Page:Equitation.djvu/297

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rium during all movements, it becomes a most valuable exercise for instilling the idea of the diagonal, as well as for making the horse energetic and active at the other gaits. But when the Spanish walk is obtained by the aid of straps, whips, or other devices, and is used only for show, the gait is neither attractive to the onlooker nor beneficial to the horse. In these circumstances, though it elevates its front legs, it does not really advance upon them in this position. Instead, it draws its fore legs backward from their extended position and makes only a half-step forward. Meanwhile, the hind legs drag inactive; the head and neck take any sort of position; and the rider's hand, at each step, jerks up and down. The movement becomes a mere grimace, performed under the direction of a rider who knows no better.

To teach the Spanish walk with the whip, the trainer places the horse with its right side close to a fence or wall, and taking the reins in his left hand, touches the horse's left fore leg with the whip. It is difficult to say at just what part of the limb the whip should first make its effect. Some horses will understand quicker if the pastern is touched. For others, the best point is the back tendon, the shin, the fore arm, or the knee. The rider must discover the spot by trial; but the place once found, the first touch of the whip should always be at that point.

When the horse learns to raise its foot from the ground at the contact of the whip, the trainer