How to relax in the saddle

How’s this for a piece of advice in a book ?

“… avoid particularly a rigid neck which means contraction of the muscles. Smoke a cigarette if one feels inclined to stiffen the neck.”

- I’m not making this up – here’s the extract

It comes from a gloriously non-PC small book called “The Rudiments of Riding” by Lt.Col. F.C.Hitchcock, which was first published in 1939 and reprinted in 1949.

It was described as a vade mecum for novice horsemen and women.

Lt.Col. Hitchcock also wrote “Saddle Up: A Guide to Equitation and Stable Management, Including Hints to Instructors “, and “To Horse” – I must find copies of these to read, who knows what vices I’ll be able to justify?

In fairness, Lt.Col Hitchcock also wrote “STAND TO – A DIARY OF THE TRENCHES 1915-1918″, and held the Military Cross. He was probably entitled to a more robust view of life than we have today.

I’ll finish with an image of the inside of the book – it obviously fell into the hands of a pony-mad young girl who favoured long flowing (purple) manes. I wonder if she’s still smoking twenty a day?

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2 Responses to How to relax in the saddle

  1. Pingback: How to relax in the saddle :: The Antique Horse | Horse Saddles

  2. Kevmusic says:

    Hitchcock’s basic point, about not stiffening the neck, is a good one. However, the Alexander Technique might be a better way to address this (rather than puffing a cigarette)!