72 Art of Travel.
of employing a ring to enclose the tail of the beast (which is sure to fret its sides), he should pass a curved bar of wood, a foot long, underneath the tail, and tie a cord to the packsaddle, from either end of the bar.
Girths.-A roll of spare webbing should be taken to patch up torn girths ; but a good substitute for a girth is made by cutting a band of tanned, or even of dressed, leather, to within four inches of its end, into seven or nine bands, and plaiting these together. But it takes a beginner just ten times as long to plait a girth as to weave it, and, therefore, for making more than one girth, it is well worth while to set up a rude loom. Do this as though you were making a mat. (See "Drat.") Girths need not be buckled; they may be laced.
(Stirrups must be very roomy, enough to admit clumsilyshaped shoes, such as are made in the bush ; they must be broad under the sole of the foot, and also at the place which rubs against the little toe. Unless they are heavy, it is not
easy to find them with the foot ;
travellers in South Africa cut them
out from any thick raw hide-that
of giraffe, rhinoceros, or sea-cow does
admirably. A wooden stirrup may
be cut or burnt out of a block. It
should have lead melted into it to
give it sufficient weight. A stick and a thong, as shown in the figure, is a poor makeshift. Willow, or any other lithe wood, is easily bent into the required shape, especially if its outer edge be nicked with a knife ; otherwise it would be a mere loop of wood, such as is represented in the next figure but two, in the paragraph on rings.
Bridles and Bits.-Leave behind all English notions of snaffles and double reins, and ride with nothing but an easy curb. The horse must also carry a headstall and a halter ; I like one with plenty of tassels, to keep off the flies. A temporary substitute for a curb is made by noosing a string, and putting the noose round the horse's lower jaw. If the string be long enough, it can be doubled back again, and tied to the other side of the noose, so as to make a complete bridle. The