The Modern Art of Taming Wild Horses/Chapter 3

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HOW TO STABLE A COLT WITHOUT TROUBLE.

The next step will be, to get the horse into a stable or shed. This should be, done as quietly as possible, so as not to excite any suspicion in the horse of any danger befalling him. The best way to do this, is to lead a gentle horse into the stable first and hitch him, then quietly walk around the colt and let him go in of his own accord. It is almost impossible to get men who have never practised on this principle to go slowly and considerately enough about it. They do not know that in handling a wild horse, above all other things, is that good old adage true, that "haste makes waste;" that is, waste of time–for the gain of trouble and perplexity.

One wrong move may frighten your horse, and make him think it necessary to escape at all hazards for the safety of his life—and thus make two hours' work of a ten minutes' job; and this would be all your own fault, and entirely unnecessary—for he will not run unless you run after him, and that would not be good policy unless you knew that you could outrun him, for you will have to let him stop of his own accord after all. But he will not try to break away unless you attempt to force him into measures. If he does not see the way at once, and is a little fretful about going in, do not undertake to drive him, but give him a little less room outside, by gently closing in around him. Do not raise your arms, but let them hang at your side, for you might as well raise a club: the horse has never studied anatomy, and does not know but that they will unhinge themselves and fly at him. If he attempts to turn back, walk before him, but do not run; and if he gets past you, encircle him again in the same quiet manner, and he will soon find that you are not going to hurt him; and then you can walk so close around him that he will go into the stable for more room, and to get farther from you. As soon as he is in, remove the quiet horse and shut the door. This will be his first notion of confinement—not knowing how he got into such a place, nor how to get out of it. That he may take it as quietly as possible, see that the shed is entirely free from dogs, chickens, or anything that would annoy him. Then give him a few ears of corn, and let him remain alone fifteen or twenty minutes, until he has examined his apartment, and has become reconciled to his confinement.