Several weeks ago, we began a read-along of sorts: small weekly morsels comprising the chapter on tandem driving in the first volume of  The Sports Library (by Mr. T. F. Dale), published in 1899.

If you didn’t start reading along with us from the beginning, you can catch up by reading part of the book’s introduction (and the introduction to our look back at this nineteenth-century book) and parts one, two, three, four, and five of Chapter 10.

Today, the sixth part:

… It is therefore evident that the use of the whip must be mastered to some extent before a man can hope to drive tandem with safety or comfort. To learn the use of the whip neatly and effectively is a matter of practice.

The best and indeed the only way with which I am acquainted is to sit beside a good coachman and watch the action of his wrist as he lets out his thong and catches it again, bringing it round the crop with a couple of neat turns. As soon as you think you know how it should be done, the rest is simple — not easy — for that is quite another matter. Practice is what is needed.

Perched on a driving seat, you must throw out and catch the whip until you can do it with neatness, lightness, and precision. It is very seldom necessary in driving tandem to hit either of your horses hard, it is often necessary to hit them quickly. A light touch in time will often prevent a nervous leader from coming round. Then wheelers grow cunning and scamp the corners, necessitating often a sharp stroke with the double thong to keep them away at a turn.

And here I may say that it is well always to give yourself plenty of room at a corner, especially if you are unable to see round it. …