Page:Equitation.djvu/34

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


hand, the nails up. He keeps the same cadence as the horse, the man's leg striding with the corresponding fore leg of the animal. As the horse plants its left foot, the man quickly advances his own right foot to a position near the left, and before the horse again lifts its left foot, the man bends slightly his knees, springs into the air, pulling himself by his left hand, and immediately passes his right leg over the haunches of his mount, shifting his left hand at the same instant to bring the nails below like the other. This movement needs decision, quickness of action, and energy on the part of the man, since he must be on the back of the horse before the latter's right fore foot returns to the ground after its stride. No time, therefore, can be lost.

When the rider is mounted and the horse continues its canter, the man should, for the sake of his future progress, learn to feel the jolt of the horse's motion, and to neutralize this by the relaxation of his muscles and the suppleness of his spine, all in the exact cadence of the step. For it is on this sense of cadence that everything else depends. "If the pupil has not that, he will begin his movement too early or too late, and thus render the maneuver most distressing to the spectator and nearly impossible for himself.

When the pupil has become accustomed to the canter cadence, he may be set to practicing the following progressive series of movements: