Page:Equitation.djvu/379

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THE HARD-MOUTHED HORSE

fits its morals, and economizes the wear and tear of its physical mechanism. My own opinion and practice agree with those of Baucher.

THE HARD-MOUTHED HORSE

THE hard-mouthed horse has insensitive bars; and is, therefore, able to resist the bit. Baucher insists that there is no such thing. Fillis admits its existence, but lays it to the lack of skill of former riders. I, in a way, agree with them both.

Fillis offsets the lack of sensibility by using a severer bit. His method is sound and practical for the man who must ride a hard-mouthed animal, yet has not the time to educate his mount. But the severe bit is only a provisional remedy, since the horse will very soon become accustomed to this also and pull against it as before. For the trainer who can spare the time needed for a real cure, Baucher's idea is the right one, and I am completely of his opinion.

I have already explained that, in natural conformation, there are three sorts of bars. I do not, however, believe that the lack of sensibility of any sort follows directly from its shape. It is, rather, an indirect result of other causes.

Consider, for example, two different horses, ridden by the same trainer, who we will assume is entirely competent. One of these animals is well conformed, with a somewhat heavy neck, and heavy or fleshy bars. The other is badly conformed

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