Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/94

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92
EQUITATION AND HORSE TRAINING

two, and at a gallop for half a mile. Twice a week give him a mile at a very moderate gallop.

If the horse is too fat, give him a purge during the first days of training to decrease, the size of the intestines, and at the end of the first week give him a sweat to eliminate part of the fat from the tissues. (See Question VIII.)

Thin horses or small eaters do not need either purges or sweats.

Third and fourth weeks.—If the legs keep in good shape and the appetite continues good, increase the speed and duration of the gallops, diminishing proportionately the length of time at the trot. Twice a week give a good gallop, but not at full speed. A second sweat should be given at the end of this period if the horse is still too fat.

Fifth and sixth weeks.—Same work, increasing the speed and taking the horse once or twice over a distance nearly equal to that of the race.

Seventh and eighth weeks.—Give several gallops from one-half to three-quarters of a mile, increasing the gait during the eighth week at the end of the stretch. Give also two or three gallops about 2 miles long, but never force the pace.

Two days before the race, gallop from a half mile to a mile, increasing the pace as much as possible the last quarter of a mile, but of course without overtaxing the horse. The day before the race give him only a half-mile gallop at a moderate gait. The morning of the race exercise for an hour at a walk.

Training for obstacles is only secondary, provided the horse already knows how to jump. It is sufficient to take him over a few obstacles at an ordinary gait, from time to time, after the second or third week.

During training it is essential that the horse be calm and that he lower his head and stretch the reins without boring on the hand.