Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/35

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VIII.

Outdoor work.—Conditioning is not a chapter apart in the education of the young horse; conditioning and training run together and the horse acquires at the same time habits of work and of obedience. It would be a mistake to think that the conditioning of a horse requires the jockey seat on a sanded track. Riding-hall work and outdoor exercise are generally sufficient.

When to begin.—Outside work should be begun as early as possible. It is an advantage to take the horses out as soon as they know how to go straight ahead and to turn to the right and left. Outdoor rides, intelligently conducted, "put horses into the bridle" [1] and improve the carriage.

Moreover, this is a good way to quiet the animals as troopers are less exacting on the road than on the riding-hall track.

Combination of riding hall and outside work.—This outside work must be combined with the lessons in the hall. There is no necessity of feeling compelled to follow blindly a set schedule such as to work on the road for six weeks and then stay inside for several months. On the contrary, it is of distinct advantage to alternate the two and to have at least two outdoor rides each week. However, the officer in charge of training must base his

  1. To put a young horse into his bridle is to make him take hold of his bit and bear on it properly whenever he moves forward under the impulse of both legs. He thus, as previously stated, produces a proper tension on the reins. If a horse fails to bear on the bit and to tighten the reins when the legs urge him forward he is said to be "behind the bit.-The Board.