On the day on which I purchased the animal there was an auction sale of walers in the town, and I was sitting on the stockyard rails, looking on, when I saw a jockey riding a powerful bay up and down in front of the stand. This jockey proved to be an old acquaintance, and although some 60 years of age, was still an excellent rider.
Strong left!" or Hogan-Yale of the White Hussars, leading his squadron for all it was worth, with the price of horseshoes thrown in; or "Tick" Boileau, trying to live up to his fierce blue and gold turban while the wasps of the Bengal Cavalry stretched to a gallop in the wake of the long, lollopping Walers of the White Hussars.
The late Esa bin Curtis, a celebrated Arab horse dealer, in speaking of big buck-jumping Walers, said, "God hath not made man equal unto them," and, however well a woman may ride, it is no pleasure to find herself breathless and exhausted in her efforts to control such animals.
Strong left! or Hogan-Yale of the White Hussars, leading his squadron for all it was worth, with the price of horseshoes thrown in; or 'Tick' Boileau, trying to live up to his fierce blue and gold turban while the wasps of the Bengal Cavalry stretched to a gallop in the wake of the long, lollopping Walers of the White Hussars.
The remaining five, three 'walers' and two country-breds, race together to the water jump, where one waler deposits his rider, and races home by himself, one country-bred refuses, and is henceforth out of the race, and the other three, taking the leap in beautiful style, put on racing pace to the next bank, and are in the air together. A lovely sight!
Crash! against another on the near-side; down a steep hill at full gallop, and over a creaking, swaying, loudly protesting bamboo bridge that seemed bound to collapse under the impact; up the corresponding ascent as hard as the four Walers could lay leg to the ground; off the track, tearing through the scrub on two wheels, righting again to shave a big tree by a mere hair's-breadth; it certainly was a fine exhibition of nerve and of recklessness redeemed by skill, but I do not think that elderly ladies would have preferred it to their customary jog-trot behind two fat and confidential old slugs.
A certain number of Australian horses are now imported into Hongkong and Shanghai, but owing to the stringencies of the Chinese climate it is very doubtful whether so great additional outlay as the long sea voyage involves is compensated for by the walers' evident superiorities.
Kirby touched up another of his road-devouring walers, the sais grabbed at the back seat and jumped for his life, and they shot out of the compound, down the line of useless cannon and out into the street, taking the corner as the honor of the regiment required.
At first it was determined to kill three hundred, so as to save food for the rest, but afterwards the orders were to turn them out on the flat beyond the racecourse, and let them survive if they could. The artillery horses must be fed as long as possible. The unfortunate walers of the 19th Hussars will probably be among the first to go.
Coming straight from India, they were put to terribly hard work on landing, and have never recovered. Walers cannot do on grass which keeps local horses and even Arabs fat enough. What the average horse is chiefly suffering from now is a kind of influenza, accompanied by a frightful cough. My own talking horse kept trying to lie down to-day, and said he felt languid and queer.