Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/73

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XXI.
HOW YOUNG HORSES ARE TAUGHT TO JUMP.

Jumping when at liberty.—Young horses may be taught to jump when at liberty or on the longe.

Jumping at liberty is ordinarily practiced in a straight chute, in which are placed several obstacles—at least one ditch and one bar. The horse is led quietly to one end of the chute and caught at the other end by men who stop him without frightening him and then offer him oats as a reward. Near each obstacle is stationed a man with a longeing whip ready to urge horses that hold back and hesitate; but the use of the whip should not be abused as it bewilders the animals and after a few lessons is ordinarily no longer required.

Jumping at liberty produces horses keen and straight on their jumps. The drawback is that the animals jump too quickly and acquire only a certain amount of skill; for, instead of observing the obstacles that they are taking, they have only one idea and that is to get out of the chute. The system is especially suitable to train horses for steeplechasing.

If the jumps in the chute are high, it will be better not to send young horses through until after they have had several preliminary lessons on the longe.

Jumping on the longe.—Jumping on the longe is a perfect lesson to train a horse for obstacles. Drilled by this method, the horse is cool and clever and forms the habit of observing the obstacle. It is the best system for service mounts and hunters.

This lesson may be given in the hall or in the open and in the following manner: