Leading and longeing should be commenced when the colt is fully accustomed to the head-collar and to head manipulation. This is best affected by a cavesson well fitted to the head, and with a long leading line of webbing attached to the front ring of the nose-band (which should be well above the nostrils), by means of a spring swivel. This being put on, the colt is allowed to leave the stable or yard, and followed up or led without any driving or pushing until a convenient place (as quiet and retired as possible) has been reached, where lessons can be given. Should he struggle and fight, tact and firmness must be displayed - speaking to him quietly and reassuringly, and keeping a steady hold of him, not far from his head, if necessary. As he becomes calm, and confident that no harm is meant, then more lead may be allowed until he is some distance off, when the breaker, standing firmly on one spot, begins to teach him obedience by inducing him to move round in a circle at a walk, trot, or canter. It is well to have a whip, which if possible should be carried by a second man who stands outside the circle; but it must not be used in any way until other means of persuasion have failed. As a rule, if tact and patience are exercised, there is not much difficulty in all this. Circle him round in one direction at a walk for a short time, keeping the cavesson line tight, and pulling him to a standstill every now and again, and making him obey commands; patting him also at intervals, and strengthening his friendship by a handful of corn or anything he likes to eat. Then the direction of movement should be reversed, and the same procedure gone through, care always being taken, from the very beginning, to employ certain words for certain things the colt must do, in order to familiarise him to them and make him know what you require of him.
Too much of this longeing must not be given at one time, nor must the colt be made tired; after an hour or so, repeated two or three times a day, he should be taken home and fed. In a day or two of this training he may be led in a circle, and by degrees in a straight line. A good authority advises a whip to be carried on the second day of leading the colt in a straight line, in order to teach him always to walk with his shoulder opposite that of the trainer's. His head should always be in front of the latter, whose body ought to be on a level with the fore-arm and shoulder of the animal; otherwise, if the head is level with the trainer's, the colt will gradually begin to hang back, he will be taught to drag in hand, and ever afterwards he will have to be pulled along when led. To prevent this habit being acquired, he ought to be led with the cavesson rein in the right hand, the left hand carrying the whip, and whenever his shoulder drops behind the trainer's, he must be touched gently behind, when he will step up to his proper position immediately. By doing this, and watching him carefully, in a few days he will be taught to lead well, keeping always level with his attendant and not hanging back, and so spared from much ill-usage and beating in after days in not requiring to be pulled along.
When the colt leads well, a well-padded surcingle, with a crupper attached to it - the latter having a buckle near the tail to facilitate passing it under that part - is put on. The surcingle should have three D rings on the upper part, one in the middle by which to attach the crupper, and one (or a buckle) on each side for the reins. A bridle is also put on the head, or a bit attached to the cavesson.
The bit is of various patterns. One is a large smooth snaffle, with keys hanging from a central ring; another is a thick, smooth, straight bit; another is a large straight wooden mouthpiece; another is a circular bit, consisting of a smooth ring with a loop at either side to attach it to the bridle; while another has a smooth semicircular mouthpiece. The best is, perhaps, the large smooth snaffle with keys depending from its ring, as no movement of the tongue can raise it from the lips or gums, while the colt can easily play with and enjoy it, instead of fighting against it, as he is likely to do with most of the others. It is generally considered necessary that the bit should be large and smooth; and to prevent it being drawn through the mouth, it should have guards at the sides.
Whatever bit may be employed, it ought not to be drawn up tight into the corners or angles of the mouth, nor so low down as to come into contact with the incisor teeth, but be placed opposite the space behind the chin where the curb-chain usually lies, and close above where the tush grows.
These things should fit easily and be put on quietly. The reins must not be fastened to the bit for two or three days. When the colt has on the bit, surcingle, and crupper, he is allowed to stand quietly in the loose box until he becomes accustomed to them; then he may be circled with them a few times on the longeing ground, and taken home for water and feed, the bit, of course, being removed from his mouth. In two or three hours afterwards he is taken out again, bridled a few times, then led along roads or lanes to accustom him to see and pass unfamiliar objects - the quietest places being first selected. If frightened at anything, he must be quietly dealt with and assured of safety: patting and speaking to him, allowing him to approach and examine whatever scares him, and passing it backwards and forwards a few times if possible.
This training ought to be gone through morning and afternoon, the morning's work being commenced with a little longeing. The reins may be attached to the bit on the third day, and buckled evenly to the surcingle, but they must be rather slack. For a number of days he should be led through more frequented lanes, streets, and in towns, and gradually accustomed to all kinds of noises; the reins, meanwhile, must be gently tightened by shortening them a hole every day until the animal carries his head vertically, but not more than this. In about a fortnight he should be longed in the cavesson rein alternately attached to each side of the bit, so as to make him understand "side pressure" on the mouth, making him do the same amount of work on the one side as the other, so as to keep the mouth equally sensitive on both sides. But this must be only of brief duration, lest the mouth be made sore.