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Webster Family Library of Veterinary Medicine 
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at 
Tufts University 
200 VVestboro Road 
North Grafton, MA 01536 




I i 




1 HE following pages contain a Treatise on the 
Art of Riding on Horseback, for Ladies, which 
originally appeared in the Publishers' well-known 
Manual of elegant feminine Recreations, Exer- 
cises, and Pursuits, The Young Lady's Book ; 
with, however, various additions to tlie Text, 
and a number of new Illustrations and 

In offering the Treatise, thus improved and 
adorned, in a separate form, the Pubhshers, it 




need scarcely be said, have been influenced, 
materially, by that high and most extensive 
patronage, which, under Royal auspices, has 
been conferred by the ladies of this country, 
since the commencement of the present reign, 
on the Art of which it is the subject. 



Introduction "' 

EauESTKiAN Technicalities 23 

The Ladt's Horse 26 

Personal EauiPMENTs 31 

Accoutrements for the Horse 33 

Rules of the Road 34 

Mode of Mounting 36 

Management of the Reins 41 

The Seat and Balance 44 

Aids and Defences 51 

Soothings and Animations 55 

Corrections 58 

Vices 60 



Exercises in the Paces 71 

The Walk 73 

The Trot 7!' 

The Canter 81 

The Gallop 84 

Stopping and Backing 85 

Leaping 87 

Dismounting 91 

Concluding Remarks 95 



V • \^^ 

Out Virgin Queen, peerless Elizabeth, 
AVith grace and dignity rode through the host: 
And proudly paced that gallant steed, as though 
He knew his saddle was a roval throne. 


Riding on Horseback is, confessedly, one of the most 
graceful, agreeable, and salutary of feminine recre- 
ations. No attitude, perhaps, can be regarded as more 
elegant than that of a lady in the modern side-saddle ; 
nor can any exercise be deemed capable of affording 
more rational and innocent delight, than that of the 
female equestrian. Pursued in the open air, it affords 


a most rapid, and, at the same time, exhilarating suc- 
cession of scenic changes, at a degree of personal 
exertion, sufficient to produce immediate pleasure, 
without inducing the subsequent languor of fatigue. 

Nor is riding on horseback attended with that 
danger to ladies, attributed to it by the indolent, the 
melancholy, and the timid. Accidents, indeed, in the 
side-saddle, are of extremely rare occiu-rence. Strange 
as it may seem, it is, however, an incontrovertible fact, 
that horses, in general, are much more docile and tem- 
perate, with riders of the fair sex, than when mounted 
by men. This may be attributed, partially, to the more 
backward position, in the saddle, of the former than 
the latter; but, principally, perhaps, to their superior 
delicacy of hand in managing the reins. 

As an active recreation, and a mode of convevance, 
riding on horseback appears to have been of very 
remote usage among our fair countrywomen. During 
a long period, indeed, it was the only one known to, 
or, adopted by them, for the performance of journies. 
Such, too, appears to have been the case (with some 
modifications) in other European countries. The only 
voiture of the French, says Garsault, until the reign of 
Charles the Sixth, was the back of the horse or mule : 
neither Kings, Queens, Princes, nor subjects were ac- 
quainted with any other. In the time of that monarch, 
litters, borne by two horses, first appeared ; but these 
were uncovered, and used, only, by ladies of the court. 


Froissart describes Isabel, the second wife of Richard 
the Second of England, as having been borne " en une 
liti^re moult riche, qvii etoit ordonnbe pom* elle ;" and 
tliis kind of veliicle, during the reigns of several suc- 
ceeding Monarchs, appears to have been used by wo- 
men of distinction in this country, but, only, it is to be 
observed, in cases of illness, or on occasions of cere- 
mony. For example, — when Margaret, daughter of 
Henry the Seventh, went into Scotland, she generally 
rode "a faire palfrey;" while, after her, was conveyed 
" one vary riche litere, borne by two faire coursers, vary 
nobly drest ; in the which litere the sayd Queene was 
borne in the intrying of the good townes, or otherwise, 
to her good playsher," 

Towards the end of the thirteenth century, vehicles 
with wheels, for the use of ladies, were first introduced. 
They appear to have been of Italian origin, as the first 
notice of them is found in an account of the entry of 
Charles of Anjou into Naples; on which occasion, Ave 
are told, his queen rode in a careta, the outside and 
inside of which were covered with sky-blue velvet, 
interspersed with golden lilies. Under the Gallicised 
denomination of char, the Italian careta, shortly after- 
wards became known in France ; where, so early as the 
year 1294, an ordinance was issued by Philip the Fair, 
forbidding its use to citizens' wives. Nor was Eng- 
land far behind in the adoption of the vehicle ; for, in 
"The Squyr of Low Degree," a poem supposed to 


have been written anterior to the time of Chaucer, we 
find the father of a royal lady promising that she shall 
hunt with him, on the morrow, in " a chare,'' drawn by 

" Jennettes of Spain that ben so white, 
Trapped to the ground with velvet bright." 

" It shall be covered with velvet red, 
And clothes of fine gold all about your head ; 
With damask white and azure blue, 
Well diapered with lihes blue." 

However richly ornamented, the car eta, char, or chare — 
and there is little, if any, doubt, to be entertained as to 
their identity — may have been, it was, probably, a 
clumsy, inelegant, and inconvenient structm-e ; for its em- 
ployment appears to have been far from general among 
high-born ladies, even on occasions of ceremony and 
pomp. During the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth 
centuries, the French Princesses usually rode on don- 
kies; and so late as the year 1534, a sacred festival 
was attended by Queen Eleonora, and the females of 
the blood royal of France, on horseback. Nor did the 
superior and more recent invention of coaches, for a 
long period, tend materially to supersede, among ladies, 
the use of the saddle. These vehicles, according to 
Stow, became known, in England, in 1580 ; but, many 
years after, Queen Elizabeth herself is described as 
having appeared, almost daily, on her palfrey. In the 
time of Charles the Second, the fashion, among ladies. 



of riding on horseback, declined ; during subsequent 
reigns, it gradually revived; and the exercise may 
now be regarded as firmly established, among our fair 
countrywomen, by the august example of their illus- 
trious Queen. 

The present graceful, secure, and appropriate style 
of female equestrianism is, however, materially different 
from that of the olden time. In by-gone days, the 
dame or damosel rode precisely as the knight or page. 
Of this, several illustrations occur in an illuminated 
manuscript of the fourteenth century, preserved in 
the Royal Library. In one of these, a lady of that 

period is depicted on horseback, enjoying the pas- 
time of the chase. In another, are represented two 



gentlewomen of the same period, on horseback, with 
an individual of the other sex, engaged (as is shewn 
by some parts of the design, which it would be need- 
less, for our present pui-pose, to copy) in the once 
much-favoured diversion of Hawking. 


Queen Elizabeth, says a writer in the Encyclopsedia 
Londinensis, " seems to have been the first who set the 
ladies the more modest fashion of riding sideways. 
Considerable opposition was, at first, made to it, as 
inconvenient and dangerous : but, practice, in time, 
brought it into general use ; particularly when ladies 
found they could ride a-hunting, take flying leaps, and 


gallop over cross roads and ploughed fields, without 
meeting with more accidents than the men : besides, 
it was not only allowed to be more decorous, but, in 
many respects, more congenial to the ease and comfort 
of a female rider." 

Our author is, however, wrong in ascribing the 
fashion of riding sideways, by women in this countr}', 
to Elizabeth ; by whom it could only have been con- 
firmed, or, at the most, rexaved ; — the honour of its 
introduction being clearly attributable to another Queen 
of England, who lived at a much more early period 
of our history. 

Ann of Bohemia, consort of Richard the Second, is 
the illustrious personage to whom we allude. She, it 
was, according to Stow (whom Beckman follows on this 
point), that originally shewed the women of this country 
how gracefully and conveniently they might ride on 
horseback sideways. Another old historian, enumerat- 
ing the new fashions of Richard the Second's reign, 
observes, " Likewise, noble ladies then used high heads 
and cornets, and robes with long trains, and seats, or 
side-saddles, on their horses, by the example of the 
respectable Queen, Ann, daughter of the King of Bo- 
hemia; M'ho first introduced the custom into this king- 
dom : for, before, women of every rank rode as men 
do" (T. Rossii, Hist. Re. Aug. p. 205), In his beau- 
tiful illustrative picture of Chaucer's Canterbury 
Pilgrims, Stothard appears to have committed an 


anachronism, in placing the most conspicuous female 
character of his fine composition sideways on her 
steed. That the lady should have been depicted 
riding in the male fashion, might, it strikes us, 
have been inferred, without any historical research 
on the subject, from the poet's describing her as 
having, on her feet, 

" a paire of spurres sharpe." 

Neither the original example of Ann of Bohemia, 
nor that, in later days, of Elizabeth, as female eques- 
trians, however extensively followed, had sufficient 
force, entirely to abolish, among our countrywomen, 
the mode of riding hke the other sex. In the time of 
Charles the Second, it appears, from a passage in the 
Duke of Newcastle's great work on Horsemanship, to 
have still, at least partially, subsisted. Another writer 
of the seventeenth century, w^hose manuscripts are pre- 
served in the Harleian collection, speaks of it, as having 
been practised, in his time, by the ladies of Bury, in 
Suffolk, when hunting or hawking; and our venerable 
contemporary, Lawrence (a voluminous writer on the 
horse), it is worthy of remark, states, that at an early 
period of liis own hfe, two young ladies of good family, 
then residing near Ipswich, in the same county, " were 
in the constant habit of riding about the country, in 
their smart doe-skins, great coats, and flapped beaver 



Although entirely relinquished, at present, perhaps 
in this country, the mode of female equestrianism under 
notice continues to prevail in various other localities. 
In the following sketch, taken from Charles Audry's 
magnificent "Ecole d' Equitation," a Persian lady 
is delineated as just about to start on a journey, in 

the saddle ; and, in the next, which is engraved from 
an original drawing, "done from the life," a lady and 
gentleman of Lima are represented on horseback. " I 
have endeavoured," the artist says, in manuscript, on 
the reverse of his sketch, " to depict the horses 
' pacing ; ' as they are almost universally taught to 
do, in Peru : that is, to move both the legs, of one 
side, forward together. It resembles an English 



butcher's trot in appearance; but, it is so easy, that 
one might go to sleep on the horse : and, after riding 
^ d. pacer,' it is difficult to sit a trotter at first. It is, 

also, excessively rapid ; — good pacers beating other 
horses at a gallop. The ladies of Lima do not always 
ride with the face covered : but, only, when the sun is 
powerful. They, sometimes, ride in ponchos, like the 
men : in fact, it is excessively difficult, at first sight, to 
determine whether a person on horseback be male or 

The side-saddle introduced to this country by Ann 
of Bohemia, differed, materially, from that now used 



bv British ladies ; having, no doubt, been a mere pillion, 
on which the rider sate, as in a chair. 




At what period our fair countrywomen first began 
to ride with the knee over the pommel, we are not 



enabled to state : it is, however, clear, according to 
the original of the above sketch, which occurs in one of 



the liistorical illustrations of equestrianism, given by 
Audry, that the courtly dames of England did so, 
about the middle of the seventeenth century. Our 
author describes the figure, as being that of the Coun- 
tess of Newcastle. 

It may be conjectured, that a single crutch, only, 
for the advanced leg, was at first used ; and this, it is 
not improbable, was fixed on the centre of the pommel, 
as in the lady's saddle, now, or at least very lately, 
common in some parts of Mexico ; where the women, 
it would seem, ride with the left hand towards the 
animal's head. This, also, appears to have been, some- 
times, the case, down to a recent period, in our own 
country ; for, in rather a modern description of the side- 
saddle, the cratches are spoken of as being moveable, 
in order to afford a lady, by merely changing their rela- 
tive positions, the means of riding, as she might please, on 
either side of her horse.* That a second crutch was used 
about the middle of the last century (we are imable to 
state how much earlier), in France, at least, is evident 
from a plate of the lady's hunting saddle, at that period, 
given by Garsault; in which, it is curious, a sort of 
hold-fast is provided for the fair equestrian's right 

* Since writing the above, we have been assured by a friend, 
that, within a few weeks past, he has seen several ladies, at 
Brighton, seated on the wrong side of the horse. Side-saddles, 
Avith moveable crutches, indeed, are now far from uncommon {to 
our own knowledge), in saddlers' shops. 



hand. But, even so recently as Garsault's time, the 
saddle in ordinary use, by French women, was, we 
learn from his work on equitation, still, a kind of pillion, 
on which the rider sate, diagonally, with both feet 
resting on a broad suspended ledge or stirrup. The 
pillion in this countiy has not yet become obsolete ; 
being still, frequently, to be seen, on the backs of 
donkies and hack ponies, at watering places. During 
the early part of the present century, its employment 
continued to be general. It was fixed behind a man's 
saddle, on the croup of a steady horse, trained to gc 

at an easy though shuffling pace between a walk and 
a trot. The groom, or gentleman, equipped with a 
broad leathern belt buckled about his waist — by which 
the lady secured her position, in case of need — first 
mounted; and his fair companion was then lifted, 
backwards, and behind him, into her seat. In an old 
work on horsemanship, Avritten by one William 

B 2 



Stokes, and published at Oxford, it is not, perhaps, 
unworthy of notice, directions are given for vaulting 
into the saddle, after the lady has been placed on the 

croup ; together with a plate illustrative of so exquisitely 
nice and marvellously absurd an operation. In Mexico 

"they manage these things," if not " better," at all 
events, with more gallantry, than our forefathers did, for 


with them, "the pisana, or country lady," we are' told, 
" is often seen mounted before her cavaliero; who, 
seated behind his fair one, supports her with his arm 
thrown around her waist." Our illustrative sketch of 
this custom (in the preceding page) is taken from a 
beautiful model, — the work of a native Mexican artist. 

Having, now, offered our fair readers a slight and 
unpretending historical sketch of female equestrianism, 
we shall proceed, after a few preliminary remarks, to 
the practical details of the art. 

Its various advantages, inducements, and attrac- 
tions, as an exercise, have, already, been noticed. 
Much, however, as we wish to interest our fair country- 
women, in its favour, it is proper, on our part, to 
tell them, frankly, that equestrianism is far from 
being an intuitive art: — there is no "royal road" to it. 
To be enjoyed and appreciated, it must be learnt. That 
ease and elegance, — that comparative safety in the 
side-saddle, of which we have spoken, — it is impossible 
to achieve, without considerable practice, based upon 
proper principles. Many young ladies, however, feel 
a delicate repugnance to passing through the ordeal of 
a riding-school ; some, again, do not reside in situations, 
where the benefit of a teacher's directions can be pro- 
cured ; while others, erroneously flatter themselves, 
that they are in possession of every needfiil acquire- 
ment, as regards equestrianism, when they have dis- 
covered how to retain a seat on the saddle, and guide 



a horse by means of the bridle. To such of our readers 
as happen to be comprised within either of these 
classes, — and to those, also, who, after having received 
a professor's initiative instructions, are desirous of fur- 
ther improvement, the following pages, if carefuUy 
perused, will, the writer most zealously hopes, prove 


A FEW, among the most generally adopted, of these, 
it will be expedient, in the first place, to notice and 

Most parts in the external structm-e of the horse 
are known by names of obvious signification : but 
such is not, exactly, the case with alL 

To commence with the anterior limb : — a is the 
fore pastern ; h, the fetlock ; e, the leg ; and d, the 

In the hind limb, e is the hind pastern ; /, the hock ; 
g, the stifle ; and h, the haunch. 



The upper surface of the neck, i, is denominated 
the crest; k, the withers, and /, the croup. 

In the bridle, supposing it to be double -reined, a is 
the double head-stall; b, the front; c, the nose-band; d, 

Curb Bit. 




Snaffle Bit. 

the throat-lash ; e, e, the snaffle rein ; and /, /, the 
curb rein. At g, g, is the martingale. 

In the saddle, a, is the near crutch ; b, the off 

crutch ; c, the cantle ; d, the crupper ; e, the safe ; 
/, the skirt; g, the stirrup; h, the near side half of 
the surcingle ; and i, i, the girths. 



A lady's right hand is termed the ivhip-hand, and 
her left, the bridle-hand. 

The near side of a horse is that which is on the left 
of the rider; and the o^side that which is on her right. 

The height of a horse is always estimated in hands, 
of four inches each : it is always measured at the tip 
of the shoulder. A horse is never spoken of as being 
so many hands tall, but so many hands high. 


Although the lady usually has a horse selected for 
her, by some gentleman, either of her own family or 
her acquaintance", it may not be inexpedient to inform 
the fair reader of those qualities which, combined in 
the same animal, may be said to constitute a complete 
lady's horse. Such a creature, however, we must ob- 
serve, is exceedingly difficvdt to be procured, even by 
those possessed of the nicest judgment on the subject; 
and, to whom, the usually important question of price is 
not an object of consideration. 

The beau ideal of this kind of horse is superlatively 
elegant in form, exquisitely fine in coat, and unexcep- 
tionably beautiful in colour ; of a height, in the nicest 
degree appropriate to the figure of the rider ; graceful, 
accurate, well-united, and thoroughly safe in every 
pace ; " light as a feather" in the hand, though not at 
all painfully sensitive to a proper action of the bit ; 
bold in the' extreme, yet superlatively docile ; free, 
in every respect, from what is technically denominated 
"vice;" excellent in temper, but still "though gentle, 
yet not dull;" rarely, if ever, requiring the stimulus of 
the whip, yet submitting temperately to its occasional 



In some, though not in all respects, the form should 
approach closely to that of a thorough-bred animal. 
The head should be small, neat, "well-set" on the 
neck, and gracefully "carried." The nostrils should 
be wide; the eyes large, rather protruding, dark, yet 
brilliant ; the ears erect, and delicately tapering towards 
their tips. The expression of the countenance should 
be lively, animated, noble, and most highly intelligent; 

the neck rather arched and muscular; the ridge of the 
shoulders narrow and elevated; the chest full and 
fleshy; the back broad; the body, round or barrel- 
like; the space between the hips and tail, long, and 
very gradually depressed towards the latter organ, 
which, it is essential, should be based high on the 
croup. The fore and hind limbs should be distant, 
the one pair from the other ; the " arms" muscular ; 

28 THE lady's horse. 

the knees broad, the hocks ^'(laterally) wide ; the legs 
flat and sinewy; the pasterns rather long; and the hoofs 
large, and nearly round. 

A rough, or, what is technically termed, a "staring" 
coat, considerably deteriorates the appearance of a 
horse, however perfect in other conditions. Its surface, 
on a well-bred, healthy, and properly groomed animal, 
is not only smooth, but brilHantly polished. The mane, 
if too long and thick, will interfere with that deUcate 
management of the reins so desirable to a lady on horse- 
back ; and the tail, if of immoderate length, will, by the 
animal's whisking it towards his sides, prove inconve- 
nient, to the fair rider, at all times ; but, especially so, 
in dirty weather. Neither of these appendages, how- 
ever, on the other hand, should be ungracefully brief 
or scanty. 

Of all colours presented by the horse, none is so 
rich, and, at the same time, so elegant and chaste, as a 
bright bay; provided the mane, tail, and lower parts of 
the legs, be black. A small white star on the forehead, 
and a white speck on one of the heels, are to be consi- 
dered, rather, as beauties, than defects : but much white, 
either on the face or legs, whatever be the general hue, 
is quite the reverse of desirable. After bright bay, 
chestnut, perhaps, deserves to rank next in the scale of 
taste ; provided it be not, as is very frequently the case, 
accompanied with white legs. Some of the various 
shades of grey, however, are, in the opinion of many, 

THE lady's horse. 29 

entitled to be placed above it : of these, the silver grey, 
with black mane and tail, claims the highest place. 
Brown is rather exceptionable, on account of its dul- 
ness. Black is not much admired; though, as we 
think, when of a deep jet, remarkably elegant. Roan, 
sorrel, dun, piebald, mouse, and even cream colour 
(however appropriate the latter may be for a state- 
carriage-horse) are all to be eschewed. 

The height of her horse should be in harmonious 
proportion with that of the rider. A very young or short 
lady is in no less false a position, as regards grace, on 
a lofty steed, than a tall, full-grown woman, on a dimi- 
nutive poney. For ladies of the general stature, a horse 
measuring from fifteen to fifteen and a half hands, at 
the point of the shoulder, is usually considered, as 
regards height, more desirable than any other. 

In paces, the lady's horse should be perfect ; or, at 
all events, so far as regards the walk and canter. The 
former should be fast, bold, firm, and lively, without 
being unsteady ; and, the latter, light, easy, well-com- 
bined, and gracefid : so, too, should the hand-gallop ; 
although, it is true, a lady's horse is rarely put to this 
pace, unless used for the field. The trot, again, is but 
little practised : still the' complete lady's horse is ex- 
pected to be capable of performing it with great pre- 
cision of step, and but little concussion to the rider : — 
many ladies regarding it, — however discountenanced by 



the majority, perhaps, — as preferable, from its vigour, 
liveliness, and dash, to any other pace. 

To expatiate on the absolute necessity of the lady's 
horse being safe on his limbs, would be needless. 

The mouth should be sensible of the most delicate hint 
of the rider's will, communicated to it by means of the 
bit. A horse that pulls hard, or hangs heavily upon the 
reins, is very unsuitable for a lady's use : so, again, is one 
having the mouth so tender as to suffer from moderate 
pressure, either by the snaffle or the curb. The former 
is no less fatiguing to, than the latter is distressed by, 
the bridle hand. 


Ix the selection of these, a lady has a fair opportu- 
nity for the proper display of a refined and judicious 
taste. All that is gaudy, needless, or even elaborate, 
is vulgar. Perfect simplicity, indeed, as regards, not 
only her own costimie, but " the trappings of her pal- 
frey," is expected, at the present day, on the part of 
every well-bred female equestrian. 

The habit should fit the bust, without a crease : but, 
beneath the waist, it ought to be, not only long, but, 
somewhat full and flowing. Its colour should be dark 
as possible, without being positively black. 

The hair should be plaited ; or, if otherwise dressed, 
so arranged and secured, that it may not be blown into 
the rider's eyes ; nor, from exercise, or the effect of 
humid weather, be liable to be so discomposed, as to 
become embarrassing. 

To ride in a bonnet is far from judicious. A hat, 
or neat undress military cap, is indispensable to the 
female equestrian. It should be secured most carefully 
to the head : for, the loss of it would not merely be 
inconvenient, but, perhaps, dangerous, from the startling 
effect which its fall might produce on the sensitive tem- 
perament of the horse. 



A veil is the reverse of objectionable, provided it be 
of moderate length, and safely tied to the hat or cap ; 
which, it is proper to state, should have no other 
ornament or appendage. 

The whip should be exquisitely neat and highly 
finished ; but with little, if any, decoration. 


Every accoutrement for the horse, however orna- 
mental and pictorial, beyond the mere saddle and 
bridle, is to be rejected, as being in bad taste. The 
crupper and breast-band are now almost obsolete ; the 
saddle-cloth has nearly disappeared ; nettings are, ge- 
nerally speaking, abandoned; and the martingale itself, 
valuable as it may be for horses of a certain character, 
is rarely to be seen. SimpHcity, indeed, as regards 
female equestrianism, is now imperatively (and, strange 
to say, most judiciously) enjoined, by " that same tickle 
goddess. Fashion," in obedience to whose sovereign 
behest, a lady's horse, in the olden time, was dis- 
guised, as it were, " in cloth of gold most curiously 


Without a knowledge of these, the fair equestrian, 
when riding in public, would be exposed to considerable 
inconvenience, and, often, to no slight degree of danger. 

By a generally understood compact, persons, whe- 
ther riding or driving, when proceeding in opposite di- 
rections, pass, each on his or her own near, or left-hand, 
side, of the road ; and when on a parallel course, the 
faster party goes by the other, on the off, or right. 
In other words, when the former is the case, the right 
hands of the parties meeting, are towards each other ; 
and, in the latter, the left hand of the faster, is towards 
the right hand of the slower. It follows, therefore, 
that when the rider is about to meet horses or car- 
riages, she should take her ground on her near, or left, 
side of the road ; and, when about to pass those travel- 
ling in the same direction with, though at a less speedy 
pace than, herself, on her right, or off. In meeting 
one rider, or vehicle, and, at the same time, passing, 
by superior speed, another, she must leave the first, 
on her right, and the second, on her left. 

It will not be inexpedient, under the present head, 
to make some observations as to which side the lady 
should take, when riding in company with a gentleman. 


Adams, a teacher of equitation, and the author of a 
work on the subject, remarks, that the only inducements 
for a gentleman to ride on the left of a lady, would be, 
that, by having his right hand towards her^ in case of 
her needing assistance, he might, the more readily and 
efficiently, be enabled to afford it, than if he were on 
the opposite side ; and, should any disarrangement occur 
in the skirt of her habit, he might screen it until reme- 
died. On the other hand, our author observes, with 
great good sense, though in terms somewhat homely, — 
addressing, it is to be noticed, his remarks to gentle- 
men, — " the inconvenience of riding on the left of the 
lady, is, that if you ride near, to give her any assistance, 
you are liable to rub, or incommode, the lady's legs, 
and alarm her ; and the spur is hable to catch, or tear, 
the lady's habit : if the roads are dirty, your horse, 
likewise, bespatters the lady's habit. On the right 
hand of the lady, these inconveniences do not occur, if 
you ride ever so close ; and you are situated next the 
carriages, and the various objects you meet, which, in 
narrow roads, or, passing near, might intimidate a lady. 
For these reasons, I think it most proper to take the 
right hand of a lady." 


On approaching a horse, the skirt of the habit should 
be gracefully gathered up, and the whip be carried in 
the right hand. 

It is the groom's duty, when the rider approaches, 
to gather up the reins with his left hand, smoothly and 
evenly, the curb rem between, and somewhat tighter 
than the bridoon, properly dividing them with his fore- 
finger. The lady advancing, on the near side of 
the horse, to the saddle, receives them a little more 
forward than the point of the horse's shoulder, with 
her right hand, which still retains and passes the whip 
over the saddle to the ojf or right side. On taking the 



bridle in this manner, her fore-finger is placed between 
the reins : the groom then removes his hand, and the 
lady draws her own back, suffering the reins to glide 
gently and evenly through her fingers, until she reaches 
the near crutch of the saddle, which she takes with her 

right hand, still holding the whip and reins, and places 
herself close to the near side of the horse, wdth her 
back almost turned towards him. The groom now quits 
his former post, and prepares to assist her to mount. 
The horse being thus left to the lady's government, 
it is proper, that, in passing her hand through the reins 
she should not have suffered them to become so loose 
as to prevent her, when her hand is on the crutch, 
from having a light, but steady bearing on the bit, and 
thus keeping the horse to his position dining the pro- 
cess of mounting. She next places her left foot funnly in 
the right hand of the groom, or gentleman, in attendance, 




who stoops to receive it. The lady then puts her left 
hand on his right shoulder ; and, straightening her 
left knee, bears her weight on the assistant's hand ; 
which he gradually raises (rising, himself, at the same 
time) until she is seated on the saddle. During her 
elevation, she steadies, and even, if necessary, partly 
assists herself towards the saddle by her hands ; one of 
which, it will be recollected, is placed on the crutch, 
and the other on her assistant's shoulder. It is im- 
portant that she should keep her foot firm and her knee 

If these directions be well attended to, she will find 
herself raised to her saddle with but a trifling exertion, 
either, on her own part, or that of the assistant. Should 

the latter be a lad only, or a groom not much accustomed 
to this part of his business, he should use both hands 
instead of one; — -joining them by the fingers: indeed, 



this, generally speaking, is the safer mode. The lady, 
in all cases, should take care that her weight be well 
balanced on her left foot, from which she should rise 
as perpendicularly as possible; above all things taking 
care not to put her foot fonvard, but keeping it 
directly under her. The assistant should not begin to 
raise her until she has removed her right foot from 
the ground, and, by strengthening her knee, thrown 
her weight completely into his hand. 

Having reached the saddle, while her face is still 
turned to the near side of the horse, and before she 
places her knee on the pommel, the assistant puts 

the lady's left foot in the stirmp, while she removes 
her hand from the near to the off crutch of the 
saddle, holding the whip and reins as before directed. 



She now raises herself on the stirrup by the aid of her 
right hand, while the assistant, or the lady herself, 
with her left hand, draws the habit forward in its 
place. She then places her right knee between the 
crutches, and her seat is taken. 

Should the back part of the habit at this time, or 
afterwards, in the course of the ride, require any 
arrangement, the lady raises herself in the stirrup, by 
strengthening her knee, and, with her left hand, dis- 
poses her habit to her satisfaction. 


Pupils, during their first lessons, may arrange the 
reins in the following manner :— The right hand is re- 
mo v^ed from the crutch of the saddle ; the reins are sepa- 
rated, and one is held in each hand, passing up between 
the third and fourth fingers, the ends being brought 
over the fore-fingers, and held in their places by closing 
the thimibs upon them, and shutting the hands : these 
should be on a level with each other, at a little distance 
apart, three inches from the body, or thereabouts, with 
the knuckles of the little fingers in a line with the 
elbow. By slightly advancing the hands, or even re- 
laxing the hold of the reins, the horse, if well trained, 
will go forward. The left hand is raised to turn to the 
near or left side, and the right hand to turn in an oppo- 
site direction. By slightly raising and approaching 
both hands toward the body, the horse may be made to 
stop. When either rein is acted on, to turn the horse, 
the other should be a little slackened, or the hand which 
holds it relaxed. 

As soon as the pupil has passed her no\aciate in the 
art, she holds both reins in the left hand. Some ladies 
separate them by the third and fourth fingers; others, 
by one of these fingers only ; and many, by the fourth 


and little finger : but the greater number use the latter 
alone for this purpose, passing the off or right rein over 
it, and bringing the near or left rein up beneath it. 
The reins are carried flat upon each other up through 
the hand, near the middle joint of the fore-finger, and 
the thumb is placed upon them so that their ends fall 
down in front of the knuckles. The elbow should 
neither be squeezed close to the side, nor thrust out 
into an awkward and unnatural position ; but be carried 
easily and gracefully, at a moderate distance from the 
body. The thmnb should be uppermost, and the hand so 
placed that the lower part of it be nearer the waist than 
the upper; the wrist should be slightly rounded, the 
little finger in a line with the elbow, and the nails 
turned towards the rider. 

With the reins in this position, the lady, if she wish 
her horse to advance, brings her thumb towards her, until 
the knuckles are uppermost, and the nails over the 
horse's shoulder : the reins, by this simple motion, are 
slackened suflSciently to permit hun to move for- 
ward. After he is put in motion, the rider's hand 
should return to the first position, gradually; or it may 
be slightly advanced, and the thumb turned upwards 

To direct a horse to the left, let the thumb, which in 
the first position is uppermost, be turned to the right, 
the little finger to the left, and the back of the hand 
brought upwards. This movement is performed in a 



moment, and it will cause the left rein to hang slack, 
while the right is tightened so as to press against the 
horse's neck. 

To direct the horse to the right, the hand should quit 
the first position, the nails be turned upwards, the little 
finger brought in towards the right, and the thumb 
moved to the left: the left rein will thus press the neck, 
while the right one is slackened. 

To stop the horse, or make him back, the nails 
should be turned, from the first position, upwards, the 
knuckles be reversed, and the wrist be rounded as 
much as possible. 


The body should always be in a situation, as well to 
preserve the balance, as to maintain the seat. 

One of the most common errors committed by ladies 
on horseback, who have not been properly taught to 
ride is hanging by the near crutch, so that, instead of 
being gracefully seated in the centre of the saddle, with 
the head in its proper situation, and the shoulders 
even, the body is inclined to the left, the head is 
brought to the right by an inelegant bend of the neck, 
the right shoulder is elevated, and the left depressed. 


To correct or avoid these and similar faults, is 
important. All the rider's movements should harmo- 
nize with the paces of the animal : her position should 
be at once easy to herself and to her horse ; and alike 
calculated to ensure her own safety and give her a 
perfect command over the animal. If she sit in a 
careless, ungraceful manner, the action of her horse 
will be the reverse of elegant. A lady seldom appears 
to greater advantage than when mounted on a fine 
horse, if her deportment be graceful, and her positions 
correspond with his paces and attitudes ; but the reverse 
is the case, if, instead of acting with, and influencing 
the movements of the horse, she appear to be tossed 
to and fro, and overcome by them. She should rise, 
descend, advance, and stop with, and not after the 
animal. From this harmony of motion result ease, 
elegance, and the most brilliant etfect. The lady should 
sit in such a position, that the weight of the body may 
rest on the centre of the saddle. One shoulder should not 
be advanced more than the other. Neither must she bear 
any weight on the stirrup, nor hang by the crutch towards 
the near side. She ought not to suffer herself to incline 
forward, but partially backward. If she bend forward, 
her shoulders will, most probably, be rounded, and her 
weight thrown too much upon the horse's withers : in 
addition to these disadvantages, the position will give 
her an air of timid gaucherie. Leaning a little back- 
ward, on the contraiy, tends to bring the shoulders in, 


keeps the weight in its proper bearing, and produces an 
appearance of graceful confidence. 

The head should be in an easy, natiu-al position : 
that is, neither drooping forward nor thrown back ; 
neither leaning to the right nor to the left. The bust 
should be elegantly developed, by throwing back the 
shoulders, advancing the chest, and bending the back 
part of the waist inward. The elbows shoidd be steady, 
and kept in an easy, and apparently unconstrained 
position, near the sides. The lower part of the arm 
should form a right angle with the upper part, which 
ought to descend almost perpendicularly from the 
shoulder. The position of the hands, when both are 
occupied with the reins, or when the reins are held in 
one only, we have already noticed : the right arm and 
hand, in the latter case, may depend, easily, from the 
shoulder, and the whip be held in the fingers, with the 
lash downward, between two fingers and the thumb. 
The whip may also be carried in the right hand, in the 
manner adopted by gentlemen : the lady is not re- 
stricted to any precise rules in this respect, but may 
vary the position of her whip arm as she may think 
fit, so that she do not permit it to appear ungraceful. 
She must, however, take care that the whip be so 
carried, that its point do not tickle or irritate the flank 
of the horse. 

The stirrup is of very little use except to support 
the left foot and leg, and to assist the rider to rise in 


the trot : generally speaking, therefore, as we have 
already remarked, none of the weight of the body 
should be thrown upon the stirrup. The left leg must 
not be cramped up, but assume an easy and comfortable 
position : it should neither be forced out, so as to render 
the general appearance ungraceful, and the leg itself 
fatigued ; nor, should it be pressed close to the horse, 
except when used as an aid ; but descend gracefully 
by his side, without bearing, against it. 

Although hanging by the left crutch of the saddle, 
over the near side, is not only inelegant, but objection- 
able in many important respects, the near crutch, properly 
used, is a lady's principal dependance on horseback. 
The right knee being passed over the near crutch, the 
toes being slightly depressed, and the leg pressed against 
the fore part of the saddle, the pommel is grasped, and 
the rider well secm*ed in the possession of her seat. It 
is said, that when a lady, while her horse is going at a 
smart trot, can lean over, on the right side, far enough 
to see the horse's shoe, she may be supposed to have 
estabhshed a correct seat ; which, we repeat, she should 
spare no pains to acquire. In some of the schools, a 
pupil is often directed to ride without the stirrup, and, 
with her arms placed behind her, while the master holds 
the long rein, and urges the horse to various degrees 
of speed, and in different directions, in order to settle 
her firmly and gracefully on the saddle, — to convince 
her that there is security without the stirrup, — and to 


teach her to accompany, with precision and ease, the 
various movements of the horse. 

Nothing can be more detrimental to the grace of a 
lady's appearance on horseback, than a bad position : 
a recent author says, it is a sight that would spoil the 
finest landscape in the world. What can be much 
more ridiculous, than the appearance of a female, 
whose whole frame, through mal-position, seems to be 
the sport of every movement of the horse ? If the 
lady be not mistress of her seat, and be unable to 
maintain a proper position of her limbs and body, so 
soon as her horse starts into a trot, she runs the risk 
of being tossed about on the saddle, like the Halcyon 
of the poets in her frail nest, — 

" Floating upon the boisterous rude sea." 

If the animal should canter, his fair riders head will 
be jerked to and fro as " a vexed weathercock;" her 
drapeiy will be blown about, instead of falling grace- 
fully around her ; and her elbows rise and fall, or, as 
it were, flap up and down like the pinions of an 
awkward nesthng endeavouring to fly. To avoid such 
disagreeable similes being applied to her, the young 
lady, who aspires to be a good rider, shovdd, even 
from her first lesson in the art, strive to obtain a 
proper deportment on the saddle. She ought to be 
correct, without seeming stiff or fonnal : and easy, 
without appearing slovenly. The position we have 


described, subject to occasional variations, will be 
found, by experience, to be the most natural and 
graceful mode of sitting a horse : — it is easy to the 
rider and her steed ; and enables the former to govern 
the actions of the latter so effectually, in all ordinary 
cases, as to produce that harmony of motion, which is 
so much and so deservedly admired. 

The balance is conducive to the ease, elegance, and 
security of the rider : — it consists in a foreknowledge 
of the direction which any given motion of the horse 
will impart to the body, and a ready adaptation of the 
whole frame to the proper position, before the animal 
has completed his change of attitude or action ; — it is 
that disposition of the person, in accordance with the 
movements of the horse, which prevents it from an 
undue inclination, forward or backward, to the right 
or to the left. 

By the direction and motion of the horse's legs 
the balance is governed. If the animal be either 
standing still, or merely walking straight-forward, the 
body should be preserved in the simple position which 
we have directed the lady to assume on taking her 
seat. Should it be necessary to apply the whip, so as 
to make the animal quicken his pace, or to pull liim in 
suddenly, the body must be prepared to accommodate 
itself to the animal's change of action. When going 
round a comer at a brisk pace, or riding in a circle, the 
body should lean back rather more than in the walking 




position : to the same extent that the horse bends 
inward, must the body lean in that direction. If a 
horse shy at any object, and either turn completely and 
suddenly round, or run on one side only, the body 
should, if possible, keep time with his movements, and 
adapt itself so as to turn or swerve with him ; other- 
wise, the balance will be lost, and the rider be in 
danger of falling, on the side from which the animal 
starts. In no case, let it be remembered, should the 
rider endeavour to assist herself in preserving her 
balance, by pulling at the reins. 


All such motions of the body, the hands, the legs, 
and the whip, as either indicate the rider's wishes, or, 
in some degree, assist the horse to fulfil them, are, 
in the art of riding, denominated aids; and those 
movements of the rider which tend to save the animal 
from disuniting himself, or running into danger, may, 
properly enough, he classed under the same title : while 
such as act for the preservation of the rider, against 
the attempts of the horse, when headstrong or vicious, 
are termed defences. 

The aids of the hand are considered the most im- 
portant : all the other actions of the rider tending, 
principally, to assist the bridle-hand and carry its 
operations into complete effect. There shoidd be a 
perfect harmony in the aids ; and all of them ought to 
be governed by those of the rein. In many instances, 
the power of a movement performed by the hand may 
be destroyed by the omission of a correct accompanying 
aid or defence, with the body, or the leg. Thus : — if 
a horse rear, it is useless for the rider to afford him a 
slack rein, if she do not also lean forward, in order, 
by throwing her weight on his fore-parts, to bring him 
down, and also to save herself from falling backward 
over his haunches. Should the rider, when her horse 



rises, slacken the reins, but retain her usual position 
on the saddle, if he rear high, she must necessarily 
be thrown off her balance ; and then, if she hang on 
the bit, in order to save herself from falling, there is 
great danger of her pulling the horse backward. 

The aids and defences of the body are numerous : 
we shall attempt to describe a few of them ; the residue 
must be acquired by practice, and the lady's own 
observation. When the rider indicates by her hand 
that she wishes the horse to advance, the body should 
be inclined forward in a slight degree ; and the left 
leg (with the whip, also, if the animal be sluggish, or 
not well trained) pressed to his side. Should she, b}'^ 
pulling the rein towards her, or turning the wrist in the 
manner we have before directed, communicate her 
desire to stop, her body ought, at the same time, to 
be thrown back, with gentleness, or otherwise, in pro- 
portion to the severity of the action of the hand 
against the horse's inclination to increase his speed 
contrary to the will of his rider, or when he leaps, 
kicks, or plunges. If a horse rear, the rider should 
lean forward more than in the aid for the advance : 
but care must be taken, in this case, to perform the 
defence with discretion, especially with a pony, or 
galloway; for, should the animal rise suddenly, and 
the rider throw herself abruptly forward, it is not 
improbable that he might give her a violent blow on 
the face with the top of his head. 


We have already mentioned, in a previous part of 
our treatise, the direction which the hody should take 
when riding in a circle, turning a corner, or acting as 
a defence against the danger attendant upon a horse's 
shying. In the first case, the aid of the body, if pro- 
perly performed, will carry with it the aid of the hand, 
the leg, and even the whip, if it he held near the horse's 
side. We will explain this by an example : — Suppose 
the rider wishes to turn a corner on her left ; she 
inclines a little towards it, drawing her left shoulder 
in, and thrusting her right shoulder rather forward : the 
bridle-hand will thus be drawn back on the near side, 
the off rein will consequently act on the horse's neck, 
and the left leg be pressed close against the near side ; 
so that all the necessary aids for effecting her object, 
are performed by one natural and easy movement. 

The aids of the whip, on one side, correspond with 
those of the leg, on the other : they are not only used 
in the manner we have already mentioned, when the 
rider wishes her horse to advance, or increase his pace, 
but also in clearing a corner, &c. If the lady be desi- 
rous of turning to the left, she may materially aid the 
operation of the hand, which directs the fore-parts of 
the horse to the near side, by pressing him with her 
stirrup leg, so as to throw his croup in some degree to 
the right, and thereby place it in a more proper position 
to follow the direction of his shoulders. In turning to 
the right, the whip may be made equally useful by 



driving out his croup to the left. The power of these 
aids, especially that of the wliip, should be increased 
as circumstances require. The aid which is sufficient 
for some horses, may not be powerful enough by half 
for others : and even Avith, the same animal, while 
the slightest pressure Avill produce the desired effect in 
some cases, a moderate, or, even, a rather severe, lash 
with the whip is necessary in others. 



The voice and the hand, the leg, and the whole 
body, may be employed to soothe and encourage. High- 
mettled or fretful horses, it is often necessary to soothe, 
and timid ones to encourage. A spirited animal is fre- 
quently impatient when first mounted, or, if a horse or 
a carriage pass him at a quick rate ; and some horses 
are even so ardent and animated, as to be unpleasant 
to ride when with others. In either of these cases, 
the rider should endeavour to soothe her horse, by 
speaking to him in a calm, gentle tone. She should 
suffer the whip to be as motionless as possible, and take 
even more than usual care that its lash do not touch the 
flank. Her seat should be easy, her leg still, and her 
bridle-hand steady. The bit should not be made to press 
on the horse's mouth with greater severity than is 
necessary to maintain the rider's command ; and, as the 
horse gradually subsides from his animation, its bearing 
should be proportionately relaxed. The perfection of 
soothing consists in the rider's sitting so entirely still 
and easy, as not to add in the least to the horse's ani- 
mation ; — at the same time being on her guard, so as to 
be able to effect any of her defences in an instant, should 
occasion render them needful. 


There is scarcely any difference between soothings 
and encouragements ; except that, in the latter, it is 
advisable to pat, and, as it were, caress the horse with 
the right hand, holding the whip in the left. A shy or 
timid horse may often be encouraged to pass an object 
that alarms him, to cross a bridge, enter a gateway, or 
take a leap, when force and correction would only 
add to his fear, and, perhaps, render him incorrigibly 

Animations are intended to produce greater speed, 
or, to render the horse more lively and on the alert, 
without increasing his pace. Some animals scarcely 
ever require animations; while others are so dull and 
deficient in mettle as to call them frequently into use. 
The slightest movement of the body, the hand, or the 
leg, is enough to rouse the well-bred and thoroughly- 
trained animal ; but it is necessary for the animations 
to be so spirited and united, with sluggish horses, as 
almost to become corrections : in fact, what is a mere 
animation to one horse, would be a positive correction 
to another. 

The aids of the hand, the whip, the leg, and the 
body, which we have before described, are animations j 
so, also, are pattings with the hand, the tones of the 
voice, &c. Animations should be used in all cases, 
when the horse, contrary to the rider's inclination, 
either decreases his speed, droops his head, bears heavily 
and languidly on the bit, or, begins to be lazy or slovenly 



in the performance of his paces. A good rider foresees 
the necessity of an animation before the horse actually 
abates his speed, or loses the ensemble of his action, 
and the grace and spirit of his deportment. It is 
much easier to keep up, than to restore, a horse's anima- 
tion : therefore, the whip, the leg, the hand, or the 
tongue, should do its office a few moments before, 
rather than at, the moment when its movements are 

A slight motion of the fingers of the bridle-hand 
serves as an excellent animation : it reminds the horse 
of his duty, awakens the sensibility of his mouth, and 
preserves a proper correspondence between that and 
the hand. 


Ladies certainly ought not to ride horses which 
require extraordinary correction. For numerous rea- 
sons, which must occur to our readers, a lady should 
never be seen in the act of positively flogging her steed : 
such a sight would destroy every previous idea that had 
been formed of her grace or gentleness. Moderate cor- 
rections are, however, sometimes necessary; and the fair 
rider should make no scruple of ha\ang recom-se to 
them when absolutely needful, but not otherwise. 
Astley, in his work on the management of the horse, 
after very properly recommending all quarrels between 
the steed and his rider to be avoided, observes, that 
too much indulgence may induce the horse to consider 
" that you are afraid of him ; " and, our author adds, 
"if he should once think you are really so, you will 
find he will exercise every means to con\ince you 
that he considers liimself your master, instead of ac- 
knowledging, by imphcit obedience, that you are his." 

Those, who imagine that a horse is to be corrected 
only with the whip, are very much mistaken. The 
aids and animations of the leg, the bridle-hand, the 
body, and the voice, may be made sufficiently severe to 
correct and render a horse obedient in all ordinary 
cases. Severe flogging seldom produces any good 



effect ; and, in most contests between a horse and his 
rider, when both get out of temper, the former usually 
gains some important advantage. Tlie best way to 
correct a horse is to dishearten, and make him do what 
he would fain avoid;— not so much by force and obsti- 
nate resolution, in contesting openly and directly with 
him, when he is perfectly prepared to resist, as, by a 
cool opposition and indirect means. There are different 
methods of attaining the same end ; and those which 
are the least obA-ious to the animal should be adopted : 
a lady cannot rival him in physical strength, but she 
may conquer him by mere ingenuity, or subdue him 
by a calm, determined assumption of superior power. 


Some horses are addicted to a very troublesome and 
vicious habit of turning round suddenly, — we do not 
here allude to shyness, but restiveness, — without exhi- 
biting any previous symptom of their intention. A 
horse soon ascertains that the left hand is weaker than 
the right, and, consequently, less able to oppose him ; 
he, therefore, turns on the off side, and -wdth such force 
and suddenness, that it is almost impossible, even if the 
rider be prepared for the attack, to prevent him. 

In this case, it would be unwise to make the 
attempt : the rider would be foiled, and the horse 
become encouraged, by his success in the sti-uggle, to 
make similar endeavours to have his own way, or 
dismount his rider. The better plan is, instead of 
endeavouring to prevent him from turning, with the left 
hand, to pull him sharply with the right, until his 
head has made a complete circle, and he finds, to his 
astonishment, that he is precisely in the place from 
which he started. 

Should he repeat the turn, on the rider's attempting 
to urge him on, she should pull him round, on the 
same side, three or four times, and assist the power 
of the hand in so doing, by a smart aid of the whip. 

VICES. 61 

or the leg. While this is doing, she must take care to 
preserve her balance, by an inclination of her body to 
the centre of the circle described by the horse's head. 

The same plan may be pursued when a horse en- 
deavours to turn a comer, contrary to the wish of his 
rider ; and, if he be successfully baffled, three or four 
times, it is most probable that he will not renew his 

On the same principle, when a horse refuses to 
advance, and whipping would increase his obstinacy, 
or make him rear, or bolt away in a different direction, 
it is advisable to make liim walk backward, imtil he 
evinces a willingness to advance. 

A runaway might, in many instances, be cured of 
his vice by being suffered to gallop, unchecked, and 
being urged forward, when he shewed an inclination 
to abate his speed, rather than by attempting to pull 
him in : but this remedy is, in most situations, danger- 
ous, even for men ; and all other means should be tried 
before it is resorted to by a lady. Shoidd our fair 
young reader have the misfortune to be mounted on 
a runaway, she may avoid e\'il consequences, if she 
can contrive to retain her self-possession, and act as we 
are about to direct. She must endeavour to maintain 
her seat, at all hazards, and to preserve the best balance 
or position of body, to carry her defences into opera- 
tion. The least symptom of alarm, on her part, will 
increase the terror or determination of the horse. A 

62 VICES. 

dead heavy pull at the bridle will rather aid him, than 
otherwise, in his speed, and prevent her from having 
sufficient mastery over liis mouth and her own hands 
to guide him. She must, therefore, hold the reins in 
such a manner as to keep the horse together when at 
the height of his pace, and to guide him from running 
against anything in his course ; and, it is most pro- 
bable that he will soon abate his speed, and gradually 
subside into a moderate pace. Sawing the mouth (that 
is, pulling each rein alternately) will frequently bring 
a horse up, in a few minutes. Slackening the reins 
for an instant, and then jerking them with force, may 
also produce a similar effect : but, if the latter mode 
be adopted, the rider must take care that the horse, 
by stopping suddenly, do not bring her on his neck, 
or throw her over his head. 

In whatever manner the runaway be stopped, it is 
advisable for the lady to be on the alert, lest he should 
become so disunited, by the operation, as to fall. 

Our readers may think, perhaps, that tliis advice, 
however easy to give, is difficult to follow : we beg 
leave, however, to tell them, that although it is not so 
easy as drawing on a glove, or replacing a stray curl, 
it is much more practicable than they may imagine ; 
though, we trust, they may never have occasion to put 
it to the proof. 

There is another situation, in which it is advisable 
to force the horse, apparently, to have his own way, in 

VICES. 63 

order to baffle his attempts. Restive horses, or even 
docile animals, when put out of temper, sometimes en- 
deavour to crush their riders' legs against walls, gates, 
trees, posts, &c. An inexperienced lady, under such cir- 
cumstances, would strive to pull the horse away ; but her 
exertions would he unavailing : the animal would feel 
that he could master the opposition, and thus discover- 
ing the rider's weakness, turn it to her disadvantage on 
future occasions. We cannot too often repeat, that, 
although a rider should not desist until she have sub- 
dued her horse, she must never enter into an open, 
undisguised contest with him. It is useless to attack 
him on a point which he is resolute in defending : the 
assault should rather be directed to his weaker side. If 
he fortify liimself in one place, he must proportionately 
diminish his powers of defence in another. He antici- 
pates and prepares to resist any attempt to overcome 
him on his strong side ; and his astonishment at being 
attacked on the other, and with success, on account of 
his weakness in that quarter, goes far to dishearten 
and subdue him. If he plant himself in a position of 
resistance against being forced to advance, it is a 
matter of very little difficulty to make him go back. 
If he appear to be determined not to go to the right, 
the rider may, on account of the mode in wliich he 
disposes his body and limbs, turn him, with great 
facility, to the left. If he stand stock-still, and will 
not move in any direction, his crime may be made his 

64 VICES. 

punishment : the rider, in such case, should sit patiently 
until he shew a disposition to advance, which he pro- 
bably will in a very short time, when he discovers 
that she is not annoyed by his standing still. Nothing 
will subdue a horse so soon as this mode of turning his 
attacks against himself, and making his defences appear 
acts of obedience to the rider's incHnation. When, 
therefore, a horse viciously nms on one side towards 
a wall, pull his head forcibly in the same direction 
and, if, by the aid of the leg or whip, you can drive his 
croup out, you may succeed in backing him completely 
away from it. It is by no means improbable, that when 
he finds that his rider is inclined to go to the wall as 
well as himself, he will desist. Should he not, his croup 
may be so turned, outward, that he cannot do liis rider 
any miscliief. 

In shying, the same principle may be acted upon, 
more advantageously, perhaps, than in any other case. 
Should the lady's horse be alarmed at any object, and, 
instead of going up to, or passing it, turn round, the 
rider should manage him as we have recommended 
in cases where the horse turns, through restiveness. 
He should then be soothed and encouraged, rather than 
urged by correction, to approach, or pass, the object that 
alarms him : to attempt to force him up to it would be 
ridiculous and dangerous. If the horse swerve from an 
object, and try to pass it at a brisk rate, it is useless to 
pull him towards it ; for, if you succeed in bringing his 

VICES. 65 

head on one side, his croup will be turned outward, 
and his legs work in an opposite direction. This resist- 
ance will increase proportionately to the exertions made 
by the rider. A horse, in this manner, may fly from 
imaginary, into real danger ; for he cannot see where he 
is going, nor what he may run against. Pulhng in the 
rein, therefore, on the side from which the horse shies, 
is improper; it should rather be slackened, and the 
horse's head turned away from the object which terrifies 
him. By tliis mode, a triple advantage is gained : in the 
first place, the horse's attention is diverted to other 
things; secondly, — the dreaded object loses half its 
terror when he finds no intention manifested on the 
rider's part to force him nearer to it ; and, lastly, — he 
is enabled to see, and, consequently, avoid any danger 
in front, or on the other side of liim. 

A horse may be coaxed and encouraged to go up to 
the object that alarms liim; and, if the rider succeed in 
making him approach it, a beneficial effect will be pro- 
duced: the horse will discover that his fears were 
groundless, and be less likely to start again from any 
similar cause. After the first impulse of teri'or has 
subsided, the animal, if properly managed, will even 
manifest an inclination to approach and examine the 
object that alarmed him: but, while he is so doing, 
the rider must be on her guard; for the least movement, 
or timidity, on her part, — the rustling of a leaf, or the 
passing of a shadow, — will, in all probability, frighten 


66 VICES. 

him again, and he will start round more violently than 
before. After this, it will be exceedingly difficult to 
bring him up to the object. Astley, however, whom 
we have before quoted, says, that should the first trial 
prove unsuccessful, it must be repeated, until you suc- 
ceed; adding, that the second attempt should not be 
made until the horse's fears have subsided, and his 
confidence returned. 

A horse that is rather shy, may, in many cases, be 
prevented from starting, by the rider turning his head 
a little away from those objects, which, she knows by 
experience, are likely to alarm him, as well before she 
approaches as while she passes them. 

A lady, certainly, should not ride a horse addicted 
to shying, stumbhng, rearing, or any other vice : but she 
ought, nevertheless, to be prepared against the occur- 
rence of either; for, however careful and judicious 
those persons, by whom her horse is selected, may be, 
and however long a trial she may have had of his tem- 
per and merits, she cannot be stu-e, when she takes the 
reins, that she may not have to use her defences against 
rearing or kicking, or be required to exercise her skill 
to save herself from the dangers attendant on starting 
or stumbhng, before she dismounts. The quietest horse 
may exhibit symptoms of vice, even without any appa- 
rent cause, after many years of good behaviour; the 
best-tempered are not immaculate, nor the surest- 
footed infallible : it is wise, therefore, to be prepared. 


Stumbling is not merely unpleasant, but dangerous. 
To ride a horse that is apt to trip, is like dwelling in a 
ruin ; we cannot be comfortable if we feel that we are 
unsafe ; and, truly, there is no safety on the back of 
a stumbling nag. The best advice we can offer our 
reader, as to such an animal, is never to ride him after 
his demerits are discovered : although the best horse 
in the world, may, we must confess, make a false step, 
and even break his knees. 

When a horse trips, his head should be raised and 
supported, by elevating the hand ; and the lady should 
instantly throw herself back, so as to reheve his shoul- 
ders from her weight. It is useless to whip a horse 
after stumbHng (as it is, also, after shying) ; for, it is 
clear, he would not run the risk of breaking his knees, 
or his nose, if he could help it. If a horse be constantly 
punished for stumbling, the moment he has recovered 
from a false step, he will start forward, flurried and dis- 
united, in fear of the whip, and not only put the rider 
to inconvenience, but run the risk of a repetition of his 
mishap, before he regains his self-possession. It being 
generally the practice, — and a very bad practice it is, — 
for riders to correct horses after hanng made a false 
step, an habitual stumbler may be easily detected. 
When a horse, that is tolerably safe, makes a false step, 
he gathers himself up, and is slightly animated for a 
moment or two only, or goes on as if nothing had hap- 
pened; but if he be an old offender, he will remember 




the punishment he has repeatedly received imme- 
diately after a stumble, and dash forward in the manner 
we have described, expecting the usual flagellation for 
his misfortune. 

When a horse evinces any disposition to kick, or 
rear, the reins should be separated, and held by both 
hands, in the manner we have described in a pre\dous 
page. This should also be done when he attempts to 
run away, grows restive, or shies. The body should also 
be put in its proper balance for performing the defences : 
the shoulders should be thrown back, the waist brought 
forward, and the head well poised on the neck. Every 
part of the frame must be flexible, but perfectly ready 
for action. 

The principal danger attendant on the horse's rear- 
ing is, that the rider may fall over the croup, and, per- 
haps, pull the horse backward upon her. To prevent 



either of these consequences, immediately that a horse 
rises, slacken the reins, and bend the body forward, so 
as to throw its weight on his shoulders ; and the mo- 
ment his fore-feet come to the ground, — ha\ang re- 
covered your position, gradually, as he descends, — 
correct him smartly, if he will bear it ; or, endeavour 
to pull him round two or three times, and thus divert 
him from his object. 

The latter course may also be adopted to prevent 
his rearing, if the rider should foresee his intention. 

A horse that displays any symptoms of kicking, 
should be held tight in hand. While his head is well 
kept up, he cannot do much mischief with his heels. 

If, however, when the rider is unprepared, in spite of 
her exertions he should get his head down, she must 
endeavour, by means of the reins, to prevent the 
animal from throwing himself; and also, by a proper 



inclination of her body backward, to save herself from 
being thrown forward. Should an opportunity occur, 
she must endeavour to give him two or three sharp 
turns : this may also be done, with advantage, if she 
detect any incipient attempts in the animal to kick. 

A horse inclined, to rear seldom kicks much : but 
he may do both alternately ; and the rider should be 
prepared against his attempts, by keeping her balance 
in readiness for either of the opponent defences. She 
must also take care, that, while she is holding her 
horse's head up and well in hand to keep him from 
kicking, she do not cause him to rear, by too great a 
degree of pressure on his mouth. 


Although our limits will not permit us to enter 
into an elaborate detail of the lessons taken by a pupil 
in the riding school, it is right that we should give the 
learner a few useful hints on the rudiments of riding, 
and not devote our whole space to the improvement of 
those who have made considerable progress. While 
we endeavour to correct bad habits in the self-taught 
artist, — in the pupil of a kind friend, an affectionate 
relative, or of a mere groom, — to confirm the regularly 
educated equestrian in the true principles and practice 
of the art, — to remind her of what she has forgotten, 
and to improve upon the knowledge she may have 
acquired, — we must not forget those among our young 
friends, who, having never mounted a horse, are de- 
sirous of learning how to ride with grace and propriety, 
and who dwell at a distance, or do not feel inclined to 
take lessons, from a master. To such, one-third, at 
least, of our preceding observations are applicable ; and 
we recommend an attentive perusal of what we have 
said, as to Mounting, the Aids, &c., before they aspire 
to the saddle. Our other remarks they will find useful 
when they have acquired a little practice. 



A quiet and well-trained horse, and a careful attend- 
ant, should, if possible, be procured. A horse, that 
knows his dutj^, will almost instruct his rider ; and if a 
friend, who is accustomed to horses, or a careful ser- 
vant, accompany the pupil, there is little or nothing to 
fear, even in the first attempts. The friend, or groom, 
may also, by his advice, materially assist the learner in 
her progress. 

It would be needless for us to repeat our advice as 
to the manner of mounting, holding the reins, making 
the horse advance, stop, turn, dec, or the proper dis- 
position of the body and limbs : all these, in her early 
lessons, the pupil should gradually practise. 


Let the pupil walk the horse forward in a straight 
line, and at a slow rate, supporting his head in such a 
manner as to make him keep time in the beats of his 
pace ; bvit not holding the reins so tight as to impede 
the measurement of his steps, or to make him break 
into a trot on being slightly animated. The hand 

should be so held, that it may delicately, but dis- 
tinctly, feel, by the operation of the horse's mouth on 
the reins, every beat of his action. If he do not exert 
himself sufficiently, he should be somewhat animated. 
Should he break into a trot, he must be checked by 


the reins ; but the pull must neither be so firm nor 
continued as to make him stop. The moment he 
obeys the rein and drops into a walk, the hand is to 
be relaxed. Should he require animating again, the 
movement for that purpose must be more gentle than 
before, lest he once more break into a trot. 

After walking in a straight hue for a short time, the 
lady should practise the turn to the right and to the 
left ; alternately using both hands in these operations, 
in the manner directed in a previous page. She must 
observe, that when she pulls the right rein in order to 
turn the horse on that side, the other hand must be 
relaxed and lowered, or advanced, to slacken the left 
rein and ease the horse's mouth, and vice versa. 

If the horse do not readily obey the hand in turn- 
ing, or bring forward his croup sufficiently, he must 
be urged to throw himself more on the bit, by an ani- 
mation of the leg or whip. The animations, during 
the first lessons, should be commenced with great gen- 
tleness, and the rider will easily discover, by a little 
experience, to what degree it is necessary to increase 
them, in order to procure obedience. This observation 
should be attended to, were it only for the pupil's 
safety ; for, if she begin with her animations above the 
horse's spirit, his courage will be so raised as to en- 
danger, or, at least, alarm her, and thus render what 
would otherwise be an agreeable exercise, unpleasant. 
After the pupil has practised walking in a straight 


line, and turning on either side, for a few days, she 
may walk in a circle, and soon make her horse wheel, 
change, demi-volt, &c. The circle should be large at first ; 
but when the pupil has acquired her proper equilibrium, 
&c., it must, day by day, be gradually contracted. 

In riding round a circle, the inner rein is be rather 
lowered, and the body inclined inward. This inclina- 
tion must be increased during succeeding lessons, as 
the circle is contracted, and the pupil quickens the 
pace of her horse. She must practise in the large 
circle, until she is able, by her hands and aids, to 
make the horse perform it correctly. The inside rein 
must be delicately acted upon ; if it be jerked, at dis- 
tant intervals, or borne upon, without intermission, the 
horse, in the former case, will swerve in and out, and, 
in the latter, the rider's hand, and the animal's mouth, 
will both become, in some degree, deadened; and thus 
their correspondence will be decreased. In' order to 
procure correct action, the inner rein should be alter- 
nately borne on in a very slight degree, and relaxed 
the next instant, — the hand keeping exact time in its 
operations with the cadence of the horse's feet. The 
direction is to be frequently changed; the pupil alter- 
nately working to the right and the left, so as to bring 
both her hands into practice. 

As soon as the rider becomes tolerably well con- 
firmed in her seat and balance, and in the performance 
of the simple aids and animations, as well in large as 


small circles, slie should begin to ride in double circles; 
at first of considerable diameter, but decreasing them, 
by degrees, as she improves. Riding in double circles, 
is guiding the horse to perform a figure of 8 ; and this, 
in the language of the riding-school, is effecting the 
large and narrow change, according to the size of the 
circles. The number of the circles may be increased, 
and the sizes varied, with great advantage both to the 
rider and the horse. They may be at some distance 
from each other, and the horse be guided to work from 
one to the other diagonally. Thus, suppose he starts 
from a, he may be made to leave the upper circle at e, 
and enter the lower one at d ; leave it at 
c, and enter the first again at h ; and so 
continue for some time : then, beginning 
at /, to quit the lower circle at c, enter 
the upper one at 6, leave it at e, and 
enter the lower circle again at d. Thus, 
'^ the position of the rider and horse are 
alternately changed, from working from 
the right to a straight line, thence to the 
left, thence to a straight line, and thence 
again to the right. To give an instance of riding in a 
greater number of circles, of different diameters, let the 
horse start from a (see figure, p. 77), and leave the 
upper circle at h, traversing to the outer small circle at 
c, passing round, so as to enter the inner circle at e, and 
going round, by /, to g; quitting it at g, and entering 



the lower circle at h; quitting the latter again, after 
passing round i, at k, and thence proceeding towards 
the outer small circle ; entering at /, going round and 
entering the inner circle at e, passing round, and 
quitting it at/, to return again to a, by entering the 
upper circle at m. These exercises may 
be diversified in various ways ; the pupil, 
for instance, may perform the upper cir- 
cle, and one or both of the pair below, 
return to the upper circle, cross from 
that, diagonally, to the lower circle, quit 
it, at h or A-, to perform one of the mid- 
dle circles, return to the lower circle 
again, pass thence to the other middle 
circle, and quit it at c or f (as the case 
may happen), to return to the upper circle 
again. Nothing can be more beneficial 
than this variety of action ; it tends at once 
to confirm the pupil in her seat ; to exercise her in her 
balance and aids ; and to render the horse obedient : 
while, if he be kept in only one direction, he will per- 
form the figure mechanically, without either improving 
his own mouth and action, or the rider's hands, aids, or 

In the art of riding, working on a circle is called 
a volt; in angles, or a zig-zag direction, changes reverse ; 
and on half a circle from a line, a demi-volt. These 
figures may first be performed separately ; but there 




can be no objection to the demi-volt and changes 
reverse bemg afterwards embodied in the exercises on 
circles. As in the last figure, the lady may work from 
a in the mode directed, for some time ; then perform 
the variations, by going across from a to h, and de- 
scribe a demi-volt round by c e to a; then return from 
a to h, and work a demi-volt, in an op- 
posite direction, from h io a: thence, 
the lady may proceed in a line, enter 
the lower circle at d, and re-commence 
riding in circles. The change reverse 
may at any time be performed, by 
quitting the upper circle at e or f, and 
working on the traversing lines, so as 
to cross the lower circle at g or k, and 
enter it at ?' or k. In fact, these exer- 
cises may be varied, ad libitum ; and 
the more they are diversified, the greater advantage 
the lady will derive from them, provided she persevere 
until she can perform one figure with accuracy, be- 
fore she enter upon another that is more complicated. 
Should the horse, in changing, yield his head, but 
withhold his croup so as to destroy the union of his 
action, or mar the perfection of the change, the rider 
should bring it to the proper position, or sequence, by 
an aid of the whip or leg, as the case may be. 


The lady should begin to practise this pace as soon 
as she is tolerably perfect in the walking lessons. It 
will be as well for her, at first, to trot in a straight 
line : she may then work in the large circle, and pro- 
ceed, gradually, through most of the figures which she 

has performed in a walk. To make the horse advance 
from a walk to a trot, draw upwards the little finger of 
each hand (or that of the left hand only, when the pupil 
has advanced enough to hold the reins in one hand), 
and turn them towards the body: an animation of 
the leg or whip should accompany this motion. The trot 


should be commenced moderately : if the horse start off 
too rapidly, or increase the pace beyond the rider's in- 
clination, she must check him by closing the hands 
firmly; and, if that will not suffice, by drawing the 
little fingers upwards and towards the body. This must 
not be done by a jerk, but delicately and gradually; 
and, as soon as the proper effect is produced, the reins 
are again to be slackened. If the horse do not advance 
with sufficient speed, or do not bring up his haunches 
well, the animations used at starting him are to be 
repeated. When the horse proceeds to the trot, the 
lady must endeavour to preserve her balance, steadi- 
ness and pliancy, as in the walk. The rise in trotting 
is to be acquired by practice. When the horse, in his 
action, raises the rider from her seat, she should ad- 
vance her body, and rest a considerable portion of her 
weight on the right knee ; by means of which, and by 
bearing the left foot on the stirrup, she may return to 
her former position without being jerked ; the right 
knee and the left foot, used in the same manner, will 
also aid her in the rise. Particular attention must be 
paid to the general position of the body while trotting : 
in this pace, ordinary riders frequently rise to the left, 
which is a very bad practice, and must positively be 
avoided. The lady should also take care not to raise 
herself too high ; the closer she maintains her seat, 
consistently with her own comfort, the better. 


The whole of the exercises on circles should next be 
performed in a canter ; which may be commenced from 
a short but animated trot, a walk, or even a stop. If 
the horse be well trained, a slight pressure of the whip 

and leg, and an elevation of the horse's head, by means 
of the reins, will make him strike into a canter. 
Should he misunderstand, or disobey these indications 
of the rider's will, by merely increasing his walk or 
trot, or going into the trot from a walk, as the case 
may be, he is to be pressed forward on the bit by an 
increased animation of the leg and whip ; — the reins, 
at the same time, being held more firmly, in order to 
restrain him from advancing too rapidly to bring 


his haunches well under him ; for the support of which, 
in this position, he will keep both his hind feet for a 
moment on the ground, while he commences the canter 
by raising his fore feet together. 

The canter is by far the most elegant and agree- 
able of all the paces, when properly performed by the 
horse and rider : its perfection consists in its union and 
animation, rather than its speed. It is usual with 
learners who practise without a master, to begin the 
canter previously to the trot ; but we are supported by 
good authority in recommending, that the lady should 
first practise the trot, as it is certainly much better cal- 
culated to strengthen and confirm her in the balance, 
seat &c. than the canter. 

The lady is advised, at this stage of her progress, to 
practise the paces, alternately, in the various combina- 
tions of the figures we have described ; performing her 
aids with greater power and accuracy in turning and 
working in circles, when trotting or cantering, than 
when walking. She should also perfect herself in her 
aids, the correspondence, and balance, by alternately 
increasing and diminishing the speed in each pace, un- 
til she attain a perfect mastery over herself and her 
horse, and can not only make him work in what direc- 
tion, and at what pace, but, also, at what degree of speed 
in each pace, she pleases. 

The horse ought to lead with the right foot : should 
he strike off with the left, the rider must either check 



him to a walk, and then make him commence the canter 
again, or induce him to advance the proper leg by 
acting on the near rein, pressing his side with the left 
leg, and touching his right shoulder with the whip. 
His hind legs should follow the direction of the fore 
legs, otherwise the pace will be untrue, disunited, and 
unpleasant, both to horse and rider: therefore, if the 
horse lead with his near fore leg (unless when can- 
tering to the left — the only case when the near legs 
should be advanced), or with his near hind leg, except 
in the case just mentioned — although he may lead 
with the proper fore leg — the pace is false, and ought 
to be rectified. 

F 2 


No lady of taste ever gallops on the road. Into 
this pace, the lady's horse is never urged, or permitted 
to break, except in the field : and not above one 
among a thousand of our fair readers, it may be sur- 
mised, is likely to be endowed with sufficient ambition 
and boldness, to attempt "the following of hoimds." 
Any remarks, on our part, with regard to tliis pace, 
would, therefore, be all but needless. 

' ''^^--^^-j^.ij^^^ 


The lady must learn how to perform the perfect 
stop in all the paces. The perfect stop in the walk, 
is a cessation of all action in the animal, produced 
instantaneously by the rider, without any previous 
intimation being given by her to the horse. The 

slovenly stop is gradual and uncertain. The incorrect 
stop is a momentary and violent check on the action in 
the middle, instead of the conclusion, of the cadence, 
while the fore legs are coming to the ground. The 
proper movements should be performed, by the rider, 
so that the stop may conclude correctly with the 


cadence. The firmness of the hand should be increased, 
the body be thrown back, the reins drawn to the body, 
and the horse's haunches pressed forward by the leg 
and whip, so that he may be brought to bear on the bit. 

The stop in the trot is performed as in the walk : 
the rider should operate when the advanced limbs of 
the animal, before and behind, respectively, have come 
to the ground, so that the stop may be perfected 
when the other fore leg and hind leg advance and 
complete the cadence. 

The stop in the canter is performed by the rider in 
a similar manner : the time should be at the instant 
when the horse's fore feet are descending ; — the hind 
feet will immediately follow, and at once conclude the 
cadence. In an extended canter, it is advisable to re- 
duce the horse to a short trot, prior to stopping him, 
or to perform the stop by a double arret; — that is, in 
two cadences instead of one. 

It is necessary that the lady should learn how to 
make a horse had', in walking : to do this, the reins 
must be drawn equally and steadily towards the body, 
and the croup of the horse kept in a proper direction 
by means of the leg and whip. 


In riding-schools, ladies who never intend to hunt, 
are frequently taught to leap the bar. The practice is 
certainly beneficial ; as it tends to confirm the seat, and 
enables the rider more effectually to preserve her 
balance, should she ever be mounted on an unsteady 
or vicious horse. 

Leaps are taken, either standing or flying, over a 
bar, which is so contrived as to fall, when touched by 
the horse's feet, if he do not clear it : it is placed at a 
short distance from the ground, at first ; and raised, by 



degrees, as the rider improves. The standing leap, 
which is practised first, the horse takes from the halt, 
close to the bar. The flying leap is taken from any 
pace, and is easier than the standing leap, although the 

latter is considered the safer of the two to begin with ; 
as, from the steadiness with which it is made by a 
trained horse, the master or assistant can aid the pupil 
at the slightest appearance of danger. 

The position of the rider is to be governed in this, 
as in all other cases, by the action of the horse. No 
weight is to be borne on the stirrup ; for, in fact, pres- 
sure on the stirrup will tend to raise the body, rather 
than keep it close to the saddle. The legs — particularly 
the right one — must be pressed closely against the 


saddle, and the reins yielded to the horse, so that 
the rider can just distinguish a slight correspondence 
between her own hand and the horse's mouth. The 
animations thus produced, and the invitation thus given, 
will make the horse rise. As his fore quarters ascend, 
the lady is to advance forward ; the back being bent 
inward, and the head kept upright and steady. • A 
moment before the horse's hind legs quit the ground, 
the body should be inclined backward ; the rider 
taking care not to bear heavily on the reins, lest the 
horse force her hand, and pull her forward on his neck, 
or over his head, as he descends. When the leap is 
cleared, the rider should bring the horse together, if at 
all disunited, and resume her usual position. 

In the flying leap, the seat is to be preserved as in 
the standing leap ; except, that it is needless, and, in- 
deed, unwise, to advance the body as the horse rises : 
because, in the flying leap, the horse's position, espe- 
cially in a low leap, is more horizontal than when he 
rises at the bar from a halt ; and there is great danger 
of the rider being thrown, if she lean forv/ard, in case 
the horse suddenly check himself and refuse the leap ; 
which circumstance occasionally happens. The waist 
should be brought forward, and the body suffered to 
take that inclination backward which will be produced 
by the spring forward of the horse. The horse's head 
is to be guided towards the bar, and the reins yielded 
to him as he advances. 



The proper distance for a horse to run previous to 
the leap, is from ten to fifteen yards. If he be well 
trained, he may be suffered to take his own pace ; but 
it is necessary to animate an indolent animal into a 
short, collected gallop, and urge him, by strong aids, to 
make the leap. 



The first operation, preparatory to dismounting, 
is to bring the horse to an easy, yet perfect, stop. 
If the lady be light and dexterous, she may dismount 
without assistance, from a middle-sized horse : but, it 
is better not to do so if the animal be high. 

The right hand of the lady, when preparing to 
dismount, is to receive the reins, and be carried to the 
off crutch of the saddle. The reins should be held 
suflficiently tight to restrain the horse from advancing ; 
and yet not so firm as to cause him to back or rear; 
nor uneven, lest it make him swerve. 

The lady should next disengage her right leg, 
clearing the dress as she raises her knee ; remove her 
right hand to the near crutch ; and then take her foot 
from the stirrup. 

Thus far the process is the same whether the lady 
dismount with or without assistance. 

If the lady be assisted, the gentleman, or groom, 
may either lift her completely off the saddle to the 
ground ; or, taking her left hand in his left hand, 
place his right hand on her waist, and, as she springs 
off, support her in her descent. She may also alight, 
if she be tolerably active, by placing her right hand 



in that of the gentleman (who, in this case, must 
stand at the horse's shoulder), and descend without 
any other support. Should there be any objection to, or 

difficulty found in alighting by either of these modes, 
the gentleman, or groom, may place himself immedi- 
ately in front of the lady, who is then to incline 
sufficiently forward for him to receive her weight, by 
placing his hands under her arms, and thus easing 
her descent. 

If the lady dismount without assistance, after the 
hand is carried from the off to the near crutch, she must 
turn round so as to be able to take, in her left hand, 
a lock of the horse's mane ; by the aid of which, and 
by bearing her right hand on the crutch, she may 


alight without difficulty. In dismounting thus, without 
assistance, she must turn as she quits the saddle, so as 
to descend with her face towards the horse's side. 

By whatever mode the lady dismounts, but espe- 
cially if she do so without assistance, she should — to 
prevent any unpleasant shock on reaching the ground — ■ 
bend her knees, suffer her body to be perfectly pliant, 
and alight on her toes, or the middle of her feet. She is 
neither to relinquish her hold, nor is the gentleman, or 
groom, if she make use of his ministry, to withdraw 
his hand, until she is perfectly safe on the ground. 

In order to dismount with grace and facility, more 
practice is required than that of merely descending 
from the saddle after an exercise or a ride. It is 
advisable to mount and dismount, for some days, 



several times, successively, either before or after the 
ride ; — commencing with the most simple modes, until 
a suiRcient degree of confidence and experience is 
acquired to perform either of these operations in a 
proper manner, with the mere aid of the assistant's 


The lady should perform her first lessons with a 
snaffle bridle, holding the reins in both hands, and 
without a stirrup. When she has acquired some degree 
of practice in the balance, aids, and general govern- 
ment of the horse, she may use a bridle with double 
reins, and hold them in the left hand, managing them 
as we have directed in some of the preceding pages. 

If the lady be but in her noviciate in the art, we 
strongly advise her not to place too much reliance on 
her own expertness, or to attempt too much at first; 
but, rather, to proceed steadily, and be satisfied with 
a gradual improvement; as it is utterly impossible 
to acquire perfection in the nicer operations of riding, 
before the minor difficidties are overcome. 

The lady, in all cases, should recollect that her horse 
requires occasional baitings and relaxation. The time 
occupied in each lesson should be in proportion to 
the pace and animation in which it has been per- 
formed. If the exercise be varied and highly ani- 
mated, the horse should rest to recruit himself at the 
expiration of twelve or fifteen minutes ; when re- 
freshed, by halting, he may be made to go through 
another, of the same, or rather less dm-ation, and then 



be put up for the day. It would be still better to make 
two halts in the same space of time ; — the exercise 
taken in such a lesson being equal to three hours' 
moderate work. When the lessons are less animated, 
they may be made proportionally longer; but, it is 
always better, if the pupil err in this respect, to do so 
on the side of brevity, than, by making her lessons 
too long, to harass her horse. 


waster Fan^ tJt3r»y (rf Veterfnav 

Cwnmings School of Veterinary Medicine at 

Tufts Univerfi^tv