Page images
PDF
EPUB

arms,

It is a bird of passage, but breeds M. de Buffon," was over this proud in this country, and migrates in and spirited animal, which shares October. Like the kestrel, the hob- with him the fatigues of war and by was used in the humbler kind of the glories of battle. Even in a

domestic state, the horse is bold and fiery: not less intrepid than his master, he faces danger and defies it ; he delights in the din of

and is animated with an ardour equal to that of man; on the course and in the chase, his eyes sparkle with emulation. Though bold and intrepid, he is docile and tractable: he knows how to govern and check the natural vivacity and fire of his temper. He not only yields to the hand, but seems to consult the inclination, of his rider,

Constantly obedient to the impresfalconry, particularly in what was sion he receives, his motions are called daring of larks: the hawk entirely regulated by the will of was cast off; the larks, aware

his master. He, in some measure, their most inveterate enemy, were resigns his very existence to the fixed to the ground through fear; pleasure of man.

He delivers up by which means they became a ready prey to the fowler, by drawing a net over them.

Hobby is also used in some countries, Ireland and Scotland more particularly, for a small horse or pony, and thence is derived the name of the child's toy, since the time of Sterne used figuratively, but universally, for the ruling fancy of a man.

HOCK, or Hough. See Ham.

HOG-STEER (amongst Hunters). A wild boar three years old.

HOODING A HAWK. Is to his whole powers; he reserves nofit her with a large easy hood, which thing; he will rather die than disshould be put on and taken off very obey. Who could endure to see frequently, with careful watching a character so noble abused? Who and gentle handling, until at length could be guilty of such gross crushe takes no offence.

elty? Yet this character, though HOOF of a HORSE, or Crust. natural to the animal, is in some The horny part which covers the measure the effect of education, foot, and defends the soft and move- which commences with the loss of able parts which compose it. It liberty, and is finished by conconsists of the hoof or horn, the straint.” coffin, the frush, the sole, the frog, The motions of the horse are the lift, the heel, the toes, the chiefly regulated by the bit and the pastern. See HORSE.

spur; the bit informs him how to HOOK. See ANGLING.

direct his course, and the spur HORSE.“ The most noble con- quickens his pace. The mouth of quest ever obtained by man,” says the horse is endowed with an amaz

[graphic]
[graphic]

ing sensibility; the slightest mo- | but so as to render his breast neition or pressure of the bit gives him ther too narrow nor too gross. A warning, and instantly determines thick-shouldered horse soon tires, his course.

and trips and stumbles every minThe horse has not only a gran ute, especially if he has a thick deur in his general appearance, but large neck at the same time. When there is the greatest symmetry and the breast is so narrow that the fore proportion in the different parts of thighs almost touch, they are never his body. The regularity and pro- good for much. A horse of a midportion of the different parts of the dle size should have the distance of head give him an air of lightness, five or six inches between his fore which is well supported by the thighs, and there should be less strength and beauty of his chest. distance between his feet and his He erects his head as if willing to thighs near the shoulders when he exalt himself above the condition of stands upright. other quadrupeds: his eyes are The body or carcase of a horse open and lively; his ears are hand- should be of a middling size in some and of a proper height; his proportion to his bulk, and the back mane adorns his neck, and gives should sink a little below the wihim the appearance of strength and thers; but the other parts should boldness.

be straight, and no higher behind The shape of the horse, unques- than before. He should also be tionably, surpasses that of all other home-ribbed; but the short ribs domestic animals. The head should should not approach too near the be small, and rather lean than fleshy: hauoches, and then he will have the ears small, erect, sprightly, thin, room to fetch his breath. When and pointed: the forehead, or brow, a horse's back is short in proportion neither too broad nor too flat, and to his bulk, and yet otherwise wellhave a star or snip upon it: the limbed, he will hold out a journey, nose should rise a little, and the though he will travel slow. When nostrils be wide, that he may breathe he is tall, at the same time with more freely: the muzzle small, and very long legs, he is of little value. the mouth neither too deep por too The breed of horses in Britain is shallow : the jaws thin, and not as mixed as that of its inhabitants : approach too near together at the the frequent introduction of foreign throat, or too high upwards towards horses has given us a variety that the onset, that the horse may have no single country can boast of: sufficient room to carry his head most other countries produce only in an easy graceful posture. The one kind; while we, by a judicious eyes should be of a middle size, mixture of the several species, by bright, lively, and full of fire: the the happy difference of our soils, tongue small, that it may not be too and by our superior skill in managemuch pressed by the bit; and it is ment, may triumph over the rest of a good sign when his mouth is full Europe in having brought each quaof white froth, for it shows a whole-lity of this noble animal to the highsome moisture.

est perfection. The neck should be arched to All our best horses, for the last wards the middle, growing smaller century, have been either entirely by degrees from the breast and derived from, or deeply imbued shoulders to the head : the hair of with, the blood of the Darley and the mane long, small, and fine; Godolphin Arabians : these have and if it be a little frizzled so much produced stock of vast size, bone, the better: the shoulders pretty and substance, and at the same time long; the withers thin, and enlarged endowed with such extraordinary, gradually from thence downwards, and before unheard-of powers of

speed and continuance, as to render England, as regards their breed of it probable that individuals of them horses, is impossible; unless we have reached nature's goal, or the refer it to neglect, and ignorance ultimate point of perfection. The in their method of breeding : we descendants of these Arabians have know of no particular distinctions, rendered the English coursers su- either in the soil or climate; nor perior to all others, not only in the does the climate of England aprace, where, indeed, they had long proach more nearly to that of the excelled, but as breeding stock ; primitive habitation of this animal and this country has no longer any than that of France. “ The Old need of a foreign supply, the breed Forester,” an anonymous corresbeing fully established both in qua- pondent in the“Sporting Magazine," lity of blood and sufficiency of num- says, “ That if the French governbers. This cause has long operated ment laid out as many louis as it against the many foreign horses now does francs in the attempted subsequently introduced, and which improvements in horses, so long as have all, since the Godolphin Ara- the system at present adopted conbian, proved very inferior to our tinues, and the great mass of the native stallions. In all probability, people remains the same, no danger the greater part have been of mixed of the English being out-done, as or spurious races; nor can the im- breeders of horses, is to be appreportation of such horses, at a risk hended for the next five hundred possibly, present any fair chance of years.” utility or profit at the present time. Several countries have claimed Yet, like the purchaser of a lottery the honour of being famous for their ticket, who may hit upon the 20,0001. breed of horses, but Tartary seems prize, even the importer of a horse to be the indigenous one. They from the Levant hopes to be the were great breeders also in Argolis, drawer of a Godolphin.

Cappadocia, and in Macedonia. In The keen avidity with which the latter country, we are told, that English horses are sought, by our three hundred stallions and thirty continental neighbours, as well as thousand mares were kept in the the Americans, together with the royal stud. According to all that number of entire horses sent by the has been said on the subject, great company to the East India settle- attention was paid to preserve the ments ; show at once the superiority, breed pure. In Tartary a bad raceand evidently proves the preemi- horse was immediately castrated; nence we have attained in the and among the Arabians, the cerbreed of these noble animals, over tificate of leap and produce was all other countries in the world. delivered with all the forms and Such is the persevering industry, accuracy of a title-deed to an estate. and thirst of improvement inherent They had three classes of horses in in Englishmen, that little is to be Arabia: first, noble; next, nearly apprehended from our retrograding so; and the third, common. These on this point—we may, indeed, be answer to our thorough-bred, halftermed a nation of sportsmen-we bred, and cart-horse. To obtain have been called a nation of shop- possession of the first class has keepers, by one who, when he first always been very difficult; and obtained power, exercised it in ap- many interesting anecdotes are upon propriating to his own use the stud record of those whose necessities of a German Prince, who had raised have compelled them to part with it, at a great expense, through a them. See ARABIAN HORSE. son of our Morwick Ball.

For a RACER, we require that To account for the great difference the greatest quantity possible of that exists between France and bone, muscle, and sinew should be

concentrated in the smallest bulk. | lofty forehead, a good mouth, and Every part in such a horse should a strong gallop. be, as it were, condensed, and each In the HACKNEY we look with as organ bear evident marks of capacity much anxiety to his fore parts as we for quick and continued progression. do to the hinder parts of the racer In addition to great flexibility, and and hunter; in them the fore parts some length, the limbs should be are rather subordinate to the hinder, strongly knit and symmetrically ar- but in the hackney, on the contrary, ranged: the chest should be deep the hind parts may be regarded as and capacious, and the hinder ex- of rather less consequence; for tremities particularly furnished with however speed is desirable, yet it strong muscles, operating on ex- is secondary to safety. The head tended open angles.

should be small, and well placed, The HUNTER should have more and well set on a neck of due bulk, and greater extent of form, to length : the withers high, the shoul

ders muscular without being too heavy; and, above all, they should he deep and placed obliquely. The fore legs should be perfect throughout, standing straight and well under the horse : and, what in the hunter and racer is of less consequence, is here indispensible, viz. that the elbows should be turned well from the body. The feet, also, it is requisite, should be perfect, and the whole of the limbs free from stiffness. Height is not so essential ; indeed,

the best size of the hackney is from enable him to carry more weight, 14{ to 15į; he should also be square and to support it for a longer time. set, without being in the least clumIn other respects, as almost the sy; and when with this form, the same qualities are requisite, so nearly more breeding he shows, short of a similar form, but more extended, full blood, the better. is necessary for a race-horse. For Age of a Horse. The usual method if it requires that the racer should of ascertaining the age of a horse be very powerfully formed behind, is by examination of his teeth. Of to propel him forward in the gallop, these a horse has forty: twentyso it is equally necessary that the four double teeth or grinders, called hunter should be well formed in his back or jaw teeth, twelve above loins, and well let down in his and twelve below, by which he thighs; that he may have strength chews and grinds his provender, to cover his leaps.

but as the animal becomes old they All our best hunters are now wear smoother; twelve fore-teeth thorough-bred horses, or as nearly so or nippers; and four tushes or bit as possible, and are far superior in teeth. Mares have no tushes, or every respect to the old English rarely ever short ones. It is, first, hunter. However, in the choice of by the fore-teeth or nippers, and a hunter, care should be taken that afterwards by the tushes, not by the he is neither long-waisted nor leggy; grinders, that we calculate the age. he should have as much bone as A colt is foaled without teeth: in possible, straight pastern-joints, and a few days he puts out four, called good feet; spreading haunches, and pincers or nippers; soon after apwell-knit joints. He should be at pear the four separaters, next to least fifteen hands high, with a the pincers; it is sometimes three

[graphic]

or four months before the next, is judged of by the tushes, which, called corner teeth, push forth. like the grinders, are not preceded These twelve colt's teeth in the by any other teeth. The two in front of the mouth continue without the lower jaw usually begin to shoot alteration, till the colt is two years at three years and a half, and those or two years and a balf old ; which of the upper jaw at four; continuing makes it difficult, without great care, very sharp-pointed till six. At ten to avoid being imposed on during the upper seem blunted, worn out, that interval, if the seller find it and long, the gum contracting itself his interest to make the colt pass as its years increase; the barer for either younger or older than he therefore they are the older is the really is : the only rule then to horse. From ten to thirteen or judge by is his coat, and the hairs fourteen years little can be seen to of his mane and tail. A colt of indicate the age ; but at that time one year has a supple rough coat some hairs of the eyebrows begin to resembling that of a water-spaniel, turn gray. This mark, however, is and the hair of his mane and tail equivocal, horses from old stallions feels like flax; whereas a colt of or mares having gray hairs in the two years has a flat coat and straight eyebrows when they are not above hairs like a grown horse. The first nine or ten years old. In some or foal teeth are round, short, not horses the teeth are of such a hardvery solid, and are cast at different ness as not to wear, and in such the times to be replaced by others. At black mark is never effaced; but the age of two years and a half the the age of these horses, which the four middle fore-teeth are cast, two French term bégus, is easily known, in the upper jaw and two in the the hollow of the tooth being filled lower. In one year more four others up, and at the same time the tushes drop out, one on each side of the very long. The age of a horse may former, which are already replaced. also be known, though less accurately, When he is about four years and a by the bars in his mouth, which half old he sheds four others, and shrink as he advances in years. always next to those which have HORSEMANSHIP. The art of fallen out and been replaced. These riding or managing horses. four foal-teeth are replaced by four If you would mount with ease others, but are far from growing so and safety, stand rather before the fast as those which replaced the stirrup than behind it: then with eight former, and are called the left hand, take the bridle short, corner teeth: they replace the last and the mane together, help yourself four foal-teeth, and by these the into the stirrup with your right, so age of a horse is discovered. They that in mounting, your toe do not are easily known, being the third touch the horse. Your foot being both above and below,counting from in the stirrup, raise yourself till you the middle of the jaw. They are face the side of the horse, and look hollow, and have a black mark in directly across the saddle, then with their cavity. When the horse is your right hand lay hold of the four years and a half old they are hinder part of the saddle, and with scarcely visible above the gum, and your left, lift yourself into it. the cavity is very sensible ; at six On getting off the horse's back years and a half they begin to fill; hold the bridle and mane in the and the mark continually diminishes same manner as in mounting, hold and contracts till seven or eight the pommel of the saddle with the years, when the cavity is quite filled right hand; to raise yourself, bring up and the black spot effaced. After your right leg over the horse's back, eight years, these teeth ceasing to let your right hand hold the hind afford any knowledge of the age, it part of the saddle, and stand a mo

« PreviousContinue »