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exercising treatment of horses by some of the lastmentioned class of public trainers. Horses exercising is one thing: horses doing work is another. Exercise is intended to keep them in health and steady, to increase the strength and elasticity of the muscles and sinews, to bring them into proper form as to flesh and clearness of wind, to then go to work. Provided we really do this, I conceive it matters little how it is done. A trainer will say there is but one way to do it, which is, of course, the way he does it. I would not venture to contradict this; but as to there being but one way, I may be allowed to again say “je m'en doute.” The one way we will suppose the trainer to allude to is, so soon as the horse is properly prepared to take his gallops, to regularly increase those gallops as to pace and length; and unless the weather or the state of the turf may compel a temporary change, the horse goes over the same training ground for weeks together. Now what is the frequent consequence of all this unvaried regularity ? The horse becomes tired of the monotony of the thing, jaded by the unwearied pace (for though the pace is increased, it is done so gradually that it appears the same to him), and so bored by his daily task, that often an ash plant is wanted to make him go through it; in fact, he becomes disgusted with it, hates his work, and the ground he goes on in doing it. What comes next 2 He shuts up, or goes out with the boy, or probably first the one and then the other. Should he not do this, he is very likely to get into a heavy dwelling goer, that will prevent his ever being a fast one; or degenerates into a lurching slug, that neither the boy can rouse in his work, nor the jockey in his race. Such, I am confi
dent, are the frequent results to many horses from the unvarying discipline of long-continued exercise, without variation in the way it is daily given. In training men for fighting, or, indeed, any athletic feat, one great effort on the part of a judicious trainer is to keep the mind of his man amused, that he may not get dissatisfied or disgusted with his work. He is not kept to walking or running a given distance, at a given pace, over the same ground; the scene and the labour are changed for him: he is made to take strong exercise, it is true; but it is varied: he walks and runs; but his walk is changed. If he is not quite disposed, or feels himself equal to go the same distance one day as another, he is indulged a little for that day; this induces him to go to his work with increased energy the next, and he makes up for his little respite. Cricket, raquette, sparring, and running with the harriers, are all resorted to at times to vary the scene. Provided the trainer gets a proper quantum of exercise out of his man, he cares not how it is got; nor is it necessary the same precise quantum should be got every day during a two months' training. A man would be bored to death if he was trained as horses are—he would get peevish, dissatisfied, and dispirited; and then bring him on in his training if you can. It is true, horses are not men, nor do they possess the minds of men, but they possess a something that stands them in the stead; a something, call it what you will, that renders them perfectly sensible of what they like and dislike: and they tell us this pretty plainly when, if we have bored them by the same eternal gallop for weeks, they bolt off to get out of it when they come to do work. Work they must: I
have only been alluding to the preparation for work.
THE DOCTOR — A TRUE TALE.
IN Essex there liv'd, ah! woe worth the day
* Five sound legs among three horses was the maximum average in the doctor's stud.
THE DOCTOR. 359
“Dear Sir, to what chance do I owe the great honour
As soon as the doctors had canvass'd together
Away, then, they trotted to visit this person,
* The doctor's nags had a more accurate knowledge of perpetual motion than many philosophers.
f The doctor's saddles, made after a plan of his own, and by a country collar-maker were perfectly unique.
360 THE DOCTOR.
So they hurried along, most devoutly relying,
The doctors both star'd at this sort of address:
Here they parted, the one to continue his rounds, The other to make a short cut to the hounds.