This is something of a grey area – research has thrown up little of concrete value. Of course we know what a horsebreaker does, but it was the methods employed during the 18th and 19th centuries in Herefordshire that I wished to discover and this has proved surprisingly difficult. There is no doubt that the rather cruel methods which included starvation; tying up of one leg; sleep depravation, and rough riding to the point of exhaustion, would still have been used by some horsebreakers, but maybe not all. Some were aware of the ancient Greeks view of the subject which was that horses are more successfully tamed not by cruelty but by gentleness and patience, but would people who were in need of a horsebreaker be prepared to pay a gentle man for weeks and weeks of work, when perhaps they could get it done by someone else in a fraction of the time.
|Richard Huxley||1862||Horsebreaker||Kinnersley, Herefordshire|