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American Farmer 










New York : 

No. 33 Rosk Street, 

Between Duixne and Frankfort Streets. 


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C. 






History of the American horse — Breeds — Origin — Effects of climate and 
food— Importation — Pony breeds 11 



"What do you want him for ?— "What is his work to be, and what sort of 
horse does your work call for ? — What sort of country do you live in ? 
— "What are your facilities for stabling and feeding ? — "What do you 
know about a horse ? — What is your market ? 15 



External peculiarities — Color of coat and feet — Condition of the coat — 
Taking him out of the stable— The age of the horse — The mark in 
his teeth — The head and neck — The ear — The eyes — The nostrils 20 



The horse's neck — Poll-evil— The shoulder and its marks — The chest — 
The foreleg and knee — Knee-sprung and splints— Tied in below the 
knee — "Windgalls 30 



The body of the horse — Form of back and barrel— Plesh and the want of 
it — Fistulous withers and other sores — The loins and haunches — The 
hock and its diseases — "Windgall, Curb, Capped-hock, Spavin, String- 
halt, Mallinders, &c— Feet and ankles 34 




Taking a guaranty— Get a chance to try the horse — Lead him home 
yourself— Signs of stumbling— The feed test— Promptness in taking 
home a bad horse 43 



Disposition, temper, courage— Deceptive appearances — English colt rac- 
ing — Hard usage of young horses — Decrease of value — Increase of 
value — Problems for horse-owners 47 



Bad stabling in America— Stabling in the South and West — Sudden ex- 
posure — City stabling — Stalls and boxes— What room a horse wants — 
Fresh air and ventilation — Stable floors and drainage — Light and 
warmth — Dampness and its evils — Location and temperature — Bed- 
ding and feeding f 49 



Grooming and cleanliness— Perspiration and scurf — Rubbing and brush- 
ing—Mud, wet legs and washing — Hoofs and heels — Cooling down — 
Shedding the coat — The fetlocks — The hoof in the stable — Preparation 
for shoeing — Wet floors and " Thrush ** — Examining the shoes — Exer- 
cise 57 



Soundness of hay or grain — Green food and soiling — Changes of food — 
Bad weather and extra care — Shelter in the pasture lot — Watering in 
pasture — Flies in the field— Taking up from pasture 65 



Careless shoeing — Feet of wild horses—Shoeing in ancient time— Army 
"arriery — Necessities for protection — Uses of the shoe — Methods of 
acquiring information — Parts of the hoof and their uses — Waste and 
injury — Machine-made shoes 67 



Harness for work — Bad harnessing a waste of power — Friction and 
sores— Woodruff on pulling— Tricks in work— Relief from harness in 
rest 86 




Stall kicking— "Weaving — Tearing the clothes off —Vicious to clean— Crib 
bitting — Windsucking— Refusing to lie down— Pawing-rQuidding— 
Rolling— Biting 90 


Shying in harness— Hearing— Kicking in harness— Running away— Lying 
down in harness— Hard pulling— Overreach — Cutting— Stumbling- 
Balking.. 96 



Bone diseasw— Classification —Splints— Ringbone— Spavin— Fistula of the 
withers— Poll-evil— Ulcer of the jaw— Bighead— Fracture 105 



The joints, muscles and tendons — Rheumatic inflammation — Bog-spavin 
Thoroughpin— Windgalls — Capped-hock— Strain of back sinews — 

Strain of shoulder, knee, fetlock and coflin-bone— Breaking down 

Strains of hip-joint, stifle and hock— Curb— Dislocation — Wounds of 
joints 119 



Internal diseases— Catarrh — Distemper— Bronchitis— Chronic cough — 
Roaring and whistling— Pneumonia— Congestion— Pleurisy Broken 
wind— Phthisis — Bleeding at the nose. 136 



The abdomen and its appendages— Sore throat— Strangles— Lampas— 
Gastritis — Dyspepsia — Bots and their history. 155 


Inflammation of the bowels— Colic— Diarrhoea and dysentery — Strangu- 
lation and hernia— Worms— Liver disease- Kidneys— Diabetes- 
Bladder, etc 161 




Convulsions — Mad staggers — Madness — Megrims — String-halt — Sun- 
stroke — Stomach staggers— Lock j aw— Apoplexy 177 


Diseases of the ear— Diseases of the eye— Cataract — Buckeye — Simple in- 
flammation — Epidemic ophthalmia — Specific ophthalmia —Surfeit — 
Mange — Mallinders— Scratches — Founders— Navicular disease— Over- 
reach 183 


Fever— Typhoid fever — Glanders— Farcy 194 



Influence of sire and dam — Heat— Inheritance of qualities— Age — Size — 
Foaling— "Working mares — Weaning — Feeding — Handling 198 




Mt dear reader, a man who does not honestly love a good horse 
does not deserve to own one, and certainly is not fit to write advice 
to others concerning the management of that noble animal. Mere 
fondness for horses, however, may co-exist with the most senseless 
prejudices and the darkest ignorance, and many a poor brute who 
has suffered torture from the hands of his human neighbors has 
had occasion to whinny forth, " Deliver me from my friends !" 

In these latter days, to be sure, when all the world seems yearly to 
be growing more sensible and merciful, the Rarey system, or rather 
its professed principle, the example and instruction of such true 
friends of the horse as Frank Forrester and Hiram Woodruff, and 
many kindred agencies, have been at work to ameliorate the con- 
dition of " man's best and noblest four-foot friend," but a great 
deal remains to be done. The doctrines and teachings of our great 
American horsemen, second to none in the world, require to be 
condensed and popularized for general use, and it is to this task, 
in part, that I have set myself, with a genuine love of my subject, 
intending to write for American readers only. My hope is that 
the many scores of thousands who have been my willing followers 
in fields of fiction will go with me none the less readily now that 
I am dealing with useful facts and practical realities. 

Experts and professional horsemen who may chance to refer to 
these pages will not be long in finding that I have not attempted 
to write for them, and may even differ with me 9x1 some points. 


though I have little fear that any two will find the same fault, so 
notional and self-opinionated are men on the subject of the horse. 
Genuine experts, and those who are really fit to be called " pro- 
fessionals," have no need of a popular treatise like this, but they 
are very few in number, while I have written for that vast multi- 
tude who have little or no exact information of this kind, and 
whose inquiring minds would only be confused and bewildered by 
technical terms and elaborate disquisitions. For this multitude 
the information furnished must needs be condensed and superficial, 
but should be such as will put them on the right track, so that all 
their future experience may build upon a good foundation of com- 
mon sense, unhampered by crude notions and antiquated prejudices. 
The world has outgrown a good deal that was counted for wisdom 
a few generations ago, and some of the old " horse books " are but 
stupid collections of " old granny isms, "or directions for the com- 
mission of cruel . barbarities in the way of cuttings, burnings, 
cauterizations, physicking, nicking, etc., which the veriest groom in 
the stables of Bonner or' Vanderbilt would turn pale to think of 
putting in practice on anything worthy to be called a horse. 

If I accomplish my real purpose faithfully and successfully I 
shall have done quite enough to make this treatise widely valuable. 






History of the American horse — Breeds — Origin— Effects of climate and food 
—Importation— Pony breeds. 

That the horse was intended for the companion and servant of 
the human race is evidenced by the fact that, next to man himself, 
he exhibits, of all created animals, the greatest adaptability to ex- 
treme changes of climate, usage, food and other circumstances. 
With a rapidity which is little less than marvellous, he developes 
those special peculiarities of breed, involving changes of size, bone, 
muscle and habit of life, which prepare him to meet the immediate 
necessities as well as resources of those who are to employ him. 
On the steppes of Tartary the horse seems to have been expressly 
designed for the vicissitudes of the hardy nomad wanderers whose 
mode of life requires from him little else besides speed and endur- 
ance : among the arid deserts of Arabia he developes a light and 
almost fleshless contour, capable of sustaining an extreme amount 
of exertion upon a handful of barley and a few dates : in the low 
countries of Europe, where for ages he has never been called 
upon for speed, he becomes the gigantic, bony, muscular, powerful 
Flemish draught horse, once in as great demand for carrying heav- 
ily armored knights into battle as he now is to pull the mountainous 
loads of barrelled beer and other merchandise ; while among the 
North British Isles he dwindles to a pony whose dwarfish propor- 
tions are as well supported on half-decayed fish as are his conti- 
nental brethren on grass and grain. 


It would seem that the history of the world had tested sufficient- 
ly the wonderful adaptability of the horse, but it remained for the 
New World to complete and verify the record of his powers. 

When Columbus discovered America, there was not one solitary 
specimen of the equine race on all the vast expanse of continent 
and island, from Labrador to Terra del Fuego, and the fierce war- 
riors who afterwards opposed the advance of Cortes and his men 
imagined the Spanish cavalry to be recruited from some miraculous 
race of centaurs : — horse and man were to them but one fearful 
being, designed by the avenging gods for the destruction of offend- 
ing Mexicans. 

The different breeds of horses had therefore a new field wherein 
to test themselves, and from that day to this their history has been 
one of continuous experiment. 

We may note that from first to last only serviceable animals have 
been brought over from the Old World, and for the most part only 
such as were specially selected, either for military or domestic use, 
or for direct stock purposes. 

No reliable record has been kept of the earlier importations, but 
we are aware, generally, of their special characteristics, and may 
even trace in their descendants some evidences of original pecu- 
liarities. The Spaniards, at the south of North America and in 
South America, introduced Andalusian barbs and other stock, of 
Moorish and Arab blood, while the French, the Dutch and the 
English, who colonized the more northerly regions, brought over 
with them the several breeds which in a manner represented their 
own nationalities. It would be a matter more of curiosity than 
service to inquire more minutely into the parentage and quality of 
these equine patriarchs, but we are able at the present day to note 
with what ready facility all original characteristics have yielded to 
the influences of climate, food and usage. Among our north-east- 
ern islands the : 'shelties" of the British Isles have been almost 
precisely reproduced : Canada has brought out a distinct and 
peculiar breed of undersized ponies : New England, at an early 
day, gave us the Narragansett pacers, unlike anything else, and 
now nearly extinct, and, still later, the useful "Morgans:" our 
Western Indians have bred a race of ponies which have not even 
yet presented sure tokens of a distinct type, while far to the south 
the Spanish stock has developed the unmistakable and, except 


for certain uses, very undesirable mustangs. On the Pacific slope 
Btill another breed is rapidly coming to perfection, differing in 
many respects from all the others, but time has not yet sufficed to 
determine a distinct type : speed and endurance, with a diminution 
of weight and bone, seem to indicate a Western development of a 
more' than Arabic type of " travellers." A curious oddity of pony 
life has been bred among the endless marshes of the Atlantic coast 
of the Oarolinas, in the shape of a race of little quadrupeds, for 
the most part tolerably well formed, easily tamed and tractable, 
but whose peculiar constitutions forbid their transfer to other 
climates. The writer of this was present, a few years since, when 
a large drove was brought in, fresh from the marshes, and pur- 
chased a very pretty and well formed stallion. His size, under 
twelve hands, was all that marked him as a " pony," as there was 
nothing of the heavy headed " sheltie" about him. Timothy and 
clover he rejected, and grain he did not understand : he endured a 
good deal of thirst before he would touch fresh water, but salt 
enough to make it a trifle brackish at once reminded him of his 
native "tide water" streams, and he took to it very kindly. An 
attempt to transfer him and some of his wild companions to a 
Northern State utterly failed, for, in the absence of his coarse 
swamp grass and canebrake, he pined away and died. 

Year by year our American breeders have persistently, if some- 
times mistakenly, invested their care and cash in the importation of 
fresh blood from the various European breeds, and it is a question 
in the minds of our best horsemen if this process has not been car- 
ried quite far enough, whether, in fact, any additional transatlantic 
crosses serve any other purpose than to impede the natural develop- 
ment of the true American type of horse. Our North may borrow 
with advantage from our South, and vice versa, but it is by no means 
certain that Arabia herself has now anything desirable to lend us. 
Assuredly we have no occasion to send abroad for any mate or 
match to that unrivalled animal for all purposes of work or 
pleasure, the American Trotter, to whose development so many of 
our soundest horseman have devoted their capital and their intelli- 
gence. And yet in a country so vast as our own, including within 
its limits so many degrees of latitude and such endless varieties 
'of climate, population and production, it is impossible that anyone 
peculiar breed should prove universal in its adaptation, or that the 


same horse should he found equally valuable in all the multiplied 
vicissitudes of American life, and the recommendations and sug- 
gestions ventured in the present work will be made always with re- 
ference to the plain dictates of common sense, as based upon this 
fundamental fact. The beast whose special fitness renders him 
invaluable among the paved streets of an Eastern city would lea^e his 
carcass a dinner for the " Mexican eagles," by the roadside, long 
before his more enduring Western cousin had disco vered, that he 
was on a " long trail," or that fodder and stabling were unsatisfac- 
tory. Nevertheless, the son or grandson of that same Eastern stal- 
lion if born on the prairies, would be found, in every case, to have de- 
veloped all the local peculiarities called for, besides carrying with 
him something from his birthright to convince his breeder that 
" crosses are desirable." Intelligent breeding in our climate should 
in due time make a " pony " of any kind an impossibility, but, in 
default of that, whole races, both of horses and of men, dwindle 
into ponies, the redeeming fact being that nobody is especially 
interested in their preservation, and that they are gradually 
" eliminated." 

and nousjs DOCTOR. 15 



"What do you -want him tor '—What is his work to be and what sort of horse 
does your work call tor ?— What sort of country do you live in ?— What 
are your facilities for stabling and feeding? — What do you know about a 
horse ? — What is your market 1 

One singular twist of human nature shows itself in the fact that 
no man has yet been found of such honesty or humility that ha 
was not ready to advise his neighbor about buying a horse. Fel- 
lows who never held a rein or climbed into a saddle, are ready to 
cock their heads knowingly and shed a perfect flood of darkness 
and ignorance over the qualifications of any quadruped whatsoever 
that may be offered for sale. Our own notion is that, as a general 
thing, a man is his own best counsellor in such a case, if he will be 
guided by a little thoughtful common sense, and that if he doubts 
his own ability he had better either trust to blind luck or apply to 
a professional horseman. The latter course ought to cost him an 
honest fee, but would probably prove the best policy in the end. 
At ail ♦vents, purely volunteer advice may well be discarded, es- 
pecially if it comes from a " disinterested stranger." 

As not every man, however, seems to be endowed with common 
sense, or the capacity to employ it in the horse business, we ven- 
ture a few suggestions by way of aiding in calling that valuable 
faculty into action. 

In the first place, then, if you want to buy a horse, what do you 
want him for ? 

What is the nature of the work to which you propose to put 
him'? Do you want a roadster for steady and regular pulling, 
with a moderate load, and with very little occasion for speed ? 

Is it a horse for quick and light work, and now and then a de- 
mand for a rapid " burst 1 " 

Do you want a plough horse, a fellow to stand up to his collar 
with a ton of hay or a load of stone behind him, a tower of 
strength and a mountain of bone 1 


Is your horse to work all day moderately, or a part of a day 
severely 1 

Is your case exceptional, and are you after a shoiv horse, or that 
expensive luxury, a fast horse 1 

In short, what do yon want ? Make up your mind about that, the 
first thing, and also assure yourself that you will find no one beast 
that will be equally well adapted to all emergencies. 

Flora Temple would hardly have distinguished herself before a 
dray, nor would Bonner be apt to appear on Harlem Lane behind 
the seventeen- hand beauties who do the pulling for the fire-proof 
safe men. The horse for his work and the work for the horse, and 
the man of sense will apportion the one to the other. Extremes 
should in most cases be avoided. Few men require a very heavy 
horse. Ordinary American farm work cannot profitably employ an 
elephant. A thin or weedy beast is used up too soon, though many 
such improve remarkably in work, and the better plan is to select 
a well-barrelled, strong-limbed animal, rather under sixteen hands 
high, and capable of being employed to advantage in a great vari- 
ety of uses. That is the economical and business-like idea, but its 
application by yourself pre-supposes that you are not an idiot — in 
fact we would not undertake to advise a fool for any money. 

And now if you have carefully consulted your business and re- 
quirements, and have fully made up your mind as to the special 
needs which lead you to such an affair as the purchase of a horse, 
suppose you look a little further and inquire as to the nature of 
the country in which you are to use your quadruped servant after 
you have bought him. 

Is your horse to travel all day over pavements that will speedily 
develop every tendency he may have to weakness in hoof, bone or 

Do you propose to haul heavy loads over flinty and unyielding 
roads, up hill and down, that will test the texture and condition of 
hoofs and shoulders to the uttermost 7 

Are you a dweller on soft prairie or bottom lands, where for 
three-fourths of the year it is a matter of indifference if your horse 
be shod or not, and where the changes of elevation are so moder- 
ate that with decent use defects of shoulder and loins need not 
soon become apparent 7 

If the former, you may at once reject an animal from whom you 


could obtain years of valuable service in the latter, albeit reckless- 
ness and ignorance will use up endless horseflesh under the most 
favorable circumstances. Contrary to some received local opinions, 
it should be noted that a light and wiry horse should never be put 
to heavy or steady work over soft and yielding ground, and a beast 
of any make should be. allowed to take his time if he is expected 
to last through the season. 

Supposing these points so far settled that your head is clear con- 
cerning them, it would be well to give a few moments' attention to 
the nature of your facilities for feeding and stabling, for some 
horses will thrive well under treatment which would speedily de- 
stroy all the usefulness of seemingly much more valuable animals. 
Is your supply of feed good, and can you afford variety and change 
without too great expense, or are your surroundings such that a 
mule-like toughness of constitution is almost a sine qua non ? If 
the latter, beware how you look.out for too much " blood " or too 
great a delicacy of habit. Imported animals and their immedi- 
ate descendants require too large an amount of care, jockeying 
and laborious stabling, to be profitable property for working 
farmers, especially in comparatively new countries. If you don't 
believe it, try a few experiments and report the results to the 
writer hereof. The history of a horse or two will be likely to 
prove quite sufficient, and experience is the most costly of all 

Bat we have not yet asked all our questions, odd as it may seem, 
an 1 our next immediately concerns yourself: 

" What do you know about a horse, any way t " 

Perhaps this should have been the first inquiry ; at all events it 
is by no means the least important one, as will shortly be seen. 

Are you good for anything to train a horse 1 That is, will a 
horse be apt to increase in value under your management, or do 
you only propose to buy one and use him up 1 Nine men out of 
ten leave a horse worth less than when they took him, while the 
wise and skillful tenth man gets his horse-work for nothing by rea- 
son of the way in which he developes all that is good and works 
out all that is bad from the beasts that come under his hand. The 
point for us to make, however, is this: — if you do not know 
enough to train a horse and improve him in the training, you must 
look out for one whose education has been property attended to by 


some one else, and you must especially avoid purchasing any ani- 
mal that has been ruined in the bringing up by some other igno- 
ramus. If you are very ignorant you had better buy a horse whose 
age has so confirmed his habits, whatever they may be, that he is 
likely to be proof against any further blunders on your part, and 
you may expect him to wear stubbornly away under your misman- 
agement and allow you to learn something at his expense which 
will be of use to you in your next experiment. 

If, on the contrary, you have been brought up among horses, and 
suppose yourself to know something about them, you can perhaps 
afford to pick up young stock and keep them until they are old 
enough for use. Say you get a likely four or five year old and 
gradually work him in, according to his build and temperament, 
until he is fit for hard work. This is by far the .most economical 
method of purchasing, other things being equal. 

The number of those who only .buy horses to use them up, as so 
much mere dead capital, is so very large that no intelligent buyer 
need fear the want of a market for anything that he has done with 
if he has only taken decent pains with training and other ordinary 
considerations. Almost every man who reads this will be able to 
call to mind some shrewd fellow of his acquaintance who always 
has good horses, never overworks them, and 3 7 et who so manages 
that his stable actually costs him nothing. Men like to buy of 
such fellows, for their equine pupils are apt to graduate with un- 
damaged constitutions and singularly free from the vices superin- 
duced by bad driving and other points of foolish training. That 
they are the exception rather than the rule is only another warn- 
ing and a good " footnote " to this part of our chapter on buying. 

It may be taken for granted that each individual buyer has set- 
tled all the points which we have raised in a manner most agree- 
able to his own personal vanity. If there is one point upon which 
every human being is thoroughly self-satisfied, it is assuredly his 
knowledge of horseflesh and his capacity for making the most of it, 
and, in any individual instance we should positively decline to 
argue the case. This therefore being settled, with all the other 
questions raised, 

Wliat is your market ? 

Are horses plenty or scarce with you *? Do you live in a horse 
raising country 1 are the animals nearest you for the most part of 

A>"D II01t:E DOCTOR. 19 

one stock, bred to the peculiarities of the climate and the work,, or 
can you have your pick of a large variety of breeds 1 As a general 
thing it does not pay to go too far from home to find the animai 
you are after, for several reasons. You are more likely to be sure 
both of the pedigree and individual points of a horse raised by 
your near neighbor, and the guaranty you get is more likely to b-3 
worth something. It takes a pretty good horseman to go around 
the country and " pick up bargains." Most of the men who try it, 
leaving out the professionals and the Methodist " circuit riders," 
get badly " picked up" themselves as a general thing. If you can 
get a horse that you have had your eye on since he was a yearling 
and whose dam has taken your fancy for shape, endurance and 
general good qualities, that's your best chance, unless the training 
has been careless or cruel. Don't buy some men's best colts for 
any money : a horse is heir to the good qualities of his sire and 
dam and to all the bad ones of the human animal who raised him: 
he will suck in everything but politics and religion from his master. 
Supposing that you have had your attention called to an animal 
with which you are not altogether familiar, and that means any 
horse besides your own especial pet, you are at once called upon to 
settle many questions which are of the utmost importance in buy- 
ing a horse and you may summon all your keenness and good judg- 
ment, for you may take it for granted that if you do not there will 
be a double sale of the beast and his purchaser. The best of men 
have a weak spot that shows itself in trading in horseflesh : a man 
can't even tell the truth about a horse when he is giving him away. 




External peculiarities— Color of coat and feet — Condition of the coat— Taking 
him out of the stable— The age of the horse — The mark in his teeth — 
The head and neck— The ear— The eyes — The nostrils. 

If now we suppose that you have made up your mind fully as to 
the answers you would give to the questions propounded in the 
previous chapter, and that you propose to depend upon your own 
judgment in the matter, we may enter at once into a discussion of 
those points and qualities, good and bad, which are or may be con- 
sidered the general property of all horses, of every breed and race. 

The question of legal guaranty, and what consti tutes technical 
unsoundness, will be discussed hereafter in its proper place, but it 
may be taken for granted that the absolutely perfect horse has 
never yet been offered for sale. Each individual animal has his 
peculiarities, virtues as well as vices, beauties as well as defects, 
natural as well as acquired, and it is the business of the buyer to 
ascertain them for himself, so far as may be. With some changes, 
bearing upon special adaptation to different uses, nearly the same 
rules are applicable to all descriptions of horses, and those changes 
are such as can hardly be made in a treatise like this. Let us sup- 
pose, then, that the horse you are after is an ordinary roadster 
suitable also for farm work, not too heavy, and from fifteen to six- 
teen hands high. 

If you have gathered any prejudices about color, white feet, etc., 
from old proverbs <5r doggerel rhymes, you may as well drop them. 
In this country, however it may be in others, color is a mere mat- 
ter of taste, except where it is a mark or indication of some pecu- 
liar breed. The relation between different shades and markings 
and the temper, endurance and other qualities of horses, has its 
existence only in the fancy of old-fashioned dealers. This notion 
has been hard to uproot, and half the wiseacres in the country to- 
day are inclined to look askance at a horse with three white feet. 


However, taste is something, and a piebald horse, what they call in 
some places a " calico," or a muddy coated or " flea-bitten " ani- 
mal, and some other eccentricities of shade, are not so attractive 
to the eye, nor are they generally so saleable, as a bay, a chesnut, 
or some other bright and agreeable color. The chief value of the 
appearance of a horse's coat, at first sight, is as an indication of 
his breed and condition. In warm climates the skin of the horse 
becomes thin, and his hair short and fine, while in coider regions 
the reverse is the case. The Arab or other tropical animal devel- 
opes a sensitive cuticle with a coat that becomes as glossy as satin 
with good rubbing, while the " sheltie " protects himself against 
his long winters with a coat as thick and shaggy as a young bear's. 
Something analagous to this takes place in all the central and 
northern part of the United States, and every horse regularly puts 
on and off his winter clothing. If a horse is bought while he is 
moulting or " shedding," the roughness of his coat is not to be 
counted against him, nor should he have in January the same 
smooth and shining surface as in June, unless he has been too ten- 
derly and warmly stabled. A " staring " coat with the hair stand- 
ing out in different directions from a hard, dry or unyielding skin, 
is a pretty sure symptom of something internally wrong about the 
horse, and should at least lead to a more thorough' inquiry. 

Examining the skin and coat, however, requires that the horse 
should be touched, and we are not ready for that yet. Before 
going at all inio minute details, such as we shall explain hereafter, 
have your proposed purchase led out of the stable and take a good 
long look at him, at a distance of several feet. It may be he has 
already been brought out, but the buyer had better see it done, and 
note if the horse comes out readily and kindly, without making 
any trouble about it. 

The first look at a horse should be when he is simply standing 
still, in the position which he assumes of his own accord, and that 
should be firm and easy, with his legs well under him, and without 
showing any disposition to favor or relieve of his weight; either of 
his feet. Should he seem to do this latter, or should he incline to 
sprawl out with either hindlegs or forelegs, there is sure to be a 
good reason for it, and you had better look close before you buy 

If, after a general examination, the animal seems to be anything 


near your idea of your own requirements, your next business is 
to look for specific faults or defects, of which every horse in the 
world may be said to have either more or less. Most of these are 
sucli ; nre not covered by any ordinary guaranty, or they may be 
as y ; in the form of incipient tendencies, such as will escape a 
careless eye, but which nevertheless affect the value and usefulness 
of the horse. 

Faults of training and education you can look for afterwards, 
but your first care must be for the body of the animal himself. 
This is a beautiful but very complicated machine, Whose several 
parts are all so necessary, one to another and each to all, that de- 
fect or disease in any portion of the powerful frame detracts to a 
greater or less extent from the utility and durability of the whole. 
Every part of the animal should therefore be scrutinized with the 
utmost care, and no loud assertions of owner or bystanders should 
be allowed to counterbalance the testimony of your own eyes and 

To facilitate the explanation of much that we have to say, we 
give, at the end of this chapter, a sketch of the skeleton of ihe 
horse, showing to what sort of a bony frame the muscles and other 
organs of which we are to speak are attached. 

The first question to be asked, and the one most apt to be an- 
swered incorrectly, is concerning the horse's age. To be sure, you 
can have him warranted at the a*ge which it pleases his owner to 
state, but it would be much more satisfactory to be certain about 
it, and this is not often possible, even for experienced horsemen, 
except within certain ages, however strong may be the assertions 
to the contrary. The skill of European dealers in " making up 
mouths " for sale is frequently such as to deceive any but the best 
judges, but the wretched art is less practised in America. 

Apart from the general appearance of the horse, the surest marks 
of his age are to be found in his mouth, and here the special ex- 
amination of the buyer generally begins. 

The teeth of horses, like those of men, are coated with an 
exceedingly hard substance called the enamel. This enamel covers 
all that part of the tooth above the gum and is supplied in an 
extra quantity at the top, as if to provide for being worn away in 
use : in the centre, however, upon the top of the tooth, the enamel 
seems to be bent inward and sunk into the body of the tooth, so 


as to form a little hollow, and, as the inside and bottom of this 
hollow become blackened by the food, they constitute what is 
called the " mark," and, as the surrounding ledge of enamel wears 
away, its gradual disappearance enables us to judge, approximately, 
the age of the horse. Ignorant men speak or the " filling up " of 
the hollow in the tooth, but this is an error, the disappearance of 
the " mark " is caused by the slow wearing away of the extra sup- 
ply of enamel and other materials of the tooth. 

In this country there is generally very little reason for any 
attempt at deceit in the age of young colts, and the consequences 
cannot be very material, even if the cheat is successful. At twelve 
months old, the colt has twelve front teeth or nippers, all of which 
are afterwards displaced by the permanent teeth. This treatise 
is not designed for the use of such professional dealers as desire to 
speculate in the purchase and training of miscellaneous colts, and 
they must know their business well enough to distinguish between 
yearlings and two-year olds, or they had better retire. At four 
years old, however, the horse's mouth will be still imperfect. The 
second growth of teeth have got a good start, and some of them 
are perfect. The two teeth in front, in the centre, will be quite 
grown, with the sharp edge of the enamel slightly worn, and their 
" mark " wider and fainter in consequence. The next pair, right 
and left, will be well up, but small, yet with the mark deep and 
dark. The corner nippers will be flat, and with a fainter mark than 
the centre ones. They are as yet first teeth, the second not coming 
for some months later. With the grinders an inexperienced buyer 
has very little to do, as they will only confuse him. At five years, 
at which age we are too much in the habit of putting our horses to 
hard and regular work, the teeth are about complete. The corner 
nippers, the third pair of second growth front teeth, are fully de- 
veloped, with a deep and irregular " mark," while the other two 
pair show signs of wear. The centre teeth will only show a black 
spot on a nearly smooth surface. The minor- tokens, indicating 
more closely the changes between four and five years old, can only 
by judged of by men whose practical experience does not call for 
" book learning," and, if a case comes up for decision, the only 
way is to take the counsel of an expert. No teeth are shed after 
five years of age. 

We have thus far spoken of the teeth in the lower jaw only, as 


being those first and most readily examined. They also exhibit the 
mark more plainly by reason of the fact that they are more rapidly 
worn, and lose it first. It should be borne i mind that this wear 
of which we speak, although it slowly destroys the cement, the 
enamel, the dentine, all the component parts of the tooth, doe3 not 
at all decrease its elevation, for the teeth of the horse grow con- 
tinually, and are longest in extreme old age. The upper teeth 
wear away more slowly, and an opinion, of more or less doubtful 
value, can often be based upon their appearance for a year or so 
after the lower teeth cease to be a guide. All this, however is 
subject to such changes from accident, food, and the individual 
habits, and history of the horse, that his age, like that of ladies, 
may be politely set down as " uncertain." 

At sic years, however, the "mark " will have so far disappeared 
from the two centre front teeth that only a discoloration remains 
at the bottom of what will then be the very slight hollow. In the 
next teeth the mark is short, wide and faint, and in the third pair 
the enamel is worn to a greater evenness, but the mark is clear. 
Npte carefully if the tushes and grinders are well grown, even and. 
in good condition. The teeth of a horse have a great deal to do 
with his health, as the proper management of his food largely 
depends on them. 

At seven years the " mark " has nearly if not quite worn out in 
the four centre front teeth, and the tushes are more round and 
even than in younger horses. At eight years the "mark" disap- 
pears from all the six " nippers," or front teeth, in the lower jaw, 
though traces of it may be found in the upper teeth. These latter 
furnish a few hints for some months longer, but, generally speaking, 
a horse may be said to have " lost his mark " with the close of his 
eighth year, and from that time forward his mouth is only of use 
by way of noting if his teeth are in serviceable condition. The 
tricks of the trade by which marks are counterfeited are not much 
in use in this^ country, and can only deceive the careless or the 
inexperienced. It is surprising, however, to find what an enormous 
proportion of the " aged" horses in the world are between eight 
and nine years of age. One would think it all but impossible for a 
horse to pass his tenth year. 

There are signs, indeed, by means of which very keen and prac- 
tised judges are enabled to form an opinion of some kind, up to 


the very last, but as no two of such " experts " have ever been 
known to agree, either as to principle or application, we need not 
trouble ourselves to put their gathered nonsense into print — it 
would not further our purposes a particle. Even in a horse known 
to be young, the buyer should note if there are any special irregu- 
larities of the teeth, if they are grown evenly and come well 
together. A set of teeth that have a scattered and uneven look 
are sure to diminish the comfort and usefulness of their owner. 

In examining the horse's mouth, pay attention to the gums and 
the tongue, and see if they are in a natural and healthy condition. 
"Scars of laceration by the bit may indicate bad training, or they 
may speak for an ugly temper, v/hile cankers and bladders are 
pretty sure evidence of defective feeding, or an unhealthy condition 
of the animal. 

We have declined going more minutely into a description of the 
teeth, for the reason that the wear in different horses, of the same 
breed, and in different breeds, is by no means uniform. Food also 
has its influence, and " crib-biters " especially remove the mark 
very fast. No amount of written description will make a greenhorn 
a good judge of a horse's mouth, and experience itself affords only 
an approximation to certainty. Take any two horses, foaled the 
same day, and at any given time in their after lives their teeth will 
present such different features as to lead to varying judgments of 
their precise age, and there we may leave a very much vexed ques- 

If now you have learned all you can from your examination of 
the mouth, step back a moment, and look at the whole head. 

How does it compare with the body 1 Is it in good proportion, 
well held up and symmetrical 1 Or has it a heavy, over-loaded 
appearance, as if it would be something ugly to carry on a long 
march 1 Whatever the breed may be, racer or dray-horse, the 
head should be in keeping with the size of the horse, clean and 
well-made. Half the vicious biters, bad-tempered, unmanageable 
brutes with whom our own experience has brought us in contact, 
have been " Roman-nosed," the face describing a curve from the 
middle of the forehead outward to the muzzle; the other half have 
been too much " basin-faced," or the reverse of the Roman. A 
decent medium between the two serins to be nature's best design 
for good temper, although some of the best and toughest animals 


will occasionally turn up with a " bad face." The forehead should 
be broad and flat. 

The ear is valuable first as an indication of hlood, and then of 
disposition. It should never be disproportionately large or shaggy, 
and a limp, lop-eared horse will cost his purchase money in whips. 
Prefer an erect,, rather thin, intelligent ear, without too much of 
nervous motion in it. The latter is apt to indicate peculiarities of 
disposition that are quite inconsistent with comfort or safety to the 
rider or driver. A good, tapering muzzle, proportioned to the jaw, 
a face broad between the eyes, and not disfigured by those deep 
hollows over the eyes which surely indicate old age or bad condi- 
tion, a pair of good, honest ears, and the buyer may confidently 
proceed to an examination of those useful organs, the eyes. 

In the first place, are they both alike, in size, color, expression, 
and brightness 1 If they are not, something is wrong. The eyes 
of the horse are attached to muscles which are fairly bedded in fat, 
and as age comes on, this fat is absorbed, so that while the eyes of 
a young or middle aged animal are full and prominent, they after- 
wards acquire a contracted and sunken appearance. Disease will 
sometimes produce this effect. 

If then the eyes of your proposed purchase are full, bright, 
prominent, and both alike, note if they are quiet and pleasant in 
their expression. Look out sharp for a horse who shows much of 
the while while he is looking at you or about him. He shows that 
most when he is glancing backward after a chance to do mischief, 
and if you are in search of a safe and quiet beast, you don't want 
that one, particularly. 

The eye of the horse, as of all other animals, is a most delicate 
organ, likely at all times to sympathise promptly with the general 
physical condition. It may also be temporarily under the influence 
of mere casualties, the effects of which will soon pass away, but as 
he will hardly ever be offered for sale under any such circum- 
stances, the buyer may take it for granted, that any apparent de- 
fects, which he may discover, are the indications of more or less 
important diseases. 

The protuberance, or cornea, of the eye, should neither be flat 
nor too prominent, but it should not have any tokens of cloudiness 
or " speck." Put your head down by the horse's cheek and take a 
look across the eye, as well as dead in front of him. You cannot, 


of course, pretend to a scientific examination, but there must be 
some fault in your own eyes if you cannot distinguish the ordinary 
signs of local inflammation in the eye or its surrounding muscles, 
or even the indications of bad temper. The dulness consequent 
upon internal disease is so readily removed by administering certain 
stimulants that the eye is a general tell-tale of such matters only 
when the seller has been guilty of unaccustomed neglect, and the 
buyer must look further for information which, in a state of nature, 
would be readily furnished by the sensitive organs. If the eye is 
not " all right " the horse may still possess a good deal of value, 
and it becomes simply a matter of private judgment how far the 
specific defects discovered interfere with or diminish the value of 
the animal for the work to which he is to be put. Of this, however, 
be sure, it is not likely that the sight of the horse will improve as 
he grows older, and that although the present disease may be tem- 
porary, it will leave in the organ a disposition to a repettiion of the 

Do not leave the horse's head until you have glanced up his nos- 
trils to see whether or not they are red and inflamed by the action of 
catarrh or some other disease which has been temporarily checked 
or hidden for purposes of sale. A brief examination of a few 
healthy horses will tell you how the internal membrane ought to 
appear, and you must be your own judge, having reference to the 
general color. If there is any mucous discliargc that is about all you 
want to know, — don't buy him. The nostril itself should !>o wide 
and well opened, that the animal may breathe easily, and its rela- 
tive firmness or coarseness will be according to the breed. The 
draught horse will show a degree of coarseness suited to his gen- 
eral organization. 

The jaws should be strong and wide apart at the base, to give 
full play to the breathing apparatus, and so that the head can be 
more elegantly set upon the neck. This has its effeot, too, upon 
the readiness with which the bit and rein can be answered by the 
action of the head. 





A. Molar teeth. 

B. H. Canine or tush. 

C. I. Incisors. 
E. Atlas. 

G. Orbit. 

M. Cariniform cartilage. 

N. Ensiform cartilage. 

O. Coracoid process of scapula. 

P. Spine. 

Q. Cartilage. 

R. Trochanter Major. 

S. Trochanterian crest. 

T. Trochlea. 

U. External condyle. 

V. Patella. 

W. Hock joint. 

i. Cranium. 

2. Lower jaw. 

3. Cervical veftebrae. 

4. 4. Dorsal vertebrae. 

5. 5. Lumbar vertebrae. 

6. 6. Sacrum. 

7. 7, Coccygeal vertebras. 

8. Sternum. 

9. 9. True ribs. 

10. 10. Cartilages of true ribs. 










11. False Ribs. 

Cartilages of false ribs. 





Os Pisiforme. 


21, V Carpal bones. 


Large metacarpal bone. 
Outer small metacarpal bone. 
Inner small metacarpal bone. 
28. Sesamoid bones. 
Os suffraginis. 
Os coronae. 
Os pedis. 

Wing of pedal bone. 
34» 35> 36. Os Inuominatum. 
Os Calcis. 

42, 43, 44. Tarsal bones. 
Large metatarsal bone. 
Outer small metatarsal bone. 
Inner small metatarsal bone. 




The horse's neck— Poll-evil — The shoulder and its marks — The chest— The 
foreleg and knee — Knee-sprung and splints — Tied in below the knee — 

The neck of the horse is composed of a number of powerful 
muscles, tendons, etc., arranged upon and shaped to a series of 
seven bones or vertebra (see plate), and it must be looked at 
sharply by the purchaser. It must be exactly proportioned in 
length to the size of the horse and not too slender. Those propor- 
tions which are apt to strike the eye as most beautiful are also 
generally the best for strength and health. The mane will accord 
with the breed of the animal, thick, coarse and shaggy in some, 
thin and fine in others. A very objectional feature, on many ac- 
counts, is what is called ewe-neck, — that is, the upper line of the 
neck is concave rather than convex, and the unnatural shape inter- 
terferes both with beauty and usefulness, and is believed to include 
tendencies to throat disease. The neck should curve gently from 
the withers to the ears, and the head should be set on fairly and 
squarely : it should be thin and clean at the head, strong and mus- 
cular at the withers, or the horse will neither carry his head well 
or be a tough and durable animal. 

The last bone in the neck, joining it to the head, is called the 
atlas, and just at the juncture there is a liability to disease which 
we shall speak of hereafter, but which may be temporarily con- 
cealed, and which the buyer must look for. This is " poll-evil," 
and a horse with a running sore, or even bad scars, showing that a 
sore has been on the top of his head, at the juncture of the neck } 
is not a horse to pay much money for. There are other diseases 
of the neck and the organs which it contains, but they do not show 
externally, as a general thing, and we will pass on to the shoulders. 

The shoulder of a horse seems to have been expressly adapted 
by nature to withstand the pressure of the collar, and it will 


answer that purpose marvellously well, if the necessary human 
inventions and appliances are properly devised. Whatever the 
breed of the horse may be, anything approaching to a straight or 
perpendicular shoulder is practically a malformation, and should 
be accounted* as such, for it materially detracts from his ease of 
action and endurance as a saddle horse, as well as from his power 
and ready application of force when used as a draught horse. The 
very heaviest draught horses, however, seem to form an exception 
to this rule. There are such things as a shoulder too slanting, and 
withers too high, but they are not common. 

Here, too, in this external survey, begin to look for traces of 
bad harnessing and over-work, in the shape of " collar marks," 
scars, white hairs and other such tokens. The shoulder-blade 
should be broad and flat, and in an animal designed for the saddle, 
or for light work, may be ever so lean, while in one which is to 
pull in harness, with heavy loads, it should be well cushioned, and 
protected by strong muscles in front. A glance at the shoulder of 
a dray horse will show, approximately, how this should be. 

Breadth of chest between the shoulders, looked at from the 
front, is a very excellent thing, for it betokens that the lungs 
have room for fair play, but perpendicular depth, and the diame- 
ter at a drop-line from the withers will tell even more in that 
direction, for many very good horses have a narrow-chested look 
to a superficial observer. In order to get a notion of the present 
condition of the shoulder, the horse must be moved along a little. 
If he lifts his forelegs freely and easily, even if he limps, any fault 
he may have forward is not likely to be in the shoulder itself, but 
must be looked for lower down. The reason is that the shoulder 
bone is detached by muscles only, and he cannot have free play of 
his leg if these muscles are not all right Temporary sprains of 
these muscles, from a fall or from overwork, are so easily reme- 
died, that a horse is not apt to be offered for sale while suffering 
from one, but much more serious difficulties are apt to bo charged 
to this account, that they may be made to appear of less impor- 

We may pass, for the present, from the consideration of the 
shoulder itself, with the observation that tho heavier the horse, and 
the more entirely he is designed for heavy draught purposes only, 
the less important becomes the obliquity of the shoulder, as the 


latter provides more especially for activity and ease of action. In- 
deed, the best Flemish dray horses show a degree of uprightness 
inadmissable in lighter and more active breeds. 

Note next if the muscles of the forearm, beginning with its up- 
per attachment, are broad, prominent and well developed, and that 
each separate muscle, considered by itself, has a look of being 
short as compared with the length of the forearm, and that the lat- * 
ter is long and well proportioned. 

And now we come to that complicated and important structure, 
the knee, and here the buyer must pause for a most careful and con- 
siderate scrutiny. Take a side look first. Does the limb curve 
forward, unnaturally, at the knee 1 Then some excessive pulling, 
or some untoward accident has been at work, and the horse is 
" knee sprung : " not exactly ruined, but so badly damaged, that 
his price must be severely taxed for that defect. City horses, 
drawing heavy loads over hard pavements, or those whose labors 
have been in hilly districts, are specially liable to this deterioration, 
while it is much less common on the prairies or in other level 

Now step around in front. The color of the hair at the kneels 
apt to be darker than the general shade of the horse. Three 
times out of four, dark enough to " mark him," enabling the 
observer to look out the better for the scars and tufts of white hair 
which indicate " broken knees." Ahorse may have been wounded 
in the knee by some accident — note if only one is scarred — or by 
some fall, from which he may have entirely recovered, but, if his 
knees are at all disfigured, don't buy him until you have taken 
another look at his eyes, and have otherwise assured yourself, by 
trial, that he is not an habitual stumbler. 

The knee should be wide in front : it can hardly be too wide, 
whether compared with the arm above or the shank below, as it is 
a sort of " plate," designed to receive the insertion of powerful and 
severely worked muscles. A thin-kneed or bow-legged horse can- 
not, by any possibility, be safe, strong or enduring. If a scarred 
knee is accompanied by an upright shoulder, the horse may at once 
be set down for a constitutional stumbler. 

If your eyes are keen, and you have carefully examined the leg 
thus far, though you have done it in half a minute, you have now 
arrived at a part of the animal which you must not by any means 
neglect. From the knee to the ankle, the horse's leg is composed 


of three bones, the large one in front, called the cannon or shank 
p bone, and the two smaller or splint bones, behind. Viewed from 
the front, this part of the leg should be straight and thin,- for il : 
little or no flesh, but looked at from the side, it should bo deep and 
strong. Look around on the inside of the leg, and see if the 
smaller bones are well made and clean, or if they have thrown out 
any bony protuberances or " splints." These latter are apt to inter- 
fere with the action and usefulness of the horse. The nearer they 
are to the knee, or the more " inside " they grow towards the large 
bone, the more likely they are to lame the animal. Splints come 
and go, and are more frequent in young and middle-aged animals, 
whose exuberant constitutions furnish more bony matter than na- 
ture requires. Some old roadsters that have been badly crippled 
in this way, at last absorb or outgrow them. The eye itself may 
easily be deceived, but after feeling a few clean legs, the fingers 
will readily detect the undesirable deformity. 

The horse's leg is a curious mechanical contrivance, and just be- 
low the knee is a tremendous ring by which the muscles are kept in 
place and through which they play, like ropes through a pulley. 
If, however, this ring is contracted, so that the leg looks thin and 
deficient in lateral depth, the muscles cannot work freely, the horse 
is " tied in below the knee," and can neither be very fast or endur- 
ing. He will tire out too easily and be liable to sprains and sudden 
Low down on the leg, near the pastern, both eye and fingers 
must search for slight swellings, soft or hard, and the harder th \t 
are and the nearer the fetlock, the more they must be regan! 
for they are what are denominated " windgalls.'' As a general 
thing they are no tokens of unsoundness, and they come and go on 
all horses, but some are more prone to them than others, and they 
are apt fo cause temporary lameness. At times, from bruise, ill 
.treatment, growth, or inflammation, they become unsightly and 
even dangerous. 

The pasterns and feet are so nearly alike in their peculiarities 
and tendencies for all four of the legs, and of such particular im- 
portance, that we prefer to leave them until the last, and return 
now to the consideration of other features of our contemplated 
purchase. The horses are few, comparatively, who will answer 
satisfactorily every question which the eye of the purcha 
even thus far asked of him. 




The body of the horse— Form of back and barrel— Flesh and the want of it— 
Fistulous -withers and other sores — The loins and haunches — The hock and 
its diseases— Windgall, Curb, Capped Hock, Spavin, Stringhalt, Mallin- 
ders, «S:c. — Feet and Ankles. 

The body or " barrel " of a horse contains his heart, lungs/stomach 
and other vital organs, and there must be room in it for them, or 
the most perfect limbs in the world will avail him but very little. 
It is deficiency here, even more than defective limbs, that produces 
what is justly condemned as a " leggy " or " weedy " animal, and 
an undue excess produces a beast that is more likely to win celeb- 
rity as a feeder than in any more useful direction. 

If you have any knowledge of how the horse before you has 
been kept or what have been his chances for work and food, you 
will be better able to" form an opinion as to whether his condition 
as to flesh is for or against him. As a general thing horses offered 
for sale will be previously brought to look well, outwardly, and due 
allowance must be made for that. It is no great trick to put the 
most worthless brute in good shape for the butcher, if that gentle- 
man was after him, but mere fat is no indication of health or value. 
Better he should not make too prominent a show of flesh, for if 
he does you will have to work it carefully off before you really know 
what you have purchased. If you touch him on the ribs, however, 
fat or thin, see that the skin plays loosely and easily over them. 
A great deal is said, unnecessarily, about the shape of the ribs, but 
malformation is rare and only an expert can get much informa- 
tion from them. 

The withers of the horse, which should be high, and his back, 
again furnish signs of the kind of work and treatment he has re- 
ceived, while spur-marks on his flanks may be indications either of 
his own temper or that of his rider, indifferently. Look out espe- 
cially for sores or scars thereof, on or near the withers. If the 


horse has " fistula," a running sore, in that locality, don't buy him, 
and if the scar looks as if he once had one, remember that you 
fyave no guaranty against the old evil breaking out afresh. 

Just back of the withers of any well porportioned horse there 
should be a moderate depression, and from here the line of the back 
should be nearly straight to the loins. Horses whose backs exhibit 
more of concavity are said to be " hollow backed," and unusual 
height of shoulder and haunch sometimes gives the appearance 
where it does not exist, but in either case this feature is not to be 
considered a defect of itself. On the other hand a " mule-backed " 
or " rail-backed " horse has no business at all with a saddle on him, 
and is not always as valuable otherwise. As to the length of a 
horse's back, authorities differ. Our own opinion would be that a 
moderately long barrelled horse is preferable for general work as 
having more room for the play of his muscles, provided his length 
is in proportion to his perpendicular depth at the chest and his 
transverse breadth at the loins. If this is otherwise, a heavy 
weight in the saddle or a hard pull behind him will break him down, 
for his length exerts a lever power. A round, well-developed 
barrel, not too long, and without any appearance of paunchiness, is 
aptf to answer most purposes of work and health to the best advan- 
tage. Do not carry the notions of " length" too far, as short-bodied 
horses are generally strong, hardy and serviceable, and dispropor- 
tionate length is almost a sure sign of either slowness or weakness. 
A " hog-backed" horse, with a convex spine, has mistaken his vo- 
cation, he would have done himself more credit altogether as a 

The loins of the horse can hardly be too broad and strong, for 
on these depend both his pulling and carrying power. Fat will 
sometimes make them appear better than they are, but they must 
be looked to, narrowly. If they are thin, weak, or at all mis- 
shapen, there is no hope for work or usefulness that it will pay to 
invest much money in. Mere saddle galls, bruises and things of 
that kind, are so easily to be cured, as a general thing, that it is 
only important to note if they have developed any ulcerous ten- 
dencies, such as would be apt to render them difficult to treat, 
though of course it would be very desirable to have your purchase- 
clean of them. 

The shape of the horse from the loins to the setting on of the 


tail differs materially in varions breeds. In some, as in the Eng- 
lish hunter and the Flemish dray horse, the direct line is a gentle 
curve, or sometimes almost straight, while the American trotter 
shows an obliquity which seems almost a deformity to some of 
our brethren from over the water. This therefore may be put 
aside as of minor importance, but the breadth of the haunch is 
vital to the power of the animal, since the great muscles which 
are to lift and push him are to be attached to these bones, the 
largest and strongest in his whole body. Roundness and beauty 
are very well in their way, but in this country our best horses 
seems to develop, very often, a remarkably angular and ragged 
looking hip. which makes up in efficiency what it loses in good 
looks. This will show itself particularly if the animal has been 
hard worked and is a trifle thin in flesh. 

And now we are compelled to be a trifle technical. Turn to our 
cut of the skeleton of the horse and note the position of the hip 
and the stifle-joint : the large bone between them is the femur > and 
in order to secure speed, or a free and easy motion of the hindleg, 
especially in heavy ground, as in spring plowing, it should be long 
and strong in proportion to the size of the horse. From the root 
of the tail to the point of the stifle-joint, flat measure, the distance 
should be about two, feet for a horse between fifteen and sixteen 
hands high. If measured over the surface it will naturally be nearly 
three inches more, according to the swell of the muscles. A strain 
here is not very common, but is sometimes caused by violent ex- 
ertion or falls, and the horse will show it at once on being moved 
off, by favoring the unsound side, or even by a positive limp. 

The next bone below is called the tibia, and this also should be 
long and well set, covered with well developed muscles. If the 
thigh has a thin and lanky look, especially from behind, or if the 
two seem to spread below the anus, leaving a hollow there, the 
horse will speedily show weakness when he is put to heavy work 
or rapid motion ; his constitution is probably bad. 

The hock (see cut) is about the hardest worked joint in the 
whole skeleton, for its size, and nature has framed it and strength- 
ened it accordingly, surrounding it with powerful tendons and 
muscles, but for all that its machinery will sometimes get out of 
order, and the buyer must have a close look at its condition. Nine- 
tenths of all the lamenesses in the hindleg are apt to come in here. 


Near all joints there are placed what we may call " little bags '» 
containing a raucous fluid for purposes of lubrication. If these 
become inflamed or enlarged by over work they will show them- 
selves. On the forelegs they make " wiridgalls," but if just a 
the hock, on either side, they constitute " thoroughpin," which is 
not exactly unsoundness, but should lead you to inquire how it was 
they were brought out. "We shall have more to say of them* here- 

A more important matter is " curb." Three or four inches be- 
low .the point of the hock, at the back, violent or sudden exertion 
will sometimes cause an enlargement. Either the ring-like liga- 
ment which ties down the tendons is strained, or its membranous 
sheath, and lameness is the result. Even if the swelling is so 
slight that you overlook it from behind, and it only shows a little 
at a side view, it will be slow to cure, apt to return, and will surely 
grow worse if the horse is put to hard work. Some breeds of 
horses are more liable to curb than others, and it may almost be 
considered hereditary. Look carefully therefore for even the 
slightest symptom of curb. 

Another thing to be looked for is called by some " bog-spavin," 
and by others " blood-spavin." Look on the inside of the hock for 
something like a large windgall. There are veins between this 
swelling* and the skin, and the flow of blood is so impeded as to 
interfere seriously with rapid motion. It will cause slight and fre- 
quently returning lameness, but does not destroy a horse for slow 
work. It is decided unsoundness in any horse, and is one of those 
difficulties that, even if apparently cured, will not stay cured. But 
you are not yet done with the hock. A most dangerous and 
troublesome malformation is " bone-spavin," and you may look for 
it on the inside of the hock in front. It is a growth of bone, show- 
ing itself above the proper level of the hock-joint, and an inexperi- 
enced eye will detect it most readily by seeing if there is any dif- 
ference in the externalcont our of the two joints. The one which 
seems to be slightly enlarged is the one to examine more closely. 
The horse may not show any lameness just now, but he will surely 
do so in course of time, nor is the mere size of the growth any 
indication of its ugliness. Some badly spavined horses have a 
deal of slow work in them, while others, in which the growth 
seems onlv to have begun, are lame half their time and unfit for 



rapid work of any kind. If you see a suspicious lump, have the 
horse moved suddenly and quickly forward and note if he 
" catches " any in raising that leg. The catching and the lame- 
ness may temporarily disappear - in work, but after rest the old 
stiffness will come hack again worse than ever. 

" Capped-hock " is a swelling, a sort of soft tumor, at the point, 
caused by some injury, such as the horse may give himself in kick- 
ing, and even if it is not accompanied with lameness, it diminishes 
the value of the horse. 

Sometimes over work will result in permanent enlargement of the 
hocks without seeming to destroy the usefulness of the animal, but 
such horses are not to be relied on. You will never know when, 
or for what slight cause they will fall dead lame and be laid up, in 
the very midst of your busiest season. Don't buy so strong an in- 
dication that so important a joint has been weakened. 

If there is a scurfy look at the bend of the hock, or a discharg- 
ing sore, the stable management has been careless and bad. That 
is, mrtllenders, and is of no great account if the horse is otherwise 
sound, as it will yield to treatment, but it is of value as an indi- 
cation of condition and usage, and must have its due effect on your 
judgment. , 

A very little motion will tell you if a horse has the ," string- 
halt/' by the jerky motion of his legs. It is likely to disappear 
when he is warmed up ; it don't actually hurt him, and if it is not 
top bad, he may have a world of hard work in him, but you can 
never cure it, and it will be growing worse with age. It takes 
away materially from the good looks of a horse, and the pleasure 
of using him. 

Now, stand behind your horse, and see if his legs from the hock 
down, descend perpendicularly to the fetlock. If the hocks are 
close while the leg spreads out. and the toes of the feet spread like- 
wise, the beast is " cow-hocked." He may be all the faster horse, 
for it gives him a chance to lengthen his stride, but he will be more 
liable to all the curbs, spavins and other difficulties that equine 
hocks are heir to. 

A horse will not ordinarily be offered for sale when his legs are 
swelled, so that we need not linger longer upon the external 
symptoms likely to catch the eye. For some other items the reader 
i3 referred to the chapter on diseases and their treatment, and we 


Will now pass to the consideration of what may fairly be considered 
the most delicate, complicated, admirable part of the structure of 
the horse, the one least understood and most abused, his " feet and 

As a species of commentary on the various remarks in this and 
the previous chapters, it may be said that any variation from per- 
fect proportion in body or in limb should be thoughtfully consid- 
ered, and any protuberance or unnatural appearance strictly 
acceunted for. Such things as tumors, and the larger and more 
disgusting sores and swellings need very little description, and are 
beyond the province of merely general rules and instructions. 
Here we must leave even the most inexperienced to the exercise 
of a fair degree of common sense, but it is surprising how easily 
even those who have been much among horses will allow them- 
selves to overlook some of the most obvious defects in the feet 
and pasterns. 

A brief study of the cut of the skeleton, as well as that of the 
" points " of the horse, especially if aided by an examination of 
the living animal, will force one or two important points upon the 
consideration of the reader. He will see that the foot of the horse, 
from the ankle down, is small in proportion to what is expected 
from it ; that the amount of pressure and pounding it endures is 
enormous : that any malformation must be of more importance 
here than elsewhere, and that wounds and bruises are likely to be 
hard to reach or to heal. He will be likely, therefore, in looking at 
his proposed purchase, to search carefully into the nature of its 
" understanding." 

The pastern or fetlock, in old or over-worked horses, is apt to 
show signs of weakness by knuckling forward, unsteadiness or what 
is called " grogginess," and this tells its own story pretty well. 
Strain of the fetlock joint shows itself at once in swelling, tender- 
ness and other signs of inflammation. It may be very slight or tem- 
porary, but the better way is to decline buying a horse so strained, 
as you cannot form a good opinion as to how far it will go. 

Look on the inside of the pastern for signs of cutting or " inter- 
fering." Bandages, scars, or slight cuts will indicate the trouble. 
It is sometimes readily cured, but is oftener a troublesome vice, 
every now and then laming the horse, and making him very unre- 
liable. The same may be said of " over-reaching " by the hind- 


The pastern bone should be either more or less upright, accord- 
ing to the breed and general build of the horse and the uses to 
which he is to be devoted. In horses of a strong and heavy make* 
designed for draught only, a greater uprightness is even desirable, 
as tending to greater strength, but for all ordinary uses, the pas- 
tern should slant at an angle of forty-five degrees or more from the 
level ground. This gives a greater elasticity and springiness of 
motion, and is specially indispensable in saddle horses. The fetlock 
joint should be of good size and clean, and if there are any wind- 
galls they should be as far above it as may be. The lower pastern 
bone is smaller than the upper, and makes little external show. It 
completes the junction with the foot. Here also there is liability 
to sprains, but the horse will be pretty sure to show them on being 

One of the worst things that can happen to the pasterns, upper 
or lower, on forefeet or hindfeet, is the " ringbone," or as some 
varieties of it are called, "side-bone." Unless it is so bad that the 
horse is nearly ruined, you will hardly notice at first sight the bony 
protuberance under the skin, just above the hoof, or even higher 
on the pastern, that marks ringbone, it is more common on the 
hindfeet. The only advice to be given is to not purchase a horse 
with these bony lumps on his pasterns, but insist on having one 
who is not doomed to lamenesss, and sure to be worth less and less 
to you every month you keep him. 

The next thing to look for is what the English call " grease," but 
better known in this country as " the scratches." It is an inflamma- 
tion of the skin of the heel, generally of the hindfeet, and may trou- 
ble the best horse in the world if he is not well cared for. The 
skin of the heel is different, in some respects, from the other skin, 
and it is so exposed and has so much motion that it must be kept 
soft and pliable. If it is healthy it will feel greasy and moderately 
cool. If not, if bad stabling has combined with exposure and fre- 
quent changes of temperature to produce local inflammation, there 
will likely be a cracker! or chapped and swollen condition of the 
heel and lower pastern. It may be nothing but " chapped heels," 
or it may be " scratches," and the one surely leads to the other 
unless attended to. If there is any discharge of matter from the 
cracks, the legs will be sure to go on swelling, and the lameness to in- 
crease. There is no great difficulty, generally, in curing " scratches ' 


but they are not to be entirely disregarded in forming your opinion 
of the horse. 

What is ordinarily called the "hoof" of the horse is a sort of 
horny outside crust or box, about half an inch thick in front, and 
becoming thinner towards the heels. Vertically, the crust does 
not vary much in thickness until near the top, when it becomes 
quite thin and is called the " coronet," and which is also different 
in its structure and nature. This hoof grows as your nails do, 
and in a state of nature will sometimes, where the ground trodden 
is soft and yielding, not giving wear enough, grow out and turn 
over, very much to the detriment and discomfort of its owner. 
The writer of this has seen such a " turn-over " more than five 
inches long, on a wild pony from the marshes. This crust, how- 
ever, is not only of the utmost importance, but it is liable to dis- 
eases and accidents. It is, if healthy, exceedingly tough and 
Elastic, but if kept too dry, or if internally inflamed, it becomes 
hard and brittle and will chip off. Some horses are always liable 
10 this in the summer, and are sometimes left without hoof enough 
to nail a shoe on or to protect them from contusions. Many horses, 
also, are afflicted with sand cracks or splits, up and down the hoof, 
and these are to be especially looked out for. 

Positively reject any horse who does not show a good healthy 
appearance of the "coronet," or at the junction, all around, of the 
foot with the pastern. 

There are a great many superstitions about the shape and form 
of the hoof, varying in choice between the " mule-foot," or straight 
and .small soled hoof, and the wide, flat hoof, and the happy 
medium is doubtless best, but the hoof changes its shape with age 
and use, and especially with the aid of barbarous and bungling 
smiths. Your own eyes can tell you if it seems to retain a natural 
and healthy appearance, firm and strong, uncracked, unbattered or 
torn, and on lifting it up you can tell by eye and touch if the frog 
»ol and unfevered, and if there is no appearance of disease. 

Over a very large part of our states and territories shoeing is 

unknown, except it may be in the winter, while the ground is 

hard, and here the hoof has both a better and a worse chance. 

, for it is delivered from ignorant smiths : worse, for it is not 

cted sufficiently while pounding upon the hard-baked loads 

of summer. The more roads there are built, and the firmer they 


are made, the more absolutely necessary will shoeing become, but 
in forming an opinion of the foot of your proposed purchase you 
will do well to consider under what circumstances, in this respect, 
he has been raised and worked. 

It is noteworthy that three-quarters of all diseases of the 
horse's foot are diseases of 'the stable and the horse-shoer, of 
which the animal knew nothing in a state of nature. 

Of these, however, we shall have more to say in their appropri- 
ate place, and must refer to those chapters for further notes on 
that subject, if any are needed. 




Taking a guaranty— Get a chance to try the horse — Lead him home yourself — 
Signs of stumbling— The feed test— Promptness in taking home a bad 

Without descending into minute points, we have now indicated 
most of the inquiries which a comparatively inexperienced buyer 
should make of an unknown horse. We have purposely drawn 
them in a somewhat rude and crude outline, because that is all 
that would be of service to any but a man of such experience as v 
to require little or no advice, but we may well remark here, that 
a man who seems to know what he wants and where and how to 
look for manifest defects, and who also knows enough 10 keep his 
mouth shut and make no leading remarks, is much less likely to 
be imposed upon than others. Dealers will hesitate, naturally,' to 
try the ordinary tricks of the trade upon him, and will even tell 
him, voluntarily, many things that he desires to know. He has now 
taken a fair outside view of his horse, as he came from the stable, 
and may be said to know that he is not absolutely worthless so far 
as external indications go. If he is immediately pressed to make 
his purchase and use his horse, this is about all that he can do, and 
he must have his guaranty drawn and singned and lead away his 
purchase. The " guaranty " should read somewhat as follows: 
"Received, July 18th, 1870, of John Jones, One Hundred Dollars 
($100) for a sorrell gelding, fifteen and a-half hands high, or there- 
abouts, hereby warranted by me to the said John Jones or his 
assigns, to be only five years old, sound, free from viro, and quiet 
to ride and drive. Peter Smith.'' 

If only the words ' warranted " or " warranted sound," are put 
in, the horse may be full of all vice and unfit for any work from 
bad training, and the worthlessness is not covered. A guaranty of 
a horse is in the nature of a common law contract and covers noth- 
ing whatever whioh is not clearly expressed. You may have 


bought a living epitome of all the diseases horseflesh is heir to, 
atid you are are without a remely unless your warrant gives you 
one. Otherwise there could be no market for unsound horses. 
The rule is founded in justice and common sense, though it per- 
petually leads to abuses by reason of the sharpness of some men 
and the stupidity of others. 

If you have doubts of the solvency of your seller, insist that 
some decent man shall sign with him. As matters are now in the 
United States, your guaranty requires a stamp, according to the 
laws at the time of your purchase, as it is a conditional promise 
to pay money at some future time. You can j r ourself affix the 
required stamp and cancel it The best guaranty in the world, 
however, is alter all only a crutch to lean on, and a law-suit is as 
much to be shunned as a bad horse 

If you are a respectable man of business, however, you have so 
timed your purchase that you are not compelled to be satisfied 
with the results of your hasty scrutiny, but can provide for a trial 
and have a few days, leeway before finally closing your bargain. 
Take warning that if the seller too strenuously objects to giving 
you a fair chance to test your purchase, there is surely a good 
reason for his so doing. If he knows his horse to be all right, he 
will be glad to have you also find it out. So then, if you can get 
your few days, do not have your purchase harnessed or saddled ; 
let only the halter be on him ; let no man follow or accompany 
you : and lead the horse quietly away by yourself, and lead him as 
long a walk as you conveniently can. If he follows you readily 
and kindly, that is something, though it sometimes indicates want 
of spirit, instead of - thorough training. You must be the judge 
of that. 

Do not stop to look back at your follower in a way to startle him 
except once or twice to see if he immediately pulls back and braces 
himself to break away, as that is a sure sign of vice or bad training. 
Lead him along leisurely and quietly, up hill and down, and over 
as much rou/rh and uneven ground as possible. He cannot fail to 
show whether or not he is a good walker, and that settles the 
question as to the soundness of his shoulder and hips. The 
chances are two to one that, if he is an habitual stumbler, that 
careless way of loose leading will give him a chance to show it, 
which he will by no means neglect He will also be sure to favor 


either of his feet that may happen to he at all tender, either in leg 
or hoot', even more evidently than if he ~> v r as being urged forward 
by fear of whip or spur. If he is in the habit of shying, however, 
he will not be so apt to show it now, for he is being led, not driven, 
and he has a horse's confidence in his human halter-holder. 

In going through your gate or over your bars, you may ha 
chance to guess at delects in his eyes, by the cautious or clumsy 
manner in which he feels his way in. 

Note if he pulls back at the stable door, or shows any si^ns of 
fear. If he does, and there is nothing the matter with your stable, 
be very sure that he has had trouble, probably deserved, in his 
own. In entering the door, note if your new purchase lowers his 
head, as if he feared to strike it. If so, it has heen tender at some 
time, and you may take a second look for tiie si^ns of poll-evil. 

And now you have got to a pass wheYc you must be at once in- 
dulgent and severe. Your horse is strange, and may well be a 
trifle nervous in new quarters, with unaccustomed voices and faces, 
especially if he is young and spirited, and here you may be 
indulgent with him. His nervousness will at least help you to dis- 
cover his bad points, for it will be apt to lead him to a general 
display of them all, and this is why dealers object to giving this 
" trial time ' unless they can themselves have a hand in the 
management and showing off. 

Put the horse at once on a somewhat short allowance of dry 
fodder, the dryest you have. Not for cruelty, but to see if he has 
any cough or other signs of disease of the throat and lungs. If, 
too, he was under the influence of stimulating food at the time he 
was shown you, this will most speedily bring him back to his every 
day condition. 

Then, on the following days, will come the several experiments 
in riding, driving and pulling, and here all merely verbal instruc- 
tions would be at fault. If you do not know how to harne 
handle a horse, or how to ride or drive one, you might worry liie 
best quadruped in the world into all imaginable exhihitions of vice 
and temper. Such hints as may serve as a partial guide in a fur- 
ther inquiry into the training and condition of your purchase, must 
be gathered from a careful study of the remaining chapters of this 
book. This is equally true concerning both faults and diseases. 

If we may suppose that you 1. re discovered faults, defects, or 


signs of disease, which in your opinion traverse the terms of your 
warranty, do not hesitate for an hour ; have the same duly noted by 
two or more credible witnesses, make a note of it all in writing, 
and at once lead back your rejected purchase to the stable from 
which you took him. Let a witness go with you, state your objec- 
tions, listen to no argument or explanation, formally demand your 
money, get it if you can, at all events leave your horse and make 
the best of your way to such further legal proceedings as may be 
necessary under the laws of your State. If you have paid no 
money, so much the better, as you are then pretty safe after you 
have returned your horse with a statement oft he reasons as 
directed. By no means keep him twenty- four hours after you 
have made up your mind that you don't want him. Neither be 
persuaded to surrender your guaranty, if you have one, with the 
horse, as it may protect you from further annoyances that you 
dream not of. 

And here we will close our outline of hints about the very simple 
business of " buying a horse." 




Disposition, temper, courage— Deceptive appearances— English colt racing— 
Hard usage of young horses — Decrease of value— Increase of value — 
Problems for horse-owners. 

Horses are after all a great deal like men, and it will not do to 
put too much trust in externals. Disposition, pluck, fire, that 
inscrutable something in man and beast which the old Romans 
called virtus, and which is more than beauty and more than muscle 
or bone, must be taken into the account. Some of the best horses 
in the world's history have deceived the best judges of their day, 
and we might multiply examples, but we prefer only to draw one 
moral: — "When you get a good horse, keep him, keep him /" If 
you have tried him in various ways and found that he is about 
what you want, let no temptations of flashy " trades " or " boot " 
lead yon to part with that most excellent friend and profitable 
servant, a thoroughly good horse. 

The remainder of this book will be devoted to various treatises 
on the best way of using him in work, housing him, feeding him, 
and treating his illnesses, so far as general instructions can 
safely go. 

It is matter for general congratulation in America that no such 
stupid and cruel system as the English races has yet sapped the 
vitality of our best breeds, but we need to be on our guard lest 
avarice shall perform an almost equally evil office for us. The 
English colt is made to train for races and run them at two and 
three years old, and the consequence is, according to no less an 
authority than " Stonehenge," that during the past ten years the 
Derby itself has five times been won by unsound colts, whose 
trainers were immediately afterwards compelled to put them out 
of work, either from diseased feet or a break-down. How large a 
proportion of unsound colts were found among the losers of those 
and other races, or among the immense and motley herd that every 


year break down in training and never show on the course, no 
English trainer or writer has been found frank enough to confess, 
but they are going forward with their hot-house forcing system, 
breeding in-and-in from these diseased and ruined " winners of the 
Derby," &c. Where they will end is none of our business, but 
there can be no doubt that a vast number of horses in America are 
put to too hard work for their age and therefore fail of ever be- 
coming as good as they might. A horse completes his dentition 
at five years old, and is then said to be mature, but if his owner is 
a little careful and easy with him, for that year, he will be all the 
more apt to be sound, hardy and serviceable in his seventh, eighth 
and ninth years, and so on up. The average age of the horse in a 
state of nature, is about twenty-five years, and if he is permitted 
to begin life with a decent constitution, is not foolishly brokeu 
down while a mere colt, and is afterwards treated well and wisely, 
there is no reason why he should not continue useful at least till 
he is twenty. This is especially true of mares, which are generally 
longer lived, for various reasons, than either stallions or geldings. 

It has been common with some writers to count the annual 
decrease in value of a horse, after five or six years of age, 
including insurance arid interest, at one- fourth of his cost price, 
and it may be that this is not far from right. If so, wbat volumes 
does it not speak for the stupidity, folly, cruelty and mismanage- 
ment of American and English horse-owners ! The fact is, that 
from five to eight years of age, a horse ought to constantly 
increase in actual power and usefulness, and, therefore, in real 
value. Perhaps there is a good time coming, even for horses. 

The problems which we would suggest for the consideration of 
every human* being who comes into possession of a horse, are, 
" How can I increase the value of this quadruped, either in use or 
for sale 1 How can I overcome such faults and defects, as he may 
now have, while I keep him from acquiring others 1 How can I 
make him last the longest, and perform the greatest amount of 
good work for myself and others 1 " 

In anything like horse-breeding and raising, other questions 
come in, and these will be duly attended to, in their proper place, 
but for the present we only propose to have a sharp eye out to the 
comfort, safety, and pecuniary well-being of those of our readers, 
who may happen to be owners of horses, purchased, or otherwise. 




Bad stabling in America— Stabling in the South and West— Sudden exposure 
— City stabling — Stalls and boxes — What room a horse wants— Fresh air 
and ventilation — Stable floors and drainage— Light and warmth— Damp- 
aesa and its evils— Location and temperature— Bedding and feeding. 

Comparatively speaking, having in mind the vast number of 
our horses, there are very few really good stables in the United 
States, in spite of the undeniable fact that it costs no more to build 
a good stable than a bad one, while nothing is more positive than 
that bad stabling, and its consequences, destroy more horseflesh, 
every year, than cruelty, disease otherwise caused, and overwork 
combined. In the Eastern and Northern States it is hardly 
comprehended, that over an area compared to which those States 
are but a " patcb," the horse is deemed competent to take care of 
himself during the winter months, and the idea of careful stabling 
is almost a matter of ridicule. Loug residence in the South, the 
West, and the South-west, has made the writer hereof familiar 
with the abuses to which horseflesh is subject, in those seemingly 
favored climates, and to lend the weight of experience to his 
assertion that not even in Maine are good stables, adapted to the 
climate, more necessary than in Virginia, Southern Illinois, Ken- 
tucky, Arkansas, and the new States now arising in the far interior. 
During a part of the year, and in any of our climates, the changes 
of temperature, and the chances of severe exposure, whether to 
man, or beast, are of no account, but in no region within our 
borders, does this continue the year around. Even in the all but 
tropical climate of Southern Texas, the destroying " norther " will 
suddenly and unexpectedly swoop down upon the tender and 
unprepared bipeds and quadrupeds. As a rule, while no system 
of stabling (for man or beast) can be too complete, or provide too 
carefully for all ordinary wants, those climates which tend most to 
enervate the system of the horse, and unfit him to endure hardships 


of temperature, or tempest, by that very fact most clearly demand 
that their exceptional conditions should be most carefully guarded 
against. A good shelter is as indispensable in Texas as it is in 

In cities, or wherever " room " is an object, the horse must be 
confined to a " stall," unless his value or the state of his health 
entitle him to the temporary honor of a box, but in the country 
generally there is little reason for restricting him to penitentiary 
measurement. We have seen some admirable homes for horses 
made, out on the prairies, out of loose log walls, and a floor kept 
dry by a deep ditch dug on the outside. 

As not one in a thousand of our readers has any money to sink 
in experiments on fancy stables, even if he has obeyed all our 
other suggestions as to buying a horse and bringing him home, we 
would now offer the following as the desirable features of a good 
stable, adding that the very most expensive and elaborate estab- 
lishments in and around our great cities have- generally failed in 
obtaining them, while many a ricketty old "pole-house" on the 
prairie has supplied them in perfection. There should be room in 
which to stand up, feed, lie down, stretch out, and even turn around* 
Neither man nor horse should be put into a " coffin " until he is 

There should be plenty of air. Not an occasional blast through 
the door, to chill damp heels, and shock tender places generally, 
but an equal and easy circulation, carrying off foul smells, to 
which decent horses are sensitive, and otherwise giving the lungs 
of the imprisoned animal a chance to continue undiseased. 

There should be a dry and well-drained floor, and it must be 
made soft and yielding, by litter or otherwise, so that the muscles 
of the legs may not be stiffened by standing on it, or the hips, 
shoulders, etc., wearied out when the horse is lying down. Even 
such received authorities as Youatt, Walsh, and McClure, and 
others, seem to take it for granted that the floor of a stall or box 
must "slope backward " in order to secure drainage and dryness, 
thereby insuring an unhealthy and annoying strain on the horse's 
hindfeet and quarters. A man who can't drain his stable without 
such a slope, should speedily forget all his Yankee ancestry. 

The stable should be not only a shelter from sun, rain, and 
storm, but should be capable, in due season, of being made 


exceptionally warm, for the occasion, and then alone, of all the 
year, it may excusahly be made " dark ' : for the time being. As a 
general thing, the lighter the stable is the better for its occupants. 

There is no stable on the wildest prairies, in the newest settle- 
ments, whose builder and owner cannot profit materially by paying 
due attention to the above hints, and as a general thing, he can do so 
practically without adding greatly to either his trouble, or his cost. 
To an immense number of horse-owners, in cities especially, more 
room is impossible, more light'is out of the question, ventilation is 
one of the fine arts, and a dry, clean, soft, well-bedded floor is a 
matter of enthusiastic aspiration rather than of immediate practical 
attainment. We are sorry for them, but even to them, as well as to 
our more fortunate country cousins, we may be able to offer a few 
additional hints. 

Whatever your stable may be as to other points, it must abso- 
lutely not be damp. The horse comes from a dry climate, originallv, 
and his constitution bears this special analogy to that of his human 
master. Starvation itself hardly tells on him more injuriously than 
a damp stable. He loses his endurance and his appetite : his coat 
stares in all directions : his head droops and his spirits ooze out at 
his shivering extremities : he loses flesh ; and then come chapped 
heels, scratches, hide-bound, swelled legs, inflamed eyes, coughs, 
colds, and other evils, and, if any horse epidemic happens to be 
going the rounds, it is pretty sure to step in to the rescue of the 
victim of a damp stable. 

In cities a man cannot help himself, but in the country he woul 1 
do well to build his stables on a little knoll, or the side of a gentle 
slope, that he may secure that good drainage which is the sine qua 
non of a good stable. As to which way the stable is to look, that 
must be governed by the prevailing winds on that particular spot, 
bearing in mind that no two are alike. Generally speaking, a 
southerly front is best, but what may be eood on your hillsido is by 
no means sure to be the thing for your neighbor. 

There is a natural difficulty in keeping down the temperature of 
large stables, where many horses are kept under the same roof, but 
much may be done by means of slight board partitions and 
separate ventilation. Not more than four horses should be kept 
really " together," except in winter, as their animal heat will be 
sure to produce an unfavorable excess. 


Even in the country a " box " or large, loose stall, can hardly bo 
provided for more than two or three favorite animals, but its 
advantages are obvious, and in all training or racing stables such 
boxes are kept at least for the more valuable animals, or for those 
who are sick. The horse, however, is a gregarious and sociable 
creature, and he will do better if he can be kept within speaking 
distance of one or more of his kind. This peculiarity differs with 
different individuals, but some horses will even lose flesh if 
confined too much by themselves. Whether in stall, or in box, 
there should be nothing left around in the way of nails, spikes, 
corners, or other protuberances, upon which the horse will be in 
langer of injuring himself in any of his movements. If this is 
provided for there are very few reasons, bearing only on particular 
cases, why the animal should not be left entirely loose, unhamper- 
ed, unhaltered, unconfined except by his four smooth walls. 

A " box " should be at least nine feet to twelve feet wide, and 
half as long again, while six feet wide will do very well for a mere 
stall. As to the materials to be employed, these are necessarily 
governed by the place and circumstances, as well as by the pocket 
of the builder, but the real essentials of health and comfort can 
be secured almost as well by the poor man as the rich, except in 
cities. Tf the loft or space above the stall is used for storage of 
any kind of grain or fodder, care should be taken to have the floor 
tight that no dust may sift down from above to annoy the eyes, 
nostrils, or lungs of the horse, and that the exhalations from below 
may not come up to taint the food. This end cannot be secured 
in feeding with the old-fashioned " manger," contrived to accom- 
modate laziness, and secure the greatest amount of waste with the 
utmost possible inconvenience to the animal. In a state of nature 
the horse always stoops his head for his food, and the same plan 
should be provided for in his domesticated life. It may cause a 
very 1'ttle more trouble, but it will pay in various way. 

In the rural districts of this country, and especially in the West, 
(: litter " costs little or nothing except a little care and foresight, 
and even where it is comparatively scarce it is one of those things 
in which it is very easy to be" penny wise," as a dry, clean, and 
plentiful bed is of prime importance to the health and working 
condition of all horses. 

Whether box or stall, or whether he is to be left loose therein, 


or tied up, the nd home of the working horse, 

during, at least, the larger part of his life, and its arrangement 
and provisions are of such importance that we have spoken of 
them in the first place. Some animals, of exceptionally tough 
organizations, will seem to do well in almost any sort of a hovel, 
but with nine out of ten, good condition is impossible for any length 
of time without proper attention to the leading points which we 
have mentioned. 

And now, if the shelter is attended to, we may proceed to that 
much vexed, and most important question, the food and drink of 
the horse. 

The great mass of controversy on this subject may be promptly 
set aside as being of only local application, and with it, as a mat- 
ter of course, almost all of the singularly inapplicable, and often 
incomprehensible stuff, which so many so-called " American'" 
books on the horse, reprint from English farriers. That which 
may be very good in England may be very bad, or quite impossi- 
ble, here ; and such is the all but infinite variety of our soil, 
climate, and productions, that a set of rules on specific feeding, 
designed for general use, would be simply laughable if they were 
not also likely to be generally destructive. 

It is to be regretted that, over so large a part of the United 
States, farmers and others who ought to know better, and for the 
greater part do know better, permit themselves to be so lavish and 
careless in the use of so heating an article of diet as Indian corn, 
to the exclusion of safer, and really cheaper food — cheaper to 
grow, and cheaper to gather — but the adoption of a more natural 
and healthful diet will be slow. We very much wish that this 
treatise could help in producing such a result. Corn is good, but 
its misuse yearly ruins many thousands of horses, to our certain 

In the first place, then, a horse is not a camel, with a whole row 
of stomachs, calculated to hold provision against a long 
Relatively to his size, and the work required of him, the stomach 
of the horse is small, and it is sure to be empty in a little more 
than four hours from the time he filled it As a consequence of 
this, if the animal is kept at work, or is deprived of food for a 
much longer period than this, he is first attacked by a Voracious 
hunger which would lead him to eat too much, and hurt hi.. 


if he had a chance, and this in turn, with further delay, Is followed 
by lassitude and exhaustion. The whole frame feels the evil effect, 
and any particular part is more liable to " strain," if at work, but 
the stomach is- particularly affected, and the appetite is often so 
destroyed, temporarily, that the most tempting food is rejected. 
It follows from this that the horse should be fed not only regularly 
but frequently. A man can go much longer without food than a 
horse, and with much less danger of bad consequences. Still, 
even this must necessarily be at the mercy of circumstances, and 
we can only give the general rule of " morning, noon and night, 1 ' 
and oftener if the work is hard, or the speed demanded, great. 

Thought should next be given to the peculiar temperament, 
size, health and habits of the individual horse to be fed. There is 
here an infinite variety, and a great deal depends upon education. 
A horse will accustom and adapt himself to almost anything, 
except starvation, if he can take his time to it, but due allowance 
must be made for the force of continued habit, and for the conse- 
quent condition of the system. Too violent changes are never 
advisable, even when the animal is off his work, much less when ho 
is busy. , 

The next thing to be thought of, while never losing sight of the 
others, is the kind and amount of work that is being exacted, and 
for which the horse must prepare himself. The same kind of food 
will positively not provide for all the requirements of the frame of 
the working horse ; he needs a variety as much as a man does, and 
he cannot be kept permanently useful without it. How often has 
every horseman seen his four-footed friend turn from the best of 
grain, corn or oats, as it happened, to nibble greedily at even 
inferior hay, while on the other hand all men know that the horse 
kept long on hay alone becomes exceedingly hungry for grain, no 
matter how abundant his other food. Too great a sameness is a 
very general fault in our methods of feeding, and we suffer the 
consequences in many ways. 

There is very little danger that a horse will become too fat if 
steadily worked, and his food should at all times be so regulated 
as to keep down any such dangerous tendency, but, except in 
some few breeds, or exceptional cases, it is a mistake to suppose 
that K good condition " implies an approach to the " living skele- 
ton " style of development. " Not fat but full " is a good proverb 


for a working horse, whether under the saddle or between the 
shafts. He needs a fair supply of both hay and grain, and these 
also may be profitably varied from time to time, with such addi- 
tions or changes in the way of cut roots, cooked stuff or green 
food, as circumstances may suggest or permit. 

The only seasoning a horse cares for is a little salt, and he will 
eat less of this if it is always where he can get at it than if 
supplied to him at long intervals. It may be sprinkled on his hay, 
which is the most wasteful method; it may be put in his water, 
not to exceed an ounce a day ; or it may be fed at intervals in the 
shape of fine salt, according to judgment. A better way than 
either is not often practicable in this country : it is to put a large 
lump of rock salt in the manger, and let the horse help himself by 
licking it. Some will use more than others, but the most " salt- 
hungry " will eat less than half a pound a month. 

A horse will oftener hurt himself with water than with food, 
because he can get down a larger quantity in a shorter time. In a 
state of nature it may be that he can take care of himself, though 
the collections of skeletons around Western pools and springs 
would argue the contrary, but in his domesticated condition the 
horse requires to have his appetite for " drink " regulated by 
human reason and experience. With water, as with food, the 
supply needs to be regular and frequent rather than large, and the 
oftener a horse is watered the less he will really drink in the 
aggregate. Still, some horses need more water than others, and 
the same horse will vary very much in his requirements at 
different times, and under different circumstances. Just before 
hard and heating work, or just at the close of it, only a moderato 
supply should be given, but at night, after the animal is thoroughly 
cool, he ought to have just as much as he cares for, and the 
amount he swallows may be noted as indicating his internal 
condition. Fever of any sort will have the same thirsty effect 
on a horse as on a man. If a horse is being changed from dry 
food to green, it will be well to diminish his water at first, as a full 
supply will be apt to bring on a fit of colic. 

As to quality, the water given to horses should be the very best 
that can be obtained in the place where you are, and, if it is mixed 
with vegetable or earthy matter, it should be filtered or settled if 
possible. By no means give cold spring water to a horse warm 


from his work, unless you have a spite against him, as it is apt to 
be an exceedingly dangerous experiment. Let it stand awhile, or 
even take the chill off with a dash of hot water. Of course it 
should not he warm to the touch or taste, all that is necessary is to 
prevent a shock. 

In some " fancy stables," nowadays, arrangements are made for 
a continual supply of water in each stall or box. There can be no 
objection to this plan so long as the water troughs are kept very 
clean, and no horses are kept. If the latter is - intendecfor attempted, 
the animals should be cool, and not at all thirsty when they are 
led in. 




Grooming and cleanliness — Perspiration and scurf — Rubbing and brushing— 
MuJ, wet legs and washing— Hoots and heels — Cooling down — Shedding 
the coat— The fetlocks— The boot in the stable— Preparation for shoeing — 
"Wet floors and " Thrush "—Examining the shoes — Exercise. 

Once fairly bought, brought home, and properly stabled, the horse 
has passed a very serious ordeal, but other and most important 
duties at once press themselves upon the humane and economical 
owner. Frequent bathing, cleanliness, goes further with even a man 
than one man in a hundred knows enough to acknowledge, but the 
careful grooming which answers the same purpose for a horse is 
of even greater relative importance. A well " dressed," well 
groomed horse, will go further in work, on less food, in better 
health, with less liability to damage, and come out of it in better 
condition, by all odds, than his carelessly treated neighbor. In fact, 
more than half of the diseases, and the worst results of more than 
half of the accidents, including overwork, bad judgment, changes 
in the weather, careless feeding, and all that, can be robbed of 
their most pernicious effects by judicious painstaking in the stable. 
This point is to be urged the more earnestly here, because bad 
and careless grooming is a prevailing vice among American horse 
owners, especially the farmers, and in the West and South we have 
been personally cognizant of a most lamentable waste of horse- 
flesh in this way. Good stable management includes a multitude 
of separate items, some of which have been already referred to, 
incidentally, and more that cannot be brought within the scope 
of this chapter, but we must positively insist on certain points. 

The cases are certainly exceptional in which the stable, however 
poor it may be otherwise, cannot be well drained, dry and clean, 
when the horse is led into it, and there are not many places in 
America where the absence of good litter does not imply laziness 
and shiftlessness rather than any kind of economy. If by any ac- 


cident it does mean economy, it is of the meanest and most short 
sighted kind, assuredly defeating itself in more ways than one. 

If then the stable is made dry and clean, so should the horse be. 
His skin must be kept pure. In sweating he exudes a matter 
which at once dries and forms scurf, and this a mechanical ob- 
struction to the free action of the pores of the skin, and even if he 
has not been sweated so as to make it visible to the eye, his " in- 
sensible perspiration " has certainly rendered brushing and rubbing 
desirable. It is not a mere surface polishing that will answer all 
the ends required ; the effect is to be produced not upon the hair, 
but upon the cuticle itself. 

The wild horse, or the tame one, when he is out at grass, may 
have a rough-looking coat, but the very winds to which he is 
exposed do his grooming. When he is kept in the stable all the 
time he is not at work, artificial means must take the place of 
natural ones. The action of t^ie skin, its secretions of the neces- 
sary oily matters, the delicate machinery of perspiration, must be 
kept in healthy activity, or nature will avenge herself speedily by 
colds, coughs, and other disorders. Any one will be willing to 
admit that a horse needs especial care and vigorous grooming 
when he comes in wet, muddy, or dusty either, from long and 
wearisome exposure ; but fewer take the trouble to think that the 
horse who has done no work, has not even had exercise enough to 
stretch his legs, needs a good rubbing quite as much, if only by 
way of exercise. 

If you are to be your own groom — and, even if you do it by 
proxy, you had better give the matter some personal attention, — 
begin by taking note if your horse has a thin, tender, delicate hide, 
or whether his epidermis is of the rhinoceros kind. The latter 
will need less manual dexterity but not less vigorous rubbing. 
Upon this too will greatly depend the nature and use of your 
currycomb and brush, and here a trifle of humanity and good 
judgment is to be exercised. Do not run a " hand-harrow " over 
a delicate and shrinking skin, and, on the other-hand, be sure you 
get at the roots of a coarse, thick coat of untrimmed hair. 

Begin at the head, with your brush in one hand and your curry- 
comb in the other ; take particular care of the ears, where dust is 
apt to gather ; go down the neck, shoulders, bosom, legs, and so on 
back, with the brush only, and then repeat on the other side. 


Complete by going all over with a wisp of clean straw, a little 
damp. In spring and fall, when the coat is changing, only rub 
with a cloth or some straw, if you want your horse to look well 
afterwards. Do not misunderstand the use of your currycomb; it 
is for mud, obstinate bits of dirt, or an outrageously neglected 
coat ; otherwise it is worse than useless, as your shrinking horse 
will plainly tell you. A damp sponge should be. used for the. 
horse's eyes, nostrils, and anus, and these should be dressed out 
with a light and rapid hand. The legs and feet require especial 
attention. No matter how wet they are, they should be washed 
clean, and all foreign matters picked out of the hoof. The heels 
should be left clean and dry, so that draughts of cold air may not 
superinduce chapping or scratches. The more delicate points of 
grooming are only required in those stables whose wealthy owners 
are able to secure the services of trained professionals, but even 
these gentlemen will lose nothing by an hour among their quadru- 
peds to see if all is done that is professed to be. 

When a horse is going out to his work, give him a quick rubbing 
down with a wisp of straw. Not only will he start off better 
looking, but, what is of more importance, in better temper and 
with a glow on him which better fits him for the possible changes 
of temperature. 

Grooming when a horse comes in from work, or any kind of 
Violent exercise, depends a good deal on his external condition, 
but it should be done, if at all possible, before he feeds. The 
reason of this is, not only will he take his feed better, but all 
possibility of danger to him from eating or drinking will be over 
by the time you have done with him. If he is dry and clean, and 
not at all warm, a rub with a wisp of straw for a few minutes is all 
that is required. 

If it is warm weather, and he is sweating profusely, lead the 
horse about gently, till he is quite cool. If he had a saddle on 
when he came in, let it stay on till he is cool, or he may have a 
stiff back next day. If it is cold weather, and he is warm, take 
him under shelter at once, and rub him dry with a cloth. By no 
means let the skin remain full of dry sweat, as this clogging of 
the pores practically defeats all their purposes. Washing, evon 
with soap and water, is as good for a horse as for a man, but care 


should be taken with the one precisely as with the other, that the 
skin is thoroughly dry and bright when the work is done. 

If, as very often happens, a horse comes in very muddy, it is a 
cruel sort of laziness to let him stand and dry with it all on, trust- 
ing to brooms and comb to tear it all out after it has thoroughly 
hardened. The black soil of the prairies sometimes makes a 
particularly hard and tarry cake if allowed to stiffen in the hair. 
The really easiest and cheapest way is to give the animal at once, 
a thorough washing and drying. It may be disagreeable, but it 
will pay. In fact, hardly anything else in the management of the 
horse will really pay better than simple cleanliness. 

If a horse is merely well wetted by rain, simply rub him dry, as 
if you had washed him yourself, and make sure that his feet are 
all right and not stopped with mud or gravel. 

If a horse is brought in completely used up, even if there is 
danger that he has been injuriously or fatally over-driven, the first, 
best and only thing to do is to cleanse him and groom him thoi 
oughly. It is his best chance and he will enjoy it immensely. 
Rub every joint in his body. Rub every inch on his skin. Rub 
his ears gently. Have some gruel made, if he is really badly off, 
and rub him while they are making the gruel. If he is injuired 
his ears will show it by, their low temperature, and he will be espe- 
cially pleased to have them rubbed. 

" Grooming " may be described, somewhat imperfectly, as the 
care of the horse's skin and " coat," and it includes some other cares 
besides cleanliness, important as that is: among these in some 
stables are " clipping and singeing," in neither of which, we hope 
the readers of this treatise will indulge. Very surely they will not, 
except they happen to be proprietors of strictly " fancy stables," 
caring more for externals than anything else. Still there is some- 
thing more to be said about the coat of the horse. He so accom- 
modates himself to varieties of climate and even to the more minute 
variations in the care taken of him, that purely general statements 
concerning his shedding or " moulting " would necessarily be true 
only within very narrow limits. Any description, therefore, made 
and adapted to one locality, may be adjusted, -with a mere trifle 
of experience or inquiry, to any other. 

The coat of the horse, except in extremely warm countries, is 
changed twice a year. The lon f 4 hair of winter comes off in April 


or May, according to the weather or the warmth of the stable in 
which the horse is kept. Work, especially such as to produce per- 
spiration, hastens the shedding. The hair on the legs is slower 
by some weeks, in coming oft", perhaps because these limbs are 
more exposed. Even here it can be hurried a good deal by 
grooming. Different breeds of horses, and different animals in the 
same breed, show very marked variations in the nature of their 
summer and winter coat, and with some the change is very slight. 
The difference is always less perceptible among blind horses, odd 
as that may seem. 

Along in October, earlier or later according to climate and the 
character of the season, the summer coat begins to come away 
and the " winter coat " begins to make its appearance. The latter 
will often continue growing until midwinter, and its hairs are 
longer, coarser and closer than those they have displaced. On 
the legs the change is more distinctly manifest than on the body, 
presenting what is called a " feathered " appearance. In the case 
of race horses, or perhaps some others in exceptional situations, 
there may arise a necessity for artificially trimming and reducing 
this provision of nature, but in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred 
it will be wiser to let it alone and put your scissors to some other 
use. We are aware that some very respectable authorities have 
written differently, but we bear in mind that they were not writ- 
ing for American readers or the climate of the United States, while 
xcc are. 

Some stupid grooms, even some writers on farriery, will tell you 
to clip or singe the long, bristly hairs about the eyes, nostrils antl 
ears, but be very sure that you do not do it, for they are in each 
case feelers attached to nerves of sensation, and are of use to the 
animal in warning him of the nearness of solid substances when he 
is groping in the dark. Any other unsightly growth about the 
head or neck may be freely trimmed away. 

The fetlocks, if any care is to be taken of the horse's feet, may 
be trimmed reasonably close, unless he is to be worked in the 
plough, or otherwise, in soft and treacherous ground. If this latter 
is the case, by no means cut the fetlock close, as it is a natural 
protection against sudden blows, irritating friction and other 
exposure, and the foot will be all the better for it. Neither the 
inane or tail should I l' ; - by somebody who 


knows how to cut them, that is, an experienced groom. If a man 
is bent on trying his own hand, however, let him be sure that his 
scissors or knife are strong and sharp, and that his own hand is 
firm and steady, for horsehair is tough cutting. 

A very important part of stable duty, and one which is very 
commonly neglected, is the proper care and supervision of the 
horse's feet. Constant attention is required, but if it is only made 
a matter of habit it need not be irksome or unpleasant. That 
which is a " matter of course " is rarely a matter of toil. 

It is a great pity that so many of our blacksmiths are so 
ignorant of their business, but a great deal may be done, in the 
stable itself, to counteract the results of their folly. For most 
points we must refer the reader to the chapter on " shoeing," 
confining ourselves just now strictly to our " text." 

Earth floors, if dry, well cleaned and drained, would be the best 
for a stable, but as they would involve considerable care and labor, 
some harder material, almost universally hard wood, is substituted 
for nature's provision for the wild horse. Now, wood is a bad 
conductor of heat, and the shod hoofs feel nothing cool or yielding 
under them. So, if neglected, they become dry, hard and brittle^ 
liable to crack in work, or to chip off in shoeing, or to "batter" 
badly on stony roads or pavements. To prevent this, a good 
horse-keeper will give the feet a " stopping," every now and then, 
say once a week ; that is, he will take a bit of shingle, and paste 
"the hollow of the hoof full of mud and cowdung mixed, and leave 
iUthere all night. If that don't succeed, try the dung alone, or 
put a little salt in your mixture. The last will never fail, but it 
must not be tried except in cases of extreme dryness, as it is too 
strong for safety on any ordinary hoof. Even if the horse's feet 
do not show any signs of dryness, always give them a good 
" stopping " the night before he is to be shod, so that the hoof 
may be tough and yielding, instead of hard and brittle, in the 
hands of the farrier. 

In carelessly kept or badly located stables, like too many that 
we now recall, disgraces to their lazy and reckless owners, the 
hoYse's feet are kept too wet, and the soft part of the sole of the 
foot becomes diseased, the outer coating of the frog becomes 
decomposed, discharges filthy smelling matter, the frog wastes 
away, the protection of the sensitive organs beneath is gone, and 


this is what is called a " thrush.' - There are other Kinds of 
thrush, brought on in other ways, but this is bad enough. It is 
not always hard to cure, but prevention is better. This can be 
secured by having dry litter for the animal to stand on, and by 
keeping the frog of the foot scraped clean from foreign or dead 
matter. Leave any cutting to the farrier, but be sure the frog is in 
good condition'. 

One of the stable duties is to take a good look at the shoes 
whenever a horse goes out or comes in, to see if they are firm, and 
none of the clenches of the nails are raised. Of course a horse is 
never to be worked with a loosened shoe, as he runs all sorts of 
risks, and so does his rider or driver. 

Never keep a horse long in the stable without good exercise : 
he cannot keep in good health and condition, nor will he work 
with any safety to himself or others, on being suddenly released 
from his undue confinement. 

As to the temperature of the stable there has been a good deal 
more controversy than sound thinking. It is a' matter which can- 
not be altogether controlled, and it is best that it should be 
permitted to vary, steadily, with the season. This will take place 
in the process of ventilation, while many precautions can be taken 
against changes that would be too sudden or excessive. With 
good ventilation the stable can always be kept warmer in winter, 
and cooler in the greatest heats of summer, than the outside air, 
and this is what is required by the constitution of the horse. At 
all events, attend to the ventilation first and the temperature 
afterwards. If it is too cold, do not shut out all the air, but pile 
more clothing upon the horse. 

Nearly all of our so-called " American " books on horses, being 
merely reprints, with perhaps a few slight and trashy additions, 
of English works, are disfigured with prolonged and " snobby " 
chapters describing the management of English racing and , 
hunting stables, and the manner in which European " gentlemen " 
keep their fancy stock, all of which is simply pernicious in a book 
intended for use in this country, nor do we propose to rehash for 
our farmers' boys and business men, these very remarkable 
accounts of how the noble fox hunters and race gamblers manage 
their high-blooded, delicate, pampered and, very generally, un- 
sound and evil-tempered quadrupeds. 


With ' : stable vices" and the way to cure them, as well as the 
treatment of accidents, we will deal in another place, closing this 
chapter with the general remark that so long as humanity, thought- 
fulness and good sense are allowed to kick laziness, brutality and 
prejudice clean out of the stable, the horse population will have a 
fair chance for long, useful and comfortable lives. 

.i.N'i> lloKSi': DOCTOR. CO 



Soundness of hay or grain— Green food and soiling— Changes of food— Bad 
weather and extra care— Shelter in the pasture lot— Watering in pasture 
— Flies in the held — Taking up from pasture. 

The food of the horse in different sections of the country, and 
in the all hut infinite variety of circumstances, in which he and 
his owners find themselves, must necessarily vary very widely, and 
with judicious management, the animal, of whatever breed, ay ill 
adapt himself marvellously to all changes of locality or of season. 
We have already given some hints, and it ought to be unnecessary 
to add that, so far as is possible, each and every article should he 
sound and good of its kind. Mouldy or mowburnt hay is so much 
poison, and so is heated or mouldy grain. If corn or other grain 
is dusty or otherwise unclean, it is certainly a matter of but little 
trouble to winnow or silt it, and it is well worth while, as such 
food, if it does not originate diseases, is sure to foster or aggravate 
many affections of the eyes, nostrils, throat, lungs and bowels. 

The great majority of our horses, leaving out those finally 
doomed to be used up in the relentless toil of our great cities, 
have at some time of the year a chance for a little green food, 
either by soiling or by being turned out to grass, and this is an 
Excellent thing, but it would be a by no means useless curiosity to 
inquire how many animals are badly damaged, or even destroyed, 
every year, by ignorance or carelessness in the way in winch they 
are brought to or from their grass. 

If a horse is to be turned out to grass in the spring, or for any 
cause at any time during the summer, care must be taken that 
the change from dry food and grain, with hard work and close 
confinement, to perfect liberty and green food in abundance, 
should not be too sudden. 

Take some days to it. Cut down the allowance of grain. Bring 
in half feeds of cut grass. Some horses will be >tter !'<>r a 


dose of physic. At first, especially in the spring, or if the weather 
is bad, have your horse up to the stable at night and give him a good 
grooming. Don't neglect this latter, anyhow, if there has been a 
cold and pelting storm, such as we are generally quite liable to. 
You may require your horse's services at any time, and it is well to 
keep him somewhat under your hand. 

Be sure that your pasture has some sort of shelter from extremes 
of heat or cold, of wind and rain. Let it be something better 
than a thin-leafed and shadeless tree, or the lee side of a mullein 
stalk or a rail fence. A close thicket of any kind, such as hazel 
bushes, sumach, canebrake, a rude shed, a mere shanty of poles 
and boughs, any sort of make-shift, if you cannot afford better, 
will be of real value before the season is over, and it may happen 
to save you your horse. A bald, bleak, storm-swept, sun-beaten 
patch of hillside or of prairie, however good the grass or wide the 
limits, is no place to turn a good horse out into, if you expect to 
get him back in working trim. 

If there is no running brook in the pasture, nor cool and shady 
pool of clear water, remember that there is as much of a necessity 
for abundant and regular watering as ever in the stable. The horse 
will drink somewhat less on green food than on dry, as a matter of 
course, but grass is no substitute for water. . In localities where 
flies and other insects are severely troublesome, a coarse net of some 
kind will often be found an excellent investment. We knew an old 
fellow once, in the West, who even went so far as to put nets on his 
work oxen. He was well laughed at, but while the cattle of his 
neighbors kicked themselves thin and weak, his own remained in 
good trim ail summer, in spite of even green head flies. 

In taking a horse back from the pasture to the stable precau- 
tions must also be taken to accustom him gradually to the change 
of diet, whatever it may be. He will be almost sure to fret and 
worry at first, and his bowels require a good deal of humoring. 
He should by no means be put at once to his full allowance of work, 
and extra care should be taken in all the items of stable manage- 
ment, A few days of attention and his elastic constitution will 
once more settle fairly down to the ordinary routine of stable life 
and labor. 




Careless shoeing— Feet of wild horses— Shoeing in ancient time— Army far- 
riery— Necess ties for protection — Uses of the shoe — Methods of acqu 
information Parts of the hoof and their uses — Waste and injury— 
Machine-made shoes. 

Before attempting to treat of the management of the horse in 
work of any kind, there is one subject to be attended to upon 
which it would be difficult to say too much, or to say it too 
minutely, and yet it is one to which, especially in the rural 
districts of the North, in the South and in the prairie country, an 
immense deal of the most culpable carelessness is prevalent. We 
allude to Shoeing. 

It is a common superstition that the horse gets along admirably 
without shoes in a state of nature, and that his unprotected feet 
retain their health and perfection, although unaided by the care of 
the groom, or the science of the farrier. This is an absurd error, 
as the writer has ascertained from careful examination of the hoof: 
of many wild horses. On soft ground, where they are not suffi- 
ciently worn, the hoofs of the wild horse grow too long, though 
this is apt to be merely a " summer complaint,'' rectified when the 
ground is hardened, and greater scarcity of food compels more 
use of the feet On the rough and flinty plains, over which droves 
of Indian ponies and mustangs are frequently compelled to jour- 
ney at a good pace, their feet get sore and battered, just as if 
there was nothing "wild " about them. Like causes produce like 
effects everywhere, and neither men nor animals live as long, or 
multiply as fast in what is absurdly called a " state of nature " as 
when they are decently domesticated or civilized. 

Perhaps any other part of the horse would get alonn better 
without care and supervision than his feet, and for m my ages men 
> attempted, in various ways, to suppply the needful attention. 
From the buffalo-hide "moccasins " of the Sioux and Comam 


only use^ on special occasions, to the patent india-rubber and steel 
appliances of the Eastern States and Europe, innumerable are the 
inventions, and almost as innumerable the imperfections and 

With too many there exists only the simple idea, a matter of 
habit, more than of thought, that the horse ought to wear shoes, 
without ever giving any especial attention to the shape or condition 
of the particular feet hr question, or to the kind or degree of use 
to be required of them. 

" The shoes are to protect the feet." 

Of course they are, but how and in what manner 1 

And here comes in a species of " conflict of ages." Time was 
when even the cavalry of great armies went unshod, and not 
unfrequently were reported at headquarters as utterly useless, on 
account of the condition of the feet of the horses from bad roads 
and over-travelling In modern times the same amount of destruc- 
fcion is accomplished more gradually and more in detail, and the 
organized good sense, and the enforced education of army farriers, 
aided by surgical science, has secured for the cavalry horses of the 
world an incomparably better average of skillful shoeing than falls to 
the lot of their hardworked brethren in civil life. A vast amount of 
worse than useless inventive genius and would-be instruction has 
been wasted in contriving empirical systems by which all the feet 
of all the horses could be accommodated and adjusted to some 
given rule or formula, as if anything imaginable could be made 
to take the place of individual knowledge, care, intelligence and 

A very good rule to begin with in attempting any improvement 
in this direction, as in all others, is to " forget at once everything 
that you do not thoroughly know." 

The horse's foot is to be protected, certainly, and from what 1 
Let us see. 

With only his own weight to carry, and that is a good deal, the 
feet of any animal are subjected to a degree of wear and pounding 
which is to be measured not only by the nature of the ground on 
which he is to travel, but by the rapidity of his motion, the pecu- 
liarities of his pace, and the innumerable circumstances which 
govern the condition of his feet themselves! When he is made a 
beast of burden or of draught, and nature's load is artificially 



increased, the wear and tear is multiplied, and the science of man 
is necessarily called in to provide as well as may be for the waste 
which the uses of civilization have occasioned. 

Doubtless the first aim of the early farriers was to prevent the 
too rapid waste of the hoof, but a mere iron sole, while it wears 
away less slowly than the horn, communicates every shock and 
blow with rigid firmness to the complicated and delicate structure 
above it, and hence arose appliances, more or less effective, for the 
support of the yielding hoof, to prevent its spreading or cracking, 
tb give it a firmer hold on hard or slippery ground, and to place 
its more sensitive and easily injured parts at a safer distance from 
blows and possible harm. 

Fig. 1.— section of the parts entering into the composition of the 
foot and the fetlock and pastkhn-joints. 

A. Os suffraginis. 

B. Os coronas. 

C. Os pedis. 

D. Os naviculare. 

E. E. The perforans and perforatus tendons. 

H. Cleit of frog. 

I. Side of fro j cleft. 

J. Sole. 

K. Crust. 

L. Coronary substance. 

G. Inferior sesamoideal ligament. 


Thus much attained, or thought to be attained, and for ages the 
amount of further improvement has been small indeed, so far as 
the immense majority of cases is concerned, and we may now set- 
tle down to the belief that the only perceptible gain will be made 
in diffusing a more general spirit of inquiry and independence 
among horse-keepers and owners, with an equally general disposi- 
tion to rebel against laziness, quackery and traditional prejudices 
on the part of the farriers. ^ 

With that end in view, and on behalf of our much abused 
quadruped friend and servant, we invite our readers to a careful 
study of the anatomy of the horses foot. The diagrams which we 
present will give a very fair basis for intelligent inquiry, but 
hardly any number of " plates " will enable the student to 
dispense with living subjects It will be very well to secure a 
knowledge of the technical names of the several parts of the 
machine, but that is not enough : who, nowadays, would trust his 
own body to the knife of a surgeon whose only knowledge came 
from books, however theoretically excellent, without the truer and 
deeper schooling of the dissecting room 1 

Therefore, after learning what you can from our diagrams, lay 
down your book for awhile, and betake yourself to the study of 
living subjects. Your observations will consume little time and no 
money. Look sharply at the feet of every horse you come across 
healthy or unhealthy : note their shape, if round or oval, and 
whether they are bright or dull ; smooth, even and perfect, or 
rough, corrugated or battered. Get a clear conception of what a 
•healthy foot should be, and then note the variations from that 
outline towards flatness, uprightness, damage or otherwise, for all 
these variations require corresponding changes in the purpose and 
design of the shoe which is required in each particular case. 

So much for the outside, if you have used your eyes well, but 
that is only a good beginning. Now get a specimen foot from 
some dead subject, — no difficult thing to do, when so many poor 
brutes get through with their sorrows every day all about you. 
Take a saw and divide your specimen down through the middle, 
from toe to Heel. Not a very pleasant job, but it will pay splen- 
didly in all your after management of horses. Note carefully the 
position of all the parts, and their relative bearing upon one 
another. If the foot is a well-shaped and healthy one, you will 


gain one kind of information : if you detect disease and mal- 
formation, that also may be made exceedingly instructive. 

If you have completed your study with respectable care yon 
have done more than ninety-nine "farriers" out of a hundred, and 
know practically more than they do concerning the wonderful 
organ in whose torture and destruction they employ their misspent 
At all events, you are in a state of mind to acquire useful 
information from this and other books, to cqrrect mistakes, it may 
be, and to reject crochets and fallacies, such as all writers on the 
horse are sure to have, though, of course, none will acknowledge 
it. We will not, for instance. 

Such an examination and study as we have advised, will 
convince the student that the horse's foot is a very admirable and 
wonderful machine, calculated to perform any reasonable amount 
of work if it is only kept in order, and also that its very perfection 
and complex arrangement make it by no means difficult to injure. 
It will be found that the outside line of the sole of the foot would 
not vary much from a circle, in a sound and well-shaped foot, if 
continued around, but a little fuller on the outside quarter.' 
Noting particularly tiiis outside crust, most horsemen will tell him 
that it will be softer and less durable if of a light color than if 
dark, — a very ancient superstition which has led to the sale of 
many excellent horses at less than they were worth. The hoof 
should be bright and smooth, as these are indications of health 
and good usage, and they should be kept so, but as for color, 
except as a matter of taste, It does not matter, so long as sky-blue 
and bottle-green do not become too common. 

The sole should be concave, and not too dry and hard, and it 
should be remembered that the crust, of which the iron shoe is a 
sort of continuation, is intended as a protection for this as well as 
the unseen parts of the foot. Concerning this we can hardly do 
better than to quote from that ancient and eminent authority, 
" Youatt on the Horse," as follows : 

"The crust, or wall, is that portion which is seen when the foot is 
placed on the ground, and reaches from the termination of ibe hair 
to the ground. It is deepest in front, where it is called the toe , 
shallower at the sides, which are denominated the quarters ; and 
of least extent behind, where it is termed the heel. It is placed 
flat on the ground, but ascends obliquely backward, and pos- 


sesses different degrees of obliquity in different feet. In a sound 
hoof, the proper degree of slanting is calculated at forty-five 
degrees, or the fourth part of a semicircle. When it is more ob- 
lique, or the crust is said to have " fallen in," it indicates undue 
flatness of the sole, or, if the obliquity be very much increased 
pumiced, or convex sole; if it be more upright than the angle we 
have mentioned, it shows a contracted foot, and a sole too concave ; 
so that there is no necessity to take up the foot in order to ascer- 
tain either of these states of it. It is also of importance to observe 
whether the depth of the crust appears rapidly or slowly to de- 
crease from the front to the heel. If the decrease be little, and 
even at the heel the crust is high and deep, it indicates a foot liable 
to contraction, and sand-crack, and thrush and inflammation, and 
the pastern is upright, and the paces of the horse are not pleasant. 
If the crust diminish rapidly in depth, and the heels are low, this 
is accompanied by too great slanting of the pastern, and disposi- 
tion to sprain of the back sinew ; the foot itself is liable to be weak 
and flat andbruised, and there is likewise more tendency to that fre- 
quent but obscure lameness, termed the " navicular-joint disease." 
The foot has spread out too much at the side, instead of growing 
upward, and therefore it is too much exposed. 

" The crust in front is rather more than a half an inch in thickness, 
and becomes gradually thinner towards the quarters and heels. 
If, therefore, there be but half an inch for nail-hold at the toe, 
and not so much at the quarters, we need not wonder if horses 
are occasionally wounded in shoeing;* and especially when some of 
them are so unmanageable while undergoing that process. 

" While the crust gets thinner towards both quarters, it is thinner 
at the inner quarter than it is at the outer, because more weight 
is thrown upon it than the outer. It is more under the horse : it 
is under the inner splint-bone on which so much more of the 
weight rests than on the outer, and, being thinner, it is able to ex- 
pand more ; its elasticity is called mere into play, and concussion 
and injury are avoided. When the expansion of the quarters is 
prevented by their being nailed to an unbending shoe, the inner 
quarter suffers most, Corns are oftenest found there ; contraction 
begins there ; sand-crack is seated there. Nature meant that this 
should be the most yielding part, in order to obviate concussion, 
because on it the weight was principally thrown, and therefore 


■ ) 

when its power of yielding is taken away, it must be the first to 

• A careful observer will likewise perceive that the inner quarter 
is a little higher than the outer. While it is thin to yield to the 
■k, its increased surface gives it sufficient strength. 

" On account of its thinness, and the additional weight which it 
bears, the inner heel wears away quicker than the outer ; a cir- 
cumstance that should never be forgotten by the smith. His ob- 
ject is to give a plain and level bearing to the whole of the crust. 
To accomplish this, it will be often scarcely necessary to remove 
anything from the inner heel, for it is already removed by the wear 
of the foot. If he forgets this, as he too often seems to do, and 
takes off with his knife or his buttress an equal portion all round, 
he leaves the inner and weaker quarter lower than the outer; he 
throws an uneven bearing upon it ; and produces corns and sand- 
cracks and splints, which a little care and common sense might 
have avoided. The crust does not vary much in thickness, until 
near the top, at the coronet, or union of the horn of the foot with 
the skin of the pasterns where it rapidly gets thin. It is in a 
manner scooped and hollowed out. It likewise changes its color 
and its consistence, and seems almost like a continuation of the skin, 
but easily separable from it by maceration, or disease. This thin 
part is called the coronary ring, and it receives within it, or covers, 



A. Coronary substance. 

B. lamince. 

Fig. 3.— tiik under surface of 


A. I Left of frog. 

ii. Sole. 
C. Cleft 1 tween h< 


a thickened and bulbous prolongation, of the skin, called the coron- 
ary ligament. This requires abetter name, for it has not a portion 
of ligamentous structure in it. This prolongation of the skin is 
thickly supplied with blood-vessels. It is almost a mesh of blood- 1 
vessels connected together by fibrous texture, and many of these 
vessels are employed in secreting or forming the crust or wall of 
the foot. Nature has enabled the sensible laminae of the coffin- 
bone to secrete some horn, in order to afford an immediate defence 
for itself when the crust is wounded or taken away. Of this we have 
proof, when in sand-crack, or quittor, we are compelled to remove 
a portion of the crust. A pellicle of horn, or of firm hard substance 
resembling it. soon covers the wound ; but the crust is principally 
formed from this coronary ligament. Hence it is that in sand- 
crack, quittor, and other diseases, in which strips of the crust are 
destroyed, it is so long in being renewed, or growing dotcn. It 
must proceed from the coronary ligament, and so gradually creep 
down the foot with a natural growth or lengthening of the horn, 
of which, as in the human nail, a supply is slowly given to answer 
to the wear and teaT of the part. 

" Below the coronary ligament 
is a thin strip of horny matter, 
which has been traced from the 
frog, and has been supposed by 
some to be connected with the sup- 
port or action of the frog, but 
which is evidently intended to add 
to the security of the part on 
which it is found, and to bind 
together those various substances 
which are collected at the coronet/ 
It resembles, more than anything 
else, the strip of skin which sur- 
rounds the root of the human 
nail, and which is placed there to 
strengthen the union of the nail 
with the substance from which it 

' : The crust is composed of numerous fibres running at the toe in 
a straight direction from the coronet to the ground, but at the 
quarters, taking an oblique direction from the heel forwards. This 

PiG. 4. — THE HOOF. 

A. Outer surface of crust. 

B. Inner surface of crust. 
( '. Upper surface of sole. 

D. Part corresponding with the 

cleft of the frog. 

E. Coronary band. 


cons! ruction is best calculated to enable the foot to expand when 
it comes in contact with the "round, and by that expansion, permit- 
ting the gradual descent of the bones of the foot, and obviating much 
concussion. The crust is thinner at the quarters and towards the 
heels, because those are the parts at which the principal expansion 
must take place. These fibres are held together by a glutinous sub- 
stance, but in such a manner as to permit a slight degree of separ- 
ation, ov to bestow the power of expansion on the foot; and when 
recently separated from the foot, it is an exceedingly elastic sub- 
si an ce, and very tough, that it may not chip and break with the 
violence to which it is often exposed. 

•' In stable management, it sometimes loses much of this toughness, 
and becomes brittle and liable to chip and break. Inflammation 
of the internal part of the foot, by the increased heat which is pro- 
duced, will cause brittleness of the hoof; deficiency of moisture 
and neglect of stopping will produce the same effect. Many horses 
are peculiarly liable to brittle hoofs during the summer ; this is a 
very serious defect, and in some cases so much of the hoof is 
gradually broken away, that there is no hold left for the nails. A 
mixture of one part of oil of tar, and two of common fish oil, well 
rubbed into the crust and the hoof, will restore the natural pliancy 
and toughness of the horn, and very much contribute to the quick- 
ness of its growth 

'• The wall of the hoof should be smooth and level : protuberances 
or lings round the crust indicate that the horse has had fever in 
the feet; and that to such a decree as to produce an unequal 
growth of horn, and probably to leave some injurious conseque 
in the internal part of the foot. If there be a depression or hollow 
in the front of the foot, it betrays a sinking of the coffin-bone, and 
a flat or pumiced sole ; if the hollow be at the quarters, it is the 
worst system of bad contraction. 

" The inside of the crust is covered by numerous thin horny 
leaves, extending all around it, and reaching from the coronary 
ring to the toe. They are about 500 in number, broadest at 
their base, and terminating in the most delicate expansion of born. 
very much resemble the inner surfaco of a mushroom. In 
front they run in a direction from the coronet to the toe. and 
towards tb,e quarters they are more slanting from behind forward. 
They correspond with similar cartilaginous and fleshy leaves on the 


surface of the coffin-bone, called, from their construction, sensible 
.laminae, or lamella (little leaves that have feeling), and the one* 
being received within the other, they form together a most elastic 
body, by which the whole weight of the horse is supported. 

" At the back part of the foot, the wall of the hoof, instead of 
being continued round, and forming a circle, is suddenly bent in. 
We do not refer to that bend which forms the cleft of the frog, but 
to a more sudden one, constituting the commencement of the 
bars. The bars are, in fact, a continuation of the crust, forming 
an acute angle, and meeting at a point at the toe of the frog : and 
tiie inside of the bars, like the inside of the crust, presents a 
continuance of the horny leaves which we have just described, 
showing that it is a part of the same substance, and helping to 
discharge the same office. 

" It needs only the slightest consideration of the cut, or of the 
natural hoof, to show the importance of the bars. The arch which 
they form on either side, between the frog and the quarters is 
admirably contrived, both to admit of, and to limit to its proper 
extent, the expansion' of -the foot. When the foot is placed on the 
ground and the weight of the animal is thrown on the little leaves, 
of which we have just spoken, we can imagine these arches 
shortening and widening, in order to admit of the expansion of the 
quarters ; and we can see again the bow returning to its natuial 
curve, and powerfully assisting the foot in regaining its usual 
form. We can also perceive what protection thes*e bars must form 
against the contraction, or wiring in of the quarters. If they are 
taken away, there .will be nothing to resist the falling of the 
quarters when the foot is exposed to any disease or bad manage- 
ment which would induce it to contract. Again, we see the 
security which they afford the frog ; and the effectual protection 
which they give against the pressure of the lateral or side parts 
of the foot. Then appears the necessity of sparing and leaving 
them prominent when the foot is pared for shoeing. It is the 
custom with too many smiths to cut them perfectly away. They 
imagine that that gives a more open appearance to the heels of 
the horse ; a seeming width which may impose upon the unwary. 
Horses shod for the purpose of. sale have usually the bars removed 
with this view ; and the smiths in the neighborhood of the metrop- 
olis and large towns, shoeing for dealers, too often habituallv 


pursue, without regard to their customers, the injurious practice 
of removing the bars. The horny frog, deprived of its guard, will 
speedily contract, and become elevated and. thrushy ,• and the 
whole of the heel, deprived of the power of *e or re-action, 

which the curve between the bar and the crust affords, will 
Bpeedily fall in. Therefore, when treating of shoeing, we shall lay 
it down as a golden rule, that the bars should be left prominent, 
and we shall show why it is of essential importance that the shoe 
i hould rest on the angle formed by the crust and the bar." 

The fiog is a triangular-shaped portion of horny and callous 
.substance, growing between the " bars " of the foot, naturally 
coming about level with the crust, and intended to protect a softer 
and elastic substance inside, called the " sensible frog," an intention 
too frequently defeated by the itching which some blacksmiths 
have to pare it off, without rhyme or reason. Youatt says : 

" In the space between the bars, and accurately filling it, is the 
frog. It is a triangular portion of horn, projecting from the sole, 
almost on a level with the crust, and covering and defending a soft 
and elastic substance, called the sensible frog. It is wide at the 
heels, and there extending above a portion of the crust ; narrowing 
rapidly when it begins to be confined between the bars, and ter- 
minating at a point at somewhat more than half the distance from 
the heel to the toe. It consists of two rounded or projecting 
surfaces, with a fissure or cleft between them, reaching half way 
down the frog, and the two portions again uniting to form the 
point or toe of the frog. The frog is firmly united to the sole, but 
it is perfectly distinct from it. It is of a different nature, being 
softer and far more elastic; and it is secreted from a different 
surface, for it is thrown out from the substance which it covers. 
Without entering into many of the questions which have been 
agitated, with far too much warmth, among veterinarians, as to the 
uses of the frog, it is sufficient to refer to our cut, and consider 
the form and situation of this part. It very much resembles a 
wedge with the sharp point forward ; and it is placed towards the 
back part of the foot. The foot is seldom put flush and ilat upon 
the ground, but in direction downward, yet somewhat forward ; 
then the frog evidently gives safety to the tread of the animal ; 
for it, in a manner, ploughs itself into the ground, and prevents 
the horse from slipping. This ia of considerable consequence, 


when we remember some of the paces of the horse, in whicli hia 
heels evidently come first to the ground, and in which the danger 
from slipping would be very great. We need only refer to the 
gallop of spe§d as illustrative of this. 

" The frog being placed at, and filling the hinder part of the 
foot, discharges a part of the duty sustained by the crust ; for it 
supports the weight of the animal. It assists, likewise, and that 
to a material degree, in the expansion of the foot. It is formed 
internally of two prominences on the sides, and a cleft in the 
centre, presenting two concavities with a sharp projection in the 
middle, and a gradually rounded one on each side. It is 
also composed of a substance peculiarly flexible and elastic. 
What can be so well adapted for the expansion of the foot, 
when a portion of the weight of the body is thrown on it 1 
How easily will these irregular surfaces yield, and spread out, and 
how readily return again to their natural state 1 in this view, 
therefore, the horny frog is a powerful agent in opening the foot ; 
and the dimunition of the substance of the frog, and its elevation 
above the ground, are both the cause and the consequence of 
contraction : the cause, as being able no longer powerfully to act 
in expanding the heels ; and the consequence, as obeying a law of 
nature, by which that which no longer discharges its natural 
function is gradually removed. It is, however, the cover and 
defence of the internal and sensible frog, at which we are not yet 
arrived, and, therefore, we are at present unable to develop its full 
use ; but we have said enough to show the absurdity of the common 
practice of unsparingly cutting it away. To discharge, in any 
degree, some of the offices which we have assigned to it, and fully 
to discharge even one of them, it must come in occasional contact 
with the ground. In the unshod horse it is constantly so ; but tho 
additional support given by the shoes, and more especially the 
hard roads over which the horse is now compelled to travel, render 
this complete exposure of the frog to the ground, not only unnec- 
essary, but injurious. Being of so much softer consistence than 
the rest of the foot, it would be speedily worn away : occasional 
pressure, however, or contact with the ground, it must have. 

" The rough and detached parts should be cut off at each 
shoeing, and the substance of the frog itself, so as to bring it just 
above or within the level of the shoe. It will then, in the descent 


of the sole, when the weight of the horse is thrown upon it in the 
putting down of the foot, descend likewise, and pressing upon the 
ground, do its duty ; while it will bo defended from tho wear, and 
bruise, and injury which it would receive if it came upon the 
ground with the first and full shock of the weight. This will be 
the proper guide to the smith in operating, and to the proprietor 
in the directions which he gives ; and the latter should, often look % 
to this, for it is a point of very great moment. A few smiths 
carry the notion of frog pressure to an absurd extent, and leave the 
frog beyond the level of the sole ; a practice which is dangerous 
in the horse of slow draught, and destructive to the hackney or the 
hunter; but the majority of them err in a contrary way, and, 
cutting off too much of the frog, lift it above the ground, and 
destroy its principal use. It should be left just above, or within the 
level of the shoe." 

The crust and the frog are seemingly all that the horse-shoer 
has to deal with, but it is easy to see that through them he can 
make himself felt for good or evil on the whole foot and the animal 
it belongs to. The crust is perpetually growing, and if a horse's 
shoes fitted him well at first they will be sure to become too smafl 
if kept on too long. Some authorities fix upon three . or four 
weeks as about the time that a shoe should be worn without refit- 
ting, and this is perhaps near enough, but horses vary as much in 
' the rapidity of the growth of their hoofs as men do in the growth 
<>f their nails, and arbitrary rules must not be allowed to take the 
place of experience and observation. Notice always how your own 
particular horse wears his shoes and how his hoofs grow, not 
expecting, even then, to find him always uniform in sickness and 
in health and in all species of work. 

It is strange that it should ever be forgotten by either smith or 
owner that the horny crust of the horse's hoof must absolutely not 
be used up in shoeing, no matter how frequently that is done, more 
rapidly than the natural growth will make good. Carelessness of 
this principle is certain to produce lameness in one way or another, 
and the bet you can then hope is that long rest and idleness will 
give the abused foot another chance. 

The fibres of the horny matter of the hoof, when once separated, 
will never again unite, nor can any sand-crack or other bruise or 
lamination be healed, otherwise than by protecting it from increase 


and waiting for the growth of the crust. From this it follows that 
the smith must not he permitted to use either knife or nails too 
freely : the latter is too often lost sight of in shoeing for heavy 
work or hauling on pavements. 

The greater part of the shoes at present used in this country arc 
made by machinery, or rather, a species of "blank" is made 
which still requires especial skill and care in selecting and fitting 
if for use. There can he no doubt that the employment of machine 
made shoes is a great mechanical gain, as well as a saving in 
money, in view of the very imperfect manner in which so many of 

Fig. 5. --a sound fotiefoot prepat-.ed for the shoe. 
A. The heel of the crust. E E. The angles between the heels smd 

13. The toe. h;>v* where corns appear. 

C C. The quarters of vhe crust. F F. The concave surface. 

D D. The burs as they should be 'eft G G. The bulbous heels. 
with frog- between them. H. Cleft. % 


our smiths have learned their trade, though at first it encountered 
a tremendous array of self-conceit and prejudice. Every smith, 
ver, even to use to advantage a shoe made by another man, 
ought to be able to produce a perfect one with his own hands. 
How else can he be said to understand the principles involved, or 
how, even more especially, will he be able to select his shoes for 
the feet of any one particular horse, or provide for the local 
peculiarities which may be required by disease, deformity, weak- 
s or special service 1 

Watch your farrier, and if he goes to work too recklessly, jerk- 
ing off the shoes with a rude hand, check him. Crooked nails, if 
ged rudely through the holes in the hoof, will enlarge them 
and the shoe will loosen more easily. The re-shoeing begins with 
the removal of the old shoe. 

Note now, carefully, the condition of the hoof, and if there is a 
call for any other attention besides simple shoeing. If not, and 
all looks firm and healthy, don't have too much cutting - done, but 
pare the crust arid bars about down to the outer edge of the sole, 
without taking one shaving from the sole, the frog, or inside of the 
bars Any loose matter may be scraped away, so as to leave the frog 
and sole clean and healthy. The reason for this is that your object 
should be to reduce the foot simply to such a state as natural ami 
healthy wear would leave it, if the horse wore no shoe at all, and 
then to fit your iron protector with a view to the further 'preserva- 
tion, as far as may be, of that natural and healthful shape and 

The litlle inequalities left by the knife on the face of the hoof 
are removed by touching them with the hot shoe, but there should 
not be too much of this, as it softens and disintegrates the horn. 
A few experiments will convince you of this. 

The number of nails to be used must vary somewhat, and that 
is a matter for the exercise of sound judgment, but they should be 
► as few as may be, considering the work to be done and the hoof to 
be shod. For ordinary road work six will generally be found 
enough. The American editor of " Stonehenge," an English v. 
of value, has given some excellent hints on horse-shoeing, though* 
>' could be wished that he had said more rather than less. He 
irks concerning hi 3 o\ m : 

"Now, take a horse whose hoofs have been slowly growing in 


length for a month, every motion of his body trained to accord, 
pull off his shoes, which will be found (owing to the forward 
growth of the hoof) farther from the heels than when first- 
applied, pare away the crust down to the sole, cut out a big notch 
at the toe for a clip, set the new shoe back within the front of the 
foot (more on the forefeet, as they are supposed to grow faster), 
then rasp off the outer part of the toe back to the shoes, and clench 
the nails as tight as possible. This is a common mode of shoeing ; 
his shoes are too small for him ; he swings into a trot with the 
usual body motion, but the feet, all shortened, fail their part, .while 
the forefeet, diminished more than the hind, are not thrown out 
quite as far, and the horse, unaccustomed to the change, dwells too 
long on them to escape a blow from behind: Weariness and lazi- 
ness will also cause forging, by a tardy movement in front, and 
stumbling, by a failure to raise the toe sufficiently to avoid scrub- 
bing the ground when thrown forward. 

" It is too common, especially in cities, among draught-horses, to 
use up the lower part of the crust too fast for its growth. If the 
human finger-nail be pierced with a fine needle in the manner of a 
horse-shoe nail driven through the crust of a hoof, it will be ob- 
served that the hole will remain, until the growth of the nail has 
carried it beyond the flesh ; that is, the fibres of horn once separ- 
ated will never unite. Horses used for heavy work are shod with 
heavy shoes, thick toe and quarter clips, high calks and steel toes, 
and either because of the severe strain on the stones, the weight 
of the shoes and nails, the leverage of calks and toes, waste of 
crust to accommodate clips, or of all combined, they require shoe- 
ing about once in three weeks, and frequently oftener. At each 
shoeing, a little more crust and sole is taken off of the ground sur- 
face, a few more holes made (or nails driven into old ones, enlarg- 
ing the aperture' by working about and bending under the clench- 
ing iron). The surface of the crust is again rasped, diminishing the 
thickness, new furrows made to accommodate the clenches, and 
the horn burned and softened by a hot shoe each time. The 
blacksmith will insist that all these operations are necessary, but 
tne fact is, he is using up material too fast, and we leave it to horse- 
owners to judge by experiment, how these operations may be 
modified. The French method of bringing the points of the nails 
out low down on the surface of the hoof, appears rational, as it 


destroys the vitality of the crust to a less decree than our custom, 
and leaves a greater proportion of sound foot to bear the shocks. 

"Our practice has been, alter removing the old shoes (with care 
not to enlarge the old holes by dragging crooked nails tin 
them), to pare off the crust and bars well down to the outer edge 
of the sole, without taking a shaving from the sole, frog or inside 
of the bars. If the crust has not been broken by wear, this leaves 
the foot as neur its natural shape as possible, and a shoe must be 
to fit it. For roadsters, a narrow, light shoe is fitted to the 
crust in length and width, then made perfectly level, without twist 
or pritchell burs at the nail holes, and while sufficiently hot, slightly 
touched to the crust, to mark any inequalities that may have been 
left after paring. Six nails are used, three on each side, dividing 
the space from about an inch from the centre of the toe, to the 
centre of the quarters. The nail holes are set well back from the 
ou-tside edge, and made straight through the iron : the nails are 
small, smoothed off with a hammer, and slightly bevelled on one 
side of the point ; the position of the holes in the -shoe brings tho 
nails tfut low down on the surface of the crust, but care must be 
taken to start them in the centre of the holes, that the foot may 
not be cramped or forced out of its natural shape. The project- 
ing nail points are filed close to the hoof, that they may be broken 
off without twisting the nail, or enlarging the hole in the crust ; 
the nails are then driven up, and the clenches turned over and 
hammered down. 

" No rasp has been used, no crust wasted by mutilation for clips, 
and but little injury by nail holes ; if the nails be of good iron, 
they are sufficient in number, and the light clenches on a sound' 
foot will hold the shoe perfectly tight, and will not cause abrasion 
of the legs in travelling. 

" The foot presents what we might call a beautiful fit, the tender 
part of the frog is protected by the thickness of the shoe, while as 
it is renewed from within, the outside will be worn off by friction, 
and nature will keep it exactly low enough to obtain its necessary 
exercise; moreover, by driving the nails straight through the 
middle of the hole in ibe shoe, the foot will be free from that dis- 
a able, cramped feeling, we have imagined a horse to experience, 
when the nails are started at either side of the hole in the ir<-n. 
forcing the more yieldin J fibres of horn to its centre. 


" There have been many forms of shoes recommended by differ- 
ent authors, but few of which are used in this country. The French 
shoe has a convex ground surface, and the foot is fashioned to it, 
by leaving the quarters full, andfthe crust sloped off towards the 
toe and heels. Why the bearing should be taken off the heels we 
cannot imagine, and forcing the quarters to bear an undue amount 
of concussion would apparently induce quarter crack, but having 
had no experience with this shoe we may be wrong in our conclu- 

" Another fashion imitates an old shoe worn off at the toe, which 
is certainly an advantage to roadsters, as it would be to us, if we 
could buy new shoes to fit our feet exactly like the old ones. Some 
writers advocate nailing the shoe only upon the outside quarter, or 
with but two nails on> the inside, toward the toe, with the idea of 
allowing unimpeded expansion of the crust when the foot strikes 
the ground. Inasmuch as mils injure the crust, the practice of 
using as few as possible is wise, but we have been unable to dis- 
cover any expansion of the anterior half of the ground surface 
in hoof.-; that have never been shod. A careful examination will 
convince any one that there is no mechanical necessity for such 
spreading, and from the nature of the organization of the foot, it 
is simply impossible ; all the spring needful to the front of the 
crust. is gained by the elasticity of its fibres. The line of bearing 
of the lower part of the foreleg, is directed behind the centre of 
the foot, and the yielding points of the frame work are the pastern, 
coronary and navicular joints ; as the upper part of the corona; y 
bone works backward and downward, it, with the action of the 
tendon, slightly spreads the heels laterally, and the whole crust 
partakes of the movement, diminishing in effect towards the toe ; 
were the foot completely inelastic, the motion might be detected at 
the quarters, but the whole of a healthy foot is of a yielding 
nature ; the fatty heels, in particular, may be compressed like cork, 
while the frog resembles a piece of india-rubber, and there is a 
spring in every fibre of the crust. These conditions so far distri- 
bute motion, that there is practically none in the ground surface 
of the crust forward of the centre. 

" From the fact of this style of shoe allowing free expansion, its 
advocates proclaim it a preventive of contracted heels (which, un- 
fortunately, is so prevalent among shod horses) ; but if, as we 


suppose, there be no spreading of the front part of the crust by 
pressure, a shoe nailed only at, and forward of the quarters, will 
not interfere with any natural movement of the heels. 

' ; This disease (contracted heels), appears to be an absorption or 
waste of a portion of the frog and fatty heels, accompanied by an 
undue secretion of crust at the posterior part of the foot, encroach- 
ing upon the province of the softer tissue of the heels. 

" Many reasons have been assigned for this disturbance of the 
natural nutrition of the different parts, all or none of which may 
be correct, for no theory has yet been so clearly demonstrated and 
proven, as to leave the causes and nature of the disease beyond a 
doubt, but we have never known any tendency to contraction, in 
horses that have been shod in such manner as to allow the frog a 
fair amount of exercise, indicated by its position. 

"An india-rubber shoe intended to be used as a cushion between 
the iron and the foot, has been designed, patented and tried, within 
the last two or three years, but we believe has failed to give gen- 
eral satisfaction. The rubber mashes out in a short time by 
concussion, and leaves a loose shoe. Good sole leather is much 
more durable." 

Those of our readers who choose to examine this author, will 
find much in it that is valuable in this country as web as much that 
is purely English in its application. 




Harness for work— Bad harnessing a waste of power— Friction and sores- 
Woodruff on pulling— Tricks in work— Relief from harness in rest. 

The horse who has been well stabled, whether with or without 
any pretence to elegance; well fed, well groomed and well shod, 
may fairly be considered in a good state of readiness to be har- 
nessed for his work. And here again it will be necessary to ask 
what is to be the nature of that work or use. We make and use 
in America the very best and the very worst of all possible horse 
furniture, and we have developed all sorts of doctrines concerning 
it. For our own part, we have no idea of attempting any incom- 
prehensible scientific disquisition, but would simply suggest that 
the body of the horse is a sort of machine, and that the wagon or 
plough is another, and that if the former is a propelling power the 
main aim is to employ it with as little waste as possible. Good 
harness may be very badly put on, so as to seriously interfere with 
the amount of power which the horse can apply, and at the same 
time with his comfort and endurance. Moreover, recklessness of a 
few slight and inexpensive appliances, and a little care, when they 
are needed, on the shoulders, back and other exposed points, will 
often permit the creation of unsightly and annoying if not obstinate 
and dangerous galls and sores. The first point to make here is, 
that the collar must fit.— that is, it must apply its surface as evenly 
as may be to that of the muscles upon which it is to press, and it 
should be as carefully stuffed and as free as possible from inside 
rigidity. The point at which the traces are attached should also 
be carefully selected so as to secure an even bearing. By this 
means, as will easily be seen, the collar is prevented from pressing 
with undue weight upon any one point, and the whole limb will bo 
less rapidly wearied, while there will be much less danger of any 
abrasion of the skin. A good deal the same rule applies in fitting 
on a saddle, and, generally, wherever it is necessary that there 


should be much pressure or friction it should he as much as possi- 
ble distributed over the surface and relieved by soft bearings. 
This is, not even so much a question of humanity as it is of 
economy in working power. Its especial application can only be 
made to advantage with the horse and the harness both before you, 
but it should not be difficult then. 

The horse and his harness should both be apportioned to the 
work to be done, and as a general rule it should be " heavy for 
heavy, and light for light." That this rule is not to be carried too 
far. however, is well known to all horseman. No less an authority 
than Hiram Woodruff remarks, in that valuable and entertain- 
ing work, " The Trotting Horse of America :" 

" The ability to pull weight is a quality of exceeding value ; 
and when it is found in connection with speed and stoutness, we 
may say that the three prime characteristics of the harness horse 
are obtained. It is to be remembered that the ability of which I 
speak is that which can pull at a great rate ; so that putting on 
extra weight, up to a reasonable point, shall make no very great 
difference in the performance of the trotter. Almost any horse 
can pull a moderate weight at a slow pace, on a good road, but 
those who can take along about four hundred pounds and keep 
the pace for two or three miles, are, and always have been, rather 
scarce. There is a great difference in the ability of fast trotters in 
this respect ; and the common notion that a great bulky horse is 
best calculated to do so is a fallacious one. For a draught horse. 
great size and bulk, to throw an immense steady strain into the 
collar, may be valuable, but when the weight is to be taken along 
at a ",reat rate, other things are of more importance than mere size. 
In the first place, then, as to height, I do not think that a tall horse 
has any advantage in this regard over one about fifteen hands and 
an inch, or fifteen hands two inches high. The tall horse is apt to 
be leggy, and his height often comes from extra length in the 
canon bones, which multiplies no power. Length in the arms, 
shoulders, thighs and haunches is a different matter. It follows 
that the extra height of a horse may be rather a disadvantage than 
the reverse, in regard to pulling weight at a fast rate. 

" Mere bulk is also useless. Everybody must have seen horses, 
big pnough to pull a ton, to look at, and able to trot fast in a sulky 
or to a skeleton wagon, but unable to act to advantage to three or 


four hundred pounds. The weight-pullers, as a general rule, are 
of medium size, with a fine, quick stroke, not overlong, and they 
hend the knee well. They need to he spirited goers, keeping well 
up to their work all the time ; and, unless their temper and pluck 
are both good, they will sulk, or give up from faint-heartedness 
when they feel the weight and the speed begin to tell. But 
though mere hulk is useless for the purpose, a fair amount of 
substance is required, and it will be found in nearly every case that, 
though the weight-puller may not have a large frame, he pos- 
sesses a large muscular development. Long striders are seldom 
good at weight. Being greatly extended, with a load behind to 
be pulled along, they are unable to recover and shove their 
haunches in quick, without extra exertion, under which they soon 
tire. Here they more than lose in time of stroke what they gain 
in space, and loiter, so to speak, in their action." 

The great trainer is speaking more especially of fast stock and 
trotters, to be sure, and it is a point to be made to best advantage, 
in some respects, when you are buying, but is by no means devoid 
of value when you come to consider the important question of 
work and endurance, and what you are to expect of such stock as 
you may have. 

If now your harness is easy in its fit and is well adjusted, if your 
traces pull evenly, and every strap and buckle seems to be in its 
place, you are in a fair position to discover before long, what tricks 
your horse may have in work, if you do not by careful thinking 
also discover that you as a driver are the mere faulty and vicious 
animal of the two. That the latter is generally the case, a some- 
what extended observation strongly inclines us to helieve. A 
great difficulty is that both with men and with horses the worst 
defects are of inborn temper and of ingrained habit, and are 
exceedingly difficult to cure. These will he more particularly 
dealt with in the chapters on breaking and training. Much also 
that pertains more especially to the saddle horse will be reserved 
to a more appropriate place. 

Both as to harness or saddle, however, please bear in mind that 
when your hour of rest comes and your quadruped servant is also 
permitted get his breath and his food, you cannot do him a more 
refreshing favor than to off with the leathers, etc., against which, he 


has been pulling. He will be worth all the more for it when you 
start aaain, especially if you will give him a quick rubbing with a 
wisp of straw. With horses nothing really pays sp well as thought- 
ful kindness. 




Stall kicking— Weaving — Tearing the clothes off — Vicious to clean«— Crib bit- 
ing — Windsucking— Refusing to lie down — Pawing— Quidding— Rolling 

If there is one point more than another at which the horse most 
strikingly developes the analogy between his own character and 
that of his human master, it is in the ease and readiness with 
which he acquires, especially while young, an endless vafriety of 
tricks and vices, small and large. Whatever these tricks and vices 
may be, it is of the utmost importance to know them all, for the 
horse clings with much more than human obstinacy to anything 
which he has once learned. Some of them are of very little 
account ; some are only vexatious and annoying ; while others, by 
no means few in number, tend to render the animal who has 
acquired them, more or less unsafe, and some constitute positive 
legal unsoundness. 

The gradation from mere trick to disease and legal defect is 
sometimes slight and hard to follow, as will be seen, but both in 
buying and afterward in keeping there is a good deal to be guard- 
ed against and accomplished by watchfulness and precaution. 

Attention is first to 'be directed to what may be called " tricks 
and vices of the stable." 

Prominent among these may be named " stall kicking," a habit 
which may be acquired by any horse, at any time of life, but 
which, once formed, is extremely difficult to cure. With some 
horses it comes and goes, at irregular intervals, as a sort of inter- 
mittent ugliness, a return of which is very apt to be brought on by 
flies, undesirable neighbors, a strange stable, or other circum- 

By no means play with or in any way teaze your horse in the 
stable, unless you wish to teach him to kick, for it is not always the 
horse's fault or a sign of original bad temper. In this matter 


mischievous boys will sometimes bo agents of a good deal of harm 
if allowed the run of the stable. Mares are more liable to this vice 
than geldings, and they are always worse at the beginning and end 
of their time of being "in use/' and those who are very good and 
quiet at other seasons will then become, at times, perfectly out- 
rageous, and must be forcibly restrained to prevent their doing 
themselves harm. 

Kicking horses not only make their stalls dangerous places to 
enter or work in, but are very apt to be perpetually laming them- 
selves more or less severely. When a horse has just begun to ac- 
quire this habit it may do some good to fasten thorn bushes or 
other prickly things where his legs will be sure to strike them, and 
he is apt to make up his mind that " it is hard to kick against the 
pricks." A severer remedy is to attach a long, heavy piece of 
wood to a chain and buckle it above the hock so that it will hang 
about half way down the leg. If he kicks against this he hurts 
himself, and will generally stop for that time. This is not a safe 
experiment with spirited or obstinate horses, who may do them- 
selves serious injury before the} 7 will give in. Few horses kick 
with both feet at once in the stable, and a pair of bobbles buckled 
at the hind fetlocks will in most cases compel quiet as long as they 
are worn. Some writers recommend a narrow strap buckled tight 
just above the hock, as it will cause great pain if the horse tries 
to kick with it on, but it hurts even worse if he tries to lie down, 
and should not be tried till other expedients have failed. In very 
bad cases, tying up the foreleg is often resorted to, but this, of 
course, cannot be continued and is only less annoying to the horse 
than the vice itself. 

Some horses will stand in the stall with a perpetual swaying 
motion of the head from one side of the manger to the other, as if 
the restraint was unendurable. This is weaving, and is peculiar to 
animals of an irritable nervous system. It does no special harm of 
itself, but it is an indication of a fretful disposition. It cannot be 

Many horses, of a similiar organization to those last named, car. 
hardly be induced to bear any covering on them in the stable, and 
where it is desirable that they should be clothed, their habit of 
tearing off everything that can be put on them is an ugly one. 
" Stonehenge " says : 


" Tearing thu clothes off is by no means an unusual stable 
habit, and it is one very difficult to cure. There are two effectual 
preventives, however : one of which consists in the regular employ- 
ment of a rough horsehair cloth, made like that for hops, outside 
the rug, and which is so disagreeable to the teeth, that no horse 
will attempt to tear it ; the other is carried out by means of a pole 
of ash, about three-quarters of an inch in diameter, with an iron 
eye attached to each end. One of these is fastened, by means of 
a short leathern strap and buckle, to the side of the roller-pad, 
while the other has a strap or chain about a foot long, which 
attaches it to the head collar. The pole should reach about fifteen 
inches beyond the point of the shoulder, and it should be fixed on 
the side which is generally uppermost when the horse lies down, 
so as not to be under him in that position. It is a very simple 
and cheap apparatus, and .any village blacksmith can make and 
apply it." 

There is a very great difference among horses in the relative 
tenderness and sensitiveness of their skins, and, while some will 
hardly deign to notice even the whip, others will be driven half 
crazy by the touch of ,a fly. A little disregard of this in the 
beginning of his training will frequently make a horse that is verj 7 
good-natured, every other way, vkious to clean, so that it is as much 
as a man's life is worth to come near him with a brush and comb. 
It is doubtful if this vice is ever the animal's own fault, for horses 
generally are inclined to take kindly to gentle and skillful manipu- 
lation, and so true is this that a cure may generally be effected by 
frequent dressing with a light hand and a soft brush or cloth. 

Crib biting, as it is called, is apt to be or become a very serious 
matter, not only to the manger and the food in it, but to the horse 
himself. It is destructive of the teeth, in the first place, and it 
may be regarded as both a cause and an indication of such a state 
of the stomach as renders the horse more than usually liable to 

In crib-biting the horse seems to desire some " fulcrum," so to 
speak, for the muscles of the neck to work on while endeavoring to 
discharge wind from the stomach. He seizes the manger or other 
available object, — it may be a fence rail,— with his teeth, stretches 
his neck, appears to " choke," or work the muscles of his throat, 
and then follows more or less of " grunting and sucking." Crib- 


biting horses are frequently very good workers, though apt to bo 
thin, but they are subject to ugly colic turns, and by reason of the 
exl ra wear they give their teeth are likely, not only to look older 
than they are, but also to actually be older, so far as use and 
endurance are -concerned. 

Although it is a common opinion that crib-biting is the conse- 
quence of a disease of the stomach, we are inclined to consider it, 
in the first place, at least, as much a habit as tobacco chewing is in 
man. It is very contagious, and if one horse in a stable has it the rest 
are pretty sure to follow him. Other " diseases " will yield more 
or less to medicine, but this will not, and it is of no use to turn the 
horse out to pasture. So long as a fence rail is to be had to gnaw 
on and strain against, the confirmed cribber will not at all miss his 
manger. Various causes have been given for the formation of the 
habit, but only two seem reasonable : imitation and idleness. One 
horse will do what he sees another do, or if he is tied too long 
uselessly in his stable there is no telling what he will not do, with 
teeth or heels. 

A common " preventive," but which is by no means a " remedy," 
is to buckle a leather strap so tightly around the neck, just behind 
the jaw, that, when the horse attempts to crib, he tightens the 
muscles of that part, and these being pressed against the strap 
occasion such pain that the act is not completely carried out, and 
even if it is, the first time it is tried, the horse remembers the 
unpleasant feeling, and hesitates to repeat the dose. In ordinary 
cases the strap is left comparatively loose, so as not to prevent swal- 
lowing with ease, or to check the flow of blood from the head, 
through the jugular veins to the body. Greater tightness, which 
alone is of any avail with confined cribbers, has a tendency to 
produce other difficulties of head, throat and lungs, and is of little 

It is of no use to coat the manger with tin or wool or tar, the 
" cribber" will soon get used to them all, and cast iron, if it were 
there, would only give him a better chance to destroy his teeth. 

There are but two entirely thorough and effectual cures for crib- 
bing, and no others need be bothered with. The first is a box 
without a manger, or any other bar for a horse to put his teeth on, 
and in which the feed, of whatever kind, is placed on the ground. 
This may waste some food, but the prevention is perfect. The 


second is the " bar-muzzle," of which there are several very good 
patterns, consisting of ah iron - frame-work, covering the lips and 
nose, and suspended from the head by a leather head-collar, so 
that the lips can reach the corn or hay, but the teeth cannot get at 
the edge of he manger. There is no harm in this contrivance, ex- 
cept that is likely to lengthen the time consumed in feeding. 
That, however, is no disadvantage to either horse or man. 

Some horses seem to be taken at times with a crazy desire to 
devour their litter, but this is not a permanent vice and tan generally 
be readily cured. It» implies that the horse has been kept short 
of hay, or what we call in the West, " roughness," or that he has 
been stabled too long. A temporary " preventive " is thirst, 
caused by salt or otherwise, which will prevent his longing for the 
dry, coarse litter but a cure will be found in green soiling or a* 
vacation on good fresh pasture land. 

" Wind-sucking," says Youatt, " bears a close analogy to crib- 
biting. It arises from the same causes ; the same purpose is ac- 
complished ; and the same results follow. The Jiorse stands with 
his neck bent; his head drawn inward ; his lips alternately a little 
opened and then closed, 'and a noise is heard as if he were sucking. 
If we may judge from the same comparative want of condition, and 
the flatulence which we have described under the last head, either 
some portion of wind enters the stomach, or there is an injurious 
loss of. saliva. This diminishes the value of the horse almost as 
much as crib-biting ; it is as contagious, and it is as inveterate. 
The only remedies, and they will seldom avail, are tying the head 
up, except when the horse is feeding, or putting on a muzzle, with 
sharp spikes towards -the neck, and which shall prick him when- 
ever he attempts to rein his head in for the purpose of wind- 

A bad habit for any horse to acquire is that of not lying down. 
lie is apt to be troubled with swelled legs, and his fault tells 
severely on his pluck and endurance on a journey. Moreover, it 
is sure to aggravate any tendencies he may have to, weakness or 
disease in his feet and legs, for very obvious reasons. The case 
is to be looked for in his having been previously too closely tied, 
and the cure, if it can be effected, is to be sought in the ojiposite 
direction. Tire him completely out for several nights in succession, 
and then, after a good grooming, show him a fresh, well-made bed 


in a loose box. or in his own stall, with a long, loose halter, or with 
hone at all. It won't take him long-to learn a lesson from nature 
and weariness. 

Pawing is another had stable habit, and we have owned several 
horses that quite distinguished themselves at it. It is a vice of 
nervousness, and is sure to be increased by a noisy or unpleasant 
" horse neighborhood." It wears out shoes, hoofs, floors, and not 
unfrequently results in damage to heels and legs. Hardwork is a 
good remedy for most cases, but now and then an inveterate pawer 
must be absolutely shackled to keep him from hurting himself. It 
is a habit that comes and goes, and for which there is no remedy. 

If you find that your horse, after taking his hay into his mouth, 
chews it somewhat and then allows it to drop from his mouth, ho 
is quidding, and the result will be poor work and emaciation. It 
may be caused by irregular teeth which will not let him grind with 
comfort, and this can only be cured by the rasp of the veterinary 
surgeon, but it is more apt to be the result of sore throat or sore 
mouth, and these must be looked after. As soon as the cause is 
removed the " quidding " will cease. 

" Rolling " when a horse is loose in his pasture or in the stable 
yard, is not only an agreeable amusement, but it has its uses. 
When, however, any misguided quadruped attempts it in the stable 
he is apt to hurt himself. As a general thing it cannot be called a 
confirmed " trick," and is only an indication that the poor fellow 
has been kept up too long without a chance to stretch himseli 
few days in the field, or, if that cannot be, a vigorous rubbing of the 
shoulders, back and loins, will take away the " stretchy " feeling 
which makes him want to roll. If the case is really a " trick," it 
can be absolutely prevented by shortening the halter so that the 
horse cannot get his head on the ground for a " purchase " to roll 
with. Some inveterate rollers can be restrained in no other way. 

Horses which are naturally evil tempered and vicious when at 
home in their own stables are comparatively rare, and consequently, 
in nine cases out of ten a 'biter " has been mado so by defective 
education. He bites out of revenge or in imaginary self-defence. 
Kindness and firmness will generally cure the propensity to bite } 
but fear never will. If the" habit has become confirmed, or the 
horse is of an ugly and treacherous disposition, the muzzle is tho 
only safeguard, to be worn whenever tho animal is not feeding, 
and perhaps even then. 




Shying in harness— Rearing — Kicking in harness— Running away — Lying 
down in harness— Hard pulling — Overreach — Cutting — Stumbling— Balk- 

In the previous chapter we have hinted at a few of the acquired 
tricks and bad habits of horses which manifest themselves in the 
stable. The list cannot, of course, be exhausted in a treatise like 
this, because, except in a few general outlines, such peculiarities 
will vary with the breed, training and special idiosyncrasies of the 
individual horse. 

In dealing with them, as with those of which we are about to 
speak, it must be taken for granted that the man will not put him- 
self on a level with his brute property, but will assert his superi- 
ority by superior patience, pluck and good temper, trying in each 
case to merit that confidence and affection which is worth more 
than anything else in securing good behavior from the horse. 

The out-door tricks and vices of horses are sufficiently numerous, 
but common sense and average intelligence will have little difficulty 
in tracing them, as a general thing, to defects«of natural disposi- 
tion, of education, of physical structure, or to the consequeuces 
of accidents. 

Of all equine tricks, in harness or under the saddle, that of 
shying is the most common, the most complicated and the most 
difficult to deal with. Its best prevention is attended to in the 
early training of the colt himself, but its causes, then or in after 
life, are innumerable. 

Defective sight, rendering the horse uncertain of his neighbor- 
hood, and distorting the objects presented to his vision, is very 
likely to produce this fault, especially in high-tempered horses. In 
such cases, if you can manage to cure the eye you stand a fair 
chance to cure the shying. 

Ofteuer, shying recults from nervousness and timidity, stimulated 


by bad management, and the sensitiveness frequently seems to 
concentrate itself upon one class of objects. We owned a horse 
once whom no punishment could force by or over a wisp of flutter- 
ing straw or a bit of loose white paper, and another to whom a 
bridge was the embodiment of all terror. There is no end to these 
Fpecial peculiarities, and they can generally be traced, or could if 
the animal's private history were known, to some apparently un- 
important episode in early life. 

Besides these there is an immense amount of shying from mere 
cunning, "make-believe," or habit. Some horses have their little 
pet terror that will always give them an excuse to jump aside, or 
turn around unless they are too tired, or are going homewai d, or 
are too positively sure of a keen lash or a sharp spur. We have 
had some curious experiences with such horses that soon learned 
better than to try their cunning little tricks with us, but would tako 
to them again at once if ridden or driven by strangers. 

The cure, in any case, can only be accomplished by a combina- 
tion of firmness and good temper, which is only too rare. On no 
account should the horse be punished after he has passed the 
object at which he expressed alarm by his shying. When he shies, 
stop him at once, if possible ; make him face the object of his 
terror, and encourage him, without any force or violence, to 
approach it and smell of it. Use all the art you are possessed of 
to persuade him that his fright is groundless. If you choose to so 
abuse him that he will always afterwards associate that object with 
additional pain and discomfort, it will be your fault if he shies 
more promptly the next time ho meets it. If you flog or spur him 
the moment he is past the object of his fear, don't blame him if 
you have given him a perpetual hint to run under like circumstances. 
The voice is better than the whip, and the hand still better. 

If an otherwise gentle and manageable horse exhibits a disposi- 
tion to rear, whether in harness or under the saddle, attention 
should at once be given to his mouth and bit, as with a sore mouth 
and too sharp a curb, it is quite easy to teach that which becomes 
a very unpleasant and often dangerous vice. Rearing, especially 
in young horses, is frequently the effect of mere playfulness or 
inexperience, and if so it can be remedied by the ordinary mar- 
tingale and a little hard work. Very severe measures are^ some- 
times adopted with confirmed " rearers," such as knocking them 


down by a blow between tbo ears with a loaded whip, which may 
cure the vice and may produce poll-evil ; or pulling them gently over 
backwards, if under the saddle, to the imminent peril of spine, 
loins and neck. If the horse's neck is broken he will not rear any 
more. There have been many mechanical appliances invented to 
prevent rearing, and in isolated cases no doubt some of them have 
met with success, but no general recommendation can be given. 
It does not constitue legal unsoundness, but it assuredly is a " vice " 
of the very first water. 

Kicking in harness, or rather a tendency to kick out of it, is 
a very troublesome trick, generally the result of bad training. 
With some horses it is merely an expression of superabundant 
spirits, and a little extra work is all the remedy required. With 
others it is the outbreak of inherent vice and ugliness, and can only 
be dealt with by strong harness, kicking straps, and a liberal out- 
lay of the lash. With mares the tendency to kick is often only 
periodical, and a merely sexual indication, and the animal should 
accordingly be dealt with mercifully. If the mare is in real 
trouble it would be, better to take her out of harness than to ruin 
her temper by flogging her. 

A prominnent English writer on horses, sagely remarks, " Run- 
ning away is too well known to need description." 

We should think it was, but it is too dangeraus a vice to be 
passed by. If a horse is known to be an inveterate runaway, he is 
legally vicious and unsound, but this is generally hard to prove. 
After even one runaway the animal- must be watched, and each 
successive escapade makes him the more dangerous. Horses who 
only run for the fun of the thing are apt to choose a light load, and 
a weak or timid driver ; such runaways are more annoying than 
dangerous, unless they choose a crowded street to show off in. 
More frequently, however, a runaway is caused by sudden fright, 
which seems to generate a species of madness or hysteria, even in 
hitherto trustworthy horses, which only terminates with a grand 
smash-up or other exhaustion. Not a bad idea, if the place will 
admit of it, and there is room enough, is to give the too rapid 
traveller more running than he likes, and keep him going till he is 
altogether sick of it. This will often work a cure in horses who 
only run for the fun of it or from vice, but in those who are really 
seized with the running fright it will do little good. Such horses 


should never be used without paying special attention to the 
soundness and strength of the harness, and the driver should be 
on the lookout to check the very first symptoms of insubordination. 
Great care should be exercised in selecting bits for restive horses, 
in order to have them sufficiently powerful in case great checking 
power is called for, and yet so that it shall not excite the animal's 
temper by continually hurting him. The curb should only be used 
when it is absolutely necessary. 

If a horse is inclined to lie down in harness or under the saddle, 
whether the trick is the result of laziness or ill-temper, it can best 
be met by sharp and sudden severity. Cut quick and hard with 
your whip every time the experiment is tried, and in most cases 
the horse will give up trying it with you. 

A very bad habit with some horses, particularly roadsters, is to 
pall too severely on the bit, as if they meant to draw the whole load 
with their mouths. This is a result of bad training in too light a 
wagon. The animal was perhaps never fairly taught to pull from 
the shoulder, and it may be too late to teach him, though a season 
of hard pulling with a loose check rein, will sometimes work 
wonders. In many horses this is a symptom of a disposition to 
run away, or is a result of previous severe struggles with strong 
handed drivers. It should be looked out for in buying a road 
horse, as unless it can be cured it entails no end of unnecessary 
and disagreeable work on both him and his master. 

Overreach is caused by the toe of the hindfoot knocking 
against the shoe of the forefeet, and every one is familiar with the 
disagreeable " click " so produced. In the trot, one foreleg and 
the opposite hindleg, are first lifted from the ground and moved 
forward, the other foreleg and the opposite hindleg remaining 
fixed ; but, to keep the centre of gravity within the base, and a3 
the stride, or space passed over by these legs, is often greater than 
the distance between the fore and hindfeet, it is necessary that the 
forefeet should be moved alternately out of the way for the hind- 
feet to descend. Then, as occasionally happens with horses not 
perfectly broken, and that have not been taught their paces, and 
especially if they have high hinder quarters and low fore ones, if 
the forefeet are not raised in time, the hindfeet will strike them. 
The forefoot will generally be caught when it has just begun to be 
raised, and the toe of the hindfoot will meet the middle of the 


"bottom of the forefoot. Overreach sometimes may be simply the 
result of bad shoeing, and can be readily remedied. Even when it 
is not it can be best provided for by skillful fitting, as it is very 
doubtful if any wild horse is ever so troubled. This is peculiarly 
a " farrier's vice," and it does not constitute " unsoundness." 

Cutting depends either upon the legs being set on too near to- 
gether, or on their joints not acting in a proper hinge-like manner. 
Many horses cut when in low condition, but are quite free from the 
defect when in flesh, and in such cases it is only necessary to let 
them wear a boot until they have had time enough to become fresh. 
Wherever horses " go close," care should be taken that the shoes 
do not project beyond the hoof, and the clenches of the nails 
should be carefully watched, the owner seeing that they are filed 
down by the smith if they stand up at all above the level of the 
horn. Cutting may take place either on the prominent part of the 
fetlock-joint, or midway between it and the knee, or just below the 
latter, which is called " speedy cutting," and is very apt to cause a 
fall. A boot should be fitted to the leg in either case, and worn 
till the part is thoroughly healed and all swelling has disappeared, 
when, if any likely method of treatment has been adopted the 
horse may be tried without it, but no journey should be under- 
taken without one in the pocket in case it may be needed. A pe- 
culiar method of shoeing, called a feather-edged shoe, will often 
prevent this bad habit as long it is adopted. 

Stumbling is vexatious enough, even in a plough horse, but in a 
roadster, and much more in a saddle horse, it becomes a very 
troublesome and dangerous vice. Its causes are very numerous, 
and these should be looked for carefully in each particular case 
before anything is attempted in the way of a cure, of which, indeed 
there is very little hope if the habit is at all confirmed. If in 
riding or driving a new horse you notice that he trips, ever so 
slightly, and then suddenly springs forward, you may be sure that 
the trick is an old one, and that he expects the righteous judgment 
of the whip or spur. If it arises from laziness or from a bad for- 
mation of the horse, as a too heavy forehand or the forelegs being 
too much under the horse, there is very little hope for any im- 
provement, though lazy horses will go safer at a fast rate than at 
a slow one. Any stumbler is worse at some time than at others, 
and on rough ground than on smooth. The vice is apt to show 


itself in travelling slowly up a gentle but stony rise. Old age and 
defective sight will make sturnblers out of anything, and for these 
there can be little done. Such horses should be ridden or driven 
with a tight rein and a hand always ready to recover and lift them 
up, but they are always unsafe. Bad feet, lameness, upright pas- 
terns, overwork and leg weariness, are all causes of stumbling, 
and some of them can be provided for. Bad shoeing is a very 
prolific source of this vice and in some such cases the reverse 
will effect a cure. If, however, a horse has once began to stumble, 
his best use thereafter will be in slow and heavy work or to loan 
as a saddle horse to men against whom you have a grudge. Consider 
your own neck too precious to ride such a horse if you can help it. 

Balking, or an obstinate refusal to work, is almost invariably 
the result of bad training or bad management. It is a sulky vice, 
and is very hard to deal with. Cruelty will often overcome it tem- 
porarily, and there are numberless methods of applying such a 
degree of torment that the poor brute will strain himself to almost 
any exertion rather than bear it, but the " sulks" are only over- 
come for the time being and will return at the first opportunity. 
It is true that many horses are so completely ruined in this respect 
that nothing but pain seems to do any good, but even with them it 
really only confirms the evil. At all events we have no suggestions 
to make in the art of inflicting punishment, for earbiting, whipping, 
tail twisting, and other gentle and merciful appliances are only too 
commonly well known. Gentleness, patience and firmness, will do 
best where anything whatever can be done. Many willing workers 
will sometimes balk when overloaded or overtired, or when their 
shoulders are out of order. In such cases encouragement and 
help are the best medicines. A generous horse will learn to start 
again very willingly when ho finds his master seeming to pull or 
push with him. If a horse whose body and limbs are in good con- 
dition is an habitual balker, there is nothing to be done with him, 
he is incurably vicious and unsound. 

Backing in harness is very nearly allied to balking, and is 
caused partly in the same way, except that it is more temper and 
less sulkincss. Defective training, putting a colt to too hard a 
strain on the collar at first, or pushing him up hill bofore he has 
learned to pull : working a horse at any a^e with a sore or tender 
shoulder, or giving him a load beyond his power, will teach him 


to back rather than tug. The remarks of Youatt on these two 
are so full of good sense that we borrow them : 

" One of the first species of restiffness, taking them in alphabetical 
order, is Backing or Gibbiitg. These are so closely allied, that we 
hardly know how to separate them. Some horses have the habit 
of backing at first starting, and that more from playfulness than 
desire of mischief. A moderate application of the whip will 
usually be effectual. Others, even at starting, exhibit considerable 
obstinacy and viciousness. This is frequently the effect of bad 
breaking. Either the shoulder of the horse had been wrung when 
he was first put to the collar, or he had been foolishly accustomed to 
start in the break up-hill, and, therefore, all his work coming upon 
him at once, when it being much more difficult to draw the break 
up-hill, than to back and let it run down-hill, he gradually ac- 
quired this dangerous habit. 

" A hasty and passionate breaker will often make a really good- 
tempered young horse an inveterate gibber. Every young horse 
is at first shy of the collar. If he be too quickly forced to it, he will 
probably take a dish'ke to it, that will occasionally show itself in 
the form of gibbing, as long as he lives. The judicious horse- 
breaker will resort to no severity, even if the colt should go out 
several times without touching collar. The example of his com- 
panion will ultimately induce him to take to it voluntary and ef- 

" A large and heavy stone should be put behind the wheel before 
starting, when the horse, finding it more difficult to back than to go 
forward, will gradually forget this unpleasant trick. It will like- 
wise be of advantage, as often as it can be managed, so to start that 
the horse shall have to back up-hill. The difficulty of accomplish- 
ing this will soon make him readily go forward at once. A little 
coaxing, or leading, or moderate flagellation, will assist in accom- 
plishing the cure. 

" When, however, a horse, thinking that he has had enough of work 
or has been improperly checked or corrected, or beginning to feel 
the painful pressure of the collar, swerves, and gibs, and backs, it 
is a more serious matter. Persuasion should here first be tried ; 
and, afterwards reasonable coercion, but no cruelty ; for the 
brutality which is often exercised in attempting to compel a gib- 
bing horse to throw himself habitually into the collar, never yet 


accomplished the purpose. The horse may, perhaps, be whipped 
into motion, but if has once begun to gib, he will have recourse to 
it again whenever any circumstance displeases or annoys him ; 
and the habit will be rapidly, and so completely formed, that he 
will become insensible to all severity. 

" It is useless and most dangerous to contend with a horse deter- 
mined to back, unless there is plenty of room, and, by tight rein- 
ing, the driver can make him back in the precise direction he 
wishes, and especially up-hill. Such a horse should be immedi- 
ately sold, or turned over to some other work. In a stage coach 
as a wheeler, and particularly as the near wheeler, or, in the 
middle of a team at agricultural work, he may be serviceable. It 
will be useless for him to attempt to gib there, for he will be drag- 
ged along by his companions whether he will or no ; and finding 
the inutility of resistance, he will soon be induced to work as well 
as any horse in the team. This reformation will last while he is thus 
employed, but, like restifmess generally, it will be delusive when 
the horse returns to his former occupation. The disposition to 
annoy will very soon follow the power to do it. Some instances 
of complete reformation have occurred, but they have been rare. 

"When a horse, not often accustomed to gib, betrays a reluctance 
to work, or a determination not to work, common sense and hu- 
manity will demand that some consideration should be taken, be- 
fore measures of severity be resorted to. The horse may bo taxed 
beyond his power. He soon discovers whether this is the case, 
and by refusing to proceed, tells his driver that it is so ; and the 
utmost cruelty will not induce many horses to make the slightest 
effort, when they are conscious that their strength is inadequate 
to the task. Sometimes the withers are wrung, and the shoulders 
sadly galled ; and the pain, which is intense on level ground and 
with fair draught, becomes insupportable when he tugs up a 
Bteep acclivity. These things should be examined into, and, if 
possible, rectified ; for, under such circumstances, cruelty might 
produce obstinacy and vice, but not willing obedience. 

Those who are accustomed to horses know what seemingly 
trivial circumstances occasionally produce this vice. A horso 
•whose shoulders are raw, or that have frequently been so, will not 
start with a cold collar. When the collar has acquired the warmth of 
the parts on which it presses, the animal will go without reluctance. 


Some determined gibbers have been reformed by constantly wear- 
ing a false collar, or strip of cloth around the shoulders, so that 
the coldness of the usual collar should never be felt ; and others 
have been cured of gibbing by keeping the collar on night and 
day, although the animal is not able to lie down so completely at 
full length, which the tired horse is always glad to do. When a 
horse gibs, not at starting, but while doing his work, it has some- 
times been useful to line the collars with cloth instead of leather ; 
the perspiration is readily absorbed, the substance which presses 
on the shoulders is softer, and it may be far more accurately eased 
off at a tender place. 

Shoulder straps and collars are frequently lined with sheep-skin, 
the woolly side outward, and much ease has been afforded the 
animal by this contrivance, especially where the harness has been 
indifferently fitted, or become hardened for want of greasing. 




Bono 'diseases — Classification— Splints — Ringbone — Spavin — Fistula of the 
withers— Poll-evil — Ulcer of the jaw — Bighead — Fracture. 

And now we come to the consideration of a most complicated 
subject, concerning winch a vast amount of nonsense has accumu- 
lated. Nor can we attempt such a medical treatise as will dispense 
with the services of the veterinary surgeon. A man who is 
conscious of ignorance and inexperience had better do as little in 
the doctoring line as may be, for horses, like men, will do best, on 
an average, with very little medicine. An ounce of prevention, in 
the various ways which we have pointed out, is worth several 
hundred weight of attempted cure. As a rule, " nursing " and rest 
are of more value than anything else, and it may be set down 
quite positively that " if you are not sure what should be done you 
had better not do it." On an average, a man will stand a good 
deal more of random poisoning than a horse will, though it is 
astonishing how somo will recover at the same time from the effects 
of disease and quackery. 

In the frontispiece at the beginning of this book, we have given 
a somewhat exaggerated representation of the external signs of 
many of the ills that horseflesh is heir to, and in our hints on 
buying we have tried to describe the more common of them, but 
all diseases are not to be looked for on the surface. Many of them 
are the temporary consequents of bad usage, bad feeding, bad 
■tabling, or accidents, and in any case the cause must be sought for 
before any clear idea can be formed as to the most desirable treat- 

We shall be compelled to be more or less technical, but will try 
and make the matter as clear as possible, so that no one need bo 
istray by unaccustomed phraseology. 

Diseases op the bone are rarely attended by any general 
symptoms, and in treating them it is only necessary to care for tho 


general health of the r animal, as they are purely local in their 
nature. Those of them which maybe classed as " malignant" are 
incurable, and no space need be wasted upon them. 

All bone diseases may be classed under the following heads : 
First, Exostosis, or superfluous growth of bone. Second, Caries, or 
ulceration. Third, Anchylosis, or the unnatural union of two 
bones, in consequence of either or both of the other diseases. 
Fourth, Fractures. 

Exostosis is peculiarly a disease of young horses, and rarely 
occurs after six or seven years of age, except in cases where it has 
become chronic. It is caused by superabundant nutrition of the 
part : that is, nature is too active and supplies more bony matter 
than the wants of the structure call for. It is to be detected in 
recent cases by a slight swelling of the part, accompanied by sore- 
ness. Sometimes it will be so located that no swelling appears to 
the eye, or can be found by the finger, and its presence is only 
indicated by lameness or tenderness. A severe blow on any bono 
that is only covered by skin may produce an inflammation followed 
\>y exostosis. This is a too active effort of nature to repair the 
injury. Overwork will stimulate a precisely similiar over supply. 

The most common exhibitions of exostosis are Splints, Ringbone, 
* Spavin, and their kindred affections. In describing these and their 
treatment we must acknowledge our indebtedness to the English 
work of Mr. J. H. Walsch, F. R. C. S. (" Stonehenge "), a very 
good reprint of which has appeared in this country. Of coursejno 
"green hand" will have the presumption to attempt the more 
difficult experiments which he suggests, but, on the whole, his 
views and indications may be accepted as sound and sensible. He 
says of 


" The strict definition of this disease is ' an exostosis from the 
lower part of the small metacarpal bone, connecting it by bony 
union with the large metacarpal bone,' but among horsemen, any 
bony growth from the cannon bone is considered a splint, and the 
latter is almost as common as the former. The regular splint 
rarely attacks the outer small metacarpal bone alone, but some- 
times in very bad cases both are implicated in the disease. It is 
difficult to give a valid reason for this greater frequency of splint 
on the inside than on the out, but it is commonly said that the 


inner splint bone receives more of the weight of the body than the 
outer one, and that it is more under the centre of gravity, but as 
it is merely suspended from the carpus, and is not supported from 
below (in any way, mediately or directly), this can produce no 
injurious effect upon it. The fact is so, however, whatever may be 
the cause. 
i " The symptoms of splint are generally a greater or less degree of 
lameness during its formation, but sometimes it may go on to attain 
a large size without any such result, especially if its growth is 
slow, and the horse is not severely worked. It is commonly 
remarked that a splint is of no consequence unless its situation is 
such as to interfere with the back sinews, or suspensory ligament, 
and although it is quite true, as has been asserted by learned 
veterinarians, that the splint is far removed from the former, and 
seldom interferes with the latter, yet it is almost always directly 
connected with the attachments of the sheath of the tendon, and 
this being stretched every time the leg is extended will occasion 
the pain which is expressed by the limp in the action. The size 
of the morbid growth has no relation with the amount, or even 
with the existence of lameness, for a very small splint will often be 
far more productive of this symptom than a very large one. In 
examining a leg it is often only after careful manipulation in the 
flexed condition that a small bony tumor (of the size perhaps only 
of a garden pea) can be detected, but when once the finger presses 
upon it, the horse will almost invariably be found to flinch, and 
usually it will be thrown out just where the sheath of the tendon is 
attached. Here there is no union between the large and small 
metacarpal bones, and the injury is confined to the inflammation 
produced in the sheath, which will generally go off after proper 
treatment and rest. These small bony growths are n^t very un- 
commonly met with in the hihdlegs, but they are not recognized 
there as splints. No constitutional symptoms are met with in these 
cases, and they must be ascertained by the local symptoms alone. 
Unless the splint is in the way of the action of the other foot, and 
the skin on its surface is bruised by repeated blows, there is seldom 
any swelling of the soft parts, but when this occurs, the skin and 
cellular membrane become puffed and hot, and extreme lameness 
is the result, temporarily aggravated by every blow. 

" The treatment of a splint will depend upon the state in which it 
exists, and upon the purpose to which the horse possessing it is 


destined. If no lameness exists, and the blemish is not objected 
to, it is far better not to meddle with it, for in the course of a few 
years it will disappear by absorption as a matter of course. 
Moreover, it often happens that in attempting to remove a splint by 
some irritating application, extensive inflammation is set up in the 
fibrous strictures attached to it, and lameness,, which was not 
previously in existence, is thenceforth a most troublesome attend- 
ant. If, however, the horse is to be sold, in which case the 
existence of a splint would be regarded with suspicion, or if 
lameness has shown itself, it will be necessary to adopt measures 
likely to effect the absorption of the morbid growth, and these are 
chiefly two :— 1st, Sub-cutaneous scarification, with or without a se- 
ton, or the seton alone ; and 2d, Counter-irritation by means of some 
form of blister. If the soft parts covering the splint are much 
inflamed, the horse should have his corn taken away, and a dose of 
physic given him, during which a wet bandage should be kept 
constantly applied, and indeed, in any case of splint severe enough 
to require operation, the cooling remedies mentioned above should 
be adopted beforehand. The operation is performed with a probe- 
pointed narrow knife, shaped like a scimetar, with the cutting edge 
on the convex side. A small opening is made in the skin about an 
inch below the splint, and just large enough to admit the knife, 
which is then introduced and pushed upwards with its flat sido 
towards the skin, till it reaches the tumor, when the convex edge is 
turned towards this, and several extensive scarifications are made 
in the periosteum covering it, after which the knife is withdrawn 
and a fine seton-needle is introduced in its place, and passed 
upwards until it reaches above the splint, when it is pushed 
through, and the tape drawn out, and properly secured with a 
bandage. Of course the horse must be cast and properly secured 
before resorting to the knife. In the course of ten days or a 
fortnight the tape may be withdrawn, and the splint will almost 
invariably disappear. Sometimes the seton is tried without the 
scarification, but it is not nearly so successful, and is nearly as 
troublesome an operation. In most cases both of these operations 
are unnecessary, and the application of the following blister (which 
has a tendency to produce absorption, independently of its counter 
irritative powers) will have the desired effect. 

Take cf Riniorlide of Mercury .... 1 drachm 

Lard 1 ounce. Mis, 


And after cutting the hair short, rub a little into the skin, covering 
the splint, every night, until a free watery discharge is produced 
from the surface. To facilitate this the leg should be fomented 
with very hot water every morning and afternoon, and this should 
be continued for several days after the ointment has been discon- 
tinued. The horse will not gnaw the skin after this application, 
and it is a very useful one for general purposes, when counter-irri- 
tation is required to produce absorption. If after a week's 
interval, the splint does not appear much reduced in size, the 
ointment should be re-applied, and repeated at similar intervals 
till the swelling is removed. When the bony growth is very 
extensive, neither scarification nor counter-irritation will be of 
much service, and the leg must be fired, and afterwards repeatedly 
blistered, but even with the best and most energetic treatment, the 
part will seldom become sufficiently sound to stand anything but 
slow work. 


" Ringbone and sideboneboth consist in the throwing out of bony 
matter about the joints of the os coronae ; the former name being 
given to the disease when it attacks that between it and the os 
suffraginis, and the latter when the seat is the parts around its 
union with the os pedis or coffin-bone. Very often, and especially 
in heavy cart or dray horses, ringbone and sidebone co-exist in the 
same leg where the three bones are completely anchylosed, and in 
which, during life, the only action was in the fetlock joint. The 
disease attacks the hindleg as well as the fore ; but it is more 
common in the latter than in the former. 

" The symptoms are a greater or less enlargement of the leg, of a 
hard or unyielding nature, either immediately above the coronet, 
as in sidebone, or a little higher, as in ringbone. In the latter 
case, if thoroughly established, it surrounds the joint, whence the 
name of ringbone ; but in the early stages it appears at certain 
points from which it spreads all around. Sidebone is seldom so 
extensive and usually attacks the postero-lateral parts of the os 
coronae, where the swelling is define 1, and, except in very hairy- 
legged or gummy-heeled horses, can easily be felt. In the early 
stages the action is not impeded, but there is more or less soreness 
or lameness. After much bone is thrown out, the joints are either 
completely fixed or their movements are extremely limited. 


" The treatment in the early stage is precisely similar to that for 
splint ; but the operation of scarifying the periosteum requires 
great care and some knowledge of the anatomy of these joints, or 
the knife will pierce the capsular ligament, and increase the evil 
it was intended to relieve. A seton without the scarification will 
often be of service, and for sidebono, firing in the early stage will 
be serviceable, though it is objectionable on account of the blemish 
it leaves behind. The biniodide of mercury ointment already 
described is most useful in slight cases, but in severe ones it will 
rather tend to aggravate the growth, and when anchylosis has 
taken place, nothing but time and patience for the subsidence of 
the inflammation will avail. When this has taken place, and the 
joint is fixed, a high-heeled shoe will enable the horse to work, 
with some awkwardness, it is true, and the addition of a leather 
sole will to some extent take off the jar, which occurs in a greatly 
increased ratio when the elastic action of the pastern-joints is 


" This is commonly known as ossification of the cartilages, or 
false ringbone, no other cartilages being subject to ossification, 
and these being therefore known par excellence as the cartilages. 
In heavy cart horses it often co-exists with ringbone and sidebone, 
especially the latter ; but it also attacks well-bred carriage-horses, 
and high-actioned hacks, which are comparatively free from those 

" The symptoms are more or less enlargement of the back of the 
coronet, and heel, the part feeling unnaturally hard and irregular 
or lumpy. If recent, there is generally increased heat on careful 
examination with the hand; but in old standing cases there is 
nothing of the kind to be detected. Lameness is not always 
present, but if the horse is rattled over hard ground, he will be 
more likely to show the effects on the next day, by going short 
and sore, than if he were free from this disease. 

" The treatment should be confined to recent cases, for in old 
standing ones, unless lameness shows itself, it is better to avoid any 
interference. A seton, with rest, has sometimes proved very 
efficacious, even in confirmed ossification, and repeated dressings 
with biniodide of mercury ointment, will, in those cases where the 


inflammation docs not run very high, afford the best chance of 
causing the absorption of some of the bone, for a complete cure is 
never effected. When there is much heat in the part, bleeding 
from the foot may be adopted, and afterwards the application of 
cloths dipped in cold water, with the addition of a glass of tincturo 
of arnica to a quart of water. In confirmed cases, where the parts 
have become callous, a leather sole to the shoe will take off the 
vibration, and should be used during the summer season. Scari- 
fication of the skin covering the enlargement with a lanccf, 
encouraging the bleeding by warm water, and followed by the 
use of cold water as soon as the bleeding has ceased, will some- 
times do wonders in recent cases. The scarification should be 
repeated at intervals of five or six days, taking care to avoid injury 
to the coronary substance near the hoofs, which is sometimes 
followed by troublesome sores. 


" This disease, so frequently the cause of lameness in those 
horses which use their hocks severely (as for example, race-horses, 
hunters, carriage-horses, and more particularly cart-horses), con- 
sists in exostosis from the adjacent external surfaces of the tarsal 
bones, alway3 showing itself at the inner side of the hock-joint, 
on the scaphoid and cuneiform bones, and extending to the head of 
the internal small metatarsal bone. As in the case of splint, the 
occurrence of exostosis on the internal rather than on the external 
side of the hock has been accounted for by the supposition that 
increased weight is thrown upon the internal small metatarsal bone, 
fiom the turning up of the outer heel of the shoe, which is the 
ommon practice of smiths. It appears to me, however, that the 
contrary is the case, and that though more stress is laid upon the 
foot on that side, there is less weight on the inner side of the hock, 
which has a tendency to spring open in that direction. This will 
cause a strain upon the ligaments connecting the tarsal bones, and 
nature coming to their aid throws out bone, which ultimately sub- 
stitutes anchylosis for ligamentous union between these bones. In 
all the actions of the hindleg, from the natural Bhape of the hock, 
and more especially in those horses which are naturally " cow- 
hocked," there is a tendency to yield inwards rather than in the 
opposite direction. The consequence is that there is more strain 


upon the ligamentous fibres -which connect the scaphoid with the 
two cuneiform and the internal metatarsal, than upon those uniting 
the cuboid with the os calcis and external metatarsal bone. Hence, 
although exostosis does sometimes show itself in other parts of the 
tarsal bones, it here, as in the foreleg, is almost always confined to 
what is called the " spavin place," namely, the contiguous surfaces 
of the scaphoid, cuneiform, and internal metatarsal bOnes. In 
very bad cases the articular cartilage becomes involved, and there 
is not only an external casing of new bone, but the internal sur- 
faces absolutely coalesce or anchylose. 

"The symptoms of spavin are a hard substance showing itself 
beyond the proper level of the hock-joint. There may or may not 
be lameness, but if bone is thrown out the disease is established. 
In recent case.3 whenever the horse is worked he will, after rest, 
limp in his action, but the lameness soon goes off, and does not 
show itself again until the part has been suffered to become stiff 
by a rest of an hour or two. The lameness is very remarkable, 
and differs greatly from that shown in any other disease. The leg 
is drawn up with a quick catch, and yet there is a dragging of the 
limb, indicating not only pain in the joint, but a want of action in 
it. In tho early stages the latter is not clearly developed, but 
afterwards it is so well marked that a spavin may be pronounced 
to exist without an examination of the joint. Where lameness is 
not established, great care should be exercised in pronouncing on 
the existence of spavin, for some hocks are naturally formed with 
prominent heads of the internal metatarsal bones, and the inexpe- 
rienced eye and hand are very apt to mistake these for exostosis. 
In such cases, by Comparing the two hocks it will generally b) 
seen that they are both exactly alike, while in spavin, although 
both joints may be the seat of mischief, yet they will seldom mani- 
fest the disease to the same extent. 

" The treatment should be directed to the abatement of the in- 
flammation which gives rise to the pain, and also to promote ab- 
sorption of the new growth. Veterinary surgeons are very apt to 
assert that the disease cannot be cured, and that a spavined horso 
will always remain the subject of it, and therefore unsound. But 
practically it is known that many a hock which has been the seat 
of undoubted spavin loses all external enlargment, and no lame- 
ness is shown in it, although tried most severely through a series of 


years. Still on dissection after death, the ligaments will not show 
their natural white and glistening structure, and the tarsal hones 
will he to a certain extent united hy anchylosis In very bad cases 
there will he also caries of the articulatory surfaces, and with it 
inflammation of the synovial membranes, which may and often 
does exists without the caries. Now as these are much more for- 
midable diseases than exostosis, and far more difficult either to 
cure or palliate, it follows that although certain remedies will ho 
generally successful with genuine hone spavin (exostosis), yet they 
will fail when the above complication exists. The treatment must 
therefore be adapted to the exact nature and extent of the disease. 
Prior to the adoption of any plan the joint should be rested, the 
outer heel of the shoe should he lowered, the corn should be taken 
away, and the system cooled by appropriate treatment. After 
these precautions are taken, the next thing is to decide upon the 
remedies which will be suited to the case. They consist in — 1, 
Blisters, which have a tendency to cause absorption ; 2, Firing ; 
3, Setons, with or without subcutaneous scarification ; 4, Division 
of the nerve. If there is simply a slight exostosis, with little lame- 
ness, and no evidence of the joint being implicated, the biniodido 
of mercury may be applied as described at page 108. Repeated 
dressings will be necessary, and the joint must have at least two 
months' absolute rest, the horse being placed in a loose box. This 
remedy is often successful, but it will fail utterly where the ex- 
ostosis is extensive, or there is caries, or even severe inflammation 
of the synovial membrane. Arsenic, sulphuric acid, and other 
caustic applications, have been counted as infallible cures ; but 
while they are just as certain to produce a blemish as firing, the 
extent to which the inflammation and sloughing, caused by them, 
go, is far more completely beyond our control. Arsenic has been 
known to destroy the joint, by producing a slough of the synovial 
membrane, and it is said that the sulphuric acid, which, however, 
is often very successful, has had a similar unfortunate result ; but 
of its being followed by serious blemishes there is abundant proof. 
Firing is the safest and, therefore, the usual plan adopted for spavin, 
and on the first intimation of the disease it is often adopted without 
any necessity for having recourse to so disfiguring a process. Its 
chief advantage is, that while it is a certain means of establishing 
a strong counter-irritation, it has no tendency to cause any increase 


of inflammation in the structures beneath the skin, and therefore - 
the good it does is unalloyed by any counterbalancing evil. It is 
now the fashion to deny its use, and horsemasters are often tempt- 
ed to try some substitute for it, in the hope of escaping a blemish; 
but too often they are compelled to submit to it at last, and 
proi; ibiy after the disease has been aggravated by some " unfailing " 
remedy. If there is a strong desire expressed to avoid a blemish, 
the veterinary surgeon is perfectly warranted in doing all in his 
power to effect a cure without the use of the irons ; but the mere 
fashion of the day should not induce him to decry a plan which 
has for so many years been proved to be successful. In human 
surgery the same course has been adopted, and for the last thirty 
or forty years the actual cautery has been voted "barbarous '' in 
this country. Now, however, a counter current is setting in, and 
it is the general opinion of the first hospital surgeons of the day 
that, in certain diseases of the joints, no remedy is nearly so effi- 
cacious. All sorts of attempts are made to render the use of the 
hot iron less repugnant to the senses ; but in the case of the horse 
it is only necessary t© measure its comparative utility and the 
amount of pain which it gives. The former has been already 
considered, and as to the latter, if the irons are properly heated, I 
much doubt whether their action is not less painful than that of 
any other counter-irritant. Setons, perhaps, give less pain if 
skillfully inserted, and they are admirable remedies, having nearly 
the same beneficial effects as firing, and leaving a far slighter 
blemish. They should be passed beneath a considerable track of 
the skin, covering the " spavin place," and the tape requires to be? 
smeared with blistering cerate to produce sufficient irritation- 
Their use by themselves is often sufficient, but when preceded by- 
subcutaneous scarification they seem to act even more certainly 
than firing. 

" The method of operation is similar to that described for splints, 
but it requires more knowledge of the anatomy of the parts to 
avoid doing mischief by cutting into one of the joints. There is 
always afterwards considerable effusion into the subcutaneous 
cellular membrane, demanding two or three months for its removal ; 
but as the spavined horse requires that interval of rest, this is of 
little or no consequence. When the disease has gone so far that 
no method of treatment will remove it, the nerve above the hock may 


be divided, which will enable the horse to work without pain for 
a time, but the disease goes on the faster, and the benefit derived 
is only temporary. 


" The heads of the bones adjacent to most of.the joints of the 
body are more or less subject to exostosis, though not so frequently 
as those of the pastern bones and tarsus. Next to these probably 
comes the shoulder joint, the neighborhood of which is often the 
seat of this disease. The left scapula and humerus of a horse are 
often completely anchylosed, and of course there co-exists a pro- 
portionate amount of lameness during the progress of the disease, 
while after the anchylosis takes place the want of action is complete. 
An examination by the hand of the point of the shoulder would 
readily detect so large a growth of bone as this ; but smaller ones 
are often thrown out beneath the mass of muscles surrounding the 
shoulder joint, and consequently beyond the reach of the most 
accomplished finger. The treatment should be on the same prin- 
ciple as for spavin, omitting the subcutaneous scarification, which 
is not here practicable on account of the nature of the joint. 
Blisters, and especially with the biniodide of mercury, will be the 
most likely to succeed, but in most cases the cure will be only 

A disease much less common in the United States than in Eng- 
land, for the reason that horses are employed to a less extent 
under the saddle, is that which is known as " thiselo," which is a 
vulgar corruption of " Fistula of the withers." It is caused by 
blows, pressure or other mechanical sources of inflammation. The 
first s) r mptoms are heat and tenderness, accompanied by a slight 
swelling, and at this point perfect rest with warm fomentations will 
frequently check the difficulty. This, however, does not often 
happen, as.the symptoms are likely to be unnoticed or disregarded 
until an abscess has begun to form, and this may be detected by 
the fluctuating feeling when lightly pressed by the finger. No timo 
should be lost, and an opening should be made low down on the 
right side, so low that there is no part of the " sack " of the 
abscess below it to retain any of the poisonous matter, and large 
enough to let the matter all run out as fast as it forms, for " fistu- 
la " is in a measure self propagating, and the secretion is not only 


an effect, but a cause of the inflammation. Entire relief from it, 
with rest, will sometimes be sufficient to work a cure without special 
applications. In cases of long standing, however, the " sack ! ' 
itself and the passage leading to it become lined with a tough 
membrane, and nature is prevented from doing her work. In such 
cases a seton tape, passed through from end to end and left there, 
or an injection, will be of service. The latter may be one of 
several very good prescriptions. As good as any is one drachm of 
chloride of zinc dissolved in a pint of water, and carefully injected 
into every part of the " thiselo " two or three times a week. 

A disease very similar to fistula, in cause, effect and treatment, 
is Poi>l Evil. It may be brought on by a blow on the top of the 
head, or the animal " bumping " against his manger or his stable 
door, or by a too great strain caused by tight reining, or otherwise. 
The ligament of the neck passes over the " atlas " or first bone of 
the neck, without being attached to it, and the seat of the inflam- 
mation is between this ligament and the bone beneath. It will 
readily be seen what intense pain would be caused by the formation 
of matter at such a point if no way for its escape should be 

The treatment is simple, almost identical with that for fistula, 
only great care must be taken to avoid the spinal cord, the knife 
should not be run in deeply, but slantingly, and on the right side, 
making a passage that will surely permit all the pus to run out. A 
seton should generally be employed. If the opening is made with 
the needle, put it in on the top of the swelling, make sure that it 
reaches the bottom, and bring it out a little below the abscess on 
the right side. The reason for this latter is that most horses lie 
down on the right side, and thus, both in fistula and poll-evil the 
matter can continue running when he is lying down. If he 
happens to have formed the habit of laying on his left side, act 

Very bad cases of either of the two last mentioned diseases 
require severer treatment, and such Manipulation and surgery as 
can hardly be successfully attempted by inexperienced hands. 

Ulcers on the jaw {caries) may be caused in various ways, 
perhaps more frequently by cruel and barbarous bits than in any 
other. Hard pullers and vicious horses are likely in this way to 
suffer the reward of their ill -doings and bad temper. 


The symptoms are a tendency to bleed at the month from a 
slight pressure of the bit, and an appearance of pink froth. In 
such a case a further examination may discover a peculiar sore ; it 
may be on either the upper or lower jaw, or on the roof of the 
mouth. There will be a depression, indicating loss of substance, 
and containing more or less of proud Jlesh, clearly an unnatural 
growth, and but slightly attached to the sides of the cavity. There 
is a continual discharge, offensive and watery, but this is generally 
lost in the horse's saliva. 

The treatment is simple but effective. Take away the bit that 
caused the difficulty, and, if the horse must be used, employ a bit 
that will press elsewhere and be milder in its operation. Keep 
the wound open by the use of lunar caustic. Press the caustic in 
hard and quick, not letting it burn over two seconds, and not any 
more than is necessary to keep down the proud flesh. By keeping 
up this treatment patiently the disease can in time be pretty effect- 
ually cured. 

In the northern and eastern parts of the United States we have 
very little of what is known as the Big Head among horses, 
though as much can hardly be said for their owners. In the South, 
"West and South-west, this disease (ostco sarcoma) is more common. 
It is a malignant growth from the cellular structure of the jaws, and 
partakes both of the nature of bone and cartilage. The symptoms 
are altogether local, and cannot well be mistaken. Any large, 
irregularly hard, unwieldy swelling on either of the jaws may be 
set down to this disease. It is a terrible thing, not unfrequently 
growing in such an eccentric way that the poor animal cannot shut 
his mouth, and dies of starvation. Its advance is slow but sure, 
and there is nothing to be done for it. It has, in some cases, been 
removed by amputation, but the swelling and the horse were gen- 
erally destroyed at about the same time. If your horse has the 
" big head," work him as long as you can with humanity, and then 
humanely shoot him. 

It is a generally received notion that when a horse has fractured 
a bone it is all up with him, and he must be destroyed. This is 
practicall}' true, in most cases, and yet many are on record in 
which such injuries were treated with a very fair degree of success. 
The difficulty lies not so much in the refusal of broken bones to 
uuito, as in the skill and appliances required to keep the parts 


which are to be rejoined " in position,'' the animal himself being- 
apt to add his own obstinate struggles to the other bad features 
of his misfortune. At all events, a highef degree of surgical skill 
must be called into play than is apt to fall to the lot of those for 
whom we are writing, and we can only advise them to take the 
best local advice they can get ; promising that it will be, almost in- 
variably, " Kill him." 




The joints, muscles and tendons— Rheumatic inflammation — Bog-spavin— 
Thoroughpin— Windgalls— Capped hock— Strain of back sinews— Strain 
of shoulder, knee, fetlock and coffin-bone— Breaking down— Strains of 
hip- joint, stifle and hock— Curb — Dislocation— Wounds of joints. 

In attempting to deal with this class of horse-evils, and it is a 
very important one, we are confronted by a good deal of apparent 
difficulty in being clear and concise without being technical. The 
meaning of some terms will be best acquired by a study of the 
cuts, while for others the entirely inexperienced must be referred 
to the dictionary. 

Muscle is subject to simple atrophy, with or without fatty 
degeneration. The disease shows itself by a wasting away of the 
part, accompanied by a flabby feel to the touch. It should be 
treated by friction, gentle but regular work, and steel given inter- 
nally, one drachm of the sulphate of iron, powdered, being mixed 
with the corn twice a day. 

Rheumatic inflammation of a muscle or muscles is one of tho 
most common of all the diseases to which the horse is subject. 
Most frequently it attacks the muscles of the shoulder, or of the 
loins, sometimes both those parts being involved at the same time. 
When acute it receives the namo of a chill, and is generally brought 
on by exposing the horse to a draught of air after work, or by 
immersing him in cold water up to his belly, with a view either 
to refresh him, or when the groom is lazy, to save him tho trouble 
of cleaning. The symptoms are lameness or inability to use the 
part, the horse, when forced to do sc, giving expressions of severe 
pain. If the shoulder is affected, the foot is not put to the ground, 
and when the leg is moved backwards and forwards by the hand, 
great pain is evidently experienced. In severe cases there is fever 
with accelerated pulse (70 to 80), accompanied often by profuse 
sweating, and heaving at the Hanks, the legs remaining warm. 


After a short time the part swells and is excessively tender. The 
treatment should be by a copious bleeding, if the horse is of a 
moderately strong constitution ; indeed, in severe cases, it should 
be carried on till the pulse is greatly reduced, and repeated the 
next day, if it returns to its original hardness and fulness. The 
bowels should be acted on as soon as it is safe to do so, and if the 
dung is very hard, backraking and clysters should be used, to 
accelerate the action of the medicine. The best aperient is castor 
oil, of which a pint may be given with an ounce of sweet spirits of 
nitre. When this has acted, if the kidneys are not doing their duty, 
a quarter of an ounce of nitre and a drachm of camphor may be 
made into a ball and given twice a day. 

Chronic rheumatism of the muscles is similar in its nature to 
the acute form, but, as its name implies, it is more lasting, and of 
less severity. It often flies from one part to another, attacking the 
ligaments and tendons, as well as the muscular fibres. It is seldom 
much under control, and attention should be paid rather to improve 
the general health than to subdue the local affection. 

Small tumors, of about the size of a pea, often form upon the 
tendons, especially the " back sinews " of the forelegs. They may 
or may not occasion lameness, but they are always to be regarded 
with suspicion. As long as they remain indolent they are better 
left alone ; but when they produce inflammation and pain, the best 
remedy is the biniodide of mercury ointment. 

Ulceration of the cartilage is by no means common in the horse, 
and when it occurs it is generally complicated with other difficul- 
ties. No general rules can, therefore, be given for its treatment. 

Acute inflammation of the synovial membrane is seldom 
met with : but a chronic state, inducing an excessive secretion of 
synovia, is extremely common. The most usual situation is at the 
hock, where the swelling has received the name of bog-spavin and 
thoroughpin ; but they also occur at the fetlock and knee joints ; 
in the former case being sometimes confounded with windgalls, 
which are inflamed bursas mucosae {mucous sacks). 

Bog-spavin is very apt to attack young horses, when they are 
over-worked, before being fully seasoned ; but it may occur at all 
ages. It shows itself at. the inner side of the joint, because here 
the ligaments are wider apart, and there is more room, for disten- 
sion. Its seat is the capsule between the tibia and astragalus 


■which is here unprotected by any strong fibrous covering, and 
readily yields to the gradual pressure of the secretion from i 
ternal surface. 

TnoROUGiiriN may be Either an increased secretion of the syno- 
vial capsule, between the astragalus and os calcis, or between the 
scaphoid and cuneiform bones, or of the bursa mucosa lying be- 
tween the tendo Achilles and the tendo perforatus. In the first of 
these cases, it often co-exists with bog-spavin, and the synovia 
may be made to fluctuate from one bag to the other, the only 
line of demarcation being the astragalo-calcanean ligament. 

Both bog-spavin and thoroughpin may exist, or either separately, 
without occasioning lameness ; but where they are just established 
there is generally some small degree of active inflammation, which 
causes a slight lameness on first going out of the stable, but soon 

The treatment should be by pressure, kept up for a long time, 
by means of a carefully-adjusted truss, alternated with cold bath- 
ing, and the use afterwards of tincture of arnica, diluted with water, 
as a wash. Subcutaneous scarification has succeeded in some 
few cases in causing the secretion to cease ; but it has so often 
produced extensive inflammation of the joint, that the operation 
is by no means to be recommended. Blistering with biniodide 
of mercury has also occasionally answered ; but no plan is so 
successful, on the whole, as pressure, alternating with cold bathing. 

Delicate young foals are subject to a rheumatic inflammation of 
their synovial membranes, specially displayed in the knees and 
hocks, and apparently caused by exposure to cold. It seldom 
goes on to produce disorganization of the cartilages, but the cap- 
sular ligaments are distended with thin yeljow synovia, causing 
considerable stiffness. The cellular tissue around the joints also 
becomes cedematous, and the legs fill all the way down to the feet. 
It is commonly known among breeders as the " joint evil, * and 
though in itself it is not dangerous, yet it marks the existence of 
constitutional weakness which is likely to occasion some more fatal 
malady. The treatment should consist in attending to the general 
health by strengthening the mare, which is best done by giving 
her a drachm of the sulphate of iron in her corn twice a day. 
The joints of the foal should be rubbed with equal parts of soap 
liniment and spirit of turpentine, and it should be assisted to stand 


for the purpose of sucking at regular short intervals if unable to 
help itself. In aggravated cases, however, the foal is not likely 
to recover its general strength, and it may be better to destroy it, 
but so long as it can stand and feeds well, hopes may be entertain- 
ed of the joints recovering. 

Every practical horeeman is aware that the sheaths in which 
the back sinews and other tendons are lodged are liable to inflam- 
mation and thickening, without the tendon itself being involved. 
By passing the hand down the leg, an irregular network may be 
felt surrounding the tendons, which move up and down without 
disturbing it ; and the surrounding cellular membrane is also 
thickened, and becomes hard and unyielding. There may be con- 
siderable heat about the part, but often it is quite cool ; and tho 
disease may continue for months without any great lameness, and 
with nothing to draw attention to it (excepting a slight stiffness on 
leaving the stable) but the sensation communicated to the hand. 
At length; an unusually hard day's work sets up active inflammation, 
the leg rapidly fills, and there is so much lameness as to cause the 
horse to be thrown by. The treatment, in the early stage, should 
be the use of bandages, constantly kept wet with arnica and water, 
and nothing but walking exercise. After the thickening is fully 
established, no remedy short of blistering, or a charge, will be of 
the slightest avail, with a rest of two or three months. 

The synovial bags are liable to inflammation, either from hard 
work, as in windgalls and thoroughpin, or from blows, as in capped 
hock and elbow. The latter are said by some veterinarians to 
be serous abscesses j but there is no doubt that in all horses a 
mucous sack exists under the skin on the cap of the elbow and 
hock ; and these become inflamed and filled with a very thin 
synovia, when they are bruised. They never extend beyond a 
certain size, and have no tendency to burst ; nor are they inclined 
to a healthy termination of their own accord, but go on in the 
same condition from year to year. 

Windgalls or puffs, are the most usual forms of these enlarge- 
ments, and may be observed in the legs (hind as well as fore) of 
nearly every hard worked horse, after a time. Great care in the 
management of the legs. by bandaging will sometimes keep them 
off, and some horses have naturally no tendency to form them , 
but in most cases, on examining the legs, just above the fetlock 


joints, of horses at work, a little oval bag may be felt on each side, 
between the back sinew and the bone. If recent, it is soft and 
.puffy ; but if the work is hard, and the windgall is of long stand- 
ing, it will be as tense as a drum. The synovial bag has no 
communication with the fetlock-joint ; but there is another sack in 
front of the joint, and beneath the tendons of the extensors, which 
is often enlarged, though not so much so as the seat of the true 
windgall, and which is generally, though not always, continuous 
with the synovial capsule of the joint. The treatment consists in 
pressure by means of bandages, and the application of cold lotions, 
if the legs are hot and inflamed. Blistering and rest will remove 
them entirely ; but no sooner is the horse put to work again, than 
they return as badly as ever. There is no radical cure but subcu- 
taneous puncture and scarification, and this will produce too much 
adhesion to be advantageously applied. 

Capped hock is often the result of a bruise of the superficial 
-bursa or sack, which is situated on the point of the hock, immedi- 
ately beneath the skin. It indicates either that the possessor has 
kicked in the stable or in harness ; but it is more frequently caused 
in the former way than in the latter. The swelling is sometimes 
slight, being then just sufficient to show the joint slightly enlarged, 
and to give a soft, puffy sensation to the fingers, where there ought 
to be nothing but bone felt beneath the skin. The bursa always 
rolls freely on the bone, and when large, it can be laid hold of and 
shaken like a bladder of water. The treatment should be directed 
to abate any slight inflammation that may exist, if the case is 
established ; but in recent ones, it is doubly necessary to apply cold 
lotions, which, however, there is some difficulty in doing, owing to 
the prominent nature of the part. A piece of stout calico or fine 
canvas may, however, be shaped into a cap, carefully fitting the 
point of the hock ; and this being tied by several pieces of tape in 
front of the leg, will allow not only of the application of cold 
lotions, but of pressure also. By this plan, continued for some 
weeks, considerable enlargements havo boen removed, but they are 
very apt to return on the slightest bruise. Setons through the 
bursa, and injections into its cavity of stimulating applications havo 
often been tried ; but they generally do more harm than good, and 
nothing can be relied on but the conjoint use of pressure and cold 
applications. The best lotion is the following : — 


Take of Tincturo of Arnica 3 oz. 

Muriate of Ammonia 2 " 

Methylated Spirit of Wine . . . 4 " 

Water 3 pints. Mix. 

Capped elbow is precisely similar in its nature to capped hock, 
and must be treated in the same way. It is also known by the 
name of capulet. 

The fibres of muscles, ligaments, and tendons, ai]d the fascia 
covering them, are all liable to be overstretched, and more or less, 
mechanically injured. This is called a strain, the symptoms of 
which are similar to the inflammation of the part occurring 
idiopathically. They are heat, swelling, and pain on pressure, or 
movement, shown by flinching in the one case and lameness in the 
other. In some cases there is considerable effusion of blood or 
serum, the former occurring chiefly in the muscles, and the latter 
among the torn fibres of the tendons or ligaments. The symptoms 
and treatment will depend upon the part injured, which will be 
found described under the following heads ; but in most cases an 
embrocation composed of equal parts of laudanum, olive oil, spirit 
of turpentine, and hartshorn will be beneficial if applied after the 
first active inflammation has subsided. 

When a young horse is urged to excessive exertion he is very 
apt to over-exert himself in his awkward attempts to clear the 
obstacle, and next day he will often show a stiffness of the loins 
and back, which is seated in the large muscles connecting the 
pelvis with the thorax. He is said to have " ricked his back," in 
in the language of the stable, and if the mischief is confined to 
the muscles alone, he may generally be permanently cured, though 
he will be more liable to a return than an animal which has 
never suffered from any accident of the kind. If, however, the 
spinal cord is injured, either from fracture of the vertebrae, or from 
effusion of blood, or serum pressing upon it, the case is different, 
and a perfect cure is seldom obtained. It is, however, very difficult 
to distinguish between the one case and the other, and the treat- 
ment may generally be conducted with the hope that the more 
important organ is uninjured. When there is complete palsy of the 
hind extremities, so that the horse can neither feel nor use them in 
the slightest degree, the case is hopeless. For the management of 
the strain of the loins, a full bleeding should be adopted, as it 
generally happens that the horse is plethoric and full of corn. 


Then apply a double fold of thick flannel or serge, dipped in warm 
•water, to the whole surface of the loins, cover this over with a 
layer of india-rubher sheeting, and let it remain on, taking care to 
renew the water if it has become dry. It generally produces a 
copious sweating from the part, followed by a slight irritation of 
the skin, both of which afford relief. In three or four days tho 
flannel may be removed, and the embrocation alluded to above 
rubbed in two or three times a day, which will generally relievo 
the muscles so much that at the end of a week or ten days the horse 
is able to move quietly about in a loose box, and the cure may bo 
left to time, aided by a charge on the back. 

Shoulder strain was formerly very often chosen as the seat of 
lameness in the fore extremity, solely because the case is so obscure 
tliat it is beyond the knowledge of the unskillful examiner. 
Nevertheless, it is by no means so uncommon, as. is supposed by 
some writers, and perhaps it may be asserted that it is now more 
frequently passed over when it really exists, than the reverse. It 
may be seated in any of the muscles round the shoulder-joint. Tho 
symptoms are very peculiar, and cannot well be mistaken by a careful 
observer who has once seen a case of shoulder lameness. In all 
other kinds (except the knee), the limb is freely moved while in tho 
air, and no pain is expressed until the foot is about to touch the 
ground ; but here the lameness is greatest while the knee is being 
protruded, and the limb is slung forward sideways, in a circular 
manner, which gives an expression of great imbecility. It also 
occasions great pain when the foot is lifted and drawn forward by 
the hand, just as in rheumatism of the part. When the strain is 
caused by a jump or a slip, causing the logs to be widely separated, 
there is often great obscurity in the case ; but the history of tho 
accident will generally assist in forming a correct diagnosis. Tho 
treatment in the early stage will consist in bleeding from the plato 
vein, to tho extent of five or six quarts of blood, followed by 
fomentations with hot water, if there is much heat and swelling, 
and giving a dose of physic as soon as the bowels will bear it. 
When the heat has disappeared, or at once, if there is none, apply 
the embrocation described at page 124 ; and if this does not 
produce relief, add to it one-quarter of its bulk of tincture of can- 

The knee, unlike its analogue in the human subject (the wrist), 


is seldom strained in the horse, in consequence of the strong 
ligaments which bind the bones of the carpus together. Still it 
sometimes happens that the internal lateral ligaments are over- 
stretched, or, in calf-kneed horses, the posterior common ligaments, 
or that connecting the scaphoid with the pisiform bone, or probably 
all these will suffer from over-extension. The accident may be 
recognized by the heat and swelling of the part affected, as well as 
by the pain given on using the joint. The anterior ligaments are 
seldom strained, but they are liable to injury from blows received 
in various ways. The treatment should be conducted on the same 
principles as those of strains in the shoulder. Cold applications 
will seldom do anything but harm in the early stage ; but after hot 
fomentations have relieved the active mischief, by encouraging the 
effusion of serum into the surrounding cellular membrane, the 
former may be used with advantage. When the heat and other 
signs of active inflammation have disappeared, the biniodide of 
mercury ointment may be rubbed in, avoiding the back of the joint. 
Strain on the fetlock shows itself at once, in consequence of 
the superficial nature of the joint, by swelling, heat, soreness to 
the touch, and lameness. It may be very slight or very severe, but 
in the latter case it is generally complicated by strain of the back 
sinews, or suspensory ligament. The treatment will be precisely 
on the same plan as for strain of the knee. When the anterior 
ligaments of the fetlock joint are strained and inflamed, as so often 
happens with race-horses, the condition is known as " shin sore." 
'Dissection proves that the coffin-joint is sometimes the seat of 
strains ; but it is almost impossible to ascertain its existence with 
certainty during life. The diagnosis is, however, not of much 
consequence, as the treatment will be the same, whether the coffin- 
joint, or the navicular-joint is the seat of the mischief. In any 
case, if severe, bleeding from the toe should be had recourse to, 
followed by cold applications around the coronet, by means of a 
strip of flannel or felt, tied loosely around the pastern, and kept 
constantly wet. When the heat has subsided the coronet should 
be blistered. 

The suspensory ligament not being elastic, like the back 
sinews (which, though not in themselves extensible, are the pro- 
longations of muscles which have that property), is very liable to 
strains, especially in the hunter, and to a less degree in the 


race-horse. The accident is readily made out, for there is local 
swelling and tenderness, and in the well-bred horse, which is alone 
likely to meet with a strain of this kind, the leg is rarely sufficiently 
gummy to prevent the finger from making out the condition of tho 
ligaments and tendons. There is no giving away of the joints as 
in "break down," but on the contrary the leg is flexed, and if the 
case is a bad one, the toe only is allowed to touch the ground. In 
ordinary cases, however, there is merely slight swelling of tho 
suspensory ligament in a limited spot usually near its bifurcation, 
or sometimes in one division only close above the sesamoid bone to 
which it is attached. The horse can stand readily on that leg, 
but on being trotted he limps a good deal. Sometimes, however, 
there is a swelling of the feet without lameness, but in this case 
the enlargement is generally due to an effusion of serum into the 
cellular covering of the ligament, and not to an actual strain of its 
fibres. The treatment will depend greatly upon the extent of the 
mischief; if there is no great injury done, and the enlargement is 
chiefly' from effusion of serum, rest and cold applications by means 
of bandages or otherwise will in the course of two or three months 
effect a cure. Generally, however, the case will last six or eight 
months before the ligament recovers its tone ; and in a valuable 
horse no attempt should be made to work him before that time. 
Where the swelling is small, as it generally is, bandage?; have no 
power over it, as the projection of the flexor tendons keeps the 
pressure off the injured part. Here, dipping the leg in a bucket 
of water, every hour, will be of far more service than a bandage, 
and the sudden shock of the cold water will be doubly efficacious. 
After all heat has disappeared the biniodide of mercury may be, 
used as a blister two or three times, and then the horse may either 
be turned out, or put into a loose box for three or four months, after 
which walking exercise will complete the cure. 

In strain of tub back sinews the position of the leg is tho 
same as in strain of the suspensory ligament, and there is no giving 
way o/ the joints. The flexor tendons are enlarged, hot and 
tender, and there is great lameness, the horse having the power to 
flex the joints below the knee, but resolutely objecting to extend 
them, by bearing what little weight is unavoidable upon his too. 
The case is often confounded with a "break down," but it may 
readily be distinguished by the fact that in the latter the joints 


give way on putting the weight upon them, whilst in mere strains 
they do not, and the tendency is to the opposite extreme. Fre- 
quently after a bad strain of the flexor tendons, the fetlock is 
" over-shot/' or beyond the upright, in consequence of the contin- 
ued flexion of the joint, to prevent pressure upon the injured fibres, 
and in the management this result should be carefully guarded 
against. The injury is generally confined to the sheath of the 
tendons, which, in most cases, gradually puts on inflammatory 
condition for some time before actual lameness is observed. In 
bad cases, however, the ligamentous fibres which are given off by 
the posterior carpal ligament to the flexor tendons are ruptured, 
greatly increasing the amount of inflammation, and subsequent 
loss of strength. In ahy case the tendon feels spongy, and slightly 
enlarged, and there is more or less soreness on pressure, and on 
being trotted, but in the latter case exercise removes the tenderness, 
and very often temporarily causes an absorption of the effused 
fluid, which is again deposited during rest. This state of things 
goes on for a time, the keeper doing all in his power to alleviate it by 
wet bandages, etc., but at last severe work brings on an amount of 
inflammation, with or without actual strain of the fibres of the 
tendon, and there can be no doubt about the propriety of rest and 
severe treatment. It often happens that both legs are slightly 
affected, but one being more tender than the other, the horse 
attempts to save it by changing legs, the consequence of which is 
that the comparatively sound tendons are strained, and he returns 
to his stable with both legs in a bad state, but with one of them 
requiring immediate attention. The treatment should be by local 
bleeding (from the arm, thigh, or toe), followed at first by warm 
fomentations, and in a few days by cold lotions. A high-heeled 
shoe (called a patten) should be put on the foot, so as to allow the 
horse to rest part of the weight upon the heel without distressing 
the tendon, and this will have a tendency to prevent him from over- 
shooting at the fetlock-joint, which he will otherwise be very apt 
to do from constantly balancing his leg on the toe. After three or 
four days the hot fomentations will have done what is wanted, and 
a cold lotion may be applied by means of a loose linen bandage. 
The best is composed as follows : 

Take of Muriate of Ammonia 2 oz. 

Vinegar ; . % pint. 

Methylated/Spirit of Wine . . , . % pint. 

Water ,..'... 2 quarts. Mix. 


With this the bandage should be kopt constantly wet, the applica- 
tion being continued for a fortnight at least, during which time the 
patient must be kept cool, by lowering his food, and giving him a 
dose of physic. At the end of three weeks or a month from the 
accident, the leg must be either blistered or fired, the choice 
depending upon the extent of injury, and the desire to avoid a 
blemish if such a feeling exists. The latter is the more efficacious 
plan, no doubt, but blistering will frequently suffice in mild cases. 
If, however, the tendons at the end of a month continue greatly 
enlarged, a cure can hardly be expected without the use of tho 
* irons." 


" Stonehenge " says : 

" Great confusion exists among trainers as to the exact nature 
of this accident, which is considered by the veterinary surgeon to 
consist in an actual rupture of the suspensory ligament, either 
above or below the sesamoid bones, which, in fact, merely separate 
this apparatus of suspension into two portions, just as the patella 
intervenes between the rectus femoris and the tibia. Whichever 
part of the suspensory apparatus is gone (whether the superior or 
inferior sesamoidal ligament is immaterial), the fetlock and pastern 
joints lose their whole inelastic support ; and the flexor tendons, 
together with their ligamentous fibres, which they receive from the 
carpus, giving way, as they must do, to allow of the accident 
taking place, the toe is turned up, and the fetlock-joint bears upon 
the ground. This is a complete ' break down ; ' but there are 
many cases in which the destruction of the ligamentous fibres is 
not complete, and the joint, though much lowered, does not ac- 
tually touch the ground. These are still called breaks down, and 
must be regarded as such, and as quite distinct from strains of the 
flexor tendons. The accident generally occurs in a tired horse, 
when the flexor muscles do not continue to support the ligaments, 
from which circumstance it so often happens in the last few strides 
of a race. The symptoms are a partial or entire giving way of the 
fetlock-joint downwards, so that the back of it either touches the 
ground, or nearly so, when the weight is thrown upon it. Usually, 
however, after the horse is pulled up, he hops on three legs, and 
refuses altogether to put that which is broken down to the ground. 
In a very few minutes the leg " fills " at the seat of the accident, 


and becomes hot and very tender to the touch. There can, there- 
fore, be no doubt as to the nature of the mischief, and the confusion 
to which allusion has been made is one of names rather than of 
facts. Treatment can only be directed to a partial recovery from 
this accident, for a horse broken down in the sense in which the 
term is here used can only be used for stud purposes or at slow 
farm work. A patten shoe should at once be put on after bleed- 
ing at the toe to a copious extent, and then fomentations followed 
by cold lotions should be applied, as directed in the last section. 
As there must necessarily be a deformity of the leg, there can be 
no objection on that score to firing, and when the severe inflam- 
mation following the accident has subsided, this operation should 
be thoroughly performed, so as to afford relief not only by the 
counter-irritation which is set up, and which lasts only for a time, 
but by the rigid and unyielding case which it leaves behind for a 
series of years." 

The hip joint, or round bone, is liable to be strained by the 
hindfeet slipping and being stretched apart, or by blows against 
the side of the stall, when cast, which are not sufficient to dislocate 
the femur, but strain 'its ligaments severely. The consequence is 
an inflammation of the joint, which is evidenced by a dropping of 
one hip in going, the weight being thrown more upon the sound 
side than upon the other. This is especially remarkable on first 
starting, the lameness soon going off in work, but returning at rest. 
The case is a rare one, but when it does happen, it is very apt to 
lead to a wasting of the deep muscles of the haunch, which noth- 
ing but compulsory work will restore to a healthy condition. The 
only treatment necessary in the early stage of strain of the hip-joint 
is rest and cooling diet, etc. ; but, after six weeks or two months, 
a gradual return to work is indispensable to effect a cure. 

Strains op the stifle, independently of blows, are rare. The" 
symptoms are a swelling and tenderness of the joint, which can be as- 
certained by a careful examination ; and on trotting the horse, there 
is manifested a difficulty or stiffness in drawing forward the hindleg 
under the belly. The treatment must be by bleeding and physick- 
ing in the early stage, together with hot fomentations to the part, 
continued every hour until the heat subsides. After a few days, if 
the joint is still painful, a large blister should be applied, or what 
is still better, a seton should be inserted in the skin adjacent. 


The hock itself is liable to strain, independently of the peculiar 
accident known as " curb." When it occurs there is some heat of 
the part, with more or less lameness, and neither spavin, thorough- 
pin, nor curb to account for them. The injury is seldom severe, 
and may be l^lieved by fomentations for a day or two, followed by 
cold lotions, as presented above, for strain of the back sinews. 

The lower part of the posterior surfaee of the os calcis is firmly 
united to the cuboid and external metatarsal bone by two strong 
ligamentous bands, called the calcaneo-cuboid and calcaneo-meta- 
tarsal ligaments. The centre of these ligaments is about seven or 
eight iuches below the point of the hock, and when a soft but 
elastic swelling suddenly makes its appearance there, it may with 
certainty be asserted that a "curb "has been thrown out. The 
accident occurs somewhat suddenly ; but the swelling and inflam- 
mation do not always show themselves until after a night's rest, 
when the part is generally enlarged, hot, and tender. The precise 
extent of the strain is of little consequence ; for whatever its nature 
the treatment should be sufficiently active to reduce the ligaments 
to their healthy condition. Some horses have naturally the head 
of the external small metatarsal bone unusually large, and the 
hock so formed that there is an angle between the large metatarsal 
bone and the tarsus, leaving a prominence, which, however, is hard 
and bony, and not soft and elastic, as is the case with curb. Such 
hocks are generally inclined to throw out curbs ; but there are many 
exceptions, and some of the most suspicious looking joints have 
been known to stand sound for years. Curbs are seldom thrown 
out by very old horses, and usually occur between the commence- 
mence of breaking-in, and the seventh or eighth year, though they 
are not unfrequently met with in the younger colt, being occasioned 
by his gambols over hilly ground. The treatment should at first 
be studiously confined to a reduction of the inflammation ; any 
attempt to procure absorption before this is effected being injurious 
in the extreme. If there is much heat in the part, blood may be 
taken from the thigh vein, the corn should be removed, and a dose 
of physic given as soon as practicable. The curb should then be 
kept wet (by means of a bandage lightly applied) with the lotion 
recommended for capped hocks, and this should be continued until 
the inflammation is entirely gone. During this treatment, in bad 
cases, a patten shoe should be kept on, so as to keep the hock as 


straight as possible, and thus take the strain off the ligaments which 
are affected. After the part has become cool, it may be reduced 
in size, by causing absorption to be set up ; which is best effected by 
the application of mercury and iodine (both of which possess that 
power), in such a shape as to cause a blister of the skin. The 
biniodide of mercury has this double advantage, and there is no 
application known to surgery which will act equally well in effecting 
the absorption of a curb. It should be applied in the mode rec- 
ommended at page 109, and again rubbed on at an interval of 
about a week, for three or four times in succession, when it will 
generally be found that the absorption of the unnatural swelling is 
effected ; but the ligaments remain as weak as before, and nothing 
but exercise (not too severe, or it will inflame them again) will 
strengthen them sufficiently to prevent a return. Friction with the 
hand, aided by a slightly stimulating oil (such as neat's-foot and 
turpentine l^iixed, or neat's-foot and oil of origanum, or, in fact, 
any stimulating essential oil), will tend to strengthen the ligaments, 
by exciting their vessels to throw out additional fibres ; and in the 
course of time a curb may be considered to be sufficiently restored 
to render it tolerably safe to use the horse again in the same way 
which originally produced it. 

By Dislocation is meant the forcible removal of the end of a 
bone from the articulating surface which it naturally occupies. In 
the horse, from the strength of his ligaments, the accident is not 
eommon ; those that do occur being chiefly in the hip-joint, and in 
that between the patella and the end of the femur. 

Dislocation op the hip-joint is known by the rigidity of the 
hindleg, which cannot be moved in any direction, and is carried by 
the horse when he is compelled to attempt to alter his position. 
There is a flatness of the haunch below the hip, but the crest of 
the ilium is still there,, and by this the accident may be diagnosed 
from fracture of that part. No treatment is of the slightest avail, 
as the part cannot be reduced, and the horse is useless except for 
stud purposes. The accident is not very common. 

Dislocation of the patella sometimes becomes habitual, 
occurring repeatedly in the same horse, apparently from a spasmodic 
contraction of the external vastus muscle, which draws the patella 
outwards, and out of the trochlea formed for it in the lower head 
of the femur. When the cramp goes off, the patella drops into its 


place again as soon the horse moves, and no treatment is required. 
Occasionally, however, the dislocation is more complete, and nothing 
but manual dexterity will replace the bone in its proper situation. 
Great pain and uneasiness are expressed, and the operator must 
encircle the haunch with his arms, and lay hold of the patella with 
both hands, while an assistant drags forward the toe, and thus 
relaxes the muscles which are inserted in it. By forcibly driving 
the patella into its place, it may be lifted over the ridge which it 
has passed, and a snap announces the reduction. 

The khee is the joint most frequently suffering from wound, 
being liable to be cut by a fall upon it, if the ground is rough ; 
and if the accident takes place when the horse is going at a rapid 
pace, the skin, ligaments and tendons may be worn through by 
friction against the plain surface of a smooth turnpike road. 
Whether the joint itself is injured, or only the skin, the accident 
is called a " broken knee," and for convenience sake, it will be well 
to consider both under the present head. 

When a broken knee consists merely in an abrasion of the skin, 
the attention of the groom is solely directed to the restoration of 
the hair, which will grow again as well as ever, if the bulbs or 
roots are not injured. These are situated in the internal layer of 
the true skin, and, therefore, whenever there is a smooth red sur- 
face displayed, without any difference in the texture of its parts, a 
confident hope may be expressed that there will be no blemish. If 
the skin is penetrated, either the glistening surface of the tendons 
or ligaments is apparent, or there is a soft layer of cellular mem- 
brane, generally containing a fatty cell or two in the middle of the 
wound of the skin. Even here, by proper treatment, the injury 
may be repaired so fully, that the space uncovered by hair cannot 
be recognized by the ordinary observer, and not by any one with- 
out bending the knee and looking very carefully at it. The best 
treatment is to foment the knee well with water, so as to remove 
every particle of grit or dirt ; go on with this every hour during 
the first day, and at night apply a bran poultice to the knee, which 
should be left on till the next morning. Then cleanse the wound, 
and apply a little spermacetti ointment, or lard without salt, and 
with this keep the wound pliant until it heals, which if slight it 
will in a few days. If the skin is pierced there will generally be a 
growth above it of red flabby granulations, which should be care- 


fully kept down to its own level ^not beneath it), by the daily use 
of blue stone, or, if necessary, of nitrate of silver. As soon as the 
wound is perfectly healed, if the horse can be spared, the whole 
front of the knee and skin should be dressed with a mild blister, 
which will bring off the hair of the adjacent parts, and also en- 
courage the growth of that injured by the fall. In about three 
weeks or a month from its application, the leg will pass muster, 
for there will be no difference in the color of the old and new hair 
as there would have been without the blister, and the new will also 
have come on more quickly and perfectly than it otherwise would. 
When the joint itself is opened the case is more serious, and 
there is a risk not only of a serious blemish, which can seldom be 
avoided, but of a permanent stiffness of the leg, the mischief some- 
times being sufficient to lead to constitutional fever, and the local 
inflammation going on to the destruction of the joint by anchylosis. 
The treatment should be directed to cleanse and then close the 
joint, the former object being carried out by a careful ablution 
with warm water, continued until there is no doubt of all the dirt 
and grit having been removed. Then, if there is only a very small 
opening in the capsular ligament, it may be closed by a careful 
and light touch of a pointed iron heated to a red heat. Generally, 
however, it is better to apply some dry carded cotton to the 
wound, and a bandage over this, leaving all on for four or five days, 
when it may be removed and reapplied. The horse should be bled 
largely and physicked, taking care to prevent all chance of his 
lying down by racking him up. He will seldom attempt to do 
this, on account of the pain occasioned in bending the knee, but 
some animals will disregard this when tired, and will go down 
somehow. When the cotton is reapplied, if there are granulations 
above the level of the skin, they must be kept down as recom- 
mended in the last paragraph, and the subsequent treatment by 
blister may be exactly the same. By these means a very exten- 
sive wound of the knee may be often speedily cured, and the 
blemish will be comparatively trifling. 

The knee is sometimes punctured by a thorn, causing great 
pain and lameness. If it can be felt externally, it is well to cut 
down upon it and remove it ; but groping in the dark with the 
knife among important tendons in front of the knee should 
not be attempted. The knee should be well fomented, five or six 


times a day, until Hhe swelling, if there is any, subsides, and, in 
process of time, the thorn will either show its base, or it will grad, 
ually free itself from all its attachments, and lie beneath the skin, 
fjom which position it may be safely extracted with the knife. 




Internal diseases — Catarrh — Distemper— Bronchitis— Chronie cough— Roar- 
ing and whistling— Pneumonia — Congestion— Pleurisy— Broken wind — 
Phthisis — Bleeding at the noae. 

We have hitherto been dealing with diseases and difficulties 
whose presence is indicated by some external sign, visible to the 
eye, or to be detected by feeling. We now come to a class of not 
less important evils, which are strictly internal, and although their 
effects may be visible in emaciation, or other indications of bad 
condition, their nature, locality and extent can only be judged of 
by actual trial and careful observation, and this will be necessary 
to determine their treatment even after their character has been 
sufficiently announced. 

There is nothing more important than that a horse's wind should 
be sound. No matter how perfect may be his other machinery, 
» if his respiratory organs are out of order, his elegant shape and 
serviceable limbs become of little account if he has " bellows to 
mend." The inexperienced observer will here meet with special 
difficulties, and will do well to pay careful heed to such hints as 
we are about to give him. 

Diseases of the chest are of a most deceptive and treacherous 
nature, and may gain very dangerous headway before they give 
any external signs that would be detected except by a practised 
horseman, but in most of them the first symptoms are a disturb- 
ance or difficulty in breathing. These may be manifest even when 
the horse is quiet, but in some forms are only developed by ac- 
tion. During or immediately after a sharp trot or gallop the 
breathing will be very apt to " speak for itself." 

Dr. Walsch says : 

" Catarbh may be considered under two points of view ; either 
as an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nasal cavities, 
accompanied by slight general fever ; or as an ephemeral fever of 


three or four days' duration, complicated with this condition of the 
nose. The latter is, perhaps, the more scientific definition, but 
for common purposes it is more convenient to consider it as mainly 
consisting in the most prominent symptom. There is invariably 
some degree.of feverishness, sometimes very considerable, at others 
so slight as to be easily passed over. Usually the pulse is accele- 
rated to about forty or fifty, the appetite is impaired, and there is 
often sore throat, with more or less cough. On examining the 
interior of the nostrils, they are more red than natural, at first dry 
and swollen, then bedewed with a watery discharge which soon 
becomes yellow, thick, and, in bad cases, purulent. The eyes are 
generally involved, their conjunctival coat being injected with 
blood, and often some slight weeping takes place, but there is 
always an expression of sleepiness or dulness, partly owing to the 
local condition of the organ, and partly to the general impairment 
of the health. The disease is caused, in most instances by a chill, 
cither in the stable or out, but sometimes, even in the mildest form, 
it appears to be epidemic. The treatment will greatly depend upon 
the severity of the seizure ; usually, a bran-mash containing from 
six drachms to one ounce of powdered nitre in it, at night, for two 
or three consecutive periods, will suffice, together with the abstrac- 
tion of corn, and, if the bowels are confined, a mild dose of physic 
6hould be given. In more severe cases, when there is cough and 
considerable feverishness, a ball composed of the following ingre- 
dients may be given every night : — 

Take of Nitrate of Potass 2 drachms. 

Tartarized Antimony 1 " 

Powdered Digitalis M " 

Camphor 1# " 

Linseed meal and boiling water enough to make into a ball. 

" If the throat is sore, an embrocation of equal parts of oil, tur- 
pentine, tincture of cantharides, and hartshorn, may be rubbed in 
night and morning. 

" Should the disease extend to the bronchial tubes, or substance 
of the lungs, the treatment for bronchitis or pneumonia must be 

" The stable should be kept cool, taking care to make up for the 
difference in temperature by putting on an extra rug ; water should 
be allowed ad libitum, and no corn should be given. 


" Somenmes the discharge becomes chronic, and it is then known 
by the name ozena. 

" Influenza, or distemper, maybe considered to be an epidemic 
catarrh, but the symptoms are generally more severe, and -leave 
greater prostration of strength behind them. They also require 
more careful treatment, which must be specially adapted to the 
attack, for remedies which will arrest the disease in one year will 
totally fail the next time that the epidemic prevails. The fever 
of late years has had a tendency to put on the typhoid type, 
and bleeding, which formerly was often beneficial, is now com- 
pletely forbidden. The symptoms are at first similar to those 
already described as pertaining to common catarrh, but after a few 
days the accompanying fever is more severe than usual, and does 
not abate at the customary period. The appetite is altogether lost, 
and the appearance of the patient is characteristic of severe 
disease rather than of a trifling cold. It is, however, chiefly from 
the fact that a number of horses are seized with similar symptoms, 
either at the same time or rapidly following one another, that the 
disease is recognized. 'It usually prevails in the spring of the year, 
or in a wet and unhealthy autumn. Sometimes almost every case 
runs on to pneumonia, at others the bronchial mucous membrane 
alone is attacked; but in all there is extreme debility in proportion 
to the apparent nature of the disease. The ordinary appearances 
exhibited in recent epidemics have been as follows:— The first 
thing observed is a general slight shivering, accompanied by a 
staring coat. The pulse is weak and slightly accelerated, but not 
to any great extent ; . the mouth feels hot ; the eyes and the nostrils 
are red ; the belly is tucked up ; there is no appetite ; cough, to a 
varying extent, begins to show itself ; and there is generally a 
heaving of the flanks. The legs and feet are not cold as in pneu- 
monia, but beyond this they afford no positive signs. The cellu- 
lar membrane around the eyes and of the legs, generally swells 
about the second day, and often the head and limbs become quite 
shapeless from this cause. In the early stage the bowels are often 
relaxed, but afterwards they are as frequently confined. Sere 
throat is a very common complication, but it is not by any means 
an invariable attendant on influenza. It is, however, somewhat 
difficult to ascertain its existence, as in any case there is no appetite 
for food. The treatment should be conducted on the principle of 


husbanding the strength, and, unless urgent symptoms of inflam- 
mation show themselves, the less that is done the better. If the 
trachea or larynx is involved only slightly, counter-irritation, by 
means of a liquid blister, must be tried, without resorting to strong 
internal medicines ; but if serious mischief ensues, the case must, to 
a certain extent, be treated as it would be when coming on without 
. the complication of influenza, always taking care to avoid bleeding, 
and merely acting on the bowels by gentle aperients, and on the 
skin and kidneys by the mildest diaphoretic and diuretic. The 
following is the ordinary plan of treatment adopted : 

Take of Spirit of Nitric Ether I oz. 

Laudanum 4 drachms. 

Nitrate of Potass . , 3 drachms. 

"Water 1 pint. 

Mix, and give as a drench, night and morning. 

" By constantly offering to the horse thin gruel (taking care that it 
does not become sour), and no plain water, sufficient nourishment 
may be given, as his thirst will induce him to drink. 

" During the stage of convalescence the greatest care must be 
taken. At first, as soon as the cough has somewhat subsided, a 
mild stomachic ball will be desirable, such as 

Take of Extract of Gentian 6 drachms. 

Powdered Ginger 2 drachms. Mix. 

Afterwards, if the case goes on favorably, and the appetite returns, 
the restoration may be left to nature, giving the horse by degrees 
his usual allowance of corn, and adding to his morning and evening 
feed one drachm of sulphate of iron in fine powder. It must not 
be attempted to give this until the appetite is pretty keen or the 
horse will be disgusted, and will probably refuse his corn alto- 

" Should typhoid symptoms be clearly established, the case must 
be treated according to the directions hereafter laid down for 
typhus fever. 

" Bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane lining 
the bronchi, and almost invariably extending to these parts through 
the trachea, from the larynx and nasal passages, which are pri- 
marily affected as in ordinary cold. The membrane in the early 
stage becomes filled with blood, and as a consequence the diameter 
of the tubes Is diminished, attended by some difficulty, and in- 


creased rapidity of breathing. After a time a frothy mucous is 
poured out from it, and this still further interferes with respiration, 
and necessitates a constant cough to get rid of it. These symptoms 
are always present, hut they will vary greatly in intensity, and in 
the rapidity with which they progress, from which circumstances 
bronchitis is said to be acute or chronic, as the case may be. In the 
acute form there are also several variations, and veterinary writers 
are in the habit of again subdividing it into acute and sub-acute, 
but the two leading divisions are sufficient for all practical purposes. 
It begins with the usual premonitory appearances of a severe cold, 
accompanied by a staring coat, and entire loss of appetite. The 
breathing is somewhat quicker than natural, and the pulse is raised 
to sixty or seventy. The legs remain of the usual temperature, 
and there is a hard dry cough, the lining membrane of the nostrils 
being intensely red, and in severe cases dry and swollen. On 
auscultation there is a dry rattling sound, very different from the 
crepitation of pneumonia, and as soon as mucous is secreted, suc- 
ceeded by gurgling, and, soap-bubble sounds, easily distinguished 
when once heard. If the attack goes on favorably, the cough 
becomes loose, and there is a free discharge of mucous, both from 
the lungs, as evidenced by fhe nature of the cough, and from the 
nostrils as shown by the running from them. On the other hand, 
the promise is unfavorable when the breathing is very laborious, 
with the legs extended, and the cough constant and ineffectual in 
affording relief. Should no relief be afforded, death takes place a 
a week or ten days after the onset of the disease, from suffocation. 
The treatment should depend greatly upon the urgency of the in- 
flammation, which only an experienced eye can judge of. If slight 
nitre and tartar emetic internally, and a blister (to one or both 
sides, according to the extent of bronchi involved), will suffice, but 
in very severe cases blood must be taken at the onset, or it will be 
impossible to control the inflammation. Bleeding should be 
avoided if it is judged prudent to do so, for of late years the type 
of diseases has changed so much in the horse, that he is found to 
bear loss of blood badly. Nevertheless, it is not wise to lay down 
the rule that it is never desirable. The bowels must be acted on by 
the ordinary physic ball, resorting to raking and clysters, if the 
time cannot be afforded for the usual laxative preparation. For 


the special control of the morbid state of the membrane the fol- 
lowing ball will be found advantageous ; 

Take of Digitalis •.......,..# drachm. 

Calomel X drachm. 

Tartar Emetic 60 to 80 grains 

Nitre 2 drachms. 

Mix with treacle, and give twice a day. 

Should the disease continue after the blister is healed, a large seton 
may be put in one or both sides with advantage. 

" Chronic bronchitis seldom exists except as a sequel to the 
acute form, and after adopting the balls recommended for that 
state, it may be treated by attention to the general health, a seton 
in the side, and the exhibition of an expectorant ball twice a day, 
composed of the following materials : 

Take of Gum Ammoniacum % oz. 

Powdered Squill 1 drachm. 

Castile Soap . . 2 drachms. 

Mix and make into a ball. 

By chronic cough is understood a cough that comes on without 
any fever or evidences of the horse having taken cold. It differs 
in this respect from chronic bronchitis, which generally supervenes 
upon the acute form, and is always attended in the early stage by 
feverishness. It appears probable that chronic cough is dependent 
upon an unnatural stimulus to the mucous membrane, for it almost 
always makes its appearance when much corn is given without due 
preparation, and ceases on a return to green food. It is, therefore, 
very commonly termed a stomach cough. The symptoms are all 
summed up in the presence of a dry cough, which is seldom mani- 
fested while in the stable, but comes on whenever the breathing is 
hastened by any pace beyond a walk. Two or three coughs are 
then given, and the horse perhaps is able to go on with his work, 
but after resting for a few minutes, and again starting, it comes on 
again, and annoys the rider or driver by its tantalizing promise of 
disappearance followed by disappointment. Very often this kind 
of cough is caused by the irritation of worms, but any kind of dis- 
order of the digestive organs appears to have the power of pro- 
ducing it. The usual treatment for chronic bronchitis seems here 
to be quite powerless, and the only plan of proceeding likely to be 
attended with success, is to look for the cause of the irritation, and 
remove it. Sometimes this will be found in a hot stable, the horse 


having previously been accustomed to a cool one. Here the alter- 
ation of the temperature by ten or fifteen degrees wilt in a few days 
effect a cure, and nothing else is required. Again, it may be that 
the corn has been overdone, in which case a gentle dose of physic, 
followed by a diminished allowance of corn, and a bran-mash twice 
a week, will be successful. If the stomach is much disordered, 
green food will be the best stimulus to a healthy condition, or in 
its absence a few warm cordial balls may be tried. The existence 
of worms should be ascertained in doubtful cases, and if they are 
present, the proper remedies must be given for their removal. 
Linseed oil and spirit of turpentine, which are both excellent worm 
remedies, are highly recommended in chronic cough, and whether 
or not their good effect is due to their antagonism to worms, they 
may be regarded as specially useful. 

" A very successful combination is the following mixture : 

Take of Spirit of Turpentine . . . . 2 oz. 

Mucilage of Acacia .... 6 " 

Gum Ammoniacum . . . . % " 

Laudanum " . 4 " 

Water 2 quarts. 

Mix, and give half a pint, as a drench, every night ; the bottle must be 
well shaken before pouring out the dose. 


" One of the most common diseases among horses, is the existence 
of some mechanical impediment to the passage of the air into the 
lungs, causing the animal to " make a noise." The exact nature of 
the sound has little practical bearing on the cause that produces it ; 
that is to say, it cannot be predicated that roaring is produced by 
laryngitis ; nor that whistling is the result of a palsy of some par- 
ticular muscle, but undoubtly it may safely be asserted that all 
lesions of the larynx, by which the shape and area of its opening 
are altered and diminished, are sure to have a prejudicial effect 
upon the wind, and either to produce roaring, whistling, wheezing, 
or trumpeting, but which would result it might be difficult to say, 
although the precise condition of the larynx were known, which it 
cannot be during life. Until recently veterinary surgeons were 
puzzled by often finding on examination of a roarer's larynx after 
death, no visible organic change in the opening, and many were led 
to imagine that this part could not be the seat of the disease. On 
a careful dissection, however, it is found that a muscle or muscles 


whoso office it is to dilate the larynx is wasted and flabby. The 
other muscles are perhaps equally atrophied, but as their office is 
to close the opening, their defects are not equally injurious, and 
at all events are not shown by producing an unnatural noise. 

" By acute laryngitis is meant a more than ordinary inflam- 
mation of the larynx, and not that slightly morbid condition in 
which the mucous membrane of that organ is always involved in 
" the passage of a cold into the chest." In the latter state the ear 
detects no unusual sound, and indeed there is plenty of room for 
the air to pass. But in true laryngitis, on placing the ear near the 
throat, a harsh rasping sound is heard, which is sufficient at once 
to show the nature and urgency of the symptoms. The mucous 
membrane is swollen, and tinged with blood ; the rima glottidis is 
almost closed, and the air in passing through it produces the sound 
above described, which, however, is sometimes replaced by a 
hissing one. In conjunction with these well marked symptoms 
there is always a hoarse cough of a peculiar character, and some 
considerable fever, with frequent respiration, and a hard, wiry 
pulse of seventy to eighty. The treatment must be of the most' 
active kind, for not only is life threatened, but even if a fatal result 
does not take place, there is great danger of permanent organic 
mischief to the delicate apparatus of the larynx generally from the 
effusion of lymph into the submucous cellular membrane. A full 
bleeding should at once be practised, and repeated at the end of 
twelve hours if there is no relief afforded and the pulse still con- 
tinues hard. The - hair should be cut off the throat, and the tinc- 
ture of cantharides brushed on in a pure state until a blister arises, 
when the part may be constantly well fomented, to encourage the 
discharge. Large doses of tartar emetic, calomel, and digitalis, 
must also be given, but their amount and frequency should be left 
to an experienced veterinarian, the preliminary bleeding and blister- 
ing being done in his absence to save time. It is a case in which 
medicine must be pushed as far as can be done with safety, and 
this cannot well be left to any one who is not well acquainted with 
its effects, and with the powers of the animal economy. Gruel is 
the only food allowed during the acute stage, and there is seldom 
time to have Tecourse to aperient physic until the urgent symp- 
toms are abated, when an ordinary dose may be given. During 
convalescence the greatest care must be taken to prevent a relapse, 


by avoiding all excitement either by stmulating food or fast ex 

"Chronic laryngitis may occur as the result of the acute form 
above described, or it may come on gradually, without any violent 
inflammation preceding it. In either case the symptoms are similar 
in their nature to those met in the acute form, but less in degree. 
The noise made is not nearly so harsh, and can often hardly be 
heard on the most careful examination. The peculiar harsh, grating 
cough is, however, always present, and by it the nature of the case 
may generally be easily made out. The disease often accompanies 
strangles, although in nine cases out of ten it is overlooked. Very 
commonly, however, it makes its ravages in so insidious a manner 
that no suspicion is felt of its presence, until the horse begins to 
make a noise, though he must in all probability have shown by tho 
cough peculiar to the complaint, that it has been working its way 
for some weeks at least." 

Whatever may be the cause there can be no doubt that the treat- 
ment is most troublesome, and often baffles the skill of the most 
accomplished veterinarian. Blistering is not so useful as counter-ir- 
ritation by a seton, which must be inserted in the loose skin beneath 
the jaw, as close as possible to the larynx. This alone will do 
much towards the cure, but no pains must be spared to assist its 
action by a cooling regimen, consisting of bran-mashes, and if in 
the spring or summer, green food, or in the winter, carrots. Corn 
must be entirely forbidden, and the kidneys should be encouraged 
to act freely by two or three drachms of nitre given in the mash 
twice a day. When the case is very intractable, the nitrate of 
silver may be applied to the part itself by means of a sponge fast- 
ened to a piece of flexible cane or whalebone. The mouth should 
then be kept open with the ordinary balling iron, and the sponge 
rapidly passed to the situation of the top of the larynx, and held 
there for a second, and then withdrawn. 

Dr. Walsch says : 

" Roaring is the bugbear of the purchaser at the hammer, and 
not without good reason. The most experienced veterinarian, or 
dealer, will often fail to ascertain its existence, in spite of all the 
artifices he may call into play. Not the slightest sound is heard 
during a state of quiescence, or even when the horse is trotted or 
galloped for the short distance which " the ride " will afford. The 


blow on the side given with due artistic effect elicits no grunt, and 
yet the animal is a confirmed roarer, and not worth a shilling per- 
haps for the purpose to which he is intended to be devoted. On 
the other hand, many a sound horse is condemned as a roarer for 
giving out the obnoxious grunt ; and though there is no doubt that 
this sign may be relied on in a great many cases, yet it cannot be 
accepted as either negatively or positively a certain proof. The 
only real trial is the noiseless gallop on turf or plough, when the 
ear can detect the slightest sound, and can distinguish its exact 
nature, and the precise spot from which it proceeds. Many a 
horse will, when he is excited, make a harsh noise in his breathing, 
accompanied by a kind of " gluck," proceeding from a spasmodic 
flapping of the velum palati ; but on galloping him all this goes 
off, and he may probably exhibit excellent wind. Such cases I 
have many times known, and they would be condemned as unsound 
by those who have had little experience, or are content with a 
careless and inefficient trial. Stallions are particularly prone to 
make this kind of noise, and it is extremely difficult to ascertain 
their soundness in this respect by any means which can be safely 
resorted to. The causes of roaring are of three kinds : 1st, in- 
flammation, which has left a thickening or ulceration of the mucous 
membrane, or a fungous growth from it ; 2d, paralysis of the mus- 
cles ; and 3d, an alteration of the shape of the cartilages of the 
larynx, produced by tight reining. 

" In roaring produced by an ulcerated or thickened condition of the 
mucous membrane, or by a fungous growth, the sound elicited is 
always the same in proportion to the rapidity of respiration. None 
of the ordinary expedients by which the breath is introduced in a 
modified stream (such as a full meal, or pressure on the nostrils or 
windpipe), will be of much avail, and the horse roars sturdily 
whenever his pace is sufficiently accelerated. If a horse so affected 
can be made to grunt by the blow on the side, the sound will 
always indicate the disease, for it will be harsh and rough, and not 
the natural grunt of the animal. It Is usually supposed that no 
treatment can be of the slightest avail here. 

" Setons, blisters, and embrocations are all useless, as has been 
proved in numberless cases ; and beyond the palliation which can 
be afforded by employing the horse only at such a pace as bis state 
will allow, nothing else can be suggested.) 


" Wlicre paralysis of the muscles that open the rirua glottidis is the 
seat of the roaring, no plan has yet been suggested which is of the 
slightest avail. 

" An alteration in the shape of the cartilages, so as to permanent- 
ly change their form, is, I believe, the least common of all the causes 
of r.'Ki ing. Pressure for a very long time will be required to 
efibct this, and far more than suffices to paralyze the nerve. Cases, 
however, are recorded, and the parts have been preserved, so that 
there can be no doubt of their occasional occurrence. No treat- 
ment can be of the slightest service 

" Although roaring, in all its varieties, may be said to be gener- 
ally incurable, yet it may be greatly palliated by general attention 
to the state of the lungs and stomach, by proper food." 

" Highblowing is a perfectly healthy and natural habit, and can- 
not be confounded with roaring by any experienced horseman. 
It is solely confined to the nostrils ; and the noise is not produced 
in the slightest degree during inspiration, but solely during the 
expulsion of the air, which is more forcible and rapid than usual, 
and accompanied by "a vibratory movement of the nostrils, which 
is the seat of the noise. Roaring, on the contrary, continues dur- 
ing inspiration, as well as expiration ; and by this simple test the 
two may readily be distinguished. Most highblowers have par- 
ticularly good wind, of which the celebrated Eclipse is an exam- 
ple, for there is no doubt that he was addicted to the habit. 

Whistling (and piping, which is very similar to it), are pro- 
duced by the same causes as roaring, in an exaggerated condition. 
Thus, a roarer often becomes a whistler as the rima glottidis is more 
and more closed by disease ; on the other hand, the whistler is 
never converted into a roarer. The noise made is seldom a decid- 
edly shrill whistle, but it has more resemblance to that sound than 
to roaring, and the name may well be retained, as descriptive of it. 
Whistlers are always in such a state of confirmed disease, that 
treatment is out of the question — indeed, they can only be put to 
the very slowest kind of work. 

" Wheezing is indicative of a contracted condition of the bron 
chial tubes, which is sometimes of a spasmodic nature, and at others 
is only brought on during occasional attacks after exposure to 
cold. The treatment should be that recommended for chronic 


bronchitis, which is the nature of the disease producing theso 

Pneumonia, or peripneumonia, must be examined, with a view, 
first, to its intensity, whether acute or sub-acule • awl secondly, as 
to its effects, which may be of little consequence, or they may be 
so serious as to completely destroy the subsequent usefulness of 
the patient. It is not, therefore, alone necessary to provide against 
death by the treatment adopted, but due care must also be taken 
that the tissue of the lungs is not disorganized by a deposition of 
lymph, or of matter, so as to lead in the one case, to a consolidation 
of their air-cells, and in the other, to the formation of a large 
abscess, and consequent destruction of substance. The former is 
a very common sequel of pneumonia. In very severe cases, gan- 
grene of the lungs is induced : but as death almost always speedily 
follows this condition, it is not necessary to consider it, excepting 
as bearing upon the fatal result. 

The cause of pneumonia may be over-exertion, or it may come on 
as a primary disease after exposure to cold ; or it may follow upon 
bronchitis when neglected and allowed to run on without check. 
For these reasons when the lungs are evidently congested, no pains 
should bi spared to relieve them by causing the skin to act, before 
the aid of nature is invoked, since it can never be certain that she 
will stop short at the proper point. 

Congestion of the lungs is too often neglected and allowed to 
go on to inflammation. Veterinary surgeons, indeed, are seldom 
called in before this stage has run its course and inflammation is 
established. The great mass of horse-masters are wholly ignorant 
of its action, and we shall therefore endeavor to lay down instruc- 
tions which may be beneficial to those who are so unlucky as to 
have a horse with congested lungs, either caused by over-exertion, 
or by a chill, or by a combination of the two, as most frequently 

When a horse is put to too severe and rapid, especially too sud- 
den and heating labor, when he is too high in flesh, or when he is 
but just up from pasture, and has had no opportunity of accus- 
toming himself to the changed order of things, the blood is apt to 
collect and stagnate in his lungs, from a defect in the circulating 
apparatus, and he becomes absolutely choked from a want of that 
decarbonization which is necessary to his existence. He respires 


freely, but circulation in his lungs almost ceases, and in spite of 
his hurried panting he is almost as completely suffocated as if a cord 
was tied around his neck. His eyes and nostrils become bloodshot 
and purple, the vessels being filled with carbonized blood, his heart 
beats feebly, and his every motion and the expression of his face 
indicates his distress. Many books on horsemanship recommend 
copious bleeding, and in slight cases it may do very little harm. 
Even in them it will do no good, and in severer cases it will destroy 
the only chance remaining. What the horse wants is not so much 
depletion as stimulation. Turn his head to the wind ; bathe his 
head and chest in cold water ; give him some mild whiskey and 
water, a quart of that or of ale, and let him stand still awhile. 
Then lead him to the nearest good shelter, and leave him there for 
a good rest. This is the best way of treating this description of 

Dr. Walsch prescribes as follows : 

" When congestion shows itself as the result of a chill, the fol- 
lowing symptoms are displayed : — First and foremost there is rapid 
and laborious breathing, the horse standing with his legs wide 
apart, his head thrust straight forward, and his flanks heaving. 
The skin is generally dry, but if there is any sweat it is a cold one. 
The legs are icy cold, and also the ears. The whites of the eyes 
and lining of the nostrils are of a purplish hue, but not very deep 
in color. The pulse is slightly accelerated (from forty to fifty), but 
not hard and incomprehensible ; and lastly, the attack is of recent 
duration. These signs, however, are not to be fully relied on as 
marking congestion rather than inflammation, without having re- 
course to an examination of the lungs by means of the ear. 
Placing it against the side of the chest, in inflammation there would 
be certain marked sounds, presently to be described, whilst in the 
state we are now considering they are wholly absent, and all that 
is heard is the usual respiratory murmur slightly increased in in- 
tensity. It is of the utmost importance to make out exactly the 
nature of the case, for the treatment should be very different in 
congestion and inflammation. If in the former condition the blood 
can only be drawn into the skin, relief is at once afforded, and all 
danger is at an end ; but in the latter, though some slight advan- 
tage would be gained, the progress of the disease would not be 
materially checked. To produce this determination of blood to the 

AND H0113E DOCTOR, 149 

akin "without loss of time, is sometimes very difficult ; but by the 
application of hot water and blankets it may generally be accom- 
plished. Two men, supplied with a tub of very hot water and 
plenty of clothing, should be rapid in their movements, and pro- 
ceed as follows : — Have an assistant ready to strip the patient when 
ordered, then, dipping a blanket in the water, it is taken out and 
partially wrung, leaving as much water in its meshes as it can hold 
without dripping ; as soon as it is cool enough for the human hand 
to bear its pressure, it should be gently but quickly laid upon the 
horse's back, and the rug, which has just come off, while still warm, 
placed over it, with two or three more over all, the number de- 
pending upon the temperature of the air. Another smaller rug 
may in the same way be wetted, and applied to the neck, covering 
it with two or three hoods, but taking care to avoid pressure upon 
the windpipe. The legs also should be wrapped in flannel band- 
ages made as hot as possible before the fire, but dry. In the 
course of half an hour, if the skin of the parts uncovered does not 
become warm, and show evidences of sweating coming on, another 
rug must be dipped in the same way, and substituted quickly for 
the first. Usually, however, the desired effect is produced within 
twenty minutes, and then great care and some little tact are re- 
quired to manage the operation. If the sweating Is allowed to go 
on beyond a certain point, exhaustion is produced, attended by 
almost as much danger as inflammation ; while on the other hand, 
in attempting to moderate the action of the skin, risk is incurred 
of a chill, and thus upsetting all the benefit which might otherwise 
have been derived. But by throwing open the doors to the external 
air, which may freely be admitted as soon as the skin acts, and by 
reducing the number of additional rugs, the amount of sweat 
given off may be kept within due bounds, and in the course of two 
or three hours the previously wetted rug or'blanket may be removed 
and a dry, warm one substituted for it, but the assistants must be 
quick and handy in effecting the change. Many a case of inflam- 
mation of the lungs, kidneys, or bowels might be stopped at once 
by the adoption of this plan ; but the misfortune is, that it requires 
all the skill and tact of the veterinary surgeon, first of all to un- 
derstand the case, and afterwards to manage its treatment. 

" The symptoms of acute pneumonia are a quick and distressed 
respiration, averaging about sixty inspirations in the minute. 


Pulse quick (from seventy to eighty-five) ; hard, often small, but 
always compressible. Nostrils distended, and the lining membrane 
red (except in the last stage when suffocation is imminent). Cough 
short, and evidently giving pain, which occasions it to be checked 
as much as possible. Legs and ears generally cold, often icy. Feet 
wide apart ; evidently with an instinctive desire to diiate the chest 
as much as possible. On putting the ear to the chest, if the attack 
is very recent, there will be merely a greatly increased respiratory 
murmur ; but when fully developed there maybe heard a crepitant 
rattling, which is compared to the crackling of a dried bladder ; 
but I confess that I could never make out the similarity between 
the two sounds. In the later stages this is succeeded by an ab- 
sence of all sound, owing to the consolidation of the lungs, or by 
mucous rattles depending upon the secretion of raucous. On tap- 
ping the exterior of the chest with the ends of the fingers 
(percussion), the sound given out is dull in proportion to the 
extent of mischief, the effect of pneumonia being to convert the. 
spongy texture of the lungs into a solid substance like liver. The 
treatment will greatly depend upon the stage of the disease, the age 
and constitution of the horse, and the nature of the prevailing 
epidemic, if there is one. In modern days bleeding is very badly 
borne, either by man or horse, nevertheless few cases of genuine 
pneumonia will be saved without it. Sufficient blood must be taken 
to make a decided impression on the circulation, without which the 
inflammation will not be mastered. The quantity necessary for 
this cannot be fixed, because the effect will vary so materially, that 
the abstraction of three or four quarts of blood in one case will 
do more than double or treble that quanity in another. A large 
orifice must be made in the vein, and it must not be closed until 
the lining membrane of the nose or the white of the eye is seen to 
have become considerably paler. It may possibly even then be 
necessary to repeat the operation six hours afterwards, or next day, 
according to the symptoms. The rule should be followed of taking 
enough, but not a drop too much, for blood removed from the cir- 
culation takes a long time to replace. With regard to medicine, 
tartar emetic is the only drug which seems to have much influence 
over pneumonia, and it must be given every six hours in drachm 
doses, with from a half drachm to a drachm of powdered digitalis, or 
white hellebore, to keep down the pulse, and two or three drachms 


of nitre, to increase the action of th kidneys. Unless the bowels 
are confined no aperient should be given, and if necessary only the 
mildest dose should be used. The diet should consist of bran 
mashes, gruel, and a little hay, or green food, if the season of the 
year allows. A cool airy stable, and warm clothing are indispen- 
sable in this disease. When the first violence of the attack has 
subsided, a large blister on the side of the chest will afford great 
relief, and when it ceases to act if the disease is not entirely cured, 
a second may be put on the other side. 

■' Sub -acute pneumonia differs in no respect from the acute 
form, excepting in degree, and the symptoms and treatment will 
vary only in proportion." 

Pleurisy is characterized by a very peculiar respiration, the 
expirations bsing much longer than the inspirations, owing to the 
pain which is given by the action of the muscles necessary for the 
latter, while the former, if the chest is allowed quietly to fall, is 
almost painless. Nevertheless, the breathing is quicker on the 
whole than natural. The pulse is quick, small, and incompressible. 
Nostrils and eyes of a natural color, and the former are not dilated. 
The countenance is anxious, and the legs are rather drawn to- 
gether than extended, as in bronchitis and pneumonia, and they 
are not colder than usual. There is a short hurried cough, with 
great restlessness, and the sides are always painful on pressure ; but 
this symptom by itself is not to be relied on, as it is present in 
pleurodynia, which will be presently described. 

The treatment should consist of copious bleeding, followed by a 
mild purgative, and the same ball as recommended for pneumonia, 
with the addition of half a drachm of calomel. Blisters are not 
desirable to be applied to the sides of the thorax, as there is so 
little space between the two surfaces of the pleura and the skin 
that they are apt to do harm by immediately irritating the former, 
rather than to act beneficially by counter-irritation of the skin. A 
large rowel may, however, be placed in the breast with advantage. 

Between pleurodynia and the last there is some similarity in 
the symptoms ; but in their nature, and in the treatment required, 
they are widely separated. It is therefore necessary that they 
should not be confounded, for in the one case, blood-letting and 
other active measures may be unnecessarily adopted, and in the 
other a fatal result will most probably occur for want of them. 


In pleuritis there is a quick pulse, with general constitutional dis- 
turbance, which will serve to distinguish it from pleurodynia, be- 
sides which, it is rarely that we meet with the former without some 
other affection of the lungs co-existing. When, therefore, a horse 
is evidently suffering from acute pain in the walls of the thorax, 
unaccompanied by cough hurried breathing, quick pulse or fever, 
it may safely be gathered that the nature of the attack is a rheu- 
matism of the intercostal muscles (pleurodynia), and not pleurisy. 
In treating it, bleeding and tartar emetic must be carefully avoided, 
and hot mustard and vinegar rubbed into the sides will be the most 
likely remedy to afford relief. 

When a horse has long been subject to a chronic cough, and, 
without losing appetite, wastes away rapidly, it may be assumed 
that he is a victim to phthisis, and especially if he is narrow- 
chested and has long shown signs of short'wind. On examining 
the chest by the ear, it will be found to give out sounds of various 
kinds, depending upon the exact state of the lungs ; but in most 
cases there will be great dulness on percussion, owing to the 
deposit of tubercles, in which the disease consists. In a confirmed 
case no treatment will avail, and the poor animal had better be 
destroyed. When the attack is slight, the progress of the disease 
may be stayed by, counteracting inflammation in the ordinary way, 
avoiding loss of blood when possible. 

A broken- winded horse can be detected at once by any horse- 
man possessed of experience, from the peculiar and forcible 
double expiration. Inspiration is performed as usual, then comes 
a rapid but not violent act of expiration, followed by a forcible 
repetition of the same, in which all the muscles of respiration, 
auxiliary and ordinary, are called into play. This is of course 
most marked when the horse has been galloped, but even when 
he is at rest the double expiration is manifest almost at any ordi- 
nary distance from the observer. The disease almost (if not quite) 
invariably consists in emphysema, or entrance of the air into un- 
natural cells, which is retained there, as the urine is in the bladder, 
from the valvular nature of the openings, and cannot be entirely 
expelled, nor in the slightest degree, without calling into play alJ 
the muscles of the chest. The presence of unchanged air is a con- 
stant source of irritation to the the lungs, and although sufficient 
may be expired easily enough to carry on their functions while 


the body is at rest, yet instinctively there is a desire to get rid of 
the surplus, and hence the two acts of respiration. Immediately 
after this second act the muscles relax, and the flank falls in, and 
this it is which catches the eye is so remarkable a manner. 

The treatment can only be palliative, as there is no recognized cure 
for the disease, though M. Hew of Chaumont, has lately published 
a report of ten cases in which treatment by arsenic, given with 
green food or straw, and in some cases bleeding, was perfectly suc- 
cessful. The arsenic was given to the extent of fifteen grains daily, 
and at the end of a fortnight the symptoms of broken wind were 
completely removed ; but it is impossible to say whether the cure 
was permanent. It is known, however, that one of them relapsed 
after three months, but speedily yielded to a repetition of the treat- 
ment. It may certainly be worth while to try the experiment of 
the effect of arsenic where a broken-winded horse is valuable in 
other respects. Broken- winded horses should be carefully dieted 
and even then confined to slow work. The water should never be 
given within an hour of going out of the stable, but it is better to 
leave a constant supply, when too much will never be taken. Car- 
rots are peculiarly suited to this disease, and a diet of bmn mixed 
with carrots, sliced, has sometimes been known to relieve a broken- 
winded horse most materially. 

Thick wind is the horseman's term for any defective respiration, 
unaccompanied by a noise, or by the signs of emphysema just al- 
' luded to. It usually follows pneumonia, but it may arise from 
chronic bronchitis. No treatment will be of any service except 
such as will aid the play of the lungs mechanically, by avoiding 
overloading the stomach. 

The horse is very subject to hemorrhage from the nose, coming 
on during violent exertion. Fat over-fed horses are the most likely 
to suffer from hemorrhage; but most people are aware of the risk 
incurred in over-riding or driving them, and for this reason they 
are not so often subject to this accident (for such it is rather than 
a disease) as they otherwise would be. It is unnecessary to de- 
scribe its symptoms, and the only point necessary to inquire into is, 
whether the lungs or the nasal cavities are the seat of the rupture 
of the vessel. In the former case the blood comes from both nos- 
trils, and is frothy j while in the latter it generally proceeds from one 
only, and is perfectly fluid. The treatment should consist in cooling 


the horse down by a dose of physic and a somewhat lower diet ; 
but if the bleeding is very persistent, and returns again and again, 
a saturated solution of alum in water may bo syringed up the nos- 
tril daily, or if this fails, an infusion of matico may be tried, which 
is far more Jikely to succeed. It is made by pouring half a pint 
of boiling water on a drachm of matico-leaves, and letting it stand 
till cool, when it should be strained and is fit for use. 




The abdomen and its appendages — Sore throat — Strangles— Lampas — Gastri- 
tis — Dyspepsia— Bots and their history. 

The horse, as well as Lis master, is subject to many painful 
and dangerous diseases of the abdominal viscera and their appen- 
dages. They generally exhibit themselves externally, more or less, 
by emaciation, and a flabby state of the muscles, accompanied by 
a " staring" coat different in character and feel to that produced 
by overwork and poor feeding. They are not considered " unsound- 
ness," and for the most part yield readily to treatment, but the 
latter should be prompt and wise. 

Before dealing with those difficulties which come more mani- 
festly under the propen* scope of this chapter, we will say a few 
words more about the mouth and throat, as being in a manner 
connected therewith. 

Sore throat is readily detected by swelling or hardness of the 
parts, with difficulty in swallowing. External sweating should at 
once be resorted to. The tincture of cantharides diluted with an 
equal part of spirit of turpentine, and a little oil, may be rubbed 
in with a sponge until it produces irritation of the skin, which in a 
few hours, will be followed by a discharge from the part. ' Six or 
eight drachms of nitre may be dissolved in the water which the 
horse drinks. He will not like it, but thirst will force him to take 
it. If he eats with more ease than he drinks, the nitre may be 
given in a bran-mash instead of in the water. 


Between the third and fifth year of the colt's life he is generally 
seized with an acute swelling of the soft parts between the branches 
of the lower jaw, accompanied by more or less sore throat, cough 
and feverishness. These go on increasing for some days, and then 
an abscess shows itself, and finally bursts. The salivary glands 





a. The Stomach (10 Cardiac orifice. — 

4. Nasal membrane. 

ii Pylorus.) 

5. Tongue. 

b. Spleen. 

6. 6. Cervical vertebra. 

e. Left kidney. 

7. 7. 7. 7. Spinal cord. 

d. Broad ligament of the uterus, with 

8. Pharynx. 

left cornu and ovary displayed. 

9. 9. 9. (Esophagus. 

e. Rectum. 

10. Cardiac orifice of the stomach pass- 

/ Anus. 

ing through the diaphragm. 

g. h. i. j. k. /. Internal muscles of the 

11. Pylorus. 


ia. 13. Posterior surface of the dia- 


i. Occiput. 

13. 15. Trachea. 

2. Cerebellum. 

14. Lungs. 

3. Cerebrum. 

15. Heart. 


are often involved, but the matter forms in the cellular membrane 
external to them. The treatment should be addressed to the con- 
trol of constitutional symptoms by the mildest measures, such as 
bran-mashes with nitre in them, abstraction of corn, hay tea, etc. 
At the same time the swelling should be poulticed for one night, or 
thoroughly fomented two or three times, and then blistered with 
the tincture of cantharides. As soon as the matter can plainly be 
felt, it may be let out with a lancet ; but it is very doubtful whether" 
it is not the best plan to permit the abscess to break. The bowels 
should be gently moved, by giving a pint, or somewhat less, ac- 
cording to age, of castor oil ; and afterwards two or three drachms 
of nitre with half a drachm of tartar emetic may be mixed with 
the mash twice a day, on which food alone the colt should be fed, 
in addition to gruel, and a little grass or clover, if these are to be 
had, or if not, a few steamed carrots. The disease has a tendency 
to get well naturally, but if it is not kept within moderate bounds 
it is very apt to lay the foundation of roaring or whistling. Any 
chronic swelling which is left behind may be removed by rubbing 
in a weak ointment c-f biniodide of mercury (one scruple or half 
drachm to the ounce.) 

Lampas is an active inflammation of the ridges, or " bars," in 
the roof of the mouth, generally occurring in the young horse while 
he is shedding his teeth, or putting up the tushes. Sometimes, 
how-ever, it comes on, independently of this cause, from over-feed- 
ing with corn after a run at grass. The mucous membrane of the 
roof of the mouth swells so much that it projects below the level 
of the nippers, and is so tender that all hard and dry food is 
refused. The treatment is extremely simple, consisting in the scar- 
ification of the part with a sharp knife and lancet, after which the 
swelling generally subsides, and is gone in a day or two ; but should 
it obstinately continue, as will sometimes liappen, a stick of lunar 
caustic must be gently rubbed over the part every day until a cure 
i's completed. This is far better than the red-hot iron, which was 
formerly so constantly used. If the lampas is owing to the cutting 
of a grinder, relief will be afforded by a cross-cut across the pro- 
truding gum. 


The swelling at the mouth of the ducts may generally be re- 


lieved by a dose of physic and greerTfood,'but should it continue, 
a piece 'of lunar caustic may be held, for a moment, against the 
opening of the duct every second day, and after two or three ap 
plications the thickening will 'suddenly disappear. 

Gastritis (acute inflammation of the stomach) is extremely rare 
in the horse ; but it sometimes occurs from eating vegetable poisons 
as food, or from the wilful introduction of arsenic into this organ, 
or, lastly, from licking off corrosive external applications, which 
have been used for mange. The symptoms from poisoning will a 
good deal depend upon the article which has been taken, but in 
almost all cases in which vegetable poisons have been swallowed, 
there is a strange sort of drowsiness, so that the horse does not lio 
down and go to sleep, but props himself against a wall or tree with 
his head hanging almost to the ground. As the drowsiness in- 
creases he often falls down in his attempt to rest himself more 
completely, and when on the ground his breathing is loud and 
hard, and his sleep is so unnaturally sound that he can scarcely be 
roused from it. At length convulsions occur, and death soon takes 
place. The treatment, in each case, should be by rousing the horse 
mechanically, and at the same time giving him six or eight drachms 
of aromatic spirit of ammonia, in a pint or two of good ale, With a 
little ginger in it. This may be repeated every two hours, and the 
horse should be perpetually walked about until the narc t'c symp- 
toms are completely gone off, when a sound sleep will teuton him 
to his natural state. 

Corrosive sublimate is sometimes employed as a wash in mange, 
or to destroy lice, when it may be licked off. The treatment con- 
sists in a similar use of thin starch or gruel ; or, if the poison has 
recently been given wilfully, of large quantities of white of egg. 

Every domestic animal suffers in health if he is constantly fed on 
the same articles, and man himself perhaps more than they do. We 
cannot, therefore, wonder that the master is often told that some 
one or other of his horses is " a little off his feed ; " nor should we 
be surprised that the constant repetition of the panacea for this, " a 
dose of physic," should at length permanently establish the condi- 
tion which at first it would always alleviate. It is a source of 
wonder that the appetite continues so good as it does, in the ma- 
jority of horses, which are kept in the stable on the same kind 
of food, always from July to May, and often through the other 


months also. The use of lucerne, or clover, in the spring, is sup- 
posed to be quite sufficient to restore tone to the stomach, and 
undoubtedly they are better fchan no change at all ; but at other 
seasons of the year something may be done towards the prevention 
of dyspepsia, by varying the quality of the hay, and by the use 
of a few carrots once or twice a week. In many stables one rick 
of hay is made to serve the whole, or a great part of the year, 
which is a very bad plan, as a change in this important article of 
food is as much required as a change of pasture when the animal 
is at grass. When attention is paid to this circumstance, the appe- 
tite will seldom fail in horses of a good constitution, if they are 
regularly worked ; but without it, resort must occasionally be had 
to a dose of physic. It is from a neglect of this precaution that 
so many horses take to eat their litter, in preference to their hay , 
for if the same animal was placed in a straw-yard, without hay, for 
a month, and then allowed access to both, there would be little doubt 
that he would prefer the latter. Some horses are naturally so 
voracious, that they are always obliged to be supplied with less 
than they desire, and they seldom suffer from loss of appetite ; but 
delicate feeders require the 'greatest care in their management. 
When the stomach suffers in this way, it is always desirable to try 
what a complete change of food will do before resorting to medi- 
cine ; and, if it can be obtained, green food of some kind should 
be chosen, or if not, carrots, or even steamed potatoes. In place 
of hay, sound wheat or barley straw may be cut into chaff, and 
mixed with the carrots and corn ; and to this a little malt-dust 
may be added, once or twice a week, so as to alter the flavor. By 
continually changing the food in this way, the most dyspeptic 
stomach may often be restored to its proper tone, without doing 
harm with one hand while the other is doing good, as is too often 
the case with medicine. 


In enumerating the so-called diseases of the horse, it would 
hardly be fair to other writers to omit so fruitful a subject of use- 
less discussion as the "bots," but after all, what we can say will 
have its greatest value as a warning, and preventive of aimless and 
injurious quackery, for the bots, properly considered, do not con- 
stitute a " disease." Let us give the subject a common sense and 
half-way scientific examination. 


What are called " bots " are the larva?, or grub, of a species of 
gadfly which seems to come into being wherever tlie horse is 
introduced, if it did not exist there before. This fly is known to 
science as the ccstrus equi, and the grubs are provided with a pair of 
hooks or nippers, by which they adhere to the inner membrane of 
# the cardiac extremity of the horse's stomach, sometimes gathering 
in considerable masses, until such time as, in the regular course of 
nature, they let go their hold, and are expelled through the intes- 
tines. They may be seen at times clinging to the edges of the anus, 
and the first impression of ignorance naturally is that the horse is 
doomed, and " going to the worms " before his time, but such is 
not by any means the case. Their history is this : 

This kind of gadfly begins to fly in the latter half of the sum- 
mer, and the natural instinct of the female is to deposit her eggs 
upon the hair of the nearest horse. If she cannot find one turned 
out to grass, she will hunt for him in the*stable, and no sort of 
defensive measures are of any avail except the removal of the hide 
of the horse. That done, and the danger is over in that particular 
case. The fly selects those parts of the horse's coat in readiest 
reach of his tongue, and so glues her eggs on that they will not 
come off easily till softened by the saliva of the horse. Here they 
stay till the heat, aided by the tongue, causes the eggs to hatch, 
and then they are licked off and swallowed, being about the size 
of a small " pin worm." Being swallowed, they hitch themselves 
to the walls of their new home in the way we have described, and 
remain till the next spring. They are now, and for some time have 
been, as large as a bee grub, sometimes larger, and fulfill their 
destiny by passing out to become first each a chrysalis, and then a 
fly on his own account. The ordinary grooming of a well-stabled 
horse cleans the eggs off in time, especially as he is not likely to 
have many, but few horses in America get enough of stable care to 
keep them free. 

The proper treatment is to let them alone until nature takes care 
of them, for they do not seem to do any great harm, and those 
medicines which will really kill the bots are equally dangerous to 
the horse. They are only a grub-bear. 
























6. Crest. 

Thropple or windpipe. 


8. Shoulder blade. 

Point of the shoulder. 

Bosom or breast. 

11. True-arm. 


Forearm (arm). 



Bade sinew. 

Fetlock or pastern-joint 


Hoof or foot. 




23. 23. Rib3 (forming together ihfi 
barrel or chest). 

24. 24. The circumference of the cheut 
at this point, called the girth. 

25 The loins. 

26. The croup. 

27. The hip. 

28. The flank. 

29. The sheath. 

30. The root of the dock or tail. 


31. The hip-joint, round, or whirl-bone. 

32. The stifle-joint. 

33. 33. LoweT thigh or gaskin. 

34. The quarters. 

35. The hock. 

36. The point of the hock. 

37. The curb place. 

38. The cannon-bone. 

39. The back sinew. 

40. Pastern or fetlock-joint 

41. Coronet. 

42. Foot or hoof. 

43. Heel. 

44. Spavin-place. 




Inflammation of the bowels — Colic— Diarrhoea and dysentery— Strangulation 
and hernia— Worms— Liver disease— Kidneys— Diabetes— Bladder, etc. 

Vetbrikabt surgeons describe various classes of inflammation 
of the bowels, but we may dismiss the entire mass of useless learn- 
ing with this note, that the distinction can only be drawn with any 
certainty on cutting up the animal in case the attack kills him. 
The same kind of treatment is good for all, the main care being to 
be sure that you do not mistake your disease for colic, or vice versa. 

The symptoms of inflammation of the bowels vary in severity 
and in the rapidity of their development, but they come on gener- 
ally in about the following order : at first there is simple loss of 
appetite, dulness of eye, and a general uneasiness, which are soon 
followed by a slight rigor or shivering. The pulse becomes rapid, 
but small and wiry, and the horse becomes very restless, pawing 
his litter, and looking back at his sides in a wistful and anxious 
manner. In the next stage all these signs are aggravated ; the 
hind-legs are used to strike at but not touch the belly ; and the 
horse lies down, rolls on his back and struggles violently. The 
pulse becomes quicker and harder, but is still small. The belly is 
acutely tender and hard to the touch, the bowels are costive, and 
Ahe horse is constantly turning round, moaning, and regarding his 
flanks with the most anxious expression of countenance. Then 
comes the final and fatal stage, which is thus described by an 
English writer : " The next stage borders on delirium. The eye 
acquires a wild, haggard, and unnatural stare — the pupil dilates — 
his heedless and dreadful throes render approach to him quite 
perilous, he is an object not only of compassion but of apprehen- 
sion, and seems fast hurrying to his end — when all at once, in the 
midst of agonizing torments he stands quiet, as though every pain 
had left him and he were going to recover. His breathing becomes 
tranquillized — his pulse sunk beyond all perception— his body 


bedewed with a cold, clammy sweat — he is in a tremor from head 
to foot, and about the legs and ears has even a dead-like feel. The 
mouth feels deadly chill— the lips drop pendulous, and the eye 
seems unconscious of objects. In fine, death, not recovery, is at 
hand. Mortification has seized the inflamed bowel — pain can no 
longer be felt in that which a few minutes ago was the seat of 
most exquisite suffering. He again becomes convulsed, and in a 
few more struggles, less violent than the former, he expires." The 
whole duration of the attack being from twelve to forty-eight 
hours in acute cases, and extending to three or four days in those 
which are denominated subacute 

Dr. Walsch says, in the treatment of this disease, as in all those 
implicating serous membrane, blood must be taken largely, and in 
a full stream, the quantity usually required to make a suitable 
impression being from six to nine quarts. The belly should be 
fomented with very hot water, by two men holding against it a 
doubled blanket, dipped in that fluid, which should be constantly 
changed, to keep up the temperature. The bowels should be back- 
raked, and the following drench should be given every six hours 
till it operates, which should be hastened by injections of warm 
water : 

Take of Linseed Oil . 1 pint. 

Laudanum 2 oz. 

If the first bleeding does not give relief in six or eight hours, it 
must be repeated to the extent of three or four quarts, and at the 
same time some liquid blister may be rubbed into the skin of the 
abdomen, continuing the fomentations, at short intervals, under 
that part which will hasten its operations. The diet should be 
confined to thin gruel or bran-mashes, and no hay should be allowed 
until the severity of the attack has abated. 

To distinguish this disease from colic is of the highest impor- 
tance, and for this purpose it will be necessary to describe the 
symptoms of the latter disease, so as to compare the two together. 

In colic there is spasm of the muscular coat of the intestines. 
Various names have been given to its different forms, such as the 
fret, the gripes, spasmodic colic, flatulent colic, etc., but they all 
display the above feature, and are only modifications of it, depend- 
ing upon the cause which has produced it. In spasmodic colic, 
the bowels are not unnaturally distended, but in flatulent colic 


their distension by gas brings on the spasm, the muscular fibres 
being stretched to so great an extent as to cause them to contract 
irregularly and with a morbid action. Sometimes, when the 
bowels' are very costive, irritation is established as an effort of 
nature to procure the dislodgement of the hardened faecal matters, 
and thus a third cause of the disease is discovered. The exact 
nature and cause are always to be ascertained from the history of 
the case, and its symptoms, and as the treatment will especially be 
conducted with a view to a removal of the cause, they are of tho 
highest importance. The symptoms in all cases of colic, by which 
it may be distinguished from the last described disease, are as 
follows : In both acute pain is manifested by stamping, looking at 
the flanks, and rolling ; but in inflammation of the bowels the pain 
is constant, while in colic there are intervals of rest, when the 
horse seems quite easy, and often begins to feed. In both the poor 
animal strikes at his belly ; but in the former he takes great care 
not to touch the skin, while in the latter (colic) he will often bring 
the blood by his desperate efforts to get rid of his annoyance. In 
inflammation of the bowels the belly is hot and exquisitely tender 
to the touch, but in colic it is not unnaturally warm, and gradual 
pressure with a broad surface, such as the whole hand, always is 
readily borne, and generally affords relief. The pulse also is little 
affected in colic ; and, lastly, the attack is very much more sudden 
than in inflammation. 

Such are the general signs by which a case of colic may be- dis- 
tinguished from inflammation of the bowels, but beyond this it 
is necessary to investigate whether it is pure spasmodic colic, or 
produced by flatulence, or by an obstruction in the bowels. 

In spasmodic colic all the above symptoms are displayed with- 
out any great distension of the abdomen ; and if the history of the 
case is gone into, it will be found that after coming in heated the 
horse has been allowed to drink cold water, or has been exposed 
in an exhausted state to a draught of air. 

In flatulent colic the abdomen is enormously distended ; the 
attack is not so sudden, and the pain is not so intense, being rather 
to be considered in the average of cases, as a high degree of un- 
easiness, occasionally amounting to a sharp pang, than giving tho 
idea of agony. In aggravated attacks, the distension is so enor- 
mous as to leave no doubt of the nature of the exciting cause. 


Here also the spasms are often brought on by drinking cold water 
while the horse is in a heated and exhausted state. 

Where there is a stoppage in the bowels to cause the spasm, on 
questioning the groom, it will be found that the dung for some days 
has been hard and in small lumps, with occasional patches of mucous 
upon it. In other respects there is little to distinguish this variety 
from the last. 

The treatment must in all cases be conducted on a totally different 
plan to that necessary when inflammation is present. Bleeding will 
be of no avail, at all events in the early stages, and before the disease 
has gone on, as it sometimes will, into an inflammatory condition. 
On the other hand, stimulating drugs, which would be fatal in in- 
flammation of the bowels will here generally succeed in causing a 
return of healthy muscular action. The disease is indeed similar 
in its essential features to cramp in the muscles of the human leg 
or arm, the only difference being that it does not as speedily disap- 
pear, because it is impossible to get at the muscular coat of the 
intestines, and apply the stimulus of friction. 

As soon as a case is clearly made out to be of a spasmodic 
nature, one or other of the following drenches should be given, the 
choice being made in proportion to the intensity of the symptoms : 

1. Sulphuric Ether 1 oz. 

Laudanum 2 " 

Compound decoction of Aloes 5 " 

Mix, and give every half hour until relief is afforded. 

2. Spirit of Turpentine 4 oz. 

Linseed Oil 12 " 

Laudanum 1/4 " 

Mix, and give every hour till'the pain ceases. 

8. Aromatic Spirit of Ammonia 1 M oz. 

Laudanum 2 " 

Tincture of Ginger ljtf " 

Hot Ale 1 quart. 

Mix, and give every hour. 

Hot water should also be applied to the abdomen, and if an injec- 
tion syringe is at hand, large quantities of water, at a temperature 
of 100° Fahrenheit, should be injected per anum, until in fact the 
bowel will hold no more without a dangerous amount of force. 

In flatulent colic the same remedies may be employed, but 
the turpentine mixture is here especially beneficial. The use of 


warm water injections will often bring away large volumes of wind, 
which at once affords relief, and the attack is cured. 

The administration of aperient medicines by the mouth of tho 
horse is only likely to increase the difficulty. Nothing but injec- 
tions can be safely employed to relieve costive symptoms. An 
injection, in a bad case, of a gallon of gruel, containing a quart of 
castor oil, and half a pint of spirit of turpentine, may be useful, 
and half an ounce of laudanum may be given, in water, at tho 
mouth, to relieve the spasms. 

When the urgent symptoms of colic in any of its forms are 
relieved, great care must be exercised that a relapse does not take 
place from the use of improper food. The water should be care- 
fully chilled, and a warm bran-mash should be given, containing in 
it half a feed of bruised oats. Nothing but these at moderate 
intervals, in the shape of food or drink, should be allowed for a day 
or two, and then the horse may gradually return to his customary 
treatment, avoiding, of course, everything which may appear to 
have contributed to the development of colic. 

It will not be easy, in most cases, especially in their beginning, 
to distinguish between diarrhoea and dysentery, nor is it of any 
special importance. The difference in treatment is based more on 
the cause of the difficulty than on anything else. 

When too much physic has been foolishly given, the organs of 
the horse are not unapt to obstinately refuse to reassume their nat- 
ural operation. 

When the action of the bowels has gone on for three or four days 
consecutively, and there is no disposition to " set," the eyes become 
staring and glassy, the pulse is feeble, and the heart flutters in the 
most distressing manner ; the mouth has a peculiarly offensive 
smell, the tongue being pale and covered with a white fur having 
a brown centre. The abdomen is generally tucked tightly up, but 
in the later stages large volumes of gas are evolved, and it becomes 

The treatment should consist in a feed of rice, boiled till quite 
soft, and if not taken voluntarily, it should be given as a drench, 
mixed into a thin liquid form with warm water. If the case is 
severe, one or two ounces of laudanum may be added to a quart of 
rice milk, and given every time the bowels act with violence. Or 
a thin gruel may be made with wheat flour, and the laudanum be 


mixed with that instead of the rice. A perseverance in these rem- 
edies will almost invariably produce the desired effect, if they have 
not been deferred until the horse is very much exhausted, when a 
pint of wine may be substituted for the laudanum with advantage. 
In DIARBH03A resulting from cold, or over-exertion, the treatment 
should be exactly like that prescribed above, but it will sometimes 
be necessary to give chalk in addition to the remedies there allud- 
ed to. The rice or flour milk may be administered as food, and the 
following drench given by itself every time there is a discharge of 
liquid dunu : 

Take of Powdered Opium 1 drachm. 

Tincture of Catechu X oz. 

Chalk mixture 1 pint. 

Mix, and give as a drench. 

During the action of these remedies the body must be kept 
warm by proper clothing, and the legs should be encased in flan- 
nel bandages, previously made hot at the fire, and renewed as they 
become cold. 

In dysentery (or molten grease) it is often necessary to take a 
little blood away, if there is evidence of great inflammation in the 
amount of mucous surrounding the dung, and when aperient medi- 
cine does not at once put a stop to the cause of the irritation by 
bringing the lumps away. Back-raking, and injections of two 
ounces of laudanum and a pint of castor oil with gruel, should be 
adopted in the first instance, but they will seldom be fully efficient 
without the aid of linseed oil given by the mouth. A pint of this, 
with half a pint of good castor oil, will generally produce a copious 
discharge of lumps, and then the irritation ceases without requiring 
any further interference. 

Whenever there is diarrhoea or dysentery present to any extent, 
rice-water should be the sole drink. 

The horse, like his human owner, is very apt a times to be troub- 
led by worms, and these are not to be confounded with " bots." They 
are of two classes, of which the larger and more injurious are like 
ordinary "angleworms," except in their color, which is of a pink- 
ish white. These latter have their peculiar field of operations in 
the smaller intestines, and the symptoms of their presence are not 
as clearly defined as it could be wished. A rough, staring, hol- 
low coat, a craving appetite without any seeming benefit from the 


food — for the animal grows thin on it all the while — and the pas- 
sage of mucous with the dung, these are some of the ordinary 
indications of the presence of worms. Sometimes a small portion 
of the mucous will adhere to the anus, in its passage out, producing 
an itching sensation, which the animal tries to allay hy rubbing 
with the tail, but such irritation may also arise from other causes. 
When these several symptoms are combined, it may with some 
degree of certainty be supposed that there are worms in the intes- 
tines, but before proceeding to dislodge them, it is always the wis- 
est plan to obtain proof positive of their existence, by giving an 
ordinary dose of physic, when on watching the evacuations, one or 
more worms may generally be discovered if they are present. 
When the case is clearly made out the plan of treatment is as follows : 

Take of Tartar Emetic 1 drachm 

Powdered Ginger # M 

Linseed Meal sufficient to make into a ball with boiling 1 water. 

One should be given every morning for a week, then a dose of 
physic ; linseed oil bping the most proper. Let the stomach rest 
a week ; give another course of balls and dose of physic, after 
which let the horse have a drachm of sulphate of iron (powdered) 
twice a day with his feed of corn. 

There is no medicine which is so effectual for removing worms 
in the horse as tartar emetic, and none which is so entirely innocu- 
ous to the stomach. - Calomel and spirit of turpentine were for- 
merly in U3e as vermifuges, but they are both dangerous drugs ; 
the former, if given for any length of time, causing great derange- 
ment of the stomach and liver ; and the latter often producing 
considerable inflammation after a single dose, if sufficiently large 
to cause the expulsion of the worms. Linseed oil given in half- 
pint doses every morning is also an excellent vermifuge, but not 
equal to the tartar emetic. If this quantity does not relax the 
bowels, it may be increased until they are rendered slightly more 
loose than usual, but avoiding anything like purgation. 

The smaller species of intestinal worm chiefly inhabits the rectum. 
It produces great irritation and uneasiness, but has not the same 
prejudicial effect on the health as the larger parasite. It is about 
ono to two inches in length, and somewhat smaller in diameter 
than a crow quill. The term thread worm is correctly applied to 
them, as they are not unlike sections of stout thread or cotton. 


The only sytnptmn by which their presence can be mado out is the 
rubbing of the tail, when if on examination no vermin or eruption 
is found in the dock, it may be presumed that worms exist in the 
rectum The remedy for these worms is by the injection every 
morning for a week of a pint of linseed oil, containing two drachms 
of spirit of turpentine. This will either kill or bring away the 
J worms, with the exception of a few which are driven by it higher 
' up, but by waiting a week or ten days (during which time they 
will have re-entered the rectum J and then repeating the process, 
they may generally be entirely expelled. The sulphate of iron 
must be given here, as before described. 

Dr. Walsch says : 

" The liver of the horse is less liable to disease than that of any 
other domestic animal, and the symptoms of its occurrence are so 
obscure that it is seldom until a post-cnorteni examination that a 
discovery is made of its existence. This unerring guide, however, 
informs us that the liver is sometimes unnaturally enlarged and 
hard, at others softened, and in others again the subject of cancer- 
ous deposits. It is also attacked by inflammation, of which the 
symptoms are feverishness ; rapid pulse, not hard and generally 
fuller than usual ; appetite bad ; restlessness, and the patient often 
looking rouud to his right side with an anxious expression, not 
indicative of severe pain. Slight tenderness of the right side ; but 
this is not easily made out satisfactorily. Bowels generally con- 
fined, but there is sometimes diarrhoea. Very frequently the whites 
of the eyes show a tinge of yellow, but anything like jaundice is 
unknown. The treatment must consist in the use of calomel and 
opium, with mild purging, thus : 

Take of Calomel 1 drachm.' 

Powdered Opium 1 " 

Linseed Meal and boiling water enough to make into a ball, which 

should be given night and morning. Every other day a pint 

of Linseed Oil should be administered. 

The diet should if possible be confined to green food, which will do 
more good than medicine ; indeed, in fine weather, a run at grass 
during the day should be preferred to all other remedies, taking 
care to shelter the horse at night in an airy loose box. ' 

The kidneys are particularly prone to disease, and are subject 


to inflammation ; to diabetes, or profuse staling ; to hasmaturea, or 
a discharge of blood, and to torpidity, or inaction. 

Inflammation op the kidneys is generally produced by an 
exposure of the loins to wet and cold, as in carriage-horses stand- 
ing about in the rain during the winter season. Sometimes it fol- 
lows violent muscular exertion, and is then said to be caused by a 
strain in the back, but in these cases there is probably an exposure 
to cold in a state of exhaustion, or by the rupture of a branch of 
the renal artery or vein, as the inflammation of one organ can 
scarcely be produced by the strain of another. The symptoms 
are a constant desire to void the urine, which is of a very dark 
color— often almost black. Great pain, as evidenced by the ex- 
pression of countenance and by groans, as well as by frequent 
wistful looks at the loins. On pressing these parts there is some 
tenderness, but not excessive, as in rheumatism. The pulse is 
quick, hard, and full. The attitude of the hind quarters is pecu- 
liar, the horse standing in a straddling, position with his back 
arched, and refusing to move without actual compulsion. It is 
sometimes difficult to distinguish this from inflammation of the 
neck of the bladder, but by attending to the state of the urine, 
which is dark brown or black in the former case, and nearly of a 
natural color in the latter, the one may be known from the other. 
To make matters still more clear, the oiled hand may be passed 
into the rectum, when in kidney disease the bladder will be found 
coatracted and empty (the urine being so pungent as to irritate 
that organ), while in inflammation or spasm of its neck, it will be 
distended, often to a large size. The treatment to be adopted must 
be active, as the disease runs a very rapid course, and speedily ends 
in death if neglected. A large quantity of blood must at once be 
taken. The skin must be acted on energetically, so as to draw the 
blood to its surface, and if a Turkish bath is at hand, it will be 
highly beneficial. If not, the application of hot water, as recom- 
mended on page 165, may be tried, and in many cases it has acted 
like a charm. Failing the means for carrying out either of these 
remedies, the loins should be rubbed with an embrocation consist- 
ing of olive oil, liquid ammonia and laudanum in equal parts, but 
cantharides and turpentine must be carefully avoided, as likely to be 
absorbed, when they would add fuel to the fire. A fresh sheepskin 
should be warmed with hot (not boiling) water, and applied over 


the back, and the liniment should be rubbed in profusely every 
hour, restoring the skin to its place immediately afterwards. Mus- 
tard is sometimes used instead of ammonia, and as it is always at 
hand, it may form a good substitute, but it is not nearly so power- 
ful an irritant to the skin as the latter, especially when evaporation 
is prevented by the sheepskin, or by a piece of any waterproof 
article. A mild aperient may be given, linseed oil being the best 
form, but if the bowels continue obstinate, and it is necessary to 
repeat it, eight or ten drops of croton oil may be added to a pint 
of the oil, great care being taken to assist its action by raking and 
injection, the latter being also useful as a fomentation to the kid- 
neys. The diet should consist of scalded linseed and bran-mashes, 
no water being allowed without containing sufficient linseed tea to 
make it slightly glutinous, but not so much so as to nauseate the 
patient. If the symptoms are not greatly abated in six or eight 
hours, the bleeding must be repeated, for upon this remedy the 
chief dependence must be placed. A mild and soothing drench, 
composed of half an ounce of carbonate of soda, dissolved in six 
ounces of linseed tea, may be given every six hours, but it is of no 
certain effect. Unless the inflammation subsides the horse will die 
in a few hours. " 

Diabetes of late years has been much more frequent than was 
formerly the case, probably owing to the enormous quantities of 
corn which are allowed in the present day. But whatever may be 
the cause, the symptoms are clear enough, the horse constantly 
staling and passing large quantities of urine each time. The treat- 
went should be conducted on the principle that the cause should 
if possible be ascertained and removed. Mowburnt hay will often 
bring on diabetes, and new oats have a similar tendency in delicate 
horses. In any case it is wise to make a total change in the food 
as far as it can possibly be done. Green food will often check it 
at once, and a bran-mash containing a few carrots has a similar 
chance of doing good. With these alterations in the quality of the 
food attention should also be paid to the quantity of the grain, 
which should be reduced if more than a peck a day has been given.' 
Half a drachm of the sulphate of iron (powdered) should be mixed 
with each feed (that is four times a day), and the horse should be 
well clothed and his legs warmly bandaged in a cool and airy stall 
or box. By attention to these directions the attack may generally 


be subdued in a few days, but there is always a great tendency to its 
return. Should it persist in spite of the adoption of the measures 
already recommended, the following ball may be tried : 

Take of Gallic Acid • X drachm. 

Opium • . . . . 1 drachm. 

Treacle and Linseed Meal enough to make into a ball, which should be given 

twice a day. 

Hjematurea, like diabetes, is easily recognized by the presence 
of blood in greater or less quantities passed with the urine. It is 
not, however, of the bright red color natural to pure blood, but it 
is more or less dingy, and sometimes of a smoky-brown color, as 
occurs in inflammation. Bloody urine, however, may often be 
passed without any sign of that condition, and therefore unaccom- 
panied by pain, or any other urgent symptom. The causes are 
exceedingly various. The symptoms are the existence of bloody 
urine unaccompanied by pain or irritation, marking the absence 
of inflammation of the kidneys. As to treatment, little can be done 
in severe cases, and mild ones only require rest, a dose of physic, 
and perhaps the abstraction of three or four quarts of blood. 
Green food should be given, and the diet should be attended to as 
for diabetes. If the urine is scanty, yet evidently there is no in- 
flammation, two or three drachms of nitre may be given with the 
mash at night, but this remedy should be employed with great 

Inaction op the kidneys is common. Very often the kidneys 
are only inactive because the horse has not been regularly watered, 
and where an unlimited supply is allowed this condition is com- 
paratively rare. There is no harm in resorting to nitre occasion- 
ally, but if it is often found necessary to employ this drug, the 
health is sure to suffer, and an alteration in the diet should be tried 
in preference. At all events, if it is given, the horse should be 
allowed to drink as much and as often as he likes. 

The bladder is subject to inflammation of its coats or neck — 
to spasm — and to the formation of calculi. 

Inflammation of the bladder is not very common excepting 
when it is produced by irritants of a mechanical or chemical 
nature. Thus when the kidneys secrete a highly irritating urine, 
the bladder suffers in its passage, and we have the two organs 
inflamed at the same time. Again, when cantharides have been 
given, the bladder is liable to become inflamed. The symptoms 


are — a quick pulse — pain in the hind-quarter, evinced by the looks 
of the animal in that direction — and constant straining to pass the 
urine, which is thick and mixed with mucous, or in aggravated 
cases, with purulent matter. The treatment to be adopted, if tho 
case is severe, will consist in bleeding, back-raking, and purgation 
with linseed or castor oil, avoiding aloes, which have a tendency 
to irritate the bladder. Linseed tea should be given as the sole 
drink, and scalded linseed mixed with a bran-mash, as food. The 
following ball may also be given, and repeated if necessary : 

Take of Powdered Opium 1 drachm. 

Tartar Emetic IX drachms. 

To be made up into a ball with linseed meal and^ boiling water, and given 
every six hours. 

Retention of urine may be due either to inflammation of the 
neck of the bladder, occasioning a spasmodic closure of that part, 
or there may be spasms unattended by inflammation, and solely due 
to the irritation of some offending substance, such as a calculus, 
or a small dose of cantharides. The treatment, in either case, must 
be directed to the spasmodic constriction, which is generally under 
the control of large doses of opium and camphor, that is, from one 
drachm to two drachms of each, repeated every five or six hours. 
If the symptoms are urgent, bleeding may also be resorted to, and 
when the bladder is felt to be greatly distended, no time should bo 
lost in evacuating it by means of the catheter, which operation, 
however, should only be entrusted to a regular practitioner accus- 
tomed to its use. 

Balanitis, or inflammation of the penis, is very common in the 
horse, being brought on by the decomposition of the natural secre- 
tions, when they have been allowed to collect for any length of 
time. At first there is merely a slight discharge of pus, but in 
process of time foul sores break out, and very often fungus 
growths spring from them, which block up the passage through the 
.opening of the sheath, and cause considerable swelling and incon- 
venience. These are quite distinct from warts, which occur in this 
part just as they do in other situations. The treatment requires 
some skill and experience, because mild remedies are of no use, 
and severe ones are not unattended with danger. The parts first 
of all must be well cleansed by syringing, or if the end of the pe- 


nis can be laid hold of, by washing with a sponge. The following 
wash may then be applied, and it should be repeated every day : 

Take of Solution of Chloride of Zinc 2 drachms. 

Water 1 pint. Mix.; 

If the morbid growths are very extensive, nothing but amputation 
of the penis, or the use of corrosive sublimate will remove them. 
Severe bleeding sometimes follows both of these measures, but it 
seldom goes on to a dangerons extent. Still it is scarcely advisa- 
ble for any one but a professional man to undertake the operation. 

In the mare the vagina is sometimes inflamed, attended with a 
copious yellow discharge. An injection of the wash mentioned 
in. the last paragraph will generally soon set the matter right. At 
first it should be used only of half the .strength, gradually increas- 
ing it, until the full quantity of chloride of zinc is employed. 

Inversion op the uterus sometimes follows parturition, but it 
is very rare in the mare. The uterus should be at once replaced, 
using as little force as possible, and taking care before the hand is 
withdrawn, that it really is turned back again from its inverted 

Nymphomania occurs sometimes in mares at the time of being 
" in use," and goes on to such an extent as to render them abso- 
lutely regardless of pain, for the time being, though not to make 
them lose their consciousness. They will kick and squeal till they 
become white with heat, and no restraint will prevent them from 
trying to continue their violent attempts to destroy everything be- 
hind them. These symptoms are especially developed in the 
presence of other animals of the same species, whether mares or 
geldings ; but the near proximity of an entire horse will be still 
worse. If placed in a loose box, without any restraint what- 
ever, they generally become more calm, and when the state is 
developed, such a plan should always be adopted. It is chiefly 
among highly-fed and lightly worked mares that the disease is 
manifested ; and a dose of physic, with starvation in a loose box. 
away from any other horse, will very soon put an end to it in almost^ 
every instance. 




Convulsions— Mad staggers — Madness — Megrims — String-halt— Sun stroke- 
Stomach staggers — Lockjaw — Apoplexy. 

Convulsions, properly so-called, are almost entirely confined to 
young colts, and constitute a " pasture disease " or summer com- 
plaint. Very little is known about them, or can be done for them. 
They are variously attributed to heat and worms. The attacks are 
generally brief, the sufferer falling to the ground without much 
warning, and kicking violently, and then in a few minutes getting 
up, apparently as well as well as ever. A mild dose of linseed oil 
may prevent a second attack, or it may not, but it will do no harm 
to try the experiment. 

Good veterinarians differ both as to the causes and nature of the 
rare but fatal disease known as mad staggers, and some have had 
much to say of its treatment. As to this latter, inasmuch as we 
have never known a case in which treatment was of any use, we 
will only say that humanity calls for a bullet through the animal's 
head, as soon as the true nature of the disease is definitely ascer- 
tained, and devote our attention to such a description of the 
symptoms as to prevent any error. 

Youatt describes the mad staggers as a species of brain fever, 
and that, no doubt, is sufficiently accurate. The first symptoms 
are not such as to give any indication, to an inexperienced eye, of 
what is coming. The eyes will be heavy, and the horse will reject 
his food, but that is about all. After a day or two, sometimes three, 
the fever suddenly shows itself more acutely, and delirium comes 
on. The flanks will heave, the nostrils distend, and the unfortunate 
brute will dash himself furiously about, kicking, biting and plung- 
ing. He seems to be bent on mischief, but is more likely blindly 
unconscious of all but his sufferings. He will dash himself to 
pieces, sometimes, if not checked. He must by all means be kept 
penned up, or he will be sure to do harm. Severe bleeding will 
make him quiet from exhaustion, but except it may be in very mild 


cases, it will do no permanent good. He may even pass out of his 
first fit into a state of stupor, for the disease is a varying and treach- 
erous one. 

No one with any coolness or judgment need mistake the pain and 
distress of colic for the disease, though it has heen done in some 
cases. In genuine madness, though the results and treatment are 
about the same, the symptoms differ. Both being incurable, wc 
may classify and describe them together. Madness is never pri- 
marily developed in the constitution of any horse, but must always 
come, in some manner, from an animal of the dog or cat kind. If 
a mad dog has been in the neighborhood, that fact will assist in 
understanding the symptoms, but if these latter are sufficiently 
marked, no time need be wasted in hunting for the dog, as the 
effects of the virus require from three to eight weeks before they 
show themselves. At once on the appearance of any signs of 
madness, such measures should be taken as will absolutely prevent 
the animal from doing mischief, in any event, to any other living 
thing. In case of a mistake in the disease no harm will be done, 
and if there is no error the Tiorse can be killed before he has com- 
municated the "fearful malady, or inflicted other damage in his 
paroxysms. Dr. Walsch and others erroneously declare that 
horses taken with madness always show the same fear of water, 
and the like, that causes the disease to be termed hydrophobia in 
other animals, and thus might lead to dangerous mistakes. On the 
contrary, even when there is dread of liquids, the thirst produced 
is sometimes excessive, although swallowing is performed with 
painful and difficult gulps. The attack is apt to come with very 
little if any warning. The horse may go to his work as usual, and 
suddenly stop in his traces, tremble, heave, paw, stagger and fall ; 
then he will rise again as if to go on, look wildly about him, give a 
frantic pull or two, and then again go down. No time is to be lost. 
If the case is otherwise a clear one, destroy him at once. If there 
is any reasonable doubt, get him confined as quickly as possible in 
the nearest secure place, or you do not know for what evil you may 
be responsible. The^eneral symptoms have been better described 
by Youatt than by anybody else, for fortunately madness is not 
common. He says that it begins with " a spasmodic movement of 
the upper lip, particularly of the angles of the lip. Closely following 
on this, or contemporaneous with it, are the depressed and anxious 


countenance and inquiring gaze, suddenly, however, lighted up and 
becoming fierce and menacing from some unknown cause, or at the 
approach of a stranger. From time to time different parts of the 
frame, the eyes, the jaws, particular limbs will be convulsed. The 
eye will occasionally wander after some imaginary object, and the 
horse will snap again and again at that which has no real existence. 
Then will come the irrepressible desire to bite the attendants, or 
the animals within its reach. To this will succeed the demolition 
of the rack, the manger, and the whole furniture of the stable, 
accompanied by the peculiar dread of water which has already 
been described. Towards the close of the disease there is gener- 
ally paralysis, usually confined to the loins and hinder extremities, 
or involving those organs which derive their nervous action from 
this portion of the spinal cord : hence the distressing tenesmus 
which is occasionally seen." 

The main difference to be noted between genuine madness 
(rabies), and bad cases of mad staggers is, that in the latter, the 
victim seems to lose all fear of man, if not all consciousness of his 
presence, while the mad horse, however savage and destructive, 
will know his master, and exhibit other signs of " horse sense," 
even amid his sufferings. 

The best veterinary authorities lead us to believe that the exter- 
nal symptoms known as megrims may be indications of varied 
forms of disease of the brain or heart of the horse, but whose 
precise nature can only be ascertained by that last resort of 
scientific curiosity, a post-mortem examination. All the purposes 
of this book will, therefore, be answered by briefly indicating the 
disease and its treatment. 

The horse is perhaps trotting along, when all at once he begins 
shaking his head as if the bridle chafed his ears, which are 
drawn back close to the poll. The driver gets down to examine 
these facts, and observes the eyelids quivering, and the nostrils 
affected with a trembling kind of spasm. Sometimes the rest will 
allow of the attack going off, but most frequently, the head is 
drawn to one side, the legs of that half of the body seem to be par- 
alyzed, and the horse making a segment of a circle goes down, lies 
a few minutes on the ground, and then rises as if nothing had hap- 
pened beyond a slight sweating and disturbance of the respiration. 
Treatment can be of little avail. If the attack has happened while 


in harness, the collar should always he carefully inspected, and if 
at all tight it should he replaced hy a deeper one. A diseased 
state of the valves of the heart ought to be discoverable by aus- 
cultation, but it requires a practised ear to do this, and the 
directions for ascertaining its presence are beyond the scope of 
this book. The only plan which can be safely adopted, is to take 
the subject of megrims quietly home to his stable, and carefully 
examine into the condition of all his functions, with a view to 
improve the action of any organ which appears to be out of order, 
whatever it may be. If all seems to be going on well — if the 
appetite is good, and the heart acts with regularity and with due 
force, while the brain seems clear, and the eye is not either dull or 
suffused with blood — nothing should be attempted, but the horse 
being subject to a second attack, as proved by experience, should 
be put to work in which no great danger can be apprehended from 

Tetanus, or lockjaw, is not a very common thing, and may 
generally be recognized by the rigidity of the lower jaw and the 
muscles of the neck. The head is stretched out and turned to one 
side, the nostrils are dilated, the eyes drawn back, the ears stiff and 
erect. Gradually, the whole body, to the very tail, becomes affect- 
ed in a similar manner. The horse evidently suffers great pain.. 
The disease is a treacherous one, but something may be done by 
prompt and severe treatment. If the " dilute Prussic acid " of the 
U. S. Pharmacopoeia is obtainable, which it seldom is, give thirty 
drops night and morning, and keep the animal in a quiet place. 
This must be given at once to be of any service. Chloroform, 
however, can almost always be got at, and this must be carefully 
administered, through a flannel cloth, guarded by a piece of " sieve 
wire " to keep the chloroform from dripping on the lips and mouth. 
A little ingenuity and skill will force the horse to breathe through 
the wire, and inhale the chloroform. Keep it up until the horse 
does not feel the prick of a pin, and the spasm will probably be 
relieved temporarily, so that other medicines can act. Then blis- 
ter the whole length of the spine with tincture of cantharides, and 
give a pint of castor oil and six or eight drops of croton oil. If 
this cannot be got down him, try two drachms of calomel, and as 
much of tartar emetic. Use all means to get them into the month, 


and to force him to swallow them. If you can get the bowels to 
operate copiously, give two drachms of solid opium, or what is 
better, repeat the chloroform in about six hours, keeping the horse 
under its influence for an hour or two, according to the severity of 
the case, and withdrawing it slowly. 

Do not attempt any quack remedies for the proposed cure of 
strixghalt, as nothing can be done for it. 

Sunstroke is a very common disease, in our large cities espe- 
cially, and is best prevented by regular and frequent watering, care 
not to overfeed or over- work, and a small pad or shade fastened 
on the headstall so as to not touch the head. The latter is not 
needed unless the horse is to be much exposed. 

In case of an attack, take the animal into the shade. If you 
can get ice, pound it small, wrap it in a cloth and pack it on his 
forehead and between his ears. Give him two ounces of sulphuric 
ether and 20 drops of tincture of aconite and a quart of ale or 
porter. Do not use him again until he is entirely recovered, and 
remember that he is doubly likely to be attacked again. 

The first symptoms of stomach staggers closely resemble 
those of mad staggers, but the effects are not always so fatal. It 
is the result of over-feeding, or too heavy a feed after too long a 
fast, and this fact is a sufficient suggestion of the best mode of 
prevention. The symptoms are: the horse stands dull, sleepy, 
staggering ; when roused, he looks vacantly around him ; perhaps 
seizes a lock of hay, and dozes again with it in his mouth ; at 
length he drops and dies ; or the sleepiness passes off, and de- 
lirium comes on, when he falls, rises again, drops, beats himself 
about, and dies in convulsions. 

" Bleed very largely ; — that cannot do harm, and in mad stag- 
gers is indispensable. Give a good dose of physic— that also can- 
not do harm, although in stomach staggers it cannot do much good, 
for it can scarcely find its way into the over-distended stomach, 
and it certainly cannot find its way through it. Keeping the horse 
from all food will be a very proper proceeding, whichever be the 
disease." So says Youatt, and we may add tha* if you can get 
and use a stomach pump, and relieve the poor beast of that which 
is poisoning him, you may do better still. 

In a case of apoplexy it will not be often that you will know 


what is the matter until it is too late. Bleeding copiously, severe 
purgation, and blisters to the head and neck, are the only treat- 
ment and will probably fail. A marked symptom is great sleepi- 
ness, accompanied, by snoring and a heavy stupidity in the swing 
of the head. 



Diseases of the ear — Diseases of the eye — Cataract — Buckeye — Simple in- 
flammation — Epidemic ophthalmia — Specific ophthalmia — Surfeit — 
Mange — Mallenders — Scratches — Founders — Navicular disease — Over- 

There is but one disease of the horse's ear to which we need 
allude. When deafness is occasioned by the formation of an 
abscess, from any cause, wait for the proper time, open the abscess 
so, that the matter will flow out as fast as it forms, and leave the 
case to nature. 

The eye of the horse is very liable to various diseases, and for 
some of them treatment is very effective. Nothing can be done 
for cataract or buckeye, and humanity forbids that anything 
should be attempted. They are local in their nature and do not 
depend upon or affect the general health of the horse. 

Simple inflammation may be a disease by itself, or a symptom 
of something worse, but should receive prompt attention. It is 
easily recognized by the half-shut eye, afraid of the light ; the 
gummy, sticky lids ; the formation of " tears ; " the redness inside 
the lids, and the swollen, bloodshot look of the eye itself. It may 
be caused by local injury, a Dad cold, or over-feeding, and if it is 
not checked it may destroy the eye. 

In bad cases bleed from the jugular vein very freely ; give a 
good dose of physic ; bathe the eye frequently in warm water or 
weak tea ; in a very severe case put a seton into the skin of the 
upper jaw, two inches below the eye. This latter, however is only 
for bad cases, and should not be tried in a hurry. Mild cases will 
do well with the physic and without bleeding. Another treatment, 
for ordinary cases, consists of cold water bandages, washing sev- 
eral times a day with cold tea, and a careful touching of the inside 
of the lid twice a day with a soft camel's hair brush dipped in a 
weak solution of nitrate of silver, 12 grains to four ounces of 
rain Water. If the inflammation is taken in its very first stages a 
judicious employment of these simple remedies will generally ef- 


feet a cure. Bear in mind that over treatment will do for your 
horse's eye just what it would for your own. 

Epidemic ophthalmia is only too common in some parts of tho 
country, and most horse owners know the symptoms. One of 
these is a free discharge of purulent fluid, and the eyelid becomes 
much swollen, while the eye seems covered with a puffy red mem- 

Begin, at first, as for simple inflammation, but if the disease has 
got into the chronic stage, double the strength of the nitrate of 
silver wash, and use a quill in getting it into the eye. A few drops 
once a day will be sufficient. 

Specific ophthalmia is the worst disease to which the eyes of 
horses are liable, is swift in its action, difficult to cure and likely 
to return. Even if the eye is " cured " it is generally injured in 
some way. It is an inflammation of the iris or colored part of 
the eye. The symptoms are, the " white " of the eye becomes of 
a deep red, the cornea has a muddy look, the iris loses its bright- 
ness and often shows one or two white specks, while light seems to 
be unendurable. . 

Bleeding, purging, and the seton, as before described, are the 
only remedies, but they must be set promptly at work, or not only 
will this eye be surely gone, but the other will be in danger. In 
any of these diseases, low feed, little corn, quiet, plenty of fresh air 
and freedom from dust and other irritants, must be looked out for 
as matters of course. If the eye has been injured by an accident, 
proceed with warm water fomentations and a bandage, precisely 
as if it were your own. 

Amaurosis, or palsy of the retina, if caused by a disordered 
stomach, will sometimes yield to a good run at grass. Bleeding 
and a seton, as above, in bad cases, are not without effect, but when 
that is required the disease is generally incurable. The symptoms 
are, deficient or absent sensibility to light, and a consequent in- 
disposition of the pupil to contract, while the latter maintains also 
an unnatural expansion. This should be carefully looked for in 
buying a horse. 

Surfeit shows itself in small scabs on the back and loins, mat- 
ting the hair. It indicates simply a bad condition of the blood 
and deficient action of the skin in carrying off secretions, and may 
be caused by various errors in feeding and stable care. In treat- 


ing it, adopt only such a course as is best calculated to bring the 
horse into good condition, without reference to the disease, or at 
most give him an occasional mild dose of nitre to act on his kid- 
neys. The cure must be left to time, and all sharp remedies 

Hidebounu, a dry, tight skin, that seems too small for the horse, 
is a symptom and consequences of other diseases, or is caused by 
bad food and derangement of the digestive organs. All the treat- 
ment must be directed to the other diseases, if known, and to pro- 
moting healthy and regular action of the stomach and bowels. No 
horse will be hidebound while these latter work well. 

Mange is simply " horse itch," and is of the same cause and 
character with the human disease. The treatment must aim at 
killing the itch insect and preventing its return. The stable and 
everything the horse touches must be thoroughly washed with a 
solution of spirits of turpentine. Nothing but a washing in a 
solution of corrosive sublimate will safely cleanse the harness. 
For the horse the following recipes are commonly in use, and may 
be regarded as sufficient : 

1. Take of Common Sulphur C oz. 

Sperm or Train Oil 1 pint. 

Spirit of Turpentine 3 oz. 

Mbt, and rub well into the skin with a flannel, or in preference with a 

painter's brush. 

2. Take of Compound Sulphur Ointment . . . 8 oz. 

Train or Sperm Oil . . [ . . . . - . 1 pint. 

Spirit of Turpentine ...... 3 oz. 

Mix, and use as above. 

Mallenders and sallenuers are both of the same nature, dif- 
fering only in the locality where they are displayed. The former 
shows itself in the flexure at the back of the knee, and the latter 
at the bend of the hock. The symptoms* are shown in the appear- 
ance of a foul scurf mixed with a few thin scabs, the skin under- 
neath being stiff and unyielding. They are generally brought on 
by washing the legs and leaving them undried. The treatment 
required is merely the application of the following ointment, which 
should be well rubbed in every night : — 

Take of Cerate of Superacetate of Lead . 1 oz. 

Creosote 10 drops.; 


If the skin continues to be very hard and stiff, a little glycerine 
should be brushed on two or three times a week. 

Warbles, sitfabts, harnessgalls, and other local evidences 
of too much friction and pressure, are best cured by rest, gentle 
fomentations, and an application of arnica liniment. Many other 
common liniments, to be had everywhere, will answer the purpose 
of keeping the parts soft and stimulating natural action. 

Swelled legs will come to almost any horse on being changed 
from pasture to stabling, and in that case will disappear with use. 
Other horsefe have it in a chronic form every morning, the swell- 
ing going off as they are worked in. Too long standing on hard 
floors, or a general weakness, may also cause swelling. In any 
case the treatment must be guided by the cause. When the weak 
horse gets stronger his legs will get well, and no medicine will strike 
at them directly. Bandages and bathing, with gentle -ubbing, 
are the only local applications, but in any case exercise is desirable. 
Chapped heels, the skin cracking and exuding a watery 
eruption, are very common consequences of careless stabling in 
bad weather. Rub in cerate of acetate of lead every night, to 
make the skin soft and keep it from cracking, and in the morning 
rub in common glycerine before taking the horse out. 

Scratches is a worse form of chapped heels, and is peculiarly 
common in the prairie countries. The discharge itself then be- 
comes foul, acrid, offensive, and spreads the disease. The treat, 
ment is simple. Cut off the hair over the diseased part, and wash 
thoroughly in warm soapsuds. Rinse well and dry, and then 
gently apply a very mild solution of chloride of zinc. Begin with 
thirty grains to a pint of water, but make it stronger for chronic 
or obstinate cases. Half an hour afterwards gently rub in glycer- 
ine. Keep up this treatment, and from time to time scrape or cut 
away the dead matter that will be left. With some horses the 
disease becomes constitutional and keeps breaking out afresh. 
In such cases the surgeons advise a wineglass full of liquor arsen- 
icalis, given with the food twice a day for eight or nine weeks, as 
a specific. 

Corns and sand crack, generally the consequences of bad 
shoeing and subsequent neglect, require, in the first place, long 
rest, for a cure, and in the second a shoe especially adapted to the 
individual case, and which can only be devised and fitted by a 


competent farrier. Such directions as we could give, or as aro 
ordinarily given in popular works on farriery, will neither aid nor 
dispense with the skill of the " expert." 

Quittor is a chronic abscess in the foot caused by some external 
bruise or other injury. It is indicated by an opening in the horn, 
emitting a foul discharge. The sore must be probed and a way 
made for the pus to come out, but here again it will be necessary 
to call in the aid of practical experience. 

Thrush is an offensive discharge from the frog. If caused by 
a damp stable floor, or standing too much in a yard choked with 
manure, that treatment must be promptly reversed, and the soft- 
ening of the part further checked by an application of tar oint- 
ment. If then the decomposition does not stop, or the hoof dry 
and harden, wash it daily in a solution of chloride of zinc, five 
grains to an ounce of water. 

If the thrush is a simple inflammation of the sensible frog, and 
a spongy substance is deposited instead of horn, the frog will look 
uneven and ragged, break away in places, have a greasy surface, 
smell foul and feel hot. The cause is here internal as well as ex- 
ternal. Give a dose of physic, reduce the food, give very little 
corn, exercise the horse, keep the feet and the stable clean and 
dry. Then keep on a bran poultice several days, until the inflam- 
mation subsides. After this use tar ointment or solution of chloride 
of zinc, as prescribed above. 

Dr. Walsch describes a third kind of thrush and its treatment, 
thus : " It occurs in contracted feet, and is due to chronic inflam- . 
mation of the sensible frog, produced by overwork, aided in 
many cases by neglect in shoeing. There is a tendency to the 
secretion of unsound horn over the whole foot, sometimes too thick 
and hard, and at others of a cellular structure, without sufficient 
strength to bear the pressure of the road. The horny frog gen- 
erally looks shrunken and withered ; and in its cleft there is a foul 
discharge, on wiping out which a soft spongy matter may be seen 
at the bottom, which is the sensible frog itself, but in a diseased 
condition. In bad cases, the sides of the horny frog have separated, 
and even the toe is sometimes deficient of its covering ; but gen- 
erally the horn has "only disappeared in patches, and there aro 
ragged portions remaining. The disease here is of too chronic a 
nature to be easily cured, and if there is much disorganization of 


the laminae it will be almost impossible to effect a perfect cure, 
The first thing to be done is to clear away all the ragged portions 
of horn, so as to be able to reach the sensible frog. Some tow is 
then to be smeared with the following ointment : — 

Take of Ointment of Nitrate of Mercury .... 1 drachm. 

Zinc Ointment 1 oz. 

Creosote i . . . 4 drops. Mix. 

and pressed into the cleft of the frog, where it can best be retained 
by a bar-shoe lightly tacked on, and in this case taking its bearing 
on the heels and not on the frog. Sometimes a wash answers bet- 
ter than a greasy application, and then a strong solution of the 
chloride of zinc may be employed, about six grains to the ounce 
of water. Tow dipped in this may be applied in the same way as 
with the ointment, and either one or the other should be re-applied 
every day. As the new horn grows, it must be kept supple by tar 
ointment, and until it is fully developed, the bar-shoe should be 
kept on, applying some degree of pressure by means of the tow, 
which should be stuffed in so as to compress the frog, beginning 
with very light pressure, and, as the horn increases in substance, 
augmenting it in proportion. By attention to these directions a 
thrush of this kind may be cured, if the foot is not damaged 
throughout, and even the frog may be restored to a comparative 
state of health." 

Founder, or fever of the feet, called by the surgeons " laminitis," 
is only too common. It is either an acute or chronic inflammation 
of the parts between the crust or wall of the hoof and the pedal 
bone, and these parts are so full of blood vessels that when once 
the disease starts it grows rapidly. The causes are— any fever 
" settling " in the feet ; severe use on hard roads ; long standing 
on a hard floor. 

It is a treacherous disease in its chronic form, and often goes on 
without being noticed until the horse is ruined. When "acute 
laminitis " sets in, there will be the usual signs of fever ; quick, 
strong pulse ; hurried respiration, with restlessness as if from pain ; 
the horse tapping the ground lightly with his feet, lying down and 
getting up. If the founder is only in the forefeet, and this is usual, 
the horse will throw all the weight he can on hishindfeet. He will 
object to having his hoofs taken up, and they will feel very hot. 
If something is not promptly done, the animal has lost his useful- 


neae. Remove the shoe, pare down the sole, so. as to permit 
internal expansion, and bleed copiously from the toe. Next tack 
the shoes on lightly again, and then give a smart dose of physic, 
or else, what is perhaps a better plan, give the following : 

Take of Barbadoes Aloea 1 drachm. 

Tartar Emetic I * 

Powdered Digitalis ){ •« 

Syrup enough to form a ball, 

which should be given every six hours, until the bowels act, when 
the other materials may be continued without the aloes. The feet 
should be kept constantly wet and cool, by tying a piece of felt or 
flannel around each pastern, and allowing it to fall over the hoof, 
when it is to be continually wetted. If the inflammation is not 
abated next day, the bleeding may be repeated, and it will be well 
also to act on the kidneys by adding two or three drachms of nitre 
to the tartar emetic and digitalis. 

Tho chronic form of this disease is, as has been said, treacher- 
ous, coming generally in both forefeet at once, so that the horse 
does not favor either one especially, and careless eyes , do not 
discover the difficulty. On coming in from work a heated feeling 
will be found at the coronet, but this goes off during the night. 
After a month or so, the nails of the shoe do not hold so well, and 
the quarters break away, while the horse becomes shambling in 
his action. He will not go well on a hard road, or under the sad- 
dle, though he may go well enough on a soft road, or in harness. 
He will exhibit a disposition to save the toes of his forefeet, and 
this will give him a very low and shambling movement. This will 
catch experienced eyes at once, and any one may take " founder " 
for granted, when he sees a horse carefully putting his heels down 
first, with a low action. The best preparation for such a detection 
will be the continued study of the action, and " foot fall " of sound 
and active horses. The outer shape of the hoof undergoes a 
change after awhile, but not until the disease has advanced beyond 
cure. The sole, however, is always flatter than usual, or it may 
even present a " bulged " appearance, while the horn of the hoof 
becomes brittle and spongy. This latter makes what is known as 
" pumiced foot." The frog becomes unnatually large and spongy. 
The effect of the disease is to throw the whole weight of the horse 
on the parts below the coffin-bone and navicular-bone. 


For cases of long standing very little can be done in the way 
of a cure, though the disease may be so got under control that the 
animal is worth something for" some kinds of work. 

Do not bleed the foot unless there is marked inflammation that 
cannot be otherwise reduced. Keep the horse from all heating 
food, and allow him as small a ration of oats as is consistent with 
keeping up fair condition. Keep the stable dry and cool, give an 
occasional bran-mash, with nitre, and now and then a mild dose of 
physic, to keep down inflammation, apply cooling devices to tho 
feet after any work or exercise, and avoid hard roads, or any fast 
or pounding work. In this way, a horse not badly foundered may 
not only be made very useful, but will be likely to improve. If 
the frog is not Very prominent, a leather sole may save it some of 
the jar, but if it is, the sole must be put in between the foot and 
the shoe, and have a hole cut in it to the shape of the frog, so as 
not to bear on it. If the case is not a bad one, the horse may work 
with such a contrivance for several years. 

If the animal seems disabled, give him soft tan or sawdust to 
stand on, take off his shoes, blister his coronets two or three times, 
and do not so much as walk him over hard ground for six months. 
Then, if he is improved, get him into work again very gradually. 
He will never again be a reliable road horse, but for farm work, or 
over turf roads, he may do tolerably well. 

Seedy toe, as it is called, is only one stage and consequence of 
laminitis, and calls for about the same treatment,, but very little 
improvement can be hoped for. 

Contraction op the feet, unless found in connection with 
actual disease, is a humbug. An examination of the next mule or 
donkey you may meet will convince you that an animal may have 
his hoofs in that shape, and never know what disease is. 

Navicular disease, or joint lameness, may come to the best 
made foot, for it is a " farrier's disease," and generally the result 
of bad shoeing and hard battering. 

The symptoms vary somewhat, but there it always more or less 
lameness, and it generally comes In both feet at once, so that it 
may be carelessly overlooked, as in founder. The particular sign 
is the forward pointing of the toe, and a peculiar rounding forward 
of the fetlock-joint, in an effort to relieve the navicular-bone of 
any weight. In the stable, if both feet are affected, the horse will 


point forward first with one and then the other, clearly showing his 
discomfort, and out of doors, the toes will dig into the ground, so 
that a sufferer from this disease is almost always a stumhler. Ho 
will nevertheless walk very well, but the moment he is trotted, his 
shortened gait will tell of him. 

Various remedies for recent cases aro proposed by different 
writers, but they are such as require an experienced hand, except 
that advantage may he gained by standing the horse, daily, for 
two or three hours, in yielding clay, to lead him to let himself 
down moro on his heels, and give a better chance for nature to work 
in restoring the injured parts. There is one resource which may 
seem cruel, but which is often the only thing left, and which will 
generally restore the animal to something like usefulness, unless 
there is caries of the bone, or ulceration of the synovial membrane ; 
it cannot be regarded as a " cure," however. This is " neurotomy,'' 
or the division of the nerves of sensation which go to the foot. It 
ought not to be done without evident necessity, and requires a good 
knowledge of the anatomy of the foot, a clear head and a steady 
hand. "We will quote Youatt's description of it, as it is sometimes 
advisable in ringbone and other difficulties of the feet : 

" The horse is cast and secured, and the limb to be operated on 
removed from the hobbles, and extended — the hair having been 
previously shaved from the part. The operator then feels for the 
throbbing of the artery, or the round, firm body of the nerve itself 
on the side of the shank-bone, or the larger pastern. Tho vein, 
artery, and nerve, here run close together ; the vein nearest to the 
front of the leg, then the artery, and the nerve behind. He cau- 
tiously cuts through the skin, for an inch and a half in length. 
The vessels will then be brought into veiw, and the nerve will be 
distinguished from them, by its being behind, and by its whiteness. 
A crooked needle, with silk, is passed under it, to raise it a little ; 
it is dissected from the cellular substance beneath, and about three- 
quarters of an inch of it cut out ; the first incision being made 
at the upper part, in which case the second cut will not be felt. 
The horse must then be turned, and the operation performed on 
the other side, for there is a nervous trunk on both sides. Tho 
wounds are now closed with strips of adhesive-plaster, a bandage 
placed over them, the head tied up for two days, and the anima] 
kept rather low, and as quiet as possible. The incisions will gen- 


erally rapidly heal, and in three weeks or a month, and sometimes 
earlier, the horse will be fit for work." 

A healthy, unshod horse, would probably never ' cut " in travel- 
ling, and this at once suggests both the causes and the remedy of 
any such defect. If the cause is overwork, low condition, and 
consequent weakness, do what you can to feed him up and 
strengthen him at the same time that you treat him locally. If he 
has brought out a splint on the cannon bone in any manner, so 
that he strikes on that, both must be cared for. If his shoeing is 
bad, have that rectified. The part which he is likely to hit, how- 
ever, must be padded, stockinged or booted, and this must be kept 
on until the soreness disappears, the swelling goes down, and the 
skin is healed. A bit of carpeting tied on with cloth strips and 
turned down over the fetlock joint, is a good pad, all the better 
with a piece of leather over it. Nothing but laziness will leave on 
any boot or pad until it has become such a mass of mud and road- 
grit as to wear off the hair like a coarse sandpaper. Very little 
common cuteness will suffice to fit on a good " buffer " of this 
kind, and we leave it to your own ingenuity. 

What is called " speedy cutting " is only a worse form of 
ordinary cutting, requiring the application of some good healing 
liniment to the injured part, such as arnica liniment, and the con- 
tinued wearing of a regular speedy-cut boot, in which there is a 
pad buckled on the inside of the leg, and reaching from the knee 
to the fetlock. It must be of this length in order to keep its place. 
Both of these difficulties occur with all imaginable gradations of 
severity, and must be dealt with accordingly. When they arise 
from malformation of the horse, or confirmed habit of travelling, 
there is no remedy but a perpetual use of the padded protector. 

Careless smiths will sometimes drive their nails too close to the 
quick, and this is very apt to happen when the hoof is too much 
used up, even if the horse has not showed any shrinking at the 
time. When, on the day after shoeing, a horse which was previous- 
ly sound, goes lame, and the foot is hot to the touch, it may gen- 
erally be assumed that a nail or nails have been driven too near to 
the quick, unless there is evidence of lameness from other causes. 
On tapping the crust with a hammer, the horse will flinch at some 
particular spot, and there is the nail which is in fault. Sometimes 
there is little inflammation as yet set up, but the pressure of the 


nail is sufficient to cause lameness, and in either case the shoe 
should he taken off. Then, if there is reason to suppose that mat- 
ter has formed, the opening from which the nail came out should 
he enlarged, and the matter allowed to escape. If, however, the 
foot has "been merely "hound," it may be either left to nature, 
with a shoo lightly tacked on, and a wet " swab " round the cor- 
onet, or it may be placed in a bran poultice, which is the safest 

When a nail is picked up on the road, if it has entered 
deeply into the toe of the frog, the probability is that the navicu- 
lar-joint has been wounded, or probably the tendon of the flexor 
at its insertion into the pedal bone, either of which are very seri- 
ous accidents. If the wound is further hack, there is less risk of 
permanent injury, as the bulbous heels or cushion of the frog will 
bear a considerable amount of injury without permanent mischief. 
In any case the treatment should consist in cutting away the horn 
round the opening, so as to allow of a free escape of matter if it 
forms. At the same time inflammation should be kept under by 
cold u swabs " to the coronet, cr by putting the whole foot into a 
bran poultice. 

Over-reaches, when slight, may be treated by the application 
of tincture of arnica, or other good liniments in full strength, 
which will have a tendency to dry them up and prevent suppura- 
tion. If, however, the heel is very much bruised, a poultice must 
be applied, but even then a little tincture of arnica should be 
sprinkled on it. "When the bfuise is so severe that a slough or core 
comes away, the wound may be dressed with a piece of lint, dip- 
ped in a solution of nitrate of silver, eight grains to the ounce of 
distilled water, and over this a bran poultice. In most cases, how- 
ever, it is better to foment the part well and then apply the tinc- 
ture of arnica neat. 

A bruise on a thin sole will sometimes cause matter to form, in 
which case the horn must be cut away, and the case treated as for 
quittor. Before matter forms, the horn should be reduced, and 
the foot should be placed in a cold bran poultice. 




Fever— Typhoid fever — Glanders —Farcy. 

Fever in the horse is not generally anything more than an inci- 
dent or accompaniment of other disease, such as we have already 
described. As an external symptom and warning, it may even bo 
said to have its valuable uses. In all such cases the treamcnt 
should be directed towards the cause, or if aimed at the fever 
itself, only so far as that is part and parcel of the real difficulty 
under which the animal is Buffering. In this country, however, 
more commonly than in Europe, horses are subject to diseases 
similar in cause and character to those in the human system 
which are known as " fevers" of various kinds and types. 

Simple fever, as we may call it, almost duplicates human 
symptoms. Ifc shows itself by dulness and reluctance to move, 
a staring coat, and cold legs and feet, with increased warmth of 
the body. The pulse is quick, soft, and variable — breathing a little 
accelerated, but not much — appetite entirely lost — bowels confined, 
and urine scanty. These symptoms continue for two or three 
days, and then either go on into the typhoid form, or they aro 
complicated by inflammation in some organ of the body. The 
treatment merely consists in giving a mild dose of physic, followed 
by a febrifuge drink, such as the following : — 

Take of Spirit of Nitrous Ether 1 oz. 

Nitre 3 to 5 drachma. 

Tincture of Ginger 2 drachms. 

Camphor Mixture G oz. 

Mix, and give twice a day. 

Typhoid types of fever are more common in those parts of tho 
United States where they also afflict the human race, and are like- 
wise prone to assume an epidemic form. To this class we may 
assign the " black tongue" of the Southwestern States; tho 


' : choking fever'' of the Middle States; the " putrid fever" of the 
West and Northwest ; and several other local names of the same 
general distemper. Symptoms will vary, as a matter of course, 
but there arc strong points of resemblance which cannot fail to 
serve as a guide. 

The first signs present little more than debility, but, if any sucli 
disease is known to be prevalent, they should be watched for, and 
promptly attended to. The next is a difficulty in swallowing. 
Hence the name " choking fever." Then, with still-failing strength, 
the breath of the animal becomes fetid, the tongue is discolored, 
and there is a black discharge from the tongue and gums. Hence 
the names " putrid fever," and " black tongue." There is very lit- 
tle danger that any one who has ever seen one case will fail to 
recognize the next, so soon as the symptoms become at all pro- 
nounced. The first thing to be done is to get the horse into a dry 
place, away from low ground or miasma, or the neighborhood of 
other animals similarly affected. If he is too weak to stand, at 
any time, do not let him lie too long on one side, but turn him over 
morning and evening. The disease is generally of a rapid and 
peculiarly fatal nature, but we give two prescriptions, the first from 
Dr. Walsch, and the second from the very able American editor of 
his book to which edition, by the way, we would refer our readers, 
for a most valuable collection of skillful information and common- 
sense advice, which could not be embraced in a smaller work. Wo 
regard every good " horse book " as a public benefaction. 

The treatment should be of the most generous kind, as soon as 
the bowels have been gently moved, which should be effected, if 
possible, by injection. Then give a ball two or three times a day, 
composed thus : 

Take of Carbonate of Ammonia .... 3^ to 1 drachm. 

Powdered Ginger 1 " 

Powdered Yellow Bark .... 3 " 

Syrup enough to make into a ball. 

This should be washed down with a quart of ale caudle, and hay 
tea should be allowed as the drink ad libitum ; or if there is diar- 
rhoea, rice-water may be used in the same way. Few cases, how- 
ever, will recover, in spite of every exertion and careful treatment 
on the part of the attendant. 

Or, give the following in a drench, morning noon and night : 


Cold Water 1 pint,. * * ' 

Powdered Carbonate of Ammonia . . ^ oz. 

Capsicum 1 drachm. 

- Powdered Pimento Berries % oz. 

Tincture Nux Vomica ...... 20 drops. 

If the horse cannot swallow, drench him with cold water aud 
meal several times daily — adding thirty drops of commercial sul- 
phuric acid to the drench. 

If there is one horse ailment more than another to be dreaded, a 
sort *f nightmare of horse owners, it is the glanders. Nothing 
could be more subtly and dangerously infective, and men as well 
as beasts are liable to be the victims of its destructive contagion. 
Until, within a very few years it was but little understood and was 
regarded as incurable. It certainly is so, unless taken hold of in 
its earlier stages. When a cough, in connection with glanders, in- 
dicates diseased lungs, or when what we -describe below as the 
" second stage " has become confirmed, no remedies will be likely 
to avail, and the animal should be destroyed to prevent contagion. 
The disease, in the first stage, seems to be confined to the inside 
lining of the nostrils,* which will become of a leaden or purple 
color, sometimes deep, but generally very light and pale, and not 
of the red shade produced by chronic catarrh. There will be a 
thin, acrid, odorless, transparent discharge from one nostrils only, 
rarely from both. The horse may otherwise seem as well as ever 
and go on with his work, but he should be immediately put by 
himself, in a dry and well ventilated stable. Give him, at morning, 
noon and night, every day, half an ounce at a time of sulphate of 
soda, and five grains of Spanish fly once a day, and feed him gen- 
erously to keep up his system. Keep up the treatment till every 
trace of the disease is removed, or until the appearance of worse 
symptoms declare the animal's death sentence. This may require 
several weeks. 

In the second stage, the discharge increases in quantity, and 
though still watery and transparent, it is slightly sticky, indicating, 
the pressure of mucous. The lymphatic glands below the jaw en- 
large, and become adherent to the bone, feeling hard to the touch 
and almost like exostosis. Here the permanent character of the 
discharge and the adherence of the glands to the bone distinguish 
it from chronic catarrh. In the third stage the discharge increases 
rapidly and becomes yellow and opaque — in fact, it is pure pus. 


If the nose is carefully examined, its lining membrane will be 
seen to present one or more sores, with depressed centres and rag- 
ged edges, and surrounded by 'small varicose vessels leading to 
them from all directions. In proportion to the extent of the local 
mischief, constitutional disturbance is displayed. The appetite 
fails — the horse loses flesh and spirits — the coat is turned the 
wrong way — the skin is hidebound, and the legs fill slightly during 
the day, but go down at night — the nosers, at last, frightfully 
ulcerated, the sores spreading to the larynx — ulcers break out on 
the body — and the horse finally dies, worn to a skeleton. 

No man with any regard for himself or his neighbors will keep 
a horse who has developed any of these later symptoms of glanders. 

Farcy is supposed to be of the same cause and nature as glan- 
ders, and is equally dangerous and infectious. If taken in its 
earlier stages it may yield to a precisely similar treatment. If it 
gets beyond them, there is nothing for it but to destroy the horse 
at once, before more harm is done. The disease first shows itself 
in one or two small hard knots in the skin, called " farcy buds. ' 
These soon soften, forming small quantities of pus. Then other 
buds form, usually in the thin skin of the inside of the thighs and 
arms, or on the neck and lips. They vary in size from a quarter 
to a half-dollar piece. The remaining symptoms resemble those 
of glanders, and the horse wastes miserably away and dies, if his 
owner does not wisely and humanely anticipate the decease with a 




Influence of sire and dam — Heat— Inheritance of qualities— Ago — Sizo — 
Foaling— "Working mares — Weaning — Feeding— Handling. 

It is generally considered that the horse has more to do with the 
special characteristics of the colt than the mare, but it must not be 
forgotten that before birth and for some time afterward the young 
one gets all his nourishment from his mother, and his health and 
constitution cannot fail to depend very much upon the condition of 
her own. In fact, the preponderance of the influence of either the 
male or female parent upon the character of the colt will depend 
very much upon the relative strength of their nervous systems at 
the time of eoition. Hence the impossibility of laying down any 
general law. In the employment of any given brood-mare for the 
first time, it must be borne in mind that every subsequent colt she 
may have is likely to bear traces of that first impregnation. Do not 
start her with an inferior horse. Not only natural but acquired 
qualities are transmitted, whether they belong to the sire or dam, 
and also both bodily and mental. As bad qualities are quite as 
easily transmitted as good ones, if not more so, it is necessary to 
take care that in selecting a male he is free from had points as 
well as furnished with good ones. It is known by experience that 
the good or bad points of the progenitors of the sire or dam are 
almost as likely to appear again in the offspring as those of the 
immediate parents in whom they are dormant. Hence, in breed- 
ing, he rule is, that like prodnces like, or the likeness of some an- 

The period of " heat " is marked by certain discharges and other 
symptoms in the mare, and the horse will show it plainly enough, 
and the latter part of the time of heat is considered the best and 

In this country our mares are generally of a more " mixed " 
descent than our breeding stallions, and as pure blooded animals 


transmit more of their own nature to their offspring, this adds very 
materially to the greater importance of the selection of the male. 
We do not generally find ourselves in danger of too much " in-and- 
in " breeding, and need not discuss that point, except to say that 
" once in and once out " has been accepted as a good rule among 
very successful breeders 

You cannot expect a slow, stout mare, with no fast ancestry, to 
bring you a rapid traveller from ever so fast a stallion, but that 
colt, if a mare, will do a great deal better when her turn comes, 
and so on. When single instances of apparent good luck seem to 
contradict this rule, an explanation will generally be found by 
going back two or three generations, if that is at all possible. 

Do not expect to make an arithmetical example of a horse and 
mare, and produce a colt representing both of them in any exact 
proportion. The young animal will be heir not only to his own 
father and mother, but to theirs before them, and the sum total of 
his " birthright " is quite likely to be a puzzle of reproduction. 

There can be no doubt, however, of the importance of noting 
the health', habits, vices and other peculiarities, of both sire and 
dam, and of avoiding anything in either which you would consider 
undesirable in the colt. 

Do not let both horse and mare be either very young or very old. 
If one is young, let the other be older, and vice versa. Many of the 
best horses on record have been begotten by vigorous old stallions 
of seventeen to twenty-two years, and the same is true of sound old 
mares, and age is no bar to success, but such instances are raro 
where both parents were old or feeble. The general rule adopted 
by English breeders is that the dam should not be less than three 
years old, and the sire at least seven. Wo should much prefer the 
mare to be at least five. 

The size of a colt will be governed less by the accidental bulk of 
either of his parents than by that of their " line " or breed, and 
this occasions not a few disappointments, both pleasant and un- 

Mares of moderate size are generally stronger and mako better 
breeders than large ones, unless the latter come from an exception- 
ally largo breed. 

Bearing these hints in mind, and using a fair degree of judgment, 
almost anybody ean manage to secure colts that it will be worth 
while to raise. 


Keep the mare up near the stable at foaling time, and she will 
be pretty sure to give a few hours notice of what is coming. After 
foaling keep mother and colt enclosed by themselves, if possible* 
until the latter is able to take care of itself, somewhat. We lost 
a very nice colt, a while ago, by neglecting this Do not forget 
that colts are full of mischief and nonsense, and will be very apt to 
hurt themselves if they have a chance. 

As to working brood-mares, all mares are the better for moderate 
work up to within two months of foaling, but care should be taken 
not to urge them or over-drive them. 

Mares should be so timed that the foals may be dropped about 
the time grass becomes good for the mother, and out-door weather 
fairly steady, and this varies too much in our broad territory to 
give a rule. 

When the mare is in foal, if not intended to be kept at work, 
she should be turned out in good pasture ; but it should not be 
so rich and succulent as to disagree with her stomach, or make 
her unwieldy from fat. The former mistake is a constant cause 
of miscarriage, the "bowels becoming relaxed from the improper 
nature of the food. On the other hand, if it is not sufficiently 
good, the mare will become thin, and will starve her foal in its 
growth. Mares that have been corned highly all their lives should 
have a feed or two daily, after they are six months gone, and es- 
pecially if the autumnal grasses are not rich and plentiful. Most 
animals, however, do very well till about Christmas ; after which, 
hay and corn, with a few carrots, should be liberally given them, 
still allowing them to pick up what grass they can find. Excessive 
fat interferes with the due nutrition of the fat us, while it is very 
dangerous at foaling-time, when it not only interferes with the 
process, but also tends to produce fever. Supposing the mare to 
be at work, she should have some kind of green food. Any of tho 
grasses or clovers answer well; and, after they are done carrots 
are excellent, given sliced in a bran-mash every night. By adopt- 
ing these articles of food, the mare is kept free from inflammation, 
and yet the foal is well nourished, which are the two essential 
points to be considered. 

Excitement of every kind is a fertile source of " slipping : ' tho 
foal; and everything which is at all likely to have that effect 
should be carefully avoided. The smell of blood is said to have a' 


very prejudicial influence in this way. If a inare lias " slipped " a 
foal in a previous pregnancy, double care should be taken, as she 
will be far more likely to do so again than another which has hither- 
to escaped the accident. It occurs most frequently about the fourth 
or fifth month, therefore extra care should be taken at that time. 
Purging physic should not be given, unless it is absolutely neces- 
sary ; and if the bowels are so confined as to require some stimu- 
lus of this kind, and bran-mashes and other changes in the food 
fail to produce any effect, choice should be made of the mildest 
aperient which is likely to answer the purpose. 

At the time of foaling, the mare will to a great extent take care 
of herself, but if you can have experienced assistance at hand it is 
well to do so. 

A good healthy mare is very little exhausted by the birth of a 
foal, and if the weather is good, she may be let out in a couple of 
days. Care should be taken as to what other animals are permitted 
in the same enclosure, avoiding vicious or ugly-tempered brutes. 
Until the grass is plentiful see that the mare has plenty of good 
food. Carrots, bran-mashes, oat-gruel, cut clover, nothing nice and 
succulent is likely to come amiss, and both mare and colt will show 
the good effects. If otherwise in good health, neither mare nor 
colt require other attention than good shelter from bad weather 
and regular feeding, during the rest of suckling time. At weaning 
time, the mare i9 generally nearly dry, and needs • no help. If 
otherwise, a dose of some cooling medicine may be beneficial. 

The future value of a horse depends a good deal upon his treat- 
ment when a colt. He will get along splendidly by himself for 
his first summer, accidents and diseases excepted, but will be all 
the better, after his second month, for a small feed of bruised oats 
daily. Shelter from storms he must have, and particularly when 
the chilling weather of later autumn comes on. In winter he 
must have a place to get warm in and something dry to stand on, 
if he is to develop a sound constitution. Cruelty and neglect aro 
miserable waste, and a man who is careless of his colt is throwing 
away his horse. The care, however, must not be unnatural, or 
such as will make the animal tender and helpless. Make him tako 
the cold, dry air, and trust his young blood that he will take all 
the exercise he can get. 

If we were asked at what age l< training and breaking " should 


begin, we should reply, " By no means before the colt is born." 
As soon as possible afterwards, be should be made familiar with 
gentle handling, and gently taught to obey. Rough language 
rough handling, teazing, anything that will startle or scare him, 
any show of bad temper at his caprices, will surely give his education 
a wrong turn. This is the time when the horse begins to collect his 
habits, bad and good, as well as to show what he has inherited. 
If the latter is bad it can be mostly got rid of now. The process 
of handling must be gradual, and without any unnecessary " fool- 
ery." Before weaning, and about the fourth or fifth month, it will 
be well to put on a light headstall, and after that a leading rein, 
and the little fellow can be taught to follow and obey in such a 
way that he will never dream of resistance. It will be nature to 
him. After the sixth month, in which a colt is usually weaned, the 
process of feeding will give good chances for carrying on his edu- 
cation, and, if his feed and care are what they ought to be, his 
growth need have no check, and his temper may almost invariably 
be kept good. 




The idea of breaking a colt to work seems to be naturally associated 
in the minds of most, and especially the inexperienced, with over- 
coming some terrible natural obstacle by a combination of human 
force and fraud, and the product of many generations of domestic 
use and education, familiar from his birth with human companion- 
ship and the ways of men, i3 practically put upon the same level 
with the wild horse of the savannas, or even the vicious carnivora 
of the menagerie. The common-sense and sound teaching of these 
latter days has done much to dissipate such erroneous and hurtful 
notions, but they are still permitted to accompfish a vast amount 
of needless mischief. 

Even the humane doctrines of Mr. Rarey, and other trainers, are 
lost sight of by stupidity in a sort of open-mouthed wonder at his 
conquests over exceptional cases of acquired or inherited vice, and 
too many are apparently inclined to imagine that the gentle and 
tractable pets of their own farmyards, the playmates, it may be, of 
their own children, are under some inscrutable necessity of being 
" Rareyfied " before they will take kindly to the weight of the 
6addle, or the drag of the harness. The writer of this book has 
no fear of being contradicted by any respectable trainer in laying 
it down as a fundamental principle that, other things being equal, 
that horse will be the best " broken," freest from trick and vice, 
most reliable and obedient, and, at the same time, the most spirited 
and enduring, whose course of education has been such that he 
cannot recall any time when he was not broken. He should have 
no memory of any hour of great trouble and fear when he first 
discovered that man was his master, and that all his struggles for 
freedom were in vain. Here we' can do no better than to quote 
what Mr. Rarey lays down as the net result of his own remarkably 
wide and varied experience. He says : 

" First, That the horse is so constituted by nature that he will 


not offer resistance to any demand made of him which he fully 
comprehends, if made in a way consistent with the laws of his 

" Secondly, That he has no consciousness of his strength be- 
yond his experience, and can be handled according to our will 
without force. 

" Thirdly, That we can, in compliance with the laws of his nature, 
by which he examines all things new to him, take any object, 
however frightful, around, over, or on him, that does not inflict 
pain, without causing him to fear.'' 

It will at once be gathered from this that as God intended the- 
horse for the friend, companion and servant of man, he made no 
blunder in so constituting the animal that men of average sense 
Bhould be able to turn him to account without great trouble or any 
cruelty whatever. Of Mr. Rarey's special method in dealing with 
brutes that have been spoiled in the training, or whose early edu- 
cation has been neglected, we have no room to speak, and must 
content ourselves with a few hints concerning the class of colts of 
which we have been mpre particularly speaking. 

If the owner of the colt has begun with him as we suggested in 
the last chapter, he will already be accustomed to wear something 
on his head and neck, and the form and style of this can be so 
changed, from time to time, that he will find nothing " strange," or 
alarming, in any sort of headgear. Nor is this attended with any 
especial expense of time or trouble. Even if haltering has been 
neglected until the animal is two or three years old, the process oi 
getting him used to it should have as little of suddenness about it 
as may be. 

The next stumbling block is the bit, and this should be of asim» 
pie form, with side pieces to keep it from slipping in the mouth. 
The more gradually the colt is taught to bear pressure on his 
mouth, the less likely he will be to become "hard bitted,' 1 and 
disposed to make the reins and his driver's arms do the work of 
the traces and singletree. The forms and styles of " breaking- 
bits'' are numerous now-a-days, and none of them are very bad if 
they are used rightly. Do not attempt to teach the colt what the 
bit is put in his mouth for until he has become somewhat indiffer- 
ent to having it there. He will readily consent to. receive ideas 
and orders through it, as if it was, in a way, a part of himself. 


Do not forget that a badly educated mouth means a badly trained 
horse The whole business of management hinges upon this, 
beginning. If the colt, for any reason, takes unkindly to his bit- 
ting, keep, him .in the stable, and keep his head down somewhat 
with a martingale. 

Do not carry this too far, however, for at all stages of hi* 
training the horse must be accustomed to exercise with hi3 gear on, 
whatever it is. The more he can be taught to bear pressure on hi$ 
bit by a gentle human hand on the reins, the better, and if a surcingle: 
is employed, the reins should be drawn little by little, so that the 
animal can at any time relieve the pressure on his mouth by 
lowering his head. The more quiet handling and kind words you 
can give him, the better, varying the time taken for each successive 
lesson according to the temper shown, and the tractability of the- 
animal, for no two horses are exactly alike in their requirements. 

The next point of education is the surcingle, of which the colt 
should be allowed a good smell, and which should be rubbed over 
him until he is no longer afraid of it. The bucklirig on and light- 
ening should not be hurried, especially with thin-skinned and 
nervous fellows. Even with such we have passed readily from 
surcingle to blanket, and from that to pad and saddle, without a 
single vicious plunge, or anything like a " scare."' 

If the horse is to be saddle-broken first, which is generally 
easiest and best, he should be taught the meaning of the reins, and 
become accustomed to the pressure of the saddle, and some light 
weight on it, as well as to the jingle and motion of the stirrups, 
before he is mounted. The first mounting is necessarily quite an 
event in the life of a horse, however carefully he may have been 
prepared for it, though some will take it quito as a matter of 
course, and make almost no fuss at all. Another writer, who 
evidently agrees with us, says : 

" The breaker should during the last week's exercise, before 
mounting, put on a saddle instead of a roller and surcingle, keep- 
ing it in its place by loose girths and a crupper. Every day he- 
should bear occasionally upon the stirrups, smacking them against 
the saddle, and thus accustoming the colt to noises, and also to- 
pressure on his back. When all is ready, he has only to put his 
foot in the stirrup, standing with his back to the shoulder, and 
then, after partially rising two or three times, and coming dowrt 


again, he finally plants himself firmly in the saddle. Most careful 
breakers have a roll of cloth buckled firmly in front of their 
saddles ; and with this precaution, even if the colt bucks or kicks, 
it is almost impossible for him to dislodge them. When thus 
mounted the breaker should be in no hurry, but let the colt get 
accustomed to the intruder. Let him wait till the pupil has some- 
what recovered from the shock, and then only let him urge him 
forward at as slow a pace as he likes. If all has been conducted 
well throughout the preliminary stages, and the colt is good-tem- 
pered, he will walk away quietly enough, and generally no trouble 
will be given for a day or two ; when, probably, there will be some 
slight fight, which may be either in causing the pupil to go where 
he does not want to go, or in making him face some object which 
frightens him. At first, neither whip nor spur should be used, for 
the object of neither is understood ; and if the colt will not readily 
move forward, he should be led or driven by an assistant, and not 
whipped or spurred by his rider. In process of time, however, he 
is made gradually to understand these signs by the tact of the 
breaker ; and then if he offends, he must be punished accordingly, 
but it must always be remembered that the fault must be met im- 
mediately, or not at all." 

We have long held the opinion that horses generally laid the 
foundation, so to speak, of their worst faults and tricks, in their 
very first experiences, at any kind of work, and probably often in 
incidents or accidents that were unnoticeable at the time. 

It is partly for this reason that we urge so strongly that the 
" breaking " process should be attended with the very least possi- 
ble degree of pain or fear. At no other time is courage, patience 
and thorough good temper of such importance on the part of the 
trainer. For this reason also, we would not allow a timid, quick- 
tempered, cruel or ignorant person, to have anything to do with a 
colt, at any time, as such a person would be so very likely to do 
or omit something, in a way to permanently diminish his value or 
usefulness If an unbroken colt comes into the hands of any of 
■our readers, and they desire to experiment on him, we would advise, 
before going on with our instructions, that the first step should be 
to so to make the stranger's acquaintance that he will feel entirely 
" at home and among friends " before anything more is attempted 
•with him. If this cannot be dcne> for any reason, wliy, then the 
•ordinary methods must take their course, hit or miss, with a fair 
chance for making some kind of a " miss." 

If a colt has progressed so far that he will go kindly under the 
saddle, and has learned to have some confidence in his rider, or if 
it is not intended to saddle-break him, and he has been pretty 
thoroughly bitted and taught the meaning of the reins, the next 
«tep will probably be to break him to harness. This ought to be 
.a very easy and simple process, ir the colt is so taught not to fear 


his harness that his first lesson is reduced to the mere fact of pull- 
ing. If the colt is at all shy or nervous, it would be well to put 
on and take off the harness for several days in succession, before 
going any farther. He should be made especially familiar with 
his collar, both by sight and smell, and it should from the first 
be put on over his head in the ordinary way, so that he shall 
know just what it is that is pressing on his shoulders when he 
begins to pull. That knowledge may save him a deleterious fright 
and consequent backing and plunging. 

It may be that circumstances will compel you to break the colt 
by himself, in single harness, and this may have its advantages, 
enabling you to humor him and let him take his own time in get- 
ting used to his new circumstances. The better way, probably, is 
to take advantage of the fact that the horse is a very imitative 
fellow, and very apt to be reassured by the company of one of 
his own kind, and put him in for the first time in double harness 
with some steady-going and reliable old roadster, who will start 
and stop at the will of the driver, and force his young companion 
to do the same. For our own part, we would drive a green horse 
double for a good while, if possible, before allowing him to he put 
in by himself. Even then it may be found that he hardly under- 
stands himself or knows what to do. It is a curious fact that 
an old horse who has been used several times as a " break horse," 
will take quite an interest in the education of his young compan- 
ion and be of more than a little service. Do not employ in such 
a capacity a beast that has shown any signs of vice, unless you 
desire to get into the worst kind of a scrape with both of them. 

Be sure that you have not provided too heavy a pull for your 
pupil, to hurt his shoulders at first, and give him such a disgust 
with his collar that he will be inclined to back or baulk the next 
time he feels its pressure. Put in the old horse first, and have 
things headed right and all clear for a sudden start, if one should 
come. Then lead up the colt quietly, with all his harness on. 
Crowd him gently into his place. Buckle up as near like lightning 
as you can without making the least degree of fuss or worry. 
Then the driver may spring to his seat, take the reins, and say 
nothing. No shouting, no whipping, only a quiet chirp to the old 
horse, and no notice to the young one, and the chances are three 
to one that the pair will step right off without a sign of resistance 
from the colt. If he should rebel, the conduct of the driver may 
depend somewhat on that of the colt, with this proviso, that steady 
patience and plenty of time are worth all the lashing in the world. 

Do not drive very fast, no matter how well you get off, and 
travel straight on without stopping until you are sure that your 
pupil begins to feel some degree of ease at his work. This will 
of course require a longer time if there has been anything of a 
struggle or bad temper at the outset. You may drive three or 


four miles, perhaps, and then, if all is going well, try a few lessons 
in stopping or starting, or in turning. Do not do this, however, if 
you have had any trouble, but leave it until next day, contenting 
yourself with what you have taught at the collar. And now do 
not overdo this, but hasten home before the colt's shoulder is over 
tired or rendered likely to be stiff next day, for if it is he will be 
sure to flinch and back, and your second lesson will be harder than 
your first. This is one of the way3 in which bad backers are made. 
By degrees the cOlt will learn all that you can teach him in double 
harness, and become as steady and reliable as his veteran com- 

As a general thing there is more to be feared from a colt's first 
attempt to pull alone than from the experiments which we have 
described, as in the latter case the companion horse counts for a 
great deal, and the sense of independence seems to have a natural 
tendency to " bring out the bad," whether of temper or timidity. 
Therefore it is well to use some care on the first trial, and to pro- 
vide for emergencies. Use a strong harness and a " break-wagon/' 
if you can get one, the latter hiuh enough to make it almost im- 
possible for the horse to kick over the bar. Always put on a 
kicking strap and safety rein, for fear of accidents, and have the 
tugs open above so as to drop the shafts into them. If all things 
have been well managed hitherto there will probably be no trou- 
ble, and if there is it will be in starting, in the absence of the 
other horse. In the absence of any cause of fright, strong arms 
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must be prevented — but for refusing to start it is best to wait 
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we were asked what was the one most important piece of harness 
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patience and courage of his driver." 

It is of more importance with young horses than even with old 
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gall, a ,ri that no work should be required beyond the animal's 
reasonable strength. 

The next care should be against fright, or the acquisition of 
real or pretended tricks of fear concerning particular tbjects. A 
little care at the beginning will secure comfort and safety in use 
and higher price on the day of sale. 

y -il 


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And the Different Inflexions and Modulation of the Voice, 

Clearly Explained by 


Also Contaixixg 

Choice Selections of the Most Thrilling", Passionate, 

Heroic and Patriotic Speeches and Poems, with 

Appropriate Instructions to enable the 

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FIGURE I.— Grief. 
FIGURE II.— Dislike. 
FIGURE III.— Modesty. 
FIGURE IV.-Regket. 
FIGURE V.— Resolution. ' 
FIGURE VI.— Admiration. 
FIGURE VII.— Caution. 
FIGURE VIII.— Adoration. 

FIGURE IX.— Disdais. 
FIGURE X.— Cursing. 
FIGURE XI.— Appeal. 
FIGURE XIII.— Patriotism. 
FIGURE XIV.— Courage. 
FIGURE XV.—Invocation. 

These Illustrations are very superior, excelling: in accuracy of delineation, 
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Arranged for the Voice and the Piano. 

Captain Jinks. 
Champagne Charlie. 
Tassels on the Boots. 
Tommy Dodd. 
!p in a Balloon. 
Not for Joseph. 
Immense! koflT. 
Bell Goes A-Ringilig for 

Lancashire Lass. 
Flying" Trapeze. 
Rowing Home in 

IVIorning, Boys. 
Thinly O'Flinn. 
Beautiful Bells. 
I'll Tell Your Wife. 
Blue Eyed Yiolets. 


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Bryant's Casket of Musical Gems, 

Containing FIFTEEN PIECES of the very finest Songs and Ballads as 


Arranged for the Voice and the Piano. 


Eittle ITIaggie TTIay. 
Thy Voice is Near. 
Lover's Eetter-Box. 
Fisherman's Daughter. 
Chickabiddy; or, Good- 

bye, John. 
Far Away. 
Where is Jrfy Nancy. 
Call Her Back and Kiss 


Pretty Eittlc Flora. 
Tapping at the Garden 

The Soft Bctv is Sleeping. 
The Bell Goes A-Riugiug 

for Sai-rah. 
Jess ITIcFarland. 
O, ITIy Eost Eovc. 

Blue-Eyed Violets. 

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Of which over Twenty are Set to Music Expressly for this Work. 
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Pulling- Hard Against the 

Beautiful Sells. 
Fisherman's Daughter. 
Shabby Ge\ifeel. 
Pretty Little Mary. 
Mabel Waltz. 
Will Jones and Susan 

Pretty Polly, if You Love 

Me, do say Yes. 

Up in a ISalloon. 

Capt. Wellington de Boots. 

To Watch the City's Peace. 

Tommy Dodd. 

O, Wouldn't You Like to 

Lancashire Lass. 

Shells of Ocean. 

The Velocipede. 

True Blue and '72. 

The Maiden and Her Lin- 

I'll Tell Your Wife. 

This book is one sparkling 1 carcanet of song and ballad brilliants. Noth- 
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a single good song can be thought of that the "Blonde of the Period 
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I Knew that I Was Dream- 
I Should Like to be a Fairy. 
The Hallelujah Band. 

Medicine Jack. 
Dutchman's Courtship. 
She Was Just About the 

Soda and B 

I'll Have Your Hat. 
Up a Tree. 

Almost every good Irish Song ever sung, will be found in these handsome 
pages— besides as much new and sparkling music as would cost three or four 
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A splendid colored cover encloses this capital Song Book of 200 pages. 


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I'm Her Pa. 
Naughty Mary .Ann. 
Not so Bad for Me. 
There's Nothing' Like Pride 

About Me. 
My Johnny Love was a 

I Fancy I Can See Her Now. 



These Song Books contain all the new songs of the day, adapted to well- 
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1 . Teddy Regan Songster. 

— Being a collection of new and 
choice Irish songs — sentimental, 
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5. Tim Finnigan's Wake 
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have raked the " ould sol " to 
have gathered up such galore old 
and new Irish songs. 

6. Handy Andy Song 
Book. — Being a collection of 
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7. Paddy's Own Dime 
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choice selection of comic songs, 
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Irish songs of the "rale ould sort " 

sandwiched bct^- :.: many of 

(he most deservedly popular ones. 

11. Annie Laurie ITIelodist. 

— Containing eighty-four x>opular 
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12. IHcet Me in the Lane 
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lads has ever appeased. 

13. Gipsy's Warning Song- 
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is more than worth the price of 
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14. Swinging in the Lane 

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no other companion that this 
mr^t enjoyable collection. 

15. Pretty Little Sarah 

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song line seems to have escaped 
the compiler of this charming 

10. Paddle Your Own 
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was there a better lot of songs got 
together. Fresh, sparkling, fun- 
ny and sentimental. 

17. Goose Hangs High 
Songster. — A collection of 
sharp and spicy songs, with a dash 
of " don't care " about them that 
will do for the boys. 

18. Viva la Coinpagnie 
Songster. — This contains a 
new ■ i nl original song, written to 
the- well-known drinking melody 
of " Viva la Compagnie." 

19. Naught", Naughty 
Girls SOi'jrstcr.— This im- 
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of the doze s equally good th;*^ 
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The following list of Plays comprises nearly all the great successes of the 
leading Dramatic Authors of the day. There is not a single piece among 
them that has not been played over and over again, to immense houses, in 
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houses. Each piece has ample and perfect directions for effectively putting 
it upon the stage, and every possible assistance is given to the stage-manager 
and prompter. The edition is handsomely printed from clear, legible type, 
upon white paper. 

1. Caste. — An original Comedy, in 
three Acts. By T. W. Robertson, 
Esq. Five Male, three Female 
Characters. Price 15 cts. 

2. Nobody's Child.— A Drama- 
tic Play, in three Acts. By Watts 
Phillips, Esq. Eighteen Male, 
two Female Characters. 

Price 15 cts. 

3. SI 00,000.— By H. J. Byron, 
Esq., one of the most popidar 
English Dramatists. Eight Male, 
four Female Characters. 

Price 15 cts. 

4. Dandelion's Dodges. -A 

Farce, in one Act. By T. J. Wil- 
liams. Four Male, two Female 
Characters. Price 15 cts. 

5. William Tell, Tvitli a 
Vengeance ! —A Burlesque, 
in two Acts. By H. J, Byron, 
Esq. Eight Male, two Female 
Characters. Price 15 cts. 

6. Six months Ago.— A Farce, 
in one Act. By Felix Dale, Esq. 
Two Male, one Female Charac- 
ters. Price 15 cts. 

7. Maud's Peril.— A Drama, in 
four Acts. By Watts Phillips, 
Esq. Five Male, three Female 
Characters. Price 15 cts. 

8. Henry Dunbar.— A Drama, 
in four Acts. By Tom Taylor, Esq. 
Ten Male, three Female Charac- 
ters. Price 15 cts. 

9. A Fearful Tragedy in 

the Seven Dial! —A Farci- 
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Charles Selby, Coi cdian. Four 
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10. The Snapping Turtles ; 
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one Act. By John B. Buckstone. 
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11. ^Vook cock's Liittle 

Game,- A Comedy Farce, in 
two Acts. By John Maddison 
Morton. Four Male, two Female 
Characters. Price .15 cts. 

12. A Widow Hunt.— A Come- 
dy, iu three Acts. (Altered from 
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Friend.") By J. Sterling Coyne. 
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13. Ruy Dlas. — A Romantic 
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French of Victor Hugo. Twelve 
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14. No Thoroughfare. — A 

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16. Dearer than Life.— A 

Serio-Coraic Drama, in two Acts. 
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17. Kind to a Fault.— A 

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18. If I Had a Thousand a 
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19v He's a Lunatic.— A Farce, 
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20. Daddy Gray.— A Serio- 
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21. Play.— A Comedy, in tour 
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22. David Garrick.— A Come- 
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23. The Petticoat Parlia- 
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one Act. By Mark Lemon. Fif- 
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Characters. Price ..15 cts. 

24. Cabman No. 03 ; or, 
Found in a Four- Wheel- 
er. —A Farce, in one Act. By T. 
J. Williams, Esq. Two Male, two 
Female Characters. Price 15 cts. 

25. The Broker-Hearted 
Club.— A Comedietta. By' J. 
Sterling Coyne. .1 our Male, eight 
Female Characters. Price 15 cts. 

26. Society. A Comedy, irronree 
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27. Time and Tide.— A Drama, 
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Henry Leslie. Seven Male, five 
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28. A Happy Pair.— A Come- 
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Smith. One Male, one Female 
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20. Turning: the Tables.— 

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male Characters. Price. . . . 15 cts. 

30. The Goose with the 
Golden Egg's.— A Farce, in 
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31. Taming- a Tiger. — A 

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32. The Little Rebel. — A 

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33. One Too Many for Him. 
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34. Lark ill's Love Letters. 

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35. A Silent Woman. - A 

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3G. Black Sheep. — A Drama, in 
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3wWl Silent Protector. — A 

Farce, in one Act. By Thomas 
J. Williams, Esq. Three Male, 
two Female Characters. 
Price 15 cts. 

38. The Rightful Heir.- A 

Drama, in rive Acts. By Lord 
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39. Master Jones' Birth- 
day. — A Farce, in one Act. By 

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40. Atchi. — A Comedietta, in one 
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41. Beautiful Forever,- A 

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Hay. Two Male, two Female 
Characters. Price 15 cts. 

42. Time and the Hour.— A 

Drama, in three Acts. By J. Pal- 
grave Simpson and Felix Dale. 
Seven Male, three Female Charac- 
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43. Sisterly Service.— An Origi- 
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P. Wooler. Seven Male, two Fe- 
male Characters. Price .... 15 cts. 

44. War to the Knife.— A 

Comedy in three Acts. By Henry 
J. Byron. Five Male, four Female 
Characters. Price 1 5 cts. 

45. Our Domestics.— A Comedy 
Farce, in two Acts. By Fred- 
erick Hay. Six Male, six Fe- 
male Characters. Price ... 15 cts . 

46. Miriam's Crime. — A 

Drama, in three Acts. By H. T. 
Craven. Five Male, two Female 
Characters. Price 15 cts. 

47. Easy Shaving".— A Farce, 
in one Act. By F. C. Burnand 
and Montague Williams. Five 
Male, two Female Characters. 
Price 15 cts. 

48. Little Annie's Birth- 
day.— A Farce. By W. E. Suter. 
Two Male, tour Female Charac- 
ters. Price 15 cts. 

49. The Midnight Watch.— 
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J. Morton. Eight Male, two Fe- 
male Characters. Price .... 1 5 cts. 

50. The Porter's Knot.— A 

Serio-comic Drama, in two Acts. 
By John Oxentord. Eight Male, 
two Female Characters. 
Price 15 ets. 

51. A Model ef a Wife.— A 

Farce, in one Act. By Alfred 
Wigan, Esq. Three Male, two 
Female Characters. Price 15 cts. 

52. A Cup of Tea.— A Come- 
dietta, in one Act. By Charles 
Nuitter and J. Derley. Three 
Male, one Female Characters. 
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53. Gertrude's Money-Box. 

— A Farce, in one Act. By Harry 
Lemon. Four Male, two Female 
Characters. Price 15 cts. 

54. The Young- Collegian.— 

A Farce, in one Act. By T. W. 
Robertson. Three Male, two Fe- 
male Characters. Price. . . .15 cts. 

55. Catherine Howard; or, 
the Throne, the Tomb, 
and the Scaffold.- -A His- 
toric Play, in three Acts. By W. 
D. Suter. Twelve Male, five 
Female Characters. Price 15 cts. 

56. Two Gay Deceivers ; or, 
Black, White and Gray. 

— A Farce, in one Act. By T. W. 
Robertson. Three Male Charac- 
ters. Price 15 cts. 

57. Noeniie. — A Drama, in two 
Acts. By T. "W. Robertson. 
Four Male, four Female Charac- 
ters. Price 15 cts. 

58. Deborah (Leah) ; or, 
The Jewish Maiden's 

Wrong". — A Drama, in three 
Acts. By Charles Smith Chelt- 
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Characters. Price 15 cts. 


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DE WITTS HALF DIME MUSIC will contain the most choice and exqui- 
site pieces, by the most able, gifted and popular Composers. This se- 
lection -will comprise every style of really good music— fiom the solemn 
and pajjhetic to the light and humorous. The repertoires of the most 
talenteu English and Continental, equally with those of our own native 
composers, will enrich the series— which will continually range from 
" grave to gay, from lively to severe." 


1 . Pretty Polly, if you Love me, do 

say Yes. 

2. The Fisherman's Daughter that 

Lives o'er the "Water. 

3. The Lo.ver'8 Letter-Box. 

4. I'll Tell Your Wife. 

5. Thy Voice is Near. 

6. Blue-Eyed Violets. 

7. Up in a Balloon. 

8. The Maiden and Her Linnet. 

9. Captain Jinks. 

in. Little Blue Butterfly. 

11. Champagne Charlie. 

12. Thady OTlynn. 

13. Tassels on the Boots. 

14. The Soft Dew is Sleeping. 

15. Tommy Dodd. 

16. When the Roses Blow. 

17. That's the Style for Me, 

18. Pretty Little Flora 

19. Bother the Men. 

20. Beautiful Bells. 

21. The Mother's Dream. 

22. I wish I was a Fish ; or, Sweet 

Polly Primrose. 

23. My Spirit Star. 

24. Put it down to Me. 

25. Little Maggie May. 

26. The Vagabond. 

27. A Loving Daughter's Heart. 

28. Oh, Wouldn't You like to Know. 

29. The Paradise of Love. 

30. Where is My Nancy. 

31. My Heart is o'er the Sea; or, 

Maggie's Secret. 

32. Maggie's Welcome. 

33. Iramenseikoff. 

34. The Way of the World. 

35. l*>reamin? of Nellie. 

36. It's all the Same to Sam. 

37. Five O'clock in the Mornme. 

38. " Good-bye, John ; " or, Chicka- 


39. She Came and Vanished like a 


40. The Beau of Saratoga. 

41. Meet Me in the Lane: 

42. Not for Joseph. 

43. Tapping at the Garden Gate. 

44. California Gold ; or, She was such 

a Nice Young Girl. 

45. Sleeping on Guard ; or, Katie's 

Love- Letter. 

46. It's Better to Laugh than to Cry. 

47. The Summer Dew. 

48. Susan, Susan, Pity my Confusion. 

49. Oh, My Lost Love. 

50. Walking in the Park. 

51. Far Away. 

52. The Bell Goes, a-ringing for Sai- 


53. Call Her Back and Kiss Her. 

54. On, Boys, on, the Course is always 


55. Jess MacFarlane. 

56. The Flying Trapeze. 

57. Yes, I'll meet Thee, Dearest. 

58. It's Nice to be a Father. 

59. Hattie Bell. 

CO. Act on the Square, Boys. 

61. Whisper, " Yes," or u No," Love. 

C2. Her Bright Smile Haunts me Still. 

63. Oh, Cast that Shadow from thy 

64. Love Not. 

65. b he Wore a Wreath of Poses. 

66. She Danced like a Fairy. 

67. I Never Go East qf Madison 

63. The Lancashire Lass. 

DE WITTS HALF DIME MUSIC can always be obtained at all tho News 
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S.-nd Cash Orders to K. M. DE WITT, No. 33 Roso St./N. Y. 

— /' ■-.= 




. This unrivalled lot of Jok*^ Books is crammed full of the tallest kin:' of 
Yanke Stories, Irish Tales v Conundrums, Anecdotes, Jests, Jolly Paragraph* , 
in short, almost everything funny that has ever been said or written. <r > 
finely j v ,ited, in a very neat form. Each book is a perfect epitome of mirth. 

1.T1.* I'cn Jinks Knapsack r Tokes.— The brave 
Captain never was so popular as since he presente this jolly Knapsack. 

2. The Ten Cent Slioo Fly Joker.— Joe Miller can't hold a candle 
to this liveliest of Jokers. All the clowns in the country get joke& id 

stories here. 


3. The Ten Cent Teddy Regan Joker. — The name of this book 
at once suggests what a droll affair it is. It is crammed full of the fun- 
niest of all jokes. 

Each Joke Book contains One Hundred and Twenty-eight Pages, printed 
in a very neat form for the Pocket, and enclosed in a handsome colo*ed cover. 



gt This exceedingly popular series contains every son^ worth singing in the 
. ^uage, from the most sad to theimost merrji,. A necessary eompanion lor 
parlor, the music hall* and the "free arid easy." 

l. The Ten Cent Clodoclie 
Songster. —Some of the most 
extravagantly funny songs of the 
times — such as set all the music 
halls of London in.a frenzy. 

2. The Ten Ce'nt Long 
Branch Songster.— This is 
the text-book from which all the 
Blondes of the period draw their 
most popular songs. 

3. The Ten Cent Parisian 

Garden Songster. — And 

many sentimental and beautiful 
songs are interspersed with amus- 
ing and clinic ones. 

4. The Ten Cent Let 1*1 e Hug 

Her for Her Mother 

Songster* — Another of those 
inimitable song books full of fun 
and sentiment., 

I 3. The Ten Cent Big Thing 

on Ice Songster.— The tak- 

ing piokire^on this boo^ woul^ 
tempt any one to look into it. 

The Ten Cent Ixion 
Songster. — The " beautil '..•' 
blondes " get many of t heir choic« 
morsels out of this book It 
a great many of the best son_;_ 

The Ten Cent Schnieder 
Free and JBasy Songst * . 

— It Was found that nearly e\ ry 
person at the Fat Men's Ball r id 
a copy of this book. 

The Ten Cent Ten Little 
In |uns Songster.— The fun- 
ny song that gives the title to this 
book is but a faint prelude to the 
other rich songs. 

The Ten Cent Wh. \ n 
Stunning Pair of i <.gs 

Songster* — It seems incredible 
that such a number of songs can 
be sold at such a price. 

Th n y are handsomely i rinted in a neat form for the pocket, and e? Th 
book has one hundred and twenty-eight pages, and enclosed in a handsome 
colored cover. 




Copies of any o/the above Books will be sent, free of postag^ on r -> ^ 
Utfretc'i price. |^ 

Send Cash -dera to R. W K TfT,rT \ No. 33 Ro eJ&fc., ' 

S S ~ •BftsMtean Duai -t ' er« 

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