Page:Horsemanship for Women.djvu/124

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HORSEMANSHIP FOR WOMEN.

Duke of Wellington's death, in a conversation about riding, the duke said, "When I meet a lady on horseback I always stop, and if her horse seems troublesome, offer to ride alongside her in the Row till it is quiet. The other day I met a lady on a fresh, violent horse, so I took off my hat and said, 'Shall I ride with you? My horse is perfectly quiet.' She knew me, for she replied, 'No, your Grace; I think I can get on very well.' After she was gone, I felt sure it was Jenny Lind." "We all agreed," adds Lord Denman, "that the great singer should have accepted the services of the great duke, whether she wanted them or not."

It is better not to fight a restive horse unless you have reason to be sure of victory, but rather get some one to lead him past the object or into the road which he may have taken it into his foolish head to object to. If he is in "that state of nervous irritability known as freshness" do not jerk the bit, but keep a steady, patient bearing on it, speaking soothingly to him in a low though steady voice, for his acute hearing will enable him to perceive distinctly tones which are almost or quite inaudible to your companions. Try not to have an anxious expression of countenance, no matter what he may do, but to look serene and smiling, as it will not only be more becoming, but will undoubtedly react upon your own feelings. If he pulls, it is well to take the slack of the right reins in the spare fingers of the left, and vice versa, as this will give a firmer hold, and en-