109 Lancey Kane, Messrs.
Frederic Bronson, A.
Cassatt, Prescott Lawrence, Reginald Rives, W.
Webb, James Gordon Bennett, Francis T.
Sturgiss, August Belmont, W.
Belmont, Pierre Lorillard, Jr.; S.
Howland, Foxhall Keene, W.
Morgan, Stanley Mortimer, F.
Havemeyer, Adolph Ladenburg, E.
Nutting, John R.
Townsend, Fairman Rogers, Timothy L. 5.
Carrying the reins, hands Woodruff, Frederick Gebin position.
Hard, Eugene Higgins, Colonel Morrell, E.
Rittenhouse Miller, John H.
Shults, Jacob Astor, A.
Drexel, George W.
Smith, Jr.; Henry Fairfax, WinJohn M.
Mcthrop Rutherford, F.
Curdy, John F.
Talmage, Jr., and Baudoine, Thomas HitchHamilton H.
Salcock, Jr.; Emile Pfizer, mon.
These are, Harrison K.
Caner, John of course, only L.
Conaway, Barclay a few of the Warburton, T.
Suffern g o o d amateur Tailer, Frederic S.
Denwhips known in nis, Frederic C.
Thomas, the highest soH.
Cial circles of 6.
Giving the office to start.
TwomNew York, Brookbly, Marion l y n , Philadelphia Story, F.
Others Bourne, Willjust as clever are now to iam L.
Elkbe met with on the roads ins, Joseph E.
Everywhere, in the East, Widener, West and South, from Mitchell HarMaine to California, and rison, George from the Gulf to the R.
Read, Canadian border and beFrancis D.
Indeed, four-inBeard, Louis hand driving has beWormser, come so fashionable that all who nowadays keep Gould W.
Brokaw, John up establishments of any pretensions in the 7.
Steadying off horses.
Country may safely be counted upon to handle the ribbons with more or less dexterity.
The ladies, too, are very much in evidence on the box-seat; in fact, the wives of almost all the gentlemen named are known to be as clever with four horses as are their husbands, and quite a few of the gentler sex who have not yet reached the married state are also shining members of the cult.
Their appearance on the coaches at the meets, which regularly take place at the several summer resorts, lends a peculiar zest to the sport 8.
Steadying near horses. 110 OUTING FOR MAY.
Stage-drivers are not yet all dead who like to lap three reins around each leg and let their feet dangle over the front of the foot-board, the horses going like fury, and the hearts of the passengers welling up into their throats.
This is engineering with the throttle pulled ’way open.
It is not driving in the artistic sense of the term.
The up-to-date stylish coachman carries his reins and pulls them gently or places them, never grasps or hauls on them; his hands are carried in position and either raised or dropped, never held out at arms’-length, nor yet allowed to fall between his knees.
Most of the past masters of the craft are those who have from their boyhood handled trained coach-horses in the manner hereinafter described, as well as green stock; and they go about their work so naturally that they seem to have been born for nothing else but “tooling” four “gees” to a mail-coach.
A typical old road coachman’s general “get-up” proclaims him a professor before he mounts the box.
His high hat stays on during the most furious hurricanes, when everybody’s else head.
Gear goes sailing through the air; his greatcoat, with two rows of massive pearl buttons down the front, always hangs correctly; his “upper benjamin” (shoulder cape) never flies up into his face, as do the Inverness capes of his passengers; his driving apron never falls down; his gloves—generally three or four sizes too large—keep his hands snug when every other set of digits on the coach are frozen stiff, and he has a trick of twiddling his fingers to keep up the circulation, instead of slapping his hands on his shoulders as do ordinary mortals.
In fact, he has such a way of “doing things” that it is not wonderful that his horses go where he puts them.
But “To coach, gentlemen,” and let us see in print and by the aid of a few sketches how some of the stylish “Jehus” handle the ribbons.
It is, of course, presumed that the reader is familiar with the various parts of harness, as marked in the annexed diagram.
If the reader has not had the advantage of driving, he should practice with a driving dummy, such as shown on page 112 by courtesy of Harris & Nixon, who, I believe, were the first to put such a clever contrivance before the public.
Every pupil will, of course, have of coaching in this country, which it does not enjoy to the same extent anywhere else in the world.
Of the professional drivers who have taught American amateurs, none are held in higher esteem than was Jem Selby, recently deceased, who was famous as the breaker of all records on the London and Brighton coach, “Old Times.” Edwin Howlett, of Paris, has perhaps taught more amateurs than any other man living, and several of his sons are engaged in the business.
Charles Fownes, of the “Defiance,” Arthur Stone, of the “Vivid,” and Wilson, of the Box Hill “Rocket,” are some other well-known coachmen to whom many amateurs are indebted for useful hints.
Hundreds have taken lessons on this side of the Atlantic from such professionals as old Fred, Ashenden and his son Herbert, Frank Swales, the writer’s brother Walter Godfrey, the Howlett boys, Aurel Baytoni, C.
Pratt, old Jack Lyons, and several old coachmen like him, and some young ones like Jack Donnelly, who, by reason of their cleverness in the show-ring, have become more or less celebrated throughout this country.
As most writers and teachers of driving have their own peculiar style, and impart to many of their pupils little tricks that they have either invented themselves or have had handed down to them from their old masters, it follows that there are several different styles of driving and of carrying the hands and reins.
I believe it is now generally admitted that grasping and hauling on the reins, as illustrated in cuts 1, 2, 3 and 4, is out of date and only resorted to by those who are compelled to handle very green horses and have not the knowledge or facilities for training and bitting them in the more advanced style.
Many who still adhere to the old tactics, however, aver that the system of pointing, looping and oppositions as practiced with welltrained horses would tangle up a green four, and is extremely difficult of manipulation under the extraordinary circumstances of the show ring, a fortuitous aggregation of circumstances which never occurs on the road.
Out West where six horses or mules are galloped down steep mountain-paths, the pulling and hauling system is, of course, still in vogue; and the daring DRIVING FOUR-IN-HAND.
Watched the horses “put to,” have walked around them and observed that each horse’s bit, curb-chain, nose-band and coupling-rem have been properly adjusted to suit each horse’s temper; that pole-chains are at right tension; that traces are of proper length—inside shorter than outside—and are crossed or lapped as deemed best; that reins are passed through the proper terrets, and not twisted; that leaders are at right distance from the bars, and that the wheelers are drawn up lightly into their collars, etc.
All these things being correct, the student will take up his position about eighteen inches from the off (or right) wheeler’s pad (saddle), through the terrets of which the hand-pieces of the reins are hanging. taking the reins. 111 The hand-pieces of four-in-hand reins should be about an inch or inch and an eighth wide and of moderate thickness —suitable to the length of your fingers.
Take the hand-pieces of reins out of the terrets and let them fall gently to the ground.
Take in your left hand the rein that draws through the terret in the centre of the near or (left) wheeler’s pad.
This is the near (or left) leader’s rein.
Draw it until it almost bears on his bit.
With your right hand take that rein in front of your left hand, and draw two feet of it forward again through your left hand.
Close your left hand on the rein, and let your hand with the rein in it fall to your side.
The near-leader’s rein is now in your left hand just where you must hold it when on the box.
You next pull with your left hand on the rein that you see coming through the centre-terret on the off (or right) wheeler’s pad, and draw it through the left hand exactly as you did the other.
When drawn out as directed the buckles on these lead-reins should hang even mounting the box.
Over the leader’s quarters.
You notice You are facing your wheeler’s pad.
That from the buckles forward each rein is double.
In other words a short inside Take two or three paces to the left and coupling rein is buckled to the long out- put your left foot on the hub of the off side (or draught) rein of each horse, so front-wheel of coach.
If you are tall that if you pull on the near (or left) enough, get hold of the handle on the rein, your indication is felt on the left foot-board with your right hand; if not, cheek of both leaders.
If you bear on spring up on your left foot, put your the off (or right) rein, both leaders feel right foot on roller bolt, then catch the it on their right cheek.
You have now handle; then put your left foot on the both lead-reins in your left hand.
Pass iron step that is attached to the “boot”; them to your right hand, near rein up- reach up with your left hand and grasp permost, and put your right middle rail around driving cushion, and then finger between them.
Don’t change their length, and don’t move your feet from the spot you have been directed to stand upon.
Next pull the rein of the near (or left) wheeler through his pad-terrets with left hand; hold it between your first and middle fingers.
Draw it toward you gently.
You need not pull this rein forward through your left hand, as it is in its correct position.
Now take the off wheeler’s rein between the middle and third fingers of the left hand, and slide your hand along it up to the terret; then grip and pull the rein toward you.
Then with your right hand draw this rein forward through your left, just as you did the lead-reins.
You notice that the wheelers’ reins from buckles forward are double, that is to say have inside coupling reins, and indicate on the wheelers’ mouths left and right, exactly as do the leaders’ reins.
Now pass your lead-reins from your right to your left hand, letting the off lead-rein go on top of the near wheelrein between your first and middle fingers, and lay the near lead-rein between your finger and thumb.
Now pass all reins into your right hand between the same fingers as they were in your left, and throw the ends over your arm.
Some experts let the reins slip through their fingers as they get up on the box.
If your whip is lying across the backs of your wheelers take it in your left and pass it to your right hand, holding it so that your right thumb nearly reaches the ferrule at top of handle.
Two-thirds of the handle will then be below your right hand.
Your passengers are by this time on the coach, for we gave them the call before you took up your lines.
The grooms are standing at the horses’ heads. 112 OUTING FOR MAY. mount by putting right foot on the footboard.
Put reins quickly into left hand and sit down at once.
Position.— Sit upright, yet not stiffly, and your legs must be slightly bent at the knee, not sticking straight out.
Your left hand must rest “in position,” that is to say, thumb up, near the waistThe line (cut 5).
Right hand must be on about the same line with whip in it, resting on third finthe dummy.
Ger, so that the stick slopes against first finger and takes the proper angle across the body and upward to the left and a little outward.
The thong must hang from the stick in the proper loop.
It is of course understood that you have taken lessons from an expert as to the handling of your whip.
This is something which can hardly be described.
You must see it, and practice until you become expert. The Start.
Turn your head slightly to the left, and tell your passengers to “Hold fast.” Look ahead, and if you intend to make a straight start, with your right hand extended in front of your left, take both wheel-reins under the little finger of your right hand, and lift them about six inches to the right (cut 6), drop your left hand slightly, nod to the grooms to step aside, and the team, if properly trained, will start with.
Out a “cluck,” or any such phrase as “Come up,” “Pull up,” etc.
Nine out of ten drivers, however, will always call on their horses in some such manner, and many horses expect it.
See that your wheelers are going up into their collars before you let your leaders pull their traces tight.
You must give to your wheelers a little.
Wait for your wheelers, if necessary, as they must start first.
The dropping of the hands is called “giving the office” to start.
Always start at the walk, and increase the pace gradually.
If at starting your off wheels are in the gutter, you must of course make your horses pull to the left at the start.
To do this, pick up your near lead and wheel reins under the middle finger of your right hand a few inches in advance of your left (cut 8), and the team will pull out.
If your near wheels are in the gutter at starting, pull your off lead and wheel reins to the right (cut 7) and drop your left hand, and you will make a good start.
Then get your horses straight as per cut 6. (To be concluded in our next. )
Read more about Coupling : watched the horses put to have walked around them and….: