How to Ride a Horse for Beginners - Horse Riding Lessons

Excerpt from the book:
EVERY BOY’S BOOK: A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF SPORTS AND AMUSEMENTS.

 “Fleet as the wind, he shoots along the plain,
And knows no check, nor heeds the curbing rein;
His fiery eyeballs, formidably bright,
Dart a fierce glory, and a glowing light;
Proud with excess of life he paws the ground,
Tears up the turf, and spurns the sand around.”—Blacklock.

A boy on horseback is a king on his throne; he feels more than “boy” the moment he gets astride of anything in the shape of a nag. Boys have an instinct for riding, an impulse they cannot resist, like the instinct for eating, breathing or moving.
In his earliest days, in the very “boyhood of being,” “Ride a-cock horse to Banbury Cross” is a ditty of infinite delight, and long before the days of corderoys the equestrian exercise of “Grandfather’s Stick” affords him “joy ineffable.” Then comes the noble game of Hippas, or the wooden “Bucephalus,” on which he feels greater than Alexander; and last, though very little, yet still not least, the “pet Shetland,” which adds to the bliss of being mounted, a positive progressive locomotion, and the “greater than Alexander” is made greater still. Considering, therefore, that all boys love riding, it is for us to tell them how they may “mount the fiery Pegasus,” and ride with elegance and safety,
“To witch the world with noble horsemanship.”
Boys riding ponies

RIDING.

THE HORSE.

The horse is one of the most beautiful and graceful animals in nature, and perhaps the most useful to man, though in this respect it would be difficult to say which of the four or five domesticated quadrupeds bears the palm. During life, the horse and the dog would each contest the point; while in relative value after death, the bullock, sheep, and swine, are fairly entitled to an equal share with them. But there is something very captivating in the appearance of the horse, whether used for the purposes of war, or for racing, or for hunting, or road-work; and in all these several capacities the readers of this book may possibly admire him, though it is chiefly as the riding-horse, or hack, that he usually attracts their notice.

In the animal kingdom, the horse belongs to the division Vertebrata, and class Mammalia, he having a back-bone composed of vertebræ, and his young being suckled. His broad and undivided hoof places him among the ungulata; and lastly, his teeth are as follows, viz. six front teeth, above and below, called “nippers;” two canine in each jaw, called “tusks;” and the remainder, consisting of grinders, having flat surfaces opposed to each other, with rough ridges on them, by which the grass, hay, and corn are rubbed or ground down to a fine pulp, adapted to the stomach. These teeth are moved or rolled on each other by a peculiar action of the muscles of the jaw, so as to aid the process.

THE MARKS OF AGE IN THE HORSE.

By means of the gradual wearing down of the front teeth, or nippers, the age of the horse may be known. Each of the nippers has a hollow in its upper surface, which is very deep and black when the tooth first rises above the gum, and is gradually effaced by the friction caused by the cropping of the grass, or by biting at the manger, or other kinds of rubbing; but as these vary a good deal according to circumstances, so the precise degree of wearing away will also be liable to fluctuations; and the rules laid down only approximate to the truth, without positive accuracy as to a few months.
There are also two sets of teeth; a milk set, which first rise, beginning at once after birth, and a permanent set, which replace the milk-teeth as they fall out. The milk-teeth come up two at a time, but all are up by the end of the first year.
The permanent teeth, also, make their appearance by twos, the first pair showing themselves in the place of the two middle milk-teeth in the third year, and being generally level with the other milk-teeth by the end of the fourth year, by which time the next pair have fallen out, and the permanent teeth have shown themselves in their places.
At five years of age the horse has lost all his nippers, and his corner permanent teeth have nearly completed their growth. The tusks are also above the gums. The centre nippers are now much worn, and the next are becoming slightly so. At six years old the “mark” in the centre nippers is quite gone; at seven years of age this disappears from the next pair, and at eight from the corner nippers; after which, none but a professed judge is likely to make out the age of the horse by an inspection of his mouth; and, indeed, at all times the tyro is liable to be deceived by the frauds of the low horse-dealer, who cuts off the top of the teeth, and then scoops out a hollow with a gouge; after which a hot iron gives the black surface which in the natural state is presented to the eye.
This trick is called “bishoping.”

THE PACES OF THE HORSE.

The natural paces of the horse are the walk, trot, and the gallop; to them are added by man the canter, and sometimes the amble and the run. In the walk, each leg is taken up and put down separately, one after the other, the print of the hind foot in good walkers generally extending a few inches beyond that of the fore foot. The order in which the feet touch the ground is as follows: 1st, the off fore foot; 2d, the near hind foot; 3d, the near fore foot; and 4th, the off hind foot.
 Horse with rider: standing still

Horse with rider: galop

Horse with rider: trot

The gallop consists of a succession of leaps, during a great part of which all the feet are off the ground. As the feet come to the ground they strike it in regular succession; but the exact order will depend upon the lead, which may be either with the off or near fore leg. When in action and the horse is leading with the off fore foot (which if well broken he would do), the off hind and near fore feet touch the ground simultaneously next the near hind foot, and lastly, the off fore foot which he leads with. In the trot, the two legs of opposite sides are moved exactly together, and touch the ground at the same moment; whilst in the amble the two legs of each side move together, and the horse is supported for the instant upon the half of his usual and regular foundation. To counteract this deficiency in the centre of gravity, the body is balanced from side to side in a waddling manner.

TERMS USED BY HORSEMEN.

The left side is called the “near side,” the right the “off.”
Four inches make “a hand.”
The upper part of the horse’s neck is called his “crest;” the bony ridge in front of the saddle the “withers,” the part between the saddle and the tail the “croup;” the bony points, one on each side the bosom, the “shoulder points;” and the line between these and the back of the withers, corresponding with the shoulder blade, is the “line of the shoulder.”
The body between the hip and shoulder line is called the “middle piece.”
In the fore legs, the two divisions are called the “arm” and “cannon;” above which is the “elbow-joint,” and between them the “knee-joint.”
In the hind leg, the two parts are called the “thigh” and “cannon;” and the joints are the “stifle” and “hock.” Below these, in both the hind and fore legs, are the upper and lower “pasterns,” then the “coronet,” or ring between the leg and foot, and lastly, “the hoof.”

FORM OF THE HORSE.

It is a common observation of the horseman that the horse can go in all forms; and this is borne out by the fact, that he does occasionally do so; but nevertheless, it is well known, that among a large number it will be found that those whose form is most in accordance with the shape considered the best by good judges, will turn out the best movers.
In technical language, the horse whose “points” are the best will be the best horse. These points are considered to be: a neat head well set on a lean wiry neck, the latter with a very gentle curve, whose convexity looks upwards (the opposite form to this makes the “ewe neck”); moderately high withers; a sloping shoulder, wide in the blade, which should be well furnished with muscles; strong muscular loins; a croup not too straight nor too drooping, with the tail set on with an elegant sweep; ribs well rounded, and carried back near to the hips, so as to make the horse what is called “well ribbed;” circumference or girth of good dimensions, indicating plenty of “bellows’ room;” thighs and arms muscular; hocks and knees bony and large, without being diseased; cannon bones large and flat, with the suspensory ligament and tendon large, strong, and clearly defined; fetlock joints strong, but not round and inflamed. The eye should be full, clear, and free from specks; and the ears should be moderately small and erect; the feet should be round, and not contracted at the heels, with a well-formed frog.

VARIETIES OF THE HORSE SUITABLE FOR BOYS.

Besides the several kinds of horses suitable for grown people, those for boys are the galloway, the cob, and the pony. The first of[275] these may be considered either a small horse or a large pony, and is usually about fourteen hands high; and though strong and capable of carrying weight, yet of a moderately light and active make. He is so called from the district where he was originally bred in large numbers. The cob is a thick and very strong pony, or galloway, frequently made to look still more so by cutting his tail and mane short, called “hogging” them, thus—

Hogged pony with trimmed tail and mane

Correctly speaking, a pony is understood to be under thirteen hands in height, a galloway between thirteen and fourteen and a half, anything over that a horse.

Many ponies are now bred almost of pure Arabian blood, and they are well suited for lads who have mastered the early difficulties connected with keeping the seat under all ordinary circumstances; but as they are generally very high-spirited, they are scarcely suited for the beginner, and he had better content himself with an animal of more plebeian pedigree and sluggish temperament.

THE ACCOUTREMENTS AND AIDS

Required by the young amateur, are either a pad or saddle, according to his age, together with a bridle and a whip or stick. Spurs are seldom desirable for any but the accomplished rider, as they are apt to irritate the pony if not used with discretion, and it is rather difficult to put an old head upon young shoulders. If the learner is very young, a pad which is made without any tree affords a better hold for the knees than a regular saddle, and will also enable him to ride without stirrups, which feat he will hardly manage on an ordinary smooth saddle. The stirrups are of the following form, but are often, for boys, made much lighter. They ought always to be[276] used with strong stirrup leathers, and these should be attached to the saddle by spring-bars, which release the stirrups in case of the leg being entangled in them after a fall. The groom should always remove the leathers after the ride, and replace them on the opposite side of the saddle, by which means their tendency to hang as shown at (a), is rectified, and they assume the position indicated by the one marked (b), both representing the left, or near, side.
 Stirrups


Bridle

The bridle is either a single or a double-reined one, according to the mouth of the pony ridden. A single-reined bridle is usually a snaffle, it being very improper to allow any one to ride with a curb alone, unless he has very steady and light hands. The snaffle bit is merely a jointed bar of iron (5 5) in the accompanying sketch, but when used alone it has a light cross-bar as well as the ring there shown, in order to prevent the bit being pulled through the mouth.
This, however, in the double-reined bridle is omitted, since it would interfere with the action of the curb. Snaffles are either smooth or twisted, and are made of all sizes, the smallest being only adapted for occasional use, and not for the hands of the learner, who should have a large smooth one.
The curb-bit consists of three parts; the mouthpiece (1), which usually has a bend in it called the port, for the purpose of pressing against the roof of the mouth; secondly, of the cheek-piece (2), which has a ring (3) at the lower end for the attachment of the rein, and another at the upper end for the head-piece of the bridle; and thirdly, the curb-chain (4).
This chain is pressed against the outside of the lower jaw, by the upper arm of the curb used as a lever, and it should be hooked up sufficiently tight to act upon it by pulling the rein, whilst at the same time it should be loose enough to prevent its fretting the jaw.
This delicacy of adjustment requires some little practice, and the young rider should always ask his teacher to show him the proper mode of applying the curb-chain. Sometimes a martingale is needed, in order to keep the pony’s head down, but generally the young rider is better without it, if he will keep his hands well down, and avoid all jerking of the mouth.

MOUNTING.


Boy mounting horse

The rider, even at the earliest age, should first examine the girths and the bridle, and see if they are properly adjusted; for though when leaving home he may be able to depend upon a steady and experienced groom, yet, after putting up at strange stables, he is liable to be led into an accident by careless servants, and therefore it is better to get into the habit of always inspecting these essentials to safety and comfort. If there is an attendant groom, he should hold the rein with his right hand, standing by the off shoulder of the horse, so as with his left hand to hold the stirrup iron for the rider’s right foot as he throws it over the horse’s back. The next thing to be done is for the rider to stand at the shoulder of the pony with his left side towards that part. He then lays hold of the reins with his left hand, drawing them up so short as to feel the mouth, and at the same time twisting a lock of the mane in his fingers so as to steady the hand.
Next, the left foot is placed in the stirrup when the accompanying attitude is presented, exactly as here shown.
At this moment a spring is given from the right foot, the right hand reaches the cantle of the saddle, and the body is raised till the right leg is brought up to the level of the left, when the slightest imaginable pause is made, and then the right leg is thrown over the back of the pony, keeping the toe down and heel elevated, or with the spur on mischief may happen, while the right hand leaves its hold, and the body falls into its position in the centre of the saddle; after which, the right foot has only to be placed in the stirrup to complete the act of mounting.

DISMOUNTING

Boy dismounting

Is exactly the reverse of the last process, and requires, first, the reins to be shortened and held in the left hand with a lock of the mane; secondly, the right leg is taken out of the stirrup, and is thrown over the back of the horse until it is brought down to the level of the other leg. After this, if the pony is of a small size, suitable to that of the rider, the body is gently lowered to the ground, and the left leg is liberated from the stirrup; but if the horse is too high for this, the foot is taken out of the stirrup by raising the body by means of the hands on the pommel and cantle of the saddle, and then the body is lowered to the ground by their assistance.

THE MANAGEMENT OF THE REINS


Proper way to hold single rein
Is of great importance to the comfort of the rider, and also to his appearance, for unless they are held properly, the body is sure to be awkwardly balanced.
When the single rein is used, the best position is to place the middle, ring, and little fingers between the two reins, and then to turn both over the fore-finger, where they are tightly held by the thumb. In all cases the thumb ought to point towards the horse’s ears, by which the elbow is sure to be kept in its place close to the side, and a good command of the reins is insured.
If a double-reined bridle is employed, the middle finger separates the two snaffle reins, and the little one those attached to the curb, all being turned over the fore-finger, and firmly held by the thumb. In both cases the ends of the reins are turned over the left, or near, side of the pony’s shoulder.
When it is intended to turn the horse to the left, it is only necessary to raise the thumb towards the chest of the rider; and on the contrary, when the desire is to turn him to the right, the little finger is turned downwards and backwards towards the fork. In many well-broken ponies the mere moving of the whole hand to the right or left is sufficient, which, by pressing the reins against the neck, indicates the wish of the rider, and is promptly responded to by the handy pony.
This action, however, is objected to by some good horsemen, though, in my opinion, most erroneously, as it is capable of being made highly effective in practice.

Proper way to hold double reins

THE SEAT

Should always be square to the front, without either shoulder being in advance; the loins moderately arched inwards without stiffness; the elbows close to the side, but held easily; the knees placed upon the padded part of the flat in front of the stirrup-leathers; toes turned very slightly outwards, and the foot resting on the stirrup, the inside of which should be opposite the ball of the great toe, and the outside corresponding with the little toe.
In hunting, however, it may be placed “home,” that is, with the stirrup close to the instep. The heel should be well lowered as far as possible beneath the level of the toe, which gives a firm seat. But the great point is to obtain a good grasp of the saddle by the knees, which should be always ready to lay hold like a vice, without however constantly tiring the muscles by such an effort.
The left hand is now to be held very slightly above the pommel of the saddle, and the right easily by the side of it, with the whip held in a slanting position, in which however both hands are much too high above the withers. In order to show the effect of an incorrect mode of holding the reins, the rider has only to place his hands with the knuckles in a horizontal position, and the elbow is sure to be turned out in a most awkward manner.

THE CONTROL OF THE HORSE

Is effected by the reins, heels, voice, and whip, variously used according to his disposition and temper. Some require only the most gentle usage, which in fact is almost always the most efficacious, especially by young people, for whom the horse and dog seem to have an especial affection, and to be always more ready to obey them than might be expected, when their want of strength to enforce their wishes is considered.
The young rider will therefore generally find it to his own interest, as well as that of the noble animal he bestrides, to use his whip and heel as little as possible, and to effect his object solely by his voice and the gentlest pressure of the bit. In this way the most high-couraged horses are kept in order by young lads in the racing stables, and the amateur will do well to follow their example.
It is astonishing how fond horses and dogs are of being talked to by their juvenile masters, and it is right to gratify their love of society by so doing on all occasions.
The reins serve, as already explained, to turn to the right or left, or by drawing tight to stop the horse, and on the contrary, by relaxing them to cause him to proceed, aided if necessary by the voice, heel, or whip.
When it is desired that the right leg should lead in the canter or gallop, the left rein is pulled and the left leg pressed against the flank, by which means the body of the pony is made to present the right side obliquely forwards, and by consequence the right leg leads off.
On the other hand, if it is wished to lead with the left leg, or to change from the right, the right rein is pulled, the right leg pressed to the side, and then the left shoulder looks forwards and the left leg leads off.

MANAGEMENT OF THE WALK.

When it is wished to make the pony walk, he must be quieted down by soothing him with the voice if he has been excited by the gallop or trot; and then, by sitting very quietly in the saddle, and loosing the reins as much as will allow the head to nod in unison with the action of the body and legs, the walk is generally at once fallen into, and there is no farther difficulty except to prevent a stumble.
A tight rein is not desirable in this pace, since it prevents that liberty of action which is required, and leads to a short walk, or very often a jog-trot; and yet there should be such a gentle hold, or preparation for a hold rather, as will suffice to check the mouth in case of a mistake.
This is a very difficult art to acquire, and is only learnt by long practice; but as few ponies fall at this pace, great liberty may generally be allowed to their mouths. Besides this, little is necessary, more than to sit steadily, but not stiffly, in the saddle, and not to sway about more than is sufficient to avoid the appearance of having swallowed a poker.

THE TROT AND CANTER

Are effected by rather different methods, but both require a very steady hand, and a quiet treatment. In order to cause the pony to trot, the reins are taken rather short in the hand, and the mouth is held somewhat firmly, but taking great care not to jerk it.
The animal is then slightly stimulated by the voice, and the body, if necessary, rises from the saddle, as in the trot, so as to indicate what is wanted. This seldom fails to effect the purpose, and the horse at once breaks into a trot; or, if very irritable, he may be compelled to do so by laying hold of an ear and twisting it, to avoid which he drops his head, and trots as a natural consequence.
The canter is also an acquired pace, and for its due performance a curb-bridle is required. In order to make the pony begin this pace, the left rein is pulled, and the rider’s left leg pressed against the side, by which the horse’s right leg is made to lead off, this being the most usual, and certainly the most comfortable “lead” for the rider.
The hands must make a very gentle and steady pull on the curb-rein, and the body generally must be very quiet in the saddle, whilst, at the same time, a very gentle stimulus is given by the voice, which must be repeated at short intervals, or the canter will be changed to a trot, or walk, both of which are preferred to it by most ponies and horses. Young riders should avoid cantering long upon one leg, as it leads to inflammation of the joints, and they should either change the lead or alter the pace to a trot or walk.

Causing the pony to trot

THE MANAGEMENT OF THE GALLOP

Requires little instruction, practice being the main agent in effecting a good seat during this pace. The seat is either close to the saddle, with the body inclining backwards, or standing in the stirrups, in which position the knees and calves only touch the saddle, and the body is bent forwards over the withers.
It should be the endeavour of the rider, while he bends his shoulders forwards, to throw his loins well back, so as to avoid straining the horse’s fore-quarters, by bearing too much weight upon them. This is done by the hold of the knees on the saddle, and by keeping the feet back, also by rounding the loins backwards, and thus throwing the centre of gravity as far as possible behind the stirrup leathers.
The object of standing in the stirrups is to save the horse when at his full gallop, as in racing, or in hunting, when he is going over ploughed ground or up hill. In either of these cases, this attitude allows the horse to exert himself without feeling the weight of the rider impede his movements more than can be avoided.

LEAPING

Is only an extra exertion added to the ordinary spring of the gallop, the attitude being exactly the same. It is best learnt by beginning with small ditches, which the rider is soon able to clear without difficulty. He may next try sheep-hurdles, or very low stiles; but the latter being strong and firmly fixed, are dangerous to the rider, unless the pony is very sure of clearing them.
A leaping-bar, if procurable, should always be adopted in preference to either, as a fall over it is not attended with any bad consequences.
The groom should place it at the lowest notch, and the pony then may be suffered to clear it at a moderate gallop; after which, if the young rider is able to sit pretty closely, he may be indulged with a higher notch, and gradually it may be raised until the limits of the pony’s powers are reached. In riding at a bar, the learner should lay hold of a snaffle-rein in each hand, taking care to keep them close together, by the right rein being held also in the left hand.
The pony is then to be urged to a smart canter or hand gallop, and held straight to the bar in this way, so that he is obliged to leap; or if disliking the act, being urged by the whip down the shoulder, or the spur, or the groom’s voice and whip behind. Young riders, however, should never be put upon a bad or reluctant leaper, but should be taught upon one which is fond of the amusement. At the moment of rising into the air for the leap the reins are relaxed, but should not be left quite loose; while the pony is in the air the body becomes upright, and as he descends it leans well back, until, after a high leap, it almost touches the croup.
During this period the reins should be suffered to remain nearly loose, the hand barely feeling the mouth; but as the pony reaches the ground a stronger hold is taken, in order to guard against a mistake, which might require the aid of the rider to prevent a fall. It is not that he can keep the animal up, but that he checks him, and makes him exert himself in a double degree.
There are various kinds of leaping; as the flying leap, the standing leap, the leap in hand, &c. The flying leap is merely one taken at a fast pace, and when the rider can maintain a good seat in the gallop, it is the easiest of all to sit.
The standing leap is effected from a state of quiescence, and is much more difficult to sit, because the horse rises and falls more suddenly and abruptly.
Between the two is the slow or steady leap, which is only effected safely by the clever hunter or well-broken pony; but when perfect it is almost as smooth as a rocking-horse.
This is the mode in which the young rider should be taught to leap. Leaping in hand is necessary for most ponies in the hunting field, which would otherwise never be able to compete with full-sized hunters in the way they do.
The young hunter, when he meets with a gate or other strong fence, which he knows is too much for the powers of his pony, at once gets off and leads him over by the rein; and when well taught, these little creatures will often tilt themselves over high timber, &c. in a marvellously clever manner, so that I have known them in this way obtain a good place in long and severe runs. If, therefore, my readers are allowed to partake in this exciting sport during their Christmas holidays, they should teach their ponies to leap in hand, or they will be sure to be thrown out.

Pony and rider jumping a fence

TREATMENT OF VICES.

The chief vices which are met with among ponies are—1st, Obstinate Stopping; 2d, Stumbling from Carelessness; 3d, Rearing; 4th, Kicking; 5th, Shying; and 6th, Running Away.

Obstinate stopping

Obstinate Stopping, which in its worst forms is called “jibbing,” is a very troublesome vice, and even in the saddle is sometimes attended with danger, whilst in driving it is so to a dreadful degree.

The rider should never attempt to force his pony forward with the whip or spur, which only aggravates the bad-tempered brute; but should patiently sit quiet in the saddle, and keep his temper, until the pony chooses to move forward again. In this way sometimes very vicious animals are cured when they find that their stable is not the sooner reached by their device; on the other hand, if the whip is used, the pony, especially if of Welsh breed, is very apt to lie down and roll his rider in the dirt, or even sometimes to bolt into a river, or pond, and leave him in danger of his life. My young friends will therefore remember my advice when being mounted upon an obstinate pony, and having lost their tempers, they have proceeded to use their whips, and are bemired or half drowned in consequence.

Stumbling is more a defect of conformation than a vice; but nevertheless, it greatly depends upon a want of spirit to keep up a steady action of the fore legs. It often happens that a pony trots along for a mile or two safely enough; but after going that distance he becomes lazy and careless, and trips with one foot and then with the other, a sure prelude to such a fall as the following, which would be a very bad one, and sufficient to cut both knees to the bone, and to cause serious damage to the rider. The only way to avoid such accidents is to keep the pony at a steady pace, fast enough to keep him alive, but not enough so to tire him. Loose stones and broken ground should be avoided, and a careful hold should be kept upon the mouth, without being so tight as to gag it. When a stumble actually takes place, the body should be well thrown back and the mouth forcibly jerked, so as to make the pony exert himself to keep his legs. An unsafe animal of this kind is, however, wholly unfit for young riders, and they should never be allowed to ride one.
 Stumbling pony with rider

Rearing is a very dangerous vice, and not very common among ponies after they are once broken in. If the rider should, however, be placed upon a rearer, he should be careful to avoid hanging upon the bit when he rises in the air, but on the contrary should loose the reins entirely, and clasp the neck, if the pony should rise very high in the air. The accompanying sketch shows this vice in a very trifling degree, and in such a case the seat thus represented is sufficiently forward to prevent accidents.

Rearing pony

The rider will, however, observe that the reins are quite loose. It often happens that this vice is produced by too tight and severe a curb in a tender mouth, and that upon changing the bit, or letting out the curb chain, the tendency to rise is entirely gone. Whenever, therefore, the young rider finds his pony inclined to rear, let him look well to his bit, and at once drop the curb rein if he has one. If, however, he has only a snaffle, he may rest assured that it is a regular habit, and at once make up his mind either to battle with it or to change his pony.

Kicking pony

Kicking is much more common among ponies than rearing, and very many of these little animals are given to practise it. It is perhaps partly owing to the teasing of their young masters that it is so common; but whatever the cause, there can be no doubt that it is too prevalent among them.
Sometimes it exists as a regular attempt to unhorse the rider, which is a very troublesome habit, and one very difficult to break, because it so often succeeds that the pony is tempted to try again.
When this vice is met with, the rider should do all in his power to keep his pony’s head up, by jerking the bit, and at the same time he should sit well back, with his feet well forwards, with heels down, and trust to his knees in holding on.
When kicking is only the result of high spirits and “freshness,” the best remedy is a smart gallop, which soon stops all these pranks, and makes the most riotous animal quiet.

Shying is also very common among ponies, and in them is often the result of cunning, which leads them to pretend a greater degree of shyness than they really possess. The best mode of treatment is to take as little notice as possible of the shying, but carefully to make the pony pass the object at which he is looking, without regarding how this is effected. The whip should seldom be used at all, and never after the object is passed.

Bolting, or Running Away, is often the result of want of exercise, but sometimes it is a systematic vice. A powerful bit and a steady seat, with good hands, are the best means of grappling with this habit, which is sometimes a very dangerous one. If the pony really runs away, the rider should not pull dead at his mouth, but should relax his hold for a short time, and then take a sharp pull, which is often effectual. A good gallop until he is tired will often cure a runaway for the rest of his life.
There are a variety of bits intended expressly to counteract this vice, such as the Hanoverian Pelham, the curb with a high port, &c.; but nothing is perfectly effectual where there is a determination to run away. A nose-band has lately been invented for the purpose, which answers better than anything hitherto brought out; it consists of a long nose-band which crosses behind the jaw and then hooks on to the bit in the same way as the ordinary curb-chain. When the rein is pulled hard, this nose-band is drawn tight round the jaw, by which the mouth is closed, and the port is pressed strongly against the roof of the mouth, causing a great degree of pain, sufficient to stop most horses. This powerful remedy, which has been named the Bucephalus nose-band, should not lightly be used; but in the case of a runaway horse, or pony, it is the only really efficacious one.


Excerpt from the book:
EVERY BOY’S BOOK: A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF SPORTS AND AMUSEMENTS.
EDITED BY EDMUND ROUTLEDGE.
With more than Six Hundred Illustrations
FROM ORIGINAL DESIGNS.
LONDON: GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE.
NEW YORK: 416, BROOME STREET.
1869.
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