15 MAY 1875, Page 21

Bits and Bearing - Reins. By Edward Fordham Flower. Second Edition. (Ridgway.)—No

one who reads this little pamphlet will fail to see that bearing-reins, and especially gag bearing-reins, are a mere waste of nervous power in the horse, as well as a cruelty inflicted by man. Mr. Flower, whose experience of horses, both as rider and driver, has been a very wide one, explains, by the help of very admirable plates that while the ordinary bearing-rein puts a severe pressure, not for the sake of guidance, but simply for the sake of appearance, on the horse's month and nervous system, the gag bearing-rein puts double that pres- sure on it, and that too not merely as a punishment for bad behaviour, which can be relaxed at pleasure, according as the horse behaves well, but without the driver's power to relax it, except by either taking off the bearing-rein, or by so relaxing the grasp of the reins as to endanger his power of guiding, checking, and stopping his horses. Mr. Flower will be seconded by all really good authorities in his attack upon bear- ing-reins, and is already able to quote Lord Portsmouth's high authority, and that of the late Lord Portsmouth against them. We hope this pamphlet may go a great way towards altering the English practice in

this respect, by converting the owners of horses, who, however, will have to look carefully after their coachmen and grooms. Coachmen and grooms are mere creatures of prejudice in this matter.