off the bearing reins were the first to put them on again. In heavy night coaches, such as the Paul Pry, which ran from London, through Beaconsfield, to Oxford, weighing about four tons, including passengers and luggage, and stopped often, running long stages with underbred horses with hard mouths, bearing reins were a great safetyguard and assistance both to the horses and the coachman. One of my leaders once rubbed his bridle off when stopping at a shop in a town. Ned Poulter, who at one time drove the Light Salisbury from Andover to Basingstoke, in going down a hill near Whitchurch upset his coach and broke his leg, one of the wheel horses having caught the crossbar at the bottom of his bit in the little hook at the end of the pole chain, which was turned up instead of downward, as it ought to have been ; the horses became frightened and restive, thus causing this sad accident. Of course, with nice lightmouthed horses, when just taking a drive for an hour or two, all bearing reins can be dispensed with. Bits are now made without the crossbar at the bottom, and they are much the safest."
Captain Malet, in his chapter on Coaching on May Day : Bearing Reins, in Annals of the Road, says
On the subject of bearing up coach horses 'The Old Forester' writes as follows : `There is no place where Nimrod is more at home than on the coach box, and