The Art of Taming and Training Wild Horses
The Art of Taming and Training Wild Horses – Prevailing Opinion of Horsemen.
It is a prevailing opinion among horsemen generally, that the sense of smell is the governing sense of the horse. And Faucher, as well as others, have, with that view, got up receipts of strong-smelling oils, etc., to tame the horse, sometimes using the Chesnutt of his leg, which they dry, grind into powder and blow into his nostrils.
Sometimes using the oil of rhodium, organum, etc.; that are noted for their strong smell. And sometimes they scent the hands with the sweat from under the arm, or blow their breath into their nostrils, etc., etc.
All of which, as far as the scent goes have no effect whatever in gentling the horse, or conveying any idea to his mind; though the works that accompany these efforts–handling him, touching him about the nose and head, and patting him, as they direct you should, after administering the articles, may have a very great effect, which they mistake to be the effect of the ingredients used.
And Faucher, in his work entitled, “The Arabian art of taming Horses,” page 17, tells us how to accustom a horse to a robe, by administering certain articles to his nose; and goes on to say, that these articles must first be applied to the horse’s nose before you attempt to break him, in order to operate successfully.
Now, reader, can you, or anyone else, give one single reason how scent can convey any idea to the horse’s mind of what we want him to do? If not, then of course strong scents of any kind are of no account in taming the unbroken horse.
For everything that we get him to do of his own accord, without force, must be accomplished by some means of conveying our ideas to his mind. I say to my horse “go ‘long” and he goes; “ho!” And he stops: because these two words, of which he has learned the meaning by the tap of the whip, and the pull of the rein that first accompanied them, convey the two ideas to his mind of go and stop.
Faucher, or no one else, can ever learn a single thing by the means of a scent alone.
How long do you suppose a horse would have to stand and smell of a bottle of oil before he would learn to bend his knee and make a bow at your bidding, “go yonder and bring your hat,” or “come here and lay down?”
Thus, you see the absurdity of trying to break or tame the horse by means of receipts for articles to smell of, or medicine to give him, of any kind whatever.
The only science that has ever existed in the world, relative to the breaking of horses, that has been of any account, is that true method which takes them to their native state, and improves their intelligence.
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