Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/77

This page has been validated.

in line, follow them about, at first at a distance, gradually approaching and finally eating their oats in the ranks.

However, it is not necessary to enter into minute descriptions of details. It will suffice if the following caution is observed:

Avoid a struggle by starting at a distance from the dismounted men and do not insist brutally on the occasion of a horse's first fright.

Swimming exercises.—Swimming exercises are difficult to carry out, and the results obtained are not always commensurate with the danger to which the men are exposed.

If, however, the horses must be made to swim, the following schedule should be followed:

(1) Make the horse swim, holding him at the end of a longe attached to the halter. In this way you will be more certain to avoid any jerks that would cause him to make false movements. This remark is very important, for if a horse in the water is brought up short he will splash in his struggles and may easily lose his head completely.

(2) After the horses exhibit a certain amount of confidence, they should be mounted, bareback and in snaffle bridle, by men who are excellent swimmers, and then taken across a rather narrow stream. In order to have this exercise carried out under favorable conditions, the banks of the stream should have a gentle slope so that the horse can enter the water gradually, get out without difficulty and not be forced to swim more than a few yards.

(3) The same exercise is repeated once or twice only, with the horses saddled and bridled.