Page:The Modern Art of Taming Wild Horses.djvu/15

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11
INTRODUCTION.

tion of comparatively recent date. The first seen in England was made for Anne of Bohemia, wife of Richard the Second, and was probably more like a pillion than the side-saddle of the present day. A pillion is a sort of very low-backed arm-chair, and was fastened on the horse's croup, behind the saddle, on which a man rode who had all the care of managing the horse, while the lady sat at her ease, supporting herself by grasping a belt which he wore, or passing her arm around his body, if the gentleman was not too ticklish. But the Mexicans manage these things with more gallantry than the ancients did. The paisana, or country lady, we are told, is often seen mounted before her caballero, who takes the more natural position of being seated behind his fair one, supporting her by throwing his arm around her waist (a very appropriate support, if the bent position of the arm does not cause an occasional contraction of the muscles). These two positions may justly be considered as the first steps taken by the ladies towards their improved and elegant mode of riding at the present day. At an early period, when the diversion of hawking was prevalent, they dressed themselves in the costume of the knight and rode astride.

Horses were in general use for many centuries before anything like a protection for the hoof was thought of, and it was introduced at first, as a matter of course, on a very simple scale. The first foot