The Modern Art of Taming Wild Horses/Chapter 12

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

If your horse, instead of being wild, seems to be of a stubborn or mulish disposition; if he lays back his ears as you approach him, or turns his heels to kick you, he has not that regard or fear of man that he should have, to enable you to handle him quickly and, easily; and it might be well to give him a few sharp cuts with the whip, about the legs, pretty close to the body. It will crack keenly as it plies around his legs, and the crack of the whip will affect him as much as the stroke; besides, one sharp cut about his legs will affect him more than two or three over his back, the skin on the inner part of his legs or about his flank being thinner, more tender, than on his back. But do not whip him much — just enough to scare him; it is not because we want to hurt the horse that we whip him — we only do it to scare that bad disposition out of him. But whatever you do, do quickly, sharply and with a good deal of fire, but always without anger. If you are going to scare him at all you must do it at once. Never go into a pitched battle with your horse, and whip him until he is mad and will fight you; you had better not touch him at all, for you will establish, instead of fear and regard, feelings of resentment, hatred, and ill-will. It will do him no good, but an injury, to strike a blow, unless you can scare him; but if you succeed in scaring him, you can whip him without making him mad; for fear and anger never exist together in the horse, and as soon as one is visible, you will find that the other has disappeared. As soon as you have frightened him so that he will stand up straight and pay some attention to you, approach him again, and caress him a good deal more than you whipped him, then you will excite the two controlling passions of his nature, love and fear, and then he will love and fear you too, and, as soon as he learns what to do, will obey quickly.