Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/40

This page has been validated.

very pronounced action of the left leg and left rein. This strongly marked lateral effect carries the horse's haunches to the right; that is to say, the horse while still gaining ground yields to the effect of the left leg (and left rein) and thus describes a half turn. The same movement is executed while marching on the left hand and the horse eventually swings the haunches easily about the forehand, without halting, without striking the fetlocks, and without dancing. (Without either increase or decrease of cadence.)—The Board.

We have specified half turns reversed, but abouts, full turns, and later, serpentines can also be used.

About on the forehand.—The second lesson may also be given by means of the abouts on the forehand; but it would be wise not to insist upon this movement and to use it only when absolutely necessary.[1]

The great drawback to abouts on the forehand is the frequent halting of a young horse and the holding of him in place by the action of the legs. This lesson used repeatedly at the beginning of training will eventually check any movement straight to the front that has been already obtained.

Major Dutilh, although he explains in detail the system of abouts on the forehand, himself points out the danger of using them, for, following his explanation, he says:

Caution riders that abouts on the forehand have the disadvantage of rendering horses unresponsive to the action of the legs. In order to

  1. It must be remembered that at this stage of his instruction the colt has learned little and would be unable to execute a left half turn in the open. In the hall, however, he understands the opening of the right rein that guides him off the track, to which he has grown accustomed, into the right oblique, and he understands the opening of the reverse rein to guide him back. The prompt and forceful use of the left leg then swings his haunches about and instead of being confused he moves out willingly in the opposite direction, because he is again on his familiar track next to the wall.—The Board. Obliquing to the right, if the command be simply: (1) On forehand, (2) Half turn, (3) March, the movement is continued to the right in the turn.