Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/25

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on after exercise; during the five or six hours following hard work they are especially efficacious.

In addition to the precautions generally adopted, it is well to see that the blanket strap or surcingle is fastened around the place where the saddle girth belongs and not pushed forward to the horse's elbows; the object being to prevent the formation of two worn places.

Work on the longe.—This work may be of great service in horse training, provided, however, that the longe is used as a means of training and not as a medium for fatiguing exercise.

The following principles must dominate in this work:

(1) The horse is to be controlled by the longe and not by the whip; the only function of the latter is to move the horse forward.

(2) The length of the longe is to be frequently changed. The horse should alternately stretch himself on a large circle and bend himself on a small circle.

(3) The gaits should be frequently changed and the horse brought to the walk from time to time in order to avoid the stiffness of gait that would result from prolonged work.

The progressive method of handling a horse on the longe is given in the regulations (United States Cavalry, paragraph 350) and is described in detail in several works; there is, therefore, no necessity of repeating details here. It will be sufficient to point out the different cases in which the longe can be used to advantage.

Work on the longe can be used:

(1) To exercise young horses without injury and without fatigue to the joints.

(2) To give first lessons to horses difficult to manage.

(3) For horses that hold back or fight.

(4) For horses with one shoulder more developed than the other.