Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/183

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137
RURAL SPORTS

however, as these sports were usually followed on foot, any wiry, swift animal was sufficient for occasional need.

"The pack-horse, with his pack-saddle laden with merchandise, was a familiar object not only on the highway, but on numerous tracks known as pack-horse roads, which are still pointed out in numerous parts of the country. His pace was neither to trot nor amble, but a fast walk known as a foot-pace." (Madden.) "If you will choose a horse for portage, that is, for the pack or hampers, chose him that is exceeding strong of body and limb, but not tall, with a broad back, out ribs, full shoulders, and thick withers, for if he be thin in that part you shall hardly keep his back from galling." (Markham.)

Of races and race-horses nothing need be said beyond the fact that, though horses were often matched in speed against each other, and though there were a few great races every year, as that at the Cotswold games, there was no special breed of horses for the sport. In fact, racing in Tudor times was so occasional as scarcely to merit consideration.

The Elizabethan trained his horse, especially the horse of service, with the greatest care. Much space is devoted to this subject by Blundeville,