Page:Equitation.djvu/398

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As a defense, the horse turns "head to haunches" very suddenly; and is likely, therefore, to mix its legs, and to fall to the side opposite to that to which it turns. In a manege, this need not be especially dangerous. But out of doors on a hard road, the result may be a serious injury both to rider and horse.

Evidently, there is some reason for this sudden movement of the horse; and it is for the rider to discover this and remedy it. Since, then, each individual animal has one side or the other to which the bend is always made, the corrective is to hold the reins in both hands, with the pair on the side away from the bend held shorter than the other. Thus, if the horse swings head to haunches on the left, the right reins are shortened and the rider's right leg is brought nearer to the horse's flank. In this position, the rider does not wait for the horse to begin its defense. He prevents it at the start by flexing sharply the horse's neck to the right and downward, while with his right leg he pushes the haunches to the left. This action turns the horse to the right, in the opposite direction to its defense. In making this turn to the right, the rider should execute only the ordinary change of direction. He should not have the horse perform "head and haunches to the right."

If this work is being done in a manege, the horse should always be at the hand opposite to the side toward which it makes the defense. If, for example, as in the case above, the bend is toward the left, the