A FREE EXCERPT
The Real Horse Whisperers
Tie up the horse’s right foot with a handkerchief, or a buckled strap, or something that is not so hard, as a common rope. Hold him close by the bridle-reins. Then take a small stick in your right hand, and strike gently upon the horse’s left leg, pulling downwards at the same time upon the bridle-reins, which you hold in your left hand, speaking to the horse, and telling him to lie down. Every time you strike his left leg, bear a little against him, and pull upon the bridle, saying to him, “Lie down, sir!” The horse, after several repetitions of the strokes, tries to lift up his left leg; but, as the other is tied up, this motion naturally throws him upon his knees. Now push him gently, till he lies upon his side. After he has remained several minutes in this position, untie his left leg, and say, “Stand up!” After he gets up, pat him in the forehead and all over, and lead him about a little. By repeating these lessons a few times, the horse will lie down at the word of command, by your pulling a little upon the bridle-reins, and leaning against him. When I practice this upon a wild horse that I have just been breaking, it is surprising to see how quick he will learn to lie down. He will do it in less than one half the time which one that has been broken in the common way will be, in doing the same, and very often in one fourth.
Take the horse’s left foot in your right hand; lift it up, and strike it upon the ground, counting one, at the same time. Strike again, and count two, and again, and count three, &c. to ten: when you pronounce this last number, raise your voice, so that it will be a little more audible than it was in the other numbers, and let the horse’s foot fall at the same time. Now count fifteen, or any other number, in the same manner; always telling the horse to count ten, fifteen, &c., and pronouncing the number you tell in a more audible manner, letting his foot fall at the same time. In a few lessons, he will learn to count at the word of command, and will stop at any number, whenever you raise your voice a little. In the same manner, you may make him tell what o’clock it is,& c.
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