Page:Horsemanship for Women.djvu/26

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HORSEMANSHIP FOR WOMEN.

say. For twenty-five dollars a riding-master will turn him over to her as docile and supple as any of them, and, with a little time and trouble, she can do it herself for nothing.

As for the proficiency in riding requisite, it is only necessary that you should not depend upon the reins for your balance—a common habit, but one destructive of all delicacy of the horse's mouth. As the first half-dozen lessons of this course are to be given on foot, a riding-habit would only be in the way; so go to your first tête-à-tête with your new scholar in a stout walking-dress, easy in the waist, short of skirt, and of stuff that will bear scouring, for frothy lips will certainly be wiped on it. Let the hat be trim, the gloves strong and old, and the boots heavy with low heels.

The saddle should, if possible, be of the safe and easy modern pattern, with hunting-horn and low pommel on the right side—but of course any one which does not gall the horse can be made to do. It should have at least two strong girths, and must be so padded with wool as not to touch the backbone. Make sure, before putting it on, that there are no tacks loose or likely to become so in the lining.

The bridle should be a double one, with one "snaffle" or jointed bit, and one curb-bit, each having, of course, separate reins and headstalls. By-and-by you can use a single bridle, if you prefer, with whichever bit you think best suited to your hand and your horse's mouth.