Page:Equitation.djvu/171

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


center of gravity also shifts forward. The equilibrium becomes unstable. The tendency is to fall forward. The front legs advance to prevent the fall, attract to their aid the hind limbs, and the walk or trot begins. Then, if walking or trotting, the equilibrium becomes disturbed, fixity of the hand and a light attack of the spurs will reestablish it, while fingering on the reins will maintain it.

When the horse has so far advanced in its education as to understand well the attack of spurs of the first degree, the work is exactly repeated with spurs of the second degree. Following these, spurs of the the third degree will still further augment the effects of the legs, without affecting the pupil's equanimity.

Finally, to student and novice, I give this advice. As you carry on your progressive work with the attacks, certain imbeciles - stable boys, ridingmasters, the ignorant public - will want to know what you are about, and whether you are afraid of your horse. Do not care. Let them criticize: it is very easy. But if you find one of these expert hunters or polo-players who think they have a seat, get them to try the work that you have been doing, keeping their seats while applying and holding their spurs exactly, precisely, justly, equally, and accurately. Then, if they make the attempt, observe them for your amusement!