Page:Equitation.djvu/408

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time when the horse is set. Do not employ legs or spurs, since the effect of these is to make some horses lie down in a sort of frenzy. Avoid also any caressing of the animal during the time when it is rigid. If both rider and horse are in a safe situation, and if the failing is only occasional and not a formed habit, remain perfectly calm, and keep the animal, or, more correctly, permit him to be, completely free. Very soon he will become exhausted by the tension, will relax, and move forward. The powerful spasm of the horse's nerves and muscles is much like that of a man made temporarily insane by excess of alcohol. If, then, the horse is left to itself, very soon it is sufficiently punished, and as soon as its strength gives out, it will relax.

When, however, a horse continues to repeat the act of burying itself, it is better to consult a veterinarian and have a careful examination of the heart. The horse's heart is susceptible to disease, trouble, failure; and the rider should know the situation before he exposes himself to accident from some abnormal condition.

PREPARING FOR DEFENSE

PREPARING for defense is the action which a horse takes as a preliminary to entering upon the state of non-submission, revolt, and refusal.

This first act of rebellion is very easy to detect. The animal escapes the contact of the bit. It keeps its mouth closed, holds its neck rigid and usually