Page:Equitation.djvu/204

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the croup over with his right leg. But the effect soon evaporates, and the haunches return to their former place. It is all labor without end, not a corrective.

But why does the left front leg not gain ground equally with the right? For a great many reasons, which are all, at bottom, one. The weight is more upon the right fore leg, so that this has to reach out farther at each stride to check the forward fall of the body. The point, then, is to equalize the load on the two front legs. This we can do by pressing with the right rein against the right side of the neck so as to throw the head over to the left, until the two fore legs are loaded equally. Then the left fore leg will reach out farther, and allow room for the full stride of the left hind leg. This, in turn, will no longer push over the right hind leg, and the horse will travel straight.

But, to go back another step, why was the weight not equal on the two fore legs? The answer is that the spine was crooked. By using a rein of opposition on the side opposite to the shorter stride, we correct the wrong position of the haunches. This means of placing the spine straight will be understood by a horse whose progressive education has gone so far as to include the pirouette.

THE REIN OF CONTRACTION

THE rein of contraction is a complex and special effect of a rein, which, bearing on one side of the