Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/50

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displacement of the head as well as to prevent, as far as possible, any bending of the neck; the head alone should be turned to the right. The movement will be well executed if the head, held high rather than low, remains vertical; if the jaw is flexible, and if the displacement of the head to the right or left does not pass outside of the vertical planes parallel to the axis of the horse and passing through the points of the shoulders.

In these bending lessons, which are invariably practiced while the animal is moving, the legs must be used to keep up a steady gait and to prevent slowing up.

Easing the hand on the snaffle.—Bending lessons should always be followed by easing the hand, which is a rest for the horse after a somewhat fatiguing exercise, and a relief to the hind quarters; this exercise is also a means of extending and lowering the head of the horse and of accustoming him to keep in touch with his bit.

When the easing of the hand is well done, the horse, after yielding the jaw, should extend his neck little by little and answer to the bending lesson even after his head is down. These bendings at the end of the reins give most excellent results.

The easing of the hand should be most carefully distinguished from the movement when the horse bores savagely against the hand. This habit of boring or diving is easily acquired if the rider releases his hand suddenly instead of keeping a constant tension on the reins and gradually following the horse's head.