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the task in. Many persons are of opinion, and amongst them some in the medical profession, that the course adopted by jockeys to reduce their weight is injurious to their health. Under proper restrictions, and judiciously managed by a man in good health, I have no hesitation in pronouncing it the most certain remedy that he can employ for the preservation of that blessing. To such as labor under consumptive disease, or many other internal complaints, it may be very injurious, but there is no doubt that all classes above the common laborer in this country do not, generally speaking, take sufficient exercise, and eat too much animal food. Strong walking exercise with a light diet is the ordeal which a jockey observes to reduce himself, and if not persevered in to excess, although it is very hard work, it is certainly not injurious to his health.
Previously to walking it is advisable to take two or three doses of aperient medicine at intervals of about three days between each dose. The following pills will be found very efficacious, of which take two or three at bed time, and, if required, a gentle dose of salts and senna in the morning, or the salts and senna only may be employed. The pills, however, will be found to be most beneficial.
Rx Ext. Colocynth comp......... 3jss.
gutt.vi. Pulv. Scammoniæ
Oj.-Ft. pil. xxiv. During this period, that is from the commencement of the time of taking the first dose of medicine, a very light diet should be adopted, very little or no animal food should be indulged in, by which means the blood will gradually become prepared for the approaching exertion. I am of course presuming that there is sufficient time to admit of this salutary mode of proceeding.
The quantity of sweaters to be worn must depend upon the state of the weather and the condition of the person about to make use of them. Some will only require three or four waistcoats, and two pairs of drawers, whilst others adopt eight or nine of the former and four of the latter. This overloading, however, appears to me not only unnecessary, but inconvenient, and more likely to have a tendency the reverse of what is required, as a man certainly cannot walk so freely as with a moderate quantity. From four to six waistcoats, two or three pairs of drawers, with loose small clothes and gaiters, and an easy great coat not too long in the skirts, is sufficient for most men, concluding that the waistcoats and drawers are made of the strong yellow flannel, which, it is strange to observe, can only be procured at some of the tailors at Newmarket; but should the manufacturers of it read this, and will direct a letter to Phenix, at the Office of this Work, he will take an opportunity of procuring a quantity. One of the great advantages which this flannel possesses is, that it does not shrink, at least not in any considerable degree, and its stoutness, combined with its softness, are great recommendations. These garments should be made to fit accurately without being tight, and they should be made in successive sizes, so that the uppermost be rather larger than those which are worn next the body : if they wrinkle they will chafe the wearer, and become very VoL, XIX,-SECOND SERIES.-No. 114.
uncomfortable. In putting them on, two or at most three waistcoats should go within the drawers, the others outside : two waistcoats should be made with sleeves, and the others without; a pair of old woollen stockings with the feet cut off do well to draw on the arms; and should the feet blister by walking, some yellow soap rubbed on both the feet and the inside of the stocking will be found a great preventive. The shoes should be moderately thick, but large enough to admit of two pairs of stockings : a warm shawl round the neck and a pair of woollen gloves completes the costume.
Morning is the usual time for walking, but that must depend in some degree upon the weather. The less indulgence in bed the better. Previously to starting, a cup of coffee with a biscuit or a piece of dry toast may be taken, and the luxurious addition of an egg, but the less must be taken at the evening repast, if the latter indulgence is allowed. It is, however, better to make the strongest meal of the day an hour or so before the walk is commenced, as it produces vigor to perform the task, and there is no danger of the stomach being overloaded.
The first two or three miles should be walked at a moderate pace, just such as to produce strong perspiration. It must always be observed, that if a man goes too fast so as to become blown, or, in other words, out of breath, he defeats his object. In the first place, the perspiration will not flow so profusely and regularly; neither will he be able to go on with his walk at that rate necessary to maintain the increased circulation if the respiratory organs become over excited : à certain portion of vital air is requisite to give free action to the lungs, and thereby render the blood fit for circulation, which is the great object to be attended to in regulating the pace. The first walk should not exceed seven or eight miles, three and a half or four miles out, when an asylum may be sought to rest at, during which period it will be advisable to wash the mouth with warm water. A bottle of soda water with brandy or Port wine, or in fact any spirit or wine that is most agreeable, may be allowed. Some persons prefer hot negus or hot cider, which, with a little ginger, is perhaps the best thing that can be drunk. Tea may
be taken, but as all jockeys are not required to be tee-totallers, it is not generally selected ; too much will be apt to weaken the stomach : at all events spirits or wine in anything like excess must be avoided. Cigars and tobacco should be used in moderation. Many persons adopt the habit of constant smoking, for the purpose of keeping themselves light ; but an excess sufficient to produce that effect is very injurious to the constitution, and produces not merely debility, but a great prostration of strength. The rest taken during the first half of the walk should not be of longer duration than necessary to recruit the powers, and not to continue so long as to allow the perspiration to subside; a blanket þeing thrown over the head and shoulders will promote its continuance.
The walk home should be performed at a good strong pace, increasing the speed during the last mile so as to enter the house with an excited action in the circulation, and thereby produce excessive perspiration. Warm water to wash the mouth with will again be found very refreshing, and a cup of tea, or other liquid more palatable, may be taken. A ļounge on the sofa with blankets thrown over the body and head,
or an hour's repose on the bed, should precede the operation of throwing off the sweaters, which should be deferred till the perspiration has subsided. A large foot-pan with warm water to immerse the feet, wita a sponge to wash the body, will be found very refreshing previous to redressing. The dress on this occasion should consist of flannel next to the skin. The chilly state of the constitution when undergoing this preparation requires warmth ; and indeed, unless the weather be exceedingly hot, inclination will point out the necessity of being well clothed. The more exercise taken during the day the better, as it not only assists in the object of reducing the weight, but it prevents any danger that may arise from an alteration in the circulation.
On race-days the walk should be performed early in the morning, so as to have plenty of time to become gradually cool before the racing clothes are put on: at least an hour and a half should be afforded after returning from walking, and this last walk will generally be found necessary. In the first place a man is always a pound or two heavier the day after he has walked, even if he takes scarcely any food, than he is during the four or five hours succeeding the walk: and even if he be sufficiently light, a good walk on the morning of the race will enable a man to ride with greater power and comfort to himself than if he passes three or four additional hours in his bed.
When once a man has reduced himself to the required weight, he may keep himself at that point by walking four or five days in the week, and by such system appease the calls of hunger more satisfactorily than is compatible with his decrease in the first instance : and if men who are compelled to waste would attend to themselves more carefully all the year round, they would find it more conducive to their health. As soon as the racing season is over, feeling that they have toiled hard, they too frequently admit of great indulgence till the ensuing spring.
Much punishment is necessary to reduce any considerable quantity of weight, and the lighter a man reduces himself the greater difficulty he will experience in getting off the last two or three pounds. The exertion of walking must be very great, or the object cannot be attained ; and none but those who have tried it can form an idea what an effort it is. I have often thought within myself, when I have been walking and a good deal distressed, if one of those thoughtless mortals who rashly and inconsiderately over-ride their hunters in deep ground after having ridden them some distance, would but once “ put on the sweaters," and take a severe walk, the lesson would be very strongly implanted on their minds, and would deter those possessing any feeling from wantonly distressing the poor brutes which they ride.
By perseverance in the system which I have laid down for about a fortnight after the first walk is commenced, a man may calculate upon a reduction of from fourteen to sixteen pounds, and this without injuring his health. About four or five walks during the week, and a mild dose of opening medicine on the rest days, is as much as most men can conveniently undergo. After the first walk the distance may be increased : that, however, must depend upon the constitution. Some persons, perspiring so much more freely than others, cannot take very long walks, whilst others can only reduce themselves by continued exertions. If a man needs a greater reduction than he has acquired by
these means, he must increase his walking exercise, and abstain still more rigidly from food. Sudorific medicines may assist, but they are debilitating and dangerous. A tea spoonful of sweet spirit of nitre taken in tea occasionally answers the purpose of a diuretic, and is on that account to be recommended. Should great exhaustion appear after a walk, a little sal-volatile in tea is reviving, and also assists the effusion of perspiration. Grated ginger, or a little of the spirituous tincture of ginger, is well calculated to dispel wind, which is apt to accumulate on a stomach so slenderly supplied with aliment.
Like most other employments in this country, the profession of a jockey bears a rank dependent upon the ability and general conduct of the individual. In early life it is essential that he acquire practice and experience in the art of horsemanship by a preparatory education in the saddle, not to be obtained by any other means than that of riding exercise. The duties of the stable, as a matter of course, must not be neglected. Light boys who are fond of riding, and who by practice become proficients, may very soon gain an independence.
No one conversant with the mode of living of our first-rate jockeys, especially at Newmarket, can deny that, independently of the fatigue which they are compelled to undergo, and the privations from food which must be submitted to when wasting, they do not enjoy all the comforts and luxuries of this world, but their exertions are so great that they are certainly deserving of every relaxation they can procure.
There is one thing to be observed in this class of men more remarkable than in most other callings—there are certain men whose names I will not mention, who are very constantly in the habit of riding, whose abilities are very inferior to others who ride but seldom. Indeed I may observe there are many men in constant practice whose pretensions are of a very humble character. Connexion and interest may in some measure influence this circumstance; but it must be in a great degree owing to want of observation on the part of owners of horses, who would, one would imagine, select the most accomplished performers.
Another class of men have latterly sprung up who ride under the denomination of Gentlemen Jockeys, men who, like the regular professors, have been brought up in the racing stables, but, being too heavy to ride racing weights, have by an immoderate share of impudence intruded themselves into the society of Gentlemen whenever they have been permitted. Their admission by some of our aristocracy to ride for certain Stakes is by no means creditable to the high feeling which the latter usually profess. If a Nobleman or Gentleman fond of riding thinks
proper to ride for Stakes in which there is no restriction as to riders, all well and good ; but if he permits a person to ride against him for a Stake in which it is a condition that all horses shall be ridden by Gentlemen, he certainly lowers himself in society by admitting an individual who cannot maintain the character he assumes. It is, however, an evil that has been carried to such an extent that it will no doubt work its own reform. Till the conditions are drawn up to exclude all who are not Members of Clubs, or Officers in Her Majesty's Service, this department in the racing world will continue a disgrace to the Turf,
DESULTORY REMARKS ON THE GAME LAWS.
This subject wants little preface, for I must abruptly say I cannot at all agree with your Greta Bridge friend (see The Sporting Magazine for October 1838, p. 457), who condemns the present Game Laws, and asserts, that they will be the cause of extirpating all game. On the other hand, it appears to me that they have been the cause of increase, particularly on small estates, as the proprietors now are more interested in its protection, and Lords of Manors still possess the sole right of shooting over the waste lands. Why men should have such veneration for the old laws I cannot guess-laws which were so despotic and arbitrary, and which ultimately did become a clog to the pleasures of the great as well as to those of less estate-hence a repeal of the remnant of that selfish feudal law which posterity will scarce believe existed until the year 1833. Seldom was there a Session of Parliament previous but some clause of restraint was added, curtailing the pleasures of those who did not possess large estates, or had none at all. I think it was about the year 1800—I am not certain as to a year or so, but that is immaterial—an Act was passed which made woodcock, rabbit, snipe, duck, plover, and a whole string besides, Game. This was restraint with a vengeance, and is much worse than the circumscribed pleasures of the darker ages. One good finally arises; by pulling the cord too tight 'tis sure to snap. What can be said for an assembly legislating on a Jack Snipe (not bigger than a butterfly), and birds equally trifling and insignificant-birds that are here to-day and gone to-morrow, whose migratory habits no man can restrain but by bringing them to bag! When oppressive laws bear equally on society, there is then a chance of remedy: when they touch the feelings of all, then comes the good. Few men are credulous enough to believe that general good alone arises from good motives. No: many of the landed gentry, whose principal part of their estates had been inclosed from common land, and not possessing the manorial light, could not by the old law depute a game-kceper, and as most keepers frequently are more litigious than their employers, they were too often pettily meddling with borderers adjoining their master's estate. Then followed retaliation, and vexatious informations were the consequence. Again : a Gent of extensive landed property has three sons, say X, Y, and Z:-X, the first born, was the fortunate youth (“ born with a gun in his mouth”), that could according to law and with impunity wound and slaughter game on his father's domain. Poor Y must remain until manhood, and a Captain's commission has given him the title of Esquire, which title puts him on the same privileges as his brother X. I cannot help pitying poor Z: his pleasures were unpleasantly procrastinated until a college education and a good church living placed him on as good footing as his two elder brothers, Squire X and Captain Y. A poor probationary Curate must not squib a bit of powder, and can only admire a Manton at a distance; perhaps carry the game bag for his two elders: but he must be careful not to beat a bush even by accident; for if a bird should be seen to fly out, he might be informed against for assisting to destroy game! How absurd I how trifling ! how ridiculous! Many were the