Page:Horsemanship for Women.djvu/29

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Have the horse brought saddled and bridled. Walk quietly up in front of him, with your riding-whip under your arm, and look him kindly in the face. See that the bridle fits properly, as a careless groom may have neglected to adjust it to the length of the head.

The throat-latch should be loose enough to permit the chin to come easily to the breast; the bits should lie in their proper place on the bars, and the curb-chain should lie flat in the chin groove, just tight enough to allow your fore-finger to pass under it. The bars are that part of the gum between the grinders, or back teeth, and the nippers, or front teeth, which in the mare is destitute of teeth, and in the horse has a tusk called the bridle-tooth.

It is upon these bars, of course, that the bits should lie, and the curb-bit, according to military rule, at an inch above the tusk. By general usage they are placed too high, the proper place of the curb-bit being not up in the corner of the lips, but opposite or nearly opposite the chin groove, which is just above the swell of the lower lip. If the curb-chain is too loose the bit will