صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني




MONOTONY. exercising treatinent 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 ? 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.


[blocks in formation]

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.


In Essex there liv'd, ah! woe worth the day
That calld him from all his companions away,
A doctor well known, and of knowledge profound, -
Of physic, of music, of horse, and of hound;
As physician or sportsman, or sober or mellow,
The doctor was hail'd as a right honest fellow.
'Twas a southerly wind, and the morning was fair,
So the doctor soon mounted his three-legged mare* ;
Three legs I have said, but this is not quite true,
She had gone to my knowledge four seasons on two,
Though the others, no doubt, were by nature intended
To serve as two more: so they might, were they mended.
No matter, the doctor this cripple bestrode,
Who came in her turn for the field and the road,
And, resoly'd with the hounds to come in for a treat,
He started for Mucking, the name of the “ meet :"
But he thought him two birds with one stone he might slay,
If he call’d on a medical friend on his way,
For he knew a rich patient they both had been plucking
Was breathing his last 'twixt B y and Mucking,
So could be contrive to arrive at his door
Before he was dead there was one guinea more;
So the doctor continued his journey to urge on,
Till he came in due time to the house of the surgeon;
There loudly he hallooed, which shows the condition
Of surgeon is held at beneath the physician.
The surgeon threw down both his potion and pill,
To wait on the man who had licence to kill :

* Five sound legs among three horses was the maximum average in the doctor's stud.

[blocks in formation]

“ Dear Sir, to what chance do I owe the great honour
Of seeing your mare and your — upon her,"
He would thus have said, but he fear'd this position
Of words, though in joke, might offend a physician :
So bowing and smiling, in his usual way,
Thrice he hemm’d, rubb'd his hands, and at last thus did say,
“ Dear sir! hem, hem, hem! dear sir, I'm delighted
To see you at 0— ; but pray be alighted.”
The doctor dismounted, so once as a treat
The old mare got allow'd a few minutes to eat*,
Though he said this was useless, for such was her nature
She would go night and day, and do well on potato:
The mare was put up, her rare treat to enjoy,
Which led to this pithy remark from the boy,-
6. Though the doctor maintains on potato “ghe doats,'
She seems mightily pleas'd with a quartern of oats.”

As soon as the doctors had canvassd together
The nature of patients, of hounds, and the weather,
The physician arose, first divested a potion,
Then said it was time to be once more in motion;
Then the surgeon requested, polite as before,
He would wait till the horses were brought to the door :
The horses were brought, mutual compliments pass'd
On the merits and beauty of both, till at last
Our son of Diploma thought fit to bestraddle
A thing that he called (God forgive him !) a saddle.t

Away, then, they trotted to visit this person,
Less fit to be physick’d, than carried a hearse on,
But they knew as life's taper was burnt to the socket,
'Twas the very last fee the physician would pocket ;

* The doctor's nags had a more accurate knowledge of perpetual motion than many philosophers.

† The doctor's saddles, made after a plan of his own, and by a country collar-maker were perfectly unique.


So they hurried along, most devoutly relying,
On reaching the patient while yet he was dying.
But it happen'd he popp'd off an hour before,
So his brother accosted them thus at the door :-
“ Why, h-1 and the d ll you cannot suppose,
A man will for ever be led by the nose :
That doctor declar'd here at five in the morning,
He knew 'twould be useless again his returning;
'Twould be picking my pocket, he very well knew,

To bring in more medicine, but now he brings you:
He might just as well to have carried this farce on,
Have long since brought in the grave-digger and parson;
They were just as much wanted, themselves, and their trade,
For the living ye scoundrels, as you for the dead,
So be off at once, while you can with whole coats,
Or I'll ram your d- d vials down both of your throats.”

The doctors both star'd at this sort of address :
In sooth a physician could not well do less;
They found of the fee that the brother would nick them,
For he swore if they did not be off he would kick them :
So they quickly departed, but vow'd if this brother,
His uncle, aunt, cousin, wife, sister, or mother,
Should ever by illness come under their thumbs
To avenge the indignity threatend their — s.

Here they parted, the one to continue his rounds, The other to make a short cut to the hounds.

« السابقةمتابعة »