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Title: The American Horsewoman
Author: Karr, Elizabeth
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  THE
  AMERICAN HORSEWOMAN

  BY
  MRS. ELIZABETH KARR

  "Gold that buys health can never be ill spent,
  Nor hours laid out in harmless merriment."
                                     J. WEBSTER

  [Illustration]

  BOSTON
  HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
  New York: 11 East Seventeenth Street
  The Riverside Press, Cambridge
  1884


  Copyright, 1884,
  BY ELIZABETH KARR.

  _All rights reserved._

  _The Riverside Press, Cambridge_:
  Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Co.



PREFACE.


In presenting this volume to the women of America, the author would
remark that, at least as far as she is aware, it is the first one,
exclusively devoted to the instruction of lady riders, that has ever
been written by one of their own countrywomen. In its preparation, no
pretension is made to the style of a practiced author, the writer freely
acknowledging it to be her first venture in the (to her) hitherto
unexplored regions of authorship; she has simply undertaken,--being
guided and aided by her own experience in horseback riding,--to write,
in plain and comprehensive language, and in as concise a manner as is
compatible with a clear understanding of her subject, all that she deems
it essential for a horsewoman to know. This she has endeavored to do
without any affectation or effort to acquire reputation as an author,
and wholly for the purpose of benefiting those of her own sex who wish
to learn not only to ride, but to ride well. She has also been induced
to prepare the work by the urgent solicitations of many lady friends,
who, desirous of having thorough information on horseback riding, were
unable to find in any single work those instructions which they needed.

Many valuable works relating to the subject could be had, but none
especially for ladies. True, in many of these works prepared for
equestrians a few pages of remarks or advice to horsewomen could be
found, but so scant and limited were they that but little useful and
practical information could be gleaned from them. The writers of these
works never even dreamed of treating many very important points highly
essential to the horsewoman; and, indeed, it could hardly be expected
that they would, as it is almost impossible for any horseman to know,
much less to comprehend, these points. The position of a man in the
saddle is natural and easy, while that of a woman is artificial,
one-sided, and less readily acquired; that which he can accomplish with
facility is for her impossible or extremely difficult, as her position
lessens her command over the horse, and obliges her to depend almost
entirely upon her skill and address for the means of controlling him.

If a gentleman will place himself upon the side-saddle and for a short
time ride the several gaits of his horse, he will have many points
presented which he had not anticipated, and which may puzzle him; that
which appeared simple and easy when in his natural position will become
difficult of performance when he assumes the rôle of a horsewoman. A
trial of this kind will demonstrate to him that the rules applicable to
the one will not invariably be adapted to the other. The reader need not
be surprised, therefore, if in the perusal of this volume she discovers
in certain instances instructions laid down which differ from those met
with in the popular works upon this subject by male authors.

Another inducement to prepare this volume existed in the fact that the
ladies throughout the country, and especially in our large cities and
towns, are apparently awakening to an appreciation of the importance of
out-door amusement and exercise in securing and prolonging health,
strength, beauty, and symmetry of form, and that horseback riding is
rapidly becoming the favorite form of such exercise. Instructions
relating to riding have become, therefore, imperative, in order to
supply a need long felt by those horsewomen who, when in the saddle, are
desirous of acquitting themselves with credit, but who have heretofore
been unable to gain that information which would enable them to ride
with ease and grace, and to manage their steeds with dexterity and
confidence. The author--who has had several years' experience in
horseback riding with the old-fashioned, two-pommeled saddle, and, in
later years, with the English saddle, besides having had the benefit of
the best continental teaching--believes she will be accused of neither
vanity nor egotism when she states that within the pages of this work
instructions will be found amply sufficient to enable any lady who
attends to them to ride with artistic correctness.

Great care has been taken to enter upon and elucidate all those minute
but important details which are so essential, but which, because they
are so simple, are usually passed over without notice or explanation.
Especial attention has also been given to the errors of inexperienced
and uneducated riders, as well as to the mistakes into which beginners
are apt to fall from incorrect modes of teaching, or from no instruction
at all; these errors have been carefully pointed out, and the methods
for correcting them explained. A constant effort has been made to have
these practical hints and valuable explanations as lucid as possible,
that they may readily be comprehended and put into practical use by the
reader.

From the fact that considerable gossip, including some truth, as to
illiteracy, rudeness, offensive familiarity, and scandal of various
kinds has in past years been associated with some of the riding-schools
established in our cities, many ladies entertain a decided antipathy to
all riding-schools; to these ladies, as well as to those who are living
in places where no riding-schools exist, the author feels confident that
this work will prove of great practical utility. Yet she must remark
that, in her opinion, it is neither just nor right to ostracize
indiscriminately all such schools, simply because some of them have
proven blameworthy; whenever a riding-school of good standing is
established and is conducted by a well-known, competent, and gentlemanly
teacher, with one or more skilled lady assistants, she would advise the
ladies of the neighborhood to avail themselves of such opportunity to
become sooner thorough and efficient horsewomen by pursuing the
instructions given in this work under such qualified teachers.

                                                      ELIZABETH KARR.

  NORTH BEND, OHIO.



A BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF CONTENTS.


INTRODUCTION.
                                                                  PAGE

 Utility, health, and enjoyment, in horseback riding.--Affection
  of the horse for a kind mistress.--Incorrect views entertained
  by ladies relative to horses and horseback riding.--Tight
  lacing incompatible with correct riding.--Advantages of
  good riding-schools.--Instinct not a sufficient
  guide.--Compatibility of refinement and horseback
  riding.--Importance of out-of-door exercise.                       1


CHAPTER I.

THE HORSE.

 Origin and countries of the horse.--Earliest Scriptural mention
  of the horse.--Caligula's horse.--Horseback riding in the
  Middle Ages.--The Arab horse and his descendants.--Selection
  of a horse, and points to be observed.--Suitable gaits for the
  several conformations of riders.--The fast or running
  walk.--Various kinds of trotting.--The jog trot
  undesirable.--Temperament of the horse to be taken into
  consideration.--Thorough-bred horses.--Low-bred
  horses.--Traits of thorough and low bred horses.--Purchasing a
  horse; when to pay for the purchase.--Kindness to the horse
  instead of brutality.--Advantages of kind treatment of the
  horse.--Horses properly trained from early colt-life, the
  best.--Certain requirements in training a horse for a
  lady.--Ladies should visit their horses in the stable.--Ladies
  of refinement, occupying the highest positions in the
  civilized and fashionable world, personally attend to their
  horses.--Nature of the horse.--Unreliable grooms; their
  vicious course with horses intrusted to their care.--Care
  required in riding livery-stable horses.                          13


CHAPTER II.

THE RIDING HABIT.

 Riding habit should not be gaudy.--Instructions concerning the
  material for riding habit, and how this should be made.--The
  waist.--The basque or jacket.--Length of riding habit.--White
  material not to be worn on horseback.--Riding shirt.--Riding
  drawers.--Riding boots.--Riding corset.--Riding coiffure or
  head-dress.--Riding hat.--Minutiæ to be attended to in the
  riding costume.--How to hold the riding skirt while
  standing.--Riding whip.                                           52


CHAPTER III.

THE SADDLE AND BRIDLE.

 Saddle of ancient times, and the manner of
  riding.--Planchette.--Catherine de Medici deviser of the
  two-pommeled saddle.--M. Pellier, Sr., inventor of the third
  pommel.--English saddle.--Advantages of the third
  pommel.--Saddle should, invariably, be made and fitted to the
  horse.--Seat of saddle.--Kinds of saddles for different
  ladies.--Proper application of the third pommel.--Saddle
  recommended and used by the author.--Points to be attended to
  in procuring a saddle.--Girths.--New mode of tightening
  girths.--Stirrups and stirrup-leathers.--Safety
  stirrups.--How to attach the stirrup-leather.--The bridle and
  reins.--Martingales.--Snaffle-bits.--Curb-bits.--Curb-chain.--Tricks
  of horses with bits, and their remedy.--Adjustment of the
  bit and head-stall.--Care of the bit.--How to correctly place
  the saddle on the horse.--Remarks concerning girthing the
  horse.--Great advantages derived from knowing how to saddle
  and bridle one's horse.                                           67


CHAPTER IV.

MOUNTING AND DISMOUNTING.

 Timidity in presence of a horse should be overcome.--First
  attempts at mounting.--Mounting from a horse-block.--Mounting
  from the ground.--Mounting with assistance from a gentleman;
  how this is effected.--What the gentleman must do.--A restive
  horse while mounting; how to be managed.--Attractiveness of
  correct mounting.--To dismount with assistance from a
  gentleman; what the gentleman must do.--Attentions to the
  skirt both while mounting and dismounting.--Dismounting
  without aid; upon the ground; upon a very low
  horse-block.--Concluding remarks.                                 99


CHAPTER V.

THE SEAT ON HORSEBACK.

 The absolute necessity for a correct seat.--Natural riders
  rarely acquire a correct seat.--The dead-weight seat.--The
  wabbling seat.--Essential to good and graceful riding that
  the body be held square and erect.--The correct seat.--Proper
  attitude for the body, shoulders, waist, arms, hands, knees,
  and legs, when on horseback.--Uses and advantages of the
  third pommel.--Lessons in position should always be taken by
  the novice in horseback riding.--Faulty positions of ladies
  called "excellent equestriennes," pointed out at an imaginary
  park.--Remarks concerning the improper use of stirrups and
  pommels.--Pupils and teachers frequently in erroneous
  positions toward each other.--Obstinacy of some pupils, and
  wrong ideas of others.--Ladies should not be in too much
  haste to become riders before they understand all the
  elementary and necessary requirements; but should advance
  carefully, attentively, and thoroughly.--Suggestions to
  teachers of ladies in equitation.                                114


CHAPTER VI.

HOLDING THE REINS, AND MANAGING THE HORSE.

 A thorough knowledge of the management of the horse highly
  necessary for a lady.--Position in the saddle has an
  important influence.--Horses generally more gentle with women
  than with men.--Position should be acquired first, and
  afterwards the reins be used.--How to hold the hands and
  snaffle-reins, in first lessons.--To turn the horse to the
  right, to the left, to back him, to stop him, with a
  snaffle-rein in each hand.--Manner of holding the
  snaffle-reins in the bridle-hand; to turn the horse to either
  side; to back, and to stop him.--To change the snaffle-reins
  from the left to the right hand; to reinstate them in the
  bridle-hand.--To separate the snaffle-reins; to shorten or
  lengthen them.--To hold the curb and bridoon, or double
  bridle-reins; to shorten or lengthen them; to shorten the
  curb and lengthen the snaffle-reins; to shorten the snaffle
  and lengthen the curb-reins.--To tighten a rein that has
  become loose.--To change the double bridle from the left to
  the right hand; to return it to the left hand.--Management of
  reins when making quick turns.--European manner of holding
  the double bridle-reins, a pair in each hand.--The
  equestrienne should practice and perfect herself in these
  various manoeuvrings with the reins.--The proper rein-hold
  creates a correspondence between the rider's hand and the
  horse's mouth, and gives support to the animal.--Give and
  take movements--The dead-pull.--In collecting the horse the
  curb must be used.--The secret of good riding.--The
  management of the reins with restive horses.--Liberty of the
  reins sometimes necessary.--Movements of horse and rider
  should correspond.--Horse united or collected.--Horse
  disunited.--To animate the horse.--To soothe the horse.--What
  to do in certain improper movements of the horse.--Concluding
  remarks.                                                         145


CHAPTER VII.

THE WALK.

 The movements of the horse in walking.--A good walk is a
  certain basis for perfection in other gaits.--A lady's horse
  should be especially trained to walk well.--Every change
  in the walk, as turning, backing, and stopping, should be well
  learned, before attempting to ride in a faster gait.--The walk
  is a gait more especially desirable for some ladies.--The advance,
  the turn, the stop, the reining back, in the walk.--Remarks on
  the reining back.                                                181


CHAPTER VIII.

THE TROT, THE AMBLE, THE PACE, THE RACK.

 The movements of the horse in trotting.--The trot a safe gait
  for a lady.--The jog trot.--The racing trot.--The true
  trot.--The French trot.--The English trot; is desirable for
  ladies to learn.--Objections to the French trot.--How to
  manage the horse and ride the English trot.--Which is the
  leading foot of the horse in the trot.--To stop a horse in
  the English trot.--Trotting in a circle.--Circling to the
  right, to the left.--The amble.--The pace.--The rack.            197


CHAPTER IX.

THE CANTER.

 Leading with the right foot, with the left foot.--The rapid
  gallop.--The canter.--The true canter.--To commence the
  canter; position of the rider, and management of the
  horse.--To canter with the right leg leading.--To canter with
  the left leg leading.--To determine with which leg the horse
  is leading in the canter.--To change from the trot to the
  canter.--To turn in the canter, to the right, to the
  left.--Management of the horse while making a turn in the
  canter.--To stop in the canter.--Remarks concerning position
  in the canter.                                                   221


CHAPTER X.

THE HAND GALLOP, THE FLYING GALLOP.

 The hand gallop, a favorite gait with ladies.--Position and
  management of the reins, in the hand gallop.--Cautions to
  ladies when riding the hand gallop.--To manage a disobedient
  horse during the hand gallop.--Turning when riding the hand
  gallop.--Position of rider while turning in the hand
  gallop.--The flying gallop an exercise for country
  roads.--Cautions to ladies previous to riding the flying
  gallop.--Holding the reins, position of the rider, and
  management of the horse, in the flying gallop.--To stop in
  the flying gallop.--Concluding remarks.                          238


CHAPTER XI.

THE LEAP, THE STANDING LEAP, THE FLYING LEAP.

 Advantages of learning to leap.--Requisites necessary in
  leaping.--The standing leap.--Position of the rider,
  rein-hold, and management of the horse, in the standing
  leap.--Points to be carefully observed in the leap.--How to
  make the horse leap.--Management of the reins and of the
  rider's position during the leap.--Counsels which should be
  well learned by the rider before attempting the leap, and
  especially as to the management of the horse.--How to train a
  horse to leap.--A lady should never attempt the leap, except
  with a horse well trained in it.--Horses do not all leap
  alike.--The flying leap.--Important points to know relative
  to the flying leap.                                              249


CHAPTER XII.

DEFENSES OF THE HORSE, CRITICAL SITUATIONS.

 A lady's horse should be gentle, well-trained, and possess
  no vice.--Shying, and its treatment.--Shying sometimes due
  to defective vision, and at other times to
  discontent.--Balking, and its treatment.--Backing, and its
  treatment.--Gayety.--Kicking, and its remedy. An attention
  to the position and motions of the horse's ears will
  determine what he is about to do.--Plunging; bucking; what
  to do in these cases.--Rearing, and the course to be
  pursued.--Running away, and the course to be
  pursued.--Unsteadiness of the horse while being mounted,
  and how to correct it.--Stumbling, and its treatment.--What
  to do when the horse falls.--Remarks concerning the use of
  the whip and spur.--Be generous to the horse when he yields
  to his rider.                                                    271


ADDENDA.

 Thirty-four points necessary to be learned, and to be well
  understood by equestriennes.--Conclusion.                        301

GLOSSARY                                                           313

INDEX                                                              319



ILLUSTRATIONS.


   FIGURE                                                     PAGE

   1. HEAD OF ARABIAN STEED                                     24

   2. HEAD OF LOW-BRED HORSE                                    24

   3. WIDTH OF LOWER JAW IN THE THOROUGH-BRED                   26

   4. WIDTH OF THE LOWER JAW IN THE LOW-BRED                    26

   5. OBLIQUE SHOULDER                                          27

   6. STRAIGHT OR UPRIGHT SHOULDER                              28

   7. ENGLISH SADDLE                                            69

   8. STOKES' MODE OF GIRTHING THE SADDLE                       77

   9. VICTORIA STIRRUP                                          79

  10. SPRING-BAR FOR STIRRUP-LEATHER                            79

  11. LENNAN'S SAFETY STIRRUP                                   80

  12. LATCHFORD'S SAFETY STIRRUP                                81

  13. CHIFNEY BIT                                               84

  14. THE COMBINATION BIT                                       85

  15. DWYER'S CURB-BIT                                          86

  16. THE BIT ADJUSTED                                          90

  17. LADY READY TO MOUNT HER HORSE                            104

  18. LADY READY TO DISMOUNT                                   110

  19. CORRECT SEAT FOR A LADY (_Back view_)                    119

  20. CORRECT SEAT FOR A LADY (_Side view_)                    124

  21. CROOKED POSITION IN SADDLE (_Miss X._)                   129

  22. CROOKED POSITION IN SADDLE (_Mrs. Y._)                   133

  23. INCORRECT POSITION OF LEGS AND FEET (_Side view_)        136

  24. INCORRECT POSITION WHEN LEGS AND FEET ARE WRONGLY
        PLACED (_Back view_)                                   137

  25. SNAFFLE-REINS; ONE IN EACH HAND                          149

  26. SNAFFLE-REINS; BOTH IN THE LEFT HAND                     153

  27. DOUBLE BRIDLE; ALL REINS IN THE BRIDLE-HAND              162

  28. DOUBLE BRIDLE; A SNAFFLE AND A CURB REIN IN EACH HAND    166

  29. THE WALK                                                 185

  30. THE TROT                                                 205

  31. ENTERING UPON THE CANTER WITH THE RIGHT LEG LEADING      225

  32. THE FLYING GALLOP                                        243

  33. THE STANDING LEAP--RISING                                251

  34. THE STANDING LEAP--DESCENDING                            259

  35. THE HORSE                                                299



INTRODUCTION.

    "How melts my beating heart as I behold
    Each lovely nymph, our island's boast and pride,
    Push on the generous steed, that sweeps along
    O'er rough, o'er smooth, nor heeds the steepy hill,
    Nor falters in the extended vale below!"

                                            _The Chase._


Among ladies of wealth and culture in England, the equestrienne art
forms a portion of their education as much as the knowledge of their own
language, of French, or of music, and great care is taken that their
acquirements in this art shall be as thorough as those in any other
branch of their tuition. The mother bestows much of her own personal
supervision on her daughter's instruction, closely watching for every
little fault, and promptly correcting it when any becomes manifest. As a
result universally acknowledged, a young English lady, when riding a
well-trained and spirited horse, is a sight at once elegant and
attractive. She exhibits a degree of confidence, a firmness of seat, and
an ease and grace that can be acquired only by the most careful and
correct instruction. The fair rider guides her steed, without
abruptness, from walk to canter, from canter to trot, every movement in
perfect harmony; horse and rider being, as it were, of one thought.

    "Each look, each motion, awakes a new-born grace."

Unfortunately, at the present day, from want of careful study of the
subject, the majority of American lady riders, notwithstanding the
elegance of their forms and their natural grace, by no means equal their
English sisters in the art of riding. In most instances, a faulty
position in the saddle, an unsteadiness of seat, and a lack of sympathy
between horse and rider, occasion in the mind of the spectator a sense
of uneasiness lest the horse, in making playful movements, or, perhaps,
becoming slightly fractious, may unseat his rider,--a feeling which
quite destroys the charm and fascination she might otherwise exercise.
If my countrywomen would but make a master stroke, and add correct
horseback riding to the long list of accomplishments which they now
possess, they would become irresistible, and while delighting others,
would likewise promote their own physical well-being. There is no
cosmetic nor physician's skill which can preserve the bloom and
freshness of youth as riding can, and my fair readers, if they wish to
prolong those charms for which they are world renowned, charms whose
only fault is their too fleeting existence, must take exercise, and be
more in the fresh air and sunshine.

How much better to keep old age at bay by these innocent means, than to
resort to measures which give to the eye of the world a counterfeit
youth that will not deceive for a moment. Even an elderly lady may
without offense or harsh criticism recall some of the past joys of
younger years by an occasional ride for health or recreation, and, while
gracefully accepting her half century, or more, of life, she can still
retain some of the freshness and spirit of bygone years.

Not only is health preserved and life prolonged by exercise on
horseback, but, in addition, sickness is banished, or meliorated, and
melancholy, that dark demon which occasionally haunts even the most
joyous life, is overcome and driven back to the dark shades from whence
it came. Should the reader have the good fortune to possess an
intelligent horse, she can, when assailed by sorrows real or fancied,
turn to this true, willing friend, whose affectionate neigh of greeting
as she approaches, and whose pretty little graceful arts, will tend to
dispel her gloom, and, once in the saddle, speeding along through the
freshening air, fancied griefs are soon forgotten, while strength and
nerve are gained to face those troubles of a more serious nature, whose
existence cannot be ignored.

To the mistress who thoroughly understands the art of managing him, the
horse gives his entire affection and obedience, becomes her most willing
slave, submits to all her whims, and is proud and happy under her rule.

In disposition the horse is much like a child. Both are governed by
kindness combined with firmness; both meet indifference with
indifference, but return tenfold in love and obedience any care or
affection that is bestowed upon them. The horse also resembles the child
in the keenness with which he detects hypocrisy; no pretense of love or
interest will impose on either.

To the lady rider who has neither real fondness for her horse nor
knowledge of governing him, there is left but one resource by means of
which the animal can be controlled, and this is the passion of fear.
With a determined will, she may, by whipping, force him to obey, but
this means is not always reliable, especially with a high-spirited
animal, nor is it a method which any true woman would care to employ.
If, in addition to indifference to the horse, there be added nervousness
and timidity, which she finds herself unable to overcome by practice and
association, the lady might as well relinquish all attempt to become a
rider.

Should any of my readers think that these views of the relations between
horse and rider are too sentimental, that all which is needed in a horse
is easy movement, obedience to the reins, and readiness to go forward
when urged, and that love and respect are quite unnecessary, she will
find, should she ever meet with any really alarming object on the road,
that a little of this despised affection and confidence is very
desirable, for, in the moment of danger, the voice which has never
spoken in caressing accents, nor sought to win confidence will be
unheeded; fear will prevail over careful training, and the rider will be
very fortunate if she escapes without an accident. The writer is
sustained in the idea that the affection of the horse is essential to
the safety of the rider, not only by her own experience, but also by
that of some of the most eminent teachers of riding, and trainers of
horses.

Maud S. is an example of what a firm yet kind rule will effect in
bringing forth the capabilities of a horse. She has never had a harsh
word spoken to her, and has never been punished with the whip, but has,
on the contrary, been trained with the most patient and loving care; and
the result has been a speed so marvelous as to have positively
astonished the world, for although naturally high tempered, she will
strain every nerve to please her kind, loving master, when urged forward
by his voice alone.

Some ladies acquire a dislike for horseback riding, either because they
experience discomfort or uneasiness when in the saddle, or because the
movements of their horses cause them considerable fatigue. There may be
various reasons for this: the saddle may be too large, or too small, or
improperly made; or the rider's position in the saddle may be incorrect,
and as a consequence, the animal cannot be brought to his best paces.
Discomfort may occasionally be caused by an improperly made
riding-habit. The rider whose waist is confined by tight lacing cannot
adapt herself to the motions of her horse, and the graceful pliancy so
essential to good riding will, therefore, be lost. The lady who wears
tight corsets can never become a thorough rider, nor will the exercise
of riding give her either pleasure or health. She may manage to look
well when riding at a gait no faster than a walk, but, beyond this, her
motions will appear rigid and uncomfortable. A quick pace will induce
rapid circulation, and the blood, checked at the waist, will, like a
stream which has met with an obstacle in its course, turn into other
channels, rushing either to the heart, causing faintness, or to the
head, producing headache and vertigo. There have even been instances of
a serious nature, where expectoration of blood has been occasioned by
horseback riding, when the rider was tightly laced.

The naturally slender, symmetrical figure, when in the saddle, is the
perfection of beauty, but she whom nature has endowed with more ample
proportions will never attain this perfection by pinching her waist in.
Let the full figure be left to nature, its owner sitting well in the
saddle, on a horse adapted to her style, and she will make a very
imposing appearance, and prove a formidable rival to her more slender
companion.

There is a mistaken idea prevalent among certain persons, that horseback
riding induces obesity. It is true that, to a certain extent, riding
favors healthy muscular development, but the same may be said of all
kinds of exercise, and this effect, far from being objectionable, is
highly desirable, as it contributes to symmetry of form, as well as to
health and strength, conditions that in a large proportion of our
American women are unfortunately lacking. Those who ride on horseback
will find that while gaining in strength and proper physical tissue,
they will, at the same time, as a rule, be gradually losing all excess
of flesh; it is impossible for an active rider to become fat or flabby;
but the indolent woman who is prejudiced against exercise of any kind
will soon find the much dreaded calamity, corpulency, overtaking her,
and beauty of form more or less rapidly disappearing beneath a mountain
of flesh.

There are many persons who entertain the mistaken idea that instinct is
a sufficient guide in learning to ride; that it is quite unnecessary to
take any lessons or to make a study of the art of correct riding; and
that youth, a good figure, and practice are all that is required to make
a finished rider. This is a most erroneous opinion, which has been
productive of much harm to lady riders. The above qualifications are
undoubtedly great assistants, but without correct instruction they will
never produce an accomplished and graceful rider.

The instinctive horsewoman usually rides boldly and with perfect
satisfaction to herself, but to the eye of the connoisseur she presents
many glaring defects. Very bold, but, at the same time, very bad riding
is often seen among those who consider themselves very fine horsewomen.
In order to gain the reputation of a finished rider, it is not essential
that one should perform all the antics of a circus rider, nor that she
should ride a Mazeppian horse. The finished rider may be known by the
correctness of her attitude in the saddle, by her complete control of
her horse, and by the tranquillity of her motions when in city or park;
in such places she makes no attempt to ride at a very rapid trot, or
flying gallop-gaits which should be reserved for country roads, where
more speed is allowable.

There is still another false idea prevalent among a certain class of
people, which is that a love for horses, and for horseback riding
necessarily makes one coarse, and detracts from the refinement of a
woman's nature. It must be acknowledged that the coarseness of a vulgar
spirit can be nowhere more conspicuously displayed than in the saddle,
and yet in no place is the delicacy and decorum of woman more
observable. A person on horseback is placed in a position where every
motion is subject to critical observation and comment. The quiet,
simple costume, the easy movements, the absence of ostentatious display,
will always proclaim the refined, well-bred rider. Rudeness in the
saddle is as much out of place as in the parlor or salon, and greatly
more annoying to spectators, besides being disrespectful and dangerous
to other riders. Abrupt movements, awkward and rapid paces, frequently
cause neighboring horses to become restless, and even to run away.
Because a lady loves her horse, and enjoys riding him, it is by no means
necessary that she should become a Lady Gay Spanker, indulge in stable
talk, make familiars of grooms and stable boys, or follow the hounds in
the hunting field.

There are in this work no especial instructions given for the hunting
field, as the author does not consider it a suitable place for a lady
rider. She believes that no lady should risk life and limb in leaping
high and dangerous obstacles, but that all such daring feats should be
left to the other sex or to circus actresses. Nor would any woman who
really cared for her horse wish to run the risk of reducing him to the
deplorable condition of many horses that follow the hounds. In England,
where hunting is the favorite pastime among gentlemen, the number of
maimed and crippled horses that one meets is disheartening. Every lady,
however, who desires to become a finished rider, should learn to leap,
as this will not only aid her in securing a good seat in the saddle, but
may also prove of value in times of danger.

Before concluding I would again urge upon my readers the importance of
out-of-door exercise, which can hardly be taken in a more agreeable form
than that of horseback riding,--a great panacea, giving rest and
refreshment to the overworked brain of the student, counteracting many
of the pernicious effects of the luxurious lives of the wealthy, and
acting upon the workers of the world as a tonic, and as a stimulus to
greater exertion.



THE AMERICAN HORSEWOMAN.



CHAPTER I.

THE HORSE.

    "Look, when a painter would surpass the life,
    In limning out a well-proportioned steed,
    His art with Nature's workmanship at strife,
    As if the dead the living should exceed;
    So did this horse excel a common one,
    In shape, in courage, color, pace, and bone."
       *       *       *       *       *
    --"what a horse should have he did not lack,
    Save a proud rider on so proud a back."

                              _Venus and Adonis._


It is supposed that the original home of the horse was central Asia, and
that all the wild horses that range over the steppes of Tartary, the
pampas of South America, and the prairies of North America, are
descendants of this Asiatic stock.[1] There is, in the history of the
world, no accurate statement of the time when the horse was first
subjugated by man, but so far back as his career can be traced in the
dim and shadowy past, he seems to have been man's servant and companion.
We find him, on the mysterious ruins of ancient Egypt, represented with
his badge of servitude, the bridle; he figures in myth and fable as the
companion of man and gods; he is a prominent figure in the pictured
battle scenes of the ancient world; and has always been a favorite theme
with poet, historian, and philosopher in all ages.

  Footnote 1: A very interesting work, by C. A. Piétrement, has recently
  been issued in France, entitled _Les chevaux dans les temps
  prehistorique et historique_. The author shows that wild horses were
  hunted and eaten by man in the rough stone age. He also determines in
  what European and Asiatic regions the eight extant horse families were
  domesticated, and traces their various wanderings over the earth,
  deducing many interesting facts from the history of their migrations.

The first written record, known to us, of the subjection of the horse to
man is found in the Bible, where in Genesis (xlvii. 17) it is stated
that Joseph gave the Egyptians bread in exchange for their horses, and
in 1. 9, we read that when Joseph went to bury his father Jacob, there
went with him the servants of the house of Pharaoh, the elders of the
land of Egypt, together with "chariots and horsemen" in numbers.
Jeremiah compares the speed of the horse with the swiftness of the
eagle; and Job's description of the war charger has never been
surpassed.

Ancient Rome paid homage to the horse by a yearly festival, when every
one abstained from labor, and the day was made one of feasting and
frolic. The horse, decked with garlands, and with gay and costly
trappings, was led in triumph through the streets, followed by a
multitude who loudly proclaimed in verse and song his many good services
to man.

This adulation of the horse sometimes went beyond the bounds of reason,
as in the case of Caligula, who carried his love for his horse,
Incitatus, to an insane degree. He had a marble palace erected for a
stable, furnished it with mangers of ivory and gold, and had sentinels
guard it at night that the repose of his favorite might not be
disturbed. Another elegant palace was fitted up in the most splendid and
costly style, and here the animal's visitors were entertained. Caligula
required all who called upon himself to visit Incitatus also, and to
treat the animal with the same respect and reverence as that observed
towards a royal host. This horse was frequently introduced at Caligula's
banquets, where he was presented with gilded oats, and with wine from a
golden cup. Historians state that Caligula would even have made his
steed consul of Rome, had not the tyrant been opportunely assassinated,
and the world freed from an insane fiend.

In the legends of the Middle Ages the knight-errant and his gallant
steed were inseparable, and together performed doughty deeds of valor
and chivalry. In our present more prosaic age, the horse has been
trained to such a degree of perfection in speed and motion as was never
dreamed of by the ancients or by the knights of the crusades; and there
has been given to the world an animal that is a marvel of courage,
swiftness, and endurance, while, at the same time, so docile, that the
delicate hand of woman can completely control him.

The Arabian is the patrician among horses; he is the most intelligent,
the most beautifully formed, and, when kindly treated, the gentlest of
his race. He is especially noted for his keenness of perception, his
retentive memory, his powers of endurance, and, when harshly or cruelly
treated, for his fierce resentment and ferociousness, which nothing but
death can conquer. In his Arabian home he is guarded as a treasure, is
made one of the family and treated with the most loving care. This close
companionship creates an affection and confidence between the horse and
his master which is almost unbounded; while the kindness with which the
animal is treated seems to brighten his intelligence as well as to
render him gentle.

When these horses were first introduced into Europe they seemed, after a
short stay in civilization, to have completely changed their nature,
and, instead of gentleness and docility, exhibited an almost tiger-like
ferocity. This change was at first attributed to difference of climate
and high feeding, but, after several grooms had been injured or killed
by their charges, it began to be suspected that there was something
wrong in the treatment. The experiment of introducing native grooms was
therefore tried, and the results proved most satisfactory, the animals
once more becoming gentle and docile.[2] Since then the nature of the
Arabian has become better understood, and, both in this country and in
Europe, he shows, at the present day, a decided improvement upon the
original native of the desert. He is larger and swifter, yet still
retains all the spirit as well as docility of his ancestors. In America
his descendants are called "thorough-breds," and Americans may well be
proud of this race of horses, which is rapidly becoming world renowned.

  Footnote 2: "The Bedouin (and every other race of Orientals that I am
  acquainted with seems to possess somewhat the same quality) exhibits a
  patience towards his horse as remarkable as is the impatience and
  roughness of the Englishman.... In his (the Oriental's) mental
  organization some screw is tight which in the English mind is loose;
  he is sane on a point where the Englishman is slightly cracked, and he
  rides on serene and contented where the latter would go into a
  paroxysm of swearing and spurring. I have seen an Arab horse, broken
  loose at a moment when our camp was thronged with horses brought for
  sale, turn the whole concern topsy-turvy, and reduce it to one tumult
  of pawing and snorting and belligerent screeching; and I never yet saw
  the captor when he finally got hold of the halter show the least trace
  of anger, or do otherwise than lead the animal back to his picket with
  perfect calmness. Contrast this with the 'job' in the mouth and the
  kick in the ribs and the curse that the English groom would bestow
  under similar circumstances, and you have, in a great measure, the
  secret of the good temper of the Arab horse in Arab
  hands."--_Blackwood's Magazine_, 1859.

Before purchasing a saddle-horse, several points should be considered.
First, =the style of the rider's figure=; for a horse which would be
suitable for a large, stout person would not be at all desirable for one
having a small, slender figure. A large, majestic looking woman would
present a very absurd spectacle when mounted upon a slightly built,
slender horse; his narrow back in contrast with that of his rider would
cause hers to appear even larger and wider than usual, and thus give her
a heavy and ridiculous appearance, while the little horse would look
overburdened and miserable, and his step, being too short for his rider,
would cause her to experience an unpleasant sensation of embarrassment
and restraint. On the other hand, a short, light, slender rider, seated
upon a tall broad-backed animal, would appear equally out of place; the
step of the horse being, in her case, too long, would make her seat
unsteady and insecure, so that instead of a sense of enjoyment,
exhilaration, and benefit from the ride, she would experience only
fatigue and dissatisfaction.

If the rider be tall and rather plump, the horse should be fifteen hands
and three inches in height, and have a somewhat broad back. A lady below
the medium height, and of slender proportions, will look equally well
when riding a pony fourteen hands high, or a horse fifteen hands. An
animal fifteen hands, or fifteen hands and two inches in height, will
generally be found suitable for all ladies who are not excessively large
and tall, or very short and slender. In all cases, however, the back of
the horse should be long enough to appear well under the side-saddle,
for a horse with a short back never presents a fine aspect when carrying
a woman. In such cases, the side-saddle extends from his withers nearly,
if not quite, to his hips, and as the riding skirt covers his left side,
little is seen of the horse except his head and tail. Horses with very
short backs are usually good weight-carriers, but their gaits are apt to
be rough and uneasy.

Another point to be considered in the selection of a horse is, what gait
or gaits are best suited to the rider, and here again the lady should
take her figure into consideration. The walk, trot, canter, and gallop
are the only gaits recognized by English horsewomen, but in America the
walk, rack, pace, and canter are the favorite gaits. If the lady's
figure be slender and elegant, any of the above named gaits will suit
her, but should she be large or stout, a brisk walk or easy canter
should be selected. The rapid gallop and all fast gaits should be left
to light and active riders.

The fast or running walk is a very desirable gait for any one, but is
especially so for middle-aged or stout people, who cannot endure much
jolting; it is also excellent for delicate women, for poor riders, or
for those who have long journeys to make which they wish to accomplish
speedily and without undue fatigue to themselves or their horses. A good
sound horse who has been trained to this walk can readily travel thirty
or forty miles a day, or even more. This gait is adapted equally well to
the street, the park, and the country road; but it must be acknowledged
that horses possessing it rarely have any other that is desirable, and,
indeed, any other would be apt to impair the ease and harmony of the
animal's movements in this walk.

The French or cavalry trot (see page 203) should never be ridden on the
road by a woman, as the movements of the horse in this gait are so very
rough that the most accomplished rider cannot keep a firm, steady seat.
The body is jolted in a peculiar and very unpleasant manner, occasioning
a sense of fatigue that is readily appreciated, though difficult to
describe.

The country jog-trot is another very fatiguing gait, although farmers,
who ride it a good deal, state that "after one gets used to it, it is
not at all tiresome." But a lady's seat in the saddle is so different
from that of a gentleman's that she can never ride this gait without
excessive fatigue.

A rough racker or pacer will prove almost as wearisome as the
jog-trotter. Indeed, if she wishes to gain any pleasure or benefit from
riding, a lady should never mount a horse that is at all stiff or uneven
in his movements, no matter what may be his gait.

The easiest of all gaits to ride, although the most difficult to learn,
is the English trot. This is especially adapted to short persons, who
can ride it to perfection. A tall woman will be apt to lean too far
forward when rising in it, and her specialties, therefore, should be
the canter and the gallop, in which she can appear to the greatest
advantage. The rack, and the pace of a horse that has easy movements are
not at all difficult to learn to ride, and are, consequently, the
favorite gaits of poor riders.

In selecting a horse his =temperament= must also be considered. A
high-spirited, nervous animal, full of vitality, highly satisfactory as
he might prove to some, would be only a source of misery to others of
less courageous dispositions. First lessons in riding should be taken
upon a horse of cold temperament and kindly disposition who will resent
neither mistakes nor awkwardness. Having learned to ride and to manage a
horse properly, no steed can then be too mettlesome for the healthy and
active lady pupil, provided he has no vices and possesses the good
manners that should always belong to every lady's horse.

It is a great mistake to believe, as many do, that a weak, slightly
built horse is yet capable of carrying a woman. On the contrary, a
lady's horse should be the soundest and best that can be procured, and
should be able to carry with perfect ease a weight much greater than
hers. A slight, weak animal, if ridden much by a woman, will be certain
to "get out of condition," will become unsound in the limbs of one
side, usually the left, and will soon wear out.

Before buying a horse, the lady who is to ride him should be weighed,
and should then have some one who is considerably heavier than herself
ride the animal, that she may be sure that her own weight will not be
too great for him. If he carries the heavier weight with ease, he can,
of course, carry her.

In selecting a horse great care should be taken to ascertain whether
there is the least trace of =unsoundness in his feet and legs=, and
especially that variety of unsoundness which occasions stumbling. The
best of horses, when going over rough places or when very tired may
stumble, and so will indolent horses that are too lazy when traveling to
lift their feet up fully; but when this fault is due to disease, or
becomes a habit with a lazy animal, he should never be used under the
side-saddle.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Head of Arabian Steed.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Head of Low-Bred Horse.]

If the reader will glance at Figs. 1 and 2, she will observe the
difference between the head of the low-bred horse and that of the best
bred of the race. Fig. 1 represents the head of an Arabian horse; the
brain is wide between the eyes, the brow high and prominent, and the
expression of the face high-bred and intelligent. Fig. 2 shows the head
of a low-bred horse, whose stupid aspect and small brain are very
manifest. The one horse will be quick to comprehend what is required of
him, and will appreciate any efforts made to brighten his intelligence,
while the other will be slow to understand, almost indifferent to the
kindness of his master, and apt, when too much indulged, to return
treachery for good treatment. The whip, when applied to the latter as a
means of punishment, will probably cow him, but, if used for the same
purpose on the former, will rouse in him all the hot temper derived from
his ancestors, and in the contest which ensues between his master and
himself, he will conquer, or terminate the strife his own death, or that
of his master.

Another noticeable feature in the Arab horse, and one usually considered
significant of an active and wide-awake temperament, is the width and
expansiveness of the nostrils. These, upon the least excitement, will
quiver and expand, and in a rapid gallop will stand out freely, giving a
singularly spirited look to the animal's face.

The shape and size of the ears are also indications of high or low
birth. In the high-bred horse they are generally small, thin, and
delicate on their outer margins, with the tips inclined somewhat towards
one another. By means of these organs the animal expresses his different
emotions of anger, fear, dislike, or gayety. They may be termed his
language, and their various movements can readily be understood when one
takes a little trouble to study their indications. The ears of a
low-bred horse are large, thick, and covered with coarse hair; they
sometimes lop or droop horizontally, protruding from the sides of the
head and giving a very sheepish look to the face; they rarely move, and
express very little emotion of any kind.

The eye of the desert steed is very beautiful, possessing all the
brilliancy and gentleness so much admired in that of the gazelle. Its
expression in repose is one of mildness and amiability, but, under the
influence of excitement, it dilates widely and sparkles. A horse which
has small eyes set close together, no matter what excellences he may
possess in other respects, is sure to have some taint of inferior blood.
Some of the coarser breeds have the large eye of the Arabian, but it
will usually be found that they have some thorough-bred among their
ancestors.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Width of lower jaw in the thorough-bred.]

Width between the sides or branches of the lower jaw is another
distinctive feature of the horse of pure descent. (Fig. 3.) A wide
furrow or channel between the points mentioned is necessary for speed,
in order to allow room for free respiration when the animal is in rapid
motion. The coarser breeds have very small, narrow channels (Fig. 4),
and very rapid motion soon distresses them.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--Width of lower jaw in the low-bred.]

The mouth of the well-bred horse is large, allowing ample room for the
bit, and giving him a determined and energetic, but at the same time
pleasant, amiable expression. The mouth of the low-bred horse is small
and covered with coarse hair, and gives the animal a sulky, dejected
appearance.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.--Oblique shoulder. The angle at the joint being
about 45°.]

The light, elegant head of the Arabian is well set on his neck; a slight
convexity at the upper part of the throat gives freedom to the functions
of this organ, as well as elasticity to the movements of the head and
neck; and the _encolure_, or crest of the neck, is arched with a
graceful curve. But it is especially in the shape of the shoulders that
this horse excels all others, and this is the secret of those easy
movements which make him so desirable for the saddle. These shoulders
are deep, and placed obliquely at an angle of about 45°; they act like
the springs of a well-made carriage, diminishing the shock or jar of his
movements. They are always accompanied by a deep chest, high withers,
and fore-legs set well forward, qualities which make the horse much
safer for riding. (Fig. 5.)

[Illustration: Fig. 6.--Straight or upright shoulder. The angle at the
joint being more than 45°.]

The animal with straight shoulders, no matter how well shaped in other
respects, can never make a good saddle-horse, and should be at once
rejected. These shoulders are usually accompanied by low withers, and
fore-legs placed too far under the body, which arrangement causes the
rider an unpleasant jar every time a fore-foot touches the ground.
Moreover, the gait of the horse is constrained and not always safe, and
if he be used much under the saddle his fore-feet will soon become
unsound. This straight, upright shoulder is characteristic of the
coarser breeds of horses, and is frequently associated with a short,
thick neck. Such horses are not only unfit for the saddle, but, when any
speed is desired, are unsuitable even for a pleasure carriage. (Fig. 6.)

The haunch of the low-bred horse is generally large, but not so well
formed as that of the thorough-bred. This portion of the Arabian courser
is wide, indicating strength, and force to propel himself forward, while
his tail, standing out gayly when he is in motion, projects in a line
with his back-bone. His forearm is large, long, and muscular,[3] his
knees broad and firm, his hocks of considerable size, while his
cannon-bone, situated between the knee and the fetlock, is short,
although presenting a broad appearance when viewed laterally.

  Footnote 3: "There is, however, a medium in this, and the advantage of
  length in the arm will depend on the use to which the horse is
  applied. The lady's horse, the cavalry horse, every horse in which
  prancing action is esteemed a beauty, and in which utility is, to a
  certain degree, sacrificed to appearance, must not be too long in the
  arm. If he is long there, he will be proportionally short in the leg;
  and although this is an undoubted excellence, whether speed or
  continuance is regarded, the short leg will not give the grand and
  imposing action which fashion may require. In addition to this, a
  horse with short legs may not have quite so easy an action as another
  whose length is in the shank rather than in the arms."--_W. Youatt._

On each front leg, at the back of the knee, there is a bony projection,
giving attachments to the flexor muscles, and affording protection to
certain tendons. The Orientals set a great value upon the presence of
this bone, believing that it favors muscular action, and the larger this
prominence is the more highly do they prize the animal that possesses
it. The pasterns of the high-bred horse are of medium length, and very
elastic, while the foot is circular and of moderate size.

In the preceding description, the author has endeavored to make plain to
the reader the most important points to be observed in both the
high-bred and the low-bred horse, and has given the most pronounced
characteristics of each.

Between these extremes, however, there are many varieties of horses,
possessing more or less of the Arabian characteristics mingled with
those of other races. Some of the best American horses are numbered
among these mixed races, and, by many, are considered an improvement
upon the Arabian, as they are excellent for light carriages and buggies.
The more they resemble the Oriental steed, the better they are for the
saddle.

The lady who, in this country, cannot find a horse to suit her, will,
indeed, be difficult to please. It will be best for her to tell some
gentleman what sort of horse she wishes, and let him select for her;
but, at the same time, it can do no harm, and may prove a great
advantage to her to know all the requisite points of a good
saddle-horse. It will not take long to learn them, and the knowledge
gained will prevent her from being imposed upon by the ignorant or
unscrupulous. Gentlemen, even those who consider themselves good judges
of horse-flesh, are sometimes guilty of very serious blunders in
selecting a horse for a lady's use; and should the lady be obliged to
negotiate directly with a horse-dealer, she must bear in mind constantly
the fact that, although there are reliable and honorable dealers to be
found, there are many who would not scruple to cheat even a woman. A
careful perusal of the present work, together with the advice of an
_upright_ and _trustworthy_ veterinary surgeon, or a skilled
riding-master, will aid her in protecting herself from the impositions
of unprincipled horse-jockeys and self-styled "veterinary doctors."

In any case, whatever be the other characteristics of the animal
selected, be sure that he has the oblique shoulder, as well as depth of
shoulder, and hind-legs well bent. Without these characteristics he will
be unfit for a lady's use, as his movements will be rough and unsafe,
and the saddle will be apt to turn.

If it be desired to purchase a horse for a moderate price, certain
points which might be insisted on in a high-priced animal will have to
be dispensed with; for instance, his color may not be satisfactory; he
may not have a pretty head, or a well-set tail, etc., but these
deficiencies may be overlooked if he be sound, have good action, and no
vices. He may be handsome, well-actioned, and thoroughly trained, but
have a slight defect in his wind, noticeable only when he is urged into
a rapid trot, or a gallop. If wanted for street and park service only,
and if the purchaser does not care for fast riding, a horse of this
sort will suit her very well. Sometimes a horse of good breed, as well
as of good form, has never had the advantages of a thorough training, or
he may be worn out by excessive work. Should he be comparatively young,
rest and proper training may still make a good horse of him, but great
care should be taken to assure one's self that no permanent disease or
injury exists. The Orientals have a proverb, that it is well to bear in
mind when buying an animal of the kind just described:--"Ruin, son of
ruin, is he who buys to cure."

Always examine with great care a horse's mouth. A hard-mouthed animal is
a very unpleasant one for a lady to ride, and is apt to degenerate into
a runaway. Scars at the angles of the mouth are good indications of a
"bolter," or runaway, or at least of cruel treatment, and harsh usage is
by no means a good instructor.

While a very short-backed horse does not appear to great advantage under
a side-saddle, he may, nevertheless, have many good qualities that will
compensate for this defect, and it may be overlooked provided the price
asked for him be reasonable; but horses of this kind frequently command
a high price when their action is exceptionally good. Corns on the feet
generally depreciate the value of a horse, although they may sometimes
be cured by removing the shoes, and giving him a free run of six or
eight months in a pasture of soft ground; if he be then properly shod,
and used on country roads only, he may become permanently serviceable.
There is, however, considerable risk in buying a horse that has corns,
and the purchaser should remember the Oriental proverb just referred to,
and not forget the veterinary surgeon.

Before paying for a horse, the lady should insist upon having him on
trial for at least a month, that she may have an opportunity of
discovering his vices or defects, if any such exist. She must be careful
not to condemn him too hastily, and should, when trying him, make due
allowance for his change of quarters and also for the novelty of
carrying a new rider, as some horses are very nervous until they become
well acquainted with their riders. Should the horse's movements prove
rough, should he be found hard-mouthed, or should any indications of
unsoundness or viciousness be detected, he should be immediately
returned to his owner. It must be remembered, however, that very few
horses are perfect, and that minor defects may, in most instances, be
overlooked if the essentials are secured. Before rejecting the horse,
the lady should also be very sure that the faults to which she objects
are not due to her own mismanagement of him. But if she decides that she
is not at fault, no amount of persuasion should induce her to purchase.
In justice to the owner of the horse, he ought to be reasonably paid for
the time and services of his rejected animal; but if it be decided to
keep the horse, then only the purchase-money originally agreed upon
should be paid.

The surest and best way of securing a good saddle-horse is to purchase,
from one of the celebrated breeding farms, a well-shaped four-year-old
colt of good breed, and have him taught the gaits and style of movement
required. Great care should be taken in the selection of his teacher,
for if the colt's temper be spoiled by injudicious treatment, he will be
completely ruined for a lady's use. A riding-school teacher will
generally understand all the requirements necessary for a lady's
saddle-horse, and may be safely intrusted with the animal's education.
If no riding-school master of established reputation as a trainer can be
had, it may be possible to secure the services of some one near the
lady's home, as she can then superintend the colt's education herself
and be sure that he is treated neither rashly nor cruelly.

The ideas concerning the education of the horse have completely changed
within the last twenty-five years. The whip as a means of punishment is
entirely dispensed with in the best training schools of the present day,
and, instead of rough and brutal measures, kindness, firmness, and
patience are now the only means employed to train and govern him. The
theory of this modern system of training may be found in the following
explanation of a celebrated English trainer, who subdued his horses by
exhibiting towards them a wonderful degree of patience:--"If I enter
into a contest with the horse, he will fling and prance, and there will
be no knowing which will be master; whereas if I remain quiet and
determined, I have the best of it."

The following is an example of the patience with which this man carried
out his theory:--

Being once mounted on a very obstinate colt that refused to move in the
direction desired, he declined all suggestions of severe measures, and
after one or two gentle but fruitless attempts to make the animal move,
he desisted, and having called for his pipe, sat there quietly for a
couple of hours enjoying a good smoke, and chatting gayly with passing
friends. Then after another quiet but unsuccessful attempt to induce
the colt to move, he sent for some dinner which he ate while still on
the animal's back. As night approached and the air became cool, he sent
for his overcoat and more tobacco, and proceeded to make a night of it.
About this time the colt became uneasy, but not until midnight did he
show any disposition to move in the required direction. Now was the time
for the master to assert himself. "Whoa!" he cried, "you have stayed
here so long to please yourself, now you will stay a little longer to
please me." He then kept the colt standing in the same place an hour
longer, and when he finally allowed him to move, it was in a direction
opposite to that which the colt seemed disposed to take. He walked the
animal slowly for five miles, then allowed him to trot back to his
stable, and finally--as if he had been a disobedient child--sent him
supperless to bed, giving him the rest of the night in which to meditate
upon the effects of his obstinacy.

To some this may seem a great deal of useless trouble to take with a
colt that might have been compelled to move more promptly by means of
whip or spur; but that day's experience completely subdued the colt's
stubborn spirit, and all idea of rebellion to human authority was
banished from his mind forever. Had a contrary course been pursued, it
would probably have made the creature headstrong, balky, and unreliable;
he would have yielded to the whip and spur at one time only to battle
the more fiercely against them at the first favorable opportunity, and
his master would never have known at what minute he might have to enter
into a contest with him. That a horse trained by violent means can never
be trusted is a fact which is every day becoming better recognized and
appreciated.

"A great many accidents might be avoided," says a well-known authority
upon the education of the horse, "could the populace be instructed to
think a horse was endowed with senses, was gifted with feelings, and was
able in some degree to appreciate motives."... "The strongest man cannot
physically contend against the weakest horse. Man's power reposes in
better attributes than any which reside in thews and muscles. Reason
alone should dictate and control his conduct. Thus guided, mortals have
subdued the elements. For power, when mental, is without limit: by
savage violence nothing is attained and man is often humbled."

The lady who has the good fortune to live in the country where she can
have so many opportunities for studying the disposition and character
of her animals, and can, if she chooses, watch and superintend the
education of her horse from the time he is a colt, has undoubtedly a
better chance of securing a fine saddle-horse than she who lives in the
city and is obliged to depend almost entirely upon others for the
training of her horse. Indeed, very little formal training will be
necessary for a horse that has been brought up under the eye of a kind
and judicious mistress, for he will soon learn to understand and obey
the wishes of one whom he loves and trusts, and if she be an
accomplished rider she can do the greater part of the training herself.

The best and most trustworthy horse the author ever had was one that was
trained almost from his birth. Fay's advent was a welcome event to the
children of the family, by whom he was immediately claimed and used as a
play-fellow. By the older members of the family he was always regarded
as part of the household,--an honored servant, to be well cared
for,--and he was petted and fondled by all, from paterfamilias down to
Bridget in the kitchen. He was taught, among other tricks, to bow
politely when anything nice was given him, and many were the journeys he
made around to the kitchen window, where he would make his obeisance in
such an irresistible manner that Bridget would be completely captivated;
and the dainty bits were passed through the window in such quantities
and were swallowed with such avidity that the lady of the house had to
interfere and restrict the donations to two cakes daily.

Fay had been taught to shake hands with his admirers, and this trick was
called his "word of honor;" he had his likes and dislikes, and would
positively refuse to honor some people with a hand-shake. If these
slighted individuals insisted upon riding him, he made them so
uncomfortable by the roughness of his gaits that they never cared to
repeat the experiment. But the favored ones, whom he had received into
his good graces and to whom he had given his "word of honor," he would
carry safely anywhere, at his lightest and easiest gait. Fay never went
back on his word, which is more than can be said of some human beings.

The great difficulty in training a horse for a lady's use is to get him
well placed on his haunches. In Fay's case this was accomplished by
teaching him to place his fore-feet upon a stout inverted tub, about two
feet high. When he offered his "hand" for a shake, some one pushed
forward the tub, upon which his "foot" dropped and was allowed to
remain a short time, when the other foot was treated in the same manner.
After half a dozen lessons of this sort, he learned to put up his feet
without assistance; first one, and then the other, and, finally, both at
once. These performances were always rewarded by a piece of apple or
cake, together with expressions of pleasure from the by-standers. Fay
had a weakness for flattery, and no actor called before the curtain ever
expressed more pleasure at an _encore_ than did Fay when applauded for
his efforts to please. That the tub trick would prove equally effectual
with other horses in teaching them to place themselves well on their
haunches cannot be positively stated. It might prove more troublesome to
teach most horses this trick than to have them placed upon their
haunches in the usual way by means of a strong curb, or by lessons with
the lunge line. It proved entirely successful in Fay's case, and a horse
lighter in hand or easier in gait was never ridden by a woman.

Fay's training began when he was only a few weeks old: a light halter
and a loose calico surcingle were placed on him for a short time each
day, during which time he was carefully watched lest he should do
himself some injury. When he was about eight months old, a small bit,
made of a smooth stick of licorice, was put into his mouth, and to this
bit light leather reins were fastened by pieces of elastic rubber: this
rubber relieved his mouth from a constant dead pull, and tended to
preserve its delicate sensibility. Thus harnessed he was led around the
lawn, followed by a crowd of youthful admirers and playmates, who formed
a sort of triumphal procession, with which the colt was as well pleased
as the spectators. Every attempt on his part to indulge in horse-play,
such as biting, kicking, etc., was always quickly checked, and no one
was allowed to tease or strike him.

Nothing heavier than a dumb jockey was put on his back until he was four
years old, when his education began in sober earnest. After a few
lessons with the lunge line, given by a regular trainer, a saddle was
put on his back, and for the first time in his life he carried a human
being.

When learning his different riding gaits on the road, he was always
accompanied by a well-trained saddle-horse, aided by whose example as
well as by the efforts of his rider he was soon trained in three
different styles of movement, namely, a good walk, trot, and hand
gallop. Fear seemed unknown to this horse, for he had always been
allowed as a colt to follow his dam on the road, and had thus become so
accustomed to all such alarming objects as steam engines, hay carts,
etc., that they had ceased to occasion him the least uneasiness. This
high spirited and courageous animal had perfect confidence in the world
and looked upon all mankind as friendly. His constant companionship with
human beings had sharpened his perceptive faculties, and made him quick
to understand whatever was required of him. The kindness shown him was
never allowed to degenerate into weakness or over-indulgence, and
whenever anything was required of him it was insisted upon until
complete obedience was obtained. In this way he was taught to understand
that man was his master and superior.

Although it is not absolutely essential that a lady's horse should learn
the tricks of bowing, hand-shaking, etc., yet the lady who will take the
pains to teach her horse some of them will find that she not only gets a
great deal of pleasure from the lessons, but that they enable her to
gain more complete control over him, for the horse, like some other
animals, gives affection and entire obedience to the person who makes an
effort to increase his intelligence.

Lessons with the lunge line should always be short, as they are very
fatiguing to a young colt, and when given too often or for too great a
length of time they make him giddy from rush of blood to the head; not a
few instances, indeed, have occurred where a persistence in such lessons
has occasioned complete blindness.

A lady's horse should be taught to disregard the flapping of the
riding-skirt, and it is also well for him to become accustomed to having
articles of various kinds, such as pieces of cloth, paper, etc.,
fluttering about him, as he will not then be likely to take fright
should any part of the rider's costume become disarranged and blow about
him.

He should also be so trained that he will not mind having the saddle
moved from side to side on his back. The best of riders may have her
saddle turn, and if the horse be thus trained he will neither kick nor
run away should such an accident occur.

It is also very important that the horse should be taught to stop,
and stand as firm as a rock at the word of command given in a low,
firm tone. This habit is not only important in mounting and
dismounting,--feats which it is difficult, if not impossible, for the
lady to perform unless the horse be perfectly still,--but the rider
will also find this prompt obedience of great assistance in checking
her horse when he becomes frightened and tries to break away; for he
will stop instinctively when he hears the familiar order given in the
voice to which he is accustomed.

A lady should not fail to visit her horse's stable from time to time, in
order to assure herself that he is well treated and properly cared for
by the groom. Viciousness and restlessness on the road can often be
traced to annoyances and ill-treatment in the stable. Grooms and stable
boys sometimes like to see the horse kick out and attempt to bite, and
will while away their idle hours in harassing him, tickling his ears
with straws, or touching him up with the whip in order to make him
prance and strike out. The result of these annoyances will be that, if
the lady during her ride accidentally touches her horse with the whip,
he will begin prancing and kicking; or, if it is summer time, the gnats
and flies swarming about his ears will make him unmanageable. In the
latter case, ear-tips will only make the matter worse, especially if
they have dangling tassels. When such signs of nervousness are
noticeable, especially in a horse that has been hitherto gentle, they
may usually be attributed to the treatment of the groom or his
assistants.

Most grooms delight in currying their charges with combs having teeth
like small spikes and in laying on the polishing brush with a hand as
heavy as the blows of misfortune. Some animals, it is true, like this
kind of rubbing, but there are many, who have thin, delicate skins, to
whom such treatment is almost unmitigated torture. Should the lady hear
any contest going on between the horse and groom during the former's
morning toilette, she should order a blunt curry-comb to be used; or
even dispense with a comb altogether, and let the brush only be applied
with a light hand. Grooms sometimes take pleasure in throwing cold water
over their horses. In very warm weather, and when the animal is not
overheated, this treatment may prove refreshing to him, but, as a
general rule it is objectionable, as it is apt to occasion a sudden
chill which may result in serious consequences.

The stable man may grumble at the lady's interference and supervision,
but she must not allow this to prevent her from attending carefully to
the welfare of the animal whose faithful services contribute so largely
to her pleasure. When she buys a horse she introduces a new member into
her household, who should be as well looked after and cared for as any
other faithful servant or friend. Indeed, the horse is the more
entitled to consideration in that he is entirely helpless, and his lot
for good or evil lies wholly in her power. If the mistress is careless
or neglects her duty, the servants in whose charge the horse is placed
will be very apt to follow her example, and the poor animal will suffer
accordingly.

Perhaps the lady, however, may object to entering the stable, and agree
with the groom in thinking it "no place for a woman." Or she may fear
that in carrying out the ideas suggested above she will expose herself
to the ridicule of thoughtless acquaintances who can never do anything
until it has received the sanction of fashion.

For the benefit of this fastidious individual and her timid friends we
will quote the example of the Empress of Austria, who, although
occupying an exalted position at a court where etiquette is carried to
the extremes of formality, yet does not hesitate to visit the stable of
her favorite steeds and personally to supervise their welfare; and woe
to the perverse groom who in the least particular disobeys her commands.

Many other examples might be given of high-born ladies, such as Queen
Victoria, the Princess of Wales, the Princess of Prussia, and others,
who do not seem to consider it at all unfeminine or coarse for a woman
to give some personal care and supervision to her horses. But to enter
into more details would prove tiresome, and the example given is enough
to silence the scruples of the followers of fashion.

Like all herbivorous creatures that love to roam in herds, the horse is
naturally of a restless temperament. Activity is the delight of his
existence, and when left to nature and a free life he is seldom quiet.
Man takes this creature of buoyant nature from the freedom of its
natural life, and confines the active body in a prison house where its
movements are even more circumscribed than are those of the wild beasts
in the menagerie; they can at least turn around and walk from side to
side in their cages, but the horse in his narrow stall is able only to
move his head from side to side, to paw a little with his fore-feet, and
to move backwards and forwards a short distance, varying with the length
of his halter; when he lies down to sleep he is compelled to keep in one
position, and runs the risk of meeting with some serious accident. In
some stables where the grooms delight in general stagnation, the horses
under their charge are not allowed to indulge in even the smallest
liberty. The slightest movement is punished by the lash of these
silence-loving tyrants, in whose opinion the horse has enough occupation
and excitement in gazing at the blank boards directly in front of his
head. If these boards should happen to be whitewashed, as is often the
case in the country, constant gazing at them will be almost sure to give
rise to shying, or even to occasion blindness. If the reader will, for
several minutes, gaze steadily at a white wall, she will he able to get
some idea of the poor horse's sensations.

Is it then to be wondered at, that an animal of an excitable nature like
the horse should, when released from the oppressive quiescence of his
prison-house, act as if bereft of reason, and perform strange antics and
caperings in his insane delight at once more breathing the fresh air,
and seeing the outside world. But, while the horse is thus expressing
his pleasure and recovering the use of limbs by vigorous kicks, or is
expending his superfluous energy by bounding out of the road at every
strange object he encounters, the saddle will be neither a safe nor
pleasant place for the lady rider. To avoid such danger, and to
compensate, in some degree, the liberty-loving animal for depriving him
of his natural life and placing him in bondage, he should be given,
instead of the usual narrow stall, a box stall, measuring about sixteen
or eighteen feet square. In this box the horse should be left entirely
free, without even a halter, as this appendage has sometimes been the
cause of fearful accidents, by becoming entangled with the horse's feet.

The groom may grumble again at this innovation, because a box stall
means more work for him, but if he really cares for the horses under his
charge he will soon become reconciled to the small amount of extra work
required by the use of a box stall. Every one who knows anything about a
horse in the stable is well aware of the injury done to this animal's
feet and limbs by compelling him to stand always confined to one spot in
a narrow stall. A box will prevent the occurrence of these injuries,
besides giving the horse a little freedom and enabling him to get more
rest and benefit from his sleep.

Some horses are fond of looking through a window or over a half door.
The glimpse they thus get of the outside life seems to amuse and
interest them, and it can do no harm to gratify this desire. Others,
however, seem to be worried and excited by such outlooks; they become
restless and even make attempts to leap over the half door or through
the window. In such cases there should, of course, be no out-of-door
scenery visible from the box.

The groom should exercise the horse daily, in a gentle and regular
manner; an hour or two of walking, varied occasionally by a short trot,
will generally be found sufficient. Being self-taught in the art of
riding, grooms nearly always have a very heavy bridle hand, and, if
allowed to use the curb bit, will soon destroy that sensitiveness of the
horse's mouth which adds so much to the pleasure of riding him. The man
who exercises the horse should not be permitted to wear spurs; a lady's
horse should be guided wholly by the whip and reins,--as will be
explained hereafter,--and in no case whatever should the spur be used.
If the lady wishes to keep her horse in good health and temper she must
insist upon his being exercised regularly, and must assure herself that
the groom executes her orders faithfully; for some men, while professing
to obey, have been known to stop at the nearest public house, and, after
spending an hour or two in drinking beer and gossiping with
acquaintances, to ride back complacently to the stable, leaving the
horse to suffer from want of exercise. Other grooms have gone to the
opposite extreme, and have ridden so hard and fast that the horse on
his return was completely tired out, so that when there was occasion to
use him the same day it was an effort for him to maintain his usual
light gait. Grooms who are always doctoring a horse, giving him nostrums
that do no good but often much harm, are also to be avoided. In short,
the owner of a horse must be prepared for tricks of all kinds on the
part of these stable servants; although, in justice to them, it must be
said that there are many who endeavor to perform all their duties
faithfully, and can be relied on to treat with kindness any animals
committed to their care.

Should the lady rider be obliged to get her horse from a livery stable,
she should not rely entirely upon what his owner says of his gaits or
gentleness, but should have him tried carefully by some friend or
servant, before herself attempting to mount him. She should also be very
careful to see, or have her escort see, that the saddle is properly
placed upon the back of the horse and firmly girthed, so that there may
be no danger of its turning.



CHAPTER II.

THE RIDING HABIT.

    "Her dress, her shape, her matchless grace,
    Were all observed, as well as heavenly face."

                                         DRYDEN.


A riding habit should be distinguished by its perfect simplicity. All
attempts at display, such as feathers, ribbons, glaring gilt buttons,
and sparkling jet, should be carefully avoided, and the dress should be
noticeable only for the fineness of its material and the elegance of its
fit.

One of the first requirements in a riding dress is that it should fit
smoothly and easily. The sleeves should be rather loose, especially near
the arm-holes, so that the arms may move freely; but should fit closely
enough at the wrist to allow long gauntlet gloves to pass readily over
them. It is essential that ample room should be allowed across the
chest, as the shoulders are thrown somewhat back in riding, and the
chest is, consequently, expanded. The neck of the dress should fit very
easily, especially at the back part. Care must be taken not to make the
waist too long, for, owing to a lady's position in the saddle, the
movements of her horse will soon make a long waist wrinkle and look
inelegant. To secure ease, together with a perfect fit without crease or
fold, will be somewhat difficult, but not impossible. Some tailors,
particularly in New York, Philadelphia, London, and Paris, make a
specialty of ladies' riding costumes, and can generally be relied on to
supply comfortable and elegant habits.

The favorite and most appropriate style of =riding jacket= is the
"postilion basque;" this should be cut short over the hips, and is then
especially becoming to a plump person, as it diminishes the apparent
width of the back below the waist. The front should have two small
darts, and should extend about three inches below the waist; it should
then slope gradually up to the hips,--where it must be shortest,--and
then downward so as to form a short, square coat-flap at the back, below
the waist. This flap must be made without gathers or plaits, and lined
with silk, between which and the cloth some stiffening material should
be inserted. The middle seam of the coat-flap should be left open as far
as the waist, where about one inch of it must be lapped over from left
to right; the short side-form on each side must be lapped a little
toward the central unclosed seam. The arm-holes should be cut rather
high on the shoulders, so that the back may look less broad. If the lady
lacks plumpness and roundness, her jacket must be made double-breasted,
or else have padding placed across the bust, for a hollow chest mars all
the beauty of the figure in the saddle, and causes the rider to look
round-shouldered. The edge of the basque should be trimmed with
cord-braid, and the front fastened with crocheted bullet buttons;
similar buttons should be used to fasten the sleeves closely at the
wrist, and two more should be placed on the back of the basque just at
its waist line.

Great care must be taken to have the jacket well lined and its seams
strongly sewed. The coat-flaps on the back of the basque, below the
waist-line, should be held down by heavy metallic buttons, sewed
underneath each flap at its lower part, and covered with the same
material as that of the dress. Without these weights this part of the
dress will be apt to be blown out of position by every passing breeze,
and will bob up and down with every motion of the rider's body,
presenting a most ridiculous appearance.

For winter riding an extra jacket may be worn over the riding basque. It
should be made of some heavy, warm material, and fit half tightly. If
trimmed with good fur, this jacket makes a very handsome addition to the
riding habit.

Poets have expatiated upon the grace and beauty of the long, flowing
riding skirt, with its ample folds, but experience has taught that this
long skirt, though, perhaps, very poetical, is practically not only
inconvenient but positively dangerous. In the canter or gallop the horse
is very apt to entangle his hind-foot in it and be thrown, when the
rider may consider herself fortunate if she escapes with no worse
accident than a torn skirt. Another objection to this poetical skirt is,
that it gathers up the mud and dust of the road, and soon presents a
most untidy appearance; while if the day be fresh and breezy its ample
folds will stream out like a victorious banner; if made of some light
material the breeze will swell it out like an inflated balloon; and if
of heavy cloth its length will envelop the rider's feet, and make her
look as if tied in a bag.

To avoid all these dangers and inconveniences the =riding skirt= should
be cut rather short and narrow, and be made of some heavy material. Two
yards and a quarter will be quite wide enough for the bottom of the
skirt, while the length need be only about twelve inches more than the
rider's ordinary dress. The skirt should be so gored as to form no
gathers or plaits at the waist. Tailor-made skirts are so neatly gored
as to remain perfectly smooth when the rider is seated in the saddle. As
the pommels take up a good deal of room, the front part of the skirt,
which passes over them, should be made a little longer than the back, so
that, when the rider is seated in the saddle, her dress may hang evenly.
If made the same length all around it will, when the lady is mounted, be
entirely too short in front, and, besides presenting an uneven,
trail-like appearance, will be apt to work back, or to blow up and
expose the right foot of the wearer.

The bottom of the skirt should have a hem about three inches wide, but
should never be faced with leather, as this will give a stiff, bungling
effect, and if the rider should be thrown, and catch the hem of her
skirt on either pommel or stirrup, the strength of the leather lining
would prevent the cloth from tearing and thus releasing her. Shot,
pieces of lead, or other hard substances are also objectionable, because
by striking against the horse's side they often cause him to become
restless or even to run away. To keep the skirt down in its proper
position a loop of stout elastic, or tape, should be fastened
underneath, near the bottom, and through this loop the foot should be
passed before being put into the stirrup. The point where the loop
should be fastened must be determined by the position of the lady's foot
when she is correctly seated in the saddle. Some riders use a second
elastic for the right foot, to prevent the skirt from slipping back, but
this is not absolutely necessary.

The basque and skirt should be made separate, although it is a very good
plan to have strong hooks and eyes to fasten them together at the sides
and back, as this will prevent the skirt from turning, or slipping down
below the waist, should the binding be a little too loose. The
placket-hole should be on the left side and should be buttoned over, to
prevent it from gaping open; it must be only just large enough to allow
the skirt to slip readily over the shoulders.

The best material for a riding habit is broadcloth, or any strong, soft
fabric that will adapt itself readily to the figure. The color is, of
course, a matter of taste. Black is always stylish, and is particularly
becoming to a stout person. Dark blue, hunter's green, and dark brown
are also becoming colors, especially for slender, youthful figures. In
the country, a linen jacket may be worn in warm weather, and will be
found a very agreeable substitute for the cloth basque, but the skirt
should never be made of so thin a material, as it will be too light to
hang well and too slippery to sit upon.

To secure ease and freedom in the saddle, a garment closely resembling a
pair of =pantaloons= will have to be worn under the riding skirt, and be
fastened down securely by means of strong leather or rubber straps,
which pass under the foot and are buttoned to the bottom of the
pantaloons. These pantaloons should be made of some soft cloth the color
of the dress, or else of chamois skin, faced up to the knee with cloth
like that of the skirt. Most people prefer the chamois skin for winter
use, as it is very warm and so soft that it prevents much of the chafing
usually occasioned by the rubbing of the right leg on the pommel.

No under =petticoats= are necessary where the pantaloons are used, but
if the rider wear one, it should be of some dark color that will not
attract attention if the riding skirt be blown back. Black silk will be
an excellent material for such a skirt in summer, something warmer being
used in winter. This skirt should have no folds or gathers in it, but if
the rider be very thin a little padding around the hips and over the
back will give her the desired effect of plumpness.

An important article of every-day wear will have to be discarded and a
=riding-habit shirt= used in its place. This shirt must be made short,
that the rider may not have to sit upon its folds and wrinkles, which
she would find very uncomfortable. The collar should be high and
standing, _à la militaire_, and made of the finest, whitest linen; it
should be sewed to the shirt for greater security, and should just be
seen above the high collar band of the basque.

The =drawers= must also be made very much like those of a gentleman, and
the lower parts be tucked under the hose. The garters should be rather
loose, or elastic.

Buttoned boots, or those with elastic sides, should not be worn when
riding. For summer use, the shoe laced at the side, and having a low,
broad heel, is liked by many. The ladies' Wellington boot, reaching
nearly to the knee, is also a favorite with some, and, when made without
any seam in front, prevents the stirrup-iron from chafing the instep. To
be comfortable, it should have a broad sole and be made a little longer
than the foot. This boot, however, gives the wearer rather an Amazonian
appearance, and has also the great disadvantage of being very difficult
to get off, the lady usually being obliged to appropriate the
gentleman's bootjack for the purpose. The =best boot= for riding
purposes, found to be the most comfortable, and one easy to get on and
off, is made of some light leather, or kid, for summer use, and of
heavier leather for winter; it extends half way to the knee, laces up in
front, has broad, low heels and wide soles, and is made a little longer
than the wearer's foot, so that it may be perfectly easy, as a tight
boot in riding is even more distressing than in walking.

The =corset= is indispensable to the elegant fit required in a riding
habit, but should never be laced tight. It should be short on the sides
and in the front and back. If long in front it will be almost impossible
for the rider to pass her knee over the second pommel when she attempts
to mount her horse, and will cause her, when riding, to incline her body
too far back; when long at the sides it will be even more inconvenient,
for, if at all tight, it will make the rider, when in the saddle, feel
as if her hips were compressed in a vise; when too long behind, it will
interfere with that curving or hollowing in of the back that is so
necessary to an erect position; it will also tend to throw the body too
far forward. If the rider have any tendency to stoutness all these
discomforts will be exaggerated. The C. P. or the Parisian _la Sirene_
is undoubtedly the best corset for riding purposes, for it is short,
light, and flexible, and not prejudicial to the ease and elegance of
good riding, as is the case with the stiff, long-bodied corset.

The =hair= should be so arranged that it cannot possibly come down
during the ride. To effect this, it must be made into one long braid,
which must be coiled upon the back of the head, and fastened firmly, but
not too tightly, by means of a few long hairpins. The coil may be put on
the top of the head, but this arrangement will be found very
inconvenient, especially where the hair is thick, for it will make the
hat sit very awkwardly on the head. The hair should never be worn in
ringlets, as these will be blown about by the wind, or by the movements
of the rider, and will soon become so tangled as to look like anything
but the "smooth flowing ringlets" of the poet. Nor should the hair be
allowed to stream down the back in long peasant-braids, a style
mistakenly adopted by some young misses, but which gives the rider a
wild and untidy appearance. When the horse is in motion these braids
will stream out on the breeze, and an observer at a short distance will
be puzzled to know what it is that seems to be in such an extraordinary
state of agitation. It is also a mistake to draw the hair back tightly
from the forehead, as this gives a constrained look to the features; it
should, on the contrary, be arranged in rather a loose, unstudied
manner, which will tend to soften the expression of the face. It is the
extreme of bad taste to bang or frizz the hair across the forehead, or
to wear the hat somewhat on the back of the head. These things are
sometimes done by very young girls, but give to the prettiest and most
modest face an air of boldness and vulgarity.

The =riding hat= at present fashionable, and most suitable for city or
park, is made of black silk plush with a Stanley curved brim, and
bell-crown, and is trimmed with a narrow band around the crown, directly
above the brim. Another favorite is a jockey-cap, made of the same cloth
as that of the habit. Either of these may be obtained at the hat stores.
For riding in the country, where one does not care to be so dressy, the
English Derby, or some other fashionable style of young gentleman's felt
hat, may be used; with a short plume or bird's wing fastened at the
side, a hat of this description has a very charming and coquettish air.
There is another style of silk hat manufactured expressly for ladies,
which may also be obtained at any hatter's; it has a lower crown than a
gentleman's silk hat, and looks very pretty with a short black net-veil
fastened around the crown, as this relieves the stiff look it otherwise
presents. This style of hat is very appropriate for a middle-aged
person. Care must be taken to have the hat neither too loose nor too
tight; if too tight, it will be apt to occasion a headache, and if too
loose will be easily displaced.

Long veils, long plumes, hats with very broad brims, or very high
crowns, as well as those which are worn perched on the top of the head,
should be especially avoided. The hat must always be made secure on the
head by means of stout elastic sewn on strongly, and so adjusted that it
can pass below the braid or coil of hair at the back of the head. An
ordinary back-comb firmly fastened on the top of the head will prevent
the hat from gradually slipping backwards.

These apparently trifling details must be attended to, or some prankish
breeze will suddenly carry off the rider's hat, and she will be
subjected to the mortification of having it handed back to her, with an
ill-concealed smile, by some obliging pedestrian. Many little
particulars which seem insignificant when in the dressing-room will
become causes of much discomfort and suffering when in the saddle. The
pleasure of many a ride has been marred by a displaced pin, a lost
button, too tight a garter, a glove that cramped the hand, or a ring
that occasioned swelling and pain in the finger. These details,
unimportant as they may seem, must be carefully attended to before
starting for a ride. Pins should be used sparingly. If a watch is worn,
it should be well secured in its pocket, and the chain carefully
fastened to a button of the jacket.

The =riding gauntlets= should be made of thick, soft, undressed kid, or
chamois skin, be long wristed, and somewhat loose across the hands, so
that the reins may be firmly grasped. With the exception of the watch,
the chain of which should be as unostentatious as possible, it will not
be in good taste to wear jewelry. A cravat or small bow of ribbon will
be in much better taste than a breast-pin for fastening the collar, and
may be of any color that suits the fancy or complexion of the wearer.
The costume may be much brightened by a small _boutonnière_ of natural
flowers; these placed at the throat or waist in an apparently careless
manner give an air of daintiness and refinement to the whole costume.

There is one accomplishment often neglected, or overlooked, even by the
most skillful lady riders, and that is, expertness in =holding the
riding skirt= easily and gracefully when not in the saddle. In this
attainment the Parisian horsewoman far excels all others; her manner of
gathering up the folds of her riding skirt, while waiting for her horse,
forms a picture of such unaffected elegance, that it would be well for
other riders to study and imitate it. She does not grab her skirt with
one hand, twist it round to one side, allow it to trail upon the ground,
nor does she collect the folds in one unwieldy bunch and throw it
brusquely over her arm. Instead of any of these ungraceful acts, she
quietly extends her arms down to their full length at her sides,
inclines her body slightly forward, and gathers up the front of her
skirt, raising her hands just far enough to allow the long part in front
and at the sides to escape the ground; then by bringing her hands
slightly forward, one being held a little higher than the other, the
back part of the skirt is raised. While accomplishing these movements
her whip will be held carelessly in her right hand, at a very short
distance below the handle, the point being directed downwards, and
somewhat obliquely backwards. The whole of this graceful manoeuvring
will be effected readily and artlessly, in an apparently unstudied
manner. In reality, however, all the Parisian's ease and grace are the
results of careful training, but so perfect is the instruction that art
is made to appear like nature.

In selecting a =riding whip= care should be taken to secure one that is
straight and stiff; if it be curved, it may accidentally touch the horse
and make him restless; if flexible it will be of no use in managing him.
The handle of the whip may be very plain, or the lady may indulge her
taste for the ornamental by having it very elaborate and rich, but she
should be careful never to sacrifice strength to appearances. Any
projecting points that might catch on the dress and tear it must be
dispensed with. That the whip may not be lost if the hand should
unwittingly lose its hold upon it, a loop of silk cord should be
fastened firmly to the handle, and the hand passed through this loop.
When riding, the whip should always be held in the right hand with a
grasp sufficient to retain it, but not as if in a vise; the point should
be directed downward, or toward the hind-leg of the horse, care being
taken not to touch him with it except when necessary.



CHAPTER III.

THE SADDLE AND BRIDLE.

    "Form by mild bits his mouth, nor harshly wound,
    Till summer rolls her fourth-revolving round.
    Then wheel in graceful orbs his paced career,
    Let step by step in cadence strike the ear,
    The flexile limbs in curves alternate prance,
    And seem to labor as they slow advance:
    Then give, uncheck'd, to fly with loosen'd rein,
    Challenge the winds, and wing th' unprinted plain."

                      VIRGIL, _Sotheby's Translation_.


In ye ancient times, the damsel who wished to enjoy horseback riding did
not, like her successor of to-day, trust to her own ability to ride and
manage her horse, but, seated upon a pad or cushion, called a "pillion,"
which was fastened behind a man's saddle, rode without a stirrup and
without troubling herself with the reins, preserving her balance by
holding to the belt of a trusty page, or masculine admirer, whose duty
it was to attend to the management of the horse. We learn that as late
as A. D. 1700, George III. made his entry into London with his wife,
Charlotte, thus seated behind him. Gradually, however, as women became
more confident, they rode alone upon a sort of side-saddle, on which by
means of the reins and by bracing her feet against a board, called a
"planchette," which was fastened to the front of the saddle, the rider
managed to keep her seat. Such was the English horsewoman of the
seventeenth century, in the time of Charles II.,--"the height of fashion
and the cream of style."

To the much quoted "vanity of the fair sex" do we owe the invention of
the side-saddle of our grandmothers. About the middle of the sixteenth
century Catherine de Medici, wife of Henry II. of France, having a very
symmetrical figure which she wished to display to advantage, invented
the second pommel of the saddle, and thus, while gratifying her own
vanity, was unconsciously the means of greatly benefiting her sex by
enabling them to ride with more ease and freedom. To this saddle there
was added, about 1830, a third pommel, the invention of which is due to
the late M. Pellier, Sr., an eminent riding teacher in Paris, France.
This three-pommeled saddle is now called the =English saddle=, and is
the one generally used by the best lady riders of the present day.

This so-called "English saddle" was promptly appreciated, and wherever
introduced soon supplanted the old-fashioned one with only two pommels.
(Fig. 7.)

[Illustration: Fig. 7.--English Saddle.

1, second pommel; 2, third pommel; 3, shield; 4, saddle-flap; 5, cantle;
6, stirrup-leather; 7, stirrup; 8, girths; 9, platform.]

A lady who has once ridden one of these three-pommeled saddles will
never care to use any other kind. It renders horseback riding almost
perfectly safe, for, if the rider has learned to use it properly, it
will be nearly impossible for a horse to throw her. It gives her a much
firmer seat even than that of a gentleman in his saddle, and at the same
time, if rightly used, does not interfere with that easy grace so
essential to good riding. In many of our large cities where this saddle
is employed twenty lady riders may now be seen in the park or on the
road where formerly there was one; and this is wholly due to the sense
of security it gives, especially to a timid rider, a feeling never
attainable in the two-pommeled saddle, where the seat is maintained
chiefly by the balance, or by using the reins as a means of support.

By sitting erect, taking a firm hold upon the second pommel with the
right knee, and pressing the left knee up against the third pommel, a
perfectly secure seat is obtained, from which the rider cannot be
shaken, provided the saddle is well girthed and the horse does not fall,
while her hands are left free to manage the reins, a very important
point where the horse is spirited or restless. To insure the greatest
safety and comfort for both horse and rider, it is very important that
the saddle should be accurately constructed. If possible, it should be
made especially for the horse that is to carry it, so that it may suit
his particular shape. If it does not fit him well, it will be likely to
turn, or may gall his back severely, and make him for a long time unfit
for service. It may even, in time, give rise to fistulous withers, will
certainly make the horse restless and uneasy on the road, and the pain
he suffers will interfere with the ease and harmony of his gaits. Many a
horse has been rendered unfit for a lady's use solely because the saddle
did not fit well.

The under surface of the arch of the saddle-tree, in front, should never
come in contact with the animal's withers, nor should the points of the
saddle-tree be so tightly fitted as to interfere with the movements of
his shoulders. On the other hand, they should not be so far apart as to
allow the central furrowed line of the under surface of the saddle (the
chamber) to rest upon the animal's back. The saddle should be so fitted
and padded that this central chamber will lie directly over the spinal
column of the horse without touching it, while the padded surfaces, just
below the chamber, should rest closely on the sides of the back, and be
supported at as many points as is possible without making the animal
uncomfortable.

When a horse has very high withers, a breast-plate, similar to that
employed in military service, may be used, to prevent the saddle from
slipping backwards. This contrivance consists of a piece of leather
passing round the neck like a collar, to the lowest part of which is
fastened a strap that passes between the fore-legs of the horse and is
attached to the saddle girth. Two other straps, one on each side,
connect the upper part of the collar piece with the upper part of the
saddle. The under strap should never be very loose, for should the
saddle slip back and this strap not be tight enough to hold down the
collar piece, the latter will be pulled up by the upper straps so as to
press against the windpipe of the horse and choke him. Should the horse
have low withers and a round, barrel-like body, false pannels or padded
pieces may be used; but an animal of this shape is not suitable for a
lady, for it will be almost impossible to keep the saddle from turning,
no matter how carefully it may be girthed.

A sufficiently spacious seat or platform to the saddle is much more
comfortable for both horse and rider than a narrow one. It gives the
rider a firmer seat, and does not bring so much strain upon the girths.
This platform should also be made as nearly level as possible, and be
covered with quilted buckskin. Leather, now so often used for this
purpose, becomes after a time so slippery that it is difficult to retain
one's seat, and the pommels when covered with it are apt to chafe the
limbs severely.

To secure a thoroughly comfortable saddle it is necessary that not only
the horse, but also the rider, should be measured for it; for a saddle
suitable for a slender person could hardly be used with any comfort by a
stout one, and it is almost as bad to have a saddle too large as too
small. Care must be taken to have sufficient length from the front of
the second pommel to the cantle. In the ready-made saddles this distance
is usually too short, and the rider is obliged to sit upon the back edge
of the seat, thereby injuring both herself and her horse. It is much
better to err in the other direction and have the seat too long rather
than too short. The third pommel should be so placed that it will just
span the knee when the stirrup-leather is of the right length. It should
be rather short, slightly curved, and blunt. If it be too long and have
too much of a curve, it will, in the English trot, interfere with the
free action of the rider's left leg, and if the horse should fall, it
would be almost impossible for her to disengage her leg and free herself
in time to escape injury. The third pommel must be so placed as not to
interfere with the position of the right leg when this is placed around
the second pommel with the right heel drawn backwards. To get the proper
proportions for her saddle, the lady must, when seated, take her measure
from the under side of the knee joint to the lower extremity of her
back, and also--to secure the proper width for the seat--from thigh to
thigh. If these two measurements are given to the saddle-maker he will,
if he understands his business, be able to construct the saddle
properly.

The saddle recommended by the author, one which she has used for several
years, and still continues to use, is represented in Fig. 7. The third
pommel of this saddle is of medium size, and instead of being close to
the second one is placed a short distance below it, thus enabling the
rider to use a longer stirrup than she otherwise could; for if the two
pommels be very close together, the rider will be obliged to use a very
short stirrup in order to make this third pommel of any use. The
disadvantage of a short stirrup is that, in a long ride, it is apt to
occasion cramp in the left leg. It also interferes with an easy and
steady position in the saddle. But with a stirrup of the right length,
and the arrangement of the pommels such as we have described, a
steadiness is given to the left leg that can never be obtained with the
old-fashioned two-pommeled saddle.

The third pommel must be screwed securely into the saddle-tree, and once
fixed in its proper place, should not again be moved, as if frequently
turned it will soon get loose, and the rider will not be able to rely
upon its assistance to retain her balance. It should be screwed into
place inversely, that is, instead of being turned to the right it must
be turned to the left, so that the pressure of the knee may make it
firmer and more secure, instead of loosening it, as would be the case if
it were screwed to the right. This pommel should be well padded, so that
the knee may not be bruised by it.

The second pommel should also be well padded, and should always be
curved slightly so as to suit the form of the right leg. It must not be
so high as to render it difficult, in mounting and dismounting, to pass
the right knee over it. The off-pommel, since the English saddle has
come into vogue, has almost disappeared, being reduced to a mere vestige
of its former size. This is a great improvement to the rider's
appearance, as she now no longer has that confined, cribbed-up look
which the high pommeled saddle of twenty years ago gave her.

The distance between the off-pommel and the second one should be adapted
to the size of the rider's leg, being wide enough to allow the leg to
rest easily between the two; but no wider than this, as too much space
will be apt to lead her to sit sideways upon the saddle.

A saddle should be well padded, but not so much so as to lift the rider
too high above the horse's back. The shield in front should not press
upon the neck of the horse, but should barely touch it. The saddle flaps
must be well strapped down, for if they stand out stiffly, the correct
position of the stirrup leg will be interfered with. A side-saddle
should never be too light in weight, for this will make the back of the
horse sore, especially if he be ridden by a heavy woman.

The tacks or nails in the under part of the saddle should be firmly
driven in, as they may otherwise become loose and either injure the
horse, or make him nervous and uneasy. To avoid trouble of this kind,
some people advocate the use of false pannels, which are fastened to the
saddle-tree by rods or loops, and can be removed and replaced at will.
It is said that by using them, the same saddle can be made to fit
different horses. The author has no personal knowledge of this
invention, but it has been strongly recommended to her by several
excellent horsemen. A felt or flannel saddle cloth, of the same color as
the rider's habit, should always be placed under the saddle, as it helps
to protect the horse's back, as well as to prevent the saddle from
getting soiled.

Every finished side-saddle has three girths. Two of these are made of
felt cloth, or strong webbing, and are designed to fasten it firmly upon
the horse's back. The third one, made of leather, is intended to keep
the flaps down. There should always be, on each side, three straps
fastened to the saddle-tree under the leather flaps; upon two of these
the girths are to be buckled, while the third is an extra one, to be
used as a substitute in case of any accident to either of the others.
Between the outside leather flaps and the horse's body there should be
an under flap of flannel or cloth, which should be well padded on the
side next the horse, because, when tightly girthed, the girth-buckles
press directly upon the outside of this flap, and if its padding be
thin, or worn, the animal will suffer great pain. This is a cause of
restlessness which is seldom noticed, and many a horse has been thought
to be bad tempered when he was only wild with pain from the pressure of
the girth-buckles against his side.

[Illustration: Fig. 8.--Stokes' mode of girthing the saddle.]

The credit of introducing a new method of tightening girths belongs, so
far as we know, to Mr. Stokes, formerly a riding-teacher in Cincinnati.
This method enables one to girth the horse tightly, without using so
much muscular effort as is usually required, so that by its means, a
lady can, if she wish, saddle her own horse. (Fig. 8.)

The following is a description of Mr. Stokes' manner of girthing: At the
end of each of the leather girth straps, which hang down between the
flaps on the off-side of the saddle, is fastened a strong iron buckle
without any tongue, but with a thin steel roller or revolving cylinder
on its lower edge. On the near side of the saddle the girths are
strapped in the usual manner, but, on the _outer_ end of each cloth
girth there is, in addition to an ordinary buckle, with a roller on the
upper side of it, a long strap, which is fastened to the under side of
the girth, the buckle being on the upper side. This strap, when the
saddle is girthed, is passed up through the tongueless buckle, moving
easily over the steel roller, and is then brought down to the buckle
with tongue on the end of the girth, and there fastened in the usual
manner.

The slipper stirrup, when first introduced, was a great favorite, for in
addition to furnishing an excellent support, it was believed that it
would release the foot instantly should the rider be thrown. This latter
merit, however, it was found that it did not possess, as many severe
accidents occurred where this stirrup was used, especially with the
two-pommeled saddle. Instead of releasing the rider in these cases, as
it was supposed it would, the stirrup tilted up and held her foot so
firmly grasped that she was dragged some distance before she could be
released. This stirrup, therefore, gradually fell into disfavor, and is
now no longer used by the best riders.

[Illustration: Fig. 9.--Victoria stirrup.]

There are, at the present time, three kinds of stirrups which are
favorites among finished riders. The first is called the "Victoria"
because it is the one used by the Queen of England. (Fig. 9.) In this
stirrup the platform on which the foot rests is broad and comfortable,
and is slightly roughened to prevent the foot from slipping. A
spring-bar attachment (Fig. 10) is placed at the top of the
stirrup-leather under the saddle-flap, and at the end of this bar there
is a spring, so that, if the rider be thrown, the stirrup-leather
becomes instantly detached from the saddle.

[Illustration: Fig. 10.--Spring-bar for stirrup leather.]

The second variety of stirrup, known as "Lennan's safety stirrup," has
all the merit of the preceding one. If kept well oiled and free from
mud, it will release the foot at once, when an accident occurs. It may,
if desired, be accompanied by the spring-bar attachment, and thus
rendered doubly secure. (Fig. 11.) Some people, however, dislike the
spring-bar attachment, and prefer to rely entirely upon the spring of
the stirrup to release the foot.

[Illustration: Fig. 11.--Lennan's safety stirrup.]

The third stirrup, called "Latchford's safety stirrup," consists of a
stirrup within a stirrup, and is so arranged that, when a rider is
thrown, the inner stirrup springs open and releases the foot. (Fig. 12.)
Either of these stirrups can be procured in London, England, or from the
best saddle-makers in this country.

[Illustration: Fig. 12.--Latchford's safety stirrup.]

A =stirrup-iron= should never be made of cast metal, but invariably of
the best wrought steel: it should be adapted to the size of the rider's
foot, and should, if possible, have an instep pad at the top, while the
bottom platform, upon which the foot rests, should be broad, and
roughened on its upper surface.

The =stirrup-leather= should be of the very best material, and should
have neither fissures nor cracks in any part of it. It is very important
to examine this leather frequently, and see that it is neither wearing
thin, nor breaking at its upper part at the bar, nor at the lower part
where it is fastened to the stirrup.

A novel arrangement of the stirrup-leather, by means of the so-called
"balance-strap," has of late years been used by some riders. The stirrup
is, in this case, fastened to the balance-strap, which consists of a
single strap passing up through the ring-bar, and then brought down to
within two or three inches of the lower edge of the saddle-flap; here it
is passed through a slit in the flap, then carried under the horse to
the other side and buckled to another strap, which is fastened, for this
purpose, just below the off-pommel. By this arrangement the saddle-flaps
on both sides are held down, and the rider, without dismounting, can
change the length of her stirrup by merely tightening or loosening this
strap. Although highly recommended by some riders, this balance strap
has one objectionable feature, which is that, as the measurement of the
horse's girth is not constant during a long ride, it will be necessary
to tighten the strap frequently in order to keep the stirrup of the
proper length. The old way of fastening is much better, for too much
complication in the saddle and bridle is apt to annoy and confuse the
rider, especially if a novice. The =golden rule= in riding on horseback
is to have everything accurate, simple, safe, and made of the very best
material that can be procured.

The =bridle= should be neatly and plainly made, with no large rosettes
at the sides, nor highly colored bands across the forehead. The reins
and the head-piece should never be made of rounded straps, but always
of flat ones, and should be of the best and strongest leather,
especially the reins. These should be carefully examined from time to
time, in order to be sure that there are no imperfections in them. Any
roughness or hardness is an indication of defectiveness, and may be
detected by dexterously passing the fingers to and fro over the flat
surfaces, which should be smooth, soft, and flexible. There can hardly
be too much care taken about this matter, for the snapping of a rein
always alarms a horse; and, feeling himself free from all control, he
will be almost certain to run away, while the rider, if she has no other
reins, will be powerless to protect herself, or to check him in his
purpose.

=Martingales= are rarely used by riders, as they are troublesome, and
can very well be dispensed with, unless the horse has the disagreeable
trick of raising his head suddenly, from time to time, when a martingale
will become necessary in order to correct this fault. The French
martingale is the best. This consists of a single strap, fastened either
to the under part of a nose-band at its centre under the jaw, or by
branches to each side of the snaffle-bit at the corners of the horse's
mouth and then carried between the fore-legs and fastened to the girth.
When the horse raises his head too high this strap pulls upon the
nose-band, compresses his nostrils, interferes with his breathing, and
causes him to lower his head promptly. The horse should not be too much
confined by the martingale, for the object is simply to prevent him from
lifting his head too high, and all other ordinary movements should be
left free.

[Illustration: Fig. 13.--Chifney bit.]

Among the many =bits= which have been used, that known as the "Pelham"
has been highly praised, although, at the present time, it is almost, if
not entirely, out of use. It might, however, from the severity of its
curb prove of service in controlling a hard-mouthed horse, although such
a one should never be ridden by a lady. The Chifney bit is another very
severe one, and is very useful in managing a horse that pulls hard. But
if the animal have a tender mouth, this bit should be used with great
caution, and not at all by an inexperienced rider. (Fig. 13.)

The bit known as the "snaffle," when made plain and not twisted, is the
mildest of all bits, and some horses will move readily only when this
is used, the curb instantly rousing their temper. Others, again, do best
with a combination of the curb and the snaffle, and although the former
may seldom require to be used, its mere presence in the mouth of the
horse will prove a sufficient check to prevent him from running away.
Most horses, however, especially those ridden by ladies, require a light
use of the curb to bring them to their best gait.

[Illustration: Fig. 14.--The Combination Bit.

_a_, _a_, rings fastened on each side to small bar, at right angles to
and directed backward of the cheek; _b_, _b_, rings for the curb-reins.]

The bit used and recommended by many, but not by the author, is a curb
so arranged as to form a combination bit in one piece. It consists of a
curb (Fig. 14), to each side of which, at the angles of the horse's
mouth, a ring is attached, and to each of these rings is fastened a
rein. This gives a second pair of reins and converts the curb into a
kind of snaffle. In this way it answers the purpose of both curb and
snaffle without crowding the horse's mouth with two separate bits.

If two bits should be used--the curb and bridoon--instead of the above
combination bit, the bridoon should be placed in the horse's mouth in
such a way as not to interfere with the action of the curb; it must,
therefore, be neither too thick nor too long, and so fitted into the
angles of the mouth as to neither wrinkle nor draw back the lips.

The bit should always be made of the best steel, be well rounded, and
perfectly smooth. Above all it should be accurately fitted to the
horse's mouth: if it be too narrow it will compress his lips against the
bars of his mouth, and the pain thereby occasioned will render him very
restive. The mouth-piece should be just long enough to have the cheeks
of the bit fit closely to the outer surface of the lips without
compressing them, and must not be so long as to become displaced
obliquely when a rein is pulled.

[Illustration: Fig. 15.--Dwyer's Curb-Bit.

1, 1, upper bars or cheeks; 2, 2, lower bars; 3, the port; 4, 4, the
canons; 5, curb-chain; 6, curb-hook; 7, lip strap and ring; 8, 8, rein
rings; 9, 9, head stall rings.]

According to Major Dwyer, who is a high authority on the subject of
bits,--and whose little work should be carefully studied by all
bit-makers,--it seems to be the general rule to have the lower bar or
cheek of the curb-bit twice as long as the upper one; but, as there is
no standard measure for the upper one the other is frequently made too
long. Major Dwyer states that the mouth-piece, for any horse of ordinary
size, should be one and three fourths inches for the upper bar, and
three and a half inches for the lower one. This makes five and one
fourth inches for the entire length of the two bars, from the point at
which the curb-hook acts above to that where the lower ring acts below.
(Fig. 15.) For ordinary ponies the upper bar may be one and a half
inches, and the lower one three, making a total length of four and a
half inches.

Every lady rider should know that the longer the lower bar, the thinner
the mouth-piece, and the higher the "port," the more severe and painful
will be the action of the bit upon the horse's mouth. For a horse of
ordinary size, the width of the port should be one and one third inches;
for a pony, one inch. The height will vary according to the degree of
severity required.

The curb-chain, for a horse that has a chin-groove of medium size,
should be about four fifths of an inch wide, as a chain that is rather
broad and flat is less painful for the horse than a thin, sharp one. If
the chin-groove be very narrow, a curb-chain of less width will have to
be used, and should be covered with cloth; or, instead of a chain, a
narrow strap of leather may be used, which should be kept soft and
pliable. The proper length for the curb-chain, not including the
curb-hooks, is about one fourth more than the width of the animal's
mouth. The hooks should be exactly alike, and about an inch and a
quarter long.

Some horses are very expert in the trick of catching the cheek of the
bit between their teeth. To remedy this vice a lip-strap may be used;
but it will be found much better to have each cheek or bar bent into the
form of the letter S, remembering, however, that the measurement of the
length, referred to above, must in the case of curved bars be made in a
straight line. Sometimes the upper bar of the curb-bit will, on account
of the peculiar form of the horse's head, press against and gall his
cheeks. When this is noticed, most people change the bit, and get one
with a longer mouth-piece; but where the mouth-piece is of the same
length as the width of the mouth, the proper remedy for this difficulty
will be to have the upper bar bent out enough to free the cheeks from
its pressure.

The curb-bit once made and properly adjusted to the head-stall, the next
step will be to =fit it accurately= to the horse's mouth. Every rider
should thoroughly understand not only how to do this, but also how to
place the saddle correctly upon the horse. Upon these points nearly all
grooms require instruction, and very few gentlemen, even, know how to
arrange a side-saddle so as to have it comfortable for both horse and
rider. Moreover, should the lady be riding alone, as frequently happens
in the country, and meet with any accident to saddle or bridle, or need
to have either adjusted, she would, without knowledge on these subjects,
be completely helpless, whereas with it she could promptly remedy the
difficulty.

[Illustration: Fig. 16.--The Bit adjusted.

1, 1, snaffle-rein; 2, 2, curb-rein.]

In order to adjust the bit permanently to the head-stall, so that
afterwards the horse can always be properly bridled, one must proceed
as follows: having first fitted the head-stall to the horse's head by
means of the upper buckles, the bit must then be adjusted, by means of
the lower ones, in such a manner that the canons of the mouth-piece
will rest on the bars of the horse's mouth, exactly opposite the
chin-groove. (Fig. 16.) Should the tusks of the horse be irregularly
placed, the mouth-piece must be adjusted a little higher than the
projecting tusks, so as to just avoid touching them. The curb-chain
may now be hooked into the ring of the upper bar on the off-side,
leaving one link loose, after which the other hook must be fastened to
the ring of the bar on the near-side, leaving two links loose. Care
should be taken to have the curb-chain rest with its flat surface
against the chin-groove in such a way that it will have no tendency to
rise up when the reins are pulled upon. The curb-chain should never be
tight; there must always be room enough between it and the chin to
insert the first and second fingers of the right hand flatwise; and,
while the fingers are thus placed, if the reins are drawn up, it will
be easy to ascertain whether the chain pinches. If, when the reins are
tightened, the bit stands stiff and immovable, it will show that the
chain is too short and needs to be lengthened a link or two. If the
horse gently yields his head to the tightening of the reins, without
suddenly drawing back, or thrusting out his nose as the tension is
increased, it will prove that the bit is correctly placed. But if the
lower bars of the bit can be drawn back quite a distance before the
horse will yield to the pull of the reins, then the chain is too long,
and should be shortened. "Lightness, accuracy, easy motion, a total
absence of stiffness, constraint, or painful action, are the
characteristics of good bitting; and if these be attained, ready
obedience to the rider's hand will be the result."--_F. Dwyer._

When the bit has once been correctly adjusted to the head-stall and to
the horse's mouth, there will be little difficulty in bridling him upon
any subsequent occasion. Thus: standing at the left of the horse's head,
the head-stall, held by its upper part in the right hand, should be
lifted up in front of the horse's head, while the left hand, holding the
bit by its mouth-piece, should put this between the animal's lips, press
it against his teeth, and into his mouth, which he will generally open
a little in order to admit it. As soon as this has been accomplished,
the upper part of the head-stall must be promptly raised so as to bring
its upper strap or band across the forehead, while at the same time the
horse's ears are passed between the forehead band and the strap which
forms the upper part of the head-stall.

During these manoeuvres, the curb-chain must be passed under the chin,
so as to rest against the chin-groove, and care be taken to keep the
fingers of the left hand out of the horse's mouth while the mouth-piece
is being put in. The bit and head-stall having been properly arranged,
the whole should be secured by buckling the throat-strap loosely on the
left side. If this strap be buckled tightly, the horse will be unable to
bend his neck properly. The mouth-piece of the bit should be washed,
dried, and then rubbed with fresh olive or cotton-seed oil, each time
after use, to preserve it from rust.

Neither a rusted bit nor a very cold one should ever be put into a
horse's mouth. In frosty winter weather the bit should always be warmed.
Many a valuable horse has had his mouth seriously injured by having an
icy cold mouth-piece put into it, to say nothing of the pain and
suffering it must invariably occasion.

In order to produce a neat and pleasing appearance, there should be no
unsightly ends or straps left dangling from the loops of the head-stall.
They should be so snugly fitted into their places that they cannot work
out of their loops.

The forehead band should never be too tight for the horse's comfort, and
the small rosettes that lie over his temples should be well oiled
underneath and kept soft.

A side-saddle may be made accurately according to all recognized rules,
and yet lose nearly all its good effects by being improperly put on; the
rider will be made uncomfortable, the horse's back will be injured, and
the saddle will eventually have its padding so compressed in the wrong
direction that it will be impossible to put it on in the right way.

Every lady rider should know as well how to have her saddle properly
adjusted as how to sit her horse or manage the reins. On a well-formed
horse, with rather high withers and sloping shoulders, the centre of the
saddle should be placed over the middle of the back, and be so arranged
that the front part of the saddle-tree shall be a very short distance
back of the horse's shoulder-blade, for if allowed to rest upon the
shoulder-blade it will interfere very much with the action of the
shoulder muscles. It is a common fault of grooms to place the saddle a
little sideways, and too far forward on the withers. The well-taught
rider can, however, easily decide whether the saddle is in the right
position: standing on the off-side of the horse, she must pass her right
hand under the arch of the saddle-tree, which should be directly over
the withers, and see whether it sits perfectly even, bearing no more to
one side than to the other; then stepping behind the horse, but at a
safe distance from his heels, she can see whether the long central
furrow of the under surface of the saddle-seat from front to rear
(chamber) is in a direct line with the animal's backbone, and forms an
open space over it. If these conditions are fulfilled, the saddle is
properly adjusted. If the horse have rather straight shoulders, together
with a plump, round body, the saddle will require to be placed rather
farther forward, but with the chamber still in a line with the backbone.
On some horses of this shape, the saddle, to be held securely, will need
to be set so far forward that the girths will have to pass close to the
fore-legs. A horse of this description is not suitable for the
side-saddle, but as ladies in the country and in the far West are
sometimes obliged to ride such, it is very important for their safety
to know how these ill-formed animals should be saddled, because should
the saddle be put too far back on such horses, it will be sure to turn.

It not infrequently happens that after the saddle has been placed in the
correct position, it becomes slightly displaced while being fastened. To
avoid this, it should always be girthed on the off-side, and great care
be taken, when fastening the girths, especially the first one, that the
saddle be not jerked over to the left; and that in pulling upon the
short strap on the off-side, to which the girth is to be buckled, the
saddle be not forced to the right.

When girthing the saddle, the lady may place her left hand on the middle
of the seat and hold it steady while she arranges the first girth, and
with her right hand draws it as tightly as she can, without using
violent exertion, or making any sudden jerk; she will then be able, with
both hands, to tighten the girth as much as is necessary, doing this
with an even, regular pull, so that the saddle will not be moved out of
place. Before fastening the other girths, she should step behind the
horse and assure herself that the chamber is in a line with the horse's
backbone, as before described. If it is not, she must loosen the girth,
and, after straightening the saddle, proceed as before. The girth to be
first fastened is the one nearest the horse's fore-legs; the second
girth is the one back of the first, and should be placed evenly over the
first one and fastened equally tight; the third is the leather girth
which is intended to keep down the saddle-flaps; this must be placed
evenly over the other two, but it is not essential to have it drawn so
tight as they, but just enough so to hold the flaps. Most horses have a
trick, when they are being girthed, of expanding their sides and
abdomen, for the purpose of securing a loose girthing; and girths that
seem almost too tight when they are first buckled are often found to be
too loose after the rider has mounted. Too tight a girth is injurious to
the horse, but too loose a one may cause the saddle to turn. A round,
plump horse with low withers will need tighter girthing than a better
shaped one. The lady rider should study the shape of her horse, and use
her own judgment as to how tight the girths should be drawn, making due
allowance for the trick alluded to above. If there is any second person
present while the saddle is being arranged, matters may be facilitated
if this person will hold the saddle firmly by the off-pommel while the
girthing is being done.

The author has been thus particular in describing the bit and saddle
with their proper arrangement, as well as the girthing of the horse,
because so few lady riders bestow any attention upon these very
important matters; and yet, if one desires to ride safely and well, a
knowledge of them is positively necessary. Grooms cannot always be
depended upon, and, indeed, seldom know much about the side-saddle;
there is an adage which is applicable to many of them: "Too much must
not be expected from the head of him who labors only with his hands." In
the instructions given by gentlemen writers, useful as they may be in
many respects, there is usually a good deal of practical information
omitted which a lady rider ought to know, but the necessity of which it
is perhaps impossible for a gentleman fully to appreciate or understand;
this knowledge the lady will have to gain either from her own experience
or from one of her own sex who has studied the subject carefully.

In preparing for horseback riding, nothing should be omitted that can
give greater security to the rider, or protect her more completely from
accident of any sort. Every article should be of the very best material,
so that a breakage or casualty of any kind may be only a remote
possibility. The knowledge that everything is right, and firmly and
properly placed, creates a confidence which adds greatly to the pleasure
of the ride.



CHAPTER IV.

MOUNTING AND DISMOUNTING.

    "'Stand, Bayard, stand!'--the steed obeyed,
    With arching neck and bending head,
    And glancing eye and quivering ear,
    As if he loved _her voice_ to hear."

                     _Lady of the Lake._


A novice in riding always experiences in a greater or less degree a
sense of trepidation and embarrassment when, for the first time, a horse
duly caparisoned for a lady rider is put before her, and she is expected
to seat herself in the saddle. If she be a timid person, the apparent
difficulty of this feat occasions a dismay which the good-natured
champing of the bit and impatient head shakings of the horse do not tend
to diminish. If, however, she be accustomed to horses as pets, and
understand their ways, she will be much less apprehensive about mounting
than the lady who has only observed them at a distance and is entirely
ignorant of their nature. The author has known ladies, after their
horses had been brought to the door, to send them back to the stable
because courage failed them when it became necessary to trust
themselves on the back of an animal of which they knew nothing. To
overcome this timidity the lady must become better acquainted with her
horse, and, to do so, should visit him occasionally in his stable, feed
him with choice morsels, and lead him about the yard from time to time.
By these means a mutual friendship and confidence will be created, and
the lady will gradually gain enough courage to place herself in the
saddle.

The first attempt at mounting should be made from a =high horse-block=
with some one to hold the head of the horse and keep him still. Turning
her right side somewhat toward the horse's left, and slightly raising
the skirt of her riding habit, the lady should spring from her left foot
towards the saddle, at the same time raising her right leg so that it
will pass directly over the second and third pommels. This accomplished,
the left foot may be placed in the stirrup.

Another method of mounting from a rather high horse-block, when the
pommels are high, is for the lady to face the horse's left side, and,
seizing the off-pommel with the right hand and the second one with the
left, to spring towards the saddle from her left foot, and seat herself
sidewise. She can then turn her body so as to face the horse's head,
place her right leg over the second pommel,--adjusting her skirt at the
same time,--and slip her left foot into the stirrup and her left knee
under the third pommel.

Should the =horse-block be low= and the lady short, she will be obliged
to mount somewhat after a man's fashion, thus: Placing her left foot in
the stirrup, and grasping the second pommel with her left hand, she
should spring from her right foot, and, as she rises, grasp the
off-pommel with her right hand; by means of this spring, aided by the
pommels and stirrup, she can seat herself sideways in the saddle,
turning her body for this purpose just before gaining the seat. In the
absence of a horse-block, from which to mount, the assistance of a chair
or stool should never be resorted to unless there is some one to hold it
firm and steady.

When the rider is obliged to =mount= without assistance and =from the
ground=, if the balance-strap, before referred to, be used with her
stirrup, she can let this strap down far enough to enable her to put her
foot in the stirrup easily, and to use it as a sort of stepping-stone by
means of which, and a spring from her right foot, she can reach the
saddle sideways. In doing this she must grasp the second pommel firmly
with her left hand, in which she also should hold her whip and the
reins; on rising she must aid herself by grasping with the right hand
the off-pommel as soon as she can reach it. When she is seated, the
stirrup can be adjusted from the off-side by means of the balance-strap.

If, however, she uses the old-fashioned stirrup-leather, and there is no
assistance of any kind at hand, neither horse-block, chair, nor stool,
not even a fence or steep bank from which to mount,--a situation in
which a rider might possibly be placed,--then reaching the saddle
becomes a very puzzling affair, unless the lady be so active that she
can spring from the ground to her saddle. To try the plan of lengthening
the stirrup-leather will be dangerous, because, in order to readjust it
after mounting, she will have to sit on the back part of the saddle,
bend over the horse's left side, and pull up the stirrup-leather in
order to shorten and buckle it; while in this position, if the horse
should start, she would probably be thrown instantly. Her safest course
would be to lead the horse until a place is found where she can mount.
If she should have to use a fence for this purpose let her be sure that
the posts are firmly fixed in the ground, and that the boards are
neither loose nor easily broken.

When mounting, the whip and reins should be held in the left hand, the
former with the point down, so that it may not hit the horse, and the
latter grasped just tightly enough to feel the horse's mouth without
pulling on it. In order to arrange the folds of the riding skirt after
mounting, the reins and whip must be transferred to the right hand;
then, resting this hand upon the off-pommel, the rider should raise
herself free from the saddle by straightening her left knee and standing
on the stirrup, also aiding herself by means of the right hand on the
pommel. While thus standing she can quickly arrange the skirt with her
left hand.

None of the methods of mounting just described--with the exception of
the first one--are at all graceful, and they should never be used except
in case of absolute necessity. The most graceful way for a lady to reach
the saddle, and the one that is taught in the best riding schools, is by
the =assistance of a gentleman=. The rider's education will not be
complete until she has learned this method of mounting, which, when
accomplished easily and gracefully, is delightful to witness. It should
be learned after the preliminary lessons at the horse-block have been
taken. In using this simple manner of reaching the saddle, the rider
will have three distinct points of support, namely, the shoulder of the
gentleman who assists her, the united palms of his hands, and her own
hold upon the pommel.

[Illustration: Fig. 17.--Lady ready to mount her horse.]

The stirrup having been placed across the shield of the saddle in front
of the pommels, the lady, holding the reins and the whip with its point
down in her right hand,--which must rest upon the second pommel,--should
stand with her right side toward the horse's left, about four or five
inches from it, her left shoulder being slightly turned back. Then,
taking a firm hold upon the second pommel with her right hand, she
should with the left lift her riding skirt enough to enable her to place
her left foot fairly and squarely into the gentleman's palms, which
should be clasped firmly together. This done, she should drop the skirt,
place her left hand upon his right shoulder, bend her knee, or give the
word "ready," as a signal, and at once spring from her right foot up and
a little towards the horse. The gentleman, at the same moment, must
raise his hands, and move them toward the horse. The lady must, when
rising, press or bear lightly upon his shoulder, and also keep a firm
hold upon the second pommel, which she must not relinquish until she is
seated. If correctly performed, this manoeuvre will place the rider in
the saddle sideways. The gentleman should then remove the stirrup from
the front of the saddle, while the lady transfers the reins to her left
hand, passes her right knee over the second pommel and her left under
the third. She will then be ready to have her foot placed in the
stirrup. (Fig. 17.)

It will, however, be found very difficult to mount in this manner,
gracefully, unless the gentleman who assists thoroughly understands his
duties; should he be awkward about helping her, the lady will find it
much better to depend upon the horse-block. If, for instance, he should
raise his hands too high, or with too much energy, when she makes her
spring, he may push her too far over, or even--if she should loosen her
grasp of the second pommel,--cause her to fall from the off-side of the
horse. This is a dangerous accident, and almost certain to occasion
severe injuries. On the other hand, if he does not use energy enough, or
neglects to carry his hands toward the body of the horse as the lady
rises, she may not reach the saddle at all, and will he apt to fall to
the ground on the left side of the horse, especially if she relinquishes
her hold on the second pommel. The gentleman must also be careful not to
let his foot rest on the lady's skirt, as this will pull her back, and
perhaps tear the dress, as she makes her spring.

In assisting a lady to mount, the =gentleman= should first arrange the
snaffle-reins evenly and of the proper length, and place them in her
right hand, leaving the curb-reins to lie loosely on the neck of the
horse. Then, after putting the stirrup out of the way, as described
above, he should take a position facing her, with his left shoulder
toward the left shoulder of the horse. Clasping his hands together with
the palms turned up, he should stoop sufficiently to enable her to put
her left foot upon them, and, in raising them as she springs, he must
gradually assume the erect posture. When the lady is seated, he should
return the stirrup to its proper position and place her foot in it,
after first, with his left hand, adjusting her skirt so that it will
fall evenly; he should then place the curb-reins in her left hand, with
the others. No gentleman is a finished equestrian, nor a desirable
companion for a lady on horseback, who does not know how to assist her
dexterously and gracefully to mount and dismount.

A lady who is not very nimble in her movements, or who is very heavy,
should be extremely careful in mounting not to accept assistance from a
gentleman who is not strong enough to support her weight easily and
firmly. It will be much better for her to use a horse-block or something
of the kind. But if she does accept the aid of a gentleman, the
following changes in the methods described above have been recommended:
instead of facing her, he should stand close to her side, with his face
turned in the same direction as hers: she should then place her left
foot in his united hands, and in order to do so must pass her left leg
between his right arm and his body. He will thus be enabled to support
and lift her with greater ease, and, as she rises, her left leg will
readily escape from under his right arm, and she will be able to seat
herself sideways in the saddle, as by the former method. During this
manoeuvre she must sustain herself by the second pommel, as in the
preceding instance.

If a horse is restless and uneasy when being mounted, he should be held
by a third person, who must stand in front of his head and take a firm
hold of the curb-bit on each side, but without touching the reins, which
should always be held and managed by the rider only. It is _always_ a
better plan, when mounting, to have the horse held, although a
well-trained horse will stand quietly without such control.

Mounting is a part of the rider's education which should be carefully
studied and practiced, for when properly and gracefully accomplished it
is the very poetry of motion, and will enable her to display more
pliancy and lightness than she can even in the ball-room. There is
another branch of the rider's education which also requires careful
study, as it is rarely accomplished satisfactorily, and is apt to
occasion as much embarrassment and dismay to a beginner as mounting.
This is =dismounting=. To alight from a horse easily and well, without
disarranging the dress, and without being awkwardly precipitated into
the arms of the gentleman who assists, is by no means an easy task, and
very few lady riders accomplish it with skill and address.

When assisting his companion from the saddle, the gentleman should stand
about a foot from her with his face toward the horse, while she, after
taking her foot from the stirrup and disengaging her right leg from the
pommel, must turn her body so as to face him. After putting the stirrup
over the shield of the saddle, as in mounting, he should then extend his
hands so as to support her by the elbows, while she rests a hand upon
each of his shoulders. Then, by giving a gentle spring, she will glide
lightly to the ground, he meanwhile supporting her with his hands, and,
as she descends, bending his body, and moving his right side slightly
backward. She can also assist him to lessen the shock as she touches the
ground by bending her knees a little, as if courtesying.

Another way of assisting the lady, especially if she be rather stout and
not very active, is for the gentleman to clasp her waist with both
hands, instead of holding her by the elbows. He should, in this case,
stand as far from her as he can while still supporting her, and, as she
descends, should make a step backward with his right foot, and turn a
little away from the horse, which should be held by a third person, in
the manner described before, in mounting.

[Illustration: Fig. 18.--Lady ready to dismount.]

Another, and more graceful way of dismounting is the following: The
gentleman, standing about a foot from his companion and directly facing
her, takes in his left hand her bridle,--as near as he can to the
horse's mouth, that he may hold him as firmly and securely as
possible,--the lady now drops the reins on the horse's neck, disengages
her foot from the stirrup, and her leg from the second pommel, and then
seats herself sideways in the saddle, so as to face her assistant, who
now places the stirrup on the front of the saddle with his right hand;
he then offers his right shoulder to the lady for her support. She,
after gathering up in her left hand a few folds of her riding skirt, in
order to have her feet free when she alights, places upon his shoulder
the hand which holds the skirt, and with the other, in which she holds
her whip point downward, grasps the second pommel and springs lightly
from the saddle, the gentleman bending over a little as she descends. On
reaching the ground, she should, as before described, bend her knees
slightly to lessen the shock of the descent. (Fig. 18.)

In all these modes of dismounting, the lady, before attempting to
alight, should be sure that her skirt is quite free from the pommels,
especially from the second one, and that it is so adjusted that it will
not be trodden upon when she reaches the ground, but will fall evenly
about her, without being in any way disarranged.

It happens not infrequently that a lady is obliged to dismount without
=any one to assist her=, and in this case she should ride up to a
horse-block so as to bring the left side of her horse close to it, let
the curb reins fall upon his neck, retaining, however, the whip and
snaffle-reins in her left hand, and then, removing her foot from the
stirrup and her right leg from the pommel, she should seat herself a
little sideways upon the saddle. Now, with a slight turn of her
shoulders to the right, she should place her left hand--still holding
the whip and reins--upon the second pommel, and her right hand upon the
off one, and thus alight sideways with her face toward the horse's head.
In effecting this manoeuvre, she must be careful to retain her hold upon
the snaffle-reins and also upon the second pommel until she is safe upon
the horse-block; she must also remember the caution given before, in
regard to having her skirts free from the pommels.

To =dismount upon the ground=, or upon a very low horse-block, =without=
assistance, is a difficult feat to execute gracefully, but some young
ladies in the country, who are active and light, accomplish it so easily
and quickly that they do not appear awkward. The manner in which this is
to be done is nearly the same as that just explained, the only
difference being, that the gliding down must be effected quickly and
lightly, and the rider, as she passes down, must release her hold upon
the off-pommel, but retain that upon the second, also taking care to
have the reins quite loose. This mode of alighting is, however, entirely
out of place except in the country, where assistance cannot always be
had readily, or in cases where the lady is obliged to dismount very
quickly.

If the lady rider, after carefully studying these different methods of
mounting and dismounting with assistance, will select the one she thinks
suits her best, and then practice it a few times with her gentleman
escort, she will soon find herself able to perform with ease these
apparently difficult feats, and will have no need of resorting to a
horse-block, nor to some secluded spot, where she can mount or dismount
unobserved. A lady once told the author that the pleasure of her daily
ride was at one time almost spoiled by the knowledge that she must mount
and dismount in front of a hotel, the piazza of which was always crowded
with observers, for, not having been properly taught to execute these
manoeuvres, she was rather awkward at them. She, however, placed herself
under correct tuition, and soon overcame the difficulty. She can now
execute these movements with such grace and elegance as to fascinate
gentlemen, and excite the envy of rival belles who are still obliged to
seek the aid of a horse-block.



CHAPTER V.

THE SEAT ON HORSEBACK.

    "Bounded the fiery steed in air,
    The rider sat erect and fair,
    Then like a bolt from steel cross-bow
    Forth launched, along the plain they go."

                          _Lady of the Lake._


A correct seat is very seldom attained by the self-taught lady rider,
for her attitude on the horse is so artificial that she cannot, like the
gentleman rider, whose seat is more easy and natural, fall directly into
the proper position. Competent instruction alone can enable her to gain
the safe and easy posture which will give the least possible fatigue to
herself and to her horse. It is true that a natural rider, or she who
professes to ride instinctively, may to-day accidentally assume the
proper position in the saddle, but, as she has no rule by which to guide
herself, and is entirely unacquainted with the "whys and wherefores" of
a correct seat, she will to-morrow assume the incorrect position, so
natural to a self-taught rider, and the pleasant ride of to-day will be
followed by a rough and unpleasant one to-morrow. On the one occasion,
the poor horse will receive much praise for his easy motion, and on the
next be highly censured for the roughness of his gait, for the lady will
not suspect that the real difficulty lies in her own ignorance of a
correct attitude, and in her bad management of the poor beast.

Upon the position of the upper part of the body depends not only grace
and pliancy, and that harmony between horse and rider which is so highly
desirable and, indeed, necessary, but also the ability to manage the
reins properly; for, if the rider be not well balanced, her hands will
be unsteady, and seldom in the right position for controlling the
animal.

But the proper position of the body above the saddle depends upon the
correct arrangement of the lower limbs; if they are not in the right
position, the rider will lean too far forward, or too far back, or too
much to one side or the other. She will also lose all firmness of seat,
and, consequently, all safety in riding. This faulty position of the
lower limbs has been, and still is, the occasion of much incorrect
riding, but is a point which is seldom regarded by the gentleman
teacher. He, indeed, cannot possibly know how the legs are arranged,
when they are covered by the riding skirt, and probably seldom gives
the subject any thought; yet he wonders, after carefully watching and
correcting the position of the body, why his pupil does not retain the
erect position as directed. A lady teacher of experience is, therefore,
much to be preferred to a gentleman, unless the lady pupil is willing to
wear, while taking her lessons, trousers similar to those worn during
calisthenic exercises.

It sometimes happens that a lady, even after being carefully instructed
how to sit in the saddle, and when she seems to understand what is
necessary, will yet present a very erect but stiff appearance, as if she
were made of cast-iron, or some other unyielding material. This may be
due to nervousness, fear, tight-lacing, or affectation. Practice in
riding, loose corsets, and less affectation, will soon remedy this
stiffness.

Another faulty position is one which may be termed "the dead weight
seat," which is only possible when riding on an English saddle. It
consists in sitting or bearing chiefly upon the left side of the saddle,
the right leg firmly grasping the second pommel, and the left leg
squeezed tightly between the stirrup and the third pommel, as if held in
a vise. In this position the rider will be fastened to her horse as
closely as if she were a package of merchandise strapped upon the back
of a pack-horse. She will appear indolent and inanimate, besides riding
heavily, and thus distressing and discouraging her horse; for a
well-trained horse will always prefer to keep in unison with the
movements of his rider, but will find it impossible to do so, when she
adopts this constrained, unyielding seat. The rider will also be made
miserable, for the constant effort to keep steady by a continuous
pressure of the left knee against the third pommel will not only prove
wearisome, but will be apt to bruise her knee, as well as strain the
muscles of the upper part of the leg, and the next day she will feel
very stiff and lame. In addition to which it will be impossible for her
to rise in the English trot, or to move her body to the right in the
gallop or canter when the horse leads with his left leg. Moreover,
should the lady who thus hangs upon the pommel be rather heavy, her
horse's back will be sure to receive more or less injury, no matter how
well the saddle may be made and padded.

Although the second pommel should be firmly grasped by the right knee,
and the left knee be strongly pressed up against the third one, when the
horse is unruly or trying to unseat his rider, these supports should not
be habitually employed, but kept for critical situations, and even then
the body must be kept erect, yet flexible. A rider who depends entirely
upon the pommels to enable her to keep her seat is a bad rider, who will
soon acquire all kinds of awkward and ridiculous positions, and expose
herself to much severe criticism.

The opposite of the "dead-weight seat" is what may be termed the
"wabbling seat." This is seen where the old-fashioned saddle is used;
the rider, instead of sitting firm and erect, bounds up and down like a
rubber ball tossed by an unseen hand. This can be remedied by the
substitution of the English saddle, whose third pommel, when used
judiciously and aided by a proper balance of the body, will give the
required firmness of seat, which should be neither too rigid nor too
yielding.

[Illustration: Fig. 19.--Correct Seat for a Lady. Back View.]

=The correct seat=, universally adopted by finished riders, is the
following: The lady should seat herself exactly on the centre of the
saddle, with her body erect, and her backbone in a direct line with that
of the horse, at a right angle with it. A spectator can readily tell
whether the rider is in the centre of the saddle by observing whether
the space between the buttons on the hind flaps of her riding-jacket
corresponds with the backbone of the horse, and also with the chamber of
the saddle. (Fig. 19.) Or the lady can herself decide the question by
placing her fingers between these two buttons, and then carrying the
former in a straight line directly down to the chamber of the saddle; if
these coincide, and if she has placed herself far enough back on the
saddle to be able to grasp the second pommel comfortably with her right
knee, while the left one is just spanned by the third pommel, then she
is in a position to ride with ease to herself and horse, for she now
sits upon that part of the animal which is the centre of motion in his
forward movement, and in this position can keep in unison with the
cadence of his various gaits. Again, her weight being exactly upon the
centre of motion, she can with difficulty be unseated or shaken off by
the most violent efforts of the horse, for, whether he springs suddenly
forward, or sideways, or whirls around, the rider is in a position at
once to anticipate his movement, to keep a firm seat, and quickly to
gain her balance.

When the horse advances straight forward, the rider--sitting with head
erect and her body so placed that its entire front is directed toward
the horse's head, or, in other words, that _a straight line drawn from
one hip to the other would form a right angle with one drawn along the
centre of the horse's head and neck_--must throw her shoulders somewhat
back, so as to expand her chest, taking care, however, to keep the
shoulders in line, and not to elevate one more than the other. There
should also be, at the back of the waist, a slight inward bend which
will throw the front of the waist a little forward. The arms, from the
shoulders to the elbows, must hang perpendicularly, and the elbows be
held loosely but steadily and in an easy manner, near the rider's sides,
and not be allowed to flap up and down with every movement. The hands
must be held low and about three or four inches from the body. The
bearing of the head, the backward throw of the shoulders, and the curve
at the waist, are exactly like those assumed by a finished waltzer, and
if the reader is herself a dancer, or will notice the carriage of a good
dancer gliding around the ball-room, she can readily understand the
attitude required for a correct seat in the saddle.

The right knee should grasp the second pommel firmly, but not hang upon
it in order to help the rider keep her seat and balance. The right leg,
from the hip to the knee, must be kept as steady as possible, because
from a woman's position in the saddle, the movements of her horse tend
to throw her toward his left side, and she must guard against this by
bearing slightly toward his right. From the knee to the foot, the right
leg must be in contact with the fore-flap of the saddle, the heel being
inclined backward a little.

The left knee should be placed just below the third pommel, so that this
will span it lightly, close enough to assist in preserving a firm seat,
yet not so close as to interfere with the action of the leg in the
English trot. From the knee to the foot this left leg must be held in a
straight line perpendicular to the ground, and the knee be lightly
pressed against the side-flap of the saddle. The ball of the foot must
be placed evenly in the stirrup, the heel being a little lower than the
toes, which should be pointed toward the shoulder of the horse. (Fig.
20.)

[Illustration: Fig. 20.--Correct seat for a lady. Side view.

1, third pommel; 2, second pommel.]

If the rider will seat herself in the saddle in the manner just
described, she will find that she has a very firm seat, from which she
cannot easily be displaced; but in order to appear graceful she must be
flexible, and adapt herself readily to the motions of her horse. The
shoulders, for example, although thrown back, must not be rigid, and the
body, while erect, must be supple; the head be upright and free, and, in
the leap, or when circling in the gallop, the body must be pliant,
yielding and bending with the movements of the horse, but always
resuming afterward the easy erect position. But it must be borne in mind
that the above directions in regard to carriage apply to the times when
the horse is moving, and need not be observed in full rigor at other
times. When, for instance, the horse is standing, the rider may assume a
more easy posture, collecting herself and steed simultaneously when she
wishes him to move.

The novice in riding should never be allowed to touch rein or whip until
she has acquired a good seat, and a correct balance. During her first
lessons, some one should ride by her side and lead her horse, while she,
folding her hands in front of her waist, should give all her attention
to gaining a correct seat; or, she may practice circling to the right by
means of the lunge line, which will prove excellent training, and will
teach her to bear toward the off or right side, for it has already been
stated that the motion in the side-saddle has a tendency to impel the
rider toward the left, and this tendency must always be guarded against
by bearing the body a little to the right. Circling to the right, when
riding in the track of the riding-school, is also a useful exercise for
this purpose, but as riding-schools are not always to be had
conveniently, the lunge line will be found very useful, many riders,
indeed, considering it even better than riding in the ring, as it keeps
the horse well up to his gait.

During a few of the first lessons, that the rider may not fall from the
saddle, the stirrup-leather may be somewhat shortened, but as soon as an
idea of the proper balance has been acquired and the reins and whip are
placed in her hands, the stirrup must be lengthened, as this secures a
firmer and more easy seat. This leather will be of the correct length
when, by a little pressure on it with her foot, and a simultaneous
straightening of her knee, the rider can spring upward about four or
five inches from the saddle; but it must never be so long as to render
the third pommel nearly, if not quite, useless.

It is better to have the first lessons in riding rather short, so that
the pupil may become gradually accustomed to the exercise. As soon as
she begins to feel at all fatigued, she should at once dismount, and not
try to ride again until the tired feeling is wholly gone. These
intervals of fatigue will gradually become less and less frequent, until
at last the rider will find herself so strong and vigorous that riding
will no longer require any fatiguing effort. In the case of an active,
healthy woman, accustomed to exercise of various kinds, these short
preliminary lessons may not be necessary; her muscles will be already so
well developed that she will not be easily fatigued by exercise of any
kind. But for a lady who has always been physically inactive, these
short lessons at first are absolutely necessary. The general system of
such a person has become enfeebled, her muscles are weak and flabby, and
any sudden or long continued exercise would tend to produce very
injurious results, so that riding, unless begun very gradually, would
probably do her more harm than good.

But after reading all the directions just given about riding, the reader
may ask what need there is of so much study and circumspection to enable
a woman to mount a horse and ride him, when hundreds of ladies ride
every day, and enjoy doing so, without knowing anything about the make
of the saddle, or the position they ought to take when seated in it.

Although it seems almost a pity to disturb the serenity and
self-complacency of ignorance, we shall be obliged, in justice to those
who really wish to understand the principles of good horsewomanship, to
point out some of the mistakes of those who think that riding is an
accomplishment which can be acquired without instruction and study.

It is not too sweeping an assertion to state that, of one hundred ladies
who attempt a display of what they consider their _excellent_
horsewomanship in our streets and parks, ninety-five are very imperfect
riders; and the five who do ride well have only learned to do so by
means of careful study and competent instruction. They have fully
appreciated the fact that nature never ushered them into the world
finished riders, any more than accomplished grammarians or Latin
scholars, and that although one may possess a natural aptitude for an
accomplishment, application, study, and practice are positively
necessary to enable her to attain any degree of perfection in it. Yet
the idea unfortunately prevails very largely in this country that women
require very little instruction to become good riders, and the results
of this belief are apparent in the ninety-five faulty riders already
referred to.

Let us now watch some of the fair Americans whom the first balmy day of
spring has tempted out for a horseback ride, and notice the faulty
positions in which they have contrived to seat themselves in their
saddles. With regard to their beauty, elegance of form, and style of
dress, nothing more could be desired; but, alas! the same cannot be said
of their manner of riding.

[Illustration: Fig. 21.--Crooked Position in Saddle. Miss X.]

Take Miss X. and Mrs. Y., for examples. These ladies have the reputation
of being fine and fearless horsewomen, and certainly do ride with that
dash and confidence which long practice in the saddle is sure to give,
but we regret to say that we can bestow no further praise upon them.
Miss X. has taken a position that is almost universal with American
horsewomen, and is exactly the one which a rider nearly always assumes
when seated sideways on a horse without a saddle. Instead of sitting
squarely, with the entire front of her body facing in the direction
toward which the horse is going, she sits crosswise. It will be seen by
looking at Fig. 21, that the central vertical line of her back, instead
of being directly in the centre of the saddle, is placed toward the
right corner of it, and that her shoulders are out of line, the left one
being thrown back, and the right one advanced forward. This position
makes it impossible for her to keep in unison with her horse when he is
moving straight forward at an easy pace. When he changes his gait to a
canter the rider will, for a short distance, appear to be more in
harmony with him, because he is now turning himself slightly to the left
and leading with his right fore-leg, a position which is more in unison
with that of his rider. But, after a short time, the horse gets tired of
this canter, turns to the right, and leads with his left fore-leg. This
change entirely destroys the apparent harmony which had before existed
between the two.

The lady, knowing nothing about the position of a horse when galloping
or cantering, is ignorant of the fact that he always turns a little to
the right or left according to the leg with which he leads, and that she
ought to place her body in a corresponding position. She has but one
position in the saddle,--the crooked one already described,--and this
she maintains immovably through all the changes of her horse's gaits.

[Illustration: Fig. 22.--Crooked Position in Saddle. Mrs. Y.]

Let us now turn to Mrs. Y., who is even a more faulty rider than her
companion. She has likewise taken a crosswise position in the saddle;
but having given a peculiar twist to her body so that, by turning her
right shoulder backward, she can look to the right, she seems to imagine
that by these means she has placed herself squarely upon the saddle.
(Fig. 22.) As she is riding a racking horse and seated on a two-pommeled
saddle, she holds the reins firmly in her left hand and by a steady pull
on them she balances herself and keeps her horse up to his gait. But
this steady pull will soon ruin the tenderness and sensitiveness of any
horse's mouth, and this is the reason why racking horses generally have
very hard mouths, many of them requiring to be well held up or supported
in their rack by the reins. As this pulling upon the reins also gives
considerable support to the rider, many ladies prefer a racking horse.
Now notice Mrs. Y., who is attempting to turn her hard-mouthed
racker. Instead of doing this by an almost imperceptible movement of the
hand, her left hand and arm can be distinctly seen to move, and to
fairly pull the animal around. Her right hand--probably acting in
sympathy with the left, so tightly clasped over the reins--holds the
whip as if it were in a vise intended to crush it. In odd contrast with
the rigidly held hands is the body with its utter lack of firmness.

It can be seen at a glance why the lady will only ride an easy racker,
for it is well known that on a good racker or pacer the body of a rider
in a faulty position is not jolted so much as in other gaits. For this
reason also the rack and pace are the favorite gaits of most American
horsewomen.

Nearly every lady who rides has an ambition to be considered a finished
horsewoman, but this she can never be until she is able to ride properly
the trot and gallop, can keep herself in unison with her horse, whether
he leads with the left or right fore-leg, and has hands that will "give
and take" with the horse's movements and bring him up to his best gait.
From this point of view, Miss X. and Mrs. Y., then, are by no means the
"splendid riders" that their friends suppose them, but having all the
confidence of ignorance they ride fast and boldly and with a certain
_abandon_ that is pleasing; but by those who understand what good riding
is, they must always be regarded as very faulty riders.

[Illustration: Fig. 23.--Incorrect position of legs and feet. Side
view.]

Another common fault, against which we have already warned the reader,
is that of riding with too short a stirrup-leather, thus pressing the
left knee up against the third pommel, carrying the left heel backward
and slightly upward, and dropping the toes of the left foot more or
less down toward the ground, while those of the right are raised and
pointed toward the horse's head. (Fig. 23.) Although the lower limbs are
concealed by the skirt, it can easily be told whether they are in the
position just described, from the effect produced upon the upper part of
the body, which then leans too far forward and too much to the right
(Fig. 24); while the rider, in her efforts to balance herself, inclines
her shoulders to the left. This is a very awkward as well as a very
dangerous attitude, because, by thrusting her leg backwards, the action
of spurring is imitated, and, if the horse is very high-spirited, this
may cause him to become restive, or even to run away. Should the leg,
moreover, as is very apt to be the case, be firmly and steadily pressed
against the animal's side, he may suddenly pirouette or turn around to
the right, especially if he has been accustomed to carrying gentlemen as
well as ladies. This short stirrup-leather and improper use of the third
pommel should be carefully avoided.

[Illustration: Fig. 24.--Incorrect Position when Legs and Feet are
wrongly placed.]

The use of too long a stirrup-leather is apt to be the mistake of those
who ride upon the old-fashioned saddle, but is a fault which has become
much less common since the English saddle has been more generally used.
The objection to too long a stirrup-leather is that, when the foot is
pressed upon it, the leg at the same time is straightened, and extends
down so far as to cause the rider to sit too much to the left of the
saddle. As the pressure and weight are thus thrown wholly upon the left
side, the saddle is very likely to turn, and if this faulty position be
persisted in, it will be certain to injure the horse's back and may give
rise to fistulous withers.

Besides looking very awkward and inelegant, when stooping forward in the
saddle and rounding the back without the slightest curve inwardly, the
rider will also run great risk, if her horse stumbles or makes any
sudden movement, of being unseated, or at least thrown violently against
the front of the saddle, as it is almost impossible for her, under such
circumstances, to adapt herself to the change in his motion quickly
enough to preserve her equilibrium. In all violent movements of the
horse, except rearing, the body must be inclined backward, so as to keep
the balance. When he is moving briskly in his ordinary gaits, the body
must be kept erect; and when he is turning a corner rapidly, it should
be inclined backward somewhat, and toward the inner bend of the horse's
body; or, in other words, toward the centre of the circle, of which the
turn forms a segment.

Here come two ladies who have evidently received very limited
instructions in the art of riding. Notice how the head of one is thrust
forward, while the other, though holding her head erect allows it to be
jerked about with every motion of her horse. It shakes slowly when the
animal is walking, but as he quickens his pace to a canter, it rocks
with his motion, and, during his fast pace, the poor head moves so
rapidly as to make one fear that the neck may become dislocated, while
the arms dance about simultaneously with the movements of the head in a
way that reminds one of the toy dancing-jacks, pulled by an unseen hand
for the amusement of children. The head should, in riding, be kept firm
and erect, without stiffness, the chin being drawn in slightly, and not
protruding high in the air, because the latter gives one a supercilious
look. The head and shoulders should adapt themselves, in their
direction, to the movements of the head and fore-legs of the horse, and
the arms should be held as steady as possible.

But here come several ladies who have taken lessons at the riding-school
and may, therefore, reasonably be expected to be finished riders; but
such, alas! is not the case. They have been trying "to walk before they
could creep," or, in other words, their lessons in riding have been
conducted too hastily. They have begun to try a canter or a rapid gallop
before they knew how to sit correctly upon their horses, or even to
manage them properly in a walk. This desire to make too rapid progress
is more frequently the fault of the pupil than of the riding teacher.
Most teachers have an ambition to make finished riders of their pupils,
and take much pride in doing so, especially as such a result adds
greatly to the prestige of their school. This ambition is often
defeated, however, by the impatience of the pupils, who are not
satisfied to learn slowly and well, but overrule the teacher's
objections and undertake to gallop before they have acquired even the
first principles of horsewomanship. Moreover, many of these ladies never
take any road lessons, so highly important to all who would become
thoroughly accomplished in this art; nor do they remain long enough
under instruction in the school, but seem to think that a few short
lessons are enough to make them finished riders. They often refuse to
learn the English trot, although this is a very important accomplishment
for the beginner, as it enables her to gain a correct idea of the
balance. Or, if they do attempt to learn it, they insist upon circling
only to the right, as this is easier than going the other way.

Again, many pupils will insist upon riding the same favorite horse,
instead of leaving the selection to the judgment of the teacher, who is
well aware that it is much better for the lady's progress that she
should ride a variety of horses with different gaits. He is often driven
to his wit's end when two or three ladies who patronize his school, and
whom it is an honor to have as pupils, express a desire to ride the same
horse on the same occasion. Should he favor one more than the others,
the latter will become highly offended, and the poor man in his
perplexity is often obliged to resort to some subterfuge to pacify them.

It is not difficult, then, to understand why some ladies, although they
have taken lessons at a riding-school, are, nevertheless, not finished
riders, their faults being due, not to the instruction but to their own
lack of judgment or inattention. It is true that occasionally the
teacher, although he may be an excellent instructor for gentlemen, is
not so good a one for ladies, or he may become careless, believing that
if he gives them well-trained horses to ride very little else is
required of him. Or, again, he may think, as many foreigners do, that
very few American ladies know how a woman should ride, and are satisfied
with being half taught.

It cannot be too strongly impressed upon riding teachers that in every
riding-school where ladies are to be taught there should be at least one
lady assistant. A gentleman can give all the necessary instructions
about the management of the horse and the handling of the reins better
than most ladies; but, in giving the idea of a correct seat and the
proper disposal of the limbs, the presence of a lady assistant becomes
necessary; in these matters she can instruct her own sex much better
than a man can.



CHAPTER VI.

TO HOLD THE REINS, AND MANAGE THE HORSE.

    "What a wild thought of triumph, that this girlish hand
    Such a steed in the might of his strength may command!
    What a glorious creature! Ah! glance at him now,
    As I check him awhile on this green hillock's brow;
    How he tosses his mane, with a shrill, joyous neigh,
    And paws the firm earth in his proud, stately play!"

                                       GRACE GREENWOOD.


The position of the rider in the saddle has a decided influence upon the
horse's mouth, rendering his movements regular or irregular, according
to the correctness and firmness of the seat; for, if the rider be
unsteady or vacillating in the saddle, this will exert an influence upon
the hand, rendering it correspondingly unstable, and will thereby cause
the horse's movements to be variable. And should she endeavor to remedy
this unsteadiness of hand and seat by supporting herself upon the reins,
the horse will defend himself against such rigid traction by making
counter-traction upon the reins, thrusting his head forward, throwing
himself heavily upon his fore-legs, thus forcing the hands of the rider,
and compelling her to support the weight of his neck and shoulders. On
the contrary, if she be firm in her seat, and not in the least dependent
upon the reins, her hand will be light, and the animal will yield a
ready obedience and advance in his best pace. The preceding remarks
explain why a horse will go lightly with one rider and heavily with
another.

A lady should have a thorough knowledge of the management of her horse,
and of the means by which she may command him in every degree of speed,
and under all circumstances; without this knowledge she can never become
a safe and accomplished horsewoman. A gentleman may guide and control
his horse, and obtain obedience from a restive one, by a firm, strong
hand, and by his courage and determined will; but as a rule, a lady
cannot depend upon these methods; she will have to rely entirely upon
the thorough training of her horse, a properly arranged bit, her firm,
yet delicate touch, and her skill in handling the reins. The
well-trained hand of a woman is always energetic enough to obtain the
mastery of her horse, without having to resort to feats of strength and
acrobatic movements; and a _lady_ should never seek to gain prestige by
riding restless or vicious horses, in order that she may display her
skill in conquering them; though every rider should be thoroughly
taught how to control her steed in cases of emergency.

When one sees how little skill most lady riders exhibit in managing the
reins, it seems almost miraculous that so few accidents occur to them,
and is indeed a positive proof of the excellent temper of their horses.
From some mysterious cause, most horses will bear more awkwardness and
absurdity in the handling of the reins by a woman than by a man, and
will good-naturedly submit to the indifferent riding of the gentle being
in the side-saddle, while the same character of riding and treatment
from a man would arouse every feeling of defense and rebellion. The
probable cause of this difference of action on the part of the horse is,
that a lady rider, with all her ignorance of seat and rein, will talk
kindly to and pet her steed, and will rarely lose her temper, no matter
in what eccentricities he may indulge, and her gentleness causes the
animal to remain gentle.

On the contrary, when a man throws his weight upon the reins, jerking
and pulling upon them, his horse, seeking to defend himself against such
rough measures, arouses the temper of his rider, and this anger is soon
communicated to the animal, which then becomes obstinate and
rebellious; moreover, a man will often whip and spur for some trivial
offense in instances where a woman would simply speak to her horse, or
take no notice. Hence, the ignorant horsewoman often rides in safety
under circumstances in which the ignorant horseman, who has resorted to
violent measures, meets with an accident.

Although a horse may submit to an awkward rider and carry her with
safety, still she will have no power to make him move in his best and
most regular manner, and there will exist no intelligence or harmony
between the two. Yet this same horse, when mounted by a lady who
understands the =management of the reins=, will be all animation and
happiness. There will soon be established a tacit understanding between
the two, and the graceful curvetings and prancings of the steed will
manifest his pride and joy in carrying and obeying a gentle woman, who
manages the reins with spirit and resolution, and yet does not, with the
cruelty of ignorance or indifference, convert them into instruments of
torture.

The =reins= should not be employed until a firm, steady position upon
the saddle has been acquired, and then, for first lessons, the snaffle
only should be used, =a rein in each hand=. It will be better to have
the reins marked at equal distances from the bit, either by sewing
colored thread across each, or otherwise; this will be useful because,
with the novice, the reins will imperceptibly slip through her hands, or
one rein will become longer than the other, and the markings will enable
her to notice these displacements, and promptly to remedy them. By
holding the snaffle-reins separately, in first lessons, the pupil will
be aided in assuming a square position upon the saddle, and will
likewise be prevented from throwing back her right shoulder, out of line
with the left, a common fault with beginners, especially when the reins
are held only in the left hand. This rein-hold is very simple; the right
rein of the snaffle must be held in the right hand, and the left rein in
the left.

[Illustration: Fig. 25.--Snaffle-reins; one in each hand.]

The hands being closed, but not too tightly, must be held with their
backs toward the horse's head, and each rein, as it ascends from the
bit, must be passed between the third and fourth fingers of its
appropriate hand, carried across the inner surface of the third, second,
and first fingers, and then be drawn over the outside (or side next to
the thumb) of the first finger, against which it must be held by firm
pressure of the thumb. The thumbs must be held opposite each other and
uppermost, the finger-nails toward the body, and the back of the wrists
must be rounded a little outwardly, so as to make a slight bend of the
closed hand toward the body. The little fingers must be held down and
nearly in a horizontal line with the tips of the elbows; and the hands
be kept as low as possible, without resting upon the knees, and be about
four inches distant from the body, and from four to six inches apart.
(Fig. 25.)

This arrangement of hands and reins may be termed the "original
position" when a snaffle-rein is held in each hand, of which all the
others are variations. In this position,--the reins being held just
short enough to feel the horse's mouth,--if the hands be now slightly
relaxed by turning the nails and thumbs toward the body, the latter
being, at the same time, inclined a little forward, the horse will be
enabled to advance freely, and, as soon as he =moves onward=, the
original position of the hands must be gently resumed. It is proper to
remark here, that when using the snaffle-reins only, the curb-bit should
always be in the horse's mouth, its reins being tied and allowed to rest
upon his neck, although the pupil must not be allowed to meddle with it.
The presence of the curb in the horse's mouth, although not used, has a
restraining influence, especially with an animal accustomed to it.

=To turn the horse to the right=, the right rein must be shortened so as
to be felt at the right side of his mouth; to effect this, the little
finger of the right hand must, by a turn of the wrist, be moved in
toward the body and sufficiently toward the left, with the nails up and
the knuckles down, while, in order to aid the horse, the rider will
simultaneously turn her face and shoulders slightly to the right. The
animal having made the turn, the hand must gently return to the original
position, and the body again face to the front.

=To turn the horse to the left=, the left rein must be shortened, by a
turn of the left wrist, carrying the little finger of the left hand
toward the body and to the right, nails upward, etc., while the pupil
will slightly turn her face and shoulders to the left. The turn having
been effected, the original position must be resumed, the pupil, in all
these cases, taking great care that the markings on her reins are even
and in the correct position.

=To stop the horse=, both reins must be shortened evenly; this must be
accomplished by a turn of both wrists that will bring the little fingers
toward the body with the finger-nails uppermost, the body of the pupil
being, at the same time, slightly inclined backward. Now, by bending the
wrists to a still greater degree, and bringing the hands in closer to
the body, which must be inclined a little forward, and nearly in contact
with each other, thus throwing more strength upon the reins, the horse
will be compelled =to back=. To make him =move on again=, the hands and
body must resume the original position, and the hands must be relaxed,
etc., as stated above.

When the pupil becomes more advanced, and can command her horse, in all
his gaits, with the reins separate, one in each hand, she will then be
prepared for lessons in handling =both reins with the left hand= only,
still employing the snaffle, as her touch may not be delicate enough for
the curb.

[Illustration: Fig. 26.--Snaffle-reins; both in the left hand.]

For this purpose, the reins being held for the time being in the right
hand, the left, having its back toward the horse's head, will seize them
as follows: its little finger must be passed directly between the two
reins, the left rein being on the outer side of this finger and the
right one on its right side, between it and the third finger. This done,
the reins must be drawn up nearly even to the marks upon them,[4] so as
just to feel the animal's mouth, noticing that these marks are nearly on
a line with each other, while that portion of the reins lying within the
hand must be carried across its palm to the index finger, to a point
between its first and second joints, against which point, being placed
evenly with one overlying the other, they are to be firmly held by
pressure of the thumb; the right hand may now quit its hold upon the
reins. (Fig. 26.)

  Footnote 4: It is stated in this paragraph that the _marks on the
  reins_ should be "nearly even," or "nearly on a line with each other,"
  because, in its passage under the little finger, across the hand, and
  on the outside of the right rein, the left one will be shortened so
  that its marking will be about half an inch nearer the bit than that
  of the right one; consequently, in order to make the pressure upon the
  horse's mouth even, the right rein will have to be shortened to the
  extent named.

The reins having been properly placed in the left hand according to the
directions just given, this hand, being closed, but not too tightly,
must be held at a distance of about three inches from the front part of
the waist, with the wrist slightly rounded, the nails toward the body,
the back of the hand toward the horse's head, and the little finger down
and a little nearer the body than the others. The under surface of the
bridle arm and hand, from the tip of the elbow to the first joint of the
little finger, should be held nearly in a horizontal line. The elbow
must be held somewhat close to the side but not in contact with it, and
should be kept steady. Care must be taken, when the reins are held in
the left hand, that the right shoulder be not thrown back, nor the left
one elevated, faulty positions common to beginners when not otherwise
instructed. The right arm should be allowed to hang easily and steadily
at the side, the whip being lightly held in it, with its point downward.
When the snaffle-reins are held in the left hand as described, we may
term this the "original position," of which all the others are
variations.

In order that the horse may =move onward=, the left hand, holding the
reins as just described, should be relaxed by turning the thumb downward
and toward the body until the back of the hand is up and the
finger-nails down; at the same time, the pupil should slightly incline
her body forward, being careful not to round the shoulders,--aiding the
movement by the voice, or, if necessary, by a gentle tap of the whip.
The horse having started onward, the original position must be gently
resumed.

In order to =turn the horse to the right=, the left wrist must be turned
so as to bring the nails down and the knuckles up,--the thumb being
toward the body,--at the same time carrying the little finger slightly
to the left, and drawing the reins a little upward. This movement will
effect the necessary shortening of the right rein, without allowing any
looseness of the left one. The turn having been accomplished, the hand
must resume the original position. It must not be forgotten, that while
making this turn the face and shoulders must be turned somewhat to the
right, or in the direction in which the horse is moving.

=To turn to the left=, the bridle-hand being in the original position,
its wrist must be turned so as to carry the finger-nails up, and the
knuckles down, simultaneously moving the little finger toward the right
and pressing it against the left rein, both reins being drawn slightly
upward. This manoeuvre shortens the left rein, without relaxing the
right. In this turn the movements of the horse should be aided by the
rider's face and shoulders being turned a little to the left. The turn
having been made, the original position must be resumed.

The horse =may be stopped= by simply turning the wrist so as to carry
the finger-nails up, the knuckles down, and the little finger toward the
body, which must be slightly inclined backward. Now, by bracing the
muscles of the hand, bending the wrist and carrying the hand farther in
toward the waist, at the same time advancing the body, the animal will
be made =to back=; though, in backing a horse, it will be better to
employ both hands. After having stopped, or backed the horse, to make
him =move onward=, a course should be pursued, with both reins in the
bridle-hand, similar to that described for the same purpose when a rein
is held in each hand.

=To change the snaffle-reins from the left to the right hand=, as is
sometimes necessary in order to adjust the skirt, to relieve the left
hand, etc., the following course must be pursued, whether the horse be
in rapid or slow motion: While the left hand must retain its position
and gentle pressure of the reins upon the horse's mouth, the right must
be carried to and over the left hand, its forefinger be passed between
the two reins, so that the left rein will be on the left side of this
finger, and the right on its right side, between the first and second
fingers; both reins must now be carried to the right, across the palm,
to the little finger; the hand must then be firmly closed, and the thumb
be pressed against the left rein, holding it in contact with the index
finger,--the left hand now gives up the reins. In this change, while the
right hand is being carried over to the left, this latter must be held
stationary, as any movement of it to meet the right hand may cause the
animal to turn or swerve from his course, and will at the same time
interfere with his gait.

=To return the reins to the left hand=, the following course must be
pursued: While the right hand must remain steady and sustain the gait of
the horse, the left must be carried to and over it, insert its little
finger between the two reins, so that the left one will be on the left
or outer side of this finger, and the right one on its right side,
between it and the third finger; then the reins must be drawn through
the left hand, and be arranged and held in this hand in the same manner
as explained when describing the original position of both snaffle-reins
in the bridle-hand.

These various changes must be made quickly and expertly, without
altering the degree of pressure or pull upon the horse's mouth. The
novice will find it greatly to her advantage to learn the management of
the reins before mounting the horse, and can do so by fastening the
bit-end of the reins to some stationary object, and then practicing the
different changes, until she can perform all these manoeuvres without
looking at her hands or the reins.

When both the reins are held in the left hand, the rider has not so much
command over her horse as when they are held one in each hand. For this
reason, unless her steed be exceptionally well-trained and obedient, it
will be better, when in a crowded thoroughfare, where quick turns have
to be made, to hold a rein in each hand, and this will become absolutely
necessary if the animal be hard mouthed or unruly.

When the horse is in motion and the reins are held in the left hand,
their =separation= may be quickly effected by carrying the right hand
to and over the left, the latter retaining its steadiness all the time,
and then passing the first three fingers of the right hand between the
two reins, so that they may readily close upon the right rein; the thumb
will then keep this rein firm by pressing it against the first joint of
the index finger. The position of the hands and reins will then, after a
movement of the left little finger to place the rein between it and the
third, be the same as described for the original position where a
snaffle-rein is held in each hand.

Should the reins become too long when held separately, they can readily
=be shortened= by returning the right rein to the bridle-hand, placing
it directly over the left rein between the third and little finger, and
then, by means of the right hand, drawing the loose rein or reins
through the bridle-hand to the proper length, after which the right rein
may again be taken in the right hand, as already described.

When the reins are held in one hand, they can be =shortened or
lengthened= by simply seizing them at their free, disengaged ends with
the right hand, and while this holds them and sustains the horse, the
left hand must be slipped along the reins, up or down, as may be
required, but without changing their arrangement.

Another way of holding the reins in the bridle-hand is to pass the right
rein to the right of, and underneath, the index finger, and then carry
it across the palm, so as to escape beyond the little finger; while the
left rein must be passed to the left of the little finger (or between it
and the third finger), and then be carried across the palm to escape
beyond the index finger. The author cannot recommend this manner of
holding the reins to ladies who desire to become accomplished and
graceful riders, because the movements of the hands and arms, when
turning, or managing the horse, are much more conspicuous; and there is
not that delicate correspondence with the animal's mouth that can be
obtained by the other methods described.

After the pupil has become expert in riding with the snaffle, she will
be ready for the =double bridle=, or the =curb-bit and bridoon=. The
double bridle must be =held in the left hand= in the following manner:
The _bridoon_ or _snaffle-reins_ are first to be taken up, evenly, by
the right hand and then the second finger of the left hand be passed
between these reins (the left rein being between the second and third
fingers, and the right rein between the first and second), the back of
the hand being directed somewhat upward, with the knuckles toward the
horse's head; the reins should then be pulled up by the right hand just
enough to feel the horse's mouth, and carried across the palm to the
index finger, where they should be held in position by firm pressure
with the thumb.

[Illustration: Fig. 27.--Double bridle: all reins in the bridle-hand.

1, upper reins, snaffle; 2, lower reins, curb.]

The _curb-reins_ are now to be taken evenly by the right hand, and then
the little finger of the left hand be passed between the two reins, the
left rein being upon the left or outer side of the little finger, and
the right rein between the little and third fingers; both curb-reins
should next be drawn upward by the right hand until they are nearly the
length of the snaffle, and carried across the palm, one rein overlying
the other, to the index finger, between its first and second joints, and
between the snaffle-reins and the thumb, at which point all the reins
must be firmly held by pressure of the thumb against them; the right
hand will now remove its hold. (Fig. 27.) The above manoeuvring of the
reins will give the "original position" for the double bridle in the
left hand. All these reins should be of nearly equal length, the snaffle
being slightly the shortest, so that, while riding with the latter, the
curb may be ready for instant use; this may be brought into play by
simply turning the wrist so as to carry the little finger up and toward
the waist. And the full power of the curb may be brought into action by
turning the wrist so as to carry the knuckles down and the nails up, at
the same time drawing the little finger toward the waist.

=To shorten or lengthen both the curb and snaffle reins evenly= without
abandoning the horse to himself for a moment, or without ceasing to keep
up his action, the following method may be pursued: The loose,
disengaged ends of all the reins that extend beyond the index finger of
the left hand must be taken between the thumb and forefinger of the
right hand, care being taken during this manoeuvre to keep up the
support to the horse with this hand; the grasp of the left hand upon the
reins must now be sufficiently relaxed to allow this hand to slide along
the reins downward to shorten them, or upward to lengthen them; this
must be effected without deranging their adjustment; when the proper
range has been obtained, remove the right hand.

=To shorten the curb and lengthen the snaffle-reins=: The loose,
disengaged ends of all the reins must be held in the same manner as
stated in the preceding paragraph, between the thumb and index finger of
the right hand, not omitting to keep up a support to the horse; the
grasp of the left hand must now be slightly relaxed, and this hand be
slid up along all the reins, which movement will lengthen them in the
left hand. The grasp of the right hand upon the snaffle-reins must now
be relaxed, and the left hand be slid down along the curb-reins,
carrying the snaffle-reins with it, until the proper range or distance
has been attained, when the right hand may be removed. While these
changes are being made, the right hand must sustain the horse by the
curb-reins until the left has obtained a firm hold upon all.

=To shorten the snaffle and lengthen the curb reins=, a course similar
to the one just preceding must be pursued, except that in this case the
right hand must retain the snaffle-reins, and support the horse by them,
while the left hand, in sliding down, will carry those of the curb. In
all these changes of the various reins, it must be remembered that after
each change has been effected the reins must be held in place by firm
pressure of the thumb, as already described.

When =either of the reins= held in the left hand =becomes loose=, it
may be tightened, by carrying the right hand to and over the left one,
seizing the loose rein by its disengaged end that hangs loosely from the
left index finger, and drawing it up as far as is necessary. While this
is being done, the left hand must not be removed from its position, and
should continue to keep up a steady pressure upon the horse's mouth.

In requiring the horse =to stop=, =to back=, =to turn=, or =to advance=,
the management of the double bridle-reins will be exactly the same as
stated in the directions given when holding the snaffle-reins in the
left hand.

When both =the curb and the snaffle reins= are held in the bridle-hand,
they may be =changed to the right hand=, when this is desired, as
follows: The right hand must be carried to the left; the second finger
of the right hand must be placed between the snaffle-reins (already
separated by the second finger of the left hand); and the little finger
of the right hand between the curb-reins (already separated by the
little finger of the left hand); this done, the thumb and fingers of the
right hand must be closed upon the reins, which must, at the same time,
be released by the left hand.

=To restore these reins to the left hand=, the pupil must proceed as
follows: Carrying the left hand to the right, the second finger of the
left hand must be placed between the snaffle-reins, and the little
finger of this hand between the curb-reins; this having been done, the
thumb and fingers must be closed upon all the reins, while the right
hand releases its hold. These several changes can be made whether the
horse be moving slowly or rapidly, care being taken to effect them so
quietly that the horse will not be abandoned to himself from want of
support, nor interrupted in the rhythm of his gait.

If when riding with the double bridle in the bridle-hand, very quick
turns have to be made, or when the horse will not yield readily to the
movements of the bridle-hand, it will become necessary to =separate the
reins= by taking that of the right snaffle in the right hand; this can
be quickly effected by carrying the right hand to and over the left, and
seizing the right snaffle-rein with the first three fingers of the right
hand; this rein will pass between the third and little fingers and
across the palm, so that the loose, disengaged end will escape from
between the thumb and forefinger.

[Illustration: Fig. 28.--Double bridle; a snaffle and a curb rein in
each hand.

1, 1, snaffle-reins; 2, 2, curb-reins.]

In America, most lady riders prefer to guide the horse with the
bridle-hand only; in doing this, although they may appear more careless
and graceful, they certainly lose much command over the animal. The
method at present employed by the best European horsewomen, who _seldom
ride with the reins in the left hand alone_, is as follows: The little
finger of the right hand is to be passed between the right curb and
snaffle reins in such a way that the curb-rein will be on the outer side
of this finger, and the snaffle between it and the third finger; both
reins must then be carried across the palm, and be firmly held by the
thumb against the forefinger. The little finger of the left hand is also
to be passed between the left snaffle and curb reins, in a similar
manner to that just described, and the reins must be held firm by the
thumb and forefinger of this hand. (Fig. 28.) This arrangement may be
termed the "original position" for a curb and snaffle rein in each hand.

When the reins are thus separated, the action upon the horse's mouth
will be much more powerful than when they are all placed in the
bridle-hand. They should be held nearly even, the snaffle being
somewhat shorter than the curb, so that the hold or pressure upon the
animal's mouth may be made by the former; but should it be required on
any occasion to employ the curb, this can be brought into instant use by
a slight turn of the wrists, that will carry the little fingers up and
toward the rider's waist. To _stop_, to _back_, to _turn_, or to
_advance_, the reins must be managed in the same way as when one
snaffle-rein alone is held in each hand. In all these various ways of
holding the double bridle, the snaffle-reins should, as they pass upward
from the bit, always be placed above those of the curb; indeed, it would
be rather awkward to hold them otherwise.

As already stated, when the object for which any change of hands and
reins has been made is effected, the hands should always resume the
original position, as explained for the snaffle-reins when one is held
in each hand,--thus, hands four inches from the body, four inches apart,
etc. The arms and elbows must be kept as steady as possible, all
movements of the reins being made with the wrists and fingers, unless
the horse be hard mouthed or badly trained, when the arms will have to
be employed and more force will be required. But a horse of this kind
should never be ridden by a woman; and the directions herein given will
be found amply sufficient to control a well-trained, properly-bitted
animal.

The preceding directions relative to holding and managing the reins may
appear very tedious and exceedingly complicated. But if the pupil,
commencing with the snaffle-reins, one in each hand, will carefully
study and practice each method in succession, she will soon find that
all these apparently difficult manoeuvres are very simple when put into
practice, and can be readily learned in half a dozen lessons. When she
has once fully mastered them, she will be astonished to find how little
management, when it is of the right kind and based upon correct
principles, will be required to make her steed move in an easy and
pleasant manner.

After the rein-hold has been acquired, and the pupil properly seated in
the saddle, she will, if the reins are held steady, observe with each
step of the horse as he advances in the canter or gallop, a slight tug
or pull upon the reins. This pull will also be simultaneously felt by
the horse's mouth, between which and the rider's hand or hands there
will be what may be termed a =correspondence=. This correspondence gives
a _support_ to the horse, provided the rider, while maintaining an equal
degree of tension upon the reins, will "=give and take=," or, in other
words, will allow the movements of the bridle-hand to concur with those
of this tug or pull. A _dead pull_ may be made by bracing the muscles of
the hand, tightly closing the fingers upon the reins, and holding the
hand immovable; but this should never be done, except to convey some
imperative command to the horse, or when he attempts to gain the
ascendency. This kind of pull will interfere with the natural movements
of the horse's head, making him move in a confined, irregular manner,
and will oblige him to _force the rider's hand_ or _hands_; that is, in
order to relieve himself from this restraint, he will give a sudden
downward jerk of his head, which may take the reins from her hands,
unless she be upon her guard; or else he will move heavily upon his
fore-legs, and make his rider support the weight of his head and neck.

Should the curb be used instead of the snaffle, the result may be still
worse; because when the curb-reins are pulled upon, the port or arched
part of the bit will come in contact with the roof of the animal's
mouth, and will press upon it to a degree corresponding to the power
used upon the reins, while the curb-chain will be forced against the
lower jaw, and if this continual pressure or dead pull be kept up the
animal will experience considerable pain. To relieve himself, he will
suddenly throw his head either up or down and may even rear. In the
latter case, if his rider does not instantly relax her hand, he will be
apt to fall backward, which is one of the most serious accidents that
can happen when riding. If this rigid pull upon the curb be continued,
the horse will be certain, ultimately, to become hard mouthed, if not
vicious. This is a reason why so many riders, though having the double
bridle-reins, use only the snaffle, and allow the curb-reins to hang
quite loosely, being afraid to employ them, as experience has taught
them that this rigid hold upon the reins will be instantly resented by
the horse. Hence the curb-reins appear to be attached to the head-gear
of their horses more as an article of ornament than of utility.

In order that a lady's horse may move lightly and well upon his
haunches, the curb will have to be employed occasionally to _collect_
and _restrain_ him; and when it is managed properly, he will advance in
better style than when the snaffle alone is used. The snaffle will
answer a better purpose when employed to guide the horse in turning
completely around, or in movements to the right or to the left; while
the curb will answer during a straightforward motion to keep the animal
well up to his action and to bring out his best gait, as well as to
collect and restrain him.

An easy "give and take" feeling can be effected by slightly loosening or
opening the fingers of the bridle-hand or hands as the horse springs
forward; as the hand feels the pull upon the reins, it must yield to
this sensation, and will thus allow the animal liberty in his spring or
advance movements. Then, as the action of the horse lessens or recedes,
the reins will be felt to slacken, when the fingers should be closed,
which will tighten the reins, support the animal, and keep him under
control. This "give and take" movement should occur alternately and
simultaneously with the cadence of each step of the steed, and should be
effected without any backward or forward movements of the arm or arms,
which must be held steady,--except in a rapid gallop, in which case both
the hand and arm will, to a certain extent, have to move to and fro. In
the "give and take" movement the reins should not be allowed to slip in
the slightest degree, nor to be jerked from the rider's hand by any
sudden motion of the horse's head; on the contrary, they should always
be held firm between the thumb and the first and second joints of the
index finger, the _other fingers alone_ performing the alternate action
of loosening and tightening the reins.

The reader will be better enabled to understand this explanation if she
will take a piece of elastic, pass it around her right hand, which will
correspond to the horse's mouth, and then hold the two ends in her left
hand, exactly in the manner explained for holding the double
bridle-reins in one hand. Now, by making tension on the elastic (or
reins) with the left hand, so that the right (or supposed horse's mouth)
can just feel this pressure, a _correspondence_ will be formed between
these two hands (or bridle-hand and supposed horse's mouth) through
which the slightest movement of the left hand, or of its second, third,
or fourth fingers, will be immediately felt by the right hand; then,
while holding the elastic (or reins) firmly, by pressure, between the
thumb and index finger, by alternately opening and closing the fingers
of the left hand, she will observe that when her fingers are closed
there will be quite a tension upon the elastic and consequently upon the
right hand, and when they are slightly opened this will become flaccid.
The relaxation and contraction of the hand constitutes the "give and
take" movement, which causes the horse to move easily, pleasantly, and
with perfect freedom, while at the same time he is kept in entire
obedience to his rider. Indeed, this movement is _the grand secret of
good riding and correct management of the horse, and there can be no
good riding without it_.

With this movement there should always be a certain support or pull upon
the horse's mouth,--firmer or lighter according to the sensitiveness of
his mouth, as some animals are harder mouthed than others, and
consequently require a firmer support;--this tension or pressure should
be rather light in the walk and canter, firmer in the trot, and very
light in the hand gallop. In the rapid gallop, the horse requires
considerable support.

In all cases of _restiveness_, except in rearing, raising the
bridle-hands will give more command over the horse, as it will cause him
to keep up his head, and thus while lessening the power of the animal
will at the same time add to that of the rider. On the contrary, should
the horse lower his head, and the bridle-hands be held low, the power of
the animal will be augmented and he can bid defiance to his rider,
unless she can raise his head. She will have to do this in a gentle but
firm manner, soliciting, as it were, the desired elevation of his head
by raising her hands and quickly relaxing and contracting the fingers,
but being careful to keep the reins in place between the thumb and index
finger of each hand; she will thus gradually oblige him to raise his
neck with his chin drawn in, so that control over his mouth may be
regained.

Should he resist this method, the reins must be momentarily slackened,
and then a decided jerk or pull be given them in an upward direction;
this will cause a sharp twinge in his mouth, and make him raise his
head. In these manoeuvres the curb-bit should be used, and as the animal
raises his head the rider should gently relax the reins, and also be on
her guard lest he rear. In some instances a decided "sawing" of his
mouth with the snaffle--that is, sharply pulling upon one rein and then
upon the other, and in rather quick succession--will cause him to raise
his head and neck.

When a horse is obedient, all changes in the degree of pressure upon his
mouth should be made gradually, because, if a sudden transition be made
from a firm hand to a relaxed one, he will be abruptly deprived of the
support upon which he has been depending and may be thrown forward on
his shoulders. Again, to pass precipitately from a slack rein to a tight
one will give a violent shock to his mouth, cause him to displace his
head, and destroy the harmony of his movements. As a means of
punishment, some riders jerk suddenly, repeatedly, and violently upon
the reins; this "jagging on the reins" is a great mistake, and will be
likely to result in more harm to the rider than to the horse, as the
latter may suddenly rear, or else have a bad temper aroused that will be
difficult to overcome.

When riding on the road there will be times when the horse will require
more liberty of the reins, as, for instance, when his head or neck
becomes uncomfortable from being kept too long in one position, when he
has an attack of cough, when he wants to dislodge a troublesome fly,
etc. In giving this liberty when occasion requires, the reins must not
be allowed to slip through the hands, but the arms should be gradually
advanced, without, however, inclining the body forward.

The movements of the body must correspond with those of the horse and of
the rider's hands; thus, when the animal is moving regularly and
straight forward, the hands, or bridle-hand, being held firm and steady
immediately in front of the waist, the body must then be seated
squarely, with its front part to the front, so that the rider can look
directly between the ears of her steed. When the animal turns
completely around to the right or to the left, the shoulders and head of
the rider must also turn a little toward the direction taken by the
horse, while the hand must be slightly carried in an opposite direction.
When turning a corner, the entire body from the hips upward must incline
toward the centre of the circle of which the turn forms an arc, or, in
other words, the body must incline toward the direction taken by the
horse, and the degree of this inclination must be proportioned to the
bend of the horse's body, and to the rapidity of his pace while turning.

When the horse advances, and the hands are relaxed, the body must
momentarily lean slightly forward without rounding the shoulders; this
will aid the horse in commencing his forward movement. In stopping him,
the rider's body must be inclined slightly backward as the hands rein
him in. All these movements should be made gradually, and never
abruptly.

When a horse stumbles, or plunges from viciousness or high spirits, the
rider's body must be inclined backward, as this will enable her to
maintain her balance more effectually as well as to throw more weight
upon the reins. On the contrary, when he rears the bridle-hand must be
instantly advanced or relaxed, the body at the same time being inclined
well forward, which will throw the rider's weight upon the animal's
shoulders and fore-legs, and cause him to lower his fore-feet to the
ground.

A horse is said to be =united= or =collected= when he moves easily in a
regular, stylish manner, well on his haunches, with head and neck in
proper position, his rider exercising perfect control over him by gentle
pressure upon his mouth, and keeping up the regular movements of the
animal by a quiet and dexterous "give and take" action of her hands.

He is =disunited= when he moves in an irregular manner, or heavily upon
his fore-legs, occasioning the rider to support the weight of his neck
and shoulders; also, when the reins are too slack and exercise no
pressure upon his mouth, in which case, having no aid or support from
his rider's hand, he will move carelessly, or exactly as he pleases.

In _collecting a horse_, the aid of the whip and the left leg will
frequently be required, as the rider's hand alone may not be sufficient.
In such a case, the left leg must be lightly pressed against his left
side and the whip at the same time be pressed against his right side;
these in conjunction with the action of the bridle-hand,[5] as
heretofore explained, will collect him and bring him up to his bridle
with his haunches well under him,--the proper position for starting. As
soon as he moves there should be only a light pressure on his mouth. In
order to perform the above feat effectively, the whip must not be too
limber and must always be held with its lash downward. This simultaneous
pressure of the whip and left leg has the same effect in collecting the
horse as that of the horseman's right and left legs. Should the horse
flag in his movements or move heavily upon his fore-legs, a repetition
of this pressure of the leg and whip, in conjunction with the proper
movements of the bridle-hand, will bring him well on his haunches and
lighten his action.

  Footnote 5: The bridle-hand being in the _original position_ for the
  double bridle, the curb should be brought into action by a turn of the
  wrist, which will carry the little finger in toward the waist; and
  this, in conjunction with the leg and whip, will collect the horse.

The horse is always animated by mild taps of the whip, light pressure of
the hand upon the curb, a clacking of the tongue, or an urging tone of
his mistress's voice. He is soothed and rendered confident by mild and
encouraging tones of voice, by the rider's sitting easily, by a gentle
hold upon the reins, and by caressing pats upon his neck and shoulders.

In the directions given in this chapter, necessarily involving more or
less repetition, the author has endeavored to be as clear,
comprehensible, and simple as possible. And the rider will find it of
much greater advantage to have these instructions printed, than to be
required to learn them orally, as she can read and re-read them at
pleasure and have them thoroughly committed to memory before mounting
her horse. And, although it has required many pages to present these
instructions to the reader, she will find that their application will
prove very simple, and will also be agreeably surprised to observe the
great control she will have over the feelings and movements of her steed
through their agency. Horses are generally very sagacious, and appear to
recognize promptly any timidity, awkwardness, or ignorance on the part
of their riders, and, according to their temper or disposition, will
take advantage of such recognition, either by advancing carelessly or by
manifesting trickiness or viciousness. The best trained horse always
requires to be kept under command, but by kind treatment and correct
management. The horse, when ridden by a finished horsewoman, knows that
although allowed to move with a light rein he is under the control of a
masterly hand that will aid him in his efforts to please, but will
instantly bring him into submission if he does not yield entire
obedience.



CHAPTER VII.

THE WALK.

    "And do you not love at evening's hour,
        By the light of the sinking sun,
    To wend your way o'er the widening moor,
    Where the silvery mists their mystery pour,
        While the stars come one by one?
    Over the heath by the mountain's side,
    Pensive and sweet is the evening's ride."

                             E. PAXTON HOOD.


In walking, the horse moves nearly simultaneously the two legs that are
diagonally opposite to each other, first one pair, and then the other.
Thus, the right fore and the left hind leg make one step nearly at the
same time, and when these have touched the ground, the left fore and the
right hind leg are raised and advanced in a similar manner, and so on in
succession. In this manner as one pair of legs moves onward the other
pair sustains the weight of the animal; and of the two legs that act
together the fore one is raised from as well as placed upon the ground
slightly previous to the hind one. This is the reason why a horse which
walks well and in a regular manner will nearly or quite cover the
foot-marks of his fore-feet with those of his hind ones. If the
hind-foot should fall short of covering the track of the fore one, the
animal will not be a good walker; if, on the contrary, it should pass
somewhat beyond the mark of the fore-foot, it will indicate him to be a
fast walker, although he may overreach.

In both the walk and the trot, when the horse is moving regularly, a
quick ear can detect four distinct beats or tappings of the feet; when
these beats mark equal time and sound exactly alike for each footstep,
it may be inferred that the horse is a good walker as well as a good
trotter, and that all his legs are sound. But if one beat be lighter
than the others, it may be assumed that there is some disease in the
foot or leg that produces this beat. Horse-dealers will often endeavor
to disguise this defect by adopting means to disable the animal
temporarily in his healthy leg, as the treads will then be made more
nearly alike, though the slight shade of difference thus effected can be
readily detected by a quick, experienced ear. These hoof-beats are best
heard when made on a hard road.

A horse that is a good walker will move with a quick step, his hind-legs
well under him, his foot-taps marking regular time, and his feet
measuring exact distances, while he will lift his feet just high enough
to escape obstructions on the road, thrusting each foot well forward,
and placing it lightly, though firmly and squarely, upon the ground. He
will advance in a straight line, vacillating neither to the right nor
left, and should be able to accomplish at least from four to four and a
half miles per hour.

The walk of a lady's horse is almost always neglected, and as a good
walk is a sure foundation for perfection in all other gaits, a lady
should positively insist that her steed be thoroughly trained in this
particular; especially if she be large and majestic looking, because the
walk will then become her specialty. A stout woman does not ride to the
best advantage at a rapid gait, but upon a horse that has the walk in
perfection she presents an imposing, queen-like appearance. If her
steed, however, be allowed to saunter along in a careless, listless
manner, all the charm will be destroyed, and the _tout ensemble_ will
present by no means a pleasing picture.

The beginner in riding should learn to sit and manage her horse in a
walk, and should never attempt to ride a faster gait until she can
collect her steed, make him advance, turn him to the right and to the
left, and rein him back; this last movement is a very important one,
with which few teachers strive to make their pupils thoroughly
acquainted. Reining back will not only bring the horse under better
command, but, with a lady's horse, a short reining back from time to
time will improve his style of motion in his various gaits; besides
which, the rider may on some occasion be placed in a situation in which,
for her own safety, she will be compelled to move her horse backward.

[Illustration: Fig. 29.--The Walk.]

=To begin the walk=: The pupil, having placed herself in the saddle,
must not allow her horse to move until she is quite prepared, her skirt
adjusted, and the whip and reins properly arranged in her hands. Then,
drawing gently upon the curb and snaffle reins, a little more upon the
former than upon the latter, and at the same time gently pressing
against the animal's side with her left leg, and against his right side
with the whip, as heretofore explained, she will thus _collect her
horse_, and start him upon the walk. As soon as he has begun to move
forward, the pressure of the leg and whip must cease, and the hand or
hands must be held steady on the snaffle, the curb no longer being
required, unless the animal flags in his movements. The hold upon the
snaffle must be only tense enough to enable the rider to feel the
beat of the horse's action as he places each foot upon the ground, and
to give him a slight support and keep up an even action. Should this
support be too heavy, his step will be shortened, and he will be unable
to move freely; should it be insufficient, he will carry his head low,
will not raise his feet high enough to escape stumbling, will knock his
toes against every inequality of the ground, and both he and his rider
will present an indolent and listless aspect. Her attitude should be
easy and erect, but she should yield herself slightly to the movements
of the horse although without showing any lack of steadiness. (Fig. 29.)

Should the horse be too much animated by the reins and whip at the
commencement of the walk, he may enter upon a jog trot, or an amble, in
which case he must be checked by gradually reining him in until he has
settled into a walk. Should he, on the contrary, not be sufficiently
animated, he will not exert himself and will move in an irregular and
indolent manner; in this case, he must be made to raise his head by a
slight pull upon the curb-reins, as already explained, and be again
collected and animated by the aid of the leg and whip.

A short, abrupt =turn in the walk= should never be made, if it can
possibly be avoided; it is only in case of emergency that it should be
attempted, and even then it is more or less dangerous, because, as the
horse moves his legs diagonally in the walk, he may, when abruptly
turned, place one leg in the way of the other, be thrown off his
balance, and fall. When turning a horse completely around, it should
always be done in a deliberate manner. This rule should never be
forgotten, especially by a novice.

During her first lessons in the walk, the pupil, in attempting to turn
her horse to the right, to the left, or completely around, must move him
very slowly, pressing her whip and left leg against his sides, and
keeping him well-balanced by proper support upon _both_ snaffle-reins.
In making a =turn to the right=, with a snaffle-rein in each hand, the
left hand must not abandon the horse, but retain a steady pressure upon
his mouth, while the tension upon the right rein must be increased by
moving the right hand and its little finger up and toward the body, at
the same time holding this hand a little lower than the left one. The
tension upon the right rein should be nearly double that made upon the
left, and should be kept up until the turn has been completed. In the
turn to the right, the left leg should make a little stronger pressure
than that made by the whip, to prevent the animal from throwing his
croup too far to the left; and in making the turn to the left, the whip
should press more strongly than the leg, in order to prevent the croup
from being carried too far to the right.

In attempting =to turn= completely around =to the left=, the same
manoeuvring, though in an opposite direction, will be required; the
above directions for the two hands being simply reversed.

Should the horse fail to turn in a regular manner, or refuse to obey the
reins readily, he must be collected, and brought up to the bridle in the
manner already described. This will cause him to raise his head and
place himself in a position to move in the required manner, and when
this is done the rider must slacken the tension upon the curb, and turn
him with the snaffle-rein.

In making these turns, care must be taken to have ample space, and it
must not be forgotten, that while increasing the tension upon the rein
required to direct the turn, the other should not be slackened or
abandoned, but should continue to give support to the horse, though in a
less degree; and also that this tension upon the reins is much more
important when making a partial or complete turn, than when the animal
is moving forward in a straight line. For, if the reins be slackened,
and the horse left to himself, he will turn in an awkward manner, may
get one leg in the way of the other, and perhaps stumble or fall,
especially if the ground be slippery, or rough and uneven.

It is a habit with many lady riders, as well as with multitudes of
horsemen, to make the turn by carrying the bridle-hand in the direction
of the turn, thus pressing the outward rein, or the one opposite to the
direction of the turn, against the horse's neck,--the inward rein being
completely slackened. This is a very dangerous fault and one that
instantly betrays ignorance of correct horsemanship, because the animal
is thus left without any support at a time when it is most needed. If a
rider has any regard for her own safety, she will remember this very
important rule, namely, _to support the horse on both reins when making
a turn_.

When all the reins are held in the bridle-hand and a turn is to be made
to the left, the fault is sometimes committed of carrying the right hand
over to assist the left by pulling upon the left rein; this is
frequently done by ladies who have not been properly instructed, and
gives them an awkward appearance. When riding with the double bridle in
the bridle-hand, if the movements of the horse be controlled by this
hand and wrist, as explained in the preceding chapter, the turn to the
right or to the left can be effected without abandoning the horse by
relaxing one of the reins, and also without the assistance of the other
hand. These manoeuvres, accomplished easily and gracefully, indicate the
well-instructed and correct bridle-hand, the well-trained horse, and the
accomplished horsewoman, who will appear to manage her steed more by
mental influence than by any perceptible movements of her hands.

=To stop in the walk=, in a correct and regular manner, is a sure
criterion of a good horsewoman, one that has her steed under complete
control, for this stop renders him more obedient, and tends to collect
him and to bring his haunches into a pliant condition. To accomplish
this stop properly, the rider must brace her arms firmly against her
sides,--being careful not to let her elbows protrude backward,--throw
her shoulders back, hold both reins evenly and firmly, and tighten the
tension upon them by turning the hand and little fingers up and carrying
them toward the waist, at the same time not omitting to press gently
against the horse's sides with the leg and whip. All this should be
accomplished by one simultaneous movement, and the degree of tension
made on the reins should be in proportion to the sensitiveness of the
horse's mouth.

If the left leg and whip be not employed in making the stop, the horse
when brought to a stand may throw his weight upon his shoulders and
fore-legs,--which he should never be allowed to do, as it will destroy
the pleasing effect of the stop, and cause him to become disunited. The
animal should be so nicely balanced upon his haunches when he stops,
that, with a little more liberty of rein, he can readily move forward in
a united and collected manner. The reins must not be abruptly jerked,
but be drawn upon, as stated before, in a gradual and equal manner.
After the stop is completed, the reins may be so far relaxed as to
enable the horse to again advance, should it be required. The stop
should always be made when the animal is advancing straight forward, and
never, if it can possibly be avoided, when making a turn or going around
a corner.

If, when attempting to stop the horse, he should _toss up his head_, the
bridle-hand must be kept low and firm, and the right hand be pressed
against his neck until his head is lowered, when the rein-hold may be
relaxed. In such a case, the rider must be on her guard, as a horse
which stops in this manner may rear, when she must immediately yield the
reins.

The stop, especially in rapid gaits and when effected suddenly, is very
trying to the horse; it should therefore be made only when necessary,
and never to display the rider's superior command and excellent
horsewomanship; many horses, particularly those having weak loins, have
been caused much suffering and have had their dispositions completely
ruined by a too frequent and injudicious practice of the stop.

In reining back or =backing in the walk=, the horse bends his haunches
and places one of his hind-legs under his body, upon which to rest and
balance himself; this enables him to collect force to impel his croup
backward. To favor this movement, the horse must be collected, brought
to stand square and even on his fore-legs, and then be reined backward
by a firm, steady, and equal pull upon both the right and left
snaffle-reins.[6] The hands should be held low and directly in front of
the body, with the knuckles down, and the little fingers turned up and
carried toward the body. During this whole movement care must be taken
not to elevate the hands. The body of the rider must bend somewhat
forward, with the waist drawn in, but without any rounding of the
shoulders, while the leg and the whip must make gentle pressure against
the horse's sides, so as to "bring him up to the bridle," and prevent
his deviating from the line in which it is desired to back him. The
backing must never be made by one continuous pull; but as soon as the
movement is commenced, the hands and body of the rider must yield so
that the horse may regain his balance, after which he may again be urged
backward. These actions should occur alternately, so that with every
step backward the rider will yield her hands, and immediately draw them
back again, continuing these movements until the horse has backed as far
as desired. If, instead of this course, a steady pull be made, the horse
may lose his balance and fall, or may be compelled to rear.

  Footnote 6: If the horse be tender in the mouth the snaffle-reins had
  better be used in backing; if not, the curb.

When reining the horse back the body must never be inclined backward, as
is necessary when stopping the horse; on the contrary, it must always be
inclined somewhat forward, as this will enable the hands to manage the
reins more effectively, will give the horse more freedom to recede, and,
should he rear, will place the rider in the proper balance. Should the
rider unfortunately incline her body backward, and the horse rear, she
would probably be unseated, and should she pull upon the reins in order
to sustain herself and keep her seat, the animal would be drawn
backward, and probably fall upon her.

In backing, the pull upon the reins must never be made suddenly, but
always gradually, the hand rather soliciting than compelling. When the
reins are suddenly pulled upon, the horse is very apt to get his
hind-legs too far forward under him, in which case it is impossible for
him to move backward.

In reining the horse directly backward, should his croup move out of
line to the right, the pressure of the whip must be increased, or gentle
taps be given with it upon his right side back of the saddle-flap, the
hand at the same time increasing the tension upon the right rein. The
taps of the whip must be very light, lest the animal turn too much to
the left.

Should the croup swerve to the left, the rider must press her left leg
against her horse's side, or give light taps with her left heel upon his
side, turning the point of the toe out, moving the leg a little back,
and slightly separating the knee from the side of the saddle, in order
to give these taps; at the same time she must increase the tension upon
the left rein until the horse is brought into line.

When it is desired to rein back, but with an inclination to the right, a
slight extra bearing or pull must be made upon the left rein, without
relaxing the steady tension upon the right one. A pressure with the whip
upon the right side of the horse must at the same time be kept up, in
order that he may not carry his croup too far to the right.

In reining back with an inclination to the left, the pull upon the right
rein must be slightly increased, still keeping a steady feeling upon the
left one; then, by a constant pressure with the left leg upon the
horse's side, he will be prevented from carrying his croup too far to
the left. Reining back teaches the horse to move lightly, and improves
the style of his different gaits, but its effect is very severe upon
him, hence its practice should not be too frequent, and always of short
duration.



CHAPTER VIII.

THE TROT, THE AMBLE, THE PACE, THE RACK.

    "We ride and ride. High on the hills
      The fir-trees stretch into the sky;
    The birches, which the deep calm stills,
      Quiver again as we speed by."

                      OWEN INNSLY.


In the trot, the horse moves his legs in the same diagonal manner as in
the walk, the only difference being that in the trot they are moved more
rapidly. When trotting regularly and evenly, the right fore-foot and the
left hind-foot strike the ground nearly simultaneously, and then the
left fore-foot and the right hind-foot do the same; and so on
alternately, two legs being diagonally upon the ground at about the same
moment, while two legs are raised in the air.

The strokes of the hoofs upon the ground are called "beats," and are
loud and quick, harmonizing with the animal's rapidity of motion and
length of step. The trot is the safest gait for a rider if the horse be
free from any defect in his limbs, as he will be less apt to stumble;
it is also less tiresome for the animal, because while two legs are
diagonally off the ground, the other two support the weight of his body,
and thus one pair alternately and quickly relieves the other.

There are three varieties of trot, namely, the jog trot, the flying or
racing trot, and the true or even trot. In the _jog trot_ each foot is
placed nearly in the same track it occupied before it was raised, though
somewhat in advance of it, and it remains upon the ground a longer time
than when raised in the air, thus rendering the gait almost as slow as
the walk. If the horse be young and spirited, he will prefer this gait
to that of the walk, and, if permitted, will naturally adopt it. This
should be guarded against, and under no circumstances should he be
allowed to break into a jog trot; because, however accomplished the
rider may be, she will find it a very unpleasant and excessively
fatiguing gait, and one which will make her look very awkward. This
variety of trot, however, occasions less injury to the horse's feet and
legs than any other gait, and, on this account, it is preferred by most
farmers.

In the _racing_ or _flying trot_, the horse is allowed to step out
without the least constraint, the legs being extended as far as
possible, and moving straight forward, while the animal spiritedly
enters into the occasion and gives out his full power. In this trot all
the legs are moved very rapidly, and the hind ones with more force than
the fore-legs, in order that the horse's body may, with each bound, be
propelled as far forward as possible. Between the two successive bounds
all four legs are momentarily off the ground. Very springy fetlocks tend
to diminish speed in the flying trot, and hence, not having such elastic
fetlocks, a good trotting racer is rough in his action and an
undesirable saddle-horse.

In the _true_ or _even trot_, the action of the horse is regular, all
his limbs moving in an even manner, his feet measuring exact distances,
his hoof-beats being in equal time of _one, two, three, four_, and his
feet, when moving rapidly, touching the ground only for an instant.
There are two ways in which this trot may be ridden: one is to sit
closely to the saddle, moving as little as possible, and making no
effort to avoid the roughness of the gait. This is the method practiced
by the cavalry of this country, as well as by the armies in Europe, and
is called the "cavalry" or "French trot."

The other method is to relieve the joltings by rising in the saddle in
time with the horse's step. This is called the "English trot," and is
the favorite gait of the European and the American civilian horsemen. It
is only during the last few years that this trot has been gradually
coming into favor with American horsewomen, although the ladies of
England, and of nearly all continental Europe, have for a long time
ridden this gait as well as the canter and hand gallop, having found
that by alternating the latter gaits with the trot they could ride
greater distances upon hard roads, and with much less fatigue to
themselves and their steeds. The English trot does not wear out the
horse so quickly as the gallop and canter; indeed, it has been generally
found that the horse's trot improves as he grows older, many horses
having become better trotters at their tenth or twelfth year than at an
earlier age. The trot in which the hoof-beats are in time of only _one,
two_, is very difficult to ride.

In America, many persons condemn the English trot for lady riders, which
is hardly to be wondered at when one observes the various awkward and
grotesque attitudes that are assumed, even by many gentlemen, when
attempting to rise in the saddle. As for the ladies who have undertaken
this innovation, their appearance on horseback, from want of proper
training or from lack of attention to given rules, has, with but few
exceptions, been simply ridiculous. Even with correct teaching and
proper application, some ladies, although they acquire the English trot,
and do not make caricatures of themselves while employing it, yet do not
appear to such advantage as when in the canter or hand gallop. This is
also the case with European ladies, who differ very much in their power
to make this gait appear graceful. A small, slightly built person,
having a short measurement from the hip to the knee, can, when correctly
taught, ride this trot with much ease and grace. A tall woman will have
to lean too far forward with each rising movement of her steed, as her
length of limb will not permit a short rise; she will therefore appear
to much less advantage in this gait; while a stout built person will
look rather heavy in the rise from the saddle.

However, whether a lady is likely to present an elegant appearance or
not when riding the English trot, she must, if she desires to become an
accomplished horsewoman, learn to ride this particular gait, as it will
enable her to gain a correct seat, to keep a better and more perfect
balance, and to become more thorough in the other gaits. From a hygienic
point of view, it will prove beneficial, and will preserve both rider
and horse from excessive fatigue when traveling long distances. Under
certain circumstances, it will also enable a lady to ride a man's horse,
which will be very apt to have this trot in perfection, and but little
knowledge of, or training in, any other gaits. In the country a regular
and sure trotting horse may often be readily obtained, while it will be
much more difficult to procure one with a light, easy canter or gallop.
This trot, when well cadenced and in perfect time, is very captivating,
as the rider escapes all jolting, and feels more as if she were flying
through the air than riding upon a horse.

There is, however, one objection to the English trot to which attention
should be directed; namely, if the lady ride on a two-pommeled saddle,
and the horse happens to shy, or to turn around suddenly, while she is
in the act of rising, she is very likely to be unseated or thrown from
her horse. With the three-pommeled saddle, however, this accident will
be much less liable to occur, but the lady should always be on her guard
when riding this trot, especially if her steed be nervous; and to avoid
an accident of the kind just named, she should keep her left knee
directly under the third pommel, but without pressing up against it
enough to interfere with the rising motion, or just so close, that in
pressing upon the stirrup and straightening her knee she can rise about
four inches from the saddle; the distance between the upper surface of
the knee and the under surface of the pommel will then be about one and
a half, or two inches. If, in the rise, she does not find herself
embarrassed by the third pommel, she may know that the stirrup-leather
is of the correct length for this trot. The more rapid and regular the
trot, the easier and shorter will be the rise, and the less noticeable
the movements of the rider, because, when trotting fast, the rise will
be effected with but very little effort on her part, and will be almost
entirely due to the rapid action of the horse. To rise when trotting
slowly, will be neither easy nor pleasant for the rider, and in this
gait she will not appear to much advantage.

In the =French= or =cavalry trot=, the body should be inclined a little
backward, being kept as firm as possible but without stiffness, while at
the same time the rider should sit as closely to the saddle as she can,
with the left knee directly under the third pommel, not using force to
press up against it, but simply holding it there to sustain the limb and
to assist in keeping it as firm and steady as possible during the
roughness of this gait--while the reins should be held a little firmer
than for the walk. This trot should never be ridden by ladies after
their first lessons in riding, unless the horse moves so easily in it
that his rider is not jolted in the least. To trot so softly that no
shock will be experienced by the rider as the horse's feet touch the
ground will require a thorough-bred of rare formation.

Before the invention of the three-pommeled saddle the French trot was
always employed in the best riding-schools, a beginner being required to
practice it for a long time, in order to acquire the proper firmness in
the saddle; but since the invention of the third pommel the cavalry trot
has been almost entirely dispensed with, as this pommel at once gives a
firmness of seat that could be obtained on an old-fashioned two-pommeled
saddle only after taking many fatiguing lessons in the French trot. It
was this fatigue that caused so many persons to condemn horseback riding
for ladies, and it also proved a cause of discouragement to the pupils
in the riding-school, frequently giving rise to a decided dislike for
horseback exercise. But since the employment of the third pommel, it is
only necessary for the pupil to take two or three lessons in the
French trot, just enough to enable her to understand the movement, after
which she may proceed to rise in the English style. However, a knowledge
of the cavalry trot will be found useful, as a horse, when reined in
from a gallop or canter, will often trot a short distance before
stopping; and if the rider understands this trot, she will be able to
sit close to the saddle, and not appear awkward by jolting helplessly
about.

[Illustration: Fig. 30.--The Trot.]

Of all the styles of riding, there is none so difficult to describe or
to learn as the =English trot=. We will make an effort, however, to
render it comprehensible to the reader. Considerable study and practice
will be required to learn it perfectly, but when once learned it will
indicate the thoroughly accomplished horsewoman. (Fig. 30.)

To commence the English trot, the rider must collect her horse, as for
the walk, and then, as he advances, keep a firm, even tension upon the
_snaffle-reins_, because, in this trot, the animal will rely wholly upon
his rider to support him and hold him to the pace, without the "give and
take" movements of the hands required in the other gaits. It is not
meant by this that a dead pull is to be made, but that the support must
be firm and steady, with a proper correspondence between the
bridle-hand and the horse's mouth. The elbows must be held steady and
lightly near the rider's sides, but not close against them. As the horse
extends his trot, an unpleasant roughness or jolting will be
experienced, which will give an upward impetus to the rider's body; the
moment she is conscious of this impetus, she must allow herself to be
raised from her horse in regular time with his step or hoof-beats. In
this trot, the horse will always have a leading foot, either the right
or left, and the foot he leads with is the one to which the rider must
rise,--rising when the leading foot is lifted, and touching the saddle
when this foot touches the ground. Most riders do this instinctively, as
it were, rising and falling with the leading foot.

In _this rise_ the action of the horse alone will give the impetus; no
effort must be made by the lady, _except_ to press slightly, or rather
to sustain herself gently upon the stirrup, and keep her knee and instep
yielding and flexible with the rise. Care must be taken not to allow the
leg to swing forward and backward. The rise should be made as straight
upward as possible, the upper part of the body inclining forward no more
than is necessary to effect the rise with ease. The back must be kept
well curved, and the shoulders square to the front of the horse,
without lifting them up, or rounding them in rising.

The =leading foot of the horse= is that fore-foot or leg with which he
commences his advance in the gait; it will always be carried somewhat
beyond its fellow, while, at the same time, that side of the animal's
body which corresponds with the leading foot will be a little more
advanced toward this foot, though almost imperceptibly so. Every rider
should be taught to know with which foot her horse leads.

When a horse trots evenly and quickly, and with rather a short step, the
rise in the saddle will be barely perceptible; but when he trots slowly
and with a long step, the rise will have to be higher, in order that the
rider may keep time with the slowness and length of his step. In this
gait a tall woman will be very apt to prefer a long step to a short one.

In making the rise, the rider must never assist herself by pulling upon
the reins, which should be held firm and low to give support _to the
horse alone_, not allowing them to slip in the least from between the
thumb and forefinger that should hold them steady.

_The descent_ of the body to the saddle must be effected as gently as
possible. The right knee should be pressed against the second pommel,
and the left foot lean lightly upon the stirrup, the left foot and
instep being kept yielding and flexible with the descent, and the body
and right leg bearing[7] a little to the right. The descent should be
made just in time to catch the next impetus of the horse's movement, so
that the saddle will be hardly touched before the rider's body will
again be thrown upward to make the rise.

  Footnote 7: By "bearing to the right" is not meant an inclination of
  the body to this side, but a resistance sufficient to keep the body
  from inclining toward the left. As hereafter stated, trotting in a
  circle to the _right_ will be found an excellent exercise to teach one
  this bearing.

It presents a very comical and inelegant appearance for a rider, whether
man or woman, when attempting the rising trot, to elevate and protrude
the shoulders, curve the back out so as to round it, lean forward toward
the horse's ears, with elbows sticking out from the rider's sides and
flopping like the wings of a restless bird, while the body is bobbing up
and down like a dancing-jack, out of all time with the movements of the
animal. One reason why some persons are so awkward in the rise is that
they sit too far back upon the saddle. This obliges them to sustain
themselves upon the stirrup obliquely, thus causing them to lean too
far forward in order to accomplish the rise more easily. Another cause
of awkwardness in the rising trot is an improperly constructed saddle.
The seat or platform should be as nearly level as a properly made saddle
will permit. When the front part or arch is much higher than the seat,
it will be difficult to use the second pommel as a point of support for
the right knee, which support is highly essential during the descent, in
this trot. It is a common thing to see riders exaggerate the rise by
pressing hard upon the stirrup and supporting themselves by the reins,
thus rising higher than necessary, and coming down with a heavy thump
upon the saddle; to which equestrian gymnastics they give the name of
"English trot."

When rising and descending in the English trot, the left leg, from knee
to instep, must be held perpendicular and steady; the foot, from toe to
heel, must rest horizontally in the stirrup, and in a line with the
horse's side. The foot should not be allowed to turn out, nor the leg to
swing backward and forward: if the foot be pointed out, this will tend
to carry the body and leg too much toward the left, on the rise; and, if
the leg be allowed to swing, it will cause the rider to lose the rhythm
of the trot. Again, the stirrup must not be too strongly pressed upon,
as this will throw all the rider's weight upon the left side, and may
cause the saddle to turn. On making the rise, great care must be taken
not to advance the left shoulder, nor to turn the body to the left; many
riders do these things with the idea that they will enable them to rise
with more ease. But this is an error, for such movements will not only
occasion fatigue, but will also render the rein-hold unsteady, and the
action of the foot and knee uncertain. The body and shoulders must
always be square to the front when the horse is trotting straight
forward, the body remaining as erect as the action of the horse will
allow.

=To stop= a well-trained horse =in this gait=, it will simply be
necessary for the rider to cease rising, sit down to the saddle, and
gradually loosen the reins. Many horses, however, are trained to make
the stop in the usual way, by having the reins tightened. The advance
and the turns are to be conducted in the same manner as that described
for the walk.

In the English trot, the horse must be kept well up to his gait; should
he appear to move heavily or disunitedly the reins must be gradually
shortened, and the animal be collected. Should he step short, in a
constrained manner, the reins must be gradually lengthened, to give him
more freedom. If he break into a gallop when it is desired that he
should trot, he must be gradually reined in to a walk, and then be
started again upon a trot, and this course must be repeated until he
obeys, stopping him every time he attempts to gallop, and then starting
the trot anew. If he trot too rapidly, he must be checked, by bracing
the bridle-hand and increasing the pull upon the reins. If the trot be
too slow, the hand must relax the reins a little, and the horse be
animated by the voice, and by gentle taps with the whip. To regulate the
trot, to keep it smooth and harmonious, to rein in the horse gently
without rendering him unsteady, and then gradually to yield the hand so
that he may move forward again in a regular manner, are very difficult
points for beginners to accomplish while still keeping up the proper
support upon the bit, and will require study and considerable practice.

A horse should never be urged into a more rapid trot than he can execute
in an even, regular manner; if compelled to exceed this, he will break
into a rough gallop, or into such an irregular trot as will render it
impossible for the rider to time the rise.

An accomplished horsewoman, when trotting her horse, will make no
observable effort, and there will be perfect harmony between her steed
and herself. When the English trot is ridden in this manner, the person
who can condemn it must, indeed, be extremely fastidious. However, it
must be acknowledged that it will require the lithe, charming figure of
a young lady to exhibit its best points, and to execute it in its most
pleasing and graceful style. The very tall, the inactive, or the stout
lady may ride this gait with ease to herself and horse, and when
properly taught will not render herself awkward or ridiculous, but she
can never ride it with the willowy grace of the slender woman of medium
size.

=Trotting in a circle= may be practiced in a riding-school, or upon a
level, open space or ground, having a circular track about seventy-five
or eighty feet in diameter. It is very excellent practice, especially in
teaching the rider to rise in unison with the horse's trot, whether he
leads with the right or left leg. For first lessons, the pupil must
commence by circling to the right, as this is the easiest to learn, and
will teach her to bear toward the right side of the horse. It is very
essential that in first lessons she should do this; because in the
English trot she will have to guard carefully against inclining to the
left in the rise and descent, a fault common to all beginners who are
not better instructed.

In circling, the horse will always incline toward the centre of the
circle, with which inclination the rider's body must correspond, by
leaning in the same direction; if this precaution should be neglected
and the horse be trotting rapidly, the rider will lose her balance, and
fall off on the side opposite to that of the inclination. The distance
she should lean to the right or to the left must be in proportion to the
size of the circle that is being passed over, and also to the inward
bearing of the horse's body. Should the circle be small and the gait
rapid, the inclination of the rider's body will have to be considerable
to enable her to maintain her seat and keep in unison with the horse. If
the circle be large, say eighty feet in diameter, the inclination will
be slight.

In order to _circle to the right_, when holding a curb and a snaffle
rein in each hand, the pupil must collect her horse by the aid of curb,
leg, and whip, as already explained, and start him forward on the
snaffle, holding the right rein a little lower than the left, and
drawing it enough to enable her to see plainly the corner of his right
eye; the reins must be held steadily, no sudden jerks being given to
them, as these will cause the horse to move irregularly and swerve
about. Should his croup be turned too much to the right, the pressure of
the whip will bring it to the left; if it be turned too much to the
left, the pressure of the left leg will bring it to the right.

In _circling to the left_, the horse will incline his body to the left,
toward the centre of the circle. It is not very easy to learn to circle
to the left, but when once learned, it will be found no more difficult
than circling to the right, provided the animal has been properly
trained and made supple, so as to lead with either leg. Horses that have
been trained to lead with the right leg only will, when required to
change and lead with the left, move in a confined, inflexible, and
irregular manner, so that it will be impossible to time the rise from
the saddle. In riding in the circle to the left, the directions for
circling to the right must be reversed, the rider leaning to the _left_,
pulling the _left_ rein a little tighter, etc. Great care must be taken,
however, not to lean too much toward the left in making the rise. The
degree of inclination should not in this case be so great as the
corresponding inclination when circling to the right, for if it is the
rider will throw her weight too much upon the stirrup side, and may
cause the saddle to turn.

In practicing riding in a circle, it will be found very advantageous to
vary the size of the circle, first riding in a large one, then gradually
contracting it, and again enlarging it; or the rider, while practicing
upon a large circle, may make a cross-cut toward the centre of this
circle, so as to enter upon another one of smaller diameter, and, after
riding for a short time in the smaller circle, she may again pass out to
resume her ride upon the larger one. These changes from large to narrow
circles form excellent practice for pupils, but should always, if
possible, be performed under competent instruction.

The first lessons in trotting in a circle should always be of short
duration, and the pupil required to ride slowly, the speed being
gradually increased as she gains knowledge and confidence. The moment
she experiences fatigue she should dismount, and rest, before resuming
the lesson.

=In the amble= the horse's movements very strongly resemble those of the
camel, two legs on one side moving together alternately with the two
legs of the other side. Thus one side of the animal supports the weight
of his body, while the other side moves forward, and so on in
alternation. This is an artificial gait, and one to which the horse must
usually be trained; though some horses whose ancestors have been forced
to travel in this gait, have themselves been known to amble without any
training. In the feudal ages it was the favorite pace for a lady's
palfrey, but at the present day it is no longer countenanced by good
taste.

=The pace=, however, which is so well liked by many ladies in this
country, is a kind of amble, although the steps taken are longer. A good
pacer can frequently travel faster than most horses can in the trot.
When the steed moves easily and willingly, the pace is very pleasant for
short rides, but for long journeys, unless the animal can change his
gait to a hand gallop or a canter, it will become very unpleasant and
tiresome. Many pacers are almost as rough in their movements as the
ordinary trotter; and although they do not jolt the rider up and down
upon the saddle, yet they jerk her body in such a manner as successively
and alternately to throw one side forward and the other slightly back
with each and every step, rendering a ride for any distance very
fatiguing.

=The rack=, at one time so much liked, has become almost obsolete. This
is a peculiar gait, not easily described, in which the horse appears to
trot with one pair of legs and amble with the other, the gait being so
mixed up between an amble and a defective trot as to render it almost a
nondescript. When racking, the horse will appear constrained and
uncomfortable, and will strongly bear upon the rider's hand; some
animals so much so, as completely to weary the bridle-hand and arm in a
ride of only an hour or two. This constant bearing of the horse's head
upon the reins soon renders him hard mouthed, and, consequently, not
easily and promptly managed. The rack soon wears out a horse, besides
spoiling him for other gaits, and so injures his feet and legs that a
racker will rarely be suitable for the saddle after his eighth year. It
is an acquired step, much disliked by the horse, which has always to be
forced into it by being urged forward against the restraint of a
curb-bit; and he will, whenever an opportunity presents, break into a
rough trot or canter, so that the rider has to be constantly on the
watch, and compel him to keep in the rack against his will. And although
the motion does not jolt much, the aspect of the horse and rider is not
as easy and graceful as in the canter and hand gallop, there being an
appearance of unwillingness and restraint that is by no means pleasing.
The directions for the French trot will answer for both the pace and the
rack, except that in the latter the traction upon the reins must be
greater.



CHAPTER IX.

THE CANTER.

    "When troubled in spirit, when weary of life,
    When I faint 'neath its burdens, and shrink from its strife,
    When its fruits, turned to ashes, are mocking my taste,
    And its fairest scene seems but a desolate waste,
    Then come ye not near me, my sad heart to cheer
    With friendship's soft accents or sympathy's tear.
    No pity I ask, and no counsel I need,
    But bring me, oh, bring me my gallant young steed,
    With his high arched neck, and his nostril spread wide,
    His eye full of fire, and his step full of pride!
    As I spring to his back, as I seize the strong rein,
    The strength to my spirit returneth again!
    The bonds are all broken that fettered my mind,
    And my cares borne away on the wings of the wind;
    My pride lifts its head, for a season bowed down,
    And the queen in my nature now puts on her crown!"

                                     GRACE GREENWOOD.


In the gallop, the horse always has a leading foot or leg. In _leading
with the right fore-foot_, he will raise the left one from the ground,
and then the right will immediately follow, but will be advanced
somewhat beyond the left one; and this is the reason why, in this case,
the right side is called the "leading side." In the descent of the
fore-feet, the left one will touch the ground first, making the first
beat, and will be immediately followed by the leading or right
fore-foot which will make the second beat. The hind-legs are moved in a
similar way, the left hind-foot making the third beat, and the right one
the fourth. These beats vary in accordance with the adjustment of the
horse's weight, but when he gallops true and regular, as in the canter,
the hoof-beats distinctly mark _one_, _two_, _three_, _four_. In the
rapid gallop the hoof-beats sound in the time of _one-two_, or
_one-two-three_.

In _leading with the left foot_, the left side of the horse will be
advanced slightly and the left leg be carried somewhat beyond the right,
the action being just the reverse of that above described when leading
with the right leg. In this case the left side is termed the "leading
side." The hoof-beats of horses in the trot and gallop have been
admirably rendered by Bellini, in the opera of "Somnambula," just
previous to the entrance of Rudolfo upon the stage. There are three
kinds of gallop, namely, the _rapid_ or _racing_, the _hand gallop_, and
the _canter_.

=The canter= is a slow form of galloping, which the horse performs by
throwing his weight chiefly upon his hind-legs, the fore ones being used
more as supports than as propellers. Horses will be found to vary in
their modes of cantering, so much so as to render it almost impossible
to describe them accurately. Small horses and ponies have a way of
cantering with a loose rein, and without throwing much weight upon their
haunches, moving their feet rapidly, and giving pattering hoof-beats.
Most ponies on the Western prairies canter in this manner, and it is
said to be a very easy gait for a horseman though very unpleasant, from
its joltings, for a lady.

Another canter is what might be termed the "canter of a livery-stable
horse." This appears to be partly a run and partly a canter, a
peculiarity which is due to the fact that one or more of the animal's
feet are unsound, and he adopts this singular movement for the purpose
of obtaining relief. The little street gamins in London recognize the
sound of this canter at once, and will yell out, in time with the
horse's hoof-beats, "three pence, two pence," in sarcastic derision of
the lady's hired horse and the unhappy condition of his feet.

In the true canter, which alone is suitable for a lady, the carriage of
the horse is grand and elegant. In this gait, the animal has his
hind-legs well under his body, all his limbs move regularly, his neck
has a graceful curve, and responds to the slightest touch of the
rider's hand upon the reins. A horse that moves in this manner is one
for display; his grand action will emphasize the grace of a finished
rider, and the appearance of the _tout ensemble_ will be the extreme of
elegance and well-bred ease.

Horses intended for ladies' use are generally trained to lead in the
canter with the right or off fore-foot. Most lady riders, whose lessons
in riding have been limited, sit crosswise upon their saddles. This
position, without their being aware of it, places them more in unison
with the horse's movements, and thereby renders the canter with this
lead the easiest gait for them. But if a horse be constantly required to
canter with this lead he will soon become unsound in his left hind-leg,
because in leading with the right fore-foot he throws the greater part
of his weight upon his left hind-leg, and thus makes it perform double
duty. For this reason the majority of ladies' horses, when the canter is
their principal gait, will be found to suffer from strained muscles,
tendons, and articulations.

A finished rider will from time to time relieve her horse by changing
the lead to the left leg, or else she will change the canter to a trot.
Should her horse decidedly refuse to lead with the foot required,
whether right or left, it may be inferred that he is unsound in that leg
or foot; in which case he should be favored, and permitted to make his
own lead, while the canter should frequently be changed to a walk.

[Illustration: Fig. 31.--Entering upon the Canter with the Right Leg
leading.]

To =commence the canter=, the horse must be brought to a walk, or to a
stand, then be placed on his haunches, and collected by means of the
curb, left leg, and whip; and then the bridle-hand must be raised, while
the second, third, and fourth fingers are moved to and fro, so as to
give gentle pulls upon the curb-reins, thus soliciting the animal to
raise his fore-feet. In performing these manoeuvres, the rider must be
careful to direct the leg with which she desires her horse to lead. This
may be done as follows: If she desires to have the =right leg lead=, the
tension upon the left curb-rein must, _just before_ the animal rises to
take his first step, be increased enough to make him incline his head so
far to the left that the rider can see his left nostril, while,
simultaneously, her left leg must press against his side. By these
means, the horse will be prompted to place himself obliquely, with his
head rather to the left, and his croup to the right.

The rider, if seated exactly in the centre of her saddle, must take a
position corresponding to that of the horse, by throwing her right hip
and shoulder somewhat forward, her face looking toward the animal's
head, while her body is held erect with the shoulders gracefully
inclined backward, and the hollow of the back well curved inward. Any
stiffness or rigidity of the body must be guarded against in these
movements and positions. The rider must hold herself in a pliant manner,
and yield to the motions of the horse. The left leg must be held steady,
the knee being placed directly underneath the third pommel, and care
must be taken not to press upon the stirrup, as this will tend to raise
the body from the saddle, and convey its weight almost wholly to the
left side.

The hands must be held somewhat elevated and steady, and, as the horse
advances, the tension on the reins must be even, so that the fingers can
feel every cadence of his step, and give and take with his movements.
Unlike the trot, in which the horse must be supported by the snaffle,
the canter will require the curb to sustain and keep up his action.
After the animal has started in the canter with the right leg leading,
should he incline too much to the left, the tension upon the right rein
must be increased, so as to turn his head more to the right and bring
him to the proper inclination for the lead of the right leg. This
correction must be effected gradually and lightly, so as not to disturb
the gait, or cause him to change his leading leg. This canter with the
right leg leading is very easy to learn, and will not require much
practice to master.

However, should the horse fail to obey these indications of the left
rein and leg, and start off in a false and disunited manner, as
explained under "the turn in the canter," another course should be
pursued, namely: the tension upon the right or off curb-rein must be
increased so as to bring the animal's nose to the right, as if he were
going to turn to the right on a curve, while at the same time the left
leg must be pressed against his side in order to have him carry his
croup slightly to the right. Now he must be made to lift his fore-feet
by increased tension on both curb reins, and then be urged forward. As
he advances, the hands should be extended a little to give him more
freedom in the spring forward, and he will then naturally lead with the
right side advanced. When once started in this gait, the rider must
equalize the tension upon the reins, having placed herself in the
saddle, in the manner explained for the canter. To have him lead with
the left leg, a similar but reversed course must be pursued, using
pressure with the whip, instead of the leg, to make him place his croup
to the left.

To canter with the =left leg leading= will be found more difficult to
acquire, and will demand more study and practice. The horse, having been
collected, must then be inclined obliquely to the right. To accomplish
this, the rider must increase the tension of the right curb-rein, and
press her whip against the animal's right side, which will urge his head
to the right and his croup to the left. In order that the position of
the rider's body may correspond with that of the horse, her left hip and
shoulder must be slightly advanced, in precedence of her right hip and
shoulder. It will be observed that the manoeuvring in this lead is
similar to that in which the right leg leads, except that the
_direction_ of the positions, of the management of the reins, and of the
horse's bearing during the canter is simply reversed; in either lead,
however, the tension or bearing upon the reins, as the horse advances in
the canter, must be equal.

It may be proper to state here that, as the amount of tension needed
upon the reins when cantering varies considerably with different horses,
some needing only the lightest touch, the rider will, consequently, have
to ascertain for herself how much will be suitable for her horse. Some
horses, after having fairly started in the canter, will bend their necks
so as to carry their chin closer to the throat, while others again will
extend the neck so as to carry the chin forward. In the first instance,
the reins will have to be shortened in order to give the animal the
proper support in the gait, as well as to keep up the correspondence
between his mouth and the bridle-hand; in the latter they will require
to be lengthened, to give him more freedom in his movement. Should the
reins be held too short, or the rider's hand be heavy and unyielding,
the horse will be confined in his canter; should the reins be held too
long, he will canter carelessly, and will either move heavily upon his
fore-legs, or break into an irregular trot.

A rider may by attending to the following directions readily determine
whether her horse be leading with the leg she desires, and also whether
he be advancing in a true and united manner: If he be moving regularly
and easily, with a light play upon the reins in harmony with the give
and take movements of the hand, his head being slightly inclined in a
direction opposite to that of the leading leg, and his action being
smooth and pleasant to the rider, he will, as a rule, be cantering
correctly. But if he be moving roughly and unevenly, giving the rider a
sensation of jolting, if his head is inclined toward the same side as
that of the leading leg, and he does not yield prompt obedience to the
reins, then he is not cantering properly, and should be immediately
stopped, again collected, and started anew. If necessary this course
should be repeated until he advances regularly and unitedly.

Some horses, after having fairly entered upon the canter, will change
the leading leg, and will even keep changing from one to the other, at
short intervals. This is a bad habit, and one that will never be
attempted by a well-trained animal, unless his rider does not understand
how to support him correctly and to keep him leading with the required
leg. A horse should never be allowed to change his leading leg except at
the will of his rider; and should he do so, he should be chidden and
stopped instantly, and then started anew.

If the rider when trotting rapidly wishes to change to a canter, she
must first moderate the trot to a walk, because the horse will otherwise
be apt to break from the trot into a rapid gallop. Should he insist upon
trotting, when it is desired that he should canter, he must be stopped,
collected with the curb-bit, as heretofore described in the directions
for commencing the canter, and started anew. This course must be
repeated every time he disobeys, and be continued until he is made to
canter.

It may be remarked here that, in the canter, whenever the horse moves
irregularly, advances heavily upon his fore-legs, thus endeavoring to
force his rider's hand, or when he fails to yield ready obedience, he
should always be stopped, collected, and started anew,--repeating this
course, if necessary, several times in succession. Should the animal,
however, persist in his disobedience, pull upon the reins, and get his
head down, his rider must, as he moves on, gently yield the
bridle-reins, and each time he pulls upon them she must gradually, but
firmly, increase the tension upon them, by drawing them in toward her
waist. This counter-traction must be continued until the horse yields to
the bridle and canters properly. When he pulls upon the reins his rider
in advancing her hands to yield the reins should be careful to keep her
body erect, and not allow it to be pulled forward.

=The turn in the canter.= In turning to _the right_, if the horse is
leading with the inward leg, or the one toward the centre of the circle
of which the distance to be turned forms an arc, in the present
instance the right fore-leg which is followed by the right hind-leg, he
is said to be true and united, and will be able to make the turn safely.
Should the turn be made toward _the left_, the horse leading with his
inward or left fore-leg, followed by the left hind-leg, he will likewise
be true and united.

On the contrary, the animal will be disunited when, in cantering to the
right, he leads with the right fore-leg followed by the left hind-leg,
or when he leads with the left fore-leg followed by the right hind-leg.
In either case, from want of equilibrium in action and motion, a very
slight obstruction may make him fall.

In turning toward the left, in a canter, the horse will be disunited if
he leads with the left fore-leg followed by the right hind-leg, or if he
leads with the right fore-leg followed by the left hind-leg, as in the
preceding instance, he will be liable to fall. A horse is said to go
false when, in turning to the right, in the canter, he leads with both
left legs, or advances his left side beyond his right; also, when in
cantering to the left he leads with both right legs or advances his
right side beyond his left; in either of these false movements he will
be very liable to fall.

When it is desired to =turn to the right=, in the canter, the horse
must be kept well up to the bridle, so as to place his haunches forward
and well under him, thus keeping him light on his fore-legs, and
preventing his bearing too heavily upon his shoulders; and, while the
inward rein is being tightened in order to make the turn, the outward
one must continue to support the horse, being just loose enough to allow
him to incline his head and neck toward the inner side of the turn.
Pressure from the left leg of the rider will keep the animal from
inclining his haunches too much to the left, during the turn. Should the
steed be turned merely by means of the inward rein, without being kept
well up to the bridle, and without either leg or whip being used upon
his outer side, he will turn heavily upon his forehand, and will be
obliged to change to the outward leg in order to support himself. This
will cause him, after the turn has been accomplished, to advance in a
disunited way in the canter.

When it is desired to =turn to the left=, the instructions in the
preceding paragraph may be pursued, the directions, however, being
reversed and pressure with the whip being employed instead of that with
the leg.

Sudden, sharp turns, are always dangerous, however sure-footed the horse
may be, and especial care should be taken not to turn quickly to the
right when the left fore-leg leads, nor to the left when the right
fore-leg leads, as in either case the animal will almost certainly be
thrown off his balance. In turning a "sharp corner," especially when the
rider cannot see what she is liable to encounter, it will be better for
her to make the turn at a walk, and keep her own side of the road, the
right.

=The stop in the canter.= In bringing the horse to a stand, in the
canter, he should be well placed on his haunches by gradually increasing
the pull upon the curb-reins just as his fore-feet are descending toward
the ground; the hind-feet being then well under the horse will complete
the stop. The rider must guard against leaning forward, as this will not
only prevent the horse from executing the stop in proper form, but
should he suddenly come to a stand, it will throw her still farther
forward, and the reins will become relaxed. Now, while she is thus
leaning forward, should the animal suddenly raise his head, the two
heads will be very likely to come into unpleasant contact; or should the
horse stumble, his liability to fall will be increased, because the
rider will not be in a proper position to support him, and will increase
the weight upon his shoulders, by being so far forward.

Many ladies not only lean forward while effecting the stop, but also
draw the bridle-hand to the left, and carry the bridle-arm back so that
the elbow projects behind and beyond the body, while at the same time
they elevate the shoulder on this side. This is an extremely awkward
manner of bringing a horse to a stand. The stop should be made in the
same manner as that described in the walk, that is, by gradually drawing
the bridle-hand toward the waist, etc.

Nearly all horses, unless exceptionally well trained, will trot a short
distance before coming to a stand in the canter or gallop, and it is
here that a knowledge of the French or cavalry trot will prove
essential, because the rider will then comprehend the motion, and will
sit closely to the saddle until the horse stops. In all cases, the horse
should be brought to a stand in a regular, collected manner, so that
with a little more liberty of rein he can promptly reënter upon the
canter, should this be desired.



CHAPTER X.

THE HAND GALLOP.--THE FLYING GALLOP.

    "Now we're off like the winds to the plains whence they came;
    And the rapture of motion is thrilling my frame!
    On, on speeds my courser, scarce printing the sod,
    Scarce crushing a daisy to mark where he trod!
    On, on like a deer, when the hound's early bay
    Awakes the wild echoes, away, and away!
    Still faster, still farther, he leaps at my cheer,
    Till the rush of the startled air whirs in my ear!
    Now 'long a clear rivulet lieth his track,--
    See his glancing hoofs tossing the white pebbles back!
    Now a glen dark as midnight--what matter?--we'll down
    Though shadows are round us, and rocks o'er us frown;
    The thick branches shake as we're hurrying through,
    And deck us with spangles of silvery dew!"

                                         GRACE GREENWOOD.


The hand gallop is an intermediate gait between the canter and the
flying gallop. Its motion, though rather rapid, is smooth, easy, and
very agreeable for both rider and steed. Nearly all horses, especially
spirited ones, prefer this movement to any other; the bronchos on the
plains of the far West will keep up this long, easy lope or hand gallop
for miles, without changing their gait, or requiring their riders to
draw rein, and without any apparent fatigue. This pace is likewise a
favorite one with riding parties, as the motion is so smooth that
conversation can be kept up without difficulty. If the animal's
movements are light, supple, and elegant, the lady rider presents a very
graceful appearance when riding this gait, as the reactions in it are
very mild; it is the gait _par excellence_, for a country ride.

On a breezy summer morning, there is nothing more exhilarating than a
ride at a hand gallop, on a willing, spirited horse; it brightens the
spirits, braces the nerves, refreshes the brain, and enables one to
realize that "life is worth living."

    "I tell thee, O stranger, that unto me
          The plunge of a fiery steed
    Is a noble thought,--to the brave and free
    It is music, and breath, and majesty,--
          'Tis the life of a noble deed;
    And the heart and the mind are in spirit allied
    In the charm of a morning's glorious ride."

Let all gloomy, dyspeptic invalids try the cheering effects of a hand
gallop, that they may catch a glimpse of the sunlight that is always
behind even the darkest cloud of despondency.

When the horse is advancing in a collected canter, if the rider will
animate him a little more by gentle taps with the whip, and then as he
springs forward give him more liberty of the curb-rein, he will enter
upon a =hand gallop=. In this gait he will lead either with the left or
the right foot, but the oblique position of his body will be very
slight. The management of the reins, the turns to the right or to the
left, the stop, and the position of the rider's body, must, in this gait
be the same as in the canter, except that the body need not be quite so
erect, and the touch upon the reins must be very light, barely
appreciable.

If riding a spirited horse, the lady must be upon her guard, lest he
increase his speed and enter into a flying or racing gallop. Any horse
is liable to do this when he has not been properly exercised, especially
if he is with other horses, when a spirit of rivalry is aroused, and he
sometimes becomes almost unmanageable from excitement. Many
livery-stable horses, although quiet enough in the city, will, when
ridden upon country roads, especially in the spring, require all the
skill of their riders to keep them under control. The change from the
stone and brick of the city or town to the odor of the fresh grass and
the sight of green fields has an exhilarating effect upon them, and
makes them almost delirious with gladness, so that they act like
anything but sensible, quiet, well-worked horses.

When her horse manifests any such disposition, the rider must retain her
presence of mind, and not permit any nervousness or excitement on her
part to increase that of her horse. She must keep him well under the
control of the curb-bit, and not allow him to increase his speed; when
he endeavors to do so, she must sit erect, and every time his fore-feet
touch the ground she must tighten the curb-reins, by drawing them
gradually but firmly toward her waist. She will thus check the animal's
desire to increase his speed, by compelling him to rest upon her hand at
short intervals until he can be brought under command and again made
obedient. Care must be taken not to make this strong pull upon the
animal's mouth constant, as this will be more apt to increase than to
lessen his speed, and will also prevent her from turning him readily
should she encounter any object upon the road.

Should the horse, however, continue to disobey the commands of his
rider, and persist in his efforts to increase his speed, she must then
lean well back, and "saw his mouth" with the snaffle-reins, that is, she
must pull first one of these reins and then the other in rapid
succession; this may cause him to swerve out of a straight course, but
if he has a snaffle-bit separate from the curb this sawing will
generally have the desired effect, and stop him.

If the horse should get his head down and manifest a disposition to
change the full gallop into a runaway, the rider must, as she values her
own safety, keep her body well inclined backward, for some horses, when
excited, will, while their riders are endeavoring to check or control
them, kick up as they gallop along, and the rider, unless she is
prepared for such movements, will be in danger of being thrown. In such
a case every effort must be made to raise the horse's head. To do this,
the rider must slacken the curb-reins for a moment, and then suddenly
give them a strong, decided jerk upward; this will cause a severe shock
to the horse's mouth, and make him raise his head and stop suddenly, a
movement that may throw her toward or upon the front of the saddle with
considerable force, unless she guard herself against such an accident by
leaning well back.

Should the horse, when galloping at full speed, turn a corner in spite
of the efforts of his rider, she must keep a steady pull upon the outer
curb-rein, and lean well back and in toward the centre of the curve
which the horse is describing in his turn. All this must be done
quickly, or she will lose her balance and fall off upon the outer side.

During all these violent efforts of the horse the rider must keep a
firm, steady seat, pressing her left knee up strongly against the third
pommel, and at the same time holding the second clasped firmly by the
bend of her right knee. If she recollects to do all this, there will be
little cause for alarm, as it will then be very difficult for her horse
to unseat her. The combined balance and grip of limbs will give her a
firmer seat than it is possible for a man to acquire in his saddle.

[Illustration: Fig. 32.--The Flying Gallop.]

=In the flying or racing gallop= the horse manifests the utmost
capabilities of his speed, his body at every push of his hind-legs being
raised from the ground so quickly that he will appear as if almost
flying through the air; hence the name "flying gallop." In this gait it
is unimportant with which leg the horse leads, provided the advance of
the hind-leg on the same side as that of the leading one be made
correspondingly. It is advisable that every lady rider should learn to
sit the flying gallop, as she will then be better able to maintain her
seat, and to manage her horse should she ever have the misfortune to be
run away with. (Fig. 32.)

Many ladies, when riding in the country, enjoy a short exhilarating
flying gallop; and for their benefit a few instructions are here given
that will enable them to indulge their _penchant_ for rapid riding,
without danger to themselves, or injury to their horses. Before the lady
attempts rapid riding, however, she must be thoroughly trained in all
the other gaits of the animal, must possess strong, healthy nerves, and
must have sufficient muscular power in her arms to hold and manage her
horse, and to stop him whenever occasion requires; she must also have
fitted to his mouth a curb-bit which possesses sufficient power to
control him and to bring him to a stand, when this is desired. Above
all, her horse must be sure-footed, and free from any and every defect
that might occasion stumbling.

Every point having been carefully attended to, and the lady being ready
for the ride, she must sit firmly upon the centre of the saddle,
grasping the second and third pommels, as described above. She must be
careful not to press strongly upon the stirrup, as this will tend to
raise her body from the saddle. From the hips down the body and limbs
must be held as immovable as possible. The body, below the waist, must
by its own weight, aided by the clasp of the right and left legs upon
their respective pommels, secure a firm seat upon the saddle. From the
waist up the body must be pliable, the shoulders being well back, and
the back curved in, so that the rider may keep her balance, and control
the horse's action. The reins must be held separately, in the manner
described for holding the double bridle-reins in both hands. The animal
must be ridden and supported by the snaffle-reins, the curb being held
ready to check him instantly should he endeavor to obtain the mastery.
The hands must be held low, and about six or eight inches apart, and the
rider's body must lean back somewhat.

Leaning forward is a favorite trick of the horse-jockey when riding a
race, as it is supposed to assist the horse, and also enable the rider
to raise himself on the stirrups; but as lady riders are not
horse-jockeys, and are not supposed to ride for a wager, but simply for
the enjoyment of an exhilarating exercise, it will not be at all
necessary for them to assume this stooping posture. Many of the best
horsemen, when riding at full gallop in the hunting field, or on the
road, prefer to incline the body somewhat backward, this having been
found the safest as well as most graceful position for the rider.

As the horse moves rapidly forward, the rider, while keeping a firm hand
upon the snaffle-reins so as to give full support to the horse, must be
sure with every stride of the animal to "give and take," and this
motion, instead of being limited to the hands and wrists, as in all
other gaits, must in this one embrace the whole of the fore-arms, which,
using the elbows as a hinge, should move as far as is necessary.

To =stop the horse= in a flying gallop, the curb-reins must be drawn
upward and toward the waist gradually, for should they be pulled upon
suddenly it would be apt to stop him so abruptly that he would either
become overbalanced, or cross his legs, and fall.

In this gait, the rider should never attempt to turn her horse except
upon a very large circle, because, even when in the proper position,
unless she possesses great muscular power, she will be almost certain to
be thrown off on the outward side by the forcible and vigorous impetus
imparted.



CHAPTER XI.

THE LEAP.--THE STANDING LEAP.--THE FLYING LEAP.

    "Soft thy skin as silken skein,
    Soft as woman's hair thy mane,
      Tender are thine eyes and true;
    All thy hoofs like ivory shine,
    Polished bright; oh, life of mine,
      Leap, and rescue Kurroglou!"

    Kyrat, then, the strong and fleet,
    Drew together his four white feet,
      Paused a moment on the verge,
    Measured with his eye the space,
    And into the air's embrace
      Leaped as leaps the ocean serge.

                LONGFELLOW, _The Leap of Roushan Beg_.


A lady rider who has the nerve and confidence to ride a hand gallop, or
a flying gallop, will be ready to learn to leap. Indeed, instruction in
this accomplishment should always be given, as it is of great assistance
in many emergencies. The most gentle horse may become frightened, shy
suddenly to one side, or plunge violently for some reason or other, and
these abrupt movements strongly resemble those of leaping; if,
therefore, the rider understands the leap, she will know better how to
maintain her equilibrium. Or she may meet some obstruction on the road,
as the trunk of a tree felled by a storm; when, instead of being
compelled to return home without finishing her ride, she can leap over
the obstacle. Again, should she at any time be in great haste to reach
her destination she may, by leaping some low gap in a fence, or some
small stream, be able to take one or more short cuts, and thus greatly
lessen the distance she would have had to ride on the road.

Leaping is by no means difficult to learn. With an English saddle, the
third pommel will prevent the rider from being shaken off by the
violence of the motion, and will thus make leaping entirely safe for a
lady provided the horse be well-trained and sure-footed. Before
venturing upon a leap, three requisites are necessary: first, the horse
must be a good and fearless leaper; second, the rider must have
confidence in herself and steed, because any nervousness on her part
will be apt to cause the animal to leap awkwardly; and third, she must
always be sure of the condition of the ground on the opposite side of
the object over which the leap is to be made--it must neither slope
abruptly down, nor present any thorny bushes, nor be so soft and soggy
that the horse will be apt to sink into it. No risk must be taken in
the leap, except in cases of emergency, when, of course, the rider may
have neither time nor opportunity to select her ground, and be obliged
to leap her steed over the nearest available point. The author once
avoided what might have proved a serious accident to both herself and
horse, by promptly leaping him over a hedge of thorn bushes, upon the
other side of which was a river: this was done in order to avoid
colliding in a narrow road with a frightened, runaway team, which was
quite beyond the control of its driver.

[Illustration: Fig. 33.--The Standing Leap--Rising.]

The =standing leap= will prove more difficult to learn than the flying
leap, but, nevertheless, it should be the first one practiced, and when
once acquired, the other will be mere play. A bar twelve feet long,
raised two feet from the ground, will be sufficient for practice in this
exercise; if a lady can manage a leap of this height with expertness and
grace, she will be fully able to bound over a still higher obstacle,
should she desire to do so, and her horse be equal to the occasion.
Before attempting the leap, she must be sure that she is perfectly
secure upon the saddle, with her left knee directly under the third
pommel so as to press it firmly against the latter as the horse rises to
the leap; her left leg, from the knee to the stirrup, must hang
perpendicularly[8] along the side of the horse, the inner surface or
side of the knee lightly pressing against the saddle-flap; her foot must
be well placed in the stirrup; her seat directly in the centre of the
saddle; her body erect and square to the front; her shoulders well back;
and the small of her back curved in. The right leg must firmly grasp the
second pommel as the horse rises, and the right heel be held somewhat
back, and close to the fore-flap of the saddle. The hands must be held
low, and about six inches apart, with a snaffle-rein in each, and the
curb-reins must be so placed that the rider will not unconsciously draw
upon them, but must not hang so loosely as to become caught accidentally
upon any projecting article with which they may come in contact. If all
these points be carefully attended to, just previous to walking the
horse up to the bar, the rider will be in correct position and ready for
the leap, which she will accomplish very quickly, with perfect security,
and with a much firmer seat than that obtained by the most finished
horseman.

  Footnote 8: If the leap be a very high one, the left foot may be
  thrust a little more forward to enable the rider to lean back as far
  as is necessary.

The principal movement for which the rider should be prepared in leaping
is that of being thrown forward on the saddle, both when the horse makes
the spring and when his fore-feet touch the ground. In order to avoid
this accident, the rider, keeping a firm seat and grasp upon the
pommels, must incline her shoulders somewhat backward, both when the
horse springs from the ground and also during the descent, the amount of
inclination varying with the height of the leap. The erect position
should be resumed when the hind-legs have again touched the ground. In a
very high leap, the rider's body should be bent so far back during the
descent as to look almost as if in contact with the back of the horse.

When the points named above have been attended to, the horse must be
collected, with his hind-legs well under him, and then be briskly walked
up to the bar or obstacle to be leaped and placed directly before it,
but not so close that he cannot clear it without striking his knees
against it as he rises,--sufficient room must always be allowed him for
his spring. Now, after receiving a light touch or pull upon the reins to
tell him that his rider is ready, he will raise himself upon his
hind-legs for the leap. As he rises, the rider's body, if properly
seated, as heretofore explained, will naturally assume a sufficient
inclination forward without any effort on her part. While in this
position she must not carry her shoulders forward, but must keep them
well back, with the waist well curved in as when sitting erect. It
should never be forgotten that in the rise during the leap, just
previous to the spring, no efforts whatever must be made by the rider to
support the horse, or to lift him, but instead, she should simply hold
the reins so lightly that his mouth can just be felt, which is called
"giving a free rein." If the reins be allowed to hang too loosely they
may catch upon some object not noticed by the rider, and not only be
wrenched from her hands, but also give the horse's mouth a severe jerk,
or perhaps throw him upon the ground. Too loose a rein would, moreover,
be apt to make it impossible for her to give timely support to the
animal as his fore-feet touched the ground. The leap, it must be borne
in mind, is effected very quickly. (Fig. 33.)

As the horse springs from his hind-legs to make the leap, the rider must
advance her arms, with her hands held as low as possible so as to give
him a sufficiently free rein to enable him to extend himself; this
position of the arms will also prevent the reins from being forcibly
wrested from her hands by the horse's movements. At the moment of the
spring and the advance of the arms, the rider's body must be inclined
backward, the erect position of the waist and shoulders being, however,
maintained. As the animal's fore-feet touch the ground, the hands must
be gently drawn in toward the waist in order to support him, as such
support will be expected by the horse, and must be continued even after
his hind-legs rest upon the ground, so that the animal will not become
disunited, but will move onward in a collected manner. (Fig. 34.)

[Illustration: Fig. 34.--The Standing Leap--Descending.]

Many riding-teachers instruct their pupils to incline the body well
forward as the horse rises, while others require their pupils to lean
well back. The advocates of the former method say that this forward
inclination conforms to the position of the horse at the time, and so
places the weight of the body as to assist the horse in his spring. They
who adopt the other method maintain that if the body be inclined forward
in the rise, it will be almost, if not quite, impossible for the rider,
from the rapidity with which the horse extends himself, to make the
backward inclination in time to enable her to regain her balance
quickly. A happy medium will prove the best. If the rider be seated
correctly at the time the horse rises, her body _will naturally incline
a little forward_, and there will be but little weight upon the horse's
hind-quarters, while, as he springs and extends himself in his leap, she
can promptly adapt herself to his movements and incline her body
backward.

By leaning back as the horse rises on his hind-legs, the weight of his
rider will be thrown upon his hind-quarters, and she will present an
awkward appearance; while at the same time she will be very apt to
shorten the reins, and thus confine the horse so much that his leap will
become clumsy and dangerous.

On commencing the leap the rider, as heretofore stated, must never
attempt to raise the horse by the reins; a light, gentle touch or pull
given to them with the fingers, as when starting upon a hand gallop, is
all that will be necessary. The horse must be left free to take the leap
in his own way, using his own instinct or judgment in order that he may
clear his fore feet from the bar or object over which he has to pass.
During the rise, the rider must carefully guard against raising her
hands, and also against jerking or holding back the reins, as either of
these movements will discourage the horse, and, should he be tender
mouthed, he will refuse to leap at all, his own instinct warning him
that it is dangerous to attempt it under such conditions.

A rather hard mouthed, courageous animal, that has had experience with
awkward riders, will, as he extends himself in the leap, force his
rider's hands by a sudden jerk of his head, so as either to pull the
reins out of her hands, or, should she manage to retain her hold upon
them, to pull her forward upon the saddle.

Many ladies, in their fear of becoming displaced during the leap, will
unconsciously press their left leg and foot strongly against the side of
the horse, thus causing him to swerve or to refuse to leap. Gentlemen
teachers are apt to be unaware of this pressure, as the leg is hidden
underneath the riding skirt, and not unfrequently they have been puzzled
to comprehend why a well-trained, docile horse should leap very well
with some of their lady pupils, and awkwardly, or not at all, with
others.

A common error, in attempting to leap, is to sit too far back upon the
saddle, a position that not only prevents the rider from supporting
herself properly by the pommels, but is also likely to occasion her a
severe jar as the horse's feet touch the ground. When in the correct
position, the body is placed as far forward upon the saddle as the
pommels will permit, the waist and shoulders only being inclined
backward, as already described.

Pressing heavily upon the stirrup is another fault. This not only
destroys the usefulness of the third pommel, but, as has already been
remarked, such pressure will tend to lift the body from the saddle. The
foot should merely be kept light and steady in the stirrup.

It will be better for a beginner to leap with a snaffle-rein in each
hand. After having thoroughly learned how to make the leap properly, she
may then prefer to hold all the reins in the left hand. In this case,
she must be very careful not to throw up the unoccupied right hand and
arm as the horse passes over the obstacle; for, besides being a very
ungraceful movement, it may lead the horse to suppose that he is about
to be struck with the whip, and so cause him to make the leap
precipitately, and upon reaching the ground to gallop wildly off.

The rider must hold her head firm, not only for the sake of appearances,
but also to escape biting her tongue and receiving a violent jerk of the
neck, when the horse's feet touch the ground.

If a horse, just before leaping, be too much confined or collected by an
unnecessary degree of tension upon the reins, especially if he be not
thoroughly trained, he will rise from all four legs almost
simultaneously, and also alight upon them all together. In
horse-jockey's _parlance_ this is termed a "buck-leap." It is an awkward
manner of leaping, and gives a severe shock to the animal beside
fearfully jolting his rider. Again, a horse not well trained in the
leap, or somewhat indolent, may, if not animated and properly collected
just before rising, fail to leap over the obstacle, or in passing over
it may strike it with his hind-feet, for he will attempt the leap in a
loose, straggling manner. An animal that is well trained, and accustomed
to leaping, will take care of himself, and will require very little
assistance from his rider; a light hand upon the reins just before he
rises, a free rein as he extends himself, and support when he touches
the ground being all that is necessary.

Should the lady be expert in riding, and desire to teach her steed to
leap, she can readily do so by pursuing the following course: Let a bar
about twelve feet in length, and two feet from the ground, be so
arranged that the horse cannot pass around it. If possible, he should be
allowed to see a well-trained horse leap over this bar a number of
times; then taking advantage of a time when her horse is hungry, his
mistress should give him a few oats and, passing over the bar, she
should rattle the oats and call to him, when he will bound over to
obtain them. This course should be followed at each meal, and she should
reward him by feeding, caressing, and praising him every time he leaps
the bar,--the object being to accustom him to leap it without being
whipped or treated harshly. By thus being allowed to take the leap of
his own accord and without assistance, he will gain confidence, and will
not be apt to refuse when his rider is placed upon his back. In the
course of this training, the appearance of the bar should be changed in
various ways, as, for example, by placing different bright colored
articles upon it, such as pieces of carpet, rugs, shawls, etc. If he be
accustomed to leap only over an object that invariably presents the same
appearance, he may refuse to leap one of a different aspect.

Having thus trained the horse until he has become quite familiar with
the movements of the leap, and does not refuse to pass over the bar,
whatever appearance it may present, he will then be ready for his rider.
For the first few trials the lady should take care to have the bar
consist of some material that can readily be broken, in order to
prevent any accident should the horse, in passing over with her weight
upon his back, strike it with either his fore or hind feet. Once
mounted, she should teach him to clear the bar in a deliberate manner,
not allowing him to rush at it and jump from all four feet at once. She
will have to collect him, cause him to place his hind-legs under him so
that, as he rises, his weight will be thrown upon his haunches, and, as
he leaps over, she must be exceedingly careful not to restrain him in
the least, as any thoughtless act or awkwardness on her part may give
him a great distaste for an exercise which, otherwise, he would have no
reluctance in performing.

With regard to teaching a young horse to leap, the author is much
gratified to know that her views are sustained by several eminent
equestrians, and among them Mr. E. Mayhew of England, who states that a
horse should never be allowed to leap until he has attained at least his
fifth year, and who in his excellent work, entitled "The Illustrated
Horse Management," etc., remarks: "To place a rider upon an animal's
back and then to expect a bar to be cleared is very like loading a young
lady with a sack of flour, as preparatory to a dancing lesson being
received. This folly is, however, universally practiced; so is that of
teaching the paces, when the quadruped's attention is probably engrossed
by the burden which the spine has to sustain.

"Leaping is best taught by turning the horse into a small paddock having
a low hedge or hurdle-fence across its centre. A rider should, in sight
of the animal, take an old horse over several times. The groom who
brings the corn at the meal hour then goes to that side where the animal
is not and calls, shaking up the provender all the time his voice
sounds. The boundary will soon be cleared. When half the quantity is
eaten, the man should proceed to the opposite compartment and call
again. If this is done every time the young horse is fed, the fence may
be gradually heightened; after six months of such tuition, a light rider
may be safely placed upon the back.

"Instruction, thus imparted, neither strains the structures nor tries
the temper. The habit is acquired without those risks which necessarily
attend a novel performance, while a burden oppresses the strength, and
whip or spur distracts the attention. The body is not disabled by the
imposition of a heavy load before its powers are taxed to the uttermost.
The quadruped has all its capabilities unfettered, and, in such a
state, leaping speedily becomes as easy of performance as any other
motion."

Horses leap in different ways; the best leapers being those which just
glide over the object without touching it,--they appear to measure the
height required for the leap, and, whether the object be high or low,
they skim close to it. Such animals can be trusted, and may be allowed
to leap without urging or hurrying them, for they require very little
assistance from their riders, and do better when left to themselves.
Other horses exaggerate the leap and rise higher than is required; they
make a very fine appearance when leaping, but are apt to light too close
to the opposite side of the bar or obstacle, because they expend all
their energies on height instead of width. The worst leapers are those
which, instead of clearing the bar at a single bound, make two bounds,
as it were, in passing over it: the fore-part of the horse having passed
over, the body will seem to be resting for an appreciable time upon the
fore-legs.

The =flying leap= can be taken, without stopping, from any gait that is
more rapid than a walk, though commonly taken from the gallop. It is a
very easy leap, being little more than an extended gallop. The rider
takes the same firm, central position upon the saddle as has been
described for the standing leap. In the flying leap the body must be
inclined well back from the start, care being taken not to make any
forward inclination whatever. When the horse has fairly landed, after
the leap, the body must again become erect. The degree of the backward
inclination must be in accordance with the height and width of the leap.
During the whole period of the leap the hands must be kept low and the
reins be freely given to the animal, which must be supported as he lands
on the opposite side. As the horse runs toward the object to be leaped
over, the rider must, when about twelve or fifteen yards from it,
gradually relax the reins, by advancing her bridle hand or hands; and,
if her horse be a willing and good leaper, he may be allowed to select
his own pace, and use his own judgment as to the proper distance from
which to make the spring.

If the horse be unused to leaping, or be unwilling, the rider must be
upon her guard lest he attempt to defend himself and avoid the leap,
either by suddenly swerving to one side or by stopping before the object
to be leaped and then backing, or rearing. These actions are generally
the result of the horse's want of confidence in his own powers, and
severity will only make matters worse. In a dilemma of this kind, the
rider will have to convert the flying into the standing leap, as
follows:--

She must turn her horse and walk him a short distance away from the
object, then, turning him again toward it, she must encourage him to
advance slowly that he may take a good look at it; at the same time she
must have a light and ready hand on the reins, just firm enough to keep
his head steady and maintain control over his neck, so as to prevent him
from swerving to the right or to the left. She should then kindly and
firmly encourage him to make the bound; and by patience and perseverance
in this course he will generally be induced to do so. After he has
obeyed, she must not make him repeat the movement several times in
succession, as if she were triumphing over him, because he might regard
such a process as a sort of challenge, and renew the contest; instead of
such measures, he should be allowed to pass on quietly, no further
attention being given to the matter. By this change from the flying to
the standing leap the horse can be better prevented from shying, and on
the next occasion will be apt to make the flying leap over the object
without swerving.

The whip or spur should never be employed to make an obstinate or timid
horse leap, as he will ever after associate such objects as those over
which he has been thus urged or forced to leap with fear of punishment,
and his rider will never be sure of him when approaching one of them,
for he will either shy, or else bound over it in such a flurried manner
as will prove dangerous both to himself and his rider. An indolent
horse, that requires to be roused by whip or spur, is not a suitable one
for a lady to ride at a leap. Some horses will refuse to leap when
traveling alone, but will do so spiritedly and excellently when in
company with others of their kind.



CHAPTER XII.

DEFENSES OF THE HORSE.--CRITICAL SITUATIONS.

    "High pampered steeds, ere tamed, the lash disdain,
    And proudly foam, impatient of the rein."

                       VIRGIL, _Sotheby's Translation_.

    "The startling steed was seized with sudden fright."

                                                DRYDEN.


A lady's horse is generally selected for his gentleness, soundness, good
training, and freedom from vice, and the rider's management of him is
usually so kind and considerate that he is seldom roused to rebellion;
hence, she is rarely called upon to enter into a contention with him.
The docility of a lady's steed is almost proverbial, and when purchasing
a horse the highest recommendation as to his gentleness and safeness is
the assurance that he has "been used to carry a woman." Horse-dealers
are well acquainted with this fact, and attach a high value to it, as a
sure criterion of the animal's kindly nature. No lady rider, however
expert she may be, will, if she be wise and have a regard for her own
safety, ride or endeavor to conquer a really vicious horse; yet there
may be times when even the hitherto most docile animal will suddenly
display that which in Yorkshire dialect is called "mistech;" that is,
there may be unexpectedly developed a restive trait, for which there
seems to be no reason. Even a really good-natured horse may, owing to
high feed and little work, shy, plunge, and kick, in his exuberance of
spirits, and should his rider not know how to control these sudden and
unexpected manifestations, he may gain the ascendency, and she be thrown
from the saddle. That which, on the part of the horse, is intended for
good-humored play, may thus, from want of control, degenerate into
positive viciousness. A skillful rider will manage and endure the
prancings, pawings, and impatience of her steed,--which are frequently
only his method of expressing satisfaction and happiness in carrying his
kind mistress,--and will continue riding and controlling him until he
becomes calm and quiet, and ceases to display his impulsive
sensitiveness. Again, a lady may have occasion to ride a strange horse,
of whose disposition she knows very little. It is, therefore, very
important that every horsewoman should be prepared to meet and to
overcome any eccentric demonstrations on the part of the animal she may
be riding.

Some horses are constitutionally nervous and timid, always fearful and
upon the lookout, constantly scrutinizing every object around them, and
keeping their riders incessantly on the watch. These horses, though
disagreeable to ride, are seldom dangerous, as they will readily obey
the reins and yield to the hand that has many times proved its
reliability and correctness.

SHYING.--The position in which a horse places his ears is a sure
indication of his immediate intentions. When he raises his head and
points his ears strongly forward, it is because he sees some object at
the side of the road, or approaching, which renders him uneasy or even
fearful. In such a case, his rider must be prepared for a sudden leap to
one side, a whirl around, or a quick darting from the road. She must not
allow herself to become nervous and jerk or suddenly tighten the reins,
for then the animal will think that she is likewise afraid, and that he
is justified in his own fright. On the contrary, she must maintain her
presence of mind, quietly and calmly take a snaffle-rein in each hand,
draw them just tight enough to feel the horse's mouth, keep his head
high and straight forward, and, as he approaches the object that has
alarmed him, gently turn his head away from it, so that in passing he
can see as little of it as possible; at the same time she should press
her leg or whip against the horse on the side toward which he is likely
to shy,--also speaking to him in a firm and assuring tone of voice, that
he may be led to understand there is nothing to fear.

In following these directions the rider must be mindful of her balance,
because, notwithstanding all her efforts, the horse may leap out of the
road; she should sit erect, keep a firm hold on both pommels with the
legs, check him as soon as possible, and then bring him again upon the
road. Should he swerve and attempt to rush past the object, his rider
must not try to pull his head toward it, but, holding the reins with
steady hands, must keep him headed straight forward, and, after he has
passed, gradually rein him in.

Should he make a half turn from the object, he must be turned completely
around, so as to face it, and then be urged forward by the aid of the
left leg and whip, while he is at the same time spoken to in a quiet,
encouraging tone. If the horse have confidence in his rider, and his
fright be not a pretense, he will thus be induced to go by, and on
future occasions will pass by the same object with indifference.
Severity, such as scolding and whipping, will only render him more
fearful, and since he will always regard the object of his fright as
being the cause of his punishment, he will, consequently, the next time
of meeting with it become still more unmanageable. But, having passed it
at first without experiencing any pain, he will gain confidence in the
judgment of his rider, imagine he has made a mistake in being alarmed,
and be satisfied that, after all, there was no occasion for dread.

A horse should never be caressed, patted, or coaxed, either just before
or just after he has passed any object he dislikes, because he may
misinterpret these acts, and imagine that he has done just right in
shying, and will, therefore, be very apt to repeat the act in order
again to receive the praise of his rider. It will always be better, in
such cases, to ride on as usual, and act as if the matter were of no
consequence. On the other hand, a horse should never be whipped after he
has passed an object that terrifies him. Some riders are afraid to whip
the horse while he is in the act of shying, but will lay on the lash
after he has passed the cause of his dread; this will not only be "a
tardy vengeance that crowns a cowardly act," but will cause the animal
to conclude that he has done wrong in passing by, and on the next
occasion for alarm he will either delay as long as possible in dread of
the remembered whipping, or else will plunge quickly by the object, and,
perhaps, add to the vice of shying that of running away. The course
pursued by some persons of making a horse pass and repass a number of
times in succession an object which has caused him to shy is an
erroneous one, as it gives him a chance for again resisting, and makes
the rider appear vainglorious and pretentious.

Whether a horse shies from real fright, or from mere pretense or
affectation, the severe use of whip or spur to force him by the object
he is shying at will always do more harm than good. Mildness and
forbearance, combined with firmness, will invariably do much more to
tranquillize him and to render him obedient than severity and harsh
measures. Horsemen who, from actual experience, are well able to advise
say, "Let the horse alone, neither letting him perceive that we are
aware we are advancing toward anything that he dislikes, nor doing more
with him when in the act of shying than is necessary for due restraint
and a steady hand upon the reins."

When a horse shies from pretense of fright, it is either from
exuberance of spirits, because he has not been sufficiently exercised,
or else because he has detected timidity in his rider, and shies from
pure love of mischief and the desire to amuse himself by augmenting her
fears. Although not intending any real harm, he may manage, to his own
astonishment, to unseat her, and, by thus discovering what he can do,
may become a vicious rogue, and make every strange object an excuse for
a dangerous shy. The only remedy for this affectation and
mischievousness will be a courageous and determined rider on his back,
who will give him more work than he likes; he will then, of his own
accord, soon tire of his tricks.

When a horse that has had plenty of work and a good rider to manage him
nevertheless continues to shy, it will generally be found that his
vision is defective. If he is a young horse, with very prominent eyes,
the probability is that he is near-sighted; if an old horse, that his
vision--having undergone a change similar to that of a human being who
is advanced in years--is imperfect for near objects, which appear
confused and blurred; in other words, that he is troubled with
long-sightedness, or presbyopia. In these cases the horse becomes
fearful and suspicious, and his quick imagination transforms that which
he cannot distinctly see into something terrifying. Ocular science has
not advanced so far as to have determined a remedy for these visual
difficulties except by the use of glasses; and to place spectacles upon
a horse to improve his sight would be inconvenient as well as decidedly
unique. Animals thus afflicted are unsuited for either saddle or
harness, as they are more dangerous than if they are totally blind, and
the only safe course to pursue when one is compelled to use them will be
the very undesirable one of completely blindfolding them. Many a horse
has been severely punished and condemned for viciousness, when his fault
arose from defective vision.

Sometimes a horse becomes discontented and uneasy from being always
ridden over the same road; this dull routine is irksome to him,
especially if he be spirited, and he ventures upon some act of
disobedience in order to create variety and excitement. He may commence
by sideling toward other horses or objects on his left, or by suddenly
turning around to the right. In the first case, the rider must instantly
take a snaffle-rein in each hand, and instead of attempting to turn him
from the object, she must rein his head directly toward it, and then
back him from it. By these means, his body will form a concavity on the
side toward the object, thus preventing injury to the rider or horse,
and she will be able to retreat in safety.

In the second instance, the horse instinctively knows that he is
opposing his strongest side to the weakest one of his rider, and it is
useless to contend with him by pulling upon the left snaffle-rein, as he
will be watching for this very movement and be prepared to resist it. He
should be foiled by having the right rein tightened so as to turn him
completely around and place him in the same position he was in before he
began to turn. He will perceive to his astonishment that he has gained
nothing by his abrupt movement; and as soon as he has reached the
position stated, he should be urged forward by the aid of both leg and
whip.

This method is usually successful unless the steed be very obstinate; he
may then refuse to advance at all, and may make another turn to the
right, in which case his rider should repeat the course just named, and
oblige him to turn completely around three or four times in succession,
and then while his head is in the right direction, a stroke of the whip
behind the girths should instantly be given in order to compel him to go
forward before he has time to defend himself and make another turn.
Should he again refuse, and succeed in making still another turn, the
tactics of his rider must be changed; taking care not to use her whip,
she must turn him around as before, and then rein him backward in the
direction she desires him to go; she must keep doing this until he
concludes to move onward. Should this course have to be continued for
some time, it will be advisable occasionally to head him in the desired
direction, in order to ascertain whether he will go forward; if he will
not, he must again be turned and backed. A horse can readily be induced
to move backward, when he has determined not to go forward.

During this contest with the horse, the rider must be careful to retain
her balance, to keep her left knee directly under the third pommel, and
to incline her body quickly to the right as her animal turns. She should
likewise be watchful of surrounding objects, in order to protect herself
and her horse from any dangerous position in which he may be disposed to
place himself. In case she is not a very expert horsewoman, or has
little confidence in her ability to manage the horse, it will be better
to have him led a short distance, and then, if possible, she should
change the road to one he has not been accustomed to travel; this will
divert him, and cause him to forget his contumacy.

BALKING.--When a horse stops on the road and refuses to move in any
direction, it may be owing to disease (immobility), or to obstinacy. In
either case, it will be better for the rider to make no effort to induce
him to move, but she should quietly and patiently remain in the saddle
until he evinces a disposition to advance, when he should be made to
stand a little longer. If his defense be due to obstinacy, this course
will be a punishment; but should it be due to disease, the detention
will be no disadvantage nor punishment to him, but rather an advantage,
as it will enable him to gain composure. It is rarely, however, that a
horse proves balky, unless as the result of some disease of the brain or
of the heart, rheumatic pain, etc.

BACKING.--Should a horse commence backing, when on the road, he must
have his head quickly turned toward the direction in which he is
backing. Thus, if he be backing toward a dangerous declivity, he will be
able to see that what he is doing threatens danger to himself, and will
be checked. Then he must be backed some little distance away from the
danger, and in the direction toward which he is desired to go. If,
however, the horse continues to back toward the dangerous place,
notwithstanding the rider's efforts to turn him, the safest course will
be to dismount instantly. Backing is sometimes, if not very frequently,
due to confused vision, rush of blood to the head, pain in the head,
etc.

GAYETY.--When a horse moves one ear back and forth, or keeps agitating
first one and then the other, at the same time moving his head and neck
up and down, and, perhaps, also champing upon his bit, he is feeling
gay, and his rider must be on her guard, as he may unexpectedly jump.
While keeping a steady hand upon the reins, she must urge him to move
forward at a regular and somewhat rapid gait, for this will be what he
wants in order to work off his superfluous spirits.

KICKING.--A horse, when defending himself against anything whatever,
will always lay his ears flat upon the back of his head; this is his
attitude and signal for a battle, and he is then ready to kick, bite,
plunge, or rear. When the ears are only momentarily placed back, it may
be from playfulness, but when maintained in this position, he is angry
and vicious, and may make a desperate effort to throw his rider. In the
company of other horses he will attempt to bite or kick at them. As soon
as he is observed to gaze fixedly upon any animals in his vicinity,
while at the same time he puts his ears back, and turns his croup
toward his companions, he is then about to kick, and his rider must
frustrate his intention, as soon as she feels his croup move, by quickly
raising his head and turning it in the direction in which the kick was
to be made. Should he attempt to bite, he must be driven to a proper
distance from the object of his anger, and his attention be diverted by
keeping him moving on.

A horse will kick when feeling gay, when he is annoyed, when he suffers
pain from any cause, when feeling playful or malevolent toward other
animals, and, sometimes, when he wishes to dislodge his rider. Whenever
her horse manifests an inclination to kick, the rider must endeavor to
keep his head up, because he will then be unable to accomplish much in
the way of raising his hind-legs; but once allowed to get his head down,
he will have everything his own way, and will be able to kick as high as
he pleases.

Every time the horse attempts to lower his head, he must be punished by
a pull upon the curb-bit strong enough to make him keep his head up. His
mouth must also be sawed upon with the curb, should he succeed in
getting his head down. The rider must remember to lean well back, and
have her left knee well braced against the third pommel, as in this
position it will be almost impossible for him to unseat her by his
kicking. If the kick be made during a stand-still, a sharp, vigorous
stroke of the whip upon the animal's shoulder will be apt to check him;
but if the kick be made while he is on the gallop, a stroke of the whip
will be apt to make him run away. Should kicking be an old vice of the
horse, he must be ridden with a severe curb-bit, that he may be
prevented from getting his head down.

PLUNGING, BUCKING.--Plunging is a succession of bounds, in which the
four legs of the horse are almost simultaneously raised from the ground,
the animal advancing with each bound. It is frequently an effort made by
the horse to rid himself of something that pains him, as the sting of an
insect, the pinching of the saddle or the girth, etc. All that can be
done in any case of plunging will be to endeavor to keep up the animal's
head, brace one's self firmly in the saddle, and sit the plunges out;
they will rarely amount to more than three or four. When a horse that is
not vicious commences to plunge, it may be due to fear or pain; he
should, therefore, be spoken to kindly, and be soothed. As soon as he is
brought under control, the rider should endeavor to ascertain the cause
of his movements, and, if possible, remove it.

_Bucking_ is a desperate effort to throw the rider; the horse will
gather his legs under him in as close a group as possible, curve his
back upward like an angry Tabby when she espies Towser, lower his head,
endeavor to burst the saddle-girths by forcibly expanding his abdomen,
and then without making any advance or retreat bound up and down upon
all four legs, which are held as rigid as iron rods. Sometimes he will
produce a see-saw movement by repeatedly and rapidly throwing himself
from his hind to his fore legs. These motions will be kept up as long as
he can hold his breath, which generally becomes exhausted after five or
six bounds; he will then renew his breath and may repeat the bounds.

When a horse "bucks," the rider must keep her seat the best way she can.
Her body should be held as straight as possible, although the natural
tendency will be to lean forward and to round the shoulders; she should
also take a firm knee-grasp upon both the second and third pommels, keep
a steady hold upon the reins, and be especially on her guard against
allowing her body to be pulled forward as the horse jerks his head down.
Fortunately, very few thorough-bred horses buck violently, their
movement being more of a plunge. The horses of the Russian steppes, and
the bronchos and ponies of our far Western country, are apt to have the
vicious, genuine buck in perfection.

REARING.--With the young horse, rearing is the last frantic effort to
unseat his rider; an old rogue will sometimes resort to it, having found
his rider timid and much alarmed at the movement. A lady should never
ride a horse that has once reared dangerously, unless the action was
occasioned by the injudicious use of too severe a curb-bit. A horse that
has once reared without provocation will be very apt to do so again. The
danger of this vice is, that the horse may fall backward and upon his
rider. This accident will be especially liable to occur when, in rearing
suddenly and very high, he bends his fore-legs under his body. While he
is in this position, should the rider feel him sinking down upon his
hind-quarters, she must instantly leap from the saddle, at the same time
giving, if possible, a vigorous push to the horse with both hands, as
near his shoulder as she can readily reach without endangering herself.
This is done that he may be made to fall to the right, and the impetus
of the push will also convey her to a safe distance, should he fall to
the left.

When a horse, after rearing, paws in the air with his fore-feet, he is
then employing them for the same purpose that a tight-rope dancer uses
his balancing pole, namely, to keep his equilibrium. In this case, there
will not be much danger of his falling backward, unless his rider should
pull him over by holding too tight a rein, or by using the reins to aid
her in keeping her balance.

The first act of the horse, when he intends to rear, will be to free
himself from the influence of the bit, and he will attempt to accomplish
this by bending his neck in so as to slacken the tension on the reins;
at the same time he will come to a stand by a peculiar cringing
movement, which will make his rider feel as if the animal had collapsed,
or were falling to pieces. This "nowhere" feeling will hardly be
realized before the horse will stiffen his hind-legs and neck, and rise
with his fore-feet in the air, bidding defiance to all control.

Under these circumstances, as the horse rears his rider must quickly
yield the reins and incline her body well forward, firmly supporting
herself by the second and third pommels; as she values her life, she
must not strike her steed nor pull upon the reins, but must patiently
wait until his fore-feet come to the ground, when the time for action
will have arrived.

Although she may be taken by surprise when the horse first rears, she
can anticipate his second attempt, which will generally be not far off,
by taking a snaffle-rein in each hand, holding her hands low, and the
instant she perceives that he is going to rise, loosening the left rein
and tightening the right, so as to bend his head to the right. He cannot
now complete the rear, because her action will compel him to move a
hind-leg, and he will then be unable to rest his weight upon both
hind-legs, which he must do in order to rear. As a punishment, he should
then be turned around a few times, from right to left; this turning will
also be very apt to prevent him from again rearing. Sometimes a severe
stroke with the whip upon the horse's hind-quarters as his fore-feet are
descending to the ground will prevent the second rear; as he plunges
forward from the whip, the rider must be careful to prevent her body
from being thrown forward by the plunge.

RUNNING AWAY.--The most dangerous runaway horse is the one that starts
off from excessive fear, as terror will make a horse act as if he were
blind, and he may then rush over a precipice, or violently collide with
some object in his way. Terrified horses have been known almost to dash
out their brains by violent collision with a stone wall, and even to
impale themselves upon an iron fence. The least dangerous runaway steed
is the practiced one, which runs because he has vicious propensities;
for as he knows what he is about, he generally takes good care of
himself, and thus, in a measure, protects his rider, of whose mishaps,
however, he is entirely regardless. Some horses, when urged to do
something that is beyond their ability, or when goaded by pain from any
cause, will run, imagining that by so doing they can escape the evil.
With these, the "bolt" or runaway is more the last furious effort of
despair than real viciousness. A heavy-handed rider may cause a horse to
run away, the horse, taking advantage of the constant pull upon the
reins, is liable to make the hand of his rider a point of support, and
then dash wildly onward.

When, from restlessness, a horse endeavors to break away, the curb-reins
should be taken, one in each hand, and every time he attempts to run, a
sharp pull should be made upon his mouth by means of these reins; he
will thus be checked and prevented from starting upon a run. Should he
once get fairly started, it will be very difficult to stop him promptly.
In such a case, care should be taken not to make a "dead pull" upon the
reins, but instead, a succession of pulls at short intervals, and these
efforts should be continued until he comes to a stand; should the horse
manifest any disposition to stop, the rider should, as he slackens his
speed, make a continued pull on the reins as if reining him in from the
walk, and this will gradually check him.

When a horse runs away from fear or pain, nothing will stop him except
the voice of the rider in whom he has confidence, and for whom he
entertains affection. In his terror, he will rely entirely upon her for
aid and support, and if she fail him, the most severe bit will not stop
him. An old offender may sometimes be controlled by a severe bit, or may
be cured of his propensity for running by being placed in the hands of a
good horseman who will allow him to run away, and when the animal wishes
to stop, will then, by means of whip and spur, make him run still
farther, and allow him to stop only when the rider pleases.

The management of a horse when he attempts to "bolt" has been described
in the chapter on the Hand Gallop. A horse that has once fairly run away
and met with some catastrophe, or that has thrown his rider, will never
be a safe one to ride subsequently.

UNSTEADINESS WHILE BEING MOUNTED.--It is very annoying, as well as
dangerous, to have a horse moving about unsteadily while the rider is
attempting to mount; this restlessness is sometimes occasioned by his
impatience and eagerness to start, and may then be remedied by having
him held by the bit, with his right side placed against a wall, fence,
or other firm barrier, where he can be kept until the lady has mounted.
The horse must not be allowed to start immediately after the rider has
become seated, but must be restrained until he is perfectly quiet, and
must be chidden every time he commences to prance. A few lessons of this
kind will teach him to stand still while being mounted.

When the horse from viciousness, or from dislike to carrying a rider,
attempts to evade being mounted, he had better be disposed of; for
should the lady succeed in mounting she will receive but little benefit
from the ride, as the bad temper and unwillingness of her steed will not
only make it unpleasant, but even dangerous for her.

Sometimes the restiveness of the horse may be the fault of the person
holding him, who, perhaps, either takes too heavy a hold of the
snaffle-rein, thus pressing the sides of the snaffle-bit against the
animal's mouth, and pinching him, or pulls upon the curb-reins, which
should not be touched. Either of these mistakes will cause the horse to
move backward. Not unfrequently a horse will violently plunge and kick
from the pain of some injury in his side or back, which, though not
painful when the rider is seated, becomes so when she bears upon the
stirrup. Such a horse is unsound and not suitable for a side-saddle.

STUMBLING.--When a horse, not naturally indolent, and having his ears
well placed, allows the latter to project out and to fall loosely on
each side of his head, he is then fatigued, and must be kept well
supported by the bridle, for he may stumble, or even fall. Whenever a
horse is felt to trip or stumble, the rider's body must instantly be
inclined backward, her hands be lifted, and her horse be steadied and
supported by sufficient tension on the reins. Should the tired horse be
walking down a hill, he must always be well balanced by pressure of both
leg and whip; this will keep him light upon his fore-legs, and he will
not be so apt to fall.

A horse should never be whipped for stumbling, as it is not likely that
he would do so of his own accord, and it would be cruel to punish the
poor animal for what he could not help. It may be the fault of the
blacksmith in not shoeing him properly.

Should an indolent horse fail to raise his feet sufficiently to escape
tripping, the proper course to pursue will be to keep him collected and
make him move at rather a rapid gait, because, when he is animated, he
will lift his feet more briskly and to better advantage.

A straight-shouldered horse, when carrying a woman, will be apt to
stumble, to bear upon the reins, and to move heavily on his fore-feet,
and will therefore require an expert horsewoman to keep him moving in
good form.

When the rider hears a metallic clinking sound at each step of her
horse, it will be an indication that the shoes of his hind-feet are
striking against those of his fore-feet; this is very dangerous, as in
the trot, or gallop, he may "overreach" and strike one of his fore-legs
with one of his hind-shoes in such a manner as to injure himself
severely, or he may catch the toe of a hind-shoe in the heel of a
fore-shoe so that they will become locked together, when the fore-shoe
will have to give way and come off, or a terrific fall will ensue. Some
horses overreach on account of their natural conformation, others only
when fatigued; again, some will be free from this defect when fat, but
will manifest it when they become lean from overwork, deficiency of
food, or other cause. Young horses will occasionally move in this manner
before they are taught their paces, but as soon as they are thoroughly
trained this dangerous annoyance ceases.

When a horse falls to the ground, or merely falls on his knees, if the
rider be not thrown off by the violence of the shock it will be better
for her to keep to the saddle, as the horse will rise very quickly, and
if she attempts to jump off he may step upon her as he is in the act of
rising, or her habit may catch upon the pommel and add to the peril of
the situation by causing her to be dragged along should the horse move
on, or become frightened and run away. She must not attempt to assist
the horse by pulling upon the bridle, but must allow him to get upon his
feet in his own way. Should she be thrown off as he falls, she must free
her skirt from the saddle as promptly as possible and quickly get away
from him in order to escape being stepped upon as he rises. The fall of
a horse upon his right side is much less dangerous than upon his left,
because in the latter case the rider's left leg may be caught beneath
him, perhaps injured, and she would then be unable to extricate herself
without assistance.

WHIP AND SPUR.--A lady's whip is employed as a substitute for the right
leg of the horseman in collecting and guiding the horse. For this
reason, it must always be firm, strong, and well-made. It is also used
both to give light taps to the horse in order to increase his speed, and
likewise, when necessary, to chastise him moderately and thus make him
more obedient. If it can possibly be avoided, a lady should never whip
her horse; but when it is required, one quick, sharp stroke, given at
the right time, and with judgment, will subdue him and bring him to his
senses. Deliberately to give stroke after stroke, or to flog him, will
always do more harm than good, for it will make him wild, vicious, and
unmanageable, and the lady will gain nothing by it except the reputation
of being a _virago_.

When a horse has committed a fault requiring the whip, he knows that the
first stroke given is for this fault, and submits; but he does not
understand why the succeeding blows are given, and resents them
accordingly. An expert rider will rarely whip her horse, and will never
become angry at even the most obstinate resistance on his part, but
will, instead, manage him intelligently, and subdue him in a subtle way
that he cannot comprehend. She will turn his disobedient acts against
himself in a manner that is mysterious to him, and which will make them
appear to him to be the will of his rider. The horse will find himself
foiled at every turn, in a way against which he can present no
permanent defense, and there will be nothing left for him but
submission.

When a horse fails in his attempts to gain the ascendency, and yields to
her skill and authority, she should be generous and forgiving, and treat
the vanquished one with kindness and consideration, letting him know
that there is no resentment harbored against him. He will quickly
appreciate this forbearance, and it will have a lasting effect. But
while accepting the olive branch, she should not give him his usual pats
and caresses for some little while afterward, as these acts might be
misinterpreted by him as a weakening on the part of his rider, or lead
him to imagine that he has been doing right instead of wrong.

A lady's horse should never be trained with the spur. The horse that
requires a spur is unsuited for the side-saddle; even the dullest animal
will soon learn that he is spurred only on one side, and will shrink
from the attack by a shy or a jump to the right, knowing there is no
spur on this side. An indifferent rider may place herself in danger by
unconsciously spurring her horse, thus goading him to madness, and to
such a frenzy of despair that the only alternative left for him will be
to unseat his fair rider in order to escape the pain thus unconsciously
inflicted upon him.

The novice in riding must not be dismayed nor discouraged by all the
instructions in regard to defending one's self against restive and
vicious horses, as she may ride for years, or even for a life-time, and
never be in any serious danger. But a time might possibly come, when she
would suddenly and unexpectedly be called upon to exert herself in order
to exact obedience from her steed, or to extricate herself from a
perilous situation, and then a knowledge of what should be done will be
of great use to her. Being armed at all points, and understanding the
means required for any emergency, she will not depend for safety
altogether upon the caprice or the gentleness of her horse, but chiefly
upon her own knowledge and skill; this will give her a confidence and
sense of security that will greatly add to the pleasure of her ride.



[Illustration]

EXPLANATION.


   1. The lips.

   2. Tip of the nose. Figs. 1 and 2 form the muzzle.

   3. Chanfrin, or face; the parts that correspond to the bones of the
      nose, and that extend from the brow to the nostrils.

   4. The brow, or forehead.

   5. The eye-pits; cavities more or less deeply situated above the
      eyes.

   6. Forelock; hairs between the ears that fall upon the forehead.

   7. The ears.

   8. The lower jaw and channel, or space comprised between the two
      lower jaws. Cheek. Jowl.

   9. The jaws: nether jaws.

  10. The nostril.

  11. The throat.

  12. Region of parotid glands, at the posterior and internal part of
      each of the lower-jaw bones.

  13. The crest.

  13´. The mane.

  14. Windpipe and groove of the jugular veins.

  15. The chest, thorax.

  16. The withers, or the sharp, projecting part at the inferior
      extremity of the crest and of the mane. It is formed by the
      projection of the first dorsal vertebra.

  17. The back, or part upon which the saddle is placed.

  18. The ribs.

  19. The passage for the girths.

  20. The loins.

  21. The croup; the most elevated part of the posterior extremity of
      the body.

  22. The tail.

  24. The flank.

  25. The abdomen.

  27. The saphena vein.

  28. The shoulder and arm.

  28´. The point of the shoulder.

  29. The elbow.

  30. The fore-arm.

  32. The knee.

  33. The cannon bone, shank.

  34. The large pastern joint.

  35. The small pastern joint.

  36. The coronet.

  37. The front foot and hoof.

  38. The fetlock and ergot. The fetlock consists of hairs, and the
      ergot of a horny-like substance constantly found at the back and
      lower part of the large pastern joints.

  39. The haunch.

  40. The thigh, gaskin, or femur.

  41. The stifle joint.

  42. The buttock.

  43. The tibia, or leg proper (lower thigh); a small bone lies behind
      it, the _fibula_.

  44. The hock (curb place).

  44´. The point of the hock.

  46. The cannon bone.

  47. The large pastern joint.

  48. The fetlock and ergot.

  49. The small pastern joint.

  50. The coronet.

  51. Hind-foot and hoof.



ADDENDA.

GOOD RULES TO BE REMEMBERED.


(1.) When in company with a gentleman, an accomplished horsewoman will
prefer to have him ride at the right side of her horse, because, being
thoroughly able to control her steed, she will require little or no
assistance from the cavalier. On the contrary, if she be an
inexperienced rider, it will be better for the gentleman to ride at the
left side, because, in this position, his right hand will be free to
render any assistance she may require, and he will also be placed
between her and any approaching object.

(2.) A finished horseman, when riding at the left side of a lady's
horse, will not allow his spurs to catch in her dress, nor will he
permit his steed to press so closely against this left side as to injure
or interfere with the action of her left foot and leg.

(3.) In the park, or in any public place, a gentleman should always
approach a lady on the off-side of her horse.

(4.) When in company with two ladies, a gentleman should ride on the
off-side of them, and never between the two, unless they request it.

(5.) When obliged to pass or meet a lady who is riding without an
escort, always do so at a moderate gait; this is an act of politeness
and consideration which may prevent her steed from becoming fractious.

(6.) When passing by a horseman who is leading another horse, never
ride by him on the side of the led animal, for if you do the latter will
be apt to kick or plunge, and become unruly. This precaution is
essential for the safety of the horsewoman, as well as for the better
management of the led horse by the horseman. In a crowded place it will
be better to wait until there is sufficient room to pass without
hindrance.

(7.) Give assistance to a companion, or other lady rider, when it is
indispensable for her safety, but do not give advice unless directly
requested. And if, when you are riding a fractious horse, assistance be
politely offered, do not decline it.

(8.) In city, town, or village, always ride at a moderate gait.

(9.) Be extremely careful never to ask for a friend's horse to ride, but
always wait until the animal is freely offered, and when accepted, do
not follow the advice contained in the horseman's proverb,--"With spurs
of one's own and the horse of a friend, one can go where he pleases."

(10.) Before setting out for a ride, in company with other lady riders,
the equestrienne, after having mounted, should move a short distance
away from the others, and then keep her horse perfectly quiet and
steady; by this course the neighboring horses will not be apt to become
uneasy and restive while her companions are mounting.

(11.) Always, when with others, begin the ride at a moderate gait. A
number of horses, fresh from the stable, when assembled together, are
apt, if started on a gallop, to become too highly excited; and it will
always be better to have them start slowly.

(12.) Should a lady be a better horsewoman than her companions, and be
riding a horse superior to theirs, she should restrain him, and not
allow him to be constantly in advance of the others. It will be more
courteous for her to follow the lead of her companions, and to consult
with them as to the kind and rapidity of gait most agreeable to them.
The preceding rules of politeness and propriety will be readily
understood and appreciated. A lady under no circumstances will forget
her tact and consideration for others.

(13.) In riding up hill the body should be inclined forward, and the
bridle-hand be advanced, in order to give the horse space to extend his
head and neck, as it is natural for him to do under such circumstances.
In case the ascent be very steep, the rider may support herself by
holding, with her right hand, to her horse's mane, but never to the
off-pommel, because her weight may cause the saddle to slip backward.

(14.) In riding down hill the body must be inclined more or less
backward, in proportion to the steepness of the hill, and as the horse
lowers his head upon the commencement of the descent, the rider must
advance her bridle-hand just enough barely to feel his mouth. Timid and
awkward riders, on descending a hill, are apt to confine the horse's
head too much, thus keeping it too high, and preventing him from freely
stepping out, as well as from placing his feet firmly upon the ground.
By doing this, they are likely to bring about the very catastrophe they
are trying to avoid, namely, a stumble and a fall. Never ride at a rapid
gait when going down hill.

(15.) It is always customary to keep to the left when passing by others
on horseback or in vehicles, who are going in the same direction as the
rider; and in passing those who are approaching, to keep to the right.
But, in the latter instance, should anything be present that might cause
the horse to shy, and a declivity, ditch, or other source of danger be
on the right, while none exists on the left, it will then be safer for
the rider to take the left side.

(16.) When crossing a stream, or when allowing one's horse to drink from
it, a watchful eye should be kept upon him, especially in warm weather,
lest he attempt to take an impromptu bath. If he begins to paw the
water, or bend his knees, the rider must raise his head, give him a
sharp stroke with the whip, and hurry him on.

(17.) After severe exercise, or when the horse is very warm, he should
neither be fed nor be allowed to drink until a sufficient time has
passed to enable him to become composed, rested, and cool. Many a
valuable steed has been lost because his mistress did not know this
simple, but highly important rule. Again, a horse should never be ridden
at a fast gait just after he has eaten a meal, or taken a good drink; he
should be allowed at least an hour in which to have his meal digested.

(18.) A horse should never be allowed to drink from a public trough, if
it can possibly be avoided; and when he is permitted to do so, the
trough should first be emptied and then filled anew. Horses often
contract serious diseases from these public drinking-places.

(19.) When riding over a rough road, the horse's mouth should only be
lightly felt, and he should be allowed to have his own way in selecting
the safest places upon which to step.

(20.) When it is observed that the horse is moving uneasily, at the same
time violently twitching his tail, or giving a kick outward or under
him, the rider may be certain that something is hurting him, and should
immediately dismount, loosen the saddle-girths, and carefully inspect
the girths, the saddle, and parts touched by them to ascertain whether a
nail be loosened from the saddle, the skin be pinched or abraded, the
hair be pulled upon by the girths, or whether some hard object has
become placed beneath the saddle, etc.; she should also carefully
examine the head-stall and bit, to see that all is right about the
horse's head; after having removed or diminished the irritating cause,
she should carefully readjust both saddle and girths.

(21.) If, when riding rapidly, it be observed that the horse is
breathing with difficulty and with a strange noise, or that his head and
ears are drooping, the rider should immediately stop him, as he has been
driven too hard, and is on the point of falling.

(22.) A lady's horse should never be placed in harness, because in order
to pull a load he will be obliged to throw his weight forward, thus
spoiling the lightness of his saddle gaits.

(23.) When turning a corner the horse should not be drawn around by the
reins; these should merely indicate the desired direction for the turn,
and should never be drawn upon more than will bring that eye of the
animal which is toward the direction of the turn into view of the rider.

(24.) Should a horse which is usually spirited move languidly, and,
during warm, or moderately cold weather, have his hair stand out and
appear rough, particularly about the head and neck, or should he
frequently cough, it would be better to relinquish the ride, have him
returned to the stable, and a warm bran-mash given to him as quickly as
possible. It may be that he has contracted only a cold that can be
checked by prompt measures. But should he continue to grow worse, a
veterinary surgeon should be speedily summoned. Be very firm and decided
in not permitting the groom to administer his favorite patent medicines,
because such nostrums are as liable to occasion injury to animals as
similar preparations are to human beings.

(25.) A few observations with regard to shoeing a horse may not be
amiss. It may happen when riding on a country road, that one of the
horse's shoes will come off, and the rider be obliged to resort to the
nearest rural blacksmith to have it replaced. In such case she will
find that some knowledge on her part of the manner in which a shoe
should be fitted to a horse's foot will prove very useful. The
blacksmith should not be permitted to cut the frog (the soft and elastic
substance in the middle of the foot) of the foot, but should leave it
entirely alone, and pare around the margin of the hoof just enough to
adjust the shoe evenly and firmly. Country blacksmiths, as well as many
in cities, are very fond of paring and rasping the horse's hoof, as they
think they can make a neater fit of the shoe by such a course. An
eminent writer on the subject of shoeing states that, except in case of
disease, undue paring and rasping are never indulged in by persons who
understand how to fit a shoe to the horse's feet properly; he also
observes: "This is paring and rasping the horse's foot till it be small
enough to fit the shoe, rather than kindle a fire and forge a new set
which shall just suit the feet of the animal. It may to some readers
seem like a jest, to write seriously about the horse's shoes being too
tight; but it is, indeed, no joke to the quadruped which has to move in
such articles. The walk is strange, as though the poor creature were
trying to progress, but could obtain no bearing for its tread. The legs
are all abroad, and the hoofs no sooner touch the ground than they are
snatched up again. The head is carried high, and the countenance denotes
suffering. It is months before the horse is restored to its normal
condition."

(26.) There is not the least necessity for stables being the foul
smelling places they so frequently are, for if the hostler and his
assistants perform their duties properly all offensive odors will be
banished. A foul atmosphere in a stable, besides being repulsive to
visitors, is, not unfrequently, the cause of blindness and other
diseases of the horse, who will also carry the odor in his hair and
communicate it to the clothing of his rider as well as to her saddle.
For these reasons, a lady should always positively insist that the
stable as well as the horse should be kept perfectly clean and free from
obnoxious exhalations. Attention to cleanliness, and a free use of
disinfectants will bring about this highly desirable result.

(27.) After a ride, the saddle should always be aired, and placed where
the sun's rays can fall upon its under surface. After exercise that
causes the horse to perspire freely, the saddle should not be removed
until he has become cool; this will prevent him from having a sore back,
from which he often suffers when this precaution is neglected.

(28.) When a lady stops in her ride to visit a friend, she should always
attend to her horse herself--be sure that he is properly hitched; that
in warm weather he is fastened in a shady place, and that in cold
weather he is protected, as far as possible, from the cold, as well as
from wind, rain, or snow. It will sometimes happen, especially in the
country, that, instead of being hitched, the horse will be allowed to
remain free, but within some inclosure, that he may nibble the grass; in
this instance, the saddle should always be removed, as otherwise he may
roll upon it. A city horse, when ridden into the country, should not be
allowed to eat grass, from a mistaken idea that it will be a good treat
for him, for, as he is not accustomed to it, it will be very apt to
injure him.

(29.) After a good seat and attitude in the saddle have been obtained,
more freedom is allowable; should the rider have occasion to speak or to
look aside, she should never move her shoulders, but only her head, and
this momentarily, because it is required that a good lookout in front be
kept up, to discover and avoid obstacles.

(30.) Delicate persons who desire to derive benefit from horseback
riding in the country should select suitable hours in which to pursue
this exercise. The intense heat of a summer noon should be avoided, as
well as the evening dew, the imperceptible dampness of which will
penetrate the clothing and, perhaps, implant the germ of some serious
malady. Riding upon a country road in the noon heat of a summer day,
where there is little or no shade, will tan and roughen the finest
complexion, will overheat the blood, and will occasion fatigue instead
of pleasure. An hour or two after sunrise or before sunset will be found
the more pleasant and healthful periods of the day for this exercise.
Riding in the country, when enjoyed at proper hours, is a sure
brightener of the complexion, aerates and purifies the blood, and
imparts wonderful tone to the nervous and muscular systems. Yet, in
their great fondness for this exercise, ladies frequently carry it to
excess, making their rides far too long.

(31.) What to do with the whip, when making a call, has puzzled many a
lady rider. Shall it be left outside, where it may be lost, or shall it
be taken into the parlor, where its belligerent appearance will be
entirely out of place? This much mooted question can soon be settled by
the gentleman who assists the lady to dismount; he will usually
understand what is required, and take charge of it himself. Or, in the
absence of a cavalier, the whip may be handed to the groom who attends
to the horse, or to the porter who waits upon the door. But should no
groom or porter be present, it may be placed in some convenient and
secure spot, as would be done with a valuable umbrella.

(32.) Before mounting her horse, a lady should always pat his head and
speak kindly to him, and, after the ride, should express her
satisfaction in the same manner. The horse will fully appreciate these
manifestations. Many persons consider a horse a mere living, working
machine, yet it has been satisfactorily ascertained, by those who have
investigated the matter, that this machine has feeling, affection, and a
remarkable memory; that it appreciates favors, has a high sense of
gratitude, and never forgets an injury.

(33.) The secret of secure and graceful riding is a correctly balanced
seat in the saddle, one perfectly independent of reins or stirrup, and
without exaggerations of any kind, whether the carelessness or
indifference of the instinctive rider, or the affected, pedantic
stiffness of the antiquated _haut école_. While maintaining a free,
easy, yet elegant attitude, the rider should present to the spectator
such an appearance of security and perfect equilibrium that it will seem
as if no conflicting movements of the horse could throw her from the
saddle. Carelessness and indifference cause the rider to look indolent
and slovenly, while an affected, exaggerated stiffness and preciseness
give her a ridiculous appearance, and destroy the pleasing effect of an
otherwise correct seat.

(34.) Go quickly in the walk, quickly and regularly in the trot, and
gently in the gallop. And bear well in mind the following supplication
of the horse:--

    "In going up hill, trot me not;
    In going down hill, gallop me not;
    On level ground, spare me not;
    In the stable, forget me not."

All women are capable of enjoying the healthful exercise of horseback
riding excepting those who may be suffering from disease. Every lady who
has the means, whether young or advanced in years, should learn riding,
for its sociability, healthfulness, and pleasure, without regard to her
bodily conformation. It is folly to deprive one's self of this high
enjoyment and captivating exercise, simply because one is no longer
young, has only an ordinary figure, or because some persons appear to
better advantage in the saddle, and ride with more ease and grace.
According to such reasoning, one might as well cease to exist. If a lady
cannot attain perfection, she can strive to come as near to it as
possible, and if she secures a correct seat in the saddle, and a
suitable horse, she will present a decidedly better appearance than one
who, although having the slender, elegant figure so well adapted to the
saddle, yet rides in a crooked, awkward attitude, or on a rough moving
horse.

To become a complete horsewoman it is not necessary to begin the
exercise in childhood. The first lessons may be taken in the twelfth
year, though many of our best horsewomen did not begin to practice until
they were eighteen years old, and some not until after they were
married. Riding-teachers state that persons past their first youth who
have never ridden learn much more readily, and become better riders than
those who, though younger, have been riding without instruction, and in
an incorrect manner, and, consequently, have contracted habits very
difficult to eradicate.

Before closing this part of the work, there is one subject to which the
author would earnestly invite attention. When a lady possesses a horse
which has been long in her service, and been treated with the kindest
and most loving care, and she finds that this faithful servant is
becoming old and stiff, or that, from some accident, he has become
almost useless to her, she should not part with him by selling him, for
the ones to buy him will be those who have no sympathy for a horse and
do not know how to treat him properly, but purchase him for hard and
severe labor; their poverty compelling them to this course, as they
cannot afford to buy any but old and maimed horses of very little value.
To a well-treated and trained animal, the change from caresses to harsh
treatment, from the pleasant task of carrying the light form of his
mistress to the hardest of drudgery, must be acutely felt. The horse
which has been kindly and intelligently managed is one of the most
sensitive of living creatures, and has been known to refuse all feed and
die from starvation, when placed under the charge of a cruel and
ignorant master.

When the lady finds her favorite steed permanently useless, and cannot
afford him an asylum in which to pass the remainder of his days in rest
and freedom from labor, she should have some merciful hand end the life
that it would be cruel to prolong in the hands of a hard master, simply
for the few dollars that might be obtained for him. To thus destroy the
animal may appear heartless, but, in reality, is an act of mercy; as it
is much better for him to die a quick, painless death, than to be sold
to a life of toil, pain, and cruelty, in which, perhaps, he may pass
mouths, if not years, of a living death.

       *       *       *       *       *

In terminating the present volume, the writer ventures to express the
hope that her appeal to American women to seek health, beauty, and
enjoyment in the saddle will not be passed by with indifference, and
that the lady rider, after a careful perusal and due consideration of
the instructions herein laid down for her benefit, may be awakened to a
spirit of enthusiasm, and an endeavor "to well do that which is worth
doing at all." To gain a knowledge of horsewomanship is by no means a
mysterious matter confined to only a favored few, but is, on the
contrary, within the reach of all. The requirements necessary to manage
the horse are soon learned, but, as is the case with every other
accomplishment, it is practice that makes perfect. Practice alone,
however, without study or instruction, will never produce a finished
rider; and study without practice will rarely accomplish anything. But
when study and practice are judiciously combined, they will enable one
to reach the goal of success, which every earnest rider will strive to
attain.

In the endeavor to render the instructions and explanations in this work
as clear and comprehensible as possible, many repetitions have
unavoidably occurred; but as the book was more especially designed to
instruct beginners, as well as those self-taught riders who have not had
the advantage of a teacher, it was thought advisable not to leave any
point in doubt, but as far as possible to render each subject
independent of the others, and strongly to impress many essential points
upon the mind of the reader.

To a majority of my countrywomen, with their natural tact and grace, it
was only deemed necessary to point out their errors in riding; attention
once called to them would, it was believed, undoubtedly lead to their
prompt correction, and these riders would then cease to be victims of
ignorance, constantly upon the verge of danger from incorrect methods of
riding, and soon be able to excel in that most desirable and fascinating
of all womanly accomplishments, secure and graceful horseback riding.

This has been the principal object of the author, who would not only
have women ride well and elegantly, but with the confidence and
enjoyment that true knowledge always imparts. Having spent so many happy
hours in the saddle herself, she wishes others to experience a similar
happiness, and if a perusal of these unpretending pages will create a
zeal among her countrywomen for this delightful and invigorating
exercise, and enable them to enjoy it in its highest sense, it will
prove a source of much gratification to her, and she will rest satisfied
that her efforts have not been in vain.



GLOSSARY

OF TERMS USED IN HORSEMANSHIP.


_Aids_: The various methods employed by a rider to command the horse,
and urge him to move forward, backward, etc., and in such gaits as may
be desired. The superior aids are the hands acting through the medium of
the reins; the inferior aids are the leg and whip. See _Effects_.

_Appui_, Fr. _Support_: The "give and take" movements, by which the
horse is supported in his gait, called "appui of the hand." The
sensation of the pressure of the bit upon the bars of the horse's mouth,
experienced by the rider's hand. _Appui of the Collar_: The slope or
talus presented in front at the union of the crest of the neck with the
shoulders.

_Attacks_: Methods for urging or inducing the horse to enter upon any
gait or motion required. See _Aids_.

_Bars_: The upper part of the gums (in a horse) that bears no teeth, and
which is located on each side of the lower jaw. This part lies between
the grinders (back double teeth) and the tusks; or, in mares and in
horses deprived of tusks, between the grinders and the incisors (front
cutting teeth). It is against this part, the bars, that the curb-bit
rests. See _Cheek of the Bit_.

_Bear to the right_: To keep the right leg, from hip to knee, as
stationary as possible, by downward pressure upon the right side of the
saddle seat, and between the first and second pommels, at the same time
keeping a firm knee-grasp upon the second pommel without hanging upon
it; by this means, the rider guards against inclining to the left, a
movement very apt to be produced by her position in the saddle and the
motion of her horse. The body of the rider must be maintained in an
erect position all the time she is bearing to the right. See _Incline to
the Right_.

_Boot_: A term sometimes applied to that part of the saddle-girths or
flaps back of the rider's leg, and at which the horse may attempt to
kick; also applied to the inferior portion of the rider's leg.

_Bridle-hand_: The left hand. When both hands hold the reins they are
called the _bridle-hands_.

_Bridoon_: The snaffle-bit and rein, when used in connection with the
curb-bit, but acting independently of it. The two bits together in the
horse's mouth are called "the bit and bridoon," or "the curb and
bridoon."

_Bringing up to the bridle_, also _Kept well up to the bridle_: To place
the horse's head up and in position, so that when proper tension or
pressure is made upon his mouth he will readily obey the reins. Some
horses require stronger pressure than others, as stated under
_Correspondence_.

_Cannon bone_, also _Shank_: The long bone situated between the knee and
the fetlock joint on the front part of each fore-leg of the horse.

_Canon_: That part of a bit, on each side, that rests upon the bars of a
horse's mouth when the bit is correctly placed.

_Cantle_: The somewhat elevated ridge at the back part of the
saddle-seat.

_Cheek of the Bit_, also _Bars of the Bit_: The external straight or
curved rods (levers) forming the sides of a curb-bit, and which, when
the bit is in the horse's mouth, are applied along the outer sides of
his mouth, the reins being attached to their lower extremities. That
part of these rods situated below the bit in the month is called "the
lower bar," or "cheek," and that portion above the bit, "the upper bar,"
or "cheek."

_Chin-groove_: The transverse furrow in which the curb-chain rests, on
the under surface of a horse's lower jaw, at the back part of the lower
lip. Also called "curb-groove."

_Collected canter_: A canter in good form.

_Correspondence_: The degree of rein-tension made by the hand of the
rider upon her horse's mouth, which, when properly established, creates
a correspondence between her hand and the animal's mouth, so that the
slightest movement of the one is immediately felt by the other; in all
cases this correspondence must first be had before any utility can be
obtained from the "give and take" movements. Some horses require a
greater degree of tension for this purpose than others, according to
their training and the range of sensibility of their mouths.

_Croup_: The hind-quarters of the horse, from and including the loins to
the commencement of the tail. This term is also applied by some to the
upper part of the animal's back, where the haunches and body come in
contact.

_Curb-bit_, also _Lever-bit_: A bit with a straight or curved lever or
rod attached on each side, designed for the purpose of restraining the
horse.

_Curb-chain_: A chain attached to the upper bar or cheek of the
curb-bit, and passed along the chin-groove, from one side of the bit to
the other.

_Curb-hook_: A hook attached to the curb-chain, and designed to fasten
it to the upper bar of the curb-bit; there are two of these hooks, one
on each side of the bit.

_Decompounded_: Taken to pieces; each act, movement, or part of a whole
or group, by or of itself.

_Defend_: A horse is said to defend himself when he refuses to obey, or
attempts to bite, kick, etc.; he resists, contends.

_Defenses_: The resistances made by a horse when required to do
anything, or when he is ignorant of the acts or movements demanded of
him; he becomes alarmed, injured, or malicious, and employs his
defenses.

_Double bridle_: The reins of the curb-bit and bridoon, when both bits
are placed together in the horse's mouth.

_Dumb-jockey_: A couple of stout sticks or poles, crossed in the form of
the letter x, and fastened upon the saddle; the reins are attached to
the upper ends of these, and a hat may be placed upon one of them. Used
in training colts.

_Effects_: Movements made by the hands, often aided by the leg or whip,
which serve to urge the horse forward, backward, to the right, or left;
indications.

_Equestrian_: A gentleman rider on horseback.

_Equestrienne_: A lady rider on horseback.

_Equine_: From _equus_, Lat. A horse; pertaining to a horse.

_Equitation_: Horseback riding.

_False pannels_: Pannels are stuffed pads or flaps, attached to and
beneath certain parts of the saddle, in order to prevent these from
injuring the horse; when these stuffed pads can be fastened to, or
removed from the saddle at pleasure, they are termed "false pannels."

_Fetlock_: The tuft of hair that grows upon the back part of the fetlock
joints of many horses' legs, and which hides the ergot or stub of soft
horn that lies behind and below the pastern joint.

_Fetlock joint_: The joint between the cannon and the upper pastern bone
of each foot.

_Force the hands_: The hands are said to be forced when the horse throws
his head downward, pulling upon the reins so as to cause the rider to
support the weight of the animal's head; sometimes this is effected so
suddenly as to jerk the reins out of her hands.

_Forehand_: All that part of the horse in front of the rider.

_Get out of condition_: A horse is said to be in "good condition" when
he is well, fresh, and sound; the reverse of this is termed "out of
condition."

_Girths_: Stout straps or bands passed from one side of the saddle and
underneath the horse's abdomen to the other side, where they are buckled
tight and fast; they are designed to keep the saddle securely upon the
horse's back.

_Give and take_: The traction and relaxation of the reins made by the
fingers, and which must correspond with the movements of the horse's
head; this action keeps up a correspondence with the horse's mouth, and
at the same time supports him in his gait.

_Hand_: The height of a horse is usually measured by hands, four inches
being equal to one hand. A rider is said to "have hands" when she knows
how to use her hands correctly in controlling the horse by means of the
reins.

_Haunches_: When a horse is made to throw his weight chiefly upon his
hind-quarters, he is said to be "well placed on his haunches," and will
then move more lightly upon his fore-legs. The haunch-bones are three in
number, the superior one of which is firmly united to the spinal column
(backbone) near its posterior extremity; the lower one on each side
forms a joint with the thigh bone, passing downward in a more or less
oblique direction. The obliquity of these bones enables the horse to
place the muscles of the part in a position to act with greater
advantage and power, and the degree of this obliquity serves to
distinguish the thorough from the low bred, it being greater in the
former. Wide haunches and broad loins are indications of strength and
speed.

_Hippic_: Of, belonging to, or relating to the horse.

_Hock_, also _Tarsus_: The part or joint between the cannon or shank
bone and the lower thigh or gaskin of the hind-leg: it consists of six
bones; the part at this joint that projects backward and somewhat inward
is called the "point of the hock." The hock is an important part of a
horse, as any unhealthy or diseased condition of it will prevent him
from resting on his haunches, and will thereby interfere with his free
action in the canter and gallop.

_Immobility_: A disease in which the horse becomes unable to move,
probably referable to the nervous system.

_Incline to the right_, or _to the left_: This differs from "bearing to
the right," which see. It means, to incline the body, from the hips
upward, to the right (or to the left), either when turning or riding in
a circle.

_In confidence_: A horse is confident, or in confidence, when he
completely surrenders his own will, and implicitly trusts to his rider
without dreaming of resistance.

_Inward rein_: In turning or circling, the "inward rein," as well as the
"inward leg," is the one on the same side as that toward which the horse
turns, or the one toward the centre of the circle of which the turn
forms an arc.

_Legs well bent_: See "_Well-bent hind-legs_."

_Lip-strap_, or _Curb-strap_: Two small straps stitched to the curb-bit,
designed to prevent a horse from taking the cheek of this bit into his
mouth; an unnecessary appendage when the cheek is curved.

_Lunge-line_: A long strap or cord attached to the nose-band of the
cavesson or head-stall of a horse in training, by means of which the
trainer exercises and instructs him while he is moving around in
circles.

_Near-side_: The left side. _Near-pommel_: The second pommel, on the
left side of the side-saddle; the second pommel of the old-fashioned
saddle was called the "near-pommel," and the name still attaches to it.
The "third pommel" is variously called the "leaping head" and the
"hunting-horn," and is located on the left side of the saddle and below
the second pommel.

_Off-side_: The right side. _Off-pommel_: The pommel on the right side
of the saddle.

_Outward rein_: In turning or circling, the "outward rein," as well as
the "outward leg," is the one opposite to the direction toward which the
horse turns.

_Overreaching_, also _Forging_, _Clinking_: Is when a horse in moving
forward strikes the heel or back part of a fore-foot with the toe or
front part of the shoe of the hind-foot. When the stride of the
hind-legs is carried so far forward as to strike the coronet or upper
part of the hoof, it is then termed a "tread."

_Pirouette_: A movement in which a horse turns around without changing
his place, the hind-leg of the side toward which he moves forming the
pivot upon which he supports himself.

_Port of the bit_: The arched part in the centre of the curb-bit.

_Resistances_: See _Defenses_.

_Retroacting_: A horse retroacts when, in his volts, he steps aside,
bearing his croup to the centre,--also when he backs toward an obstacle
and fixedly remains there, against the will of his rider; and also when
he suddenly throws himself upon his hocks at the moment his rider checks
or stops him.

_Ring-bar of the saddle_: A bar attached beneath the saddle-flap on the
left side and at its upper part, over which the stirrup-leather rolls.

_Saddle-tree_: The skeleton or solid frame of a saddle, upon which the
pommels, leather, padding, etc., are properly disposed.

_Snaffle-bit_: Is the mildest bit used in driving a horse: there are two
kinds, the plain snaffle and the twisted, and the latter form may be
made to act very severely.

_Surcingle_: A wide band of cloth or leather, of sufficient length to
pass around the body of a horse, and employed either to keep a blanket
upon him, or to keep down the flaps of the saddle or the shabrack.

_Thrown forward upon his shoulders_: A horse is said to be thrown in
this manner when, in moving, he throws his weight chiefly upon his
shoulders and fore-legs instead of upon his hind-quarters; he is then
also said to "go heavy on his fore-legs."

_Turn upon the shoulders_: A horse is said to "turn upon his shoulders"
when he throws his weight upon his fore-legs during the act of turning;
it is a disunited movement.

_Tusks_, also _Tushes_: These are the canine teeth, two in each jaw,
which grow between the grinders (back double teeth) and the incisors
(front cutting teeth), being closer to the latter than to the former.
They are frequently missing. Their uses are not well known.

_Volt_: The movement of a horse while going sidewise in a circle, his
croup being toward the centre. There are several varieties of volt. An
_inverted_ or _reversed volt_ is when the head of the horse is kept
toward the centre of the circle.

_Well-bent hind-legs_: A horse with straight hind-legs does not possess
good and easy movements; but if these limbs be well bent, he can be well
placed on his haunches, and be easily collected, so that his action will
be true and pleasant. See _Haunches_.

_Yield the hands_: Is to give the horse more rein by advancing the hands
without allowing the reins to slip. To _give a free rein_ is to allow
the animal all the length of rein he requires without any traction or
opposition.



INDEX.


  Addenda, 301.

  Adjusting the bit, 89.
    the saddle, 71, 93.

  Affection of the horse, 4, 16.

  Amble, the, 197, 217.

  Appui, 313.

  Arab horse, 16, 23.


  Backing, 152, 193, 281.

  Balance strap, 81.

  Balking, 281.

  Basque, the riding, 53.

  Bit, 84.
    adjusting the, 89.
    Chifney, 84.
    combination, 85.
    curb, 85.
    curb, Dwyer's, 86.
    curb and bridoon, 85.
    curb and bridoon, to hold reins of, 160.
    Pelham, 84.
    snaffle, 84.
    snaffle, to hold reins of the, 152.

  Biting, 283.

  Bolting, 240, 289.

  Boots, riding, 59.

  Box-stalls for horses, 49.

  Bridle, 82.
    double, 166.
    ladies', 82.

  Bucking, 284.


  Caligula and his horse, 15.

  Canter, 221.
    disunited, 234.
    false on the turn in, 234.
    from trot to, 232.
    stop in, 236.
    to commence the, 227.
    true, 223, 234.
    turn in, 233, 234.
    united, 234.
    with left leg leading, 230.
    with right leg leading, 227.

  Capriciousness of horses, 4.

  Cares for the horse, 4, 44, 47.

  Cavalry trot, 21, 199, 203.

  Changes of pressure on horse's mouth should be gradual, 174, 195.

  Changing the reins, 156.
    quickly, 158, 165.

  Character of the horse, 4.

  Circling to the left, in trot, 216.

  Circling to the right, in trot, 215.

  Coiffure, riding, 60.

  Collect the horse, to, 170, 177.

  Collected horse, 177.

  Combination bit, 85.

  Confidence of horse, 5, 16, 317.

  Corns on horse's feet, 32.

  Correct position of limbs, 124.

  Correct seat for a lady, 118.

  Correspondence, 168, 314.

  Corsets injurious for riding, 6.

  Corsets, riding, 60.

  Country jog-trot, 21, 198.

  Critical situations, 271.

  Crossing water on horseback, 304.

  Curb-bit, 85.
    Dwyer's, 86.
    and bridoon, 85, 160.
    and bridoon, reins of, in one hand, 160.
    when best to use, 170, 174; note, 178.

  Curb-chain, 87.

  Curry-combing the horse, 45.


  Dangers in the hand gallop, 240.

  Dangers of turns in flying gallop, 242, 248.

  Dead pull upon the reins, 169.

  Defenses of the horse, 271.

  Differences between high and low bred horses, 23.

  Dismounting, 99, 108.
    gentleman's aid in, 109.
    without assistance, 111.

  Distinguished equestriennes, 46.

  Disunited canter, 234.
    horse, 177.

  Double bridle, management of, 166.

  Drawers, riding, 59.


  Ears, the language of horses', 25, 273.

  Education of the horse, 35.

  English trot, 21, 200, 207.

  Equestriennes, distinguished, 46.

  Erroneous ideas about riding, 7.

  Exercise of the horse, remarks upon, 50.


  Fabric for riding-dress, 57.

  Falling down of the horse, 286, 294.

  False on the turn, in canter, 234.

  Faulty position of limbs, 136.

  Fay's training, 38.

  First lessons in riding, 22, 125, 149, 217.

  Flying gallop, 238.
    carriage of body in, 246.
    holding of reins in, 240.
    management of horse in, 239.
    stop in the, 248.
    turns in, dangers of, 242, 248.

  Flying leap, 249, 267.

  Flying trot, 198.

  Foot-hoop in skirt, 56.

  Foot, the leading, 209.

  Forcing the hands 169, 316.

  Formation of low-bred horse, 24.

  Formation of thoroughbred horse, 24.

  French trot, 21, 199, 203.


  Gaits for a lady's horse, 20.

  Gallop, the, 238.

  Gallop, flying, dangers of turns in, 242.
    flying, to stop in, 248.
    flying, turns in, 242, 248.
    hand, 238.

  Gauntlets, riding, 64.

  Gayety of the horse, 282.

  Gentleman's aid in dismounting, 109.

  Gentleman's aid in mounting, 103.

  Girthing the saddle, 77, 93.

  Girths, 76, 95.

  Give and take movements, 169, 171, 316.

  Glossary, 313.

  Good riding, tight corsets incompatible with, 6.

  Grooms, 44, 50, 97, 305.


  Habit, the riding, 52.

  Hair, in riding, 61.

  Hand gallop, 238.
    dangers in, 240.

  Hard mouth of horses, 50.

  Hat, the riding, 62.

  Head-dress, 61.

  Health from horseback riding, 3.

  Height of horse for a lady, 19.

  Holding the reins, 145.
    in flying gallop, 247.

  Holding the riding skirt, 65.

  Holding the whip, 66.

  Horse, affection of, 4, 16.
    cares of the lady for, 4, 44, 47.
    character of, 4.
    collected, 177.
    confidence of, 5, 16, 317.
    defenses of, 271.
    dismounting the, 99, 108.
    disunited, 177.
    education of, 35.
    exercise of the, 50.
    falling down of, 286, 294.
    for a city lady, 30, 31.
    for a country lady, 37.
    gaits of, for a lady's, 20.
    height of, for a lady, 19.
    livery stable, for a lady, 51.
    managing the, 145.
    managing, with different reins, 145.
    mounting the, 99.
    origin of the, 13.
    purchase of, 18, 30.
    temperaments of the, 22.
    the, 13.
    the Arab, 16, 23.
    the kind of, to select, 18.
    the low-bred, 23.
    the thoroughbred, 23.
    to collect the, 170, 177.
    to stop the, 152, 156, 164, 191, 212, 236, 248.
    training the, 34.
    treatment of the, 35.
    united, 177.
    unsteadiness of, while being mounted, 290.
    whipping the, 295.

  Horseback, positions on, 129, 133, 137.
    riding, healthy, 3.
    the seat on, 114.
    wrong positions on, 115, 128.

  Horses, box stalls for, 49.
    corns on feet of, 32.
    hard mouth of, 50.
    humane training of, 35.
    ladies', attentions to, 4, 44, 47.
    moderate priced, 31.
    mouth, changes of pressure on, should be gradual, 174, 195.
    stalls for, 47, 49.

  Horse's head, raising the, 174.

  Humane training of horses, 35.

  Hunting, 10.


  Introduction, 1.


  Jacket, the riding, 53.

  Jog-trot, the country, 21, 198.


  Kicking, 282.


  Ladies riding in park, observations on, 128.

  Lady, cares of, for her horse, 4, 38, 44.
    correct seat for a, 118.
    horse for a, 18, 30, 34.
    livery-stable horse for a, 51.

  Lady's attention to her horse, 4, 38, 44.
    bridle, 82.
    horse, what gaits for a, 20.
    pantaloons, 58.
    saddle, 69, 93.
    visiting her stable, 44.
    whip, 66.

  Language of horse's ears, 25, 273.

  Latchford's safety stirrup, 80.

  Leading foot, which is the, 209.

  Leap, the, 249.
    the flying, 249, 267.
    the standing, 249, 253.

  Length and width of saddle, 72, 73.

  Lennan's safety stirrup, 80.

  Lessons with lunge-line, 42, 125.

  Liberty of reins, when to give, 175.

  Limbs, correct position of, 124.
    faulty position of, 136.

  Livery-stable horse for a lady, 51.

  Long stirrup-leather, 74, 139.

  Low-bred horse, formation of, 24.

  Lunge-line lessons, 42, 125.


  Management of the horse in flying gallop, 239.

  Managing the horse with reins, 145.

  Martingales, 83.

  Moderate-priced horses, 31.

  Mounting, 99.
    from a high horse-block, 100.
    from a low horse-block, 101.
    from the ground, 101.
    gentleman's aid in, 103.
    unsteadiness of horse while, 290.

  Movements of the rider's body, 6.


  Natural riders, 8, 114, 128.

  Near pommel to saddle, 317.


  Observations on ladies riding in park, 128.

  Off-pommel to saddle, 75, 317.

  Origin of the horse, 13.

  Original position of snaffle-reins, one in each hand, 150.

  Original position of snaffle-reins, both in one hand, 154.
    position of snaffle and curb reins, all in one hand, 161.
    position of snaffle and curb reins, one of each in each hand, 166.

  Over-reaching, 293, 317.


  Pace, the, 21, 197, 218.

  Pantaloons, a lady's, 58.

  Petticoat, the riding, 58.

  Placing the saddle, 71, 93.

  Plunging, 176, 284.

  Pommels to saddle, 69.
    use of, 70, 73, 100, 116.

  Position of limbs should be taught by a lady, 144.

  Positions on horseback, 129, 133, 137.
    original, of reins, 150, 154, 161, 166.

  Pressure on horse's mouth, changes of, to be gradual, 174, 195.

  Pupil and teacher, 142.

  Purchase of horse, 18, 30.


  Racing trot, 198.

  Rack, the, 21, 218.

  Raising the horse's head, 174.

  Rearing, 286.

  Rein, to loosen or tighten one, when double bridle is in left hand, 162.

  Reining back in the walk, 184, 193.

  Reins, changing the, 156.
    curb and bridoon in one hand, 160.
    dead pull upon, 169.
    double, one in each hand, 166.
    double, to change from left to right hand, 164.
    double, to change from right to left hand, 164.
    double, to separate, and hold one of each in a hand, 165.
    holding the, 145.
    snaffle, both in one hand, 152.
    snaffle, both in one hand, original position of, 154.
    snaffle, both in one hand, to separate, 158.
    snaffle, both in one hand, to stop the horse, 156.
    snaffle, both in one hand, to turn to the left, 155.
    snaffle, both in one hand, to turn to the right, 155.
    snaffle, one in each hand, 149.
    snaffle, one in each hand, original position of, 150.
    snaffle, one in each hand, to stop the horse, 152.
    snaffle, one in each hand, to turn to the left, 151.
    snaffle, one in each hand, to turn to the right, 151.
    to change quickly, 158, 165.
    to change snaffle from left to right hand, 156.
    to change snaffle from right to left hand, 157.
    to hold, in flying gallop, 247.
    to return snaffle, to the left hand, 157.
    to shorten the curb and lengthen the snaffle, 162.
    to shorten the snaffle and lengthen the curb, 163.
    to shorten or lengthen the curb and snaffle, 162.
    to shorten or lengthen the snaffle, 159.
    when to give more liberty of, 175.

  Remarks, on exercise of horse, 50.
    on grooms, 44, 50, 97, 305.
    on the stable, 44, 47.
    on training the horse, 34, 35, 43.

  Restiveness, 173.

  Rider's body, movements of, 6.
    figure, style of, 18.
    natural, 8.

  Riding basque, 53.
    boots, 59
    coiffure, 61.
    corsets, 60.
    dress, fabric for, 57.

  Riding, does not produce coarseness in rider, 9.
    drawers, 59.
    erroneous ideas concerning, 7.
    first lessons in, 22, 125, 149, 217.
    gauntlets, 64.
    habit, 52.
    habit, shirt, 59.
    habit, skirt of, 55.
    habit skirt, how to hold, 65.
    habit, waist of, 53.
    hair in, 61.
    hat, 62.
    jacket, 53.
    pantaloons, 58.
    petticoat, 58.
    whip, 66, 308.

  Rising in the saddle in English trot, 207.

  Running away, 288.

  Running walk, 20.


  Saddle-flaps, 76.

  Saddle, girthing the, 77, 93.
    lady's, 68, 93.
    length of, 72, 73.
    off-pommel to, 75.
    placing the, 71, 93.
    seat to the, 72.
    second pommel to, 68, 75.
    third pommel to, 68, 73, 74.
    to adjust the, 71, 93.
    to rise in the, in English trot, 207.
    weight of the, 76.
    width of the, 73.

  Safety stirrups, 79.

  Seat, correct one for a lady, 118.
    on horseback, 114.
    to saddle, 72.

  Separation of the reins, 165.

  Shirt, the riding-habit, 59.

  Short stirrup-leather, 74.

  Shying, 273.

  Skirt, foot-loop in, 56.
    holding the, 65.
    of the riding habit, 55.

  Snaffle-bit, 84, 148.
    when best to use, 148, 170.

  Spring-bar attachment to stirrup-leather, 80.

  Spur and whip, 294.

  Stable, ladies visiting the, 44.

  Stalls for horses, 47, 49.

  Standing leap, 249, 253.

  Stirrup, 74, 79.
    irons, 81.
    leather, 74, 81.
    leather, spring-bar attachment to, 80.
    leather, too long, 74, 139.
    leather, too short, 74, 136.

  Stokes' mode of girthing the saddle, 77.

  Stop in the canter, 236.
    the English trot, 212.
    the flying gallop, 248.
    the walk, 191.

  Stumbling, 176, 292.

  Style of the rider's figure, 18.

  Support, 168, 173, 313.


  Teacher and pupil, 142.

  Temperaments of the horse, 22.

  The Arab horse, 16, 23.

  The canter, 222.

  The gallop, 238.

  The horse, 13.

  The kind of horse to purchase, 18, 30.

  The leap, 249.

  The low-bred horse, 23.

  The saddle and bridle, 67.

  The seat on horseback, 114.

  The thoroughbred, 23.

  The trot, 197.

  The walk, 181.

  Third pommel, 68-74, 121, 202.

  Thorough and low bred, differences, 23.

  Tight corsets prevent good riding, 6.

  To change reins quickly, 158, 165.

  To collect the horse, 170, 177.

  To hold the riding-skirt, 65.

  To manage the horse with the various reins, 145.

  To rise in the saddle in the English trot, 207.

  Too long stirrup-leather, 74, 139.

  Too short stirrup-leather, 74, 136.

  To turn the horse to the left, 151.

  To turn the horse to the right, 151.

  Training horses, humane, 35.
    remarks on, 34, 35, 42.
    to stop at the voice, 43.

  Treatment of horse, 34, 35, 42.

  Trot, circling to the left, 216.
    circling to the right, 215.
    country-jog, 21, 198
    English or rising, 21, 200, 207.
    French or cavalry, 21, 199, 203.
    the flying, 198.
    the true, 199.
    to canter from the, 232.

  Trotting in a circle, 214.

  True trot, 199.

  Turns in the canter, 233, 234.
    dangers of, in the flying gallop, 242, 248.
    in the hand gallop, 240.
    in the walk, 187.


  United canter, 234.

  Unsoundness of horses' feet and legs, 23.

  Unsteadiness of horse while being mounted, 290.

  Use of pommels, 70, 73, 100, 116, 202.


  Victoria stirrup, 79.


  Waist of riding habit, 53.

  Walk, reining back in, 184, 193.
    running, 20.
    stopping in the, 191.
    the, 181.
    the advance in the, 184.
    turning in the, 187.

  Weight of the saddle, 76.

  What gaits to train a lady's horse in, 20.

  When best to use the curb, 170, 174, note 178.
    best to use the snaffle, 148, 170.

  When to give more liberty of reins, 175.

  Which is the leading foot, 209.

  Whip, the lady's, 66.
    the lady's, how to hold, 66.

  Whipping the horse, 295.

  Whip and spur, 294.

  Why some women do not enjoy riding, 6.

  Width of saddle, 73.

  Wrong positions on horseback, 115, 128.


       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's Note:

Punctuation in the text has been standardised, and obvious typographical
errors have been silently corrected. Bold text is surrounded by =equal
signs=.

Variations in hyphenation, and obsolete or variant spelling have all
been preserved.

In Table of Illustrations the entry "Chifney Bit" was originally spelled
"Chiffney"; this has been changed to match the spelling in Fig. 13.





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