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Re: [WestKingdomEQ] Conditioning your hunt horse

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  • Dianne Karp
    Per US Cavalry manuals, a regimen that includes walk - trot - walk - trot - canter - trot - walk over further and further distances and varied terrain is
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 27, 2011
      Per US Cavalry manuals, a regimen that includes walk - trot - walk - trot - canter - trot - walk over further and further distances and varied terrain is considered to be a good contioning routine

      We use to for conditioning fox hunters.


      On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 7:25 AM, Elsie <nancyreimers@...> wrote:

      Greetings all,

      I'd gotten a few questions about conditioning older or serviceably sound horse for the hunt and wanted to reassure everyone, that there will be parts of the day that every horse and every rider will be capable of. I do reccomend if you have a horse capable of light work that you continue to work them lightly. They will be happy for it.

      Markham ("The Compleat Horseman", 1614) Offers up the following regarding the selection, care, and excercise of an Elizabethan Hunting-horse:

      "If you would choose a Horse for hunting, let his shape in general be strong, and well knit together, making equal proportions, for as unequal shapes show weakness, so equal members auure strength and endurance. Your unequal shapes are a great head to a little neck, a big body to a thin buttock, a large limb to a little foot, or any of these contraries, or where any member suiits not the whole proportion of the body, or with any limb next adjoining. Above all, let your hunting Horse have a large, lean head, wide nostrils, open jaw, a big throat, and teh windpipe straight, loose, well-covered, and not bent in the pride of his Reining, The Englich Horse, bastardized with any of the former Races first spoke of, is of all the best."

      "Some love hunting for the excercise of their own bodies, some for the Chase they hunt, some for the running of the hounds, and some for the training of their horses, whereby they may find the excellency of their goodness and endurance. To him therefore which placeth his delight in the goodness of his Horse, I would wish him to order and diet him, and he shall most assuredly come to the true knowledge of the best worth which is within him.

      A Hunting-horse would be groomed in his days of rest twice a day, that is, before he go to his morning watering and before he go to his evening watering. For the manner of his grooming after he is unclothed, you shall first curry him from the tips of the ear to the settling on of his tail, all his whole body most entirely over with and Iron comb, his legs under the knees and hocks only excepted. Then you shall dust him, then curry him again all over with a round Brush of bristles, then dust him the second time, then rub all the loose hairs away with your hand wet in clean water, and so rub till the horse be as dry as at the first, then rub all his body and limbs over with a hair cloth. Lastly, rub him over with a fine white linen Rubber and pick his feet very clean. Clothe him and stop him round with wisps if you water within the house, otherwise saddle him after his bodt is wrapt abount in a Woolen cloth and ride him forth to the water.

      The best Water for a Hunting horse is either a running River or a clear Spring remote from the Stable a mile or a mile and a half at most. As soon as you bring your horse to the water, let him drink, then gallop and leap him up and down a little, and so bring him to the water again and let him drink what he please. Having leaped him alittlehim with all gentleness home, and there clothe him, stop him round with great soft wisps, and so let him stand an hour upon his bridle and then feed him.

      You shall clothe the Hunting-horse with a single cloth whilst the summer heat endureth, and after with more as you shall see occassion require. Now for as much as it is a rule with ignorant Riders that if they have but the name of keeping a Hunting-horse they will with all care (without any reason) lay many cloths upon him, as if it were a special Physick, you shall know they are much decieved therein and may sooner do hurt then good with multiplicity of cloths. To clothe a Horse right, clothe according to the weather and the temper of his body, and thus if you see your Horse be slight, smooth, and well colored, then clothe him temperately, as with a single cloth of canvass or Sack-cloth at the most. If then as the years grow colder you find his hair rise and stare about his neck, flanks, or outwards parts, then you shall add a woolen cloth, or more if need require, till his hair fall smooth again.

      Touching the horse's excercise, which is inly in the following of the hounds, you shall be sure to train him after those which are most swift and speedy; for so you shall know the truth and not be decieved in you opinion. Touching the days, it shall be twice a week at least but most commonly thrice."

      About a 100 years after what we are looking at for this event, but I found it fascinating.


      Siobhan ni Seaghdha, OP
      Dianne Karp

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