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FIRING. A certain discipline of the whip used by fraudulent dealers in order to terrify a horse, and thereby arouse every spark of mettle in him. " This," says Mr. John Lawrence," is an everlasting source of cruelty, perpetrated by a race of brutal and insensible miscreants, who would be as little scrupulous to derive gain from the torture of their own species. Horses, whilst in such hands, live in a constant state of apprehension and misery. Almost every hour of the day, the tormentor goes into the stable, like a West Indian Negro driver, whip in hand, and inflicts the cruelty of the lash upon each horse, in order to make him lively and apt to fly, even at the sound of a man's foot; and this correction from habit, from a desire of reaping all its imaginary benefit, and from supposed causes of offence, is often performed with the utmost force. But the barbarity is never so monstrous, or rather hellish, as when inflicted upon the debilitated and crippled objects of excessive labour. Too much of this is practised at the sales of worn out post-hacks and machiners. All barbarity is totally unnecessary, for the intent of it is so generally known, that it can deceive nobody; nay, it often has the effect of producing sudden cramps in a horse, and always of spoiling his trot upon a show. All horses are shown to the best advantage by a moderate use of the whip."

Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.

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