As I mentioned yesterday, A.J. and I picked up two old books at an antique store last weekend. The first was a sweet little children’s book from 1869.

The second is a paperback reprint of an earlier book on training horses, from 1877. The earlier version was published in 1872.

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In a relatively quick online search, I was unable to find out anything else about Mr. A. H. Rockwell, but he and his fellow horse trainer and co-author, Mr. E. A. Hurlburt, had devised a method of driving without reins, which they demonstrated at exhibitions throughout New England and New York in the mid-1800s.

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The book begins with their “History of the Famous Horses Tiger, Star, and Mazeppa, and Other Horses Driven Without Reins,” which I may delve into here on the blog at a later date, just because it’s so unusual.

The rest of the book contains Mr. Rockwell and Mr. Hurlburt’s methods for (in their words) educating horses. Most of the procedures and gadgets described and illustrated in the book look quite cruel and unusual by today’s standards. But the authors insisted that they were not mere horse-tamers; that they were, in fact, able “by careful, patient, and kind treatment [to] guide, direct, and teach the horse what is required of him.”

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Click on the image above to enlarge it, if you’d like to read the fine print on the right-hand page.