CHAP. X.] SADDLE ARRANGEMENTS. t35
below his feet. In this plan, as in the last, the bullet is liable to be dislodged, and also the projecting stock of the gun, over which the 1e, has to be thrown when mounting, is excessively in the way of a person who has to do with a restive or frightened horse. There are straps also in this case, which are as troublesome as in the former. Moreover, in all of these there is a jingling and a rattling when the horse trots or canters, which is a very unsportsmanlike sound, although it may be thought by some to be soldierlike and dashing.
Now the Hottentot plan that I recommend I consider perfect: it is to have a case of strong leather (see plate opposite) of such a size and shape as to admit the gun-stock a little stiffly; this case, which I will call the " gun-bag," is fastened tightly above to rings or does in the pommel of the saddle; below, it is altogether unsupported except by a thong, which passes round the saddle-girth and keeps the gun-bag from tilting too far forwards ; the gun is pushed stock downwards into the bag, the barrel passes between the right arm and the side, while the muzzle is so entirely clear of the person, that even in taking a dropleap, that of an ordinarily-sized gun never shifts into a dangerous position. Some time is taken before a person unused to it will find out the best adjustments for both fastenings, as they should be varied according to the rider's seat, but when once determined they have never to be changed. There is no objection whatever to this plan ; the hands of the rider are free, and the gun is safe and quite out of the way. It does not cumber him, but he feels it nestling by his side, as an inseparable and faithful companion should do ; the cocks are in full sight; a cover to keep the rain out is most easily put on ; in a moment the gun is out of the gun-bag and in the hand, almost as quickly as a whip could be raised, and it can be left on the animal's back when the rider dismounts. I do not think the general effect is at all unsightly.
I should not mind riding any reasonable horse across country with a gun carried in this way; indeed, it is an invaluable plan to a traveller, for any sized weapon may be put in it; either a little pea-rifle that could be shot off with one hand, as a pistol, or a long heavy two-ounce weapon. A common long shooting gun is perhaps the easiest to carry, though all are easy enough. The other convenient saddle arrangements for a travelling hack, are a bag to hold odds and ends on the left side of the pommel, or where advisable, a holster for a "revolver;" behind the left leg a sabretash, for writing materials may be hung ; on the crupper of the saddle there is no harm in having small saddle-bags,