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Can Women Drive ?

— 7— “ Isn’t it rather singular that women never leaxn how to drive a horse properly I” remarks some irate man as he inspects a tired animal and finds the bridle over its ears and the bit half way down its throat.. ‘'But women can drive,” ‘cries champion of the sex; “ Don’t they drive seven or eight miles . to: market I .with! vegetables or loads of hay ? T Don’t ,they take their babies out to'ridb whenever '*■ they can get hold of a< hprso I Why, there was never a woman who couldn’t drive, and some of thenr ean handle a horse much better than their can. ” ■ ; ; I ; /. “ Can women drive I and-, do y<m'|et T them handle your best' ” were questions put to a good-natured livery keeper by an ini crested party.*j / “ Drive !” he answered, “ I should think they could ; but as to letting them our best horses, that is another matter. We have horses in our stables few men could drive. We keep what we call safe hones for ladies’ use—the kind that will’go any£ 1 ~ where if you just guide them —old family » nags, sensible enough to trot along ;an& mind their own business, and not, fret if, v they are pulled two ways at once. “ Do you object to letting horses out for women to drive J” U ; r S

“ No, indeed ; we have from twelve to' l fifteen ladies a week come to ns. foz horses,' and we give them good ones, too ; but, somehow, women fret horses ’ when! ’-they* drive them, so we don’t care then— g high spirited animals. Now, look at that ’ sorrel,” pointing to one from* which- the harness had just been removed. “I let that horse this morning tq:» bit t erf a woman with wrists no bigger than aayJwo fingers. I didn’t want to let it go, because it’s such- an ugly puller, il-: told f her it had a mouth like iron, but she saisJl she wanted to take an old aunt that was visiting her out to see the town, and she drove off quietly enough. But half an hour after I saw her coming down Woodward Avenue like a streak of lightning, everybody running to get out of | and the old aunt hanging on for dear lire. She just had the lines wound round thoae little wrists, and braced her feet * tdf f the dash board, and when she came to » * ! corner, whisked around it bn one wheel. The rig came in all right, biit won’t get its breath for a week.’ r “ Don’t they often, meet with accidents and have a smash-up ?” “ No. It is curious, but a . woman will take a team through a dozed hairbreadth escapes and bring it back .all. right ;W« - have any amount of trouble with who take our best rigs, get on a spree, and break things all to pieces. A woman is either more cautious, or she will call upon , every man in sight to help herbut’of ‘ ' scrape. They are more apt to lote. tljeq:; i T heads in a crowd or collision, hut there is most always some special providence at hand to help them. If you notice, the most, disastrous runaways happen when some man has the reins. ” talk . developed the fatk that women were hoi f. considerate in their management of ’ * horses. They forget to' blanket them in

winter and ,tp tie rthem in thp shade ilt' summer. They sometimes use the reins as hitching straps, and have a settled dia*, like to learning proper names for* harness. , Not one in'a hundred could teD the' ence between the surcingle and tKß’mir- ; tingale, or had the least idea tp which ep,d ® f tbe anipWl the^ruppec r and if compelled to divest a horse of its trappings,' would undo every Ip) \ the service, and ■ take the collar off ovep' the annual’s head!* to hfl pf , whl6fi < 1 intelligent beast TStlhmit,-.*s charme4 byheing the process, in the bewitching tones of woman’s voice.

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Bibliographic details

Can Women Drive ?, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 257, 1 February 1881

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Can Women Drive ? Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 257, 1 February 1881

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