Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/27

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Precautions in saddling.—In order to accustom young horses to their equipment, they should be saddled during the period when they are exercised by leading. The saddle is put on without stirrups or stirrup straps; it must not be placed too far back, and, on leaving the stable, the girth should be tightened only slightly. The girths are readjusted during the exercise.

With nervous horses, it will be well to use the longe to quiet them by a little work before placing the saddle on the back.

After the horses have become accustomed to the saddle and the girth, the stirrups should be replaced and allowed to hang down on each side during several exercises. In this manner the horse will be perfectly prepared for the lesson in mounting which becomes that much more simple; early resistance frequently results from both saddling and mounting a horse for the first time on the same day.

Mounting lesson.—At first the trooper should get into the saddle as skillfully as possible without any attempt to mount by the numbers, and especially without being in any way exacting.

The lesson should be given after the horse has been worked for some time or at the end of his work. An assistant stands facing each horse.

The trooper approaches the horse's head, caresses him on the forehead, on the eyes, the neck, and the haunches. He slaps the saddle, pulls the stirrups out and lets them drop back; he then grasps the reins, leaving them very long. He mounts the horse without hurry, but also without hesitation.