The Art of Taming and Training Wild Horses
The Art of Taming and Training Wild Horses – Time to Reflect. And now, while your horse is eating those few ears of corn, is the proper time to see that your halter is ready and all right, and to reflect on the best mode of operations; for, in the horse breaking, it is highly important that you should be governed by some system.
And you should know before you attempt to do anything, just what you are going to do, and how you are going to do it. And, if you are experienced in the art of taming wild horses, you ought to be able to tell within a few minutes the length of time it would take you to halter the colt, and teach him to lead.
The Kind of Halter
Always use a leather halter, and be sure to have it made so that it will not draw tight around his nose if he pulls on it. It should be of the right size to fit his head easily and nicely; so that the nose band will not be too tight or too low.
Never put a rope halter on an unbroken colt under any circumstances whatever. They have caused more horses to hurt or kill themselves, than would pay for twice the cost of all the leather halters that have ever been needed for the purpose of haltering colts.
It is almost impossible to break a colt that is very wild with a rope halter, without having him pull, rear and throw himself, and thus endanger his life; and I will tell you why.
It is just as natural for a horse to try to get his head out of anything that hurts it, or feels unpleasant, as it would be for you to try to get your hand out of a fire.
The cords of the rope are hard and cutting; this makes him raise his head and draw on it, and as soon as he pulls, the slip noose (the way rope halters are always made) tightens, and pinches his nose, and then he will struggle for life, until, perchance, he throws himself; and who would have his horse throw himself, and run the risk of breaking his neck, rather than pay the price of a leather halter.
But this is not the worst. A horse that has once pulled on his halter, can never be as well broken as one that has never pulled at all.
Remarks on the Horse
But before we attempt to do anything more with the colt, I will give you some of the characteristics of his nature, so that you may better understand his motions.
Everyone that has ever paid any attention to the horse has noticed his natural inclination to smell everything which to him looks new and 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.
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