Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/182

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name applied to a particular pace in which the fore and hind leg on each side moved simultaneously. When a horse was taught to amble his legs were geared together by means of trammels. Some horses were hard to train; others, by nature, learned the pace with great ease. Notable in this respect was the Irish hobby, which was, therefore, the most popular riding horse.

The foot-cloth horse was a staid trotting horse used for show. He was so called from the long, ornamental hanging, called a foot-cloth, that was always used as a decoration on state occasions. "Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble," occurs in King Richard III. A dignified mount for a venerable person in civil life was a mule. It was thus Lord Burghley took his daily exercise, riding about his private grounds. Such an animal, we learn from Shakespeare, was, upon state occasions, also dignified with the covering of a foot-cloth.

"Obscure and lowly swain, King Henry's blood,
The honourable blood of Lancaster,
Must not be shed by such a jaded groom.
Hast thou not kiss'd thy hand and held my stirrup?
Bare headed plodded by my foot-cloth mule
And thought thee happy when I shook my head.

The horses most frequently used in hunting and hawking were the tiny native breed. Inasmuch,