Page:Equitation.djvu/362

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a disposition of the animal's forces as does the trot.

The "in hand" for the gallop backward is between the "upon the hand" and "behind the hand." A horse upon the hand lifts its front legs too high and its hind legs not high enough. But if the rider livens it by the action of his own legs, the horse rears or points forward. If the horse is behind the hand, the fore legs do not lift sufficiently, and the tempo of the gallop is not exact. It is, however, not possible to describe completely the sensation which comes to the rider's hand, and only by experience can the rider determine whether he is right or wrong.

In fine, then, perfect equilibrium, terre-à-terre, perfect equilibrium, flexion of the rider's coupling, fingering, moderation, and good fortune. The backward gallop proves uncommon suppleness on the part of the horse, together with great strength in the haunches. On the part of the rider, it proves high equestrian tact. Yet the position which the horse takes and the action of its legs are far from graceful, and the utility of the air is debatable. It risks the soundness of the horse's hocks, and it is certainly not worth attempting by a beginner, who has to spoil several horses physically and morally before he attains to the tact and the accuracy of seat essential to the gallop backward without danger.

And yet, for any rider, experience with the gallop