The educated horseman

Though he got no pleasure from pursuing the fox, he also rode to the hounds in a manly fashion that combined both energy and his habitual sloth. Sir John Hawkins wrote, “he showed himself a bold rider, for he either leaped, or broke through, many of the hedges that obstructed him. This he did, not because he was eager in the pursuit, but, as he said, to save the trouble of alighting and remounting.” … He was greatly pleased when his horsemanship… was praised by an expert, who remarked that he had brawn as well as brains: “Why Johnson rides as well, for aught I see, as the most illiterate fellow in England.”

— Jeffrey Meyers, Samuel Johnson: The Struggle