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)f, Ch:la-p*uc 

Un iversity of Pennsylva n ia 

W 1.^ 

Annenberg Rare Book 
and Manuscript Library 

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Mrs. John W. Adams 


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Entered according: to act of Congress, in the year 1895 


Sixth U. S. Cavalry 

in the oflBce of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington 

Copyright, 1902. by Colonel WILLIAM H. CARTER 
Assistant Adjutant General 

Copyright, 1906, by General WILLIAM H. CARTER 
United States Army 





The first edition was published in 1895. At that time the ces- 
sation of Indian hostihties and consequent absence of active field 
duties had begun to change the old and familiar conditions of 
army service. 

Those officers who had neither the experience of frontier ser- 
vice, nor the opportunities possessed by the veterans of the Civil 
War, to observe the operations of large bodies of troops, found 
need of more detailed instruction in many branches of their pro- 
fession, to keep pace with modern progress and be prepared for 
the emergency of sudden war. 

The service schools filled much of this want and. year after 
year, the graduates returning to their regiments with progressive 
ideas, gave abundant proof of the opportunities afforded to dili- 
gent and ambitious young officers to acquire a knowledge of ele- 
mentary technical details as well as of the higher branches of 
military education. With the increase of the army, following 
recent military operations in the various and widely separated 
parts of the world, the limitations of the service schools com- 
pelled the establishment of garrison schools. 

The amplification and fulfilment of the schemes of Generals 
Sherman, Upton and others, who, following in their footsteps, 
and recognizing the value of their initial efforts, have made it not 
only possible for each and every officer to thoroughly qualify him- 
self for the important duties of his profession but have made it 
inexcusable for him not to do so. 



The original of this vohime was prepared with a view to better- 
ment of instruction and a wider dissemination through the service 
of a knowledge of some elementary facts and principles essential 
to the well being and efficiency of the mounted branches of the 
army. Ignorance and neglect of essential principles have on many 
occasions reduced mounted organizations to so low a state of 
efficiency as to cause an army to lose the full measure of success 
from pursuit after a hard fought battle. 

There are many excellent books on the history, breeding, train- 
ing and veterinary treatment of horses as well as on horsemanship 
in general. This volume is not intended as a treatise on equita- 
tion, but because of the narrow line of demarcation and with a 
view to greater usefulness in the wider field into which it has 
entered, some information usually found in books on horseman- 
ship has been introduced. 

In this edition an effort has been made to perfect the work by 
a rearrangement and amplification of the original volume and by 
the addition of matter suggested by recent experience. It has 
been frequently suggested that students could more quickly learn 
the volume if it were paragraphed as a manual. This the author 
has been unwilling to do because experience has taught him that 
no abiding knowledge of such a subject can be acquired by such 
means. Many excellent manuals upon this and kindred subjects 
have been published in America and England. Failing as they 
do to arouse any interest in the general consideration and history 
of the subject, such manuals are soon cast aside and others take 
their places to meet in their turn the same fate. 

Photography has been used as far as possible, because of the 
natural tendency to exaggeration in drawn illustrations. A glos- 
sary of terms has been added at the end of the volume to facilitate 


an understanding of the very important subjects of conformation 
and soundness. 

A great many publications have been consulted. It has not 
been practicable to give proper credit in each instance, but a gen- 
eral acknowledgment is here made. 

The author records his deep appreciation of the facilities for 
observation so courteously afforded him during his visits to var- 
ious military establishments in England, Europe, and Japan, and 
of the kindness of those who aided and encouraged him in the 
preparation of the original volume and of the revised editions. 

Partial list of publications consulted : 

Horses and Stables. (Fitzwygram.) 

The Exterior of the Horse. (Goubaux and Barrier.) 

Diseases and Injuries of the Horse. (Kirby.) 

Seats and Saddles. (Dwyer.) 

The Horse in Motion. (Stillman.) 

Parfait Marechal. (Par de Solleysol, Ecuyer, MDCXI.) 

Principes de Dressage et D'Equitation. (Fillis.) 

L'Equitation Actuelle. (Gustave Le Bon.) 

Traite D'Hippologie. (Jacoulet et Chomel.) 

Modern Horsemanship. (E. L. Anderson.) 

Training Cavalry Horses. (Garrard.) 

How to Buy and Sell. (Howden.) 

Horses and Riding. (Neville.) 

Principles of Riding. (John Allen.) 

Riders of Many Lands. (Dodge.) 

Bridle Bits. (Battersby.) 

Practical Horse Shoeing. (Fleming.) 

Records of the Rebellion. 

Journal United States Cavalry Association. 

Journal Royal United Service Institution. (British.) 


Reports Quartermaster General, 1861 to 1866. 

Report of Chief of Cavalry, 1863. 

Report on Diseases of the Horse. (Department of Agri- 

Report on Agricultural Grasses and Forage Plants of the 
United States (Department of Agriculture). 

William H. Carter. 



Introductory i 

I. The Cavalry Horse 8 

II. Framework of the Horse Mechanically Con- 
sidered 58 

III. Gaits of the Horse 66 

IV. Bits 80 

V. Bitting and Training 107 

VI. Saddles 127 

VII. Seats 136 

VIII. Modern Cavalry and Its Equipment 159 

IX. Endurance of Horses 206 

X. Age of Horses 223 

XL The Horse's Foot 241 

XII. Stable Management 258 

XIII. Veterinary Supplies and Prescriptions 277 

XIV. Diseases and Injuries 307 

XV. Forage 357 

XVI. Transportation OF Horses BY Rail and at Sea. . 380 

Glossary 402 


The development of the modern rifle, with its flat trajectory and 
long range, led theorists to proclaim that frontal attacks, even by 
infantry, were things of the past and that cavalry must henceforth 
be relegated to reconnoissance and orderly duty. Men high in 
authority, dreaming of future wars, foresaw the troop horse and 
the army mule displaced by the bicycle and automobile. Since 
the beginning of the epoch which notes the modern de- 
velopment of firearms, nations have seen much of war in widely 
separated theaters of campaign, and experience has not justified 
the views of the theorists. 

Armies are retained in peace to be in readiness for war. So, 
in war, cavalrymen reason that in every campaign of real import- 
ance, there comes a supreme moment in battle, or immediately 
thereafter, when the presence of a well-trained and fit body of 
horsemen is worth all the cost of their maintenance during years 
of peace. This condition of fitness for great and prolonged exer- 
tion can best be brought about by a general diffusion through all 
grades of that technical knowledge which makes each link of the 
chain fulfill its function. 

It is not unusual in service to hear intelligent men, who have 
not given the subject much consideration, express sneeringly their 
disapproval of the great care which cavalry officers insist shall be 
given to animals at all times, yet history evinces beyond possible 
refutation that full success has often been just out of reach of an 
army because of the abuse of horses by those who had failed to 
comprehend some very elementary cavalry principles. 


Theoretical knowletlge is of value in any profession ; it comes 
with study and not by instinct. In no other subjects is it more 
necessary to have theory and practice go hand in hand than in 
those which concern cavalry. Books alone cannot convey a 
knowledge of the powers and endurance of commands under 
varying conditions of service. 

A knowledge of horses, saddles, and bridles is of more import- 
ance to the cavalry officer than to any other rider, because good 
bitting, saddling, packing, and riding are what make up the 
efficiency of cavalry, and provide for an economical administration 
of that important arm. Actual experience on the march is the 
only method of testing the value of saddles and other equipments, 
and the capacity of horses to carry their riders and packs without 
breaking down. 

Even those familiar with war have little appreciation of the 
enormous numbers of horses and mules required to replace those 
used up by armies during actual field service. 

The Quartermaster-General in his report for the year ending 
June 30, 1864, says : 

" It appears, therefore, in practice, that the quartermaster's 
train of any army requires, on the average, one army wagon to 
every twenty-four or twenty-five men, and the animals of the 
cavalry and artillery and of the trains will average one to every 
two men in the field.'"' 

It should be remembered that this was written long after the 
extravagant ideas of transportation which prevailed during the 
early part of the war had been eradicated. 

Ignorance as to the great expense necessary for the proper 
maintenance of cavalry 1)ecame so apparent during the first two 
years of the Civil War that, in an order establishing the Cavalry 


Bureau, published by the Secretary of War at the close of the 
Gettysburg campaign, the following paragraph was inserted : 

" The enormous expense attending the maintenance of the 
cavalry arm points to the necessity of greater care, and more 
judicious management on the part of cavalry officers, that their 
horses may be constantly kept up to the standard of efficiency for 
service. Great neglects of duty in this connection are to be attri- 
buted to officers in command of cavalry troops. 

" It is the design of the War Department to correct such 
neglects, by dismissing from service officers whose inefficiency 
and inattention result in the deterioration and loss of the public 
animals under their charge." 

Under the circumstances the establishment of the Cavalry 
Bureau was an urgent necessity. It at once became a potent factor 
in the conduct of the war, systematized and improved the remount 
purchases for the large bodies of cavalry in the field, and 
materially aided in making possible their succession of victories 
during the last eighteen months of the war. 

The inspection of remounts is a very important duty and the 
care and intelligence with which it is performed have a marked 
effect on the efficiency of the service. With proper care in the 
inspection and purchase of horses, sound and healthy animals are 
generally procurable. ' 

When bought under contract the price paid by the government 
for horses is usually fixed by the lowest bidder. It is not there- 
fore to be expected that ideal animals will be presented for 
inspection, but only such as the contractor can procure at a lower 
price than he himself receives. There will be a few first-class, 
many fair, and a superabundance of indifferent and mediocre 
horses presented. 


Those sometimes called upon to decide the good points or 
defects of horses may not be naturally endowed with the peculiar 
qualifications necessary for the solution of the problem. Those 
whose duty may require them to perform this work, may by 
intelligent observation, education, and experience, obtain a satis- 
factory degree of proficiency, especially if possessed of natural 
aptitude and not swayed by prejudice and fashion. The faculty 
of judging implies not only attention but a well-balanced ability 
for comparison. 

It cannot be expected that every oflScer will become perfect in 
so difficult a matter as the inspection of horses, but with proper 
encouragement the service should be able to supply an ample num- 
ber of trained officers to meet all demands in peace or war. 

During peace the manner of purchase is not so important, 
except that a system should be established which will need no 
change in time of war. In war a Remount Bureau is a necessity. 
It should, therefore, be maintained in peace so that the lessons of 
war may not be lost. It should be under charge of a competent 
officer who should control the general policy as to remounts, and 
have at all times a list of officers and veterinarians qualified and 
available for duty in the remount service. 

Experience in Europe and India has clearly demonstrated that 
military horse breeding farms are enormously expensive, when 
the number of misfit colts is considered, and are altogether inade- 
quate to meet the demands of modern armies. One or two 
European governments continue to provide a portion of the horses 
for their cavalry from their own breeding establishments or by 
acquiring first rights of purchase through the grant of free service 
of the stallions retained by the government for that purpose. 

This system has been repeatedly urged for adoption in America, 


but there are so many good reasons for not doing so, that it is safe 
to conclude that the horses required for pubHc service will con- 
tinue to be purchased from private breeding farms. With so 
unlimited an agricultural country, there should never be any lack 
of suitable horses of any class for which there is an active demand 
at fair prices. It is not necessary for the government to breed 
horses for cavalry purposes. Equally as good, if not better, 
results may be obtained by training a large number of officers to 
the duty of inspecting and selecting the best animals produced on 
American farms, and buying them from breeders whenever 
possible. In a conflict of such dimensions as the Civil War, the 
number of animals required could not have been furnished by a 
reasonable number of government breeding establishments. 

The horse, if selected with care and properly used, is capable of 
rendering long and valuable service. A knowledge as to how to 
develop his full capacity for making hard marches while still re- 
taining his health and vigor does not come intuitively, but as a 
matter of experience and keen observation. The merest lout who 
can ride fairly light, may take a horse over an immense distance 
in a single ride, but he will, in all probability, expend the entire 
vital force of the animal, and leave him a broken-down, spiritless 
wreck at the end of his journey. 

There is an infinite am^ount of hardship and drudgery connected 
with service in the ranks of any cavalry. It is necessary, there- 
fore, to have not only ability to ride and intelligence to reconnoiter, 
but capacity in both man and horse to sustain long-continued exer- 
tion of the most arduous character. If either man or horse 
becomes exhausted or loses spirit, the effect is soon felt by the 

The trained horse of the high school is not regarded as the ideal 


animal for service, but too great stress cannot be laid upon the 
value of the riding school as a means of bringing all the men and 
horses to an average state of efficiency. Some men, and horses 
also, are very slow to acquire that individual instruction which is 
so essential to correct maneuvering in large bodies. 

History teaches that successful cavalry action, whether it be 
battle, raid, or strategic march, is invariably attended with a loss 
of horses greater than the corresponding loss of men. In cam- 
paigns of magnitude, especially at distances from depots which 
prevent broken-down animals from being turned in for recupera- 
tion, the loss must be replaced by untrained horses. It is a recog- 
nition of this invariable experience in the United States which 
causes the War Department to demand that cavalry officers them- 
selves shall instruct the men and train the horses, rather than 
place dependence upon riding-masters and remount training 
depots. The great need in the American army is the develop- 
ment of the latent ability in young officers, to enable them to 
disseminate through the various regiments a more general and 
accurate knowledge of military horsemanship and horsemastership. 

The cavalry comprises a class of riders from which a great 
degree of uniformity is demanded. The necessity arises from the 
existence of a special and narrowly defined object to be attained. 
The possibility of accomplishing it exists only when both men and 
horses are selected with reference to this object. Some men are 
born riders, and if taken in service young soon adapt themselves 
to cavalry riding. Such men are usually of a peculiar build, which 
combines strength and vigor, with lightness and dexterity, and 
possess that peculiar temperament which enables them to train 
horses to perfection. 

All men are not so gifted, and in order to train this large 


majority, the officer should acquaint himself with everything that 
pertains to the horse. The presence in the ranks of untrained 
riders is bad in peace and criminal in war, but every army has 
them. In order to neutralize the effect of their ignorance, good, 
well-fitted saddles and bits are prime necessities. It is the pain 
and excitement caused in young, nervous horses, by powerful bits 
in the hands of thoughtless or poor riders, which make them de- 
generate into plungers and bolters. Curb, spavin, broken knees, 
and other injuries may frequently be traced to the same cause. 
Horses thus injured are condemned and sold for a mere trifle, and 
the indifferent rider is placed on another animal, not infrequently 
to repeat the same experience through ignorance. 

With peace conditions and unlimited time it requires only 
ordinary care to gradually instruct both men and horses so that 
large bodies of cavalry may be marched and maneuvered with 
sufficient accuracy to justify the expectation of success in battle. 
The rate at which remounts must be supplied, however, when hard 
marches, with insufficient forage, and battle losses are encoun- 
tered, makes it clear that all the men must be taught to manage 
horses untrained for military purposes, to the end that cavalry 
commands may perform their full duty in active campaign. The 
ability to stick on a runaway or bucking horse is of secondary 
importance to the knowledge of horsemanship which makes it 
possible for a commander to maneuver and fight large bodies of 

No more costly or humiliating lessons were learned during the 
Civil War than those relating to cavalry service. The enthusiasm, 
patriotism, intelligence, and courage of the American cavalrymen 
were proven on many fields, but bitter experience taught them that 
those desirable qualities do not alone command success. Training, 
discipline, and patient work are more potent than patriotism, 
coupled with ignorance and lack of experience. 



Inspection of Cavalry Horses. — Remarks on Judging Horses. — Nomencla- 
ture of the Horse. — The Skeleton. — The Superior Muscles. — The Ex- 
terior Regions. — Examination of the Horse. — Relations Between 
Dimensions of Certain Parts. — Examination in Detail as to Form. — 
The Head ; Neck ; Withers ; Shoulders ; Back ; Ribs ; Chest ; Lower 
Line of Chest and Belly; Fore Legs and Feet; Hind Quarters; Tail; 
Body. — Detection of Lameness. — Artillery Horses. — Examination for 

The qualifications, as to general character, age, height, and 
weight of animals for the public service are fixed from time to 
time by the War Department. 

The inspection of cavalry horses is conducted by officers and 
veterinarians detailed for the purpose. The knowledge required 
by the inspecting officers is such as will enable them to form a 
correct judgment concerning the adaptability of the animal for 
service, as shown by his breeding and conformation. Only the 
horses which pass this examination are submitted to further scru- 
tiny of the veterinarians who make the detailed examination for 

Inspecting officers are responsible in general for a determination 
of all questions as to conformation, quality, size, action, and suit- 
ability of an animal for the service for which intended. The 
veterinarian's duties relate particularly to questions of age, health, 
and soundness. 

The form of a horse determines to a great extent his fitness for 
service, and enables a fair prediction to be made as to his various 
qualities, provided he is sound. It requires judgment, much 
instruction, and long practice, to correctly estimate the relative 


value of various points, and to determine whether the good 
quahties counterbalance existing or probable defects. 

Good points in a horse are not mere matters of beauty, but 
shapes which, on mechanical principles, are likely to answer the 
required ends. However, shapes which may be objectionable for 
one class of work, are not necessarily so for another. Thus small 
" chunky " or pony-built horses are better for work in the moun- 
tains, than larger and longer coupled horses. 

Remounts for cavalry must have certain qualifications, the most 
important of which are the possession of sufficient mobility to 
execute tactical maneuvers at varying degrees of speed and the 
ability to stand hard service while carrying great weight. It 
should be constantly borne in mind that cavalry horses are 
required to carry loads on their backs averaging about one-fourth 
their own weight. 

In purchasing thousands of horses to meet a great emergency 
conformation and soundness are the things to which attention is 
mainly directed, but there are some other requisities, however, 
which are absolute essentials in a saddle horse worthy of the 
name. The most important of these are a gentle disposition ; a 
good mouth ; regular and easy gaits, without stumbling, interfer- 
ing or over-reaching; courage and ambition, without being 
nervous or fidgety ; of proper size to carry the weight, which for 
cavalry service requires a horse about fifteen to fifteen and three- 
fourths hands high, and weighing from 950 to iioo pounds. 

While useless to search for perfection, it is well to study all the 
points of the ideal horse, in order to promptly recognize them 
when seen. The points taken together constitute the form, which 
must not be confounded with particular attitudes assumed by the 
horse, for an animal whose conformation is perfectly adapted to 
service, will frequently assume such awkward positions while 
standing in a stall, or at the picket line, as to entirely deceive any 
but a well-trained eye. 





The points of a horse are observed more quickly when he is 
brought beside an animal selected as a model. As soon as a horse 
is found which is a suitable model, he should be retained at hand 
for comparison. 

In conducting an examination of horses, he who possesses a 
knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the animal will have 
a great advantage over one who does not. 

A general knowledge of the construction of the skeleton and 
the superficial layers of muscles is very desirable, but it is not at 
all necessary for ordinary purposes to burden the mind with the 
names of all the bones and muscles. 

Figure i represents the celebrated racehorse " Eclipse," pro- 
nounced by high veterinary authority to be perfect. The form 
of the skeleton is indicated in outline. The nomenclature of the 
skeleton is as follows : 

Great trochanter. 

Small trochanter. 

Thigh bone. 


Radius or fore-arm bone. 

Carpal or knee bones. 


Cannon bone. 

Pastern bone. 

Sesamoid bone. 

Small pastern bone. 

Upper end of leg bone. 

Stifle joint. 

Leg bone or tibia. 

Point of hock. 

Hock joint. 

Head of small metatarsal bone. 

Cannon or metatarsal bone. 

Coffin bone. 

Fetlock joint. 

Patella, or stifle. 



Zygomatic arch. 



Eye cavity. 



Face bones. 



Incisor teeth. 



Molar teeth. 



Lower jaw. 



Atlas, 1st vertebra of neck. 



Axis, 2d vertebra of neck. 



Cervical vertebrae (5). 



Spinal processes of back. 



Dorsal and lumbar vertebras. 






Tail bones. 



Shoulder blade. 



Acromion process. 



Hollow of shoulder blade. 



Upper end of arm bone. 



Arm bone or humerus. 



Elbow bone. 



Cartilages of the ribs. 









Haunch bone. 



Figure 2 shows the exterior muscles of the horse as they appear 
with the skin of the animal removed. Some of the deep-seated 
and powerful locomotive muscles are not shown, and the one over 
the ribs is omitted. The names of ' the muscles are all of a 

Figure 2. Superior Muscles of the Horse. 

technical character to indicate location, or action, and are omitted 
because knowledge of them is only necessary for a scientific study 
of the physiology of the horse. 


The principal muscle for consideration in the figure is the long 
muscle, or system of muscles of the back. It fills the angular 
space on each side of the spinous processes, giving roundness to 
the back. It is very broad and thick over the loins, and in addition 
to other connections, it is strongly attached to the hip bone. It is 
attached forward to all the spines of the vertebrcC, as far as the 
neck, and to a strong tendon-like membrane that is firmly fastened 
to the same bones. Special interest attaches to this muscle and 
tendon, because the saddle must rest upon it in such a way as not 
to interfere with the muscular action of the fore and hind quarters. 

Figure 3 is numbered so as to locate the external regions of the 
horse. It is absolutely necessary to commit to memory this 
nomenclature in order to describe horses as well as to understand 
what is referred to by others when mentioning the parts. 

The nomenclature of these parts is given, as far as possible, in 
plain language, but some technical names are used because there 
are no popular names for the parts thus mentioned. 

If many horses are to be examined, copious notes should be 
retained by the inspecting officer for self-protection, and every 
horse passed should be branded with a number on the hoof for 
identification on the descriptive list, and also have the brand 
common to all public animals put on in the presence of the inspec- 
tors at the close of each day's work. The descriptive lists should 
be prepared without delay and should be an accurate transcription 
from the notes made as each horse is branded. 



Figure 3. External Regions of the Horse. 


Lire of the E. 

"eternal Regions of th 

e Horse. 




















and arm. 


































Cannon or 


Lower jaw. 




Cannon or 








Fetlock joi 





Fetlock joint 







































Descriptive lists of public animals sliould set forth the age, sex, 
color, distinguishing marks, the weight when specified in the 
contract, and all blemishes which include saddle and collar marks, 
wire cuts, scars, splints, and abnormal enlargements. Distin- 
guishing marks include, ordinarily, the " star," a white spot on the 
forehead ; the " blaze," a white stripe running down the face to 
the lips ; the " snip," a white streak or spot on the lower part of 
the face near the nostrils ; " stockings," as white legs on other than 
grey horses are called ; " white feet," which covers those cases 
where the white does not extend above the fetlock ; color of mane 
and tail, designated " black points," " silver," or whatever color 
exists different from that of the animal. Where the color of the 
mane and tail is the same as that of the animal, it may be entered 
as " self color," or by citing the actual color. 

It may happen at times that officers will be called upon to 
examine horses without the assistance of a veterinary surgeon. 
The " examination for soundness " and the chapter on the more 
common diseases and injuries will give sufficient knowledge to 
conduct fairly well the examination for soundness, provided the 
information contained therein is systematically applied to the cases 
available for observation in service from day to day. 

It is usually quite easy for an experienced inspector to deter- 
mine generally whether a horse is in good health or the contrary. 
In health the attitudes assumed when standing are easy and 
natural ; the coat is lustrous ; in motion the gaits are regular and 
active ; the head is carried rather high than low ; respiration is full 
and calm. 

A sick horse, or one suffering from injury, shows something 
is wrong by his unnatural attitudes ; dull coat ; inattention ; hang- 



ing of the head ; manner of changing positions ; irregularity of and 
halting manner in executing the gaits ; in some cases very listless 
and indifferent, in others uneasy. If lame from a wound or bruise 
he will endeavor to ease up on the leg affected. In fact the horse 
will show in a great many ways that something is wrong. 

Figure 4. 
Pointing a Toe. 

Figure 5. 
Pointing a Toe. 

If unable to decide upon any question arising during the exami- 
nation, the government should be given the benefit of the doubt. 

Whenever possible to see animals in their own stalls, it should 
be observed whether or not they kick, which may usually be dis- 
covered by shoe scars on the heel posts and sides of the stall ; or 
if they crib, a term used to describe the gnawing of the wood 
work about the mangers and feed boxes. 



If a horse points a toe, or shows other signs of weakness or 
lameness, it can be more easily discovered at this time than when 
crowded in public stables or sheds with large numbers of other 
horses. By " pointing a toe " is meant the act of resting a fore 
foot on its toe, or holding a fore foot forward to remove the 
weight of the body from it (figures 4, 5, and 6). 

A sound horse shifts 'his weight, to rest, 
from one hind foot to the other, but rarely 
does this with his fore feet. It may be ac- 
cepted as an almost invariable rule that a 
horse never tries to rest a fore foot unless 
there is lameness or disease. Lameness may 
arise from having been recently pricked in 
shoeing, but under no conditions should a 
horse be passed for cavalry service which, at 
the time of inspection, does not stand 
squarely upon both fore feet. 

Few of the stable vices can be cured, and 
unless horses are badly needed for im- 
mediate field service, animals known to 
have them should be rejected. Some stable 
vices may be acquired from other horses, 
and it is therefore very desirable to avoid in- 
troducing into cavalry stables animals which may spoil others com- 
pelled to stand near them. In addition to kicking and cribbing, 
which are about the worst habits a troop horse can have, may be 
mentioned weaving or the swaying motion so common to caged 
animals, continued pawing, pulling back when tied, biting, and 
wind sucking. The wind sucker takes hold of the wood work. 

Figure 6. 
Pointing a Toe. 



picket line, or halter strap, arches his neck and draws back with a 
grunting noise (figure 7). 

The line of demarcation between blemishes and defects is some- 
times very dim. Under the first named come all abnormal 
conditions of the various parts of the horse which do not affect 

Figure 7. Wind Sucker. 

his serviceability, such as scars and splints so placed as to be of no 

Under the head of defects come pegged splints and those very 
close to the knees, ring bones, side bones, false quarter, quarter 
cracks, sit-fasts, and any trouble, local or constitutional, which 
may tend to shorten or render unsatisfactory the service of the 
animal. These will all be treated in detail later for the guidance 


of the inspector, as well as with a view to amehoration and cure 
when they occur in animals already purchased. 

In considering the subject generally veterinarians have arrived 
at the conclusion that many forms of diseases of the horse may be 
acquired through heredity. This is true in a sense, but in most 
cases the parts played by sires and dams relate only to conforma- 
tion. If that be not good many abnormal conditions may follow, 
for undoubtedly horses of faulty conformation are more prone 
to certain forms of disease than are horses of good conformation. 

Horses should be examined, if possible, in the open air. When 
this is not practicable, an open passageway or shed should be 
selected, where plenty of light may be had. When the horse is led 
out, he should be examined in profile from in front and behind, 
from the right and left, and obliquely forward and backward, 
careful attention being given to his temperament and attitudes in 
the meantime. 

View the horse in all possible aspects, to determine the general 
harmony of his whole conformation. View the formation of the 
feet and legs separately and in pairs ; the shape, expression, and 
size of the head generally and in detail ; the shape of the back and 
withers, with reference to carrying a saddle. 

In the general observation of the horse, the eye should be 
trained to note quickly whether the forehand and hindhand bear 
proper relation to each other as to weight ; whether the abdomen 
is so shaped as to hold the saddle by means of the cinch alone — 
breast straps are not issued for cavalry horses — ; whether the 
legs are strong enough for the combined weight of the horse and 
trooper with his equipment ; whether the head and neck are of the 



character likely to respond readily to the rider's hand (figures 8, 
9, 10 and ii). 

Figure 8. Saddle Gelding " Comus." Winner of many first prizes in 
saddle and high school classes. Denmark hlood. Good model. 

The examination should be made on unshod horses, but if 
animals are presented shod, special attention is necessary to see 
if shoes have been put on for the purpose of correcting defects. 



A good horse is one with many good, few indifferent, and no 
really bad points. One radically bad point neutralizes any number 
of good ones. Excess of power or development in one part of a 

Figure 9. Saddle Gelding " Highland." Denmark blood. Good model. 

horse may not only be useless, because the strength of the animal 
is limited by the weakest point, but it may be a positive source of 
evil. For example, a strong, powerful forehand is not an advan- 
tage if the hind quarters are light, because the strain on the hind 
legs will be unduly great. Similarly, if the fore legs are weak 



they may suffer from excessive propulsion communicated by 
powerful hind quarters, whilst they might have lasted a long time 
if all were proportionately developed. In a well-formed horse 

Figure lo. Thoroughbred Mare " Bhie Girl." A typical race horse. 

there should be no weak point, and no part with excessive 
development, as compared to the other (figures 8, 9, 10 and 11). 

Outward forms are mainly dependent on the formation of the 
bony skeleton. In a well-bred horse the tendons, ligaments, and 



muscles are generally in keeping with the bones ; that is, large 
bones usually give attachment to large, powerful muscles, tendons, 
etc. The processes of the bones are better developed, and give a 

Figure 11. Fine type of Arab saddle horse of famous family. 

greater mechanical advantage to the muscles than in the case of 
common country horses. Without good structural formation 
strength will not be found, and even with it, all the desirable 
qualities should not be expected. 


The power of a horse increases with his size, provided the rela- 
tive proportion of the parts and the general compactness are 
maintained. This, however, is rarely the case. There is a 
certain size beyond which the parts do not seem to grow in due 
proportion to each other, \"ery large horses are seldom fit for 
saddle purposes ; on the contrary ponies are often great weight 

There are some relations between parts of the horse which it is 
well to consider as an aid in training the eye. In this way it may 
be decided at a glance if a horse approaches the average form 
accepted as most suitable for service. 

The horse shown in figure 12 has a well-earned reputation as a 
weight carrier and long distance cavalry horse.* 

The position is not constrained ; it is the natural and free 
position assumed by the horse without assistance or interference. 
It will be observed that the frontal line of the head is nearly or 
quite parallel to the slope of the shoulders. Taking the head, 
measured from the poll to the extremity of the upper lip, as a unit, 

* The horse, " Deadwood," pictured in figure 12, was purchased at five 
years of age, and after eight years of service, although very fat, appeared 
perfectly sound and moved at a walk, trot and gallop without stiffness 
or peculiarities of gaits. 

He was ridden by the orderly for the quartermaster of the Eighth 
Cavalry on the march from Fort Davis, Texas, to Fort Meade, South 
Dakota, in 1887, a distance of about nineteen hundred miles. As the 
orderly accompanied the quartermaster in looking for camping ground, 
purchasing forage, and riding back and forth to the wagon train, it is a 
low estimate to place the distance covered by this animal at twenty-five 
hundred miles. He has performed duty in field and garrison and won new 
laurels for hard service in the Philippines ; he has undoubtedly been enabled 
to do this because his form is so well adapted to the weight-carrying re- 
quirements of cavalry service. 


it will be found to enter as a factor quite accurately into several 
important measurements. The head should be measured as a 
shoemaker does the foot, and not with a tape-line. 

This length of the head AB is almost exactly equal to the 
distance: i. From the top of the withers to the point of the 

Figure 12. Relative Proportions. 

shoulder CD; 2. From the lowest point of the back to the 
abdomen EF; 3. From the point of the stifle to the point of the 
hock //; 4. From the point of the hock to the lower line of the 
hoof JK; 5. From the shoulder blade to the point of the haunch 


Two and one-half times the head gives: i. The height of the 
withers C above the ground ; 2. The height of the top of the 
croup above the ground ; 3. Very nearly the length from point of 
the shoulder to point of buttock DH. 

Do not expect every horse to fill these conditions, but remember 
that a small fraction of the length of the head added to his height 
or length, will at once give the animal an abnormal appearance. 
The length or height of a horse will seldom, if ever, equal three 
head lengths. Perfection of form is usually found to a greater 
extent in horses under fifteen-and-a-half hands high, than in those 
of greater height. 

If proportions are satisfactory, examine the muscles in a general 
way to form an estimate as to the probable endurance of the 
animal. Firm, dense, compact, and clearly defined muscles are 
requisite for weight carriers. 

The examination should next take a more detailed character, 
remembering always, that although racehorses may run and win 
in all forms, cavalry service demands a marked degree of uni- 
formity of conformation, and the higher the grade of excellence 
secured the more economical and enduring will be the results. 

Before proceeding with the examination, the age and height of 
the animal should be ascertained, to determine whether these come 
within the limits specified in each contract or letter of instructions. 
In making the detailed inspection it is customary to begin with the 

The Head. — The head should be small and well set on the neck ; 
ears small, thin, and erect ; forehead broad and face straight ; eyes 
large, prominent, mild in expression, and with fine eyelids ; vision 
perfect; lips thin and firmly compressed; nostrils large and open; 
the branches of the lower jaw wide apart where the head is 
attached to the neck. 



When carefully observed, a great variation is seen to exist in the 
size and shape of the heads of horses. A wide forehead is nearly 
always accompanied by large nostrils, well situated eyes, ears 
small and widely separated, distance from the eye to the angle of 
the jaw great, large space under and between the jaws, head short 
and not of great volume. On the contrary, a narrow forehead 
is accompanied generally by small nostrils, eyes but partly open 
and appearing small, ears large and close together, and with but 

Figure 13. Roman Nose. 

Figure 14. Straight Face. Fine Head. 

small space under and between the jaws. The head first described 
is the one best adapted to the saddle horse, for the second or coarse 
head acts like a heavy weight at the end of a long lever, bringing 
forward the center of gravity, and making the horse heavy in 

The frontal line of the head may be convex, making a " Roman 
nose" (figure 13); straight, which is the usual and best form 
(figure 14); or concave, making a "dish face" (figure 15). 


Many excellent horses are found with " Roman noses," althougli 
this class usually has a reputation for being heavy in hand and 
sometimes headstrong. 

The nostrils should be large, and occupy nearly the whole of the 
lower part of the facial structure, because the horse breathes 

Figure 15. Dish-Faced. 

entirely through his nostrils, and not partially through his mouth 
as man does. The lower part of the head, including the nostrils 
and lips, are commonly spoken of as the muzzle. 

The ears should be delicate and pointed, and should move back- 
ward and forward with a quick, firm motion, without the least 
appearance of flabbiness. The temper of the horse may be judged 
somewhat by the eyes and cars. 


Figures 14 and 16 represent two entirely different types of good 
heads. The first is the head of a very fine saddle animal, charac- 
terized by docility and intelligence, and perfection as to gaits. 
The second has an unusual depth from the eye to the point of the 
jaw, and the depression in the frontal line known as " dish-faced." 

The Neck. — The neck should be of medium size and moderate 
length, tapering toward the head, with its upper border or crest 
longer than the under side, and with mane intact and fine. 

Figure 16. A Good Head, with slight " Dish Face." 

The neck should be examined as to its form, carriage, and mode 
of attachment to the head. The neck is called straight when its 
borders are rectilinear (figure 17) ; arched, when its upper border 
is more or less convex throughout (figure 18) ; ewe-necked, when 
its upper border is concave (figure 20). 

The long neck accords well with extreme speed, the short neck 
with power, and the medium neck for all around saddle purposes, 
and in which class there is a wide range of intermediate forms. 
\'ery long necks are too mobile, while very short ones are not 
supple enough. \'ery long necks also have the disadvantage of 



over-weighting- the forehand of cavalry horses by bringing for- 
ward the center of gravity. The volume of the neck should not 
be too large. A fine, silky mane characterizes a well-bred horse ; 
and a coarse, long, and stiff mane usually denotes a common horse. 

Figure 17. Standard Bred Morgan Mare. Straight neck and back; 

low withers. 

The Withers. — The withers comprise the region between the 
shoulders in front of the back, and should be elevated but not high 
and thin. As many of the muscles, ligaments, and tendons which 
control the motion of the forehand are attached here, some degree 
of elevation is necessary in order to afford good leverage, as well 
as to give due length to the shoulder (figure 18). 


Elevated withers are usually accompanied by long, sloping 
shoulders and a rather deep chest. Horses with very high 

Figure 18. Good Head, Neck, Shoulders, and Fore Legs. 
Proper Elevation of Withers. 

withers, while pleasant to ride, are unsuited for hard service with 
packed saddles. High, thin withers are usually accompanied by 
flat muscles about and in rear of the shoulder blade, where the 



front end of the side bnrs of military saddles are intended to rest ; 
this flatness allows the saddle to slip unduly forward, which is 
very objectionable (fis:nre 19). 

Figure 19. This Troop lloi;>c was i)os.-5cs.-,ei.l ol a.^"^"-! carriage until 
completely broken down ; is a good example of overlooking grave defects 
because of one or two good points; high, thin withers; deficient back and 
loin muscles; "tucked up" abdomen; "tied in" below knees; insufficient 
bone in legs. 

Horses with low withers, not well defined or outlined, are not 
suited for heavy, packed saddles, because such a formation permits 
the saddle to slip forward and bruise the parts near the top of the 



shoulder blade, and this displacement also causes sores to be made 
by the cinch close to the fore legs (figure 17). 

The Shoulders. — The shoulder of the saddle horse should be 
sloping, well muscled, and comparatively long (figures 8, 9, 10, 11 

Figure 20. Ewe Neck ; Excessively High Withers. 

and 18). If the shoulder blade is long, broad, and well sloped, the 
saddle will sit properly in its place ; while if short and upright, the 
saddle will have a tendency to work forward on the withers. 
Upright or straight shoulders are very undesirable in saddle 
horses, although perfectly suitable for purposes of draught. Un- 


due thickness through the shoulders increases the weight of the 
forehand, and consequent wear on the fore legs, without any 
compensating advantages in the case of a saddle horse. 

While all authorities agree that a sloping shoulder is essen- 
tial in a good saddle horse, and many speak of it in an off- 
hand way, it will be found most puzzling to determine exactly 
how to class shoulders in fat horses. 

If the shoulder is straight, and the horse be otherwise accept- 
able, the best plan is to mount him ; if he is, as he ought to be 
with such a shoulder, very rough, he should be rejected for saddle 

The Back. — The back should be short, straight, and well 
muscled. Backs are classed as straight, roach-back (convex), 
or sway-back (concave). The straight back is a sign of 
strength, and with this conformation the saddle will rest in a 
good position. The roach-back, while strong, is unsightly and not 
adapted to free and rapid motion. The sway-back may be con- 
genital or acquired, and is the most faulty of all for saddle pur- 
poses, because the weight is almost entirely sustained by the 
ligaments, and the saddle is certain to bore into the muscles of 
the back. 

Short, straight backs are the strongest for weight carriers, but 
a certain amount of length is essential both for speed and jump- 
ing ; moreover a horse with a very short back is apt to overreach. 

Sometimes the line of the back is higher behind than in front, 
and sometimes higher in front than behind. These forms entail 
an unequal distribution of the weight of the body upon the four 

The Ribs. — The ribs should be well arched and definitely separ- 
ated. This curvature, taken with full development of length, and 



definite separation from each other, constitute desirable points of 

Flatness, shortness, and near- 
ness together are undesirable, be- 
cause they limit the volume of 
the chest, and characterize the 
horse as short-winded and de- 
ficient in power. 

The Chest. — The chest com- 
prises the forward part of the 
body which incloses the heart 
and lungs. The chest proper ex- 
tends back to a line drawn 
around the body crossing the 
back some distance in rear of the 
withers and passing underneath 
forward of the belly. The front 
of the chest is commonly called 
the breast. The chest should be 
full, deep, moderately broad, and 
plump in front. Narrow-chested 
hofses lack endurance ; such 

animals usually spread their feet wide apart to maintain their 
equilibrium even when standing still (figure 21). 

The capacity of the lungs is marked by the size of the chest at 
the girth. While excessive width in front is not desirable for 
rapid gaits, such form is well adapted to carrying great weight. 
The fore legs should spring from the chest perpendicularly, as 
viewed from in front (figure 22). 

Figure 21. Narrow Chest indi- 
cates lack of endurance. 



Lower Line of Chest and Belly.— From a point just in rear of 
the elbows the lower line of the chest and belly should be nearly 

or quite horizontal. If the 
belly be large and hang down 
the horse will not be fit for 
any but slow work. The tend- 
ency of such a form, when the 
animal is used for saddle pur- 
poses, is to work the cinch or 
girth forward against the el- 
bows and cause cinch sores on 
the lower part of the chest ; 
there is also a tendency of the 
saddle to move forward on the 

If from want of proper 
length and curvature of the 
ribs the circumference of the 
body decreases rapidly from 
the forehand to the rear (fig- 
ure 19), the horse presents 
the condition known as " tuck- 
ed up " in the belly. The tend- 
ency in this case is for the 
cinch and saddle to slip back 
unless breast straps are used. 
Sucli horses are very unsatis- 
factory and no amount of otherwise good qualities compensates 
for this defective girth in a cavalry horse. This form of horse 
is lacking in aptitu(k' for retaining flesh under short rations and 

■' Dcadwood. 


hard work, conditions which ahiiost invariably attend cavalry on 
active service. 

The Fore Leg. — The fore leg should be vertical and properly 
placed ; the elbow prominent and clear of the chest ; the forearm 
large above, long and heavily muscled. The upper bone of the 
leg should be long in proportion to the lower or cannon bone. 
This bone cannot well be too large or too fully supplied with 
muscles. When the horse is examined in profile this bone should 
be vertical, and when viewed from in front, parallel to the median 
plane of the body. 

The knee should be wide from side to side, and thick from before 
to behind. The vertical direction of the upper bone, and cannon 
or lower bone, should be maintained at the knee (figures i8 and 

A condition known as " over in the knees " or " knee sprung " 
generally results from over work and strain ; it may be congenital, 
and therefore not an unsoundness, but a horse with that con- 
formation is not desirable for service (figure 23). 

The opposite condition, known as " buck " or " calf " knees, 
is decidedly objectionable, owing to the undue strain brought on 
the ligaments and tendons. 

The leg just below the knee should not be very small or 
" tied in," which indicates a weakness of the part, but should be 
as large as the other portions of the limb in that vicinity. The 
back tendons should run parallel to the cannon bone and not 
adhere closely just below the knee. If the bone at the back of the 
knee — trapezium — is not prominent, the objectionable conditions 
mentioned will be almost certain to exist and the animal cannot 
stand hard service (figure 19). 

The large or cannon bone, between the knee and fetlock, cannot 



be too short or too strong. It should be straight, as any deviation 
from a straight Hne is both a sign and cause of weakness. 

Figure 23. Over in the Knees or Knee Sprung. 

The pastern, consisting of the upper and lower pastern bones, 
should be strong, not too oblique, and of moderate length. If the 
horse is standing squarely on his feet and a line be dropped from 



the shoulder opposite the middle of the fore leg to the ground, it 
should strike immediately behind the hoof; if it passes forward 
of this point the pastern is too upright ; if it passes to the rear of 
it the pastern is too much sloped. In the first position the chances 
of a long and serviceable career exist; in the second, the bony 
column of the fore leg will receive all the concussion, the animal 
will be rough under the saddle, and will soon be disabled by the 

I 2 3 

Figure 24. Slopes of Pastern. 

heavy weight of the rider and pack ; in the third, the horse will be 
easy and pleasant to ride, but will soon break down from strain of 
the ligaments (figure 24). 

The feet should be somewhat circular in shape, of medium 
size, due regard being had to the size and shape of the horse, and 
there should be no visible difference in the feet as to size and 
form. They should be neither too flat nor very upright. The 
fore feet being on the same line, the distance between them should 
generally be equal to the width of one of the feet, 

A flat foot is one in which the sole has little or no convexity, 
and the weight of the animal is received on the entire surface as it 



rests on the ground, instead of on the hoof wall. Such a foot is 
peculiarly liable to bruises and corns. The fore feet appear 

broad, low heeled and with the 
wall less upright than in the 
normal foot. 

Club foot is a term applied 
to a foot having an upright or 
nearly perpendicular wall. The 
heels are high, which throws 
undue weight on the toes. This 
condition is more common in 
mules than horses. 

The shape and size of the 
foot, if not modified by disease 
or injury, is a good indication 
of the character of the animal 
as well as of the locality in 
which raised. The horse 
reared on moist, soft pastures, 
has large, spreading hoofs and 
is usually a lymphatic animal, 
unsuited to any but slow 
work; the horse raised in 
a dry climate and whose feet 
arc small with dense and tena- 

Figiire 25. 

Pigeon Toed, or Toes 
'J'urned In. 

cious hoofs is usually a compact wiry, and vigorous animal. 
Change their relative habitat and in a few generations the shape 
and sizes of tluir hoofs would be entirely reversed to meet new 
conditions of iriture. 



The introduction of draught blood in many parts of the country 
has brought into the market a great many medium-sized horses 
with large, flat feet, which are almost sure to deteriorate rapidly 
when put to service on hard roads at any but a slow gait. Horses 
whose hoofs are naturally 
small and hard are better pre- 
pared to withstand the effects 
of warm, dry stables, or long 
marches over rough or dry 
country. They have less bulk 
and weight to lift at each step ; 
their action under the saddle 
is more nimble and pleasant, 
and the pounding received by 
the feet is not so apt to be 
severe, because horses of this 
class usually travel close to 
the ground, while horses with 
large or flat feet generally lift 
their feet high. A contracted 
foot should not be mistaken 
for a naturally small foot. 

Some horses toe in — 
"pigeon toed" — (figure 25) 
and some turn out their toes (figure 26). Both are objectionable 
in cavalry horses. Sometimes a horse toes in more with one foot 
than another, and breaks down first on the one which turns in 
most. The horse which turns out his toes is apt to " paddle " with 
his fore feet when in motion ; and, with this conformation in front, 
his hocks are likely to turn in too much (figure 29). 

Figure 26. Toes Turned Out. 



The same remarks as to size and condition of the fore feet are 
appHcable in general to the hind feet. The hind feet are usually 
more upright than the fore feet, and are much less subject to dis- 
ease- or maldirection. This upright condition should be natural 

and not due to disease, 
which exhibits itself some- 
times as " cocked ankles " 
(figure 27). 

If the toes of the hind 
feet show signs of striking 
the shoes of the front feet, 
producing, in motion, the 
sound called " clicking," the 
horse will not be satisfac- 
tory for marches at a trot 
under a heavy weight. 

The Hind Quarters Gen- 
erally. — The loins should be 
broad, short, and muscular. 
The hips should not be 
ragged. Ragged hips are not only unsightly, but their prominence 
may be due to narrowness of the loins. The absence of muscular 
development of the inner thighs known as " split up behind " is a 
sign of weakness and very objectionable ; the thighs should be 
deep and well developed, but with sufficient interval between to 
prevent friction (figure 28). 

The stifles should be prominent and well defined ; they should lie 
close to the abdomen, and be slightly deviated outward. 

The hocks should be neatly outlined, lean, large, and wide from 
front to rear. 

Figure 27. Cocked Ankles. 



The leg below the hock should incline but little if at all under 
the body ; if inclined too much the liability to strain on the liga- 
ments and tendons becomes 
great. If the leg below the hock 
is nearly vertical, the conforma- 
tion is favorable to speed, be- 
cause the foot on arriving on the 
ground is strongly flexed upon 
the leg, which gives the hock 
energetic impulsion, and admits 
of long strides. If the lower part 
of the leg be inclined under the 
body, it not only aflFects the 
speed by diminishing the stride, 
but increases the weight borne 
by the hind quarters, and causes 
a considerable part of the mus- 
cular effort of impulsion to be 
expended in lifting the body, in- 
stead of carrying it directly for- 
ward (figures 8 and lo). 

The hocks should be viewed 
from behind with reference to 
their parallelism to the median 
plane of the body. The hocks 
may turn towards one another 
behind, giving the horse the appearance called " knock-kneed " 
in men, and " cow-hocked " in the horse (figure 29). If the points 
of the hocks are turned out the appearance is similar to " bow 
legs " in man. Both forms are objectionable for many reasons. 

Figure 28. Rear View of 
" Deadwood." 



The Tail. — The dock or solid part of the tail should be large 
and muscular. The tail should be carried firmly, and well away 
from the hind quarters. The tail is usually set on much higher 
and is more ornamental in well-bred than in common horses. The 

liair of the former is fine ; in the 
latter it is frequently thick, coarse, 
or curly (i, 2, 3 figure 30). 

When the horse has consider- 
able slope at the croup and his 
tail is set on low down he is char- 
acterized as " goose rumped." 
Occasionally a satisfactory saddle 
horse is found with this shape, 
but unless his conformation, 
otherwise, is very good, animals 
of this kind should not be passed 
1)y the inspector (3, figure 30). 

Upon completion of the ex- 
amination of a horse have him 
led, with a loose rein, at a walk 
on a hard roadbed, and view his 
action from in front and behind. 
Repeat this at a trot, viewed as 
lie fore. Now have a saddle and 
bridle put on the horse, and note 
the disposition of the animal while this is being done. Have a 
rider mount and gallop the horse, so that he may be viewed as at a 
walk and trot. It is usual at his time to have the horse galloped 
fast for several hundred yards to enable the veterinarian to ex- 
amine his respiration and wind. 

Figure 29. Cow Hocked. 



In examining the horse in motion it should be observed if his 
movements at all gaits are regular, free, and natural. The arti- 
ficial gaits of the trained saddle horse are of no special value to 
cavalry, for when animals with these gaits are ridden by guides it 
is impossible to regulate the gaits of other horses by them. 

It should be demanded that the horse walk, trot, and gallop 
without defects or peculiarities of gaits. If the horse is lame in 

Figure 30. 

the slightest degree, even from an apparently fresh and insignifi- 
cant wound, the examination should be suspended. 

It is not to be expected that horses with clearly apparent feat- 
ures of lameness will be presented in that condition for inspection 
and sale as sound animals. There are many obscure cases of 
lameness which may not be readily detected during a cursory or 
careless examination. Lameness not infrequently has an apparent 
location elsewhere than at the real seat of trouble. 


If a lame horse be led by a loose halter strap at a trot, on a hard 
piece of road, a careful observer will notice as he approaches, 
passes by, and recedes, a dropping of the body upon one extremity 
or the other. If the dropping of the head or depressing of the 
hip takes place at the time the foot of the off (right) side comes 
to the ground, the horse is lame on the near (left) side. If the 
dropping of the head or depressing of the hip occurs on the near 
(left) side, the horse is lame on the off (right) side. 

Having determined on which side and whether it is in a fore or 
hind leg that lameness exists, it still remains to definitely locate 
the seat and cause of the injury. In some cases there may be no 
visible alteration of the parts to indicate whether the lameness is 
in the shoulder, leg, or foot. Heat, flinching from pain, and swell- 
ing of the parts are the surest indications of the seat of lameness. 

The lameness which an inspector must look out for is where the 
horse is lame in both fore or both hind legs, particularly the 
former. If lame in both fore legs, the action of the horse is 
rather stiff and the steps shorter than natural. This condition 
generally arises from founder, navicular disease in both feet or 
contracted heels. If lame in both hind legs, the fore legs are kept 
back of the normal position, and the head is lowered when the 
animal is in motion. Backing and turning are accomplished with 

If the horse throws his feet out of the vertical plane at a walk 
and trot — usually called " paddling " — or if he interferes suffi- 
ciently to cut himself, he should not be accepted. A horse which 
interferes when in good condition without a load is apt to be 
worse when thin in flesh and fatigued from packing a heavy 
weight on the march. The " paddling " movement is not only un- 
sightly, but occasions fatigue and an unnecessary waste of energy. 


The entire examination should be made without whips, noise or 
excitement of any kind. This is difficult to enforce at public 
stock yards and stables, but should be insisted upon. 

Some horses, apparently sound and without vice or fault, will 
still be far from desirable cavalry horses. If, for instance, a horse 
appears clumsy, especially at a trot, the inspector should mount 
him and give him a thorough trial, else he may pass into the ranks 
an animal whose rough gaits will cause more discontent than he 
is worth. 

Ability to carry flesh under short rations is a very excellent 
quality in troop horses, for it not only enables them to stand hard 
work, but saves sore backs, which generally result when loss of 
flesh destroys the perfect fit of the saddle. This aptitude to take 
on and retain flesh exists in horses of particular conformation, 
with which cavalrymen soon become familiar in active service. 

Disappointment may come because an animal whose form just- 
ifies the highest expectations may prove without the courage or 
ability to perform according to nature's gifts, but there will be 
some satisfaction in the knowledge that those whose forms indi- 
cated unfitness have not been made a burden upon the govern- 

In examining horses attention will always be called to the fine 
points, of which most horses possess some. After the eye has 
become trained, a horse whose defects of detail predominate will 
at once show a want of harmony of the whole. If, on the other 
hand, his defects are few, the impression conveyed will be har- 
monious. It is then only necessary to determine if any of the 
defects of form are such as to be a source of weakness when the 
horse is put to the use for which he is to be bought. The most 
valuable and competent inspector of remounts is the one who can 


quickly and correctly decide as to what defects and blemishes may 
be safely waived. 

In all examinations of animals for public service, it should be 
kept in mind that endurance is limited by the weakest part. 
While in private life such care may be bestowed upon a horse as 
to cause a weak member to last as long as the more sound ones, 
this cannot be done in military service. 

The preceding pages, while containing many general remarks 
and principles, are primarily intended to set forth the points and 
qualities desirable in a cavalry horse. 

The artillery horse is a combination of the saddle and the draft 
horse. The relative proportions of these two opposing char- 
acteristics vary, depending upon the class of artillery work the 
horse is to perform. Thus, in siege artillery, when the load is 
heavy and the gait slow, the draft feature exists almost to the ex- 
clusion of the saddle qualities, while at the other end of the list is 
the horse artillery animal, where the weight being comparatively 
light, and the gait frequently fast, saddle qualities must exist to a 
very large extent, though not to the same degree that draft pre- 
dominates in the siege artillery horse. It should always be borne 
in mind that the essential qualification in all artillery horses is 
ability to draw the carriages to which they are harnessed, and that 
all saddle qualities are subordinate to this. The trot is the har- 
ness gait for covering long distances rapidly, and artillery should 
be able to keep this gait unbroken for several miles. 

The characteristics of horses for saddle purposes vary consid- 
erably from those for draft. Horses for draft purposes only are 
much heavier, especially in the shoulders, moving the load more by 
their weight in the collar than by muscular exertion. The 
shoulders are also broader, affording a good bearing surface for 


the collar and they are also straightcr (less slopinc:) in order that 
the line of draft may be more nearly perpendicular to them. The 
pasterns are more upright to enable the horse to exert his strength 
without " digging in his toes " ; the neck shorter, heavier ; the 
chest is generally broader ; the hind quarters are heavier ; the 
rump is broader ; the legs are shorter, and in general the horse 
is heavier and of more blocky build than the saddle horse. 

The grading of artillery horses into lead, swing, and wheel, and 
attempts to have distinctive weights and sizes for each is now 
abandoned, it being generally recognized that the best six-horse 
team is that in which all the horses are nearly alike, and any pair 
can be placed in any position. This is important, for a 
continuous line of trace from lead to wheel exists, and the 
nearer all the horses are to the same size, the nearer this line 
comes to being a straight one. On the other hand, small horses 
in front of the large ones make a broken line of trace with a con- 
stant downward pull on the necks of the larger horses. And 
again, as wheel horses are always working while in motion, in 
draft, or holding back down grade, or turning the carriage, it is 
an advantage to be able to put any one of the three pairs in the 
wheel, so as to equalize the w^ork. 

Notwithstanding that there is in all armies, in time of peace, a 
great demand for mobility in the artillery, and therefore lighter 
and more active horses are called for. there is a tendency toward 
heavier horses — horses that can undoubtedly draw the carriages in 
spite of hard work, bad roads, and small rations. 

The description of the exterior of the horse given herein applies 
to artillery horses also. A more detailed description of the artil- 
lery horse is as follows : 


The best artillery horses (except siege, which should average 
from 1 6 to i6^ hands high, and weight from 1350 to 1400 
pounds) are about 15^ hands, weight about 1200 pounds when 
in fair condition ; in purchasing it should be borne in mind that 
horses, when sent to market usually have many pounds of fat on 
them. Horses over this height are not, as a rule, as well pro- 
portioned, or else they are of defective conformation for artillery. 

Long legged, long barrelled, tucked up belly, " slab sided " 
(insufficient arch to ribs), narrow chested horses and those 
with big fiat feet are entirely unsuited for artillery. The head 
should be proportioned in size to the rest of the animal, and never 
large, coarse, and heavy. The neck should be shorter and heavier 
than in the cavalry horse. But the neck must^not be so wide as to 
prevent a good bearing surface in the shoulder for the collar, or 
to be pinched by it. The ewe neck especially should be carefully 
avoided, as the collar is not held properly in place, and the horse 
does not carry his head so well as with either a straight or arched 
neck, and consequently his balance is disturbed. 

The shoulder is one of the principal points of difiference be- 
tween saddle and draft horses. This should not be so sloping 
as to cause the collar to work up and choke the horse, and while, 
on the other hand, upright, straight shoulders are desired for 
draft horses only, it should be borne in mind that the artillery 
horse is also to be ridden, and therefore some slope to the 
shoulders is necessary. A straight shoulder generally in- 
dicates a rough gait. This is undesirable, especially in horse 
artillery, where the function of the cannoneer's horses being to 
carry them to the place where their work (firing) begins, it is 
essential that they should arrive there fresh and not in a worn 


out condition due to a hard gaited horse. On the other hand, as 
the cannoneer's horses have to work in harness in emergencies, 
they cannot be simply saddle animals, but must possess good draft 
qualities. The shoulders should therefore slope less than in the 
cavalry horse, but more than in the common draft horse. They 
should be heavy, and afford a good bearing surface for the collar. 

The chest should be wider than in the cavalry horse and plump 
in front. It is that of the harnesss or driving horse rather than that 
of the saddle animal. The hindquarters should be heavy and well 
muscled; the rump should be wider and more nearly square (less 
sloping across the hips) than the cavalry horse. The legs should 
be shorter, and the muscles of the forearm and gaskin prominent. 
The distance from the last rib to the point of the hip should be as 
short as possible. The barrel should be short, measured along 
the back, but large in circumference. Such horses, as a rule, are 
easy keepers, and stand hard work well. 

It has been the main object in this chapter to call attention to 
the various forms of horses, and explain the relative value of 
different points. It is not always practicable to have the profes- 
sional assistance of a veterinarian, therefore, cavalry and field artil- 
lery officers and quartermasters should be able to make an exami- 
nation of the horse for soundness without assistance, except as to 
certain occult forms of disease. The method prescribed herein 
is in accordance with the best practice of veterinarians, and if 
closely followed will generally give satisfaction. 



1, Examine the animal as he stands in his stall to see if he 
points either fore foot, or favors any leg. Observe the position 
of the posterior extremities when standing. Observe whether he 
cribs or bites the woodwork ; holds on to the manger or halter 
ropes or straps to suck wind ; bites or kicks ; weaves or moves 
from side to side like a caged animal ; or whether he exhibits any 
glaring unsoundness forbidding further examination. 

2. Lead the animal out into the light, and observe if the pupils 
of the eyes contract evenly ; if not suspect defective vision. Stand 
in front and compare the e)'es, as to whether one is smaller than 
the other ; whether there exist any signs of an operation having 
been performed ; any signs of ophthalmia, white specks in the 
cornea, torn eyelid, warts, or other abnormal conditions. Wave 

* A committee of the American Veterinary Medical Association was ap- 
pointed to investigate the practicability of establishing a standard of sound- 
ness, and submitted a report at the forty-first annual convention in 1904. 
The chairman reported the inability of the committee to present anything 
in the way of definite rules for a standard and further adds: "The subject 
is an exceedingly complicated and difficult one to handle. The old English 
arbitrary system of either condemning a horse as unsound, or passing 
him as sound, is certainly extremely harsh and in many instances unjust 
to the intending purchaser, to the vendor, and to the horse. It is the 
opinion of the committee that degrees of soundness should be recognized; 
that is, first, absolute soundness, and second, serviceable soundness. It is 
a very simple matter to define absolute soundness but when it comes to 
serviceable soundness it is exceedingly difficult, if not an impossibility, to 
set down any definite rule. In very many instances, when our advice is 
asked as to the advisability of purchasing an animal, it is not a question 
of soundness at all but a question as to the usefulness of the animal for 
the particular purpose intended. The purposes for which horses arc bought 
and used are unlimited, and while a horse may be serviceably sound for 
one purpose and do excellent work, for another purpose he would be 
entirely useless." 



the hand gently to and fro in front of the eye; if the animal does 
not instinctively close the eye upon the approach of the hand, 
proceed carefully to determine whether or not sight has been lost. 

3. Examine the ears for cuts and slits made by sticking the 
head into barbed wire fences. If the ears hang flabbily, or do not 
move quickly and rigidly at intervals, something is wrong; ob- 
serve carefully the base of the ear and vicinity for sores. 

4. Look the horse squarely in the face to see if there is any 
abnormal or uneven development about the head. Look for 
evidences of ulcerated teeth, as indicated by swelling in the 
vicinity of the facial sinuses and of the bones of the lower jaw, 
and by offensive odors. 

5. Open the animal's mouth, and observe if all the teeth, molars 
as well as incisors, are intact. Examine carefully for parrot 
mouth, lacerated tongue, abscesses, bit bruises on the bars, and 
the teeth to determine age. 

6. Examine the nostrils for healthy color, polypi, ulcers indi- 
cating glanders, and for offensive discharges. Look for farcy 
buds on the neck and sides of the face. Feel under the jaw for 
enlargement of the lymphatic gland. Examine the region of the 
parotid gland for evidences of inflammation. Raise the jugular 
vein to see if it is intact ; observe if any inflammation of the vein 

7. Pass the hand from the top of the head along the neck to 
the withers for evidences of poll evil, bruises, or fistula. Place 
the ear to the trachea, to observe if the sound of breathing is 
clear and even. 

8. Pass to the near (left) side of the animal and examine the 
back for sit-fasts, or saddle sores. Observe the shoulder for 
signs of wasting away of the muscles, enlargement of the joint, 



heat, or tenderness. Examine the point of the elbow for capped 
elbow (figure 31). Examine the near fore leg with the hand, 
looking at the oflf leg also, for broken knees, speedy cut, splints 
(figures 31 and 32), side bones, ring bones, injury from interfer- 
ing, sand cracks, seedy toe, false 
quarter, scratches, grease, wind 
galls, heat about the fetlocks or 
ct:)ronet, and scars from wire 
fence wounds. 

9. Take up the foot and ex- 
amine for indications of founder, 
contraction, quittor, or flatness ; 
to see if the bars have been cut 
away; whether there is any of- 
fensive odor of the frog, and to 
see if there is any peculiarity 
al/out the shoe, made necessary 
1>\ the form of the foot, or the 
ution of the horse. See if there 
i^ any appreciable difference in 
■ 1 I he size or shape of the feet. Ex- 
Figure 31. A liandsome high amine the tendons for evidences 
spirited troop horse, which in a r ^..j-^j^c 
brief period of service developed "^ 

broken knee, near leg; splint, off 10. Listen to the heart to deter- 
leg, and capped elbow, near leg. 

mine if its l)eats are regular. 

Observe the breathing to determine if the inspirations and ex- 
pirations arc equal. If inspiration is accomplished with one 
effort, and expiration with two, called " double breathing," the 
horse is unsound. This may be observed by watching the ab- 



domen. Examine the abdomen for hernia. Pass the hand along 
under the chest and abdomen to feel for cinch sores and shoe 
bruises occasioned by a faulty method of lying down. 

II. Have an attendant hold up a fore foot while an examination 

I 2 

Figure 32. i. Splint on Near Fore Leg above Fetlock. 2. Splint Near 
Fore Leg below Knee. 

is made of geldings to see if castration has been properly per- 
formed, and that no signs of scirrhous cord exist. 

12. Examine the stifle joint, and pass the hand along down the 
near hind leg to the hock, comparing at the same time the relative 
size of the hocks ; examine for bone and bog spavin, thoroughpin, 
capped hock (figure 33), curb (figure 34), and skin disease in 



the hollow of the hocks (sallenders). The inside of the thigh 
should be examined for farcy buds. Examine the lower limb 
and foot as in the case of the fore leg, except that some injuries 
of the fore are never found in the hind leg. Pass behind and 

compare the hips, quarters, and 
buttocks ; feel the tail and ob- 
serve the anus and vicinity for 
injury or disease. 

13. Proceed to the off (right) 
side and repeat such part of the 
examination as may be necessary 
for that side. Observe during 
the entire examination whether 
any parasites are attached to the 

14. Go to the horse's head, 
take hold of the bridle, and back 
him suddenly ; if the tail is ele- 
vated and the hind legs do not 
respond, or the animal should 
partially sit down, or elevate one 
of his limbs suddenly, he is un- 
sound. Turn him around sud- 
denly and look for the same 
symptoms. The horse should be 

led with a loose rein at a walk, and then at a trot, his action being 
carefully noted for any inequality of movement, which, if dis- 
covered, must be critically exajnined. 

15. Saddle the horse and observe if he gives in the loins when 

Figure 33. Capped Hock. 



mounted, or shows any signs of weakness.* Have him ridden at 
a walk, trot, and gallop, and watch for indications of lameness 
and peculiarities of motion. Have 
him galloped rapidly, up hill if prac- 
ticable, and then have him halted 
suddenly ; put the ear close to his 
nostrils, and listen to his respiration 
for roaring, whistling, or broken wind, 
and also observe if respiration sub- 
sides promptly to normal or not. 

Opinions vary as to whether grunt- 
ing is an indication of unsoundness, 
and many practical horsemen believe 

this trouble changes into roaring. 


be on the safe side, regard it as an 
evidence of unsoundness. To detect it, 
strike the horse a sharp blow with a 
whip or stick, and make believe to 
strike again, when the horse will 
grunt if affected with the ailment. It 
may also be detected by halting sud- 
denly from a rapid gait. 

i igiiic ,u- Curb-en- 
largement Back of Leg 
Below the Hock. 

* It is not uncommon to see persons with considerable experience with 
horses, proceed to pinch a horse over the kidneys, and when the animal 
flinches and gives down, a verdict of weakness in the loins is rendered 
against him. The case, in fact, is exactly the reverse, for if a horse does 
not show any sign of flinching, when so pinched, it is very good evidence 
that something is wrong. 



Center of Motion. — Center of Gravity. — Base of Support. — Relative Posi- 
tions of Centers of Motion and Gravity. — Equilibrium. — Effect of 
Head and Neck on Center of Gravity. — Artificial Balance of Saddle 

The skeleton forms the basis of the animal machine, and it is 
necessary to have some understanding- of it from a mechanical, 
as well as anatomical point of view. The principles involved are 
familiar, relating chiefly to levers and equilibrium, or such a dis- 
tribution of weight, with reference to its supports, as to insure 
stability. The principal weight to be carried is the rider and 
packed saddle. 

Looking at the spine, or framework of the back on which the 
rider's weight is to be carried, it will be seen that the under line 
of the vertebrae is nearly straight, although not horizontal, since 
it inclines somewhat downwards towards the forehand. The 
spinous processes of the first thirteen vertebrae, reckoning from 
the point where the neck is attached, incline backwards ; the four- 
teenth, fifteenth, and sixteen,th are nearly upright, and the remain- 
ing dorsal and all the lumbar vertebrae incline forward. 

Regarding the entire backbone as an arch, it is evident that the 
keystone is at the point where the vertebrae stand upright, that 
is, about the fifteenth, or between the fourteenth and sixteenth. 
It is obvious that this inclination of the processes towards a 
central point is intended to and does limit the motion of the back 


downward and upward, so that the center of motion of the 
horse's body, the point about which the several movements of the 
fore and hind legs are performed with varying" degrees of 
rapidity, lies near the fifteenth vertebra.* 

This is further shown by the distribution and points of attach- 
ment of the muscles of the back and adjacent parts of the fore 
and hind quarters. Putting, therefore, the progressive movement 
of the animal out of the question, as being equally applicable to 

* Considerable discussion having arisen from time to time as to the 
fourteenth vertebra being the most upright, the author addressed a com- 
munication in regard to this point to one of the recognized veterinary 
authorities in America. The careful consideration given the subject 
justifies the pubHcation of the reply: 

American Veterinary College, May 23, 1894. 
Captain W. H. Carter: 

Dear Sir. — To answer your letter of the i8th inst. I have made re- 
searches which I send you, but which I am afraid will not permit a defi- 
nite solution of the problem. 

The veterinary anatomies that I have consulted do not seem to agree 
as placing the fourteenth dorsal vertebra in the light presented by Major 
Dwyer's book. For instance, Strangeway says that the thirteenth, four- 
teenth, and fifteenth are nearly upright, and the sixteenth oblique forward. 
For Steel, it is the sixteenth. For Rigot, the sixteenth and seventeenth 
are about upright. Chauveau and Fleming says the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth are about upright, the eighteenth bent forward. Others, like 
Percival and Blaine, make no mention of the difference. 

Amongst the cuts that I have (Cuyer and Alix, Leisering) the fifteenth 
seems the most upright. 

Out of three skeletons that are in the museum of the college (French 
and American), two natural and one artificial, the fifteenth is the most 
upright of all. 

Evidently from these, taking an average, it appears that the upright 
condition of the superior spinous process is more generally admitted as 
existing in the fifteenth and sixteenth than in the fourteenth. 

I remain yours verv respectfullv. 

.\. LI.A.UTARD. 


all its parts, the motion of the several parts of the body increases 
in proportion to their distance from the center of motion. 

The same rule is applicable to burdens placed on the horse's 
back, especially that of the rider, whose frame is also subject to 
its own peculiar motions, some of which are caused by the pro- 
gressive movement of the animal. 

If the rider be placed over the center of motion, a point equally 
removed from the four points of support, he will occupy, as it 
were, the summit or apex of a more or less regular pyramid, and 
should have greater stability, and be less disturbed by the horse's 
motion, than if placed at any other point. 

The determination of the center of gravity of living bodies, 
whose parts are of ununiform density, subject to constant dis- 
placement by locomotion, change of attitude, and by action of the 
organs themselves, is a very difficult matter when compared to its 
determination in bodies of geometrical form and homogeneous 
construction. The practical value of its determination in the 
horse lies in the knowledge thereby acquired as to the proper 
distribution of load in order to retain the normal position of the 
center of gravity, and thus prevent one set of limbs being used 
up before the others. 

The position of the center of gravity and the distribution of 
the weight of the body on the legs vary with the conformation 
of the animal, particularly as to the size and shape of the head 
and neck. In consequence of the projecting position of these 
parts, a somewhat greater proportion of its total weight falls on 
the fore legs than on the hind ones, and causes the forehand to 
average about one-ninth heavier than the hind. 

A great many experiments have been made to determine the 
exact position of the center of gravity of the horse, and the best 


authorities agree that it Hes at or near the intersection of a ver- 
tical Hne (AB, figure i) passing in rear of the high point of the 
withers at about the ninth vertebra, and a horizontal line (EF) 
cutting the lower third of the body from the upper portion. This 
intersection will generally lie in the median plane of the body. 

The usual method of determining the center of gravity is to use 
two weighing machines, so placed that the anterior extremities 
rest upon the middle of one, and the posterior extremities upon 
the middle of the other. By this same method the effect upon the 
center of gravity is found as the horse raises or lowers his head ; 
when the saddle and load are shifted forward or back ; also, when 
the rider throws his weight into the stirrups, or leans forward, 
back, or to either side. 

It has been stated that the center of motion is situated in a ver- 
tical line intersecting the vertebras at or near the fifteenth (CD, 
figure i), and the center of gravity on a line intersecting the 
vertebrae nearer the shoulder (AB, figure i). A horse in a 
natural state goes with the two centers in the relative positions 
described, and can do so with a rider ; the horse can also go, when 
either trained or weighted, so that the center of gravity falls to 
the rear of the center of motion, as in certain styles of school 

For all general purposes, however, the vertical lines falling 
through these two centers should be made to coincide ; for correct 
military riding this condition is particularly desirable, owing to 
the necessity for turning sharp curves at all rates of speed while 
heavily weighted. 

The polygon, formed by lines joining the four points touched 
by the horse's feet standing at rest, is called the base of support. 
In motion this base of support becomes sometimes a triangle, at 
others a line, and finally, as in the run, a mere point. 


The equilibrium is of course more stable as the base of support 
becomes larger, and the line of gravitation nearer the center of 
the base, and unstable under the contrary conditions. A broad 
or " square-built " horse will have a condition of stable equilib- 
rium greater than a narrow-chested horse, whose legs are close 
to the median plane. Both being at rest, the rectangle forming 
the base of support in the latter case will fall within the rectangle 
of the former, the length being the same. 

While at rest all the legs are regarded as bearers, but when in 
motion the fore legs are the bearers, and the hind legs act essen- 
tially as propellers. To a certain extent, however, the fore legs 
assist propulsion, as the hind legs also assist in sustaining the 

It is an established fact that racehorses are favored in their 
stride by putting the jockey well forward, and the converse of 
this is true ; that is, by weighting back there is a loss of propelling 
power, owing to the hind legs also becoming bearers. While 
speed is gained for short distances by adjusting the load forward, 
it will not do for service because of the rapid breaking down 
which occurs in the fore legs. 

A mounted horse is said to be in equilibrium when he is capable 
of obeying the hands and legs of the rider without unnecessary 
effort, and with perfect freedom of the muscular groups whose 
action is necessary to produce the desired movements. 

What has been shown to be true by actual experiments with 
live horses on proportion scales, may be illustrated in another 
way by a simple diagram. 

Suppose the head and neck of the horse to occupy the position 
DA in figure 35 ; the relative weight would then be represented 
by the flistaucc from N to / on the line DE, or IN. If the head 



and neck be lifted to the position DB, the relative weight will be 
represented by IN', and if still more elevated, to DC by IN". 
The relative overhanging weight of the head and neck is dimin- 
ished in proportion as their position is brought nearer to that 
represented by DC, and the further effect of this is to throw the 
center of gravity of the animal to the rear of its former position ; 
that is, if the center of gravity is at F when the head and neck 
occupy the position DA, it will be moved to G when the head and 

Figure 35. Diagram : Equilibrium of Horse. 

neck are raided to the line DB, and further back to H when the 
head and neck are raised to the position DC. 

A horse's neck is flexible to a certain extent, and the head 
which forms no inconsiderable portion of the overhanging weight, 
can be bent at various angles to the neck. It is therefore prac- 
ticable to diminish the preponderance of these members by alter- 
ing their relative position as described above, and to diminish the 
distance at which the perpendicular falls outside the line DE, by 
bending the neck, and also by causing the head to assume an acute 
angle with the neck, whether the latter be straight or curved. 


The application of this knowledge renders it possible, in con- 
nection with proper bitting and saddling, to train cavalry horses 
to maintain their equilibrium at all gaits while carrying on their 
backs the heavy weight of trooper and pack, which combined 
equals about one-fourth the weight of the animal. 

In the foregoing the movement of the center of gravity has 
been considered only in a vertical plane. It also has a marked 
horizontal motion, its oscillations to the right and left at a walk 
and trot being quite regular, and constantly traveling in the di- 
rection of the fore foot which is about to support the weight. 

In riding on curves, as in the riding-school, the horse and rider 
both lean toward the inside to bring the center of gravity in that 
direction, otherwise the animal would lose his balance and fall. 
As a matter of fact the horse not only leans toward the inner side 
of the curve, but also turns his head in the same direction. 

It has been shown that the center of gravity lies somewhat 
nearer the shoulders than the center of motion. It is a very 
natural question, therefore, as to whether the load should be ad- 
justed so as to leave the center of gravity where nature placed 
it, or to move it further back. 

That the horse instinctively changes the location of this center 
himself is shown in the way a loose horse travels. Horses on the 
range moving along at a walk almost invariably hang their heads 
down slightly, and on a march they do the same thing. When 
they strike into a trot every head will go up at once. If anything 
causes the herd to break into a gallop, so long as they remain at 
a canter their heads will continue as at a trot, but as soon as 
the stride becomes lengthened into a fast gallop or run, the heads 
will be straightened out and lowered again. Either straightening 
out or lowering the head brings forward the center of gravity. 


If there were no other conditions to be met than those in- 
volving progress in a forward direction, no reason would exist 
for any alteration of the horse's natural balance ; but there are 
many things which have to be taken into consideration which in- 
fluence the fixing of an artificial balance of the saddle animal, 
particularly the cavalry horse. 

It is necessary to establish the horse in such equilibrium that 
he may execute all the movements of drill with promptness and 
accuracy, and with a minimum of fatigue to himself and rider. 
This involves quick turns without decreasing the gait, which 
latter the horse in nature nearly always does. To use a saber on 
horseback it is necessary to have the horse balanced more with a 
view to quick turns on the hind rather than the forehand. 

One reason exists for throwing the balance of the horse some- 
what to the rear, which alone makes it expedient to do so. This 
is the necessity for preventing the fore feet and legs from be- 
coming prematurely ruined. It is not a matter of theory merely, 
but a well-known result of actual experience, that horses carrying 
weights upon their backs become broken down in front, as a rule, 
long before they suffer any deterioration of the hind legs. The 
date of breaking down is much hastened by saddling far forward 
over the withers, and by an improper use of the stirrups, which 
will be explained later. 



Motion Implies Displacement of Center of Gravity. — Natural Gaits. — 
Stride and Step. — The Walk. — The Trot. — The Hand Gallop or Can- 
ter. — The Fast Gallop or Run ; True, False, Disconnected. — The Jump. 

The analysis of the gaits of the horse is a science of itself, into 
the domain of which the average ofificer docs not care to enter. 
A brief study of the subject will be sufficient to enable the student 
of hippology to understand why a trained saddle horse is safer 
and much more pleasant to ride than the sprawling young colt 
which has not yet been established in his gaits or carriage. 

The movement of the horse's body over the ground implies 
displacement of the center of gravity, which compels the legs to 
form new bases of support. The more unstable the equilibrium 
at any gait, the quicker will the new base of support have to be 
formed, and the greater the speed for that particular gait. Any 
excess of muscle beyond that required for the due working of the 
limbs is an impediment rather than an aid to speed. 

There are four natural gaits, the walk, amble, trot, and gallop ; 
and several artificial gaits, being more or less variations of the 
natural gaits. Amongst these may be mentioned the fox trot ; the 
running walk, a cross between the walk and trot; and the single 
foot, distinguished by the posterior limbs moving in the order of 
the fast walk and the anterior ones in that of a trot, being an 


irregular gait, the characteristic rhythm of the footfall of which, 
once learned, will be easily recognized, even in the dark. 

Marches, drills, and maneuvers are performed at varying de- 
grees of speed, but the only authorized and desirable gaits are the 
walk, trot, and gallop. Especially should officers' horses be 
trained to perform those gaits at the regulation rate of speed per 
mile. Nothing else is so trying to the temper of, or so productive 
of discomfort to the men in ranks, as an officer leading the 
column on a horse with a running walk instead of a square walk, 
or a single foot instead of a trot. 

It may be remarked that in the analysis of the gaits it will be 
found that no two animals will show the same imprints at any par- 
ticular gait, and the same horse even will be found to vary 
greatly in a few strides. By stride is understood the distance 
from the print of one foot to the print of the same foot when it 
next comes to the ground, in its regular order of succession, in 
contradistinction to step which relates to the forward or back- 
ward movement of one limb only. 

These rhodifications depend entirely upon the conditions under 
which the animal is placed, for the horse instinctively alters the 
position of his supports to accommodate his equilibrium, which 
may be slightly but continually varied by his rider. This is 
especially noticeable in the line of footprints made at a fast gallop 
or run. In this case the horse is supported by one limb at a time, 
and it is essential that the variations of the center of gravity from 
side to side should be promptly met by corresponding variations 
of the points of support, as well as the variations in a forward 



In figure 36 the dark shoes represent the prints of the hind 
feet. A, B, and C represent the trails made by three good cavalry 





i a 


























n f 

^ -s c 2? ^ >i' r' /4" 

Figure 36. Trails of Troop Horses; Walk, Trot, and Gallop. 


horses taken from the troop stable, and walked over a prepared 
track. D and E are trails drawn on the same scale, to illustrate 
the superposed imprints, and the case of a horse which steps short 
with his hind feet. 

A' and C are the trails made at a trot by the horses used for 
A and C. 

A" and C" are the trails made at a gallop by the same horses, 
and A'" is the trail made at a fast gallop by the same horse used 
for A, A', and A". 

When the horse started over C" the track was wet near the 
end, which caused him to take short steps. 

The Walk. — This above all others is the cavalry gait, since the 
heavy weight of trooper and pack necessitates its use on the 
march to a far greater extent than all the other gaits combined. 
Unfortunately it is not practicable to determine the ability of the 
horse as a walker by his conformation. The walk of most horses 
is improved by service in the ranks. 

A good walk is characterized by a high rather than low carriage 
of the head. The fore legs should be carried forward freely and 
directly, without undue elevation of the knees. The hind legs 
should act in planes parallel to those in which the fore legs move. 
The hoofs should be planted squarely, and remain in place with- 
out rotating inward or outward. The prints of the hind feet 
should appear on the ground in front of those of the fore feet, 
and the intervals between them on one side should be the same 
as on the other. External influences operate in this connection, 
however, for the prints of the hind feet will sometimes be found 
superposed upon those of the fore, and at other times to fall be- 
hind them {A, B, C, D, and E, figure 36). 
The walk is a gait of four flat beats, each foot being planted 


in regular order. If the right fore foot comes first to the ground, 
the left hind foot is next planted ; then the left fore foot, and 
finally the right hind foot. During this movement the weight is 
borne first by the two fore feet and the right hind foot ; then by 
the right fore foot and the right hind foot ; then by the two hind 
feet and the right fore foot ; and lastly by the left fore foot and 
the right hind foot. 

The center of gravity always falls near the intersection of the 
lines connecting the diagonal feet, but within the triangle connect- 
ing the three feet furnishing support. 

If the horse be collected between the hand and heels of its rider, 
the movement that results is the safest of all. The horse has 
never less than two, and never more than three feet, bearing the 
weight at the same time. When he quickens his movement he 
does not at once change his gait, but extends his strides, and 
makes them more unifonn until further extension becomes dif- 
ficult, when he will break into a trot. 

The Trot. — In the trot the footfalls mark two sharp beats, and 
the horse springs from one pair of diagonally disposed legs to 
the other pair, and is entirely free from the ground between each 
step, except in the short trot. If the trot depends simply upon 
this united action of a fore Ifeg and its diagonal hind leg, the pace 
may be very slow, but if the speed be such that the stride is too 
long for the fore feet to remain upon the ground together, the 
true trot results, and the horse goes into the air from each pair 
of diagonal bearers alternately. The jog trot is a hybrid gait, 
and is not performed this way. 

The trot differs from a walk, in that the horse has always two 
feet upon the ground at a walk, while at the trot there is always 
a space of time in which all the feet are off the ground. 



The weight is borne by the diagonally disposed limbs alter- 
nately, and the step being supposed to be a constant quantity in 
the fast trot, the stride can be extended only by increasing the 
space which the body passes over with its center of gravity un- 
supported. In the ordinary trot this distance is small, but in the 
fast trot it exceeds that in which the body is supported. 

In the ordinary trot the imprints of the hind feet are super- 
posed upon those of the fore feet, but many horses, especially 
young and untrained ones, bring their hind feet more or less 
ahead of the prints of the fore feet. This is easily seen by hoof- 
marks on moist ground (A' and C, figure 36). 

There are other horses that instead of overstepping, come 
short of the track of the fore feet with the hind ones. Those that 
overstep will usually be found to be such as arc overweighted on 
the forehand, whilst those that step short are usually such as are 
overweighted behind or that have some weakness or other defect 
in their hind quarters. 

While the trot is not designed by nature to be the fastest gait, 
it is the one in which the average horse is capable of traveling 
farther in a day's journey, with less fatigue, than any other. It 
is now adopted as the maneuvering gait for cavalry, and has 
grown much in favor as a marching gait, for the reason that, 
when not too heavily weighted, the horse completes the march in 
a shorter time, is then entirely relieved of his load, and given 
more time for rest and feeding. 

A moderate trot should be less fatiguing to horses than any 
other gait on account of the diagonal pairs of legs being used as 
bearers and propellers alternately. Some horses will, however, 
when ridden, break into a canter, because the alternate shifting 
of their own and the rider's weight from right to left becomes, 


with their particular conformation, more fatiguing than the con- 
stant use of each pair of legs for the same purpose. 

Horses overweighted on the forehand and hurried in a trot, 
being unable to support the weight thrown more and more rap- 
idly on their fore legs, break into a canter or gallop. 

Hand Gallop or Canter. — The difference between the canter 
and the fast gallop, or running gait, is sufficient to cause them to 
be mentioned separately. The canter is a gait in which if the 
weight is received upon the left hind foot, it next falls upon the 
right hind and left fore, and then upon the right fore foot. It is 
a gait of three beats, inasmuch as the second period of contact 
is marked by the diagonally opposite hind and fore feet coming 
down together. 

The trail made by the horse at this gait is entirely different 
from that at the fast gallop or run, but in passing from one to 
the other the rider does not perceive any disunited or violent 
action akin to that which takes place in passing from a trot to 
a gallop, and the reverse. The horse simply extends himself, 
gradually if not urged, and passes imperceptibly to the gait in 
which a diagonal pair of feet no longer come down together, and 
which will be described as the gallop. The horse leads with a 
fore leg, which does not act with the diagonal hind leg. 

The Fast Gallop or Run. — This is the most rapid of gaits, and 
is taken when the propulsion from the hind quarters becomes so 
vigorous as to shift the center of gravity, and prevent the balance 
necessary for the performance of any of the other gaits. It has 
heretofore been the least understood of all the gaits as evidenced 
by all old pictures of horses in rapid motion. 

The most perfect method of quadrupedal locomotion is that in 
which the greatest speed is attained with the least expenditure of 




Figure 37. The Galloping Stride. 


vital force. This is found in the horse in which the deviation of 
the Hne of motion from the horizontal is least. Perfect locomo- 
tion requires uniform support to the center of gravity and con- 
tinuous propulsion. The fast run more nearly fulfills these 
conditions than any other gait. 

The imprints left upon the ground by a running horse follow 
each other very nearly in a straight line. This indicates a min- 
imum size in a transverse direction, of the base of support, and 
consequently great instability, as well as speed {A", C", and A"', 
figure 36) . 

The drawings (figure 37), introduced to show the action of the 
horse in performing the galloping stride, are from the Muybridge 

The center of gravity is supposed to be under the saddle, i 
of the drawings represents the rider and horse ready to start. 
The horse goes into the air from a fore foot (2, 3, and 4) ; receives 
the weight upon the diagonal hind foot (5 and 6) ; then plants 
the other hind foot (7) ; then taking the weight upon the latter, 
extends himself and plants the diagonal fore foot (8) ; takes the 
weight upon the latter (9 and 10), and then plants the other fore 
foot (11 and 12), which then alone sustains the weight until the 
center of gravity passes over it, when the horse again goes into 
the air, to alight upon the diagonal hind foot, planted in front of 
the spot just vacated by the last-mentioned fore foot. 

When a horse goes into the air from his near (left) fore leg, 
followed in the succession shown in figure 37, he is said to be 
leading with the near (left) fore leg. When he goes into the 
air from his off (right) fore leg, followed by the other legs in the 
corresponding order of succession, he is said to be leading with 
his off (right) fore leg. 


When a horse leads with his near (left) fore leg and is gal- 
loping true he is said to execute gallop left ; when he leads with 
his off (right) fore leg under similar conditions he is said to 
gallop right. 

The gallop is called true when it is effected upon the right foot 
when the horse turns to the right. It is called false under con- 
trary conditions, that is, when the horse gallops to the right on 
a curve while leading with his left fore foot. 

So long as the horse goes upon a straight course it matters 
little whether the gallop is effected upon one foot or the other, 
although the horse often takes advantage of a slackening in his 
speed to change the order of succession of his feet, most prob- 
ably to ease up on a fatigued member. 

It is quite different, however, when the course is curvilinear. 
A centrifugal force is developed, which increases with the 
velocity of the gait and the curvature of the track. The horse 
is therefore obliged to incline himself towards the inner side of 
the trail to counteract this force. In view of a fall, which is 
always imminent, he must steady his equilibrium on that side by 
the foothold of the corresponding propelling member ; the right 
if the course turn to the right, the left if it turn to the left. 

The gallop is disunited when the horse leads with his fore feet 
in an inverse manner to the movement of his hind feet ; that is, 
if he gallops to the right with his fore feet, his hind feet will 
move as if he were galloping to the left. The right fore foot 
would lead, and the left hind be the last to leave the ground, 
whereas in the united gallop, if the right fore foot leads, the right 
hind should be the last to leave the ground. 

The horse gallops disunited with great difficulty. It usually 
occurs when the horse tries to effect a change of lead, and is sud- 


denly interfered \vith. It causes much discomfort to the rider, 
and cannot be continued by the horse for any length of time. 

In consequence of the regular alternation of the members at a 
walk and trot, the work performed by each diagonal pair is iden- 
tical, but in the gallop this is not the case. In galloping to the 
right, the right fore and hind legs in turn support the body for a 
longer period than the legs of the other side. The hind leg on 
which the body falls has to sustain more than the fore leg, which 
supports it only before the phase of projection. It follows, that 
in order to distribute the work equally upon the horse's legs, a 
change of lead from time to time should be effected. 

The fatigue of the horse at any gait will depend very much 
upon the movement of his center of gravity. If this center 
varies but little from a horizontal line the strength is not ex- 
pended as rapidly as when there is great variation, for the same 
amount of lifting is not required. In the first case the horse goes 
level, with great freedom of action, and should produce little 
fatigue to himself or rider. In the second case, the rider being 
lifted vertically through a considerable distance at every stride, 
the gait is not smooth ; the connection between horse and rider 
is not closely maintained, and the horse is characterized as 

If the horse be urged at any gait to continually extend him- 
self beyond his ordinary capacity, it will be more fatiguing to him 
than if permitted to take the next faster gait. 

The Jump. — Although leaping is a mode of progression, it is 
not a continuous one, and cannot be properly considered a gait. 
All quadrupeds in a wild state acquire a knowledge of jumping as 
a matter of necessity, but the horse of civilization, especially when 
carrying a rider, requires considerable training and good handling 
in order to enable him to surmount difficult obstacles. 




# Iff *" 
..- ,4"t\ 

Passing the Obstacle. 


Descent in front. 

Descent behind. 
Figure 38. The Jump. 


Some horses can jump while at a trot, or even from a standing 
position, but the majority of horses can perform satisfactorily 
only at a gallop sufficiently slow to enable the animal to measure 
the height of the obstruction or length of the leap he is expected 
to make. 

Approaching an obstruction at a run (figure 38), the horse be- 
trays anxiety by shortening his steps, advancing with both hind 
feet nearly simultaneously, until sufficiently near to take off. He 
then brings his hind feet well under the center of gravity, and in- 
stantly the fore leg on the ground is propelled upward to raise 

3. ^ A ^J>..3^ 

Figure 39. Trail of the Jump. 

the forehand, and this action is immediately followed by energetic 
propulsion of the hind legs, sufficient to lift the weight to the 
height required, not only to surmount the obstacle, but to carry 
the long body of the horse entirely over. 

The hind extremities from the extreme of tension on leaving 
the ground, pass to the opposite extreme of flexion as they go 
over the obstacle, and both fore and both hind as they pass are 
so nearly in unison that they appear together in pairs. After 
passing the obstacle the fore legs separate, in order not to make 
contact with the ground at the same time. One of the fore legs 
is extended to check the force of the descent, which, from the 
loss of horizontal motion, has little more than the momentum 
of gravity to deal with. This is the instant of great danger to 
the pastern joint and flexor tendons ; but before these parts are 
put to the extreme test the other fore leg comes to the relief of 
its fellow, and immediately after the hind extremities, one after 



the other, are planted under the center of gravity, and by their 
great lifting force relieve the fore legs. All the legs are now 
free to act their various parts in the gallop as before the jump. 
The trail made by the horse in leaping the hedge is shown in 
figure 39. 

Figure 40. "Chappie" jumping the bars at 5' 8" in height and covering 

25' horizontally. 

Figure 40 is an unusually good illustration of the flying jump 
by Mr. Holloway's " Chappie," at Chevy Chase, Md., Septem- 
ber, 1897, over bars 5' 8" high, and covering a horizontal distance 
of 25 feet. The record for high jumping has been held for 
some years by horses which have, in turn, cleared the bars at 
heights considerably over seven feet. 



Classified as Bar, Snaftle and Curb. — The Mouthing; Pelham. — Bit and 
Bridoon. — Horse's Mouth Structurallj' Considered : Curb Groove ; 
Tongue Channel ; Bars. — ^Temperament of Mouth : Normal ; Tender ; 
Hard; Spoiled. — Dimensions Considered in Fitting Curb Bits; Width 
of Mouth; Width of Tongue Channel; Height of Bars; Mouth Guage 
and Trial Bit. — The Curb Bit: Proportions of Upper and Lower 
Branches; Falling Through; Standing Stiff; TTie Curb Chain.— Form 
and Proportions of Mouth-Piece. — American, British and European 
Cavalry Bits. 

There is an endless variety of bits, many of which having been 
successfully designed to meet the wants of particular cases, are 
subsequently advertised as panaceas for all forms of restiveness 
arising from bad bitting. Such articles have a period of popu- 
larity more or less brief, and are then cast aside for some later 
innovation, which, probably like its predecessor, contains none 
of the essential elements of a good bit. 

For the purpose of discussion, bits may be arranged under three 
general classes: 

First. Bar bits, or bits with solid mouth-pieces without lever 
action, and in which a minimum of pressure on the bars of the 
horse's mouth, and a maximum on the tongue, are obtained. This 
is the lightest form of bit. and is used on driving rather than 
saddle horses. 

Second. Snaffle bits, or those with jointed mouth-pieces, with- 
out lever action but with a slight pincer action. 

Third. Curb bits, or those in which lever action is obtained by 

BITS 8l 

means of cheek pieces, and a curb chain, acting on the chin, to 
increase the amount of pressure brought to bear upon the bars 
of the horse's mouth by a pull on the reins. 

Bar bits are usually made with a straight or very slightly curved 
mouth-piece, with a medium-sized ring at either end, and some- 
times with half-cheek pieces (No. i, figure 41). They are some- 
times made with cheek-pieces similar to those of curb bits (No. 2, 
figure 41), but when the reins are attached to the lower branches 
and no curb chains or straps are used, the pressure on the bars is 
not increased, but rather diminished, since some of it is trans- 
ferred through the cheek straps to the top of the head or poll. 
Many of the driving bits have the mouth-pieces covered with rub ■ 
ber; a chain bit so covered is shown with part of the rubber re- 
moved in No. 3, figure 41. 

The common smooth snaffle bit with one joint (No. 5, figure 
41), is the most useful of all bits. For the saddle horse it should 
be of the simplest form, neither too long, too thin, nor too much 
curved, and each half should be tapered down from the outside 
to the middle. 

Snaffle bits are often made with rings only, the cheek-pieces 
being omitted. They are sometimes made with a double- jointed 
mouth-piece (No. 4, figure 41), and occasionally with two mouth- 
pieces, plain or twisted, the joint of one being on the opposite 
side of the center from the other (No. 7, figure 41). Then there 
is the single-twisted wire snaffle bit, a very efficacious instrument 
for ruining the horse's mouth (No. 6, figure 41) ; and still an- 
other contrivance called a bit, but in reality two rings connected 
by a chain (No. 12, figure 41). 

The mouthing bit (No. 8, figure 41) is intended for use on 
young colts during the first period of training. The mcTuth-piece 


Figure 41. Varieties of Bits. 

BITS 83 

is very large at the outer ends, with a gradual tapering to the 
ring joint, to which are attached three small metal tags suspended 
on a thin plate. The mouth-piece being thick near the guards, is 
not apt to wound the tender bars and lips of the young horse. 
The tags hang upon and tickle the tongue, and cause the colt to 
champ the bit, as it is called, and tend to keep his mind occu- 
pied while he is undergoing the process of being familiarized with 
strange sights and sounds. This bit is made with full cheek- 
pieces, to prevent the rings from being drawn into the mouth. 
Upon the gentle application of this and the plam snaffle to the 
colt's mouth, much of the future usefulness of the mature horse 

The snaffle bit, called bridoon, which is used in combination 
with a curb bit, has a mouth-piece of smaller diameter than is 
generally the case where the snaffle bit is used alone and usually 
has small rings, with no cheek-pieces, at the outer ends. 

Curb bits are made in a multiplicity of shapes, but each bit 
consists primarily of a solid mouth-piece connecting two cheek- 
pieces. The upper branches of the cheek-pieces are always straight, 
but the lower branches may be straight, single or double curved. 
The mouth-piece is usually joined solidly to each cheek-piece, but 
some curb bits are arranged to permit of a slight play of the 
mouth-piece up and down on the cheek-pieces. The mouth- 
piece may in its lightest form be straight or it may be curved 
throughout. The common form of mouth-piece has an upward 
curve or tongue port at the center. When a curb chain is at- 
tached and there is no pull on the reins, the port rests on the tongfue. 
When a pull on the reins is exerted the port revolves upward and 
forward, and the parts of the mouth-piece embraced between the 
cheek-pieces and the port are forced against the bars of the 


horse's jaws. The mechanical action of the bit is that of a lever 
of the second order. The upper ends of the cheek-pieces being 
held by the curb chain, acting against the back of the jaw bone, 
and the power being applied at the lower ends of the cheek-pieces 
by a pull on the reins, the force exerted against the bars of the 
jaw represents the weight. 

A curb bit with straight cheeks and a similar bit with square 
lop port and lip strap rings are shown in Nos. 9 and 10, figure 41. 

The lip strap rings are set in the back part of the lower branches 
of the cheek-pieces and are used for the attachment of a small 
strap or string, which passes up to a ring at the rear and center 
of the curb chain. The object of the lip strap is to prevent the 
horse from putting his lip outside either of the lower branches of 
the cheek-pieces and from turning over the curb bit, by throwing 
up his head. 

There is a hybrid bit, called Pelham, used both for driving and 
riding, which has the cheek-pieces of the curb bit and a mouth- 
piece jointed, either like the common snaffle bit or like a pair of 
compasses. This bit is called the compass canon in books of two 
hundred years ago on the horse.* It is supposed to possess the 
virtues of the curb bit without all its severity. As it is provided 
with guard rings, it can be used either as a snaffle or curb bit. 
Riding Pelhams are very good bits but the action is far inferior 
to that of the ordinary curb and snaffle bits, used in combination 
as "bit and bridoon." A driving Pelham bit is shown in No. 11, 

* During the autumn of 1900 an excavation was made at the site of 
" Jamestown " to uncover the ruins of what is believed to have been the 
first tavern in Virginia. Amongst other implements found in one of the 
rooms was a " Pelham " bit now in the possession of the author. 
Jamestown was destroyed by fire in 1676. 

BITS 85 

figure 41. It has the cheek-pieces of the curb bit with a jointed 
snaffle mouth-piece, and it is used with curb chain or strap. 

The upper branches of some curb bits are made double on each 
side, the upper branch proper carrying the curb chain or strap, 
and the other being attached to the cheek-pieces of the bridle. A 
pull on the reins acts to tighten the curb directly, without any 
pressure on the top of the head. This is provided for by the 
swivel motion of the upper branches. 

There are some important points relating to the horse's mouth 
which should be understood in connection with the consideration 
of bits. 

The lower lip of the horse is covered with a very thick skin, 
underneath which lie the roots of the beard, fat and membrane, 
and this structure is continued up into a depression under the 
chin, known as the chin groove, or curb groove. The portion of 
bone immediately beneath the thick, and not very sensitive, skin 
of the chin groove, being the point where the two branches of the 
jaw begin to unite together, is flat and rounded off in all direc- 
tions. If a flat curb chain, or strap which has a proper width, act 
in this groove, a considerable amount of pressure may be applied 
there without causing any pain to the horse. 

Immediately above this groove the character of the bone and 
that of the skin covering it are very much changed; the former 
has sharp edges, and the latter is very thin and sensitive, so that 
a slight pressure of this thin skin on the sharp edges of bone 
causes very considerable pain. These peculiarities should be 
borne in mind in order to properly bit a horse, for pieces of the 
bone are sometimes broken off and cause suppuration for long 

The lower jaw of the horse consists of two cheek bones, whose 


branches form a groove or channel in which the animal's tongue 
lies. Those parts of the jaw on either side devoid of teeth, ex- 
cept the tusks, are called the bars, and it is somewhere upon them 
that the bit must be placed. So far as the bars are concerned, 
the location of the bit could be varied an inch or more ; this 
variation, however, is limited on account of the necessity for 
placing the bit opposite the chin groove. 

It is self-evident that horses' mouths are not all alike; there- 
fore each individual horse requires a bit adapted to the particular 
dimensions and temperament of its mouth. 

The bit, by its pressure, more or less severe, on the bars and 
chin, causes pain of variable intensity. The temperament of the 
mouth is judged by the reaction in consequence of this pain. 

The mouth is normal when it supports the bit with freedom, 
without uneasiness or fear ; when it neither resists nor yields too 
easily to the action of the hand. 

The mouth is tender when it perceives the most delicate impres- 
sions of the hand. 

The mouth is hard when it yields only to an energetic pull on 
the reins. 

A spoiled mouth is one which reacts falsely to the indications 
of the bit, whatever may be its sensibility otherwise. Horses 
with very tender mouths or mouths rendered excessively callous 
by bad bitting and indifferent riders usually come under this class. 

Aside from the effects produced by variations of temperament 
in the horse, it is the bars that must be examined for an explana- 
tion of these varieties of mouth, for it is upon these more or less 
sensitive gums that the action of all bits fall to a greater or less 

While there is great uniformity in the absolute height of the 

BITS 87 

bars, there is on the other hand a very great diversity in their 
shape and texture. Some are sharp, fine, firm and sensitive; 
others are broad, flat-topped, coarse and devoid of much feeHng. 
The former usually characterize tender and the latter hard- 
mouthed horses. 

As a rule well-bred horses have the first, and common horses 
have the second kind of bars, but it does not follow that the 
former all have tender and the latter hard mouths, for much de- 
pends upon individual sensibility. The first is usually found in 
combination with a thin tongue which just fills the channel, thus 
permitting the mouth-piece to exercise its proper action on the 
bars. The second, on the contrary, is generally found with a 
coarse, thick tongue, which more than fills the channel, often 
protruding so high as to take much of the pressure off the bars. 

There are three dimensions of the interior of the horse's mouth, 
which should be ascertained before attempting to fit him ac- 
curately with a proper bit, namely : 

First. The transversal width of the mouth from outside to 
outside of the lips, measured at the height of the chin groove. 

Second. The width of the channel or groove in which the 
tongue lies, or the distance between the two bars. 

Third. The height of the bars, or the distance between two 
straight edges, one placed across the bars under the tongue, and 
the other parallel to it, and tangent to the curb groove. 

The first measures the length of the mouth-piece of the curb 
bit, which should fit exactly. If the mouth-piece is too short the 
lips are subject to injury, and if too long it slips from side to 
side, and allows the corners of the port to come against and bruise 
the bars. The width of the mouth is a very variable quantity, 
depending much upon the breed, as well as the size of the horse. 



It varies from about three and a half to five and a half inches ; 
the larger dimension is seldom found in good saddle horses. 

The second, which is the width of the tongue channel, deter- 
mines how much of the mouth-piece of the curb bit must be al- 
lowed for the width of the port, the remainder being reserved for 
the action on the bars. 

Figure 42. Mouth gauge and trial bit. 

The third, which is termed the height of the bars, is important, 
because all the dimensions of the curb bit are usually proportional 
to it. The height of the bars has been found to be quite uniform 
in all horses, being about one and three-fourths inches. 

An Austrian mouth gauge for ascertaining the dimensions of 
the horse's mouth is made of steel, and consists of a bar, ab, (A, 
figure 42), about six inches long, fitted on one side at right angles 
with a fixed cheek-piece cd, and having on the other side a slid- 
ing cheek-piece ef, fitted with a screw for fixing it where re- 

BITS 89 

quired. The bar ab is made oval in the transverse section, with 
the greater axis about one inch, in order to displace the lips 
nearly as the mouth-piece does, and is usually graduated through- 

If this gauge be placed in the horse's mouth like a bit, with 
the bar ab at exactly the proper place for the bit, opposite the chin 
groove, the fixed cheek-piece cd being then held gently up to the 
off side of the mouth, the operator facing the horse's forehead, 
the sliding cheek-piece ef may be shoved up close enough to the 
cheek, at the near side, not to displace the lips, and then fixed with 
the screw. Removing the gauge, the proper dimension for the 
width of the mouth-piece may be read off the scale on ab. 

The instrument is also fitted with a rod gh, which slides up 
and down the movable cheek-piece ef, which is graduated into 
inches and eighths or tenths on its lower limb. This contrivance 
enables the measurement of the height of the bars to be taken. 
The instrument, adjusted to the proper width of the horse's 
mouth, is placed as before, with the bar ab exactly opposite the 
chin groove, but underneath the tongue, and is then wheeled 
around on its own axis until the upper limbs of the cheek-pieces 
stand nearly perpendicular to the general line of the horse's face. 
This brings the lower limbs in the opposite direction towards the 
neck, and the rod gh is then shoved up until it presses lightly into 
the chin groove, taking care that the gauge stands square, and 
that the mouth-piece lies equally on both bars of the mouth. The 
rod gh is then screwed fast whilst the cheek-piece ef is loosened 
altogether, so that the latter may be removed without disturbing 
the rod gh; the height of the bar may then be read off on the 
lower limb of ef. 


A Prussian trial bit, is also shown. (B, figure 42.) This con- 
sists of two cheek-pieces into which may be fitted in succession 
spare mouth-pieces, the width being varied by the adjustment of 
a number of small plates pp, one-tenth of an inch in thickness, 
removable at will from the inside to the outside of the cheek- 
piece. Having the width of the mouth, and obtaining the height 
of the bars by means of the mouth gauge, the sliding ring pieces 
rr may be shifted until the upper cheek-piece has the required 
length. There only remains now to slide the rein ring .y.y up or 
down until the proper proportional length of the lower cheek 
has been obtained. The curb hooks and headstall may now be 
attached and the horse tried with the bit. If the adjustment is 
correct, and he takes to the bit readily, it is only necessary to read 
off the dimensions and have one constructed accordingly. 

There is no lever action with a snaffle bit. There is a slight 
pincer action but the power applied to the reins is conveyed un- 
altered in quantity directly to the bars of the horse's mouth. 

In the curb bit the mechanical advantage of lever action is ob- 
tained, but it will depend on the manner in which the bit and 
curb chain are arranged, whether or not the lever action obtained 
is favorable or the contrary. // the curb chain pinches and 
causes more pain .to the surface of the chin groove than is caused 
on the bars by the mouth-piece, the horse will poke his nose for- 
ward and fret. If the amount of pain on the bars is greater than 
that on the chin, the horse's head will follow the rider's hand. 

It is quite possible to adjust curb bits so as to get sufficient 
power on the bars without undue pain on the chin groove ; in this 
way comparatively mild bits are made sufficiently reliable in their 
action to insure efficiency, with a minimum of discomfort to the 
horse. After being properly trained the iiorse usually obeys the 



rider's indications without requiring much, if any, application of 
painful pressure on the bars. 

The important points to be determined regarding the curb bit 
are the length of the cheek-pieces and the relative proportions of 

a « 

Figure 43. Double curved cheek-piece, with dimensions of upper and 
lower branches proportioned with a view to producing the mildest form 
of curb bit. 

the upper and lower branches. The height of the bars, or one 
and three-fourths inches for all but exceptionally large horses, 
has been adopted as the distance from the center of the mouth- 
piece rivet to the point of the upper branch where the curb chain 


hook is attached. If the top of the tipper branch is formed into a 
ring, which is the ordinary method, the curb chain hook will be 
near the lowest point of the ring. 

The lower branch of the cheek-piece, measured from the center 
of the month-piece rivet to the center of the lower ring, should be, 
for the mildest form of curb bit, twice as long as the portion of the 
upper branch, included between the center of the mouth-piece 
rivet and the point of attachment of the curb chain hook 
(figure 43). 

These dimensions should not be greatly varied whenever the 
curb bit is used alone. When both curb and snaffle (bit and bri- 
doon) are used the lower branch of the curb bit may exceed in 
length the proportions previously prescribed. 

The angle at which the reins act on the bit is a matter of im- 
portance. In the case of a lever, the action is most favorable 
when the power is applied at a right angle. If the bit (figure 43) 
were pulled in the direction of c it would have no other effect than 
to pull it downwards and out of the horse's mouth, unless pre- 
vented by the headstall. If the pull were made in the direction b, 
it would only lift the bit up till the angles of the mouth stopped 
it. In neither case would there be the slightest lever action. It 
is therefore evident that the direction a, which is equally remote 
from both, must be the most efficient, and this is precisely at a 
right angle to the lever. 

If a curb bit is put into a horse's mouth without attaching a 
curb chain or strap to it, and the reins are pulled the bit will 
turn around, and its cheek-pieces come to lie in the same line as 
the reins. There is no lever action whatever, because there is no 
prop or fulcrum. The same thing will partially happen with a 
very loose curb chain or strap. The bit is then said to " fall 



The opposite fault to this is when the bit " stands stifT," with- 
out any play, the slightest pull on the reins causing the horse 
pain externally, or just in the wrong place. This stiflFness is 
usually produced by a tight curb chain or strap. 

The upper branch of the cheek-piece will of itself cause the bit 
either to stand stiff or fall through, if it exceeds or falls short of 
the proper length, as shown in figure 44, where de represents the 

Figure 44. Diagram to show action of curb bit. 

height of the bars, db an upper branch equal to de, dc one of only 
half the same length, and da one double the length. When a pull 
of the rein acts at f on the lower branch, the curb will be drawn 
closer to the chin, and the mouth-piece back against the bars ; and 
supposing the amount of this closing up in all three instances to 
be equal, the bit with a long upper branch da, will assume the 
position a^df. It will be stifif, and the curb acting upwards in the 
direction ca^, will press on the sensitive part of the jaw. 

On the other hand, the bit with the short upper branch dc, equal 
half de, will assume the position c'df — that is, it will fall through. 


The curb chain or strap will remain in the chin groove, and act 
forward in the direction cc^, but forming a very acute angle with 
the branches of the bit itself, will have scarcely any value as a 

The intermediate upper branch db, equal de, will assume the 
position b^df; it will neither be stiff nor fall through; the curb will 
remain in the chin groove, acting obliquely forward in the line eb^, 
and will afford a sufficient support; and the lower branch of the 
lever, fd, being in the proportion of two to one to the upper one, 
db, there will be sufficient lever action. 

In order to prevent a bit with a very short upper branch from 
falling through, riders often use a very tight curb chain, the 
result of which is that much of the action is transferred from the 
interior of the mouth to the chin ; also, in order to prevent a bit 
with a very long upper branch standing stiff, a contrary course is 
adopted, and by the use of a very loose curb chain the bit is made 
to fall through. 

The curb chain should lie in the chin groove, without any tend- 
ency to mount up out of it on to the sharp bones of the lower 
jaw; otherwise it ceases to be a painless fulcrum, and renders 
the best constructed bit uncertain in its action. 

The only way to attain painlessness of the curb chain, on which 
so much depends, is by placing the mouth-piece as nearly on 
that part of the bars opposite to the chin groove as possible. It 
is only in this position that the right angle triangle is secured, as 
shown in figure 44. There is also another reason, for that ])art 
of the bars which is best suited for the action of the mouth-piece 
is found here, just above the tusks. 

There is considerable irregularity as to the position of the 
tusks in the mouth, and mares seldom have any at all. For this 



reason it is difficult to prescribe a uniform position of the bit by 
any reference to the tusks except that the mouth-piece should be 
above and not touch them. For the majority of horses the proper 
position zvill be attained by adjusting the cheek straps so that the 
mouth-piece will he one inch above the tusks of the horse and two 
inches above the corner incisor teetJi of the mare. 

The best fitting bit, even when placed in the right position, will 
not act properly unless the curb chain be made correctly, and ex- 
actly of the right length. A double chain worked flat, without 
rough or sharp edges, is the best kind for general use, although 
leather curb straps were used in the American service for many 
years. Straps arc subject to stretching and contraction, and are 
apt to be stiff and harsh after a few soakings in water, but they 
possess one great advantage, that of being easily replaced or re- 
paired. A properly made chain should last many years without 
need of repairs. 

It is not practicable to prescribe any fixed dimensions for the 
width of the curb chain. It should be made to lie in the chin 
groove without altogether filling it up. If very narrow it will 
cause pain, and if very broad it is liable to mount up and come in 
contact with the sharp cheek bones at every pull on the reins. 

The curb hooks or snaps for use with the chain should be flat, 
and shaped so as to hold the chain in place securely, and not cut 
the lips of the horse. 

If the mouth-piece is of exactly the same length as the width 
of the mouth, the curb chain or strap will wrap close around the 
chin, pressing equally over a large surface. // the mouth-piece 
is too long, the chain or strap will bear more or less on a particular 
spot, and cause a sore in the chin groove. 

The fleshy tongue is much less sensitive to pressure than the 
bony bars, covered onlv with a verv thin membrane. 


The form and volume of the tongue may be varied by its mus- 
cular action, which permits of extension, retraction and elevation. 
It helps to support the bit and receives the first action when power 
is applied to the reins. 

If a perfectly straight bar mouth-piece of moderate thickness 
is used, this resting almost wholly on the animal's tongue, would 
be the lightest form of curb bit that could be devised. If by 
means of a " port," or upward curve in the mouth-piece, pressure 
is removed entirely from the tongue and transferred to the sensi- 
tive bars, with the same amount of lever action as before, the 
severest form of curb bit results. 

Between these two extremes there is a wide range, and the 
whole art of bit construction consists, so far as the mouth-piece 
is concerned, in determining how much of the pressure shall 
fall on the tongue and how much on the bars. 

It is necessary that the parts of the mouth-piece to act on the 
tongue and bars respectively should keep their places. This 
requires that the mouth-piece fit exactly the width of the mouth, 
and the width of the port be not greater than the width of the 
tongue channel. If a mouth-piece with a port be too long, a slight 
pull on one rein will suffice to displace it, in which case the corner 
of the port may, by being pressed into the tongue, cause great 
pain, and make the action of the bit very irregular and unsatisfac- 
tory. If the port is wider than the tongue channel, a similar 
thing occurs ; if the port is narrower it fails to properly admit the 

The height of the port depends on the thickness of the tongue 
and sensitiveness of the bars, and on the temperament of the 
animal, as well as the use to which he is to be put. The most 
severe bit it can ever be necessary to use is one in which the height 

Figure 45. U. S. Cavalry Bridle, Model 1906. Special features: 
peculiar arrangement of bridoon head stall ; half buckles and leather 
keepers for all strap ends; half cheek pieces on the snaffle or bridoon 
rings; straight cheek pieces of curb bit: lip strap rings. 




of the port is about equal to its width. Any higher port would 
strike the palate, causing more or less pain, and induce the horse 
to bore with his head away from the rider's hand. 

Figure 46. U. S. Cavalry Bridle; showing how bridoon head-strap is 
attached underneath crown piece of curb bridle. 

The plane of the port should coincide with the plane of the 
upper branches of the cheek-pieces. 

The United States Cavalry curb bit, model 1906, is made with 
straight lower branches with lip strap rings set in rear. The lip 



strap running- from the rings on the lower banches up to a small 
ring at the center of the curb chain serves the double purpose of 
holding the curb chain in its proper place and preventing the horse 
from turning the bit around in his mouth by throwing up his 
head. Each upper branch bends out on a gradual curve from the 
mouth-piece to the top of the upper ring. The curb bits are of 
five sizes to provide amply for all horses lik-ely to be found in ser- 
vice. (Figures 45 and 46.)* 

The arrangement of the bridoon on a separate head-strap adds 
to the security and strength of the bridle by avoiding the attach- 
ment of both bits to one head stall. If by accident the curb head 
stall breaks the bridoon bit remains in the horse's mouth, and if 
the bridoon head-strap breaks the curb bit remains intact. The 
bridoon mouth-piece, of which there is but one size, is of unique 
design admirably adapted for use with the curb bit, or alone with 
the watering or exercise bridle. (Figures 47 and 48.) 

In some bridles the cheek-pieces of the headstall are sewed 
directly to the bit, but in military bridles, arranged to fit many 
dififerent horses, buckles or toggles are used in order to admit of 
adjusting the bit, and also to permit of its being removed for 

The subject of bits has received spasmodic attention in the past, 
but has been much misunderstood, and as a consequence the gov- 
ernment arsenals have been periodically filled with tons of dis- 

* The double reined bridle with bit and bridoon was abandoned in the 
American Cavalry during the Civil War. Many efforts have been made 
to reintroduce double reins for use with a curb bit with two rings added 
at the ends of the mouth piece. After forty-five years of trial and experi- 
mentation of many bits th€ Cavalry Board has recommended a return to 
the bit and bridoon and the adoption of new models of both curb and 
snaffle (Figures 45 and 47) which possess so many admirable qualities as 
to commend themselves to both military and civil riders. 



l-"igure 47. Bridoon with reins and head-strap. May be used separately 
from curb bridle with the head-strap or by attaching to a halter. 



carded bits, and hundreds of animals have been condemned really 
because indifferent riders could not handle fresh young horses 
with the instruments of torture issued as bits. 

Figure 48. Showing bridoon attached to halter for use as watering 


The bits in use in the American army during the past forty 
years are shown in figure 49, Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 8, are the various 
sizes and shapes which were used during the Civil War and for 
some years thereafter. The high port of Xo. 6 and the ring bit 
(No. 5) show that the troopers were taught that great severity 

I'igure 49. Cavalry Ijits in U. S. Army 1862-1902. 

BITS 103 

was necessary to conquer their mounts, whereas the very fact of 
putting such instruments in the average mouth had the effect of 
causing the horse to become frenzied under a rough hand. 

Nos. I, 2 and 3 show the " Shoemaker " bit, which was in use 
for about twenty years, and which was abandoned for the model 
shown in plate 49 as No. 4 and also in figure 43. This is a very 
mild bit, having but one height of port for all. The only varia- 
tion is in the length of mouth-piece, which for the three sizes is 
four and one-half, four and three-fourths and five inches.* 

It is observed that the bit and bridoon are used generally by 
European, and also by the British cavalry. The accurate bitting 
and training of their horses is sufficient evidence to establish the 
great value of the combination for military purposes. 

In figure 50 are shown the British bits (No. i), the German 
(No. 2), the French (No. 3), the Russian (No. 4), and Austrian 
curb bit (No 5). 

The British curb bit (No. i) is quite heavy, and as powerful 
as the " Shoemaker " bit abandoned by the American service. The 
curb chain is very large, and the bridoon is much larger than such 
secondary bits usually are. It does not compare favorably with 
the other equipment of the British cavalryman, which is second to 
none in Europe. The weight of the two bits is two and three- 
fourths pounds. 

The German curb bit (No. 2) has a hollow mouth-piece of large 
dimensions, and is intended to be a very mild bit. The cheek- 
pieces are straight, except at the bottom there is a slight curve 

* The horses of the Fort Leavenworth school squadron, consisting of 
four troops, were measured in 1895 with an Austrian mouth gauge to 
determine the widths of their mouths. Nearly all measured less than four 
and one-fourth inches. Only two horses measured as much as five inches. 


to the rear where the ring is attached. The curb is a double mail 
chain, neatly and strongly made. The bridoon is the most per- 
fect of any of those shown in the illustration. The quality of 
material and workmanship is of the highest class. The weight 
of the two bits is one and three-fourths pounds. 

The French curb bit (No. 3) is well made and mild in its ac- 
tion. The curb is a flat steel mail chain, of good quality. The 
bridoon is a double-jointed snaffle. It is attached to the head- 
stall by toggles. The cheek-pieces of the curb bit are straight, 
and contain lip-strap rings on the lower branch. The weight of 
the two bits is two pounds. 

The Russian curb bit (Xo. 4) differs from the others in being 
hooked to the headstall. The headstall to which the snaffle is 
attached forms the essential part of the halter. The bridoon, 
which is a double- jointed snaffle, is attached by toggles. The up- 
per branches of the curb bit are provided with hooks bent out- 
ward ; these hooks are broad and flat, and are passed through 
small steel rings in the lower end of the cheek-pieces of the bridle. 
The rings are shown in the illustration with the bits. The bit is 
provided with lip-strap holes. This curb bit has the longest lower 
branches, in proportion to the upper, of any of the other bits. 
The weight of the two bits is one and three-fourths pounds. 

The' Austrian curb bit (No. 5) is very heavy, being made of 
steel, with solid mouth-piece. The flat mail chain curb is the best 
of its class, and is not apt to be broken or stretched by ordinary 
service wear. The bridoon used with this bit is a single-jointed 
snaffle with rings anrl half cheek guards. The Austrians make 
nine different sizes of bits in order to provide amply for accurately 
fitting all the horses. The weight of the curl) bit shown is one 
and five-eighths pounds. 

Figure 50. British and European Cavalry bits. 


In comparing these bits it is observed that there are no very 
material differences in those used in Europe. The German is 
the mildest, but it answers the purpose fully with their carefully 
trained horses. 

Bits should be made of the best materials and as light as pos- 
sible. It should be remembered, however, that cavalry horses are 
subject to exciting conditions, and bits of sufficient size and degree 
of lever power must be retained for the purpose of controlling 
animals at the charge and in the resulting melee. 

Reducing the amount carried in the horse's mouth may not 
seem to be a very important matter at first glance, but when it is 
considered that a handicapper may, by adding or taking off a 
pound from the weight carried on an animal's back, entirely upset 
all calculations as to the result of a race between animals of equal 
form, it ought to be apparent that a pound more or less, at the 
end of his neck, makes a great difference to the horse. 



End and Aim of Bitting. — The Aids. — Principle Governing Bitting. — Effect 
of Head and Neck. — Uses of Snaffle and Curb Bits. — Dumb Jockey. — 
Training Halter. — Running Rein. — Establishing Gaits. — Bending 
Lessons. — Jumping. — Use of Longe. — Selecting and Fitting Curb 
Bit. — Fitting and Adjusting Bridles. — Desirable Standard of Training. 

The end and aim of bitting and training should be to bring about 
such confidential relations between rider and horse as to cause the 
slightest wish of the former, when indicated through the aids, to 
be obeyed without constraint, resistance or exhibition of temper. 

The aids in riding are the hands, legs and reins, which, as- 
sisted in a minor degree by the whip and spurs, serve to indicate 
the will of the rider and to assist the horse in conforming thereto. 

The reins serve to prepare the horse to move, and to guide, sup- 
port and halt him ; their action should be gradual and in harmony 
with that of the legs. In using the reins, the anns should have 
free action at the shoulder ; when a light pressure is sufficient to 
govern the horse, the action of the hand should be at the wrist; 
for greater pressure, the elbow should be carried back without 
raising the hand. 

In riding, the bridle hand should be kept steady; it should 
oscillate with the motion of the horse's head but at the same 
time bear lightly, for the bit causes pain if constantly pressed on 
the bars, gradually destroys their sensibility and leaves the horse 
with a hard mouth. 


The hand is best which, by giving and taking, keeps a constant 
touch on the bit and controls the horse with the least force. 
The hand is light when there is an almost imperceptible alternate 
feeling and easing of the hand in harmony with the motion of the 
horse, the delicacy of the mouth being preserved. 

The reins act to direct the fore-hand ; the lower legs to incite ac- 
tion and govern the movement of the haunches. The pressure 
of the legs should be an elastic, muscular action ; a heavy clinging 
pressure or thumping with the heels will not produce good re- 

The legs assist in guiding and controlling the horse. Closing 
the knees, without pressure by the lower parts of the legs, tends 
to steady the horse in position. Carrying the lower legs slightly 
to the rear, closing them equally with slight pressure, prepares 
the horse to move or if already moving, to keep him up to the 
bit. When the lower legs are closed with greater pressure, behind 
the girth, they urge the horse forward. Carrying the right leg 
to the rear and closing it with pressure, causes the horse to move 
his haunches to the left. Corresponding action with the left leg 
causes the horse to move his haunches to the right. 

Before executing any movement the horse should be gathered 
by gently drawing in the reins, carrying the lower legs slightly 
to the rear and closing them equally with but slight pressure. 

To move forward : relax the pull on the bit and close the legs 
with pressure behind the girth. 

To decrease the gait or halt : increase the pull on the reins and 
the pressure of the knees and thighs and relax the pressure of 
the lower legs. 

To cause the horse to back: increase the pressure of both reins 
and legs, carrying the lower legs to the rear and, if necessary, 
leaning back in the saddle. 


To change direction : Carry the hand towards the side to which 
the turn is to be made, pressing the opposite rein on the horse's 
neck ; close the knees g-ently and apply pressure with the lower 
.leg on the side to which the turn is being made. 

To turn on the forehand : draw in the reins, with enough pull 
on the bit to keep the horse from advancing; carry the hand 
gently toward the side to which the head is to move, at the same 
time carrying the lower leg on that side to the rear and closing 
both knees. 

To cause the horse to side step or passage: carry the hand 
toward the side to which the passage is to be executed, maintain- 
ing a pressure of the knees and enough pull on the bit to keep 
the horse from advancing; close the opposite heel and cause the 
haunches to move with the forehand. 

A knowledge of bitting is very essential, for it is only by means 
of it that perfect control of the horse can be obtained without the 
infliction of unnecessary pain. It is especially important to cav- 
alrymen, for upon its application depends the steadiness of the 
horse in all maneuvers on the drill ground and the field of battle. 

The various purposes to which horses are applied demand of 
course different details of handling. One principle applies to all, 
namely : to get the whole lever power of the animal to act in con- 
junction with its weight in the required direction, and with such 
a degree of leaning on the bit that all its motions may be con- 
trolled without interfering in too abrupt a manner with its action. 

The head is the lever by means of which command over the 
neck is gained ; its size, shape, weight, and the manner in which 
it is set on, all exercise more or less influence. A very large 
head makes it extremely difficult to get the horse into anything 
like equilibrium, but it does not follow that horses with such con- 


formation are always heavy in hand, for more depends upon the 
way in which the head is set on the neck, and the faciHty thereby 
afforded for assuming a great variety of positions, than on the 
absokite size of the head itself. 

In considering the lever action of the head and neck, it is 
proper to remember that the effect produced depends not only on 
the absolute power applied, but also on the direction in which it 
is applied. Considering the horse's head as a lever which is to 
act on the neck and bring it towards the rider's hand, it is evi- 
dent that if the former be stretched out in continuation of the lat- 
ter, as is done on the track by race-horses, there is no lever action. 
In the same way if the horse's head is brought in until it touches 
his neck or chest there will be little if any lever action. 

The lever action is greatest when the head is at a right angle 
to the neck ; the more it departs from this position, in consequence 
of severe bitting or other causes, the less will be the useful lever 
action. With the great majority of horses the physical conforma- 
tion of the jaws opposes no obstacle to the head assuming this 
desirable position. 

The bit should be regarded as a means of communication be- 
tween horse and rider, as well as an instrument which may check 
and master the animal. The impression it conveys may vary 
from the slightest sensation to the most intense pain. If the 
mechanical effect of the bit be in proportion to the sensitiveness of 
the mouth, it becomes a rational and useful instrument, through 
which the wish of the rider may be indicated to the animal. 

Rational treatment produces better results than harsh means in 
the training of horses. A little patience and expenditure of time 
on the primary lessons makes matters easier later on. 

There are many books which prescribe in detail all the various 


Steps in the training of horses, but these are seldom carried out 
in the service for the reason that men are not available for the 
performance of this important work, v^hich, to be valuable, must 
be not only progressive but continuous. 

The period of training will of couse vary with the amount of 
instruction the horse has received before purchase. Horses fre- 
quently arrive at stations in such a forward state of training that 
all they require is to be familiarized with the sound of firing, trum- 
pets, and other unusual noises and sights. In general, however, 
the new horses require considerable work before they are fit for 
the ranks. 

Occasionally an animal will be found to resist all training. It 
is customary in the American service to apply the Rarey system to 
such animals until brought under subjection. This system is 
sometimes applied to all horses in order to finish their education, 
to make them recognize how completely they are in the power of 
man, and to give the troopers a knowledge of the means to con- 
quer refractory animals. 

It is not enough that the horse may be ridden along with the 
others, but he should be under such perfect control that he will 
leave the ranks at any time and under any circumstances, at the 
will of the rider, without refusing or crowding towards the other 

Practice varies slightly in different organizations, but a brief 
description of what is practicable in the average regiment will be 

Upon arrival of new horses they should be examined, with a 
view to determining if they are suffering from any injur}' or dis- 
ease which would prevent their being put to work. They should 
be fed but little grain until all signs of the feverish condition in- 


cident to change have passed away. Those that are well should 
then be distributed amongst old and gentle horses at the picket 
line. AMiile the hoof numbers are perfectly plain, the descriptive 
lists should be compared, and the horses entered in the troop 
records, and a name assigned to each. 

A horse should lie allowed to grow familiar with his surround- 
ings, and made to understand that he is perfectly safe from any 
injury. When turned lose in corrals or paddocks an attendant 
should he at hand to prevent the old troop horses from injuring 
the voung remounts. Until the remount is accepted in the herd 
by the old horses he is not infrequently subjected to much annoy- 

The horse's feet should be handled, and he should be led into 
the blacksmith shop while other horses are being shod. Horses 
are often severely injured when frightened at the noises and 
sights about the forge and anvil. It is not necessary to shoe the 
horse unless the ground where he is to be trained is rocky or hard, 
but his hoofs should be rasped down enough to prevent them 
from splitting. 

Troopers mounted on old horses should lead the new animals 
about the post during ceremonies and drills, in order that they 
may not be frightened at the band, movements of troops, flutter- 
ing of flags, and many other things not to be seen in the vicinit\' 
of farms. 

The horse is now ready to begin his training in the riding hall, 
or where there is none, on a ring pri'pared on ground selected 
for the purpose at some place where the attention of the animal 
will not be distracted from the work in hand. // should be borne 
in mind that the avcrai^c horse, zvhich has not been much handled, 
imll be nervoiis and apj^rchensii'c ; that his desire to avoid strange 


objects and unusual sounds zvill lead him to resistance; that this 
resistance must be overcome gently but Urmly and the horse be 
made to understand that obedience is met with kindness and mis- 
conduct zvith punishment. Punishment must not be administered 
to animals which are merely nervous, or playful for want of exer- 
cise ; in the latter case great care is needed for fear that a simple 
breach of training- discipline may end in a runaway or other grave 
misconduct. It is easier to train a new horse than remove the 
faults from a spoiled one. 

As all animals are ridden before being accepted, it is usual to 
put on a snaffle bit at once. This may be attached to the halter, 
but for training new horses it is much better to use a bridle head- 
stall with the snaffle bit buckled on. so that it can be adjusted 
properly on the bars. 

The snaffle is used to elevate the head and null it around later- 
ally, while the curb bit is used to depress the head and to restrain 
the horse. By using the snaffle to elevate the horse's head and 
the curb bit to draw back his chin, the rider is enabled to bend the 
horses's neck just back of the poll and place him in balance and 
under perfect control by reason of the lever action thus obtained. 
By the same means the rider is enabled to prevent the average 
horse from bringing his chin back against his chest — a trick fre- 
quently resorted to by confirmed bolters. 

If the young horse frets and fails to feel or take the bit prop- 
erly when mounted, he must be handled very gently, and allowed 
to follow the lead of an old horse quietly at a walk until he estab- 
lishes himself in the new conditions of equilibrium sufficiently to 
move up to the bit without leaning upon it, refusing to feel it, or 
to allow it to exert pressure on the bars of his mouth. 

If the horse continues unable to " take the bit " properly he 


should be fitted with a " dumb jockey," which is a cross-tree of 
wood on a padded surcingle. The reins of the snaffle bit are at- 
tached to the cross-trees at about the height of the rider's hand, 
and straps in rear are carried back to a crupper, to prevent the 
cross-tree from falHng forward. The straps should be so ad- 
justed that the animal feels the pressure of the mouth-piece, and 
this may be gradually increased from day to day until he arches 
his neck or raises his head enough to lighten his forehand. This 
will be easily determined by the appearance of his step. The 
horse rigged in this manner should be turned loose by himself 
in a small enclosure, so that he may devote his brain to working 
out a solution of the problem before him. The instruction in this 
way should not be continued for more than half an hour at a 
time, for if left until very tired the horse loses his fear and leans 
so heavily on the bit as to destroy much of the sensitive feeling 
necessary to a good mouth.* 

A useful training halter may be prepared by attaching a strong 
strap to. the lower part of the cheek-pieces of tlie bridle, to go 
around the nose above the nostrils, and which can be tightened 
under the chin by means of a buckle on one end of the strap in 
rear. This adjustable noseband may carry a ring in rear for the 
snap-hook of the longe, or an iron cavcsson with a nose-ring may 
be padded and riveted on in front to the noseband. This latter 
gives the longe-holder a powerful instrument for controlling the 
horse, and should be used with great care. 

* Under the advice of a " practical horseman " of considerable local 
reputation, the author, some years ago, turned a colt loose for hours at a 
time with a dumb jockey, well tightened up, to give him a good mouth. 
The result was to reduce the animal's mouth to so insensitive a condition 
as to seriously impair his value. 


Sometimes the horse will not hold his head in a proper position, 
and it becomes necessary to apply a running rein, which acts 
directly on the snaffle bit, independently of the reins. The action 
of the running- rein may be increased or reduced without the 
necessity for any alteration of buckles or straps. 

A running rein consists of a strap about eight or. ten feet long, 
of the size of an ordinary bridle rein, with provision at one end 
for buckling it to the ring on the near side of the saddle. A chin 
strap, carrying a ring sewed on in rear, is buckled into the snaffle 
rings in the same manner as a curb strap. A single martingale, 
with a ring held at the height of the point of the shoulder by 
means of a strap around the neck, completes the parts necessary 
to operate the running rein, which passes from the ring on the 
left side of the saddle through the martingale ring, thence through 
the curb strap ring, back through the martingale ring, and then 
to the right hand of the rider. 

A pull on the running rein wull act directly on the mouth-piece 
and draw the mouth backward and downward towards the horse's 

The rider should continue the work on the track or in the school 
day by day, varying the gaits from a walk to a trot, and finally to 
the gallop. The horse should be taught from the very first to ex- 
ecute the turns by the pressure of the outer rein upon his neck, the 
mouth-piece being pulled, if necessary, by the inner rein. The 
rider should avail himself constantly of the use of the aids in 
turning, increasing or decreasing the gaits and in halting. 

Every cavalry post should have a measured track, so that dur- 
ing the period of training, the young horse may be established in 
his gaits of walk, trot and gallop at the regulation rate per mile, 
which is four miles an hour for the walk ; eight miles an hour 


for tlie maneuvering trot or trot out and canter ; twelve miles an 
hour for the maneuvering gallop and sixteen miles an hour for 
the full or extended gallop. If the horse, going at any gait, 
shows signs of breaking into a faster gait, he should be checked 
at once and given his head only after he has steadied himself in 
the original gait. 

It is most important that a cavalry horse should be a good 
walker. His steps at that gait should be long and regular, with- 
out jogging. To accomplish this he must be given a free rein — 
to have his head — since he can walk best with his neck extended. 
If his head is held in by a tight rein, at this or any other gait, it 
causes him to shorten his steps and to go into the air instead of 
maving rapidly forward. After a horse has been trained properly 
to the marching walk, it is an easy matter to bring him to a short 
parade step by holding him in and closing the legs gently to force 
him up to the bit without halting or changing his gait. This ap- 
plies equally to other gaits. 

Next in value to the fast walk is the moderate trot. This may 
be modified by holding the horse in, to a slow trot, or by causing 
him to trot out by extending his strides. The cavalry horse should 
be taught to take the trot from a walk by slightly moving or rais- 
ing the reins and closing the legs until he breaks into the desired 
gait; if he is moving at a gallop, by closing the legs and reining in 
until he slackens his pace enough to make the change to a trot, 
when he should be quickly established at the rate of speed desired 
and then given a light rein. Men in ranks are very apt to ride at a 
trot with too much pull on the reins, particularly after coming 
down from a gallop. 

Closing the legs whenever an increase of gait is undertaken 
will accomplish better results than thumping with the heels, for 


the latter is apt to cause the horse to jump forward and dis- 
organize his movements for some time. 

The gallop used in ranks is generally the canter or hand gallop. 
It requires much patience and skill to secure uniformity of pace in 
a squadron at the gallop. Some horses will plunge nervously to 
get in advance, while others may require some effort to keep them 
up to the line. This is where the extent and value of the pre- 
liminary training is shown, particularly as to the positions of the 
horses in ranks. If each horse could be made to lead off with 
the same foot, any inclination of the horses bodies from the direc- 
tion in which moving would be the same throughout. If one 
leads with the right and another with the left foot, and they are 
not held straight in ranks, it is evident that a boot to boot touch 
soon becomes impracticable and the troop spreads out. Every 
organization, sooner or later, finds itself with horses which gallop 
with their croups well over to the side with which they are lead- 
ing. Being nervous and easily interfered with, they constantly 
change their leads during drills and move their croups over each 
time, one horse thereby occupying about as much space in ranks 
as should be required by two. The only way to avoid this is 
through constant hard work and training of both men and horses, 
to the end that each horse shall gallop practically straight to the 
front no matter with which foot he may be leading. 

When a horse on a straight course is leading with his off 
(right) fore foot the right shoulder will be slightly in advance and 
the tendency of the horse is to carry his croup over to the right. 
The reverse is the case when he leads with the near (left) fore 
foot. Some horses alternate the leads with frequency while other 
horses will invariably lead with the same foot and appear discon- 
certed if made to change. In high school training horses are 


taught to change the lead at the will of the rider even to the ex- 
tent of changing at every stride. This is not at all necessary for 
cavalry purposes, but on the other hand if a horse is allowed to 
lead habitually with the same fore foot, the corresponding hind 
leg will have more than its proper share of work and be likely 
eventually to suffer in consequence, if much of a load is carried 
on his back. 

To cause a horse to lead with his off (right) fore foot he 
should be collected by the rider gathering the reins, closing his 
legs, increasing the pressure of his left heel; a slight play of the 
reins, more pronounced with the right, together with the left heel 
pressure, will induce the horse to make proper disposition of his 
hind legs and lead off in the gallop right. A contrary course will 
induce the horse to gallop left, taking the precaution if he be at a 
gallop to bring him down to a trot before making the change. In 
the riding hall or on a curved track, the horse galloping true 
leads with the fore foot which is nearest the center, and the 
change of lead is naturally effected by turning about and moving 
around the track in the opposite direction. 

The horse's balance and his lightness in hand depend on the 
proper carriage of the head and neck. The bending lessons serve 
to render the head and neck supple and to make the horse con- 
form to the movements of the reins and yield to the pressure of 
the bit ; the snaffle bit is used for this instruction. 

To bend to the right. The trooper being on foot : Take a 
position on the near (left) side of the horse, in frotit of his 
shoulder, and facing towards his neck; take hold of the off (right) 
rein with the right hand, close to the bit and take 
the near (left) rein in the same way with the left hand, ths 
thumbs toward each other, backs of tiie hands up ; bring the right 



hand toward the body and at the same time extend the left arm 
so as to turn the horse's head to the rig-ht. The force employed 
must be gradual and proportioned to the resistance met with. 
Care should be taken not to bring the horse's nose too close to 
the front of his chest. If the horse moves backward, continue the 
pressure until he stands still and yields to it with his neck. When 
a horse yields after resistance he generally champs the bit; he 
should then be patted and encouraged, and allowed to resume his 
natural position by degrees. The bend to the left is executed in 
a similar manner, the trooper taking his position on the off 
(right) side of and facing the neck of the horse. 

To cause the horse to arch his neck. Take position on the near 
(left) side of the horse; cross the reins behind the horse's jaw; 
taking the near (left) rein in the right hand and the off (right) 
rein in the left hand at about six inches from the bit rings; 
cross the reins and apply pressure until the horse gives way and 
brings his nose in. Prevent the horse from raising his head by 
lowering the hands. 

To cause the horse to lozver his head. The trooper being 
mounted : Take the right rein in the right hand and the left rein 
in the left hand ; feel lightly the pressure of the bit on the bars 
of the horse's mouth ; then, holding the hands low, play with the 
bit gently drawing in the reins as the horse lowers his nose. 
When the horse yields, and brings in his head so that the face is 
about vertical, release the tension of the reins. 

To cause the horse to elevate his head. The trooper being 
mounted : Hold the reins separately as prescribed for the preced- 
ing exercise; extend the arms forward and make light pulls up- 
ward upon the reins ; when the horse has brought his head to the 
desired position lower the hands slowly so that the horse can 


lower his muzzle and then gently pull in the reins until the face 
of the animal occupies a vertical position. 

To cause the horse to carry his head to the rigJit. The trooper 
being mounted: Hold the reins separately as prescribed for the 
preceding exercise ; draw in the right rein, carry the head of the 
horse a little to the right, using the left hand to measure the 
effect of the right and keep the face of the animal vertical. In 
time the head should be brought around so that the front, still 
vertical, shall face to the rear. After the head has been carried 
to the right, it is returned to the front position by the left rein sup- 
ported by the right, the vertical position of the head being main- 
tained by a play of both reins. In a similar manner, the head 
may be carried to the left. In all these movements the rider 
should be patient and satisfied with slow progress. 

It is presumed that good results have followed the lessons 
which have occupied such time as the intelligence and progress of 
the animal demanded. The animal should now be taught to 
leap the ditch and hurdle. For this purpose he is taken out with 
a good safe jumper, and led quietly across ditches and over such 
obstacles as present themselves, logs, rails, piles of earth, brush, 
etc. He is made to leap them at a slow gallop, care being taken 
to vary the course as much as possible. When the animal ceases 
to have any fear, or to make any resistance in the fields and 
pastures, he should be taught to jump the bar and hurdle in the 
riding-school or on an enclosed track. 

In order that he may not expect to be led over all the time, he 
should now be equipped with a longe, or rope lariat ; he should be 
taken up to the obstacle by a dismounted man, giving him but little 
rope at first, and he should then be made to jump. If necessary, 
another man may go in rear of the horse witli a wliip, to touch him 


if he tries to come back. If he jumps without fear, no snapping 
of the whip or shouting should be allowed, else he will connect 
these in his mind with jumping. • The longe should be ordinarily 
attached to the halter ring, but few horses requiring the use of 
the cavesson ring. 

The training should be continued until the animal performs 
everything required of him in an intelligent manner in the 
school and outside. During this period he should be accustomed 
to the saber and to fire-arms until, without fear or exhibition of 
nervousness, he permits both to be used by the mounted trooper. 
He should be ridden near the pistol targets until he goes equally 
well to the right and left and between the targets without fear. 

The horse is now ready for the curb bit, which should be care- 
fully fitted to him under the supervision of an officer. It is a 
common thing for a trooper to exchange horses and he usually 
takes his bits as part of his own equipment. This should never 
be allowed, for the horse once properly fitted with a curb bit 
should be ridden with that bit, or one of the same size, as long as 
he remains in service. 

The integrity or entireness of the tongue should receive careful 
attention in connection with bitting. It is no uncommon thing 
to find a troop horse with his tongue cut a quarter or half way 
across. A proper bit will not do this if used in a legitimate way, 
but almost any curb bit will do so if the reins be used for hitching 
a nervous horse. 

A bit should be selected and placed in the horse's mouth over 
the tongue. By pressing it lightly against one side it will be 
seen if it has the right length of mouth-piece. If it is too nar- 
row it will pinch the lips, and another must be tried. If 
too wide, a measure of the amount which projects over must be 
taken, and a mouth-piece that much shorter be selected. 


The selection of a bit of proper width may be facilitated by slip- 
ping a smooth stick into the horse's mouth, placing it opposite 
the chin groove, and then bringing the thumbs lightly against 
the horse's lips. Hold the hands firmly in place on the stick 
while removing it from the horse's mouth, and have an assistant 
cut notches opposite the ends of the thumbs. This will give the 
length of the mouth-piece between the cheek-pieces. 

Care should be taken in the fitting and adjustment of the 
bridle as well as the bit or bits. A headstall should be selected 
in accordance with the size of the head of the horse. The throat 
latch should not be buckled tight, but loose enough to admit 
four fingers between it and the throat so as to avoid pressure 
on the wind-pipe and large blood vessels. If a single reined 
bridle is used the cheek-pieces should be of such lengths that but 
little adjustment of the buckles is required to cause the mouth- 
piece of the snaffle or curb bit to occupy its proper place on the 
bars, which is about one inch above the tusks of a horse and 
two inches above the corner teeth of a mare. This will place the 
mouth-piece about opposite the chin groove. The curb chain or 
strap should wrap smoothly around the chin groove, and be loose 
enough to admit one or two fingers underneath, when the upper 
branches of the bit are in line with the cheek-pieces of the head- 

When the double reined bridle is used the curb bit, buckled to 
the front check pieces, should occupy the position already de- 
scribed and the bridoon should be attached to the rear cheek-pieces, 
shortened up enough to let the mouth-piece of the bridoon rest 
against the corners of the mouth without wrinkling the lips. If 
the bridoon is attached to the front check-pieces it will work 
against the curb bit instead of the bars. 


After having secured a bit of satisfactory dimensions, the curb 
chain should be carefully adjusted. In adjusting the curb chain, 
hook it on the off (right) side; then twist the chain from the 
loose end until all the links lie smooth and flat and insert one of 
the end links on the near (left) side hook. That link should be 
selected which allows the check pieces of the bit to move through 
an arc of about forty-five degrees when pressure is applied. If 
one link confines the movement to less and the next link allows a 
movement of more than forty-five degrees the temperament of the 
mouth or manner in which the horse carries his head should deter- 
mine which of the links should go on the hook. If the horse 
has a naturally high carriage of the head he may be allowed the 
extra link, or loose chain. 

Horses once well trained seem able to adapt themselves to many 
forms of mouth-pieces, but it is well to remember that good bitting 
is characterized by a total absence of stiffness or painful action, 
and if this be attained, ready obedience to the rider's hands and 
legs will follow. 

// a trained horse opens his month, acts as if he zvas gagged, 
twists his head sideways, endeavors to force the hand by carrying 
his head low, or sticks his nose high in the air to remove the 
pressure from the bars, or moves backward to avoid the bit, he 
gives full evidence that the bit either does not fit or is not adapted 
to the temperament of his particular mouth. Corrections in the 
character and adjustment of the bit should be immediately made 
or a spoiled horse may be the penalty of neglect. 

The dimensions and proportions prescribed for bits should be 
productive of satisfactory results in most cases. Some horses will 
of course be found which will appear to defy all rules. Some may 
need greater severity than is produced by the bit used for average 


horses. If the lower branch be lengthened it will of course give 
greater power, but cruel contrivances will never stop a confirmed 
bolter and sometimes a mild bit will accomplish completely what 
severity has failed even to modify. 

It should be borne in mind that the two common and grave de- 
fects of bits are " falling through " and " standing stiff " and that 
good bitting lies between these two extremes ; that nothing is 
more certain than that any horse will go much better with a well- 
fitting bit, properly placed, than with one not suited to his par- 
ticular mouth, and that many otherwise fretful and dangerous 
horses become perfectly tractable if properly bitted. 

Many young horses of fair promise are ruined by nervous and 
impatient troopers who expect the trained manners of the high 
school before the animal has progressed beyond the awkward 
action of a kind-natured but ignorant colt. Rough treatment at 
this stage is apt to make the animal either timid or vicious. 

It may be well to explain here why the fresh and sensitive 
mouth of the young horse conveys the sensation of hardness to the 
hand of the rider, and why the same mouth, after it has really 
been rendered more or less callous by the application of the mouth- 
piece to its delicate organization, comes to be called tender. 

When a young horse is mounted for the first time the equilib- 
rium of the animal is disturbed, and he bores on his bit, trying to 
acquire a new point to lean on — a fifth leg, as it were ; he is hard- 
mouthed. When the animal has learned to carry the rider, and 
acquired an artificial equilibrium suited to the altered circum- 
stances, he no longer seeks this support, and the mouth is called 

If a horse be first ridden without a bit until brought into equilib- 
rium with his rider, and a light snaffle bit be then put on, his 



mouth will be found very sensitive, and it will be several days 
before he will take the bit. 

From what has just been stated, it will be easy to understand 
how the seat of the rider comes to exercise so great an influence 
on the horse's mouth, that the same horse will go light with one 
and heavy with another rider. It is a question of equilibrium. 
Lightness or heaviness of the ride/s hand depends mainly upon 
the stability of his seat. One rider assumes a seat that favors ; 
another, one that more or less impedes the efforts of the horse to 
get into balance. Supposing the seat, so far as the distribution 
of weight is concerned, to be identical, the unsteady rider will 
seek a support in the reins, and the horse immediately bores on 
the bit; the rider with a steady seat has a light hand, and the 
horse is therefore tender-mouthed. 

All horses should be trained first with the snaffle bit until they 
understand thoroughly the use of the bit and reins. A horse that 
cannot bear the pressure of the bit in moderation is of no value 
for saddle purposes. If he cannot perform satisfactorily with a 
snafffe bit, a curb bit will produce that fidgety uneasy action called 
" jibbing." 

The conditions surrounding the cavalryman demand that he 
shall be provided with a bit or bits, which, while allowing him 
to guide his horse in the lightest possible manner, will yet pro- 
vide him with ample power to bring the animal to a halt from 
the charge in the shortest practicable time. A double reined bridle, 
with bit and bridoon, is the most rational, humane and service- 
able arrangement for accomplishing this as well as for all classes 
of riding which involve cross-country work, 

A trooper must ride with one hand, and have the other free to 
use his arms; therefore the horse must be trained to obev the 


pressure of the reins upon his neck, and the legs upon his flanks. 
This is the most essential part of training. The bit should be 
mainly used to moderate the gait, to halt and to prevent the horse 
from forging ahead of the line or bolting. All changes of direc- 
tion should be accomplished mainly by pressure of the outer rein 
upon the horse's neck. In this way the horse can be moved on 
the circumference of a large circle, or he may be turned to the 
right or left about without gaining ground. Even with rational 
bits good results can only be obtained through the constant exer- 
cise of judgment, patience and painstaking care. 

When a horse has been suppled and trained until the rider is 
enabled to devote his own attention to the performance of his 
duties without constantly thinking of what the animal may do; 
when the trooper feels entire confidence that at the proper indica- 
tion from him the horse will move out and promptly take any 
gait desired ; that he will proceed in any direction without resist- 
ance ; that the breaking of a strap, firing of a gun or any unfore- 
seen occurrence or accident will not disconcert the animal, and 
finally, if the trooper may dismount in some concealed spot and 
leave the horse, without tying, while the surrounding country 
is carefully reconnoitered on foot, then both man and horse have 
acquired a degree of efficiency which should increase the chances 
of success in campaign of the organization to which they belong. 



Qonstruction and Adjustment.— Materials of which Constructed.— Under 
Surface: Shape; Size Proportioned to Weight Carried.— Upper Sur- 
face: Size Proportioned to Bulk Carried.— Position of Saddle on the 
Horse.— Side Bars: Length; Shape; Adjustable.— Padding: Pads; 
Blankets.— Cruppers.— Breast Straps.— Rules for Selection and Ar- 
rangement of Saddle and Pack. 

Saddles are made in a great variety of shapes depending some- 
what upon national habit as well as upon the use to which each 
particular saddle is to be put. The jockey's saddle may be re- 
duced to a mere contrivance upon which to hang a pair of stirrups. 
The average individual requires something with more substance 
and the cavalryman requires a saddle very much heavier than 
does the casual horseback rider. 

Cavalry saddles are all designed with reference to carrying 
heavy weights, for no nation has as yet discovered any method of 
placing cavalry in the field for extended operations without re- 
quiring individual troopers to pack a large amount of necessary 
equipment and personal kit. 

The serious disadvantages of heavy and cumbersome packs are 
fully recognized in every army, but efforts to reduce them have 
not always resulted favorably to efficiency. There are certain 
things necessary to enable the trooper to keep himself and his 
horse in serviceable condition, and the only practicable method of 
reduction in some of these is by substitution of lighter material 
or by furnishing transportation of sufficient mobility to carry 
light baggage without delaying the column. 


In general terms the nomenclature of the saddle (figure 51) 
comprises : 

The pommel or front part above the bars ; 

The cantle or back part above the bars ; 

The side bars ; the parts running along the sides, which rest on 
the horse's back and to which are attached the pommel, cantle, 
seat cover, stirrups and cincha attachments ; 

The seat ; the part embraced between the pommel and cantle. 

The materials of which saddles are made should combine great 
strength and moderate elasticity, with the least possible weight. 
Wood, iron or steel plates, and leather, constitute the principal 
materials of which saddles are constructed. 

Military saddles are best made of wood, with only such simple 
plates of metal added as are necessary to secure wooden parts in 
place. The weight to be carried renders it imperative to econo- 
mize every ounce that is possible. The necessity of attaching a 
pack makes the question of neat appearance altogether secondary. 

There is much variation in military saddles, both as to shape 
and capacity for carrying packs. They are nearly all provided 
with large side bars, some of which are much longer than others. 
Nearly all are made with pommel and cantle arches sufficiently 
high to clear the horse's withers and back. 

The long side bars enable the pack to be attached so that it will 
not rest on the back, but they are a disadvantage when made so 
long that they receive any of the muscular action of the fore and 
hind quarters. The short and broad side bars answer the pur- 
pose when the pack is secured, as on American saddles. 

The shape of the side bars is a most important item, and the 
angle which they make with each other must be fixed to suit the 
average horse of the class purchased for cavalry service. 










Figure 51. American Cavalry Saddle. 


Saddles with adjustable side bars have been tried with some 
success, but are not likely to come into general use. The advan- 
tage claimed for saddles constructed on this principle is, that in 
campaigns w^here hard marching and scanty forage prevail, the 
horses fall away rapidly, and the loss of flesh under the saddle is 
not always uniform ; the ordinary saddle then ceases to fit and the 
horse's back becomes sore, whereas the saddle with adjustable 
side bars may be altered to suit the varying condition of the horse. 

The mechanical arrangement of the saddle, and the manner in 
which it is adjusted to the horse's back are of the greatest im- 
portance ; in war defective saddles, or ignorance as to their proper 
adjustment on service, are as much to be feared as an enterprising 

In examining the saddle, beginning with the under surface or 
portion coming in contact with the horse's back, two principal 
points present themselves for consideration : its size and shape. 

The under surface of the saddle should bear as nearly as pos- 
sible the same relation to that part of the horse's back it is intended 
to occupy, as a mould does to the cast that is taken from it, 
excepting that the strip lying over the horse's backbone should 
remain altogether out of contact with the saddle. 

As regards size or extent of the under surface, the greater this 
is with a given weight, the less will be the pressure on any given 
point, provided always that the pressure be equally distributed 
over the whole surface. No part should come into closer contact 
than another, for the result of concentrating pressure on one point 
or line is very apt to be a sore back. 

The upper surface or seat of the saddle should be proportional 
to the bulk of the rider, and the undersurface should be propor- 
tional to the weight to be carried. The under frame of the 



saddle should not extend beyond the surfaces where it has to sup- 
port pressure, which is exercised chiefly in a perpendicular direc- 
tion. The absolute weight of the saddle itself must also be con- 
sidered in fixing a limit of size. 

The form or shape of the seat is of the greatest importance. 
If the ridge of the saddle be horizontal, imperfect contact of 
the rider results; it is therefore necessary to dip this ridge and 
spread it into a more or less concave surface where the weight 
of the rider is applied. The lowest part of the seat should be 
slightly in rear of its center to permit the thighs to occupy their 
proper position; then the rider can bring the greatest amount 
of surface possible of himself and saddle into permanent contact 
without undue constraint on his part. 

The saddle may fit the horse perfectly, yet, through an improper 
arrangement of the upper surface, or of the stirrups, may be de- 
cidedly unpleasant for the rider. 

The rider's center of gravity should be over the center of the 
bearing surface of the saddle, in order to transmit the pressure 
equally to the rest of the surface. 

The saddle is calculated to fit approximately in one particular 
location. It should be so placed as to interfere the least with the 
action of the muscles of the horse, and this condition will be best 
met when the saddle is located on the broad flat tendon covering 
the center of the horses's back (figure 2). This will also locate the 
weight near the perpendiculars passing through the centers of 
motion and gravity, and therefore cause an equable distribution 
of the weight of both horse and rider on all four legs, both in a 
state of rest and motion and there will be the least tendency to dis- 
turbance of the saddle or the seat of the rider when the horse is 
in motion. 


The point where the center of the saddle should rest may be 
found practically by locating the fourth and fifth short ribs from 
the rear, and following up the space between them to the back. 
This will be the point on the spine near the center of motion, 
but the shape of the horse will have much to do with the saddle 
remaining in this position. 

If the saddle be properly shaped and fits the back of the horse 
it will have less tendency to move from this position than if 
placed elsewhere. Great care should be exercised, however, not 
to unduly tighten the cincha and surcingle with a view to hold- 
ing the saddle exactly in position. When the cincha is first tight- 
ened it should be loose enough to admit a finger between it and 
the belly. The cincha has a tendency to work loose and may be 
tightened after the horse has been exercised for a time. The 
surcingle should always be a little looser than the cincha. 

With the rider's center of gravity over the center of the bearing 
surface of the saddle before any dead load is put on, conditions 
are changed instantly when a pack is added at either pommel or 
cantle. It is here that experience and judgment are required to 
so adjust the various portions of the pack as to least disturb the 
equable pressure of the whole under surface of the saddle and 
prevent sore backs. 

Aside from equalizing the weight at the two ends of the saddle, 
the question of distribution of pack presents itself in another 

The heaviest part of the rider is above the horse's back. When 
the pack is added, if piled high, as is the custom in some armies, 
it will make the horse with his load top-heavy. 

As the center of gravity lies below the middle of the horse, the 
adjustment of the pack should he such as to prevent elevating this 


center any more than is absolutely necessary. For this reason 
the saddle-bags, lariat, canteen, rifle and saber should be hung 
well down on the two sides of the horse, and the pommel and 
cantle packs strapped down near the ends to keep them close to the 
saddle. The inability of an animal to recover its balance with a 
top-heavy pack has been frequently demonstrated in service. 

It is necessary to place a yielding substance between the horse's 
back and the saddle bars. This may be done by padding the 
under surface of the bars, or by the use of a detachable pad or a 
blanket. Padding is usually confined to civilian saddles, but there 
are several nations which still use it on military saddles. The ob- 
jection to the use of padding in saddles designed to carry heavy 
loads is that it dries in lumps, draws out of shape, and it is a 
matter of much difficulty, usually requiring an expert saddler to re- 
arrange the stuffing to meet the varying conditions of the horse's 
back on service. Upon arriving in camp at night acccumulations 
of dust and sweat are apt to be neglected, resulting the following 
day in abrasions of the skin. 

Saddle pads made of hair, felt and wool have all been tried 
very thoroughly. There can be no variation from day to day 
in the position of the pad on the back, and in case of a bruise or 
sore, it is frequently necessary to cut a hole in the pad. None 
of the pads are of use to cover the animal. The hair pad is the 
most expensive when properly made, and is probably the best. 
The felt pad while useful for pleasure riding is not adapted to 
military serv^ice. It works up into the opening between the bars, 
producing much discomfort to the rider. It also wears out rapidly 
in particular spots where pressure is permanent. 

The saddle blanket was adopted for American cavalry because 
it has stood the severe trials of service better than any proposed 


substitute. It can be used to cover the horse in bad weather, and 
when not needed by the animal is used by the trooper to make 
his bed on the earth a trifle less hard. The blanket does not 
change position with every movement of the saddle, and there- 
fore does not wear oflf the hair of the horse's back. The blanket 
can be shaken out and refolded, so as to present a fresh, dry and 
soft surface, which is much appreciated by the horse, for he is 
made more comfortable, just as the trooper is by shaking out and 
rearranging his bed blankets in a permanent camp. 

The only disadvantage possessed by the blanket is its tendency 
to work out from under the saddle, behind, caused by the hair of 
the horse pointing to the rear, opposed to the smooth under sur- 
face of the saddle. This could be corrected by putting an under 
surface of sheep skin, felt or hair on the saddle, but it has not been 
regarded as a sufficiently serious matter to demand the remedy. 

A properly folded wool blanket will seldom cause any trouble 
in winter. Sore back are then very rare, and when they do occur 
may nearly always be traced to some minor injury received in roll- 
ing, or from being bitten by another horse, and which subse- 
quently becomes aggravated by the saddle. 

In summer, however, the heat arising from the use of heavy 
wool blankets is a prolific source of puffed backs, which, if not 
properly and promptly attended to, soon result seriously. In 
warm weather troopers are much more apt to lounge in their 
saddles, particularly during night marches, when overcome by 

Expert packers recognize this, and as the large leather bags, 
called aparejos, are used with both blankets and corona of wool, 
they avoid some of the danger from heating by using a piece of 
cotton canvas, which is placed directly on the back, and upon 


which the blanket and corona are then laid. They take the addi- 
tional precaution to leave the blanket and aparejo or pack saddle 
on the animal for some time after the load has been removed, 
to enable the back to cool gradually. 

Cruppers no longer form a part of the saddle equipment for 
general use, but are issued in isloated cases where the shape of 
the horse causes the saddle to have a tendency to slip forward and 
bruise the withers. Their use for military saddles is to be avoided 
when possible, as the great weight of the rider and packed saddle 
is apt to cause the crupper to lacerate the tail. 

Breast straps are used only upon a few ill-shaped horses saved 
from condemnation by the possession of some good qualities, 
counterbalancing their defective girth. 

The following rules should guide in the selection and arrange- 
ment of saddles : 

First. Each horse should have a saddle fitted to his back when 
in medium condition, the upper surface being of a size to accom- 
modate the rider. 

Second. The cincha should be attached oposite the center of 
the bearing surface of the saddle. 

Third. The stirrups should be attached slightly in front of 
the center, so as to be under the seat of the rider, and enable him 
to maintain such equilibrium as will prevent one part of the saddle 
pressing more than another on the horse's back. 

Fourth. The pack should be reduced to the lowest limit con- 
sistent with efficient service, and be so adjusted as to preserve as 
far as possible the equilibrium of horse and rider, and to prevent 
one part of the back from being saved up at the expense of other 

Fifth. The center of the saddle should be placed on the back 
over the center of motion of the horse. 


Variety of Seats. — Manner of Holding the Reins. — Value of a Well 
Balanced Seat. — Safest and Best Seat. — Balance, Friction and 
Stirrups. — Seat Depends upon Purpose in Riding. — Long Seat ; 
" Tongs-across-a-wall " Seat ; Fork Seat ; Military Seat. 

In observing riders from day to day it is surprising to note 
what a variety of attitudes are assumed by them in the saddle. 
The conformation of the rider of course has some influence, for a 
short, heavy-built man should not be expected to present the same 
appearance as a man with very long legs projecting down below 
the body of the horse. 

Those who have acquired a practical knowledge of riding early 
in life constitute a class almost distinct and apart from those who 
have deferred mounting horses until full-grown men, although 
many of the latter become accomplished horsemen. Boys who 
learn to ride, and have no fear of horses, almost invariably sit 
well down in their saddles ever afterwards, whereas a large pro- 
portion of those who have never mounted a horse until their 
muscles and bones are " set," are, unless particularly cautioned, 
very apt to lean forward and fail to maintain close contact with 
the saddle. 

This latter style of riding is nearly always accompanied by a 
heavy hand on the bit, instead of that easy " give and take " feel- 
ing on the horse's mouth, which is so necessary in order to de- 
rive any pleasure or comfort in the saddle. This light and change- 
able feeling of the horse's mouth is incompatible with any but a 
secure and well-balanced seat. 

SEATS 137 

The necessity for relaxing the pressure of the mouth-piece on 
the bars, except when it is desired to gather the horse in hand, 
ought to be apparent to any thoughtful person, yet more horses 
are ruined for saddle purposes by a neglect of this than from 
any other cause. A rider with little confidence in his seat is 
almost certain to depend upon a good steady pull on the reins 
for assistance. Hence it arises that when such a person mounts 
a well-trained saddle horse with a delicate mouth, accustomed to 
regard the lightest pressure of the reins as an indication or signal 
from the rider, he at once confuses the animal, which being unable 
to understand what the pulling means begins to fret and prance, 
thus making the already insecure seat more so. 

Several methods of holding the reins are used by acknowledged 
masters of equitation. The manner of holding the single and 
double reins, adopted and used at the United States Army School 
of Application for Cavalry and Field Artillery, and shown in the 
illustrations (figures 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, and 60) is 
simple, easily learned and an efitective aid towards a light hand. 
In retaking the four reins, when a snaffle rein and curb rein are 
used in one hand, simply turn the left hand with back up and the 
order of the reins should be as shown in figure 54. 

It has already been stated that lightness or heaviness of the 
riders' hand depends mainly upon the stability of his seat, and 
this cannot be too often impressed upon the minds of those 
learning to ride. The training of cavalrymen should be pro- 
ceeded with on the theory that recruits must first acquire a con- 
fident seat before they can be expected to comprehend the value 
of a light hand. 

Aside from the great value to the rider himself of a well-bal- 
anced seat, the stability of the saddle and the safety of the horse's 


back are also involved. It is treading on dangerous ground to 
prescribe one seat as applicable to and the only correct seat for all 
riding. So long as whole nations ride certain seats entirely dif- 
ferent from those used by other nations, it will be seen that habit 
has much to do with riding. By early training and long practice 
one may be able to accomplish the end for which he mounts a 

Figure 52. Best method to handle a single pair of curb reins, because 
you can get so much more wrist action to bear and the reins run through 
more of a grasp. 

horse while riding a seat apparently at variance with all orthodox 
ideas upon the subject. 

The safest and best seat is that which permits a proper use 
of the stirrups in combination with balance and friction. If proof 
of this were required, it would only be necessary to point out the 
fact that Indians and other uncivilized nations accustomed to bare- 



back riding, which is the perfection of balance and friction riding, 
uniformly adopt saddles and stirrups as soon as contact with 
other riders teaches them the value of these articles. 

Figure 53. Shows the reins being taken up, sorted and evened. The 
two outside reins are the curb reins ; the two reins in the middle are the 

The varieties of seats all depend primarily upon balance, fric- 
tion, and the aid of stirrups. Of these balance is by far the most 
important, otherwise a broken stirrup strap or loose cincha might 
produce a fall from the horse. The combination of all three, with- 
out exclusive dependence upon any one, will give tlie most satis- 
factory results. 

Figure 54. Shows the reins as they should be held with the back of the 
hand up, when no special signal is intended for the horse's mouth. 

Figure 55. Shows the reins grasped by the right hand for the purpose of 
lengthening or shnrtening all four reins. 

Figure 56. Shows the snafRe reins grasped by the right hand to shorten 
or tighten the snaffle and take away curb action. 

Figure 57. Shows the curb reins grasped by the right hand to shorten or 
tighten the curb and take away snaffle action. 



The purpose for wliich the rider mounts his horse determines 
to a great extent the kind of seat he will ride. The jockey, in the 
merest apology for a saddle, with his knees gripping the horse's 
withers and his feet shoved home in light steel stirrups, and whose 
sole duty is to ride to orders and land his mount first under 
the wire, presents few points of resemblance to the cow-boy, who, 

Figure 58. Shows the snaftlc reins grasped by the right hand in front of 
the left hand, the two reins crossing underneath the thumb for the pur- 
pose of using a powerful snaffle action. 

in a fifty-pound saddle, and riding a fork seat, fearlessly ropes 
half-wild cattle, or confidently mounts a " bucking " horse. 

Military riding cannot be properly classed with any other kind 
of riding, because its object is entirely different. Park and road 
riding present no resemblance to it, because in these the individual 

Figure 59. Shows a snaffle rein taken up by the right hand for the pur- 
pose of getting some powerful action to that side. The other reins may 
be taken up in the same manner if so desired. 

Figure 60. Shows the four reins used in two hands, curb below lillle 
finger and snaffle above, or snaffles can be used in one hand and curb in 
one hand, as desired. 


taste of the rider dictates all his appointments and the gaits of 
his horse. It is here that the trained and many-gaited saddle 
horse finds his proper field of action. A light leather saddle is 
all that is required, whereas in military riding a heavy wooden 
frame, capable of having a hundred-pound weight of pack at- 
tached, is an absolute necessity. A military saddle also has a high 
pommel and cantle, which detract much from its appearance, but 
are indispensable because of the pack. 

Hunting involves rough riding across country, but the seat is 
not limited by any such necessities as apply in the case of military 
riding. In following the hounds the rider has usually a trained 
jumper, and his riding is practically over a straight- way course 
involving no sudden turns or halts except in event of accident. 
Even though the huntsman keeps well up with the hounds, and 
may at times find himself bunched with many others, it is vastly 
different from the rushing, thundering noise of a boot-to-boot 
charge over unknown ground, perhaps in a cloud of dust or 
smoke, where a secure seat, entirely independent of the reins, 
is an absolute necessity. 

In any particular form of seat all men do not appear exactly the 
same. Aside from lack of uniformity in instruction there must be 
some reason for minor variations of seat, and the most probable 
one is that certain forms of legs are adapted to grasping the horse 
correctly without undue constraint, whereas it is quite impossible 
for men with legs of other shapes to sustain the proper grip for 
prolonged periods. 

There are several well-recognized varieties of seats besides the 
military seat, which, however, contains the essential elements of 

SEATS 145 

all good seats.* The various seats may be fairly classed under 
three general forms : The long seat, in which the rider raises his 
thighs almost to a horizontal position ; the " tongs-across-a-wall " 
seat, in which the legs are held straight, with the toes struck out 
and to the front ; and, finally, the fork seat, in which the legs are 
held straight down beside the horse, perpendicularly to the ground. 
The modern American jockey seat, with the knees grasping the 
horse's withers, is an exaggeration of the long seat. 

The long seat is not adapted to military saddles, particularly the 
American, but is used very generally for hunting and cross-coun- 
try riding, where difficult jumps may be expected. It is claimed, 
and generally conceded, that the horse held between the legs from 
the calf up, with the knees far forward, gives great security when 
landing after a big jump. In jumping, the difficulty of remaining 

* The following excerpt is from a letter to the author from Mr. Edward 
L. Anderson, probably the most favorably known American writer of the 
present day, on the subject of equitation. 

My Dear General: 

I have been re-reading your excellent work, and I find that your training 
and experience have induced you to adopt as the " military seat " the only 
seat. It is that of Baucher, it is that I have always advocated, it is the 
seat of every cavalry officer in Europe. The difference in the forms of 
saddles may give the effect of slight divergences, but the principles are the 
same, and in the English saddle so generally affected by European officers 
there is absolutely no change. The illustration (figure 64) is absolutely 
perfect for all purposes. If a slightly shorter stirrup is used in cross 
country riding which carries back the lower parts of the legs the seat itself 
is not affected, and the shortening of the stirrup, only used with open 
irons, is that the cross country rider or the soldier may push his feet home 
when the movements of his horse demand that they should take extra 
precautions in keeping their feet in the irons. 




in the saddle increases rapidly as the obstacle is higher. For this 
reason hunting saddles are quite often provided with rolls against 
which to brace the legs. 

I'"igiire 61. The " tongs-across-a-wall " seal. 

The " tongs-across-a-vvall " seat (figure 61) is not adapted to 
difificult riding of anv kiufl, for a lost slirni]) or l)n)kcn strap will 

SEATS 147 

compel the rider to change his form of seat or fall off. It may 
do at a walk or canter on a very easy gaited animal, so far as the 
rider is concerned, but the weight is transmitted to the fore legs 
in such a way as to have not only a retarding effect on the move- 
ments of the horse, but also to create permanent injury to the 
fore legs. This is a serious matter in active service, because a 
very large proportion of horses break down in the fore legs, while 
the hind legs remain uninjured.* 

Keeping the knee straight produces much weariness. When 
the trot is taken the rider instinctively leans back, curving the 
lower part of his spine, and sitting well up on the cantle, more 
on the back part than on the bottom of his buttocks. To main- 
tain this position the feet are stuck forward and outward. The 
seat, viewed from behind (figure 62), shows it to be not only 
awkward but very insecure in every way. With the feet stuck 
forward the saber cannot be properly used to make effective 
points, nor can the trooper lean out of his saddle to make cuts 
to the right and left. It is emphaticaly a parade and not a 
service seat, and should be avoided by those who desire to attain 
perfection in horsemanship. 

In the fork seat (figure 63) the legs are carried down per- 
pendicularly to the ground, and the rider does not remain seated 
on his buttocks, but rests on his crotch and the inside of his 
thighs. In this position the rider is very solid, for his legs em- 
brace the horse firmly from the calf up to the crotch. 

* After General Sheridan's raid with the Cavalry Corps to Richmond, 
an expedition of about thirty days' duration, the unserviceable and 
broken-down horses were gathered together in a park at City Point, to 
the number of about 6000. A careful inspection of these animals showed 
that while they were remarkably free from bruised withers and sore 
backs, they were all thin, and mostly broken down in front. 


The fork seat is a very common one in various parts of America, 
as well as other parts of the world. While by no means the scat 
for all-around purposes, it is ridden exclusively by whole tribes 
and nations of riders, some with the stirrup short enough to 
hold the sole of the foot parallel to the ground, while with others 
the stirrup is so long that the toe is bent down to gain contact 
with the tread. It is condemned for military purposes as un- 
suited to long marches at a trot, although it is frequently used 
for long-distance rides on horses, whose habitual gait is an easy 
canter. It is very commonly assumed during the excitement of 
the charge by a majority of troopers, who, in order to use the 
saber effectively, stand in their stirrups. The mechanical disad- 
vantage of this seat arises from the fact that when the leg is 
straight the thigh is round instead of flat as required for gripping 
the horse. 

In the military seat (figure 64) the rider should sit in the 
middle of the saddle, taking his weight upon his buttocks equally ; 
the body and head erect and square to the front, with shoulders 
well back and the chest pushed slightly forward ; the forearm 
of the bridle hand horizontal, and the elbow close to the body 
without pressing against it ; the right arm hanging naturally, 
with the hand behind the thigh; the inner surface of the thighs 
in close contact with the horse and saddle from the knees to the 
buttocks, the direction of the thighs being about parallel to the 
horse's shoulders ; the lower part of the legs, from the knees 
down, should fall naturally, and be completely under the control 
of the rider for use as aids in directing the horse.The stirrups 
should be adapted to the seat, and the stirrup leathers should be 
of such length that when the ball of the foot rests on the tread 
of the stirrup the heel will be slightly lower than the toes, and 
both leathers of exactly the same length. 

Figure 62. " Tongs-across-a-\vall " seat, rear view. 


Stirrups should not be worn so long as to render the tread on 
them insecure, nor so short as to cramp the legs. In either case 
the rider is to some extent deprived of the proper use of his 
legs as aids, and is not able to maintain a correct seat. The 
position of the foot giving the greatest satisfaction is that which 
requires no muscular effort to prevent the toe from turning out, 
and in which the sole remains firmly upon the tread of the stir- 
rup when the horse trots. 

With the military seat as described, the rider should be able to 
bend the body forward, backward, or to either side without dis- 
turbing the grasp of the thighs or moving the feet. He should 
also be able to move the legs below the knee with entire free- 
dom without altering his seat or disturbing the carriage of the 
body. The toes should not be turned out, as it causes the calves 
of the legs to grip the horse, and involves unintentional spurring 
every time the horses crowd in ranks. By keeping the feet 
nearly or quite parallel to the side of the horse the rider Is 
enabled to move the lower part of his legs so as to indicate 
through them, in conjunction with his hands, what movement the 
horse is desired to execute. The rider also avoids contracting the 
very bad habit, peculiar to Indians and Oriental nations, of con- 
tinually pounding the horse with his heels. 

While the rider should sit erect, all appearance of stiffness 
should be avoided, for rigidity of the rider is incompatible with 
the supple action of the trained saddle horse in motion. 

When mounted bareback, or with the blanket and surcingle, the 
trooper sits in the middle of the horse's back with the same seat 
practically except as to the feet. While these are kept parallel to 
the sides of the horse, the toes are lower than the heels, and point 
in a natural way forwards and downwards. It will be apparent at 

Figure 63. The fork seat. 

a glance that to keep the heel lower than the toes without a stirrup 
would involve much unnatural constraint, which, instead of adding 
security to the seat, would seriously impair its stability. 


In long-continued trotting exercises on the ring or in the riding 
hall, without saddles, the tendency of the rider is to gradually 
work forward to the withers. In such cases the rider should place 
his hand or hands on the withers of the horse and move his body 
back to its proper place, for the rider feels less of the roughness 
of the trotting gait at the middle of the back than when seated 
near the animal's withers. 

For military riding much uniformity is demanded at all times, 
and this circumscribes the variations of seat allowed to very nar- 
row limits. The best way to secure this uniformity, which is 
desired not for the sake of appearances but for the cavalryman's 
legitimate performance of duty, is to arrange the saddle and stir- 
rups so that the average recruit, when fairly instructed, will find 
it easier to sit properly than any other way. 

The cavalry soldier is often compelled to stand in his stirrups 
in order to make effective use of his arms. It is therefore neces- 
sary to place the stirrups so that when the trooper rises he can 
do so without constraint to himself or disturbance to the equilib- 
rium of the horse. This condition is best secured when the stir- 
rups are placed only a short distance in front of the center of 
the saddle, for then the rider in rising does not have to move 
forward and can resume his seat with ease. Furthermore, no 
muscular action is required to keep the stirrups in position, since 
they support the legs in their natural fall. 

When the military seat is once acquired the rider has better 
control of the horse than through any other seat which can be de- 
vised. If through fear or temper the horse swerves, the rider 
instinctively grasps the animal with his thighs, and the stirrups 
being directly below the seat, balance is not lost. If the horse 
stops suddenly there is no tendency to shoot over his head, as 



when the feet are stuck forward and the legs straight. If the 
horse rears, no time is lost in bringing back the feet and counter- 

Figure 64. The military seat. 

acting the tendency to slip off over the cantle. In fact, every 
sudden or unexpected movement of the horse is better provided 


for in the correct military seat than any other, and the rider, 
appreciating the security afforded by it, is less likely to degenerate 
into dependence upon reins and stirrups. 

The military seat described contains all the elements essential 
to successful riding, either for pleasure or service. It varies but 
little in the regular cavalry of all military nations, and the 
trooper marching upon active service, fully equipped, with a sure 
prospect of hard work and scanty provender, cannot vary this 
seat with the same impunity as the casual rider seeking recreation 
and exercise. 

With steel stirrups, such as are used by British and European 
troopers, the stirrup leathers must be worn short, so that the sole 
of the foot will not lose contact with the tread. 

Confidence in the saddle depends much upon the first lessons. 
As soon as the stirrups are crossed, or the recruit mounted on the 
blanket and surcingle for the very prosaic operation of being 
shaken into a good seat, everything possible should be done to 
eliminate faults. Small, gentle horses, with easy gaits should be 
selected at first, but when sufficient confidence has been acquired 
to perform the mounted exercises prescribed for recruits, horses 
should be changed daily. Care should always be taken to avoid 
having beginners hurt or frightened by horses that fall over back- 
wards, bolt or kick ; such things are not easily forgotten. Many a 
good jockey has been ruined by the mental impression left after 
witnessing a bad fall, and any one who has personally suffered 
from an accident seldom recovers his courage for difficult riding. 

It has been the custom in the American army to teach recruits 
to ride bareback, or with a blanket and surcingle, before allowing 
the use of a saddle. Inasmuch as the most difficult thing to attain 
is balance, and the stirrup was devised for the purpose of assist- 



ing in acquiring and maintaining it, it would seem not unreason- 
able to first teach the correct seat in the saddle and afterwards 
perfect it by riding without a saddle. For teaching a firm, close 
seat, and giving the recruit confidence in himself, nothing is as 
good as the trot without stirrups. 

After acquiring a good seat recruits will be ready to take their 
changes in the ranks ; however, timid men should not be forced too 
fast or made to mount vicious horses, but left for time and their 
own ambition to overcome their fears. 

If necessary to put men in the ranks for active service before 
preliminary instruction is completed, special attention must be paid 
to them, else they will become confirmed in their faults and resent 
later instruction because of having participated in a campaign. 

The herding of the troop horses in the field is of great assist- 
ance in making bold cross-country riders of many otherwise timid 
men. If a recruit can be given enough confidence in his seat and 
horse to enable him to stay with a stampeded herd until the horses 
have recovered their senses sufficiently to be rounded up, there 
need be no fear of his not learning to ride. 

A trooper whose seat is insecure almost invariably makes it 
manifest in the horse, which then becomes nervous and uneasy in 
ranks. The insecure seat causes the rider to constantly jerk or 
pull on the reins. When this fault continues it is often necessary 
to have the rider sit with folded arms, while another trooper, 
mounted, leads the horse at a trot around the hall or riding-ring 
for prolonged periods. This will compel the offender to learn to 
ride without depending upon the horse's mouth for support. 

There is a vast difference between good riders and accomplished 
horsemen. Many of the former possess such secure seats that 
the meanest of brutes cannot dislodge them from the saddle, and 


yet they may be unable to train or to appreciate a well-trained 
saddle horse. It is not merely the ability to stick on which 
should characterize the cavalryman. He should by all means be 
an expert horseman, and the more accomplished he becomes in 
that line the more valuable he will be as an example to others; 
increase of pride and self-respect will urge him on to perfection 
when he discovers his ability is recognized. 

The average trooper requires a great deal of individual instruc- 
tion to prevent him from contracting habits which spoil horses. 
It is a most noticeable fact that when a beginner gets tired and ir- 
ritable he almost invariably jerks his horse to punish him for his 
roughness. If the horse stumbles he is given a vicious jerk long 
after any possibility of sustaining him has passed. If the squad 
be at a trot the horse is jerked to make him change his gait while 
the instructor's back is turned. 

If the troop is ordered to trot, there will always be one or two 
men who will purposely keep their horses so excited that they will 
not trot. The only remedy is to put such men on steady old 
horses, that are well established in all the gaits, and punish them 
for any repetition of the offense. 

There is a very common and unsightly fault which requires 
constant attention. This is the habit of curving the back and 
sitting on the lower part of the spine. This is usually accom- 
panied by a drawing in of the chest and rounding of the shoulders. 
This position is utterly incompatible with proper military riding, 
and no effort should be spared to correct it. If it becomes ap- 
parent that ordinary admonition has no effect, it may be corrected 
by causing the trooper to hold a flat stick passed behind his 
shoulders, the ends being held by the hands, opposite the shoulders, 
backs to the rear. This of course necessitates the horse being 

SEATS 157 

led by another trooper. Hump-backed riders, with insecure seats, 
not only detract from the appearance of an organization, but are 
an actual detriment on the drill ground and the battlefield. 

The military seat is prescribed with minuteness of detail, and 
while it may be impossible for all men to conform exactly thereto, 
it should be insisted upon in the cavalry as closely as possible. 
Many men after acquiring bad habits in riding, through ignor- 
ance or stubbordness, are quite apt to imagine that they cannot 
do what is desired of them. 

It is not possible, under the conditions surrounding the re- 
mount system of the American cavalry, to perfect the training of 
all horses before assignment, as is done in some European armies, 
and therefore the necessity for making good riders of the men 
becomes paramount. In any event, after a single raid or 
battle, many remounts must be obtained, and if a trooper has to 
depend upon being supplied with a gentle, well-trained animal, 
he may prove a detriment rather than a valuble factor in his squad 
and troop. A good, firm seat should be demanded, and any 
trooper who cannot acquire it should be transferred to a dis- 
mounted arm of the service. 

On the other hand, any horse which persistently refuses to 
perform his work in a gentle and reasonable way under the guid- 
ance of careful and selected troopers should be cast out. A horse 
with many blemishes and defects which will do his work honestly 
in ranks will render more efficient service under careful treatment 
than a sound and well-bred horse which keeps a trooper always 
engaged in trying to keep him quiet, and to preserve his own seat. 
In addition to worrying his rider, a nervous horse will annoy all 
the men and horses in his vicinity, and distract their attention 
from the performance of their legitimate duties. A horse should 


not be condemned, however, until it is assured that this nervous- 
ness is not caused by the insecure seat of the rider. Men who 
cannot ride, and horses which cannot be ridden and properly 
trained, are useless and expensive members of any cavalry or- 

American. — British. — German. — French. — Russian. — Austrian. — Japanese. 

The organization of cavalry has undergone but little change 
within half a century, but modern battle experience has forced the 
general introduction of the carbine or rifle as the main arm of the 
trooper. While regiments maintain their distinctive historical 
designations as dragoons, hussars or lancers, the cavalry of all 
great powers has, for all practical purposes, assumed the role of 

In the reorganization of the American cavalry during the Civil 
War, the European model was abandoned and each regiment given 
the same organization, designation, arms and strength. The 
squadrons, which had previously comprised two troops, were or- 
ganized with four troops and the number of squadrons in each 
regiment reduced to three. 

British and European cavalry continue the small squadrons of 
two troops each, some regiments comprising four and others five 
squadrons. The Japanese cavalry is also organized on these lines 
following the German organization. With these differences of 
organization each American squadron on a war basis is nearly 
equal to a regiment of European cavalry with its depot squadron 

In the American service the regiments of cavalry are all armed 
with rifle, saber and pistol, and equipped identically the same. 
There is no distinction as to heavy and light cavalry, and the 


horses are purchased as nearly as possible of an average size. 
The last year the weight of horses in service was taken, the aver- 
age in ten regiments was 1052 pounds. 

It is the heavy weight of trooper and equipment that causes 
the demand for horses averaging about one thousand pounds. This 
prevents the purchase of animals weighing from eight to nine 
hundred pounds, a class in which is found the greatest proportion 
of hardy saddle animals of fine conformation for cavalry service. 

The troopers are enlisted only up to a weight of 165 pounds, 
and none but particularly good men are accepted at that weight. 
Men whose weight runs from 130 to 150 pounds are the best 
adapted for the requirements of American cavalry, the traditions 
of the service demanding a great degree of activity in dismounting 
to fight on foot, in skirmishing, and in remounting. 

The cavalry saddle now in use is, both as to form and material, 
the result of long continued experiments and service trials in 
campaigns extending over widely separated regions, involving ex- 
tremes of cold and tropical heat. 

The saddle-tree is made of wood, the pommel and cantle being 
of beech, each made of two pieces framed together at the top and 
glued. The two side bars of poplar are each made of two pieces, 
and glued together ; they are then glued to the pommel and cantle, 
and secured with screws. 

Iron pommel and cantle arcs are fastened to the side bars with 
rivets ; an iron pommel plate of semi-circular shape is fastened to 
the front of the pommel, and an iron cantle plate is fastened to the 
front of the cantle. 

Two stirrup strap hooks made of wrought iron, with the lower 
edges inclined from the horizontal upward and to the front, are 
made to swing loosely in iron straps which arc lot in anfl fastened 



to the side bars. The tree is smooth, and painted with white lead 
before the rawhide cover is put on to strengthen it (figure 65). 

The top covering is secured in place with rawhide thongs pass- 
ing through holes in front and rear of the pommel and cantle, and 
over the covering, and the top and bottom covers are sewed to- 
gether with light thongs of the same material (figure 66). 

Figure 65. Cavalry saddle tree before raw-hide cover is put on. 

The tree is then covered with fair collar leather. There are no 
leather skirts to the saddle. 

Two brass rings are attached in the front ends of the side bars ; 
a brass shield, with the size of the seat stamped on it, is fastened 
on the pommel ; brass guard plates or ovals are fastened on the 
cantle, and pommel over the mortises, for the coat straps. Two 
foot staples for coat straps, are placed on the front of the pommel 
and two carrying brass rings on the rear of the cantle. Two foot 
staples are fastened to the side bars through the rear girth straps 
for attaching the saddle-bags. The saddle-bag stud is fastened to 

the saddle through the cantle arc. 

1 62 


The service saddles are issued in three sizes: Nos. i, 2 and 3, 
the length of the seat being respectively eleven, eleven and one- 
half and twelve inches. The lengths of the bars correspond with 
the length of seat, but all the other dimensions are the same for all 

To form a cincha attachment, two quarter straps, made of har- 
ness leather, are passed over the pommel and cantle arcs, to which 
thev are riveted ; safes of leather are fastened under the rings to 

Figure 66. Cavalry saddle covered with raw hide. 

prevent sores from tight girthing; two cincha straps arc sewed in 
these rings, one for each side. 

The cincha is made of strands of hair rope knotted at the ends 
into iron rings with leather safes underneath. 

The stirrups are of hard wood, five and one-half inches wide 
and four and one-half inches deep, with a hood of thick harness 
leather riveted on. Stirrup straps, without sweat leathers, are 
used with the stirrup. 


Six coat straps are passed through the mortises and foot 
staples. Leather stops are riveted on to Hmit the play of the 

The long boot for carrying the carbine or rifle is hung under 
the left leg. This method throws a great deal of weight on the 
pommel, is not comfortable for the rider and interferes with the 
proper use of the left leg and foot, but it has been adopted be- 
cause the long rifle with bolt action cannot be conveniently car- 
ried in the short carbine boot in rear of the right leg. (Figure 51.) 

The saber is attached to the saddle on the right side by small 
straps, one of which passes through the rings on the front end of 
the bar and the other through the cincha ring. 

The weight of the average kit and equipments complete is about 
ninety pounds. 

In much of the wild country where the cavalry has been on duty 
the troopers were required to carry all they needed for a scout of 
thirty or sixty days, except rations, on their horses. 

The American cavalry saddle is of the same general form as 
that used during the Civil War and compares most favorably 
with those in use by the more prominent military nations as re- 
gards strength, durability, and packing capacity. 

It has been in use for forty years, and has stood the severest 
tests of active field service that the varied climate and character 
of the country demanded. It must be placed to the credit of this 
saddle that when properly fitted and adjusted very few sore backs 
occur, and when through accident or carelessness a back is in- 
jured, it may be cured while continuing the horse in service by 
removing or rearranging the pack and so folding the blanket as to 
guard the bruised or wounded part. 

The weight of the arms and equipments is practically the same 



for all troopers, therefore the strong- horses are selected for the 
heavy men, in order that all the animals may have the same chance 
of withstanding- the fatigues incident to field service. 

Figure 67. Trooper disinoiiiitcd, allowing near side of horse with packed 


The summer work is done frequently with a much reduced load, 
hut in the severe weather of the northern plains in midwinter 
both the weight anrl hulk of pack are very great. 

The total weight carried hy the horse may he, and fretiuently is, 
increased hy the addition of rations for the trooper and grain for 
the horse. It may be easily seen that the manner in which this 
load is securcfl is of the greatest importance. 


The overcoat is tightly rolled and strapped on the pommel with 
three straps. The hed blanket and a suit of underclothes, tightly 
rolled inside of the shelter tent with the nose bag slipped over one 
end, constitutes the cantle pack. When side lines are carried they 
are laid on top of this pack, the whole being secured to the saddle 
by three cantle straps. 

The ends of the pommel and cantle packs are always bent 
downward, the heavy articles put in the bottom of the saddle- 
bags, and the rifle and saber hung well down on the sides of the 
horse. The result of this combination is to keep the horse's center 
of gravity nearly as low as in nature, so that the saddle seldom has 
any tendency to turn, as would be the case if everything was piled 
upon the horse's back. 

Figure 67 shows a cavalry horse, near side, equipped for ordin- 
ary field service. The rolled lariat is hung to the near cantle 
ring by the snap, which is used to attach it to the halter ring 
when the horse is picketed, or by a small strap specially issued 
for the purpose. 

Figure 68 shows the off side of the horse with the trooper 

When the troopers dismount the rifles are habitually removed 
from the boots. In this way a well disciplined command is not 
so apt to be disconcerted by a sudden attack as would be the case 
if the guns should remain on the horses. 

The saber remains attached to the saddle, but the rifle and pistol 
are always carried by the trooper when dismounted to fight on 

Cartridges and the pistol are carried on the belt around the 
trooi>er's waist. Extra ammunition, horseshoes and nails, ra- 
tions, currycomb and horse brush are distributed in the saddle- 



The method of Hnking the horses together when fighting on 
foot is shown in figure 69. The Hnk strap, attached on the left side 
to the lower ring of the bit, is snapped to the halter ring of the 
next horse on the left of numbers one and two; the bridle reins 

Figure 68. Cavalry trooper, off side of liorse, with packed saddle. 

of number three are held by trooper number four who remains 

No other nation has ever fought its cavalry on foot to such 
an extent as was done in America during the Civil War and since. 
This experience taught, that in order to follow up a line fighting 
dismounted in rough country, through and over obstacles, it is 



necessary to link the heads of the horses firmly and close together. 
Thev lead much better and do not become tangled up in each 
other's bridles. Even when properly and carefully linked to- 
gether, horses require much drill before they can be confluctcd 

Figure 69. Showing linked horses of set of fours, dismounted to fight 

on foot. 

rapidly from place to place. Horses in columns of fours should 
be linked so that their heads will not be more than eighteen 
inches apart. 

While the cavalry equipment is used for all military purposes, 
at the military academy instruction is given in the use of the 
double reined bridle (bit and bridoon) and the ordinary hunting 

1 68 


and polo saddle in order to familiarize cadets with their proper 
use (fig^ire 70). 


The British cavalry is composed of dragoon guards, dragoons, 
hussars and lancers. All are armed with the rifle and saber, and 

Figure 70. West Point cadet equipped for polo. 

the lancers, in addition, carry the lance. The equipment and ac- 
cessories composing the pack vary according to the service, which 
for this body of troops includes a wide range, because of the ex- 
tent of the colonial system: 

The British cavalry saddle (figure 71 and figure 72) is made 
with long wooden side bars of beech, and narrowed towards the 
rear ends, where they are covered with leather to prevent chip- 
ping. The frnnt arch is of channeled steel, having slots for the 



wallet straps ; the rear arch is of beveled steel, with curved spoon 
cantle, both arches being riveted on to the side bars. The links or 
plates for attaching the stirrup leathers are placed on the side 
bars about three inches from the front arch. 

Figure 71. Britisli Cavah-y saddle showing covered ends of bars. 

The leather seat is laced to the arches, and supported under- 
neath by broad webbing, crossed. Leather flaps, or saddle skirts, 
are secured to the side bars with screws. 

Fair leather is used for both bridle and saddle. The girth is 
made of leather. 

Figure 72. British cavalry saddle, side view. 


Since the South African war the British have been continually 
experimcntin.c^. under the direction of the Inspector of Cavalry, 

Figure 72,. British Hussar with rifle on back, with butt of gun resting in 


with a view to perfecting the armament and equipment of their 
mounted forces. For a time the old method of carrying the car- 



bine or rifle on the horse was abandoned, and the arm carried on 
the trooper's back, with tlic butt of the rifle resting in a boot 
or bucket (fig-nre yi). This new method was soon abandoned 

Figure 74. British saddle showing long rifle boot or bucket. 

and a long boot or bucket adopted, in which, the rifle is carried 
on the right side and adjusted so that the butt projects to the 
rear of the trooper's elbow (figure 74). 



The manner of packing the kit and carrying; the sabre are shown 
in figure 75. 

Wallets are attached to the pommel, over which is strapped 
the cloak and a pair of ankle boots, one on each side. In the 

i'lgurc 75. British packed saddle, near side. 

wallets arc carried the horse brush, currycomb, underclothes, pipe 
clay, brushes, blacking, etc. The sheepskin in rear contains the 
stable jacket, trousers, gloves and picketing gear. The water 
bottle hangs under the right end of the skeepskin. 

The pack appears to be snugly and tightly adjusted, and in the 
" light service order " it is reduced to a moderate limit. 


The double-reined bridle with bit and bridoon is used, and a 
pipe-clayed halter rope takes the place of a leather strap. 

On foreign service, where the held uniform is worn, " putties " 
— leggins — are used instead of knee boots, and the shoes shown 
in the illustration are removed from the pack. Efforts are being 
made to still further lighten the burden on the horse, which varies 
between 225 and 290 pounds, according to the weight of the in- 
dividual trooper. 

British officers have recently had opportunity to observe the 
value of dismounted fire action of cavalry armed with magazine 
carbines. Their South African experience has caused them to 
recognize as clearly as Americans, that horsemen do not cease to 
be cavalry because they can dismount and fight on foot. Target 
and skirmish records show that cavalrymen shoot quite as well 
as infantrymen, and in war they have never failed to charge 
mounted when circumstances justified it. 

The work of the British cavalry on duty in the colonies is mucli 
like that of the American cavalry on the frontier, and their equip- 
ment and kit are carried in a somewhat similar way. 

The horses are usually attached to the picket line in front 
and to the ground in rear by heel ropes. Whether this is better 
than the American ])lan is not known, but in either case constant 
watchfulness is necessary to prevent horses from injuring them- 
selves by entangling their legs in the hitching ropes. It takes a 
long time for most horses to learn how to stand quietly at a ground 
picket rope, or when grazing attached to a lariat. By winding a rope 
about the heel a fine horse may in a few minutes reduce himself 
to an utterly unserviceable condition, requiring weeks for re- 
cuperation. A heel gall or rope burn is almost invariably fol- 
lowed by a rough, unsightly cicatrix. The difficulties arising from 


such accidents in the field, in addition to the wider range for 
grazing, induced American officers many years ago to teach all 
cavalry horses to herd whenever the proximity of the enemy did 
not prevent it. 


The German cavalry still retains the distinctive titles of cuiras- 
siers, uhlans, dragoons and hussars, but the only difference be- 
tween them is in the weight of men and horses. The cuirass is 
only worn on occasions of ceremony, and when the supply on hand 
is exhausted it will not be renewed. 

In heavy cavalry, cuirassiers and uhlans, the average 
weight of the horses is 1083 pounds, and the troopers 187 pounds. 
In the light cavalry the horses average 866 pounds, and the 
troopers 143 pounds. 

All German cavalry regiments are armed with lance, saber and 
carbine. Officers, first and vice-first sergeants and trumpeters 
do not carry the lance or carbine, but are armed with pistols. 
There is some variation in the saber issued to dififerent regiments, 
but the lance is the same for all. It consists of a hollow steel 
tube with a four-edged point of forged steel and a shaft of cast 
steel. The length of the lance is ten feet six inches, and its 
weight is 4.36 pounds. The carbine is the same in all regiments. 
Four patterns of saddles were formerly in use, but at the 
present time all the cavalry is equipped with the army saddle, 
which is made in five sizes to suit horses of dififerent conforma- 
tion. The smallest size is issued only for service in South 

This saddle consists of a wooden tree with wooden arches, 
strengthened by iron plates and supported by angle irons. 

Figure 76. Front view, mounted German trooper, Dragoons of the 




Between the arches is laced a leather seat. To the bars are 
attached panels stuffed with wool, and secure by pockets laced 
over the fans or ends of the bars. 

Figure "JJ. x\car side view, mounted Uennaii trooper, Dragoons of the 


The leather saddle-skirts, with knee pads stuffed with hair, 
are attached to the arches and also to the wallets, which are 
strapped on the front or pommel arch. 



The girths and stirrup leathers are attached by means of D's 
on the bars. The stirrups are made of steel. A breast strap is 
used. All the horse equipments are of fair leather. 

The saddle is made in pieces and, with the exception of the 
tree, may easily be taken apart and put together. The various 
parts are numbered according to the size of the saddle, and when 
worn out or damaged can be replaced by the trooper without 
the aid of tools. 

All cavalrymen excepting the cuirassiers are furnished with 
leather surcingles for use over the schabracks for ceremonies. 

The saddle blanket is of wool, usually white or gray, and 
folded from nine to twelve times. Regimental commanders 
are allowed some latitude in making minor changes in accoutre- 

Picket lines are prepared from lariats. Hatchets, spades and 
materials for demolition of bridges, etc., are distributed in each 

The weight of arms and saddle equipments is about sixty 
pounds, and the clothing and other articles of the trooper's kit 
will average more than forty pounds. The total weight carried 
by the horse, exclusive of rider, will, therefore, seldom be less 
than one hundred pounds. 

The method of attaching the carbine indicates that it is secured 
in place before the trooper mounts. The wallets are attached to 
the pommel by four straps, and the overcoat and grain bag are 
carried in rear of the cantle. The illustrations figures 76, 'j'j 
and 78 arc made from photographs of a trooper of the First 
Dragoons of the Guard and show the method of adjusting the 
saddle and pack. The carbine is carried in a leather boot attached 
to the right side of the saddle. The boot is also attached to the 


right girtli strap to steady the carbine, which hangs perpcn- 
(hcularly. When mounted the carbine is habitually carried in 
the boot, but the trooper is furnished with a sHng to carry it 
across the back for dismounted duty. The saber is attached to 
the left side of the saddle and balances the carbine to some extent. 
For dismounted duty the trooper attaches the saber to his belt. 
The cartridge box seen behind the back is hung from the shoulder 
belt, and contains thirty cartridges. The left wallet has a small 
pocket in the front, in which are carried thirty cartridges. The 
horseshoes are strapped on the outside of the wallet. The white 
end of the grain sack and the overcoat are seen just above the 
leather case containing the cooking vessel, which is hung from 
the cantle on the left side. The lariat (no picket pin) is coiled 
grummet fashion and hung from the right side. The halter 
strap is rolled and tied at the left side of the headstall. The 
field kit or pack is not carried during ceremonies, drills or gar- 
rison duties. 

It is presumed some arrangement exists for securing the lance 
to the horse when the trooper dismounts, for it is well recognized 
in the American service that the horse-holders must follow up 
an advancing line, or take the horses back to cover when a de- 
fensive line is to be held. 

It is a qestion whether the German equipment does not indicate 
that they are divided as to cavalry lessons, and that they have 
attempted to satisfy both the admirers of the lance and those who 
recognize that fire action is a necessary accompaniment to success- 
ful raiding colunms as well as to perform the other important 
functions of cavalry. 

No blanket, shelter-tent or cover appears to be included in 
the German cavalryman's equipment. This makes it absolutely 



necessary to billet the men, which involves scattering them about 
villages in a way which is not conducive to cavalry success, al- 
though it may be entirely applicable to infantry. It would not 

Figure 78. Off side view, packed saddle, German dragoon dismounted. 

be practicable in America to campaign without baggage wagons 
unless some blankets or shelter tents are carried on the horses. 
The system of billeting may do away with this necessity in 
Europe, but it would never work in America.* 

* During the Civil War several general and many subordinate officers 
learned by bitter experience that they were not safe billeted in houses, 




The French cavalry is composed of cuirassiers, dragoons and 
hg-ht cavalry. All are armed with the regulation carbine. The 
dragoons carry the lance in addition to the carbine. The saber 

Figure 79. Saddle tree, cuirassiers, French cavalry. 

is common to the three classes, but those issued to the cuirassiers 
are heavier than those of the dragoons and light cavalrv. The 

even in the midst of troops. A notable occurrence was the capture of 
General Stoughton while asleep in bed at the house of Dr. Gunnel, in 
Fairfax Court House, Va., several miles within the Federal lines. This 
was accomplished by Mosby, who, with his men, passed through the 
picket line in some heavy pine timber during a dark and rainy night. 
The guards on the streets were approached under the guise of patrols, 
and all were captured without firing a shot. A captain and a number of 
men were captured, and also nearly sixty animals, many of them being 
officers' horses. A number of individuals were captured in this way 
during the progress of the war, among them being the late Major-General 

Figure 80. Saddle complete, cuirassiers, Frencli cavalry. 



cuirass weighs fourteen and one-third pounds, a very material 
and useless addition to the weight which the horse must carry. 

At the last weighing of the French cavalry the average weight 
carried by the liorses was for cuirassiers, 282.24 pounds; for 
dragoons, 256.88 pounds, and for light cavalry, 235.93 pounds. 
The wide variation of nearly fifty pounds between cuirassiers 
and light cavalry is accounted for to some extent by the difference 
in weight of the trooper as well as by the heavier equij^ment. 

Figure 81. Saddle tree, light cavalry, French. 

The French saddles are a trifle heavier than those of several 
other prominent European armies, and are considerably heavier 
than those used by the American cavalry. The saddle consists 
of a combination of wood and iron, the bars and cantle arch 
being of wood and the pommel arch of iron. The girths, stirrup 
and breast straps are attached by means of D's on the bars. The 
tree is completely covered with a leather seat. Leather skirts are 
attached to the bars of the French saddle. Breast straps and 
cruppers are used. The stirrups of steel are without hoods. The 

1 84 


saddle blankets issued weigh practically the same as the American 
cavalry blankets. 

Figure 82. Saddle complete, light cavalry, French. 

The saddle-tree and the saddle complete of the cuirassiers 
are shown in figures 79 and 80, and those of the light cavalry in 
figures 81 and 82. The padded panels arc in accordance with 
European ideas of saddlery. 



The carbine is carried on the trooper's back (figures 83, 84, 
and 85). 

Figure 8,5. French Dragoon in full dress which differs from field dress 
in the addition of a red plume for the helmet. 

Tlie saddle-bags (A, figure 82) are carried across the pommel 
and the small horseshoe bags (B, figure 82) are attached in rear 
of the cantle. The cloak is tightly rolled and strapped to the cantle, 
and the forage sack (C, figure 82) is strapped in front of the 



saddle-bags. The saber is carried in the leather loop (D, figure 
82) attached to the left side of the cantle. 

Independently of the rations on regimental trains, each trooper 

Figure 84. Sapper, French Chasseur, equipped with axe. 

is required to take at departure two days' rations of bread, two 
days' of miscellaneous provisions, one day's ration of preserved 
meat, one ration of condensed soup and one and one-half days' 
rations of grain for his horse. 



No blanket or shelter tent is carried by the trooper, as reliance 
is had on billeting, and when that is impracticable, resort is had 
to simple bivouac. The forage wagons of each squadron carry 
complete shoeing outfits and spare shoes. 

V -y 

Figure 85. Near side, French Chasseur, mounted. 

Articles of special equipment for use in destroying bridges, 
felling timber, demolitions, etc., are distributed to selected men 
who have been specially instructed in the use of modern explo- 
sives and their application to the destructive purposes of war. 

1 88 


The analytical investigation of the horse has been a favorite 
study in France for three hundred years, and it has resulted in 
much technical knowledge which has been brought into use in 
establishing the remount system for the nation in arms. Every- 
thing tends to encourage breeders, who are allowed to deal 
directly with the purchasing officers and are, thereby, assured 
the highest possible reward for raising acceptable horses. There 
is much food for reflection by American officers in the regula- 
tions of the general remount service of France, as well as the 
methods of horsemanship and horsemastership taught at the 
French Cavalry School at Saumur. 


The Russian cavalry is composed of cuirassier, uhlan, hussar 
and dragoon regiments, the greater portion having the last- 
named designation. 

Figure 86. Russian cavalry saddle tree. 

The non-commissioned officers and privates are armed with 
the saber and rifle with bayonet. Trumpeters carry the saber 



and revolver. The rifle is carried slung over the hack, muzzle 
in rear of the left shoulder, and the saber is also attached to the 
person of the trooper. 

Figure 87. Russian cavalry saddle complete. 

The Russian cavalry saddle is made with somewhat larger 
side bars than the usual military saddle, but the arches are very 
light. The arches forming the pommel and cantle are riveted to 



Figure .%>. Kussian flragoon, near side, equipped for field service. 

tlie side bars, and are connected together by a stra]) wbicli sup- 
ports the cushion or seat. Figure 86 shows the tree ; the staples 
seen near the ends of the side bars are for attaching the straps 
to secure the front and rear packs. 

iMoi)i:kn c.walry and its kqijipment 


Figure 89. Russian dragoon, off side. 

Felt pads are placed under the side bars, being held in placf 
by a pocket over the front and a strap around the rear end of the 
bars behind the cantle arch. 



Figure 87 shows the saddle packed for service. No. i is the 
cushion or seat; 2, the skirt; 3, the stirrup strap; 4, 4, the saddle 

Figure 90. Russian hussar, equipped for field service. 

g^irths ; 5, the saddle cloth; 6, the overcoat; 7. the picket-pin; 
8, the saddle-hags ; 9, the kettle ; 10, the horse blanket ; 11, 11, the 
pack straps; 13, the breast strap. 



The saddle-bags, carried in roar of the cantle, contain the 
rations and personal articles not strapped to the saddle. 

The total weight of the Russian cavalry equipment, including 

Figure 91. Russian Cossack of the Imperial Guards. 

the rifle or carbine and thirty-six rounds of ammunition, is about 
120 pounds, and the estimated weight of the soldier is 167.4 
pounds. This makes the total weight carried by the horse about 
288 pounds. 


Figure 88 — copied from a photograph taken at the Officers' 
Cavalrv School — shows a Russian dragoon equipped for field 
service, and figure 89 shows the same trooper on the reverse side. 

Figure 90 represents a Russian hussar equipped for campaign, 
and figure 91. illustrates a Cossack of the Imperial Guards, a type 
of irregular cavalry peculiar to the Russian army. The Cossacks 
are habitually equipped with the lance. 


The Austrian cavalry, like the German, is divided into 
dragoons, hussars and lancers, but all are similarly armed and 
equipped, the only difference being in designation and uniform. 
The troopers are armed with the saber and a magazine carbine, 
which they are taught to use on foot. 

The Austrian cavalrymen enjoy the reputation of being ex- 
cellent riders and are mounted upon a good class of saddle horses. 
Men and horses are both comparatively light; there is no distinc- 
tion as to light and heavy cavalry. 

The interests of the arm are cared for by the Inspector-Gen- 
eral of Cavalry and the Cavalry Bureau, which is specially 
charged with all matters pertaining to the personnel and material 
of the cavalry branch. 

The saddle-tree and cover are shown in figure 92. 

The saddle-tree is composed of two wooden side bars, to which 
are riveted a wooden pommel and cantle, the cantle being some- 
what longer than the pommel. 

The side bars contain holes for the stirrup straps, and also 
small holes through which the ties pass for fastening the girth 
to the saddle-tree. The bars are encased in felt covers with 
leather corners. The pommel and cintle are connected l)y a piece 



Figure 92. Austrian Saddle and cover. 

of leather, upon which the leather seat rests ; the seat and skirts 
form one piece, which is fastened to the pommel and cantle by- 
thongs. The flaps have holes through which the stirrup straps 

Figure 93. Austrian trooper equipped for field service. 


pass. The girth is of two pieces of leather fastened to the side 
bars and with a bnckle on the longer piece. The snrcingle, also 
of leather, is fastened over the saddle. Heavy steel stirrups with 
a broad tread are used. 

The saddle is comparatively light, and the seat is high enough 
above the horse's back to admit of a good circulation of air. 
Careful attention is paid to fitting saddles, and fifty with ad- 
justable side bars are allowed each regiment for special cases. 
The simplicity, dimensions and general shape of the saddle-tree 
commend it for military purposes. 

A black leather breast strap is used, but no crupper. 

The saddle blanket is about five feet square, folded in six 
folds. The saddle is prevented from slipping by the felt pads on 
the side bars. 

When the trooper is equipped for field service (figure 93), 
reserve rations for three days, the clothing and personal kit are 
carried in the wallets. 

A horseshoe pouch of leather is fastened to the left side of the 
saddle near the cantle. A wooden picket-pin, with an iron point 
and ring, is carried. 

A forage sack is fastened at the middle of the cantle. 

A telescopic canvas water bucket, the cooking utensils and 
eating tin are also carried on the saddle. 

The carbine is carried slung on the trooper's back, butt down, 
and muzzle opposite the left shoulder. 

The average load carried by the horse, including trooper, 
equipments, rations, forage, and a share of the tools, weighs more 
than 297 pounds. 



Figure 94. Set of fours, Austrian cavalry, showing method of linking 
horses when fighting on foot. 

A set of fours of hussars is shown in ti,mn\' <j4, which illus- 
trates the method of attachinsj;- the horses to<::;-ethcr when dis- 
mounted action occurs. 




An examination of the history of any great war, with special 
reference to the causes of failure, not infrequently develops that 
lack of full success may be fairly attributed to a deficiency of cav- 

Figure 95. Japanese Trooper showing method of carrying rifle and saber. 

airy or an improper employment of that arm, the character of the 
country within and adjacent to th: theater of operations and the 
national traits of the combatants being duly considered. 

In the recent struggle between Japan and Russia, the theater of 
war included much country favorable to the operations of cavalry 



In view of the reputation previously sustained by the Russian 
Cossacks, and their faihire to make good in Manchuria, the small 
Japanese cavalry force employed in the war becomes peculiarly 
interesting to all military students. 



Figure 96. Japanese Trooper showing method of carrying rifle and saber. 

The Japanese army entered Manchuria with a very small 
mounted force, not equal in strength to an American cavalry 
division. The men were not good horsemen and the ponies, while 
hardy and capable of enduring much exposure and fatigue, were 



in no sense a proper mount for the work to be expected of cavalry 
in a field of action so peculiarly favorable to an enterprising force. 
From the nature of their country the Japanese have had com- 
paratively little use for horses in the past, and at the commence- 

Figure 97. Japanese saddle and horse equipments. 

ment of the war there was no reserve of men, accustomed to the 
use of horses, to draw upon. 

The Japanese cavalry organization and methods of instruction 
are based on the German system. The cavalry comprises only one 
class which, by reason of the size of the horses, the average weight 



of which is y^2 pounds, would ordinarily be called light cavalry. 
This term is used in Europe to designate a body of horsemen 
mounted upon small active horses of a class entirely different 
from the heavy necked Mongolian and other Chinese ponies which 

Figure 98. Near side view, saddle (packed), Japanese Trooper. 

constituted so large a jjroportion of those used l)y the Japanese. 

The trooper is armed with a rille, whicli is carried on his back, 
and a saber which is also carried on the i)erson of the trooper. 
(Figures 95 and 96.) 

The saddle used is of a pattern differing but little from that of 
Germany, (Figures 97 and 98.) 



The total weight of the average trooper, with his arms, saddle 
and equipments, is 255 pounds, or ahout one-third the average 
weight of the horse. 

The Japanese discovered very early in the campaign that they 

iug'ure 9y. Near side Japanese i ruupcr Aiouiiied. 

were seriously hampered through their deficiency of cavalry and 
undertook to import horses and huild up the army during the 
progress of the war. A medium sized Australian horse averaging 
from fourteen to fifteen hands in height, both active and hardy, 
was selected as a type and nearly fifteen thousand were delivered 



before the close of the war. In the reduction and reorganization 
consequent upon the close of hostilities the Australian horses and 
the best of the ponies were retained for the cavalry and field 

I'lgure TOO. (jit side Japanese Trooper Mounted. 

A remount depot and officers' school combined is intended to 
afford the means of disscminatinij a uniform system of equitation 
and horse traiiiini:,'- for tlic cavalr\-. The new type of cavalryman, 
toward whicli the Japanese are bending their efforts, is shown in 
Figures 99 and 100. 

To obtain a uniform supply of such horses it will be necessary 
to undertake horse breeding in Japan on a much larger scale than 


has heretofore been known in that country or to absohitcly control 
the sea route for future importations. 

It is observed that the British and German Cavalry carry the 
carbine or rifle on the horse, while the practice in other foreign 
armies is to have the gun carried on the trooper's back. 
Theoretically, the slinging of the carbine over the shoulder and 
strapping it snugly to the back is the best way for the gun, as 
well as for the horse. In this position the carbine is not liable to 
injury, and is always with the trooper when he dismounts, no 
time being lost in detaching it from the saddle. It is very much 
harder on the trooper, the fatigue being doubly severe whenever 
the trot is taken. The horse has to carry the weight whether it 
is on the man or the saddle. Everything being considered, 
Americans prefer not to put the weight on the trooper, for the 
fatigue occasioned by carrying a gun across the back all day is 
apt to produce lounging in the saddle, which, in the end, is more 
disastrous to the horse than if the gun is hung in some manner 
from the saddle. 

Sabers are carried on the person in some armies and attached 
to the saddle in others. A saber suitable for a mounted man is 
an encumbrance to him on foot, and should always be attached to 
the saddle. In this position it makes but little noise compared 
to that produced when hanging from the trooper's waist. 

There is not much difference between the equipments and kits 
in the various armies as to weight, but there are many varying 
opinions and customs regarding the distribution and adjustment 
of the packs. Many little things which appear trifling may have 
great bearing upon the comfort and endurance of both men and 
horses, and these in turn exercise great influence on the success 
of campaigns. 



Influence of the Weight of the Pack. — Husbanding Strength of Horses. — 
Abuse of Horses. — Marching Gaits. — Endurance Varies With Treat- 
ment, Size and Shape. — Causes of Losses of Horses in War. — Cavalry 
Raids. — Losses of Horses in Various Campaigns. — The Cavalry 
Bureau, and What It Accomplished. — Frontier and Foreign Service. 

The cavalry of all nations is weii^hted down with heavy saddles, 
arms and equipments. The enormous loss of horses, resulting 
from service under such conditions, makes it imperative to prevent 
unnecessary waste. When not in the actual presence of the 
enemy, where troopers are liable to be detached at a moment's 
notice, it would increase efficiency and be vastly more economical 
to attach light wagons to every cavalry command to relieve the 
saddle animals of all extra weight. This would save the horses 
imtil the theater of operations is entered, at which moment every 
strap should be in place, for the " ears and eyes " of the army 
would be untrue to its traditions if it failed to be ready to gain 
contact with the enemy, whom once encountered, should never be 
lost sight of until success is achieved. 

For the few brief charges upon the field of battle, into which 
the excitement of the moment may carry the sick and the lame, 
there must be months and years of patient and laborious work 
in reconnaissance, jjatrol, advance and rear guard, outpost duty, 
and route marches with horses loaded down with heavy and 
imwieldy packs. Few men upon first entering the service can 
realize how accurate a l)alance is re(|uired for the large amount 
of baggage and kit placed u])on the horse. 


Experience gradually teaches the trooper that the more he 
packs on his horse the greater will be the chance of breaking him 
down, l)ut stringent orders are necessary with all recruits on 
service to compel them to leave in camp or quarters all 1mt the 
necessary and authorized articles. 

While the weight of the pack does not appear, under ordinarv 
circumstances, to diminish the rate of speed upon the march, it 
necessarily augments the fatigue of the horse, and ultimately 
tends to reduce his length of service. When it becomes im- 
perative to march at a faster gait than a walk for several davs, 
it is customary to reduce the weight of pack to its lowest limit, 
and to secure that remaining in such a manner as to prevent it 
from swaying about. 

On long marches, where grain is hauled in wagons and there 
is no danger of being suddenly ordered to abandon the train, it 
is advisable always to save up the horses by loading the bulky 
portions of the pack in the wagons as the grain is fed out. 

It is not, however, always the pack and the legitimate work of 
cavalry which breaks down the horses and renders them un- 
serviceable. Many fat horses are started on the downward road 
by being galloped about in an excited manner by couriers, who 
form exaggerated ideas of the importance of the messages they 
bear. This applies especially when ordered to take the field 
suddenly after prolonged garrison service. 

All soldiers of experience know well the value of cafefullv 
husbanding the strength and wind of horses at the start. ]\lanv 
men have been compelled to lead broken-down horses, or pack 
their saddles and equipments into camp on foot, because of use- 
lessly worrying fresh horses when getting read}- for the marcli. 

It is folly to imagine that horses can be put tln-ojgli anv i)re- 


liminary training or hardening process which will enable them 
to undergo the hardships of campaigning, unless provided with 
sufficient food and properly cared for on the march. 

r^Iany instances are recorded where the horses, not of pickets 
and vedettes, but of large bodies of cavalry, were kept saddled 
and bridled for days at a time in anticipation of immediate service. 
This practice cannot be regarded as other\Yise than criminal in 
a properly instructed command. 

A few saddles removed at a time, the horses allowed to roll and 
then groomed, the saddle blanket shaken out and refolded, and 
finally a good brisk hand rubbing of the legs, would not be 
dangerous to the command if vedettes were properly posted ; to 
the tired horse it would be just such a boon as comes to the 
invalid when his bed is aired and made over after a serious illness. 

The greater part of cavalry marching is done at a walk. When 
in the enemy's country it is necessary to give time for the advance 
parties to send scouts out in all directions, and allow the foraging 
details to collect supplies and bring them to the line of march. 
When traveling with convoys a faster gait than a walk w^ould 
leave the trains unguarded. 

When circumstances do not prevent the present plan in the 
American service is to alternate the march at a walk with the 
moderate trot. This brings the command to the end of the jour- 
ney in much less time, and admits of the heavy weight being 
removed entirely from the horse, so that he may rest and graze. 
This method also obtains in other services, and experiments made 
in marching at various gaits indicate that the combination of walk 
and trot is the best for cavalry. 

The endurance of horses varies, not only with the treatment 
accorded to tlicm, but also with regard to their size, shape and 


adaptability for service. An army whose ordinary losses do not 
demand more than 12 per cent of remounts each year may be 
considered fortunate. It has been estimated that cavalry horses 
last about two years longer in some countries than in others 
during ordinary peace conditions. It is very difficult to obtain 
reliable data on such a subject, but it is apparent to the most 
casual student that any system which procures two years longer 
service, on an average, from its animals than is obtained under 
other systems is worthy of investigation. It is not only a question 
of the military estimates from an economical standpoint, but also 
that a continuance in the ranks of trained horses saves much 
valuable time otherwise consumed in training remounts. 

Exhaustion, over-exertion, starvation and extreme heat are 
responsible for a very large proportion of the losses of army 
horses. Direct manifestation of these conditions are usually 
discernible, but there are many affections of a serious nature not 
so readily diagnosed. 

The loss of animals in all wars is very great, and occasionally 
the average is much increased by occurrences of an unusual 
nature. The situation at Chattanooga, when the Army of the 
Cumberland was besieged after the battle of Chickamauga, may 
be placed under this category. There was absolutely no forage 
for the animals ; they ate bark, wagon bodies, one another's 
manes and tails, and those not used for food by the half-starved 
troops finally succumbed to starvation at the picket lines. 

In the Army of the Potomac, where every pound of supplies 
had to be brought by sea or rail from Northern farms, it is not 
difficult to understand how it happened that many detachments, 
even regiments, were left unprovided for at times. Constant 
exposure in rain and mud caused much disease ; at one time 


nearly all the cavalry horses were laid up with scratches and 
grease heel, brought on by unsanitary surroundings. 

In the early part of the Civil war the demand for horses to 
mount the newly organized cavalry regiments was very great, 
and as the majority of people supposed that the war would be 
of short duration, considerable carelessness prevailed in the 
selection of horses. Thousands of animals utterly unfit to take 
part in the fatigues and exposure of campaigns were hurried into 
service, with the very natural result that they soon died or became 
a burden upon the government. 

The records of the volunteer cavalry during the Civil War are 
not sufficiently accurate to base any conclusions or comparisons 
as to the endurance of trained animals in the hands of regular 
soldiers, such as exist in large numbers in European armies. 
They do, however, give an idea of just what may be expected 
whenever a large number of volunteers are put into the field upon 
untrained horses. 

General Meigs commented upon this subject in his report as 
Quartermaster-General in 1862 as follows: 

" Ignorance and carelessness of raw soldiers waste our horses, 
but it is believed that the quality of the animals supplied is quite 
as good as in any other army. 

" After everv battle and every considerable march great num- 
bers of horses are turned into the depots as disabled, and urgent 
requisitions are made upon the department for remounts, as 
essential to the efficiency of the troops. Of the disabled horses 
nianv die; many prove on inspection to be incapable of recovering 
in such time as to be worth the expense of keeping them ; these 
arc sold. Those which by good feeding and careful attention can 
be recruited are kept in the depots, and issued for use in the army 
when again fit for the service. 


" The reports and returns received from the new and inex- 
perienced officers, ivho, from necessity, have been employed in 
fliis department, are too irregular and imperfect to give, at this 
time, a perfectly accurate statement of the number of horses and 
mules purchased and issued to the army during the fiscal year. 
The consumption of horses has been very great." 

When it is considered that each cavalryman in the Confederate 
army v^as compelled to supply himself with a horse, without re- 
course to the government, the number supplied to the Federal 
army surpasses all belief. 

There were purchased during the fiscal year ending June 30, 
1864, 188,718 horses ; captured from the enemy and reported, 
20,308. Leaving out of consideration those captured and not 
reported, it is observed that the army required more than 500 
horses each day for remounts ; and this is the measure of destruc- 
tion of horses during the same period. 

Notwithstanding his opinion, that " as the cavalry has im- 
proved in discipline and knowledge, it is believed the horses last 
longer," the Quartermaster-General again called attention to the 
great loss of horses in the following language : 

" During the first eight months of the year 1864 the cavalry of 
the Army of the Potomac was supplied with two remounts, 
nearly 40,000 horses. 

" The supply of fresh horses to the army of General 
Sheridan during his late campaign in the valley of the Shenan- 
doah has been at the rate of 150 per day." 

Such data as can be obtained leads to the conclusion that much 
of the loss of horses in the Army of the Potomac during the first 
two years of the war was brought about by mistaken ideas as to 
the proper use of cavalry. The amount of picket duty performed 
by mounted men was out of all proportion to their numbers or 


to the necessities of the service. Worn out troopers, lounging 
in muddy and frozen saddle kits, on half-starved horses, charac- 
terized the outpost duty of the army during the winter of 1862 
and 1863.* 

Cavalry raids were inaugurated by the Confederates for the 
purpose of carrying the war into the territory of the enemy, thus 
cutting lines of supply and forcing undesirable concentrations of 
troops. These raiders lived off the country, and returned to their 
lines laden with booty, and accompanied by a plentiful supply of 
fresh horses captured from the enemy. 

As the Federal cavalry became trained to its work, raiding 
columns were sent into various parts of the South ; many of 
them, particularly those penetrating to the rear of Lee's army, 
found the conditions very different from those attending Con- 
federate raids, for there was little or nothing left in that region. 
These raids tested the powers of endurance of the horses to the 
utmost limit, and were responsible for an immense loss of animals. 
Raiding, however, became accepted as a thing of recognized 
value in the art of war, and the full accomplishment of mighty 
ends was regarded as value received for the thousands of ex- 
hausted and dead horses that marked the routes of march. 

Although the weight of packs carried on these raids was always 
fixed as low as possible under the extraordinary circumstances 
surrounding them, the horses were weighted beyond their 
capacity, ridden beyond their powers of endurance, fed mostly 

* The sixth regiment of regular cavalry was encamped near Falmouth, 
Va., for four months performing outpost duty, and when ordered to 
march on the resumption of the campaign, April 13, 1863, it was neces- 
sary to leave 300 men in the dismounted camp, notwithstanding strenuous 
exertions had been made to keep the regiment mounted. It is probable 
that like proportions obtained in other regiments in that army. 


on green corn fodder or " roughness," and used up generally in 
the accomplishment of the great ends for which the columns were 
set in motion.* 

The loss of horses alarmed the government for fear it would 
be impracticable to keep up a numerous and well-equip- 
ped cavalry, and the organization of new cavalry regiments was 
discouraged. It required the utmost efforts of the Cavalry 
Bureau to remount the regiments already enlisted in the early 
days of the war. 

It requires careful training and much experience to develop 
officers capable of handling, economically, brigades, or even 
regiments of cavalry. A corps of volunteer infantry can be 
organized and put in the field fit for any duty before a single, 
strictly volunteer, regiment of cavalry can be made ready to per- 
form mounted duty without great waste of horses and property. 
The following letter written at a critical period of our national 
history, tells its own tale: 

Washington, D. C, February 13, 1865. 
Lieutenant-General Grant, City Point: 

General: — As the time is approaching for organizing the cavalry for 
the spring campaign, I forward the following items in regard to its 
conditions and wants, collected by the Cavalry Bureau, to January i, 1865. 

Cavalrymen present for duty 105,434 

Cavalrymen present and absent 160,237 

Cavalry horses serviceable 77,847 

Cavalry horses, unserviceable 9,659 

Cavalry horses purchased during the year 154,400 

* Although Wilson's expedition to Selma, Ala., with a body of 13,000 
horsemen, was through much of the South which was depended upon to 
furnish supplies to the Confederate armies, each trooper was ordered to 
carry, in addition to his ordinary kit, five days' rations, twenty-four 
pounds of grain, 100 rounds of ammunition, and two extra horseshoes. 
This enabled them to pass across a strip of country which had been 
devastated by both armies. The raid was entirely successful, and culmi- 
nated in the capture of the ex-President of the Confederacy. 


The number expended has been much greater than this, as the cavalry 
force has been less than the previous year, and moreover, a considerable 
number of team and captured horses have been issued to the cavalry, 
and also recuperated animals. The expenditure of cavalry horses during 
the year has probably been less than 180,000. The waste or loss of 
cavalry equipments during the year is estimated as follows : Carbines 
expended, 93,304; pistols expended, 71,000; sabers expended, 90,000; horse 
equipments, 150,000. Expense of cavalry in horses, pay, forage, rations, 
clothing, ordnance, equipments, and transportation, $125,000,000, is cer- 
tainly a large sum for keeping up our cavalry force for one year. In 
regard to particular commands, there are in the Armies of the Potomac 
and the James about 10,000 mounted men, and in the Middle Division, 
under General Sheridan, about 12,000 which can be kept efficient by 
issue from here, except in case of extraordinary casualties. General 
Sherman has with him in the field about 6500 men, which, since he left 
Atlanta, he has kept mounted by captures from the enemy. In the 
Department of the Ohio (now Kentucky) there were issued to General 
BuRBRiDGE for his Saltville expedition 6000 horses. On his return 4000 
were reported lost or unserviceable. When Hood commenced his march 
against Nashville General Thomas' immediate command had only about 
5000 effective cavalry, but between the 1st of October and 31st of Decem- 
ber all horses purchased in the West were sent to his chief of cavalry, 
the issue amounting to 23,000, and including those sent to General 
BuRBRiDGE during the same period, 29,000, in three months to General 
Thomas' entire command. As Generals Wilson and Burbridge have 
made requisition since that period for 14,000 additional horses, it is 
presumed that about the same number were lost or disabled during that 
period of three months. 

In regard to the enormous surplus of cavalry in the Western and 
Southwestern armies, as compared with infantry, I would remark that 
it has resulted in a great measure from the repeated requisitions of 
Generals Rosecrans, Banks and others for increase of mounted forces, 
and their mounting infantry as cavalry. They were repeatedly informed 
that so large a cavalry force could not be supported, and experience has 
placed this question beyond a douljt. Moreover, no general can com- 
mand and efficiently employ, in our broken and wooded country, a body 
of cavalry of more than 10,000 or 12,000 men. 


The mounted infantry and militia in Kentucky and Tennessee have 
destroyed a vast number of horses without rendering any effective ser- 
vice in the field. The same remark is partly applicable to the mounted 
militia in Missouri. 

General Wilson wants 10,000 additional remounts for the spring cam- 
paign. It is certain that so large a number of remounts cannot be 
supplied to that army, even if we make no further issue to other cavalry 
troops supplied from the West. 

Moreover, I learn from the Quartermaster-General that he is now 
some $180,000,000 in debt, and that unless more money is soon raised it 
will be very difficult to purchase supplies for the army. 

It is also proper to determine when the purchase of remounts shall 
be resumed for Sheridan and the Armies of the Potomac and the James. 
Considering that the Quartermaster's Department cannot now supply 
forage to the animals we have on hand, I would not advise purchases to 
be commenced before the middle of March, and I doubt whether naviga- 
tion will be sufficiently opened by that time to enable us to bring forward 
horses and supplies. The railroads of the North cannot do this. 
Very respectfull}', your obedient servant, 

Major-General and Chief of Staff. 

In this connection it appears proper to cite a few instances 
from the experience of other nations, in order to show that the 
loss of horses during the Civil War was not the result of wanton 
waste, but that much of it should have been expected in accord- 
ance with the teaching's of history. 

As has been stated, the loss of horses arises from a variety of 
causes, those killed in battle being but a small percentage of the 
whole. Forced marches, periods of great privation, and 
epidemics, occur at intervals to raise the ordinary average, and 


these causes must always be counted upon as exercising a marked 
effect in every campaign, no matter where the theater of opera- 
tions may be. 


During the Russian campaign the French crossed the Niemen 
in June, 1812, with cavalry, artillery and train horses to the ex- 
tent of 187,121 ; about 60,000 of these pertained to the cavalry. 
Up to this time it had been very hot ; an unprecedented rainfall 
commenced and in a few days the roads became almost im- 
passable, and there was little or no food for the horses. Ten 
thousand horses were left dead between the Niemen and Wilna. 
The only food to be had for the large number of animals with 
the army consisted of young, growing crops of wheat, rye and 
barley. Such food is calculated to produce weakness, and in- 
testinal troubles of a grave nature, and this was without doubt 
the cause of most of the loss. 

MuRAT states that half the cavalry perished around Moscow 
in their search for supplies. It was not the horrors of the icy 
retreat which used up the animals, for Napoleon caused Ber- 
THIER to write to Victor on November 6, that the cavalry was 
unhorsed ; in all 92,000 horses had succumbed before the first 
fall of snow. 

On December 13, the remnant of the invading army recrossed 
the Niemen with 1600 cavalry. In six months the horses had 
all disappeared, and there is ample evidence that this was not 
the result of cold, but of starvation, aggravated, perhaps, by cold 
towards the end of the campaign. 



This retreat was carried out in rain, ice and snow, over 
mountain roads. The food supply was not abundant, but the 
chief cause of loss was the want of horseshoes and nails. There 
was plenty of iron, but no time to perform the work of making 
shoes by hand. 

After all the perils and suffering- of the retreat, those horses 
which survived and reached Corunna were put to death on the 
beach to prevent them falling into the hands of the enemy, there 
being no room for them on the transports. About 2300 horses 
constituted the loss. 


Massena retreated from Portugal with 8000 horses. During 
the ten days occupied by the retreat the total loss was 1955, or 
195 each day, being over twenty-two per cent of the whole 


There was not a large number of cavalry horses employed in 
the first Afghan War, but the loss was nearly sixty per cent. 
The loss of pack animals from starvation was very heavy, and 
has caused the Bolan Pass to be well remembered in the British 
service. The animals were worn out by a long march and bad 
water, and being entirel}^ dependent upon grazing for food, the 
loss amounted to 20,000 animals before reaching Candahar, and 
more than 30,000 for the campaign. 

In the second Afghan War (1878) the loss of pack animals 
during a period of six months was 9496 out of a total of 13.840 
on the returns. 


CRIMEA. 1855. 

All sorts of excuses have been made for the losses in this 
campaign, but the melancholy fact remains that the horses were 
starved to death. During a period of six months the loss of 
transport horses was thirty-eight per cent., and out of 5048 
cavalry and artillery horses there remained at the opening of 
spring 2258. 


During the campaign in Italy the Emperor, Napoleon III, 
ordered a cavalry commission to investigate the circumstances 
which had reduced the cavalry to a comparative state of in- 
efficiency. It transpired that on May 20, 1859, the French 
cavalry had 9008 effective horses, which number was sub- 
sequently increased by the arrival of a brigade; so that on the 
24th of June, the date of the battle of Solferino, the total number 
of horses borne on the returns was 10,206. On the day of the 
battle it was found that only about 3500 horses were in the ranks 
fit for duty. The remainder had been disabled by less than a 
month's marching, and an immense proportion of these had been 
rendered unserviceable by the saddle and other portions of the 

BOHEMIA. 1866. 

During the brief campaign of a few weeks in Bohemia in 1866 
the Prussian cavalry suffered a loss of 4226 horses, that being 
about seventeen per cent, of the whole number in the campaign 


The official returns of the German army show only the loss 
of horses in action ; that is, killed, wounded and missing. No 


returns are given of those which died from diseases, but as the 
army received a supply of 38,000 horses during the campaign, 
besides the animals captured or impressed by detachments to re- 
place broken-down horses, and not reported, the loss from disease 
may be assumed at not far from 30,000. The number killed, 
wounded, etc., was reported at 14,595. 


The total strength of horses for all branches of the service 
landed in Egypt was 5000, of which one-eighth died or were 
destroyed. The loss in the cavalry was one-fifth. The number 
of sore backs treated during this campaign was very larg:, being 
more than 500. 

THE BOER WAR. 1899-I902. 

Complete and accurate data concerning the losses of animals 
in the Transvaal is not available. Between October, 1899, and 
May 31, 1901, 143,130 horses and 79,514 mules were purchased 
in the United States, Argentina, Canada, Australia, Hungary 
and the British Islands. The purchase of horses and mules went 
on at an active rate in the United States, and a shipload of one 
thousand or more was embarked each week at New Orleans. It 
is believed well within the mark to say that 250,000 horses and 
mules were shipped to South Africa, and that the losses from 
horse diseases, peculiar to that country, together witli the usual 
campaign losses, amounted to not less than 100,000 animals. 

Besides suffering from the tsetse fly and the South African 
climate, the British cavalry was seriously weakened by being 
pushed to the front before the horses had recovered from 
the long sea voyage. There was no hay and little or no grazing 
much of the time. The strain fed without hav over-stimulated 


the horses. The American cavalry of the Army of the Potomac 
was nearly ruined in this way during the winter of 1864, while 
in the cantonment at Brandy Station, the ration of grain having 
been increased to make up the deficiency of hay. 

In these brief references to the experience of several nations, 
enough has been shown to emphasize the fact that heavy losses 
of horses should be expected in service, and are absolutely in- 
separable from active and successful campaigning. This is said 
advisedly, for it would be courting disaster to teach any such 
doctrine as that the saving of horses from injury and death is 
of such importance as to permit it for a moment to hazard the 
full success of any campaign. 

It took two years of a great war in America to bring about 
the establishment of the Cavalry Bureau ; the result of this action 
was most beneficial to the armies in the field. The Cavalry 
Bureau not only enforced a better system of inspection, but by 
the establishment of several large and well equipped depots, 
under competent officers, it was enabled to receive a great num- 
ber of broken-down horses for recuperation, about fifty per cent 
of which were ultimately returned to duty. Many of the others 
were sufficiently recuperated to be sold to farmers, thus repairing 
some of the waste of war and, at the same time, releasing fresh 
horses for army use. Thousands of horses were returned to 
the ranks after a few months rest which would otherwise have 
been abandoned, or if retained in the regiments would have 
seriously impaired the efficiency of the cavalry. 

For many years before and after the Civil War the cavalry 
traveled incessantly to and fro over the mountains, plains and 
deserts of the great Western frontier, with varying degrees of 
fortune. Much of this occurred prior to the settlement of the 


country, and hence many of the long and arduous marclies were 
accompHshed with difficulty, often accompanied with actual suf- 
fering and disaster. 

As early as the Mexican War, a cavalry column marched from 
Fort Leavenworth, Kan., to San Diego, Cal., a distance of more 
than 2000 miles, passing through a hostile country, and fighting 
several severe actions, before arriving at its destination. 

During the Sioux Indian campaign of 1876 a brigade under 
General Crook lost about 600 horses, a great many being killed 
for food, upon which the entire command subsisted for some 
days. During the same campaign the Seventh Cavalry, operating 
with another command, lost more than 300 horses killed in action 
and from other causes. 

During the autumn of 1879, while in action against the Ute 
Indians, all the animals of Major Thornburg's command were 
killed, as well as those of a troop which made a forced march of 
eighty miles to aid beleaguered comrades. 

During the war with Spain, the majority of the regular cavalry 
regiments participated in the Santiago campaign, dismounted, 
there being no transports available for the horses except those of 
one squadron of four troops. When the surrender of Porto Rico 
and Cuba took place, five cavalry regiments filled to war strength 
were transported with their horses to various ports in those 
islands, without any unusual loss. 

The long sea voyage to the Philippine Islands caused a reduc- 
tion of the mounted contingent of the first expedition, to one 
squadron, which was later reinforced by the remaining squadrons 
of the regiment. When it became apparent that without cavalry 
to cooperate with the other branches the war in the Philippines 
would be indefinitely prolonged, several regiments were ordered 


there direct and these were later reinforced by those which had 
been assigned to duty wath the Chinese ReHef Expedition. 

A considerable number of animals have been killed in the Philip- 
pines, in the effort to eradicate glanders and surra, but from the 
date of the landing of American troops in those islands, up to the 
present time, including all the active field service incident to the 
insurrection, the percentage of loss of animals has not been ab- 
normal, all things considered. 

Instances of endurance, forced marches, and losses by field and 
flood might be indefinitely multiplied from records, but the few 
cited are sufficient to illustrate the varied character of cavalry 
service, and the severity of its demands upon both men and 



Period of Longevity or Extreme Age. — "Rising" and "Past" a Certain 
Age. — Age as Indicated by the Teeth. — -Temporary Teeth. — Permanent 
Teeth. — The Marks or Cups. — Angle Which Incisors Make in Coming 
Together. — The Tusks. — Rasping Off the Corners of Incisors. — 

i'lgure lul. BcIIl- Mo^liy. 

The probability of a horse's reaching an advanced age does not 
depend so much upon race and breeding as upon his care and 
surroundings. Bad treatment, food insufificient in quantity and 
poor in quahty, ahke tend to shorten the duration of the horse's 
service. In this wav one horse mav be old and worn out at 


twelve or fourteen, while another may continue to render satis- 
factory service at from twenty to twenty-five years of age. 

In 1894 there was a horse, about twenty-six years old, still in 
service, in the regiment to which the author belonged, that, in 
1875, participated in a march from Kansas to Arizona, a distance 
of nearly fifteen hundred miles. There were several horses used 
in the Fort Leavenworth squadron during the year 1894 w^hich 
were more than twenty years of age. 

There are numerous instances to substantiate the statement 
that horses live to be thirty-five or forty years of age. It will 
be sufficient to cite the case of " Belle Mosby," whose photograph 
is shown in figure loi and that of the celebrated army mule, 
" ]\Iexique," which died about 1886.* 

* The mare " Belle Mosby " was stolen by a negro boy from a Con- 
federate camp near Newmarket Creek, Va., in March, 1865, and was 
brought across the creek to the camp of the Eighteenth Pennsylvania 
by means of a single twelve-inch plank walk thrown across the abutments 
of the recently burned bridge. She was purchased from the negro by 
Lieutenant Young in exchange for an overcoat. She soon after became 
the property of Joseph R. Phillips, Company " F," Eighteenth Pennsyl- 
vania Cavalry, her present ownei-, who used her in service for several 
months, and then sent her home to his farm. She has never weighed 
more than 950 pounds. Her teeth showed her to be five years old when 
brought into camp, which makes her age thirty-five when the photograph 
was taken in 1894. 

A few years ago a petition was sent to the War Department by the 
officers stationed at Mount Vernon Barracks, Ala., stating that a white 
mule which had been in service at that post for forty-five years was about 
to be sold as unserviceable, and requesting authority to purchase him, 
to be kept at their own expense, because of his long and faithful service. 
The petition was endorsed by General Sherman as follows: 

" I have seen that mule, and whether true or false, the soldiers believe 
it was left at Big Springs, where the Mount Vernon Barracks now are, 
at the time General Jackson's army camped there — about 1819 or 1820. 
Tradition says it was once sorrel, but now it is white from age. The 


It is usually claimed that mares live longer than horses, and 
small horses longer than large ones, but it is difficult to prove such 
statements because all animals do not receive the same treatment. 
Some animals lead a quiet existence with good hygienic surround- 
ings, and attain great age, whereas, had they been used in a city 
on stone pavements, or subjected to hard campaigning with its 
consequent exposure and semi-starvation, they would probably 
have fallen victims before attaining even moderate age. 

It is very generally accepted as a fact that horses which mature 
slowly live longer than those which mature rapidly, provided, of 
course, they receive like treatment and are not put to hard service 
until fully grown. 

The difference in general appearance between young and old 
horses is very marked. It requires but little familiarity with 
horses to detect the extremes of age and the contrary condition. 
After maturity, however, more reliance is to be placed upon the 
indications afforded by the teeth, than upon outward signs. 

In the majority of cases the incisor teeth or " nippers " may be 
examined by simply inserting the fingers in the side of the horse's 
mouth, and pressing the lips in front apart with the thumbs. The 

Quartermaster's Department will be chargeable with ingratitude if that 
mule is sold, or the maintenance of it thrown on the charitable officers 
of the post. I advise it to be kept in the department, fed and maintained 
until death. I think the mule was at Fort Morgan, Mobile Point, when 
I was there in 1842." 

The Secretary of War thereupon made the following order: "Let this 
mule be kept and well cared for as long as he lives." 

Secretary Lincoln's order did not arrive until after the sale, but 
" Mexique " was bought in and kept by the officers until he died, about 
two years later. There was no documentary evidence, but the history 
of this animal was traced far enough to make him quite forty years of 
age, while less reliable information made him much older. 




examination should always be made as gently as possible. If 
resistance is encountered the left hand should be placed upon the 
horse's nose quietly, while the right is introduced into the mouth 

Figure 102. Method oi cxaniiniiig the niimtli when a horse resists. 

to get hold of the tongue, which is gently drawn out on the left 
side. If necessary, the lower li]) may he held with tlic Irfl liaml 
(figure 102). If the horse still resists, a fore foot iiia\ I)e luld up, 
ancl in rare cases, a twitch ap])lied. 


Before examining the teeth in detail, the lips should be parted, 
and the angle at which the upper and lower incisors come to- 
gether observed. This angle is obtuse in young, and acute in old 

A horse is said to be coming or rising a certain age when his 
mouth is at the point of presenting the characters of the age to 
which reference is made ; he has the age when all the characters 
exist ; he is past, when the characters begin to disappear ; thus 
rising four ; four ; a four year old past. 

Age as Indicated by the Teeth. — Structural alterations -take 
place in the teeth every year up to the sixth ; hence there can 
rarely be any question as to the real age of a horse up to that 
time, as indicated by the teeth. 

After the horse has obtained his full set of teeth the age can be 
approximately determined by the effect of wear in altering their 
shape, by the receding of the gums, and by other signs. 

]Many circumstances, however, often contribute to modify the 
effect of wear on the teeth, and also to increase or decrease the 
action of time in other respects ; hence a correct estimate of age 
can only be formed by those who have given to the subject con- 
siderable study. 

The voung foal usually has two, and sometimes three, tem- 
porarv molars in each jaw. When about twelve months old 
another molar, a permanent tooth appears, and before completion 
of the second year a fifth molar, also a permanent tooth, shows 

At about two-and-a-half years of age the two anterior tem- 
porary molars are replaced by permanent teeth, and at between 
three and four the remaining or third temporary molar is re- 
placed. At about the same time the last or sixth permanent 


molar begins to appear. Thus when the mouth is completed 
tliere are twelve pemianent molars in each jaw, or twenty-four 
in all. 

These structural changes afford a good index of the age of the 
horse up to the period when they are completed, namely, four 
years. These molars, however, are seldom referred to, because 
their position at the back of the mouth renders their examination 
inconvenient, and often very difficult. Nevertheless, it is well 
to be acquainted with the changes in the molars, in case there 
should be any doubt as to the true age as indicated by the in- 
cisors, up to and including four years. 

A supplementary molar, known as " wolf's tooth," sometimes 
appears in either jaw. Such teeth seldom cause any inconveni- 
ence. If they should do so, they can easily be removed by the 
pincers, as they are only of a rudimentary character. 

The incisors are six in number in each jaw when the mouth is 
complete, and in the immediate rear of these, on each side, but 
at a variable distance from them, appears a pointed tooth, called 
tusk. These tusks begin to appear at about four years, but are 
not fully developed until the last permanent incisor is more or less 
up. Tusks are rarely found in mares. 

Temporary incisors, called milk teeth, are easily distinguished 
from permanent incisors, being smaller, whiter, and having more 
distinct necks. They are smooth externally, and grooved inside. 
Their fangs are small, and have but little attachment to the gums. 
The jaws are plump, fleshy, and round, and the teeth are arranged 
in something like a semi-circle. 

Permanent teeth on the other hand are larger, broader, wider 
in their necks, grooved externally, and smooth internally, and 
more discolored than milk teeth. The discoloration is due to the 



lodgment of the juices and other matters connected with the 
food in the grooves. The phnnpness and circularity of the part 
of the jaw containing the incisors, is less than in the younger 

Figure 104. Four years. 

animal, and it gradually decreases, until in old age the teeth are 
arranged in nearly a straight line. 

Temporary or milk teeth (incisors) are in the gums in a rudi- 
mentary state when the foal is born, and they ai)])ear from lime to 
time during the first year, at the end of which ])crio(l the yearling 



mouth is complete in all six incisors. The teeth are very close 
together, and show no signs of wear. The corner teeth are mere 
shells (i, 2, 3, figure 103). 

At two years of age the inner wall of the corner teeth has 
grown up level with the outer wall. The center teeth show con- 
siderable signs of wear, and all the teeth appear somewhat smaller 
than they did in the yearling. They also appear somewhat wider 
apart at their necks on account of the gradual growth of the 
jaw in width. 

A few months before three years old the horse sheds the two 
center milk teeth, which are replaced by permanent incisors. 
Thus at three }ears the jaw contains two center permanent and 
two milk teeth on each side (4, figure 103). 

A few months before four, the next two milk teeth are shed 
and replaced by jiermanent teeth, the jaw now containing four 
permanent and two milk teeth (5, figure 103, and figure 104). 

The tusks appear in that part of the lower jaw, on each side, 
between the incisors and molars, at about four, and continue to 
grow until the horse is five years old or past. The new tusk is 
quite sharp at the point when it first appears, and at five there 
is a slight bend inward, forming a hook at the top. This grad- 
ually wears ofif, and each succeeding year the tusk becomes 
rounder and more blunt, and its upper portion wears off. 

Although the opposing tusks do not meet, they undergo 
changes from the effect of mastication, and thus become addi- 
tional aids in determining age. In general terms, the young horse 
may be known by the sharp-pointed tusk, and the old horse by 
the flat-top tusk, which in the latter case is usually much 

A few months before five the horse sheds the two remaining 



milk teeth which are replaced by permanent ones. The jaw now 
has a fnll set of six permanent incisors, but the corner teeth have 
no inner walls. This absence of internal wall distinguishes the 
five from the six-year-old mouth (6, figure 103, and figure 105). 

Figure 105. Five years. 

A few months before six th.e inner wall of the corner teeth has 
grown up k\el with the outer wall, but in some cases this imier 
wall is entirely absent (7, figure 103). 

The mouth is now complete in incisors, and no further struc- 
tural changes take place in them.. As a general rule th.e upper 



temporary teeth fall out a little before those in the lower jaw. 
Up to six years, owing to structural changes there can seldom he 
any doubt as to the age of the animal. 

High feeding encourages the growth of the teeth in common 
with the rest of the frame, and may give a colt a very forward aj)- 
pearance for his age. 

The Mark. — The mark or cup, as more commonly called, is a 
peculiar hollow extending, when the teeth first come up, about 

Figure 106. Incisor tooth and section showing mark or cup. 

half an inch down in the temporary, and rather deeper down in 
the permanent incisors (figure 106). 

When an incisor first comes up the hollow affords lodgment 
for the debris of the food and the juices expressed from it, and 
therefore soon looks black. As the tooth wears down the hollow 
of course disappears. The dentine immediately below the orig- 
inal hollow being of a somewhat soft material, has become stained 
for some distance down ; thus there is still a black mark. With 
the further wear of the tooth the stained portion wears awav, and 


the mark disappears. The time re(|uired for the mark to wear 
out varies according to circumstances. 

Between three and five years the marks or cups are very pkiin 
in all the permanent incisors. 

At six the marks are wearing out of the two center teeth, which 
come up at three years. They are plain in the two adjacent, and 
fresh in the two corner teeth (7, figure 103). 

At seven the marks have disappeared from the center teeth, 
are wearing out of the two adjacent, and are distinct and plain 
only in the corner teeth (8, figure 103). 

At eight the marks have disappeared from all but the corner 
teeth in which they are becoming indistinct (9, figure 103). 

At nine the marks are not usually to be seen in any of the 
teeth (10, figure 103), but for about two years after the mark has 
disappeared in each tooth there may still be seen a trace of the 
enamel which lined the bottom of the original hollow^ and which 
underlies it for some depth. This of course decreases in size 
with the wear of the teeth. 

At about twelve or thirteen the last traces of the enamel have 
usually disappeared. The lower incisors all show a rounded 
section, and the dental star is quite central, and very apparent 
throughout (11, figure 103). 

From the age of fourteen years (12, figure 103), to that of 
seventeen years (13, figure 103), the teeth assume a triangular 
form ; the center ones, or pincers, at fourteen ; the middle at 
fifteen, and the corners at from sixteen to seventeen. 

At about eighteen (14, figure 103), the triangles formed by the 
teeth lengthen and become laterally contracted, so that at twenty 
or twenty-one years (15, figure 103), the teeth lose their triangu- 
lar shape. 



Many circumstances may cause a deviation in a slight degree 
from these rules. The time required for the mark to wear out 
will vary in different horses according to the hardness or softness 
of the teeth, and the nature of the food on which the animal is 
fed. Horses raised on the fresh, green pastures of well-culti- 
vated farms retain their marks longer than range horses of the 

Figure 107. Seven years. 

West which graze upon the dry and tough, but nutritious native 
grasses of the arid region. 

Sometimes there are causes affecting the marks in particular 
cases to be taken into consideration. The most common of these 
are cribbing and " parrot mouth." In the first case the teeth are 
worn off rapidly by the constant gnawing of the animal, and in 
the second no wear of the incisors takes place because the upper 
teeth project over and in front of the lower, making it impossible 


for the horse to graze in pastures. Sometimes, but very rarely, 
the lower jaw projects beyond the upper jaw. 

The upper incisors are larger and longer than the lower, and 
the hollow is nearly twice as deep. The marks or cups therefore 
remain visible a much longer time than in the lower teeth. 

At seven years (figure 107) the lower corner incisors, being 
narrower than the upper, commence to wear the surface of the 
upper incisors into a well-defined angle, which becomes more 
marked at eight, and at nine appears as a deep notch. This 
notch is sometimes absent, but rarely so unless the corners have 
been rasped ofif with intent to deceive. This notch is particu- 
larly useful to those unable to decide upon the appearance of the 
tables or top surfaces of the lower incisors. 

At eight years the dental star appears in the form of a 
yellowish, transverse line, most marked in the two center incisors, 
and indistinct in the others. From this time on the dental star 
must be considered, for after the ninth year the determination of 
age by the teeth becomes very difficult. After the twelfth year 
the age can be only approximately determined. After the slx- 
teenth year all is confusion, for there are no positive means of 
ascertaining the age from the appearance of the teeth with even 
approximate accuracy. It is safe then only by careful examina- 
tion of the shape of the teeth, condition of the gums, appearance 
of the head and frame, to announce that the animal is old or very 
old ; to say about sixteen, eighteen, twenty, or twenty-five, indi- 
cates better judgment than to look at the mouth of an old horse 
and say he is " rising seventeen " or " nineteen past." 

The dental star, mentioned as long at eight, gradually changes 
its appearance, until at fifteen it appears distinct and round in all 
the lower incisors, and is found near the center of the tables or 
tops of the teeth. 



When a horse has passed twelve, especially if weakened by hard 
service and poor food, his tongue begins to project over the bars. 

In general the tables of a young horse's teeth are broad in the 
direction of the jaw ; those of an old horse are round or broad in 
a direction perpendicular to the jaw. 

The teeth of a young horse come together in front at a very 

Figure 108. Nineteen years. 

obtuse angle, or almost in a line (figures 104 and 105). Those of 
an old horse, on the contrary, come together at such a small angle 
that sometimes the lower teeth seem to be in the prolongation of 
the jaw (figure 108). 



Figure 109. Cross-sections, three right lower incisors of a 
fivc-vear-old horse. 



The changes of form in the top snrface of the incisors arise 
from wear, but this may be iUustrated in another way. Figure 
109 represents a series of cross-sections cut from the three right 
lower incisors of a five-year-old horse. It will be seen upon ex- 
amination that at the top the sections are long in the direction of 
the jaw, I and 2 ; oval in the next few sections, 3, 4, and 5 ; 
rounded forms in 6, 7. 8, and 9 ; triangular or long from front to 
rear in 10. 11, 12, 13. 14, 15. and 16. The first shapes charac- 
terize the young, and the last the very old horse. 

Figure no. Bishnped teeth. 

There are several fraudulent ways of giving a horse's mouth. 
a more youthful appearance than nature has provided for his 
years. These are generallv confined to rasping ofif the corners 
of the notches in the upper incisors, and burning new marks or 
cups in the lower incisors — a process called " bishoping." 

To detect such frauds it is necessary only to remember that 
the shape of the teeth in young and old horses is entirely dif- 
ferent, and that when the natural mark exists it is surrounded 
by a border of enamel which is in relief above the dental table. 
On the contrary, when an artificial hole is made, not being sur- 
rounded with hard enamel, the edges are not in relief (figure no). 


The fraudulent operation is very troublesome, the chance of 
detection is great, and ordinary horses are not sufficiently valuable 
to justify the labor or the risk attendant upon the operation. The 
ages of valuable horses are matters of record, and cannot, there- 
fore, be falsified. 



Necessity for Care of Horse's Foot. — Knowledge of Structure. — Foot as 
Means of Support.^Coffin Bone ; Tendons ; Navicular Bone ; Elastic 
Portions of Foot; Wall; Sole, Frog.— Growth of Hoof. — Preparing 
Foot for Shoe. — Practices to be Avoided. — Important Points about 
Shoe. — Best Kind for Cavalry Horses. — Clips. — Nails. — Putting on 
Shoe. — Shoeing to Remedy Defects. 

From the earliest ages, the horse's foot has been recognized as 
the principal region to which care and attention should be directed, 
for when injured or diseased — no matter how perfect the other 
parts may be — the animal's services are diminished or altogether 
lost. There have been many ingenious devices for protecting the 
horse's hoof from the damaging effects of wear, but many of them 
have not yielded the beneficial results to be expected from scientific 
inventions. Maladies of the feet and limbs, due to a great extent 
to faulty shoeing, form a very large percentage of cases met with 
in veterinary practice. 

It requires but little reflection to see that with the great weight 
of rider, saddle, arms and equipments, making a total of about 
one-fourth that of the average cavalry horse to be carried on the 
animal's own back, the preservation and protection of his feet be- 
come of paramount importance. The rapidity with which a 
valuable mount becomes disabled when a lost shoe is not promptly 
replaced is evidence of the necessity for care which does not need 
to be repeated to carry conviction to intelligent officers and men. 
Careless or improper shoeing, or neglect during marches and 


cantonments in muddy localities bring alike disastrous con- 

Many men who profess to be farriers show an amount of 
stupidity, verging, at times, on criminality, by cutting and mutilat- 
ing the horse's hoof as if it was not susceptible of injury. The 
preservation of the wall or crust, the sole, the bars and the frog, 
as nearly as possible in their natural state- should be the guiding 
principle in shoeing. 

A knowledge of the structure and functions of the parts of the 
foot should be acquired by those having the management of horses 
in order that the animals with whose care they are charged may 
not be crippled by improper shoeing. 

Within the case composed -of the horny wall of the foot, the 
sole and frog, there is a delicate arrangement of bones and tendons 
which needs to be understood to prevent injury in shoeing. Figure 
III shows the structure along the plane passed vertically through 
the center of the foot. This section gives the coffin bone an ap- 
pearance of being very pointed at the toe, which is due to the bot- 
tom of the bone being concave at the center of the foot. 

The foot, as a means of support, has for its basis the small 
pastern bone G, the navicular bone and the coffin bone K. The 
coffin bone is more particularly the foundation of the foot, and the 
nucleus on which the hoof is moulded, and which it much re- 
sembles in shape. Into its highest point in front, the large exten- 
sion tendon N of the foot is inserted, and in the middle of its lower 
face, or sole, is implanted the powerful tendon /, which bends or 
flexes the foot. These two tendons are the chief agents in pro- 
gression. An elastic substance surrounds them and a portion of the 
coffin bone, and the whole is enveloped by a membrane that at- 
taches the hoof in the closest possible manner to its outer surface 



Figure iii. The horse's foot. 

A. The wall or crust. 

B. The sole. 

C. The frog. 

D. The sensitive sole. 

E. The coronary band. 

F. The sensitive frog. 

G. The small or lower pastern bone. 
H. The great or upper pastern bone. 

I. The flexor tendon. 

K. The coffin bone. 

L. Sensitive Laminae. 

LL. Insensitive Laminae. 

M. Inferior sesamoid ligament. 

N. The extensor tendon. 

O. The coffin bone. 


Into each of the wings or sides of the coffin bone (it is crescent 
shaped, the horns extending liackward on each side) is fixed a 
large plate of cartilage that rises above the hoof, where it may 
be readily felt. This plate has important relations with its fellow 
on the opposite side, as well as with other elastic bodies, so 
disposed as to sustain weight, prevent jar and insure lightness 
and springiness in the horse's movements. 

The navicular bone O is a narrow piece, placed transversely 
between the wnngs of the coffin bone, behind, and is intended to 
throw the flexing tendon further from the center of motion and 
thus increase its power. The tendon plays over the posterior or 
lower face of the navicular bone and this, together with the re- 
lations established between it and the pedal bone through their 
connecting ligaments, and the l)end the tendon makes in passing 
over it, causes this part of the foot to be one particularly liable to 
disease. Navicular disease is incurable, and the pain induces the 
horse suffering from it to ease the parts by " pointing a toe." As 
already remarked in chapter T, a horse seldom rests a fore foot 
unless there is some injury or disease present, and in the majority 
of cases, as soon as it Ijecomes a habit, it may be safely attributed 
to navicular disease. 

The elastic portions of the foot comprise the large plates of 
cartilage already mentioned as attached to the sides of the coffin 
bone ; the coronary ring or cushion at the top of the hoof wall 
which performs the function of secreting or forming the horny 
wall in a manner similar to that of the human finger-nail ; and last, 
the triangular plantar cushion, usually called the " sensitive frog," 
to distinguish it from the hr)rn\' frog which immediately covers it. 

Besides the elastic apparatus of the foot, more immediately in 
connection with the coffin and navicular bones, there is a living 



membrane which envelops the parts, within the hoof, as a sock 
does the human foot, and endows it with a high degree of vitality 
and secretory power. 

The wall of the hoof is the oblique crust which covers the front 
and sides of the foot from the coronet to the ground, and which 
is bent inward at the heels to form the " bars." which are merely 
prolongations of its extremities. The outer surface of a healthy 

Figure 112 shows the bottom of a natural foot. The nomenclature, indi- 
cated by the letters, is as follows : 

A. The sole. D. The angle of bars and wall. 

B. The bars. E. The wall. 

C. The frog. 

hoof w-all is generally smooth and shining. The dimensions of 
the wall vary, being deep and thick in front while diminishing in 
height and becoming thinner toward.'; die quarters and heels. 


The horny sole is a concave plate covering the lower face of the 
coffin bone. The sole is thickest around its outer border where 
it joins the hoof wall, and thinnest in the center, where it is con- 
cave. A peculiarity of the sole is its tendency to break off in 
flakes on the ground face when the fibers have attained a certain . 
length. The hoof wall, on the contrary, continues to grow down- 
wards and unless rasped off by contact with the ground or by the 
implements of the farrier, will assume abnormal proportions. The 
horn of the sole is less dense and resisting than the hoof wall, and 
is designed more to support weight than to sustain wear. 

The sole is more or less concave from its junction with the 
wall, but in moderately soft ground the whole of its surface aids 
in sustaining the weight of the animal, and even on moderately 
firm ground a portion of the sole shares in relieving the hoof wall 
from pressure. 

The horny frog is an outer duplicate of the sensitive frog, and 
is situated within the bars, towards the back of the hoof. Its point 
extends forward to the center of the sole and its base or thickest 
part fills up the space in rear left between the walls. The horny 
frog is an elastic cushion resembling the pads on the feet of 
animals having no hoofs. The frog, like the sole, exfoliates at 
certain stages of its growth. To properly perform its function 
the horny frog must be left unmutilated and allowed to come in 
contact with the ground. 

The frog, on both soft and hard ground, is an essential element 
in the weight-bearing surface, and has great utility in obviating 
concussion, supporting the tendons and, on slippery ground, in 
preventing falls. In reducing the gait sharply from a gallop, or 
in descending a steep hill, a horse instinctively and forcibly plants 
the posterior portions of the foot on the ground to bring the frog 
into play. 


There is a narrow strip of horn which binds the sole and hoof 
wall together, slightly more elastic than either. It is through this 
strip that small pieces of gravel sometimes work their way to 
the sensitive parts of the foot causing much pain and lameness and 
not infrequently breaking out through the hoof wall. 

The imprint of the front hoof should be nearly circular in out- 
line. A good hoof should have a smooth, unbroken wall, and the 
angle of slope at the front should not be less than 50°. The sole 
should be slightly concave at the circumference and deeper at the 
center. The hoof wall ought to be thick at the toe, gradually 
thinning towards the heels, but at the junction of the bars a strong 
mass of horn should be found. The bars should be free from 
fracture, and the frog moderately developed, firm and solid, the 
cleft being shallow rather than deep, and showing no trace of 
pulpiness or discharge. 

The hind foot should possess the same soundness of horn, 
though it differs in shape from the fore foot, being more oval in 
outline from the toe to the heels. The sole is also more concave- 
the frog smaller and the heels not so high. The horn is usually 
less- hard and resisting than that of the fore feet. In both fore and 
hind feet the dark hoof is generally the most sound and appears 
more resisting and indestructible. 

In its unshod state, the hoof is being continually worn away bv 
contact with the ground, and is also being constantly regenerated 
with new growth. The wall, with the laminse on its inner face, is 
formed from the coronary cushion at the top of the foot; the sole 
from the living membrane covering the lower face of the coffin 
bone; and the frog from the plantar cushion. 

The growth of the horn takes place by the deposition of new 
material from the secreting surface. This incessant reproduction 


causes these fibers to be mechanically pushed downwards towards 
the ground. Once formed, the fibers are submitted to no other 
change than that of becoming denser, harder and less elastic as 
they recede from the inner and approach the outer surface. 

The secreting membrane is endowed with equal activity in all 
parts, and the growth will be regular throughout the hoof unless 
abnormal conditions exist. Abnormal conditions may arise from 
injury or disease at the coronet or from defective shoeing, which 
disturbs the usual direction of the leg and its movements and 
modifies the growth of the horn. 

Any irregularity in the distribution of the weight of the body 
on the foot has a prejudicial effect on the secreting apparatus of 
the organ and, as a result, on the form of the hoof. When the 
weight is evenly imposed on the foot- being uniformly compressed 
throughout its extent, it receives everywhere an equal quantity 
of the horn-producing material by the regular flow of l)loo(l 
through it. 

In a well-formed leg and foot, the degrees of resistance of the 
different parts of the hoof are so well apportioned to the amount 
of wear to be sustained, that all are equally reduced by contact with 
the ground, and the whole is maintained in a perfect condition as 
regards growth and wear. The amount of growth varies consider- 
ably in different animals, according to the development of the 
secreting apparatus, and in this the operations of the farrier are 
not without influence. The horn grows more rapidly in warm, 
dry climates than in wet ones ; in healthy, energetic animals, than 
in those which are soft and weakly ; in young, than in old animals. 
Seasons and locality also have tlieir influences so that in nature- 
soft horn is opposed to soft ground and hard horn to hard ground. 
On hard, dr\' ground the Jioof grows dense, tenacious, somewhat 


small, with a concave sole and a little but firm frog. In marshy 
regions the hoof becomes large and spreading, the horn soft, the 
sole flat and the frog a spongy mass, unfitted to sustain pressure 
from hard soil. 

Under ordinary conditions, where horses are stabled and worked, 
the hoof grows down from the coronet at the rate of about one- 
fourth of an inch per month, so that the entire wall of a medium- 
sized hoof is regenerated in a period varying from nine to twelve 
months. In the natural, unshod state, when the equilibrium be- 
tween growth and wear is destroyed, and the latter takes place in 
a rapid and unusual manner, the animal is compelled to rest until 
the worn hoof has recovered its proper length and thickness, for 
acute pain results when the living parts are exposed. Under 
artificial conditions, when the horse is employed to carry and draw 
heavy loads on hard roads or pavements, shoeing becomes 
necessary. This at once stops the wear of the hoof wall, which, 
continuing to grow, soon becomes inconveniently long unless the 
shoe is removed and the superfluous growth removed by the far- 
rier's tools. 

When a shoe has been on the foot, particularly a fore foot, for 
some time, the hoof wall presents the appearance of having grown 
faster at the toe than near the heels. This is accounted for by the 
fact that the shoe is nailed fast at the toe but not at the heels, and 
every time the weight comes on the foot the heels are pressed 
down against the iron shoe and slowly worn away. This pressure 
is so great at times that the hoof wall indents or channels out the 
shoe towards the heels. This growth of the toe gradually draws 
the shoe forward, making it too short; so the general growth of 
the hoof makes the shoe too small in circumference. 

In preparing the foot, the heels usually require but little altera- 


tion. No hard and fast rules can be laid down as to what angle 
must be given to the front wall of the hoof, but the trained eye 
of a first-class farrier should enable him to see what angle is in 
conformity with the natural bearing and direction of the leg. It 
should be borne in mind always that the amount of the hoof wall 
to be removed is limited by the sole. If the lower margin of the 
wall is quite level with the unpared sole, it requires no further 
rasping. When the circumference of the hoof has been brought 
to a size and condition to receive the shoe the sharp edge should 
be rasped off slightly to prevent the wall from chipping. 

The sole requires no cutting or rasping, since all excess of 
growth is thrown off in flakes in a natural and healthy manner. 
The process of exfoliation is not very rapid but any interference 
with it is productive of injury. The horny sole protects the foot 
from bruises; when it is pared away the animal becomes more 
tender-footed and the hoof gradually loses its natural shape, the 
sole becoming concave and drawing the walls of the quarters in- 
ward, producing contracted heels. It should be the rule in all far- 
riery that the sole must not be interfered with under any pretence 
whatever, so long as the foot is in a healthy condition. 

The same remarks which apply to cutting the sole apply with 
equal force to the frog. Rarely it becomes necessary to remove 
projecting and useless flakes. Sometimes a small stone or gravel 
may become imbedded and require removal from the frog bv 
means of a blunt instrument. Veterinarians arc often compelled 
to order shoes removed to allow the frogs and soles of maltreated 
and diseased feet to return, as far as possible- to a natural condi 

The common practices to be avoided — and which are strictly 
prohibited in militar\- farriery — are paring the sole with the 


knife until it gives to the thumb; paring the frog; opening up the 
heels, which consists in making a deep cut into the angle of the 
wall at the heel where it becomes bent inwards to form the bar ; 
and, finally, rasping off the rim of the wall to make it fit a shoe too 
small for the particular foot. 

In considering the shoe, there are several important points 
which deserve attention. The metal attached to the ground sur- 
face of the hoof is at the end of a long lever and its weight must 
be lifted at every step; in a day's journey this becomes of con- 
siderable moment. If the shoe weighs only a pound and the horse's 
foot is raised from thirty to sixty times a minute, according to 
gait, it will be readily understood that the four feet will raise an 
enormous weight during each day's march. The shoe should, 
therefore, be as light as is consistent with the work to be done. 

A light, thin shoe is preferable to a heavy, thick one, because 
its thinness allows the sole, frog and bars closer proximity to the 
ground. But these desirable qualities have limitations fixed by 
the character of work demanded. A saddle horse for pleasure 
riding may wear a very thin shoe; the cavalry horse must have 
one with enough iron or steel to stand at least thirty days' wear 
on rough roads ; the large draught horse must have a shoe suf- 
ficiently heavy to admit of attaching heel and toe calks to enable 
him to fully exert his powerful efforts in moving heavy loads, 
particularly in backing. It is sometimes necessary to use ice nails 
or calks on cavalry horses and hence the regulation shoe must 
have metal enough to admit of this. 

The upper or hoof-bearing surface of the shoe should not be 
bevelled, and need not be very wide if the sole has been left un- 
pared. Bevelling the upper surface furnishes a lodgment for 
gravel and chips of stone, and as the bevelled part furnishes no 



support, it only gives additional weight to no purpose. The shoes 
now issued for cavalry horses have a very slight bevel on the up- 
per surface (figure 113). 

The ground face of the shoe should be parallel to the upper face 

Figure 113. U. S. Cavalry horse shoes, fore and hind, fitted. Upper 
illustration represents top and bottom surfaces of fore shoe, and lovv^r 
those of the hind shoe. 

in order that the foot and leg may maintain a natural position. If 
the quarters arc thicker than the toe, the heels are unduly raised, 
and if the toe of the shoe is thicker than at the heel, an undue 
strain is put upon the tendons in rear. 


In the natural foot the ^Tound surface is concave, and applying 
this to the consideration of the shape of the shoe, it is found that 
if any metal is to be bevelled from the shoe it should be from the 
lower instead of the upper face, which comes in contact with the 

Clips, when properly placed, are of service in retaining- the 
shoe and permitting the number of nails to be reduced. As a rule, 
clips are not necessary on shoes for cavalry horses, but in some 
cases toe clips are useful. 

The shoe should be attached by nails to those parts of the 
wall where the horn is strongest and toughest, and the smallest 
number which will answer the purpose should be used. In the 
fore foot the horn becomes thin towards the quarters and the 
nails having less support than nearer the toe, there is greater 
danger of injuring the living organs within the horny wall. In 
the hind foot, the wall is generally stronger towards the quarters 
and heels. In the fore foot the nails may be driven a little nearer 
the heel on the outside than the inside quarter. In the hind foot 
they may be driven around the toe and entirely back^to the heels, 
if necessary. 

Nail holes are usually roughly stamped in the shoe in greater 
numbers than required, but only the number to be used in any 
case need be punched out. Heavy shoes of course require a con- 
siderable number of nails for a large foot, but in cavalry service, 
five nails, two inside and three out, will be found ample for nearly 
all horses. If the shoe is well fitted and the nails not bunched m 
one part, the shoe will usually remain in position until worn out. 
The smallest sized nails which can be made to answer in each 
case should be used. 

W^ith the limited forge facilities available in the field, the army 


must, necessarily, be supplied with machine-made shoes. Some 
of the shoes require fitting before they can be used, but some 
others are issued ready to be put on. Ordinarily it is preferable 
to fit shoes at the forge for each individual horse, for issue to 
troopers to be carried in the saddle-bags as spare shoes, and have 
an extra supply forged and with nail holes punched out for general 
use when opportunity is afforded to reshoe the animals all around. 

Presuming that the horse has a natural and well-shaped foot, 
the first step in shoeing is to shorter and level the hoof wall. The 
shortening should be accomplished by removing' the surplus 
growth of wall with the cutting pincers and then leveling the lower 
margin of the wall with the rasp, which should be applied in an 
oblique manner, across the ends of the fibers. It should be re- 
membered in leveling the sides of the hoof wall that the difference 
of a fraction of an inch between them will cause considerable 
oscillation of the weight thrown on the leg, especially at the 

When the surplus horn has been removed and the foot levelled 
to receive the shoe, one should be selected which follows the out- 
lines of the hoof wall. If not already so, the shoe should be so 
moulded as to be an exact reproduction in outline of the circum- 
ference of the hoof. 

The shoe should be wide enough at the toe, quarters and heels 
to support the entire thickness of the hoof wall, but not so wide 
as to endanger the opposite legs by striking them, nor so long at 
the heels as to make it possible for them to be torn off by the 
hind feet treading upon the fore. 

Under no circumstances should a shoe too small in circum- 
ference for the foot be put on, for this involves rasping away the 
projecting hoof wall and taking away some of the natural support 


to the leg. Under no circumstances should the wall be rasped 
away after the shoe is put on. All farriers are inclined to do this 
to make a neat looking job, but the practice is forbidden so far as 
public animals are concerned. 

It is hardly necessary to enter into the ancient controversy con- 
cerning the virtues of hot and cold fitting. Suffice it to say that 
it is a quicker and surer way of securing an accurate fitting of the 
upper surface of the shoe to the foot if it be done at the forge 
while the shoe is hot. Judgment must be used in this as in every- 
thing else, to the end that injury be not incurred by holding the 
hot shoe long in contact with the foot ; it should be barely touched 
to the foot to determine if any further fitting is necessary. When 
hot fitting is used, the farrier is m.ore apt to fit the shoe to the 
foot, instead of the foot to the shoe, for it is then easy to mould 
the hot shoe to the proper shape. 

In putting on the shoe every nail should be driven in sound 
horn. No attempt should be made to utilize old nail holes. A low, 
thick hold of the wall is better than a high, thin one, and, if 
possible, no more horn should be included in the grasp of the nail 
than is likely to be removed at the following shoeing. By this 
means the hoof wall is maintained solid and sound. Skillful 
driving of the nails is essential to good shoeing, for the nails are 
made of a fine quality of soft iron and frequently bend so as not 
to emerge at the proper point in the wall. 

The nails at the front part or toe of the shoe should be ham- 
mered home firmly and then the quarter or heel nails driven. 
When all the nails have been driven in solidly, the points should 
be cut or twisted ofif and the nails tightly drawn up. 

The fragment of the nail projecting through the horn should 
be shortened to proper length with the rasp so as to leave just 


enough to turn over. The small barb of horn raised in drawing 
up the nail should be removed with the rasp, without making a 
notch, and then the clench is laid down. No more rasping or 
cutting should be indulged in after this operation, as all attempts 
to smooth off and beautify the hoof wall are injurious in the 
extreme. The clip, or clips, when used, should be driven down 
by gradually decreasing blows, commencing at the bottom where 
the clip springs from the shoe. 

When the time for reshoeing arrives, the old shoe should be 
gently removed by carefully cutting away the clenches. The 
pincers are then used to start the shoe from the foot so as to 
loosen the nails, which should then be carefully withdrawn, one 
by one. Particular care must be taken that no clenches or broken 
nails remain in the hoof. 

If the hoof be preserved as nature intended it, a horse can be 
used with ordinary shoes, but if the foot be pared and rasped 
unnecessarily, the most ingeniously contrived shoe will not save 
the animal from unsoundness, discomfort and premature break- 
down. Too much care cannot be devoted to the fore feet, because 
the largest proportion of the animal's weight is borne by the fore 
legs, and hence the greater danger of injury. It is not uncommon 
in garrison, where the ground is not stony, to leave off the hind 
shoes of cavalry horses, for the reason that the hind feet are quite 
exempt from the usual diseases and injuries which constantly 
threaten the fore feet. 

Sometimes shoeing may be so done as to remedy the evils 
resulting from natural or acquired defects. 

" Cutting," or striking and wounding the inner side of the leg 
with the opposite foot is sometimes a cause of serious annoyance. 
It may arise from weakness, fatigue, or from a change in weight 



of shoes or manner of shoeing'. Sometimes it arises from mal- 
formed legs or faulty action. The usual part of the hoof with 
which the horse strikes the opposite leg is the inside toe or quarter. 
The usual correction is to straighten the shoe at the point where 
it strikes and rasp off the hoof slightly to diminish its convexity 
and thus avert " interfering." No nails should be driven near the 
point of danger. 

Some horses have peculiar and awkward habits in lying down. 
Occasionally a horse folds his feet up so that the shoe presses 
against the spot where the cincha rests and causes painful sores 
from the bruises received every time the animal lies down. Some 
horses double up a fore leg so as to bring the hoof in contact with 
the elbow, producing " capped elbow." This frequently develops 
into an unsightly tumor. It is generally the inside heel which 
causes the evil, and this may be remedied by a three-quarter shoe. 
In any case, the shoe should not be allowed to project beyond the 

So long as the hoof is treated in a rational manner, there should 
be no occasion for the common practices of oiling the hoof walls 
and " stopping " the feet with clay, tar and other compounds. 



Herding. — Stables. — Ventilation. — Water. — Feeding. — Stable Routine. — 
Grooming. — Nursing Sick Horses : Dicharges ; Hand Rubbing ; 
Sponging; Hot and Cold Applications; Steaming; Poultices; Band- 
ages; Pulse; Temperature; Blankets; Removing Shoes; Balls, 
Drenches; Injections. 

In American cavalry garrisons the horses are usually housed at 
night, and herded when not in use during the day, not only for 
grazing but also in order to keep up the habit of coming quietly 
to the picket line, which is so essential for field service. The 
stables generally are frame buildings at the northern, and open 
sheds at the extreme southern stations and in the Philippine 
Islands. A few of the new and more permanent stations are 
provided with brick or stone stables of modern design. 

Doubtless the thorough ventilation of the frame stables and 
sheds is the cause of the general good health of the horses. Pure 
air in abundance is the one thing insisted upon for animals which 
may be called for at any moment to make a ride for life. To carry 
this idea out completely, open corrals or yards are usually attached 
to stables, and when not in use or on herd the horses are turned 
loose. There is none of that senseless hardening of horses, so- 
called, by exposing them unnecessarily to extremes of weather, 
nor on the other hand any hot-house coddling. 

To accomplish good results constant personal supervision of 
officers is necessary; in no instance is the attention to duty or 
neglect of it so quickly reflected as in the condition of cavalry 


horses. In the field advantage must be taken of every circumstance 
which redounds to their benefit. Only those who have had ex- 
perience in such matters can appreciate the difficulty encountered 
in keeping up the condition of horses subjected to irregular hours, 
short rations, and carrying heavy weights. 

In garrison the stable should be kept as even in temperature as 
possible by opening or closing doors and windows. During 
violent storms or " blizzards " in cold climates it may be necessary 
to close everything but the top ventilators to prevent suffering. 
As soon as the storm has ceased thorough ventilation should be 
provided. The best time to test the ventilation or purity of air is 
at morning stables when the doors are first opened. The stables 
are seldom closed in summer, the doors being replaced by bars. 

While ample ventilation is very necessary, draughts should be 
avoided. Provision should be made to let in a gradual and constant 
supply of fresh air, and also for the egress of the foul air which 
rises. When the horses are out of the stable the windows and 
doors should be left open. 

Ventilating shafts should be constructed in the roof, and the 
number of these should correspond with the size of the stable 
and number of animals assigned to it. In addition to these 
ventilators, the space between the wall plate and the roof is often 
left uncovered in mild climates. There should be openings of 
from twenty to thirty square inches, covered with grating, left at 
frequent intervals along the wall, a few inches from the floor. 
Shutters should be provided for these openings, so that they may 
be closed when necessary. 

All ventilators should be arranged so that the stable men can 
easily close them on either side, according to the state of the wind 
and weather ; it should seldom be necessary to close them on both 


sides at the same time. When hollow walls are used the small 
openings, with gratings, may be arranged so that the one on the 
outside will be above the one on the inside, which will prevent all 
direct draughts. 

Ventilation should never be dependent upon the opening and 
closing of windows, but they should all be arranged so that they 
can be utilized when the ordinary means of ventilation prove 

Although not so important as ventilation, the lighting of the 
stable should receive careful attention. As far as possible the 
light supplied by windows should be admitted so as not to produce 
a glare directly in front of the horses. If the arrangements are 
such that it is necessary to have the horses face the windows the 
window frames should be put in lengthwise of the wall and up 
above the heads of the horses. At night one or more lamps are 
hung in each stable. 

The watering of the horses requires careful supervision to 
insure that they are watered at the proper times and are never 
hurried while drinking. Horses should be watered three times a 
day in warm weather. When turned loose, free access to water 
should be had at all times. In winter twice a day is as often as 
a horse will drink, as a rule. The first watering should be several 
hours after sunrise and the last just before being tied in for the 
night. The proper time to water a horse is before and not im- 
mediately after feeding. 

In civil communities horses arc usually fed three times a day, 
but in the army feeding in the morning and evening is the geiKral 
rule. Hay and grain are fed in the evening and grain in the 
morning. When the animals are not in use the regular ration is 
supplemented by as much grazing as season and locality ]Krinit 


When bran is fed it is given as a mash and not mixed with tlic 
whole grain. 

The stomach of the horse is comparatively small, and shonld 
not be distended by large feeds at long intervals ; however, twice a 
dav is all that it is practicable to feed in campaign. 

The inclination to eat depends upon climate, work, and the 
nature and quality of the horse's food. In many cases of sickness, 
health is restored by a change of diet, but as a sign of health, the 
horse's appetite is not to be entirely relied upon. When horses 
are sick they should receive their food in small quantities, and if 
not completely eaten, what remains should be removed before the 
next feed is given. 

After the horses have finished their morning feed of grain they 
should be tied on the picket line, where they are to be groomed. 
The stablemen go to work at once, removing the manure and 
shaking up the bedding. Such of the bedding as is too much 
soiled for further use is put with the manure ; the balance is forked 
over and lightly piled in the front end of the stalls. This gives the 
floors a chance to dry out, for cavalry stables on the frontier are 
seldom provided with drains ; in any event the stall will be more 
or less damp from the urination of the horse over night.* 

As soon as the stalls have all been cleaned out the manure is 
loaded on the troop wagon and hauled to the place designated 
as the dumping ground. It is a very common fault of stablemen 
to overload the wagon and distribute manure along the avenues 

* While investigating the remount systems of England and France, the 
author observed that in British cavalry stables the common practice is to 
remove the bedding entirely instead of piling it under the mangers, and in 
French cavalry stables the bedding remains spread down in the stalls all 
the time. 


and roads leading to the dumping grounds. This should be pre- 
vented by the use of extra side boards. 

The hay is next hauled and distributed in the stable at places 
convenient for putting it in the mangers. Later the straw is 
distributed, and the stablemen, beginning at one end and working 
on both sides, proceed to arrange the bedding. 

The morning feed of grain is usually put in the feed boxes at 
the first call for reveille, the feed cart being taken down the center 
of the stable while the stable orderlies dip out the grain in ration 
boxes made to hold one feed. The grain for the evening feed is 
put in the boxes at afternoon stables. 

The officer attending stables inspects the hay, grain and bed- 
ding of the horses. If the forage is musty, dirty, or otherwise 
unfit for the animals, he takes the proper steps for obtaining a 
fresh supply without unnecessary delay. Should the bedding be 
too much soiled he directs its removal, and causes fresh straw or 
hay to be littered down. Stalls with earth floors should be 
inspected frequently to see that they are kept level, and that holes 
pawed out are refilled. 

Above all other considerations next to pure air, dryness should 
be insisted upon about the stables. Horses prefer warmth and 
dryness, and putting them in damp stables is apt to cause debility 
and disease. 

Grooming is essential to the general health and condition of the 
domesticated horse, and is not altogether for appearances. With 
hard work and high feeding the excretion of worn-out materials 
through the skin is very great ; hence artificial means are necessary 
to remove the refuse. 

Grooming removes from the skin those particles of perspira- 
tion, dust and dirt whicli would otherwise impede and clog the 


free action of the sweat and oil glands. It also removes the scurf 
or worn-out cells which are no longer required on the surface of 
the skin, and which would, when cemented together by particles of 
sweat, add to the obstruction of the glands. The grooming should 
take place outside of the stable when the weather permits, to avoid 
filling the mangers with dust. 

The thorough cleaning of the skin of the horse is an operation 
requiring both skill and hard labor. To produce the greatest 
effect with the least expenditure of power and in the shortest time, 
the trooper should aid his muscular strength with his weight. He 
should stand well away from the horse and lean his weight on the 
brush, which will thus do its work more effectually than if oper- 
ated by muscular strength alone. The working of the brush 
should follow the natural direction of the hair. The currycomb 
should be used as little as possible, and principally to loosen accu- 
mulations of mud. 

When a horse is worked, and grooming is neglected, he soon 
loses flesh and deteriorates in health; actual disease of the skin 
may follow, for the presence of parasitical insects is induced by 
filth, and when not disturbed by grooming they breed rapidly. 

Horses should not be washed, even on the legs, except to re- 
move caked mud ; they should be at once dried and groomed 
thoroughly. Horses should, under no circumstances, be allowed 
to dry by evaporation. Sponging the nostrils and dock is very 
refreshing to the animal. 

The sheath should be frequently cleaned when the weather 
permits. Some horses require this much oftener than others 
Care is necessary to prevent injury by the finger-nails, a slight 
scratch often producing much swelling. The washing should be 
done with warm water and castile soap. It is a common practice 

-j64 horses, saddles and bridles 

to follow washing- by smearing- the parts with olive oil. This 
should not be done, as it causes filth to accumulate rapidly, thus 
doing more harm than good. 

Each morning as soon as the horses are tied on the picket line 
the blacksniith should select those which require shoeing, and 
separate them from the others. 

At many posts where the ground is free from stones horses are 
not shod continuously, but a proportion are left without shoes in 
order to let their feet spread out and assume a natural shape. 
This practice saves many horses from suffering with contracted 
feet. Shoes are kept fitted for each horse at all times, for thorough 
tests made on service show conclusively that horses cannot stand 
hard field service with unshod hoofs. 

In cold climates ice nails are kept on hand, or shoes are fitted 
with calks for such horses as are likely to go on service. After 
horses are shod for winter with sharp calks it is dangerous to turn 
them loose, and even at the picket line they must be watched 
constantly to prevent serious injuries from kicking. 

Notwithstanding the care with which horses are inspected 
before purchase, many with stable vices are passed into the service 
and it requires patience and watchfulness to cure or minimize the 
effects of their tricks. Tlu' more common vices are pulling back 
when tied ; kicking ; refusing to leave the stable and sometimes 
scraping a rider against a wall or fence. 

A horse may sometimes be cured of pulling back and breaking 
halters by putting a rope, with a running noose, around his body, 
the loose end being carried forward between the forelegs and 
tied to the manger. When the horse settles back and the rope 
tightens, he is very apt to stop and move forward again. If this 
does not effect a cure, take a piece of new hemp rope and put it 


under the animal's tail as a crupper; put a knot in to hold the 
rope up on his back and pass the ends forward on each side of 
the neck, through the halter ring and tie to the manger. One or 
two applications are usually sufficient. 

A horse sometimes kicks the sides of his stall apparently for 
amusement. Some horses kick at others and even at the stable 
men passing in rear. Usually a kicker is dangerous only to the 
unsuspecting trooper who puts his hand familiarly on the animal's 
hind quarters before speaking to him. An application of the rope 
is quite often effective in such cases. A piece of small rope is 
put on each hind foot, v/ith a slip knot, and tied to the halter ring 
or even to the rings of a snaffle bit in the horse's mouth. He 
should then be given some inducement to kick and when he finds 
it results to his own injury, he is very apt to give it up; when 
he does so much care should be taken not to cause him to resume 
the habit. 

Horses that crib or gnaw the wood work may be temporarily 
deterred by smearing some disagreeable substance over the exposed 
parts, but animals cling to this vice and will resume it at the first 
opportunity. The safest plan is to cover the wood work within 
reach with tin. The practice of driving nails and tacks in exposed 
wood work only results in injuring the horse's teeth and lips. 

If a horse refuses to leave the stable with a rider, he should 
be led away and taken for a ride of several hours. After he has 
been ridden until he is no longer fresh, the rider should dismount 
and work him at the bending lessons ; pick up his feet; mount and 
dismount frequently and let the animal see that he has nothing 
to fear. Avoid the use of the spur and whip on such an animal 
in the early stages of his training and be sure when the time 
comes to use the spurs, that they be applied by pressure and not 


by pounding his sides with the heels. This evil trait should be 
overcome as soon as discovered, for should a remount be passed 
into a squad for training- while still afifected with this habit, he 
may be readily ruined and help to spoil other horses. 

If a horse in refusing to leave the stable, endeavors to rub 
against a wall or fence, the rider should not endeavor to turn 
him away but pull his head into the obstacle and he will get 
away from it himself. 

Such vices as have just been mentioned should be discovered 
by experienced stable men soon after remounts arrive and cor- 
rected as far as possible before the animals enter the training 

Every trooper should receive individual instruction concerning 
the proper treatment and care of horses generally, and should- be 
informed as to the following rules prescribed on the subject in 
the Cavalry Drill Regulations : 

" Never threaten, strike, or otherwise abuse a horse. 

Before entering a stall, speak to the horse gently and then go 
in quietly. 

Never take a rapid gait until the horse has been warmed up 
by gentle exercise. 

Never put up a horse brought in a heated condition to the 
stable or picket line, but throw a blanket over him and rub his 
legs, or walk him until cool. When he is wet, put him under 
shelter, and wisp him until dry. 

Never feed grain to a horse nor allow him to stand uncovered 
when heated. Hay will not hurt a horse, no matter how warm 
he may be. 

Never water a horse when heated unless the exercise or march 
is to be immediately resumed. 


Never throw water over any part of a horse when heated. 

Never allow a horse's back to be cooled suddenly, by washing 
or even removing the blanket unnecessarily. 

To cool the back gradually, the blanket may be removed and 
replaced with the dry side next to the horse." 

As a rule the attachment which exists between the troopers 
and favorite horses will insure the latter good treatment, but 
there are always a few rough, vicious or stubborn animals whose 
condemnation or death would not cast any gloom over the com- 
mand ; these latter will require the attention of officers to prevent 
their being neglected. 

All officers cannot be expected to become accomplished veteri- 
narians, but each one should familiarize himself with such injuries 
and diseases as occur with frequency in cavalry commands, and 
acquire a knowledge of such simple remedies as may properly be 
administered by the stablemen in the absence of a veterinary 
surgeon. The commander of an organization, the horses of which 
are unthrifty or unserviceable from preventable causes, is properly 
subject to severe criticism. 

It should at all times be kept in mind that prevention of disease 
is more creditable than a successful cure, and that when disease or 
injury does come, good nursing will in most cases avail as much, 
if not more, than medicine. 

There are many minor ailments to which cavalry horses are 
suliject which may be treated in the stalls or at the picket line, 
but for an animal whose sickness affects the nerves or lungs, rest 
and quiet are essential. To this end, if in garrison, one or more 
box stalls, about twelve feet square, should be provided for each 
troop ; this will remove the sick horses from the excitement which 
IS bound to exist about a large stable, and give them room to turn 


around and assume whatever positions may seem restful. The 
box stalls should be separated from the main building, if practi- 
eable : if not, they may be partitioned ofif in the stable, so that 
they may be darkened if necessary. The walls should be white- 
washed and the floor covered with clean straw. 

Fresh water should be provided in a bucket, for a feverish horse 
will frequently help himself if left alone. In this way some medi- 
cines can be administered, but the sense of smell is so acute in 
horses that they may refuse water if there is any strong odor of 
medicine attaching to it. 

The appetite of a sick horse is often very capricious, and during 
fever he may refuse food altogether. Place before him, in small 
quantities at a time, as great a variety of food fit for his consump- 
tion as can be obtained. Uneaten food should be removed before 
it becomes sour. 

When not prevented by swollen head or neck, a horse dis- 
charging at the nostrils should, as a rule, be fed from a bucket 
placed near the ground, as the depending position of the head will 
be more comfortable to an animal in such a condition. The bucket 
should be used for no other purpose, and should be cleaned care- 
fully after use. All woodwork should be particularly cleaned 
where any particles of a suspicious discharge have been thrown or 

Hand rubbing of the legs is very useful in restoring circulation, 
as well as for the purpose of removing any swelling arising from 
want of exercise. 

Hot fomentations in cases of sprains, and to allay inflammation, 
are very beneficial. To obtain good results they must be continued 
for a long time, say for two hours. The water should not be too 
hot ; it should be at such a temperature that the hand can l)ear it 


comfortably. Allow the water to trickle over the inflamed parts. 
Flannel or woolen bandages may be wrapped around the parts, and 
kept wet with warm water ; they wdll retain the heat for some time. 
Fomentations should be repeated three times within twenty-four 
hours, and between these operations the parts should be warmly 
covered to keep out the cold. 

Cold applications harden and brace up the parts to which they 
are applied ; they also reduce heat. They are very useful in cases 
of bruises, swellings and sprains, particularly after the inflam- 
mation has been reduced by hot fomentations. In some cases a 
rubber tube arranged to allow cold water to trickle over a specific 
part or surface is of great assistance in hastening recovery. Cold 
water bandages are the most common applications, owing to the 
difficulty of getting stablemen to properly apply hot fomentations. 
An anodyne liniment should be used when necessary in addition to 
the water treatment. 

Steaming is very efficacious in cases of common cold and other 
diseases of a catarrhal nature. Steaming may be quickly ac- 
complished by holding the animal's head over a pail of hot water, 
which should be stirred gently with a Avhisp of hay. The steaming 
mav be done by placing chopped hay or saw dust in the bottom of 
a nose bag or grain sack and pouring in a little very hot water. 
Both these methods are useful expedients for the reason that they 
are always available in every stable and also afford a means of 
getting chloroform, carbolic acid or other medicines into the nasal 
passages by inhalation. 

A simple machine, which afYords the surest means of thoroughly 
steaming animals suffering from catarrhal affections, consists of 
a sheet or galvanized iron cylinder arranged to hold a hot water 
kettle made with two detachable spouts which project through 


openings in the sides or top of the enclosing cyhnder. The kettle 
is held in place by cross bars and an alcohol lamp below supplies 
the heat. The steam is conveyed from each spout, by means of a 
rubber tube, to a canvas nose bag made without a bottom, and 
attached to the head of the horse in the same -manner as a feed 
nose bag. A tin funnel is arranged to fit each rubber tube to 
prevent the end of the tube from being poked into the animals 
nostrils. When only one spout is used the other should be closed. 

By using both tubes it is practicable to steam two animals at 
the same time. To do this the apparatus should be placed at the 
heel post and the two animals to be steamed backed into the ad- 
joining stalls. One attendant is necessary for each animal. Some 
animals are very nervous about their heads but as soon as a sick 
horse begins to get relief from difficult breathing he is apt to stand 
perfectly quiet while being steamed. 

Poultices are often of great service, but they are difficult to 
apply. They should be inclosed in some strong but thin material 
in order to prevent the substances from which they are made be- 
coming entangled wdth hair. They should not be left on long 
enough to dry, as they then irritate the affected parts. 

Bandages of cotton or wool are very useful for holding poultices 
in position, closing wounds, compressing specific parts, and for 
giving warmth to the legs. Roller bandages are used on the legs, 
but the size and shape of others depend on their use. Usually 
roller bandages are simply wound around the leg and pinned or 
tied at the top and bottom. If pressure is desired the bandage 
may be applied as shown in the accompanying illustration. It is 
at times not an easy matter to keep a bandage in position by 
ordinary means. The difficulty may be overcome by preparing 
some form of harness to which bandage strings may be attached. 



varying' it according to the part of the body or Hmbs to be covered 
(figure 114). 

The pulse of a horse is an important guide in determining his 
state of health. It indicates the number, force and regularity, or 
irregularity, of the heart's action, and the quantity of blood sent 

Figure 114. Some methods of applying poultices and bandages. 

forth at each beat. As a rule, the number of pulsations corresponds 
with the heart's contractions. The pulse of a healthy horse varies 
from thirty-four to thirty-eight. It is generally quicker in young 
horses than aged ones, and also quicker in well-bred than in 
heavy, cold-blooded animals. 

The most convenient pieces for taking the pulse are the arteries 
under the jaw and inside the fore leg above the fetlock joint. It 


may be taken by placing the ear at the left side of the chest. The 
slightest excitement when a horse is sick will cause an alteration 
in the pulse. The animal should therefore be approached very 
quietly, and soothed for a minute or two before applying the finger 
to the artery. The fore and middle finger should be placed on 
the artery in a transverse direction, and not obliquely. 

A strong and full pulse characterizes health, and is seldom 
found when the animal is in any morbid state. 

A weak and small pulse is indicative of great debility, especially 
if the pulse is easily extinguished by pressure. 

A very slow^ pulse indicates probable disease or injury of tlic 
brain or spinal cord. 

The number of pulsations per minute under different circum- 
stances in disease varies from twenty to one hundred, or even 

Temperature in the case of a horse is ascertained by use of a 
small clinical thermometer, which is inserted in the rectum and 
allowed to remain about five minutes. The ordinary temperature 
in good health is about 99° F. It should be taken without exciting 
the horse by removing blankets or moving him al:)Out. In con- 
tinued illness, where the temperature is an important considera- 
tion, it should be taken at the same hours every day. 

During the prevalence of influenza or other epizootic disease in 
stables, it is advisable to take the temperature of all horses daily; 
a rise of a few degrees, which indicates the approaching disease, 
is sufficient to order the animal to be withdrawn from work, for 
this prompt action will often cause the disease to run a milder 
course. Work in the incipient stages of these diseases often 
causes them to assume a fatal form. 

When the condition of the horse requires artificial covering the 


blankets should be fastened on loosely. They should be removed, 
shaken, and aired during the day, the horse being covered with 
others temporarily if necessary. 

In cases of serious or prolonged sickness the shoes should be 
removed from the horse. 

Artificial inflammation is often resorted to as a stimulant to 
parts deficient in vitality, or for the relief of inflammation in 
internal organs. This artificial inflammation is often needed to 
rouse to new and healthier action parts which have become, 
through disease, deficient in vital energy. The healing process in 
many ulcerative diseases is very sluggish and languid, and the 
effect of induced inflammation is often to rouse not only the part 
affected, but all the neighboring structures to new and healthy 
action. This treatment may vary from the light, stimulating fric- 
tion produced by hand rubbing the parts or a mild mustard 
plaster, to a strong cantharides blister or a seton. 

Before applying a blister the hair should be clipped from the 
surface where the medicine is to be applied. After the blistering 
ointment has been well rubbed in, the animal's head should be tied 
so that he cannot reach the blistered surface with his mouth. After 
twenty-four hours or more the blistered surface should be washed 
with warm water and soap, and the parts thereafter kept clean. 
Sometimes when the sprain is severe and the pain great, it may 
hasten recovery to remove the weight from the injured member 
by means of a sling. 

By seton is meant the introduction, by means of a seton needle, 
of a tape or string, intended to act on the deep-seated tissues and 
induce suppuration. The management of a seton requires a good 
deal of attention. It must be pulled up and down in the wound 
every day, the pus carefullv pressed out. and the orifices washed 


with warm water. The two ends of the tape or string may be 
tied together, or small pieces of wood attached to the ends, to 
prevent them from being accidentally drawn into the wound. The 
tape should be renewed about once a week, if intended to be kept 
in for some time. 

Firing is the most rapid w-ay of producing inflammation. Much 
of the firing done, however, is of no value, and it nearly always 
leaves a blemish. It should be done only under supervision of the 
veterinarian, since much irreparable injury may be done by useless 
or improper firing. 

Medicine may be administered to the horse through the follow- 
ing channels : by the mouth : by inhalation into the lungs and air 
passages ; by the skin through absorption ; under the skin by hypo- 
dermic methods, and by injections into the rectum. 

Medicine may be given by the mouth in the forms of powders, 
balls or capsules, drenches and electuaries. 

Powders should be as finely pulverized as possible in order to 
secure rapid solution and absorption. They should be free from 
any irritating or caustic action on the mouth. If dry the powders 
may shake down to the bottom of the manger ; the practice is, 
therefore, to dissolve or suspend them in water and sprinkle on 
the feed. Those without disagreeable taste or odor are readily 
taken in the feed or drinking water. 

Balls should be cylindrical in shape, about two inches long and 
half or three-quarters of an inch in diameter. They should be 
fresh, and wrapped in tissue paper when given ; gelatine capsules 
may also be used. Balls are preferred to drenches when the 
medicine is disagreeable ; when the dose is not large, and when 
the medicine is intended to act slowly. Balls may be made up by 
the addition of honey, syrup or soap. 


When medicine is given as a drench enough water or oil must 
be used to thoroughly dissolve or dilute it. Insoluble medicines 
may be given suspended in water, the bottle being shaken before 
administering it. If a drenching horn is not available, use a long- 
necked bottle without a shoulder, of suitable size to contain the 
dose. The head should be elevated enough to prevent the horse 
from throwing the liquid out of his mouth. The halter strap 
should be passed over a limb or beam, but if none is available a 
pitchfork or pronged stick inserted in the halter will answer to 
raise the head until the line of the face is horizontal, which is all 
that is needed in any case. The horn or bottle should be intro- 
duced at the side of the mouth and slowly emptied. If the horse 
does not swallow, remove the bottle and rub the throat gently. 
If coughing or any accident occurs, lower the head immediately. 
In no case should drenches be given through the nostrils. 

Electuaries are medicines mixed with licorice root powder, 
molasses or syrup, to such a consistency that the mass will stick 
to the tongue and teeth. They are given with a wooden paddle or 
long-handled spoon. 

Medicines may be administered to the lungs and upper air pas- 
sages by insufflation, which consists in blowing an impalpable 
powder directly into the nostrils, and by inhalation in the case 
of gaseous or volatile medicines. The first-named method is 
rarely resorted to. It is a common and well-recommended practice 
to make use of the steaming bag when administering iodine, 
carbolic acid or other prescribed medicine to the air passages. 

Medicines are only applied to the skin of a horse for absorption 
in local diseases, usually as liniments or blisters. 

Medicine is frequently given under the skin with the hypodermic 
syringe. It should be done only by the veterinarian. 


Injections are usually thrown into the rectum with a large 
syringe ; but a straight tube about twelve inches long, of a size 
easily inserted, and which carries an upright funnel at the end, or 
other form of douche which carries the liquid in by gravity is to 
be preferred. This latter method answers the purpose fully with- 
out the danger arising from using too much force. Medicine is 
injected in the rectum when local action is desired, or when it 
cannot be retained by the mouth. 

It is not an easy matter to locate diseases and injuries of dumb 
animals and until a reasonably correct diagnosis is arrived at, 
treatment cannot be satisfactorily administered. Sometimes a 
horse appears sick and certain kinds of nursing and treatment 
will suggest themselves for immediate application, although it 
may be entirely apparent that the underlying cause of trouble has 
not developed or manifested itself. Study and constant observa- 
tion are the surest means of attaining confidence and correct judg- 
ment in diagnosing diseases of the horse. 



Veterinary Supply Table. — Properties and Uses of Medicines. — Useful 

The veterinary supply table, which has been adopted for the 
use of the army, does not contain all the medicines used by veteri- 
narians, but is quite sufficient for average troop use. Inasmuch 
as veterinarians are not available to accompany all detachments, 
it is very desirable that stable sergeants and farriers should 
familiarize themselves with the use of simple prescriptions in 
easily diagnosed cases. As a general rule, however, when a veteri- 
narian is available the operations of the stable detail should be 
confined to first aid and nursing. An examination of the table of 
allowances and a study of the simple prescriptions, under the 
guidance of the veterinarian, will qualify the stable sergeants and 
farriers to render intelligent assistance in the care and treatment 
of sick horses. It will also facilitate the discovery of ailments 
and their causes and enable prompt and accurate information to 
be conveyed to troop commanders and veterinarians. 

AUoivance of medicines for three vionths. 


Articles. For 100 For 200 For 300 

ani- ani- ani- 

MEDICINES. mals. mals. mals. 

Acetanilid pounds.... i iVl 2 

.Acid : 

Arsenious ounces i i 2 

Boracic do 

Carbolic, pure do 

Salicylic do 

Tannic do 


16 18 24 





For 100 





Allozvance of medicines for three months. — Continued. 




Aconite, fluid extract of ounces. 

Alcohol gallons. 

Aloes, Barbadoes, in original gourds. .. .ounces 20 

Alum pounds .... 

Ammonia : 

Aromatic spirits of, in glass- stop- 
pered bottles do . 

Aqua (solution of), in glass-stop- 
pered bottles quarts. . 

Chloride of, granulated, in glass- 
stoppered bottles pounds. 

Belladonna, fluid extract of ounces.. 

Camphor, gum pounds. 

Cannabis, Indica do . 

Cantharides, powdered ounces . 

Capsicum do . 

Charcoal, willow, powdered pounds. 

Copper, sulphate of do . 

CoUodoin, flexible, glass-stoppered i-ounce 

bottles ounces . 

Chloroform pounds. 

Cosmoline, l-pound cans do . 

Creolin do . 

Digitalis, fluid extract of ounces. 

Ether, sulphuric pounds. 

Fenugreek, seeds, powdered do . 

Flaxseed, meal do . 

Gentian do 

Ginger, powdered do . 

Glycerine ounces . 

Iodine, crystals do . 

Iodoform do 

For 200 For;iOO 
ani- ani- 




Tincture of chloride of do 

Sulphate of, desiccated do 








I 'A 
































































Allowance of medicines for three months. 



Lanolin ounces . 

Lead, acetate of pounds. 

Lime, chloride of do . 

Lunar caustic ounces . 


Bichloride of (corrosive sublimate 

tablets) do . 

Mild chloride (calomel) do . 

Biniodide do 

Nitre, sweet spirits of pounds. 

Nux vomica, powdered do . 


Linseed gallons . . . 

Olive do 

Oil of tar pounds 

Oil of turpentine gallons 

Opium : 

Tincture of pounds. . 

Powdered ounces . 

Potassium : 

Bromide pounds. 

Nitrate do . 

Iodide do . 

Permanganate do . 

Quinine, sulphate of ounces. 

Salol do . 

Sodium, bicarbonate pounds. 

Sulphur do . 

Strychnine drams. . 

Tar, pine pounds. 

Witch hazel, distilled quarts.. 

Zinc : 

Sulphate of pounds. 

Oxide of ounces . 

Chloride of do . 

— Continued. 


, A 

For 100 F(jr200 For 300 
ani- arii- ani- 

mals, mals. mals. 






... 25 






... 8 









... 4 



... /2 









... K2 















• •• 3 



... K2 






... 4 



... 4 





















... 8 







AUozcaiicc of ]iicd!ciiics for tin re in on tits. — Coniinned. 


Articles. For 100 For 200 For.SOO 

ani- ani- ani- 

HYPODERMTC TABLETS. mals. mals. mals. 

Atropine, sulphate of, in ? 2-grain tablets, 

20 tablets in each tube tubes i i 2 

Cocaine, muriate of, in 4V2-grain tablets, 

10 tablets in each tube do ... . i i 2 

Digitaline, in J^4"grain tablets, lo tablets 

in each tube do .... i i 2 

Ergotine, in 2-grain tablets, lO tablets 

in each tube do .... i i 2 

Eserine, sulphate of, in i-grain tablets, 

10 tablets in each tube. do ... . i i 2 

Morphine, sulphate of, in 3-grain tablets, 

10 tablets in each tube do .... 2 2 3 

Pilocarpine, muriate of, in i-grain tablets, 

10 tablets in each tube do ... . 4 4 6 

Strj'chnine, sulphate of, in ^-grain tab- 
lets, 10 tablets in each tube do .... 2 2 3 

Veterinary cathartic capsules, composed 

pi aloin, oleoresin, ginger, 

str3-chnine and calomel (when 

required for in lieu of aloes, 

Barbadoes in gourds) 10 20 30 

Allozvance of veterinary dressings for three months. 


Articles. For 100 For 200 For 300 

ani- ani- ani- 

DKESSINGS. mals. mals. mals. 

Absorbent cotton, J/2-pound packages. . .pounds. .. . 234 
Antiseptic gauze, carbolated, carton pack- 
ages (5 yards) package... 223 

Bandages : 

Red flannel, 4 inches wide and 4 

yards long, heavy dozen 2 3 4 

White cotton, 4 inches wide and 4 

yards long do .... 4 6 <S 


Allozvaiice of veterinary dressings for three mojiths. — Continued. 


Articles. For 100 For 200 For 300 

aiii- ani- ani- 

DRESSINGS. mals. mals. mals. 

Oakum, pound packages pounds. ... 10 15 20 

Plaster, adhesive, 2 inches wide and 10 

yards long rolls 112 

Rubber tubing, red, J4-i"ch inside diame- 
ter feet 15 20 30 

Silk for ligatures: 

Ordinary size ounces .... 14 % ^/i 

Heavy braided do .... i 2 3 

Soap, white castile pounds.... 10 15 20 

Sponges, surgeon's, extra heavy do .... i 2 3 

The following veterinary instruments recommended by the board to be 
kept at each post will ordinarily be in the immediate charge of the vet- 
erinarian, who will keep them in the dispensary or in his office. He will 
be held accountable for the articles and responsible for their condition : 

Veterinary instruments, etc., for eacli post. 


^ I A ^ 

Articles. For 100 For 200 For .300 

ani- ani- ani- 

mals, mals. mals. 

Ball forceps 2 2 2 

Case, dental i i i 

Case, hypodermic, containing bottles, capacity of 

barrel of syringe H ounce i i i 

Case, hypodermic antitoxine i i i 

Case, post mortem i i i 

Case, surgical, to contain the following instruments : 

I bistoury, probe pointed; i bistoury, sharp 
. pointed; i caustic holder; i director, grooved; 

2" forceps, artery (French snap) ; i forceps, 

dressing; i fleam, three-bladed; i needle, seton, 

three sections; 12 needles, suture, half curved, 

spring eye, assorted sizes; 1 probe, silver, joint- 
ed; 3 scalpels; i scissors, curved on the flat; 

I scissors, straight; i tenaculum; i trocar and 

canula, coecum (horse) i i i 


Veterinary instriiinenis, etc., for each post. — Continued. 


Articles. For 100 For 200 For 300 

ani- aiii- ani- 

mals, mals. mals. 

Casting harness, with side ropes 2 2 2 

Catheter, male, with stylet 2 2 2 

Clippers, hand 2 3 4 

Forceps : 

Bone I I I 

Dressing, with catch straight and long 2 2 2 

Hones, oil 2 2 2 

Medicine droppers dozen.... i i i 

Ophthalmoscope i i i 

Powder shaker, for medicine 234 

Probang, celluloid, jointed 2 2 2 

Rectal douche i i i 

Reflector, with head band, 4-inch i i i 

Seton needles, 8-inch i i i 

Slings, suspending, complete 222 

Speculum : 

Bilateral i i i 

Eye I I I 

Nasal I I I 

Syringes, hard rubber : 

2-ounce 2 3 4 

4-ounce 2 2 3 

Thermo-cautery, Paquelin's i i I 

Thermometer, clinical 2 2 2 

Tracheotomy tube i i i 

Urine test case, complete i i i 

Emergency or field equipment of veterinary instruments. 

For each troop of cavalry and each battery of field artillery : 
One farrier's case leather, folding, containing the following instruments : I 
bistoury, curved, probe pointed ; i bistoury, curved, sharp pointed ; i 
director, grooved; i forceps, artery; i forceps, dressing; i hoof knife, 
searcher; needles, suture, half curved; ^ dozen; i probe, silver; i 
scissors, curved on flat; silk, sulure, heavy; ^/^-ounce; i thermometer, 


I graduate, glass, 4-ounce. 

I rectal douche. 

I syringe, hard rubber, i -ounce. 

I sj^ringe, hard rubber, 2-ounce. 

I saddle bags, farrier's for use in the field. 

Equipment of veterinary dispensary. 

I funnel, small size, enamel ware. 

I funnel, medium size, enamel ware. 

I graduate glass, 2-ounce. 

I graduate glass, 4-ounce. 

I minim measure. 

I mortar and pestle (wedgewood), 3?4 inches inside diameter. 

I mortar and pestle (wedgewood), 6j4 inches inside diameter. 

I mortar and pestle, glass, 4 ounces. 

I pill tile, ID inches square. 

I scales and weights (Troemer's new dispensing scale). 

3 spatula's, being i with 3-inch, i with 6-inch, and i with 8-inch blade. 

Allozvatice of dispeusary supplies for three vioiiths. 


Articles. For 100 For 200 For 300 

ani- ani- aui- 

mals. mals. mals. 
Bottles : 

i-ounce dozen 123 

4-ounce do 2 4 6 

S-ounce do 4 6 8 

Boxes : 

Tin, ointment, 2-ounce do . . . . i 2 3 

Tin, ointment, 4-ounce do .... 2 3 4 

Capsules, i-ounce capacity do 2 3 4 

Corks, for bottles, four times the allow- 
ance of bottles. 

Labels, blank gross i 2 3 

Stationery: A 2-quire blank book for record of cases and such pens, 
pencils, ink, and paper as may be necessary. 

Veterinary panniers, instruments and supplies should be well 
cared for in order that they may be ready for use at all times, and 


also that the great expense of the mounted branches of the service 
may be kept down to the lowest limit consistent with efficiency. 
A supply of medicines just sufficient for the needs of a command 
is much more desirable than the accumulation of a large stock 
apt to deteriorate through age. Requisitions should, therefore, 
be prepared with great care. Issues should be controlled by the 
actual necessities of each command and the quantities authorized 
by the supply table should in no case be considered merely as 
expendable allowances. The hypodermic tablets should be ad- 
ministered by veterinarians only. 

The accompanying brief descriptions of the properties and uses 
of medicines on the supply table may be useful to those responsible 
for the care of public animals. 

AcetanUid. — Used internally in doses of from one to four 
drams, to reduce fever, and is also used in cases of rheumatism. 
It is used externally for its antiseptic properties ; usually dusted 
on wounds and is an effectual remedy. 

Acid, Arsenioiis (Arsenic). — An irritant corrosive poison: for 
external use to eradicate warts apply one part arsenic with eight 
or ten parts of cosmoline ; given internally in doses of one to three 
grains as a digestive tonic, and for skin diseases, parasitic or 
otherwise. Used usually in combination with iron sulphate, 
ginger and gentian. Also given in cases of heaves or broken 
wind, in three-grain doses, twice daily. 

Acid, Boracic. — A valuable non-irritating antiseptic ; a 10 per 
cent solution is useful in conjunctivitis, and abrasions of mucous 
membranes of the mouth and nasal cavities. Excellent for dusting 
on wounds of any kind, or as a solution ; often used to disinfect 
the hands, instruments, dressings and sponges before performing 


Acid, Carbolic- — A useful antiseptic, disinfectant and de- 
odorant ; when applied locally is a mild anaesthetic, and is irritant 
and corrosive ; diluted with from twenty to forty parts of water 
as a dressing for wounds and ulcers ; never used full strength. 
It is volatile and can be used to disinfect stables ; the walls, parti- 
tions and mangers may be washed with a solution of carbolic acid 
one to twenty of water. A solution of the acid one part to forty 
of water, applied to the skin kills acarida, but must be used with 
caution, not covering too great a surface at a time, as it may be 
absorbed by the skin and thus poison the animal. In half-dram 
doses, well diluted, it is sometimes given internally in those dis- 
eases caused by micro-organisms. An ointment of one part 
carbolic acid and six or eight of cosmoline or glycerine makes a 
useful dressing for scratches and grease heels, and all abrasions 
of the skin. 

Acid, Salicylic. — An excellent antiseptic ; is dusted on wounds 
and indolent sores of any kind ; effectual in removing proud flesh • 
good results are obtained by alternating it with carbolic acid or 
creolin solution. A 10 per cent, solution is about the usual 
strength. Two parts of the acid to eight of cosmoline makes a 
good dressing for scratches, wounds and skin diseases. For 
rheumatism give, internally, salicylic acid one dram, nitrate of 
potassium, or bicarbonate of soda two drams, repeated twice 

Acid, Tannic. — A typical vegetable astringent ; may be used to 
dust on wounds to arrest bleeding, but other agents are usually 
preferred. It is given internally in relaxed conditions of the 
bowels, as in diarrhoea and dysentery, with powdered chalk and 
powdered opium. Dose, one-half ounce. 

Aconite, Fluid Extract of. — A dangerous poison ; should be 


used with caution ; is useful in the first stages of such diseases as 

laminitis, enteritis, lymphangitis, pleurisy and pneumonia, and the 

commencement of fevers where the pulse is strong and full. Dose 

is from five to ten drops of the fluid extract diluted with water 

and given on the tongue ; repeated every two hours until four or 

five doses are given. It is also used with a dose of aloes in colic. 

It slows the action of the heart, contracts arterioles and reduces 

the volume of blood sent to an organ or tissue, and hence is 

valuable in reducing or relieving inflammatory conditions. It is 

used externally with other remedies to relieve local inflammation. 

A good anodyne liniment for external application is composed of : 

Witch-hazel, distilled 5 parts 

Camphor, spirits of 5 parts 

Opium, tincture of 5 parts 

Aconite i part 

Alcohol. — One of the most valuable and important medicines 
used in making tictures, extracts and liniments. Given internally 
as a diffusible stimulant, antispasmodic, diaphoretic and diuretic. 
It is also a food, and is readily assimilated. Given internally 
in cases convalescing from debilitating diseases where the appetite 
is capricious, it gradually arouses the system and helps to establish 
convalescence ; dose, about one ounce diluted with three parts of 
water ; given in congestion and inflammation of the lungs, 
pleurisy, colic, indigestion and diarrhoea, three or four times daily ; 
spirits of camphor one ounce, tincture gentian one ounce, aromatic 
spirits of ammonia one ounce, is good in the later stages of pneu- 
monia ; the above tinctures are composed in great part of alcohol, 
hence their virtue, to a large extent. Externally applied, alcohol 
is cooling, but when covered with bandages or oiled silk is ir- 
ritating and may blister. Good when mixed with an equal quantity 
of water to harden the skin of animals subject to saddle galls. If 


the skin is broken, mix with equal parts of the whites of eggs, 
and paint the parts over with the paste until a thick film is formed. 
Being volatile, bottles should be kept tightly corked. 

Aloes, Barhadoes. — When freshly prepared, aloes is the best 
agent for purging the horse. Used in colic, constipation, impac- 
tion and indigestion ; should not be given in inflammation of the 
bowels nor where the respiratory organs are affected, as in cattarh, 
congestion of the lungs, inflammation of the lungs, pleurisy or 
influenza. For a quick action it is best given in solution as a 
drench composed of aloes six drams, calomel one-half dram, 
ginger two to four ounces, in a pint of water. A ball is usually 
composed of aloes six drams, calomel one-half dram, and ginger 
two drams, made up with glycerine, oil or soft soap, just enough 
to cause the medicine to adhere. Aloes are sometimes given in 
one to two-dram doses as a tonic. 

When aloes do not act promptly they are sometimes excreted 
by the kidneys, causing diuresis ; in torpidity of the bowels some 
practitioners add to the ball, or solution, one-half to one dram of 
pulverized nux vomica. Aloes should never be given to pregnant 
mares, as they are liable to cause abortion. When given as a 
laxative and aloes do not act, do not repeat but give one pint of 
linseed oil. 

Alum. — A typical astringent, and is slightly irritant ; generally 
used externally as a styptic, astringent and desiccant ; in ulcerated 
conditions of the mouth a saturated solution of alum is good ; used 
as a spray or gargle for sore throat ; is a soothing application for 
burns or blistered surfaces ; good also for the same purposes when 
combined with an equal quantity of borax or boracic acid dis- 
solved in water ; dusted on an open joint, it often gives excellent 
results. Given occasionally internally, alum powdered, one dram. 


opium powdered, one dram, water one-half pint, as a drench ; in 
cases of diarrhoea repeated twice or three times daily. 

Ammonia, Aromatic sp. of. — An expectorant and stimulant ; 
given in cases of chronic cough and in the later stages of pneu- 
monia and bronchitis ; is good in cases, of indigestion, flatulent and 
spasmodic colic ; in such cases after administering a ball of aloes, 
give as a drench, aromatic sp. of ammonia two ounces and can- 
nabis indica one dram in one pint of water. Tincture of opium is 
sometimes given instead of cannabis indica, but practitioners 
generally prefer the latter. 

Ammonia, Solution of. — Is generally used externally as a 

stimulant ; is a constituent of many different liniments ; 

Ammonia, solution of i part 

Linseed oil i part 

well shaken, and applied with friction is excellent for sore throats. 

For another good liniment take : 

Ammonia, solution of i part 

Turpentine, oil of i part 

Linseed oil 3 parts. 

These liniments irritate the skin, but no permanent blemish 
will result if made as directed. 

Ammonia, Chloride of. — Is given to stinmlate the respiratory 

mucous membrane, and the mucous membrane of the intestinal 

tract, promoting secretion and relieving gastric and bronchial 

catarrh ; given in two dram doses well diluted with water. A 

cooling lotion for local inflammations the result of sprains and 

bruises, is made of 

Ammonia, chloride of 4 ounces. 

Potassium nitrate 4 ounces. 

dissolved in about one quart of water. 


Belladonna, Fluid Extract of. — An active poison ; medicinal 
doses are antispasmodic and anodyne ; they dilate the pupil when 
given internally, or applied externally to the eye, and relieve pain 
and irritability : belladonna is given internally in influenza, bron- 
chitis, pneumonia, sore throat ; to relieve abdominal pain, and in 
irritation of the bladder, uterus, kidneys or rectum. Used ex- 
ternally in the form of liniments, or added to poultices to allay 
local inflammation in wounds, frostbites, burns, bruises, cracked 
heels and saddle-galls. The dose of belladonna is one dram of the 
extract and from one to two ounces of the tincture, diluted with 
four parts of water. 

Belladonna, ext. of i dram 

Ammonia, aro. sp .of i ounce 

Camphor, sp. of I ounce 

is good for chronic coughs, laryngitis, sore throat, or afi^ections 

of the lungs ; diluted in one-half pint of water, given three or four 

times daily. For a tonic give a ball two or four times daily of 

Belladonna, ext. of I dram 

Ginger 3 drams 

Gentian 2 drams. 

Generally given in tetanus in doses of two to three drams, re- 
peated three or four times daily ; the solid is better in these cases 
because of the ease of administration ; it is usually placed between 
the teeth, allowing the animal to suck it at his pleasure. 

Camphor, Gum. — Generally used as spirits, or the tincture of; 
prepared by dissolving one part of camphor in seven or eight parts 
of alcohol ; in this form it is applied to sprains, bruises or con- 
tusions, and is sometimes applied to wounds. Camphor liniment 
is made of 

Camphor, sp. of 2 ounces 

Ammonia, Water of 2 ounces , 

Turpentine 2 ounces 

Water i pint. 



This is an excellent liniment ; apply externally, well rubbed in, in 
cases of sore throat ; to the sides of the chest in pneumonia, pleu- 
risy, etc. ; also used for sprains and bruises. Giveft internally, 
the gum is useful in relieving- coughs, especially if chronic ; 
camphor gum one dram, belladonna one dram, given as a ball, 
three times daily. 

Cannabis Indica. — An antispasmodic and anodyne ; is recom- 
mended in colics, acute indigestion, impaction and constipation 
instead of the preparations of opium ; good also in tetanus and 
other painful conditions ; it relieves pain and irritability without 
interfering with the secretions of the stomach and intestines ; dose, 
one-half to one dram. 

Cantharides, powdered. — Is generally used for its counter- 
irritant properties ; the following are excellent blister prepara- 
tions : 

Cantharides I part 

Mercury, biniodide i part 

Cosmoline 8 parts 


Cantharides 2 drams 

Cosmoline 8 drams 

Capsicum (Cayenne pepper). — -An irritant, stomachic and 
rubefacient ; given internally in mild cases of indigestion in com- 
bination with ginger and gentian ; dose, one-half to one dram. As 
a tincture sometimes added to colic drenches in one-half to one 
ounce doses ; sometimes added to poultices or plasters for its 
counter-irritant effects. 

Charcoal. — Is used to dust on foul, suppurating wounds ; acts 
as a mild antiseptic, desiccant and removes foul odors. Given 
internally in one-half to one-ounce doses, in flatulent colic, acute 
indigestion or where "there is fermentation of food, and in diar- 


rhoea. Where water contains organic matter, thoroughly stir in 

some charcoal and use water after it has settled. 

Copper, Sulphate. — An irritant poison ; in medicinal doses it is 

an antiseptic, astringent and tonic ; combined with powdered 

opium it is sometimes used internally in cases of chronic diarrhoea 

and dysentery ; 

Copper sulphate i dram 

Opium, powdered i dram 

should be given as a ball twice or three times daily, preferably 
in the morning, for a week if necessary. As a ball with linseed 
meal it destroys intestinal worms, and is a useful tonic. Ex- 
ternally, undiluted, it is caustic, stimulant and antiseptic ; used 
to dust on wounds having excessive granulation, or proud flesh. 
For use as an antiseptic for wounds, take 

Copper, sulphate of i dram 

Water i quart. 

Collodion, Flexible. — Is useful in making adhesive plasters as 
applied to some wounds to keep the parts together ; it is also used 
for skin abrasions and some incised wounds, especially in the 
region of joints ; cut or shave the hair surrounding the wound, 
render it aseptic, then with a camel's-hair brush apply several 
applications of collodion ; it keeps the parts together, and when 
thus protected wounds readily heal by first intention. 

Chloroform. — Is used to render the animal unconscious during 
painful and prolonged operations, and for such purpose the fol- 
lowing mixture will be found excellent : 

Alcohol I part 

Chloroform 2 parts 

Sulphuric ether 3 parts. 

Given internally in from one to two-dram doses ; it is a reliable 
antispasmodic, stimulant and anodyne ; given in colics and acute 
indigestion. It is also used in making liniment. 


CosmoUnc. — Is used as a basis for the different ointments, and 
is excellent for the purpose, because it does not become rancid ; 
useful on abrasions of the skin and minor lesions ; it effectually 
excludes the air and keeps the parts soft. 

Creolin. — A very valuable non-irritating, non-poisonous anti- 
septic, disinfectant and deodorizer ; used for all classes of wounds, 
and is an effectual destroyer of parasites ; can be used in almost 
any strength, but is usually diluted with thirty to fifty parts of 

Digitalis, Fluid Extract of. — A very dangeoous poison ; is a 
valuable heart stimulant and diuretic ; medicinal dose of the fluid 
extract is from ten to twenty drops diluted with four parts of 

Ether, Nitrous (Sweet spirits of niter). — A diffusible stimu- 
lant, antispasmodic, diuretic and diaphoretic ; used in spasmodic 
colic and other intestinal troubles ; congestion and inflammation 
of the lungs, influenza, pleurisy, etc. For colic mixture: 

Nitrous ether i ounce 

Cannabis Indica i dram 

Tincture of Ginger J^ ounce 

dilute with one pint of water or linseed oil. Repeat dose in one 
hour if necessary. 

Ether, Sulphuric. — A diffusible stimulant, narcotic and an- 
aesthetic (local or general). Good in colics and acute indigestion. 
If given internally, as in colic, give 

Ether, sulphuric I to 2 ounces 

Cannabis Indica i diani 

Ammonia, aromatic sp i to 2 ounces 

diluted with linseed oil ; this may be repeated until one quart of 
oil is given, then water can be used instead of oil. Used exter- 
nally as a spray to produce loss of sensation of a part in minor 


operations, such as opening abscesses. Keep bottle tightly corked 
as it is volatile. 

Fenugreek, powdered. — Is used to disguise the taste and smell 
of disagreeable medicines, and is valuable for this purpose in one- 
half dram doses. 

Flaxseed Meal. — Principally used in making poultices and balls 
and as a basis for powders ; when thus used helps to disguise the 
taste of medicines ; as a poultice take about one quart of meal, and 
warm water enough to moisten it thoroughly ; medicines are often 
added to poultices before applying them. Flaxseed is an excellent 
food ; being a natural laxative it is often given along with other 
food to horses in poor condition ; it aids digestion and improves 
the condition ; in inflammation of the kidneys, bladder or bowels 
it may be used in the form of tea, which is made by pouring a 
gallon of boiling water on a quart or two of meal, stirring it for 
a few minutes, then leaving it to cool and settle ; it is then poured 
off and given in any quantity instead of drinking water. 

Gentian. — A bitter tonic and is devoid of astringency ; given to 
improve the appetite ; useful in dyspepsia ; given in almost any 
debilitating disease, after the inflammatory stage has passed off ; 
it gradually and permanently improves the appetite, promotes the 
intestinal secretions and hence is a \aluable tonic. 

Ginger. — Is often given along with a ball of aloes to prevent 
griping and to assist the action of the purgative ; like gentian, is 
a useful bitter tonic. When added to colic drenches the dose is 
from two to four drams. 

Glycerine. — Is used principally for external applications ; a 
liniment made of carbolic acid, one dram, and glycerine, eight 
drams, is much used for scratches, sore heels, chafes and wounds 


exposed to the air ; should be apphed once or twice daily. As a 

dressing for bandaged wounds, use 

Creolin i dram 

Glycerine 2 drams 

Water 6 or 8 ounces. 

This solution is effectual in destroying lice and the parasites of 
mange ; also useful in other skin diseases ; it may be used with 
twice the quantity of water to inject into the rectum to destroy 
pin worms. 

Iodine. — Is an excellent remedy ; given internally in doses of 
one to two drams, no medicine is so effectual in diabetes insipidus ; 
dissolved in half-pint of water and given twice or three times 
daily, generally effects a cure in three days. Is also given in 
chronic glandular enlargements, as iodide of potassium, in one- 
dram doses, twice daily. Equally serviceable in ascites, or dropsy, 
and chronic swelling of the legs, especially the later stages of 
lymphangitis and in hydrothorax. Used externally as a stimulant 
and blister in chronic enlargements ; 

Iodide of potassium i part 

Iodine, crystals i part 

Cosmoline 6 parts 

makes an excellent application for such conditions. 

Iodoform. — One of the best and most reliable antiseptics in use ; 
is usually dusted on wounds of any condition ; an ointment made 
of iodoform, two parts, and cosmoline, eight parts, is a convenient 
way of applying it. 

Iron, Tincture of the chloride of. — A valuable restorative and 
tonic ; given internally in purpura, influenza and to anaemic and 
debilitated patients ; it is useful in destroying intestinal worms ; 
dose internally, one-half to one ounce, given in ten ounces of 


water. For use as a spray in ulcerated conditions of the throat, 


Iron, tr. of I part 

Glycerine i part 

Water 8 parts. 

Externally it is used for its astringent and styptic properties ; two 

drams to a pint of water injected into the rectum destroys pin 

worms ; a little of the tincture placed upon some cotton and applied 

to bleeding wounds, arrests the flow of blood. 

Iron, Sulphate of. — In one-dram doses is an excellent tonic for 

any of the purposes for which the tincture is used. 

Iron, sulphate i dram 

Arsenic 3 grains 

Fenugreek ^ dram 

given in a bran mash, and repeated twice daily is a useful tonic 

for anaemic or debilitated patients. 

Lanolin. — Is used as a base for ointments, the same as cosmo- 
line ; is supposed to have greater penetrating power, and like 
cosmoline, is bland and non-irritating; used in the same propor- 
tions and under the same conditions as cosmoline. 

Lead, Acetate of. — A most valuable astringent ; given internally 

it checks hemorrhages from the stomach and lungs, or other 
organs. Used sometimes to check diarrhoea ; 

Acetate of lead Y2 dram 

Powdered opium i dram 

Water H pint 

given daily. Externally it is used in solution for local inflam- 
mations, bruises, burns, sprains, sore backs, and sitfasts (after 
the core has been cut out) ; the following prescription is recom- 
mended for the purpose: 

Lead, acetate of i ounce 

Zinc, sulphate of i ounce 

Water i quart. 


This is called the " white lotion," one of the most popular and 
useful preparations in veterinary practice. 

Lime, Chloride of. — Is much used as a disinfectant and 
deodorizer ; it is cheap, but the fumes of chloride of lime are dis- 
agreeable to horses, therefore other disinfectants, such as carbolic 
acid and creolin are generally selected for use about stables and 
aboard transports. 

Lunar Caustic (Nitrate of silver). — Is used to remove fungoid 
growths or proud flesh and to stimulate indolent sores and ulcers 
to a healthy action ; the sore should be cleaned and while moist 
the stick of caustic should be touched to all its parts ; repeat once 
daily until a healthy condition is established. To remove the 
cloudiness remaining after an attack of ophthalmia, apply daily 
with a camel's-hair brush a solution of five grains of nitrate of 
silver to one ounce of distilled water. 

Mercury, Bichloride of (Corrosive sublimate tablets). — A con- 
venient and valuable antiseptic ; used in solutions of from i to 
500, I to 1000, or I to 2000, for most classes of wounds ; 
effectually destroys parasites infesting the skin ; for this purpose 
do not use too strong a solution ; i to 1000 is strong enough, and 
do not cover too large a surface at a time ; one-sixth the surface 
of an animal is enough for one day. 

Mercury, Mild chloride (Calomel). — Internally is a cathartic; 

stimulating the liver, causes increased secretion and excretion of 

bile ; given usually with a ball of aloes. Dose, 

Calomel ^ dram 

Aloes 6 drams 

Ginger 2 drams 

made up into a ball with glycerine or molasses. Calomel is almost 
a specific in thrush ; the parts should be thoroughly cleaned with 


soap and warm water ; while moist the calomel should be dusted 
in and the parts covered with oakum, and a bandage applied, to 
afford pressure and keep the parts clean. A mixture of equal 
parts of calomel and iodoform is also good for the same purpose. 
Mercury, Biniodide. — Is a penetrating counter-irritant ; is used 
in abnormal bony deposits, sprained tendons and bursal enlarge- 

Mercury, biniodide i dram 

Cantharides i dram 

Cosmoline 8 drams 

should be rubbed upon the enlargements every morning until three 

applications are made ; after third application, wait twenty-four 

hours ; then wash the parts carefully with warm water and castile 

soap, and apply some cosmoline or olive oil. This preparation is 

good for splints, spavins, sidebones and ring-bones. 

Nux Vomica, pozvdered. — A bitter tonic (nerve) used to im- 
prove the appetite by stimulating nerve force ; increases the 
peristaltic movement of the bowels ; given in indigestion, con- 
valescence from debilitating diseases, paralysis, influenza, rheu- 
matism and constipation. Dose, one-half to one dram. Given 
sometimes in half-dram doses to assist the action of purgative 

Oil, Linseed. — Is a good laxative for nearly all classes of 

patients ; the dose for the horse is one pint to one quart, given as 

a drench ; used in colics, constipation and indigestion. 

Linseed oil 8 ounces 

Aloes 4 drams 

Ginger 2 drams 

is a good laxative. When aloes do not act, rather than repeat 

the dose of aloes, give one pint of linseed oil, as it is usually safer. 

Oil, Olive. — Used internally for diluting irritating medicines, 


externally for oiling blistered surfaces, and for making liniments 
and ointments. Not used much as a purgative. 

Oil of Tar. — Is used externally to cure mange, scab and other 
parasites and skin diseases. Given internally for the cure of 
chronic cough, in doses of one-half dram ; repeat twice daily. 

Oil of Turpentine. — Its actions are antispasmodic, stimulant, 
diuretic and diaphoretic. Given in acute indigestion, flatulent 
colic, and for the destruction of internal parasites. When given 
to destroy worms, the animal's food is to be restricted somewhat ; 
on an empty stomach give one to two ounces, diluted with one pint 
of water, followed the next morning with a ball of aloes. One 
ounce in one pint of oil is sometimes injected into the rectum to 
remove rectal worms. When applied externally it is usually in 
the form of liniments of various kinds. 

Opium, Tincture of (Laudanum). — One of the most important 
medicines wath which we have to deal. With its alkaloid, mor- 
phine, it is given to relieve irritability, pain and spasms by pro- 
ducing sleep ; this, however, is not as noticeable in the horse as in 
man. Good in inflammation of the bowels, colics, acute indiges- 
tion, impaction of the bowels, and to counteract pain of almost 
any kind, internally and externally. In all cases of abdominal pain, 
except inflammation of the bowels, practitioners now generally 
prefer cannabis indica ; opium dries up the secretions of the bowels 
and generally in these cases the aim is to augment the secretions. 
The dose internally is from one to two ounces. Externally is an 
anodyne ; an excellent remedy to relieve local pain and inflam- 
mation is composed of 

Witch-hazel 2 ounces 

Camphor, sp. of 2 ounces 

Laudanum 2 ounces. 


Morphia should only be prescribed by the veterinarian. Dose, 
three grains hypodermically. 

Opium, poivdered. — Has the same actions as the tincture ; and 
is generally prescribed in one-half to one-dram doses in cases of 
relaxed conditions of the bowels. 

Potassuim Bromide. — Is given to quiet irritability or excite- 
ment ; is peculiarly suitable in cases where convulsions or cerebral 
excitement are present ; given in doses of from one-half to one 
ounce dissolved in the drinking water ; may be repeated every two 
or three hours. 

Potassium Nitrate. — Promotes the secretions of the skin, lungs 
and kidneys, hence is valuable for reducing fever, and to increase 
the flow of urine. It is given dissolved in the drinking water, or 
may be mixed with the food. In cases of founder it is a remedy 
of great value ; dose, two to three ounces, three times daily ; this 
treatment may be continued for two or three days without danger. 
As a diuretic, or to reduce fever, give doses of from one-fourth 
to one ounce three times daily. For use externally, one ounce dis- 
solved in one pint of water is a cooling mixture. 

Potassium Iodide. — Acts on the lymphatic system, and is ex- 
creted principally by the kidneys, thus acting as a diuretic ; given 
internally in the early stages of convalescence in chronic glandular 
enlargements and to remove the consolidation in later stages of 
pneumonia, lymphangitis and chronic swellings of the limbs. Is 
also given sometimes in rheumatism, and some skin diseases. It 
is useful internally and externally in cases of goitre or swollen 
thyroid glands of the neck. Dose, internally, one to four drams, 
diluted with water, repeated twice daily. For external use, take 
potassium iodide one dram, iodine crystals one dram, rub together 
in a mortar until both are dissolved ; then add eight drams of 


cosmoline ; this makes an excellent absorbent ointment to rub on 
chronic enlargements. 

Potassium Permanganate. — Is used as a disinfectant and de- 
odorizer. Used to disinfect instruments, sponges and dressings ; 
also foul smelling wounds. A 5 per cent, solution is generally 

Quinine, Sulpliatc of. — An antiseptic, tonic and febrifuge. It 
improves the appetite and reduces the fever of many diseases. 
For malaria, lung diseases, pleurisy, pyaemia, septicsemia and in- 
digestion, use one to three drams. For purpura and anaemia give 
twice daily, quinine one dram, iron sulphate one dram, made into 
a ball. 

Salol. — Is valuable for rheumatism ; reduces fever ; good in 
indigestion, especially if there is fermentation of food ; is dusted 
on wounds and is an excellent dressing for burns. When given 
internally, dose one to six drams. 

Sodium Bicarbonate. — Is used to correct acidity of the stomach. 

and as an alterative. It relieves indigestion and flatulence. In 

cases of chronic indigestion is often used as follows : 

Sodium bicarbonate J4 ounce 

Nux vomica i dram 

Fenugreek ^ dram 

repeated twice dail}- in a 1)ran mash. 

A solution makes a cooling lotion and relieves the pain of burns. 
In comljination with potassium nitrate, two drams each, is ex- 
cellent for reducing fevers ; this may be repeated twice or three 
times daily. 

.Sulphur. — Is used externally to destroy parasites of the skin, 
as mange, ringworm, lice, etc. After the parts have been thor- 


oughly cleaned with castile soap and warm water, apply an oint- 
ment made of 

Sulphur 2 drams 

Cosmoline or Lanolin i ounce. 

It is excellent for disinfecting stables ; remove horses, trash, 
litter, dust, etc., close the openings, take one-half pound of sulphur 
and one-fourth pound of charcoal ; put on a bed of burning coals, 
placed in a pan or other dish, and let the fumes thoroughly per- 
meate the stables, keeping the building tightly closed for twenty- 
four hours. 

Strychnine. — An active poison used for the same purposes as 
nux vomica, but should not be given except under the direction 
of a veterinarian. 

Tar, Pine. — An antiseptic, stimulant, diuretic, expectorant ; 
destroys parasites ; useful in coughs and bronchitis. It is a stimu- 
lant to the skin, and is sometimes prescribed for mange and other 
parasitic diseases, including lice. Also used for thrush and canker 
of the foot, and sometimes for suppurating corns. 

Witch-hazel. — A cooling antiseptic, astringent wash, good for 

inflamed tendons, bruises and sprains ; may be used with an equal 

quantity of water ; for an excellent anodyne liniment, take 

Witch-hazel 4 ounces 

Camphor, sp. of 2 ounces 

Opium, tincture of 2 ounces. 

Zinc Sulphate. — Is a tonic in dram doses, but not so good as 
iron sulphate, or copper sulphate. Used principally, externally, 
as a white lotion. (See lead acetate.) 

Zinc Oxide. — Is useful to dust on indolent sores ; also dusted on 

itching conditions of the skin, such as eczema. Useful in scratches 

as an ointment, prepared of 

Zinc oxide i part 

Cosmoline 6 parts. 


Zinc Chloride. — Antiseptic and astringent ; an irritant corrosive 
poison, caustic when applied to the skin. In a solution of i to 500, 
or I to 1000 of water, good for foul wounds. If used carefully, 
good for excessive granulations or proud flesh. 

Hypodcr})iic Tablets. — Atropine, cocaine, digitaline, ergotine, 
eserine, morphine, pilocarpine, and strychnine are active poisons 
and should be administered only by a veterinarian. 

The following are some of the useful prescriptions which may 
be prepared with medicines from the supply table : 


Creolin i part 

Water 40 parts 


Carbolic Acid i part 

Water 30 parts 


Boracic Acid i part 

Water 20 parts 


Zinc Cliloride i ounce 

Water i quart. 

Salicylic Acid dusted on the parts 

Iodoform dusted on the parts 


Boracic Acid dusted on the parts. 

Bichloride of Mercury I to 1000. 


Zinc, Oxide of i part 

Cosmoline 6 parts. 


Iodoform i part 

Cosmoline 6 parts. 



Boracic Acid ^ P^''^ 

Cosmoline 6 parts. 


Carbolic Acid ' i part 

Cosmoline 6 parts 


Carbolic Acid i part 

Glycerine 4 to 6 parts. 

"WHITE LOTION." (Excellent.) 

Sulphate of Zinc i ounce 

Acetate of Lead i ounce 

Water i quart. 

A dram of Carbolic Acid added to this, increases its antiseptic proper- 


Cantharides ^ dram 

Mercury biniodide ^ dram 

Cosmoline, or Lanolin 8 drams 


Cantharides, powdered ^ dram 

Cosmoline 6 drams 


Iodide of Potassium i dram 

Iodine, crystals ^ dram 

rubbed together in a mortar, then add 6 or 8 drams of Cosmoline. This 

makes an excellent absorbent omtment. 


Aloes, Barbadoes 6 drams 

Calomel ^ to l dram 

Ginger 2 drams. 

Mixed with sufficient quantity of glycerine makes a good ball. 


Aloes, Barbadoes 6 drams 

Ginger 2 drams 

made into a ball, or given dissolved in one pint of water. 



Linseed Oil 5^ to i quart 

Ginger 2 drams 

Nux Vomica i dram 

given as a drench. 


Nitrate of Potash Vi to i ounce 


Nitrate of Potash 4 drams 

Gentian, powdered 2 to 4 drams 


Ether Nitrous (Sweet sp. of Niter) i ounce 

Belladonna, fluid ex i dram 

diluted in i pint of water, and given as a drench. 


Nitrate of Potash 3 to 4 ounces 

Gentian 4 drams. 


Nux Vomica, powdered i dram 

Sulphate of Iron i dram 

Fenugreek V2 dram 


Sulphate nf Iron i dram 

Gentian, powdered 2 drams 


Sulphate of Iron i dram 

Soda Bicarbonate 4 drams 


Sulphate of Iron i dram 

Arsenic 3 grains 

Fenugreek 5^2 dram 


Gentian 2 drams 

Ginger 2 drams 

Fenugreek Yz dram 



Nitrous Ether i to 2 ounces 

Cannabis Indica i^ to J^ ounce 

Ginger, powdered 2 drams. 


Ether, Sulphuric j ounce 

Ammonia, Aro. Sp. of 2 ounces 

Cannabis Indica % to ^ ounce 

^'"S^'" 2 drams. 

When Cannabis Indica is not at hand one ounce of tincture of opium 
may be substituted in either of the above colic mixtures. 


Opium, powdered i dram 

Pepper, Cayenne i dram 

Tannic Acid i to 2 drams. 


Cosmoline 4 ounces 

Turpentine i ounce 

Charcoal i ounce. 



Witch-hazel 2 ounces. 

Camphor, Sp. of 2 ounces 

Opium, Tincture of 2 ounces. 


Turpentine 2 ounces. 

Ammonia, Water of 2 ounces 

Oil. Linseeed 4 ounces. 


Ammonia, Water of i part 

Olive Oil 2 parts. 




Camphor, Sp. of 2 ounces 

Ammonia, Water of 2 ounces 

Turpentine i^ ounces 

Water i pint. 


Castile Soap, 6 ounces cut into small pieces, and macerated with six 
fluid ounces of dilute liquor Ammonia and one pint each of Alcohol and 
Lilnseed Oil ; add 2 or 3 ounces of Camphor. 


Nitrate of Potash 4 ounces 

Ammmonia, Chloride of 4 ounces 

Water i quart. 


Acetanilid I to 4 drams 


Quinine 2 drams 

Acetanilid 2 drams 


Nitrate of Potash ^ ounce doses 

3 times daily. 


Diseases of the Respiratory System: Common Cold; Pneumonia; Sore 
Throat ; Strangles. — Diseases of the Digestive and Urinary Systons : 
Colic, Spasmodic; Colic, Flatulent; Constipation; Diarrhoea; Indiges- 
tion, Chronic; Profuse Urination; Retention of Urine. — Miscel- 
laneous Diseases: Glanders; Influenza; Lampas ; Lockjaw; Lymphan- 
gitis, Ulcerative ; Sun-Stroke ; Heat-Stroke ; Thumps ; Surra. — Dis- 
eases of the Eye and Skin : Foreign Bodies in the Eye ; Laceration of 
the Eye-lid ; Mange ; Scratches. — Diseases of the Legs and Feet : 
Broken Knees; Calking; Canker; Capped Hock; Contracted Heels; 
Corns; Curb; Interfering; Laminitis (founder); Navicular Disease; 
Pricking of Foot; Punctures of Frog; Quittor; Ring Bone; Sand 
Cracks; Seedy Toe; Side Bones; Spavins; Speedy Cut; Splint; 
Svi^elled Legs; Thorough Pin; Thrush; Windgalls. — Bruises, Wounds 
and Sprains: Fistulous Withers; Poll Evil; Sore Back; Wounds; 
Flesh, Gunshot, Incised, Lacerated, Punctured. Sprains. 

Common Cold. — This is an acute inflammation of the mucous 
membrane which Hnes the nostrils. It is the same affection as 
cold in the head in the human subject. If neglected the disease 
may become chronic, and is then known as nasal gleet. 

Symptoms. — A snorting cough, loss of appetite, dullness of the 
eye, rough coat, redness of the mucous membrane lining the 
nostrils, followed by a thin discharge, gradually becoming thicker 
and more profuse, characterize this disease. Sometimes a light 
fever exists, the bowels are more or less constipated, and the 
throat becomes sore; the glands under the jaw may become in- 
flamed. The two forms are technically called acute and chronic 
nasal catarrh. 


Treatment. — Put the animal in a loose box. with plenty of fresh 
air without draughts. If the weather is cold, cover with blankets. 
Give plenty of water, and feed on bran mashes and hay. If the 
nnining" at the nose be considerable, and the cough troublesome, 
relief may be given by steaming the head frequently. This is 
accomplished by holding the head over a pail of hot water to 
which one or two ounces of creolin or carbolic acid have been 
added and then stirring gently with a whisp of hay. In mild 
cases no other treatment is necessary. 

The steaming may be done over a nose bag or gunny sack into 
which some chopped hay or sawdust has been placed, over which 
hot water is poured. If the patient becomes feverish, give a dose 
of nitrate of potassa, one to two drams, daily for two or three 
days. If constipated use an injection of warm water. In all dis- 
eases of the respiratory organs, active purgative medicine should 
be avoided. 

In cases attended by sore throat, which is indicated by difficulty 
in swallowing, give nitrate or chlorate of potassium in one-dram 
doses, in half a bucket of drinking water, three times daily. A 
liniment composed of two parts linseed oil, one part turpentine 
and one part solution of ammonia, w^ell shaken, should be applied 
to the outside of the throat and well rubbed in. 

Pneumonia, or Lung Fever. — This is an inflammation of the 
lung structure. 

Symptonts. — The attack, at times, comes on imperceptibly, and 
again it appears suddenly without any j^remonitory s\niptoms. 
The attack is generally ushercfl in by sudden fits of shivering, 
followed by coldness of the ears and extremities, and other usual 
signs of inflammation, and a staring coat. The coldness of the 
extremities is a marked sign throughout the disease. The horse 


is evidently uneasy, and turns his head frequently around to his 
chest. The pulse is accelerated, and generally averages about 
eighty beats to the minute. The temperature in the early stage 
will be 103° to 106° F. The respiration becomes disturbed as 
soon as the disease is established. The nasal linings are paler 
than usual, but as the disease progresses they become purplish, 
and then of a leaden hue. The horse will stand persistently with 
his fore legs wide apart, and his elbows out, to afford greater ex- 
pansion to his chest. Horses afTected with this disease never lie 
down except for a moment at a time, until extreme exhaustion 
comes upon them, when death from suffocation rapidly ensues. 

A cough may or may not be present. If it accompany the dis- 
ease it is sharp at first, but as the attack progresses it becomes 
dry and of a dull character. The disease may attack only one 
lung, or both. If, during the early stage, the ear be applied to 
the chest, a confused, humming noise, accompanied with a harsh, 
dry murmur, instead of the gentle, respiratory sound peculiar to 
health, will be heard. With increase of the disease the breathing 
becomes quicker and more labored. The fever lasts from five 
to ten days. Convalescence is indicated by the return of the pulse 
to something like its normal condition, restoration of warmth in 
the extremities, a moist state of the nostrils, and a disposition to 
lie down for rest. 

Treatment. — Laxative food, entire rest, blankets, and flannel 
bandages should be provided at once ; plenty of fresh air in the 
box stall, but no draughts. The condition of the animal has much 
to do with the treatment accorded. If the animal is in good condi- 
tion, and the attack arises from some well-marked cause, give 
ten to fifteen drops fluid extract of aconite every four hours in 
first stages, and as much nitrate of potassa, in two-dram doses. 


as the animal will take in his drinking water. Blankets or cloths 
wrung out in hot water should be applied to the sides of the chest 
and covered over with dry cloths or rubber cloth. This should be 
continued for some time, and when stopped the skin should be 
dried thoroughly, and liniment of linseed oil and ammonia gently 
rubbed in, and this covered with dry cloths. 

When the crisis is reached, or the febrile stage checked some- 
what, tonics and stimulants are used. Whisky or pure alcohol, in 
one ounce doses, well diluted with water, may be given, and in 
many cases carbonate of ammonia, in two-dram doses, in the form 
of a ball, may be advantageously used. If the animal is distressed 
with a cough, a dram each of gum camphor and extract of bella- 
donna, should be given four or five times a day. If the attack 
is the sequel of influenza or catarrh, or occurs in a horse of low 
vitality, aconite should not be used, but the tonics and stimulants 
at orice resorted to. When the animal begins to convalesce, en- 
courage his appetite with such stimulating food as can be pro- 
cured, but no corn should be given. 

Sore Throat. — This is an affection arising from inflammation 
of the mucous membrane of the larynx (Laryngitis) or Pharynx 
(Pharyngitis). Usually both parts are affected at the same time. 
The common causes are humidity of the atmosphere, sudden 
changes of temperature, allowing a sweating horse to stand in 
a draught, bruises external or internal, and by infection. 

Symptoms. — Loss of appetite, cough, difficulty in swallowing, 
with slobbering from the mouth, and sometimes discharging water 
and food from the nostrils. Increase of temperature and pulse. 

Treatment. — Place the animal in a box stall, well ventilated but 
free from draughts. Give green food and bran mash. Fresh 
water within reach at all times. If improvement justifies, substi- 


tute steamed oats for the mash. The nostrils and lips should be 
sponged clean at frequent intervals. If the throat is hot and 
tender, cold applications should be used. If the formation of an 
abscess is indicated, apply poultices to bring it to a head. Great 
care is necessary in making an opening for the expulsion of pus ; 
knife should be used only to make opening in skin. As the sore 
throat improves the attendant fever will disappear; if, however, 
the fever be high, use cold water injections in the rectum. Never 
drench a horse suffering with a sore throat. 

Strangles. — This is an infectious disease, usually attended 
with an eruptive fever, to which young horses are especially sub- 
ject. Strangles, distemper and shipping fever are one and the 
same disease. It usually attacks young horses when first removed 
from farms to large stables. Strangles is usually acquired by 
direct contact with an animal suffering with the disease or through 
contact with the discharge from an infected animal. The disease 
is very apt to develop in four and five year old remounts but this 
is not an unmixed evil if they are in garrison where they can be 
given proper care, for horses are immune after one infection. 

Symptoms. — The horse appears sluggish, looks sick and is off 
his feed. Fever exists, the temperature rising as high as 105° 
and 106° ; increase in the pulse takes place. Thirst increases and 
owing to sore throat there is much slobbering in drinking. The 
coat becomes rough. At the end of a couple of days a cough 
begins and a discharge from the nostrils takes place, at first 
watery, but later of a greenish yellow color and sticky. The glands 
under the jaw, in the intermaxillary space, become swollen. 
When the discharge from the nostrils has fully developed, the 
fever decreases. Sometimes the disease is accompanied with deep 
seated abscesses which may prove fatal. 


Trcatjiiciit. — \Mien the tumor forms regularly in the sub- 
maxillary space, and is of the ordinary size, the abscess generally 
comes to maturity without much trouble or inconvenience. If, 
however, it is situated high up towards the parotid glands, the 
distress in the breathing will often be very great, and the fever 
run high. The great object is to assist nature to develop the 
eruption fully and quickly, as strangles runs a specific course ; 
hence, good nursing and soft food, on account of the attending 
sore throat, are the principal things. The appetite must be 
watched, and tempted with grass, if to be had. Sick animals soon 
tire of bran mash, so that linseed meal should be on hand to add 
to the mash or make a separate gruel. Cut hay, steamed, and oats 
softened with boiling water may be given as soon as the animal 
can eat. Blankets and leg bandages should be used, and if the 
legs are cold they should be hand rubbed. No purgative medicine 
should be given. 

During the period when the animal is coughing and the dis- 
charge is sticky, steaming will give some relief by allaying in- 
flammation. A little tar added to the hot water for steaming is 
soothing. The swollen glands should be bathed with warm water 
and flaxseed poultices. Blisters and irritating liniments should 
not be applied to the throat. 

As soon as the tumor has headed it should be freely opened, for 
if opened at a favorable point the incision is not so apt to leave 
a blemish as a ragged natural opening. The abscess must be kept 
open, if necessary, by a piece of tow, and warm water should be 
occasionally injected into it. 

The tumor does not always form favorably, but sometimes 
comes on the shoulders or front of the chest, and occasionally on 
some of the internal glandular structures. 


Spasmodic Colic. — This is a griping or spasmodic contraction 
of the muscular coat of any part of the intestines. The usual seat 
of trouble is the small intestine, although impaction of food in 
the large intestine may cause it. It is always accompanied by 
pain of an intermittent character. 

Symptoms. — The early sign of colic is sudden pain in the 
region of the intestines, indicated by the horse looking anxiously 
around at his flanks. As the pain increases, the animal becomes 
more restless ; paws ; kicks at his belly ; lies down and gets up 
frequently ; wants to roll over when down. After a time the 
spasm passes away, to return again after a brief interval with 
the same signs. 

During the paroxysm of pain the pulse is much quickened and 
the breathing accelerated ; during the intervals they return to the 
normal. During the attack there may frequently be a passage 
of hard, angular dung pellets. Ineffectual attempts to pass urine 
are frequently made. 

Favorable indications are an increase in the intervals of time 
between attacks, and each attack becoming slighter than the pre- 
ceding one. If the animal passes wind and soft dung, it is a favor- 
able sign. The increase or decrease of the attack is also indi- 
cated by the tenseness of the belly, or the reverse. The symptoms 
are only those of pain, no inflammation being present, and the 
extremities and skin continuing normal. 

Treatment. — The spasms being caused by an irritant of some 
sort in the bowels, the treatment is directed to removing this as 
soon as possible. For this purpose administer a drench of one 
pint of raw linseed oil, one dram cannabis indica and one dram 
nitrous ether. If a light case, where overloading of the stomach 
does not exist, give an antispasmodic compound — a minimum 


dose — of one ounce of sulphuric ether, one ounce of tincture of 
opium, and one dram of powdered ginger, in cold water. 

There are many other simple remedies useful in relieving this 
trouble. An injection of warm water may be used with the other 
remedies. Rubbing the belly and legs gives comfort, but some 
horses are very violent, and must be handled with care. A favor- 
able sign of relief is the free passage of urine. The horse should 
be watched for several hours after the attack has passed. 

Flatulent Colic. — This is more to be dreaded than the 
spasmodic colic. It is apt to be chronic, resulting at times from 
imperfect digestion. 

Symptoms. — There is distention of the belly, which is resonant 
on percussion. The expression of pain is not so acute as in spas- 
modic colic, but more constant ; there is more or less delirium ; 
the animal is unsteady upon his feet, and his extremities are 

Treatment. — Give as a drench two ounces of bicarbonate of 
soda, one or two ounces of sulphuric ether, and one to two 
ounces of tincture of opium, dissolved in cold water. Also use 
oil and injections, as in spasmodic colic. 

In both spasmodic and flatulent colic, if relief is not obtained, 
the dose should be repeated at intervals of an hour. 

In some cases it may be necessary to puncture the animal on 
the right side, in the triangular space bounded by the vertebrae, 
the hip bone and the last rib ; puncture with a trocar, and leaVe 
the canula in the opening temporarily. The trocar should be 
directed downward and inward. This should be done by a 
veterinarian or specially trained farrier. 

Constipation. — This exists when the faeces are wholly re- 
tained, or are scanty, hard and small. 


Symptoms. — When of long standing the coat is rough and 
staring. There is a sHght swelHng of the extremities, sometimes, 
a distended condition of the belly, and loss of appetite. In all 
cases the animal strains in voiding the fasces, which are usually, 
though not always small, hard and dry. There is not usually 
any sign of pain. 

Treatment. — In mild or recent cases the diet should be laxative, 
and as varied as convenient. An injection of tepid water and 
sweet oil twice a day for a few days will be useful. In prolonged 
cases a good purgative may be necessary. 

DiARRHCEA. — This is a scouring of the bowels, resulting from 
a natural efifort to expel some irritating substance, or from change 
from dry forage to green grass. If unchecked the animal loses 
flesh rapidly at times. 

Treatment. — Give a laxative of one-half pint of raw linseed oil. 
Give an infusion of gentian, one ounce, and one to two ounces of 
tincture of opium ; feed dry food. 

Other remedies recommended are tannic acid, prepared chalk, 
or powdered opium. 

Chronic Indigestion. — This is a catarrh of the stomach and 
bowels arising from a variety of causes, as feeding when the 
animal is exhausted ; irregularity in feeding and watering ; im- 
perfect mastication ; irregularities of the teeth and poor or unripe 

Symptoms. — Appetite diminished and depraved; constipation 
alternating with looseness of the bowels ; passage of whole grain, 
impacted masses of hay and much wind. Animal loses flesh and 
skin appears hard, dry and tight (hidebound). Frequent yawn- 
ing and turning outward the upper lip. Frequently attended 
with colicky pains. 


Trcat})iC}it. — Examine the teeth and correct any undue sharp- 
ness or irregularity, or remove if decayed. Good water and food, 
with regularity; if horse bolts his food, spread it out to make 
him eat slow. Regular exercise. To counteract excessive gas, 
give one dram of bicarbonate soda twice a day or one heaping 
tablespoonful of the soda, powdered ginger and powdered gentian, 
mixed, twice a day before feeding. The mixture should be dis- 
solved in half a pint of w-ater and given as a drench. 

Profuse Urixatiox. — This disease, as its name indicates, is 
characterized by great increase and peculiar alteration of the 
urine, and the body becomes emaciated. The presence in the sys- 
tem of the poison of glanders, indigestion, or feeding on musty 
hay or oats, or boiled grain, all tend to produce this condition. 

S\iupto}iis. — Excessive thirst and unusual urination, accom- 
panied by depraved appetite, characterize the disease. The mucous 
membranes are pale and dirty-colored, the breath offensive, and 
the pulse thin and weak. A rough coat and a disposition to per- 
spire on slight exertion, are accompanying symptoms. 

Treatment. — The food should be changed, grass being given, 
if procurable. If the water is hard, it should be boiled. If the 
horse can be induced to drink linseed tea, he should have it freely. 
As great prostration accompanies this disease, a liberal diet should 
be allowed, preferably of a laxative nature. 

Retention of Urixe. — Anything which may impede the flow 
of urine, such as a spasm of the neck of the bladder, cancer of 
the penis, or dirt in the sheath, may cause the condition. It may 
result from inability of the animal to rise to its feet on account of 
some other trouble. 

Symptoms. — These are frequent and ineffectual attempts to 
urinate, although the animal strains and groans with his efforts. 


Treatment. — Apply hot cloths to the loins and hand rub the 
belly ; put on blankets and shake up the bedding, which sometimes 
causes so much desire to urinate that the horse overcomes his 
difficulty. If these fail, and a catheter is at hand, relieve the 
bladder by mechanical means. 

Glanders.— This is a contagious, malignant and fatal disease, 
caused by a specific virus or bacilli which gains entrance to the 
system most easily when the animal is debilitated. Glanders and 
Farcy are regarded as one and the same disease, the former term 
being applied when the disease manifests itself in the internal 
organs, especially in the nostrils, lungs and air tubes, and the 
latter when the principal manifestation is an outbreak of the 
lesions on the exterior or skin of the animal. Glanders is a consti- 
tutional disease communicable to man. 

Transmission of the disease occurs by direct contact of the 
discharges of the glandered animal, with the tissues of a sound 
one ; by swallowing the virus when mixed with food or inhaling 
it when dried and floating in the air ; or by other means in which 
it may be introduced. Glanders may afifect a horse for a long 
period in a latent from without being detected. It is particularly 
insidious in this form because through the use of watering troughs 
and buckets, feed boxes, bridles, harness, curry combs and other 
articles it may be transmitted to many animals before its true 
source is located. While the discharge from a case of chronic 
glanders may not contain so many active bacilli as that from a 
case of acute glanders, if it infects an animal, it will produce the 
same disease as the latter. The infected case may assume an acute 
or chronic form, according to the susceptibility of the animal in- 
fected ; the result does not depend upon the character of the dis- 
ease from which the virus was derived. Mules are more apt than 


horses to develop the acute form of glanders. With good care, 
good food and comfortable surroundings, with little work, an 
animal aflfected with glanders may live for many months and per- 
haps for years. With a few days hard work, deprivation of food 
and exposure to bad weather, the latent seeds of the disease will 
usually break out and develop in an acute form. 

Sympfo}}is. — In chronic glanders the symptoms include bleeding 
from the nostrils without apparent cause ; a chronic cough and 
swelling of a hind leg which may extend from the pastern up to 
the stifle. The swelling is hot and painful to the touch and renders 
the animal stiff and lame. Nodules from the size of a shot to that 
of a small pea form in the mucous membranes of the respiratory 
tract. They may be just inside the nostrils or on the septum 
which divides one nasal cavity from the other, where they may be 
easily detected. They may also form higher up in the nasal cavity, 
in the larynx, the wind pipe or even in the lungs. The nodules 
are at first red and hard but later they soften and become yellow ; 
they soon break resulting in small ulcers with ragged edges known 
as chancres. The eruption of the ulcers and the accompanying 
discharge, which is of a gluey nature sometimes tinged with blood, 
soon cause an irritation of the neighboring lymphatics. The 
glands on the inside of the jaws become hard and nodulated, a 
condition not easily confounded with the puffy swollen glands and 
tissues found in strangles. 

On healing, the chancres on the mucous membranes leave small, 
whitish pit like scars, which remain for an indefinite time. In 
chronic glanders the animal looses flesh and becomes hidebound ; 
the skin becomes dry, the hair stands on end and a generally de- 
praved appearance results. There is rarely any great amount of 


Chronic farcy is characterized by the formation of Httle nodes, 
varying in size from that of a buckshot to that of a walnut, on 
the under surface of the skin and commonly known as farcy 
" buds." They are hot, sensitive to the touch and soon become 
soft and degenerate into ulcers. The discharge accumulates on 
the hairs and forms scabs which gradually loosen and fall off. 

The farcy buds occur most frequently on the sides of the lips, 
the neck, the lower part of the shoulders, the inside of the thighs 
and the outside of the legs. They may, however, occur on any 
part of the body. The lymphatic vessels in the vicinity of the 
ulcers may become swollen and indurated, making cord like ridges 
under the skin. They may finally disappear but often form 
elongated, irregular ulcers. The buds, cords, ulcers and peculiar 
discharge are the essential symptoms in a diagnosis of farcy. 

Acute glanders is characterized by the same symptoms as 
chronic glanders and farcy but in a more acute and aggravated 
form. The temperature rises as high as 105° and the contagion 
is in its most virulent form. There is a rapid outbreak of nodules 
in the respiratory tract which degenerate quickly into ulcers with 
much discharge from the nostrils. There is a cough of more or 
less severity. Small swellings or " buds," which become rapidly 
filled with pus, occur over the surface of the body and break into 
ulcers. The eruption is generally preceded by bleeding from the 
nostrils, swelling of one of the hind legs and in case of a stallion, 
swelling of the testicles. Indurated cords and enlargement of the 
lymphatics occur. As the symptoms become more marked the 
animal has difficulty in breathing, the flanks heave, and the pulse 
becomes rapid; the animal fails rapidly and death ensues. 

Treatment. — An animal in- which glanders or farcy is sus- 
pected should be at once isolated, and when the disease is clearly 


manifested there should be no hesitation about destroying the 
animal, since no known methods of treatment avail to do more 
than prolong- for a time an unhealthy existence. The difficulty 
of detection of this disease in its incipiency is so great and the 
results of an outbreak so much to be feared that the mallein test 
should be made on every animal before loading for transportation 
at sea. 

The test consists in the injection, beneath the skin, of mallein, 
a sterilized extract from a culture of glanders bacilli. The char- 
acter of reaction affords a means of determining the condition of 
the animal. Before applying the test the temperature of the 
animal should be taken, and if not normal the cause of the varia- 
tion should be determined. 

The side of the neck is usually chosen as the site of the in- 
jection. The parts near the point selected should be carefully 
shaved and disinfected with a 5 per cent solution of carbolic acid 
or other antiseptic. Great care should be taken to sterilize the 
syringe before and after using. A cubic centimeter of mallein 
is used for each injection. 

Beginning five or six hours after the inoculation the temperature 
should be taken at intervals of one hour for a period of from 
twelve to twenty-four hours. The reaction, or symptoms shown 
by the glandered horse, consists in a rise of temperture of from 
two to five degrees ; a large swelling at the point of inoculation, 
which is extremely sensitive to the touch ; a general appearance 
of illness, and finally a stiffness in the muscles and joints. The 
existence of these symptoms may be accepted as good evidence 
of the presence of glanders. In case of a healthy animal or one 
free from glanders, there may be a small swelling, at the point 
of inoculation, which disappears in about twenty-four hours, and 


a rise of about one degree of temperature, but no appreciable 
constitutional disturbance.* 

Influenza. — This is a contagious and infectious disease, ac- 
companied by fever, great depression and frequent inflammatory 
complications. The disease is very apt, under certain conditions 
of the atmosphere, to assume an epizootic form with a tendency 
to complication of special organs. Under various names, " Pink 
eye," " Epizootic," etc., it has ravaged the country at times. When 
the disease g-ets located in a cavalry command, the latter may be 
counted out of action for some time. 

* Glanders appeared among the horses of the 3d squadron, 14th Cavalry, 
comprising Troops I, K, L, and M, stationed at Jolo, Philippine Islands. 
The mallein test was administered to all the animals, one troop at a time, 
and those that reacted to the test were isolated from the healthy animals 
and given repeated injections of mallein until reaction ceased. Animals 
which developed no symptoms of glanders and gave no further reaction to 
the mallein test were returned to duty. The following is a summary of 
the tests which began in August, 1904: 

Number of cavalry horses in squadron 215 

Proven infected by first mallein injection ^2 

Proven infected by second mallein injection 35 

Proven infected by third mallein injection n 

Immediately after the first injection the horses (72 in number) which 
reacted were quarantined in a temporary stable. The second test was 
applied four weeks after the first. One horse developed glanders ten days 
after the first injection, and three after the second. These four horses 
were destroyed. The remaining 68 were ultimately returned to duty in 
their respective troops and at the expiration of six months continued 
apparently healthy, no new cases having appeared during that time. 

Whether or not the mallein test be ultimately proven to be a cure for 
glanders, the facts as set forth appear to indicate that the disease in its 
incipient stages may subsequently disappear without other treatment than 
injections of mallein. 

There has been considerable discussion as to the therapeutic value of 
mallein but the veterinary medical profession has by no means accepted the 
experiments so far made as finally determining its value except for 


SxDiptoiiis. — The animal becomes dejected, inattentive to sur- 
rounding objects and stands with his head down. A high fever 
is rapidly developed. Severe chills ensue. The stupor becomes 
more marked ; the eyes become puffy and swollen with excessive 
running of tears. With any attempt at movement the horse stag- 
gers and shows a w^ant of coordination of his limbs. There is 
generally a loss of appetite and an increase of thirst. The legs, 
sheath and belly become swollen. These conditions all remain 
during the specific course of the disease, which generally runs 
from six to ten days. 

Treatment. — The aim should be to support the animal through 
the disease, and enable nature to throw off the morbid material 
in the system. Exertion of any kind should be prevented. Good 
nursing, absolute quiet, and food mostly of a laxative character, 
are prime requisites. Water should be kept where the animal 
can help itself. 

Lampas. — This is an active inflammation and swelling of the 
ridges of the roof of the horse's mouth. It is a trifling ailment. 

Symptoms. — The soreness of the palate prevents the animal 
from eating for a few days, and the inflammation sometimes 
causes feverish symptoms. 

Treatment. — A few days of feeding wet bran and other soft 
food will cause the inflammation to subside. The brutal practice 
of burning the palate with a hot iron should never be allowed. 
If marching where it is necessary to keep up the horse's strength, 
an early recovery may be induced by scarifying the swollen roof 
of the mouth in front of the third ridge with a knife or lancet. 

Lockjaw. — This is a disease caused by a specific bacillus often 
found in the superficial layer of the soil, in manure and sometimes 
in the dust. It appears to thrive on wounds from which the air 


is excluded. The disease frequently does not develop or manifest 
itself until sometime after a wound has healed. 

The disease is most commonly induced by picking up rusty 
nails or other bits of iron, causing an injury to the sensitive 
portion of the foot, but it arises not infrequently from a punctured 
wound of the back or loins. The disease is very common in the 
Philippine Islands, arising usually from punctured wounds and 
has been attended with an almost total mortality. 

Symptoms.— The attack is characterized by more or less closure 
of the jaws ; sometimes the teeth are firmly fixed together ; also 
great difficulty in swallowing, rigidity of the limbs, and extreme 
difficulty in moving. The animal pokes out his nose as if suffering 
from sore throat. As the disease advances the jaws become so 
tightly locked that neither food nor medicine can be introduced 
through them. The ears are held erect and turned to the front, 
the eyes are retracted, and the haw partially protrudes; the 
nostrils are dilated. The animal spreads his legs wide apart, and 
stands persistently with tail erect. The belly is tense and tucked 
up, and the muscles everywhere stand out prominent and rigid. 
Obstinate constipation and torpidity of the bladder form a marked 
feature of the symptoms, which, in general, reach their height 
in three or four days. 

Treatment.— The exciting cause should be sought for. If it 
is a wound of the foot the offending substance must be removed, 
and the opening enlarged to give free passage for the pus which 
has accumulated. The hoof should be pared down quite thin 
about the hole to make an easy exit for the pus, and a flaxseed 
poultice applied, to which belladonna is added. 

As soon as the attack is recognized, a purgative should be ad- 
ministered. Solid extract of belladonna may be given twice daily ; 


the medicine may be placed in the mouth and ahowed to dissolve 
slowly. Oatmeal gruel in liquid form should be left so that the 
horse can suck it from a bucket without opening- his mouth. 
During convalescence provide laxative, nutritious food, and give 

Perfect rest and quiet are necessary; the stable should be 
darkened, and the horse disturbed as seldom as possible, even by 
the attendant. A pail of water should be left within reach of the 
horse at all times. 

Ulcerative LvMPHAXGiTis.^This disease prevails in many 
tropical countries under various local names. It resembles true 
farcy to such an extent that it was frequently mistaken for that 
disease during the early period of American occupation in the 
Ihilippine Islands although the luallein test failed to produce the 
glanders reaction. It is caused by a specific parasite, the infection 
being generally communicated through inoculation of a wound 
or abrasion of the skin. The period of incubation is variously 
estimated at from two weeks to three months. It is contagious, 
being easily communicated by direct contact or through the use 
of harness, curry combs, brushes, or rubbing against the sides of 
stalls and hitching posts. Whether the infection may, or mav 
not, be carried by flies or other insects has not yet been established. 
The disease is attended with some losses, probably not exceeding 
ten per cent. 

Symptoms. — The first symptom usually noticed is a small swell- 
ing from the size of a pea to that of a hazel nut, which may a])pear 
on any part of the body generally in the vicinity of a wound or 
where a wound has been, the favorite locations being along the 
sides, down the front legs, and on the inside of the hind legs. Soon 
more of the enlargements appt'ar along the course of the Ivm- 


phatics. They are hard to the touch at first, but soon suppurate, a 
soft spot appearing in the center of each in from four to five 
days, and which, on opening, discharges a thick, creamy pus. In 
some instances the abscesses attain the size of a hen's egg. In the 
early stage, there is no impairment of appetite, the general health 
is not affected, and the animal is able to continue his daily work. 
If, at this time, the disease is energetically combatted, it usually 
terminates with a cure within from one to three months. 

There are occasionally refractory cases in which the disease 
becomes general ; the animal is then covered with a mass of ab- 
scesses ; one or more of the legs may swell to considerable size ; 
complications set in and the general health becomes impaired to 
such an extent that the animal dies from exhaustion. In some 
cases ulcers appear on the nasal mucous membrane but they do 
not have the pit-like depressions which characterize the ulcers in 

The diagnosis of ulcerative lymphangitis differs from that of 
farcy-glanders in several essential particulars. The discharge in 
the former is thick, creamy and yellow, whereas in true farcy- 
glanders it is sticky, bloody and yellow. The irregularity of the 
location of the abscesses in ulcerative lymphangitis is marked, and 
the individual ulcers are characterized by elevation rather than 
depression. There is not much disturbance to the general system 
in the early stages of the disease and it responds readily to treat- 
ment. American horses and mules have responded to treatment 
much more readily and completely than native ponies. Unlike 
surra, the disease does not appear to affect carabaos, cattle or 
other domestic animals. 

Treatment. — Heroic treatment is imperative and consists in the 
prompt opening of all abscesses as they appear, and thorough 


cauterization to destroy the unhealthy tissue. Pure carboHc acid, 
powdered acetate of lead or other caustics, and as a last resort 
the hot iron may be used. After five or six days, and when the 
wounds appear as healthy granulations, antiseptic dressings or 
dusting powders — iodoform, boric acid, oxide of zinc, etc.. — 
should be used. Good results have been obtained through one- 
dram doses of iodide of potassium twice a day. A cathartic of 
aloes should be given at the commencement of treatment ; a ball 
composed of one ounce aloes, one dram calomel, one-half dram 
ginger, and syrup in sufficient quantity to mix, is recommended. 

Sunstroke. — This is a cerebral trouble produced generally by 
the direct rays of the sun falling upon the head, in combination 
with humid atmosphere. 

Symptoms. — The animal stops suddenly, drops his head, begins 
to stagger, breathes with a loud noise, sweat breaks out and pulse 
becomes very slow and irregular, temperature very high, and often 
the animal dies without recovering consciousness. 

Treatment. — Cold applications of water or ice on the head ; cold 
spray over body with hose ; cold injections in rectum, and give 
stimulants, which may be repeated in one hour if necessary. The 
animal should be placed in the shade and kept as cool and quiet as 

Heat Stroke. — This is caused by excessive exertion and the 
over-heating of the whole body. 

Symptoms. — The animal usually requires urging for some time 
previous to the appearance of any other symptom ; perspiration 
is checked ; breathing hurried ; eyes watery or bloodshot ; nostrils 
dilated and very red gradually turning purple ; pulse rapid but 
weak. If recovery takes place, convalescence extends for a long 


Treatment. — Practically the same as for sunstroke. 

Thumps. — This is a spasm of the diaphragm caused bv over- 

Symptoms. — Severe shocks, accompanied by a dull thumping 
sound, may be observed in the left side and flank. The horse 
breathes with a quick jerking expiration. 

Treatment. — Absolute quiet is essential. Give two ounces of 
aromatic spirits of ammonia in a pint of water, or two ounces 
sweet spirits of niter and two drams fluid extract belladonna in 
a pint of water. If necessary repeat either dose in one hour. 

Surra. — This is a fatal disease which prevails in many tropical 
countries under various local names. It is caused by a specific 
infection, the parasites being known under the general term of 
Trypanosoma, which is also responsible for the tsetse fly disease 
of South Africa. The disease is not confined to horses and mules 
but affects other animals ; the parasite has been identified in 
carabao, camels, monkeys, dogs and rats. 

Surra occurs over large areas of tropical countries and is 
usually more severe during the rainy season. The disease has 
raged in Burma and China where the temperature ranges gen- 
erally lower than in the Philippine Islands. The disease has 
been reported in India, Persia, Syria, Tonquin, Java, Borneo, 
Madagascar, Egypt and South Africa and in all cases the fatal 
nature of the malady has been the same as in the Philippines. The 
difficulty and expense attendant upon bringing animals from the 
United States caused every effort to be made to find some treat- 
ment or cure which would save them to the service. No doubt 
good nursing and some forms of treatment prolonged the lives 
of many surra infected animals. The final result shows, however, 
that these efforts were not onlv of no avail but in the end were 


harmful, in that surra cases were kept at stations until the dis- 
ease had been communicated to many other animals which might 
possibly have been saved. As soon as the deadly nature of the 
disease became positivel}' known, the gravity of the situation was 
recognized and every efifort was strained towards prevention 
rather than further attempts at cure. 

While the origin of surra may be in doubt, it is now generally 
recognized as more prevalent in wet weather, probably because 
the carriers of infection are more numerous then, than during 
the dry season. It is accepted as the result of much experiment 
that the disease once introduced is rapidly disseminated through 
the agency of flies and other insects. The age, sex and breed of 
the animals seem to play no part in the dissemination of the dis- 
ease. Native ponies seem to possess no advantage over imported 
animals. It has heretofore been accepted that the disease origi- 
nates in the horse through eating grass cut from marsh or over- 
flowed land but the results of the most recent experiments in the 
Philippines are opposed to this theory. The consensus of opinion 
of recent investigators is that the disease is not communicated 
through the taking of infected water or food into the system so 
long as the niiicoiis manhrancs are sound. When infection oc- 
curs through the alimentary tract, it does so through a wounded 
mucous membrane. The infection may be conveyed by a change 
of bridles between a sick and a well horse ; through a healthy 
animal licking sores on a sick animal ; by grazing over the same 
ground or drinking from the same vessel ; the infection takes 
place only ivhen the parasite is introduced in a wound or lesion 
of the healthy animal. The common means of transmission are 
biting and stinging insects, certain flies, and, to a less extent, fleas 
being the usual agents. The infection is due to mechanical trans- 


mission of the parasite. It has been determined that some kinds 
of animals harbor the parasite with little or no inconvenience, 
and this furnishes a possible means for carrying the elements of 
disease over from year to year. Recent scientific investigation 
in the Philippines has failed to produce the slightest eveidence 
that infection by food or drink ever occurs through sound mucosa. 

Symptoms. — The first symptoms to be noticed are dullness and 
a rise of temperature and the appearance of the parasite in the 
blood. For some days a remittent or intermittent fever may be 
the only evidence of sickness. One of the earliest symptoms fol- 
lowing a rise of temperature is the pallor of the mucous mem- 
branes, which first become pearly white and later take on a decided 
yellowish tinge. In some cases the submaxillary glands become 
swollen and sensitive to the touch. Respiration is quickened and 
in many instances more or less labored. The animal gradually 
becomes stupid ; a watery, catarrhal discharge takes place ; the 
hair looks rough and sometimes falls out in places ; marked 
emaciation develops ; edema of the genitals and surrounding parts 
and of the belly appears ; this swelling may extend forward 
between the fore legs and to the chest. The edema also extends 
to the hind legs, being most marked below the hocks ; the fore legs 
may be involved but usually to a less extent. A partial paralysis 
of the hind quarters usually occurs which causes the horse to 
stagger when in motion and is very characteristic. 

The parasites are numerous in the blood during the first few 
days after the rise of temperature, following which they mys- 
teriously disappear. This appearance and disappearance may take 
place a number of times during the course of the disease. In the 
later stages of the disease parasites may be found in the blood in 
larger numbers and with a higher temperature than at any time 


previously. There has been a wide divergence of opinion as to 
the period of incubation of the surra parasite when introduced 
into the system of a horse. The most recent data has justified 
the fixing of a much shorter period than heretofore, being gen- 
erally witlun ten days, and in a large majority of cases between 
four and seven days. 

There are usually no intestinal symptoms of importance and the 
appetite remains good except at the height of the fever. In many 
cases a severe diarrhoea develops a few days before death. 

Anemia is progressive and is a constant, prominent symptom. 
The discharge from the eyes, at first watery, gradually becomes 
very tenacious and solidifies in the corners of the eyes. In some 
stages of the disease various skin eruptions occur, frequentlv 
resulting in localized ulceration. As the disease progresses, 
thirst increases, the body becomes more and more sluggish, the 
animal hangs its head and is heedless of what is going on about 
it, paying no attention to swarms of flies. The pulse is at first 
normal, but the heart becomes weaker, the edema increases and 
death from heart failure generally occurs. The course of the 
disease varies greatly in individual cases, some dying suddenly 
and others lingering for many weeks. 

Treatment. — The mortality experienced in the Philippine 
Islands has been total, and until scientists discover some means 
of rendering animals immune, the only safe plan is to isolate 
each animal coming under suspicion and as soon as a diagnosis 
of surra is pronounced the animal should be destroyed. The 
isolation of suspicious cases should be as complete as possible and 
protection should be directed so as to exclude flies, mosquitoes, 
fleas and rats ; this is the only way to prevent infection being- 
carried. J'lxpcriments have disclosed that flies can transfer the 


parasites on their probosii or feet and infect a wounded surface 
within 24 to 36 hours after leaving a surra affected animal. 

Foreign Bodies in the Eye. — These are generally seeds, 
particles of hay or straw, or small grains of dirt. The trouble 
usually occurs at night, and is indicated by tears more or less 
profuse running from a closed eye. 

Treatment. — The particles will be generally found under the 
upper eyelid, which may be gently turned back over a pencil or 
other smooth article, and the irritating substance removed ; after- 
ward bathe the eye in lukewarm water, and cover it with a wet 

Laceration of Eyelid. — This occurs from being bitten by 
another horse, striking against nails or splinters while rubbing 
against the stall. 

Treatment. — No part should be cut away unless it is so badly 
lacerated as to make reunion improbable. There is a strong 
natural tendency to reunion of these parts, and with judicious 
management a successful result is often obtained even in very 
severe injuries. The parts may be brought together with two or 
three stitches. A wet cloth should be hung over the eye, and care 
taken to prevent the animal rubbing against the manger. 

Mange. — This disease depends upon the presence of a parasitic 
insect, which is so minute as to be seen only with much difficulty. 
The attacks cause itching of the skin, and the hair falls ofi in 
patches. Any horse affected should be isolated, and other animals 
should not be groomed with the same brush and currycomb. It 
generally commences at the roots of the hair of the mane and 
tail. Minute pustules appear, the summits of which gradually 
expand, burst, and coalesce with one another, and the united dis- 


charge from them forms patches of crusts upon the skin. It is 
under these crusts that the hair loosens and falls out. 

Treatment. — The treatment of mange must be thorough to be 
effective. The parts aft'ected should be washed with soap and 
water, and be dressed with a solution of carbolic acid in the 
proportion of half an ounce of the acid to a pint of water, going 
over a part of the horse each day. In slight and recent cases the 
skin will recover its tone when the mites have been killed, and in 
most cases the hair will grow out again. Only a small portion 
of the affected surface, not exceeding an eighth, should be covered 
each day, for the carbolic acid, if too freely used, may be absorbed 
by the skin and poison the animal. Creolin is much safer in the 
farrier's hands and is quite as effective. A solution of one part 
creolin to thirty or forty of water may be used with impunity, or 
a mixture of five parts creolin and twenty parts cosmoline may 
be applied after washing. 

Scratches. — This is a condition of the skin in and about the 
hollow of the heel akin to chapped hands ; it is also called cracked 
heels. It is usually produced by exposure to wet and cold. In 
the chronic form it is known as grease. Clipping of the long hair 
or fetlocks, which is the natural protection of the parts, is apt to 
produce it.* 

Synnptonis. — Lameness, more pronounced when starting off. 
Drw inflamed condition of the skin about the heel, and formation 
of small crusts, from which a thin, watery discharge exudes. 

Treatment. — Keep the parts dry, if possible. If necessary to 

* In preparing his troop for the annual visit of the Inspector-General 
during the spring, the author was misled by a spell of warm weather, and 
premature shedding of the horses, and in consequence had all the fetlocks 
trimmed. On the day of the inspection a cold rain set in, and almost the 
entire troop broke out in a few days with clearly defined cases of scratches. 


wash, do so with warm water and castile soap, and dry thoroughly 
If the skin be unbroken, rub with fresh lard and vaseline. Dust 
with powdered alum twice a day. If cracked, rub with one part 
oxide of zinc and six parts of cosmoline, mixed, or one part 
sulphur to six of cosmoline. It is a troublesome affection, and if 
the animals are in camp, and exposed to standing on muddy picket 
lines, it is very difficult to cure. 

Broken Knees. — Under this name are included all injuries to 
the knees, from a simple scratch to serious fractures of the bones, 
and which usually arise from a fall. 

Treatment. — If the skin is simply bruised, the hair scraped ofif 
and a little blood oozing from the surface of the skin, a dressing 
of white lotion will probably heal it, and the hair will soon grow 

When the skin is cut, wash it thoroughly to remove dirt and 
foreign substances, clip away the hair, bring the edges together, 
and fasten with plaster. Put a muslin bandage around the knee. 
In all cases the limb must be kept as free from motion as possible. 
Tie up the horse's head so that he cannot lie down for a few 
days, and where he will not be apt to strike his wounded knee 
against the manger. 

If inflammation sets in free exit must be allowed for pus, and 
hot fomentations applied until it subsides, after which the healing 
process may be encouraged by cold applications. A pledget of 
wool or tow, covered with white of egg and placed on the wound, 
and a wet pad bandaged lightly over this, will exclude air and 

If the tendon is crushed the case may become so serious as to 
call for the destruction of the animal, as is done in case the acci- 
dent has been sufficiently severe to fracture one or more bones of 
the knee. 


Calkixg or Treads. — This is an injury of the coronet, gen- 
erally inflicted by the shoe of the other foot, or by the foot of 
another horse in the herd, or in ranks. 

Treatment. — Remove any jagged ends and apply tincture of 
arnica. Keep the wound clean, and bathe three times a day with 
white lotion. If neglected it may terminate in quittor. 

Canker. — This is a morbid secretion of the sensitive frog and 
sole, involving the corresponding insensitive parts. It usually has 
its origin in neglected thrush, but it may be due to constitutional 
causes. Both thrush and canker are very prevalent in the Philip- 
pine Islands, probably owing to the dampness and mud which 
prevail for a greater portion of the time in that climate. 

Symptoms. — These consist of an abundant, foetid, and colorless 
discharge from the frog, which is large, spongy, and covered by 
a fungoid growth, intermixed with offensive matter. 

Treatment. — This consists in the complete exposure of the dis- 
eased surface, in the application of pressure, and in thorough 
dryness. The diseased portion, including the sole, must be re- 
moved, and the surface of the cavity burnt with a hot iron ; dress 
with powdered calomel or sulphate of copper daily. The sole is 
then covered with dry tow, and the foot enclosed in bandages or 
a leather boot. 

Capped Hock. — Synovial capped hock is a firm, tluctuating 
swelling on and about the point of the hock, resulting in lameness 
and sometimes decay of the bone. The injury is usually caused by 
striking the hocks in kicking or while in the act of lying down 
or getting up. 

Treatment. — Use either applications of hot water or cooling 
lotions to reduce the swelling, then apply a blister. The swelling 
usually becomes chronic. 


Contracted Heels. — This is a shrinking of the tissues of the 
foot and drawing" together of the heels which is very common 
among horses. It usually afTects the fore feet. It arises to a 
certain extent in the feet of horses raised in marshy districts and 
transferred to streets and stables where there is little moisture. 
The common causes of contracted heels are faulty shoeing, cut- 
ting away bars, frog and heels and rasping the hoof wall. 

Symptoms. — The foot has lost its circular shape and the heels 
are drawn together so much that the circumference of the foot 
at the bottom is less than at the coronet. The frog is much 
shrunken and is pinched up between the heels instead of being in 
contact with the ground. The sole is very concave and the whole 
hoof is hard, dry and lifeless. On first leaving his stall the animal 
is stiff and inclined to walk on his toes. 

Treatment. — It is most difificult to ameliorate the condition of 
contracted feet if the animal must continue at work on hard roads. 
Stop rasping the hoof and cutting the bars, frog and heels and 
keep the feet moist. If possible, remove the shoes and turn the 
horse out in a moist meadow pasture. If the animal must continue 
at work, reset the shoes frequently and do not use calks unless 
absolutely necessary. Owing to a tendency to cause stumbling 
it is a serious disease for a cavalry or saddle horse. 

Corns. — Corns are bruises of the sole, usually occurring in the 
angle formed by the bars and the crust in front of the heel. They 
are rarely found on the hindfeet. Corns are very similar to blood 
blisters on the human skin, and are probably formed suddenly by 
a bruising blow. An indirect cause of corns is bad shoeing, the 
practice of filing off the crust to make a good-looking foot from 
the blacksmith's point of view, and also from the senseless and 
brutal practice of cutting out the bars. Sometimes they are 


probably caused by stepping" on a stone. When the horse goes 
lame from no other known cause, apply the pinchers, as before 
described, to various points, with firm pressure, until the flinching 
of the horse shows that the right spot has been found. 

Treatment. — The treatment usually consists in removing the 
cause, which is nearly always undue pressure of the shoe. Paring 
out corns gets rid of them for a time, but it should be borne in 
mind that the only means of preventing a recurrence of them 
consists in the maintenance of a good, sound, unrasped crust and 
unpared bars, in order that properly fitted shoes may have a 
correct bearing. 

Curb. — This is an inflammation of the ligament, accompanied 
h\ a hard and painful swelling at the back of the hock, usually 
caused by a sprain. In the earliest stages it shows itself as a 
small, hard lump or ridge upon the lower part of the back of the 
hock about five inches below the point. As the disease progresses, 
it is often accompanied by lameness of a severe character. Hocks 
which are much bent are peculiarly liable to curb and other ail- 
ments resulting from sprains. 

Treatment. — Reduce the inflammation l)y fomentations ; use a 
high-heeled shoe, and apply a Ijlister to stimulate absorption of the 
exudation. If the inflammation subsides and the lameness con- 
tinues, firing may be tried. 

IxTEREERiNG. — This is striking a fetlock with the opposite foot, 
causing a contusion, often abrading or scratching the surface, and 
commonl}' occurring with the hind feet only. Horses when much 
fatigued are apt to interfere, particularly if badly shod. Injury 
is sometimes occasioned by a poorly clinched nail. The occurrence 
is generally indicated by the horse flinching, and if badly struck 
he may carr\- the injured leg oft' the ground for several steps 


Proper shoeing is the best remedy. Leather pads are used with 
driving animals to receive the blow and prevent cutting the leg. 

Laminitis or Founder. — This is an inflammation of the sensi- 
tive laminae which cover the outer and upper surface of the coffin 
bone, and is known commonly as " founder." The original 
attack is always acute. It may be entirely relieved, but often a 
change of structure results from the effects of the acute attack. 
It is very painful and is attended with much lameness. The pain 
is due to confinement of the products effused by the inflammation 
within the outer hard case of the foot, and the pressure thereby 
caused on the sensitive structures of the interior. 

The immediate cause most frequently is concussion. It may 
occur in all the feet, but the fore feet are more often affected than 
the hind ones. Concussion, over-exertion and indigestion are 
frequent causes. 

Symptoms. — The attack occurs very suddenly. The horse can 
hardly be induced to move. He seems as if all his body was 
cramped. There is heat in the feet aff'ected. As the seat of the 
disease is in the front portion of the feet, the animal will save 
that portion of his feet as much as possible by throwing his weight 
on his heels. On account of the pain the pulse is always 

Treatment. — Endeavor to relieve the local inflammation within 
the feet. Mild purgatives should be given, and if the bowels are 
torpid, use injections of warm water. Aloes or strong cathartics 
should not be given. 

Remove the shoes, and rasp the wall down level with the sole, 
so as to allow it and the frog to bear the weight. Do not pare 
the sole. 

Give laxative food, and plenty of water. Give two ounces of 



the bicarbonate of sodium twice a day in the food, and if the fever 
be high give a drench of from fifteen to thirty drops of tincture 
of aconite in water, and repeat at intervals of four hours. Put 
the feet in a tub of warm water, and also apply poultices for a 
few days. Give plenty of bedding, as the horse should lie down as 
much as possible. 

Navicular Disease. — This, in its primary stage, is inflamma- 
tion of the lower side of the navicular bone. After a time the 
tendon which passes under the bone, and its cartilage and bursa 
become involved. The navicular bone acts as a roller for the 
tendon which passes under it, and is attached to the coffin bone, 
and hence is peculiarly liable to suffer from the effects of con- 
cussion. It rarely affects the hind feet, and is most frequently 
seen in fore feet with narrow and high heels. The inflammation 
once set up in the bone leads to a variety of changes both in its 
external and internal structure. 

Symptoms. — Lameness may appear suddenly and without any 
apparent cause. It may disappear, and after a time reappear, 
either in the same or in the other foot, and thus go on for some 
time.' In time the symptoms become more marked, and in most 
cases the first sign is " pointing of the toe " in the stable, or when 
at rest outside, followed by shortness in the step and lameness. 
The foot and the horse may be examined and nothing wrong be 
found. The animal may appear sound one day and have a return 
of the lameness the next. 

With the symptoms described, if no other cause such as corns 
or laminitis can be found, and there is no external heat or injury, 
it is quite safe to diagnose the case as navicular disease. 

Treatment. — The shoes should be taken off and the frogs 
allowed to touch the ground. The feet should be placed in a cold- 


water bath for some hours during the day, and a linseed meal 
poultice applied at night. The animal should be encouraged to lie 
down so as to get the weight off his feet, and he is likely to do 
so if isolated in a dark stall. At the end of a couple of weeks, 
blister the coronet mildly. Sometimes it is well to insert a seton 
in the frog. 

Horses are sometimes "nerved" for this disease, but such 
animals soon break down, and are obviously unsafe for miHtary 

Pricking of the Foot.— This is caused by nails actually 
penetrating the sensitive laminae which line the interior of the 
horny substance of the foot, or by their being driven into the soft 
horn which surrounds them. In the latter case it may be a week 
or two before the lameness disappears. Picking up a nail produces 
a similar wound, and this is liable to occur at any time a horse is 
in use. An injury of this kind should be promptly treated, as it 
may result seriously, even producing lockjaw. 

When the sensitive sole is injured, inflammation almost always 
occurs, terminating in the formation of pus, which unless aided 
to escape, may burrow its way up and form an opening upon the 
coronet, producing a fistulous wound called quittor. In any case 
the horse shows lameness. 

Treatment.~li not readily seen, the exact point of the lameness 
may be detected by pinching around the foot with a pair of 
pinchers, one branch being against the outside of the hoof while 
the other presses the sole inside of the shoe. The injured spot 
being found, draw the nails from the shoe, carefully watching each 
as it comes out. If one appears wet, it is probably the cause of 
the trouble. 

In all cases it is essential to pare out freely, not merely the seat 


of puncture, but the surrounding sole for a considerable distance, 
with the view of affording; an easy exit for any matter which may 
form. The foot should then be soaked in hot water for at least 
an hour. 

Having taken these precautions in cases treated immediately 
after the occurrence of the injury, that is, before inflammation has 
begun, close the puncture at once with tar and tow, to exclude the 
air and lessen the chance of inflammation. Perfect rest should 
be given. 

As a rule, inflammation will set in and the formation of pus 
commence before the injury is noticed. In addition to paring the 
sole, recourse must be had to poultices of linseed meal. The in- 
sensitive sole having been pared off, the horse will not be fit for 
work until nature has resupplied enough of it for the protection 
of the foot, unless an artificial covering such as a leather shoe is 
provided. When prompt measures are taken, injuries of the 
sensitive sole seldom prove serious. 

Punctures of the Frog. — These are similar in character to 
those of the sole, and require similar treatment. They nearly 
always arise from picking up a nail. When taken in time they 
yield to treatment more readily than prick of the sole. If neg- 
lected, however, they are apt to lead to extensive disease of the 
frog, and canker may be the result. In rare cases the navicular 
bone may be punctured, when perfect recovery need not be ex- 

QuiTTOR. — This term applies to several varieties of foot affec- 
tions wherein the tissues undergo degeneration and are eliminated 
or sloughed off by suppuration. Its more common form is a fistula 
of the coronet, which burrows in various directions, with usually 
several openings upon tlic quarters and heels of the coronet. The 


most common cause is a severe tread or bruise on the coronet. It 
may also arise from a neglected corn or prick of the sole and may 
involve not only the subcutaneous tissues but also the tendons 
of the leg, ligaments of the joints and the bones of the foot. 

Treatment. — The first thing is always to afford an easy exit for 
the pus. Pare the sole clean, to see if the trouble has been caused 
by a wound in that part. If it has, cut down into the sole and 
open a channel for the pus to escape downward. If no sinuses 
have formed, apply a linseed poultice, followed by a zinc and lead 
lotion. Great care must be taken, as in all cases of confined pus, 
to prevent the external sore from healing over before the internal 
disease is entirely eradicated. 

Ringbones. — These are bony deposits upon either the upper 
or lower pastern bones. A ringbone may originate in heredity 
but usually comes from a colt being put to work too early in life 
or from bruises, blows or strains. The degree of lameness does 
not depend upon the size of the deposit. 

Symptoms. — Enlargement just above the coronet or on the 
upper pastern bone. It is not easy to detect in its incipiency and 
is not usually recognized until ossification is established. The 
horse may go lame upon leaving the stable but appears to recover 
when warmed up with exercise. Lameness is more perceptible 
on hard than soft ground. 

Treatment. — Trim the hoof so as to balance the foot and pre- 
vent abnormal strain. If inflammation still exists, at the time 
the trouble is discovered, apply a blister of biniodide of mercury 
and cantharides and let the animal rest for a month at least. If 
this fails, point firing may be tried. The hot iron should be 
touched well to the bone as superficial firing is of no value. When 


all other means have failed the veterinarian may prolong the use- 
fulness of the animal by " nerving " the foot or leg. 

Sand Cracks. — These are cracks in the fibers of the hoof wall. 
running up and down, amounting sometimes only to a flaw, and 
at others to a fissure entirely through the substance of the horn. 
Cracks are sometimes caused by brittleness of the crust, arising 
from the practice of cutting away the sole and rasping off the 
hoof. The brittleness may be constitutional, some horses being 
evidently predisposed to it. The cracks may also be traced at 
times to contracted heels, aggravated, if not produced, by cutting 
away the bars or opening the heels. 

These cracks do not ordinarily cause lameness until sufficiently 
deep to expose the sensitive laminae, or until they reach the coro- 
nary band. They then become very painful and the lameness is ex- 
treme. They become so bad at times as to open and close as the 
horse raises and puts down his foot. 

Treatment. — With a knife scrape the sharp edges of the crack 
to its bottom, until a clean groove has been formed. Wash out 
with zinc and lead lotion, and blister the coronet, rubbing it in 
every two or three days, to stimulate the formation of new horn. 

If the crack does not extend the entire length of the hoof, draw 
a deep transverse furrow with a red-hot iron at either end or both, 
sufficient to stop the crack from extending, but not deep enough 
to cause pain. 

Toe cracks usually extend the entire height of the foot, and 
expose the flesh, which is apt to become granulated. These 
granulations should not be removed with caustic, which only 
inflames the tissues more than before. When they have appeared, 
cut them away with one stroke of a sharp knife. The flow of 
blood which follows will be of advantage to the parts. Bathe 
with white lotion twice a day. 


When the inflammation has subsided, the fissure may be drawn 
together by cutting a niche about a quarter of an inch deep, half 
or three-quarters of an inch from the crack on each side, and 
driving a flat horseshoe nail through from one to the other ; the 
ends should be drawn together and clinched with pinchers. It 
should be kept in mind that the horn of the hoof is thick below, 
and thin towards the coronet, so that nails cannot be driven very 
high up. 

Clasps are manufactured for drawing together quarter cracks, 
owing to the difficulty of using nails advantageously on the thin 
quarters of the hoof. 

Shoeing with tips, and also with three-quarter bar shoes is 
advantageous in treatment of toe and quarter cracks. 

Seedy Toe. — This term is applied to a separation of the outer 
wall or crust of the hoof from the inner layer of soft horn derived 
from the laminae. It is caused by an unhealthy secretion of the 
lower portion of the laminae, which is incapable of maintaining 
the union between the structures. The disease always commences 
in the lower portion of the laminae, and extends upward and 
laterally. Though called seedy toe, the disease frequently affects 
the quarters. 

Treatment. — Cut away all that portion of the crust which has 
become detached from the laminae, and if the disease shows signs 
of extending, such further portions as may be necessary. Apply 
a bar shoe with a toe clip, blister the coronet every other day, and 
cover the exposed surface every day with an ointment of melted 
lard and beeswax, into which turpentine is stirred. This will keep 
out moisture. Feed liberally, and keep the foot dry. 

SiDEBONES. — This consists in ossification of the elastic lateral 
cartilages, or wings of the bone of the foot. Nature supplied 


cartilage instead of bone in this part, in order to give elasticity 
toward the heels, and any alteration, such as conversion into bone, 
interferes with elasticity, although it may not occasion lameness. 
In light horses sidebones are seldom visible to the eye, but their 
existence may be ascertained by feeling the wings of the bone of 
the foot. 

Treatment. — There is no cure, but if the cartilages are still 
undergoing change, blistering the coronet will hasten the process. 

BoxE Spavin. — This disease generally appears on the inner 
side of the hock, and usually involves two or more of the weight- 
bearing bones. Spavins once fully formed cannot be removed by 
any remedial agent, but in common with most abnormal growths, 
become less as age advances. The common causes are undue con- 
cussion, pressure or sprain. Hereditary influence has much to 
do with production of spavin. Spavin is serious in its inception 
and in its progress and when once established is most destructive 
of the value and usefulness of the horse. 

Symptoms. — During the formation of the bony deposit some 
degree of abnormal heat may be detected, but usually the disease 
first makes its presence known by the prominence of the bony 
growth, which destroys the symmetry of the hock. Some stifif- 
ness of the hock and an occasional tripping of the toe may be 
noticed. Peculiarities will be observed when the animal is trotted 
on hard, smooth ground, especially when turning, for the horse 
is apt to flinch perceptibly. Exercise for a few minutes greatly 
diminishes the symptoms, but after exercise and the horse has 
cooled off, the stiffness will recur, probably in an increased degree. 

If the horse is worked during the formation of a spavin, the 
inflammation will greatly increase, and an enormous deposit of 
bone may be the result. The deposits may be on both hocks, l)ut 


they are rarely similar ; therefore by comparing one hock with 
another it can be determined if anything abnormal exists. 

If spavin is suspected and any doubt exists, lift the hind leg 
and forcibly flex it up to the thigh several times. After this trot 
the horse slowly, and if he has spavin he will probably show lame- 

Treatment. — If incipient spavin be suspected, rest is the great 
essential. Cold applications are useful, and tincture of iodine may 
prove beneficial, a dram being injected under the skin in each of 
from two to four places. If the inflammatory action does not sub- 
side, and the horse continues lame, it will be well to use a blister. 
If properly performed, firing is regarded as an efficacious remedy. 

Bog Spavin. — This is a distention of the capsular ligament of 
the true hock joint. The swelling, which is tense and fluctuating, 
shows itself primarily in front and the inner side, because in that 
part the capsule is large and loose. It is a defect commonly oc- 
curring in weak hocks, and may become serious. 

Treatment. — This should be directed toward allaying pain and 
reducing its size, but the swelling should never be punctured. A 
wet bandage covered with oil silk, and the whole covered with a 
flannel bandage, often acts favorably. If these measures fail a 
stimulating ointment may be used, but as a rule blisters do not 
prove permanently beneficial in this disease. 

Blood Spavin. — This is a distention of the veins in the vicinity 
of the hock. No great harm results from the dilatation of the 
vein, although it is both a blemish and a defect. 

Speedy Cut. — This is an injury caused by a fore foot wounding 
the opposite leg immediately below, and sometimes even above 
the knee. It is usually inflicted at a gallop when the horse has 
begun to tire. The blow frequently causes the formation of pus. 


Treatment. — If pus is present open the abscess freely to give it 
vent ; bathe with warm water and a weak zinc wash. 

Splint. — This is a deposit of bone, either between one of the 
two small bones and the cannon bone, or upon any of the three 
bones of the fore leg. The deposit generally develops on the innei 
side, and usually a little above the center of the cannon bone 
between the knee and fetlock. 

A simple splint in a position removed from either articulation 
or tendon is not looked upon as serious, or classed as an unsound- 
ness ; all other forms are liable to cause lameness, and are indica- 
tive of more disease than is apparent. There should be classed 
under this head those close to the knee ; double or pegged splints, 
that is, those which are found on both sides with a communicating 
bar running from one to the other and which passes between the 
bone and the tendon in rear ; two or more on the same side con- 
nected, and finally, little bony deposits involving the knee joint. 

Treatment. — If a splint does not cause lameness it should be let 
alone. When once fully formed it cannot be removed, but often 
becomes absorbed as the horse grows older. A bandage wet in 
cold water, and rest, will usually be sufficient, but if the horse 
continues to go lame after a rest of a month or six weeks, and the 
splint is still sensitive, it may be advisable to apply a blister. 

Swelled Legs. — This is commonly called stocking, and is 
usually occasioned by want of exercise. It will generally dis- 
appear when the animal is exercised or worked. 

Thorough PIN. —This is a bursal enlargement which occurs at 
the upper and back part of the hock, extending across the joint 
from side to side between the bones. In a medium form it is 
common in cavalry horses. Unless very pronounced, no treat- 
ment is required. Cold applications, pressure, or coimter irrita- 
tion, are used in bad cases. 


Thrush. — This is a disease of the frog accompanied by a foul 
discharge. As the disease advances fissures. occur in the side of 
the frog close to the heel, from which foetid matter exudes. The 
condition is generally brought on by wet, unclean stalls, or dirt 
of some kind, such as stopping the feet with dung. In a con- 
tracted foot the sole is lifted off the ground to such an extent that 
from want of use the frog frequently becomes diseased. Paring 
the frog has a similar tendency. 

Treatment. — If it originates from dirt remove the cause, and 
keep the frog clean and dry. Any ragged parts should be re- 
moved with a knife, so as to open the cracks in and around the 
frog. Having removed the cause, endeavor to absorb the dis- 
charge. This will be best effected by daily applications of calomel, 
powdered sulphate of copper or iodoform. Apply pad pi oakum 
to keep foot clean. Pine tar is also a good dressing for thrush. 

If thrush be long neglected the neighboring parts become af- 
fected, and in bad cases the whole of the sensitive sole becomes 

WiNDGALLS. — These are soft, pulpy swellings in the neighbor- 
hood of the fetlock joints. They vary from very small to the size 
of a hen's egg. They are quite common with old cavalry horses, 
and arise from over-exertion and irritation, rather than from 
sprain. As they are very apt to return, and they do not specially 
inconvenience the horse, it is not customary in the military service 
to subject them to any treatment. 

Fistulous Withers. — This is the presence of an abscess more 
or less formidable at the withers, caused by pressure of the saddle 
or other bruising injury. In most cases the mischief is at first 
slight, and a few days' abstinence from work, with a little altera- 
tion of the saddle, if that caused the trouble, will generally effect 


a cure and prevent recurrence. If the skin is tender a salt and 
water dressing may be applied. 

When, however, the cause is continued or repeated, the tissues 
under the skin become inflamed, and the cartilaginous pads of 
the ends of the spinous processes may be injured. If such be the 
case fomentations must be applied in the first instance to reduce 
the inflammation. If these fail, matter will probably form under 
the skin. 

Unless a free opening is made for its escape it will burrow in, 
under, and among the muscles, tendons and ligamentous tissues 
which lie on each side of the spine or withers, and will form 
sinuses. A seton should be introduced to enable the pus to escape, 
and prevent caries of the spinous processes. If the latter occurs 
the diseased bone must be removed. The parts frequently heal 
over nicely, with perhaps a slight hollow, but a serious case is 
apt to subject the horse to suspicion, as not being suitable for hard 
service with packed saddles. 

Poll Evil. — This is a fistulous abscess situated on top of the 
head immediately behind the ears, and is usually caused by 
pressure of the head-stall or accidental violence. At the first stage 
it may be recognized as a soft, fluctuating tumor, surrounded by 
inflammatory swelling, and attended with stiffness of the neck. 
From the peculiar position of the injury, the matter has no 
depending orifice, and unless artificial assistance by free incision 
is given for the escai)e of the matter, it will burrow downwards 
among and under the ligaments which support the head. Among 
these it is apt to form large and deep sinuses, which often extend 
down to the bone. 

Treatment. — Before pus is formed, reduce the inHammation ])y 
the application of cold water to tlic ])art, and by administering 


purgatives internally. If suppuration becomes established, the 
abscess must be opened at once to its base, so that the pus may 
escape from the lowest point. The opening must not be allowed 
to close too soon ; fomentations should be repeatedly applied. In 
some cases, a seton inserted from the original opening, following 
the fistula and brought out on the opposite side of the poll, are 
very successful. 

Sore Back. — This may take the form of slight tumors, sitfasts, 
or saddle galls. They are generally caused by friction or undue 
pressure of the saddle, and in the case of team horses, of the 
harness or collar. Improper saddling, or poor riding with good 
saddling, have the same effects. In tropical climates or in hot 
weather sore backs become quickly virulent unless carefully 
treated at once. 

Treatment. — The most essential thing is to remove the cause 
of the irritation and the animal should, if possible, be spared from 
work for a few days. Such alteration as is necessary in the 
equipment should be made. The blanket may have holes cut in 
it over the swelling, or the corners turned under to raise the 
saddle bars, when the tumor or abrasion is near the edge of the 
saddle. With pack animals, the hay or stuffing must be altered, 
hard lumps removed, and, if necessary, a chamber or hole left 
over the affected spot. The aparejo is the best pack saddle in 
existence for heavy loads in the hands of experts, but if not con- 
tinually watched, will, in the hands of poorly instructed troops, 
ruin all the mules in a few days' marching. 

The tumor, or swelling, will be best treated at first by an appli- 
cation of salt and water. If the irritation is not removed, and 
there is sign of suppuration, it must be treated according to its 


nature and degree, by application of poultices of linseed meal 
mixed with boiling water, and sweet oil stirred in afterwards. 

Fluctuating tumors sometimes require to be laid open through 
the center from end to end, and injected with a weak solution of 
one part carbolic acid and fifty parts water, and cold dressings 
applied afterwards until healed. 

When one of these swellings, either through neglect or repeated 
recurrence of the cause, has become hard and insensible, and the 
skin is permanently injured, it is then known as a " sitfast," 
because of the difficulty of removing it or effecting a cure. The 
skin becomes thickened and half dead, and is often adherent to 
the bottom of the sore. The sitfast will frequently be found to 
be partially separated all around from the living skin. The surest 
treatment then is to cut it out. Remove every particle of the hard, 
horny skin, after which it may be carefully touched with nitrate 
of silver, to remove any of the disorganized part which has been 
left by the knife. 

True elastic skin of the original quality is never reproduced 
when once destroyed, either in the case of sitfasts or of any other 
injuries; a substitute is formed which answers sufficiently well in 
most cases, and the parts will frequently contract in such a way 
as to leave only a small scar. Care should subsequently be taken 
not to bring undue pressure on the part. 

Sometimes the saddle or harness will abrade the skin. If not 
attended to, these " galls " may run into ulcers. As soon as 
observed, the saddle or harness should be shifted so as not to rub 
on the sore spot. If the skin has not been broken, it may be 
hardened by rubbing with a weak solution of salt and water. If 
a scab be rubbed partly off, trim away the edges, and if necessary, 
poultice it until it all comes away. 


In warm weather the woolen saddle blanket produces much 
heat, and care should be taken to cool off the horse before ex- 
posing the back. This will tend to reduce swellings arising from 
ill-fitting saddles. The back should be carefully examined when 
the saddle is removed, and the salt and water immediately applied 
to any swelling. If there is no abrasion, massage treatment will 
be beneficial. If the skin has been rubbed off and a raw spot 
formed it should be treated with cosmoline, or carbolized oil. The 
" white lotion," composed of one ounce sulphate of zinc, one 
ounce acetate of lead, and one quart of water, is a valuable dress- 
ing for sore backs. If necessary to continue the horse in use, the 
open wound should be covered with cosmoline, and if it is possible 
to remove part of the load it should be done, and a hole cut in 
the blanket as before mentioned. 

In tropical service, sores, abrasions and wounds are encountered 
in comparatively large numbers. In addition to the lotions and 
powders prescribed in the chapter on veterinary supplies, several 
dusting powders have been found valuable in the Philippines. 
Among the best of these for open wounds is one composed of 
equal parts of alum, sulphur and charcoal. Another is composed 
of one part iodoform and eight parts tannic acid. 

Flesh Wounds. — These may be gunshot ; incised or clean cut ; 
lacerated, where the skin is torn and broken, with edges more or 
less ragged and uneven ; punctured, or those whose depth is much 
greater than the entrance aperture ; and contused wounds, or those 
produced by concussion without perforation of the skin. They 
are more or less the result of accident, except those inflicted in 

There is a greater disposition in the horse than in man to sup- 
purative action. Wounds of any extent seldom heal completely 


in the horse by direct union or by adhesion. In all wounds it is 
an object of much importance to keep the parts in a state of rest. 
In some parts a certain degree of motion cannot be avoided, but 
an endeavor should be made to lessen it as far as possible. In 
some cases the animal will have to be tied up to prevent his 
moving, and in others a cradle will be needed to prevent his 
gnawing the wound with his teeth. 

Wounds healed by granulation must fill up from the bottom 
gradually, and they should be prevented from closing outside. 
This may be done by inserting a piece of dry lint or tow between 
the edges of the wound. For wounds to be healed by granulation 
there is no better dressing than lint steeped in cold water. This 
may be covered with oil silk, to retain the moisture. Great care 
should be taken to prevent infection of wounds. Antiseptic 
dressings should be used on unclean wounds. 

Unhealthy granulations or proud flesh, must be kept in check 
by application of some caustic, such as sulphate of copper, nitrate 
of silver, or chloride of zinc. 

Sutures are useful in bringing together the edges of the skin 
in parts where there is but litle flesh, such as on the forehead and 
the nose, but they do not answer so well for fleshy parts, where 
the needful apposition of the parts is best maintained by bandages. 

Sutures are best applied by means of a curved needle. Inter- 
rupted sutures answer better than continuous ones. The twisted 
suture, made l)y two needles and a skein of silk twisted over them, 
answers very well in small incised wounds. 

Bandages should be adjusted very evenly, and not so tight as 
to obstruct circulation. When circumstances admit of it, the 
bandage should be applied above and below, but not over the 
wound. Iodoform or acetanilid should be dusted over the wound 
before the bandage is applied. 


If there is any hemorrhage it should be stopped at once by the 
apphcation of styptics, cold or pressure. Oakum or tow bound 
over a wound will often stop hemorrhage. 

In the general treatment of wounds, attention should first be 
directed to cleansing the injured parts from all foreign bodies, 
by allowing lukewarm water to fall in a stream over it, one per 
cent of carbolic acid being added to the water. Abraded surfaces 
should be touched as little as possible. Splinters, gravel and all 
foreign substances, if not too deeply imbedded, may be removed 
with forceps. 

Gunshot Wounds. — If a wound has been made by a bullet, a 
careful examination should be made to ascertain if the ball has 
passed through or out of the body. If not, the probe should be 
introduced, and if located it should be cut out if possible. Some- 
times a ball may be so lodged that it cannot be removed, and it 
may become encysted and remain without giving rise to any in- 
convenience. It is often difficult to locate a bullet, as it is very 
readily deflected by resistances met with after entering the body. 
Should bones be struck by a ball, they are frequently shattered 
and splintered to such an extent as to warrant having the animal 

Apply hot fomentations, or poultices to which carbolic -acid 
has been added, to the wound until suppuration has been fairly 
established. Should pus accumulate in the tissues, openings must 
be made at the most dependent parts for its escape. 

Incised Wounds. — Under this class come those made by some 
sharp instrument or body. The edges of the wound are smooth, 
as though cut with a knife. If they occur in fleshy parts, and 
blood vessels, tendons or joints are not injured, they soon recover, 
often with little or no special treatment. Bleeding is more apt 




to occur in wounds of this kind than any other. If from arteries, 
the blood is bright red or scarlet in color, and flows in jets or 
spurts ; if from veins, it is darker, and the flow is regular. 
If the bleeding is from an artery, pressure should be applied 
between the wound and the heart : if from a vein, between the 
winmd and the extremities. The bleeding stopped, the wound 
should be cleansed, but an incised wound should never be rubbed 
with any coarse substance. 

If the wound is parallel to the muscular fibers, it does not open 
to any extent, but if the incision be across the muscles, gaping 
ensues. In the fonner case stitches may be taken to hold the 
parts together ; in the latter a properly applied bandage, bringing 
the edges of the wound together, is preferable. The bandage 
should be applied so as to encourage union from the bottom, and 
prevent accumulation of pus. An antiseptic wash should be ap- 
plied, and if necessary, the wound may be gently cleaned with a 
soft sponge, and castile or carbolic soap and hot water. Meddling 
with and frequent dressings of such wounds do more harm than 

Lacerated and Contused Wounds. — These may be described 
together, although in contused wounds there is no break of the 
skin. Lacerated wounds are usually also bruised or contused to 
a greater or less extent. Such wounds may not at first seem as 
serious as incised wounds, but they are commonly very much 
more so. In severe contusions, infiltration of blood takes place 
into the surrounding tissues ; mortification follows, often involving 
deeper seated structures, and resulting in abscesses. 

In lacerated wounds the amount of hemorrhage is generally 
small ; the edges of the wound are ragged and uneven. These 
wounds are commonly produced by some blunt object, as where 


a horse runs against fence posts, corners of buildings, trees, wire 
fences, etc. 

After a thorough exploration, such wounds should be carefully 
fomented with warm water, to which has been added three parts 
of carbolic acid to one hundred of water. Free exit for pus must 
be secured. If the orifice is found to be too high, or if pus is 
found to be burrowing in the tissues, an opening low enough to 
drain it must be made. 

There are usually soreness and considerable inflammation in 
lacerated wounds, and warm linseed poultices may be used effec- 
tively in many cases. 

Punctured Wounds. — These are produced by the penetration 
of a pointed substance, sharp or blunt, such as a thorn, fork or 
nail, and are apt to be neglected or remain undiscovered, by 
reason of the opening being insignificant as compared to the depth. 
They are very common in the feet and legs, and in board stalls 
where nails work loose from the rubbing and kicking of the horse, 
they occur in the face, neck and exposed parts of the body. Treat- 
ment is the same as in simple gunshot wounds. 

Punctured wounds in the fetlock, knee, hock, stifle or other 
joint, are always serious, and frequently result in stiffening or 
anchylosis. These must be looked for in winter campaigns, when 
horses are shod with ice calks. After the wound has been exam- 
ined and cleaned, if inflammation has not set in, apply a canthar- 
ides blister over the joint. This treatment operates to prevent 
ingress of air by swelling of the skin and tissues underneath, 
and also the superficial inflammation established acts to check 
deep-seated inflammation. If the joint fluid is escaping it must be 
stopped ; treat with cooling lotions and a paste of flour and alum, 
or ten grains of chloride of zinc to an ounce of water. Medicine 

^^6 noRsr:s, saddles and bridles 

should be applied on pledgets of tow held in jilaee by b:inda£;"es. 
Such wounds require much time and ]:)erfect rest for a cure. 
Slings are very useful in many cases. 

It may be remarked that in all injuries where the true skin is 
destroyed it is not reproduced. Its place is supplied by a cicatrix, 
which differs from true skin in not containing hair follicles. 

Sprains. — The muscles, tendons and ligaments are all subject 
to over-strain, producing inflammation sometimes of a serious 
character. The sprain may arise from over-work, a slip or a fall, 
and is usually indicated by swelling, heat, pain and loss of 

Treatment. — Perfect rest in a stall with a level floor. The 
animal should not be moved if it can be avoided. Hot or cold 
applications should be api)lied to the injured parts. Witch hazel 
should be added to cold water in which bandages are saturated. 
The bandages should not be allowed to dry on the injured parts. 
If pain is severe, a warm application of i quart of water with 4 
ounces tincture of opium, and 2 ounces of acetate of lead added 
should be made several times daily. If the parts remain large 
and swollen after the inflammation is reduced, tincture of iodine 
should be rubbed in twice a day. If this treatment fails to restore 
the parts in a reasonable time, a blister of i dram cantharides, I 
dram bromide mercury, and 8 drams cosmoline or lanolin may 
be applied. 

The foregoing descriptions of diseases and injtn-ies. and 
methods of treatment, b\- no means include all those known to 
veterinary practice. 



Grasses in General. — Hay : Upland ; Lowland ; Wet Meadow ; Good ; In- 
ferior; Mow-Burnt. — Dust in Hay. — Haystacks. — Timothy; Red Top; 
Bermuda Grass; Orchard Grass; Kentucky Blue Grass; Clover; 
Alfalfa; Buffalo Grass; Gramma Grass; Gietta Grass; Blue Stem; 
Blue Joint; Fodder or Roughness. — Weight and Measurement of 
Hay.— Oats.— Corn. — Barley. — Bran. — Palay. — Allowance of Forage 
for Public Animals. — Standard Weights. 

Grasses in general are of greater economic importance in fur- 
nishing food for man and animals than all other plants. The 
truth of this will be recognized when it is considered that all the 
staple cereals, as wheat, rye, barley, rice, oats, etc., are grasses. 
They have been cultivated for a long time, but there can be no 
doubt that they were originally selected from wild forms on 
account of the size, quantity and nutritive value of their grains. 
This was the beginning of agriculture, and agriculture made pos- 
sible the numerical increase and diffusion of the horse, as well 
as the human population. 

All cultivated grasses were once wild, and are still so in their 
native homes. The selection and cultivation of particular kinds 
of grasses with reference to their grazing qualities, and for the 
production of hay, is a comparatively modern practice. In the 
early history of this country, while the settlements were sparse, 
the natural pasturage was abundant, but in the course of time the 
farms began to crowd each other, and the open range for feeding 
becoming restricted, the domestication of wild grasses was 

Figure 115. 'J'iniolliy. 


Perennial rye grass began to be cultivated early in the seven- 
teenth century, and was about the only grass so cultivated for 
nearly one hundred years. Timothy, or Herd's grass, named after 
Timothy Herd, its discoverer, was cultivated in America about 
1720, and was not introduced into England for more than forty 
years after. This has continued to be a popular grass for hay 
down to the present time, and divides in favor with blue grass, 
orchard grass and red top, according to locality. 

The variety of plants and grasses used for forage is very large, 
and consists of both wild and cultivated species. The number of 
species of grass now catalogued is over 3000. 

The plains lying west of the one hundredth meridian, together 
with much mountainous and broken interior country, are un- 
reliable for the ordinary purposes of agriculture, but are very 
valuable for the pasturage afforded by the native grasses, which 
are celebrated for their rich, nutritious properties, ability to with- 
stand dry seasons, and for the valuable property of self-drying or 
curing on the stalk. This property is not possessed ordinarily 
by grasses at lower altitudes than 3000 feet above the level of 
the sea. " Bunch grass " is a term used to describe many of these 
species because of their peculiarities of growth. 

Hay is the natural food of the horse, and upon it alone he is 
able not only to sustain life, but can at the same time do a fair 
amount of work. It is rich in materials for repairing waste of 
the animal tissues, and aids digestion of the more concentrated 
foods. It loses in value the more it is handled, because of the 
breaking off of the tender flowers and leaves, and for this reason, 
when it is necessary to transport it to any distance, it should be 

Hay is usually classed as upland, bottom, or wet meadow. 


Upland hay, which is the best for horses, is known generally 
by the fineness and firmness of the stalks and the narrowness of 
the leaves. 

Lowland hay is characterized by the coarseness of the stalks 
and by the broad leaves of its grasses. This hay, though coarser, 
is softer, less firm and crisp than upland hay, and the color is 

Wet meadow hay is recognized by its very coarse, often reed- 
like stalks, and by the broad, flag-like leaves, and also by the 
admixture of water-rushes and sedge. 

Good hay should be moderately fine, sweet-smelling, well cured, 
and have a good, fresh color. The flowermg heads of the grasses 
should be present. A proportion of herbage other than grass is 
desirable, but no weeds. It should be cut as soon as it matures 
and before the seeds are fully ripe. Much judgment is necessary 
in harvesting and storing or stacking hay. Musty hay is not fit 
for horses, and great care must be taken to properly cure it before 
it is put in the stack or barn, in order that there should be no 
danger from heating. Hay is not improved by keeping over one 

Hay may be composed of the very best varieties of grasses and 
yet be inferior because cut too late or badly saved. Hay is usually 
cut late for one of two reasons : the farmer either delays in a dry 
season, in hopes of securing a heavier yield, or the season may be 
so wet that the cutting is deferred for fine weather. As the seeds 
ripen much of the nutritive value of the plant passes into the seeds, 
wdiich usually fall off as they ripen, and are only valuable for re- 
production of their kind ; it is for these reasons that hay should 
be cut while the plants are flowered and before seeds form. 

Anv considerable amount of rain falling on hav causes it to 

Figure 117. Bcnmula Grass. 



lose its characteristic odor and to have a lusterless, washed-out 
color, according to the amount of exposure to which it has been 


Mow-burnt hay is a term applied to hay which has heated in 
the stack, either from being stacked before thoroughly cured or 
whilst wet with dew or rain. 

Dust in hay commonly arises from the hay having become 
slightly damp, and afterwards quickly dried without passing into 
the stage of mouldiness. The apparent dust is the debris of the 
outer coats of the stems and leaves, which decay and fall off in 
the process of heating which has taken place as the result of damp. 
Dust may also arise from hay having been overdried before being 
stored, or from having been much exposed to bad weather. In 
any case and from whatever cause it arises, it must be regarded 
as an unfavorable feature in hay. 

In the United States there are many climates, varieties of soil, 
geological formations, and variations in degree of moisture and 
dryness; it is apparent, therefore, that no one species of grass 
can be equally well adapted to growth for hay in all parts of this 
extensive territory. 

It would require a separate volume to describe all the grasses 
and plants useful for feeding to domestic animals. A very brief 
reference only is made to those in common use for animals in the 
public service, and which officers are called upon constantly to 
inspect before purchase under contracts. 

In addition to those mentioned, the entire area of the United 
States, particularly the Western plains and Rocky Mountain 
regions, is more or less covered with various kinds of bunch grass, 
all very good for pasturage, and many for hay, except the annuals, 
which, as a rule, do not seem to have sufficient nutritive qualities 

Figure Il8. Orchard Grass. 


for horses engaged in marching or heavy work. This refers partic- 
ularly to grasses which spring up after rains, and grow rapidly 
to great height in a few weeks. 

Timothy. — (Figure 115.) This is extensively cultivated as a 
hay crop in all the older agricultural sections of the country : the 
height of the grass varies according to soil, from one to three 
feet ; it has a fine seed top ; thrives best on moist, loamy soil, of 
medium tenacity ; is not suited to light, sandy or gravelly soils ; is 
perennial, and yields as high as four tons to the acre. It is often 
sowed with clover, and makes the best hay for horses of all known 

Rcdtop. — (Figure 116.) This is extensively cultivated as a 
hay crop; the height of the. grass varies from two to three feet; 
it makes a firm sod ; is a perennial grass ; it thrives in swampy 
meadows and is much valued by dairymen. It makes hav in large 

Bciiniida Grass. — (Figure 117.) This is the most valuable 
grass in the South ; it spreads rapidly by means of its roots, and 
is difficult to eradicate when once located ; its chief value is for 
summer pasture ; it is much used as a lawn grass, and for terraces 
and embankments ; it is affected but little by droughts, and it 
yields from a ton and a half to two tons per acre ; is a perennial. 

Orchard Grass. — (Figure 118.) This is a very popular grass 
in the Eastern and Northern States ; it grows to a height of three 
feet ; is a perennial ; is adapted to a wide range of soils, climates 
and treatments, making good winter pasturage ; when cut for hay 
it affords a heavy aftermath ; it fields on medium land from one 
to three tons of excellent hay, and is easily cured and handled. 

Kciifiicky Blue Grass. — (Figure 119.) There are several well- 
marked varieties of this grass. It is extensively used for pas- 


tiirage ; it does not afiford so heavy and profitable a hay crop as 
some other grasses ; it attains its highest kixuriance and perfection 
as a pasture grass over the Hmestone formation of middle Ten- 
nessee and Kentucky ; it accommodates itself to a great variety of 
soils and climates, and does not run out on good land ; no reason- 
able amount of grazing can destroy it ; it is a perennial. 

Clover. — This family embraces a large number of plants, 
varying greatly in size and quality. It is not deemed necessary 
to illustrate a plant so familiar in Europe and America. The most 
common varieties are the red and the small white or Dutch clover. 

Clover is one of the most important of cultivated grasses, not 
only for feed, but as an improver of the soil. It is usually sowed 
in conjunction with some other grass. It lasts several years, but 
is frequently plowed under as a fertilizer before it runs out. 

It is not suited alone for grazing, except for a few minutes at 
a time, as it is apt to bloat both horses and cattle. It yields about 
two tons or more to the acre, and will grow best on clay loam, 
although it thrives even on sandy soil. 

Alfalfa. — (Figure 120.) This plant is known in Europe as 
Lucerne, and has been cultivated for hay since ancient times. It 
is not so hardy as red clover, and not adapted to cold climates. 
It thrives best in a permeable soil, and is well adapted to, and 
reaches its highest development in the warm and dry climate of 
the Southwest, where irrigation is used. Its roots sometimes 
penetrate fifteen to twenty feet in the soil ; it is best used as a 
soiling plant, but is much used as hay in California, the Rocky 
Mountain region, New Mexico, Arizona, and the far West gen- 
erally ; it affords two or three cuttings a year, yielding two or 
three tons per acre at each cutting, and lasts without replanting 
for some years ; it is not well adapted to transportation owing to 

Figure 120. Alfalfa. 


Buffalo Grass. — (Figure 121.) This grass is extensively spread 
over all the region known as the Plains ; it is very low, the bulk 
of leaves seldom rising more than three or four inches above the 
ground ; it grows in extensive tufts, or patches, and spreads largely 
bv means of off-shoots similar to those of the Bermuda grass ; 
it formed the main supply of food for immense herds of bufifalo, 
antelope, and other game which formerly existed in the West ; 
next to gramma grass, it is perhaps the most valuable plant of the 
region in which it thrives. 

Gramma Grass. — (Figure 122.) This is the commonest and best 
grass in the far West; it grows in small, roundish patches, the 
foliage being in a dense cushion, like moss ; the flowering stalks 
seldom rise over a foot in height, and bear near the top one or two 
spikes each about an inch long, standing out at right angles ; when 
much grazed these spikes are eaten off and only the mats of leaves 
are observable ; it is highly nutritious, and stock of all kinds prefer 
it to any grass growing with it ; it dries and cures on the ground 
so as to retain its nutritive properties in the winter. For many 
years after troops occupied Arizona and New Mexico this grass 
was cut with hoes and used as hay, with roots and dirt hanging 
to it ; the horses kept strong and fat on it. 

Gictfa Grass.— (Figmc 123.) This is one of the characteristic 
grasses of the arid districts of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, 
where it is sometimes erroneously called black gramma. It is 
found sparingly in Colorado and Utah. It is relished by cattle and 
horses, and is next to the gramma in value in those regions. Like 
the gramma grass, it can only be cut with hoes, knives or scythes. 

Blue Stem, or Western Blue /on/^— (Figure 124.) This 
species prevails on the plains from Texas to ^Montana, and is well 
known to stockmen. It is generally of a light, bluish-green color. 

Figure 121. I'ufTalo firass. 


It is the most prized of the native grasses, and wherever it occupies 
a large area exchisively, as it frequently does, it is cut for hay. 
It does not yield a great bulk, but its quality is unsurpassed. In 
the valleys and along the streams it frequently forms large patches, 
and grows thickly and abundantly. This grass extends into the 
mountain region, and is common in Colorado and New Mexico. 

Bhie Joint. — (Figure 125.) This is a stout, tall grass, growing 
chiefly in wet, boggy ground or moist meadows ; its favorite situa- 
tion is in cool, elevated regions. It prevails in all the northern 
portions of the United States and in British America ; in these 
districts it is one of the best and most productive of the indigenous 
grasses. It varies much in luxuriance of foliage, according to 
location ; it grows from three to five feet high, with leaves a foot 
long. While not equal to some upland grasses, it gives a larger 
yield, makes very good hay, and is much relished by horses and 
cattle ; is perennial. 

Where there is any choice of grasses the best should be insisted 
upon for hay. What is considered good in one locality is often 
regarded with contempt in others. The government is frequently 
compelled to accept inferior hay in the absence of any other kind. 
Wild mesquite beans were at one time received as forage in the 
absence of other available food in Arizona, and the horses got 
along very well, and continued to do their regular work. Among 
the common grasses accepted at times for hay may be mentioned 
white or tall gramma, crow-foot, various reed grasses, wild oats, 
and several kinds of bunch grass. 

During the Civil War the animals were frequently dependent 
upon the broad leaves of the cornstalk, called " fodder " or 
" roughness " in the South. When pulled ofif at the right time 
and properly cared for it makes a palatable forage, but is not to be 
compared with good timothy or other hay. 

Figure 122. Gramma drass. 


In the Philippines no hay is cured and public animals are fed 
partly on green corn or sorghum stalks ; teosinte, a forage plant 
resembling corn, and sacate which is a tall watery grass grown 
in overflowed land or rice fields. All of these classes of forage 
plants are palatable and relished by the animals but there is not 
much nutriment in any of them. 

Hay for the army is usually delivered baled, or in stacks. Hay 
baled when wet will rot just the same as loose hay. A sufficient 
number of bales should always be opened to determine its condi- 
tion, unless a government agent witnessed the baling. 

Haystacks must be built solidly, neatly topped, and raked from 
the peak down, to facilitate the shedding of water, otherwise the 
rain may penetrate, and not only turn the hay black and rot it in 
places, but may cause the entire stack to become musty and worth- 

Cured hay from the grasses herein described varies greatly in 
weight per cubic foot. Officers are continually required to approxi- 
mate the amount of hay in stacks at various military stations, and 
the only correct method of determining this with any approach to 
accuracy, is to cut from the stack a sufficiently large cubic section 
to obtain a fair average of the stack, and weigh it so as to get the 
weight of a cubic foot ; the measured cubical contents of the stack 
multiplied by the actual weight of a cubic foot, will give the weight 
of the stack. It must be remembered that the top is lighter per 
cubic foot than the lower portion of the stack, which has been well 
packed as the stack was built up. Allowance must also be made 
for the sloping ends. 

It will usually be found more satisfactory to estimate the volume 
of the solid stack separately from the volume of the lighter and 
peaked top. Obtain the weight of a cubic foot of each and multiply 

Figure 123. riic'tta (irass. 


by the volume, adding the two results together for the total weight. 
This does not require much time or labor, and is infinitely prefer- 
able to guess work. 

Oats are the best of all grains for supplying animals with 
muscular tissue, and are easily digested. They should be clean, 
plump and full of flour, and have a metallic luster. It is not 
material whether they are of the white or black varieties, but they 
should be free from all appearance or odor of mustiness, 
mouldiness or sprouting, for these defects are productive of serious 
digestive disorders. In a sample of oats the grains should be 
about the same size, and there should be no admixture of small 
seeds of grass and weeds. Oats containing small pebbles, grit and 
dirt, even if otherwise good, should be rejected until cleaned. 

New oats have almost a glazed appearance, which is lost in old 
oats, and the former have a fresh, earthy odor, which disappears in 
the latter. The taste of new oats is fresh and somewhat milky. 
The beards are well defined in new oats, but in old oats they are 
knocked off by the friction of handling, being very brittle. 

Corn is one of the best foods for producing fat, but that is 
seldom desirable in saddle horses. It is good in cold climates on 
account of its heat producing qualities. In warm weather it readily 
undergoes fermentation, causing derangement of digestion, which 
is a prolific source of disease and death in horses. This is partic- 
ularly the case in early spring. It is fed whole or crushed, the 
latter being preferable, particularly for old horses. It should not 
be fed mixed with other grains. 

Barley is seldom received by the government, except in the 
Southwest, where it grows to perfection under irrigation. The 
animals there thrive upon it and keep in good, hard flesh under 
heavy work. It is frequently threshed with horses or sheep, and 
consequently very poorly cleaned. 

I'iKiirc T24. I'.inc Sicm. or Western RIiu- Joint, 


Bran is a very valuable component of the forage ration. It is 
rich in muscle-making constituents, prevents constipation when 
given as a mash, is slow to ferment, easy to digest, makes good 
poultices, and is easy to transport, though bulky. It supplements, 
but does not take the place of grain. 

Palay, as unhulled rice is called in the Philippine Islands, was 
the main reliance of the cavalry horses which went out during the 
early days of the insurrection. The animals refused it at first, 
but they soon learned that it contained the necessary qualities to 
supply the nutriment needed to keep them up on some of the 
hardest marches of the whole campaign. 

The forage supplied animals in the i)ublic service varies some- 
what with locality. Hay, oats, corn, bran, and sometimes barley, 
are the components of the forage ration in the United States. In 
the Philippine Islands, American horses learned to eat unhulled 
rice (palay) and appeared to thrive on it. The native ponies are 
fed on palay, tique-tique (ground rice) and miel, a species of 
coarse molasses which is poured over the rice meal. They are 
also fed large quantities of a very watery grass called sacate. 

The allowance of forage is ample for all ordinary purposes, and 
where grazing is abundant and opportunity is afforded the animals 
to avail themselves of it, a portion of the allowance can be saved. 

The forage allowance is fourteen pounds of hay per day for 
each horse and mule, and one hundred pounds of straw for bed- 
ding for each animal per month. Grain is issued at the rate of 
nine pounds a day for mules and twelve for horses. In special 
cases of exposure, when the necessities of the service demand 
an increase, three pounds additional grain may be authorized for 
each animal daily. The allowance for native Philippine ponies is 
thirty-three pounds of green forage and when this cannot be ob- 
tained ten pounds of hay and five pounds of oats. 

Figure 125. Blue Jiiint. 


In some portions of the Philippine Islands public animals are 
subsisted on palay, native grasses, and green corn stalks. In 
other localities the grass is very inferior, possessing little or no 
nutriment, thus necessitating the transportation of hay, which is 
a very expensive item. 

When from any cause it becomes impracticable to supply full 
forage to public animals, a reduction is made by order, to affect 
all alike. 

There is no government standard weight of grain per bushel. 
Grain is usually contracted for by the hundred-weight, and by 
the ton of 2240 pounds, or by the hundred-weight. 

In a majority of States the weights per bushel are as follows : 
Shelled corn, fifty-six ; on the cob, seventy ; barley, thirty-eight, 
and oats, thirty-two pounds ; bran not less than twenty pounds. 



Transportation of Horses by Rail. — Modern Cars. — Inspection of Cars. — 
Detachments Accompanying Horse Trains. — Implements to be Car- 
ried. — Methods of Loading. — Portable Ramps. — Expedients for Un- 
loading. — Details of Loading Car.- — Watering and Feeding. — Unload- 
ing. — Transportation of Horses at Sea. — Character of Ships Required. — 
Interior Fittings. — Use of Slings and Breast Straps. — Manner of 
Feeding. — Ventilation and Lighting. — Gangways. — Drinking Water. — ' 
Hospital Accommodations. — Forage Allowance. — Care of Animals. — 
Policing and Disinfecting Ship.— Unloading. — British Remount Opera- 
tions in United States. 

With the advent of trunk hnes a steady improvement in the 
character of stock cars took place, and now, were it not for local 
laws which require animals passing through various states to he 
unloaded at frequent intervals, it would be possible to ship a 
regiment of cavalry across the continent in a week without mate- 
rial discomfort or injury. The modern stock car is arranged so 
that animals may be fed and watered en route, and the only source 
of trouble lies in the danger of fire from feeding hay. No hay or 
straw for bedding should be allowed on the floors of stock cars, 
for once on fire the animals woidd be lost before any relief could 
be afforded. 

There arc man}- kinds of cars usetl for transportation of horses, 
varying from the common stock car, aljoul thirty feet long, to the 
palace stock car, thoroughly equipped for the comfort and safety 
of horses. The small cars have a capacity to accommodate sixteen 
and the larger cars about twenty horses. Sometimes when the 


exigency is great, the common stock cars are used, but if the 
journey is to be an extended one, and particularly when the 
animals are to be put immediately in service, none but cars proper- 
ly equipped with hay racks and water-troughs should be accepted. 

Before loading public animals every car should be carefully 
inspected to see if it is in good repair throughout. Projecting 
nails, bolts and splinters, loose boards, broken fixtures on the hay- 
racks, doors or water-troughs, all mean liability to injury and 
discomfort for the animals. It is not uncommon for transporta- 
tion companies to bid lower for government service than the tariff 
rates, which results in inferior service unless the utmost care is 
observed by commanding ofificers or quartermasters. 

If the animals are shipped in separate trains from the troops, 
which is generally the case, selected detachments should accom- 
pany the horses. The men should be carefully instructed as to 
watering and feeding en route, and all the appliances of the partic- 
ular class of cars supplied should be explained to them in detail. 
Water buckets, lanterns, hatchets and a hard-wood or iron bar 
should be supplied each train. Water can be supplied in the 
troughs to the horses on either side of the door, but in the usual 
type of stock car there is no means of watering the horses in the 
center opposite the door except by means of buckets. Lanterns 
are necessary at every stop to examine the cars to see if any ani- 
mals are down, in which case the car must be entered at once and 
the animal restored to his feet, else he may be maimed or killed 
in a short time. Not infrequently a horse will kick or push his 
foot through between the slats and a bar must be used quickly to 
break the slat before the animal is disabled by his efforts to free 
himself. The hatchets can be used for the same purpose and to 
drive in projecting nails or make minor repairs. 


Public horses and iiuiles shoukl be accustomed to loading" and 
unloading- in all sorts of places and under varying- conditions, for 
their own training as well as for instruction of the men. At stock- 
yards, where many chutes are available, it is a very simple matter 
to load a large command wdth security and dispatch, but unfor- 
tunately under war conditions such facilities do not usuallv exist 
where and when most wanted. If chutes or gangways are not 
available, the cars should be run alongside of freight platforms, 
which usually have ramps at one or both ends. In this w^ay the 
animals can be led in or out of as many cars as can be side- 
tracked at the platform, and by a little use of a switch engine a 
whole train can be loaded or unloaded in a few minutes. 

It is often necessary to devise expedients for loading and un- 
loading. The easiest and safest plan is to provide portable ramps 
which can be carried in the forage cars or on top of the stock 
cars. A number of portable ramps have been devised, varying in 
form from a simple inclined plane of two-inch oak planks, with 
hard-wood cross cleats, to complicated gangways with trussed side 
rails, of sufficient height to prevent horses from turning around or 
jumping ofif. The essential elements of all portable ramps are 
that the length should be sufficient to allow the horses to walk up 
or down without depending entirely on the cleats and, at the same 
time, not long enough to bend excessively. It is usual to stiffen 
the floor by trestles held in place underneath the ramp by cleats 
on the bottom of the floor boards. If the floor boards are not 
firmly fastened together, then each board nuist have a grip iron 
to hook to the iron door-rail or over a cross-beam laid on the car 
floor. As an additional precaution, stakes should be driven in the 
ground at the end of the ramp to stiffen it, and if the earth is 
soft a cross board should be laid underneath the ground end of 
the ramp. 


Sometimes a command is ordered to unload at a distance from 
any station. In the absence of portable ramps the train may be 
run into a low cut and the banks shoveled down against the cars 
sufficiently to jump the horses out. This is a very unsatisfactory 
method, as the track must be cleared before the train can be moved. 
If baled hay is carried on the train a platform can be readily 
improvised, and by breaking a few bales a ramp can be prepared 
down which the horses may be led in comparative safety.* 

The car should be well cleaned before loading the animals. 
Fresh sawdust or sand may be spread on the floor, but not straw. 
Men thoroughly accustomed to horses should be assigned to each 
car. The horses should be led quietly to the car door and turned 
over to the men detailed to do the loading. The horses are led in, 
alternate animals being taken to opposite ends of the cars. As 
many animals as possible should be put in the car unless the 
weather should be very hot. To accomplish this and to better 
utilize the hay-racks and water-troughs, the alternate animals' 
should be faced in opposite directions. The halters should be 
removed from all but fractious horses and those difficult to halter. 
The animals which stand opposite the door should be the last put 
in, and only gentle horses should be put in that position because 

* Upon one occasion the author was sent under rush orders with a 
troop of cavalry in Arizona to the end of the Southern Pacific Railroad, 
then under construction. The train was stopped in rear of the construction 
party in the Sulphur Springs Valley, on a plain devoid of even underbrush. 
It was necessary to unload at once to join a command in pursuit of Indians. 
Only a small quantity of hay had been put on the train for one day's 
forage. With considerable labor, enough cross-ties were gathered together 
to build a crib work platform, against which other ties were piled so as to 
make a series of steps. Loose hay was spread over the steps and the little 
" broncho " horses, on which the regiment was then mounted, scrambled 
down like so many goats and without accident. 


the door must be opened to supply them with water, and to feed 
them from nose bags. 

There should be no unnecessary noise or confusion and the 
animals should follow one another at intervals just sufficiently long 
to admit of the halter being removed from the horse which pre- 
cedes, before the following one enters. It is necessary to have 
two men work together loading each end, as each horse must be 
held until the following horse arrives to prevent any from turning 
around. Sometimes an animal will resist loading. Many of them 
may be made to move forward by keeping them close to the pre- 
ceding animal. If necessary, the animal may be foi;ced in by 
pushing or by putting a rope around his hind quarters and drawing 
him in. With a little training both men and horses soon become 
accustomed to the details of loading and it progresses rapidly. 
The closed door should be securely fastened before loading, and 
when the car is full the door through which the horses have 
entered should be fastened likewise. 

Car floors get very slippery, but if closely packed the animals 
assist one another in keeping their feet. It is seldom convenient 
to shoe horses with calks to prevent them from slipping. Besides, 
horses that are rough shod are apt to seriously injure others by 
stepping on them w^hen jarred by the sudden starting or stopping 
of the train. Valua1)lc animals or those which are sick or disabled 
should not be put in w'ith other animals. If necessary to ship them, 
temporary stalls should be constructed in the ends of the cars to 
prevent them from being jammed by the other animals. 

Watering and feeding depend much upon the conditions imder 
whicii the movement is being made. If stations are convenient 
and time admits, animals should be fed and watered in the morning 
after daylight and in the evening before dark. If the weather be 


very warm and the roadbed dusty, a third watering should take 
place at noon. If there is no special haste, animals should be un- 
loaded as nearly as practicable after each twenty-four hours of 
travel. In good weather, if the horses are not to be used im- 
mediately after unloading, and if the cars are such that the ani- 
mals can be conveniently fed and watered, unloading need not take 
place at such frequent intervals. Unloading should be accom- 
plished in the reverse manner of loading. The halters should be 
put on quietly and the animals opposite the door led out first, the 
remaining animals being led to the doorway alternately from the 
two ends of the car and delivered to men waiting to lead them 
down the ramps or to the platform. When horses are loaded or 
unloaded direct from station platforms, great care must be used to 
prevent the animals from crowding and slipping off the movable 
gangplanks or between the cars and the platform. Circumstances 
and good judgment must govern in this as in everything else 
connected with the successful and economical management of 


At the outbreak of the war with Spain there was no record of 
previous experience available as to the transportation of animals 
in large numbers on long sea voyages. Very little difficulty was 
experienced in transporting cavalry regiments to Cuba and Porto 
Rico, but much doubt existed as to the possibility of safely ship- 
ping horses and mules on the long voyage to the Philippine 
Islands, and for a time it looked as if the fighting would all have 
to be done by dismounted men, unless animals could be procured 
from Australia. 

Notwithstanding the expense and apparent difficulties, the neces- 
sities of the situation demanded that the effort be made, and al- 



though some animals have been injured and others lost, the expe- 
rience gained has been valuable, not only to the American army, 
but to all others. With modern equipments, barring unusual 
storms or typhoons, large numbers of animals can be safely and 
expeditiously transported for thirty or forty days at sea, and 
delivered in condition for work after a brief rest. 

Figure 126. Showing construction and bracmg of stalls. 

The experience gained teaches that ships for transportation of 
animals should be large and fitted with bilge keels. Before fitting 
up the interior, false decks should be laid throughout that portion 
of the ship to be used by the horses. The structural strength of 
the interior fittings, .stanchions, stalls, etc., should be of the 
strongest character, all properly braced and bolted, so that there 
mav be no possibility of timbers becoming loosened and injuring 


animals during rough weather (figure 126). The stalls should be 
constructed athwart the vessel, so as to form a system of trusses 
and give united strength to the whole system. The stanchions of 
the stalls should be strong, mortised into the floor and securely 
bolted over head. It should be remembered that even in a moder- 
ate storm the weight of the animals will be thrust against the 
stanchions and if they give way, it means disaster to the living 
cargo. A passage of about three feet in width should be left at 
the ends of the rows of stalls in each compartment, and, if pos- 
sible, in rear of the stalls, along the sides of the ship. This enables 
the attendants to promptly clean out the stalls and permits of the 
animals being led through the passages in calm weather to change 
their location and for exercise. After various trials as to char- 
acter and size of stalls, it was found that two feet four inches in 
width by not less than six feet four inches in length, with sides 
boarded to a height of four feet four inches gave the most satis- 
factory results. The sides should be made of four planed boards, 
ten inches wide, with three-inch spaces between the boards and a 
similar space between the bottom board and the floor, for better 
circulation of air. Four or five hard-wood cleats should be nailed 
on the floor of the stall to prevent the animals from slipping. 

When the first shipments were made, in deference to existing 
knowledge and theories, the system of tricing up the animals in 
the stalls by means of slings was tried. Heavy breast boards were 
put in front of the animals, to prevent them from plunging for- 
ward out of the stalls in rough weather, and feed boxes were 
hung on the outside of the breast boards (figure 127). So many 
animals were badly bruised against the breast boards that they 
were abandoned, and broad canvas straps or guards were substi- 
tuted. The breast straps should be made of hemp canvas, about 



eight inches wide, with a spreading; stick and two grunimets at 
each end. The canvas shonld be heavy and stitched to strengthen 
the edges. Ropes should be passed through the grummets to tie 
tlie breast straps to the stanchions. By placing a smaller strap 
over the animal's neck and attaching it to the breast strap in the 
same -manner that a light buggy harness is arranged, the halter 

Figure 127 Showing transport fitted witli breast boards and feed boxes. 

ropes may then be adjusted in length so as to allow the animals 
considerable room for swaying with the vessel. 

After much experience in all kinds of weather, it was found 
that the animals got their " sea legs " much (|nickcT l)y being 
allowefl to swa}- with the motion of tlic ship, and the tricing-up 
slings were abandoned, exce])t that a few were carried to sii])port 
weak or sick horses in calm weather. The slings were resjionsible 


for intestinal disorders, injuries to the sheath and other trouhlcs 
incident thereto. During rough weather, the breast guards or 
siraps supported the animals without bruising them, and in calm 
weather could be detached to allow the horses to swing out in 
front of the stalls. 

The utmost care should be taken that no nails or projections of 
any kind are left about the stalls on which an animal may wound 
or bruise himself. When no space is left in rear of the stalls, as was 
the case in fitting up several ships, sheets of zinc nailed to the side 
of the ship in the rear of the stalls will be found efficacious in 
preventing the animals from unduly chafing their tails. 

At first animals were fed from feed-boxes and mangers but 
experience caused this method to be abandoned in favor of feeding 
directly from the deck. To provide for this, slats running length- 
wise of the vessel were nailed to the false deck in front of the 
stalls and the forage was placed between them. The animals 
appeared to thrive better when feeding directly from the deck, and 
soon learned to adjust themselves to the ordinary motion of the 
sea so as not to plunge out of their stalls when the long halter 
chains were attached. It was found advisable to have both short 
and long halter chains or straps, because in rough weather an ani- 
mal might be pitched forward while his head was down and be 
jerked into a somersault by the long halter chain, which it is 
necessary to use when feeding from the deck (figure 128). 

No detail can be neglected in the transportation of animals, 
but the item of ventilation is of the utmost importance. The 
method found most effective is that used in deep mines— the com- 
bined blow-in and exhaust system. By the use of this system, 
the air may be kept almost as pure in the hold as between decks 
above. If the ventilation in any part of the ship is not good, the 



animals should be changed from time to time to other parts, and 
in good weather, those animals which appear weak or needing 
a change should be led up on deck or to the hatchways. 

Every animal transport should be provided with an electric plant 
for lighting the ship and for running electric fans in the compart - 

Figure 128. Stalls without breast boards. Slats arranged for fceilin};- 

from deck. 

ments occupied by animals, for the purpose of forcing in fresh air 
and exhausting foul air from parts of the vessel not sufficiently 
ventilated by the windsails attached to the hatches and ports. The 
windsails, if carefully attended, supi)ly the fresh air all right, but 
some other exits than the hatches should be provided for forcing 
out the foul air which hangs imrlcr each deck. The fresh air 


should enter at the floor of each compartment and the foul air be 
exhausted near the top. Ports should be fitted with windscoops. 

No ship should be used as an animal transport which has hatch- 
ways too small to admit of inclined gangways with landings. Not 
only is this necessary for moving animals from one compartment 
to another, but also because of the greater facility with which the 
animals may be loaded and unloaded. If the inclined gangways 
cannot be put in through the hatches, the animals must be loaded 
and unloaded in horse boxes, or slings, a very slow and tedious 
process, particularly when resorted to for unloading at ports 
without wharf accommodations, or when necessary to disembark 
on an exposed coast, as happened at Santiago de Cuba and various 
points in the Philippine Islands (figures 129 and 130). 

An abundant supply of pure drinking water, not less than ten 
gallons per day for each animal, must be provided. Arrangements 
should be made for distributing the water to each compartment 
through a hose provided with a faucet at the end, so that buckets 
can be filled without waste. A condensing apparatus should form 
part of the equipment of each vessel, but for fear of a break-down 
or failure to furnish a sufficient quantity of water, an ample supply 
should be carried in the ballast tanks. A deck tank should be 
provided into which the water should be pumped for distribution, 
by gravity, to the various animal compartments. Barrels should 
be at hand in each compartment for use in connection with the 
hose in the distribution to the horses. The filling of buckets from 
hose is a rather slow process, but the water is not wasted to such 
an extent as when dipped from barrels when the ship is rolling. 
Unless great care is taken the barrels are soon fouled with dirty 



A small water-trough, holding ctiongh for two animals, and 
arranged on wheels, as a push cart, is preferable to buckets. The 
hose can be constantly refilling it, and it avoids the difficulty of 
having two horses trying to drink from the same bucket. Another 
simple plan is to carry " nests " of assorted sizes of ordinary zinc 

J^igui'e J2(j. Leadiuy animals to the main deck. 

washtubs, which can be placed on the deck at each alternate head- 
post so that two horses can drink from the same tub at the same 

A room should be provided for tools, instnuncnts and horse 
medicines. Canvas bags or baskets should be provided for col- 
lecting manure, which should be thrown overboard, together with 


the wet or soiled hay, which may clog the scuppers when the decks 
are washed. 

The question of hospital accommodations has received much 
consideration. A few large stalls near the hatchways will afford 
opportunities to treat ordinary cases. If the deck load is restricted, 
as it should be, to forage for the first week out, the space will then 
be available for deck stalls, which can be quickly prepared, and to 
which ailing animals may be taken for fresh air and treatment. 
Notwithstanding that every efifort was made to provide the best 
patterns of large canvas slings heretofore considered essential at 
sea, they were found to be more injurious than beneficial, and the 
percentage of loss decreased directly as the slings were discarded. 

The transport being fitted up in accordance with approved 
methods, the feeding and care of the animals then devolves upon 
the officers and men assigned to duty. Upon .the manner in which 
the work is performed will depend the success of each voyage so 
far as landing animals fit for service. The transports are first- 
class floating livery stables, and in many voyages the percentage 
of loss has been less than would occur in the same length of time 
if the animals had been turned loose in a pasture or corral. As 
the government charters animal transports, the experience gained 
cannot be made as available as has been the case on the passenger 
transports owned by the United States. 

The consensus of opinion of the officers who have reported on 
various voyages, is that a certain routine of feeding, watering and 
care will answer for the average animal transport in ordinary 
weather, and that an adherence to prescribed rules will keep the 
animals in good condition for service. The officer in charge, how- 
ever, should use his judgment when things do not go right, and 
if it be a question of ship management, consult the captain, and if 



it pertains to the feeding and care of the animals, or of any indi- 
vidual animal, such correction as can be applied should be done 
whether specified in his instructions or not. 

For short voyages and where the animals are to go immediately 
on service, thev mav be shod before loading. When the vovage 

Fipnre 130. Leading animals from tiic mam deck to lower 

will occupy a month or more it is not desirable to shoe, as the hoofs 
will increase in length to such an extent in that time that it will 
be necessary to rcj^lacc the shoes aftrr landing. 

'i'hc dav previous to embarkation ihi' animals should be fed 
bran mash, h'rjr the first thirtv-six lionrs at sea the full ration of 


hay should be fed but no grain. After this period, half ration of 
oats (six pounds) should be given, but if large animals show signs 
of losing flesh, their feed should be increased. It will not do to 
apply an inflexible rule to feeding animals, for a small horse or 
pack mule will keep fat on an allowance which will cause the ribs 
of a large animal to show prominently. If the animals clean up the 
hay an extra allowance should be given during the night. Bran 
mashes should be given at intervals of three or four days, and if 
intestinal disorders follow the feeding of oats, a wet mixture of 
bran and oats should be tried. Animals should receive the usual 
ration of salt in the bran mash. Carrots in small quantities may 
prove beneficial to some animals whose appetite is not normal. 

For the care of the animals, it will usually be found advisable 
to divide the attendants into permanent squads, four or five in 
number, and allot to them certain parts of the ship. If troops 
travel with their horses, each detachment should look after its own 
animals. Ordinarily, however, the attendants are civilian packers, 
teamsters, or men hired for the voyage. 

The animals should be fed at the usual hour in the morning, 
soon after daylight. After the men have been served with breakfast, 
the policing of the vessel should begin by removing all manure 
and refuse hay (no bedding is used on transports) and throwing 
it overboard. Then, in turn, the squads should have the use of 
the hose for washing and scrubbing the decks. After each com- 
partment has been cleaned, such disinfectant as may be supplied 
should be applied to the deck space in front of the stalls used 
for feeding the animals, and to the stalls also. A thorough policing 
should always precede disinfection, else the attendants may con- 
ceive the usual idea that the odor of a disinfectant renders filth 
innocuous. Vinegar, creolin, chloro-naphtholeum, chloride of 


lime and carbolic acid, constitute the usual disinfectants supplied. 
On account of its pungent odor, chloride of lime should not be 
used between decks when other disinfectants are at hand. 

When the morning's work is completed, the vessel should be 
thoroughly inspected, particular care being taken to see that the 
scuppers are not clogged. Responsibility should be absolute in 
each squad, and every dereliction should be fixed upon the indi- 
vidual and such deprivation or punishment as the neglect seems 
to merit should be awarded by the officer in charge. 

The ship's crew attends to the sailing of the ship while the 
animals are cared for by civilians employed, or soldiers detailed 
for the purpose. It is a disadvantage to have too many men, but 
a sufficient number should be taken to allow for many to be ofif 
duty by reason of seasickness the first week out of port. Some- 
times the detachment is fed by the ship's cook, but on other 
occasions galley room is provided for cooking. The mess should 
be carefully looked after to see that the galley and surroundings 
are kept clean and that the food is properly cooked and served. 

For the whole cargo of animals there should be one senior non- 
commissioned officer, three cooks, one forage master, one veter- 
inarian and one assistant, and for each one hundred animals there 
should be one non-commissioned officer and fifteen privates. 
When the personnel consists of civilian employes a train master, 
wagon masters and civilian teamsters take the places of enlisted 
men. After making details for guard, kitchen police and moss 
attendants and the usual allowance for sickness each private or 
teamster will be required to care for about ten animals. When 
organized wagon and pack trains arc being transported with the 
expectation of immediate field service u])on disembarkation, 
teamsters and packers should accompany the trains. 



The ship should be apportioned off so that each non-commis- 
sioned officer or wagon- 
master may Icnow exactly 
what animals and space he 
is responsible for, the stalls 
being numbered for the 
purpose of division. Each 
non-commissioned officer 
or wagon-master should 
make his own details for 
guard, call his own rolls, 
keep the forage record and 
note on a bulletin-board 
the sick animals and the 
names of the men on guard. 

$t _^--i 

Figure 131. Unloading animals, Ponce, Porto Rico. 

The senior non-commissioned officer or trainmaster should exer- 
cise general supervision, keep the forage accounts, the morning 


report and be responsible to the officer in charge that cleanHness 
and good order are enforced. 

The officer in charge should make a general inspection three 
times each twenty-four hours. Neglect of duty or abuse of ani- 
mals should meet with just and summary punishment. Disputes 
and misunderstandings should be settled promptly, with dignity 
and tact, appealing to the ship's captain when any of his crew are 

Arriving at destination, the animals should, if possible, be un- 
loaded at a dock by means of a gangway, the animals from below 
being led up on the ramps. If there are no ramps the unloading 
must be by means of slings or the flying stall, the latter being 
preferable (figures 131 and 132). 

If the animals must be unloaded into the water to swim ashore, 
great care should be exercised. If the stall is used it should have 
sides high enough so that the animal will not try to jump out, and 
the floor should have heavy cleats. Guy ropes should be attached 
to keep the stall from striking the sides of the ship or the hatch 
combing. Both ends of the stall should be made to open, for an 
animal which will balk at walking into a box may be coaxed to 
walk into an open passage. 

The bolts should be arranged so that the doors may be opened 
by a line from the ship. A line should be attached to the halter of 
the animal in the stall, and thrown to men in a row-boat, which 
should lay to, near by, where the stall will strike the water when 
lowered. When the door is opened the stall should be allowed to 
sink, the oarsmen give way, and the animal swims out, being 
guided by a man in the stern of the boat holding the halter rope. 
If the water is calm the animal may be conducted towards shore 
and then turned loose to make his way in. If there are breakers 



the animal should be conducted to shore, else in liis fear he may 
turn and follow back to the ship or swim out to sea and be lost. 

In smooth water where a lighter can be used, it is best to con- 
struct a ramp leading from the ship to the lighter ; this will greatly 
hasten the unloading and save the animals from risk or injury. 

Figure 132. The flying stall. 

Many of the animals which accompanied the expedition to 
Santiago in 1898 were unloaded directly into the sea by means of 
sliding ramps run out through the side ports. The ramps were 
arranged so that the weight of the horse, as he moved out from 
the side of the ship tilted the outer end downward, forcing the 
animal into the sea, when he made his way to shore (figiire 133). 



The British Remount Service had more experience in tlie 
purchase and shipment of horses and mules at sea during the two 
vears of war in South Africa than any nation hitherto known in 
history. The animals were purchased generally throughout the 
Western States, and for the most part concentrated in Missouri, 
where the British government had a large remount depot. Here 
the animals were carefully inspected, branded and subjected to the 

JiLjnrc 133. Cavalry horses swimming ashore at Santiago. 

mallein test for glanders. When in prime condition they were 
shipped by rail to New Orleans to the remount station, where 
injured or unfit animals were culled out. The ship being ready, 
the animals were loaded with great care, and everything possible 
done to insure a safe and speedy voyage to the distant theater of 
war, to which more than 200,000 animals were shipped after the 
Boers took the field. 

The British metliods differed slightly from the American, in- 


asmuch as they required the owners of the vessels to fit them up 
for the transportation of animals and provide the necessary forage 
and ustensils, also the foreman and attendants required for the 
care of the animals and two carpenters in addition to the ship's 
carpenter, to keep the stalls in order. The fittings were erected 
by the owners from patterns and specifications provided by the 
Remount Department. A gratuity of £2 (about $10) was allowed 
on each horse, and £1 on each mule, landed in good order, in addi- 
tion to the regular price of freight. 

The owners of vessels were required to furnish water, forage, 
halters, utensils, fittings, ventilation and attendants, to the satis- 
faction of the remount officer at the port of embarkation. 

The attendants required were i head foreman, 3 assistant fore- 
men and I attendant for every 15 horses or 20 mules. The articles 
required to be provided by each animal transport were specified 
in great detail in the contracts and included all the implements 
and measures necessary in cleaning and feeding the animals and 
for policing and ventilating the vessel. 



The Bars. - This term is used to designate two entirely different parts of 
the horse — the bars of the mouth and the bars of the foot. The bars of 
the mouth comprise the parts of the lower jaw, on each side devoid of 
teeth and lying between the incisor and molar teeth, where the bit rests. 
The bars of the foot consist of the two horny portions starting from 
each side at the heel and coming together under the point of and to a 
certain extent enclosing the frog. 

Blemisli. A scar, condition or sign of former disease, which may mar 
the appearance without affecting the serviceability of the animal. 

Broken Knee or Capped Knee. Injury to the knee arising thrcmgh a fall, 
striking against the manger when pawing or other accidents and usually 
manifested by scars or swelling. 

Broken Wind. Indicated by difficulty of breathing and prolonged effort 
of the abdominal muscles in performing the act of cxpiratif)n. Usually 
accompanied by a hacking cough. 

Buek or Calf Knee. A condition where the front of the fore leg. viewed 
from the side, appears to curve to the rear, the curvature being most 
noticeable at the knee. 

Calking. Injuries about the top of the foot (coronet), caused by the 
tread of another foot of the horse on himself, or by the shoe of another 
animal. Injury occurs most frequently when shoes are fitted with calks. 

Canker. Disease of the foot, principally of the frog and sole due to a 
vegetable parasite which thrives best in dampness. 

Capped Elbow. Term applied to an enlargement at the p(Mnt of the 
elbow. Frequently called shoe boil because usually due to pressure of shoe 
when lying down. 

Capped Ilock. Enlargement at the back (points) of the hock, arising 
usually from bruises received in rubbing against the sides of the stall. 
Swelling may be temporary but often remains permanent. 

Cinch .Sores. Sores under the body in rear of the elbows. Usually 
f)riginate as shoe injuries and arc continued and extended by rubbing of 
the girth or cincha. 

Clicking or Forging. .Striking the toe of the hind foot against the 
bottom of the shoe of the forefoot, m;iking a noise from which the ivnne is 



Cocked Ankles or Knuckling. A partial dislocation of the fetlock joint, 
causing the joint to knuckle or make a convex angle to the front. 

Contracted Heels or Hoof Bound. Atrophy or shrinking of the tissues 
of the foot which dries out the frog and draws the heels together. Usually 
observed in fore feet to a much greater extent than in the hind. 

Cribber or Crib Biter. A horse addicted to the habit of gnawing the 
wood work about the stable, usually the manger. 

Curb. In a normal state the back part of the hind leg from the point 
of the hock down to the fetlock should be a straight line. When there is a 
bulging backward of this line at the hock the lesion is called curb. 

Defect. An abnormal condition of any part of the horse which may 
affect his usefulness and which may or may not be classed as an abso- 
lute unsoundness. 

Dock. The solid part of the tail. 

Farcy Buds. Nodes which form under the skin and vary in size from a 
buckshot to a walnut. They are sometimes called farcy buttons. 

False Quarter. When the coronary band at the top of the foot, from 
which the crust or horn of the hoof is secreted, becomes involved in serious 
inflammation through quittor, sand cracks or other injury or disease, the 
secretions become arrested and a break in the hoof wall, immediately below 
the place of injury, occurs, and this complete and more or less permanent 
separation is called false quarter. 

Fistula. An ulcerous sore on the surface, connected by ducts with a 
diseased internal cavity. With horses the term is appplied almost wholly 
to ulcerous lesions of the withers. 

Founder or Laminitis. An inflannnation of the sensitive laminae of the 
feet, with a tendency to destruction of tissues, causing stiffness and lame- 
ness. Often results in the formation of a series or ridges or rings around 
the surface of the hoof. 

Grease. A disease of the heels usually associated with a parasitic fungus 
and offensive discharge. 

Grunting. A noise emitted by a horse when suddenly moved or started. 
Usually indicates that the animal is a roarer and probably unsound. 

Interfering—Speedy Cut. A horse interferes when he strikes the inner 
side of the fetlock of either fore or hind foot, with the corresponding foot 
of the other side, causing a bruise or cut. When the location of the cut is 
on the inside of the fore leg near the knee it is called speedy cut. Other 
terms applied are brushing when the injury is slight and cutting when it is 

Knee Sprung or Over in the Knees. A deformed articulation of the 


knee joint which causes the fore leg to bend forward at the knee instead 
of maintaining the usual vertical direction of the forearm and cannon 
bones, as viewed from the side. 

Near Side. The left-hand side of the horse facing with the animal. 

Off Side. The right-hand side of the horse facing with the animal. 

Overreach. Overreach is where the shoe of the hind foot strikes and 
injures the heel or quarter of the fore foot; the injury usually occurs 
to the outside of the forefoot, but sometimes comes squarely against the 
heel and not infrequently with sufficient force to tear off the fore shoe. 

Paddling. The term describes the peculiar motion of the fore feet, at 
a walk or trot, when instead of being carried forward in a vertical plane, 
they are thrown forward with a curved motion outside of this plane. 

Parrot Mouth. This exists where the incisor teeth of the upper jaw 
project over and in front of those of the lower jaw, no wear of the 
teeth taking place. 

Poll Evil. A fistula in the poll or top of the head near or between 
the ears. 

Quitter. This term applies to several varieties of foot affections where- 
in the tissues undergo degeneration, and arc eliminated or sloughed off 
by suppuration. In some forms it is not inaptly termed foot rot. Its 
more common form is a fistula of the coronet which burrrows into the 
heels and quarters. 

Ring Bone. An ossification or bony tumor on or around the pastern 
bones resulting from inflammatory action. 

Roaring: Whistling. Horses are sometimes affected with a chronic 
disease that causes a loud unnatural noise in breathing; such animals are 
called roarers or said to have, thick wind. The noise is made when the 
air is drawn into the lungs. Whistling is a shrill variation of the sound 
emitted by a roarer. 

Sand Cracks; Quarter Cracks; Toe Cracks. A sand crack is a fissure 
in the horn of the walls of the foot, and which usually extends in the 
direction of the bony fibers. When the opening occurs on the side or 
quarter of the hoof it is called a quarter criick, and when directly in front 
is called a toe crack. Sand cracks may involve only the outer parts of 
the wall or they may be deep and involve the whole thickness of the 
wall and the soft tissues beneath. 

.Scratches or Cracked Heels. Soreness and tenderness in the hollow 
of the heels, somewhat akin to chapped hands. A similar condition some- 
times appear behind the knee, called malandcrs and sometimes in front 
of the hock, called salanders. 


Scirrhous Cord. An unfavorable result of castration causing an in- 
durated swelling at the end of the divided cord and an enlargement of 
the scrotal sack. 

Seedy Toe. This disease consists in a separation of the crust of the 
hoof from the laininae beneath, the diseased laminae being unable to 
maintain union between the structures. It may occur on the quarters as 
well as the toe of the hoof. 

Shoe Boils. Same as capped clbozv. 

Sidebones. Ossification of the lateral wings of the coffin bone; seldom 
found on the hind feet but more common on the fore feet. Best detected 
by feeling the top of the foot, on each side, inside the line of the coronet. 

Sitfast. From one of many causes a swelling or saddle tumor occurs; 
from neglect or frequent occurrrence it becomes hard and the skin 
thickens and loses its vitality, often adhering to the bottom of the sore 
but separated from the surrounding living skin. At this stage a saddle 
sore becomes a sitfast. 

Spavin. The disease may be blood, bog or bone spavin ; all are located 
in and about the hock. Blood spavin is a varicose condition of the vein 
in front and to the inside of the hock; bog spavin is a distension of the 
bursa of the hock joint and is found in front directly below the seat of 
blood spavin; the bone spavin may be slight or may involve the articular 
faces of all the bones of the hock and is the most serious form. Some 
forms of spavin are very difficult of detection. 

Splint. A bony enlargement on the cannon bone, usually of the fore 
leg only and on the inside, between the knee and fetlock joint. Sometimes 
the splint forms across the leg on the rear face of the bone and between 
it and the suspensory ligament or tendon ; it is then called a pegged 

Stringhalt. A spasmodic muscular contraction, usually affecting one 
hind leg, but sometimes both, causing an involuntary jerking up of the 
leg. It may occur only at intervals and at particular gaits. 

Thorough Pin. A bursal enlargement at the upper and back part of 
the hock, beneath the extensor tendon. The swelling usually appears on 
both sides and may by a little pressure be forced from one side to the 

Thrush. Disease of the frog of the foot characterized by excessive 
secretion of unhealthy matter. 

Windgalls. Soft, puffy swellings usually in the neighborhood of the 
fetlock joints. 

:!!:!iiii linn; 

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