Page:The Modern Art of Taming Wild Horses.djvu/26

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frightful. This is their strange mode of examining everything. And, when they are frightened at anything, though they look at it sharply, they seem to have no confidence in this optical examination alone, but must touch it with the nose before they are entirely satisfied; and, as soon as this is done, all is right.


If you want to satisfy yourself of this characteristic of the horse, and to learn something of importance concerning the peculiarities of his nature, &c., turn him into the barn-yard, or a large stable will do, and then gather up something that you know will frighten him—a red blanket, buffalo robe, or something of that kind. Hold it up so that he can see it, he will stick up his head and snort. Then throw it down somewhere in the centre of the lot or barn, and walk off to one side. Watch his motions, and study his nature. If he is frightened at the object, he will not rest until he has touched it with his nose. You will see him begin to walk around the robe and snort, all the time getting a little closer, as if drawn up by some magic spell, until he finally gets within reach of it. He will then very cautiously stretch out his neck as far as he can reach, merely touching it with his nose, as though he thought it was ready to fly at him. But after he has repeated these touches a few times, for the first time (though he has