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216

BATTUEING IN A SMALL WAY.

ceptible of complaints than one brought up more hardily: he certainly would be more likely to take cold than the latter, if both were to stand for hours daily under the shelter of a hedge by way of a stable; but we do not want hunters to stand under hedges or even in cold stables. The man of wealth would probably take cold if he ate his dinner, as the labourer does, in the field in winter; but he never does eat his dinner there; and we do not find that a horse properly warmed in every part (to which he is of course accustomed) incapacitates him from facing a soaking day with hounds, or an intense cold one if snipe or duck shooting; nor do race-horses or hunters take cold one bit oftener at THEIR work than butchers' or bakers' horses do in theirs. But, as I said by feeding, if we WERE to render horses tender and liable to colds, with all their baneful results, what are we to do? It is better to risk a horse occasionally getting unfit to work, to having an animal that never is fit for it; and this would be the case, as we go now-a-days, if we treated colts or horses as they were treated a hundred years ago. It is useless to talk of Nature or Nature's rules where things are to be treated contrary to the rules of Nature. Clipping will of course get off a long coat, but it is far better, if we can, to prevent its getting on. I hold a clipped horse a beastly sight. All we can say of it is, a horse will be better, and go better, and is not so beastly a sight clipped, as a horse with a long coat. A man whose head has been shaved is not so beastly a sight as one whose hair looks as if it was a preserve for game for a Liliputian battue ; but the bare poll does not set him off to advantage, or look well beside a well kept Brutus; yet I would as soon see it as a clipped horse.

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CLIPPING OFTEN INDUCES NEGLECT. 217 Notwithstanding this, if I could not get a pair of scissors, I would haggle off a horse's coat with a pair of blunt shears till he looked like a ploughed field, rather than have a long coat on him. Of one thing I am quite sure — since clipping became so universal, hundreds of horses show long coats that formerly would have had fine ones; that is, among those trusted to servants, such as carriage-horses and London hacks. Why should John or James strap to keep a horse fine when clipping will do it? In fact, the rougher he looks in the proper season, the better for them: “ Master will be sure to have him clipped.” -Mem. I believe they do not usually clip in Arabia or Persia. - So much for warmth!

Having stated the kind of treatment that I consider will render the foal docile, good-tempered, and fearless as a foal, and also that as likely to force him up into a fine horse eventually, I will now mention the treatment I would venture to recommend when he has left the mother.

As every man who breeds has not the same conveniences for his mares or stock, in the shape of paddocks, hovels, &c., all each can do is to afford them the best accommodation he can: and indeed, provided the colt is kept secure, dry, comfortably warm, and moreover in a healthful situation, it matters little where he is kept: nor indeed have I any intention of recapitulating those general or minute directions for breeding that have been better given by others than they would be by me. My only intention in commencing the Papers on Educating Horses was a wish to induce persons intrusted with the care of them so to familiarise themselves with them, and so to lead the animal on by habit into the meeting our wishes,

218

FEAR AND LOVE INCOMPATIBLE.

that, when called upon to perform his destined duties, they shall neither alarm his fears, rouse his anger, nor call forth his powers of resistance, the doing of which in the colt is I am quite certain the cause of our finding him in after-life disposed to vice.

I trust it will be ceded to me, that, although the kind old nurse who has fondled us in our infancy is ever associated in our minds with pleasurable remembrances and grateful feelings, the schoolmaster is seldom sought for by his pupil in after-lifefrom feelings of regard. The latter may be aware, and of course is, that to the former he owes the knowledge that he finds so useful and necessary; but the manner in which that knowledge was imparted to the pupil rankles in his mind; and that being on whom we have ever looked with terror never can, never is, and never will be regarded but with feelings very nearly bordering on hate and a desire of retaliation: and people very much deceive themselves if they consider this feeling confined to the human species.

There is no doubt but that a different kind of instruction will be required for different horses, varied in accordance with the different description of servitude to which each is likely to be applied; but whether he is to race or draw a cart, the system should be the same in one particular, namely, accustom him from the first to something like the duties that will afterwards be required of him. The borse has no natural objection to do any thing that does not hurt him, nor has he any natural objection to letting you do any thing with him that does not hurt him ; it is merely the novelty of what is done for the first time that makes him fear he will be hurt. The colt objects to. a saddle being put on his back: it is very natural he

A ROUGH KINDNESS MAY ALARM.

219

should ; it is new to him: he will equally avoid a hand being placed there the first time it is done, because that is new to him also. This shows, what we must of course know, he does not resist the saddle because it is a saddle, but because he never had such a thing on before. He will equally resist every thing that has to be done to him for the first time. The great thing to do therefore (and which is seldom, perhaps never done) is, so to accustom him by gentle degrees to all we shall in future want of him BEFORE We do want it, that, when we do, it shall be as A B C to him, and there will be no after-fight for the mastery. All this should be taught him by the nurse, of whom he has or ought to have no fear: the schoolmaster may finish his education ; but, if properly brought up, he will have no occasion to use severity; so even his lessons will rouse no angry feelings; and where they have never been brought forth, there will be no vice.

The great thing with a colt is never to do any thing that really alarms him. Now I have said he will be alarmed by every thing that is done for the first time: so he will to a certain degree. The hand put on him does so, or rather he avoids it; but the alarm is so trifling, that, distract his attention by a carrot in one hand, he forgets or does not notice the other is resting on him, but quietly discusses his morsel, and then looks for more. Now, if on the contrary (though it might be done in kindness), he had received a good hearty pat on his back, it would perhaps take a week before he would suffer any one to handle him again. He had been alarmed; at least nineteen out of twenty colts would be by such a thing. Can we then wonder, if, when they are intrusted to men of coarse habits or bad tempers, or, what of the two is worse to boys, that we so often find them wild and unmanageable.

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BOYS MORE VICIOUS THAN HORSES. Of all earthly things, a boy is the last that ever should be allowed to go near a colt, or indeed a horse, unless some one is by to watch him. There is not one in a hundred that can be trusted: either from folly, their little petty tyranny, or their cruelty, they are sure to be in mischief. We often see a very quiet pony advertised for to carry a boy: it would be more in character to advertise for, what would be much more difficult to find, a quiet boy to ride a pony. My life on it, whenever Master Jackey gets hurt by his pony, instead of his being petted by mamma, and the pony abused as a “vicious creature,” the justice of the thing would be to give pony an extra feed for not hurting Jackey worse, and give Jackey a good horsewhipping for hurting pony as much as he did. Boys are very useful in stables when well watched; they must at the same time have it impressed on their mind that there are ash-plants in the stable as well as horses; for, however fantastical may be the tricks of colts, the boys will beat them hollow if they get a chance. Colts are tricky from play, boys from mischief.

The racing-colt doubtless requires less educating than other horses. He is not so domestic an animal ; and for the purposes to which he is applied, if he is good-tempered, will ride quiet, go where we want him, and face a crowd, he will in a general way do. The fact is, they run so young, and are consequently obliged to be saddled and ridden so young, that, when we see them running at two years old, they are just quiet enough for that (and many barely so), but to. tally unfit for any thing else. In short, like many other precocious young gentlemen, they enter life when they are more fit for the nursery. If, however, young horses

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