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HORSES AND ROADS
him: ‘Mr. E. Flower, of Hyde Park Gardens, has agitated this question for some time with that exaggerated enthusiasm which is essential if any deep-seated grievance is to be reformed. No great reform from the time of Martin Luther to Clarkson and Wilberforce has ever been effected by cautious advocates and soft suggestions.’ Mr. Flower has happily succeeded in convincing many that he was right. Even some ‘fashionable’ sporting men threw away the bearing-rein in their teams, rightly judging that, whilst their horses thus went better, they also looked better. Managers of heavy traffic, and owners of the hardest-worked slaves, find that they have been gainers by abandoning it. They will soon make the same discovery in the matter of shoes.
Mayhew says: ‘That cannot be right the results of which are purely evil.’
The use of horseshoes is a sin; they are unnecessary, and ‘their results are purely evil:’ they torture the animal and shorten his life; and the sin carries along with it the curse of being a continual source of worry and expense to his owner.
‘Fashion’ cannot plead effectually in their favour, as they detract from action, activity, smartness, and speed. But then, perhaps, ‘fashion’ demands clatter; there is no accounting for taste.
The bearing-rein would be still less needed for a horse which, having no pains in his feet, would not be shifting them about, and putting himself into slouching postures at every moment in order to relieve them.