He did not gaze into the eyes of the horse at all, but simply held himself in that attitude for a few moments, in close proximity to the horse's head, when the object was accomplished, and the horse became obedient to every command that it was capable of comprehending. It is probable that the horse-tamer knew as little of the secret of his power as did the horse. The tamers of wild beasts proceed in the same manner, and probably with as little knowledge of the principles underlying the method.
Now, the question arises, What is the effect thus produced on the animal? It is certainly not hypnotized by being compelled to gaze into the eyes of the operator, for sufficient time is not given to "fatigue the muscles of the eye." Besides, the animal cannot be compelled to gaze at any-thing. Is not the primary effect - hypnotic or mesmeric - produced, not directly upon the animal, but upon the man himself? It seems clear that this is the true solution of the problem. Braid has taught us that by steadily gazing at any object a man can hypnotize himself without knowing, or having it suggested to him, that it is possible for him to do so. The man, then, is partially hypnotized by gazing into the animal's eyes. The threshold of his consciousness is thus displaced. His subjective powers are brought into play, and in that condition his subjective mind is en rapport with that of the animal. The mind of the animal, being almost purely subjective, is thus dominated by the imperious will of his master, - man. That telepathy is the normal means of communication between animals cannot be doubted by any one who has observed their habits with intelligence. That man has the power, under certain conditions, to enter into telepathic communication with animals, there are thousands of facts to demonstrate.
In a recent English work on the training of dogs,1 this subject is alluded to in the following language:-
"As I before remarked, a man to be a first-rate dog-breaker must have lots of animal magnetism. Now, I do not doubt that in nearly every man who is born into the world this faculty exists to a greater or less extent. It is the force of will that develops it; and the more it is developed, the stronger it becomes. While, on the other hand, if the will is naturally weak, and no other pains are taken to strengthen it, it falls into abeyance, and in time, I think, is utterly lost, - and that sometimes beyond recall.
"That there is such a power as this, no one who has ever had any experience with animals will attempt to deny. Take the horse, for instance. This is the easiest subject on which to exert the power, simply because the rider, and even the driver, is in closer contact with it than with any other animal.
"As an example, take two somewhat timid, highly bred young horses, and put them side by side at the tail of a flying pack of hounds. Both their riders are equally good men as far as nerve, hands, and seat are concerned; but the one is a cut-and-thrust, whip-and-spur sort of fellow, while the other is a cool, quiet, deliberate customer, of sweet manners but iron will. As they cross the first half-a-dozen flying fences, side by side, it wants a keen eye to mark any difference in the execution. The difference, as a rule, will consist only in the different ways in which the horses land after their jumps, - the one will pitch a little heavily, a little 'abroad,' a little as if he got there somehow, but did not quite know how; whilst the other will land lightly, exactly in the right spot, and precisely as if the two partners were one.
1 Scientific Education of Dogs. By H. H. London, p. 85.
"How comes this? One horse is being steered by physical power and science only; the other by a wonderful force, which joins together in one two minds and two bodies.
"Now, see the test. Yonder waves a line of willows, and both riders know that the biggest and nastiest water jump in the county is ahead of them. Both equally mean to get over; but if they do, it will be in two different fashions: the one will compel his horse to jump it by sheer physical force; the other will jump it, if it is jumpable at all, as the 'senior partner' of the animal he bestrides. Down they go, sixty yards apart, and each, say, has picked a place which it is only just possible for a horse to cover; neither horse can turn his head; for, at the last stride, the velvet hands have become grips of iron. Splash goes Number 1; he went as far as he could: but that last two feet wanted just an impetus which was absent. How about Number 2? The rider has fixed his eye, and his mind with it, on yonder grassy spot on the other side of the water, and, sure enough, the fore-feet are simply ' lifted' into it by something inward, not outward; but only the fore-feet. Still, the calculation of the strung-up mind has entered into that, the stirrups have been cast loose in the 'fly,' and the moment the hoofs touch the bank, the rider is over his horse's head, with reins in hand; a second more, the horse is beside him; yet another, and they are away forward, without losing more than a minute.
"Assheton Smith expressed in some manner - but only in some manner - what I mean in his well-known dictum, 'Throw your heart over a fence, and your horse is sure to follow.'
"I could give hundreds of instances and anecdotes of this magnetic power of the rider over the horse, but one will suffice to prove my point.
"I was out for a ride one day with an argumentative friend along the road, and was on a very celebrated old hunter that had been my friend and partner for many a season. We were talking on this subject, and my friend scoffed at the very idea of such a thing as a sort of visionary nonsense. A hundred yards ahead there was an intersecting cross-road, at right angles to that on which we were riding. I pulled up my horse.
"'Now,' I said, 'look here; I will prove my theory to you. Choose and tell me which of these roads my horse shall take. You shall ride three lengths behind me; I will throw the reins on his neck, and 1 will bet you a sovereign he goes the way I will him; and you shall be the judge whether it is possible for me to have influenced him by any word, touch, or sign, - only you must keep at a walk, and not utter a word or a sound.'