse for sale, so that it does not come down lower
than to a distance of about nine inches above the hocks. The buyer
cannot then tell to what length the tail is likely to grow. If
customers would refuse to buy horses with the hair of the tail cut
short, perhaps the practice in question would be discontinued by the
dealers.

I am, Sir, &c.

X. Y. Z.

London, November 10, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--In your paper of last week I notice a letter on the advisability
of ladies on horseback adopting the cross-saddle in place of the side,
that is to say, in plain English, ride astride. This I have done
abroad when far beyond conventional bondage, and it is incomparably
better. Your correspondent points out the evils resulting from the
one-sided twisted seat, which a lady now has, and also, in the same
paper, the authoress of _Ladies on Horseback_ says how impossible it
is with only one foot in the stirrup to rise comfortably to a high
trotter. Now I should never have dared to name such a change had it
not been thus mooted. Society will shriek out and say, "Woman would be
indeed out of place thus." Why? I am sure with a proper dress there is
nothing to hurt the extremely proper feelings of the most modest. All
who have hunted know that the _very_ short skirted habits at times
display, well, say the leg of the fair _equestrienne_ most liberally.
Now the dress for the cross-horse style is much the same as a bathing
suit, loose Zouave drawers drawn close below the knee, and fastened
tightly over the boot at the ankle; a loose tunic, long enough to come
almost to the knee when mounted, lightly belted at the waist, a cape
falling over the shoulders, not quite to the elbows. This is my attire
when free to ride in the _only_ really comfortable way, a foot in each
stirrup. Oh, no woman would ever be twisted and packed on to a side
saddle again if she could help it, after once enjoying the ease and
freedom, as well as complete control of her horse which a man's seat
gives.

So far as exhibitions of limbs go, it is much more delicate, and there
is nothing to offend the most sensitive lady in this style. Only it is
not fashionable. When shall we cease to prostrate ourselves before
that Juggernaut of fashion? For all paces and in every instance it is
better, and the risk of accidents is reduced at _least one half_. It
is a wonderful ease in long rides to _vary the stirrup length_. The
military, almost straight-leg, trot, I think the easiest, but, on the
other hand, some of the best riders I have ever seen abroad ride with
a very short stirrup; it is a matter of habit and custom. But if the
fashion were once introduced here, I know it would prove a priceless
boon to ladies who love riding. Let some lady who has the opportunity
once try it in her own private grounds (at first) or in some quiet,
out-of-the-way country lane or moorland, and she will be surprised. It
is a _new existence on horseback_, and _nothing_ indelicate about it,
clad as I have named. Oh, what a difference it does make. It is
twenty-three years now since I first took the idea from a book
published by a lady, entitled, _Unprotected Females in Norway_, and
whenever I can, I always ride so, of course abroad or even in the far
north of Scotland. What a sensation in the Row would a party of ladies
make thus mounted! Again, it is much easier for the horse, having your
weight fairly distributed, not all perched on one side. Your seat is
much firmer; leaping is, oh, so easy; in fact, your power seems
doubled in every way. In case of conflict with your horse, you feel a
veritable centaur compared with the side seat, where you have no grip,
only the aid of the saddle, but with the aid of your own knees and a
foot on each side of the horse I think I _could not be thrown_. Oh, I
wish it could be initiated, dear Mr. Editor. Do use your influence in
this direction. And it really looks well when the dress is well-made
and tasty, and you feel so very free and at ease, can turn about any
way, not pinned on to your horse, or rather on to your saddle, as
ladies are. I could give full directions to make an outfit for going
abroad in this style; you would smile at my saddle I know, but it is
so comfortable. I can hardly bear to ride on an orthodox one now. That
is the worst of it. I have been mounted on mules in this manner in
Honduras, and ridden immense distances without being stiff or tired
unduly. Some of these are the animals to try _your mettle and seat_,
and I was only once thrown, owing to a stirrup-leather breaking. Then
a lady is able to use spurs as easily as possible, no trouble about
habit skirts tearing or getting in the way of the spur. With a sharp
spur on each foot you can do anything with your horse, so very
different from the wretched box spurs, eternally entangled in your
habit or out of order. I do wish an association could be formed to
carry out the idea; one or two could not do it, it must be
simultaneous. For little girls it would be simply invaluable as an
improvement on the present style, which really does cause distortion
of the spine and a one-sided carriage when girls ride much. Do please
ventilate this question, and oblige very much,

Yours, &c.

HERSILIE.

P.S.--I have taken your paper ever since October 2nd, when I first saw
_Ladies on Horseback_ in it, and have been much pleased with it, and
also much amused with the correspondence thereon, but I never expected
to see ladies' change of seat advocated, and am so glad to-day to find
that it is.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--Permit me to state that the object in having the screw rowel-pin
in the spur, recommended by me for the use of ladies in your number of
November 13th, is in order to enable the wearers to use a mild or a
severe rowel, according to the requirements of the horses they ride. I
am very much against sharp spurs for ladies (or gentlemen either),
unless they are absolutely required; but from some experience, both at
home and abroad, I am quite convinced that the wearing of a spur
should be the rule and not the exception. If the rowel is moderately
sharp only, no cruelty can arise, less I maintain than in the use of a
whip. I strongly object to the use of the sheath spur because of its
severity; it must be applied with a _kick_ to be of any use, and the
effect is usually much more punishing than there is any necessity for.
If ladies will use rowel spurs with _moderately_ sharp rowels, such as
are usual in gentlemen's park spurs, they will find that they are in
possession of a very useful aid (certainly not a cruel one), and if
fitted on a neat patent leather hussar or Wellington boot, a very
ornamental one as well.

I am, &c.

JACK SPUR.

December, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--The correspondence on Mrs. Power O'Donoghue's articles has
contained many remarks on ladies' spurs, but I have noticed scarcely
any reference to one point which I think is worth consideration--namely,
the mode of fastening. I think ladies would find it an advantage to
wear what are known as "spring" or "box" spurs, instead of those
fastening with the usual straps, or strap and chain. I have never seen
a lady's spur of this description, but possibly they are made--if not,
they easily could be. They are much the most easy to attach or remove,
and there is no chance of a strap being cut in walking or otherwise,
or of an over-tight buckle hurting the foot. Their principal
advantage, however, is not one of mere convenience, but of safety; the
absence of strap and buckle removes one element in a great
danger--that of the foot sticking in the stirrup in a fall. Captain
Whyte-Melville speaks from observation of the risk of the buckle
catching in the angle of the stirrup-iron, and says he has never seen
a spurless boot so entangled. He is arguing against the wearing of
spurs at all; but the risk is avoided if box spurs be worn. Since I
became convinced that the strap and buckle were a quite possible,
though perhaps unlikely, source of danger, I have altogether discarded
them, and have felt my feet more free in the stirrups in consequence.
Box spurs are certainly not fashionable in the hunting-field, and I
have often seen people looking askance at them; I suppose a particular
man misses the finish that the strap gives to the boot. But I don't
think that matters much, and to ladies it would not matter at all, as
the difference could very seldom be detected. In getting spurs or
boxes, I find it convenient to adhere always to the regulation cavalry
size, because then one's old spurs fit one's new boots, and _vice
versâ_. It would be well to have a uniform standard for ladies' spurs
also. I have not ventured to say anything on the subject of spurs
generally--my own opinion is that legitimate occasion for their use is
excessively rare--and I dare say my suggestion may seem very trivial.
But I do not think any precaution is trivial which lessens, however
slightly, the risk of that most disagreeable and dangerous of
accidents--getting "hung up."

I am, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

OXONIAN.

Ball. Col., Oxon., December, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--I cannot but feel flattered that my _Ladies on Horseback_ papers
should have called forth so large a correspondence. I have read every
letter most carefully, and on perusing that of "Hersilie," which
appeared in last week's issue, it struck me, from two of her
observations, that persons might suppose I had said something to
advocate the style of riding of which she approves. Permit me to say,
emphatically, that I have never done so, and that I fervently hope, in
the interests of my sex, that such a practice may never be introduced.
Modesty is, in my opinion, a woman's most exquisite attribute; once
this, or the semblance of it, is lost, her fairest charm is gone.
Nothing could be more ungraceful or more unwomanly than for women to
ride like men; and for short women or "little girls," it would be
_most_ objectionable. I maintain that a lady who knows how to sit has a
far safer and surer seat on a side-saddle than a man can ever have, and
that her grip of the pommels affords her infinitely greater security
than a man's "grip of the knees." "Hersilie" is correct in saying that
short-skirted hunting-habits frequently ride up, but she might just as
well say that hunting-hats frequently fall off, and that ladies' back
hair frequently comes down--giving these facts as a reason for
discarding head-gear, whether natural or artificial. As a rule, nothing
that is properly made and properly adjusted ever comes to grief. It is
by going to cheap and incompetent habit-makers, neglecting to stitch
elastics to their hats, and plaiting the hair too loosely (being also
too sparing of hair-pins), that ladies are inconvenienced and made to
blush. Two yards wide round the hem is ample for a hunting-habit, which
should fit like a glove about the hips. First-class tailors always have
a model horse, upon which they mount their lady customers, and thus
secure the right position for the slope at the knee, upon which so much
of the "set" of the skirt depends. A well-dressed woman, sitting
properly upon a well-constructed saddle, cannot, in my opinion, be
improved upon for style and comfort, and I hope it will be long indeed
before ladies strive to follow in any way the customs or callings of
the sterner sex. I may add that one of the chief recommendations of a
box spur is that it does _not_ get out of order, nor can it possibly
become entangled, unless the habit-skirt be one of those which some
ladies still persist in wearing--nearly twice too long, and quite
three times too wide. I earnestly hope "Hersilie" will take these
observations in good part. I make them in a perfectly friendly spirit.
I feel kindly towards all ladies, especially those who love horses; and
so I offer "Hersilie" a warm shake-hands, and hope she will fight me as
much as ever she likes--in a friendly way, of course!

Now, a word to "Jack Spur." I think he is under a mistake in averring
that there is any severity in the sheath spur. He says it must be
applied with a _kick_. As I always ride with one, and never with any
other description, I must entirely differ from him in this opinion. A
slight pressure is alone necessary. No gentlewoman would be guilty of
kicking her horse. I strongly object to rowels, as I hold to the
belief that almost anybody--except a really first-class
_équestrienne_--would be likely to hurt or worry the horse in an
unnecessary manner.

Strange to say, I had only got thus far in my letter when the post
brought me a communication from Stirling, signed "Reform," begging of
me to advocate ladies riding upon the cross-saddle. Were it not that
the writer says so many nice, kind things of myself (for which I beg
to thank her) I should be really angry at the tremendous display of
zeal thus wasted upon so unworthy a subject. It is true that a lady's
seat on horseback prevents her pressing her horse up to his bridle as
a man can, _unless_--but there _is_ the unless--she knows how to do
it. A good stout hunting-crop, properly used, will admirably fulfil
the duties of the second leg; but in all my experience, and it is a
pretty wide one, I have never seen more than two lady riders who had
any idea of making a horse gallop or sending him up to his bit. I do
not mean riding his head off--we unfortunately see too much of that;
but pressing him up to his work, and riding him with firm,
_accomplished_ hands, such as are only to be obtained by good
teaching, long and constant practice, and real love of the art. To
give some idea of the hazy notion which most persons have about
riding, a lady who came to call upon me in London, and who certainly
meant to be most kind and polite, said, as we sat at our afternoon
tea, "I am looking at your hands; how well-developed they are, from
_pulling your horses_, I suppose!" She thought I was offended when I
told her that my riding gloves were No. 6, and that I never pulled my
horses; but I am not captious, nor would it be possible to take
offence with one who so little intended to cause it.

The offer which I made at the conclusion of my _Ladies on Horseback_,
to answer private inquiries, has led to such a host of letters that,
although I regularly devote one hour every morning to the task of
replying to each in turn, I find it impossible to keep pace with the
work. Will you, therefore, sir, with the kindness extended to me upon
a former occasion, suffer me to answer a few of my correspondents
through the medium of your columns.

RICHARD R.--One measure three times daily, with a good double-handful
of Indian corn mixed through it.

CAPTAIN SWORDARM.--The oats will require two waters. The grains should
swell and separate, like rice boiled for curries.

EVELYN HARKESS.--Your parcel has not reached me. My tailor will
endeavour to please you.

JANE V.--A very cruel practice.

REFORM.--You will see that I have acknowledged your letter. Judging by
the postmark it should have come to hand three days ago, but you gave
the wrong address, and it went on a seeking expedition. "Dublin" will
at any time find me. This is also for "Quilp," "B. Max," and "Violet
Grey."

ELLA.--Your horse is evidently a rough trotter, and can never be
pleasant to ride. Try to exchange or sell him.

MARY PERPLEXED.--The pommels of your saddle are most likely too far
apart; that is, the leaping head is placed too low. If you cannot
change it, ride with a longer stirrup-leather. I have been lately
shown the preparation for an improved side-saddle, by Messrs. F. V.
Nicholls & Co., of 2 Jermyn Street, comprising a patented arrangement
for the third crutch or leaping-head. I think that this will be a
great boon to those ladies who, like myself, have suffered
inconvenience and accident from the leaping-head being a fixture, and
not in the position required to afford a proper degree of support, and
at the same time to admit of the stirrup-leather being used of correct
length for an easy, secure, and graceful seat. The improvement of the
new saddle consists in a sliding socket or apparatus, by which the
leaping-head can be moved freely backward or forward to any position,
and instantly fixed firmly by the rider herself, thus enabling a lady
to alter at any time the length of her stirrup, and yet gain every
requisite support from the third crutch. Another little innovation by
the same experienced saddlers in riding bridles, an adaptation of my
favourite double-ring snaffle. The loose rings of the snaffle have
some extra loops, appended to which is a short noseband, acted upon by
one rein, giving a powerful effect in stopping a runaway horse, whilst
the use of the other rein singly has the pleasant and easy nature of
the ordinary snaffle-bridle. The principle of this bridle, which is
called "the improved Newmarket snaffle" is, of course, equally
applicable to the use of persons of either sex.

GILES.--Have the shoe taken off and give him rest.

URSA MAJOR.--There is no real cure for ringbone. Do not waste your
money.

CLAUDE, EMMA VANE, N. PARKES, HENRY B., RHODA, NELLIE K., and
thirty-one others, write to me for--photographs! I am sorry that "for
lack of gold" I cannot supply a kindly public with my pictures, and I
am not vain enough to state publicly where they may be had.

NIMROD.--Pleader was purchased from me last week by the Earl of
Eglinton. It will, therefore, be unnecessary for me to reply to any
further inquiries respecting him. I named his price and made no
change, nor was I asked to do so.

CROPPER.--You were evidently sitting loosely, and thus suffered for
your carelessness. You will not be caught napping the next time.

ANXIOUS, MARTHA, and a host of others have asked me a very familiar
question, "How I learned to ride?" I have hitherto avoided answering,
rather than introduce a name whose owner did not wish me to do so. But
I think I may hope to win his pardon. Most, if not all, my skill in
the saddle is mainly due to the kind and untiring patience of my dear
old friend and teacher, Mr. Allan McDonogh, who--despite his
threescore years and ten--was, up to the time of his lamentable
accident, ever ready to act as my pilot and instructor.

ENQUIRER.--Ride a steady horse, and your nerve will come back again.
Mine did, after a much more terrible mischance.

CORSICAN BROTHER.--It is not true.

CRITIC.--You only discovered one mistake, but there are really _three_
in my story, "In Search of a Wonder," which appeared in the Christmas
Number of this journal. In place of "hustled me out _of_ a sort of
enclosure," read "_to_ a sort of enclosure." Also, "suddenness"
requires two n's, and "carr_a_ttella" is the correct way to spell a
word which signifies a small cart or rough carriage peculiar to the
Piedmontese. These are all printer's errors, and should have been
corrected by me, but I revised my proof in a crowded coffee-room of a
London hotel, with at least a dozen persons talking to me as I did so,
and thus, being also pressed for time, a few mistakes escaped my
notice.

To you, sir, and to all my friends, best wishes for the New Year, and
many grateful thanks for more kindness than I can deem myself worthy
of.

Yours obediently,

NANNIE POWER O'DONOGHUE.

Dublin, December 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--In case no one more able than myself answers "Hersilie's" letter
in this week's number of your valuable paper, will you allow me, in
the name of many lady riders who "can" use the side-saddle, to write
and protest against the idea cropping up of our riding like men? I
cannot help feeling justly indignant with those who try to introduce
such a radical change, for, surely, we are already too much inclined
to follow all the ways and pursuits of the opposite sex without so far
forgetting ourselves as to wish to ride as they do. I do not want to
criticise what one is often obliged to do in foreign lands; there it
may prove a necessity, for the riding is not simply for pleasure, but
often the only means of transport, and the horses may not be fitted
for our saddles, nor we accustomed to their paces; but, in England,
the idea of a number of ladies fantastically dressed and mounted like
men must shock many of your readers. I hope "X. Y. Z.," who first
wrote in favour of this change some weeks ago, may pardon me if I say
that the ladies of his or her acquaintance who, in consequence of only
one stirrup, cannot avoid inclining the head and shoulders too much to
the left, &c., and in addition gall their horses' backs, had better
not attempt to ride at all. What is a prettier sight than a
neatly-dressed Englishwoman riding a horse, "as a lady," and should we
retain the same respect we now get if we gave up, in this particular,
the few feminine tokens left to us. Why not let us accept the male
attire altogether? It would be far more to our comfort in getting
about on foot, and if one change is so advisable, surely the other is
quite as sensible. I agree with "Hersilie" in thinking that the habits
of the present day are indelicately short, and I cannot see that
ladies ride any better showing their boots and with their arms akimbo
than they did a year or so ago, when their feet were covered and no
daylight showed between their arms. I come of as "horsey" a family as
any in England, and have ridden ever since I could sit upright; but I
never experienced, or knew that my sisters experienced, any of the
troubles "X. Y. Z." and "Hersilie" complain of. My father, who was our
sole instructor, put us on any animal that he thought likely to suit
his own riding, and no matter where we were, in the hunting-field or
elsewhere, the least deviation from sitting square would bring from
him the sharp reprimand of, "What are you doing? Bring that left
shoulder up, and don't let me see any daylight between your arms!" He
also insisted that our stirrups should be short, even to discomfort,
until we got used to it; but this prevented any chance of our hurting
the horse's back, which most frequently comes from a lady riding with
a long stirrup, and when she trots having to seek her stirrup, which
constantly moves her saddle, and makes her as well look most awkward
and one-sided.

If not trespassing too much, may I say one other little word in the
interest of the horses I love so well? Over and over again, lately,
have I seen the advice given in your paper that we should never be
without a spur. Now, sir, if my experience can have any weight, I will
say that I have hunted and ridden across country in all parts of
Gloucestershire all my young days, that I was put on horses whether
they or I liked it or not, both kind, unkind, or violent ones, and I
am thankful to say that the idea of my wearing a spur never entered my
father's head nor mine. It seems to me such an underhand way of
punishing one's horse--a real feminine species of torture, for no one
sees the dig, dig, dig, but there it is all the time; and many a
horse, I firmly believe, comes to grief with its rider simply because,
not understanding its power, she taxes it beyond its strength. Not one
horse in twenty will refuse, or need either whip or spur if he knows
his mistress, and if he does he is not fit for inexperienced riders.

I wish every girl was taught as I have been, "that a horse can do no
wrong." This made me study the peculiarities of every animal I was put
upon, and I have never had an accident of any kind. Every horsewoman
who loves riding must be proud of the feats accomplished by Mrs. Power
O'Donoghue in the side-saddle, but would she be admired or respected
as she is if she turned out as a man and rode as men do? It is being
able to sit square and ride straight on a side-saddle, that we should
be vain of, and not wish to make a change, which could only bring
Englishwomen down in the estimation of all those who are now so justly
proud of them on horseback.

I am, Sir,

Yours, &c.

THE LADYBIRD.

December 18, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--Will you allow me to make one or two remarks upon a letter I
read last night in your valuable paper? It is from a correspondent
speaking of the ill effects produced by the use of side-saddles.

In the first place your correspondent should remember that the back of
the horse, as well as the shoulder, is soft and tender when not in
condition, that is, in constant work, and not fit for either riding or
driving long distances at once, without damage. Get the back carefully
and well seasoned, or accustomed to the side-saddle, during the time
the horse is getting into condition for the hunting-field, and use a
leather saddle-cloth under the saddle; let it be long enough, and not
the shape of the saddle, and have all properly put on the horse, and
you will not come to grief with six or seven hours' work, or before
the lady is tired; that is, provided the lady will sit well down and
steady in her saddle, and keep her horse as much from trotting as
possible. Her horse must learn to canter slowly both to cover and
home, it will be much better for the horse and much easier for the
lady when she is accustomed to it; she will not be troubled any more
with horses with sore backs. Another remark from "X. Y. Z." is, it is
said that curvature of the spine sometimes ensues from children being
taught at too early an age to ride on side-saddles. I fear the mistake
is by the said children not having been taught how to sit or to put
themselves in form for their own comfort, but left to sit as they like
on horseback and get bad habits they cannot get rid of, never throwing
the weight of the body in its proper place. Then, as to the remark
about the riding-habit on the pommels, that disadvantage either has,
or ought to have, passed away a long time ago; for I am well satisfied
that a lady can so dress herself for the hunting-field in boots,
Bedfords, and plenty of flannel that she can keep herself warm and
comfortable without a great, strong, heavy, long riding-habit. Let the
habit be short and very light, and by no means bound round the bottom
part with anything strong, but left so that it will give way either in
a fall or in leaping through a high fence. I wonder if Mr. Lovell had
his knife in his pocket when he saw his daughter suspended by the
habit, which would neither tear nor be removed; had it been of light,
thin material, and short, the sad accident would not have occurred. I
am satisfied a little care and proper attention will put all things
right of which your correspondent complains.

I am, &c.

O. P.

December, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--In your issue of the 4th December, "Farmer" writes that his
horses are fed upon oats which have been soaked in cold water, and
that he has the corn thus prepared because he could not easily manage
to have a steaming apparatus for cooking the food in the way that is
recommended by Mr. Edward Mayhew M.R.C.V.S., in his _Illustrated Horse
Management_. The plan that I have adopted during the last two months
has been to have the oats put in a pail (made of oakwood) in the
evening, and to pour upon them from a kettle a sufficient quantity of
boiling water to rise a little above the oats; a sack is placed over
it to keep in the heat, and the oats are then left to soak during the
night; on the following morning the husk is so much softened that it
will yield to the pressure of the thumb and finger. In this state the
oats are more easily digested by the horse, and it is better for his
teeth than to have to bite a hard substance. A wooden pail is
preferable to a zinc one, because it does not conduct the heat from
the oats so much as one of the latter description does. A lid would
be, perhaps, better than a sack. The pail should not be filled with
the oats, because the latter will swell when soaked. In the stall in
our stable there is no water-trough at the side of the manger, and in
order that the horse may have water within reach during the day and
night, a zinc pail is placed in and at the end of the manger, and the
handle of it is secured by a chain to the iron bars forming the upper
part of the partition between the two stalls. In the loose-box, a pail
containing water is suspended by a chain to some iron bars placed
inside the window.

I am, &c.

X. Y. Z.

London, December, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--I cannot but feel flattered that Mrs. O'Donoghue has so frankly
and kindly invited me to "break a lance" with her. I do, with both my
hands and with all my heart, reciprocate her "warm shake-hands," and,
vizor down and spear in rest, ride full tilt at her in fair and open
fight to do my poor _devoirs_, if you will allow me once again to
enter the lists in your paper. If Mrs. O'Donoghue will read her paper
in your number for November 27th she will find these words: "My
companion was in ease while I was in torture." Why was this? "Because
he had a leg on either side of his mount, his weight equally
distributed, and an equal support upon both sides; in fact, he had, as
all male riders have, the advantage of a double support in the rise;
consequently, at the moment when his weight was removed from the
saddle, it was thrown upon both sides, and this equal distribution
enabled him to accomplish without fatigue that slow rise and fall
which is so tiring to a lady whose weight, when she is out of the
saddle, is thrown entirely upon one delicate limb, thus inducing her
to fall again as soon as possible."

Again, in the very next paragraph, Mrs. O'Donoghue says, "A man will
be able to stand in his stirrups for a considerable time, even to ride
at a gallop, so doing because he transfers his weight equally to his
feet; but how rarely do we see a lady balanced upon one leg! The
sensation is not agreeable, and would, moreover, be unpleasantly
productive of wrung backs." These are verbatim extracts from "Part
Three continued." I think my preference for a leg on each side of my
horse, and a distribution of my weight equally on to each foot, is
most eloquently and forcibly justified by Mrs. O'Donoghue when she
wrote the above. I did not suggest, or at any rate did not mean to
suggest, that she advocated a cross-seat for ladies, but that she
unmistakably pointed out the great advantages of such a seat her own
words abundantly testify. Again, some of the healthiest children I
have ever seen are poor little gipsy girls, who, from being able to
mount a donkey, have always ridden astride when once past the pannier
period of their nomadic life. Also, some of the short, stout peasant
women of Normandy ride thus, as well as the Indian squaws, and
certainly these will compare favourably as to robust health with their
side-saddle sisters of civilisation; to say nothing of the South
American ladies. We have also the testimony of many lady travellers as
to the superiority of a cross-seat when horseback is the only mode of
transit. I cannot admit that in any case, even for "short women" or
"little girls," it would be "most objectionable," that is, from a
hygienic point of view. On the score of modesty, _de gustibus_, &c.
&c. But then I allow a great latitude on such a point (our highest
order carries the truest motto, _honi soit qui mal y pense_). In fact,
I do not regard it as a question of modesty at all; simply of
convenience, efficiency, and comfort. Mrs. O'Donoghue also says how
rare it is to meet with a perfect lady's horse. "In all my wide
experience I have met but two." Why? because a lady (and mainly on
account of her side-seat, as I believe) is heavily handicapped as
compared with a man in her choice of a horse, or, I should say, in her
requirements from her horse. Every remark in the whole of the papers,
"Ladies on Horseback," as to kindness, temper, and gentleness in the
treatment of a horse I most cordially endorse, and I have to thank the
fair authoress for the pleasure I have had in their perusal.

A word or two in answer to "The Ladybird." In reply to her opening
remarks, I merely observe, "use is second nature," and had she
happened to have lived before "Anne of Bohemia" introduced
side-saddles she would have had no room for "indignation"; possibly in
that case she would have always ridden pillion. Oh! if we could only
once realise how much we are the slaves of fashion, how soon would the
yoke be broken! Contrast the crinoline of 1857 and the umbrella-case
attire of 1877; put a fashionable belle of the latter alongside her
sister of only twenty years earlier mode. What a satire on taste, on
modesty so called! But I would also ask "Ladybird" (if it be worth her
while) to read again my letter of the 18th, and she will find I did
not complain of the side-saddle, which I have an idea I _can_ use, but
pointed out its great inferiority (which I maintain) to the
cross-saddle. The best test perhaps is the foreign one. Mount a horse
without a saddle, but properly bitted, and then decide which is the
more natural and easier seat; in one case you feel an appendage; in
the other almost part of the horse. In the name of womanhood I
repudiate the suggestion of an "underhand way of punishment," being "a
real feminine species of torture." Perhaps it is, under the skirts of
a habit, possible to "dig, dig, dig," for no one sees, truly; but
surely no lady could, or would, spur her horse for the sake of
tormenting him; in my attire at any rate it would not be unseen. The
extraordinary teaching that a "horse can do no wrong" is an axiom with
which I cannot agree. I have been mounted on horses that "could do no
right," or if they could do it would not. And it has taken me all my
time and taxed all my energies to prevent them from doing the things
which they ought not to do; for I do object to a horse attempting to
erect himself in a perpendicular attitude, either from a fore or aft
basis, when I am on his back, and I rejoice to know that I have (in
such cases) on each foot a sharp spur to use with him as a cogent
argument in convincing him that ordinary progression on four legs is
infinitely better than saltimbantique performance on two--at least
from my, his rider's, point of view. On a well-bred, highly-trained
animal a spur is scarce ever required to be used, but even then the
emergency may arise. I really laughed outright when I read what you,
Sir, said of the "shoals of letters" arriving from fair correspondents
"desiring to ride" as "Hersilie" suggested, but this only convinces me
that there are many ladies who feel that it would be--just exactly as
I described it--"a new life on horseback." I could add much more on
the subject, but have already trespassed too long on your space. I
only repeat, let any lady once fairly try it, and she will always
prefer it. I do not for a moment imagine she will always do it. I
admit we must conform to custom, and I strongly deprecate individual
eccentricity, especially in a lady. I shall continue to read all that
appears in your paper on this and kindred topics with deep interest.
Again, I specially thank Mrs. Power O'Donoghue for her genial and
kindly expression of goodwill, and again heartily shake the shadowy
hand she offers. I quite believe a No. 6 gloved hand can control a
horse as well as any 7, 7½, or 8, if it only be possessed of the
cunning. And thanking you, sir, for your kindness, allow me as a woman
to have the last word, and again assert, "the cross seat is much the
better."

Yours, &c.

HERSILIE.

Ambleside (_pro tem._), Dec. 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--Kindly permit me to say a few words in reply to "Hersilie's"
letter, which appeared in your issue of last week. I am referred to my
own paper in your number for November 27, but "Hersilie" does not
quote correctly, or perhaps the error is the printer's. I think I said
"My companion was _at_ ease, whilst I was in torture." Now, I merely
related the incident with which these words were associated in order
to instruct ladies how to avoid the double rise--not to advocate for a
single instant their riding upon a cross-saddle. I am quite ready to
reiterate my statement that the position of a man enables him to ride
a rough or clumsy trotter with infinitely greater ease than can a
woman; but women should not, in my opinion, ride such _at all_, nor
should I have done so, as related in your paper of November 27, were
it not that my host, an immensely heavy man, had none but big rough
horses in his stable, and I was obliged either to accept a mount upon
one of them, for at least _once_, or give offence to a dear kind
friend, which I would not do to avoid even a greater amount of
inconvenience than I experienced upon the occasion in question.

The cross-seat is not the only thing which ladies may envy the sterner
sex, without at the same time advocating the propriety of encroaching
upon their privileges. For my own part I never yet set out to walk on
a wet or muddy day without sincerely envying every man who passed me,
his big boots, tucked-up trousers, and freedom from the petticoats and
furbelows which encumber us and make us feel miserable in the rain;
yet I certainly never felt the _smallest_ desire to adopt his costume.
Nor have I ever seen two persons, or two big dogs, engaged in
fighting, that I did not envy the man who rushed between the
combatants and stopped the unseemly exhibition; yet I decidedly
experienced no wish to do it myself. It would not be my place. Men
have their costume, their avocations, their sayings and doings, their
varied callings in the world, and women have theirs. Each should be
separate and distinct from the other. A manly woman, or a womanly man,
is, in the eyes of all rightly-judging persons, a most objectionable
creature. There are many things which a woman may legitimately admire,
and, in a certain sense, _envy_, yet with which she should never
desire to meddle, unless she is ambitious to merge her womanhood in
the semblance of man. The cross-saddle is one of these. It may do very
well in the wilds of a country whose inhabitants are from childhood
accustomed to it, and where all ride alike, but not in civilised
England. As well seek to advocate the dress (or undress) of the Indian
squaws, as to endeavour to introduce their style of riding into a land
whose daughters are as modest as they are fair.

"Hersilie" says:--"I do not regard it as a question of modesty at all,
simply of convenience, efficiency, and comfort." The subject is one
upon which a woman can touch but very lightly, yet may I affirm that
if all women were to lay aside their chief charm, and simply go in for
"convenience, efficiency, and comfort," society would present fewer
attractions than it at present does? I shall leave "The Ladybird" to
answer for herself, but I cannot help saying that I think "Hersilie"
is _hard_ upon her. She and I have met but once, yet I know that she
is gentle and highborn, and worthy of nothing but the love of which
her own Christian heart is composed.

You, sir, must also fight your own little battle, and tell "Hersilie"
she is not to "laugh outright" at any of your "Circular Notes." She
may laugh, of course, at small fry like myself, but I really _can't_
have my Editor laughed at! nor my sweet "Ladybird" crushed!

And now, having said so much, I once again offer a shadowy hand to my
adversary, and hope that though at present we see one another but
darkly, we may yet do so "face to face," and meet as friends.

A word, with your permission, to correspondents:--

EVELYN HARKESS.--I have discovered your parcel. I thought you were
sending it addressed to _me_. You shall have the contents in a few
days.

FLINK.--There is never one worth buying, although unwise persons bid
fast and high. Try a private source, and beware of imposition.

R. KING.--The horse is sold.

H. DUNBAR, SHAMUS O'BRIEN, W. HATFIELD, and ROSE MARIE.--Your
questions are of too personal a nature. If time permits I will answer
privately.

IGNORAMUS.--Dose him with aloes until he is dead sick; then put a
saddle on him, with a sand-bag at either side, and ring him for an
hour. I warrant he will allow a man upon his back after this, nor will
he seek to dislodge him either. It is much better and more humane than
the whipping and spurring which is so grievous to a sensitive
looker-on.

HUGH.--Apply to Mr. Chapman, Oaklands, Cheltenham.

I. STARK.--How shall I thank you? but I know not when I can ride
again. Your recipe, if effectual, would be indeed invaluable. I shall
look for a purchaser for your cob.

MAY-BLOSSOM.--The nicest modern saddles have no stitching about them.
Call at 2, Jermyn Street.

NIMROD II.--I have nothing that would suit you, nor do I ever sell my
horses, unless under exceptional circumstances. I am, of course,
flattered that so many are desirous of possessing what I have ridden,
but my stable is _extremely_ limited. See my reply to HUGH.

HANNAH POWELL.--I shall answer by letter.

SYNNORIX.--I said in a former letter that there was no cure for
ringbone; I have since heard of one which I consider invaluable, and
the lady who possesses it would sell it for a trifling sum. Apply to
Mrs. Slark, Rose Cottage, Bletchley. I hope URSA MAJOR will see this
reply to SYNNORIX, and will profit by my advice, which is to apply at
once for the cure.

K. C., REDCAR.--I am pleased you found my system effectual, but are
you sure you did not carry it out too rigorously? Few would have such
courage.

JOCKEY.--An authority says Fairyhouse, and I dare say he is right,
although there is a double at Punchestown--a big one--at which many a
good man and true has come to signal grief. I saw a fine young racer
killed there last year.

To EDITH, PAUL PRY, JANE BURKITT, CONSTANCE HAYE, and MOUSQUETAIRE,
many thanks. If you write to the Editor he may perhaps give you
information as to the possibility of what you ask.

Yours obediently,

NANNIE POWER O'DONOGHUE.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--As I learned from a recent letter from that most amiable and
talented lady, Mrs. Power O'Donoghue, that her teacher has been the
fine old sportsman, Allen McDonogh, I need wonder no longer at her
having become the very brilliant horsewoman which undoubtedly she is.
A finer or more graceful horseman than her teacher was, has never
lived. Since growing years and increasing weight prevented him from
riding his own horses he has brought out very many crack gentlemen
riders within the past twenty years, some of them quite shining
lights. Amongst some may be enumerated his great friend, Captain
Tempest, 11th Hussars; Captain Prichard Rayner, 5th Dragoon Guards;
Mr. Laurence, 4th Hussars; Captain, now Major, Hutton, 1st Royal
Dragoons; Captain Brown, of the Royal Horse Artillery, who
unfortunately was killed a few years since crossing the railway
returning from a steeplechase meeting held near London; Captain
Ricardo, 15th Hussars; Lieutenant-Colonel McCalmont, 7th Hussars;
Captain Soames, 4th Hussars; and the ever-to-be-regretted Captain the
Hon. Greville Nugent; and last, but by no means least, Mr. Thomas
Beasley, besides many others, all these gentlemen, excepting Mr.
Laurence, having their first winning mount on Mr. McDonogh's horses.
As professionals, he brought out Paddy Gavin and George Gray, the
former of whom, when scarcely more than a child, and weighing but 4
st. 7 lb., rode and won the Prince of Wales' Steeplechase, at
Punchestown, on Blush Rose. I think I may be permitted to mention two
of Mr. McDonogh's daring feats. When riding Sailor in a steeplechase,
over an awfully severe country, close to the town of Bandon, Co. Cork
(where started, amongst nine others, the celebrated horses Monarch and
Valentine, the latter running second, two years later, for the
Liverpool Grand National, and the former sold soon afterwards to the
great Marquis of Waterford for a large sum, showing that the company
at Bandon was by no means a contemptible lot), in this race, the
distance of which was 4-1/2 miles, Sailor fell four times, each time
unseating his rider; yet so active was his pilot in those days that he
was as quickly in the saddle as out of it. At his fourth and last
fall, the horse chested the bank, flung his rider some distance from
him, and having a tight hold of the bridle reins, the throat-lash gave
way, and the bridle came off the horse's head. As Sailor was getting
on his legs, Mr. McDonogh jumped into the saddle, and setting his
horse going was soon in pursuit of the leaders. There were in the
1-1/2 miles that had yet to be travelled nearly ten awkward
double-posted fences. The third last impediment was a narrow
lane--called in Irish a "boreen"--with an intricate bank into and out
of it. The riders of Valentine and Monarch had bridles; consequently
they could steady their horses and jump in and out "clever." Not so
Mr. McDonogh, who had nothing to guide his horse but his whip.
Steering the animal, however, for the "boreen" he put him at his best
pace, and without ever laying an iron on it, he went from field to
field and landed alongside the leaders. The riders of the other
horses, seeing he had no power to guide his mount, endeavoured to put
him outside a post that had to be gone round to make the turn into the
straight line for home; but the young jockey, stretching his arms
almost round his horse's nose, by some means got him straight, and,
making the remainder of the running, won easily. Valentine's rider at
the scales objected to Sailor for not having carried a bridle, but Mr.
McDonogh was able to draw the weight, and was declared the winner
amidst the wildest enthusiasm. The other extraordinary performance
occurred one day on his pet mount, the celebrated Brunette, at Cashel.
When riding Mountain Hare the previous day over the same course he was
crossed by an old woman at an ugly up bank. The horse struck the woman
in the chest and very nearly put an end to his rider also, who, in the
fall, got his collar-bone and six ribs broken. The late Dr. Russell,
of Cashel, was quickly by his side, and telling the Marquis of
Waterford of the serious injuries Mr. McDonogh had received, that most
noble-hearted man instantly sent for his carriage, which, with two
post-horses, speedily took the invalid to the hotel in Cashel. The
collarbone being set and ribs bandaged, he passed a miserable night.
Brunette was in a race the next day, and as he would allow no man to
sit on her back, he got out of his bed, mounted the mare, and,
bandaged as he was and in great pain, won the race. Lord Waterford's
Regalia was second, his lordship jestingly remarking that if he had
known Brunette's master would have ridden her he would have left him
lying at the bank, In conclusion, Mr. Editor, permit me to say that we
Irish are charmed with Mrs. O'Donoghue's writings, as also with your
most interesting and beautifully got-up paper.

Yours, &c.

MAURICE LAWLOR.

Battlemount, Ballytore, Co. Kildare.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--Notwithstanding the enterprise of the large number of ladies
who, you say, desire to ride after the fashion of the Mexican senoras,
I venture to hope that the present custom of riding in a side-saddle
will not be departed from by ladies, except in case of necessity; and
I point out that in India, South Africa, and all the Australian
colonies the side-saddle is always used, though there can be no doubt
that if there was any real advantage in the Mexican style it would be
readily adopted in new countries. Many persons appear to be quite
unaware of what the lady's seat in the side-saddle should be. I
describe it thus: let a man seat himself properly in his saddle,
shorten the left stirrup two or three holes, and then, without moving
his body or his left leg, put his right leg over the horse's wither;
the man will then be seated on his horse precisely as a lady should be
seated in her side-saddle. A lady's seat in a side-saddle, of the size
suited to her, is extremely firm; any one who has not tried a
side-saddle with the third crutch has no idea of the firm seat that a
lady has. I was quite astonished when I tried it, and I believe that,
after practising for a day or two to get the balance, I could ride any
horse in a side-saddle that I could ride at all; whilst the exploits
of ladies show clearly that a change of style is not required for the
purpose of obtaining a more secure seat. One of the greatest
difficulties that ladies have to contend with in this country in
learning to ride is that they often get such poor instructors. Many of
those who call themselves riding masters are little better than
grooms, and the people who offer to turn out accomplished horsewomen
in twelve easy lessons for £2 2s. must know that, except in a few
cases of natural special aptitude, they cannot do much more than teach
a lady how to avoid tumbling too quickly out of the saddle. On the
other hand, a lady who has been through a full course of instruction
from a good master, has little to learn except those matters of detail
which experience alone can teach; but far better than any professional
instruction is that constant and careful supervision from a good
horseman, such as Mrs. Power O'Donoghue and "The Ladybird" mentioned
in a late issue, one who will not be afraid of being called a "bother"
when he points out and corrects every fault, however small. I
consider, sir, that you have given good advice to ladies when you say,
"I think a lady should wear a spur," though she may not often find it
necessary to use it. In your last issue two experienced ladies give
their opinions on this subject; one disapproves of the spur, the other
says she always wears one. Everyone will agree with "The Ladybird"
that when it is "dig, dig, dig" all the time, such use of a spur is
improper; for though a sharp stroke is required sometimes--for
instance, Mrs. Power O'Donoghue, when describing her flight into the
farmyard, says: "I dug him with my spur"--the proper way to apply a
spur is, in general, as described by Mrs. Power O'Donoghue in your
last issue, by pressure. The term "box spur" is usually applied to
spurs that fit into spring boxes or sockets in the heels of the boots;
a spur with a spring sheath over the point is usually called a "sheath
spur"; for hunting, anything that will act as a goad will answer the
desired purpose, but for park or road riding the spur should be one
with which a very slight touch or a sharp stroke can be given, as may
be required. I know that the spur with a five-pointed rowel is
preferred by ladies who have tried it to any other; but, whatever spur
is selected, a lady should take care that the points are long enough
to be effective when the habit intervenes. I think, sir, with you,
that a lady should always wear a spur; and I notice in this
correspondence, the ladies who denounce the use of a spur almost
invariably say that they have never tried one; whilst ladies who have
once experienced the advantage and convenience of it, never willingly
mount a horse without one. There is not any real mystery about ladies'
riding or ladies' horses; almost any horse that will carry a man will
carry a woman, and the latter, when on horseback, ought to be
provided, as nearly as possible, with the same aids and appliances as
are required by the former. It is not every lady who can indulge in
the luxury of a three-hundred-guinea saddle-horse, and the treatment
that may answer with such a horse is not necessarily suited to an
ordinary hack; yet some of the handsomest and most highly-trained
ladies' horses in the Row are ridden with a spur, and it is only
proper that they should be; they have been trained by the professional
lady riders with a spur, and they are accustomed to receive from a
slight touch of the spur the indications of the rider's wish; whilst
as to the common livery-stable hacks, it is often painful to ride them
until they feel that you are provided with spurs, when their whole
nature appears to change, and you can enjoy a tolerably pleasant ride.
"The Ladybird" says she was taught "that a horse can do no wrong." As
a matter of theory the idea is a very pretty one, but I can only say,
as a simple matter of fact, that I have often known a horse exhibit a
very large amount of what the late Mr. Artemus Ward called
"cussedness"; and I know of nothing that, when a horse is in that
frame of mind, will bring him to his senses so quickly, so
effectually, and with so much convenience to the rider, as a sharp
spur. In far-off lands, I was once nearly two hours doing a distance
of some seven miles on a new purchase. I was then without spurs; but
the next day, when I was provided with them, the same animal did the
same distance easily and pleasantly in about forty minutes. I very
much dislike to see a lady use a whip to her horse: and, as I have
always proved spurs to be a great convenience, I recommend a lady to
wear one, and to use it _when necessary_ in preference to the whip.

I am, &c.

SOUTHERN CROSS.

December, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--Since I have come to London I have been asked so many questions
respecting the reason why ladies so often "pull their horses," that I
feel I may accomplish some good by answering, or may at least assist
in doing away with a very crying evil. My opinion is that there is
usually but one reason, viz. because the horses pull them; but for a
woman to pull against a pulling horse only increases the evil. It is a
fallacy, and can never accomplish the desired end. A determined puller
cannot, under any circumstances, be suitable to a lady, and should
never be ridden by one, unless she be a sufficiently good rider and
have sufficiently good hands to make the horse's mouth, which is not
the case with one woman in five hundred, or, I might almost say, one
man either. Horses that pull have been almost invariably spoilt in the
training. Occasionally a fine-mouthed animal will be ruined by an
ignorant or cruel rider, but I must say, in justice to my sex, that
they are seldom guilty of doing it. The fault lies amongst men. Many
women are ignorant riders; but, thank God! the blot of cruelty rarely
defaces their name. Women are naturally gentle, kindly,
and--_cowardly_; three things calculated not to injure a horse, except
it be the latter, which enables him to discover that he can be master
if he please. Doubtless there are cruel women, also, who cut and lash,
and tug and spur, and treat heaven's noble gifts as though they were
mere machinery, and not flesh and blood like ourselves; but how often
shall I say, in answer to the numerous cases cited to me, that in
writing upon this or any other subject I speak of the rule, not of the
isolated exceptions. When a man begins to break a horse he regularly
prepares for combat. He sets himself to work with a resolute
determination to fight and be fought, as though he had a strong
rebellious spirit to deal with and conquer, instead of a loving,
kindly, timid nature, which needs nought save gentleness to make it
amenable to even the rudest hand. The man begins by pulling; the
horse, on the schoolboy "tit for tat" principle, pulls against him in
return; is sold before his education (bad as it has been) is half
completed; is ridden out to exercise by grooms with heavy iron hands;
is handed over to the riding-school and to carry young ladies when
every bit of spirit has been knocked out of him, except the determined
one of pulling--pulls resolutely against the feeble hands striving to
control him; is pulled and strained at in return, and becomes in time
a confirmed and unmanageable brute. I wish I could persuade ladies
_not_ to pull their horses. In a former number I endeavoured to tell
them the proper method of managing or dealing with a pulling animal:
neither to drop their hands to him, nor to pull one ounce against him.
He will be certain after a few strides to yield a bit, when the
hands--hitherto firm, should immediately yield to him, thus
establishing a sort of give and take principle, which will soon be
perfectly understood by the intelligent creature under control. We do
not half appreciate our horses. Every touch of our fingers, every word
we utter, every glance from our eye is noted by the horse, and is
valued or resented as it deserves. So many animals are made unruly by
the undue use of a severe curb that I strongly advise a trial of the
snaffle only, holding the curb-rein loosely over the little finger, so
that it may be in an instant taken up in case it prove necessary,
which, in my opinion, it rarely will. To illustrate my meaning, on
Monday last I rode a mare for a lady, who was very desirous of
ascertaining whether the animal was capable of carrying a lady with
safety. The groom, who was to accompany me, was evidently extremely
nervous. He told me, as we started, that the mare had never done any
saddle work, except with a very wild young gentleman-rider, who had
bitted her severely, and yet found her difficult to manage; and he
implored me earnestly to keep a good hold of the curb. I found that
she hung desperately upon her bridle, kept her head between her knees
with a strong, determined, heavy pull upon the bit, and rough, jerky
action, which was most unpleasant. When I got her into the Row she
nearly pulled my arms out in her canter--the tug she had upon the
bridle was quite terrific; and, evidently prepared for the accustomed
fight, she put back her ears and shook her wicked head angrily. I rode
her from Palace Gate to Hyde Park Corner in the same manner as I have
sought to impress upon my lady readers--namely, not pulling one atom
against her, but keeping my hands low and firm, and yielding slightly
to her in her stride. By the time we had turned at the Corner she had
quite given up fighting. I then dropped the curb, and rode her
entirely upon the snaffle. The effect was magical. She lifted her
head, ceased pulling altogether, and went along in a pleasant joyous
canter, going well up to her bridle, but not attempting any liberties
whatever, In an hour's time, as you, sir, who were riding with me will
bear testimony, I was holding her with _one hand_, stooping forward,
and making much of her with the other, an attention which she
evidently regarded as a pleasing novelty, and highly appreciated.
Finding her slightly untractable during the ride homeward I once more
lightly took up the curb. It maddened her in a moment. She turned
round and round, ran me against a cart, and behaved so excitedly that
it required my best skill, confidence, and temper to restore her
equanimity and steer her safely (using the snaffle only) to her
destination. On dismounting I observed to the groom that considering
the amount of exercise and excitement through which she had passed, it
was wonderful she had not sweated. His answer was that she was always
fed upon cooked food, and that the chief sustenance of the horse which
he himself was riding--a remarkably fine three-year-old--was boiled
barley. I have never, myself, tried this feeding, but if looks and
condition may be regarded as recommendation, it must be most
excellent.

I am, Sir,

Yours obediently,

NANNIE POWER O'DONOGHUE.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--I have been very greatly interested by the remarks on saddles,
spurs, &c., made by your lady correspondents. My husband is a large
ranchero, or cattle-farmer, on the Rio Grande, between Mexico and
Texas, and naturally I have had much experience of hard as well as
long-distance riding. Having been accustomed to hunting when I was a
girl, I came out here with an exaggerated idea of my skill in
horsemanship. My first ride in Mexico was one of three hundred miles,
which we did in seven days; I rode on an English hunting-saddle
almost, if not quite, as "straight as a board." After the second day I
found it as uncomfortable a seat as could be desired, and was glad to
change it for the peon's ordinary Mexican saddle, which I found
perfectly easy and comparatively comfortable to my English one. This
last I have found exceedingly fatiguing and ill-adapted to a long
journey, although very good for a few hours' ride after wild cattle,
which is a certain approach to hunting, although the jumping is not
stiff. Lately I had another saddle sent out from England, which was a
little deeper, and I find it much more useful for long distances. As
ladies are not in the habit of riding steeplechases, I would venture
to suggest that, for hard riding, such as hunting, the saddle might
rather be heavier than lighter, as I am sure that this must give more
relief to the horse's back. In fact, I believe that the sore backs so
often produced by ladies' saddles are more frequently caused by the
saddle being too light than too heavy. I quite agree with some of your
correspondents that the padded stirrup is most dangerous, as it is not
easy to get the foot out quickly if anything should happen.

The principle, as stated by the Mexicans, of striking a horse between
the ears is not to bring him down by _fright_, but to bring him down
by _force_, so as to "stun" him. Now, do you think that any of your
fair correspondents could accomplish this with a light park or
hunting-whip? I may be very bold to offer any suggestions, but the
lady's sidesaddle of the nineteenth century is very far from being
pleasant. Why should not ladies in this age of progression begin to
ride on saddles shaped like a man's, with the same seat a man uses? It
would be much more comfortable, as even a stout lady could not look
much more ungraceful than she does now, besides materially lessening
the danger. I send you a sketch of a Mexican saddle.

I am, &c.

CAMPESINA.

San Antonio de Bexar, Texas, U.S.A.

P.S.--I would not like you to imagine that I intend to slight such an
admirable authority as Mrs. Power O'Donoghue, but I should be much
obliged to any of your correspondents for the design of an improved
saddle, suitable alike for riding a young nervous horse and for journey
purposes. I have a design for such a saddle, but I do not know how far
it may be practicable. I think if ladies would give their ideas upon
this subject through the medium of your columns, some real improvement
might be arrived at.

C.

                 *       *       *       *       *

Sir,--In your issue of the 27th November my letter appeared,
recommending that the use of side-saddles should be discontinued. Your
correspondent, "Jack Spur," mentions, in a letter published on the
13th November, that in some works concerning the Sandwich Islands, in
the Northern Pacific Ocean, and the Rocky Mountains, North America,
the authoress, Miss Isabella L. Bird, states that she was accustomed,
while there, to ride on horseback astride.

A few extracts from her above-mentioned writings will probably
interest your readers. When in Hawaii, or Owyhee, one of the Sandwich
Islands, the authoress referred to accompanied some friends on
horseback to the Anuenue Falls on the Wailuku river (a river which
forms a boundary between two great volcanoes), and on that occasion
used a side-saddle, but was afterwards advised by one of the party to
follow the native fashion of riding astride. Having acted upon this
advice, she was well satisfied with the result of the trial, and
continued to adopt that style while in the Sandwich Islands, and also
in the Rocky Mountains, where she remained nearly four months. The
following extract from a letter written by her about the 28th of
January, from Hilo, Hawaii, and published in _The Hawaiian
Archipelago: Six Months in the Sandwich Islands_, 1875, page 66, gives
further particulars of her visit to the Anuenue Falls, above referred
to:--

"Everything was new and interesting, but the ride was spoiled by my
insecure seat in my saddle, and the increased pain in my spine which
riding produced. Once, in crossing a stream, the horses had to make a
sort of downward jump from a rock, and I slipped round my horse's
neck; indeed, on the way back I felt that on the ground of health I
must give up the volcano, as I would never consent to be carried to
it, like Lady Franklin, in a litter. When we returned, Mr. Severance
suggested that it would be much better for me to follow the Hawaiian
fashion, and ride astride, and put his saddle on the horse. It was
only my strong desire to see the volcano which made me consent to a
mode of riding against which I have so strong a prejudice; but the
result of the experiment is that I shall visit Kilanea thus or not at
all. The native women all ride astride on ordinary occasions in the
full sacks, or holukus, and on gala days in the pan, the gay winged
dress which I described in writing from Honolulu. A great many of the
foreign ladies in Hawaii have adopted the Mexican saddle also" (this
means that they ride astride) "for greater security to themselves and
ease to their horses on the steep and perilous bridle-tracks, but they
wear full Turkish trousers, and jauntily-made dresses reaching to the
ankles."

After leaving the Sandwich Islands she went to the Rocky Mountains,
and in a letter dated the 23rd of October, and published in _A Lady's
Life in the Rocky Mountains_, 1879, she writes from the Colorado
District, North America:--

"I rode sidewise till I was well through the town, long enough to
produce a severe pain in my spine, which was not relieved for some
time even after I had changed my position. It was a lovely Indian
summer day, so warm that the snow on the ground looked an
incongruity."

From the fact that many ladies, when in the Sandwich Islands, ride
astride, and that Miss Bird found this position preferable in many
respects to that which a side-saddle obliges the rider to take, I
infer that ladies in England would be pleased if a change in the mode
of riding were introduced.

Proprietors of circuses will perhaps permit me to offer for their
consideration that by allowing this mode of riding to form a part of
some of the circus performances, they might do a great deal towards
causing it to be recognised by the public as the correct style, and
that one great obstacle in the way of its being generally adopted by
horsewomen would then be removed.

I wish also to suggest that it should be taught at several
riding-schools, so that a large number of pupils may commence at the
same time.

I am, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

X. Y. Z.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--The letters of your correspondent, Mrs. Power O'Donoghue, are
very instructive and trustworthy, because founded upon practical
experience. In her letter of last week she recommends the feeding of
hunters upon _cooked food_. This to many sportsmen will be a new
theory; not so to me, and I wish to confirm her views, but I carry them
out in a more economical way. My establishment is but a small one. I
cannot afford space or attendance for a cooking-house, but I believe I
arrive at the same results as she does, by steeping my oats in cold
water for a given number of hours, and adding a pound of Indian meal,
with a handful of chopped hay and oaten straw to each feed three times
a day. My horses have a constant supply of water in a manger in a
convenient corner of their stables. I believe horses fed upon dry oats
and hay suffer much from thirst. I observe my horses take many sups of
water through the day, but take much less on the whole than when
watered upon the old practice twice daily. Practically, I find my
horses very healthy, strong, and enduring, and I would freely recommend
the adoption of this mode of feeding hunters to my sporting friends.

FARMER.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--I am still so inundated with correspondence--many writers asking
me precisely the same questions--that I shall regard it as a favour if
you will again allow me to answer a few of them through the medium of
your paper.

CONN. DASHPUR.--You and your horse were immersed in the river, simply
because you did not give him sufficient head-room to enable him to
take the jump with safety. In coming up to a wide stretch of water you
should always leave your mount abundant opportunity to extend his head
and neck, nor should you wait to do this until you are just on the
brink,--it will then, most likely, be too late to save you and him a
wetting. A horse stretches his neck coming up to a water-jump, partly
that he may see well what is before him, and partly because his
intelligence tells him that he cannot compass it if tightly reined in.
Leave him his head, and if he is a hunter worth riding he will
calculate his distance and bear you safely over. At the same time you
must remember to give him sufficient support when he lands, or he may
peck, or roll, and give you an ugly fall. A horse is much more liable
to come down over a water-jump than at a fence, for the swinging pace
at which you must necessarily send him at it--combined with the
_absolute_ necessity for leaving him complete freedom of his
head--forbids that "steadying" process, which, at the hands of an
accomplished rider, usually ensures safety over wall or ditch.
Questions similar to yours have been asked me by H. CADLICOTT, MAURICE
HONE, and GUY. In answering one, therefore, I reply to each.

ELLICE GREENWAY.--Your MS. never reached me; you must have misdirected
it,--but in any case I could not have been of service to you, as I
have no time for revising other people's work, nor would my
recommendation carry any weight. Publishers judge for themselves. Your
papers must go in on their merits, and be accepted or rejected
accordingly. I quite agree with you that declined MSS. should--when
accompanied by a stamped and addressed envelope--be returned to the
sender with the least possible delay. No matter how great or hurried
may be the business of an office, there is in reality no excuse for
inattention to this rule. The very best and busiest of the weekly
journals comply with it, and persons who do not want to be treated
with snobbish indifference had better not write for any other. Perhaps
if you call, or send a line privately to the Editor, you may succeed
in getting back your work; but do not be expectant.

KING LEAR.--The horse you name attained his victory in 1878. He
carried 12 st. 7 lbs.

G. HUNT.--Beauparc; but he did not win.

P. RYALL.--At Thirsk. He fell at the second obstacle, and although
speedily remounted, his chance was extinguished. Pinnace ran well, and
was in great form. His defeat was a surprise, but your informant has
not given you reliable details.

JAMES.--Read _Silk and Scarlet_, one of the "Druid" series. Thanks for
too flattering opinion.

FORDHAM.--The course is a most trying one, and the feat was one never
before attempted by a lady. I did it to show that my horse was capable
of accomplishing the task, and the risk was not what you describe it,
for he was too clever to put a foot astray. Major Stone of the 80th
accompanied me, and gave me a good lead. The only time I passed him
was when his horse refused at an ugly post and rail. It is not true
that he was thrown. He rode splendidly, managing a difficult horse.
There was no "crowd," and in short it is evident that you have
received an exaggerated account of the affair.

J. DUNNE.--He won at Newcastle in 1879.

COLLINS W.--She was, in my opinion, unfairly handicapped, and the
verdict was general respecting the matter.

DOUGLAS.--The horse was not shot for five hours after, and lay
quivering all that time. The owner was absent, and four of us galloped
in search of him. Nobody was to blame. Mr. W. B. Morris, 7th Hussars,
was the rider, and no better ever wore silk.

MONTAUBAN.--I have already detailed at some length my objections to
children riding before they have strength and judgment sufficient to
enable them to manage a horse. Moreover, if a child--say a little
girl--gets a severe fall, the shock to her nervous system is most
likely to be a lasting one, and in some cases is never got over;
whereas grown girls are less liable to fall, if they have any sort of
fair teaching, and certainly have stronger nerves and firmer
resolution to enable them to bear the casualties attendant upon the
practice of the art.

CURIOUS.--Griffin and Hawkes, of Birmingham, by the burning of whose
premises some of my most valued MSS. were lost.

JESSICA.--It is quite untrue. Her Imperial Majesty dresses and mounts
in ordinary fashion. There is not one word of truth in the
widely-circulated statement that her habit is buttoned on after she
has mounted, nor is her jacket ever made "tight." It is close-fitting
and beautifully adapted to her figure, but sufficiently large to leave
her abundant room to move in. The Empress despises tight stays,
gloves, and boots. Her waist is small, but not wasp-like. The absurd
announcement that it measured but twelve inches (recently published in
one of the weekly journals) is as false as it is foolish. Nobody could
exist with such a deformity. The Empress takes morning exercise upon a
trapeze. Her hair is dark, shaded to gold-colour, like a wood in
autumn. The report that she dyes it is one of the many calumnies of
which she is the subject, but which happily cannot harm her. She is
_not_ affable; her manner is stately in the extreme, to all except
those with whom she desires to converse. She speaks fair but not
fluent English. This reply to JESSICA is also for FRANK KURTZ, AMY
ROBSART, and ALICIA BOND.

JULIUS.--It was not I who wrote it. I got the credit of it, but did
not covet the distinction.

GEORGE K.--Nobody assists me. Of course you mean as an amanuensis:
otherwise your question would be an offence. I write my thoughts in
short-hand, and copy at leisure for the press. My time for writing is
when the house is quiet,--generally from 10 P.M. to 2 or 3 in the
morning. I have answered you--but against my will, as I much dislike
personal questions. Were I to reply to such in general, my entire life
would be laid bare to the eyes of a disinterested public, in order to
gratify a few persons, who have no motive save one of idle curiosity.

T. CANNON.--_Grandfather's Hunter_ is sold out. _Horses and Horsemen_
is to be had, but its price puts it beyond the pale of ordinary
purchasers. Try Bumpus, or Mudie.

OXONIAN.--You are wrong,--nor have I asked your opinion. It is easier
to criticise than to write. Having done the former, pray do the
latter, and submit to others' criticism.

MARCIA FLOOD.--Two yards round the hem is amply sufficient width. I
consider the price you name quite exorbitant. Try one of those
mentioned by me in my chapter upon riding-gear.

Thanking you, Sir, for your kindness in granting me so much of your
valuable space.

I am, yours obediently,

NANNIE POWER O'DONOGHUE.

                 *       *       *       *       *

SIR,--In a recent edition "Jack Spur" asks if it is usual in any
country for ladies to ride _à la_ Duchess de Berri, _i.e._ as a
gentleman, astride. In Mexico and the States of the River Plate this
is the usual mount of the fair ones of the district, and, clad in
loose Turkish pantalettes tucked into the riding-boots of soft yellow
leather, a loose sort of tunic secured by a belt, and wearing the
_ladies'_ "sombrero," very charming these fair _équestriennes_ look,
and splendid horsewomen they are. Talk of ladies, your "Fair Play"
should see the long, sharp, Mexican spurs attached to the heels of
these fair prairie-rangers, and witness how unsparingly they are used.
Sometimes I, who am no namby-pamby rider, and have seen my share of
rough work, have ventured to remonstrate in a half-jocular manner (as
became a stranger and foreigner) when riding along with a Mexican
lady, who generally keeps her steed at a full gallop by the
remorseless application of these instruments of punishment. But the
reply was merely a silvery laugh, and "Ah, senor, here horses are
cheap, and when one is finished we have plenty more for the catching.
Come along!" My experience of ladies on horseback as a rule is that
they are more severe than men; perhaps it is thoughtlessness, but
certainly for hard riding and severe spurring I have never seen any to
surpass a Mexican senora, whose favourite pace is a stretching gallop
without cessation, until her steed is perfectly pumped out, and as
horseflesh is of no value whatever, and no Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals exists, I am afraid I must record a verdict of
cruelty against some of the most charming women I ever met. To their
fellow mortals all kindness and goodness, but when mounted on their
mustang they seem to forget that he can feel either fatigue or pain.
Certainly the temptation is great. A horse is of no value; you seldom
mount the same twice on a journey, and across the beautiful prairies a
wild gallop is the pace. But I should be sorry to see an English lady
dismount from her steed, leaving him utterly exhausted and pumped out,
and his flanks streaming with blood from deep spur-strokes. This I
have too often seen in South America. Everyone does it, and it is
little thought of; but by all means let us cherish a better feeling,
and not give any needless pain to that noble animal, the horse. Let
the ladies avoid the use of sharp spurs; most horses ridden by ladies
here are perfectly amenable to the whip and rein, and the use of the
spur is somewhat inharmonious with the gentle character of our English
women.

GUACHO.

St. Leonards, 1880.

                 *       *       *       *       *

    "The correspondence upon this subject, called forth by Mrs. Power
    O'Donoghue's admirable papers 'Ladies on Horseback,' has been so
    voluminous, and appears likely to go on for such a lengthened
    period, that I am reluctantly obliged to bring it to a close, in
    order to make space for other matter."--ED. _Illustrated Sporting
    and Dramatic News._


London: Printed by W. H. Allen & Co., 13, Waterloo Place, S.W.



WORKS PUBLISHED

BY

W. H. ALLEN & CO.


HOW TO RIDE AND SCHOOL A HORSE, With a System of Horse Gymnastics.
BY EDWARD L. ANDERSON. Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d.

                 *       *       *       *       *

MAYHEW (EDWARD) ILLUSTRATED HORSE DOCTOR. Being an Accurate and
Detailed Account, accompanied by more than 400 Pictorial Representations,
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M.R.C.V.S. 8vo. 18s. 6d.

CONTENTS.--The Brain and Nervous System.--The Eyes.--The Mouth.--The
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    drawings show the horse not only suffering from every kind of
    disease, but in the different stages of it, while the alphabetical
    summary at the end gives the cause, symptoms, and treatment of
    each."--_Illustrated London News._

MAYHEW (EDWARD) ILLUSTRATED HORSE MANAGEMENT.--Containing descriptive
remarks upon Anatomy, Medicine, Shoeing, Teeth, Food, Vices, Stables;
likewise a plain account of the situation, nature, and value of the
various points; together with comments on grooms, dealers, breeders,
breakers, and trainers; Embellished with more than 400 engravings from
original designs made expressly for this work. By E. MAYHEW. A new
Edition, revised and improved by J. I. LUPTON, M.R.C.V.S. 8vo. 12s.

CONTENTS.--The body of the horse anatomically considered. PHYSIC.--The
mode of administering it, and minor operations. SHOEING.--Its origin,
its uses, and its varieties. THE TEETH.--Their natural growth, and the
abuses to which they are liable. FOOD.--The fittest time for feeding,
and the kind of food which the horse naturally consumes. The evils
which are occasioned by modern stables. The faults inseparable from
stables. The so-called "incapacitating vices," which are the results
of injury or of disease. Stables as they should be. GROOMS.--Their
prejudices, their injuries, and their duties. POINTS.--Their relative
importance, and where to look for their development. BREEDING.--Its
inconsistencies and its disappointments. BREAKING AND TRAINING.--Their
errors and their results.

                 *       *       *       *       *

DAUMAS (E.) HORSES OF THE SAHARA, AND THE MANNERS OF THE DESERT. By
E. DAUMAS, General of the Division Commanding at Bordeaux,
Senator, &c. &c. With Commentaries by the Emir Abd-el-Kadir
(Authorized Edition). 8vo. 6s.

    "We have rarely read a work giving a more picturesque and, at the
    same time, practical account of the manners and customs of a
    people, than this book on the Arabs and their horses."--_Edinburgh
    Courant._



THURSTON & CO.

BILLIARD TABLE MANUFACTURERS.

LAMP MAKERS AND GAS FITTERS.

_BY APPOINTMENT TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN, AND HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE
PRINCESS OF WALES._

ESTABLISHED A.D. 1814.

16, CATHERINE STREET, STRAND, LONDON.

_PRIZE MEDAL, SYDNEY, 1879, FIRST AWARD._



S. & H. HARRIS'S

57, MANSELL STREET, E.,

EBONITE WATERPROOF BLACKING

FOR HUNTING OR WALKING BOOTS.

REQUIRES NO BRUSHING.

HARNESS COMPOSITION
  (Waterproof).

SADDLE PASTE
  (Waterproof).

JET BLACK OIL,
  For Harness.

BLACK DYE, FOR STAINING HARNESS,
  And all kinds of Leather.

WATERPROOF DUBBIN,
  For Boots and Harness.

BREECHES POWDER,
  For Cleaning Hunting Breeches.

POLISHING PASTE,
  For Cleaning Metals and Glass.

S. & H. HARRIS,

57, MANSELL STREET, E.



H. PEAT & CO.,

173, PICCADILLY,

LONDON, W.,

SADDLERS & HARNESS MAKERS

TO THEIR ROYAL HIGHNESSES

The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh,

_Her Majesty's Cavalry and the Crown Agents
for the Colonies._



[The following advertisements have been moved from the beginning of
the book.]


[Illustration: Silver Medal
Vienna 1873.

Paris 1878.
Philadelphia 1876.]

SWAINE ADENEY,

WHIP MANUFACTURERS,

_To THE QUEEN, THE PRINCE and PRINCESS OF WALES and the ROYAL
FAMILY_,

185, PICCADILLY,

LONDON, W.

WHIPS OF EVERY DESCRIPTION FOR RIDING, DRIVING, & HUNTING, &c.

WHIPS MOUNTED IN GOLD AND SILVER, FOR PRESENTATION, ALWAYS ON HAND.

HUNTING FLASKS, HORNS, &c.



THE NEW LEVEL-SEAT SIDE SADDLE,

WITH ADJUSTABLE THIRD CRUTCH AND OTHER IMPROVEMENTS,

As recommended and used by Mrs. Power O'Donoghue, Authoress of
"LADIES ON HORSEBACK," &c. &c.

This perfect Side Saddle is moderate in price, light and elegant in
appearance, faultless in materials and workmanship, ensures ease,
comfort, and security to the rider, and obviates sore backs with
horses.

MADE TO ORDER AND MEASURE BY

F. V. NICHOLLS & CO.,

HUNTING & MILITARY SADDLERS,

Manufacturers of Harness, Horse Clothing, Whips, and Stable Requisites,

2, JERMYN STREET, HAYMARKET,

LONDON.

The Gentleman's narrow-grip "Brough" Saddle, any size and weight, from
£7, complete.

The Gentleman Rider's Racing Saddle, £3 to £4, complete, very roomy,
with Buckskin Flaps, &c.

THE IMPROVED NEWMARKET & ING GUY SNAFFLE BRIDLES, FOR PULLING HORSES.

Branch Business: 18, ARTILLERY PLACE, WOOLWICH.



ROWLANDS' ODONTO OR PEARL DENTIFRICE

has been celebrated for more than half a century as the best, purest,
and most fragrant preparation for the teeth ever made. Health depends
in a great measure upon the soundness of the teeth, and all dentists
will allow that neither washes nor pastes can possibly be as
efficacious for polishing the teeth and keeping them sound and white as
a pure and non-gritty tooth-powder; such Rowlands' Odonto has always
proved itself to be. Great care must be taken to ask for ROWLANDS'
ODONTO, of 20, Hatton Garden, London, and to see that each box bears
the 3d. Government Stamp, without which no ODONTO is genuine.


ROWLANDS' MACASSAR OIL

is universally in high repute for its unprecedented success during the
last 80 years in promoting the growth, restoring, improving, and
beautifying the human hair. For children it is especially recommended,
as forming the basis of a beautiful head of hair, while its
introduction into the nursery of Royalty is a sufficient proof of its
merits. It is perfectly free from any lead, mineral, or poisonous
ingredients.


ROWLANDS' KALYDOR

produces a beautiful pure and healthy complexion, eradicates freckles,
tan, prickly heat, sunburn, &c., and is most cooling and refreshing to
the face, hands, and arms during hot weather.


_Ask any Perfumery dealer for ROWLANDS' Articles, of 20, Hatton
Garden, London, and avoid spurious worthless imitations._



MESSRS. JAY


_Have the honour to solicit a visit from the Beau Monde to inspect a
variety of Elegant Silk Costumes, Mantles, Artistic Millinery, Hats,
also Novelties in Dress, specially selected in Paris from the best
Artistes representing the Fashions of the Season._

243, 245, 247, 249, 251, & 253, Regent Street, W.



W. FAULKNER,

LADIES' & GENTLEMEN'S HUNTING, SHOOTING, & WALKING BOOT MAKER,

52, SOUTH MOLTON STREET, BOND STREET, W.

_Manufacturer of the Celebrated Edinburgh Boot Varnish, Blacking, and
Waterproof Leather Dressing._

MILITARY BOOTS.

The "Bective" Boots and Shoes to match Costumes.

Improved Flexura Boots.

Mountain Boots.

Skating Boots.

[Illustration: A Boot]

Lawn Tennis Shoes.

Oxford Shoes.

Slippers to any style.

LADIES' RIDING & HUNTING BOOTS OF EVERY DESCRIPTION.

_The Shape of the Feet taken and Lasts Modelled on the most approved,
anatomical principles, and kept exclusively for each customer._

W. FAULKNER begs most respectfully to call the attention of
Ladies and Gentlemen to the BOOT TREE Branch. Boot Trees assist to keep
the boots in proper shape, preventing them from wrinkling and shrinking
after they have been worn in the wet; they can be cleaned better, and
do not require so much blacking, thereby preventing the deleterious
effect produced by its frequent application.

Lasts and Boot Trees of every description Manufactured on the Premises.

Ladies residing in the Country can have Boots or Boot Trees sent their
exact size by forwarding an Old Boot by Post.



_To H.R.H. PRINCESS CHRISTIAN._

SYKES, JOSEPHINE, & CO.

"CORSETS."

280, REGENT STREET, LONDON,

AND

56A, OLD STEYNE, BRIGHTON.

RIDING CORSETS OF EVERY DESCRIPTION MADE TO ORDER.

  MANUFACTORIES {RUE RAMBUTEAU, PARIS.
                         {GREAT CASTLE STREET, LONDON.



HOW TO RIDE AND SCHOOL A HORSE

BY

E. L. ANDERSON.

_Crown 8vo. Price, 2s. 6d._


"It requires the study of only a very few pages of this book to
convince the reader that the author thoroughly understands his
subject."--_Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News._

"Concise, practical directions for riding and training, by which
the pupil may become his own master."--_Land and Water._

"A useful and carefully-written volume."--_Sporting Times._

"It is sensible and practical."--_Whitehall Review._

"We cordially commend this book."--_Indian Daily News._

"The work is a good riding-master's book, with no superfluous words,
and with plain, straightforward directions throughout. The chapter
on 'The Walk and the Trot' seems to us especially practical and
good."--_Farmer._

"Goes straight to the core of the subject, and is throughout replete
with sound sense."--_Home News._

"Cannot fail to be of service to the young equestrian, while it
contains many hints that may be advantageously borne in mind by
experienced riders."--_Scotsman._

"Mr. Anderson gives good practical advice, and we commend the work
to the attention of our readers."--_Live Stock Journal._


London: W. H. ALLEN & CO., 13 Waterloo Place.



THE ILLUSTRATED HORSE DOCTOR

Being an Accurate and Detailed Account, accompanied by more than 400
Pictorial Representations, characteristic of the various Diseases to
which the Equine Race are subjected; together with the latest Mode of
Treatment, and all the requisite Prescriptions written in Plain
English.

By EDWARD MAYHEW, M.R.C.V.S.

8_vo._, 18_s._ 6_d._

CONTENTS.--The Brain and Nervous System.--The Eyes.--The
Mouth.--The Nostrils.--The Throat.--The Chest and its contents.--
The Stomach, Liver, &c.--The Abdomen.--The Urinary Organs.--The
Skin.--Specific Diseases.--Limbs.--The Feet.--Injuries.--Operations.

    "The book contains nearly 600 pages of valuable matter, which
    reflects great credit on its author, and, owing to its practical
    details, the result of deep scientific research, deserves a place
    in the library of medical, veterinary, and non-professional
    readers."--_Field._

    "The book furnishes at once the bane and the antidote, as the
    drawings show the horse not only suffering from every kind of
    disease, but in the different stages of it, while the alphabetical
    summary at the end gives the cause, symptoms and treatment of
    each."--_Illustrated London News._


ILLUSTRATED HORSE MANAGEMENT.

Containing Descriptive Remarks upon Anatomy, Medicine, Shoeing, Teeth,
Food, Vices, Stables; likewise a plain account of the situation,
nature, and value of the various points; together with comments on
grooms, dealers, breeders, breakers, and trainers. Embellished with
more than 400 engravings from original designs made expressly for this
work.

By E. MAYHEW.

_A New Edition, Revised and Improved_, 8_vo._, 12_s._,

By J. I. LUPTON, M.R.C.V.S.

CONTENTS:--The body of the horse anatomically considered. _Physic._
--The mode of administering it, and minor operations. _Shoeing._--
Its origin, its uses, and its varieties. _The Teeth._--Their natural
growth, and the abuses to which they are liable. _Food._--The fittest
time for feeding, and the kind of food which the horse naturally
consumes. The evils which are occasioned by modern stables. The
faults inseparable from stables. The so-called "incapacitating
vices," which are the results of injury or of disease. Stables as
they should be. _Grooms._--Their prejudices, their injuries, and
their duties. _Points._--Their relative importance, and where to
look for their development. _Breeding._--Its inconsistencies and
its disappointments. _Breaking and Training._--Their errors and
their results.


LONDON: W. H. ALLEN & CO., 13 WATERLOO PLACE.



SELECTION FROM

W. H. Allen & Co.'s Catalogue.


SKETCHES FROM NIPAL. Historical and Descriptive, with Anecdotes of
Court Life and Wild Sports of the country in the Time of Maharaja
Jang Bahadur, G.C.B. With Illustrations of Religious Monuments,
Architecture, and Scenery, from the Author's own Drawings. By the late
HENRY AMBROSE OLDFIELD, M.D., many years Residency Surgeon at
Khatmandu, Nipal. 2 vols. 8vo., 36_s._

    "The work is full of facts, intelligently observed and faithfully
    recorded."--_Saturday Review._

    "We have nothing but unqualified praise for the manner in which
    Dr. Oldfield's manuscript has been edited and published by his
    relatives. The sketches have just claims to rank very high amongst
    the standard works on the Kingdoms of High
    Asia."--_Spectator._

RECORDS OF SPORT AND MILITARY LIFE IN WESTERN INDIA. By the late
Lieutenant-Colonel G. T. FRASER, formerly of the 1st Bombay
Fusiliers, and more recently attached to the Staff of H.M.'s Indian
Army. With an Introduction by Colonel G. B. MALLESON, C.S.I.
Crown 8vo., 7_s._ 6_d._

    "The style is free from humbug and affectation, and none of the
    stories are incredible.... Some of the anecdotes about the early
    life of Outram confirm the opinion of that gallant officer held by
    his contemporaries."--_Saturday Review._

    "Records his experience in a very simple and unaffected manner, and
    he has stirring stories to tell."--_Spectator._

THIRTEEN YEARS AMONG THE WILD BEASTS OF INDIA; THEIR HAUNTS AND HABITS.
From Personal Observation; with an account of the Modes of Capturing
and Taming Wild Elephants. By G. P. SANDERSON, Officer in Charge of the
Government Elephant Keddahs at Mysore. With 21 full-page Illustrations
and Three Maps. Second Edition. Fcp. 4to. £1 5_s._



LATCHFORD & WILLSON,

11, UPPER ST. MARTIN'S LANE,

LONDON, W.C.,

By Appointment to HER MAJESTY, H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES, &c. &c.

MAKERS

OF ALL KINDS OF

BRIDLE-BITS, STIRRUPS, & SPURS.

ALL MODERN FASHIONS, ARMY REGULATIONS, &c.

THE LORINER: Latchford on Bridle-bits and the Bitting of Horses.
Illustrated, 7s.

PRIZE MEDAL, PARIS.


_Just Published, Price 2s. 6d._,

A SYSTEM OF SCHOOL TRAINING FOR HORSES.

By E. L. ANDERSON,

AUTHOR OF "HOW TO RIDE AND SCHOOL A HORSE."

"He is well worthy of a hearing."--_Bell's Life._

"There is no reason why the careful reader should not be able, by the
help of this little book, to train as well as ride his horse."--_Land
and Water._

"Each successive stage of the school system is carefully traced, and
anyone accustomed to the management of horses will therefore be able to
follow and appreciate the value of Mr. Anderson's kindly method of
training."--_Daily Chronicle._


London: W. H. ALLEN & CO., 13 Waterloo Place.



HOUSE! STABLE! FIELD!


W. CLARK'S ELASTIC WATERPROOF POLISH, for Hunting, Shooting, and
Fishing Boots; also for Ladies' and Gentlemen's ordinary Walking Boots
and Shoes.

W. CLARK'S BROWN BOOT-TOP FLUID, for restoring Brown Top-Boots to their
original colour; also a Cream for Polishing, making them equal to new.

W. CLARK'S BREECHES PASTE, for softening and preserving Hunting
Breeches, Gloves, &c.

W. CLARK'S BOOT-TOP POWDERS, of various colours, White, Pink, Rose
Pink, Straw, Salmon, Natural, Flesh, Cream, Drab, Melton Brown, three
colours of Brown, all of the newest description.

W. CLARK'S LIQUID SHOE BLACKING, the best in the world for softening,
preserving, and superior brilliancy.

W. CLARK'S WATERPROOF HARNESS BLACKING requires neither Oil nor Dye.

W. CLARK'S Newly-invented PASTE, for Harness, Patent and Enamelled
Leathers. This preparation does not wash off, it renders the leather
soft, and produces a polish superior to any of its kind in existence.

W. CLARK'S PLATE POWDER, for Cleansing and Restoring Plate, Brass, and
Metals of every description.

W. CLARK'S SADDLE PASTE, for Softening, Preserving, and Beautifying
Saddles, Bridles, and every description of Brown Leather, &c.

W. CLARK'S METROPOLITAN POLISH. This article is used for Ladies' and
Gentlemen's Patent, Enamel, Bronze Glace, Morocco, Kid Boots and Shoes,
producing a superior polish.

W. CLARK'S PATENT KID REVIVER, for cleaning Black Kid Boots and Shoes,
making them equal to new, also for reviving all kinds of Black, Blue,
and Dark Silks, removes grease spots.

W. CLARK'S NE PLUS ULTRA RAVEN JET FRENCH VARNISH, for Ladies' and
Gentlemen's Evening Dress and ordinary Walking Boots and Shoes,
producing a most brilliant polish, warranted not to crack or soil the
finest Cambric.

W. CLARK'S BRASS PASTE produces a fine polish upon Brass, Copper, Tin,
Pewter, Britannia Metal, Coach Glasses, and Windows.

W. CLARK'S WATERPROOF POUCH PASTE, for Pouches, Belts, Straps,
Knapsacks, Canteen Coverings, Boots, Leggings &c.

W. CLARK'S EMBROCATION FOR HORSES AND CATTLE, gives immediate relief in
all cases of Lameness, Sore Throat, Influenza, and Rheumatism.


W. CLARK'S

PATENT HORSE CLIPPERS.

[Illustration: No. 1.]

Has been before the Public for 12 years, giving the greatest
satisfaction, the cheapest and best in the market.

[Illustration: No. 2]

A one-handed Machine for Heads, Ears, Necks, Quarters, Stomachs,
Stifle, and all difficult parts; also extensively used in cutting the
human hair in hot climates, where it is required to be cut close.



SADDLERY, HARNESS, HORSE CLOTHING &c.

Saddlers by Appointment.

URCH & CO.,

(ESTABLISHED 1835,)

84, LONG ACRE, LONDON, W.C.

MANUFACTURERS OF EVERY DESCRIPTION OF SADDLERY, HARNESS, &c.

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL.

_A LARGE ASSORTMENT ALWAYS KEPT IN STOCK._

URCH and CO.'S PATENT DOUBLE SPRING BAR for Releasing the Stirrup
Leather when thrown, can be seen at the above establishment "in working
order."



_By Appointment to H.M. THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND._

_By Appointment to H.M. THE QUEEN OF DENMARK._

REDFERN,

LADIES' TAILORS,

By Special Appointments

_To H.R.H. THE PRINCESS OF WALES and H.I.H. THE EMPRESS OF
RUSSIA_,

26, CONDUIT STREET,

Bond Street, London, W.


SPECIALITIES--

RIDING HABITS,

_From specially prepared Melton Cloths, &c._

JOHN REDFERN and SONS would particularly draw the
attention of Ladies to their Improvements in the cut of Riding Habit
Skirts, on the proper set of which depends the whole effect of the
Habit. These improvements, while maintaining a tight, well-fitting
appearance, give perfect comfort and safety to the rider.


DRIVING COATS,

_From Waterproofed Box-Cloths, Faced Cloths, Tweeds, &c._

These, together with J. R. and Son's Improved Newmarket Coats, will be
found most useful for driving to meet and for constant wear.


Branch Businesses at Cowes, Isle of Wight, and 242, Rue de Rivoli
(Place de la Concorde), Paris.

    "The most noted Firm of Ladies' Tailors in the world, and, be it
    said, the most original."--Extract from _Court Journal_.



_By Appointment to H.M. THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND._

_By Appointment to H.M. THE QUEEN OF DENMARK._

REDFERN,

LADIES' TAILORS,

By Special Appointments

TO H.R.H. THE PRINCESS OF WALES AND H.I.H. THE EMPRESS OF
RUSSIA,

26, CONDUIT STREET,

BOND STREET, LONDON, W.


SPECIALITY--

YACHTING & TRAVELLING GOWNS.

*** From original Colourings in Cloth and Serge, &c.

_The Firm personally superintend every order, and a perfect fit is
guaranteed._

N.B.--On the occasion of the visit to England of H.S.H. the Princess
Helena of Waldeck, in March 1882, John Redfern and Sons had the honour
of making for Her Serene Highness.

On the visit of H.I.M. the Empress Eugenie, accompanied by the late
Napoleon III., J. R. and Sons had a similar honour.

On the visit of H.I.H. the Crown Princess of Germany, J. R. and Sons
had the honour of making for Her Imperial Highness and all the
Princesses.

On the visit to the Queen of T.R.H. the Princesses of Hesse Darmstadt,
J. R. and Sons had the honour of making for their Royal Highnesses.

On the visit to Her Majesty of the Daughters of H.R.H. the late
Princess Alice, J. R. and Sons had a similar honour.


Branch Businesses at Cowes, Isle of Wight, and 242, Rue de Rivoli
(Place de la Concorde), Paris.

    "The most noted Firm of Ladies' Tailors in the world, and, be it
    said, the most original."--Extract from _Court Journal_.



LADIES' RIDING BOOTS.

ESTABLISHED 1839.

N. THIERRY,

ESTABLISHED 1839.

LADIES' AND GENTLEMEN'S

BOOT & SHOE MANUFACTURER,

  LONDON, {70 QUADRANT, REGENT STREET, W.,
          {AND 48, GRESHAM STREET, E.C.

MANCHESTER, 2, St. Ann's Sq.; LIVERPOOL, 5, Bold St.

_Complete Illustrated Price Lists Post Free._

[Illustration: LADIES' RIDING BOOT, 50s., all Patent or with Morocco
Legs.]

NO INFERIOR ARTICLES KEPT. ALL GOODS WARRANTED AND MARKED IN PLAIN
FIGURES.

THE LARGEST STOCK OF BEST QUALITY GOODS IN ENGLAND ALWAYS READY.
26,000 PAIRS TO CHOOSE FROM.

[Illustration: LADIES' NEWMARKET RIDING
BOOT, Cloth legs, 50s.]

NOTE.--_To order, 2s. per pair extra for fitting and keeping special
lasts._

LADIES' SPURS, Silver Plate, Strap, & Buckle complete, 9s, 6d.

_PRICE LIST of a few Leading Articles, Ladies' Department_:--

BOOTS.

    Button or Lace                        17s.  0d.
      Do.  do. Hessians, from             19s.  6d.
      Do.  do. Cork Clumps                24s.  0d.
      Do.  High Glacé Louis XV. Heels     27s. 29s.

SHOES.

    Oxford Tie, Morocco                   14s.  0d.
      Do.         do.  Glacé              16s.  0d.
      Do. Richelieu, Louis XV. Heels      23s.  0d.
    Patent Court Heels and Bows            8s.  6d.
    Glacé Kid, Embroidered.               11s.  6d.

A GREAT VARIETY of very Fashionable Ladies' Dress Shoes in
Glace Kid or Satin (various Colours), Embroidered Jet, Gold,
Steel, or Bijou.

A LARGE ASSORTMENT OF CHILDREN'S BOOTS AND SHOES,

AND EVERY VARIETY OF GENTS' RIDING, WALKING, & DRESS BOOTS & SHOES.

Goods sent on approval on receipt of satisfactory references (a London
tradesman preferred), or cheque for the amount. An old boot or shoe
should be sent as a guide for size, paper patterns and other
measurements being of little use. Goods that do not suit will be
exchanged or the money returned.

FIVE PER CENT. DISCOUNT FOR CASH.

_PLEASE NOTE--70, REGENT STREET QUADRANT, as there is another house
of the same Surname in the street._





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