Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/22

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expert horseman will finish the work more satisfactorily and more quickly, and his composure and experience will enable him to mount without trouble a younger horse, because, in his hands, there will be none of those struggles that produce blemished animals.

Finally, the time required for training will vary according to the object to be attained. Many long months are often necessary to work a young horse up to high-school exercises, whereas, occasionally, a few weeks will be sufficient to produce a horse free at the three gaits and galloping with either lead.

Three periods of training.——The training of a young horse may be divided into three periods——preliminary work, work in the snaffle bridle, work in the double bridle.

(1) Preliminary work.——In this first period the horse is gentled. He is taught to allow himself to be saddled and mounted, to go straight ahead at the walk and trot, to turn to the right and to the left.

Work on the longe should properly be taken up in the preliminary period.

Under certain circumstances and with certain horses outside work may be begun.

(2) Work in the snaffle bridle.——The horse is first brought to a thorough understanding of the effects of the legs. He is next taught to obey the simple effects of the snaffle.

At the end of this period the horse should understand work at the three gaits on the three lines;[1] he should know how to take the gallop with either lead, and how to work on two tracks[2] at the walk and at the trot.

In this second period outside work will have been continued or begun.

  1. The straight line, the diagonal, and the circle.——Translator.
  2. Where the fore and hind feet do not follow the same track, e. g., in passaging.——Translator.