RAREY, THE HORSE'S MASTER AND FRIEND - 2
|OFF TO EUROPE.
| Now fairly launched on his great career, Mr. Rarey
returned to Ohio and in 1856 gave a public exhibition of his art at the Ohio Stage
Company's yard, Gay and Fifth streets, Columbus. About the same time he published a small
book containing the essentials of his method. The book had a large sale, and the
principles it set forth are still employed in the training of the American cavalry horses.
In 1857, with letters of introduction from Governor Salmon P. Chase, of Ohio, Mr. Rarey
went to Toronto, where he gave a single exhibition before Sir Edmund Head,
Governor-General of Canada, and the British army officers. Thence with other endorsements
and letters of recommendation, lie sailed for England, traveling with R. A. Goodenough, a
Toronto merchant and amateur breeder of horses.
On the voyage, he was invited by two Englishmen to try his method on a vicious horse in which they were interested. On his arrival in Liverpool, November 29, he undertook the task, accomplishing it to their entire satisfaction. They cheerfully paid him the fee agreed upon, and so he had $100 in gold as the proceeds of his first six hours on English soil. The Liverpool Journal complimented him by describing him as "a perfect gentleman of easy address and great knowledge, not only of horses, but of men." The young American found no difficulty in enlisting the support of Sir Richard Airey, Lieutenant-General of the British army, and Prince Albert. Hearing of his skill, Queen Victoria expressed a desire to witness an exhibition, and arrangements were made for one at Windsor Castle before the royal family and suite.
Here is Mr. Rarey's own account of it, written in a letter to his sister Margaret, under date of January 17, 1858:
"After the royal family entered the Riding House, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert came in and to the front, where I was introduced to her Majesty and the Prince Consort, while sitting on the back of a large wild colt, which stood perfectly quiet with its head up. I, facing the party, with my hat in hand, made a short speech to the Queen. A drum was afterwards handed to me, which I beat with fury, without the horse exhibiting any signs of fear.
"After taming a second horse, the riding master selected a horse belonging to Prince Albert, a wild, nervous animal. I was in a box stall alone with the horse for fifteen minutes. When Queen Victoria and Prince Albert entered, they found the animal lying down, and I lying beside him, with one of his hind feet under my head and the other over my chest. This so astonished them that they laughed. As the place was not large, all could not see; so after the Queen and Prince Consort had looked, they stepped back to let others of the royal party have a look. After that, the Queen and Prince Consort came back, talking to me about the horse, inquiring if I could make him rise. I answered 'Yes,' and commanded the animal to rise to his feet. They stood looking at the horse and said it was a wonderful performance, thanked me for the entertainment and departed.
"After the exhibition, I was shown through the castle from kitchen to cellar, the state rooms and the Queen's private rooms. It was a very interesting sight. I also dined in the castle and, the next day, I received a note by the special command of the Queen, with a checque enclosed for $125, a gift for my entertainment. She also sent a messenger to know if I would again appear before her Majesty and the royal guests in attendance for the royal marriage. I accepted the invitation and will have the honor of addressing more royalty, perhaps than has ever been brought together on any previous occasion."
Of this same performance before the Queen and her suite, the London Times of January 25, 1858, said:
"On that occasion the subjects on which Mr. Rarey operated were three in number. One was a fine spirited black horse of high nervous temperament, which had been returned to Mr. Anderson, of Piccadilly (of whom he had been bought for a large sum of money) on the ground of his being restive and all but unmanageable. This animal, it is but right to say, had been seen and handled by Mr. Rarey, at Mr. Anderson's stable, previous to his being taken to Windsor. At the first interview with the horse at Piccadilly, he was placed in a loose box, which Mr. Rarey entered, cracking a whip. Startled by this unusual exhibition of violence, the animal struck out with both his hind legs and uttered a kind of savage yell. The company who had assembled to witness the experiment were then asked to withdraw, and Mr. Rarey was left alone with the horse. On being called in again, in less than a quarter of an hour, they were amazed to find the animal prostrate on his side, among the straw in the stall, with his bead slightly raised, and Mr. Rarey, whom he was eyeing without the least symptom of alarm, lying beside him. Mr. Rarey remained with him in this position for some time, during which he knocked the horse's fore and hind hoofs together, made a pillow of his thighs and finally got up and ran a heavy wheelbarrow up to and around the still prostrate creature, without producing in him the slightest sensation of fear.
"The next subject was a young unbroken colt, brought from a farm of Prince Albert in the vicinity, which had never been handled in any way and which Mr. Rarey had never before seen. This colt was led in by a halter and left alone with the horse tamer, who intimated a wish that the company would retire for a few minutes to the farther end of the building. After the lapse of about a quarter of all hour, the royal party were summoned to return, and then they saw, as in the former case, this wild colt lying on the ground, and the horse tamer at his side, who sat upon him and handled his legs, feet and every other part by turns-a process during which the creature remained wholly passive.
"After Mr. Rarey had parted with the colt, a handsome bay charger, belonging to the Prince Consort, was brought to him. This horse, one of high spirit, which had always shown great restlessness while being mounted, and a constant tendency to take fright, would, it was thought, almost defy Mr. Rarey's attempts to tame him; but the result was as successful as in the two previous instances. In a short time, the horse tamer had him down also, as submissive as all the rest, and was seen crawling among his legs, sitting upon his shoulders and hips and knocking his hoofs together. Then, bidding the horse rise, which he did instantly, Mr. Rarey jumped upon his back and by turns held an umbrella over his head and beat a tattoo on a drum, the hitherto proud and restless animal now owning subjection to a new master, remaining the while almost as motionless as a statue."
According to invitation, Mr. Rarey gave his second exhibition before royalty, January 23, 1858, in the Riding school attached to the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace. His audience, on that occasion, included the Queen, the Prince Consort, the Princess Royal, the Prince of Wales, Prince Alfred and other members of the royal family, with the ladies of the Court and most of the foreign princes and distinguished visitors then in London, including Prince Frederick William of Prussia, the Prince of Prussia, Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia, Prince Albert of Prussia, Prince Frederick Albert of Prussia, Prince Adalbert of Prussia, Prince Hohenzollern Sigmaringen, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the Duke of Brabant, the Count of Flanders, Prince William of Baden, Prince Edward of Weimer, Prince Julius of Holstein Glucksburg; also the Duke of Wellington, Major General Sir Richard Airey, Lord Alfred Paget, Clerk Marshal; Colonel Hood, Clerk Marshal to the Prince Consort and Major Groves, Crown Equerry.
At this second exhibition, Mr. Rarey was assisted by Lord Alfred Paget, to whom had been communicated his secret of horse-control, as well as to Sir Richard Airey and Colonel Hood. This from the London Times shows that Mr. Rarey's power was not personal to him:
"Lord Alfred took for his subject a beautiful grey pony belonging to the Prince of Wales. He was left alone with the pony for a few minutes in the riding school, and on the admission of the royal party, it was prostrate on the ground, with his lordship sitting, caressing it, handling its feet and legs, resting on its haunches and in all respects treating it in a manner proving its complete subjection to him. That over, Mr. Rarey appeared with the black horse from Anderson's, in Piccadilly, to which reference has been made. Placing himself at one end of the riding school, lie called to the animal winch lie had left at the other, and it immediately cantered toward him in a playful manner. It lay down at his bidding or followed him like a dog around the building. When down, a plank was laid upon its shoulders, up which Lord Paget ran a wheelbarrow. Finally, when the horse had regained his legs, he was mounted by Mr. Rarey who sat on the animal's crupper with his back to the head, beating a drum and cracking a whip over him, this treatment resulting in neither motion nor fear on the part, of the horse.
"One of the fine stud of cream-colored horses belonging to her Majesty was next subjected to the manipulation of Mr. Rarey, with an equally surprising and successful result, so far as laying the animal, which is an entire horse, down was concerned, and handling him all over with the utmost freedom. Besides the frequent display of some vicious propensities, this particular animal of late has never permitted anybody to ride him; but he allowed Mr. Rarey to mount him without offering the least resistance. With this the exhibition terminated, and the Queen and her illustrious visitors, by whom it was witnessed with the most evident tokens of interest and wonder, took their departure."
At the wedding in St. James Palace, the following morning, Mr. Rarey was an invited guest.