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Webster Family Library

of Veterinary Medicine

Cummings School
Tufts University

of Veterinary Medicine at

200 Westboro Road


Nortti Grafton,

MA 01 536

THE PERFECT HORSE


HOW
TO

KNOW HIM.
HIM.

HO IV TO BREED

HOW HOW

TO TRAIN HIM. TO SHOE HIM.

HOW

TO DRIVE HIM.

BY WILLIAM

H. H.

MURRAY.

WITH

AN INTRODUCTION BY

REV.

HENRY WARD BEECHER

AND A TREATISE ON

AGRICULTURE AND
By Hon.

TJiE HORSE,
LORING.

GEORGE

B.

CONTAINING ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE BEST TROTTING STOCK-HORSES IN THE UNITED STATES, DONE FROM LIFE, WITH THEIR PEDIGREE, RECORDS, AND FULL DESCRIPTIONS.

. The "Hast thou given the horse strength? Hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? glory of his nostrils is terrible. He pavveth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted neither turneth he back He saith among He svvalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage. from the sv.ord. the trumpets, Ha, ha! and he sraelleth the battle afar oE, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting." Job xxxix. 19-25.
.

FOURTH EDITION.

BOSTON:
THE GOLDEN RULE PUBLISHING COMPANY.
1876.

6
?1*

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873,

By

JAMES

R.

OSGOOD &

CO.,

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington,

Rand, Averv,

&

Co.,

Boston i Elkctrotypers and Printers.

TO

Ulysses

S.

Grant,

President of the Republic,

AND LOVER OF THE HORSE,


I

RESPECTFULLY DEDICATE

Ei)i& 'Bolnmt.

THE AUTHOR.

AUTHOR'S PREFACE,

PUKPOSE

ill

this

volume
animals,

to treat of the

most noble and


I desire to

useful of domestic

the

horse.

put

into a small compass and cheap form the result of

many
shall

years of reading and observation, that every farmer's boy in

New

England may have


its

in his possession a

book which
to qualify

contain within
to breed, train
profitably.

covers enough of instruction


drive,

him

and

buy and

sell,

horses intelligently and

This

is

my

hope.

I purpose, also,, to lay before

him the

true

principles of
fast

animal propagation, following


shall

which the breeding of


no sense the result of
is,

and valuable horses chance or "good luck," as


to raise

be

the phrase

but of causes clearly understood and arranged from the


I shall

start.
colt,

show him how


;

a vicious or amiable

a slow or fast one

what

to discard
;

and what

to include

in his selection of

dam and

sire

and how, when the perfect

animal

is

produced, to educate him properly, and bring him


is

forward in intelligence and docility until he


tribute

able to con-

most directly and

fully

to

his

owner's profit or

pleasure.

While

I shall

advance and strive to sustain


give

my
I

own

views, I shall, in

all cases,

my

reasons therefor.

lay no claim to originality.

have no hobby to advance, pr

VI

PREFACE.

pet theory to advertise to the public.


attend

My

success, if success

my

efforts, will

be due

to the patience
th-e

with which I

have studied the subject, and

entire absence of passion

and prejudice in writing out the views thus


confess

obtained.

my

indebtedness to

many books and many

authors.

The cumbersome volume


sional 'Miorse-tamer "

of veterinary practice, the quaint

mediaeval treatise, and the sensational pamphlet of the profes-

who perambulates

the country to-day,


of his trained

astonishing the uninitiated with the tricks


ponies, have alike supplied
I

me with

material for reflection.

wish to give in a condensed form the aggregated wisdom


all,

of

to the

end that whoever may purchase


is

this

work

shall

have the sum and substance of what


the horse.
I

known concerning

do not deceive myself so far as


;

to

suppose that I have

wholly succeeded

for the subject is a vast


is

and

intricate one,
desire.
Still

and man's performance


it

seldom equal to his

may

be that enough has been done to vindicate the motive,


If this should If

and serve the public.

be the verdict of

my

patrons, I shall rest content.

any should express surprise

that one in

my

profession should devote his leisure to such a

purpose, I have this to say. That to


of love in the
write,
first

me

it

has been a labor

place for the noble animal of which I

and whose existence and services have ever been and

are to-day closely connected with the commercial, social,


religious

and

development of the country

and, in the second


heart of a desire to
that class of

place, I

acknowledge the presence

in

my

associate myself in every honorable

way with

my countrymen,
ent aspiration,
I

to which,

by

birth, early education,


class.

and pres-

belong, the agricultural


life

Compelled

by

the obligation of public


cities,

to pass the larger part of


lieart

my

time in

my mind and

continually

revert to

PREFACE.

Vll

the country, where, in the cultivation of the products of the


earth,

and the propagation and training of the domestic

ani-

mals,

man

finds, as I judge, his

most honorable and happy-

employment.

have no sympathy with that professional

exclusiveness which forbids to the intellect the powers and

pleasure of general knowledge

and universal studentship;

nor do

ever wish to see the day, when, restrained by a false

sense of professional dignity, I shall refuse to impart needed

information to any one, of whatever walk and pursuit of


life,

who may be
forth,

assisted

and bettered thereby.

With

this

purpose, and prompted by this impulse, I

now

send this vol-

ume who

and bespeak

for

it

the careful perusal of those

admire and are interested in the noble animal of which

it treats.

W.
Boston, 1873.

H.

II.

MURRAY.

AUTHOR'S ACKNOWLEDGMENT.

In sending
of

this

volume forth

to the public, the preparation

which has been a matter of profound

interest

and proof,

longed labor to me, I wish to acknowledge the courtesy

and return

my

thanks

to,

the scores of men, who, scattered

over the country, have given


assistance in

me

their

encouragement and

my

work.

Especially would I

acknowledge

the courtesy of the President of the Nation in accepting so


graciously,

and with such manifest

interest, the dedication of

the

work

and the great services done

me

personally

by Rev.
and
most

Henry Ward Beecher

in contributing the Introduction,


in the preparation of his

by Hon. George B. Loring


It is not often that

interesting: and valuable article.

one can see such a grouping of names


itself

as this

and
is

it

does of

suggest

how

wide-spread and

profound

the interest in and affection for the animal of

which they write.


aided

To

these gentlemen, and to


in

all

who have

me by

fiivor

and counsel

my

effort, I

regard myself

personally a debtor.

W.
viU

n. n.

MURllAY.

INTRODUCTION,

My dear
What

Mr. Murray,
?

do you expect

am

not competent to discuss the

mysteries of a training-farm, nor the political


the horse.
If,

economy of

now,

3^ou

needed a word on the joys of riding on


the experience of
forests

winged
prairies

horses, or

long

journeys over
I could

and through Western

on horseback,

supply such material.

I also could give

you a chapter on
be
I

the reverse side of the art of selecting and buying horses,


so that

one should be able,

five

times out of

six,

to

cheated, and pay a large

price for an

unsound
sell

horse.

could teach one

how

to

buy

dear,

and

cheap.

But

these are things aside,


subject.
I really

the

mere chaff and wastage of the

hope that you have made a standard book


it
;

first,

because you are a clergyman, and


to

behooves

all

clergymen

do well whatever they do at

all

and, second, because

many men think


teacher.

horse-culture a theme unbecoming a moral

Not long ago, many people thought that good folks ought not to own good horses that a fast horse was a sign of a fast man and that only publicans and sinners had a right
; ;

INTRODUCTION.
while the righteous

to nags that could trot inside of 2.-i0

were doomed
fit

to

amble through

life

on

dull, fat, family-horses,

only for a plough or a funeral.


It is part of

the same foolish prejudice which

marvels

how
St.

a preacher could write a book on horses. say


they,

"

Would
?

Paul,"

" pause

to

write

on the horse
?

But would Paid have written upon astronomy


the history of the

or upon

Jews

or

upon agriculture

or on com-

mon

schools

Would he have

written poetry, or

commuLatin

nications for a newspaper,

or magazine-articles,

or

grammars
if

If

he had lived in our time, he certainly would,


thereto,

he

felt

moved

and perceived that thereby he


indirectly, to the great inter-

might contribute, directly or


ests of political

economy
with

as included in Christian civilization.


for contributing to

Who

finds fault

clergymen

the

welfare of society thi'ough any of the great channels of


influence
?

From time out


is

of mind, husbandry has been

deemed a

proper pursuit for clergymen.

But what

topic in husbandry

more important, and better worthy of dignified treatment,


?

than the history and culture of that noble animal, the horse

Society owes to the horse a debt of gratitude a thousand

times greater than

it

does to thousands of
;

men who

abuse

him.

He

has ministered to progress


it

has made social inter-

course possible where otherwise

would have been slow

and occasional, or altogether impossible.

He

has vntually

extended the strength of man, augmented his speed, doubled


his time, decreased his burdens, and,

becoming

his slave, has

released liim from drudgery, and


sake, for the sake of social
life,

made him
for

free.

For love's

eminent moral reasons,

the horse deserves to be bred, trained, and cared for with

scrupulous care

and,

if

a minister can teach

men how

to

do

INTIIODUCTION.

xi

it, it is

not abandoning his profession, but pursuing a remote


it,

department of

which has too long already been


tlie

left

to

men who

look upon

liorso

as

an instrument cliicdy of

gambling gains, or of mere physical pleasure.


IIENIIY

WARD

BKECIIKU.

Twin-Mountain House, Wiiitk Mountains,


Aug.
27, 1873.

CONTENTS,
chapti:r
I.

PAGE.
is

Points of a Horse, or the Marks by which a Good Horse

known

CHAPTER
The
Principles of Breeding.

II.

Reasons

why Breeders have

not been
'^

financially successful

CHAPTER
Breeding.

III.

How

to Succeed

^^

CHAPTER
The
Sire

IV.
^

CHAPTER
The Dam

V.
^^^

CHAPTER
How
TO train a Colt

VI.
^^^

CHAPTER
The
Horse's Foot, and

VII.
226

how to Shoe

it

CHAPTER
The Morgan Horse
:

VIII.
292

his Relation to Breeding

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE


Pedigrees of Noted Horses

843

How

to LAY OUT A MiLE TrACK Gallery of Celebrated Horses


^^8

INDEX

LIST OP ILLUSTEATIONS.

"

The White Mare

'*

Frontispiece,

Fearnaught
Live Oak
.

8
.

32
64
96
.
.

Taggart's Abdallah

Thomas Jefferson
Carenaught
Rysdyk
Daniel Lambert
Fearxaugiit, Jun
.

128

160

192
224
256
,

Harvard
Robert Boxner
Manchester
.
.
.

288

304

Morgan Abdallah
Star of the South

352
384
.

Lola and Foal

416

THE PEEFECT HORSE.

BY

AV.

H. H.

MURRAY.

THE PERFECT HORSE.


CHAPTER
POINTS OP

I.

A HORSE, OR THE MARKS BY WHICH A GOOD HORSE IS KNOWN.


starting out
in

To

young man

the business of

breeding, or to any person about to purchase a horse,

nothing can be of greater value than the knowledge of


those
points
or

marks which characterize a


all

perfect

animal.

Not

that

of these

desirable

qualities

of

bone, muscle, and nervous organization, can be found

once in a thousand times combined in any single animal


for the perfect

form in any order of

life is
is

rarely if ever

seen.

But, nevertheless, a standard

needed by which

the buyer

may measure

the several animals inspected,


to place

in order to ascertain

where

them

in the

column

that represents aggregate excellence, else his blunders


will

be many and mortifying.

The question

arises,

therefore,

and

it is

of the most practical significance to

the

young breeder and general purchaser,

Is there

any

standard or representative horse, the marks of which,

THE PERFECT HORSE.

being known, would enable one to buy with intelligence

and wisdom ?

How
in

can one

who

has had

little

if

any
in-

experience with horses go to the mart or


vest his

field,

and

money

such a

way

as to escape the ridicule

of his more experienced companions and neighbors, and


the censure of his after-judgment
?

I reply, that

such a
it

standard can be formed,


has become

standard which,

when

known and

familiar to the mind, enables

it

to discriminate with accuracy touching the excellences

or deficiencies of every animal inspected, and qualifies a

man

to fix surely

and

at

once the money-value of the


In other vfords, there

animal he wishes to purchase.

are certain elements of nature, and certain peculiarities

of form, and a certain style of action, which the perfect,


the ideal horse invariably possesses, and which, accord-

ing to the degree with which they are possessed by an


animal, rank
it

in the

column of value and

price.

Nor

are these marks, on the one hand, so numerous as to be

beyond the capacity of the poorest memory


them
;

to

commit

nor,

on the other, are they so


out,

latent, that,

when

once pointed

they cannot be perceived by even the

most casual glance.

Nature does not disguise herself


her,

from those that seek to know

nor so mask her excel-

lences that they cannot be perceived and admired even

by the

careless eye.

I propose, therefore, to point out

to the reader those

marks which characterize the perfect


I

or ideal horse

and

do so

for the sole

purpose that
the

every boy

who

reads these pages

may have with him

knowledge wliich forbids blundering and

financial loss

HOW
ill

TO

KNOW

HIM.

the selection of animals from which to breed, or for

general or special use.

Nothing

is

more preposterous
is

than the idea which seems to be current, that there

something mysterious in the art of buying and selling


horses wisely, which has been hidden from the average

farmer or gentleman,

and revealed only


It is

to

jockeys,

grooms, and stable-boys.


lic

about time for the pubis

to realize that the organization of the horse

too

high,

and

his

physical

anatomy too
;

intricate,

for the

ignorant and drunken to understand

and that the gen-

tleman's companion, as I hold the horse to be, can best

be understood and managed by gentlemen.


call
tics

I will

now

your attention to certain elements and characterisof the horse which the perfect animal must have.
first,

The

and

to

my mind

the most essential, point to


is

be observed touching the horse,

his

TEMPERAMENT.
I

ask you to distinguish temperament and temper.


is

The temper
treatment
;

an accident, the result of education or


:

in rare instances, of birth


oi'

but the tempera-

ment

is

a law

mode

of being affecting and modifying

the physical

structure

and the nervous


:

forces.

The

temper can be modified or changed

the vicious can be

made amiable

and the amiable,


is

vicious.

Not

so with

the temperament: that

fixed at birth, and remains imDiet,

mutable, dominating over the entire organization.


training, treatment in sickness,

these,

and much beside,

are suggested to the thoughtful

mind by the tempera-

THE PERFECT HORSE.


horse.

ment of the
tinct

There are four principles and

dis-

temperaments seen in horses,

the

nervous^ bilious^
distinct,

sanguine^ and lymphatic.


dissimilar,

They

are

by nature
Still

and not seldom

antagonistic.

they rare-

ly are

found pure, separate.

In most cases they are


Still,

found to be blended, mingled, co-existent.


ally,

gener;

one

is

found preponderating over

all

others

and

according to the degree of this preponderance of the

one over the rest


inspected

is

the constitution of the animal being

determined.

Let us suppose that we are


Such a

examining a horse with a nervous temperament.


horse will have a large,
full brain,

well-developed spinal

column, and nerves of acute sensitiveness.

From such
Such a horse

an organization come quickness of movement, nervous


excitability,

and great delicacy of

feeling.

will

have rapidity of motion, a quick,

lightning-like

gather, a restless ear,

and a

bright, animated counte-

nance.

He

will

be apt

to take the hills at a

jump, and
will suffer

enter and leave his stable with a spring.

He

untold agonies on the application of the iron curry-comb


in the

careless groom's hand,

and
to

will

need watching

and a taut rein on the road


This, in
brief, is

prevent his shying.

the picture of a horse with a nervous


this

temperament.
class.

The Vermont Black Hawk types


in order

The next

is

the bilious temperament.


is

This

temperamental organization
muscular system.
Avill

associated with a large


bilious temp)erament

The horse with a

have large bones and large muscles.

The masses

HOW
of fibrous
fiesli

TO

KNOW

HUM.

about the

quarters

and

shoulders,

the shank and fore-arm, will be well brought out, and


well packed
firm.
in.

To

the hand they will feel hard and

Such an animal impresses you with the appear:

ance of strength

you can see written

all

over him in
stand any

capital letters the Avord " endurance."

He will

amount of work.

In strength he

is

an equine Hercules.

Nothing but bad treatment and the passage of many


years can break such a horse down, or wear him out.

Such an animal was the Old Morrill horse; and


him, in a large measure,
is

like
in-

the whole Morrill family,

cluding his most famous descendant Fearnaught.


are
all

They

horses of great muscular vigor and power.

Consider now, in the third place, the sanguine tempera-

ment
Sanguine
is

from the

Latin,

sanguis,

sanguinis,
its

meaning blood.

This temperament, therefore, as

name
and

implies, is closely related in its origin to the blood-

system, and suggests a large development of heart, lungs,


blood-vessels.

A horse with such a temperament will

prove long-winded.

He will come down the home-stretch with wide-open and capable nostril. He will not pant and
labor in aspiration at the close of the heat.
in the
ease.
rial

Whatever,

way

of speed, he

is

able to do, he will do with


closely the blood

Consider, also,

how

and

arte-

system are connected with the nourishment and supRemember that it is by the blood port of the body.
alone that the nutritious elements of food are dissemi-

nated through the entire system, and the needed suste-

THE PERFECT HORSE.


part.

nance carried to every

You

observe, therefore,

how

vital a part this

order of temperament plays in the


it

economy of the system, and how prominent a place


should hold

among

those characteristics and qualities

which the purchaser and breeder of horses must observe


in order to reach

by an accurate

analysis a true

and

proper conclusion

touching the value of the animal

under consideration.

The horse with such a temperawhat he


eats will actually nourish

ment
him

will not only


:

have excellent lungs, but he will be

generally healthy
;

and day by day, by exercise and


his
last

food, will

he

renew

symmetrical

life.

The
pliatic.

of the four kinds of temperament

is

the hjmis

horse with this temperamental organization

to

be shunned.

He

will

be large
fat.

in the

abdomen,

lazy,

and inclined

to lay on useless

He

will
;

be sluggish,

slow-moving, and shambling in his gait


krcker-up of dust
;

a stumbler, and

a heavy, fleshy animal,

more

of a

pig than a horse.


I

have now enumerated the four kinds of tempera-

mental organization peculiar to horses as to men, and

endeavored to so describe and


youngest reader

illustrate

them

that

my

may know them


;

at a glance.
less so

They
because

teach us an instructive lesson

none the

generally unnoted

by those who have attempted, by


to

voice and printed page,

teach us

concerning the

structure and constitution of the horse.


this,

The

lesson

is

that

by no study of the outward form can one


this

judge correctly of

noble animal.

You must push

HOW

TO

KNOW

HIM.

your analysis within, you must question the nervous


forces of the organization,
tals of,

you must knock


to,

at the por-

and actually gain admission

the brain of the

animal, before

you can judge of

his value to you, or the

place he holds in the column that represents comparative or absolute excellence.

You

observe, also, that, to


is

the breeder, this question of temperament


nificance.

of vital sig-

The problem with him

is

one of judicious

mingling of the three essential temperaments in order


to

produce the most desirable

results.

The nervous
mus-

temperament alone

will not answer.

Rapidity of movehis colts

ment
cular

is

not enough.
;

He must

breed into

power

and

this is

represented by the bilious tem-

perament.

But of what
power,
arterial

avail are quickness of

motion and mus-

cular strength, unless to these are joined capable lungelasticity

of the heart-structure, and that efficient

and venous development, by the steady and

healthy action of which the system can alone be ministered unto, the wasted fibre removed, and

new nerve
The
is

and
point,

muscular

substance

daily

supplied.

true
this

therefore, for the breeder to

consider,

Granted such or such a temperament to the mare,

what
is

stallion is there

whose temperamental organization

of such a character, that the two, meeting and minfoal,

gling together in the

may produce

in this third or-

ganization the harmonious union of the greatest number,

and

in the greatest degree, of the

needed and

essential

elements? for the relative proportion in which they

THE PERFECT HORSE.


have a marked
efifect

exist will

upon the

life

of the ani-

mal

raised,

and

his fitness for the especial service for


is

which, in the mind and ambition of the breeder, he


to excel.

And

while these three temperaments

the
and

nervous, bilious, and

sanguine should
in the

all

exist,

meet

in

happy union,

same animal, yet

in

what

proportion they should be mingled in order to produce

happy union of speed, endurance, lung-power, and healthful ness, is to the breeder a matter of momentous
this

importance

for

on

this,

beyond

all

else,

as

we
or

think,

and

trust

our

reasoning

proves,

failure

success

depends.

Did the contemplated space of

this

work

permit, I

could show that this matter of temperamental organization of the horse potentially affects the entire animal,

even every minute point of the physical structure, and


each separate part and function of the body.
If the

temperament be an be

active, lively one, then will the

bones

fine in their texture,

ivory-like,

and

lasting.

The

muscles, also, will be influenced, and


pact,

become

wiry, com-

and

elastic

as spiral wire.

If the

temperament,

on the other hand, be sluggish, heavy, lymphatic, the


bones
will

be spongy and porous

in their structure, the

muscles flaccid and coarse, and the nervous organization


low, dull, and inoperant.
else
I

am

well aware that

size, all

being equal,

is

a true gauge of

power

but

let it

never be forgotten by the breeder and purchaser of the


horse,

that "all else"


;

is

not equal.

Size alone

is

no

measure of power

for all

can

see,

even with the most

HOW
casual examination of
alteration in tion in the
part.

TO

KNOW

HOI.

9
that

the subject,

the

slightest
altera-

temperament makes a corresponding

power and

efficiency of

every individual

horse does not draw by virtue of his weight,


size.

nor in proportion to his

The public

scales

and the
a horse

measuring-tape can never assure us

how much

can draw, or
its

how many

miles he can pull a

wagon and

owner

in a day.
;

Muscular action and nerve-force

must be considered
to,

and these are both

closely allied

and dependent

on, the

temperament of the animal.

The well-bred
pound,
Justin
is

horse,

inch for inch,

and pound
;

for

far

stronger
the

than the dray-horse

and old

Morgan,

founder of

the most wonderful

family of horses (all things being considered) this or

any country ever saw, could draw logs that horses of


twelve and thirteen hundred pounds could not even
start,

albeit

he

weighed

only

about nine hundred

pounds, and stood barely fourteen and a half hands


high.
It is the

amount of

vital force, that at the

end of

a stick of timber, or a weary day's journey on a heavy


road, tells the story.

Having ascertained the temperament of a horse


is,

(that

the inner characteristics of his nature and being),

let

us

now examine

the outward conformation, and those

physical marks which


is

meet the eye of the buyer.

What
relation,

that /orm,

and what should be the shape and

one with another, of the several parts of the body, in


order to secure in the highest degree the things most to

be desired in a horse

Let us begin, then, to pass in

lO

THE PERFECT HOESE.


cliaracteristic

review those points or

marks of a horse

which

assist

the

judgment
And,

in

forming a correct estimate


of
all,

of his real worth.


consider

first

let

us carefully

THE HEAD.

The head
Through
their
it

is

the glory of the horse, as

it

is

of man.

the vital forces look out

upon the scene of

exercise
it

and

their

triumph.
;

The

passions and

emotions use

as their interpreter
for advertisement.

and every mood and


If a man's soul, as

feeling run to
it

it

has been claimed, can be judged


his head.

by

his face, a horse

may be known by
and you have

Granted a certain confor;

mation, and you will have viciousness


amiability.
is

granted another,

Next

to the

human

face, the

countenance of a horse
ties within,

most expressive of the

qualilife.

and the most beautiful form of animal

How
how

grave,
playful,

how how

cheerful,

how

amiable,

how

vicious,

positive

and determined, the counte!

nance of the horse can become


vivacity,
terrible

What

brightness and

what majesty and courage, what energy and


power, the look and countenance of the horse
!

are

capable of expressing

No wonder

that

it

has

always been a favorite subject for the brush of the


artist

and the

chisel of the sculptor,

and deemed worthy

by the
Bible.

inspired writers

to

adorn the poetry of the

The

first

thing

for
in

you

to

consider, reader,
is

when

examining a horse
all,

judgment,
:

his head.

First of

get a good front view

observe the distance be-

HOW
tween the
ears, the

TO

KNOW

HIM.

11

length and curvature of the same,

the space lying between

them and the

eyes, the eyes

themselves, the cheek-bones, the muzzle, the nostrils and


lips.
file.

Then

step to one side,


it is

and scan the head


joined to the neck
;

in proits bal-

Observe the way

ance and pose, the conformation of the jowls, the noseline,

and the make-up of the lower jaw and

lip.

Do

all

this

before you have even given a glance at the

body
to

for

by the study of the shape of the head and the look


else, will

of the face, beyond any thing

you be able

decide touching the temperament of the animal, which,


as
I

have shown, dominates for good or

ill

over the

entire organization.

If

you wish

to

decide whether a

man

is

a kind

husband, a good father and courteous neighbor, honest

and

industrious, cheerful

and happy, a delight


society,

to all his

friends,

and a useful member of

look at his

head, and not at his body.

It is the

head and face that

reveal to us the character and relation of those nervous

and

vital forces

which really represent the man, and not

his legs or chest, or


is

bone and muscular


He,
too, is

structure.

So

it

with the horse.

an animal of high organidegree of intelligence,

zation,

endowed with a

large

capable of forming
subject to

strong and enduring attachments,

moods and tempers, and distinguished by the

quickness and strength of his impulses.

The

right or

wrong adjustment of

these forces represents his value,


his

and gauges the degree of

worth or worthlessness.

The bones and muscles

are

mere servants of these high

12

THE PERFECT HORSE.


efficient
is

and
slave

forces,

and used by them


master to serve or

at will

as

directed

by

his

kill his guest.

Never can a man be a good judge of a horse so long as he looks upon him as an animal of low organization, composed merely of bones, muscles, fibre, and flesh, and
represented by these.

Such a view of swine


is

is
:

correct

but such a view of horses

most erroneous

and yet

many buyers who deem

themselves in every

way com-

petent to select good horses, and plume themselves on their ability to "buy close," never look farther into the
organization of a horse than to examine his legs, feet,
shoulders,
quarters,

and muscles,
animal
;

the

mere material
com-

and

loiver part of the

while the quaUties which

really in fact represent the horse,

and decide

his

parative value, are taken for granted.


I select the following description of the

head of a
C. L.

perfect horse from a Httle volume written

by James

Carson, M.D., of Coleraine, Ireland, published in 1859

(a

little

book, by the way, from which

many
all

compilers
the sense
credit

of books on the horse have copied about


there

was

in their works, without giving

him the
this

of

it),

because I would like to bring

book

into

notice,

and because the description harmonizes, point by


with

point,
says,

my own

ideas

of

a perfect head.

He

"The head
would be
in

of every horse

should be as small as
rest

keeping with the

of his body.
;

A
and

large, coarse
it

head

is

a defect, in every person's eye


its

has no advantages to counterbalance

deformity.

HOW
The muzzle should be
the bit

TO

KNOW

HIM.

13

fine,

and of a moderate length;

the mouth invariably deep for receiving and retaining


;

and the
tight lip

lips rather thin,


is

and firmly compressed.

A fine,

a pretty sure indication of an active

temperament, and consequently affords a measure of the

energy and durability of the animal.


short, thick, flabby lips,

Horses with

lying wide apart, are provernostrils should

bial for sluggishness.

The

be

large, so
air

as to

be capable, when open, of allowing the

to

have free access to the lungs.

In conformity with the


it

uniform condition of the Creator's works,

will

be

found that there

is

a direct relation between the de-

velopment of the
for
size
air.

nostrils

and the capacity of the lungs


observing the

Hence

arises the necessity of

of the
if

nostrils.

Capacious lungs would be of no

use

the orifice which connects them with the exter-

nal atmosphere

were

so contracted that they could not

get properly

filled.

The

race-horse

must have very

wide and
air,

dilatable nostrils to admit a large

volume of

with the utmost freedom and greatest speed, into

his

widely and rapidly distended lungs

but the horse

of slow

work can take more time


racer,

in his breathing,

and

consequently does not require such a very large nostril


as the

hunter,

or

steeple-chaser.

Care

must

always be taken, recollect, not to confound a naturally


well-developed nostril with one which looks large in

consequence of having been kept in a

state of

perma-

nent distention by disease of the lungs or air-passages.

The muzzle ought

to

be

fine a

good way up

and then

14

THE PERFECT HOUSE.


order to
give

the parts should enlarge suddenly, in

plenty of breadth to the under-jaw, as well as thickness

from side

to side.

This

is

a point of great beauty, as

it

gives breadth to the jaw-blade, and breadth from eye


to

eye,

whilst

the

fineness of the
is

head generally

is

maintained.

head that

narrow between the


is

eyes,

and narrow on the side of the jaw,


able to the eye of every judge.

painfully disagree-

The
to

space between the

two blades of the under-jaw ought


so

be so broad and

deep

as to freely
is

admit the lower edge of the neck


;

when

the chin

reined in towards the counter


this, as it

but

it

should not be wider than


coarse.

would then appear


in this locality, the

If there

is

sufficient

room
the

horse can be reined up to

proper pitch without


face^

stopping up his windpipe.

The

on a side-view,

should be dipped in the centre between the eyes and


the nose.

This

is

generally the case in the Arabian and


;

Enoflish blood-horse

and

it

is

much more
to the

beautiful
profile.

formation than either the straight or convex

However ornamental

it

may be

human

face,

Roman
very

nose certainly does not improve the appearance

of the horse.
diffiirent
all

The

line of

beauty in the one case

is is

from the other.


;

dish-faced horse

admired on
jecting,

hands but a pug-nosed man, with a prochin, will

upturned

have some

difficulty in car-

rying off the prize for beauty.

The

face

must be very
little

broad between the eyes


approaches the
ears.

but

it

should taper a
is

as

it

If the breadth

carried

all

the

way upwards,

the top of the head will be too wide, the

HOW
ears
ill set,

TO

KNOW

HIM.

15

and the horse probably


it

sulky.

Now,

in re-

spect to the head,


for in
it

also should

be examined

in detail,

are distinct organs having distinct uses, and


its

each contributing

share to the proper understanding

of the animal to which they belong, and to which they


serve.

But, of

all

these organs, perhaps the

eye

is
all.

the most

expressive
it,

and

characteristic

of

them

Through
repose,

in all the different phases of animation

and

we most

directly behold the

mind of the

horse,

and the character of that

disposition, the various

moods

of which are revealed through the eye.

And

this will
office-

not appear strange,

that,

both by

its

location

and

work,
brain.

it is

in close

and direct communication with the

It

might well be called the window, through


look,

which we can
within,

and behold the

activities

going on

and which would be forever hidden from us

were

this friendly

window darkened.
full

The eye of the


la-

horse should be kindly, bold,


tent heat

of suggestions of
all

and
I

fervor,

but spread over

a mild and

gentle look.

do not favor myself an eye ringed with

white, for this suggests timidity or mischief; although I

have known subjects in which

this

eye was seen, and the


fault.

animal was at the same time entirely free from


Still,

in the main, I hold that this

judgment
'

is

correct,

uttered
is

by one wise

in horse-craft, that
far as to

a horse which

always looking back so


is

expose the white of


is

the eye
to

generally on the alert for mischief, and


his heels.'
"

not

be trusted with

As

to the size of the eye, I suppose that eyes are

16

THE PERFECT HORSE.


all

nearly of the same measurement in

horses
cases,

but the

apparent

size differs

widely in different

and

this
it

difference springs from


first,

two causes
is

as

we

understand

whether the eye

set Avell
;

forward or backand, in the second


eyelids, or the

ward

as to its position in the socket

place, to the thinness

and openness of the

reverse.

The eye should


to

set well out, yet

not so far as

to

be exposed
is

outward

injury.

I think too little at-

tention
this,

paid to the color of the eye, because from


think, can

as

we

be judged the character of the

temper.

A little

observation on the part of the reader

will substantiate this, or

prove us to be in
EARS,

error.

As
I

to the

would observe that they should be

thin,
little

not over

lengthy, free from long hairs, curved a

inward

at

the point, and

full

of vein-tracery.

They should be
short

rather close together at the base, strongly set on, quick

and
hair.

lively in

movement, and covered with

fine,

You

will

never find an indolent, sluggish, heavyears.

moving horse blessed with such


I think also,

but to a

less degree, the color of the hair I

should be considered.

do not think that color

is

mere matter of

taste,

as

some

assert.

We

know

that

the color of a man's skin does assist one in forming a


correct

judgment

as to his temperament.

We

know

that the florid complexion denotes the san;

guine temperament
sociate the bilious

that with the darker skin

we

as-

temperament; and the chalky hue

HOW
points
to

TO

KNOW

HIM.

17

the lymphatic.
the

Why

should this not hold

true in relation to

horse?

We

believe

it

does.

Other things being equal,


regard these as hardy

I should not select a sorrel I

horse, nor a white-haired horse, nor a jet-black.


colors.

do not

I should prefer rather

the rich chestnut, the deep blood-bay, or a handsome

brown.
tions

The former

colors suggest scrofulous constitu;

and imperfect blood-conditions while the latter point to fineness of bone-texture, and perfection of the
venous system.

The portion of the head lying between the eyes and


the ears
it is is

worthy of the

closest possible attention

for

the section occupied

by the brain

itself,

the
I

seat

of

all

inteUigence, docility,

and motive-power.
full.

This

section of the

head can scarcely be too


stallion

would

never breed a mare to a


of his structure.
I

deficient at this point

want no

colts

from a

sire

with a

flat

forehead
brute.

for such a horse is a savage, sulky, detestable


start with,

To

he will have no memory

he

will

forget to-morrow
if

what you taught him


it,

to-day.
;

Even
he
is

he wished to remember

he could not

for

incapable.
disposition.

To

malignant.

bad memory must be added a bad He is sour, cross and crabbed, tricky and His cunning is not playful, but mean; and
a
cruelty.

his tricks are tricks of

No

one ever saw a

horse, with such formation of front, tractable

and

trusty.

But

on the other hand, you meet a horse with a bold, prominent forehead, a noble fulness at that point where
if,

the brain

is

lodged, you will find him to be of a docile

18

THE PERFECT HORSE.


silky disposition.

and
and,

You

can teach him any thing;

when once

taught, he will rarely if ever forget.

Indeed, his great intelligence suggests to his owner a


caution
:

Never teach him

to

do any thing that you do


all

not desire him to do always and at

times; for what-

ever he has once acquired you can only with great


difficulty eradicate.

do not wish

to

be understood as

saying that every horse with a fine brain development


is

gentle

for

he

may have been

trained under a system

so essentially vicious, that

no natural amiability could


:

withstand

its

savage friction

but

this I do

wish to be

understood as saying,

that every horse with this full


is

and

fine brain

development
;

by nature courageous,
they ever become other-

docile,

and loving
is

and

that, if

wise,

it

owing

to the vicious

management of those

who have them

in charge.

THE NECK
is

the next portion of the horse to be considered.


I

Nor

do

think that sufficient attention


to
it.

is

paid by would-be
of the beauty
If
it

horsemen

It is

evident that

much

of the horse

is

associated with the neck.

is

too

thick, or too straight, or too

much arched and drawn


is

back, the entire appearance of the animal

changed

and marred.

It is also to

the shape of the neck that

we

look for traces and proof of the animal's breeding.


to its length, moreover, is

According

he easy to the
In the
first

hand

in driving,

and

safe in saddle-work.

place, the

head and neck must have a certain

adjust-

HOW
ment
;

TO

KNOW

HEVI.

19
as to cause

and

this

must be of such a character

the nose to project forward, and out of the line of the

perpendicular:

still

the projection must not be

too

positive, else the horse will

be what

is

called " a star-

gazer."
ance, but

Such an animal not only has a vicious appearis difficult

to

manage, and

is

actually unsafe

because the

bit,

which should keep a

safe purchase

on

the lower jaw, will be

drawn up

into the angles of his

mouth, so that the reins have httle or no control over


his course,

and he can go how and whither he


the same neck

pleases.

Concerning the length and thickness of the neck I

have

this to

observe;

viz.,

is

not desira-

ble in every horse, but should vary


to the service to

somewhat according
For speed the
it

which

it is

to

be put.

neck cannot be too


cient

light,

provided that

allow

suffi-

room

for the

passage of wind and food.


is

All

weight carried here

dead- weight

that

is,

weight that

does not help propel the horse, and should, consequently,


is

be bred away.

The model neck,

in this respect,
;

found in the thorough-bred English racer

and

to this

pattern the American breeder should strive to briil^ the

neck of the

trotting-horse.

The

Morrill neck, the

Ham-

bletonian neck, the French or Canadian neck, and, for


the most part, the average neck of the American trotting stallion,
is

by

far too gross

and heavy either


at
this

for

beauty or for speed.


while the large neck
is

But observe

point, that,

disadvantageous for a horse kept

for speed, in the case of the harness-horse

and

carter,

thickness of neck at the base,

where

it

enters the shoul-

20

THE PERFECT HORSE.


both desirable, and actually
essential.

der, is

This cau-

tion should always

be kept

in mind, that
in

both length

and lightness must not be pushed

breeding to an ex-

treme, for fear that, in so doing, constitutional weakness

would be the

result.

The

centre of the neck should be decidedly thicker

than either the upper or nether edge, and grow in


thickness as
it

approaches the shoulder


is

for this thick-

ness at the centre of the neck

suggestive of muscle.

At

the other end


thin.

(viz., at

the jowls) the neck can hardly

be too

In formation along the upper edge, the


rise

neck should

from the withers

in a free

and noble

curvature, which, connected with the desirable length,


will insure

beauty of appearance when being ridden or


to

driven,

and a mouth easy

the hand.

Nor

is

this

length and curvature of the neck a mere matter of


beauty, and easy subjection to the driver's will; but more

yet

is it

desirable, because this formation is alone con-

sistent

with that true balancing of the body on the legs


gracefulness of motion,

by which

and freedom from

stun#ling, are secured.

We

now come,

in our analysis

and description of a

perfect horse, to what, perhaps, stands second only in

importance to the brain;

viz.,

THE CHEST.

The reason why


tant,

this portion of the

horse
it

is

so impor-

and the accurate understanding of

so desirable, to

the breeder and purchaser, arises from several causes.

HOW
And,
first,

TO
is is

KNOW

HIM.

21

because

it

the

home

of the heart.

The

heart, please

remember,

the centre of the entire bloodthe blood which


it

system of the body.

By

circulates

alone can the structure be nourished and sustained in

vigor and health day by day.


effete substance

By

it,

also,

alone can the

which

is

constantly accumulating in the

system, as the result of every motion the animal makes,

be

collected,

and discharged from the system.

It is to

the heart, therefore, you see, that

we

are indebted for

whatever needed element

is

added

to the system,
is

and

whatever unneeded and harmful element


therefrom.

removed

Heart-health means muscular health, bone


Heart-disease means weakness

health, universal health.

of the muscles, unreliable bone substance, and a more or


less

impairment of the entire system.

Whatever conit,

cerns the heart, therefore, and whatever affects


ly or indirectly, for
attention.

direct-

good or

ill,

is

worthy of the
in

closest
is

Especially the chest,


it
it

which the heart

lodged,

by which
it,

is

protected,

and which

either

cramps
as
it

or allows

the needed liberty of action,

is

properly or improperly formed, challenges our

inspection.

In the second place, the reason


horse
is is

why

the chest of the


careful study

worthy of the horseman's most


it

because

is

the cavity in which Nature has located


in another portion of
this

the lungs.
treat

I shall,

work,
lungs.

more
this
is

fully of the use


I will

and condition of the


:

But

much

observe at this point

the blood

which

circulated

by the heart can be

vitalized

and

22
ipurified only

THE PERFECT HOKSE.

by coming

in contact, in passing
air.

through
blood

the lungs, with atmospheric


in an animal's nels slowly,

When

quiet, the

body moves through the


is

circulating chaneasily
:

and respiration

performed
;

but in

exertion the circulation is quickened


in

the blood is pumped


;

and shot out of the heart with great rapidity

the

breathing becomes labored, and a fearful pressure

is

put

upon the lung substance


dilated,

the multitudinous air-cells are

and exposed

to a strain

which nothing but the


In addition to
is

strongest possible texture can withstand.


this,

the reader must bear in

mind

that the blood that

brought back to the heart


of the system
purified
is

after

having gone the rounds

in

an impure condition, and can only be

lungs

by the oxygen taken with every breath into the so that the lungs and heart work, as it were, in
and are mutually dependent one upon the
other.
re-

unison,

Every ounce of blood circulated by the heart must


ceive a certain

amount of

air

from the

air-cells
is

of the

lungs

and, as the rapidity of the circulation

gauged

by the degree of exertion put forth, it follows that the capacity of the heart and lungs decides, in a great measure, the

amount of exertion which the horse can put forth. To illustrate The faster he goes, the greater the number
:

of heart-beats and the amount of air required

so that

the capacity of the heart and lungs really decides (the

proper temperament and muscular strength being granted) the speed of the horse.

Hence the

necessity of
size

paying special attention to the shape and


chest, in

of the

which the heart and lungs are placed.

HOW
I

TO

KNOW

HIM.

23

am

not writing a minute anatomical description of


;

the chest
front

and

need only say that


either side

it is

bounded on the

by the neck, on
ribs,

by the shoulder-blades
acts

and the

underneath by the breast-bone, above by

the spine, and in the rear


as a division

by the diaphragm, which


intestines.

between

it

and the

Draw
it

a line

from the hindermost point of your saddle

until

touches

the back-side of the girths, near the breast-bone, and

you

see with sufficient accuracy the position of the diaIt is

phragm.

a large sheet of muscular

tissue,

reaching

from side to side in such a way as to completely divide


the

power separating

it

into

two great

cavities.

It is

pliable in texture, and,

when moved backward


front one of these

or for-

ward, lessens or enlarges either of the cavities between

which
is

it is

drawn.

The

two

cavities

occupied almost entirely by the heart and lungs.

Here they dwell almost alone


has provided for
heart
is

home which Nature them, and which they monopolize. The


in the

small in

size,

and

alters little,

whether

in repose

or action, sickness or health.

Not

so with the lungs

they expand and shrink with every breath.


substance they are highly
elastic,

In their

and capable of being


is

enormously distended

and each distention

followed
this

with a commensurate collapse.

To accommodate

mighty expansion, which

results

from every aspiration


Nature has

made by
the arch
is

a horse

when
ribs

in violent action,

made a wonderful provision. When the aspiration begins,

made by the

is

elevated,

and the diaphragm


between them

drawn back,

in order that the cavity

24

THE PERFECT HORSE.


enlarged to accommodate the expansion of the

may be
lungs.

When

the ribs are

lifted,

and the diaphragm


inflated,

drawn back, the lungs swell the enlarged chest and the
;

out,
air

being

and

fill

rushing into the

air-cells

of the lungs, and then coming in contact with the impure

blood waiting to receive

it,

purifies

it,

and

is

then

dis-

charged through the windpipe, from the


lungs are thus reduced to their former
chest
shrinks
to
its
;

nostrils.
size,

The
the

and the
is

normal proportion.

This

process of breathing

and upon

its

proper performance
horse.

depend the health and usefulness of the

An old horseman has well expressed


says he,
''is

it

thus

''
:

Wind,"

the grand secret of a fast horse.


;

Good
on the

lungs will cover a multitude of faults

whilst,

other hand, perfection of shape and form are useless

when the wind is out." The chest, therefore,


capacious.

in all cases, should

be large and
according
If

In shape

it

may vary somewhat,


is

to the service to

which the horse

to

be put.

he

is

kept for slow work and heavy drawing, the chest


nearly circular in form, because this shape
is

may be

the one for

strength and bulk, to receive and bear up against the


pressure of the collar; while, at the same time, sufficient

room
let it

is

secured for that expansion of the lungs caused


But,
if

by slow and regular work.


be
at the

the chest

is

circular,

same time deep, or

else the lungs


is

may be

cramped.

horse with a shallow chest

worthless for
draft-horse,

any purpose.

The

rule, then, is this


;

For a

a circular but deep chest

but as you pass through the

HOW

TO

KNOW
up

HIM.

25

different degrees of speed,


ter,

to the racer

and

trot-

the chest must increase in depth


until, for

compared

to its

roundness,

the highest rate of speed, you must

have a chest as deep as a greyhound, and, at the same


time, not

lacking in breadth.

Every breeder should

keep

this rule in

mind when
he

selecting his brood-mares

and

stallion;

for

may be

sure that shallow-chested


colts.

parents never beget deep-chested


illustrate the faultiness

In order to

of the circular chest, an inge:

nious writer has put


''

it

thus

Take, for example," he says,


it

^'

a piece of pasteboard,

and form

into a cylinder about six inches in length,


in diameter; leaving
it

and two inches


ends, so that
it

open

at

both

can be compressed equally from end to

end.
its

Place one end on a table, and compress two of


sides
until the cavity

assumes a perfectly oval or


accurately with fine shot.
top,
re-

elliptical form,

and then

fill it

When
move

it

is

nicely filled

and levelled on the


and

the pressure from the sides, so that the pasteboard


;

may
Now,

again form a perfect cylinder


is

it

will
fill

be found

that the shot

not nearly sufficient to

the cavity.

as the quantity of pasteboard remains exactly the

same during the

entire experiment,
is

it is

quite plain the

change of capacity
form.

owing

solely to the

change of

" Let us suppose, then, that a horse has a perfectly


circular chest
;

and

it

will follow, as a necessary conse-

quence, that the elevation of the ribs on the side, in


place of increasing
its

capacity, will actually lessen

it,

26

THE PERFECT HORSE.


it

by bringing

more or

less into the elliptical form.

In

this case the cavity of the chest would be larger

when

the breathing would be suspended than


time, because
its

at

any other

original shape
size

was such

as not to ad-

mit of an increase of
flirther
it

by any change of
But

form.

The

would be changed from the

cylinder, the

smaller

it

would become.

if,

in the first instance,

the chest were a great deal deeper than broad, the ele-

vation of the ribs on the side


it

would
is

just serve to bring

into the circular shape,


all.

which

the most capacious

of
is

Hence

it

must be evident that depth of chest


all

indispensable in

cases.

"As
space
rest,

the lungs of the horse occupy a


is

when he

in active exercise than

much larger when he is at

we

are justified in concluding that he requires to


size

have the power of increasing the


proportion as he
is

of his chest in

called

upon

to increase his speed.

Contrary to the popular opinion, the chest must, to a


certain extent,
it

be flattened on the

sides, in

order that
elliptical

may be

capable of being changed from the

into the circular form.

The horse

for

very slow work


because the

may have
mode

his chest

approaching the
is

circle,

trifling elevation

of rib which

required by his quiet

of breathing will only be sufficient to complete

the circular shape.

Whilst he

may do

with

this

kind

of chest,

it

cannot, however, be considered advanta-

geous, as a greater

power of wind might

often be of

decided service to him, and could never be injurious.

The depth of

the chest,

when compared with

its

width,

HOW

TO

KNOW

HIM.

27

must invariably increase in direct proportion to the inanimal. crease of speed and distance required of the In the steeple-chaser or the flat-racer it should be of enormous depth,
in order that the elevation of the ribs
circle, for

may

assist in

forming a capacious

the purpose

of accommodating the rapidly and frequently distended In such lungs during the trying period of the race.
cases a

round chest would be of no

use, as the

wind

would be completely pumped out of the horse before


he had gone half the requisite
the Horse.
distance.''

Carson on

The

best form the chest can possibly take in a horse


is

used for speed

the following:

It

should be wide

above, moderately so below (near the breast - bone),

and

slightly flattened,

but very deep, along the

sides.

Such a shape

to the chest will enable

him

to trot his

mile in 2.20, and be free from pain at the close of the


decisive heat.
I

might pursue these remarks much farther


is

for the

subject
horse,

profoundly interesting to the student of the


I

and
is

have by no means exhausted


;

it

but

my
to

space

limited

and perhaps enough has been said

give the reader, and young purchaser and breeder, the


main, essential points most worthy of attention.
before I pass to another section, I caution
all

But,

would-be
for the

breeders of

fast

and enduring

horses,
all

whether

racing or trotting course, as also

on the lookout

for

fast

horse for their private use, to

remember

that that

portion of the horse where Nature has placed the heart

28

THE PERFECT HOKSE.


at

and lungs should receive


inspection:
for a

their

hands the
or

closest

merely circular

chest,

a narrow,

pinched, and shallow chest, does not give heart and lung

room enough

and without

this there

can be no high,

prolonged rate of speed.


After the head, neck, and chest have been duly
spected,
in-

and

their excellences or defects remarked, the


his attention to the

buyer should turn

BONES,
in order to

ascertain

whether they supply the animal

with the needed upholding and supporting power, not

merely when at rest or in easy


high
flights

action,

but when, in his

of speed, he delivers his strokes with the

energy of a locomotive.

For when a

horse, weighing,

perhaps, eleven hundred pounds, comes rushing


the course, the shock to his bone

down

structure, as representrealize

ed by

his legs, is

something beyond our power to

and how such a small column of bone


for instance, can sustain

as the canon-bone,

the blow, I have never been

able to comprehend.

The
mind
both.

first

point for the student of the horse to bear in

is,

that the size of a


its

bone does not give the true


and
texture
all

measure of

strength, but rather the size

The leg-bone of
is

a thorough-bred horse, as

know,

much

smaller in size than the leg-bone of the

cart-horse;
stronger.

but, at

the

same
this

time,
is,

it

is

many
one
;

times
case,

The reason of
is

that, in the
its

the bone

coarse and porous in

texture

while in

HOW
the other
it

TO

KNOW

HIM.

29

is

fine,

dense,

and compact.

A
is

section

from the canon-bone of a low-bred cart-horse, after


being exposed to the action of the atmosphere,
be,

seen to

when held up between


full

the eye and the sun, spongy,


:

porous, and

of holes

while a section from the


is

canon-bone of a thorough-bred horse


as ivory
;

solid

and hard

so

much

so,

indeed, that

it

will take a polish

like a piano-key.

This fact reveals the whole story, and

prevents

all

future blundering.
;

Of

course,

a certain

size is requisite

but

all

above the absolutely needed

amount

is

only unnecessary weight, which, without givis

ing any assistance to the animal, he


carry along.

compelled to
differ-

Now, when you

reflect that the

ence of even ten pounds in the weight of two drivers


will lose the heavier di'iver's horse the race, albeit in every respect equal to his rival,

he

is

you

will readily per-

ceive

how

important,

when we come
is
:

to the matter of
it is
it

speed, this point of bone-weight

for

as
is

bad

to

weight the horse in the limbs and neck as


sulky
;

in the

nay, worse

for

it

exhausts the horse more to

carry ten pounds of lead,


legs, or tied

we

will say, fastened to his


it

around

his neck,

than to draw
colts

on wheels.

I advocate, therefore, the

breeding of

with as slim

neck as

is

consistent with constitutional endurance,


;

and

with as small limbs as comports with strength


reason, if for

for this

none other, because every ounce of unnecessary bone substance and flesh about the neck is so

much dead-weight

for the horse to carry.

But beyond

this is the question

of beauty, which, none will deny,

30

THE PERFECT HORSE.


I

points directly to fine-bred limbs, neck, and head.

urge

all

my readers

to

remember

this also,

that no one

can be a good judge of the horse, no matter what his pretensions are, unless he is perfectly familiar with the
size,

length,

and proper position of every bone


are the props and levers

in the

skeleton:

for they
;

of the

entire structure

and on

their shape, length, position,

and texture, the capacity of the animal for any allotted I will now ask your attention to the service depends.
SHOULDER.

There

is

no one type of shoulder, either


or
its

as to its

bone

and muscular structure

length and
;

position,

which may be called the perfect shoulder

because, be-

yond almost any other part of the


is

horse, the shoulder

to

be considered

in relation to the service required of


for

him.
self

Hence

it

becomes necessary

one to make him-

acquainted with the several kinds of shoulder;


is

each of which, in their way,


the

the perfect shoulder for

work

to

which

it

is

adapted.

This prime fact

is

often overlooked

by the purchaser and breeder


and brood-mares;
at this point,

in his

selection of horses

and hence the

more need of some remarks,

upon

it.

draught-horse requires such a construction of the

shoulders as to offer a fine and abundant resistance to


the collar, and so shaped as to
tributing
fit

it

evenly

thus

dis-

the pressure

over the

entire

surface,

with

weight enough to

assist

the hind-quarters in
is

moving
called

the enormous loads which the animal

often

HOW
upon
whose
to draw.

TO

KNOW

HBI.

31

To meet

these several wants, Nature,

results are

always such as the highest reason


thick,
filled
is

would suggest, builds an upright,


shoulder formation, so rounded and
cles, flesh,

and heavy

out with musnot borne by

and

fibre,
it

that the pressure

that point

where
is

begins

when

the horse "settles into


entire resistis

the collar," but

carried

up and over the

ing surface.
;

This, to a

heavy draught-horse,

a "per-

fect shoulder "

and no amount of excellence

in the other

parts of the animal's organization can

make good any


Such

variation from this construction of the shoulders.

a horse will be a "great puller," but heavy and slow of

movement, and utterly incapable of speed beyond a


kind of ox-like
trot.

For the purposes of

lighter

draught the shoulders should be lighter, less circular,

and more oblique, with a decidedly higher wither;


for this variation in the shoulder formation will qualify

him

to

do moderately heavy work, and

at the

same time
This

enable him to

move more
is

lightly

and quickly.

modified draught-horse

the one for general farm-work,

and family-service on the road.


of shoulder formation
instance

The old Morgan type Morgan


had, for

such

as Justin

is

the best possible form for such service, and

which, in connection with the other excellent qualities

he possessed, made that horse able to move a heavier

dead-weight than any other horse of his

size

of ivhich

we have any

record.
for the saddle

The horse destined

and carriage service

should, on the other hand, have an altogether different

32

THE PERFECT HOESB.

formation.

The shoulders should be


conformation

quite oblique,

and

the withers high.

This height of the withers


assists

is essential,

because

this

the horse in lifting his

fore-quarters over impediments he


in road or field.

may meet in his course


if

No

horse with high withers,

other-

wise well made, ever stumbles, or trips even.


will

His action

be high and

safe.

The

obliquity (slope) of the


also to

shoulders adds to his capacity to stride, and


the rider's or driver's ease.
saddle-seat
is

In the case of the rider, the


far

thrown back

enough from the

fore-

shoulders to insure pliancy,


if

and

to escape the jolt, which,

seated farther forward, he would be sure to receive.

When
thrown

a horse with low withers stumbles, the rider

is

forward so that the line of weight


;

is

ahead of the

fore-legs

in

which case

it is

next to impossible for him

to recover his horse.

There are other reasons

why

the

oblique shoulder and high withers are to be preferred;

but those already mentioned are

sufficient to

suggest to

the purchaser and breeder what conformation of the

shoulders

is

most

desirable.

The

law, therefore,

is,

that

in the case of roadsters

and saddle-horses, or gentlemen's


is,

driving-horses as the phrase


thin

the withers should be

and high, and the shoulders very oblique.

But

in

the case of the horse to be bought and kept solely for his
speed, or
colt,

where the breeder

is

anxious to breed a 2.20


at,

speed being the sole thing aimed


;

I should breed

doivn the luithers decidedly


the highest rate of speed,

because, in order to insure


is

it

should go close to the ground,

essential that
''

the horse

go low,"

as the saying

ip

.itiii!itir:|ii!iiii

now
is
;

TO

KNOW

KCM.

33

and

this

no horse with high withers can do.

The

point

is this,

that a low-going horse loses less time in

his stride than a high-going


tion,
is

one

and this

fractional varia-

however minute, counts


to,

in a race

where the horse

timed

and can only hope to beat his competitor by,

the fraction of a second.

Hence many horsemen of


whose rump
higher
;

close observation prefer a horse

is

quite as
I confess

high as the withers,


to

if

not a

little

and

an agreement with them in the matter.


this point, still I

But however
all will

men may differ upon


in this,

think

agree

that

it is

most unwise,

in selecting a horse solely

for speed, to choose

one higher forward than behind.


race,

Such a horse can never win a


respects, his rival
is

where, in other

his equal.
it is

Be
for

this,

moreover, observed, that

exceedingly easy

one to misjudge touching the length and obliquity


;

of the shoulders

and

this is

done in

five cases out of ten

when you base your


of a horse's withers

decision on the appearance of the

withers and upper portion of the shgulder.


is

The height

not a true index of the position or

length of the shoulder-blades, or of the depth of his


chest.

Many

horses with high, thin withers, and aiopar-

ently sloping shoulders

and deep
little

chest, have, in fact,

very

upright shoulders, and too


date the heart and lungs
;

chest-room to accommo-

while,

on the other hand, many

horses with low withers and apparently circular shoulders

have

the'

best possible shoulder conformation for wind

and speed.

This

is

the case especially with some of the


trotters,

French or Canadian

and with the whole Morgan

34

THE PEKFECT HORSE.


have produced more rapid

family, whicli, in our opinion,


trotters,
all

things being

considered, than

any other
in proof

branch of the American trotting family.


of
this,

And

although the data gathered are not by any means

complete, and do not show the family to the best ad-

vantage of which

it is

capable, I

would
in

refer the reader


I

to that section of this

volume

which

discuss the

Morgan

family at length.

There are two bones which in the skeleton represent


the shoulder, and which are of such importance as to
the uppermost of which

deserve prominent mention


called the scapula.

is

This bone, beginning at the edge of


until it

the withers, runs

downward

makes an angle with


should be especially

the next succeeding bone (the humerus), near the frontbreast.

Two points in reference


first, it

to

it

noted speed

cannot be too long for the purposes of


its

secondly,

upper extremity should lie

in as close

as possible to the ribs


flat

and

spine.

The scapula is a wide,

bone embedded

in a great

mass of muscles, and so

protected by Nature as to be almost invulnerable to any

shock or wrench.
''

In ninety-nine cases in a hundred,


is

shoulder lameness"

in reahty a

lameness in the foot

or lower bones of the leg, no matter

what the
I

" horse-

doctor " of the neighborhood


seen an instance

may

say.

have never
al-

of hond-fide shoulder lameness;

have seen scores of horses being treated for As a peculiarity of construction, and as that complaint. evidence of that supreme wisdom with which God

though

tlirough Nature acts,

it

should be noted that the shoul-

HOTV TO
der-blade

KNOW

HIM.

35

is

not connected to the framework of the body,

as all other bones are,

by the

cartilages or joints, but

is

attached to
is literally

by means of muscular slung or wrapped up and held by a mass


it

substance only.

It

of

muscle.
jar or

This

is

the reason
to hurt
it.

why

it is

so difficult for

any
the

wrench

The upper edges of

scapula cannot, by any pressure or blow, be driven up


against any other bone (the spinal column or ribs), unless

by a blow
skin,

that should literally drive


it

it

out through the


this

and

tear

from the body.

By

arrangement,
protection,

Nature has amply provided both for

its

own

and

also for the ease of the rider, in that the

shock of

the gallop or

jump

is

thereby reduced to a minimum.


''

writer has well said,

If the smith

were aware of
is

this

fact,

he would not trace to the shoulder, as he

apt to

do, one-half the diseases that are located in the foot


leg.

and

By

referring the lameness to the shoulder, he can

account easily to the owner of the horse for the result


of his bad shoeing."
Precisely.

Of
rus
it

the second bone in the shoulder


it is

viz.,

the hume-

not necessary for me to speak, save to say that

should be of good length, and well slanted upward

toward the scapula.

Nothing remains, therefore,

for

me

to mention, in connection with the shoulders, but

the muscles.

by which mean connected with the shoulder cannot be too large or powerful, no matter
These
I
all

to

what use the horse may be


strength here
tells.

destined.

Every ounce of
packed
in

I like to see a shoulder

36

THE PERFECT HORSE.


laid over

and

with great layers and masses of muscle


all

none the worse, but

the better,

if

they reach up as

if

they would overlap even the withers.


in this locality of the animal's
titij.

What we want
is
:

frame

substance^ quan-

Some admire

thin

shoulders
start

not

I.

Such

shoulders look best

when you
make.

on a long drive

they don't look so well after you have

made

sixty miles,

with ten more

still

to

Light fore-quarters mean


lift

iceaJc fore-quarters.

horse has to
:

liimself

every

step he takes,

remember

and

this is
;

hard work when

continued for hours, mile after mile


than
a splendid

and nothing
about
in

less

muscular

development
it.

the

shQulder will enable him to do

But be sure

your

inspection that the thick, strong look of the shoulder

formation
the

is

owing

to the

presence of muscle, and not to

fact, as is

often the case, that the shoulder-blades are


to the frame,

set loosely

on

and wide

apart.

This

is

vicious conformation for a horse, and a sure evidence

of weakness in the fore-quarters, from which no diet, or


care on the part of the owner, can ever deliver him.

Hun your
and see
if it is,

fingers

under the upper point of the scapula^


dose in to the spinal column and ribs
still

if it is set

and the horse

''looks thick" through the

shoulders,

buy him

if not,

look farther.

We
Icf^:
;

will

now proceed

to the

examination of the foreto

and

in this fore-le*]: are

two bones

which

wish
it

to call especial attention,


is

the

fore-arm, or radius, as

sometimes
it is

called,

and the large metacarpal or canon Lying between


these, at

bone, as

popularly named.

HOW

TO

KNOW

HIM.

37

the junction of the knee, are the three carpal-bones, of

which we need not speak.

In reference to the fore-arm

we

observe, that

it

can scarcely be too long, or too


;

heavily clothed

upon with nuscles

for all the muscles

which move the leg and


please

foot are located here.

Now,
moving
lift

remember

that the muscles are the only

power

in the animal,

and

that all the muscles to

and

extend the foot and leg are placed along

this fore-arm,

and you

will at

once conclude that the


is

size

and fashion

of the fore-arm

a matter of the utmost importance.

No

strength of shoulder can

velopment of those

make good a defective demuscles wrapped around the radius


;

because the strength above cannot make good the


lack of strength below.
" whatever other

Mr. Youatt well says, that,


possess, if
flat

good points the animal may


in front

the

arm

is

narrow

and near the shoulder,

on

the side, and altogether deficient in muscular appearance, that horse


raise his
is

radically defective.

He

can neither

knee

for rapid action, nor

throw

his leg suffi-

ciently forward."

The arm should be


the

large at the point of union with


it

body

taking a strong hold, as

were, of the trunk,

in order to give a sufficient basis for the attachment of

muscles.

On

the back part of the top of the ann,


is

where

it

joins the body,

a projection of bone, called

the elbow.

Without explaining the reason why,

be-

cause

it

would require an examination of mechanical


not within the province of this book,
that
it

principles

would

say,

is

of the greatest importance that

38
this projection

THE PERFECT HOUSE.


should be broad and strong, and reachIf

ing well back from the front of the arm.

you

will

examine closely the fore-arm of a horse, you


that in
it

will observe

are three masses of muscles, the location


:

and

use of which are as follows

One
;

is

placed on the outer

edge of the fore-arm,


behind
it
:

in front

the second lies directly


to

and these are employed

extend and bend

the limb.

The

third lies inside of the fore-arm, near the

junction of the leg and chest.

The

office
is

which

this
it

muscle

fulfils is this

When

the horse

in motion,

confines the

arm
it

to the side,

keeps

it

in a straight line,

and makes

impossible for the heavy pressure from

above to separate the legs too widely.

You

see that
;

all

of these muscles are of the supremest importance


in

for

them

is

held the power of carrying forward the


safely

whole machine
rious.

and

swiftly.

Their duty

is

labo-

Nor can they shirk it: no other muscles can do their work. A weak fore-arm, therefore, is a sad and fatal defect in a horse of whom any severe work is
required.

Of

these three muscles, the

first

two must be

both strong and long.

The stronger
;

these muscles, the

greater the endurance of the horse


the greater his length of stride.

the longer they are,


is

This

a law, a disrewill bring its

gard of which in purchasing or breeding

own penalty. Of the canon-bone,


should be short,

or leg, this

should be said
:

It

the shorter the better

for, if it
;

be

short, the fore-arm


is

above

it is

likely to

be long

which

a great desideratum in speed.

In

size it

should be

HOW
small,

TO

KNOW

HIM.

39

but of dense and compact substance, smooth and


I

solid as ivory.

do not care how large the fore-arm


is,

is,

no* how
as to

small the canon-bone

unless

it

be so small

amount

to maleformation.

Active, energetic, and

hardy people are apt to have small wrists and ankles.

The

prize-fighter's

arm and

leg,

when

in his

prime con-

dition
for

and he stands stripped

in the ring, are wonderful

two things,

the apparent smallness of the wrist-bone


sockets,

and ankle-bone near the

and the great mass of

swelling muscles packed on above

them

and

this is re-

garded as the best conformation for

agility

and strength.

Indeed, large bones are associated with, and found most


frequently
in,

men and women

of

soft,

flabby,

and

lymphatic constitutions.
in the case of speed.

Especially does this hold true

The Indian runner


deer, giraffe,

is

never a

large-boned man.
small of limb.

The

and greyhound are

Why do men

expect Nature to make an


?

exception to this beautiful law in the case of the horse

On what
writer,

principle that will bear inspection can this dif?

ference be argued

"

There are not many," says an

Irish

"I imagine, who would admire the human leg with the thick end of it next the ground."
But,
if
it,

the canon-bone must not be of too great a size


it

around
thin

should be wide

when viewed

laterally,

and
leg-

when viewed from


flesh,

behind.

flat,

compact

bone, devoid of

with the tendons standing well out


flat

from the bone, terminating at the knee in a large


joint,

this

width

at the

knee-pan affords plenty of space

for the

attachment of the necessary ligaments, and also

40

THE PERFECT HORSE.


tlie

gives a good opportunity for


I

sinews to run over

it.

do not care so much

for the size of the

bone

as I do

for the material of the neighboring parts.

The sinews
always condesirable

should be large, because a large sinew

is

nected with a large muscle.

Above

all, it is

that they should be of such firm texture as to feel to

the examining touch like so

many

distinct

and

closely-

woven

cords.

If they
feel

are

swathed in a

soft,

puffy

material,

and

to

the

hand

as if incased in fat,

instead of being cordy

and
this

wire-like,

you may well


that
;

beware of them.

To

may be

added,

the
be-

sinews should be thrown out from the leg-bone


cause
if

they do not, but are tied

down
and

closely to

it

by

the ligaments which bind them to their place, they will

be exposed
leg
I
is

to a

dangerous

friction

strain.

Such

a bad leg to have under any horse.


to observe, lest I should

would here pause

be mis-

understood, that the reason

why

the leg of a cart-horse


is

must be larger than the leg of a thorough-bred because the thorough-bred's would not answer
cart-horse

not
the

if

had

it,

but because the cart-horse does not


that,

have

it

by which I mean,

when you do not have


;

fine

bone texture, you must have


to

size

for sufficient strength


in the

uphold the horse must, of course, be there

one

form or the other.


horse
is

And,

since the leg-bone of the cartit

porous and spongy,

must be larger

in bulk,

order to supply the needed amount of strength.

The

last
is

portion of the fore-leg that I shall mention


the pastern.

in detail

A bad

pastern

is

a great defect.

HOW
It

TO

KNOW
strong,

HEVI.

41

should

not

only be

but

placed

in

the

proper position, and at the right angle of inclination.


In the horse of slow work the pastern should be short,

and nearly upright

but, in the horse

kept for speed,


it

it

should be long and well slanted, in order that


sufficiently elastic to relieve the

may be

ends of the upright

bones of the terrible concussion which would otherwise

be given

to

them whenever the


is

foot,

while the horse

is

in

rapid motion,
for instance,

brought to the ground.

saddle-horse

whose pasterns are short and nearly perstiff

pendicular, will feel

and uncomfortable
is

to his rider;

while the jars and the jolts to which he

exposed by

every step he takes will shortly induce disease in the


feet,

and bones of the

leg.

But the pasterns must not


some animals do
back of the

slope at too great an angle, as those of


for then the

weight of the horse

falls

so far

foot, that the

bones do not help uphold the body, and


is

the whole burden of support

put upon those tendons

that run over the back-side of the ankle-joint.

Such

a formation will invariably and speedily lead to the


straining

and breaking-down of the back tendons.

"If

the pasterns are too long and too small in the hunter

and

steeple-chaser, they will not

be able to sustain their


if

weight in dropping from their leaps over fences; but

they are tolerably long, very thick, and well slanted,


they will have plenty of strength, combined with a
cient degree of elasticity.
suffi-

An

upright pastern, whether

long or short,

is

highly objectionable in a horse for either


;

saddle or harness

and a weak one

is,

in all cases, un-

pardonable."

42

THE PERFECT HOESE.

THE FORE-FEET.
I

do not propose

to anticipate at this point

what

shall

have to say farther on in that division devoted to


feet,

the construction of the


to shoe them.

and the manner

in

which

I will, therefore,

now

only speak of the

outward conformation of the

hoof.

The

foot should

neither be large nor small, but of a neat appearance,

and medium
I

size.

am no

friend to the large, flat foot.


It

regard

this

formation as a very undesirable one.

suggests to

me

that the companion-bones of the skele-

ton of which
It is

it is

a part are likewise soft and porous.

not the large, flat-footed

man

that can

walk the
swift-

farthest, or leap the highest;

and the spryest and

est-footed animals of the

world have

small, upright,

horny

hoofs.

The chamois,
this

antelope, red deer,


feet.

and wild
and
is,

horse, all

have

formation of the

The mule has

a hoof that
yet

many horsemen would

call contracted ;

who

ever saw a mule lame in the foot ?

My idea
is

that a medium-sized

and neatly-proportioned foot


man.

as
is

good a sign

in the horse as in the

A
is,

foot that
to

either exceedingly large, or quite small,

my

mind,

suggestive of disease in the internal structure of the


foot.

The great hue and cry about "a wide, open


is

heel,"

a humbug.

The

heels that never look that

way

are those of a

Morgan

or French horse, both of


I

which are noted

for foot-soundness.

do not remember

that I have ever seen an

unsound

foot

under a Canadian
is

horse

and yet the hoof of the Canadian horse

invari-

HOW

TO

KNOW

HIM.

43
I

ably upright, nearly circular, mule-shaped.


these suggestions to those

commend

who

are forever crying "con-

tracted feet " against a horse, unless he has a foot large

and

flat

as

an old-fashioned frying-pan.
foot, I

Touching the shape of the


should be longer on
its

would

say, the
;

hoof

ground-surface than broad


its

and

the breadth should be greatest directly across


lessening

centre,
toe.

gradually both
heel,

toward the heel and

Avoid a very high


Either extreme
is

and

also

a very low one.

objectionable.

The outer
berances.

surface of the foot should


;

be smooth, and

of fine texture

free

from

rings, depressions, or protru;

Brittle

hoofs shun

and

select

the

fine-

grained, tough-looking hoof

The

slant of the

hoof on
true

its

ground-surface deserves
is is

close attention.
fifty

The

and proper angle

about

degrees.
at

If less than this,


heels,
it

and the hoof

very

deep

the

is

predisposed to contraction,
If,

and

likely to
is

become

inflamed.
is

on the other hand, be too


flat,

the reverse

the case, the sole

likely to

the heels too


follows.

much exposed; and


in connection

internal

weakness

A low heel
is

with a very sloping

pastern

to

be especially avoided.
large,
elastic,

The frog should be


appearance.
It

and healthy

in

should not be allowed to become too


to

dry
It
is

nor,

on the other hand,

be too spongy and

soft.

probably intended by Nature as a kind of

elastic

cushion,

and should never be tampered with.


Nature permits
;

Let

it

grow

as large as

knowing

well, that, in

44

THE PERFECT HORSE.

her adaptation of means to an end, the good old dame


is

wiser than a whole college of surgeons.

For further
the reader

remarks upon the subject of the


to the division of this

feet, I refer

book upon

shoeing.

We

have now examined the structure of the fore-leg


;

in detail

but, before Ave part with

it,

let

us contemplate

the matter, for a moment, as a whole.

When examined
to the ground. " a " speedy cutter in a clean,

from the

front, the

space or distance between the fore-

legs should be the

same from the breast

horse so constructed will rarely be

or a "brusher," or go any other

way than

handsome,

straight-forward

manner.

When

viewed

from the

side,

the leg should be, as nearly as possible,


If
it

perpendicular.

inclines

backward very much, too


in front of
it
;

much weight
too heavily
result.
''

will

be thrown

while, if

it

be pointed out forward, the weight from above

will fall

upon the back tendons, and

injuries

be the
says,

agree perfectly with Carson

when he
its

The leg should drop

perfectly straight from

junc-

tion with the shoulder to the

ground

and the point of

the toe should

come

as near as possible to a straight line

under the point of the shoulder."

The elbow,

the location of which I have already de-

scribed, should

be examined;

for

it

is

by no means
it is

an insignificant member.
to

The danger is,

that

likely
will

be pointed too
against

far in or out.

If turned

in, it

chafe

the

saddle-girths

and belly-bands, and

thus be a source of constant annoyance to the owner.


It also

compels a vicious knee-action, and to the turning-

HOW
out of the
" paddling."
also

TO

KNOW

HIM.

45
in motion,

toe

when

the horse

is

styled

The horse with an elbow


is,

so placed will

be a "brusher;" that

he will continually be

striking the toe of one foot against the opposite ankle.

When, on
is

the other hand, the elbow


is

is

turned out, the toe

generally turned in ; which

a fault of construction

far

worse than the former one.


I

Such a horse
to

is

neither

speedy, nor safe to ride.

do not wish

be under-

stood as saying that no horse with his toes turned in

was ever speedy

for such instances are seen


:

every year

on the road or track

but, in these cases, the turning-in

of the toes was due to the peculiar

way

in

which the

hoof

itself

was

set

on,

and not

to the construction of
is

the elbow.
will

But,
find

when
speed.

the elbow

turned out, you

never

In support of this opinion

many high authorities could be quoted. As regards the knees, they should never be bent
either forward or
slight

backward; although some defend a


as a sure sign that the horse can
say,

backward curve,

never stumble, because, as they

"he

is

so well
its

back
exact
it

on

his knees."

For myself,

if

the leg must lose

perpendicular position, I should greatly prefer that

should incline forward rather than backward, because, by


this

backward

inclination, the

back muscles and sinews

of the leg are


in their action

all
;

interfered with,
it is

and positively checked

while
as

a fact of

my own

observation

and experience,

it is

of others of wider observation

and larger experience than myself, that some of the very safest and fastest horses ever known have been

46

THE PERFECT HORSE.


Still

animals rather forward on their legs at the knees.


the exact perpendicular
tion for the leg.
I feel that I cannot
is

the true and desirable direc-

do

better, in this connection, than

to lay before the reader the opinion of one

whose judg-

ment
says,

have already quoted upon another matter.

He

" I think any person


his eyes

who

takes the trouble of opening

may

see that the safety of the horse's knees

depends
together

chiefly

on the slant of the shoulder and pastern^


is hi'ought into

with the method in which the foot

contact with the ground.

On

this last point I

am
I

at

variance with popular opinion, which says that a horse,


in order to

be

safe,

requires to be a high-lifter.

look

upon
a

high-lifting as a

very great

fault.

Just imagine

man walking down one


to his knee!

of the thoroughfares of Lon-

don or Dublin, and

lifting his feet at

every step half


gain a great

way

He would

certainly

deal of admiration at the expense

of his corns, and


is

perhaps the point of his nose.


difference

Now, where
horse,

the

between a man and a


a difference in the

which should

make such
sion
?

mode

of their progres-

It is the
safe.

laying-down of the foot which renders

the animal
sufficiently

Of

course, the foot should

be raised

high to prevent the toe from coming into


;

contact with the ground

but

this is

very different from

what

is

called high action.

My
all

objections are intended

to apply entirely to those


steppers.
I

which arc denominated highsuch as

would avoid

much

as the daisy-

HOW
cutter.

TO

KNOW
is

HIM.
the only safe one.

47

The medium course


lifts

If
his
is

the horse

his foot clear of the road,

and lays

heel

first

to the ground,

he cannot

fall

as stumbling

usually occasioned
striking
it

by

sticking the toe into the road, or


as the

against

a stone, just

foot

is

being
horse

brouo-ht

down
if

into contact with the surface.


;

seldom,

ever, falls in the act of lifting his foot

simply

because, in that position, he has no weight depending

upon

it.

He

will fall only

when he

places the toe on

the ground before the heel.


a slight obstacle will

Under these

circumstances,
;

bend the pastern forward


is

and, as

the weight of the

body

now

intended to be thrown

on the limb, away he goes.


well-slanted

Let the horse with a

shoulder and pastern throw his foot well


first

forward, and then bring his heel

to

the ground,

and

I will

answer

for

his safety.

He

will also stand

more work than the very


action
is

high-stepper,

whose peculiar
which

certain to inflame his feet, as well as to prodiseases to

mote the development of a variety of


the fore-legs are
liable.

Of

course, the observations I

have made are applicable to shape and action alone,

and have no reference

to those cases

where a

fall

is

caused by the pressure of a sharp stone on a tender and


diseased foot.
is

It

must be evident, a case of that

sort

very different from one of ordinary tripping.


is

The

one

the result of disease

the other, of development

or form." Carson on

the Horse.
chest, shoul-

We
ders,

have now examined the head, neck,

and

fore-legs

of a

horse,

and pointed out the

48

THE PERFECT HOKSE.

peculiar formation and characteristics which should distinguish

them

and

I flatter
is

myself that the reader

who

has followed

me

carefully

pretty well informed touch-

ing these several parts of the organization.


others
still

But several
will

remain to be examined

which we

now

proceed to inspect.
portance,
is

The next
BACK.

in order, if not in im-

the

The
back

first

thing to observe in judging of a horse, so far


is

as his back
is

concerned,

is

the length of

it.

A long
in-

weak

back, the world over, and in every

stance.

By

superior excellence of structure in other

respects, the

weakness of the back may be, in some


;

measure,

made up

but the horse can never be the horse


his

he would have been had


I

back been a shorter


is
;

one.

do not care how short a horse's back

for

it is

a sure^

evidence to

me

that

he can carry or drag a heavy


tire
:

weight a great distance, and not

neither, if

he be

speedy, will two or three seasons of turf experience

break him down, as


speedy,

is

the case with so

many

of our

long-backed

horses.

Old Morrill and Flora


;

Temple

are instances in the past

and the famous grand-

son of Old Morrill, Fearnaught, and Taggart's Abdallah,


are

good

illustrations

among
is,

horses
in

now

living.

This

conformation of the back


objection against
tonian.
I

my

opinion, a grave

Young

Morrill

and Rysdyk's Hambleany man

I yield to

both the meed of great excellence.

would speak

as

warmly

in their eulogy as
all

with reason could.

But, in spite of

their excellences,

HOW
I
still

TO

KNOW

HIM.

49

declare

that

both of them would have been

decidedly better horses had they been coupled shorter

and more strongly on the back. If Young Morrill had one of the most marvelhad the back of his sire,

lous specimens of perfect

bone structure and muscular


so

power ever bred,


swayed-backed

he would never have gotten


now

many
The
the

colts as

stand to his charge.

same

is

the case,

in even greater measure, with Rysdyk's

Hambletonian.
stud.

We

know what he

has done in

We

know,

that,

crossed on mares of a certain

pattern and blood, especially on the daughters of Ameri-

can Star, the son of the great Henry, he has given us


trotters of

the highest speed, and second to none in

endurance.
all this is

All this I admit, because

it is

fact.

But
it

true in spite of his hack^ not because of


colt closely

and,

where he has gotten one

and strongly

coupled up in the back and loins (as every colt should


be), he has sent forth five or ten without this admirable

construction

nay, representatives
fairs

of the other form.

You may
Avill

attend the

of the country, and eight out


stallions exhibited

of every ten of the Hambletonian

present to the eye this unfortunate peculiarity.


it

In

reply

will

be urged that these long-backed horses


stride."

have an ''enormous
a great distance
;

I grant that they

do

stride

but I also notice that their feet stay


time.

under the sulky a long


their feet out

The power

to "twitch

from under the wagon," as an old driver


it

once expressed

to me,

does not belong to them.


I

You

never find

it

in connection with a long back.

50

THE PERFECT HOKSE.


ear-

wish to breed colts with an " enormous stride " as


nestly as any one
;

but I wish that these colts blessed

with an " enormous stride " should have the knack also of
gathering quickly.
is

long stride and a quick recovery


colts

what

desire to see in the

bred on

my

farm.

But, in respect to the length of stride, I have this to


say,

that

it is

not in any

way

the result of the length

of back.

What we wish
and the
latter

is

a long stride and a quick


find in connection

gather

you can never

with a long back, and the former you can find in connection with a short one.
It is

not the length of the back

which gives length of

stride,

but the position of the

pasterns, the slope of the shoulders,

and the position


There must be

of the great bones of the hind-legs.

length somewhere, I admit, or else the horse cannot


stride far;
*'

or,

if

he attempts
''

it,

he

will

be forever

over-reaching," or

forging" as the phrase goes.

But

where should the length be located?


tion to

That

is

the ques-

be answered
heloio,

and we
ahove.

say.

The length should

be located

and not

put in between the shoulder-joint


horse.

The length should be and the hams of the


in Flora

There

is

where

it

was put

Temple, and

which gave her such a tremendous stride for so small an animal; and there, too, is where you find it in Dexter, Fearnaught, and Taggart's Abdallah, whose stride on a
sandy track
feet!
satisfy

have measured,' and found to be twenty If that is not an " enormous stride," enough to
I I

any one,

should be pleased to

know what

is

and yet Abdallah has a

short, muscular,

Morgan-like

HOW
back, as his
sire,

TO

KNOW

HIM.

61

Farmer's Beauty, and his grandsire,

Gifford Morgan,
falser

had before him.

There never was a


to

theory, or one calculated

beget more mis-

chief

among

breeders, than

this,

that

we must breed

I long-backed colts in order to get length of stride. have always noticed that the horses long in the back,

and loosely coupled

at

the hips,

are the horses that

always come to the judges' stand padded and swathed with ''pads" and "shields" and "protectors" enough
to stock a small-sized horse- clothing establishment.

The

reason

is,

because there

is

too Httle strength in the back

and

loins to deliver their strokes in a straight line, or to


It is
life,

"catch" quickly and handily when they "break."


at

such a time,

the supreme hour of the

animal's

perhaps,
balance,

when
is

fame and money hang evenly in the

and ten thousand eyes are watching him, and


going at the top of his speed, that formastructure,
tell.

the horse
tion,

and perfection of organic


I desire

A,t

such

an hour

no long-backed animal to represent me.

And

in this connection I
little

would observe,
is

that

it

is

sur-

prising that so

attention

paid by breeders and


I see

trainers to this matter of strengthening the back.

no reason

why

the back of a horse

may

not,

by

judicious

treatment, be strengthened, as can be done in the case

of the man.

Dio Lewis

will

take a weak-backed man,

and

in

two

years, yes, in half that time,

more than double


a

the strength of his back.

He

will

make

man

with a

weak back by
in the

nature have a strong one.

If the muscles

back of a man can be thus enlarged and developed,

52

THE PERFECT HOUSE.


cannot the same be done in the case of a horse, and
viz.,

why

by the same method;


safety

the imposition of weights,

gradually increased, day by day, up to the


?

maximum
back

of

Next

in importance to the shortness of the

is

the width of the bone formation over the kidneys.


this point,

At

viewed from the


little,

side,

the back should be


I

seen to rise a

not too much.


The

do not fancy a

''roach-backed" horse, but with a gentle, easy elevation.

Above

all,

beware of a horse with any consideraribs

ble depression at this point.


straight out

should stand

from the backbone, and be long, giving

great width over the kidneys, and a good chance for the

muscles to take hold of the framework.

do not

fancy any very considerable dip behind the withers. Such a formation of the spinal column and ribs is sure
to

cramp and

interfere with the heart


all, is

and lungs within


:

the chst, which, above

to

be avoided

for,

withhis

out a well-developed and well-located centre


blood-system, the horse cannot have health
;

to

and, with-

out lung-room, he cannot have speed over any but short


distances.
It
is

lungs more than any thing else that

decide

We
tial

how fast a horse can trot. (See section on lungs.) now come to the examination of the most essen-

portion of the horse's frame,

the

HIND-QUARTERS.

Here

it is

that the strength


:

and speed

lie.

The

fore-

legs are for supports

they uphold the body, neck, and

HOW
head,

TO

KNOW

HEM.

53

that

is all.

They add

nothing, or next to noth-

ing, to the

motive-power.

They must be sound, and

well sustained with muscles, or they cannot uphold the

superincumbent weight, or move themselves with the

needed quickness.

But with
their
selfish.

this

their function ends.

They appropriate
were, altogether

own power.
Not

They
the

are,

as

it

so with

hind-legs.

They

are the great motors

of the body.
s,iv.

They push
heavy
about
is

the entire frame through the

They

set the
is

wagon behind
power
and

in motion.

Watch

a horse as he

to start a load.

How
?

does he do it?

Where

the

to j^usJi located

Evidently in his hind quarters

legs.

The most

casual glance, as the horse lowers


fact.

himself to his work, will reveal this


horse in the exercise-field;
for the

Watch a
air.

observe him as he rears


as
?

leap,

and see him

he goes into the

How
swer
:

did he leave the ground


?

What launched him up

along that splendid leap

There can be but one an-

The

hind-legs do it

all.

Hence the need of power


;

at this point.

There cannot be too much

for the effort

that he
It
is

is

called

upon

to

make
that

at times is prodigious.

well authenticated

the

celebrated

horse

Yainhope made a leap thirty-four

feet in length.

The
feats

English hunters will clear a strong, six-barred gate with


a hundred and ninety pounds in the saddle.

Such

cannot be done unless the bone structure and muscular

development of the hind-quarters are simply


Let
us, therefore,

perfect.
sec-

examine

this

supremely important

tion of the horse's body, in order to ascertain

what must

54

THE PERFECT HORSE.

be the position and length of the bones, and the characteristic appearance of those muscles by the use of

which a
deeds.

spirited animal

is

able to perform his mighty

How

does a horse look to the eye


is

when

the

formation of his hind-quarters

as

it

should be ?

Several things must be kept in mind by the student


First, that

the bones must be of the proper length, of

the right

size,

and be put together

in a right position

and, secondly, that the muscles

must be of the right


direction.

length and

size,

and have the right


;

The

bones, remember, are the levers

while the muscles are

the powers

by which these
is

levers are moved.


easily lifted

We

all

know
to

that a weight
;

more

by a long lever
placed at

than a short one

that the lever

must be large enough


all,

have the required strength, and, above

the right angle, in order that every ounce of the applied

weight

may be
is

utilized in

the best possible manner.

This, in brief,

the philosophy of the whole matter.

When
cles

the bones are short, and badly placed, the musas to secure
is

do not act upon them in such a way

the needed

power

and the leap attempted

not made,

or the wished-for stride obtained.


placed, imply great leverage
that the
;

Long

bones, well

and long muscles mean


levers are

contracting
great.
it is

power by which the

moved

is

On

these conditions, stride depends

and therefore

that length of bones


is

and muscles

in

the hind-quarters of a horse


desired.

a thing greatly to be

In order to get a true and adequate knowllet us inspect the

edge of the hind-quarters of a horse,


several parts in detail.

HOW

TO

KNOW

HIM.

55

THE RUMP,
or

haunch,
it
;

should
is

not

be

excessively

broad

al-

though
avoided

the

narrow rump that should be most

for, if

the

rump

is

narrow, there will be a de-

cided lack of power.

The rump-bones should be well

projected on each side of the hips.

Nor do
is

I object,

when looking
to

for speed, if the projection

so great as

cause

the

horse

to

be

*'

ragged-hipped."

Such

horses, if otherwise well constructed, must, of necessity,

be very powerful

horses.

The bones

that reach from

the kidneys to the projection of the hip can scarcely be


too long, especially in animals kept for speed.
ness here
Short-

means shortness of

stride.

The side-bones of
or
still,

the haunch should droop well down, and not stand out
nearly level.
I

know

that

some

straight
;

level
as a

rumped
rule, the

horses can trot, and trot fast too

but

horse with a moderately drooping


horse, if

rump

is

the
to-

best.

Such a

he

is

in other respects
will

put

gether right,

is

sure to go.

He

swing along

easily.

The

stifle-joint will

be launched out well ahead, and

his

leg be thrown well forward.

This far-reaching-forward

motion of

stifle

and leg

will insure length to his stride,

and trueness of balance.


trotting will

He

will

be a

level goer.

His
his

be done with
this

his legs,

and not with


is

body.
sistent

Note that

droop of the rump

not incon:

with roundness of superficial formation

for

musshall

cles

can be so massed at this point, that the


full

rump

have a

and plump appearance

and

this is the

most

56
perfect of

THE PERFECT HORSE.


all

formations.

Such a bone

structure, in
is

connection with such muscular development,


tion itself

perfec-

Let us now look at the


THIGH.

This bone extends from the hip-joint to that point

where

it

unites with the upper section of the


;

bone

called the tibia


stifle-joint.

the union of the two composing the

As

in

the case of the scapula (shoulderis

blade), the thigh-bone

buried in and wrapped about


This

with an enormous mass of muscular substance.

bone
It is

is

one of the most important of the entire frame.

connected with those great muscles which alone are

able to propel the entire system.

This bone cannot be too long, because the length of


it is

decides the reach of the hind-quarters.


short,
;

If this

bone

and the bone below


but he cannot be

it

short, the

horse

may be

strong
per;

fast.

He

will

be a

short-step-

and no quickness of motion can make good the


stride.

absence of a long, sweeping

Be

sure, then, before

you purchase the animal, that these two bones are long,
and properly placed.

The muscles

also, as I

have

al-

ready suggested, play a most important part in connection with these bones.

From

these alone, remember,

comes the power

to

move them. Be

The degree of

their

length gauges their contracting force, by which the

bones are made to move.


cles are long, large,

sure, then, that these

mus-

and hard.

Their

size

can be de*

HOW

TO

KNOW

HBI.

6T
their

cided by the fulness of the parts they compose


length,

by the

distance

which intervenes between the


dis-

haunch-bone and the thigh-bone, and also by the


tance lying between the hip and the hock.
line

This

last

cannot be too long.


is

hock well down towards

the ground

a sight, that delights the horseman's eye.


lie

In respect to the muscles that

along the thigh-bone,


this part,

which
and

overlooked when speaking of

would observe,

that they should be strong,

and well deThinness

veloped inside as well as outside of the thigh.


flatness of formation

here argue decided absence


at the thigh

of strength.

Indeed,

when looking

from

behind, the muscles should absolutely swell out, giving


to the otherwise flat surface of the thigh-bone a

rounded

appearance.

This

is

the very perfection of shape.

Such
the

a horse will be a sturdy goer, no matter


roads.

how heavy

The

stifle-joint

should extend well forward, and


This formation removes the
stifle

be placed well down.


to a proper distance

from the pin-bone as well as from

the front-side of the haunch-bone, gives greater surface-

room

for

the

attachment of muscles, increases their


their leverage.

length,

and decidedly improves

The

greater the distance between these several parts, the better is the formation in

every respect.

Look
it is

for a large-

sized stifle-joint,
front, for

no matter how broad

across the

here

is

one of the points of extreme action


as well as

and socket-room,
indispensable.

room

for the muscles,


is

is

The wider the thigh

from the

stifle

to

the back edge of the thigh, the better.

The muscular

68
formation here

THE PEBFECT HOESE.


should

be

distinct

and

prominent.

Quantity and length of bone and muscle should be the


peculiar
characteristic

of

this

section

of

the

body.
as
for

Never be persuaded, by any perfection of structure


to the rest of the body, that
it

can

imperfection and lack at this point.

make amends The perfect


all

in

nature

is

reached through the perfection of


to

the parts

which go

compose the whole.

No
to

one muscle can


the other.

do the work assigned by Nature


length of one bone cannot
age,

The
results

make good

the loss of lever-

and therefore of propelling power, which

from the shortness of another.


in

You

cannot be too severe

your analysis of the horse's frame.


;

Every part of

it

must be perfect
length,

every bone and muscle of the proper


;

and properly placed

or else the animal will


will

fail

you

at the

supreme

test.

He
;

be a good

caj)able

horse up to a certain point


faulty in

but beyond

that, if

he

is

any part of

his organization,

no

art or contrivlit-

ance of
tle short

man

can push him.

He

will

always come a

of that line which your hope had drawn, and

which, upon an imperfect examination of him, the aver-

age horseman would say he would certainly


This great fact should

attain.

never be

forgotten

by the

breeder
that
is

when

selecting his brood-mares


sire

and the horse


and

to

be the

of his stables.

Faulty parents befiat


;

get faulty children.


vain for

This

is

Nature's great
it.

it is

man

to seek to elude

know

that imperfor the

fection of structure can

be modified somewhat
;

better

by judicious

crossing

but the instances in which

HOW
it is

TO

KNOW

HBI.

59

entirely remedied, so far as

my

experience and ob-

servation go, are exceedingly rare.


certain about
it.

There

is

nothing
every

Such breeding
sure way, as

is,

in spite of

thing one can do, unreliable, and too

much

the matter

of luck.
like

The only
is

it is

the only business;

way,

to

have perfection in both parents

and then
in

the great law, that like produces like, will


favor,

tell

your
for

and insure you

success.

Beware of choosing

the sire of your colts an excessively long-backed horse,


or one faulty in the construction of his hind-quarters.

Never be led away and enticed by the

gloss of his coat,

the fineness of his neck and head, the splendid develop-

ment of
him,
ters.
if

his chest
is

and shoulders,

into breeding

from

he

poor in the muscular formation of

his quar-

It is in his
lie
;

haunch and thigh that strength and

speed

and here every thing should be long, broad,


If

and

full.

you are a breeder, you can disregard


facility
;

this,

and because of cheapness, or


yourself with an inferior sire

of service, content
dis-

but I wish you to

tinctly understand, in this case, that

you are not

to

blame
folly,

the principles of breeding for the result of your

but your

own

foolishness in discarding them.

With
you

here and there an exception, your colts will be what


the parents are,

imperfect
You have
to

animals

which

is

all

have deserved.
again
;

just

what you bred from over


possible for Nature under

and

this is all that

was

the circumstances

give you.

The men who cry

"that breeding does not


impossible
to

pay"

are

men who make

it

pay by the

substitution of ignorance in

60

THE PERFECT HOESE.

the place of intelligence, and niggardliness in the place

of wise liberality, in the selection of their brood-mares

and the horse who


any business

sires their

colts.

never knew

to pay, especially

one demanding so

much

of intelligence as breeding, of success the end was

when the sole condition knowledge how to adapt means to an

totally lacking.

We

will

now

pass to the consideration of

THE HOCK.

The

principal reason, perhaps,


is

why

this is

worthy of

the closest attention,

because

it is

the seat, for the most

part, of all the lameness that occurs in the hind-quarters

and
fact,
is

this liability to

lameness doubtless springs from the

that the strain put

upon

it

by the propelling muscles


requires to be remark-

so

sudden and heavy, that

it

ably well formed in order to remain sound.

To be

well

formed, the hock, in the


size.

first

place,
it

must be of large

No
:

matter

how

symmetrical
it

may

look to the

eye

if it is

not large,

will

never stand severe work.

Never be
hocks.

afraid

or ashamed of large, coarse-looking


to me.

Such hocks are always beautiful


that

Re-

member
sufficient
easily,

here the great motor sinews are;


to play freely

and and

room must be given them


least friction.

and without the

Remember,

that,

the larger the bones are which

make up

this joint, the

wider will be the surface to which the great powerful ligaments which keep these bones in their places can

be attached, as likewise the greater

will

be the surface

HOW

TO

KNOW

HIM.

61

over which will be distributed the concussions to which is in this joint is inevitably exposed when the horse
rapid action.

But

size

alone

is

not enough.

It

should

be well proportioned, each and every part of fit and adequate size, so that symmetry, also, shall be attained.

The bone

that forms the hindermost point of the


;

hock

can scarcely be too large


up, the greater
is

for,

the farther

it

is

pushed
im-

the leverage capacity of those


into
it.

mense sinews which are inserted


should be strong and of great
the

This bone

size,

as should also

be

sinew

whMi

runs

upward towards
and
easily

the

thigh.

This should stand well out from the bone, so as to be


clearly perceived

by the

eye,

examined by

the

pressure

of the

finger.

The lower thigh-bone

should run into the hock-joint at a pretty sharp angle

but here the angular formation should cease.


this point

From
be

down
to

to the pastern the leg-bone should


;

as straight as a perpendicular line

for

whatever curve

there

may be

it,

will, as

you can understand, cause the


Friction
is

back sinews

to

work

at a great disadvantage.

with every movement must result;

and

it is

friction

which begets inflammation.


to

Such a horse
about

ever liable

become curbed.
held safely in

A word
its

this curb.

The back

sinew Avhich runs


is

down along
place

the edge of the hock-joint


specially de-

by a ligament

signed for this purpose, called the

annula ligament.
it

This spans the joint at the lower end of

like

an arch

from one side to the other.

Of

course, if the bones are

so placed as to allow the sinew to run in an exact per-

62

THE PEKFECT HOESE.


line,

pendicular

there will be less strain brought to bear


it

upon
and
it

this

annula ligament, which keeps

in its place

will

be able to bear the

strain

which the horse


it.

with every stride or leap puts upon

But

if

any

considerable variation from this formation occurs, either

by the rounding of the leg-bone


be a corresponding
friction

at this point or the

turning-in of the hocks towards each other, there will

and

strain

brought to bear
will

upon the annular ligament.


to
start

The sinew
its

be

liable

out completely from

natural position, the

beautiful arrangement of Nature at this point disrupted,

and an unseemly tumor be the


the airh.

result.
is

This tumor

is

Once formed, the


you
see, is actually

joint

forever impaired.
its

The

sinew,

torn out of
it

place

the

band

that should have held


;

in its natural position is


is

unduly strained or parted


the result.

and perpetual weakness

In purchasing, beware of a curb.

Any

protuberance, however slight, at this point, should be

regarded with grave suspicion

and the money which


keep
in

you were

to give for the horse,

your pocket.

In addition to the curb, another evidence of unsoundness


is

to

be looked

for at

this locality.

I refer to

the spavin.
seat
this

The bones of the hock


disorder
evil
lies

are the natural

of

this

or
in

infliction.

Protection from

terrible

the

size

and symmetry of

the hock-bones.

Coarse-looking and strong joints are

not likely to get out of order; but your smooth, neat,

dandy-looking joints rarely,


erable

if ever,

stand any considin

amount of work.

do not think that spavin,

HOW
as

TO

KNOW

HEM.

63

many

cases as

some imagine, springs so much from

the imperfect formation of the hock as from scrofulous

tendencies in the animal, which render


ally

him
and

constitution-

exposed

to joint

and bone disease

so

it

happens

that no size

and symmetry of the hock can ever be


infallible

regarded as an

protection from the spavin.


greatest,

Another cause of spavin, and perhaps the


especially in America,
is

injudicious shoeing.

If a horse,
I can cure

for instance, brushes, the smith will say,

"Oh,

him of

that

"

and

so indeed

he can, and without the

employment of any
either.

marvellous
is

amount of wisdom
to cause the shoe to

All that he needs to do


side

be thicker on one

of the heel than the other, and


;

the horse will not brush


shoe,
it

but

this construction of the

should be remembered, causes so

much more

weight to be thrown upon one part of the hock-joint


than another, that disease
is

pretty sure to be the result.

"I wish," says an

intelligent writer,

"that these smiths

had the one

side of their boot raised

an inch higher than

the other in order that they might enjoy the same pleasure
that they have conferred
then, especially if

upon the

horse.

They would

compelled to run and jump, have an

opportunity of knowing
joints
I shall

how

long their ankle and knee

would continue sound."


shank-bone

The

last

cause of spavin
is

mention, and perhaps the most frequent,


of
the
at
its

the

smallness the hock.

junction

with

The hock has not


force

sufficient surface to rest

upon.

The
is

of the concussion
;

to

which

it

is

exposed

not sufficiently distributed

and spavin

is

the

64
result.

THE PERFECT HORSE.


I

have seen horses so badly constructed in


in

this

respect,

that,

looking at

them from a

side-view,

the front of the shank-bone immediately below the


hock-joint

looked as

if it

had been shaved away.


;

need not say that


at this point,

this is a fearful defect

for the

bone

in order to receive

and carry the joint

properly, should be wide and thick.


basis for

A
is

broad, firm

what

is

above to

rest

upon

one of the best


that his

possible assurances that the


liorse will

owner can have

never be spavined.

In further description of
that
it

the shank-bone, I
stout,

would remark

should be short,
is

and

flat

a long, round formation


"

as

bad a one

as perverted nature can form.

Wide

as a slab " Avas

the description which an old stage-driver in

Vermont

once gave
description

me
it

of his ideal shank-bone

and a very good

was

too.

In a well-formed leg the back

sinews should be brought well out from the bone, and


feel to the

finger like finely-twisted cords.


all

See to

it

that they are free from


as puffs, notches,

irregularities of surfixce, such


fatty substance.

and globules of

Let Ob-

them, rather, be smooth and hard as scraped bone.


serve, also, that the lower
as the upper,

end of the shank-bone,


size

as well

should be of sufficient
the

to

make

strong and solid connection with

pastern,

which

should be longer, stronger, and more oblique, than the


pastern of the fore-leg.
the line of the
foot,

In short, see to

it,

that,

from

rump

to the ground-surface of the hind-

bone and muscle


size

alike look as if they

were of

such

and strength, and

so admirably adjusted in

HOW
their

TO

KNOW

HLM.

65
all

proper positions, that they can do and endure

things.

horse with such an appearance in the hind-

quarters, if otherwise well

formed and of right tempera-

ment, will never

fail

you, but will remain, until old age


forces

diminishes the natural

of his well-constructed

organism, the pride and ornament of your stable.


I

have now gone over the several parts of the horse,


his structure,

upon the character of which


his usefulness,

and hence

depends.

have striven to avoid the


as

employment of such terms

would be

difficult

for suc-

the average reader to understand.

If I

have

ceeded to that extent to which I aspired, the reader

who

has carefully followed

me

in

my

remarks has such

knowledge of the organs, bones, muscles, and general


shape and appearance, of the horse, as to qualify him to
select

with wise discrimination the animal or animals


for either general or specific service,

which he needs

or for the purposes of breeding.

He

cannot hereafter

be deceived by the cunning of dishonorable men, or have any but himself to blame,
unwisely in his future purchases.
serve, that all data for
unless,
if

he invest

his

money
to ob-

But

I ask

him

man's information are worthless,


in connection

his

when attained, they are used own observation and intelligence.

with

It is

by the use of your own eyes and


knowledge

fingers,

my
now

reader, in connection with the

have

put in your possession, that you can become wise in


horse-craft.
Suffer, at this point,

two or three

cautions.

The

first is,

Buy on your

oivn judgment^

and not on that

TEffi

PERFECT HORSE.
all

of another man.

would speak with


it

modesty

and

yet I would say, that

is

my

firm belief, that if

you
have

have closely perused the preceding pages, and thoughtfully

pondered them

until the

main suggestions

made

are well fixed in your

memory, you are better

prepared to go forth and purchase horses discreetly

and profitably than nine out of ten of those professional


horsemen as they are
called.

Exercise your

own judg-

ment, then, getting greater wisdom by your mistakes


which, I warrant you, under the conditions supposed,
will not
trust

be many nor grave.

But,

if

you are

to thus

wholly to yourself (which

I decidedly advise),

be

deliberate

and thorough

in

your examination of the


in order as

animal under inspection.


I

Note every point

have followed

in this

work.

Let eye and finger alike


Feel of the bones, muscles,

contribute to your decision.

and sinews.

It

would be

difficult
if

to cheat you,

even

were your eyes bandaged,


might come

you would receive the

knowledge of the animal's shape and condition which


to

you through your hands

alone.
;

Be

sure that the horse

you purchase has symmetry

viz., is ivell

proportioned throughout.

Never purchase
any other.

a horse because he has a splendid develo]3ment of one


part of his organization,
if

he be lacking

in

Above

all,

keep well

in

mind what you


to the

are buying /or,

and buy the horse best adapted


require of him
content.
;

work you
is

will

and,

when such an animal

yours,

be

Never jockey.
this

An
daily

occasional
*'

exchange may

be allowable; but

swapping" of horses

HOW

TO

KNOW

HIM.

67

advertises a man's incompetency for any thing higher.

Another caution

is this

Never purchase a horse

until

you have seen him move, and under the same conditions to

which he

will

be exposed

in the service

you

will expect

of him. turn

If for a draught, see


in

him draw,
if

back, and
road, see

round

both directions

for the

how he

handles himself, not merely on level


declivities, and,

ground, but on going up sharp


all,

above

in descending them.

In this

way you

will ascer-

tain the faults or excellences of

both his temper and

structure.

In these exercises drive him yourself.


a skilful hand, aided

made

to

The reins in by the whip or mouth, can be conceal grave defects. Let him move with a

loose rein, so that he


his artificial ; for,

may

take his natural gait, and not

by

so doing,

you

will detect

any mislook-

takes of

judgment

that

you may have made when

ing him over in a state of inactivity.

Many

a time

unsoundness will appear in motion^ which no inspection


of the eye and finger, however
close,

can ascertain.
if

When you
his speed,

have walked him and jogged him,

he

is

to to

serve any other than

mere di^aught-purposes, put him


at
it
:

and keep him

for a sufficient distance

to test his breathing capacity

then pull him up


his flanks
;

jump

from the wagon, and look at


nostrils
;

inspect his

and put your ear


ascertain
if

close to the side of his chest,

in

order to

the

action of

the
to

heart

is

normal.

If this exercise has caused


;

him

perspire

freely, all the better

for

you can then

see,

when you

68

THE PERFECT HORSE.


stable,

have returned to the


quickly,"

whether he

" dries

off

which a horse
perfect
is

of sound

constitution
also

does

when in when he
harness
is

health.

Watch him
stall,

carefully

being taken from the

and while the


this

being put upon him: you will in

ascertain his temper,

and detect any thing that

way may
only

be undesirable about him.

Above

all,

in dealing,

deal,

as

far as possible,

with honorable men.

Act

so as to live

above the hint


will

or suspicion of dishonesty yourself

No gentleman
;

have anything to do with a mere jockey


reputation that a breeder can get
is

and the worst


hard work to

one for cunning


it

and

trickery.

Such a breeder

will find

sell his colts.

Everybody suspects him.


;

He may

have

a fine

young horse

but his

evil reputation shall get

makes men
cheated
if

shun him, because they fear they


they buy of him.

In no business does honesty pay


dividends,
is,

more

surely, or larger
;

than in

the horse-

business

and the reason

because gentlemen

who pay

liberally for

young horses
judge

are very often distrustful of


as to the merits of a horse,

their

own

ability to

and

so, naturally,

desire to purchase of

men whose word


if

they can depend upon.

No

breeder or horse-dealer in

regular business can afford to cheat, even


conscience to restrain
colts,

he has no

him from

so doing.

Raise good
will

and keep a good character, and you


breeding.
resist

make
in

money by
I this place

cannot

the inclination to put on record

and manner

my

strong protest against the

HOW

TO

KNOW

HIM.

69

conduct of certain people, who, by slurs and innuendoes

and misrepresentations, seek

to

bring

into

popular

disgrace the most delightful and elevating branch of

American
fine horses.

agriculture,

the
it

breeding and training of


is

Such behavior
so
far

both disgraceful to them-

selves, and,

as

has any influence upon the

public, hurtful to the best interests of the country.

As

a branch of business,

it

represents an enormous amount

of capital, as the national statistics show,


too, contributing actively,
cial

of

capital,

year by year, to the commer-

prosperity of the land, and also largely and directly

to the health

and happiness of
of the
country,

its

inhabitants.

From
been

the

settlement

the

horse

has

intimately and honorably associated with our social and


religious
to the
life,

as

he has also most potentially contributed


its

development of

trade and commerce.

With-

out the assistance of the noble animal these thoughtless

people persist in associating with gamblers and jockeys,


our religious congregations could never have been
as-

sembled sabbath by sabbath

in the churches, nor our

political gatherings held, nor, as

we

all

realize

in

view

of the revelation of the

last winter,

during the epizootic

season, could our business enterprises


out.

have been carried

Why
in his

an animal so noble by nature, and useful to

us

all,

should be singled out for reprobation, or to en-

gage

propagation and training be stigmatized as a


pursuit, passes

low and vulgar


one, I

my

comprehension.
to those,

For

acknowledge a debt of gratitude

who

by importation of blooded

animals, or careful attention

70

THE PERFECT HORSE.


have contributed to the
horse.

to the principles of breeding,

improvement of the American

The world

is

happier and better conditioned to-day because Lafosse,


Ilarey,

Hiram Woodruff, and men of


lived.

their intelligence to these great

and character,
masters,

And

not alone

who

revealed to us the true method of shoe-

ing, training,
all

and driving

horses, are

we

indebted, but to
assisted

of lesser note

who

in

any sensible measure

in the

improvement of the animal


his wants,

himself, or of man's

knowledge of
the

and

his

capacity to serve
to teach

human

race.
;

If

it

be a disgrace

men
and
the

useful

knowledge

to

add

to

the

intelligence
to

humane impulse of
fortunes
to

the

country in respect
to

humblest of God's creatures;

show those of small


and hence

how

to increase their limited means,

improve their own condition, and swell the aggregate


;

prosperity of the country


bition the

to fire with a

worthy am-

young

agriculturist to

produce better stock


if this, I say,

than his father bred before

him,
it

be a

disgrace, then I rejoice to share

with those, who, in

every State of the Union, are laboring to accomplish the

same noble end,

men whose public


I love,

spirit I

admire, and

the integrity of whose characters I hope to equal, but

may never
soil;

expect to excel.

with an attachment
years,

which increases with the passage of


and hold that
its

my

native
in

cultivation,
it, is

and employment

those pursuits connected with

most conducive to

the practice of those virtues which ennoble man, and


minister to his happiness.
I love the earnest,

honorable

HOW
industries of the field,

TO

KNOW

HIM.

71

and the stimulating companion-

ship of the spirited denizens of the stable.

The

strong,

healthy odor

of the

earth,

the

scented hedges, the

tremulous happiness of harvest-heads, the welcoming

neigh of glossy favorites greeting

my

coming steps with

the pride of their arched necks and expectant eyes,


all

this

is

a delight.

Hail to this

life

of innocent and

humane

sovereignty, in which care sets with the setting


!

of the sun, and gentle night brings gentler repose


cherish the ambition, that, in

some

limited measure, I

may
of

contribute something to the intelligence of those

my

generation
shall

who
more

share this feeling with me,

by

which they

perfectly understand the prin-

ciples that underlie

success in

those

pursuits,

which,
of
life,

while they minister to the

truest

pleasures

supply, at the same time, the needed support and profit.

Enough
in cities,

for

me,
to

if,

when
I

that

crowded

life

which

lives

and

which
as
it

forgotten me,

am now

a teacher, shall have

surely will forget,

may

still

be remembered in the scattered hamlets of the country,

and be occasionally mentioned by the farmer's


as

fireside,

having been a friend of the farmer, and of the

farmer's best friend,

the

gentle, serviceable animal,

the horse.

CHAPTEH

11.

THE PRINCIPLES OF BREEDING. REASONS WHY BREEDERS HAVE NOT BEEN FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL.

No

one

who

is

at all acquainted

with the history of


at large

breeding in

New

England and the country

at

least, so far as trotting-horses

are concerned

can deny

much money has been lost, and many failures made, by those who have embarked their property in the
that
enterprise.

The

fast

horses of the country seem to be rather the

result of accident or

good fortune than of


certainty that

design.

In

other business,

men

invest one or five thousand dollars

with the reasonable


their

they will receive

money back
This

again, together with a profitable rate


is

of interest.
ness
;

what

is

called doing a safe busi-

and

it is

this certainty of return that

renders the
is

business legitimate.
tain, accidental,

By

as

much

as the result

uncer-

the business loses in dignity, ceases to


intellect,

be attractive to a well-constructed

and be-

comes a species of gambling. Now, breeding of fast horses has been a business, up to within a few years, and
72

PRINCIPLES OF BREEDING.

73

even now, in the majority of

cases, is

a pursuit, notori-

ously tainted with this fatal element

of uncertainty. a history of ex-

The

history of almost every breeder

is

travagant hopes and bitter disappointments.

His whole

career has been one of struggle, delusive successes, and


total failures.

If
is,

now and

then he has

made

a "hit"

as the saying
colt,

if

occasionally he has produced a fast

the very success served only, in the

way

of con-

trast, to

make

his failures all the

more

noticeable.

The

great

trotting-horses

of the

country have not been

foaled, in the proportion that

one might reasonably ex:

pect, in the great stables of the country

they have

come, rather, before the public from obscure sources.


In

many

cases,

as

with Dutchman and Flora Temple


tell

and Ripton, no one can


the sire or the dam.

up

to this

day any thing of


such horses,

The

fact that three

and scores of others of almost equal

merit,

have no

known

parentage, reveals

how rude and

unsuccessful

the breeding efforts of the country have been.

Who

can conceive of three winners of the Derby with no

known pedigree ? Who can imagine in England, who should win all the
years,
in

a horse arising
principal prizes,
for six
tell

and remain king of the English turf

or ten
stable

and no Enghshman be able

to

the

which he was born, the dam that foaled him, or

the horse which

was

his sire ?

Such a thing would be


of breeding
are

impossible

for there the principles


;

understood

the result that shall

come from the union


;

of two strains of blood can be predicted

and successes

74

THE PERFECT HORSE.


But

are in the line of sequence, and not of accident.

here

we have had
all

few, if any, impartial

and

intelligent

students of the problem.


cate of

The most

intricate

and

deli-

endeavors to propagate great excellences by

the harmonious union of desirable qualities, possessed


in part
for the

by the
most

sire

part,

by the dam, has been, undertaken by men too ignorant or


in part

and

prejudiced to grasp
principles of success.

comprehensively the rudimental

Hence
good

it

is

that

breeding in
;

America has been an innocent kind of gambling


is,

that

a venture in which

luck, rather than

an under-

standing of and attention to the business, was relied

on

for success.

Hence many of our

fastest horses are

sent to us annually from the barn-yards of unknown,


and, so far as principles of breeding go, ignorant farmers.

We

find

them

as

Dutchman was
;

found, in a tan-

dem-team, drawing bricks


as Flora

or behind a drover's wagon,

Temple was discovered

without

name or

fame.

They come unheralded by any

expectation, the

result of
ital.

no plan, no knowledge, no wisely -invested cap-

This seems an indisputable proposition, therefore,

that one of the causes of the financial failures


is

which

have attended attempts at breeding

to

be found in

the gross ignorance of the breeders themselves in the


principles of propagation.

This

is

the

more

to

be wonis

dered

at,

because, in

all

kindred branches, knowledge

universally admitted to be the great essential of success.

No

one, for instance, will invest

money

in trout-culture

until

he has examined into the principles which under-

PRINCIPLES OF BREEDING.
propagation.

75

lie their

He becomes
and
is

a student of trout
their favorite
diet,

studies their structure

habits,

and the treatment Avhich


increase

most favorable to their rapid


is

and growth.

All this

preliminary to the

grand undertaking.

He

invests

no money, he makes

not a move, until the knowledge of the business necessary to the proper understanding of
is
it it is

obtained.
like.

So

in the case of fowl,


first,

sheep, and the

Knowl-

edge
order.

investment of

money

next,

is

the rule and


to

It is just this rule

and order that men seem

reverse in their attempts at breeding the horse.

With

no knowledge of what

is

needed

in the sire or the

dam

with no power to discriminate the qualities of either


with no ability to say that these qualities are such as to
warrant harmonious union of
in either parent,
all

that

is

most desirable

in the foal, or the reverse,

they

breed,

not along the line of certain well-ascertained

principles or clearly-discerned similitudes, but haphazardly, as chance furnishes the opportunity, trusting to

luck to produce a

fast colt.

The
ing of

grossness of this blunder can only be


realized

appre-

hended and
fast

when you

consider that the breed-

horses

is

not only a business, but a business

the principles

of success in which are most delicate

and hidden.

The man who engages

in

it

not only

undertakes to deal with the outward and material, but

more yet with the inward and the


problem
not only
is

spiritual.
life
;

The
and

the propagation of a high order of

its

propagation, but

its

propagation in such a

76

THE PEEFECT HOESE.


spirit,

form and

that

its

expression shall be

marked with

certain specific characteristics.

The breeder must


power
which
forces,

be, in the

most thorough and


His capital
is is

ele-

vated sense of the word, a student.


to observe
is

his

and

infer.
;

From what
is

seen,
is,

he

reasons to what
shall

unseen

from that which

to that

be.

His study

the study of nervous


;

power,
Nor
high and

their origin,
its

and law of descent

of muscular

source,

how accumulated, and how sustained.


is

is this all.

He

a student of an organization of so
its

fine

a quality, that

condition,

and

states of
is

temperament, are as variable as the wind.


an animal of exquisite construction.

The horse

In him

we behold
In nervous

one of the
structure

finest results of creative skill.


is

he

exceedingly sensitive.

Sensitive

and

sympathetic, he suffers from those changes in condition

and treatment

to

which other animals are

indifferent.

Even

so slight causes as changes in his food

and bedeven

ding, interruption

and difference

in grooming, ay,

the subtle changes of the atmosphere, affect him.


is it

Nor

alone the horse before him that he must study.

To

know a man, you must know something of his ancestry. Man is not a simple, he is a complex, being. He is the result of many antedating causes. He is the embodiment of both harmonious and antagonistic
generations are represented in him.
forces.

Five

He

is

the child of

ten parents; and each parent positively or negatively


exists in him.

So

it is

with the horse.


Sire, grandsire,

He is

the result
line

of antedating causes.

and a long

WHY
of ancestry,

NOT FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL.


all

77

with

their peculiarities of spirit


qualities,

and

structure, of like

and unlike

of elements harmo-

nious and antagonistic,

are represented in him.

To

study him
them.

is

to study them.

To know him
is

is

to

know
assist

You must gauge

the force that


that
is.

not before

you can gauge the force


observation,
Is
it

History must
to sight.

and reading be joined

extravagant, then, for


this,

me

to ask.

What

higher

study can there be than


cular

this

study into

life

mus-

and nervous, mental and emotional ? What nobler


this,

subject than

the investigation
?

of those laws
is

by

which

life,

in all its

changes and gradations,

transmit-

ted from sire to son


this,

What more

difficult

problem than

the

solution

of which

should reveal to us the


in animal as

forceful properties

which repeat themselves

well as

human

life,

and which may,

therefore,

be

re-

garded as truly representative of that order of


ence with which

exist-

we behold them

associated

And

yet
fa-

men have
cilities

expected, without knowledge or study, or

whereby

to conduct the business advantageously,


;

to

make

great fortunes out of breeding


all

and people can

be found

over

New

England and the country who


breeding
fine horses,

will question the profitableness of

on the ground that many of those who have attempted


it

have not been successful


fact,

failing to see, or else pur-

posely ignoring the

that the reason

why

these genefforts is

tlemen have failed to achieve success in their


because their
efforts

were not directed by a

sufficient in-

telligence in respect to the business they

had undertaken.

78

THE PERFECT HORSE.

Now, the writer


handsome and
will

firmly believes

that

breeding
is,

of

fast trotting-horses in

America

and

continue to
it

be, a most profitable

business.

He

believes

will yield for the

money

invested a larger

return

by twenty per cent than any other branch of


;

agriculture
in

and he believes that


States.

this is especially true

the

New-England

The

fact

is,

agriculture
soil,

proper

by which

mean

the tillage of the

and the

production of those products that grow directly out of


the soil

can no longer be
We

relied

upon

to

keep

alive the

agricultural spirit, or sustain the agricultural wealth, of

New

England.

cannot compete successfully with

the Middle States and the Great


cereals,
or,

West
rise

in the raising of

indeed,

in the

breeding of those animals

whose market value can never


moderate
price,

beyond a

certain

and

to

fit

which

for the

market the
are ser-

products of their great wheat and corn


viceable.

fields

Hence

it

comes about, that

in

swine and

beeves, and the lower-price horses.

New

England can

never compete with Ohio and


Texas.

Illinois,

Wisconsin and
quality for

When

horses of

good serviceable

family and team use can be shipped from Michigan to

Boston, and sold in our sale stables at a hundred and

seventy -five dollars per head, no Massachusetts breeder

can afford to raise colts of ordinary quality.


as the

So long

cost of transporting a horse


is less

from the West to

the seaboard

than the difference of the cost of


lie is

supporting him from the time

foaled to the time


afford

he

is

ready for the market,

New

England cannot

WHY
to

NOT FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL.


It
is,

79

breed low-priced animals.

therefore, only in

raising such animals as are of fine quality that

we

of

the Eastern States can find our reward.

Here

it is

that

we

see another reason

why

breeders have been unsuc-

cessful in their investments.

They have bred on the


to

level of too
ciple

low an average

make

it

pay.

The

prin-

on which they acted, that low-priced


colts, is

stallions

and

dams could produce high-priced


I

a false one.

wish the reader to observe, then,

that,

while I mainto yield

tain that

breeding can be made in

New

England

a liberal return for the

made

to

do

this save

money invested, it cannot be when it is conducted with knowlany other business


it

edge and understanding of those principles which insure


success.

In

brief, it is like

can be
it.

conducted successfully only by those

who understand
thing,
is

The
Jiow to

first

thing, in order to

do any

to learn

do

it.

CHAPTER

III.

BREEDING. HOW TO SUCCEED.


In the preceding chapter

we

discussed the subject of

breeding from a philosophical standpoint.

We

called

the reader's attention to the fact that the successful

breeding of any
of the one

class of animals
it,

demands, on the part

who

attempts

a most thorough knowledge

of the structure, temperament, and habits of those ani-

mals whose species he would propagate.

We

reminded

him

that the horse belongs to an order of animals of

high organization, both nervous and muscular,


as to

so high

be

easily

marked by those from which he descendorder to breed fine horses successfully,

ed

and

that, in

he must become a student of one of the most intricate

and

difficult

problems in natural

history.

We now

propose to point out some of the more paldetail.

pable means of success in

At the risk of reiteration, we would say to every young man in New England who is proposing in his own mind to raise a certain number of colts. Put yourself in the
80

way

of learning something of the business

BREEDING.

HOW

TO SUCCEED.

81
observa-

upon which you arc


tion

to enter.

To your own

add the observation of other men.


in the business.

Re-enforce

your own knowledge with the wisdom of those have grown gray

who

Above

all,

become a

student of the horse.

Obtain such books as you need to

inform your mind of the history, habits, and peculiarities


of the animal you admire.

Make

yourself familiar with

the history of the noted horses of your

own

country,

and

also of other lands.


size,

Make

yourself acquainted also

with their shape,

peculiarity of going, character of

their temperament,

and the ancestry from which they

sprang.

Study pedigrees, that you may know by the

union of what bloods, and the intermarriage of what


families, great results

have been obtained.

Study the

horse, not only with the eye^ but with the liajul
ger.

and

fin-

Make

yourself familiar with every joint and bone

and tendon.

Know
No

the horse in his skeleton, until

you
of

know

the place of every bone, muscle, and

member

his frame.

one ever knows a horse by merely lookwell.

ing at him
to

he must look through him as


the

Learn

distinguish

weak

points

and good points of a

horse at sight as an artist distinguishes a mere daub

from a finished picture

at a glance.
it

If

you intend
to

to

make breeding
until

a business,

is

good plan

engage

yourself to some practical breeder, and remain with

him
and

you have mastered the minutice of the


familiar with the

business,

become

hundred and one points of

interest that can

be learned only by actual service on a


will see, that, while I

brood-farm.

The reader

demand

82

THE PERFECT HOKSE.


is

no more than

universally admitted to

be the condido de-

tion of success in other branches of business, I

mand this and I lay it down as a its own penalty when transgressed,
;

law,

which executes

that he

who breeds
it

a horse while ignorant of the correct principles of breed-

ing will breed a


will

failure.

If

he ever make a success,

be based on no broader and surer foundation than


luck.
point, in the

mere

The second
make,
is

way

of suggestion, that I

this

Whoever wishes
There
is

to raise a fine colt

must

be willing

to put himself to a certain

amount of trouble

and expense.

an old saying, " that the gods

never drop nuts already cracked into men's mouths;" and it is the law which runs through the world, and puts
its

equal pressure upon

all,

that

the effort put


success.

forth

shall exactly

gauge the degree of


is full

Now,

the country

raise a five-hundred-dollar

men who are ambitious to colt, but who are at the same
of
five-hundred-dollar colt
it

time unwilling to be at any considerable trouble or ex-

pense to do

it.

They wish the


it

but they wish to get


cost

in such a way, that

shall not

them over

fifty

or seventy-five

dollars:

in other

words, they desire some three or four hundred per cent


return for the say that

money
it

invested.

It is needless for
is

me

to

such an expectation

futile.

In

the very

nature of things,
cause and effect

can never be realized.


against
it.

The law of
an
it

is

It is

not

difficult for
;

intelligent breeder to raise a five-hundred-dollar colt


is

not extravagant for such a person to expect to raise a

BREEDING.

HOW

TO SUCCEED.

83

colt,

which, at five years of age, shall


:

command
but
it

a thou-

sand dollars for every year of his age


attention,
sult.

costs time,

and considerable money,


ordinary

to insure such a re-

An

dam

will not

produce such a

colt.

An

ordinary stallion will not beget such an animal.

To
forth,

raise a

handsome and fast-moving

colt,

you must have

handsome and fast-moving parents

to bring

him

and favorable conditions of birth and culture such as money and intelligence can alone provide. Like produces like
;

and a fine-blooded
This
is

colt

must have fine-bloodits

ed parentage.
application.
for ten or

a law

and no one can escape

Stallions

whose service can be obtained


and mares of low blood and

twenty

dollars,

negative characters, can never beget or conceive such a


foal.

If

you are willing

to

pay

for a mare,

and

for the

service of a stallion, of the

needed character, and then


after the

are willing to bestow


foal is cast, the

upon the dam, before and

proper management, your expectation


otherwise not.

can be realized

Luck has nothing


desire.

to

do

with breeding.

Knowledge, and a wise use of means,

can alone secure you what you


this rule,

You
it,

can ignore

and

fail

you can comply with

and succeed.

The

election rests with yourself

I will

now proceed

to suggest certain facts,

and items

of information, of a character to assist the breeder in


his enterprise.
I say, suggest ; for

no statement which

may make
own mind,

is

supposed to be able to take the place of

thought on the part of the breeder.


reader, say

You must use your

what

or any one may.

My

84

THE PERFECT HORSE.


is

object, then,

to help

you

think, to stimulate

you

to

thoughtfulness, to

make you

a student of the question

yourself, rather than


tions I

impose upon you certain deducinsist

may have made, and

upon your accepting


is

them

as the ultimate truth.

Indeed, there
this

much
to

of

mystery hanging around

matter of procreation.

What What

is

this

power which shapes things yet

be?

is it

that dictates structure, temperament, destiny,


initial
?

causing the
fected result

germ

to

be prophetic of the perI

It is difficult to answer.
;
,

know

of no

one

who

has answered these questions

nor do I expect
contribution toI

to solve the

problem

I only

make my

ward the

fuller discussion

of the subject.

simply

propose to lay before the reader the conclusions which

my

mind, in examination of the subject, has already

reached, with the reasons therefor.

In addition to knowledge, certain means and


are needed in order to

facilities

make breeding
must be spent
is

a success.

Some

money, and more

care,

in the enterprise.

The

stall in

which the brood-mare

kept should be dry

and roomy.
sleeps

damp

stall,

where the mare stands and


any

on a manure-heap pervaded with the odor of


substances,
is

ammonia and decaying


sensible
ized,

totally unfit, as

man

can

see, for

an animal so sensitively organ-

and

in such a delicate condition.


stall in

The brood-mare
to stand

should have a good-sized

which

during

her pregnancy, and be well and warmly bedded, and in

every

way

well treated.

Not only humane impulse, but


to this.

pure

selfishness,

prompts the owner

In a narrow

BEEEDING.
kept, the

HOW
is

TO SUCCEED.

85

stall, ill

mare

liable to get " cast," and, in


its

her struggles, so displace the foal from


tion, that,

natural posi-

when

the time of foaling comes, the colt can


effort

be delivered only with the greatest


indeed
lost
it

and

pain, if

can be at
this

all.

Many brood-mares
alone.

are annually
that

from

cause

The worst accident

can happen to a brood-mare


''cast"
in

when
tie

in foal is this getting

her

stall.

It

should be
loitli

most

carefully
halter.

guarded

against.

Especially

a short
say,

The man who

"ties long," as

grooms

warn once;

and, if he does not heed your warning, discharge.

Have
in the

no mercy on him: such carelessness


fearful in its consequences, often, to

is

too gross and

be tolerated
I

management of valuable
one of

horses.

came near
in the

losing

my

finest

brood-mares, a thorough-bred from the

South, from this vicious

method of tying

stall.

The groom
rope

left

the halter so long, that,

when

she started

to get up, she reached one of her fore-legs over the


;

and there she was

In her struggles, the rope cut

into the fore-arm, tearing the hide

and

flesh

away from

the muscles, and causing a most ugly wound.

Good

treatment and a sound constitution in a state of entire


healthfulness

brought her out of the peril in safety


ties

but that groom never "

long "

now

Near the time of


previous,

foaling,

say

two or three weeks

the dam

should be put into a " breedingThis should be some twelve by

box "

or " foaling-stall."

twenty

feet in size, well strewn


;

with tan-bark, saw-dust

(dry), gravel, or sand

indeed, with any thing that will

8(3

THE PERFECT HOESB.


a
soft,

make

warm

bottom.

Over

this the
least.

straw-bedding
If the

should be strewn a foot deep at

mare

is

inclined to eat her bedding, put a muzzle on

her (an
;

ordinary wire
it

or splint

ox-basket will
fill

answer)

for

is

not wise to have the mare

her stomach with


should be
sides
level,

coarse feed at this time.

The

floor

and ''banked up" a

little

round the

and

in the

corners, lest in rolling, or perhaps in the act of foaling


itself,

the

mare should get over upon her back, or


cannot
;

doubled up in a corner in such a way as to embarrass


her.

Too much
this

care

be

exercised

by the

breeder at
thing

juncture

for

it is

the time

when every

may be lost by inattention and neglect. And I put it down among the necessities of a breeder's outfit,
that he construct a

good foaling-hox
I

for the mare,

and

attend to

the matter essentially as


is

have suggested.
I

Such a box

not necessarily expensive.

have seen

those that cost five hundred dollars, and others that did

not exceed fifteen

and, for

all

practical purposes, the

one was as good as the other.

The

conditions I suggest

are not those essential for ornament, but for safety.

Another matter of prime importance


this
:

to a breeder
?

is

How

far is

he from a good stock-horse


it is

Trans-

portation costs:

also perilous.

When

the writer

began

to breed,

he was compelled to transport his brood-

mares two hundred miles to be covered. He has seen half his stable of choice animals go rushing along through
the darkness and fog in a miserable old freight-car, at the rate of thirty miles an hour
;

and the sensation he

BREEDING.

HOW

TO SUCCEED.

87

experienced was not an agreeable one.


to see his property treated in that

man

dislikes
if it is

way, especially

property selected with care and at large expense, and of


a character not easily to be duplicated.
also, is considerable,

The expense,

and

eats into the profits disastrously.

presume

my

first

three colts cost me,

when weaned,

four hundred dollars each.

Even

at that price, it paid

but
the

it

lessened the per cent of profit decidedly.

Among
I

conditions

of

success

in

breeding,
local

therefore,

place this as a prime one,


access to
service
settled
is

nearness,

and easy
of his

desirable
less

stock-horse.

The
this

cost
is

of

account,

because

generally
;

by the reputation of himself and


But the distance of

his get

and

so the breeder shares in the profit of his

fame with the


from yours,

owner.

his stable
its

which includes transportation, with

attendant cost

and
&c.,

risks

the interruption

it

brings to your business,

these

must

be

carefully

considered
is

by the
two days

breeder, or he will find that his profit


colt is foaled.
is

gone before the

distance that he can drive in


;

of no great

advise

moment but farther than this I should no breeder who is breeding on business-principles,
To attempt
to

for financial profit, to go.

breed from a
is,

stock-horse at a great distance from your stables,


far as

so

my

experience and observation go, unwise, and

likely to result in loss.

Above
\s
*'

all, it is

folly to
it,

breed inferior stock.

Nothing

to

be made from

as mountains of testimony prove.

The

best or none " should be the motto of the Eastern

breeder.

88

THE PERFECT HORSE.


There are
otlier conditions of success to

be enumerated

but, as they relate

more

to the

knowledge derived from

the study of the horse himself than in the surroundings

and appointments of the establishment, they more natuto which we rally fall into another division of this work
;

now

invite the reader's attention.

Let us now consider

the principles that underlie successful propagation of the


horse,

and the elements needed

in either parent.

CHAPTER
THE
There are
ence of the
is

IV.

SIRE.

certain general views touching the influsire

on

his

stock,

which every one who


of.

intending to breed should be aware

There are

certain cautions

which

it

behooves every writer, who

attempts to give people instruction in the business of


breeding, to give frankly to his readers.
I propose,

therefore, in this division of the work, to enter into a full

discussion of the matter,

and give

my
on

ideas at length
his stock. In-

concerning the influence of the

sire

deed, as I have already sketched the outlines of a perfect horse,


acteristics

and described the

different points

and char-

which must distinguish such an animal, I now propose to sketch a perfect stock-horse, and there-

by supply my readers with a standard


have already done
in

in breeding, as I
short,

purchasing.

In

having

described a perfect horse, I will


in

now

describe the

way

which he can be propagated.

The

first,

and

to

my mind

the most essential fact to be


is,

borne in mind by a breeder

that the propagating

90

THE PERFECT HORSE.


or

principle
alike.

capacity does not inhere

in all stallions

It

does not follow that a

stallion,

however

per-

may be both in conformation and temperament, will make a good stock-horse, or prove a source of It is at this point profit to those who patronize him. that so many blunders are made, and from which so many failures result. At this point two roads diverge,
fect

he

one of which leads to success, the other to certain


ter.

disas-

How

essential, then, that

a warning and directing

hand should be

set

up

at this point, seeing

which no
!

breeder can be uncertain which path to take


fact is this, that in addition to

The

temperament and per-

fection of structure, over

and above desirableness of


propagate their most

nervous and muscular organization, there does exist


in

certain

horses

the

power

to

perfect points and characteristics, which other horses,

equally perfect in

themselves, perhaps
is,

do not have.

What

this

power
it,

or where
tell.

it

is,

or

how

the horse

comes by

no one can

It

cannot be implied:

nothing short of an actual demonstration can prove


that
it

exists.

It is this

which makes a
;

stallion

worelse

thy to be kept as a stock-horse


can.

and nothing

No
may

matter

how
colt

speedy,

how nor how


until,

beautiful,

nor

how

sound, nor

well connected in pedigree, a

be:

he should never be advertised to the

breeding public,

by
is

actual service with his

own
main-

brood-marcs, his owner


to reproduce his
tain that

made aware

of his capacity
I

own

excellences in his get.

any other course includes a fraud upon the

THE

SIRE.

91

public, in that he advertises as certain

what he knows,
;

or should know,

is is

extremely uncertain

for this repro-

ducing capacity

withheld by some strange freak or

unascertained reason of nature from most horses, and

bestowed only upon the few.


in a State, only

Out of a hundred

stallions

two or three ever become

justly famous.

The

strangest

and most unaccountable thing of the


is,

whole matter

that

many

horses for which the best


trial,

judges would surely predict success, prove, upon


lamentable failures; while others
less

esteemed become

heads of

families,

and

live

with increasing honor with


It

the birth of every generation of their descendants.


is

not from the winners of the

St.

Leger and the Derby


fastest

that

England has received her

stock.

These

winners, in cases numberless, were out of the loins of

horses

by no means

noted, but which gave to their sons


chil-

and daughters that which made both parent and


dren immortal.
Instances
;

too

numerous
is

to

mention

might be quoted
to require

but the principle

too fully admitted

argument and

illustration.

The

fact

stands

admitted, that, until a stallion has been actually tested


in the stud,
it

is

useless to predict

whether he

will

be

valuable as a stock-horse or not, and folly for the general public to

breed to him.

Among

the horses which excel in this peculiarity, at


list

the very head of the Justin Morgan.


horse,

may perhaps be
treatment

placed old
of
this

The reproducing
the

capacity

considering

he

received,

was

simply marvellous.

Unappreciated and abused half of

92

THE PERFECT HORSE.


life, it

his

was the merest

caccident that his value


at all
;

as a

stock-horse

was discovered

and even then he

was bred indiscriminately


least

to mares, unassisted
Still,

by the

intelligence in

the matter.

in

spite of all

obstacles

which neglect and ignorance opposed, the

reproductive faculty was so superlatively strong in him,


that he founded a family truer to the original type, and

more able

to protect itself

from the infringements of

foreign blood, than any family of horses, perhaps, that

the world has ever seen.

Whatever men may say


jyer
se,

for

or against the
his

Morgan horse

none can deny that

blood was strong enough to dominate over every


it

blood with which

was brought

in

contact.

No

matter to what mare he was bred, the offspring w^as


invariably a

Morgan

colt.

In outward conformation of

structure, in color, in

temperament, in style of action,


stable, the foal

and even habits of the


and act
like the sire.

grew up
this

to look

Not only was

reproductive
it

faculty strong in the old horse, but he transmitted


his sons
;

to

which

is

the highest form of


this

all

excellence in

a stock-horse.

Nor did

power

die out in one or

two generations, but continued on

like a stream

having

a constant source; and might have been prolonged,


doubtless, unto this day,

had not the State which had


this

been enriched and made famous by


descendants

animal and his

committed

financial

suicide

by allowing
en-

the family to be scattered, and the family type itself

bought away from


tire

it.

Not alone Vermont, but the

country were losers

when

the

Morgan family ceased

THE
to

SIRE.

93

have "a local

habitation,''

although

it

could never

cease to have

"a name."
this

In proof of the perpetuation

and continuity of gan


family,

reproductive faculty in the Mor-

even in our time, might be mentioned Ethan

Allen, sired

by Black Hawk

and Taggart's Abdallah,

whose grandsire was the famous Gifford Morgan,

per-

haps the most beautiful horse ever ridden at a military


parade.

Of the speed of

these

two famous

stallions

is,

the former of which has trotted a mile faster than any

horse that has ever lived, and the latter of which


in our opinion,

the

highest
shall

type of a stock-horse in

the

country
at

we
this

speak more fully hereafter.


say
that

Enough

point to

they are lineal

descendants from the original Morgan, and illustrate


the assertion which

we made

above.

As

a further

illus-

tration of this principle, if

any were needed, running

all

through the Morgan family, especially in case of the


male
colts, I

might mention Old

Morrill, grandsire

of

Draco, Mountain Maid,


celebrated Fearnaught.

Hiram

AYoodruff,
is

and the

justly

Here

another descendant

by a

direct line from Justin


;

Morgan, marked strongly


his colts

with the family type

marking

with the same

type, fighting bravely,

and maintaining himself against elements too, be the incoming of foreign elements,

it

said,

of the most potent character.


]\Iorrill

Look

at

the

pedigree of Old

as

exhibited in Table Y. of

the Supplement, and observe

how

the

Morgan blood

has to contend for the possession of the channel against


three currents that find their source in imported Dio-

94

THE PERFECT HORSE.

med, and three other streams that come pouring in


like a torrent

from imported Messenger


is

and yet the


odds

Morgan blood
against royalty,
blood, mingles

royal

enough
and

to

contend at

and takes the


it

six streams of
rolls

imported

with

itself,

along as calmly

and

as true to itself as before.

I trust I

am

not opin-

ionated; but I would ask.

What

other horse, imported

or home-bred, has ever founded a family able to per-

petuate

its

characteristics,

and defend

itself

against the

intrusion of foreign blood, as has the


is

Morgan? Where
his descend-

the imported Messenger type invariably true to itself?


is

Where
ants
?

imported Diomed, as discerned in


is

Where

imported Bashaw, out of whose trunk


all

the Clay branches have


horse, or family of horses,

sprung?

Where

is

any

whose type of outward con-

formation and temperament even have survived seventy


years of outcrossing and admixture
family do
?

The horse and


in

not

live,
is

reply.

The Morgan, and the


upon the pedestal

Morgan

alone,

worthy

to stand

answer to such an interrogation.

Whatever

else

he

lacked, neither he nor his descendants lacked or lack

the

power

to

reproduce
it

themselves.

It

is

for

this

reason that I give

as

my
in

deliberate opinion, that,

other things being equal, the stallion with the largest

amount of Morgan blood


best stock-horse.
It
is

his veins will

prove the

undoubtedly to the presence

of this blood in their veins that Fearnaught, Ethan

Allen and his son Lambert, Taggart's.Abdallah and his


descendants, and the Morrills of Vermont, are able to

mark

THE
their offspring with their

SIRE.

95

own

characteristics.

They
all

are indebted, every one of them, to their old ancestor,


Justin ^lorgan, for the possession of that rarest of
faculties in horses,

the

power

to

reproduce their

excellences,

and
if

which, derived from him, has

own won
all

them fame, and


live in

their

owners large incomes.

We

debt to-day to an animal which so


not
despise,

many

horse-

men

underrate,

but

which, in

our

opinion,

gave to the country more handsome,

docile,

serviceable,

and fast

horses, than

any animal America


dis-

ever had.
cussion,

But, leaving this topic for subsequent


to give

and we propose
maxim
hij

the reasons for our

emphatic assertion before


as the first

we

are done,

we lay

it

down

of intelligent breeding, that a stockhis stock rather than hy himself

horse is to he judged

and
to

that the stallion that gets the best colts is the best one

patronize.

But what
and how

is

it

that the sire gives to his descendants ?


in what,

far,

and

as

compared

to

the dam,

does he dominate over his offspring?

This, perhaps,

should be the next point for us to consider.

We

will

proceed to do so

premising,

at the

start,

that the

answer will

not, in all points,

be

full

or satisfactory.

Indeed, the processes ot Nature are often hidden, and


the springs of her influence concealed
;

nor can

man by
The

searching find them out.

Especially

is this

true in this
life.

matter of the causation and reproduction of


mists
infant

and vapors which geologists


world
in the creation period

tell

us swathed the
all

swathe

infant life

96

THE PERFECT HORSE.


It exists in
it is

to-day.

unknown
seen.

conditions and obscure

relations before

How much

the

boy owes

to

the father, and

how much

to the mother,

and how he
shaped

came
other,

to

owe

the same,

or more, to one than to the

we do

not know.

How much

nature

is

in

the

germ, independent of condition and circum-

stance, or

how much, on
affect the

the other hand, circumstance

and condition
speculate;

germ,

who

can say

We

can

we

can dogmatize:

but, while the created


its

mind
life,

is

ignorant of the processes of

own

creation,

in its origin

and pre-natal conditions, must remain


Before I express

largely a mystery.
will

my own

views, I

put before the reader the following principles of


''

breeding, as published in
dia,"

The Horse-Owner's

Cyclopae-

page

99,

and which have been highly indorsed by

no

less

an authority than the late Mr. Herbert (" Frank

Forester").

The author

says,

under the head of

THEORY OF GENERATION,
"1.

The union

of the sexes

is,

in all the higher ani-

mals, necessary for reproduction

the male and female

each taking their respective share.


"
2.

The office of the male


testes,

is

to secrete the

semen

in the in

and emit

it

into the uterus of the female,


it

or near

which organ
the
female,

comes

in

contact

with

the

ovum of
it.

which remains

sterile with-

out
"

3.

The female forms

the

ovum

in the ovary,

and

at

THE

SIRE.

97

regular times, varying in different animals, this descends


into the uterus^ for the purpose of fructification,

on

re-

ceiving the stimulus and addition of the sperm-cell of

the semen.
"
4.

tozoa^

two portions, the spermawhich have an automatic power of moving from


consists of

The semen

place to place,

by which
to

quality

it is
;

believed that the


sperm-cells^

semen

is

carried

the

ovum

and the

which are intended


the

to co-operat6

with the germ-cell of

*'5.

ovum in forming the embryo. The ovum consists of the germ-cell


embryo and
vessels
;

intended

to

form part of the

of the yolk^ which

nourishes both until the

of the mother take

upon themselves the

task

or, in

oviparous animals,
is

till

hatching takes place, and external food

to

be obtained.

The ovum
hence
semen.
''

is

carried

down by

the contractile

power of
;

the Fallopian tubes from the ovary to the uterus


it

and

does not require automatic particles like the

6.

The embryo,

or

young

animal,

is

the result of the

contact of the semen with the oviimj immediately after

which the sperm-cell of the former


germ-cell

is

absorbed into the


a tendency to
in-

of the
'

latter.
'

Upon

this

crease

or

grow

is

established

and supported

at first

by the nutriment contained


until the

in the yolk of the


itself to

ovum,

embryo has attached


it

the walls of the


its

uterus,

from which

afterwards absorbs

nourishment

by the
"7.

intervention of the placenta.

As THE MALE AND FEMALE

cacli

fumisli their

98

THE PERFECT HORSE.


to the

quota

formation of the embryo^

it is

reasonahle
it j

to

expect that each shall he represented in

which

is

found
emhryo

to he the case in nature,

But^ as the food of the


it

entirely

depends upon the mother,^

may

he

expected that the health of the offspring^


tional poioers^ will he

and

its constitu-

more in accordance with her


yet,,

state

than with that of the father :

since the sire furnishes

one-half of the original germ,,

it is

not surprising^

that,,

in external
FACSIMILE,
to

and general
a certain

character,,

there is retained

extent^

of him.
differs

"

8.

The ovum of mammalia

from that of birds

cliiefly in

the greater size of the yolk of the latter, beis

cause in them this body

intended to support the


full

growth of the embryo from the time of the


tion of the

forma-

egg

until the period of hatching.

On

the

other hand, in

mammalia

the placenta conveys nourish-

ment from the


entrance

internal surface of the uterus to the

em-

bryo during the whole time which elapses between the


of the

ovum

into the uterus

and

its

birth.

This period embraces nearly the whole of the interval

between conception and


tion.
*'

birth,

and

is

called utero-gesta-

9.

In all THE mammalia THERE

IS

A PERIODICAL
the
female,
in the
it

'iiEAT,'

marked by

certain discharges

in

and sometimes by other remarkable symptoms


male (as
is

in the rutting
all

of the deer).

In the former

accompanied, in

healthy subjects,
;

by the descent
in

of an ovum, or ova, into the uterus


is

and

both there

a strong desire for sexual intercourse, which never

THE
takes place
at

SIRE.

99

other times in them (with the

single

exception of the genus Dimana).

"10. The semen retains

its

fructifying

power

for

some

days

if it is

contained within the walls of the uterus or

vagina, but soon ceases to be fruitful if kept in any

other vessel.

Hence, although the


is

latter part of the

time of heat

the best for the union of the sexes, be-

cause then the

ovum
the

is

ready for the contact with the


first, it

semen, yet,
still

if

semen reaches the uterus

will

cause a fruitful impregnation, because

it

remains

there (or in the Fallopian tubes) uninjured until the

descent of the ovum.

"11. The influence of the male upon the embryo


partly dependent
tion of
also, in
its

is

upon the

fact that

he furnishes a por-

substance in the shape of the sperm-cell, but

great measure, upon the effect exerted upon the

nervous system of the mother by him.

Hence the
will, in

pre-

ponderance of one or other of the parents

great

measure, depend upon the greater or less strength of

nervous system in each.

No
;

general law

is

known by

which

this

can be measured

nor

is

any thing known of

the laws which regulate the temperament, bodily or

mental power, color or conformation, of the resulting


offspring.

"12.

Acquired qualities are transmitted, whether


sire or

they belong to the

dam

and

also

both bodily

and mental.

As bad

qualities are quite as easily transif

mitted as good ones,

not more

so, it is

necessary to

take care, that, in selecting a male to improve the stock,

100

THE PERFECT HORSE.


is

he

free

from bad points, as well as furnished with


It is

good
or

ones.

known by experience

that the

good
are

bad points of the progenitors of the

sire

or

dam

almost as likely to appear again in the offspring as those


of the immediate parents in

whom

they are dormant.

Hence, in breeding, the rule

is,

that like produces like,

or the likeness of some ancestor.

"13. The purer or less mixed the breed, the more


likely
it is

to

be transmitted unaltered
is

to the offspring.

Hence, whichever parent


generally

of the purest blood will be


in the offspring:

more represented

but as the

male

is

usually

more

carefully selected,
it

and of purer

blood, than the female,


erts

generally follows that he ex-

more

influence than she does; the reverse being

the case
sire.

when

she

is

of

more unmixed blood than the


injurious to mankind,
as

"14. Breeding 'in-and-in'

is

and has always been forbidden by the divine law,


well as
it

by most human

lawgivers.

On

the other hand,

prevails extensively in a state of nature with all gre-

garious animals (such as the horse),

among whom

the

strongest male retains his daughters and grand-daughters


until
rivals.

deprived of his harem by younger and stronger

Hence, in those of our domestic animals which


it
is

are naturally gregarious,


that breeding 'in-and-in'
is

is

reasonable to

conclude
it

not prejudicial, because

in conformity with their natural instincts, if not car-

ried farther

by

art than

Nature teaches by her example.

Now,

in nature,

we

find about

two consecutive crosses

THE
of the same blood
is

SIRE.

101

the usual extent to which

it is

car-

ried, as the life of the

animal

is

the limit

and

it is

remarkable

fact, that, in practice,

a conclusion has been

arrived at which exactly coincides with these natural


laws.
'

Once

in

and once out

'

is

the rule for breeding


for the

given by Mr. Smith in his

work on the breeding

turf; but twice in will be found to be more in accord-

ance with the practice of our most successful (early)


breeders.
*'

15.

The influence of the" first impregnation seems


:

to

extend to the subsequent ones


several experiments,

this

has been proved

by
the

and

is

especially

marked

in the

equine genus.

In the series of examples preserved in

Museum

of the College of Surgeons, the markings

of the male quagga,

when

united with the

ordinary

mare, are continued clearly for three generations beyond


the one in which the quagga

was the

actual sire

and

they are so clear as to leave the question settled without


a doubt.

"16.

When
is

some of the elements of which an

indi-

vidual sire

composed are

in accordance with others


in such

making up those of the dam, they coalesce


kindred

way

as to

make what

is

called 'a hit'

On

the

other hand,
is

when they

are too incongruous, an animal


is

the result wholly unfitted for the task he

intended

to perform."

The above

rules, or " principles " as the

author names

them, appear to

me

to

be

in the

main

correct,
;

and of

great value to the student of the question

but they do

102

THE PERFECT HOESE.

not supply that detailed knowledge required by the


breeder, nor are they sustained
fact

by such testimony of
desire.

and

illustration as

one might

The Arabs hold

that the

essential

portions

of the

body, such as the bones, tendons, nerves, and veins, pro-

ceed invariably from the


true that
eases,

sire

and

it

is

undoubtedly
dis-

the

shape of the bones, and nervous

and weaknesses of the bone-structure, are derived


I

principally from that source.


instance, a diseased

would sooner breed,

for

mare

to,

a healthy stallion, than a

healthy mare to a diseased


Certain
it

stallion.

is

that from the sire the colt

commonly
qualities

derives his nervous vigor,

and those moral


"

which serve
horse.

to distinguish
this

and ennoble the well-bred


maxim,

The Arabs have


has no vices
;

horse of noble
foal follows

race

"

and

also this, "

The

the sire."

With

this

estimation I do not

at

all

agree.

The

instances in

which the

foal

does not follow the

sire are
is

too numerous for us to allow that the Arabian

maxim

worthy of being regarded


inspection of

as a law.

Even a
stables

casual

my own

stables,

or the

of any

breeder,

would cause a grave suspicion

to arise in

any

thoughtful

mind touching the Eastern adage.

I have,

for instance, in

my

stables,

dams whose

foals invariably

resemble the

sire in size, shape, color, style


;

of going, and

even

in

temperament

and these mares are valued by


peculiarity.

me as almost beyond price, because of this / know beforehand what I shall get. On the

other hand,

THE
I

SIRE.

103

have two other mares whose

colts invariably

resemble

themselves, or some one of their parental ancestors.


true
is this,

So
what

that I can calculate before the foal appears

what he
he

will not be,

although

may
in

not easily

tell
;

luill be.

Such are the facts

my own

stables

and

they harmonize perfectly with the results of observation in

many

other breeding establishments.

The law
is

plainly suggested
that the

by inference from

these facts

this,

animal with the strongest

vitality

marks

the foal.

dam be most highly organized, then the foal will resemble the dam if the sire, then the foal will resemThis is the law, as we all know, in the ble the sire. human family if the mother be of nervous, sanguine
If the
;

temperament, and the father lymphatic and sluggish,


the child will take after the mother
;

if

the conditions

be reversed, the
there

result will

be the reverse.

Exceptions
firm, vindi-

may be and
its

are

but the law stands

cating

truth with each successive generation.


this

am
it

bound, nevertheless, to say that

law does not hold

good

in cases

where we should naturally expect


:

would.

To

illustrate
is

According

to the law,

when

low-blooded mare
foal

bred to a thorough-bred horse, the


sire
;

should resemble the

but, alas

too often he

does not.

On

the other hand, according to the law, a

blooded-mare bred to a low-blooded horse should bring


forth a colt like herself
then,
;

but neither
I

is this true.

What,

becomes of the law?


;

confess that I do not

know

nor have I been able to find in the works of any


Practically

author a satisfactory answer to the puzzle.

104

THE PERFECT HORSE.

although I cannot philosophically account for


erence,

my
sire,

preffar

yet

practically^ I say,

we know

that

it is

better to have a high, fine organization in the


let the

and

low organization,
side of the

if it

must

exist in either parent,


fact
is,

be on the

dam.
;

The

both parents
this

should be highly organized

and any thing short of

introduces uncertainty as to what the result of the ex-

periment

Avill

be.

The only

infallible rule

the best

statement ever given touching the reproduction of any

form of

life

was

published by
said,
''

God

himself in his

inspired word,

when he

Let the earth bring


This, never-

forth the living creature after


theless,

Ms IdndP

bring the power must be observed, hy Ms kind we mean personal Ms hind does not resemblances rather than generic
that
to

forth after

if

attributes

belong to the horse as a race, but to the horse as an


vidual
;

indi-

for, as

we have

already pointed out in the case


excel-

of Justin Morgan, this faculty of reproducing


lences
is

individual, to the

and not general.

And

so

we
in
viz.,

come back

same observation previously made

regard to what constituted a valuable stock-horse,


that the best horse
is

he,

who, being good

in himself,

most surely and closely reproduces himself


spring
;

in his off-

and
lolien

to this formula should

now be added

the

words,

bred

to the

mares of

the greatest variety of

form and temperament.


tion
to

Let

us, then,

turn our atten-

the

consideration

and enumeration of those

attributes, which,

being possessed, render a horse unfit

for

stock-purposes.

The

first

we have

already men-

THE
tioned,

SIRE.

105

the

inability to

reproduce themselves.
is this,

second point to be observed

avoid

The

A LOW-BRED STALLION.
This term "low-bred"
is

not a mere technical term, a

creation of a ring of horsemen, but represents

some-

thing solid and tangible to the understanding.

A low-

bred horse

is

faulty in his bone-structure, vicious in his

temper, sluggish in action, and lacking in those higher


qualities

such
I

as

courage,

docility,

and beauty

which distinguish a well-bred


describes his
ancestry,

horse.

The term

also

and

links
to
is

a base result with

base causes.

do not wish

be understood as saying
invariably worthy of the
out, only

that a thorough-bred stallion

stud;

for, as I
is
:

have already pointed

then one

but while the thorough-bred

now and may be, or

may not be, a low-bred brute never is. Beware of nothing so much as a low-bred stock-horse. His services cannot
be offered so cheap, that they
dear
;

will not, in the end,

prove

because the colts from such a horse,

when ready
have cost the

for the market, will bring less than they

owner

to raise them.

No

stallion

without a good sound

pedigree should ever be patronized.

The law
in

in respect to this matter

is,

that the foals will,

most

cases,
;

resemble the father, or some precedent

ancestor

in either of

which cases the


It

result will

be

equally unfortunate.

cannot be denied that the

characteristics of ancestors

do continue, ever and anon,


:

to re-appear in their descendants

and hence,

in breed-

106

THE PERFECT HOKSE.

ing horses, pedigree

that

is,

the character not only of

the parents, but also of grandparents and great-grand-

parents

becomes worthy of
dam and
sire
felt

close attention

and when
be good,
little

the pedigree of

both
it

is is

known

to

and they themselves are good,


fear

evident that

may be
if

touching the character of the


his

foal.

For

he resembles

immediate parents, or

if,

skip-

ping these, he appears stamped with the impress of some


ancestor, the result must, in either case,

be the same.

This

it is

which gives

to the pedigrees their value in the


It

eye of the breeder.


failure, to

guarantees him against total

say the least;

and insures a greater success

than the quality of the immediate parents would per-

haps make possible.

But,

if

a horse without a pedigree

should never be patronized, the breeder should bear in

mind
I

that a

good pedigree does not make a good


not worthy of the least attention.

horse.

have known animals, with a pedigree as long as your

arm,

who were
first
;

Find
if

the horse

then examine the pedigree

and

they

correspond, and mutually sustain each other, then pur-

chase

for

you have met an animal greatly

to

be desired.

Remember

always, that none save the highest types of a

family can be expected to reproduce the valuable characteristics of the family.

Because a
it

stallion

was

sired

by
is

Rysdyk's Ilambletonian,

does not follow that he


for a stock-horse
;

worthy of being bought or kept


yet,

and
fiiirs,

with

many

of our committees at agricultural

the fact that a colt


is

was

sired

by a Rysdyk's Hambletonian
attention

enough

to secure for

him both

and the

prize.

THE

SIBE.

107

VICIOUS STALLIONS.
all

Especially I

would urge

breeders to avoid vicious


that a stallion
is

and
less

irritable seed-horses.

The idea
is

amiable than a gelding


in

both contrary to nature


with

and observation, and,


to this country.

common

many

other

erroneous opinions resulting from ignorance, confined

An
I

irritable

temper and a vicious

dis-

position are hereditary

superlatively so

it

in horses as

well as in men.
for fretfulness

know

families that
spirit

have been noted


for
:

and ugliness of

generations.

Viciousness seems to be the family

mark

comes down
So
it

from

sire

to son in uninterrupted sequence.

is

with horses.

vicious
;

sire

begets

a vicious

colt.

Exceptions there
main.
I

may be have known a


hard

but the law holds good in the


seed-horse at death leave the

county where he stood


intractable, fretful,

full

of ugly brutes
;

they were
bite,

to teach

they would rear,


docile

and

kick.

You

could never

make them

and
I

kind: they were unpleasant and dangerous.

Now,

hold that no one should breed to such a horse.


perfection

No
in-

of

muscle

and frame,

no

high-sounding
turf,

pedigree, no marvellous record on the


fluence

would
horse.

me

to

put one of
colts in

want no vicious
ble, docile,

my mares to such a my stalls. None but


This rule
it

an amia-

kindly-disposed animal should be selected


is

for service in the stud.

of special impor-

tance to the breeder, as

is

directly related to the


to

successful sale of his colts.

Gentlemen do not wish

108

THE TERFECT HORSE.


fretful,

buy an uneasy,
tain

and

fractious thing.
to train
risk

It is uncer-

and dangerous business


There
is

and teach such an


it.

animal.

too

much

about

Nothing ador

vertises a family of colts so badly as viciousness,

that fickleness, or irritability of temper, bordering close

upon

it.

Seeing that
I

this
it

matter

is

clearly within one's

control,

hold that

is

a high misdemeanor in a
colt.

breeder to breed a vicious

He

has no right to

introduce a force into the world which


easily

man

cannot

and
if
is

safely

manage.
stallion,
is

But,
neither

one has no right to breed to a vicious


it

wise for him to breed to one


state.

when he
more

in

an

artificial
life is
is

will

explain

this

fully.
life

When
takes

propagated in the animal kingdom, the


the product of the union of two lives,

produced
its

and

character from the character of the parental

source.

The

foal is a representative
sire

of the sire and


as they

dam
its

both,

and of the

and dam, not

might

have been, but as they actually were


conception.
is

at the

time of

Not alone the general health of the


transmitted to the offspring, but the parlife

two parents
ticular habit

and mood of

in

which they then were.


states

The nervous and temperamental


were transmitted
the case of
also.

and conditions
as,

Hence

it

comes about, that

in

human

species, the

babe conceived

in drunk-

enness

is

apt to be idiotic, and in other respects imbecile

so the foal conceived

when

the sire and dam, or either,


state, will

were
into

in

an unnatural, excited, feverish

come

the world sensibly affected and

weakened from

THE
this cause.

SIBB.

109

The

influence of the nervous state on the

offspring of the

human

family

is

well understood

and

not alone of the nervous

state,

but of the state of the

blood, the condition of the bones and muscles: these


are regarded as potential in their influence on the
life

destined to be born.
sidered
tion

These things have not been conclose atten-

by breeders of the horse with the


;

which they deserve

but he

who
is

has observed

how
to

high the organization of the horse


influences

will see that these

must be duly regarded by one who seeks

breed the perfect horse.


the parents
sire are,
is

The law

is,

that the state of

the state of the child.

As

the

dam and
when
in

so will the foal be.


:

Fevered parents beget

fevered children

this is the rule.

Now,

horses,

training for the turf, or engaged in actual contests, are


in a

most

artificial

state:

their nervous system,


;

their

blood and stomach, are in an unnatural condition


are

they
is

strung up,

excited,

inflamed.

How

true this

may be

seen from the

fact, that,

when they have passed


if

through the grand preparation, they often get sick


the race for any reason
their trainer,
is

deferred.

They, as well as
is

know

that a great occasion


to figure
;

to

come

oft'

in

which they are

and they are uneasy and

excited until the great feat has been done or attempted.

Moreover,
track
to

it

should be remembered that training and


stuff"

work take

out of a horse.
;

The animal

is

able

do one great deed

but

this ability has

been secured

at the

expense of a great constitutional disturbance.


inter-

The normal, healthy course of nature has been

110
rupted, and

THE PERFECT HORSE.

made subordinate

to another consideration.
affects the

Now,

all this,

continued season after season,

animal most injuriously.

He may
force has

not actually break down; but the reserve


his stamina impaired.

been drained away, and


a stallion
condition,

Now,

let

thus

superficially in

the
fact

highest
in

possible

but latently and in


sire,

an

impaired condition, become a

and the

foal will

share, not the original constitutional characteristics of

the horse, but those artificial peculiarities introduced

by

his public career

and training

therefor.

Hence

it

comes about, that few horses of either sex noted for their public performances have ever become the parents
of horses good as themselves.
the foals of these horses not

Hence
only
fall

it

happens that
short

of that

degree of excellence which their parents had, but are


actually,

and

in

many

cases fatally, crippled in force, or

made
ing to
great

heirs of an evil inheritance.

Ethan Allen,

for in-

stance,

a horse of superb bone-structure, and belong got a a family noted


for constitutional vigor,
:

many

colts

with feeble legs

he bred

his high-

fevered, artificial state into them.

Many

of his colts
;

have been unpleasantly nervous and excitable

to drive

which was a task and a


fact
is,

risk,

rather than a pleasure.

The

no stock-horse should ever be trained

for a race,

or gotten into abnormal state or condition of health or

mood.
quiet,

He

should be kept in a healthy, normal


all his

state,

and with

powers and

faculties in

even poise.

The severe

training to

which

colts

intended to be kept

THE
for the stud are

SIKE.

Ill

put between the ages of two and six

years

is

one of the greatest obstacles in the way of


;

breeding sound and perfect horses


stinting
is

and the habit of

mares

to

such horses, on the part of breeders,


It is the surest

unmitigated

folly.

way

of commit-

ting hari-kari in breeding that I


therefore,
is.

know of

My

advice,

Avoid

stallions kept,

or that have been


to

kept, for the purposes of the turf,


stalHons of
action,

and put your mares

good pedigree which show good


to trot, say, a mile in 2.40,

trotting-

able

ble disposition, of undoubted constitutional

soundness, and in a natural


if,

state.

of amiavigor and Such a horse


will

in addition to these other quaUties,

he have the power


a good,
safe,

to transmit

them

to his offspring

prove

reliable stock-horse.

His colts will be healthy, strong,


will

and vigorous.

They

have lasting legs and lungs,


''

stomachs able to digest food without the help of


dition

con-

powders," and tempers

fine,

but reliable as a

Damascus blade.
have gone
far,

Breed

to such a horse,

and you

will

in so doing, along the


this caution
:

road of success.

Furthermore, suffer

Never breed

to a

horse because he has a high-sounding, fashionable name,

with

corresponding pedigree attached.

It

is

as-

tonishing
Morrills

how many Fearnaughts and Abdallahs and


and Hambletonians there
are.

Perhaps the
All over

last-mentioned

name

is

abused the most.


will find

New

England and the country, you


this

Hambleto the

tonian

and Hambletonian that advertised

breeding pubhc, that are not worth, for stock-purposes,

112
the

THE PERFECT HORSE.


bedding they stand
on.

Big-headed, big-legged,
satire

but-ended things, they point the

on human

cre-

duUty that could be persuaded into breeding even a


third-rate

mare

to them.

The

fact

is,

the Hambletonian
as
it
is,

family,

great and worthy

of patronage

is

worthy of patronage only


sentatives.

in the case of its finest repre-

If

Dexter had not been

castrated,

he would

have been about


but his temper
;

my idea of a
and
:

stock-horse in every thing


to think that that
is

am inclined

was

naturally excellent

but Dexter

the result of that

one especial cross with a star-mare which Hambletonian


^^hit" well with.

son of the old horse with a starits

mare, or indeed any thorough-bred mare, for


generally speaking, a
fact that

dam,

is,

good horse

but

it is

a notorious

Old Hambletonian (Rysdyk's) does not cross


;

well with the average run of mares

neither do his sons.

With the
If this

exercise of proper discrimination in respect to


;

the dam, this family of horses does well


is

if not,

not.

true as regards the finest types of the flimily,


in reference to the coarser

what must be the chance


specimens
?

I reply.

No

chance at

all

and

look
to

upon

it

as

most unfortunate

for the country,

and sure

result in the disgrace of the family,

erly guarded, migh],

endure

indefinitely,

whose fame, prop many


that so

of the third-rate colts of this horse's get are


advertised for the stud.
is

With a great

now being many people it


;

enough that a horse

is

a son of Hambletonian
it is

failing

to

make

the distinction, that

better to breed to the

most perfect specimen of a poor family than to the

THE
inferior

SIRE.

113

specimens of the best

families.

These people

cannot be persuaded that a name does not make a


horse.

But they
silly

will find this out to their cost after a

few years of

experimenting in a direction in which

experimenting has already been conducted to a demonstration.


I

would here

reiterate the truism, that a pedi;

gree does not

make

a horse

and that a string of noble

names

is

of no

account in breeding, unless a noble


it.

animal stands at the end of

Look

at

the horse

before you pay any attention to his pedigree.

wise

man may have


worthy of him.
stallion

a fool for a son

and a great horse


foal

improperly crossed will often get a

in

no sense
because a
will

Those
to

who

expect,

that,

happens

be half-brother to Dexter, he

necessarily get colts that will

grow up

to rival Dexter,

represent in

their

mental structure a most unhappy

cross themselves.

The

rule

is,

that the foal will re-

semble the immediate parents

the exception
:

is,

that

he will resemble the remote ancestor

and those who

breed to a poor specimen of a family, expecting that the


colts will

be

like the
sire,

founder of the family, and not like

the immediate

are breeding in the face and eyes


Select a stock-horse

of this prime maxim.


in himself

who

is

great
in his

and

his ancestry,

and not noble only

parentage, and you will be following the rule which the

law of nature and the evidence of


indorse as correct and imperative.
this

all

observation
that

The moment

law

is

apprehended and obeyed by the people, a


stallions

great

many

great

only in the greatness of

114
their sires

THE PERFECT HORSE.

which
pubhc
for

are
will

now being
go
:

offered

as

stock-

horses to the
dogs,
to

to the string-team or to the

where they belong


;

and

it

makes no

difference

which

they are absolutely worthless for the pur-

poses of the stud.

Concerning the proper age of service, authorities


differ,

and men disagree.


;

Every one has a right

to his

own views
exists

but

am

disposed to think, that, the ex-

tremes of age and youth being avoided, no difference


in

the value of the

get.

Many

are

strongly

prejudiced against breeding to young stallions before

they have reached full maturity, and become


seasoned," as they say
;

''

thoroughly

but the

facts

show

that

some of
colts.

the best horses ever foaled were sired

by mere

As

a matter of interest, and as a case in point,


at

we

give

below the ages


foals
:

which Hambletonian got

his best

when Hambletonian was two years old. Volunteer when he was four, Edward Everett when he was five. Dexter when he was eight, Bruno when he was eleven, Sentinel when he
Alexander's Abdallah was got

was twelve. Jay Gould when he was


and Aberdeen when he was
he was seventeen.
sixteen,

fourteen, Gazelle

and

Startle

when

Here are horses


seventeen
;

sired all the

way from

tivo

years to

and certainly none would say that the old


stallion-colt, or

horse

ever got a better

one that has


sire,

reflected, in the main,

more honor upon the


Aberdeen
is

than

Alexander's Abdallah.

a noble horse, but

THE
no better than Volunteer

SIRE.

115

Jay Gould is remarkable

but

Edward Everett is Allen, if my memory


old

equally noted.

The dam of Ethan


I

serves me, was twenty-four years

when

she dropped

him

and yet

might mention
little

others as famous after their kind as the


lion,

bay

stal-

whose dams were


prejudice,
stallions,

fillies

of three or four years.

The

therefore,
is

against

breeding mares to

young

not warranted

by

facts.
is

No

horse

can reach maturity, perhaps, before he


years of age
colts
;

eight or ten

and many horses have

sired their grandest


It
is

long before they came to that age.


that

also

known

many

of the most talented


first

men and women


;

of the world were the

or last born of their parents


in

and that

in

no respect are those born

middle age,

when the physical and mental powers of the parents may be said to be in the state of high development, Nor does it seem superior to the earlier or later born. to injure in any way the colt to serve a reasonable
number of mares,
in his third year,

in his second year,


;

from

five to ten

from ten to twenty


:

in his fourth year,

from twenty to thirty


the line of safety.

this I

hold to be well within

colt well

put together, and fed


not, in

and exercised
injured

judiciously,
service,
is

would

my

opinion,

be

by such
life

but rather improved.

At

this

time of

he

manageable, and can be educated to

cover the mare properly, and in gentleness of fervent

but controlled

desire,

and not

in the frenzy of wild

and

savage license.

The proper education of a high-bred


purposes of the stud
is

stallion-colt for the

the duty, as

116

THE PERFECT HORSE.

it

should be the ambition, of every owner.


is

fractious,

lawless, violent horse

a disgrace to the head

groom
by a

and the

stable.

A horse that cannot be


to serve a mare.

controlled

word

is

not

fit

The

squealing, plun-

ging, savage sort are unfit for public service,

and should

be avoided by the breeder.

In addition to the fact that


life

they endanger the health and


impress her unfavorably
have, as I hold,
;

of the mare, they also

and these parental impressions


do with the
birth,
life

much
is

to

and character

of the

foal.

Every fortunate

over which the Fates

smile propitiously,
intercourse, to

the result of fervent but amiable

which either parent yields with gladness,


an insane and brutal act from
fly in fear

and not the

result of

which the female seeks to


I

and

terror.

And

hold

it

to

be a law written

in the

very nature of

things, that a violent,

ungovernable

stallion is unfit for

the purposes of the stud.


stint their

When

breeders refuse to

mares

to such brutes, they will disappear,

and

not before.

The owners of such

creatures can only be

reached through the pocket.


they feel the force
violent stallions alone,
ones,
of,

Mercenary considerations
others.

and none
their

Let these

and

owners

will get better

and not before.


state of the stallion's health at the time
:

Touching the

of service, this should be said

It

should be perfect
kind,

and perfect health


remind the reader,
not a hog
;

in

the

horse

allow

me
horse

to
is

is

not shown by fatness.


state
it

and that

which types the excellence of


Fat
stallions are

the one does not type

in the other.

THE
unfit stallions to

SIRE.

117

breed

to.

stock-horse should,
at

by

judicious exercise and dieting, be kept

just that
at

point at

which the nervous and muscular forces are


It is astonishing

the flood.

how much

exercise a stock-

horse can take, and keep improving in his nervous and

muscular condition
miles a day
is

all

the while.

not generally too


:

From ten to twenty much work during the


their condition will

covering season

with

this

amount

be superb.
will

What

a coat, what eyes, what limbs, they


little like

have

How

a pig, and

how much
stall
!

like a

horse, they will look

when
*

led from the

horse

thus treated will also be a sure foal-getter.

Half of the

mares he served will not be returned upon him the


next season.
Indolence on the part of the
is

sire

during

the covering season


I

the curse of

American breeding.
fat as swine,

know

stallions in

New

England that are


mile,

and are rarely driven a

but stand day after day in

sluggish, vigor-sapping idleness.

What

colts
?

can you

expect from horses kept in such a condition


I

have already given

my

views as to the degree of


but
I

influence derived from either parent;


here, that I

may

say

would never breed a mare

to a stallion with

the

expectation of getting a trotting-colt, unless the

stallion

could

trot.

The

trotting -action
sire,

seems to be
is

peculiarly the gift of the

'provided that he

not

weak

in

those nervous and constitutional forces which

enable him to repeat himself in his offspring.

horse

with trotting-action, but weak in vital


apt to transmit his

force, will

not be

way

of going, or any thing else of

118

THE PERFECT HORSE.


you may expect
I

himself; but, other things being equal,

that the sire will give his action to his colts.

might

mention horses remarkable for

this,

horses

that
it

mark
is

their colts so decidedly with their action, that


sufficient to designate their parentage.

alone

Such a

horse, if

his style

of going

is

good,

is

invaluable to the breeder.

I emphasize "style of going," because

many

stallions

that trot,

and

trot fast too,

do not

trot loell

Consider-

able speed can and does often co-exist with a faulty


action
;

and

this

should be noted.
is,

great
too

many

stal-

lions trot too

wide ; that
is

they have

open a
:

gait.

Such an action
necessary, as
all

faulty

and the reason

is this

It is

admit, that, in speeding, the action of

the hind-legs should be wide enough to allow the feet


to pass outside of the forward-legs.
ble.

This

is

indispensa-

But

it

should be borne in mind that every inch


effort,

of lateral action requires exertion, costs

and ex-

hausts strength; and that the horse should be gaited,


therefore, so as to

lutely necessary in
for every inch
sary,

"open up" no wider than is absoorder to get safely by his fore-legs


beyond
this is unneces-

of side-action

and a source of exhaustion, when every ounce of


is
is

strength

needed

to bring

him home
line^

in time.

What
and he and

we want
is

motion in a straight

or as near a straight

line as the circumstances of the case will

permit
to

the best horse

who "spreads" enough

go

clear

free,

and stops

there.

I hold, therefore, that these over-

wide-gaited horses are of faulty action.

They and

their

get show excellently on the exercise-ground, or

when led

THE
at our fairs

SIRE.

119

up and down before the judges' stand

to the

halter; for they literally

make

a great spread, attract the

popular eye, and enable every fool to see that they

have got

trotting-action.

But these

colts that trot so

wide, that they could trot with a flour-barrel between


their legs,

do not

trot so well, I notice, at the

end of the

heat as they do at the beginning, and are generally

found at the wrong side of the distance-posts at the


conclusion in
fifth heat.

a well-contested race of the fourth

or

have a
clip

stallion in

mind, as I write, that trots a threeis

minute
his

perfect gather without "opening up"


so
"

his knee-action,

and quick

is

at

all,

but that can

"

open up

enough

to
it is

show

his heels to

many

wider-

gaited horses,

when

necessary to get his nose to the

judges' wire quicker than 30 sec.


the
first

And, what he can do


fifth,

heat,

he can keep on doing the


all

sixth, or

seventh heat, or
is,

day, for that matter: and the reason


side-a,ction^

because he does not waste any force by


;

but

delivers his strokes in a straight line

and every inch of

movement brings him an inch nearer home. And this is the style of horse that will invariably win when the contestants are

many, the race a close one, and endurance

every thing.

Now, the

colts of this horse

resemble their

sire in this their style

of going.
all,

When
or very

led to the halter,


little,

they do not "open out" at

because the

groom cannot make the pace


the need of effort
;

fast

enough
if

for

them

to feel at the

and

doubt

many judges
as

New-England

fairs

would ever regard them

worthy to

120

THE PERFECT HORSE.


for prizes

compete
action.

among

colts of the wide-going, Morrill

But when these

little

trappy, quick-stepping

fel-

lows are grown up, and happen to be called Dauntless


or

Ned Wallace,

the backers of the Morrill and

Tom

Jef-

ferson stock find that they

have trotting-action enough


have them get home.

to get them round to the wire about two lengths quicker

than

it

was

for their interest to


to a

must confess

growing
it

dislike to this excessive

wide

action of the hind-feet:

may

impress the crowd, and

secure purchasers from that large

number of people who

never reason upon any thing, but

who buy

a horse, as
it

the drunken sailor bought his ladder, " because


well ventilated
;

was so

"

but to

me

it

argues weakness or faulty

construction where both are fatal to the highest form of


success.

While, therefore, I would breed to no stallion


not a trotting-gait, I should not be especially

who had
is

attracted to one noted for " wide action " as the phrase
;

and

if this

width of action

is

associated, as

is

often

the case, with slowness of gather,


feet

to

that

is,

if his

hind-

went very wide

apart,

and staid under

the sidhj

good while,

would not breed


is

him anyway.
:

This

tardiness of gathering

a bad feature in a horse

a slow-

gathering horse will never trot fast, no matter


his gait, or

how open
stride

how long his

stride.

have seen horses

a distance of seventeen feet better than a 2.50 gait.

when they were not

trotting

These slow-gathering horses


;

are generally long-backed horses

and horses with long

backs, unless splendidly developed over the loins, are

apt to gather slowly.

The power

to bring their feet

up

THE

SIRE.

121

from under the sulky with a twitch, and shoot them

ahead

as the

arrow

is

shot out of a bow,

is

not in them.

Select a stallion short in the upper line, and long in the

lower

line,

strongly coupled over the hips, and the

dis-

tance between the hip-bones and spine-bone swelling

with ridges and masses of muscle that you can see play

and work

like great pulleys

when

taking their exercise,


will stride far,

and you

will get colts

from him that

and
say
is

gather like lightning.

As

to the height

and

size, I

unhesitatingly, that the perfect horse in these respects

one that stands

fifteen

hands and two inches high


fifty

(sixty-

two
This

inches),
is

and weighs ten hundred and


;

pounds.

the standard of perfection

an inch either way in


:

height, or fifty

pounds

in weight, is allowable

but for

speed and endurance, for the purposes of general driving,

and

for the track, and, therefore, for the

purposes

of breeding, no stallion should weigh less than a thousand, or

more than eleven hundred pounds; neither


used to be thought, that for the

should he stand higher than sixty-three inches, nor

lower than

sixty.

It

purposes of the track, and in order to be good weightpullers, large-sized horses

were indispensable

but when

men saw

Flora Temple, barely tipping eight hundred


great stallion
in at the wire

pounds, pull the same weight as the

George M. Patchen, and get her nose


a
little

quicker than he could, heat after heat, they had


their favorite theory.

to

go back on

Theory and specu-

lation are excellent in their place

and way

but they

are useless

when put over

against the logic of facts;

122

THE PERFECT HORSE.


fact
is,

and the

that the best weight-pullers


first

of

the

country, since the

trotting-race
size,

was made, have

been horses of medium


under-sized.

and, in

many

cases,

even

Many

illustrations of this I

might

offer in

way

of proof
if

Now,

horses of this weight and size can do

all

that

any of the horse-kind can do,


regarded as the model horse
;

why
is,

should they not be


the size and weight

that

with which the Creator has associated the greatest speed

and endurance?
proof of strength.
less

Nor, indeed,

is

excessive weight a

Old Justin Morgan, when weighing

than nine hundred pounds, would pull a log heavier

than any twelve-hundred-pound horse that could be

found in the States of Maine and Vermont.

He would
men
all
?

not only pull a log that these heavier horses could not

even

start,

but pull
it.

it

with two heavy


facts, is

sitting

astride of

In view of these

not

weight

above the standard suggested excessive weight


it

Does

not burden a horse, endanger his limbs, imperil his

feet,

and detract materially from

his general value?

The
speed

Hambletonian and Morrill

stock, because of the

and general excellence of

their get, set the fashion,

and

caused large-sized horses to be eagerly sought for and

demanded, and the Morgan family of horses


spised as undersized.

to

be de-

But

this

was only an

accident,

and the fashion of an hour.


ing and use,

After twenty years of breed-

we know
know

that

heavy horses cannot stand

work on our paved avenues and stone-bedded roads


and we
also

that they can neither trot faster, nor

THE

SIRE.

VZo

stay longer, than the ten-hundred or ten-hundred-andfifty

pound

horse.

My

advice, therefore,
;

is,

to

breed

from a medium-sized
the size of your

stallion

and, if

you wish

to enlarge

colts,

get the extra size by a cross with

large-sized mares.

do not say that

this is the indis;

pensable way; but


I therefore

it is

the better way, as I judge


it.

and

recommend

This matter of crossing naturally introduces the vexed


question, "

What
it

shall

we

cross with

? "
it

The matter of
can be found

blood

what

symbolizes,

and where

and
the

of in-breeding comes before us naturally at this


;

point for discussion

and we

will here

group together

what we have

to say, choosing for our general caption

word
THOROUGH-BRED.
over the country, from Maine to California, in
this

All

every State where horses are bred,

word

is

being

spoken
verbal other
on,

in hot debate.
strife

It

has been the cause of more

among breeders and horsemen than any


;

word

in the dictionary

and

still

the fight goes

and with varying

fortune.

The advocates and oppostal-

nents of breeding trotting-mares to thorough-bred


lions,

and

vice

versd^

have their alternate successes.


is

One
fit

will say,

"Nothing but a thorough-bred mare


stallion."

to

breed to a good

Another will deny that


cross.

a trotter can be got from such a


declare,

One

will

"We

must warm up our cold-blooded mares


thorough-bred horses, in order to give

by breeding

to

game^ and power to stay a distance, to the colts."

124

THE PERFECT HOESE.


will point

Another
drifted

you

to a

dozen horses that have

up

to the cities

from the barn-yards of Maine,

as Dutchman the or been bought out of string- teams, about whose pedigree nothing was Wonderful was,

known, and of some of which nothing


this day, that

is

known up
is

to

were able
is

to trot fast,

and

trot all day,

and

say,

"If that
for me.''

low blood, then low blood

good

enough

Then

there

is

another

class,

who

are neither ignorant

nor prejudiced,

who doubt
all,

the expediency of breeding

to running-stock at gait
is

on the ground that the running-

so opposite to the trotting-gait,


itself,

and
it

at the

same

time so strong and true to

that

cannot be overfoal

come

in the cross,

but will remain dominant in the


will find, that, in

and that the breeder

breeding in the

running-gait, he has bred out the trotting-action.

To

this

view

give assent
trial in

and

my

opinion

is

based

both upon actual


observation of

my own
stables.

stables,

and upon

many

other

hold that a

thorough-bred mare of running-action will very rarely

produce a
stallion,

foal of trotting-action
I

when bred

to a trotting-

or vice versa.

hold that two styles of going,

so unlike, cannot
rents,

harmonize.

Like two hostile curstand-still.

they fight each other, and come to a

The

colt is neither a trotter

nor a runner.

He

is

an
is

excellent, stylish roadster


all.

and saddle-horse; and that

He

is

a good horse for

many
it

purposes, but not


This,

such a horse as the breeder desired and expected.


I say, is

my
I

opinion.
it.

thrust

offensively

upon no

one

but

hold to

THE

SIRE.

125

The question
tance
if

and

it

is

one of the utmost imporshall

arises, therefore,

"Where

we

get blood,
?

we

cannot go to the thorough-bred running-family can

How

we breed
to

colts of sufficient beauty, courage,

and endurance
public and the

meet the demands of the purchasing

turf, if
?

we cannot go
it is

to the thoroughall

bred
hlood

for

our crosses

for

admitted on

sides that

telW
to tliorougli-hreds to find

In response to this interrogation I reply. That

must go

what we need

we but we
to the

must go

to the thorough-bred trotting^

and not

thorough-bred running horse.

And now I would to what I am to say


;

ask the reader's closest attention

because I

deem

it

of prime imporattacked by

tance

to

the breeder, and likely to be

many.

The word "thorough-bred" has an


natural, a technical

artificial

and a
Techni-

and a practical,

significance.

cally considered, the thorough-bred horse is

one whose

pedigree can be traced back through imported stock to


the English stud-books, and through these to the East,

whence the modern English thorough-bred horse


trally

ances-

came.

This

is

what

I call the artificial or technical It

significance of the

word
is

" thorough-bred."
;

does not
in

prove that a horse


this

good animal

for

many, both

country and in England, whose pedigree can be

traced back to an Arabian source, are comparatively of


little

value.

In England you can find hundreds of

"

weedy "

colts,

with neither lungs nor legs able to

126

THE PERFECT HORSE.


the necessary

stand

work

to

fit

them

for a

race, or,

indeed, of any considerable value

any way; and the

same

is

true with us.

he has a
buyeth.

To buy a horse simply because long and noble pedigree is to buy as a fool
especially does this hold true in the case
for

And
;

of breeding

which purpose, none but the

best speci-

mens of the
purchased.

flimily

you
and

desire to cross with should


is

be

poor horse

a poor horse the world

over in

all families,

in spite of pedigree.
is

A
to.

good

animal with

a good
this rule

pedigree

what the breeder

needs

and

should be closely adhered


all.

To

vary from

this principle is to risk this technical sense, the

Beyond

word " thorough-bred"

has another and a practical significance, which I will

now
for

explain.

In the practical sense, the word stands


qualities

and symbolizes certain indispensable


which he belongs.

which

give value to the animal, and decide his rank and place
in the grade to

Among

these

may

be mentioned beauty of form, toughness of bone and


muscular structure, vivacity and docility of temperament, intelligence, and above
all,

perhaps, in value, the


to

poiuer of endurance^ and the desire

do

what horse-

men

express

by the word "game."

All pedigrees are

worthless save as they indicate and warrant that the

horse with the noble ancestry

is

noble himself

It is a

help to the judgment, as to the value of a


that
its

colt, to

know
is

dam

is

a Star mare; because a Star mare

daughter of American Star; and American Star was


sired

by Henry, who ran

against Eclipse in the famous

THE

SIKE.

127

match between the North and South.


such a pedigree
is

To a breeder
it is

of the utmost value, because

guaranty that the colt out of such a mare will have, to

some extent

at least, the noble qualities

which made

his

ancestors famous.
to us,

Now,

then, the question

comes back
I say, that,

"What makes

a thorough-bred? "

And

for all practical purposes, a horse

which has a certain

perfection of form, a certain degree of intelligence, the

power

to

do great deeds when called upon, together


courage to attempt
is

with the high

and
horse.

to

actually

perform

them,

thorough-bred
;

That
it

is

my

answer to the question


itself to

and

I think that

will

recommend
Observe,

the

common
the

sense of the reader.

then,

what are
the

facts

of

the

case
facts

as

connected with
these
:

trotting-horse.

The

are

that,

beginning with Dutchman, and coming


Suffolk,

down through Lady


M.
Patchen,

Flora Temple,

George

Ethan

Allen,
for

Dexter,
last

and

Goldsmith's
in
this

Maid,

we have had
and
as great

the

fifty

years

country a race of horses of trotting-action of as fine a


spirit,

powers of endurance,

as

any that

were ever bred.

In perfection of structure, in the


all

symmetrical adjustment of

the parts, in intelligence,

that surest proof

and crown of good breeding,

in

dauntless resolution that stopped


itself in

not short of death

the hour of supreme performance, these horses,


like to them, were, I claim,

and countless others


to

second

none that ever delighted the eye and made proud


I

the heart of man.

hold that

it

is

unjust to these

128

THE PERFECT HORSE.


call

noble horses to
blood.
life

them of vulgar or

basely-tainted

They were kings and queens


on many a contested
I object,
field

in that order of
their royal

to

which they belonged, and proved

qualities

when

the lookers-on
senti-

stood breathless.

both on the ground of

ment and proper

classification, to

such a definition of

thorough-bred, that, in order to be just to the one class


of horses, one must be unjust to the other.

Where
when he

they are equal in performance, they should be equal in


honor.

Who
in

shall

say that Old Topgallant,


heats,

went against Whalebone four-mile

and trotted
is,

them

11.16,

11.06,

11.17,

and 12.15, that

making

his sixteen miles in forty-five


is

minutes and forty-

four seconds, which


too,

just

2.

52 J to the mile, and that,

when he was

twenty -two years of age,

is

not

worthy

to stand beside Eclipse, or


?

Henry, or any other


is

horse that ever ran a race

There

a right and a

wrong

to

this thing
is

and, for one, I assert that the

nomenclature

faulty,

and the

classification

vicious,
laurel,

which covers Longfellow and Harry Bassett with


There

and leaves Dexter and Goldsmith's Maid without a


spray.
are, therefore, as I

understand the merits

of the case,

tivo

great families of thorough-bred horses,

instead of one^ in this country.

The one
is

is

the thorough-

bred running-horse
trotting-horse.

the

other

the thorough-bred
for

The time has come


and
no
longer

horsemen

to

understand

this,

be

fettered

by a
the

classification applicable only to

a country where

trotting-horse

is

not

known

or honored.

The English

THE

SIKE.

129

stud-books are sufficient for England, where the runninghorse embodies


insufficient
all

excellence;

but they are entirely


the
trotting-horse
field

in

this

country, where

finds his ancestry, his birthplace,

and the

of his

glory.

There

is,

therefore, in this country, a family of

horses possessing the very qualities for which the English

running-horse has so long been noted, and in as


its

great a degree^ as the history of

performances shows,

but which are distinguished from the English thorough-

bred by their

style of

going

and and

to this family,

by
the

every law and rule of justice, the same honorable

nomenclature must be given;

now

give

it

same, and ask your attention to what I have to suggest touching the
-

THOROUGH-BRED TROTTING-HORSE.
I

have alluded

to

the

matter of out -crossing in


is,

order to get " blood,"

which

it

symbolizes,

and

that
I

those high

qualities
it
;

have said that

were

not wise to go to the running-family for the cross


this I repeat.
First,
;

and
lose

because, in doing

this,

you
is

the trotting-action

and, secondly, because there

no

need

to

do

it,

since

the same perfection of courage


the

you seek can be found in


Those of

trotting -family itself.

my

readers

who know any


Old

thing of Ethan
or his famous

Allen, Taggart's Abdallah,

Morrill,

and the get of these horses, know, that for beauty, intelligence, fineness of temper,

grandson Fearnaught, and Lambert,

and courage

to "

do or

die," they are

130

THE PERFECT HORSE.

not excelled by any stallion of the running - family


living
;

and

I will not

except the great Leamington, or


I

his greater son Longfellow.


stall

have passed from the


;

of Dexter to the stable of Harry Bassett

have

seen Leamington and Longfellow one week, and Fear-

naught and Taggart's Abdallah the next

and

solemnly

aver, that neither in the sheen of their glossy coats, the

bright, courageous look of their faces, the

symmetry of

proportion, or suggestions of muscular power, did these

highest types of the

one family excel these highest

types of the other.

There

is

no doubt but that originally

we were dependto

ent entirely

upon the thorough-bred running-horse

re-enforce the

common breed
It
is

of the country with more

generous

qualities.

to

imported Messenger and

Diomed and Bashaw


horses.
I

especially that

we

are indebted for

those excellences which

now
first
is

distinguish our trotting-

would be the

to recognize the obligation

that the trotting-family

under to the running-family

and there was a time when the breeder must needs


go
to the racing-stables for those

crosses from

which

the needed re-enforcement to the

weak common blood


obtained.

of the native breed might be

But now,

owing

to this

very outcrossing with the imported thorit,

ough-bred and the success which naturally attended


the trotting-family has become, to
poses, thorough-bred
its
itself,

all

intents and purto supply within

and able

own membership every

desirable quality

and

attri-

bute.

In localities where this transmission of thorough

THE

SIRE.

131

blood has not occurred, and only vulgar mares can be


obtained, I do not hesitate to advise the importation of

mares from running-families

for dams.
;

This plan will

improve the stock immeasurably

and, after two or three

generations of judicious crossing, the trotting-gait will

appear in the

colts,

and the breeder

will thus ultimately

reap his reward.

But, where well-bred trotting-marcs

can be found, give these the preference over mares of


runmng-Siction alone,
if

your object

is

to

breed

trotters.

Some

breeders, I know, are possessed with the idea that

one must resort to the thorough-bred running-family in


order to find that symmetrical structure and beautiful

appearance which

all

lovers of the horse delight to see.

With

this

ambition to breed beautiful horses I most

heartily sympathize.

No

degree of speed can atone in

my

eye for the lack of beauty.

Beauty and speed must

co-exist, if possible, in

every colt bred in


to this,

my

stables.

Many,

know, are indifferent


if

and care

little

how

a horse looks,

he can only go.

This I hold to be
to pro-

against the course of nature,

which ever seeks


is

duce the perfect

and no horse that

ugly to the eye

can be called perfect.


heavy-limbed,

Away,
I

then, I say, with

your

ragged-hipped,

long-haired,

big-eared,
if

bucket-headed horses!

wouldn't drive one a rod

he would

trot a mile in a minute.

I like the exhilara-

tion of rapid

movement, the excitement of the


;

rush,

and the royal joy of passing


all

but the animal that gives

this to

me must

please the eye.

But those who


is

suppose that the thorough-bred running-horse

neces-

132

THE PERFECT HORSE.


eye are greatly mistaken.
Im-

sarilj beautiful to the

ported Messenger was a large, ungainly -looking horse;

Mambrino,

his son,

was badly

string-halted; Abdallah, his

grandson, was a large, angular-looking creature, with big


head, scarcely any mane, ragged- hipped, and a
rat-tail.

The Melbournes of England


Clays, descendants of

are lop-eared.

Many

of the

imported Bashaw, are large-headed,


I

coarse-looking horses.

have seen thirty brood-mares,


to
;

whose blood had flowed down

them through twenty


and among them
coat,
all

generations, absolutely untainted

there

was neither a head, neck,

or form,

more

beautiful than I can find in a dozen daughters of the old

Green-Mountain horse in Vermont.


goes,

So

far as

beauty

Gilford

Morgan
and

was,

perhaps,

the

handsomest
Coat,
to see

horse ever seen on a parade-ground in America.


eye, ear, form,
style, all that

man might long


One of

in a horse, could

be seen

in him.

his grandI

sons, Taggart's Abdallah, is the

most beautiful horse

have ever seen, either of the trotting or racing

families.

Many
of

of the descendants of the Old Morrill horse,

whose

dams were* Morgan mares, and the sons and daughters

Vermont Black Hawk, were


any thing,
to

so beautiful, as to leave
I

little, if

be desired.

do not

think, there-

fore, that the

breeder need to go outside of the trotting-

family to find the highest type of equine beauty.

In another portion of this work

I
;

have given

my

views of the Morgan stock at length


at this point,

and

will only say

that

no better cross can be made, by a


horses, than this

breeder

who would breed handsome

THE
half-cross

SIRE.

13^

with the Morgan blood.


that

This essentially

is

the

cross

produced

Ethan Allen, Fearnaught,

Taggart's Abdallah, and

many

other stallions, whose

symmetry of proportion, beauty


bility

of

color,

and

no-

of carriage, would have


if

made them

celebrated,

even

they had not been speedy.

There are some

daughters of the old Green-Mountain horse in Vermont


yet,

whose heads are worthy the pencil and brush of a

Bonheur.

Hambletonian

stallion,

if

he be a good

specimen of his family, put to such a mare, would be


likely to get a colt that

would look about right when

exhibited to the halter, or


stretch.

when

flying

down

the home-

I
this

have now given

my

views in

all

frankness touching
It is

somewhat vexed question of


many,
to
is

''blood."
in

prob-

able that
relating to
attention

whose judgment

any question

what

wise or unwise in breeding grave


not agree with

should be given, will

me
rely

such entertain the conviction

that

we must
shall

still

on thorough-bred running-stock
effort to

for assistance in

our
re-

produce trotting-horses that

have the

quisite stamina

and courage
supreme

to stand the
effort,

work required

to

fit

them

for the

and the resolution on

the day of the race to do the deed


But, for one, I

demanded of them.
case.

am persuaded
is

that this opinion cannot be

maintained in the face of the facts in the


record of every year

The
bred

clearly proving that colts


sides,

from trotting-stock on both

unassisted

by any

cross with the thorough-bred running-stock, are abun-

134
dantly able to do
do,

THE PERFECT HORSE.


all

that horses

may be expected
If this

to

and do

it is

right along continually.

be

true,

the subject

beyond the need of argument, and outside


;

the boundary of speculation


horses

and breeders of
it

trotting-

may

henceforth regard

as a

law in breeding,

that trotters can be safely inbred to trotters, as run-

ning-horses are inbred to running-horses.

And

to this

maxim my judgment

gives a

full,

unhesitating assent.

In reference to this matter of inbreeding, I


clined to think that not only should
it

am
also
I

in-

be done between
it

members
done with
that

of the trotting-family, but that


profit in the case of

may
'

be

blood

relations.
this,

know
is

many have

strong prejudices against

and that
it

physiologists claim, that, in the

human

family,
;

at-

tended with grave and lamentable results


mind, the case
the
first

but, to

my

does not seem to be


it

place,

made out. In should be remembered that mar-

riage in the
case of

human family cannot be regulated as in the animals. You cannot elect and discard at ivill.
scientific principles prevail to

Other than
the union.
nesses,

bring about

Hence

it

comes about that

faults

and weak-

both as to the mind and body, are increased,


;

instead of decreased

and the child

suffers in a

double

measure from the infirmity of either parent, because

he represents the infirmity multiplied by two.

But,

in the case of animals, the election of partners for the

union can be arbitrary, and so imperfections avoided,

and excellences greatly and quickly increased.


cases are so unlike,

The
fair to

you perceive,

that

it is

not

THE

SIRE.

135
But, in addition to

reason from the one to the other.


this,

certain facts exist of a character to cause one, at

least, to

suspend his judgment.


;

The world began with


family, inbreeding,

a single pair

and, in the

human

and

that, too, of the closest kind,

must have been the

rule.

Who
fect?

can doubt but that the perfect produced the per-

The Jews were forbidden


nations
;

to

marry with foreign

and

in the

earlier portions of their history,

when under the government of the patriarchs, and


comparatively few in numbers,
intermarriage must often
relations.
it is fair

to suppose that

have been between blood

But the Jews, instead of losing stamina


vitality,

and

constitutional

have

held their

own

in

numbers and mental


have perished.
data.

character, while a thousand nations


also furnishes us with further

Europe

There, by reason of the law of primogeniture

being enforced in order to retain their great ancestral


estates intact, marriages

between
I

first-cousins

have often

been made a

necessity.

might mention noble houses,

whose

ancestral records run

back beyond the Norman

invasion,

whose children have furnished England with

her orators; statesmen, and poets, and whose female


bers have been

mem-

among

the most beautiful, vivacious, and

long-lived of the land, in which, nevertheless, for state

and property considerations, marriage between cousins


has been the rule rather than the exception.
I

might

adduce other

illustrations equally to the point

but those

already given are enough to

make

the thoughtful pause

136

THE PERFECT HORSE.

before they pronounce judgment touching the extent

and

limitation of those laws

which the

all- wise

Creator

ordained to govern the propagation of the species.

That a limit
just
it is

exists

somewhere
at Avhich

is

undoubtedly true
should stop
is

but,

where the point


not so easy to

we

located,

affirm.
it

Now,

in respect to the horse,

history, so far as

goes, seems to
is

be

in

favor of in-

breeding.
all

Indeed, the evidence

unmistakable, and
this

tending in one direction.

To begin with
:

country, and in the trotting-family

the old Abdallah

was the
sister;

result of a cross

between a half brother and


his
sire

Mambrino and Amazonia,

and dam,

being both gotten by imported Messenger.

The old

Hambletonian was by Messenger, out of a daughter


of Messenger.

One-Eye, the

dam

of Rysdyk's Hambletonian's dam,

was again the

result of a cross

between a son and

daughter of Messenger.
mare, whose

Then, again, the Charles Kent

dam was

the result of the incestuous union

between the son and daughter of Messenger, was bred


to Abdallah, the result of a like incestuous union
;

and
this

the result

is

Rysdyk's

Hambletonian.

Observe

order

dallah,

son and daughter of Messenger produce Abthis certainly is as close inbreeding, almost, as

one can have,


of his family

and the
;

result is the
son,

most famous horse


his

and he gets a

cousin, that founds a family

when bred to whose fame is known made

the

world over.
books, a
list

If

we

should go to the English studout,

of any required length might be

THE
all

SERE.

137

going to show that inbreeding,

even

to the degree

of incestuous union,

when properly
may be

directed

by the

breeder, has been and

the means of producing

horses of a degree of excellence otherwise unattainable.

Observe the emphasized words, because the

limi-

tation they

mark out touching


The
:

this

matter

is

a very

significant one.

rule, as I

understand the matter,

should be this

When

inbreeding closely, allow the

union to take place only between ^e?/ec^ animals.


forget that the same law which enables

Never
to

you not only

keep

alive,

but to increase, the average excellence of

their ancestors

and themselves,

at the

same time oper-

ates to the perpetuation, in an exaggerated form, of all

vices

and

faults.

Deficiencies

as well as excellences,

base as truly as noble qualities, will have a double

chance of becoming dominant.


vicious, then the offspring
if

If one parent alone

is

may be
This

good-natured
foal

but,

both parents be vicious, then will the


is

be sure to

be an ugly brute anyway.

the law which


for
it,

makes

all

close inbreeding hazardous,

and impossible
I

the average breeder to follow out.


therefore, only in those cases

recommend

where both of the intended

parents are perfect animals.

Having such
in.

animals, I

should breed fearlessly in and

Nevertheless, even

in this case, I should outcross occasionally,

and

after-

ward breed back again


and
all peril

to the original stock.

By

this

method, as I conceive, great benefit might be derived,


shunned.

Such are

my views concerning this

much-debated and

138

THE PERFECT HORSE.

vexatious question,
clusion can be

vexatious, because no precise


as to
it.

con-

drawn

The

full

solution calls

for such a penetration into the secrets of life

and

life-

begetting functions and causes as mortal


to have.

may never hope

But

this

much

is

beyond

contradiction,

that

beginning with Eclipse,

down

to

who was very closely inbred, Hambletonian of our own times, many of the

most noted winners, and getters of winners, have been the product of in-and-in breeding so close as to be
incestuous
;

and, while facts have due weight in men's

estimate of

what

is

wise and unwise in action, this will


will influence breeders, in spite of

be remembered, and

theory and mere speculation, no matter by


or

whom

held

advanced.

To me

it

seems not only safe within


principles, to

certain limits,

and advisable on general


is

breed in and in when the stock

perfect,

but the only

way

in

which the breeder can retain

in his stables the

characteristic excellences, which,

by years of

selection

and experiment, perhaps, he has succeeded

in producing.

CHAPTER
THE DAM.
I

V.

HAYE given
good

at length

my

views of wliat
qualities

consti-

tutes a

stock-horse,

and the

which he
on the

should possess, and what

may be

his influence

progeny.
influence

I will

now

take up the subject of the dam's

upon the

foal,

and what are the


her.

qualities

which should characterize


I
is

Touching

this subject,

would

say, to start with, that the influence of the

dam

much more

considerable in the majority of cases, in


colt,
it

shaping the character of the future


imagine.

than

many
so.

To me

it

seems natural that


I

should be

Without reiterating what

have already said in a

previous section of this work, I would ask the reader to

observe

how

intimately the foal


its

is

connected with the

dam, not only previous to


period afterward.
it is

birth,

but for a long


its life

From
it

the very beginning of


affected

fed

by the mother's blood, and


Before ever

by her

moods.

has seen the light, she has had


it

the time and the power to stamp

with her vices or

her virtues, impart to

it

her weakness or her strength.


139

140

THE PERFECT HORSE.

Not only the bone-structure, the muscular tissues, the arterial and venous system, and the measure of bodily
growth,
are

decided

by the mother's

constitutional

powers and condition, but the very nerve-structure and The foal brain-force receive from her tone and quality. may be pictured as lying at her mercy, dominated by
the sweet tyranny of nature.
things, I cease to horses,

When
many

thinking of these

wonder

that

of the most famous

both of the past and present time, closely reDexter takes his look from his semble their dams.
mother, the daughter of American Star,

who was

sired

by

the thorough-bred running-horse, Henry.

Neither

in body, limbs, head, nor temperament, does he bear likeness to his


sire,

any

Rysdyk's Hambletonian.

The same

may be
all

said of Goldsmith's Maid,

Winfield, and others

mother's children,

Lady Thorne, Major of almost equal celebrity. They are as we should say in respect to memEvery breeder has observed
filly

bers of the

human

family.
I

this peculiarity.

have a

in

my

stables, sired

by a

horse of high breeding and great vitality,

to

whom,

nevertheless, she does not bear the least resemblance, but.


is

a facsimile of the dam.

Color, size, shape, style of

going, expression of the countenance, even the

way

in

which she
her,

eats her oats, or neighs before they are given


all

in

these things she

is

the

dam

over again.

But, where the facts are admitted, an allusion to


sufficient
;

them

is

and he who considers the

facts

must wonder
is still

that the dam's influence on the foal has

been and

regarded by many breeders as comparatively

insignifi-

THE DAM.
cant.

141

To

this general

law there are certain exceptions.

Now and

then you find a brood-mare that seems to have


at all
:

no marhing power

they give nothing to the foal

save the food on which he grows.

From
it

the

he

is

born, he

is

perceived to be the
to
it;

sire's
;

moment own child.


it

The dam seems only


were, a receptacle for

have carried
carried
it

been, as

as

something that

did not belong to her, but to another, and which she

was

to feed

and nourish and introduce.


;

Only

this,

and
She

nothing more
left

for this literally

was

all

she did.
it

no stamp or impress of herself upon


size,

at

all,

either

as to

color,

structure,

or

temperament.

Such

brood-mares to the

breeder

are

simply invaluable.
;

With them he
moved,
exception

Jcnoius

what he
and

shall get

and that which

defies all calculation,

baffles all intelligence, is rethis


is,

uncertainty.
:

But

as I

have

said,

the

in the

average order of nature

it is

not so

and hence the character and condition of the dam from

which the

foal is to

come,

is,

to the breeder, a matter of

gravest concern.

Several things a brood-mare should

be sure
first

to have,

which we

will

now enumerate

the

of which

is blood.

The value of pedigree

in this
it

connection can scarcely be over-rated.

We

take

for

granted that no respectable breeder would breed to a


horse of

unknown
!

lineage.

That would be queer breedstallion, then,

ing indeed

The pedigree of the


forecast,

being
also

known, and the pedigree of the brood-mare being

known, the breeder can

with a reasonable de-

gree of certainty, the characteristics and qualities of the

142
future colt

THE PERFECT HORSE.


;

the law being that the foal will resemble or some

the parents,
parents.

one of the

less

remote grand-

The reader perceives how


is

practical, in this

connection,

the benefit

derived from pedigrees in

breeding.

Without them the uncertainty of what the I do not say get will be is increased twenty per cent. I would not buy a mare for brooding-purposes whose

pedigree was not ascertained; for I would: but I do should say, that, with the pedigree well verified, I

regard her worth considerably more money for the purpose for which I was buying her than without one.

But the purchaser should always remember that the animal herself is a better assistance to his judgment than
any pedigree, and that no mare should be bought for
brooding-purposes because of her pedigree.
first,

The horse
it

and the pedigree

too, is the

way

to

have

stand

in

your mind.

Eemember,

also, that

pedigrees can be

created.

It is astonishing

how long
Only
prefer,

a pedigree can be the horse-jockey


will lead
!

got up at a moment's notice.


ascertain

let

what blood you

and he

you

out a daughter of that family in a minute

do not

wish to suggest that horse-dealers are


dealers in other commodities; for

less

honest than

men

of peculiar moral

idiosyncrasies find a playful exercise of their

powers

in

commercial transactions

but

do say that

have met
to

men

dealers

in horses

who did not seem

have a

full realizing

sense of the apostolic injunction, " Lie not pedigrees,

at all,"

especially in this matter of

about

which more lapses of memory probably occur than any

THE DAM.
other subject within the scope of
It will

143

human
it

recollection.

do

Avell for

the tyro to bear

in mind, lest

he

pay too high

for

both horse and pedigree.


I

Touching the frame of the brood-mare,

need give
the
first

no instruction beyond what


ninety-five pages of this

is

contained in

work, wherein
horse.

I describe the

structure of the perfect

Let her be in every


is,

respect good as the best,

that

as near perfection as

you can

find,

or your purse

command,

and you
differ,

will not

go amiss

in

your

selection.

But one thing should be


it,

mentioned, because, concerning


think,

men

and, as I

some

err.

I refer to the size of the

brood-mare.

Many
breed
to

say that the breeder should select a large mare j


as

and perhaps,

a general

thing,

where you wish


it

to

colts of greater size

than the parents,

is

better

have the mare larger than the horse.


risk in the act of foaling
stallions are
;

On

this

plan

you escape

for small

mares

bred to large

sometimes unable to deliver

the foal without great

effort,

and sometimes not

at

all.

To avoid
the sire

this risk, it is

wise to have the


to breed

dam
"

larger than
;

when you wish

up

in size

but, be-

yond
mare
I

this, I

think the size immaterial.

A large,

roomy
;

" is a favorite

phrase with

many

breeders

but

could never see what mere

bulk had to do with


for the cart.

value, unless

you are breeding

Quantity
large-sized

does not dictate quality.

The children of The amount of

parents are no more gifted than

those whose
flesh

father

and mother weigh

less.

does not

decide the character of spiritual essences, and of those

144
subtle
forces

THE PERFECT HORSE.


which make
life

virile;

and, for one, I

never allow the matter


in the least, as I

of size to affect
it

my judgment
result.

hold that

cannot affect the

would not breed a mare


pounds.
fifty is

that

weighed

less

than nine

hundred, or one that weighed more than eleven hundred

From
I

nine hundred and

fifty to

a thousand and

what

regard as the best weight.

Nor does the


as

shape affect

me much,

provided that

it

be such

makes

her good for service.

The old breeders thought

and
is

many

breeders think to-day

that a drooping

rump

the best form for a brood-mare.

They argued, from such a


or

formation of the structure, an easy delivery of the foal

whereas they conceived that a mare with a


straight
easily.
this.

flat

rump formation could


But

not

deliver

the

foal

my
my

experience and observation disprove


that delivers the foal
stables
is

The mare
in

more

easily than

any other

one of nine hundred and

thirty pounds' weight, with a slim

round barrel rather


hips,

"picked up," narrow between the

and her back-

bone running out nearly straight and yet her


so
little

to the root of the tail

colts are invariably strong,

and she herself


is

exercised in the delivery, that her pulse

never

feverish, her appetite not in the least disturbed,

nor her

digestion

affected.
;

We

have never even given her a


colts

warm mash
give, if
it

and she has brought three large-sized


Other instances by the dozen I
I

into the world.

might

were necessary.
*'

pay no

attention, therefore,
for breeders,"
foal,

to

the talk about


size

large,

roomy mares

but hold that

alone neither improves the

nor

THE DAM.
insures greater
forth.

146

mares.

dam when bringing it It is quality, not quantity, we need in our broodThe texture of the bones, and the way in which
safety
to

the

they are adjusted, and not the


ter of the

size

of them; the charac-

temperament, and not the fleshy bulk,


to the

are

what give value


foal.

dam, and, through her, to the


of the utmost impor-

This matter of temperament


tance
that
;

is

and

I refer the

reader to what was said under

head

earlier in the

volume.

Here

need not ex-

pand the
perament
spirited

subject, save that the lymphatic, sluggish temis

to
to

be avoided.
breed from.

Never

select a low, base-

mare

Touching the temper, be

particular:

under no consideration ever breed from a

vicious mare.

You have no
it.

right to do

it

and

it

will

not pay to do
horse, that

It is the chief glory of the

American

he

is

the most enduring and the most amia-

ble of his kind on the face of the earth, the Orient excepted.

Next

to the

Arabian in docility and

intelli-

gence, in love for man, and general hardihood, stands


the American.

The English thorough-bred


;

is

a devil

the Spanish and Italian horses are brutes


racer
is
is

the French

to

be admired

at a distance
;

but the American

horse

kind and gentle


virility,

and, in the gloss and

bloom of
can be
I confess

grooming and

the American stallion

petted by women, and fondled by children.


that I

am very proud

of

this.

It

argues intelligence and


qualities

humanity among the people, and noble


part of our horses.
10

on the

It

should be the great ambition of

1^46

THE PERFECT HORSE.

the breeder and the dam,

groom

to

keep

this just as it

is.

Now,
to

beyond doubt, has immeasurably more


sire.

do

with the temper of the foal than the


riably

have inva-

observed that a timid or vicious


foal.

dam would
mother did

stamp these pecuharities upon her

If she leered,

and was ugly, the

colt

would do

just as the

and who can endure a


his stables ?

leering, biting, kicking colt in

Never breed from an ugly-tempered mare


be
like her
;

for her colts will surely

only, in seven cases

out of ten, worse.

Depravity gets an earlier developit

ment

in the child than

had

in

the parent.

Lastly,
for the

under

this head, see to it that the

mare selected

stud be in perfect health.

Feel that there


trace of disease
necessity,

is

no exception

to

this;

for every
will,

in the

blood of the

dam

from
will,

be imparted

to the foal.

The embryo
disease.

from the very beginning, be tainted with

AH
it.

impurities lurking in the parent's system will settle in

So true
the

is this,

that unhealthiness

is
is

often bred out of

dam
is

into the foal.

The

colt

worthless

but the

mare

cured.

The

disease left the mother,


is

and entered

into the offspring, as


cies.

the case, often, in the

See

to

it

that the

mare

is

in perfect
;

human spehealth when

the horse has connection with her

and, being healthy,

then
ding,

Iceep

her

so.

See to
stall.
is

it

that she has dry, clean bed-

and a good
fat.

Do
bad.

not over-feed, lest she accu-

mulate

Idleness

Give her due measure of


are hurt

exercise.

More brood-mares
over-work.

by standing

still

than

by

My

brood-marcs do

moderate

THE DAM.

.147

work, in the team and on the road, from the time they
are stinted to the horse until within a

month or

six

weeks of foahng.
be kept
nancy.

This keeps them healthy and strong,


fat.

and prevents them from laying on


in

mare should
wise to

an active, muscular condition during pregis

The question

asked, whether
in foal.
I

it

is

speed a brood-mare
it

when

hold

it is,

provided
fifty

be done with caution.


:

An
it

occasional spurt of

rods or so does them good


that
tion.
is,

keeps their
full

mood

right

vivacious, sprightly,

and

of healthy animafoal.

This

mood
of the

they impart to the

The materit
;

nal disposition and spirit are impressed

upon

for the

mental

state

dam

does have, beyond doubt, a vast

influence

upon the nervous organization of the foal. As Exerthe time of foaling approaches, let the mare rest.
cise

her only to the halter,


stall to

if at all.

Remove her from


This should be

the narrow
at least

the " foaling-room."


size.

twelve by fifteen feet in


level,

The

floor

should

be perfectly

this

is

essential,

in

which she

should have her liberty.


bedding.
If she
it,

Give her plenty of clean, dry


is

is

a gross feeder, and


:

inclined to stuff

herself with

put on a muzzle

an ordinary wire ox-

muzzle will answer.

As

the day approaches on which


is

the long-anticipated event

to occur,

do not feed very


is

high

especially reduce the


to

amount of hay she

accus-

tomed

have by one-half
fast.

Feed with dry


If this

food, lest

milk be produced too

be the

case,

and her

bag

cakes,

wash

it

in cold

water in which a quart of


This wash will reduce

Indian meal has been soaked.

148
the
fever.

THE PERFECT HORSE.


If

necessary,

milk away a considerable

amount; but do not milk her upon the ground, but Some mares make milk too soon into a pan or basin.

and too
foal will

fast,

but not ordinarily.

The

rule

is,

that the

be delivered within twenty-four hours from the time when milk, or a milky secretion, first shows itself on the
foaling,
teats.

For a month previous


teats,

to the date of
will

handle her bag and

by which she

become famihar with your


nose of the
foal, as

touch,
if

and not dread the


Nature
silence

some mares,

not thus educated, do.


let

When

all is

done that you can do,

her alone.

in parental exercises loves seclusion,

and enjoys
stall

and secrecy.
time
;

You

should

visit

the

from time to

but be very quiet in your movements, and do not


stall

hang round the

as

some

inquisitive

grooms

will.

Treated in this discreet manner, ninety-nine mares out


of a hundred will deliver their foals safely.
foal
is

When

the

born, help

it

to its feet,

and

assist it to its

mother.

Be very gentle in your movements, and caress the dam. Some mares, especially young ones, are unnatural at first, and will not own the little thing; but patience and
kindness on your part will soon prevail.
give the
thin
If
it
;

It is Avell to

dam

half a bucketful of
this,

warm
wrap
but

gruel,

made

and, soon after


is

warm bran

or oatmeal mash.
it

cold,
;

and the

foal shivers,

in a
it

warm

flannel sheet

and, in cases of emergency, give


;

a table-

spoonful of wine, or brandy even


sure and dilute
it

if

brandy, be

well.

In a few days the

dam

will

have recovered from whatever organic disturbance she

THE DAM.

149
well.

may have undergone, and be


again
for then she
is

Nine

or fifteen

days after foaling, she should be stinted to the horse


;

is

quite sure to conceive again.

This, in brief,

the order of procedure at this critical


in the breeder's experience.

and often anxious period

The

foal

should be presented, in the act of delivery,

head-foremost, and resting on the forward-legs as a


lies

dog
and,

often

when

asleep.

This

is

the natural
If the

way

when

so presented,

have no

fears.

head should
forth,

be doubled under, or only one leg come


man's help
is

then

needed.
the

Having dipped

his

hand

in

warm

water or
that
foal
is is

oil,

groom should take hold of


sloivly

the part

visible,

and gently and very

push the

back

until

room

is

made
still

for

Nature to correct what

in fault.

If the

mare

labors in vain,

and a more
then do the

serious displacement has occurred, send for a veterinary

surgeon
best

or, if

no such assistance

is

at hand,
;

you

can.

Circumstances alter cases

and no genthe mare


is

eral written

directions will avail.

But

if

healthy,
to fear
will
;

and has been well

treated, the breeder has Httle


to

and the chances are a hundred


well,

one that

all

go

and the

foal
is

be

safely delivered.

Now

that the foal

born of known and noble parthe

entage and shapely,

let

breeder ''rejoice and be

exceeding glad."
as I conceive,

The most desirable form of property, To his has been added to his estate.
some man
shall

care and
useful
prise

skill

be indebted

for a

most

servant and

noble companion.

By

his

enter-

he has put the world under obligation to him, in

150

THE PERFECT HOUSE.


it

that he has given to

an agent that
it

it

needed, and

which,

without his

efforts,

would not have had.


for

He

deserves the benediction of mankind;


to the long

he has

added another unit

column which represents

the aggregate happiness of the race.

At

this point, the

question of

how

the colt

should be fed whether, during


;

the sucking-period, from the dam's milk alone


ther this should be re-enforced

or whe-

by other sustenance, such


and the Hke
''the forcing-system," or

as cow's milk, oatmeal-gruel, cracked oats,


in short,

what

is

called

by many
up

the reverse
this,

comes
first

for our consideration.


of,

As

to

several things, often lost sight

must be taken into


all

account.

In the

place,

it is
:

agreed on
but
this

sides that

the youngster should not starve


do, unless other food than that
is

he often will

which comes from the dam


are such poor milkers,

given him

because

many dams

that they

do not yield the

foal nearly

enough

to

supply

his evident wants.

In such a case, the breeder must

feed the

young thing himself


and

Cow's milk

is

good,

when

properly

warmed and sweetened.


after birth, give

Let

it

be prepared
it.

half blood-warm,

as sweet as the foal will drink

Three weeks

some oatmeal, or cracked


or,

oats soaked to tenderness in water,


milk.

better yet, in
as the

Begin with a handful or two, and increase


is.

need

If the

mare

is

a very poor milker, the colt

may need two


matter
as
his
is,

quarts per day.

The

rule to govern this

keep

the foal in healthy growth.

As long
condition,

stomach and bowels are

in

good
he
is

and he not gaining

fat unnaturally,

doing well;

THE DAM.
and your rule of feeding
This, also, should
is,

151

by

that fact,

approved.
is

be

considered,
colt
;

that nothing

so

bad

as

to underfeed the

and according

to

my

ideas and observation,


colts suffer

taking the land through, ten

from want of needed food to one that


it.

suffers

from overplus of

The

fact

is,

nothing

is

more erroneous than the opinion that prevails


farmers and the smaller breeders
little
;

among
makes
two

viz.,

that

it

difference

what a

colt has to eat the first

years of his
all.

life,
is,

or Avhether he has
that the
first

much
it

to

eat at
his life

The

truth

two years of

decide the

colt's

entire future.

Then

is

that the

length of his bones, the stomachic and intestinal de-

velopment, the quality of the skin and coat, and the


constitutional

powers and vigor, are decided.

Feed

your

colt well the first

two years of

his

life,

and, com-

paratively speaking,
starve

you cannot
years,

spoil

him afterwards:

him during these

and you cannot, on the


have been

other hand, ever

make

the lack thereby caused good.

New

England

is,

to-day, full of horses that

ruined in this way.

The moment you put your eyes


that they

upon them, you know

were starved

in youth.

They
the

are under-sized or ill-proportioned, bigger at one


at the other,

end than

ungainly and weak.

These are

animals that were

compelled to "pick up their

living " in the

barn-yard with the cows and sheep, and


I

came out each spring lousy and hide-bound.


that a great

know
and

hue and cry has been raised about "the

forcing-system,"

and much

said against giving oats

152
corn to
texture,
colts.

THE PERFECT HORSE.


This
is

said to result in

faulty boneconstitu-

and premature breaking-down of the


This
is

tional powers.

all
it

humbug.
is

would not feed


not used

corn to a
unfit, in

colt,

because

too heating and rank, and


is

the main, to give to any horse that


:

for

heavy and slow work

but oats are the natural food,


;

as one

might

say, of the horse

and no

colt will ever be,

hurt by being fed liberally on them.


horses, differ.

Colts, like

grown

One

requires

more food than another, and


be laid down as regards

so no exact rule in feeding can

quantity

but the quantity can be regulated by the con-

dition of the colt, as in the case of older horses.


liberally the first

Feed
it.

two

years,

and you
foaFs

will

never regret

For the

first

month of the

life,

great caution

should be exercised to protect him from accidents, especially in

taking his exercise.

A foal in good health, after

he

is

week

old, is
;

very playful, and even violent, in

taking his exercise

but his eyes are not as yet strong,


Especially
I
is

nor accurate of

sight.

he unable to measfoal,

ure distances correctly.


old,

have seen a

two weeks

run

full tilt

against the side of a barn in broad day-

light.

The

foal
;

should be led, therefore, to a field level

and smooth

and, while the

dam

is

held by the groom

near the middle of the


exercise
will

field,

he should be allowed to
In a few weeks he

to his heart's

content.

have got experience, and he can run loose with the


in the

dam
tion

yard or pasture.

The matter of

his educa-

must now be considered.

CHAPTER
HOW TO

YI.

TRAIN A COLT.

" With a glancing eye and curving mane,

He

neighs and
spring,

champs on the
his saddled

bridle-rein
I press

One

and
a

back

And

ours

is

common

happiness.
;

'Tis the rapture of motion

a hurrying cloud

When

the loosened winds are breathing loud

A shaft from the A bird, in the

painted Indian's
pride of speed

bow
go."

we

Upon

the proper education of the colt his entire use-

fulness depends.

Whether the young


which he

life shall

prove a

source of blessing or of trouble to

man

will

be decided

by the manner
of horses
is

in

is

trained.

The education

a question, therefore, of supreme importance

to the public, in the discussion of


interested.

which every one

is

We

approach

it

with the profound desire

to give such,

and only

such, suggestions as shall quicken


result in giving to

profitable thought,

and

young horses

a better preparation for man's service than they now,

on the average,

receive.
is

From

the time the colt

born, he should be taught to


153

154

THE PERFECT HORSE.

regard man,
tector

whom

lie is

afterwards to serve, as his pro-

human hand should first lift him gently to his feet, and direct his little mouth to the With the human source of maternal nourishment. early be made to associate caresses touch he should thus
and
friend.

and a supply

for all his- wants.

Instead of yells and

oaths and kicks and rude blows, he should hear only


gentle, loving tones

from the attendant's mouth, and pet-

tings from his kindly palm.

He

should be taught to
stall

expect and watch for man's entrance to the

or

paddock where he

is

kept, as a

dog waits

for the

coming
His

of the master, as the season of joy and happiness.


little

deer-like limbs should

be handled, and he be taught


fear to the master's

to yield touch.

them promptly and without

In short, every thing .that loving ingenuity can

devise should be done to impress


early in
life

upon

his

mind thus
and
friend,

that

man

is

his natural protector

between

whom

and him an intimate companionship has

been ordained by beneficent Nature, which insures that


he
Ah,
shall

be protected and cherished while he


if colts

serves.

me

could have such treatment,


should see
!

how few
in

vicious horses

we

and how much greater,


life

the aggregate, would be the happiness which

would

bring to them and man!

I say, happiness j for

He who

made

all

things hath given unto each creature, according

to the class

and order of

its life,

powers, and capacity


existence sweet, and

for impressions, sufficient to


fill

make

the days of
is

its life

to overflowing with satisfactions. in

Especially

this

true

respect

to

those

animals

HOW
SO

TO TRAIN A COLT.

155

endowed with high


and
to

organizations and subtle forces,

that they are able to apprehend and

communicate

pleas-

ure

no

class

does

this fact

apply with greater


are evi-

force than to that one, the

members of which

dently designed by the Creator to be both servant and

companion
stand
it,

to

man.

Kindness to animals
a duty,

is,

as I under-

therefore,

an obligation, resting on
Indeed,
it

every one with the force of a moral injunction.

God

so ranks

it

in his

Holy Word, and gave

honora-

ble place in his ancient legislation.


Jieart-claim

The horse has a


is,

upon

us.

The young

colt

in

some

sense,

member

of the family, one of the owner's household,

second in rank and dignity only to the children.


the

So

Arab regards him.


its

The

beautiful

young

thing,

with

shining coat and gazelle eyes

and sprightly
literally his

antics, so full of

bounding but docile

life, is

children's playmate.
their sleeping-mat
;

He

shares their food, and often


is

and a blow dealt him

as

promptly
son, for
battle,

resented

as

if

it

had been dealt the oldest


and safety
in the

whose service
the

in peace,
is

hour of

young thing
the colt

being raised.
three

When

is

weeks

old, or thereabouts,

he

should be broken to the halter.

And
act

this

should be
his

done properly
will

for this

is

the

first

which brings

and strength
as to

in opposition

to man's,

and should

be so done
superiority,

convey clearly and decidedly man's


his

and

inability

to

contend with him.

Early impressions in the case of animals, as truly as in


the case of children, are lasting
;

and here and now,

in

156

THE PERFECT HORSE.


educating the
colt,

this the first step in

the impression

should be indelibly stamped upon his mind that


his master.

man

is

And

this

can and should be done without


I will explain

violence or cruel force.

my method

of

treatment, and the reason therefor.

Inquire, then,

what
This

the

groom

or educator of the colt proposes to do.

evidently:

He

proposes, in the

first

place, to teach the

colt to follow after or

by the

side

that

is,

keep close
In the

to the one

who

is

leading him by the halter.

second place, he proposes to show the colt that he cannot successfully resist him
;

that he

is

not so strong as a
this

man.
once

This lesson once taught the


fairly

colt,

impression
after,

embedded
forget
it.

in his mind,

he will never

in all his

life,

He
man

will live
is

and die with the

idea in his head that


this is

stronger than he.

And
risks.

a most valuable lesson for a colt to learn, and


it

to learn early:

saves

much
:

after-labor

and many
on,

Well, then, to the method


of soft material, so that
skin,
it

put a head-halter

made

will not

cut into his tender


will
;

and so made that the cheek-pieces

not draw

into his eyes


this is

when he

pulls

back or struggles

and when

done quietly and gently, with pleasant words and

kind caresses, I step out in front of him, and planting


myself squarely, so that he
shall

not with
steadily

all

his efforts
halter,

move me from my
saying
all

tracks,

pull

on the

the time, while the pressure on

him

is

being

increased, "

Come,

sir

come

"

Sometimes the
;

colt will

come, yielding readily to the pressure


pat him kindly, so as to

in

which case
he has done

make him

feel that

HOW
the right thing
slight pressure
;

TO

TRAm A

COLT.

157

and then step forward, and repeat the


In

and the kind command.


this

many
^'

cases

have found
"

enough

and the

colt

was

halter-

broke

before you

knew it,
little

as

one might
felt

say.

But more

often, as

soon as the

fellow

the pressure of the


too, perhaps,

pull
at

upon the

halter, alarmed,

and vexed

this

(as he regards it) rude

interference with his


halter, resisting
this is the

liberty,

he would "set back" upon the


all

the pressure with


case, stand

his

strength.

When
oivn.

firm: simply hold

your

Don't twitch
vio-

him, or
lently.

"yank "him
Let

about, or drag

him forward
is

Mm pull

Every moment

exhausting his

strength,

and increasing the pain he

feels
;

by reason of

the halter-bands being drawn into him

and, after a few

seconds of resistance, discouraged, and unable to endure


the pain his

own

effort is

causing him, he will give

one great Avrench, rear up, and plunge toward you.

The pressure and


your
side,

the pain are remitted; and standing


his

by

your arm over

moistened neck, and hand

kindly patting him, he learns this sweet lesson,


nearness
to the

that

one that

is

leading

him means
colt,

absence of

pain.

This once understood by the

he

is

thoroughly

halter-broJce.

With

this

he has
he.
it

also got another idea,

to

that

you are stronger than

Had you

tied

him
is,

a post, and let him "pull

out"

as the phrase

he

would have got no such idea: the post or tree, not man, would have been his master. Or, had you waited
until

he was a year or even six months

old,

he would

have been stronger than you ; and he would have found

158

THE PERFECT HORSE.


In his
first

it

out too.

match against man, man would


and, while he might have

have been beaten.

He, not you, would be the master


;

at the halter-exercise at least

followed you after a time,

still

you would have

lost

the

opportunity of impressing him with his powerlessness

when arrayed

against man, which a wise educator w^ll

always seek to give to every colt he takes in hand.

How
break
four

unwise, viewed in this light,


colts to

is

that neglect to

the halter even until they are three or

or even five years of age!

"Children," says a
before they are

thoughtful writer, " are


old enough to talk
;

made obedient
colts, it

"

and
if

might be added, are

made
the

obedient to man,

properly educated, long before

they are old enough to use in harness.


colt, if

Now

and then,
struggle

he be of high

spirit

and

lusty, will

long,

and make a

real "fight

over it;" and, to avoid


fall,

accidents in case that he should reel and


for the school-ground a

select

spot of soft greensward, free


falls

from
him.

stones, in order that his

may be

harmless to
his

Be

sure also, in case of falling, that


;

you keep

head from striking the ground heavily


always do, because your hand
it
is

which you can


halter,

on the

by which
manner
in

can be supported.
I

This, in brief, is the

which

give

my

colts

their first lesson in that

course

of education, which,

when completed, has brought them


and
docility at

to that degree of intelligence

which they

can be ridden without bridle or halter; driven without


reins, hold-backs, or

breeching-band

and

find their joy

in serving me, as I find


for them.

mine

in

watching and caring

HOW

TO TRAIN A COLT.

159

When

the foal

is

fifteen

months

old, I

begin again to

educate him.

My

object

now
To

is

to get

him thoroughly

acquainted with the harness, and to teach him to stand


quietly
efforts.

to

be harnessed.
colt is

this

end

direct

my

If the

high-mettled or timid,

great
colts,

care must be exercised,

and patience

also.
so.

Most

remember, are timid


are not

they are born


teeth,

Animals that

armed with claws and

with which to pro-

tect themselves

when

attacked, are created


fly

by

the

all-

wise Creator with the power to

and the timid

heart.

The horse
for at

is

constitutionally timid, then.

It is natural

him

to shrink

from strange, new


noises.
colt,

sights,

and jump
this

sudden movements and loud


to harness

Remember
stable

when you come


This
is

your

and have patience.


:

the order of procedure in

my

The

first

day, I simply put the saddle without the back-strap on,

buckling up the belly-band loosely.


times, increasing the pressure of the

This

is

done many
have
it

band

until I

quite as tight as
lar,

is

the custom.

Then

I take the neck-col-

and put that over


it,

his head, first permitting

him

to

smell of

and touch
it is

it

with his

nose^ until

h^

is

entirely

convinced that

not calculated to hurt him.

In like

manner

I continue

adding part to part


is

until the colt is

fully harnessed.

He
until

then allowed to stand with the


reflect

harness on

him

he has time to

upon the

whole matter, and become accustomed


sensations

to the unusual

by the pressure of the


his

several parts of the


;

harness

against
that

sensitive

skin

for

we must

re-

member

all

this

performance seems very queer

160
to

THE PERFECT HORSE.


him, and startling.

When
down
and
as

he has
the

fully

composed

his mind,

and
is

settled
all

into
it

conviction that

every thing

right

should be with him,


still

he

is

then walked about, the harness

being on,

and brought back every few minutes to the spot where he is to be unharnessed and gentled, and taught to stand
as long a time as
it

would naturally take

to

remove the

harness from him.


started, saddle

Straps are loosened, buckle-tongues


collar eased; in short,

and

every thing

done that would be done


removing the harness.
tliis

in unharnessing, save actually

After doing this several times,

standing

still

while being unharnessed has come to

be, in his mind, a part of the

programme, and he under-

stands

it,

and assents

to

it

as such.

Once

learned, in the

case of an intelligent horse, ahoays learned; for the horse


is

highly organized as to his memory, and in

all his after-

life

he never will forget what you have so kindly taught This same process should be gone through with him.
several times;

indeed, in the case of a high-spirited,

valuable
least,

colt,

once or twice each day,


it

for a

week

at

because

is

a most important part of his edu-

cation.

And you
lessons
in

should remember that he


one,

is

learning
of
all
in,

many

including
viz.,

that

greatest

lessons a colt can learn;

to

have confidence
great
as a

and yield
this

his will to,

man.

Have

patience at
teacher must

point of his

education, even

have when
spend now

teaching

an inattentive,

and perhaps a

dull child, the alphabet.


:

Do

not count the days you


result,

judge your success by the

and pro-

HOW
ceed step by
pupil's
step,

TO TRAIN A COLT.

161

advancing

no

ilister

than your

success justifies.

Hurry here and now, and


it,"

you

will

''make a nest of

as the phrase

is.

During

these harness- exercises^ as they might be called, accus-

tom

the colt to pressure against the breast and shoulder


into either side of the collar
;

by tying long cords


by pulling

and,

gently, cause

him

to brace himself, as

he will

naturally do, against you.

This gives him the idea of

draiving weight somewhere behind


ting
that

him ; and, by permitsoon grow to


this feel

him

to pull

you along, he
thing.

will

he can imll any

By

you

will, as it

were, teach him to draw a


start,

before
so

wagon promptly from the you have ever hitched him ahead of one.
if

colt

educated will never "balk," or refuse to


the weight behind

" go " at the word,

him

is

not

beyond

his strength;

because the signal to go, and

the habit

of pulling, have been already taught him.

At

this point, also,


let

he should be taught to

hack.

And

here

me
"

urge the trainer not to pull him backward

bodily by main force, as I have seen trainers and gentle-

men

do.

Backing

" is to a

horse loalking backward.,

an unnatural and awkward way for him to move.

He

was not made


it
;

to

go that way, and does not understand


naturally, resists
it.

and hence, very

In order to unit
is

derstand

how awkward and

incomprehensible

to

him, put a stick into your child's

mouth

that

is

some

eighteen months old, say, and pull the

little

thing back-

ward

for a

few

steps.
:

pray you not to take offence at


impress upon you the

this illustration

I seek only to
11

162

THE PERFECT HOUSE.

idea of patience and gentleness in handling one of

the most sensitive, and at the same time one of the most
abused, of God's creatures.

Rightly managed, the colt


all

can be taught to walk backward or side-wise, on


his feet or for

on

his hind-feet only, or in

any way possible

quadruped

to

move

nor will

it

require

much
this,

time,

either, to

impart the lesson.


is

In order to do

when
with

the bridle

on, step directly in front of him, and,

your hands grasping either rein, put a slight pressure

upon
and

his

mouth, using the word " back," spoken clearly

distinctly (not loudly) at the

same moment.

He

will naturally,
at,

even before he understands what you are


backward, in order
to escape the slight

move

little

pressure of the

bit.

This done, pat him and gentle him.

Then grasp

the lines, and

do the same thing over

again.

He

will soon associate the

sound with the motion backfirst lesson,

ward, and, even before the close of the


will readily

often,

comply with your


it

request.
;

Do

not overdo

the thing by keeping

up too long

for,

by so doing, you

may
will

exasperate him, and every after-effort to teach him

be the signal

for a

new

fight

between you and him.


;

The second or

third day, buckle in the lines


breast-collar

and leading

them through the


tion behind him,

and breeching-straps, so
posi-

that he cannot turn around

and face you, take your


lesson.

and repeat the

In a few days

your

colt will

know what you wish him


to

to do, and, I war-

rant you, be ready


after

do

it.

The pressure on
"

the

bit,

he has once associated the word " back

with the

motion required, should accompany the command, and

HOW

TO TRAIN A COLT.

16-^

be instantly remitted on his compliance.


should be put upon him.
so develop the muscles of

No

steady pull
is,

What you

are after

not to

your arms that you can pull or


to

drag him backward, but to teach your colt


luord of
will

back

at the

command; and no

colt is

fit

for

market

until

he

back any reasonable weight with the


at a

lines lying

loose

word from

the driver.
is

To teach

young

horse to push hack a load

a longer process, because

he does not
to

know

at first the

proper position in which


nor are his back-

put himself to perform

this feat,
it
;

muscles strong enough to do


kindness,
all

but,

by patience and

horses can be

taught " to
a force

throw themselves

into the breeching " with

and directness of

propulsion sufficient to

move

great loads.

Perhaps

have

"

overrun

my

game," as hunters say


;

of dogs that have

left

birds in the rear

and

I will stop,

and beat back

until

we

find one

branch of

my

topic
I

which perchance should have been mentioned sooner.


refer to the " bitting-process " as
It is astonishing
it is

generally termed.

how much nonsense and humbuggery


tolerate
in connection with
this

trainers

and grooms

point of horse-education.

To

see the bits

that have

been invented, and been patented and


to set the satirist

the " bitting- machines " that

have

sold, to serve this purpose, is

enough
of the

on edge, and arouse the


is,

ire

humane.
machine,"

The

truth

the only use of any "bitting-

if it is

any thing more than a plain bar -bit


is

in a bridle without blinkers or check-line,

to

money

for

some ignoramus, and torture the

horse.

make The

164

THE PERFECT HOUSE.


''bit-

philosophy of bitting horses, upon which these


ting-machines " are founded, is a fraud
is

and

folly.

There

no more need
a nursery.

for
I

them

in a trainer's

yard than there

is in

make no
all.

limitation or modification of

this

statement at

Their true
:

name
" or

is

"fool's

ma-

chine,"
if

and

not " bitting-machine


to designate their use to spoil horses'

more properly,
result of
it,

you wish

and

call

them "machines

mouths;

" for this appel-

lation precisely describes them.

man using one ought

to

be indicted before the common law of the country,


at least

which should
animals.
If

be able

to prevent such cruelty to


colt

any owner of a

who

reads this owns

or uses one of these " bitting-machines," I urge

him

to

burn

it

or bury

it,

as the

most mischievous and hurtful


If I

thing that he can have about his stables.


to

wished

make my

colts

"

hogged-mouthed

"

and desperate

pullers, I

as

as

would use one of these "infernal machines," I have no doubt the colts themselves call them, and I will they deserve to be called by colts and men.
this

show you how


works.

plan of using these

" machines

"

To begin with, a colt's mouth is almost as tender as The tongue, gums, lips, and a babe's when teething.
bars of the mouth, are as sensitive as the reader's.
this

very sensibility to pain. Nature has guaranteed

By man

against any trouble in reining

him or

controlling him.

He

yields readily
is

and

easily to the slightest pressure.


this provision

Indeed, nothing
of Nature,

more noticeable than

by which the animal best adapted

to

be

HOW
man's servant
is

TO TRAIN A COLT.

16b

easily

made

subservient to his

will.

Now, such a
ated
or, if

mouth

so tender

and

sensitive

must
lacer-

not be rudely dealt with.


;

It is easily cut

and

not
it

this,

so indurated

and hardened under and grows com-

pressure, that

loses its fine qualities,


It is

paratively insensible.

very easy to so lacerate the

gums, tongue, and lips of a colt's mouth, as to destroy


or deaden the nerves that interpret pressure
brain
;

to

the

and, indeed, to

remove the sense of


it.

feeling

entirely,

or next thing to

When
lost,

this

sensibility,

wisely provided by Nature,

is

the horse becomes


sense

almost unmanageable

because,

the

of feeling

being removed, he does not know, nor has he any means

seeing the knowledge must reach him through the mouth, what the driver wishes him
of knowing,
that
to do.

Perhaps one side only of the mouth becomes hardened,


while the other remains sensitive
;

in

which case the

horse feels the pressure of the bit only on one side of


the

mouth,

and

is

of

all

horses the most vexatious

to drive,
his

from no

fault of his

own, remember, but from


it is,

who "bitted"
is

him.

True

that

it

is

necessary

to

harden the mouth of a colt somewhat,


called a

lest

he should
is,

have what

"baby mouth
he

" that

one too

sensitive to the bit, so that

will not Avork

up bravely
at
or,

against

it

as

he should do when called upon to go


this

speed.
rather,
it

But

hardening should be done slowly


all

should not be done at

by the

trainer;

but the

colt should do it himself, as

he will gradually do day b/

day

in driving.

He will

learn to take the hit himself, and

166

THE PERFECT HORSE.


it

do

according as he

is

able to do

it,

he himself being
according to

the judge.

Now

let us

begin to
colt,

hit a colt

the machine method.

The

never having been even


out into a yard, the

broke to the

halter, perhaps, is let

"machine" strapped on
steel

to his back, the bit of iron or

jammed

into his mouth, the check-rein adjusted,

and the

colt's

head drawn suddenly up into the


side.

air,

and the trainer stands one


" fights the bit
it is

The

colt,

of course,

struggles and rears and plunges.

He becomes enraged,
his lips
;

and
soon
bit,

"

foam drops from

pretty
iron

stained with strealdngs of blood.


see,

The

you

as

he "fought

it,"

has grated over the

young
the

teeth, cut into the tender tongue,


lips.

and lacerated
done
less
(it is

gums and
sketch),
after

have seen

all

this

no

fancy

seen
the

blood come in

than

two

minutes

" bitting-machine "


?

was

adjusted.

Now, what has been done


First,

Several things, I reply.

unnecessary imin has been caused an innocent and


:

harmless creature

that alone

is

enough

to

condemn
colt's

any "machine" ever invented.

Secondly, the

mouth has been


lips

spoiled until the lacerated

gums and

and tongue can heal

Thirdly, the colt's temper

has been soured, and no useful knowledge imparted.

These truths are

self-evident.

But

this is
is

not
left

all.

The
;
;

" machine," instead of being


trainer goes to his

removed,

on

the

work

in the field, or to drive


it

and

the colt

is

left

to

"fight
is

out."

Now, examine the


pain.

matter a

little.

What
The

the true position of things?


is

This, I respond:

colt

in

His head

is

HOW
drawn up

TO TRAIN A COLT.

167

to an unnatural height

his neck, pulled into

an angle both awkward and painful, aches with exquisite


suffering.

To

appreciate the agony the

young thing

en-

dures, let

draw

it

some one take hold of your own head, and up and backward as high and as far as the

bone-structure and muscles will permit, and compel


to stand with
it

you

in that position

even

for fiVe minutes.

In this
chines,"

way you

will get

some idea of

''bitting-ma-

and the actual torture which

colts

experience

while being ''bitted" by them.

But the

evil of this

system

is

not yet fully stated.


is left

The

colt,

with his head drawn up and back,

in the

yard, as I have said, while the trainer goes to his

work
five

or to drive.

Perhaps he stands an hour


all

perhaps

hours

very likely

day.

For the

first

few minutes he
in

strives to

keep

his
it

head up, and the


pains

bit loose

his

mouth,

because

him

but pretty soon the

muscles of his neck begin to ache.

They were never


and are actually

made

to hold

up the head
it

in that style,

unable to do

for
:

any considerable length of time.


the pain in the overtasked muscles

Soon the head sags


of the neck
is

greater even than that caused


bit.

by the
colt,

pressure of the

It

is,

you

see,

with the
little,

choice between two pains.

Little

by

the head
it

droops

heavier and heavier the weight of


bit
;

is

laid

upon the

and, in the course of an hour or two, the


stolid,

colt stands

weary and

the weight of his head and


bit.

neck laid solidly down upon the


being taught^ you
see,

The

colt

is

to

*'

take the bit " with a ven-

168 geance.
bit,"

THE PERFECT HORSE.

He

is

actually being educated to


puller.

"hog on

the

and be a
vicious

No method

of bitting can be
inflicting,

more

and villanous than

this,

as

it

does, torture

on the innocent victim, and,

in not a

few

cases, actually

putting the animal beyond the reach of

future betterment.

The
that
is,

true
let

way
him

to bit a colt

is,

not to bit him at


colts are

all

bit himself

When my
some

one

year

old, I

begin to teach them to hold a


bit is of pine,

bit in their

mouth.

The

half-inch in diameter,

and

five inches in length.

This piece of soft

wood

is

held in the mouth by a cord tied to either end, and


passing over the head, back of the ears.
to

The

colt loves

have

this in his

mouth, because

it

enables him to

bring forward the teething-process.

He

will bite
it

it,

and work

it

over in his mouth, and enjoy


it,

hugely.

He

will
his

welcome

and

will actually

reach out and

open

mouth

for

it

as a trained horse will for the bit.


tie strings,

After a few days you can


reins to this bit,

making miniature
proper use of
it.

and teach the


is

colt the

When
bit.

this

is

done, he

ready

for the

regular steel
bit,

Put your bridle on with a leather


throw your check-line,
;

large and

pliant;

if

your bridle has one

attached, into the pig-sty

get into your wagon, and


Treat-

drive

off.

This

is

all the " bitting" a colt needs.

ed

in this

way, he will have a

lively, yielding, sensa-

tional

mouth.

He

will take the bit bravely

when work-

ing up to his speed, but yield readily to the driver's


will.

horse bitted in this sensible

way can be driven

HOW

TO TRAIN A COLT.

1G9

a forty-clip with the lines held in one hand, or be lifted

over a five-barred gate with the strength of a single


wrist.

If

you don't believe

it,

try

it,

and

see.

Many
double

people prefer to put the colt beside an older horse, and


let

him take the

first

dozen drives on the road

in

harness: and to this

method

I see

no serious objection
it.

although, for myself, I do not favor

My
But,

colts are all

taught to go single

first,

and thoroughly taught


way.
if

at that

and

hold that

this is the better

you

pre-

fer the other

method, be sure that the horse beside


every respect reliable and
at,

which the

colt is hitched is in
;

well instructed

because the colt will catch

and be

sure to imitate, any vice or fault in the older horse.

Do

not select a lazy, slow-moving horse for the

service,

but rather a quick-moving animal,

lively,

but amiable.
;

A colt naturally starts quickly, and moves


a slow-starting, slow-moving brute

sprightly

and

by his

side will irritate


to start

him.

The older horse should be quick enough


it

the load himself, and keep

moving,
:

so that the colt shall


if not,

not be unduly fretted and chafed


horse has to start and
that case his
fracas.

the younger
;

draw the whole weight


and you

and

in

temper
that

will get up,

will

have a

know

some breakers love

fight with a colt,

and " take the starch out of him

to get into a "


;

but

this is

villanous conduct, and has neither necessity


it.

nor reason to justify

The

true

way

is

to avoid these
;

" fights " with the animal

you are teaching

and,

by
to

the exercise of patience and kindness, give

him time

understand what

is

wanted of him, and make him love

170

THE PERFECT HORSE.


do
it.

to

Remember
;

that

some

colts are slow-witted,


yell,

and

easily confused

and a single blow or

on the
of

part of the

trainer,

may throw him

into a

state

temporary fear or exasperation, which


to understand
let

totally unfits

him
here

even the simplest command.

And

me

urge upon the reader

who
it

has a

colt,

or colts, to

teach, that, if

he has the habit of speaking sharply and


at

loudly, he correct himself of

once.

Colts

are

timid, high-spirited things, if they are

worth any thing


habits,

and he who manages them should be of quiet

and have a low, pleasant-toned


yells stands in

voice.

The

trainer that

the same category as the driver in a

public race

Indian

who screams and whoops like a Comanche when coming down the home-stretch the one
:

should be banished the track, and the other turned out


of the gentleman's stables.

But

to return.

My method
is

of educating a colt to the harness and


cate

wagon

to edu-

him

singly,

by

himself;

and
the

this education

should

begin very

early.

When

colt is

twelve or fourIn

teen months old, begin to put the harness on him.

a few weeks he
shafts.

is

accustomed to
this,

it,

and ready
in a

for the

But, in doing

do not be

hurry

Give

the youngster time to get thoroughly acquainted with

every strap and buckle, as


thing,

it

were.

Let him

see

every

and smell every


is

thing.

The

sense of sight, smell,


to the

and touch,

the

great

avenue of knowledge

horse, especially the last two.

The
But,

ear and eye give


it

the

alarm.

These two organs stand, as


if

were, on
is

picket for the animal's safety.

your horse

HOW

TO TRAIN A COLT.

171

frightened at any thing, let him smell and touch

it,

and

he

will fear

no longer.
colt
is

If

your

afraid of

your harness

as

it

comes
it

rustling out of the harness-room, let


his

him touch

with
will
is

nose,

and smell of
it

it

a few

times,

and he

soon understand that


inclined to kick or
strap hits his

will not hurt him.


if

If he

jump

the breeching-band or any

hams or

legs,

by gently rubbing them


become
is

against the sensitive places he will soon


ferent to them.

indif-

By
less,

the time the colt

two years

of age,

or even

he should be educated to go
forward or backward, and be

between the

shafts, either

thoroughly familiar with the harness and vehicle and


ordinary road-service.
will

Instructed at this early age, he

never forget the lessons of obedience and sub-

mission taught, but be ready at any future time to be

put to work, without any considerable trouble to the

owner or purchaser.
In case your colt
to give, unless
it

is

a vicious one, I have no advice


kill

be to

him.

There

is

no need
I

that a vicious colt should ever

be raised; and

hold

that

it

is

a sin against the beneficent order of nature


to
raise

for a

man

an animal whose very existence

imperils other existences.

The public would regard


and money
in

man

insane

who

spent time

stock-

ing his garden-plot with a superior kind of thorns

they would say that


sinful

it

was an abuse of nature, and a

waste of opportunity.

What

shall

we

say, then,

to the

man who

goes to work, year after year, and

172
deliberately

'

THE PERFECT HORSE.


his stalls with vicious colts
?

fills

Logically,
this is the
it.

the same answer

would be returned; and

WAy

that every right-minded breeder regards

Neither

beauty nor speed in a horse can make amends for a


vicious temper;

because a vicious temper


life,

in a horse

imperils
fact

human

and whatever does


so I say, that

this is

by

that

condemned.

And

no vicious

colt is

worth the breaking.


civilization.

He

is

unfit for the

purposes of

He

should be treated as any other ferocious


treated,

and dangerous animal should be


sight.

killed at

But some

colts,

while

they are not actually

vicious, are not truly amiable.

They represent an

inter-

mediate

class,
;

lying between the really docile and the

ungovernable

and

are, hence, objects of interest to all

owners and

trainers.

It is doubtful if

any general rule

or rules can be

made

to apply to this class of animals,


indi-

because their faults and vices are not the same, but
vidual, differing in different cases.
Still I will

glance at

some of the more prominent


class of animals,

failings

or vices of this

and suggest,

so far as one can without

a personal knowledge of each subject, the proper method of treatment.


First of
all,

we must
of
it

observe

this principle,

that pun-

ishment alone can never eradicate viciousness, especially


if

the

subject

has a high-spirited organization.


a

Whipping alone never reformed

bad

child.

The

lash

never makes a vicious colt amiable.

It
;

may change

the

mode

or the time of

its

manifestation

but the inherent

ugliness will,

seizing

some favorable moment, break

HOW
forth.

TO TRAIN A COLT.

173

This principle being borne in mind by the

trainer, if

he be a

man

of judgment, will supply


efforts.

him

with a good guide in his educational

If the

whip
times,

is

ever used,
let the

and
if

think

it

can be with profit at


sharp,

blow be sudden and

and rarely

repeated.

Beating and pummelling a colt never does


ever, fails to

good, and rarely,

work

lasting mischief
is

One of the meanest


Your

tricks that a colt can fall into

that

of running backwards, which the English call "jibbing."


colt is harnessed,

and

safely led

out of the cartell

riage-house or yard.
to

You mount

the seat, and

him

go ahead.

This he refuses to do.

He

looks round at

you with deliberate wilfulness


say, " I rather think I shall
this business."

in his eye, as

much
mind

as to to in

do about

as I'm a

You

lift

the

whip from the


tell

socket, tap

him gently over the rump, and


Instead of
a
this,

him

to
I

go ahead.
have seen

he begins to go backward.

man work two


go forward.
this habit of

hours in a vain endeavor to

make

his

colt

The

colt

was by no means vicious

and

running backward, or jibbing, was the

only bad one that he had.


if

But

this

threatened to mar,

not utterly thwart, the trainer's endeavor.

Day

after

day, the colt

was

tried.

He was
:

pulled forward

by

main strength; the whip was used judiciously; he was


coaxed
;

he was threatened
the trainer

but

it

was

literally

no go.
roadall

At

last

harnessed him

into a

common

sulky,

and led him out


;

into a large field free

from

obstruction

and placing himself behind the

sulky, with

the reins held tightly in his hands, he gave the signal

174
for the colt to

THE PERFECT HORSE.


move.

Move he

did,

but backward, not

forward.

When

the colt began to run backward, the

trainer, instead of

seeking to check him, allowed him

the fullest freedom of action, simply keeping one line a


little

tauter than the other, so that the colt should run


line,

backward, not in a straight

but in a curve.

When
to

the circle was nearly complete, the colt


stop, his eyes filled
satisfaction.

was ready

with the look of intense and wilful

But

his trainer did not propose to let

him
bit,

stop.

He

put a strong and steady pressure upon the


colt,

compelling the

against his will, to keep the backeffect.

ward movement.

This had the desired

By* the

time the colt had been spun rapidly twice around that
circle,

he had had enough of


so,

it.

He was

literally

giddy;

so

much

that he could barely stand.


trap.

This cured

him: he had been caught in his own

The

trainer

mounted the
called on

seat,

patted him on the haunches, and


to

him pleasantly
:

go ahead.

From

that
I

day

he gave no trouble

he was completely cured.

have

known
result

this

tried in

many
is

cases

and each time the

was

satisfactory.

Another mean habit


ness.

that of lying

down

in the har-

Some

colts will lie

down

almost as soon as you

have them harnessed.


delivered low

Sometimes a blow from the whip,


the side, quick and sharp, will
If
:

down along
is

bring them up with a spring.


not answer, the whip

one or two blows do

of no use

you

will only torture


is

and scar your


''beat

colt needlessly.

The better way


is.

to

him

at his

own

trade," as the saying

When

HOW
he
lies

TO TRAIN
his

COLT.

175

down, get upon

head and neck, and make him

stay there.

After five or ten minutes, he will begin to

grow uneasy.
Soon he

He

won't

know quite what

to

make

of

it.

will feel the uncomfortableness of his position.


effort to rise.

He

will

make an
there.

Now is
flat
;

your time

keep

him down.
hold
it

Down

with his head

to the ground,

and
it if

It is

no boy's play

but you can do


strong.
is

you are determined, and reasonably


let the

Only don't
a big one at

job out to a small boy

for the job

times,

and needs a quick eye, a stout hand, and a strong

back.

Watch

the colt, and don't let

him up
all

as long as

he

is

rebellious, if

you hold him there


!

day, and the

following night at that

Let him sweat and struggle

he
is,

is

learning two valuable lessons,


it

the

first

of which

that

does not pay to


is,

lie
is

down

in the harness;

and the second


latter point

that

man

stronger than he.

This

includes almost every thing in relation to

the training of a certain class


are taught this idea,

of horses.

Until they

they are utterly unmanageable:


in their education.

you can make no progress


as nothing in the

But

let

them once learn that they are not the


hand of the
trainer,

masters, but are


battle
is

and the

won

all

that
is

is

needed follows naturally and

easily.

Now, there

no position which gives man such absolute


a colt as

command and mastery over


pieces.

when he

has his

knees on his neck, and his hands gripped into the bridle-

Thus
;

situated,
I

man

is

absolutely " master of the


it

situation

"

and
to

have often thought that

was a very
temper
lie

good idea

have a

colt of rather vicious

176

THE PERFECT HORSE.


once, in order that he might learn

how powerless he When a colt gives up, the man is in the hands of man. The hot blaze and at his head will easily perceive it.
down

mad

glitter will leave


;

the eye

the muscles will relax


;

their tension

the neck will

become limp

and the whole


it

body, losing

its rigidity,

will lie along the earth as if

had no thought of
is

rising,

and would never

rise.

This
colt's

the stage of exhaustion and submission.


spirit is
is

The

rampant
conceit
his

cowed, and his pride humbled.

His

taken out of him.

own

Aveapons, and
in

knows

it.

He has been beaten by He will never trouble


to the time
is
it

you again

that way.

As

takes to
limit.

bring a colt to this conviction, there

no precise
;

Some
liours.

colts will
;

"give
I

in sixty

and

up" in twenty minutes some have known colts hold out for three
it
it

But, whether

takes longer or shorter, carry

the thing through:

Believe me, you cannot spend your

time better.

Another fault, or rather


result of habit,

habit,

for

it is

often only the

and no

result or proof of viciousness,

is

kicking.
rally
;

We
is,

should remember that a colt kicks natu-

that

he does
It
is,

it

in self-defence,

and

also in the

way of play.
fact
is,

as

it

were, his birthright, by which he

expresses his physical

spirits,

and defends himself

The

no

colt should
;

ever be put between the shaft


that
is,

without a kicking -strap


shaft,

a strap buckled to either


in

and passed over the haunches


it

such a

way

as to

make

impossible for him to get his heels over the

cross-tree.

This

is

the only safe

way

to pursue.

Gen-

HOW

TO TRAIN

COLT.

177
reins, just as

erally speaking, a slight twitch


is

on the

he

on

th6 point of " lifting," will check the effort: but

it

needs a quick eye and hand to catch the colt soon


to

enough

keep

his heels out of the

dashboard
it.

and not
But,

over two in ten

men would be
all

sure to do

by

using the kicking-strap,

danger and

risk are averted

and therefore
colts.

I invariably insist

on

it

in educating to

my
the

After two

or

three
;

attempts
is

"

lift^'''

youngster finds he cannot

and

thereby, as the Irishit."

man

said,

"cured of the disease before he had


colts, as

In
is

the case of

of men, an " ounce of prevention

worth a pound of cure."

As

to the matter of "balking,"

no general direction
If the education of

can be given, or rule established.

the colt has been conducted in accordance with the


principles I have in previous pages laid down, he will

not balk.
part, the

Balking on the part of colts

is,

for the

most

result of the trainer's ignorance or passion.

Yelling and whipping on the part of the trainer or


driver, over-loading, sore shoulders, or ill-fitting collars,

to

these are the causes that

make

horses balk.

But

if

you

have a horse or

colt that balks, while I cannot,


tell

without

a personal knowledge of the subject,


do, I can tell

you what not

to do,

never whip.
it

you what

If he

won't go,
will

let

him stand

still

and think
it,

over.

He

very often think better of

and

after a

few mo-

ments' reflection, and a few tosses of his head, go on of


his

of

own accord. the wagon and


12

Or, if this does not answer, get out

pat him, and talk to him kindly.

178
horse

THE PERFECT HORSE.


is

very susceptible to kindness


vicious horse

and

have known

more than one quite

gentled into good

behavior by a few pats from a lady's gloved hand on


the moist neck and veined muzzle.

Sometimes
I

it

is

well to loosen a strap or start a buckle.

have known

the mere act of unchecking and rechecking the animal

answer the purpose.


direction,

It

took his attention off in another


his thought,
resist.

you

see,

changed the current of

and broke up For


this

his

purpose and determination to

same reason, an apple, or a bunch of grass


oats, or a

from the roadside, or a handful of


nels of corn, will often accomplish

few ker-

what an hour of
is,

beating could never

effect.

The

truth
to

man must

govern himself before he can hope


animals.

govern lower

man

flushed with passion, his brain charged


is

with heated blood, and eyes blazing with rage,


in a condition to think clearly
;

not

and

it is

just this think-

ing dearly that

is,

above

all else,
it is,

needed

in directing

and

controlling horses.

Hence

that contact with horses,


is

and an actual experience


the finest disciplines a

in teaching them,

one of
to

man
;

can have.

He grows
is

love the colt he

is

teaching
is

and no nature

utterly

depraved

in

which

going on the exercise of


it

affection,

no matter how humble the object of

may

be.
;

His

employment makes
this

it

necessary for him to think

and

keeps

intellect,
alive.

which might otherwise have no

development,
as

The language of the

stable
all

is

not,

many

pious and ignorant people imagine,


felt in

slang.

Care and anxiety are

the groom's room, and con-

now
sultations held

TO TRAIN A COLT.
issue of

179

upon the

which the health and


Plans are formed,

safety of valuable property depend.

and methods of procedure adopted, upon which fame, and vast sums of money, come and
ture,

go.

Faults of na-

and errors of education and

practice, are corrected

and the
tures,

trainer discovers, that, in schooling God's creais

he

being schooled himself


of honorable
is

Thus,

as

in all

other branches
discovers that he

industry, the

horseman

the point from which one current


in.

goes

forth,
;

and another enters


is

He

bestows, and he
;

receives

he educates, and

educated

and the

life

which so many thoughtless people despise,


the case of

closes, as in

Hiram Woodruff,

and

act,

with
as I

the

upright in heart
fail

honor, and a fame which can


animals,

only

when kindness toward


It

and integrity among

men, are regarded as of no account.


is,

have

said,

impossible for a writer to lay

down
for

rules

adequate for the trainer's guidance and

direction in the

management of vicious

or irritable colts
treat-

very likely no two cases require the same

ment.
temper.

These points may, however, be made

Keep your
and

No

matter

how provoked

put a severe curb

upon the

rising of passion.

cool head, and calm

steady nerves, with a quick eye, will go far towards


success in conflicts with even the most irritating animals.

Moreover,
stronger in

never forget that the law of kindness


its

is

influence on the animal creation than the

law of
noise

force.

Remember

this also

Do

not

make much
little

when having a

contest with a colt.

Say

to

180

THE PEBFECT HORSE.


else.

him, and nothing to any one


''

Do
there

not be shouting,
!

Get up!
is

" "

Whoa
is

" "

Look out
his

"

and the

like.

Silence

a great virtue in a horse-trainer.

low-

voiced groom
stables.

worth

weight in gold about the

A horse
;
'

cannot understand sounds like a huless said to him, for the

man being
the better.

and the

most

part,
;

A
it

few sounds, of course, are necessary


these.

the

word "whoa'' being one of

This

word should

mean

stop

should never mean any thing else in the


should be pronounced in a quick, sharp,
It

colt's ears.

It

imperative tone.
prolonged, as
after the
o,

should never be drawled out or


a's,

if
is

there were a dozen


often the case.

instead of one,
stojp^

as

Whoa means
he should
to
stop,

as I

have

said.

When a colt
It is

hears

it,

and stop

in his tracks too.


therefore,

not a

word

be frequently used,
as

but to be saved for emergencies;

when

some
and

strap or bolt gives way, a bit parts in the mouth, or

an upset occurs.
if it

At such

a time

you can say ^^Whoaf'


if

has always meant stop to your horse,


to so
it

he

was broken
understand

understand

it
;

when young, he

will so

then,

and stop
life.

thereby saving, perhaps,


fault is to use the

your limbs, or even

The common

word
up.
as,

to steady the horse

when

speeding, or to slow him


;

For

this

purpose take some other word or words


let
;

"Steady, boy; steady!" but

the

word "whoa"

mean but one thing to your horse viz., to stop, and stop The horse of ordinary intelligence can be instantly.

made

to understand this with very little

trouble,

and

in less than a

dozen

lessons,

have seen horses trained

HOW
in less than a

TO TEAIN

COLT.

181

week's time, so

that,

when streaming round


would stop
at
trainer, so

the exercise-lot at a swinging gait, they

the

word

sent forth
to

from the mouth of the

quickly as
haunches.
to

actually

throw themselves upon their


is

The method

simple.

Put your bridle on


lines,

your

colt,

buckle in a pair of long

and, taking

position in the rear, start

him
and

along.
at the

After he has taken

a few

steps, say "

Whoa

"
!

same time give him

a slight twitch on the bit sufficient to cause

him

to stop.

Do

not be rude or harsh, but gentle and firm.


again,

Start

him now

and repeat the sound and the move-

ment of the hand.


and teach him that

The

colt will soon catch the idea,

and learn what the sound means.


it

Then you can go


stop^

on,
it

not only means

but that
this

means

to

stop instantly.
will
suffice

few days of

simple

treatment

to

teach

him thoroughly the

lesson, which,

when

well learned, he never forgets, and

the real value of which can scarcely be overestimated.


If the colt
is

worth

five

hundred
is

dollars Avhen

broken

in the ordinary way,

he

certainly

worth
I

six

hundred
set forth.
ser-

when

instructed fully in the


in

manner

have

Any

sensible man,

purchasing a horse for family


Avill

vice or for fast driving on the road,

gladly pay a

hundred

dollars extra

if

the breeder can

show

to

him

that the colt will stop short in his tracks at the


for

word

he

sees, that,

amid even the average

risks

and hazards

of driving, such a

power over the animal may prove of


on the part of the

supreme importance.

Next

to this understanding,

colt.

182

THE PERFECT HORSE.

of the significance of the


to pressure

word "whoa,"

is

indifference

upon the hams and legs from behind.


that I hold that the education of
until

So no
or-

important
colt
is

is this,

really

completed

he can be driven on
or
hold-backs.

dinary roads without

breeching

He

should be taught to be utterly fearless and indifferent


to the

wagon coming suddenly upon him from So far as the human mind may predict, my own

behind.
life

has

been certainly saved once, because the horses


driving,
tain-side,

was

when

the pole snapped half

way down

a mounvirtues,

had been taught these two supreme

to stop at the

word "whoa," and

to hold the

wagon
that
so
in-

back with

their haunches.

It is astonishing to

me

two habits of obedience

so essential as these,

and

easily inculcated, should not

be regarded

as actually

dispensable.

have pointed out the process of teaching


I will

a colt to stop at the word.

method of teaching horses not


comes suddenly against them.
backing him between the
slowly and easily until his
the whiffletree.

to
I

now suggest my fear when the wagon

take the horse, and,

shafts,

continue to back him


in contact

hams come
start

with
a
it.

He may

at

first;

but,

after

few

trials,

he becomes absolutely

indifferent

to

Then, calling the groom to the head of the horse,


station

myself

behind

the

wagon

or

carriage,

and,
it

speaking kindly and soothingly to the horse, push


slowly forward until
is
it

comes against him.


as

All this
neither

done

quietly,

remember, and so gently


After a few

to hurt nor alarm the animal.

trials,

the

HOW

TO TRAIN A COLT.
it,

183

horse becomes accustomed to


himself against your pressure.

and
This

will actually brace


is

what you have


In a few days
efforts,

been
forth

after.

He

has caught the idea, and will hence-

enter heartily into

your plan.

he
not

will

even bear pain in resisting your

and

flinch,

and adjust himself

in

such a

way

as to re-

ceive the pressure at the best angle of resistance.

You

can

now

hitch

him

into

your wagon, and leave the


After two months
at all

breeching and hold-backs at home.


of training, I have driven a
colt,

which was not

amiable by nature, for miles on a country -road, where


the
hills,

while they were not long, were steep, with


assist

nothing whatever to

him

in

holding back the


to pursue this

wagon.
course, I

While
still

would not advise any

declare

my

belief that the majority of

colts could

be

easily trained to stand this test;

and

urge

all

trainers to

so

educate

the

animals in

their

charge, that the breaking of a single strap, the snapping of a bolt, or even the falling-off of a nut, shall not en-

danger the
behind.
I

lives

of those

who

are

riding

trustingly

have now gone over the matter of horse-educais

tion so far as

necessary to

fit

him

for the

average
at his

public use.

We

began with him when he stood

mother

side, and,

by gradual processes of

instruction,

brought him up through the several grades of knowl-

men and things, until he has become serviceable to man. He who brings a colt up It may be, that, so in this way is a public benefactor.
edge of and
familiarity with

184
far as

THE PERFECT HORSE.


he
at
is

concerned, selfishness supplied the actual


;

motive
theless,

every stage of the proceeding

but, never-

selfishness cannot appropriate the result.


;

The

motive was not generous

but the result

is
;

noble.

He

has ministered to the enjoyment of

many

he has added

to the possibilities of social intercourse

and domestic
dollars;

happiness.

He

will

be paid

for his labor in

but the profit which he has brought to the world cannot be estimated in
sail to

currency.

Commerce
rail-car

will

add

another

her squadron, the

have a heavier

freight, the social

room a

fuller

company, and the house

of

God

a larger audience, because of the animal that he

has so successfully raised and trained for

human

use.

We

will

now

pass on to consider the higher educa:

tion of the horse

by which

mean

those processes and


characterisis

methods of proceeding by which the more


tic traits of his nature, chiefest

among which

speed,

are brought forward, under wise management, to perfection.

Let

us, therefore,

inquire

how

a colt should be

treated in order to develop in

him the highest degree

of speed.
let

We

will take

an animal at two years of age,

us say, and inquire into the best

method of

cultivat-

ing the faculty and power of rapid motion.

The
the

first

thing to attend

to,

be

it

observed by

all,

is

luncjs.

Lung-power

is

the best kind of


it

power a

horse can possibly have, because


other kinds of
desirable
;

alone

can
is

make
very

power of

avail.

Muscular power

but muscles can never bring a horse to the


lungs are good.

wir-e in time, unless his

Nervous force

HOW
is

TO TRAIN A COLT.
vital

185
will hold a

excellent

but no amount of

energy

horse up through the wear and tear of a four-mile race.

perfect bone-structure
if

is

admirable;
is

but what are

bones,
first

the breathing-apparatus

inadequate?

The

point, therefore, I say, that a breeder or


is

owner of a

likely colt should consider,

this

matter of lung-develbe,

opment.

The great question with him should


? "

''How

can I expand and enlarge his lungs

Still,

although

every reader will see at a glance the vital significance


of this point,
to
it is,

presume, a branch of horse-culture


paid than any other.
the "

which

less attention is

You
Bonealmost

can get books by the score on the "Foot," on


Structure,"

on "Muscular Development," on
relating
to

every possible subject,

the

horse,

about

which a book could be made, or a discussion started


but when you go to the bookseller's to inquire for books
telling

you how
find

to build

up the lung-poioer of a
for sale!

horse,

you can

no such book

Our

limits

do
and

not allow us to treat of this most important subject at

length

and we can only hope to


plain,

call attention to

it,

make, in a

simple way, a few suggestions which

may prove

of value to the breeder and trainer.


with, then, let
it

To begin

be remarked that

colts

need a great deal of exercise.

By

nature they were

made

for rapid

movement.

Like young birds, they


colt of

develop in motion.

The number of miles a


something surprising.

high

breeding, and in good condition, will go


ture

when
I

at pas-

each day,

is

will

not
it

mention

my

estimate, because

no one would believe

186

THE PERFECT HORSE.


be correct
:

to

and

only ask you to watcli a colt


;

twenty-four hours, and


if

you are

make your own estimate and, Now, no sensible not astonished, I shall be.
promise loose in the pasture
I

man

will turn a colt of fine

after the

second year
is

and

do not

after the

first.

valuable colt
ner,

too valuable to risk in that foolish manis

especially if he

a horse-colt.
stall,

He

should be

kept in a large, roomy


to

where he can be attended


But do not forget
his

and trained day by day.


exercise.

need of daily
will suffice.

Do

not think that a box-stall

You might
heart,

as well teach

an eaglet to

fly

in a large cage as to give the


colt's

needed
in

discipline to a

legs,

and lungs
youngsters

box-stall.

Many
in

most

promising

are

fatally

checked

the development of their powers

by lack of needed
I

exercise in their second and third years.

hold that
to

a colt needs a great deal


halter,

of

exercise;

not

the

which

is

good

for nothing

but to sweat out a


in

lazy groom, but sharp, quick exercise,

the taking

of which every muscle


tested,

is

brought into play, every joint


small, swelled taut

and every and

vein,

however

with

rapid blood, as
of
hill

is

the case

when allowed
follow the

the liberty

plain,

and
!

to

promptings of
life

nature.

Ah,
are,

me

how
in a

full

of

bounding

the

youngsters
lifted

when

drove of twenty, heads uplong hair streaming straight

and

tails

erect, their

out behind, they charge in thundering column across


the shaking field
!

See

how

they tear along with hoofs

that spurn the plain, with changeful gait,

and action

free

HOW
and
at

TO TRAIN A COLT.
See that sorrel trot
!

18T

swift as a swallow's
stride
!

Look
that

liis

How he
his
!

opens out

Ha

did you see the

chestnut

catch

step?

Good heavens!

how

Ho! here, boys; here! Now look and brown one runs see them come strung out in line, heads towards us, ears
pricked, and eyes on fire!
see

Hi, there!

hi,

there!

Now
like

them swoop

to the

left,

and go tearing away

mad, muzzles straight

out,

and ears

laid back, until they

pass the ridge, and the valley catches


sight!
It's

them from our


circus as that!

Circus!

there never was such a


and the

enough

to stir the

blood in the veins of a deacon


exercise-lot alone, that

It is the

exercise-lot,

can take the place and make good the absence of nature's liberty.

In

it

the colt can run

and jump and

race,

and double

as only a colt

way and that, and check himself, can when in full career, to his heart's
this

content.
K3ise-lot.

Every owner of a
It costs little to

colt should

have an exerwill

make

one,

and
it

pay

for

itself fifty

times over in two years.

Let

be from ten

to fifteen rods long,

and from eight


level,

to ten rods wide.

The ground should be


of cobbles.
It

ploughed, and raked free

should be fenced with boards not wider

than two inches apart, and at least seven feet in height.

The
side
colt

posts should

be on the outer

side, so that

the

in-

may be
can

flush,

with no projection against which the

strike.

Take a

shovel,

and heave up a

slight

bank around the inner

side, like to

what the ring-master


get a foot-support

of the circus does, that his horses


as they circle round.

may

Now

build you a raised platform

188

THE PERFECT HORSE.


for

at

one end of the ground, outside the fence,

your

visitors to
is

occupy during the exhibition, and your job

done.

When you
place,

have

such an

exercise-ground
posses-

on your
sion to

you have added a most valuable


If

your property.
is

you have

colts to sell,
It will enable

such

an exercise-ground
to get at least
sell

indispensable.

you

twenty per cent more

for

your stock, and


in

them several years sooner, because purchasers

search of likely
colt

young horses can

see, the

first

time a
is.

goes around the yard, about what he

His
Avell,

action,
is

which could
;

in

no other way be shown so


once made on him.

seen

and a bid

is at

With good

stock,

and a good

exercise-lot in

which

to exhibit them,

unsold a breeder's stable will never be choked up with nor will his purse ever be empty. stuff
;

But the exercise-ground has a higher use than


In every stable are several
lings.

this.

colts too

good

to sell as

year-

Their pedigree and promise give them a specuthe breeder lative and prospective value so great, that more or owner cannot aJBTord to sell them until they are

developed

because the prospect

is,

that,

when

develfigure.
is

oped, they will reach a

much more remunerative


it is

Now,

these are the colts for which the exercise-lot


:

peculiarly adapted
'

indeed,

indispensable to their

welfare.

They

are too valuable to

turn out with the

drove;

they are

too valuable to sell:

wisdom

says,

''Keep them awhile longer, and develop them."


this

But

development can only come by exercise, and that kind and class of exercise which can be had nowhere

HOW

TO TRAIN A COLT.

189
that in no other

save in the exercise-lot.

The reason

is,

place can they get that rapidity and variety of


absolutely indispensable to their growth,
vigor.

movement
and
to

health,

The
is

first

thing, as I

have

said, to

which

pay

attention,

the

development of the lungs.


first

The
size.

lungs must, in the

place,

be built up

in

The

larger the bellows, the stronger the blast.

Large

lungs

as large as nature can for

be made to grow

is

what every horse kept


the lungs must be
stance

speed wants.
texture.

Secondly,
\mig-sub-

of fine

The
elastic

must be of excellent
to

quality,

and tough

able

bear the strain of

inflation

and the shock


the horse, on
to the judges'

of collapse without pain or injury a hot,

when

muggy

day,

comes struggling

stand with the driver's voice in his ear, and the driver's

whip

laid at every stride across his


race.
;

rump.

It is lungs that

win on such a day and


it
;

Bone-structure won't do
it

muscles won't do

it

nervous energy won't do


in

lungs,

and lungs

alone,

win

such contests.

If

you

would
Start

realize the force of this, try a short race yourself


off

and run forty or sixty rods even


likely,

at

your

sharpest

jump: very
you

before you have gone half

that distance,

will

begin to discover where your


ivind.

lungs

lie,

and the value of

Now, what was


so suddenly ?

it

that

gave
in

out,

and made you stop

" Pain

my
;

side,

shortness of breath,"
all

you
your

reply.
feet

Exactly.

Your leg-bones were


you
a mile

right

didn't pain

your muscles could have carried you forward


;

your determination was strong enough

but

190

THE PERFECT HORSE.

your wind gave out


lungs
If
to speed.

You

see

now

the relation of

Now,

reader, I put the question to you,

you have a

fine colt,

what are you


is

striving to

do with

him?

Ten

to

one your anxiety

to build

up

his bone-

substance, develop his muscles, restrain his nervousness,

educate him to go squarely, keep his blood in a good


condition.

All these points

you have paid the

closest

attention to;

but the lungs

the most

essential of all

organs, able to contribute most to your success in the

hour of

trial

you have
do?" you
air.

left to

take care of themselves.


This, in the first place,

''What can
I

inquire.

reply

See that your horse or colt has plenty of pure,

fresh,

unhreathed

well-ventilated stable,

where

the horse has plenty of air that no other animal's breath

has tainted,

is

the

first

essential.

Foul

air

means

foul

blood

and

foul

blood means diseased lung-substance.


is

If your colt's blood

diseased, his lungs are being built


like as

up with diseased substance,


of rotten bricks.
If,

when
is

a wall

is

built

now, your

colt is in

good

health,

and has a

stall

well ventilated, and

exercised to the

halter every day,

you think

all is

being done that need

be or can be; but you are greatly mistaken. Such treatment will keep him in good health, and an average
lung-growth: but for speed you must have more than
this
;

you need extraordinary lung-development.


pray,

And
lung:

how,

can
?

we

obtain

this

extraordinary

development
putting the
the top

In this way, and in this

way

alone

By
to

colt at least

two or three times each iveeh


exercise-lot.

of his speed in the

Not

until his

HOW
blood
is

TO TRAIN

COLT.

191

heated somewhat, and lungs and heart have

begun

to

work under
fiist

pressure,

is

either the blood or

wind sent

and forcefully enough into and through

the venous system of the lungs to fairly

expand them.
of veins,
heart,

The lung-substance,
minute blood-ducts
the colt
is
;

as

you know,

is

full

in

and the action of the


is

when

merely jogged about,

not strong and rapid

enough
which
it

to

send the blood through these in the


in order to strengthen

way

must be sent

and build

them

up.

Moreover, in order to enlarge and develop

the lungs, they must be distended,


ouglily, to the

distended
air-passage
:

ilior-

extremity of every

little

and,

to

do

this,

the inhalation on the part of the colt must be


;

sudden and strong


the colt
is

which, of course, cannot be unless

put through a course of sharp exercise.

You will
cises

observe that

my plan
field:

is

only Nature's plan, the

location of the exercise being changed.

Nature exer-

her colts in

the

she sends them tearing

through bushes, and jumping brooks and bowlders, and


racing over hillocks
;

nor will she

let

them

halt until
to their
I

their necks are moist, their nostrils distended

utmost capacity, and their flanks


the hint
;

all

a-quiver.

accept

and standing

in the centre of the exercise-lot,

whip

in hand,

my groom

sends

my

favorite colt
at a trot,

around

time and again, time and again,


his keenest

now
This,

now

at

jump,

until his nostrils

show

their red, his


lifted

neck moistens, and

his ribs stand out to sight as

by every

inflation of the lung.

remember,
year round.

is

done
It is

day by day, month

in

and

out, the

192

THE PERFECT HORSE.


touching any organ that

this steady, persisted-in exercise

gives to

it,

in the end, its highest possible

development.

Those who think that they can develop a horse's wind


in

two or three months are greatly mistaken.


day
:

Lungs,

like ships, are not built in a

they cannot be put


race.

into a horse a

month before the expected


in the
liorse^

They

must
he
is

he

grown up

beginning at the day


side;

able to trot

by the dam's

and they can

only be grown in the manner I have pointed out.

In conjunction with the exercise-lot, and alternating

with

it,

if

convenient, comes jogging on the


track.

road or

around the

Some people
is

say, "

Never drive nor


This
is

harness a colt before he


nonsense.
sarily, to

five years old."


is

sheer

The

natural state

not the best

state, neces-

an animal so highly organized as the horse.


will take a

Dio Lewis

boy and
lift

train him,

so that, at
as

twelve years of age, he will


Indian lad of that age

twice as

much

any

who
is

ever lived.

For the pur-

poses of nature. Nature


processes
;

perfect in her educational

but, for the

purposes of man,
colt, if

man

is

the

better disciplinarian.

he be well formed and

of average

size,

should be driven from five to ten miles

to a light hitch-up twice a


to " strip out "

week

at least,

and be allowed and

once or twice every drive for a quarColts are

ter of a mile, too, at that.

made

to go j

going does not hurt them, as any one can see

who

watches them
^'^wjf "

in the pasture.
siueat;^^ but,

It

does not hurt a colt to


this swift

and

^^

on the other hand,


is

and hot lung-and-heart action

just

what

his system

HOW
needs for
its

TO TRAIN A COLT.
I

193

development.

would not say a word


;

to

encourage any to overdrive colts


conduct
is
is

for I hold that

such
colt

criminal

but

I believe, that,

where one

crippled

by

over-exercise, fifty in

the country are

being crippled by
colt,

constrained

idleness.

Give your

friend,

plenty of oats and hay and pure water,


stall,

and

fresh air in his

and plenty of exercise


will

in the
ani-

exercise-lot

and on the road, and you


is

have an
far,

mal,

when he

matured, able to go
out,

fast

and go

and

pull weight, without giving

either:

and

if

you

should ever enter him in competition with another


horse of equal speed

by

nature, but educated in the

old approved style of being babied in a box-stall until

he was put into actual training, you will see your horse
trotting

under the wire with ears pricked, and unlabored


while your rival's nag
is

action

straining

and blowthe stretch

ing, in vain

but frantic

effort,

half

way down
else
colt,

toward the distance-post.


in the education

Whatever

you neglect
reader,

and training of your

do

not neglect the development of his lungs.

No

matter

what theory of development you adopt


for this implies

have a theory

thought on your part touching the matis,

ter

and the trouble now

very
at

likely, that

you have

never given any thought to

it

all.

Next
judge,

to the
in

development of lung-power,

stands, as I

importance, the
to this

development of muscular

power

and

we

will

now

turn our attention.

The muscles which need


13

especial

development are

those of the haunches, or thighs, and hach.

The former

194

THE PERFECT HORSE.


suffer

do not
It
is

from lack of treatment

but the latter do.

not leg-power so
in order to pull
air.

much

as

back-power a horse

needs
ly

weight and project himself rapidthat are located over

through the

The muscles
like

the loins, and run forward

great pulleys

along
if

either side of the spinal column, as


will

you can see

you

watch a horse in
to

action, are the ones relied

on by

nature

do much of the work required.

Hence a
in the

long-backed horse must be exceedingly strong

muscular formation at these points, or he


out

is

sure to give

when

the tug comes.

How
is,

to strengthen the

mus-

cles of the

back and

loins

therefore, a question

worthy
In the

of the breeder's and trainer's closest attention.

human system
ing
hills,

this is

done by

lifting weights,

and climb-

and carrying burdens.

Every one knows what


will

enormous burdens the porters of the East


under with
barely
this
lift,

walk

off

ease,

burdens which
less shoulder.
is

an American could

much
?

Well,

how do

they get
life

power
labor.

The answer

found in their habit of

and

From boyhood they


and thus nature

are porters, weightto

carriers.

Every day adds a pound


;

their weight-

carrying capacity

is

developed to an

extent which seems marvellous to


exercise and labor.

us,

unused

to such

Well, muscles and bones are the


the same in the horse as in the

same everywhere,

man
loins

and

if

man, by certain practice, and exercise at Aveight-

carrying, can develop the muscles of his


so that his natural capacity can

back and

be more than doubled,

why

can

we

not develop the back and loin power of

HOW

TO TRAIN A COLT.

195
I

our colts in like manner, and to the same extent?


hold, therefore, that the muscles of a colt's
loins can
sition of

back and

be

easily
;

and greatly developed by the impobeginning, say,


the

weight

when he

is

two years
maturity.

of age, and

continuing

practice

until

Many

horses naturally

somewhat weak

at these points

could be brought, in a few years, to be above the

average capacity by a judicious treatment of weighting.

So

far as I

have experimented in
successful,

this direction, the re-

sult has

been eminently

precisely what one


case,
it

would expect, from the circumstances of the


would
be.

This I know, that, even in a few months,

the muscles of the back and loins can be enlarged and

brought

out,

so that the

improvement

in

the steadi-

ness of the animal's gait, and his

power

to stride, are

perceptible even to the driver's eye.

Many

horses " tangle up," and go to pieces, because

the muscles of the back are too


sary control

weak

to put the neceslegs.

upon the framework and the


the unsteadiness of motion
is

Every

horse "breaks" in the back before he "breaks" in the


leg;
it

that

is,

which, when
to his legs,

has passed a certain limit,

communicated

causing him to change his gait from a trot into a run, in

order to save his balance


as a horse can
is

begins

in the back.

As long
line,

keep

his

back-bone in a straight

he

all right.

His

loss of control

over himself springs

from a muscular weakness at that point.

One reason
is

why

a horse
is

should never be pulled so that he


because,

doubled up,

when

so

doubled up, he cannot

196

THE PERFECT HORSE.


spinal

keep the

column

which
is

is

to the

framework

of the horse what the keel


ship

to the

framework of a
most
say,
.

straight.

Some

say,

indeed

when
first

driving a race, watch your horse's head for the


signs of unsteadiness.

Hiram Woodruff

said, that, in
first

the
pre-

action of the head, the driver could see the

monitions of a break.
not set any opinion of
gestion.

Against such authority

would

my

own, save in the way of sugright,

But while Woodruff may be


is

and un-

doubtedly
cases, I

right, in

many, perhaps the majority of


that, in

am, on the other hand, confident,

some

horses, the signs of the

coming break can be quickest

perceived in the action of the spinal column.


is to

My
is

habit

watch the horse's back

so long as that

straight,

well-steadied, the action of the

back-muscles regular

and

in a straight line, I

keep sending the horse along.


kind of kinking-up

Only when a

slight quiver or twist, a


is

or swaying motion,

seen in the back, do I take him

more
to

firmly in hand,

and steady him


again.

until

he has time

straighten

himself out

The advantage of

watching the

line of the back, instead of the head, of


is

a horse, to perceive the signs of the coming break,


found, as
it

seems to me,
all

in this

The head

sign

is

not

the same in
eye,

horses

nor

is it

so unmistakable to the
to

unless you have driven the horse enough become peculiar habit of going, and acquainted with
his

there-

fore not so

much
as

to

be depended upon, nor so

easily

discerned,

the

vibratory
it

movement

of the

spinal

column, which, while

invariably precedes the " tan-

HOW

TO TRAIN

COLT.

197

gling up," can be easily perceived

by

tlie

merest novice.

But we were speaking


rather than

as to

how
it

to strengthen the back,

how
;

to

watch

give forth the signs of

unsteadiness

and

to this point let us

now

return.

We
now
ting

have discussed the influence of weights in de-

veloping the muscles of the loin and back.


allude,
briefly,

We

would

to

what might be
;

called the in-

fluence of up-hill exercise

by which

mean
under

the trottraining,

and running of
declivities.

colts or the horse,

up sharp

This

is

Nature's
all

method

of

development.
processes,

Running through
find

her

educational

you

the

element of opposition.

She

makes her birds


with them.
swift

to fly against currents of air as often as


fishes

Her

must contend with


;

tides

and the

opposition of rapids

while the noblest of the

species

must practise

their powers, often for days at a

time, in vain, in the spirited attempt to

jump
the

the oppos-

ing waterfall.
this

Surely
;

arrangement
can
the

for

we can discern we can see that


structural

wisdom of

only by such a

process
attained.

highest

development be
to

Turning now from theory and analogy

observation of data^ this


in

we know,
and

that horses raised

mountainous

districts

hilly sections

have better

lung-development, and are stronger in the loins and


back, than those raised in the
lands.
flat

meadows

of the lowin part,


;

The character of the atmosphere may,


save
are

account for the improvement in the lung-structure nothing


localities

but
such

the

fact,

that

horses

raised in

compelled,

by the

necessities

of their

198

THE PERFECT HORSE.

situation, to

jump

streams,

and climb
their loin

hills,

can ex-

plain the increased

power of
is

and back.
this.

The Morgan horse

a wonderful illustration of

Such a weight-puller, when you consider


tainly

his size, cer-

was never seen

in America,

and, so far as

we

know, never seen

in the world.

And

to-day a colt

raised in Vermont, or the mountainous sections of

New

Hampshire and

New

York,

is

almost invariably coupled,

at the junction of the spinal

column with the hip-bones,


alike suggest

like a giant.

Analogy and observation

to

the

breeder and trainer that every young horse

should be put through a certain amount of up-hill exercise.

Do
all,

not trot your colts alone on the level stretch

above

avoid the descending grade.


;

Practise

him

in to

the other direction a


hill, let

and

especially,

when you come


For
one, I

him take

it

at the jump.

am

free

to say I prefer that

my

colts should be driven, while


hills

being developed, along a road with a great many


in
it.

How

often
is

you see

horses,

when

trotting a race

on a track that

not perfectly level, falter in their gait

when
could
could
too

taking the rising stretch, lose the strength and


of their stroke,

steadiness
trot,

and drop behind!

They

you
fast,

see,

down

a descending grade; they

move weak in

even on level ground: but they were

the back and loins to force themselves up

the ascent.
pecial care

Had

they been properly trained, and


at

es-

been exercised to develop them

the

desired point, they


stride

would have kept

their

length of
to
top,

and powerful stroke from bottom

and

now
come
in

TO TRAIN A COLT.
instead

199
disgracefully-

the

winner,

of being

beaten.

And

yet the fault was more with the trainer


;

than with the horse

because the horse could not reason,


is

while the trainer's business


the
race,

to

think,

and think

for

horse,

not only during the few moments of the


all

but during
it.

the months, and years even, that


call

precede

And

here I wish to

the reader's atten-

tention to the influence of slow exercise in connection

with weight-pulling.

Good

steady team-work, such as


is,

a horse finds in ordinary farm-labor,

in

my

estimation,

one of the best methods that can be adopted to develop

many

horses in muscular strength.

Horses that
es-

are narrow in the chest, and


pecially benefited in this

weak in Many way.

the back, are


colts that

cannot

command
or two,

their legs, that hit


like, if

their knees,

"grab over,"

"hitch," and the


will

put to team-service for a year


discipline
in

come out of the

splendid

health and condition, and able to go fast without hitting a hair.

This I
colts are

know from

actual experience.

great

many
selves,

being trained on race-courses to-day,

at great

expense to their owners, and risks to them-

in reference to

which
all

it

may be

said,
if

that

it

would be

vastly better for

concerned

they were

taken from the track, and given to some old farmer to


use on his farm for two or three years.
their frames

In that time
their

would spread,

their chests expand,

bones harden, their muscles enlarge, and they would


escape the fate which

now

awaits them,
I

a premature

break-down and an early death.

hold that slow

200

THE PERFECT HORSE.


for

work

some

colts is

the only

work which they can

stand with safety, and therefore the only

work

to

which

they should be put.


it is

It is the best

way, only because

the only way.

It is to correct faults of formation,

rather than to develop perfect formation.


tion being understood,
I give
it

This distinc-

my

hearty indorse-

ment.

We
of the

have now progressed so

far

in our discussion

touching the best


colt, in

way

to

develop the natural capacity

order that he

may go

fast

and

far,

that
will

the matter of driving must be noticed;

and we

proceed to consider
fessional's

it.

do not write with the pro-

knowledge or

practical experience in racing,

nor, indeed,

from the professional's stand-point,

The
it,

object of this book, so far as I

am
I

connected with

is

not to attempt to teach professionals in their especial

branch of business, of which

know

nothing, but to

make

certain suggestions, based in part

on the opinions
study and ob-

of other men, and in part upon


servation of the horse

my own

when

in action, as driven

by

gentlemen on the road, or


respects
it is

at our annual fairs.

In

many

more

difficult to

drive a

young and un-

trained horse well

requiring greater upon the road quickness of the eye and hand, and finer control over
one's self
level

than
in
colt in

to"

drive trained animals on a smooth

track

the

public race.

Especially

does
skill

it

require intelligence and a goodly degree of


drive
a

to

such a

way

as to prevent

him from

acquiring vicious habits of going, and to confii'm him in

HOW
the practice of

TO TRAIN A COLT.
ones.

201

good

And

it is

with the driving

of colts that

we

will begin.
is

We

will

suppose that your colt


it
is

so far familiar with

the harness and wagon, that the public highway.


colt in a

safe to drive

him on

In the

first

place, avoid driving a

two-wheeled sulky.

No

matter

how

well
;

it is

balanced, the pressure on his back will be variable

and

before you are aware,

by the spring of the


will

shafts

up and

down, unsteadiness of gait

be the

result.

four-

wheeled wagon,
far preferable.

light as circumstances will permit, is

In such a vehicle his stride will be


his

steadier,

and

confidence
is

in

himself

far

greater.

Another great advantage

found in the

fact, that, in

four-wheeled vehicle, you are seated so far back, that

you can watch the movements of


whatever
is

his limbs,

and observe
a source of

wrong

in their action.

This
first

is

great satisfaction to a driver.


cate in your colt
is,

The
is

lesson to incul-

that he

to start off slowly.

For

the

first

quarter of a mile, let

him walk.

It is well to

have him

start into a trot of his


;

own
and
fast

accord.

This a

sprightly colt will naturally do

his gait will soon

become, without his being urged,


road.
If

enough

for the

he

is

two years of age, you can jog him from

four to ten miles three times a

week

for the first


is

month,

with decided benefit to him.

This distance

sufficient

to take the friskiness out of him,

and make him underonly two

stand that

it

means

business.
;

Some advocate

or three miles every day


tance, with a

but

I think that a longer dis-

day of

rest

between the

exercises,

is

far

202
preferable.
let

THE PERFECT HOKSB.


After the
little.

first

month, you can begin to


likely,

him out a

Yery

before

this,

he has

begun

to get an inkling of his powers,

and showed a

disposition to avail himself of the

smooth stretches in

the road.

For
;

such

manifestations
their

you have been


a delight to your
it

anxiously looking
soul.

and

coming

is

It is the sure
;

evidence that your colt has " got


is

in

him

"

and

that,

with proper education, he


select

bound

to

be a

trotter.

Now

your nicest bit of ground,


be, not

straight

and level

as

may
it,

more than

fifty

rods

in length, at least

two miles from your

stable, so that,

by
has

the time he reaches

the effervescence of his spirits


to
it,

worked

itself

out
lift

and when you have come


his head,
is

and he begins
his tongue,

to

and

feel of the bit

with
not

which he

pretty sure to do,


it.

do

restrain him, but let

him go

Don't say any thing to


let

him.

It is his affair,

remember; and

him enjoy

it

undisturbed.

Simply steady him

slightly with the lines


sufficient dis-

and

after

he has gone what you regard as a


is

tance,

and while he

in full blast,

and eager

as a

young

hound on
him
up.
;

the scent, take

him gently

in hand,

and slow

Now
flatter

is

your time to praise him.


;

Call

him pet

names
hand.

him

reach over and pat him with your


feel

Make him
as

that

he has done something

worthy, and that you are proud of him.


incredulously

Do

not smile
colt

you read

this,

and say a

can't

understand you.
all

colt can
is

understand you.

Among
to praise.

animals, the

dog only

more susceptible

If

you have the right

stuff in you,

you cannot drive a

HOW
colt a

TO TRAIN A COLT.

203

month without a kind of half-human intelligence springing up between you and him. He will recognize
you when you enter
his stall.

He
you

will

grow

to

expect
lines.

your caress when you mount the seat and take the

He

will

keep an ear turned


I

as

jog, to catch

your

lightest word.

have known horses neigh back an


It is a

answer when their driver spoke to them.


thing, believe me, to

great

establish this understanding becolt.

tween you and your

With

this spurt

be content.

Try no more

that day.

Jog him through

his journey,

and bring him home

to his stable

with only that one

memory

in his mind.

Let him rest a day, then try him again.


get within
fifty

Before you

rods of that stretch of road, you will find


it.

your

colt anticipating
it

have no doubt but that he


stall,

has thought

all

over in his
strip out

and made up

his

mind how he would


spot again;
for

when he reached
to
it,

that
than,
line,

no sooner has he come

without a word from you, or the movement of a

he will begin to
into the
is

stir

the bits in his mouth,


tail

lift

his nose
it.

air,

elevate his

little,

and go

at

This
It

the

way

that a colt should be taught to trot.

should be of his

own

free accord

the

mere overflowit

ing of a vitality so vigorous and buoyant, that


not be restrained.
voice and whip,
if

can-

An
make

old horse
;

can be urged with


let

need be

but

your

colt alone.
It

Don't urge him:


is

haste slowly at this point.

not great speed that you want now, so

much

as a

desire to go,

and a correct movement of the hmbs.

204

THE PEKFECT HOESE.


desire,

Educate him in the


larity of stroke,

and confirm him


is

in regu-

and the speed


he
is

sure to follow in due


little

time.
in his
It is

If

you

find that
let
is

getting a

sluggish

movements,

him

rest:

hold up for a week.


;

evident that he

being overdone

and

to

overdo

at this point of his education, will, in the majority of


cases,

prove

fatal to the colt's

promise and the owner's

hopes.

Another sure sign that you are exacting too


of him
is

much
gait.

seen

when he begins

to hitch in his
fast

This
;

hitching

comes from driving too


colt.

and

too far

at times

from over-weighting the

quote

the following from thatlnost admirable

work by Hiram

Woodruff, " The Trotting-Horse of America."


of this matter of over-working, he says,

Speaking

"The work must be according

to his constitution, to

the rate of his growth, and to his heartiness of feeding.

This jogging will probably be about five or six miles a


day, and the spurts not above a quarter of a mile.

He

must be carefully watched


proves or not.
If not,
at this
is

to ascertain
is

whether he imbit
:

he

to

be

let

up a

for his

improvement
and
will, if

age ought to go on

all

the time;

he

all right.
:

Rapid improvement, however so


little will

ever,
it

must not be expected

do

but
will

ought not

to stop altogether.
his gait
;

At
and

this time,
this is

you

often sec

him break
But

an indication

that he has

had too much work


it

for his age,

and has got

sore on

it.

may

not arise altogether from overrollers

work:

therefore

put the

on,
to

and work him


leg
as required.

gently, changing

them from leg

HOW
The
colt

TO TRAIN A COLT.

205

now

finds

something on

his legs, besides the


;

boots,

which was not there before

and

it

will alter his

way

of going.
all

He must be

nicely handled now.

You

must use

your observation and best judgment, with


In
all

a light but firm hold of the reins.

probability,
;

he

will trot square again


so, let

with the rollers on

and, as

soon as he does

him up

for a little while.

When

the broken gait shows, he must not on any account be

kept on without a change


confirmed.

for, if

he

is,

it

may become
them
they
their
for, if

On

the other hand, I never like to let


trot square again
;

up

until I

have got them to

are so let up, they

may

not trot square again

when

work

is

resumed."
is

There

another point of prime importance in driving


:

any horse, but especially a young one


handle the
reins.
;

it is

the

way you
They
at-

Most drivers overdrive.

tempt too much


the horse.

and, in so doing, distract or

hamper

Now

and then you


is

find a horse with such a

vicious gait, that his speed


artificial

got from him by the most

processes; but such horses are fortunately rare,


style

and hence the

of

management required cannot


is

become

general.

The true way

to let the horse drive

himself, the driver doing little

but directing him, and giv-

ing him that confidence Avhich a horse alone gets in himself

when he
which

feels that

a guide and friend

is

back of him.
is

The most
that
lines

vicious and inexcusable style of driving


so

many

drivers adopt;

viz.,

wrapping the

around either hand, and pulling the horse backward


all

with

their

might and main, so that the horse,

in point

206

THE PERFECT HORSE.


fact, pulls

of

the weight back of


his breast

him with

his

mouth,

and not with

and shoulders.

This they do
is

under the impression that such a dead pull


order to "steady " the horse.
I

needed

in

This method of driving


superlatively wrong.
It

regard as radically and

would tax the ingenuity of a hundred


worse one.

fools to invent a

The

fact

is,

with rare exceptions there


all.

should never be any pull put upon the horse at


steady pressure
is

A
but

allowable, probably advisable


this

any thing beyond

has no justification in nature or

reason: for nature suggests the utmost possible freedom

of action of head, body, and limbs, in order that the

animal

may attain

the highest rate of speed

and reason
bits,

certainly forbids the supposition, that

by the

and

not the breast-collar, the horse


attached to
it.

is

to

draw the weight


seldom
road
lines
is

In speeding

my

horses, I very

grasp the lines with both hands


straicrht,

when

the

and

free

from obstructions.

The

are

rarely

steadily

taut,'
shift

but held in easy pliancy,

and

used chiefly to

the bit in the animal's mouth, and

by
to

this

motion communicate courage and confidence


I
find, that,

him.

by

this

method,

my

horses break

less,

and go much

faster,

than

when

driven by

put the old-fashioned steady pull upon them.


of no writer'who expresses
accurately as the writer
''

men who I know

my ideas, in whom I have just


is

the main, so

quoted
to

In

all his

work, the colt

to

be taught

go along
easily

without being pulled hard.


spoiled for
life

His mouth

may be

by teaching him

to tug at the bit

now

HOW
and he
trot
is

TO TRAIN A COLT.
likely to
his

207
if to

not at

all

make

a fast trotter,

he must always have

weight upon the driver's


fast trotters

arms.
that

There have been some

and stayers
be remem-

were hard pullers

but they would have been


fact.

better horses but for that

Still it is to

bered, that,

when going

fast,

the colt or horse will often


feel the bit sensibly.

want

to get his

head down, and

He

will not, in nine cases out of ten (or can not,

which

comes

to the

same thing), do

his best

without

it.

The The

object of the driver should then be to support


as little pull as possible, but
still

him with

to support him.

horse with a good

mouth

will always feel the di'iver's


is

hand
be

and,

when

the latter

as skilful as

he ought to

for the

handling of the

first-rate

fast trotter,

he may

play upon the rein with a touch like that of a harper

upon the
''

strings,

and the horse

will

answer every touch

with the music of the feet and wheels.

On
bit,

the other hand,

if,

when
it

the colt takes hold of

the

the driver does nothing but hold on like grim

death to a dead darky,

soon

becomes a pullingcolt is of

match between them


trot fast,

and before the

age to

and stay a

distance, his pulling has

become
that he

a vice of the most troublesome and mischievous description


pulls a
;

his

mouth has become


driver along

so callous,

wagon and

by the

reins instead of

by the dead drag between him and the man behind him, he loses a great deal of the power that will be wanted to sustain him when the pinch
the traces; and,

comes."

208

THE PERFECT HORSE.


is

This point

put j)lainlj and eloquently, and, coming

from the greatest master of driving the trotting-horse

America has ever had,

is

to

be accepted, and

will

be by

sensible people, as a law not to be violated.

This pidl-

ing style of driving not only mars a horse's action, but

converts a pleasure into a


the reins
is

toil.

To draw

wagon by

hard work for the horse, and equally hard


It kills the
is

work

for the driver.

very object of driving

among gentlemen, which


stimulating excitement
;

recreation and rest

and

and makes what when properly


in-

managed
go

is

easy and delightful a most laborious and


light, easy,

deed hazardous proceeding. This


style of holding the lines

touch-andis

and guiding the horse

supposed by some to be

insufficient to

prevent a horse

from breaking
fact
is, it is

his gait

but, far

from
is

this

being

true, the
"

the pulled horse that


''twisted''^
tail

most likely to ''kink

up and get

in

going.

Nature has so ad-

justed the head and

of a horse, that they assist him,

when
tails

stretched in rapid motion, to keep his balance, and

direct himself

All speedy animals run with streaming

and straightened necks, and noses pointed ahead


it

and

stands to reason that a horse with his head curbed


is

under, so that his nose

nearly pulled against his breast,

cannot

move
go
in

at his fastest rate of going.

His driver's

insane conduct keeps

him out of balance, and compels


For the same reasons,
especially

him

to

an unnatural way.
should
it
;

check-lines

be

avoided,

on

colts.

Now

and then

may be
but
it

necessary to put

on

some

such contrivance

argues that the colt or horse

HOW

TO TRAIN

COLT.

209

has false action by nature, and detracts materially from


his value.
I

am

not talking about

track-horses^

but

about gentlemen's driving-horses; and


chasers to " bid

I advise all purall

low

"

on a

colt that
this

cannot trot

that

he can

trot

without any of

top-hamper whatever.

Buy no colts that have to be screwed up or screwed down by patented inventions about the head but select
;

one that moves

off

with an untrammelled neck, and nose

held naturally at just the right angle for beauty, and

which

is

held by himself in the right position to accomhis

modate
also,

movements, whatever be
colts that

his gait.

Beware,

how you buy

have to be "booted" and


"rollers."

"padded,"

and gauntleted with

If

you

wish to buy a horse-furnishing establishment, buy one

but don't buy

it

with a sample of
horse.

all

your stock tied


colt,

round the legs of your

Buy no

young man,

that don't go clear in every respect.


hair in going, leave
fool to

If he brushes a

him

in the breeder's

yard for some

purchase

never make one of yourself by buy-

ing him.

His owner will find purchasers enough, no

doubt

But

to return to the matter of

"breaking."

Ordiall.

narily speaking,

do not allow your


is to

colt to break at

Remember
then
let

that your business

educate him to

trot^

not to teach him to run.

But

if

he does ever break,

him break with a vengeance.


it;

Let there be

no half-way work about

no halting and hobbling,


breeching,

and coming back


14

in

the

but a regular

plunge forward, and a rocket-like movement through

210
the

THE PERFECT HOUSE.


air.

If he breaks,

make him gain


that his business

hjj

the break.

Make him understand


hit or miss, in
it,

is to
;

go ahead^

one style as long as possible


style.

but to go
horse, that

style or

no

If

you have a green

comes back

in the

breeching when he breaks, or even


to twist

when

his

backbone begins

up before the break


it

has actually begun, then give him the whip: give

to

him sharp and


at

quick.

Get

all

that nonsense out of

him

once

keep him

sailing.

Do
back

not yank him now, and

grab at him with the


pulling your

lines, as if

your
;

life

depended on

wagon over
until his

his

but
is

let

him take four


gathering his
the bits in

or five

jumps

back-bone
to
;

straightened out,
is

and he has got levelled down


legs

it,

and

up under him

like a racer

then

move
is

his mouth, and " pick

him up."

Don't saw and sway

him, and double him up until his nose


his fore-legs,

down between
his shoulders.

and

his

haunches up over

Remember
keep
it

that his

back must be kept straight

at all

events, or he will not catch his trot square, or

be able

to

when he

has caught
lift

it.

With a
bit,

sharp, firm

turn of your wrist, and a

on the
:

pick his nose

upward, and slightly

to

one side

this will

throw him

from his balance just enough to make him "grab for his
gait,"

and not enough

to twist

him

into unsteadiness or to
first

slack

him
;

up.

You may

not succeed the

or second

time

but persevere until you have educated your wrist


to act in conjunction,

and eye

and you

will then

have

mastered one of the most


manship.

difficult feats

of finest horse-

Sometimes a horse has

to

be broken up to

HOW
the

TO TRAIN

COLT.

211

whip
is

in order to learn his

own

speed.

When

horse

picked

down

to his trot, after

you have got him


Such a

at his best

jump, he

is

forced to trot fast as lightning for

four or five strides, or


gait,

go on

to the

ground.
is

even for a few

steps, to a

green horse,

a revelation

to liimself.

It gives

him a

hint that he never forgets, or

fails to

improve upon.

It is to

him what the

first

dozen

strokes in the water are to a


tion

and an
"

ecstasy.

young swimmer, He can do it! The


It
is

a
feat

revelais

ac-

complished!
horse.

Hurrah!
first

just so

with a young
is

After his
creature.

successful burst of speed, he


his

new
lifted

knowledge of

own

powers, of

which he had not dreamed, has come


on the wings of a new pride.

to him.

He

is

Henceforth he

is

ambitious to excel.

His career has begun.


point in settling a horse from a

The most
him away.
is

difficult
is,

run to a trot

not in picking him up, but in easing

In nineteen cases out of twenty, the horse

quicker than the man.

We
this
;

ho'ld

our horses too long:

we do

not

let
it.

them catch
Bear

their trot

when they
moment

are

ready to do

in mind, reader, the

next
has

time your horse breaks

and,

when

the

come,

let

go of him.
Still

Let every thing go by the run, as


should be observed,
the

sailors say.

this

that

it is

well to

steady or restrain

horse

slightly

for

an

instant after the break, in order that

he may have an

opportunity to collect his thoughts, and confirm his


stroke
if
:

but

still

the law
to

is,

to

keep him going

that

is,

your object

is

make

speed.

212

THE PEHFECT HORSE.


is

There

one peculiarity about the horse


in print
it
;

in trotting

which

have never seen mentioned


it,

and yet

have often observed


I refer to the

and know

to

be important.

way

in

which a horse breathes when movIt is

ing at the top of his speed.

an erroneous idea

to suppose that horses breathe as regularly in action as

when
spurts.

standing

still

or jogging.

Indeed, they do not

breathe at all for strides at a time

when making
does

their

They

act precisely as a

man

when making

a jump.

When

man

is

about to make a great jump,


:

what does he do ?
filling his

This

He

takes in a long breath,


it
!

lungs to the

full,

and then goes

Not

until

the leap
cisely so

is

made

are the lungs inflated again.

It is pre-

with a horse

when

trotting,

and about

to

make

a spurt.

Suppose you have been

trailing,

and have come

to the last-quarter post three lengths behind the leading


horse,
is

which you

feel is

doing about

all

he
;

is

able

to.

It

now

or never with you.


it too.

You know
call

it

and your horse

Jcnows

You move
your

the bits in his mouth, and call

on him.

He

answers your

with a rush that carries


wheel.

him

like a bullet to

rival's

Hold him

there.

Let him get


break
right.
sure.

his breath.

If

you urge him now, he


is,

will
all

If

he can stay where he


are at
call
;

you are

He knows what you


fifty

and,

when you
fate,

are

within
will
is

yards of the wire,

on him again, and he


unless he
is

jump
the

himself to the front as sure as

positively overmatched,

and
is

his

opponent
secret
to

handled

in

same way.

This

the

of the grand

rushes

some horses arc accustomed

make near

the

now
close of the heat,

TO TRAIN A COLT.
race,

213

and which make the

even when

they are
heat
ple,
is

evidently

overmatched, uncertain until the

actually finished.
skilful

How many

times Flora Tem-

he

management of Hiram Woodruff, would wrench victory from the grasp of defeat by this I know a stallion peculiarity of movement and power! that possesses not on the course, and thus unknown
under the

this

power

to a
:

wonderful extent.
there
if
is

No

matter
in

how

fast

is

moving
let

always another link


I

him that

he can

out

necessary.

have seen him gather

himself for one of these rushes, and,

when

called on,

send himself through the


I wish, at this point

air like a bullet

from a gun.

and

in this connection, to

make

several quotations

from Hiram

Woodruff's " Trotting-

Horse of America,"

a book

filled

with much

interest-

ing knowledge and advice, and which, reader,


not own, you should purchase at once
;

if

you do
do
this

and

because his views are in close accordance with mine, and

because they are expressed with great simplicity and


accuracy.
says,

Speaking of the management of the

colt,

he

"

When you come


hand.

to drive him,

it

should be with a

light, firm

The

reins should

be handled nicely
the colt without

and gently.

The driver can manage


if

any jerking or pulling and hauling,


thinks of
patience.

he keeps

cool,

what he

is

about,
is

and uses proper care and


fine

The mouth
so,

now

and

sensitive

and

it

ought to be kept

because

this is the

great organ of
trotter,

communication between a good driver and the

214

THE PERFECT HORSE.

when he is cultivated and improved into a fast horse. What you want the trotter to do when he is at speed is You may to be got into him through his mouth.
encourage him by speaking to him, or sting him into
a greater effort with the
half as

whip

but neither of these


reins,

is

good

as the play

upon the

with which
his lively,

you

let

him know what you want through

sensitive mouth.

You

are then to keep in constant

mind the
the

necessity of not impairing the colt's


reins.

mouth
at

by rough handling of the


bit,

If to

you

pull

and lug

the

colt,

in

his efforts
;

resist

what hurts

him, will very soon pull too


this

for

he
:

will find out that

numbs and deadens


insensible";

the jaws

but

this is at

the

expense of ruination to the mouth.


hard and

It will

become

and the

first

and largest part of

the mischief which goes towards the


puller "
is

making of a hard
you must
is

done.

When you

begin to drive the

colt,

find out

what

sort of bit suits


trial.

him

best.

This

matter of exeasy
in to

perimental

Use both bars and

snaffles, all

and by

feel of

hand, and observation of the

way

which the
ascertain

colt carries his head,

you

will soon

be able

which

bit suits

him

best.

The nicety of your

touch as driver should correspond to the lively sensibility of the colt's

mouth.

bad-tempered, hasty

man

will

very soon spoil a good-tempered young


the

horse.

The use of
avoided.

whip ought,
it

as

a general rule, to be
;

In some cases,

must be used

but

it

should

never be brought into play when the hors# does not

HOW
know what
it is

TO TRAIN A COLT.

215

for.

slap with the whip,

which
is

al-

most makes the

colt

jump out

of the harness,

often

immediately followed by a powerful snatch on the reins


to pull

him back
be.

again.

Both of these are

as

bad

as

bad can

Sore mouths, bad tempers, and broken


almost inevitable results of such handling.
if

gaits, are the

On

the other hand,

the colt has been well broken,

and has a good


reins skilfully
to
it.

lively

mouth, and the driver handles the


colt will soon learn

and thoughtfully, the

understand every
it

move

of the hand, and to answer


that

From this move with the


you
feel

follows

you ought
definite

to

make no

bit without a

object.

When
do
it

an impulse to do something with the reins


it

without knowing what you are to do


at
all.

/or, don't

Such moves only

fool the horse.


is

Everybody
a nuisance
;

admits that a very hard-pulling horse

and everybody knows that some horses


are to trot,

will pull if they

and
:

will not

extend themselves without a


regard to these,
all
it is

strong pull
to

but,

even

in

not well
I
say,

keep up a steady, rigid pull


for a space,
;

the time.
off,

Rather pull

and then ease


this

not suddenly,
will not pull

but gradually

and by

means they
It is

quite so hard, and will trot faster.

not natural for

horses

to

pull

hard.

Some
pullers

there are, of

uncommon
;

ardor and determination, that will pull in company

but

more are made hard

by

faulty handling

when

young, which has deadened their mouths.


" In order that a fast horse should

be under circum-

stances to do his best, he should be as

much

at his ease

216

THE PERFECT HOKSE.


and general rig
as possible.

in his harness

If he

is

not,

he
or

is

placed at almost as
or suffering from

much disadvantage
some bodily

as if sore

stiff*

ailment.

You

may

see horses brought out of the stable to trot with a

very tight check to keep their heads up, and a tight


martingale to keep
it

down.

Such a horse

is

in irons

and when

to this

is

added a dead drag


bit

at the reins,

and

no movement of the

from end to end, I cannot see


People talk about a steady,
is

how he
way
to

should do his best.


;

bracing pull

but, in

my

opinion, that

not the right

drive a trotter.
letting
dull,

There

is

a great difference

between

go of your

horse's head,
all

and keeping

up one
a great
it

deadening pull
is

the time.

The
;

race-

horse riders practise what

called a bracing pull


tire

and

many

times I have seen their horses

under
pull

without ever running their best.

The steady

choked them.

The

pull should

be

sufficient to feel the

mouth, and give some support and assistance, so as to


give the horse confidence to get up to his
stride.

More
the not

than that
bit

is

mischievous.
little

To keep

the

mouth
But
rein.

alive,

must be shifted a

occasionally.

this is

to

be done by a pull of the hand on the

mere

half-turn of the wrist, or less than half a turn,

by which
is

the

thumb

is

elevated,

and the

little

finger lowered,
sensitive,

sufficient to shift the bit,

keep the mouth

and

rouse the horse.


"

The

reins are to

be steadily held with both hands


is

while this play with the wrist


course, only to

made

and

it

is,

of

be done with one wrist

at a time.

The

HOW

TO TRAIN A COLT.

217

hands should be well down


to sit all

and the driver ought not


Neither

of a heap, with his head forward.

should he lean back, with his bodily weight on the


reins
;

which, in that case, are

made

a sort of stay for

him.

He

should be upright

and what pulling he must

do should be done by

the muscular force of the arms.


are

The head and the arms

what a good driver uses

but some have their arms straight out, and pull by

means of putting the dead weight of


the reins.
If instead of lying back,

their bodies

on

and putting

their

bodily weight on the reins, with which latter they take

a turn round their hands, drivers would depend upon


their muscular strength, they could let

up on the

pull,
in-

graduate

it,

and

so ease the horse

from time to time

stantaneously.

The

driver

has

command
command
is

of the

who depends upon the arms horse he who substitutes bodily


:

weight, with the reins wrapped round his hands, has not
half

of the horse, or of himself either

and, if

the horse
driver.

a puller, he will soon take


it
is,

command
is

of the

The reason of
no

that there

no intermisor horse.

sion of the exertion,

let-up, either for


it is

man

Besides, in that

those

way movements to

of driving,

impossible to give

the bit which seem to refresh and

stimulate the horse so much.

When

a horse has been


bit,
fail

taught the significance of this movement of the


shift

the
to

by the turn of the


it,

wrist,

he will never

answer

even though he should seem to be

at the top

of his speed.

The moment he

feels this little

move

of

the bit in his sensitive mouth,

he

will collect himself,

218

THE PERFECT HORSE.


:

and make another spurt


driving
is,

and the value of


is

that the horse


;

not likely to

way of break when


this
is

thus called upon


if

while a high-strung, generous horse,

called

upon

for a final effort


it falls

with a whip,
as not.
this

as likely

to

break the moment

on him

have won

many
It is

a very close heat by practising


I

movement
it.

and therefore
not

have no hesitation in recommending


acquire
;

difficult to
it

and the horse soon comes

to

know what
*'

means.

Let us come now to the way of taking hold of the

reins.

wrap around the hand, such


is

as running-horse

riders take,

clumsy and bad.

do not know whether

many people
Perhaps
not.

take hold of the reins as I do, or not.


Sim. Hoagland
is

the only one

who

takes

hold precisely as

I do, so far as I

have observed.

When
;

we have been jogging horses together at early mornand, ing, we have often talked over these matters whether our way was the best way or not, we could
never see any other that suited us half as well.
" I will try to explain

how

hold the
first,

reins.

could

show
This,

it

in

two seconds.

Take,
bit,

the right-hand rein.


little fin-

coming from the


third

passes betwen the

ger and the

finger,

over the

little

finger,

then

under the other three

fingers,

and up over the thumb.


left

The

left-hand rein
;

is

held in the

hand exactly

in the
is

same way
also held

but the bight of the slack of the reins

hand.
if it
is

between the thumb and forefinger of the left but, This gives more substance in that hand
;

found inconvenient to have

it

there

by those

HOW
who have

TO TRAIN
it

COLT.

219
altogether.

small hands,

may be dropped
is

firm grasp on each rein, with the backs of the hands

up,

and without any wrap,

thus obtained.

It

is

great point in driving to be able to shift the reach,


that
is,

for to

the length of the hold

you

take,

without,
With
If I

an

instant, letting

go of the
it is

horse's head.
easily done.

this

way

of holding the reins,

want

shorten the hold on the left-hand rein (the near rein), I

take hold of that rein just behind the

left

hand with the


and steady
it.

thumb and
This
is

forefinger of the right hand,


;

very easily done

and

it

does not interfere at

all

with the

command

of the off rein with the right hand.

The near
over the

rein being thus steadied behind the left hand,

I slide that

hand forward on the

rein,

which

is

kept

little finger,
all

under the other three

fingers,

and

over the thumb


again on the
is

the time, and then shut the grasp

new

reach.

shift

with the right hand


taking hold and

made

just in the

same

way, by

steadying the rein behind that hand with the

thumb

and forefinger of the


"I

left

hand.
that,

have often observed,


reins, there

with other methods of


difficulty in shifting
;

holding the
the reach.

was great
do
it

The driver

tries to

but, for

an

instant,

he has

let

go of the horse's head on one side altogether,


his stride.
all

and broken
case, the

When

this is
is

found
;

to

be the
this

dead pull

the time

adopted

and

spoils the

freedom and
his wind.
I

elasticity of the horse's stride,

and chokes
as

do not intend

this to

be taken

instruction

for professional

drivers.

Every driver

220

THE PERFECT HOUSE.

has a

way
;

of his
for,

own

and some of them have very


state before,

good ways

as I

have taken occasion to


I

they drive well.

But what

have

set

be of service to gentlemen who drive

down above may their own horses,


as yet

and

to those

young men, who, having


own,

no

settled

method of
that

their
I

may

think

it Avell

enough

to try

which
bits.

have found to answer.


I

Another word

about

am opposed

to the use of severe bits,


sort.

and complicated things of that

Some

of the
;

in-

ventors of such things say that I


don't think I am.
If a

am

prejudiced

but I

man

has a horse that cannot be

driven with a bar-bit or a


him, except
it

snaffle,

he may

as well sell

is

a very exceptional case.


bits

Where

are

these kinds of severe complicated

most

in use ?

Why,

in England.

Five hundred or a thousand of them


is

are used there to one that

used here.

And where do

the horses trot the best

These

bits are mostly invent-

ed by men who have had no practical experience whatever as to what sort of driving a
fast trotter requires to

keep

his gait square

and bold, and induce him

to

do

his best

when

it is

called for.
is

When

a horse has a good

mouth,

and

bad one
driving,

almost always the fault of


easier the bit

bad breaking and

the

you

use,

the better he will act for you, and the


will

more speed he

show you."
touching the matter of punishing horses
:

This, also,

when they break


knowing what

is

" In nine cases out of ten, a horse punished without his


for

punished for his driver's

fault,

not

HOW
for his
stances.

TO TRAIN

COLT.

221

own.
If

Confidence cannot grow in such circum-

you observe two good


to

trotters
in

who have

been accustomed

work together

double harness,

you

will see

what speed and steadiness follow from conEach knows that he or she can
to

fidence in each other.

depend upon the mate


tain the

keep up the
action.

stroke,

and mainas

even pull and level

It is of just

much importance

that the single-harness

horse should
it

understand and have confidence in his driver, as


for a double-harness horse to

is

know

the

power and ways

of his mate.

Unless this sort of mutual understanding

can be established between the driver and the horse,


the latter can never be relied
readiest
firmly,

upon
is

to

do

his best.

The

way

to

produce

it

to use

him gently but

and

to accustom him to the system of telegraph-

ing to him by means of the reins in your hand and the


bit in his

mouth.

The whip
more

is

to

be kept very much in

the background while

you are

cultivating confidence in

your horse.
an
aid.

It is

likely to

prove an obstacle than

''I

now come to when the horse

the last critical point in this matter,


is

tired,

and inclined

to break.

In

a long brush, you will often have reason to look for an

attempt to break
stances

and

it

will generally

be

in circumit.

when

the horse must not be suffered to do


as I

There are times,


horse, a break

have shown, when, with a tired


;

may be brought on with advantage but there are others when all will be lost if a break occur. To prevent it, give the shift with the bit when you per-

222

THE PEKFECT HORSE.


tire,

ceive that he begins to


will revive

and soon renew


his
to

it:

this

and rouse him, and take


felt

mind

oiF the

break which he has


signs of a

he was about
will

make.

The

coming break

be discovered by watching

the head and ears of the horse.


driver ought always to be fixed
horse.

The

attention of the
his

upon the head of

Many
is

a heat

is lost

by neglect of

this matter.

driver

seen coming up the stretch a length or a

length and a half ahead.

Both the horses are tired;

but the leading one could win.

The

driver,

however,

when he
him.

gets

where the carriages

are, turns his

head

to
at

look at the

ladies, or to see

whether they are looking

Just then the horse gives a twitch with his ears.


see
it.

The driver don't


ugly
neck."
I

Up

flies

the trotter

and the

man behind keeps

his horse square,

and wins by a

have now touched upon the

essential

points

in

reference to the training and driving of colts and horses.


I

wish the reader to bear in mind that

have written
;

in the

way

of suggestion, and not of dictation

my

ob-

ject being to

awaken thought, rather than

to lay

down
it
fit

inflexible rules.
is

Concerning the preparation which

necessary to give a horse in order to

make him
that I

for a public race, it does not

seem

to

me
this

am

called

upon

to speak.

The object of

book does
will, for
it,

not

call for

such a discussion.

The men who

the most part, I presume, purchase and read

are

men

in

no ways interested save as spectators in public


If

racing.

any reader has a horse that he wishes to

HOW

TO TRAIN A COLT.

223

bring out, and which must, therefore, receive the grand


preparation, his true course
is

to

commit him
and

to the to

charge of

some experienced

trainer

driver,

whose opinion and advice every thing relating


animal should be referred.
the interest
I

to the

have written rather in


large, and, I

of the breeder, and of that

glad to say, rapidly-increasing class of gentlemen

own, and love to drive, the


these I

trotting-horse.

am who Among
I

am happy
open

to

be numbered as a companion.

hold that no healthier recreation or innocent amuse-

ment

is

to the business
this of driving

and professional men of


speedy horses.
It gives

America than

relaxation to the mind, breaks pleasantly and imperatively in

upon the prolonged

strain

and tension of

anxious thought, begets and nourishes a spirited but


harmless rivalry, and compels a delightful and profitable companionship with Nature.
I

know,

that, in the

minds of some, prejudices exist against men of professed piety indulging in such an amusement.

To own

a fast horse

opens up before their prophetic vision


It is needless to say that I

truly awful contingencies.

do
I

not, to

any considerable extent, share in

this anxiety.

have never discovered any law in nature, or injunc-

tion in revelation,

which makes

it

a duty for a

good

man

to

own and
I

use a poor specimen of any species of

animals.

see no reason

why

such a person should


black sheep in
in his

have none but homely birds

in his cages,

his flocks, lean kine in his fields,


stables.

and lazy horses

The

fact

is,

a good

man

has a right to the

224

THE PERFECT HORSE.

best.

The

perfect
is

type

is

the

only

fit

type.

Any

thing less than this

unworthy,

lapse

and

falling-ofF

from the original standard as erected in the creation.

horse was
to
fly
;

made
and

for

speed as truly as a bird was

made

flight

and speed become,


If a

therefore,

standards of appreciation and value.


to speed,

man

objects

then

why

drive a horse at

all ?

Why
it ?

not
If

take a donkey or a cow, and have done with


piety
is

compatible only with slowness of motion, then


is

a horse

no animal for a Christian

to

own anyway
embod-

for the nearer a horse approaches, as I conceive, to the

original type,

and

also the divine intention as

ied in

it,

the

more speedy he becomes.


I
;

Beauty and

speed are therefore, as


of desire and admiration

conceive, legitimate objects

and, since the horse embodies

these two characteristics in a greater degree than any

man is of sound judgment, and lacketh not wisdom, who desires Indeed, a man that to own a beautiful and fast horse. does not love and desire such a creature seems to me to be lacking in some essential elements of human
other domestic animal,
it

is

a proof that the

nature.

Something was omitted

in

his

construction,

which, being possessed, would have


better.
I

made him

larger and

do not
is,

object, therefore, either to fast horses,

as the phrase
restrictions,

or to driving them fast within proper

such as

common
;

sense and

humane impulse

will naturally suggest

nor do I see any reason


fine

why

gentlemen owners and breeders alike of

horses

should not exhibit their paces and their rate of speed

HOW
at our annual fairs,

TO TRAIN

COLT.

225

when
to

the people
sell,

come together

to

inspect

and compare,

buy and

the vegetable and


it is

animal products of the country.

If

right to offer

and receive a prize

for fatness of swine,

and stoutness

of oxen, and fleece-bearing capacity of sheep, and even


fancy kinds of hens and pigeons, then I do not see

why

prizes should not

be offered and contended

for in

respect to the comparative speed of rival horses.

No

one has a right to condemn an honorable rivalry among


honorable

men

in honorable things.
16

CHAPTER

VII.

THE HORSE'S FOOT, AND HOW TO SHOE

IT.

We
cult

now come

to the consideration of the

most

diffi-

and interesting subject a horseman can consider,

the matter of shoeing.

Hundreds of volumes have been

written upon this topic, and hundreds more, I presume,


w^ill

be published
has, as yet,

and yet no ground of common agreebeen found, and may not be


for years

ment

to come.

It is not, therefore,

with the expectation that


shall

men

will agree

with me, or that I


I

be able

to har-

monize antagonistic opinions, that


to the discussion
;

now

address myself
vain,

for such a

hope would be
I

and the

result of the effort useless.


I

do not doubt that what

have to say

will stir the

wrath of some, and excite


;

the active hostility of others


ent, if

but to
able to

this I

am

indiffer-

peradventure I

may be

make

a matter hith-

erto veiled in darkness,

and shrouded

in mystery, to the

popular eye, more plainly understood by those

who

are

more

directly interested in
in the
I
226

it

than

all

the veterinary

colleges
horses.

world:

mean

the actual

owners of

do not write

in the interest of

any clique of

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE

IT.

227

men
tise,

or pet theory.
I

have no hobby, and

am

memI

ber of no clique.

have no "patent shoe" to adverflatter

nor wealthy patron to


to risk,

or

fool.

Nor have

any reputation
forward.

or

"new
is

principles" to bring

My
I

only ambition

to write in a sensible

way what

have learned by reading and observation


feet,

touching the horse's


receive in shoeing.
ject, I yield to

and the treatment they should Touching the literature of the subas a student.
its

no one

The

leisure of

years has been devoted to

perusal.

I believe that

my

reading, from the oldest Italian treatise to the "last


out," has

book

been

as

wide and thorough


I

as

any per-

son's to-day living.

Nor have

read with prejudice, or


I

to discover

some principle which

might put

in metallic

form, patent, and send out to the world heralded as

"the great combination-shoe."


that I

have read simply

might know what other men had thought, and,


discover the source of those atrocious errors
farriery

if possible,

in

modern

which are a disgrace

to our veteri-

nary service, and a source of torture to the horse.


not mention this in vanity,

although

do

it

might be so

construed by those

who

cannot understand frankness, nor

appreciate the candor of honesty,


those

who

peruse these pages

farmer's

boy

may
and

but the end the average farmer and


to
at least, as mastering its

that

feel that

they are reading the opin-

ions of a

man who

has gone faithfully and patiently to


far,

the bottom of the subject, so


literature goes,
is

teaching them with a knowledge


This, also, should

of

all

the facts in the case in his mind.

228

THE PERFECT HORSE.


in this connection
is
:

be said

do not propose

to dictate.

My
If
I

object

suggestion, not dictation.

If I

advance

opinions, I shall give the reasons

which support them.


shall

declare
it

a thing wrong,

show why and


as

wherein

is

wrong.

The reader can think

he

wishes; but I propose to have every one


I think,

know what
general sub-

and why

I think

it.

The trouble with many books on


ject
is,

this

that

common uneducated
To

readers cannot under-

stand them.
scientific,

a vocabulary essentially technical and


to

and therefore unfitted


is

be the vehicle of

imparting ideas to the masses,

attached a habit of

using Latin and French terms, which not one reader in


five

hundred can

translate.

Indeed,

it

would seem

that certain authors

suppose that the use of a Latin

nomenclature increases the value of description, and enhances the reputation of the writer
;

for they use

it

as

often as possible, in season ad out of season.

If they

speak of the

last

bone

in the foot, instead of saying


if

the pedal bone, they say the os pedis j

of the caronal

bone,

it

is

the os caronce

and

so on.

The

result

is,

that none but college-educated

men among

the masses

can follow their diagnosis, or understand their descriptions


;

and a book which might have been a delight


and which was bought
be,
is,

and
the

profit to the purchaser,

in

expectation

that

it

would
it,

after repeated
in disgust,

attempts to understand
rightfully

thrown aside

and

pronounced a humbug.
wish
all

Now,

to

be assured

at the start that there

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


is

IT.

229

nothing

mysterious

or

incomprehensible
It is as

touching

this

matter of the horse's

foot.

easy to underit

stand the several parts of the foot, and their use, as


is

to understand the shoulder or head.

Many

authors

begin their books

in a style of expression calculated to


is

give the reader the idea that the foot of the horse

the

most

difficult

portion of his organism for people to com-

prehend, and that they must not expect to comprehend


it

like a veterinary

surgeon

(!),
it

and must not be surprised

if

they do not understand

very well when they have

got through with reading their work.


gestion was,

The
!

latter sug-

beyond doubt, most accurate

Indeed,

it

would have been a matter of great

surprise to

me

if

they had understood any thing by the time they had


finished the book.

But the incomprehensibility existed


of the subject so

not in the

difficulties

much

as in the

ignorance of those

who
it.

professed to be able to teach

people concerning

The plea of "mysteriousness,"


difficulties

and the "inherent and ineradicable


subject," are excellent subterfuges

of the

whereby

inattention

and stupidity can


but
it is

veil their

own

lack of understanding

put forward at a terrible risk of exposure in


;

reference to the horse's foot

for there is

no part nor
there
is

element of the

foot,

there

is

no bone or

fibre,

no duct or

secretion,

that a

boy of twelve might not


Indeed, every

readily comprehend,

and

that, too, easily.

part of the foot


in its

is

peculiarly distinct and individual, and

own

structure and location suggests, as plainly as


its office

Nature can suggest any thing,

and

use.

In

fact,

230

THE PERFECT HORSE.


not any other organ in the whole frame of a
foot.

know

horse so easily and quickly understood as the


is

It

comparatively simple in
its

its

formation, and the mutual


is

adjustment of
It
is,

several

parts

quickly mastered.

therefore, not to a mysterious subject, but to

one

easily understood,

that

now

invite

your
to

attention.

The
tion
for
is

subject

is

the horse's foot^

and how

shoe it

One

of the greatest obstacles in the


for nearly all

way

of reforma-

admit that our system of caring


horse's foot
is

and shoeing the


to

simply atrocious
of
the

be
I

found

in

the

ignorance

average

smith.

would not speak

disrespectfully of

any man,

or class of men,

who

earn their living by the sweat

of their brow

for their industry


:

commends them

to

courteous mention
horse-shoer of the

but

it

is is

fact,

that the average

country

distinguished chiefly

by

what he does not know, rather than by what he does understand, of the principles and uses of his craft.

The only excuse


and,
I

that

can be urged in his favor


thoughtful
person,
it

no

to

any candid and


not,

will,

doubt

seem ample

is

this:

No

one has ever


literally

taught him any thing.

There has been


to him.

avenue of knowledge open


veterinary

In ancient times,
;

surgeons were the smiths


to

and by them

gentlemen were taught how


It

shoe their
to

own

horses.

was the duty of the veterinary

do

this.

The edufor a

cation of no knight
tial

was regarded adequate

mar-

career until he was thoroughly instructed in the

principles

and practice of

fiirriery.

It

was not beneath

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE

IT.

231

the pride of a noble to desire to excel in protecting the feet of his gallant steed
base-born, could
it,
;

and no one, either noble or


fit

presume

to touch a foot to

a shoe to

unless he

had been regularly and

fully instructed in

the art of farriery, any

more than a physician could now


lawyer to plead, unless

be admitted to

practise, or a

they had gone through the necessary medical or legal


study.
gent,

By

this

method the smiths were made


to acquire the art of farriery,

intelli-

and worthy of popular support; and, to every

young man wishing


were not lacking.
country, our

means
in this

But

to-day,

and especially
all,

young men

are not taught at

and can-

not be taught, save as to the merest inechanical part of


the trade
;

because the person under

whom

they are

is

as ignorant as they

are touching the


literature
fact
;

anatomy of the
is

horse's foot,

and the and

of the subject, which

rich in suggestion

and, indeed, differs from the

apprentice in nothing save as to his years.


state of things,

In such a

no advance

in proficiency can

be made.

Each generation has the same knowledge, and lack of


knowledge, as the preceding
tinues to suffer.
;

and the poor horse con-

In addition to
in order that the

this,

we must add another consideration, statement of our position may be acthe smiths are ignorant, the owners

curate;

viz., that, if

of horses, for the most part, are even

more

so.

Inquire

among your acquaintances, and you will find that not one man in a hundred has any idea of the subject at all. He
reads an advertisement in praise of some patent shoe,

232

THE PERFECT HORSE.


it
;

and blindly adopts

or

else,

with equal blindness and


the almost equally

indifference, leaves every thing to

ignorant smith.

Between the two, one can imagine


must
fare.

how

the poor horse


that

It

is

astonishing to

me

men

can be so careless as to property so exat a

posed to hazard as are horses, especially when,


trifling

expense of time and money, they might become

tolerably well informed in respect to the matter.


I

Now,
a

submit that the

first
is

thing that a

man who owns


foot,
it is

horse should obtain


best

knowledge of the
it
;

and the

method of protecting
it,

because

the foot, and

the condition of

on which depends the value of the

animal, whether he be kept for pleasure or profit.

The
anat-

owner of a horse should

first

study the foot in

its

omy and use, until every bone and particle are well known to him in their location, character, and use. The way that Nature feeds and nourishes its several parts the points that need artificial defence, and how protected
;

the diseases to which

it is

liable

the curative

applications

and contrivances needed when the organ


diseased,

becomes injured or

these

points,

and other

like ones, should receive close


until they

and prolonged attention


This
is

become

perfectly famihar.

the prin-

ciple universally

adopted and put

in practice

touching
not
in

any other

class of property.

The reason why


is

this is

the practice

of horsemen

not

certainly

found

any

difficulty

about understanding the subject to be


I

studied.

As

have said before, there

is

no mystery

about the matter, save such as ignorance and passion,

THE horse's foot, AND


on the part of those treating of
it.

HOW
it,

TO SHOE

IT.

233

have thrown around

The

foot of the horse, unlike the


its

very simple in
complex,
filled

construction.

human The human

foot,

is is

foot

with a multitude of bones tied together

by manifold attachments, threaded in all directions with blood-vessels, and braced and held together by bunches
and layers of muscle and
cartilage, which, in conjunction
it

with the other parts, make

simply bewildering to any

eye save the trained organ of the surgeon or the anatomist.

But, with the horse's foot, the case


It
;

is

precisely
is

the reverse.

has but few bones;


parts few
;

its

venous system

not elaborate

its

and

its

construction exceedis

ingly simple, and so perfect,


plainly advertised.
bars,

that the use of each

Nature's design, in the wall, sole,


:

and

frog, is not left to conjecture


is it difficult

it is

clearly re-

vealed.

Nor

to ascertain the location of the


essential part of the organ.

bones of the

foot, or

any other

Nor

is

it

necessary for one to enter into an elaborate


of the internal structure of the foot

scientific description

such description
for suggestion

is

not called for in a

work designed

and popular

instruction, rather than for


foot,

professional service.

Touching the value of the


;

nothing need be said

since

it

is

universally acknowl-

edged
is

to

be superlative.
at
all
;

horse without sound feet


the

no horse

that

is,

uses

and services

for

which

Nature designed him he can never perfoot in


is

form.

The preservation of the


is

its

natural state,

which generally
sity.

the perfect state,

of prime neces:

The main

divisions of the foot are these

1.

The

234

THE PERFECT HORSE.


;

wall

2.

The

sole

3.

The

frog

4.

The

bars.

The use
The

of the wall

is

evidently to defend the internal parts of


sole

the foot, and furnish a support for the body.

has a twofold division, composed of the outer or nonsensitive sole,

the

design of which

is

to protect the
assist

ground-surface of the foot from contusion, and


wall in sustaining
the

the

superincumbent weight,
is

and

the sensitive sole, the use of which

to assist the horse,

by the
such a

sense of touch, in placing his foot to the ground in

way

as to favor

it,

and

to feed the outer sole

with the material of which

it is

made.
is

The

sense of touch to which I have alluded

a most

essential

power

to the horse

for it enables him, in the

very act and instant of placing his foot to the ground, to

do

just

what

all

boys do when running with bare

feet,

is

viz.,

favor that side or section of the foot


inequality of the ground,

upon which,

by reason of
brought.

undue pressure
boy saves

It is

not
:

by

his eyes that a


is

his feet

from contusion

there

power located
it

in his foot, a

power of interpreting danger before


dangerous, by which, although
struck the ground, he
is

has

become

his

foot

has actually

nevertheless able to throw the


is

weight

off

from that section of the foot which

being

unduly exposed.
his

A horse, in one sense, does literally /ee/


The weight of
and
his

way

along.

body

is

thrown upon
he

this side of his foot or that, this


feels the necessity of it
;

end or

that, just as

this lightning-like adjust-

ment of
is

his weight, according to the feeling of his foot,


it is

caused by the action of a sense so quick, that

done

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


after the

IT.

235

foot

has actually

come

in contact with the

ground.
It is also

by means of

this inner or sensitive sole that

the secretions which feed the outer sole are deposited.

On

the other hand, the outer sole has for


sole

its

use the

work of protecting the inner

both from contact


This

with the ground and also with the atmosphere.

atmospheric contact results in absorbing the natural


moisture until
it

becomes desiccated, or parched,


it,

so that

great cracks and rents appear in

as the farmer in

August, on a clay bottom, finds great rents and cracks


in the
soil.

In short, the outer sole

is

Nature's shield and

Nature's stuffing for the inner sole, to

ward

off,

on the
;

one hand, the blows that might otherwise smite

it

and,

on the other hand,

to

keep

its juices,
is

by the means of

which the
needed

sole

of the

foot

being supplied with

nutrition,

from being dried up.


is

At

this point

we may

properly inquire. If this


sole, if it

the use and office

of the outer

holds such an important rank in

the order of natural provision for the sound condition

and healthy growth of the

foot,
:

why

is

it

ever pared
is,

away

This

is

my

answer

The reason

because

people are ignorant, and blindly follow a stupid and


barbarous custom, instead of pausing to reflect upon

what they are doing.


out the sole
of

Ask any smith why he


and
he can give
so.

pares

a foot,

you no

reason save that he has been taught to do

And

who, pray, taught him


he,

Some one

as ignorant as

I reply.

And

so,

generation after generation, a

236

THE PERFECT HORSE.

barbarous and indefensible act has been committed, to


the premature breaking-down of
the
actual

many
few,

valuable horses,

maiming of not a

and the painful

torturing of some.

No

form of

flesh is

more

sensitive to pain than the


Its

inner substance of the horse's foot.


sitiveness
is

power of

sen-

like that

which

lies

sleeping under a

human
the

finger-nail.

To

protect this from hurt and undue pressthis hard,

ure.

Nature has put


;

horny
sat

shield,

viz.,

outer sole

and yet

have often

and seen an ignoaAvay this natural


it

rant smith hack and

hew and pare

protection until he could actually indent


gers,

with his

fin-

and

little

drops of blood oozed forth from within.


after

Imagine the feelings of the horse


into the shafts
!

having been put

He was

driven forth into the dust and

gravel of the streets, or sent pounding along a stone

pavement, with nothing but the thinnest possible

fila-

ment of horn-substance
on which he was
procedure
is

left

between the exquisite inner


dirt, gravel,

organization of the foot, and the


travelling.

and stones

And

yet this method of

not only tolerated by gentlemen of wealth

and character, but vindicated

and held up

as

the

model

(!)

method of preparing the

foot for the emer-

gencies of actual service.

''The horn," says a recent writer, "is secreted from


the living surface;

and myriads of beautiful vascular


dependent from
this

and

sensitive tufts

surface enter

the horn-fibres to a certain depth, and play an important

part in the formation of the

sole.

The newly-formed

THE HORSE
horn
is

FOOT,

AND HOW TO SHOE

IT.

237

soft

and spongy, and incapable of


;

resisting ex-

posure to the air


this surface

but, as

it is

pushed farther away from


fresh material,
it

by successive deposits of

becomes old horn,

loses its moisture, and, in

doing

so,

acquires hardness and rigidity sufficient

to withstand
if

external influences: then


this

it is

subjected to wear; and,

be

insufficient to

reduce

it sufficiently, it falls is

off in

scales.

But the process of exfoHation

not a rapid

one

the flakes remain attached to the solid horn be-

neath,

more or

less firmly, until

it,

in turn,

commences
;

to

loosen on the surface, and yield old ones separate.


cess of

new

flakes

when

the

This natural diminution in the exis

horn of the sole

a most beneficial process for

the hoof
and,

Horn
thick,

is

a slow conductor of heat and cold,

when

retains moisture for a

long period.

These

flakes, then,

act as a natural 'stopping' to the

hoof by accumulating and retaining moisture beneath

and

this

not only keeps the foot cool as

it

slowly evapoits

rates,

but insures for the solid and growing horn

toughness, elasticity, and proper development.


dition to this, every flake acts
in

In adspring
;

more or

less as a

warding

off"

bruises or other injuries to the sole

and
in-

thus the floor of the horny

box

is

protected from

jury externally and internally.

"What

occurs

when

the farrier

following

out the

routine of his

craft,

or obeying the injunctions of those

as ignorant as himself, or so prejudiced as not to

to reason

pares
thumb

be able

the sole until

it

springs to the press-

ure of his

Why,

the lower surface of the foot

238

THE PERFECT HORSE.


which
is

that

destined to

come
its

into contact with the

ground, and to encounter

inequalities,

and which,
efficiently
its

more than any other


shielded
tion,

part, requires

to

be

is

at

once "ruthlessly denuded of


to the

protec-

and exposed

most serious

injury.

The im-

mature horn, suddenly stripped of

its

outer covering,
effects of ex-

immediately begins to experience the evil


ternal influences.

It loses its moisture, dries, hardens,

and
in

shrivels up.
so,

It also occupies a smaller space

and,

doing
it

the sole becomes

more concave, drawing

after

the wall,

for

it

must be remembered that the

sole

is

a strong stay against contraction of the lower

margin of the hoof,

and the
animal
if

consequence

is,

that the

foot gradually decreases in size,

and the quarters and


'

heels

narrow.

The

goes

tender,'

even on

smooth ground; but,


sole

he chance to put his mutilated


!

on a stone, what pain must he experience

This

tenderness on
arises

even ground or smoothly-paved roads


fact,

from the

that not only

is

the entire sensitive

surface compressed, irritated, or inflamed,

by the hard,
exposure to
little

contracting envelope, and the unnatural

sudden changes of heat and

cold,

but the

sensitive

processes contained at the upper end of each of the hornfibrcs are painfully

crushed in their greatly-diminished

tubes; and, instead of being organs of secretion and the

most delicate touch, they arc now scarcely more than


instruments of torture to the unfortunate animal.
only
is

Not
have

pain or uneasiness experienced during progres-

sion, but,

even

in the stable, the horse

whose

soles

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE

IT.

239

been so barbarously treated exhibits tenderness


feet

in his

by

resting

them

and,

if felt,

a great increase of

temperature will be perceived.


"

Owing

to the secreting apparatus of the sole


this senseless paring, the
;

being

deranged through
of

formation

new horn

takes place slowly

and

it

is

not until a

certain quantity has

been provided

to

compensate in

some degree

for that

removed

that the horse begins to


Scarcely, however, has
it

stand easier and travel better.

the restorative process advanced to this stage, before


is

time for him to be reshod


its

when

this part

must again

submit to be robbed of
^'

horn.

The

sole

having been pared too thin and concave

leaves the circumference of the

hoof standing much

higher than
too

if it

had been

left intact,
still

and apparently

long
is

so
;

the wall

must be

more reduced.

This

done

and we now have the whole ground-face

of the hoof so wasted and mutilated, that, should the horse chance to lose a shoe soon after being shod, the

impoverished foot cannot bear the rude

contact

of

the ground for more than a few yards, and the poor
creature
*'

is

lame and

useless.

The tenderness and lameness

arising from this mal-

treatment are usually ascribed to every thing but the


right cause
;

and the most popular

is

concussion.
sole,

To

avert

this,

and protect the defenceless


is

a most

absurd shoe

required
is

and,

still

more absurd, the

natural covering

attempted to be replaced by a plate


sole,

of leather interposed between the ground and the

240

THE I>ERFECT HORSE.


is

and which
tar or

made

to retain bundles of
It is

tow steeped

in

some pernicious substance.

scarcely necesis

sary to say that this artificial covering


substitute for that
so

but a poor

which has been so


cut

foolishly,

and with

much

careful labor,

away: indeed,

in several

respects, the leather sole,

even when only placed be-

tween the wall and the shoe, and not over the entire
surface, is

very objectionable.

" Seeing, therefore, the natural provision existing in

the sole of the hoof for

its

diminution in thickness
intact sole
is

when

necessary,

and knowing that the

the

best safeguard against injury and deterioration to this


region,
it

must be

laid

down

as a rule in farriery,

and

from which there must be no departure,


is

that this part

not to be interfered with, on any pretence, so long as


is

the foot
disturbed.
"

in health

not even the flakes are to be

Faring

the Frog.

This
; '

part of the hoof

is

that

which, in the opinion of the grooms and coachmen, most


requires cutting^
'

to prevent its

coming on the ground,


together with

and laming the horse


its

and
it

this reason,

softer texture, causes

to

be made the sport of the

farrier's relentless knife.

It is artistically

and thorough-

ly

trimmed, the

fine

elastic
;

horn being sliced away,


and, in
its

sometimes even to the quick


form,
it

sadly-reduced

undergoes the same changes as have been obsole.

served in the pared

No

wonder, then, that

it

cansole.

not bear touching the ground any more than the


Strip the skin off the sole of a man's foot,

and cause

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE him


to travel

IT.

241

over stony or pebbly roads

would he

Tvalk comfortably

and soundly

"
?

Concerning the use of the

frog,

there exists

much

disagreement of opinion among those


to

who

are supposed

know

all

that

is

worth knowing about the equine

structure.

Fleming, in his " Practical Horse- Shoeing,"

a book of value to the student of this subject,


describes the frog
"
:

thus

The

liorny frog

is

an exact reduplication of that

within the hoof, described as the sensitive or fatty frog.


It
is

triangular, or rather pyramidal, in shape

and

is

situated at the

back part of the

hoof, within the bars,

with

its

point, or apex,

extending forward to the centre

of the

sole,

and

its

base, or thickest portion, filling

up

the wide space left between the inflections of the wall.

In the middle of the posterior part

is

cleft,

which, in

the healthy state, should not be deep, but rather shallow,

and sound on

its

surface.

" In structure, this

body

is

also fibrous, the fibres pass-

ing in the same direction as those of the other portions


of the hoof; but instead of being quite rectilinear, like

them, they are

wavy

or flexuous in their course, and

present some microscopical peculiarities, which, though


interesting to the comparative anatomist,

need not be

alluded to here.
sole

The

fibres are finer

than those of the

and

wall,

and are composed of

cells

arranged in the

same manner

as elsewhere in the hoof: they are

formed

by the

villi

which thickly stud the face of the membrane


16

covering the sensitive frog.

242

THE PERFECT HORSE.


of the horny frog
is

"The substance
and corresponds
tic,

eminently

elastic,

in the closest

manner

to the dense, elasani&c.,

epidemic pads on the soles of the feet of such


lion, bear,

mals as the camel, elephant,

dog,

cat,

and which are evidently designed

for contact

with the

ground, the support and protection of the tendons that


flex the foot, to facilitate the springy

movements of

these
to

creatures,

and

for the prevention of jar

and injury

the limbs.
''

In the horse's

foot,

the presence of this thick, comat the

pressible,

and supple mass of horn

back of the

hoof, its being in a healthy, unmutilated condition,

and

permitted to reach the ground while the animal

is

stand-

ing or moving, are absolutely essential to the well-being


of that organ,

more

especially should speed, in addition

to weight-carrying,

be exacted."

The frog
tant organ.
'^

serves several uses,

and

is

a most impor-

Lafosse, in 1754, wrote,


is

The

frog

composed of

soft

and compact horn,


as a cushion

spongy and

elastic in its nature,


It

and serves

to the tendon Achilles.

ought

to bear fully

on the

much for the facility as for the safety of It is," he adds, "the the horse when in movement. Some natural point d'appui of the flexor tendon."
ground, as

have supposed that another use of the frog was to expand the heels of the foot. They have an idea
that
it

acts like a

wedge driven

in

between the bars


it

of the foot, and that, at every shock

receives

when

brought

in contact

with the ground,

it

is

driven home,

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


as
it

IT.

243

were, causing the bars and wall of the hoof to


laterally.

expand

This

"lateral-expansion" theory

is

at variance

with

my

opinion.

Practically there can be no lateral expansion of the

horny substances of the


that a soft,
yielding,

foot.

Much

less

likely is

it

elastic

substance like

the

frog

could overcome

the resistance of dense, solid, inelastic

substance such as composes the walls, bars, and sole of a


horse's foot.
I

do not say that by

artificial

processes,

such as sawing and cutting and boring, the walls of the

hoof cannot be laterally expanded, without the employ-

ment of any great degree of


no great
effort for a

skill,

either; for

it

requires
to

strong, able-bodied

man
it

saw
its

the leg off at the knee-joint, or where


junction with the body, for that matter.

makes
knife

and

saw
I

in the

hand of a hobbyist can do most any


fifty
;

thing.

think that

dollars

is

a high price for sawing


differ

open a
hold
it

horse's foot
to

although some

from me, and

be astonishingly cheap.
;

In this way, lateral

expansion can indeed be gotten


It is this

but in no other way.

'lateral-expansion" theory which has been a

source of torture to the horse. date


its

In order to accommountil

claim, soles
;

have been pared away

the

blood trickled

bars
;

dug out

until

not the least trace

of them remained

Nature's cushion
little line

the

frog

been
it

shaved down until only a

and fragment of

was

left;

heels

wedged open with


is

forcible pressures,
:

and even lacerated with the teeth of a saw


edge of the
satire
felt

and the

only

when we remember

244
that the theory

THE PERFECT HORSE.


is

humbug

that lateral expansion

is

a thing that does not exist in the hoof of a horse, and

could not exist without imperilling

its

entire service.
is

The inference from what we have


would be well
law in shoeing)
sole of
:

said

this

(and
it

it

if

every reader would accept


to

as

Never allow the knife


foot,

touch the
it

your horse's

nor the least bit of


full

be pared
it,

away

because Nature needs the


its

bulk of

and

has amply provided for

removal

at the

proper time,

without assistance from you.

And, secondly, never

allow a knife to be put to the frog; because Nature

never provides too much of


for
is,

it

to

answer the purpose

which the Creator designed


the

it;

and the larger


safely
will

it

more

swiftly,

easily,

and

your

horse go.

The bars of the

foot are but the prolongation of the

outer wall of the hoof


frog,

Their object
foot itself

is

to protect

the

and strengthen the

Their value in

this direction

can scarcely be over-estimated.


like

To

cut

them away
walls

is

removing the beams


from
falling

that

keep the

of a house
If
will

outward or crushing
placed upon a glass

inward.
stand,
it

a healthy

foot

is

be seen that the ground-surface of the


frog,
all

wall, bars,

and

bear the relative proportion

of weight.
pillars

These might be called the three great


like

on which the body of the horse,


three columns, stands.
is,

some
or

dome upheld by
The dome
is

To shorten
of course,

remove two of these three columns


of such

fatal.

weight as

to

crush

the

sole

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


remaining
support.

IT.

245

This

is

precisely

the

condition

of things under the

common

vicious system of shoeing.

The bars
earth
;

are

cut
is

away

so that they cannot touch the


;

the frog

pared down the same way


result
is,

the sole,
is

also, is
left

gouged out: and the

that nothing

but the wall of the hoof to support the vast bulk

and weight above.


is
it

When you remember


in
will

that the wall

very

scarcely half an inch thickness where share with me the touches the ground, you
thin,

surprise, not

that so

many

horses

^'

pound

their

feet

up

"

and break down, or "give out


is,

in their feet" as
all.

the saying
true

but that any horses survive at

The

way

is

to let every thing

grow, and grow to the


it

fullest

extent that Nature designs

to

reach:

and,

in shoeing, seek only to protect

from too rapid destruc;

tion

what Nature has put together


than the art and

least of all cut

away

that which Nature has provided so abundantly, and

more
hope

efficiently

skill

of

man

can ever

to effect.

And

this brings

me

to the preparation

of the foot for the shoe.

The only preparation


to

that the frog, bars,

and

sole
is

require in a healthy, natural foot, as

we have

shown,

be

let alone.

The only portion of the


is

foot that

need

be or should be touched
wall.

the ground-surface of the

This should be levelled with knife or rasp (better

with the rasp than with the knife, as

we
all.

think) until the

the proper angle which the hoof should

make with
to.

ground has been reached; and


of the ground-surface
is

this is

This angle

apt to be unattended

The

246

THE PERFECT HOUSE.


is

angle which
is

generally given

is

that of 45
is

but

this

evidently wrong;

and our wonder


it.

that any one

should have suggested or indorsed


this angle,
''

In speaking of

Fleming

says,

It will

be obvious that

this inclination also varies

with

the breeding of the animal and the conformation of the


limbs, so that
it

no

definite

degree can be assigned.

But

must be pointed done


in almost

out, that giving the angle of 45, as

is

every treatise on shoeing and the


a grave error.

anatomy of the
profile,

foot, is

Looked
slope

at in

a hoof with this degree of obliquity would at

once be pronounced a deformity.


great (Fig. I)
;

The

is

too

and, if the farrier were to attempt to


in-

bring every foot he shod to this standard, he would


flict

serious injury, not only


itself,

on the foot
the

but also on

back-tendons

and

the

joints of the limbs.

Careful

measurement
hig.
1.

will

prove that

the obliquity of the front of


ever, in a well-shaped leg
it is,

the hoof

is rarely, if
;

and

foot,

above 50

and that

in the great majority of cases,

nearer 56.
less inclined,

The

sides,

or 'quarters,' of the wall, are


is

though the outer


;

generally
still

more

so

than the inner

while the heels are

more

vertical,

and the inner may even

incline slightly inward.

Viewed
be ob-

in profile, the posterior face of the hoof will

served to have the same degree of slope as the front


face.

In height, the heels are usually a

little

more

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


than one-half that of the
height."
toe.

IT.

247

Both heels are equal

in

Generally speaking, the toes are

left

too

long.

It

should be remembered that


foot that

it is

the front portion of the


it

would be most worn, were


;

not protected by

the shoe
toes

and,

owing

to this fact, feet with projecting

would never occur


foot could not

in nature.

The length of

the

human
greatly
so,

be materially increased without


;

incommoding us when walking or running


the front of the horse's hoof
is

and

when

allowed to pro-

trude as

we

often see

it,

he labors under great incon-

venience, and possibly pain,


gestion of Nature
is,

when

in motion.

The

sug-

that the toe should be kept duly

shortened, the front edge of the shoe

drawn a

little

back

from the rim of the


will take the shape

wall,

and rounded,

so that the metal


if

which the hoof would have


'

the

wall were undefended with metallic covering, and ex-

posed

to the friction at

every spring.

I propose, at this point, to quote at length


treatise,

from a
treating,

on the same subject of which we are

by

Lafosse, a

French veterinarian and author, who wrote

in the first half of the

eighteenth century, and from whose works more ideas have been taken, without any

acknowledgment, by the writers of the

last fifty

years on

the horse's foot, than from any other author in any branch

of literature that I can recall.

Lafosse, according

to

my judgment,
the subject.

is

the wisest

man who

ever wrote upon

Indeed, no considerable improvement has


as I think, in

been made,

what he wrote

in regard to the

248

THE PERFECT HORSE.


and how
left.

horse's foot,

to treat

it.

Men have

stolen from

him

right

and

His works have been the great

thesaurus from which literary thieves have filched their

boasted opinions.

Even

his errors for

they have adopted,


!

and given him no credit


he discovered, believed

them

Principles

which

in,

published, and afterwards

disproved and threw overboard, they have taken, put


into a metallic shape, patented,

and advertised them

to

the world as

new

discoveries.
;

At
and

the feet of this wise


I feel that I

teacher I

sit

gladly as a pupil
to

can do

no greater service

the horsemen of America than

to introduce into these

pages certain portions of


is

his

works.

At one

point,

he

speaking of the errors em;

bodied in the then system of shoeing


are applicable unto us of this day.
I

and

his

words

cannot do better

than to transcribe numerically some of the points he makes.


"1.
firmly

He
Long

says,

shoes, thick

at

the
in

heels,

never remain

attached to

the

feet

consequence of their
nails.

weight, and break the clinches of the


*'

2.

They require proportionately


;

large nails to re-

tain

them

and these

split

the horn

or, frequently, their

thick stalks press against the sensitive laminae

and

sole,

and cause the horse

to

go lame.

"3. Horses are liable to pull oif these long shoes

when

the hind-foot treads

upon the heel of the

fore-

shoe, either in walking, while standing,

by putting the

one foot upon the other, between two paving-stones in


the pavement, between the bars of gates, in the draw-

bridges of

fortifications, or in

heavy ground.

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO ^HOE


*'

IT.

249

4.

They move

heavily, as the

weight of their shoes

fatigues them.
"
5.

Long

shoes with massive heels raise

the frogs

from the ground, and prevent the horse walking on


those parts.
frog,
it

Then,

if

the

horse has a

humor

in the

becomes a

ficthrush, or crajpaitd (canker), be-

cause the

humor lodges
on
easily,

there.

In shoeing with short


;

shoes, the horse goes

his frog

the

humor

is dissi-

pated more

particularly in the fore-feet, as the

animal places more weight upon them than the hind


ones.

"
feet

6.

Long

shoes, thick at the heels,


heels, bruise,

when put upon


in-

which have low

and bend them

wards, and lame the horse, although the heel be sprung


and,

when

the foot

is

raised,

we

can see daylight between


it

the shoe and the hoof

When

is

on the ground, the


is

heel descends to the shoes, because the hoof


" foot
7.

flexible.

Shoes long and strong at the


pared,

heels,

when
as

the

is

from the

the frog being removed a long distance ground, cause many accidents such the
;

rupture or straining of the flexor tendon, and compression of the vascular sole,
until I pointed
''

a circumstance

not

known
because

it

out.
fall,

8.

Long

shoes cause horses to slip and

they act like a patten on the slippery pavement, as well


in

summer
^'

as in winter.

9.

Long

shoes are also injurious

when

horses

lie

like a

cow, in consequence of the heels wounding the

elbows.

250
''10.

THE PERFECT HORSE.


Calkins should not be used on paved roads:

they are only useful on ice or slippery ground,


grasse.

terre

"11. The calkins on the inside heels are

liable

to

wound
his feet.

the coronets

when

the horse happens

to cross

"12.

A horse

shod with them

is

soon fatigued, and

never goes easy. "13. The horse which has only a calkin on the outside does not stand fair
;

and the calkin confines the

movement

of the coronary articulation, the foot being

twisted to one side.

"14. If a horse has his feet pared, and loses a shoe,

he cannot travel without breaking and bruising the


wall,

and damaging the horny


it.

sole,

because the horn

is

too thin to protect

"15. If the shoes are long, and the heels of the hoof

pared out hollow, stones and pebbles lodge between the


shoe and the
sole,

and make the horse lame.

"16. Flat feet become convex by hollowing the


shoes to relieve the heels and the frog, because, the

more the shoes

are

arched from the


is

sole,

the

more

the wall of the hoofs

squeezed and rolled inwards,


quarter,

particularly towards the inner

which

is

the

weakest.
the horse

The
is

sole

of the foot becomes convex, and

nearly always unfit for service.

" 17. If the wall of the

hoof

is

thin,

and the shoes

are arched, the quarters are so pressed upon, that the

horse

is

lame.

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


" 18.

IT.

251

Pared hoofs are exposed

to considerable injury

from wounds by

nails, stones, glass, &c.

"19. The pared sole readily picks up earth or sand,

which forms a kind of cement between


and produces lameness.
"20. The reason
of horses,
is

it

and the

shoe,

why

it is

dangerous to pare the feet


is

because,

when

the sole

pared, and the

horse stands in a dry place, the horn becomes desiccated

by the
its

air

which enters

it,

and removes

its

moisture and
to

suppleness,

and often causes the animal


is

be lame.
far-

"21.
rier, to

habit to be abolished

that in

which the

save trouble, burns the sole with a hot iron, so


it

as to pare

more

easily.

The

result, often, is to

heat

the sensitive sole, and cripple the horse.

"22.
to look

It often
at,

happens,

that, to
is

make

the foot pleasant


to the quick
is

the horn of the sole

removed

and the
called a

flesh springs
'

out from

it.

This granulation
it

cherry

; '

and sometimes

makes the horse


most affected with

unserviceable for a considerable period.

"23. It

is

the pared foot which

is

what

is

termed contracted or weak inside quarter, and


lames the horse.

which

also

"24.
tract,

It also

happens that one or both quarters conin con-

and sometimes even the whole hoof: then,


its

sequence of

smallness,

all

the

internal

parts

are

confined in their movements.


is

This lames the horse, and

due

to paring.

"25. There also occurs another accident.


quarter becomes contracted, the hoof splits in

When

the

its lateral

252

THE PERFECT HOKSE.


This accident
the horse
is is

aspect.

termed

*a sand-crack/

seime^

and
" 26.

lame.

The

fashion of paring the hoofs,

and especially

the heels, within which are the bars, causes contraction

and
*'

this

renders the horse lame.


It is

27.

an abuse to rasp the hoofs of horses

this

alters the hoof,

and forms sand-cracks.

"28. If a horse which has pared hoofs happens to lose


his shoes,

and walks without them, the horn


feet

is

quickly

used,

and the

damaged.
is

"29. Another defect

in the

manner of making large


order to pare the

nail-holes in the shoes, &c.

"30. The majority of


sole well, cut
it

farriers, in
;

until

it

bleeds

and, to stop the hemor-

rhage, they burn the place with a hot iron, and the

horse returns lame to his stable."

In reference to

this,

Fleming

says,

paring and heavy


all

"We
much

see, then, that the curse of

shoes was causing great evils in the days of Lafosse, as


as in our

own.

After enumerating
as
it

the vices

and defects of shoeing

was then

practised,

he pro;

ceeds to lay the foundation for a rational method


his

and
In a

remarks to

this

end are particularly happy.


all

state of nature,

he observes,

the inferior parts of the


:

foot concur to sustain the

weight of the body

then

we

observe that the heels and the frogs the parts be most exposed are never damaged by wear
the wall, or crust,
is

said to
;

that

alone worn in going on hard ground

and that

it

is

only this part which must be protected,

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


leaving the

IT.

253

other parts free and unfettered in their

natural movements.
principles of

These are the true and simple


farriery

good
and

he lays down; and they are

as appropriate

explicit to-day as they

were then."

Lafosse to croes on to say,

"To

prevent horses slipping on the dry, glistening

pavement,

pave

sec

et

plomhe^

it

is

necessary to
that
is,

shoe them with a crescent-shaped shoe,

a shoe

which only occupies the circumference of the

toe,

and

whose heels gradually


quarters,

thin

away

to the

middle of the

so that the frog

and heels of the hoof bear

on the ground, and the weight be sustained behind and


before, but particularly in the latter, because the weight

of the body

falls

heaviest there.
;

The shorter the shoe

is,

the less the horse slips

and the frog has the same

influ-

ence in preventing

this that

an old hat placed under our

own
ice.

shoes would have in protecting us from slipping on

"It

is

necessary, nevertheless, that hoofs


little

which have

weak

walls should be a

longer shod, so that the

gradually thinning branches reach to the heels,

though

not resting upon them.

vex
also

soles,

pieds

For horses which have

thin, con-

comhles^

these long shoes should be


to pre:

used

and the toes should be more covered


at the

vent the sole touching the ground


the shoe must be so fitted that
it

same

time,

does not press upon

the sole, and the heels and frpg rest upon the ground.

This

is

the only true


it.

method of preserving the


horse which has
its

foot,

and

restoring

...

heels

weak and

254

THE PERFECT HORSE.


ought
to

sensitive

thin

branches,

be shod

as short as possible,

and with
in con-

eponrjes^
;

so that the frog

comes

tact with the

ground

because the heels, having nothing


2).
all

beneath them, are benefited and relieved (Fig.


" Crescent

shoes are
for a horse

the

more needful

which

has weak, incurvated


as they not only

quarters,

relieve

them,

but also restore them to their


natural condition.

Horses which
at the heels
also

have contusions
hleimes^ corns

be

should
manner;
it

shod in
cracks
^*f* 2-

this

and

for

seimes^

sand-cracks
is

the

at the quarter
sole^

also

advan:

tageous.

The

or frocj^

slioidcl

never he pared
too long.

wall alone should be cut down,

if it is

When

a horse cuts himself with the opposite foot, the inner

branch of the shoe ous^ht


the outer.

to

be shorter and thinner than

In order that the shoe wear a long time, I


nail of

have used a
in the

my

invention, the head of

which

is

form of a cone, and the aperture

in the shoe of
nail.

the same shape, and exactly filled

by the
it

How-

ever

much

the shoe

may be

worn,

is

always retained

in its place.

This kind of nail (Fig. 2) possesses three


:

other advantages

one, that
it

it is

less liable to

be broken
;

at the neck, because

exactly

fits

the stamped hole

the

other, that
to press

it

is

smaller, and, in consequence, not likely


;

on the sensitive part of the foot


less

and, lastly,

that

it

does

damage

to the horn.

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE

IT.

255

"By

this

new mode

of shoeing,

all

the defects and ac-

cidents attendant

upon the old method are evaded."

In another place he gives directions for shoeing good


hoofs on horses kept for general service, as follows
"
:

The shoes must not be too

long, or project

beyond

the heels, but only reach the bars;


hoofs,

neither must the

behind or before, be pared.

The

wall, or crust,
it

alone should be diminished in proportion as


too long.
sole

may be

This should be done evenly


:

and neither the

nor frog must be cut

the latter should be allowed


it

to project, if possible,

above the shoe, so that

may
to
little

come

into contact with the ground.

The shoe ought

be about the same strength throughout, or a

thicker and wider in the outer branch of the fore-foot,

and

thin at the heels of the hind one.


nail-holes

Be

careful

to

stamp the
manner.
is

on the same

line,

not in a zigzag

The

holes should not be too coarse, as there

then danger of pricking the horse, or binding the


stalk of the nail.

hoof with the

The shoe should be


because
it

stamped coarser outside than


be necessary
the
to leave
it

inside,

may
they

wider outside.
them,

Do

not bend

shoes in
to

adjusting
flat
;

nor arch

them:

ought

be nearly

though they might be

slightly

curved, so as to preserve the wall of the hoof

They
more

should also follow the outline of the hoof,


to the outside than the inside.

little

When

fitting,

the shoe

should not be kept too long a time on the hoof, for


fear

of heating

it.

With

this

shoeing

we may

travel

on slippery ground or grass land, in using

for each

256

THE PERFECT HORSE.

shoe two nails with long heads, which will prevent the
horse from slipping.

Also during

frost,

on

paved

roads, or ice or snow, use these nails, as they prevent

slipping

the roads being hard, three nails are required,

two

in the outer branch, to to


frog,

and one

in the inner.''

Eeverting

the

defective

shoeing

of his

time,

he endeavors
horn of the

demonstrate, that, by removing the

and points of the

heels,

from the
is

ground, the animal's footing on paved roads


less secure.

much

"The
on the

draught-horse," he says, "first places his weight

toe,

then on the

two

sides

of the

hoof;

and

afterwards the heels are

lowered to meet the heel


rests

of the shoe.
the toe.

The saddle-horse

more

lightly on

The canon

(or shank-bone) presses on the

pastern-bone, this on the coronary, and this again

on

the coffin and navicular bones.

From

this disposition,

we
to
is

should note two important points which throw light

on the defects of the present method, and indicate how

remedy them
the

one

is,

that the strain of the weight

neither fixed on the toe nor heel, but between the


other,

two;

that the

more the frog

is

removed

from the ground, or from any point of support, the

more the pressure of the coronary on the navicular


bone fatigues the tendon on which
quence of the excessive extension
each step the horse takes.
to rest
it

rests, in

conse-

it

experiences at
therefore,
for

The frog ought,


for the
;

on the ground, as much

facility as

the surety of the horse's

movements

as the larger the

THE HOKSE'S foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


frog
is,

IT.

257

so the less

do the heels meet the ground

and

the

more the heels

are relieved, the greater ease does

the

horse experience in
is

progression.

The only way


to the

to insure this

to shoe

him according

method

have indicated,

as this causes

him

to

walk on

his frog,

which

is

the natural prop or basis

point cVappui

for the flexor tendon."

Fleming,
says,
*'

in

quoting

this

passage

from

Lafosse,

The whole aim of Lafosse's teaching appears


to the

to

have

been wisely devoted

importance of allowing the

posterior parts of the foot to rest on the

ground with-

out the intervention of the shoe."

Again we
"It
all flat
is

select

from Lafosse's work


to

low heels
;

useful

and even necessary

put short shoes on

feet, particularly

on those which have the form


flat

of an oyster-shell.
Nature, to

Every

foot has

but

remedy

this defect,

bestows a large frog to


not,

preserve these parts.


the soles,

We

ought

then,

to pare

much

less cut

them out towards the

heels

neither should the hoofs be too


practices are so

much rasped
The
first

all

these

many

abuses which bring about


feet.

the

destruction

of the

horse's

abuse

hollowing out the heels

is

to destroy the horn

which

forms the bars, and prevents the heels and quarters

from
foot

contracting:
is

the

second

abuse

rasping
from
this

the

to destroy the strength of the


its

hoof, and, con-

sequently, to cause

horn to become dry, and the


:

horny laminae beneath to grow weak


17

often

258

THE PERFECT HORSE.


an internal inflammation, which renders the foot

arises

painful,

and makes the horse go lame.


to
is

" It

ought

be always remembered, that the more


pared, so the

a horse's foot
accidents.

more do we expose

it

to

It is

depriving

it,

in the first place, of a


it

defence that Nature has given


jpointed
place,

against the hard and

substances

it

encounters;

and

in the

second

and which horse and


rider,

is ctf

the utmost advantage for both

in not paring the sole,


is

and only using

as

much

of a shoe as

necessary to protect the horn,

the animal will be no longer liable to slip on


in winter

bad roads

or summer,

when they

are vulgarly called

plomhe., as will

be shown.

"1. Causing a horse to walk on the frog, and partly

on the
friction

heel, the
it

former

is

found to be rasped by the

experiences on the earth and paved road,


little

and

is

pressed by the weight of the body into the

cavities

and

interstices

it

meets.

"2.

By

its

flexibility, it takes

the imprint and the


it

contour, so to speak, of the


tact with
;

ground

comes into con-

so that the foot rests

on a greater number of

parts, which,

mutually assisting each other, multiply the

points of support, and thereby give the animal

more

adherence to the surface on which he moves.

We may
and from

even say that he acquires a kind of feeling


through
its

in this part,

correspondence with the fleshy

sole,

this to the tendon,

feeling that I will not

compare

with that
feet,

we

experience when
is

we walk with naked


of the

but which

yet sufficient to warn him

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


counterpoise he ought to give to his
its

IT.

259

body

to maintain

equiHbrium, and so preserve him from falHng, twist-

ing, or

stumbhng.
object of shoeing,

"The
it,

by him who

first

resorted to
as

would only be

as a preservative

and a defence,

much
I

for the wall as for the sole.

But he would not

add the condition of paring


do not say
this

either the one or the other,

to

our excess, but in any


to
his

way whatever;
principle,

because

would be contrary
his

and

would destroy

work.

" This precaution (paring) can only be


in cases

recommended

where the horn


it

is

rugged, and the shoe does


its

not rest on
solidity.

everywhere equally, thus opposing


it is

In such a case

right
I

but otherwise

it is

contradiction and an absurdity.

have often questioned


particularly careful

those amateur horsemen


to

who were
pared
;

have their horses'

feet

but none of them could


.

demonstrate either

its

necessity or propriety.

The

horny
sole
:

sole receives its


its

nourishment from the vascular


to its thickness
it

softness

and pliancy are due


is

and

its

nourishment

diminished, while

becomes
give
it.

harder, in direct proportion to the thinness

we

We

even see horses, whose

soles are pared, habitually


is

lame.

The

air,

when
and

the sole
it

in this state of thin-

ness, penetrates

dries
it

to such a degree, that, if

care

is

not taken to keep


it

damp when
after

the animal

is

in

a dry place,
sole
;

contracts,

and presses on the vascular

so that, if

some time

we
do

wish to pare the


so,

sole again, it is not possible to

because

it is

so

260

THE PERFECT HOKSE.


it,

hard and dry that the houtoir will not touch


horse goes lame.
.
. .

and the

What

risk does a horse not incur

who
nails,

has nearly been deprived of his soles through this


If

paring!

he encounters

stones,

broken

glass,

or

these

easily penetrate to the sensitive sole,

and

cripple

him

for a

long time,

if

not for ever.

''When a horse
quently occurring,

loses a shoe,
if

and

a
is

circumstance

fre-

the hoof

pared, the animal


;

cannot walk a hundred steps without going lame

be-

cause, in this state, the lower surface of the foot being

hollowed, the horse's weight

falls

on the crust
sole,

and

this,

having no support from the horny

is

quickly

broken and worn away;


stances on the road, he
all

and,

if

he meets hard sub-

the

more speedily becomes

lame.

It is

not so

whole strength.

when the sole is allowed to retain its The shoe comes off; but the sole and
body
and the

frog rest on the ground, and assist the crust in bearing

the greater part of the weight of the


animal, though unshod,
safe
is

able to pursue his journey

and sound.
a
fact,

''It is

that every horse, except those

which
which
travel

have the

feet diseased

and

soles convex,

and

to

shoes are necessary to

preserve the

soles,

may

without shoes: and without going for an example to


the Arabs, Tartars, &c.,

we

will find

it

among our own


skill

horses, which, in the country,

work every day without


are

requiring shoes

but as soon as our wisdom and

brought

to bear in hollowing out the foot to the quick,


fine, equal,

and making a

and symmetrical

frog,

doing

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


it

IT.

2G1

well

and properly,

as

we

say in

France,

shoes

become indispensably
" I therefore ask all

necessary.

amateur horsemen to insure their


this

horses as
fection.

much as they can against It may be asked. What


it

pretended per-

will
it

become of the

horny
that,

sole if
its
;

is

never pared ? and

may be

feared,

by

growth, the foot will become overgrown.


for, in

Not
"

at all

proportion to

its

growth,

it dries,

be-

comes

flaky,

and

falls off in layers.

The compressions

so dangerous,

which cause inflamif

mation,

would no more be dreaded


sole,

we

left

the horn

of the

the bars, and the frog, entire.


flexibility,

By

their
situa-

pliability, thickness,

texture,

and the

tion they occupy, they appear to

be solely destined by
sole, as

Nature to serve as a defence to the vascular

the

frog particularly acts as a cushion to the tendon Achilles


all

being disposed to obviate

shock on paved roads,

or injury from a stone, splinter, &c.


''It is
is,

necessary to be convinced of another fact: this


rare that a horse goes at his ease,
if

that

it is

and

is

not promptly fatigued,

the frog does not touch the


if

ground.
raise it

As

it

is

the

only point of support,


it,

you

from the ground by paring

there arises an

inordinate extension of the tendon, caused

by the pushat
in-

ing of the coronary against the navicular bone, as has

been mentioned above, and which, being repeated


every step the animal takes, fatigues
flammation.
it,

and induces

From

thence often arises the distention of


;

the sheaths of tendons (inolettes

vulgo^

'

windgalls

'),

262

THE PERFECT HORSE.


&c., that are

engorgements, and swelling of the tendons,

observed after long or rapid journeys.


arise less

These accidents

from the length of the journey, as has been

currently believed, than from the false practice of par-

ing the

sole.

"I am astonished

that this
;

method of shoeing has


and
I

not been employed long ago


in persuading myself that
I

have much trouble


I

am
it
is

the inventor.

am

more

inclined to believe that

only a copy of that

which has been practised by the


about shoeing horses.
" If

first artist

who thought
oblivion
into

my
it

suspicions

are

correct,

the

which

has fallen proves nothing against

its

perfection,

because the good as well as the bad are alike liable to

be forgotten.

The multitude, more credulous than

en-

lightened, are easily persuaded: hence the long, thick


shoes,

those with calkins, then with thick

heels,

and

afterwards the thin.


that, if the

There

is

every reason to believe,


all this

poor animals for

whom

has been done

could be allowed to speak as they must think, nothing


of the kind would have taken place, and they would

have preferred their ancient armature, which, having


only been designed to preserve the crust, had certainly

none of the inconveniences of that employed now-adays."

Fleming,
says,
''

at

the

close

of

his

review of

Lafosse,

mode
of pro-

Lafosse's experience of this admirable

tecting, while preserving, the foot,

was derived from a

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


trial

IT.

263

of

its

advantages on more than eighteen hundred


his success

horses;

and

was most
reflection,

astonishing,

though

no more than might, on


Lafosse goes on to

observe,

be anticipated."

" These short shoes, thin at the heels,

have caused

the horses to walk on their frogs, which are their points

of support

and those which were lame


also

at the heels are

sound again; those

whose

inside

quarters

were

contracted, bent over,


cured.
ters
It

and

split (sand-crack),

have been

has been the same with horses whose quar(encastele)


:

and heels have been contracted

these

have been widened, and have assumed a proper shape.

The same may be

said of those

whose

soles

were conshoes.

vex (comble)^ and which went lame with long

My

method has

also preserved those horses


Jic)

which had a

tendency to thrush (vulgo^


(crapaud).
" If the horse

and canker of the frog

be shod with

calkins, there is a great


;

space between the frog and the ground


the
air,

the weight of
is

body comes on the

calkins
;

the frog, which


is

in the
;

cedes to the weight

the tendon

elongated

and,

if

the horse

makes a violent and sudden movement, the


is

rupture of that organ

almost inevitable, because the


it

frog cannot reach the ground to support

in the

very

place

it

ought

to

and,

if

the tendon does not break, the

horse

is

lame

for a

long time from the great exten-

sion of the fibres,

some of which may have been rupbe shod without heels to his
all

tured.

...

If the horse

shoes (eponges)^ the frog, which carries

the weight

264:

THE PERFECT HORSE.

of the horse's body, yields at each step, and returns

again to

its

original form.
:

The tendon

is

never in a

state of distraction

its fibres

are no longer suceptible


I

of violent distention during a sudden movement.


will

go

so far as to assert that rupture of the

tendon

will never occur

on a

flat

pavement what

if it does, it will

be

in

the

space

between two paving-stones.


I

Two
that
all
it

things clearly follow from

have

said,

may happen
total

that the tendon Achilles sustains

the

different degrees of violence that can

be imagined, from
its fibres,
is

rupture to the smallest abrasion of

which

will cause the horse to

go lame

and

it

on the frog

alone

that

all

these different degrees depend, as has


in the history of

been demonstrated more particularly


fracture of the

navicular bone and

the

anatomy of

the foot.

My new
me

shoeing, I repeat, has nothing to

oppose

it

but prejudice.

Anatomy, which has made

known
all
its.

to

the structure of the foot, has demonstrated

advantages, and experience has fully confirmed

them."
Fleming,

who

quotes essentially the same as the fore-

going, well says, at the conclusion of the quotation, " I regret extremely that our limits forbid
lating at greater length from this splendid

my

trans-

monograph
extent, to

but

hope that

have been

able, to

some

show

that Lafosse's ideas on shoeing

were founded on

sound anatomical and physiological

principles, the result

of close observation and experience.

And

yet they ap-

pear to have made but

little

progress in the face of the

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


opposition offered

IT.

265

by ignorant grooms and


to

farriers,

who
and

were incompetent

understand any thing but the mere


;

every-day routine of the rapidly-degenerating art

the prejudice of those amateur horsemen, who, though

the last perhaps to take


to

upon

trust

statements relative

other matters, would yet believe every thing told


shoers.

them by these horse attendants and


riers of Paris, indeed,

The

far-

unanimously protested against the

innovation two years after Lafosse had published his


treatise
;

and

their protest appears to

have carried the

mind of the crowd."


I

presume that the same experience

will

be met in

case of those authors, who, like myself, seek to bring

forward these wise and salutary principles in


I fear that

farriery.

popular ignorance, stupidity, and wilfulness

will resist the introduction of all

improvement

in this

matter;

and, for a while longer,


suffer.

man and

horse will

continue to

am
'^

inclined, in this connection, to

quote from

W. Osmer's

Treatise on the Diseases

and

Lameness of Horses" (London, 1776).


farriers not to

After warning
crust or

remove any thing more of the


is

wall of the hoof than


''

absolutely necessary, he says,

Li

all

broad,

fleshy feet,

the crust

is

thin,

and

should, therefore, suffer the least possible

loss.

feet the rasp alone is generally sufficient to

On such make the


ivitli'

bottom

plain,

and produce a sound foundation,


. . .

out the use of the desperate buttress.


''

The

superficies of the foot

round the outside now


is

made

plain

and smooth, the shoe

to

be made quite

266

THE PERFECT HORSE.


of an equal thickness
all

flat^

round the outside, and


at the

open and most narrow backwards,


of the
heels,

extremities

for

the

generality

of

horses.

Those

whose frogs are

diseased, either from natural or inci-

dental causes, require the shoe to be wider backwards


and, to prevent this
flat

shoe from pressing on the sole


part thereof
is

of the horse, the


thickest,

outer

to

be made
In such a

and the
is

inside gradually thinner.

shoe the frog


necessity of
this,

admitted to touch the ground, the


:

which has been already shown


stands

add

to

the

horse

more

firmly

on the

ground,
state.

having the same points of support as in a natural


Here, now,
is

a plain, easy

method, agreeable to

common

sense and reason, conformable

to the anatomical struc-

ture of the parts, and therefore to the design of Nature,

method

so

plain,

that
it,

one would think nobody


or

could ever swerve from

commit any mistake

in

an art where nothing


the^ surface

is

required but to
to

make smooth
loss

of the foot,

know what
iron

of crust
itself,

each kind of foot will bear with advantage to

and

to nail thereon a piece of


;

adapted to

the

natural tread of the horse

the design, good, or use

of the iron being only to defend the crust from breaking,

the sole luantinrj

no defence^ if never imred.

"

The modern

artist uses little dilTerence in the treatfoot, but, with"


all

ment of any kind of

a strong arm and

a sharp weapon, carries

before him, and will take


at

more from a weak-footed horse


Nature can furnish again
in

one paring

than

some months, whereby such

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


are

IT.

267

rendered lame.

If a

strong-footed

horse,

with

narrow and contracted

heels,

be brought before him,

such meets with treatment yet more severe.


is

The bar
drawn

scooped

out, the

frog trimmed, and the sole

as thin as possible,

even to the quick, under pretence


because, he
says,

of giving
footed,
is

him

ease,

he

is

hot-

by which treatment the horse rendered more lame than he was before."
or foundered;

Fleming, in quoting Osmer, observes,


^'

This causes contraction of the hoof, and compression


;

of the parts within


thin

and, besides, a shoe

was applied
inner,

on the outer circumference, and thick on the


to the foot,

which being concave

and convex

to

the

ground, afforded but few points of support, removed the


frog from pressure, and caused great mischief.
sess
I poslast-

some specimens of
It

this terrible

instrument of

century barbarism.

almost makes one shudder to

think of the fearful agony the poor horses must have


suffered

when compelled

to

wear and work with

it."

Osmer concludes: "Let


otherwise, as the foot

the shoe on every horse stand


itself:

wider at the points of the heels than the foot

grows

in length, the heel of the

shoe in a short time gets within the heel of the horse

which pressure often breaks the crust, and produces a temporary lameness, perhaps a corn. Let every kind
of foot be kept as short at the toe as possible (so as not
to affect the quick)
;

for,

by a long

toe,

the foot becomes

thin

and weak, the heels low, and the flexor tendons

of the leg are strained.

The

shortness of the toe helps,

268
also, to

THE PERFECT HORSE.


widen the narrow
heels.

In

all thin,

weak-

footed horses, the rasp should be laid on the toe in such

a manner as to render

it

as thick as

may be

by which
thicker,
is

means the
higher,

whole

foot

becomes
all feet

gradually

and stronger.

In

whose texture

very

strong, the rasp

may be

laid obliquely
toe,

on the fore-part
itself thinned,
is

of the foot, towards the

and the toe

whereby the compression on the parts


somewhat
or crust.
''

rendered
the hoof,

less

by diminishing the strength of


be used with

But

this rasp is to
thin,

discretion, lest, the

crust

being too

and not able

to
;

support the

weight of the horse, a sand-crack ensue

which

fre-

quently happens from too free or unskilful use of this


tool,

and from the natural rigid texture of the coronet.


the shoe on
all

The heel of

strong and narrow-heeled

horses should be

made

straight at the

extreme points

the form of the shoe in some measure helping to dis-

tend the heel of the horse.

For the same reason, the

shoe on no horse should be continued farther than the


point of the heel.
It

has been already said, that neither


:

frog nor sole should ever be pared

nevertheless,

it

must be understood that


crust without taking

it

is

impossible to pare the


sole

away some of the adjacent

and

it is

also requisite

in

order to obtain a smooth and

even surface

so far as the breadth of the shoe reaches,

and no

farther.

The

frog, also, will

become ragged
the

and

loose pieces will occasionally separate from the


thereof,

body
other.

perhaps in one

foot,

and not

in

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE

IT.

26&

When
to
left to

this

happens,

it

should be cut away with a knife,


but, if
it

prevent the gravel lodging therein;

be

the artist to do, he will be sure to take awayit

more of
weeks."

at

one time than

will

grow again

in

many

Some twenty
of

years after

Osmer published
it

his protest

against treating the horse's foot as if

were a block

wood on which a man could hack and hew and cut away at pleasure, Mr. J. Clark published a treatise
upon
farriery, in

which he
it

says,

it

"However
shoes

necessary

has been found to fix iron


is

upon the hoofs of


by paring,

horses,

certainly contrary

to the original design of shoeing them, first to

destroy

their hoofs

&c.,

and afterwards
to protect

to

put on the

foot a broad, strong

shoe

what remains, or

rather to supply the defect or want of that substance

which has been taken away.

Yet,

however absurd

this
it is

manner of
well

treating the feet of horses


that
still it

may

appear,

known
and

has been carried

to a very great

length,

continues to

be thought absolutely

necessary.

The

destruction of their hoofs, and


it,

many

other bad consequences arising from

are every day

but too apparent."

And

also this,

which might be regarded


:

tive of the state of things

as descrip-

"But no apology whatever can


nicious practice of cutting

vindicate that pertheir hoofs to that

and paring

excess which
horse
is

is

but too frequently done every time a

shoed, and, in order to repair the injury done to

270
the foot, fix on

THE PERFECT HORSE.


it

a strong, broad-brimmed shoe, from

the very construction of which, together with the loss

of

its

natural defence,
totally useless.

horses too frequently are ren-

dered

...

In preparing the foot for the


bars, or binders,

shoe, the frog, the

sole,

and the

are

pared so much, that the blood frequently appears.


shoe,
rim,

The

by
and

its

form,

being

thick on the inside of the

thin

upon the

outside,

must, of consequence,
is

be made concave, or hollow, on that side which


placed immediately next the
its

foot, in

order to prevent

resting on the sole.

The shoes
;

are generally of an
is

immoderate weight and length

and every means


and

used to prevent the frog from resting upon the ground

by making
or raising

the

shoe-heels

thick,

broad,

strong,
this

cramps, or calkins, on
this

them.

From

form of the shoe, and from


the hoof, the frog
is
;

method of

treating

raised to a considerable height

above the ground

the heels are deprived of that sub-

stance which was provided

by Nature

to

keep the crust


is

extended
as
it

at a

proper wideness; and the foot

fixed,

were, in a mould. ... If


this shoe,

we

attend further to the

convex surface of

and the convexity of the


it

pavement upon which horses walk,


dent that
it

will then

be

evi-

is

impossible for them to keep their feet


streets.

from slipping, especially upon declivities of


also a

It is

common

practice, especially in this place, to turn

up the
calkins,

heels of the shoes into

what

is

called cramps, or

fined

by which means the weight of the horse is conthe inner round edge to a very narrow surface,

THE HORSE

FOOT,

AND HOW TO SHOE

IT.

271

of the shoe-rim, and the points, or calkins, of each heel.

The consequence

is,

that

it

throws the weight of the

body forward upon the


horse slip and stumble.
*'

toes,

and

is

apt to

make

the

Farriers, in general, are too desirous to excel


is

one

another in making what


that
is

termed

fine,

neat
it

work

and

no other than paring the

sole
:

till

yields easily

under the pressure of the thumb


a fine shape,
to
it is

and, to give the frog


till

frequently pared

the blood appears


is

prevent the eifusion of which, the actual cautery


It is to
it

sometimes applied.
sole is so

be observed,

that,

when

the

much

pared,

dries

and hardens

in proportion

as

it is

thinned; and the strong, horny substance of the


sole, is

crust,

overcoming the resistance from the

thereby

contracted.

This will produce lameness, the real cause of


little

which

is

overlooked, or

attended

to.

Among
shoes,
off,

the

many
is

disadvantages that attend the

common

one

their

being more liable to be pulled

from their

great weight, length, &c., especially in deep ground, in


riding
fast,

or

when

the toe of the hinder foot strikes

against the heel of the fore-shoe.

To prevent

this in-

convenience, sixteen or eighteen nails are

frequently

made

use

of,

which destroy and weaken the crust by


one another
in this
;

their being placed too near

and

it is is

not

uncommon, when a shoe nailed


off,

manner

pulled

that the crust


it.

on the outside of the

nails

breaks
after

away with

If this should

happen a few days


is

the foot has been so finely pared (which

not unusual),

or upon a journey, and at a distance from any place

272

THE PERFECT HORSE.

where a shoe maj be immediately procured, the horse


instantly

becomes lame from the thinness of the


crust,

sole

and

weakness of the
the weight of his
This, also,

and

is

hardly able to support


less that

own body, much

of his rider."

must have been prophetic


:

in its application

to our times "

So much are

farriers,

grooms, &c., prejudiced in


of shoeing and paring out

favor of the

common method
with
to

the

feet, that it is

difficulty

they can even be preof


it.

vailed

upon

make

a proper

trial

They cannot
the heels

be

satisfied unless the

frog be finely shaped, the sole

pared, the bars cut out, in order to

make

appear wide.

This practice gives them a show of wide;

ness for the time

yet that, together with the concave


heels,
life.

form of the shoe, forwards the contraction of the


which,

when

confirmed, renders the animal lame for


its
it

In

this flat

form of shoe

thickest part
is

is

upon the

out-

side of the rim,

where

most exposed to be worn;

and, being

edge,

it is,

made gradually thinner towards its inner therefore, much lighter than the common conit

cave shoe, yet

will last equally as long,

and with more

advantage

to the hoof;

and, as the frog and heel are

allowed to rest upon the ground, the foot enjoys the

same points of support


therefore,

as in its natural state.

It must,

be much easier for the horse in his way of

going, and be a
is

means of making him

surer-footed.

It

likewise evident that from this shoe the hoof cannot

acquire any

bad form, when

at the

same time

it

receives

every advantage that possibly could be expected from

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


shoeing.
that

IT.

273

In this respect

it

may very

properly be said

we make

the shoe to the foot, and not the foot to

much the case in the concave shoes, where the foot very much resembles that of a cat's fixed in a walnut-shell. ... I would observe, upon the whole, that the less substance we take away from the
the shoe, as
is

but too

natural defence of the foot, except on particular occasions


will

which may require


;

it,

the less artificial defence

be necessary

the flatter

we make

the shoe,

we

give

the horse the

more

points of support,
;

and imitate the

natural tread of the foot

therefore, the nearer

we

follow

these simple rules, the nearer


in this I
art.''

we approach

to perfection

have made these quotations

taken almost

at ran-

dom, from perhaps, on the whole, the three wisest teachers of the principles of correct shoeing

and preserva-

tion of the horse's foot that the

world has ever had


those

principally for the purpose

of impressing

who

could be impressed in no other

way than by

the accu-

mulated testimony of other men with a sense of the


great mischief and evil that
is

done in cutting and


horse's foot,

filing

away the

frog, sole,

and bars of the

by the

retention of which, in a natural state, the foot can be

kept either strong or healthy.


so vicious as to

No form

of shoe can be
to the foot

do such mischief and injury

as the present paring

and cutting system

nor can any

shoe be so good in
ills

its

conformation as to remedy those

that knife

and buttress have occasioned.


is,

The

truth

we
18

should do

little

or nothing to the

274

THE PERFECT HORSE.


it

horse's foot, save to level


shoe.

for

the reception of the

Nature,

it

perfect model,

should be remembered, works after a


for I

am

not speaking of disease,

and
from

the perfect cannot be improved


us.

by any

assistance

Were

it

not for the fact that our roads are too

hard for the foot to endure service on them unprotected,


it

were well not

to shoe at all

and, if

we must
The

shoe,
cres-

shoe only so

much

as

is

absolutely necessary.

cent shoe, or " tips " as they are

commonly

called, will,

during the summer months, be


service.

sufficient for

country

These

tips are

thin,

narrow plates of iron

or
fit

steel,

of some

three ounces in weight, shaped to


little

the toe of the foot, and to reach round a


side.

on
to

either

The object of
front

these

tips

is

simply

protect
too

the

portion

of

the

foot

from
the

being

rapidly

worn away.

They leave

quarters,
as

sole, frog, bars,

and heels entirely unprotected, save

Nature provides.
shoe.
alone.
I

They

are a most excellent

form of

speak from experience, and not from theory

have used horses of eleven hundred pounds

weight, in farm-work and ordinary fxmily service, on


the road, for months together, with
their feet save

no protection

to

these

tips,

and found that

their feet,

which, at the beginning of the experiment, were in a

most unsatisfactory condition, grew strong and well

and
ers
try.

recommend
Indeed, I
horses

this

form of shoeing to

all

my

read-

whose horses are exercised or worked

in the coun-

am under

the impression that the feet

of

many

would need no other protection even

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


for city service.
It is astonishing

IT.

275

how

fast the foot will

develop and increase when once brought


with the ground.

contact

Take

olT those

high-heeled shoes
to

from your horse,

friend,

which you have caused


his frog

be

put on him in order to keep

from the ground,

and
step.

let it

come
favor

in

contact with the ground at every


for a
:

For a few days, or even

few weeks, your


but Nature will
liberty granted

horse

may
viz.,

himself somewhat

soon accommodate herself to the


her;

new

the liberty of helping herself

She

will
life,

soon

build up a frog such as you never saw in your


likely,*

most

large, overlapping

pad of gutta-percha-like

substance, wide and thick, that feels no


cussion,

more the con-

when brought
is

in contact

with the stone pave-

ment, than the buffer under a rail-car feels the jolts as


the train

being whirled along.


the
full

Now,

in respect to

shoe, the
is,

first

error in

common
thick.
rule.

practice to be noticed

that

it is

too wide and

The

lighter the shoe the better, should


is

be the

horse

never so sprightly and pliant in

motion, so unlikely to stumble, or swift in movement,


as

when enjoying
or

the liberty of nature.


for

There

is

no

sense

reason

the

heavy,
us.

wide-webbed,

long-

hccled shoes so
cific

common with
good

These are the spe:

points of a

shoe, as I understand the matter

The shoe should be narrow,


surface,

perfectly

flat

on the upper
light, thin at

bevelled shoes
its

are a nuisance,

the heels,

ground-surface concave, and just as large

as the foot.

Such a shoe may be regarded

as a model.

276

THE PERFECT HORSE.


is

Fleming

altogether right in the following description,

when he

says,

" Pattern of

Shoe recommended.

If the sole of the


knife, it

hoof has not been mutilated by the


require to be covered

does not
fur-

by the

shoe, as

Nature has

nished an infinitely

better

protection.

Wide-surface
;

shoes can, therefore, be at once dispensed with

and a
iron,

narrow shoe

made of the very best and toughest


sufficient to
is all

adapted for travelling on slippery roads, and for aiding


foot
five

and limb, and

withstand wear for four or

weeks

that

is

required.

We

will therefore

conclude that the upper or foot surface should be the

whole width of the shoe, and plane,


for

not

bevelled,

we have
its

seen that the sole was destined, particujunction with the wall in front, to sustain
also

larly at

weight.

We

know
to

that

it

is

advantageous to the
sole

whole foot and limb


general a bearing
relieve the other
wall,
;

allow the

as

wide and

as possible,

so that one part

may

the sole coming to the aid of the


to share the fatigue im-

and the frog interposing

posed upon both, as well as

to relieve the strain

on the

hinder-parts of the foot, flexor tendons, and limb, and

keep a firm grasp of the ground by


sive properties.
''

its elastic

and adhe-

The shoe applied


flat,

to the foot, then, should


it

have

its

hoof-surface

in order that

may

sustain the wall


its

and

as

much

of this strong portion of the sole as

width permits.

This

is

contrary to the usual practice,


to rest

which only allows the wall

on a narrow

surface,

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


and bevels
off the

IT.

277

remainder of the shoe to prevent

contact with the sole.

Many
and

years' experience of this

plane foot-surfaced shoe

in various

regions of the globe,

and on

feet of every kind


this view.

quality,

have proved the

soundness of

The

foot

is

brought as near to
its

a state of nature,

when

the greater part of

plantar

surface supports the weight of the body, as

man

can

hope
ficial

to achieve while submitting the horse to an arti-

existence.

"

A light,
;

thin shoe
as the

is

always preferable to a heavy,

thick one

narrowness of the metal insures a

good
while

foothold,
its

in this respect imitating the wall,


frog,

in

thinness brings the sole,

and bars

closer approximation to the ground."

The upper

surface of a shoe should be filed until


This, so far as I

it is

perfectly level and smooth.

am

able, I

invariably do for myself.


is

boot, the surface of


it

which

not smooth, gives to the foot wearing

very

much

such a sensation as a coarsely-hammered-out shoe does


to the foot of a horse Avhen attached to
it.

It

should

never be nailed on to the hoof until


glass.

it

is

smooth as
fit.

Such a shoe makes,

in

very truth, a good


off

The ground-surface should be bevelled


inner
edge,
sole.

along the

thus imitating

the

convex surface-shape
be rounded

of the

The metal

at the toe should

off until the

new
is

shoe resembles at the toe the one

taken

off.

This

doing to the shoes of horses what


our shoes

the manufacturer does to

when he rounds

them up

at the toe.

This facilitates the action of the

278

THE PERFECT HORSE.


and limb, and, undoubtedly, accommodates Nature.
have

foot

I like to

my new

shoes look at the toe like the

What Nature to make angular. As to these, if made of good


old ones.

has rounded off


the
nails, five

man ought
enough
;

not

are

and
size.

material, can

be of small

Two

should be put on the inside, immediately back of


This method of
its

the toe, and three on the outside.

nail-

ing leaves the foot at liberty to enjoy

elasticity.

The The

nails

should be turned out as quickly as possible.

holes

made by them should never be more than


into

half an

inch up

the

hoof

There are several

reasons
first is,

why

a nail should not be driven high up.


it

The
is

the higher

goes, the less thickness of wall


it.

there to which to clinch

The wall of the

hoof, also,

has a grain as truly as wood.


that a
nail driven

Now, every one knows


less tenathis bringis

with the grain holds far


it
;

ciously than one driven across

and

it

is

ing-forth the point of the nail quickly

which

com-

patible with

its

being driven across the grain of the


driven holds on.
:

hoof

nail so

Moreover, holes in
they always

horny substances never grow up


out or down.
has

grow

Now,

the higher the hole that the nail

made

is

located in the wall of the hoof, the longer,


is

of course, will the time be that

required to grow

it

down
case
so,

or out.

This

is

no

trifling consideration in the


is

where shoeing

necessarily

frequent.

Not only

the multiplicity of holes greatly weakens the wall of

the hoof, which, under our present faulty


shoeing, has to bear

method of

up nearly the

entire

weight of the

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


horse,

IT.

279

and

is,

therefore, never too strong at the best.

In this connection, Mr. Fleming says,


"

The shoe ought

to

be attached by
is

nails to those parts

of the wall where the horn

strongest and toughest.

In the fore-foot these parts are in front, and along the


sides to the quarters: there the horn

becomes narrow
and are nearer

and

thin

and the

nails find less support,

to the living textures.

This

is

more

particularly the case

toward the

heels, especially the inner one.


is

In the hind-

foot the wall

generally strong toward the quarters


facts at

and

heel.

These

once give us an indication as


In the fore-foot,
toe, as

to the best position for the nail-holes.


nails

can be driven through the wall, around the

far as the inside quarter,

and a

little

nearer the heel on

the

outside.

In
toe,

the hind-foot

they
to

may be

driven

around the
punity."

and even up

the heels, with im-

This should be borne in mind, that, where few nails are


used, they

must be put wider


;

apart. result

Some
is,

smiths drive

their nails in clusters

and the

that a small sec-

tion of the foot has to bear the entire strain.

This the

owner of every horse should guard


pression
is,

against.

My

im-

that the shoe should bear

more heavily on
I

the toe and heel, and less heavily on the quarters.

know
*'

the custom

is

to

have the shoe

set tight
;

on the
it is

entire foot until

you come

to the heels

and then

eased," or left so that the heel does not set closely


it.

upon

Now,

my

idea

is

that

the

quarter

is

the

weakest point in the wall of the hoof; and hence the

280

THE PERFECT HORSE.

shoe should be eased at that point, and not at the heel.


This, I believe,

would save many horses from

quarter-

crack.

I suggest that the reader consider this,

and then
said,
is

follow his

own judgment.
There
at
is

The

nails,

as I

have

should be quite small, and driven in more gently than


the custom.
strike a

no reason why the smith should


little

blow

the

nail-head as

strong

as

he

would

deliver at the

head of a spike
is

in an oak-beam.

The hoof of the horse


delicately-pointed

not an oak-stick, and the


nail
is

and slenderly-headed
and yet you
as if
it

not a

wrought-iron spike;

will

see the nailer


life

whack away
hammer.

at

them

was a matter of

and

death to get them entirely set in at two blows of his


Insist

that

the

nailer

shall drive

his nails

slowly and steadily, instead of using violence.


ease, if his nail is

In this

badly pointed and gets out of the


is

proper line of direction, no great injury


can be withdrawn, and a

done.

It

new one
foot.
all

substituted, without

harm having been done the


and violent way prevents
the horse to temporary
if

But the

swift, blind,

such care, and exposes

not permanent injury.

The

heads should be no larger than the groove, or notch,

which receives them.


to

If these are not large

enough

be sunk

in,

then that

portion

of the head which

protrudes should be rasped or


the shoe.
the
nail.

filed

down

level with

Gentleness should be exercised in clinching

Never allow a smith

to

touch a rasp to the


it

outer surftice of the hoof

Nature has covered


is

with

a thin filament of enamel, the object of which

to pro-

THE HOKSE's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


tect the

IT.

281

inner

membrane and
This
to the surface of

fibre

from exposure
is

to

water or atmosphere.

enamel
your
it

exactly what

Nature puts on

finger-nail, reader.

Under no circumstances should


it is

ever be touched.

If

removed, Nature

will

be wickedly deprived of her


left

needed covering, and cruelly


ments.

exposed

to the ele-

In respect to applying the shoe to the

foot,

two methhave not

ods are in
called.

vogue,
is

hot

and

cold fitting, as they are

Which

the better, I

am

free to say, I
is

decided.

The weight of authority

nearly the same


fitting declare

in either scale.

The advocates of cold


a shoe with rasp and

that they can

fit

file

as evenly as

the necessities of the case require, and that this can

be done

at

no great cost of time or

skill.

They, morein oppoit

over, charge that both reason


sition to

and analogy are

burning a horny surface, and declare that


foot,

honeycombs the wall of the


natural and healthy growth.
ting,

and prevents

its
fit-

The

disciples of hot

on the other hand, declare that few men can level

the foot, or so

hammer and
;

file

the shoe that the

fit

shall

be what

is

required

and that only by burning can the

connection between steel and horn be


ly close

made

sufficient-

and

solid.

For myself,
fitting,

do not deny the

advantages of hot

especially
unskilful
skill

when your horse

must be shod by rude and


impression
is,

workmen
more

still

my

that,

where
is

and time are


far the

attainable,

the cold-fitting

method

by

preferable.

In order that the reader

may have

the hot

method of

282
fitting the

THE PERFECT HOKSE.


shoe clearly stated, I will

make

the following
just quoted,

selection

from the same author


it,

who

is

an earnest advocate of

we have and who

has stated
:

its

advantages more clearly than any other writer


''^Hot

and Gold Fitting.

systems of fitting
condition

For very many horseshoes a cold and


in

years, the

two

a heated
se-

to the hoofs

have been extensively and

verely tested; and the result has been, that cold fitting
is,

as a rule, only resorted to

when

circumstances prevent

the adoption of the other method, or

when

the

owner
foot,

of a horse, imagining that the hot shoe injures the


incurs the risks attending a

bad

fit

to

guard against

his

imaginary
*'It is

evil.

needless, in a brief essay like the present, to

enter into a relation of the observations and experi-

ments which have established the undoubted and great


superiority of

what

is

termed
at

'

hot

'

to

'

cold

'

fitting.

These

will

be found noticed

some length
'

in a

work

recently published

by me,

entitled

Horseshoes and

Horseshoeing.'
evils

It

may be

sufficient to state that the


fitting the shoes

supposed to result from

hot to the
the sole
is

hoofs are purely chimerical.

It is true,

when

excessively mutilated, should the farrier keep the heated

shoe too long in contact with


follow; but this accident scarcely ever
is

it,

injury

would doubtless
be
is
ill

so exceedingly rare as to
in

known, even

forges

where shoeing

performed
effects

in the

most objectionable manner.


arise

The

imagined to

from hot shoeing can easily be

traced to the operation of other causes, not the least of

THE HORSE
which
foot.
is

FOOT,

AND HOW TO SHOE

IT.

28B

the fashion of paring the lower face of the

*'The chief objections to cold shoeing are the want of


solidity;

the foot being

made

to

fit

the shoe, and the

process being

more

difficult
is

and expensive.
patent to every one

^'The defective solidity

who

has

had any experience

in the matter.

It is impossible to

level the ends of the horn-fibres so 'accurately that they


will all rest evenly

on the surface of the iron

so,

those

which are most prominent soon giving way


the
is

to pressure,
loose,

bed of the shoe

is

altered

and

this,

becoming

either lost, or

even should the

we have projecting clinches. And, fibres be made perfectly level, wet softthem
to

ens them, causing

become pulpy and


is

shorter,

by which means the


nails lose their firm

seat of the shoe

impaired, and the

hold of the wall.


as well as that

on active

service,

Ample experience gathered at home

during peace, has demonstrated the instability resulting

from cold

fitting.

"Owing to the increased trouble and loss of time incurred by this method in attempts to make the shoe fit
somewhat
the shoe
accurately, but
it.

few

farriers

can afford or are


it

willing to resort to
is

Hence, when
it is

is

practised, if

at all like the foot,

put on; and rasp and


to
fit it.

knife insure the hoof being

made

This pro-

ceeding

is

very injurious.
fitting

"In hot
shoe
is

we have none

of these objections.
it

The
more

very readily adapted to the foot:

is

equally applied, and rests solidly on the hoof, so that the

284
nails are not

THE PERFECT HORSE.


broken or displaced by the shoe becoming

loose

in fine, there is a

more intimate contact between

the iron and the surface of the horn.

The very

fact of

burning or fusing the ends of the

fibres insures a solid,

durable bed which cannot be obtained otherwise, as this


destroys the spongy, absorbent properties of the horn,

and renders

it

eminently calculated to withstand the

influence of moisture.

The

effects

produced on horn by
fire

the hot iron have been compared to those of


pieces of

on

wood whose ends have been

superficially car-

bonized before being buried in the ground.

Every one

knows

that this operation contributes to the preserva-

tion of the

wood by

preserving

it

from the action of

humidity.

"Horn

is

a very slow conductor of heat

and

it

requires

a very prolonged application of the hot shoe to affect


the hoof to any considerable depth.

Three minutes'

burning of the lower face of the sole has been found


necessary to produce any indication of increase of tem-

perature by the thermometer on


is

its

upper

surface.

It

never required that the shoe should be applied longer

than a few seconds.

"The hot
wax; and

shoe, in fusing the

horn with which

it

comes

in contact, imprints itself like a seal in


in this
;

melted sealing-

way

the two surfaces of foot and shoe

exactly coincide

while, no matter

how

expert the work-

man may be
state,

in using his tools to level the


it

horn

in a cold

he can never do

so quickly or so completely as

may be done by making an

impression with the heated

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


shoe,

IT.

285

and consequently establishing between the lower

margin of the hoof and the shoe an exact co-aptation.


"It

may be

added,

that,

when

the surface of the horn

has been softened by the action of caloric, the nails enter


it

more readily
;

the clips and inequalities are

more

easily

embedded
which are

and,

when

it

recovers

its

habitual consistency

after cooling, the union


in contact

between

it

and the metallic parts


the

becomes

all

more intimate

be-

cause of the slight contraction that follows the expansion

produced by the

heat.

Under these

conditions, the horn

contracts on the shanks of the nails,

and

retains

them

most securely.
*'A11

the

highest veterinary authorities

who have

studied the subject are unanimous in recommending hot


fitting in

preference to cold.

The

latter is only justifiable

when

it is

impossible to adopt the former.

The red-hot
shows the on the

shoe at once disposes of those inequalities which cannot

be discovered, or removed by

tools

and

it

workman

at a glance the bearing of the shoe

hoof, as well as the imprint of the nail-holes.

Without

being reheated, any alteration can be readily and at


once effected in moulding the shoe to the shape of the
toe.

^'The whole surface of the shoe intended to be in contact with the

horn should be distinctly impressed on the

contour of the hoof, so as to insure the closest and most


accurate intimacy between the two
surface should not
;

and

this

carbonized

be interfered with on any account,


is

except by the rasp, which

only to be employed in re-

286

THE PERFECT HORSE.


inequality on the extreme edge
in fitting.

moving any sharpness or


of the wall that
^'It is

may have been caused


mind
Its application

necessary to bear in

that the shoe should

be

fitted at a red heat.

then need only

be very

brief;

and

it is

far

more

effective in

producing
at a
suffi-

a solid level surface.


hlack heat.

It

ought not

to

be applied

Should the margin of the hoof not be

ciently levelled

by the rasp before the application of


show the

the hot shoe, a slight contact of the latter will


inequalities
knife.
;

and these may then be removed by rasp or


occasion ought the shoe to remain longer
is

On no

on the hoof than

necessary to produce a

solid, per-

fectly level surface."


If,

after
is

reading

this statement, the

thoughtful horse-

man

not convinced touching the advantages of the

hot method,

and

I will confess that I

am

not,

he

will

doubtless remain

unconvinced

for

no stronger

state-

ment of
There

its

supposed advantages has ever been made.


but one other point that I need touch upon
it is

is

in this chapter:

concerning the weight of shoes.

The two most


and
requisite

desirable qualities in a shoe are lightness

durability.
;

To combine
is

these qualities,

skill

is

and that

one reason

why

so

shoes are forged out.


so

Another reason

is,

many heavy because, when


away
as
is

much

.of the horse's foot


it

has been cut


in

the

custom,

must be replaced

the

form of metal.
so wide, indeed,

Hence shoes of great width


provinces of Constantine,

are made,

that they resemble the earliest specimens

found

in

the

the Syrian

shoe,

which was

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


little

IT.

287

better than a solid plate of iron nailed to the


in

hoof, with a small circular hole cut out

the middle.

This

is

repeating history with a vengeance.

These

shoes are not only wide, but thick, which makes them

even heavier than the Syrian shoe.


required, as
jar.

This thickness

is

some

say, in

order to protect the foot from


is

Mr. Miles favors this view, which


his sanity.

enough

to

make one doubt


when he
fier

Fleming

is is

certainly right

says that the flexible horn

the best modi-

of concussion; and that as the thickness of metal

increases, so does the jar.

But the greatest objection


fact, that it

to a

heavy shoe

is

to

be found in the

puts

an unnatural and dangerous strain upon the muscles

and tendons of the limb bearing


fessor

it.

French proes-

(Bouley) made several years ago a curious

timate

touching the muscular exhaustion and fatigue

resulting from the use of

following quotation
"
If,

heavy

shoes.

make

the

at the termination of a day's

work,

we

calculate

the weight represented

by the mass of heavy shoes


to carry at each step,

that

a horse

is

condemned

at a formidable array of figures,

and

in

we arrive this way are able


expended by
feet.

to estimate the

amount of

force uselessly

the animal in raising the shoes that surcharge his

The

calculation I

have made possesses an eloquence

that dispenses with very long commentaries.

Suppose
it

that the weight of a shoe

is

1,000 grams

is

not

excessive to admit that a horse trots at the rate of one


step

every second,

or sixty steps a minute.

In a

288

THE PERFECT HORSE.

minute, then, the limb of a horse whose foot carries one

kilogram makes an
after kilogram,

effort necessary to raise,

kilogram

weight of GO kilograms.
is

For the

four limbs, this weight in a minute

represented by
feet

60x4

= 240

kilograms;
is

for the

four

during an
for four

hour the weight


hours, the

14,000 kilograms;

and

mean

duration of a day's

work

in these

om-

nibuses, the total

amount of weight raised has reached


'

the respectable figure of 57,000 kilograms.

But the

movement communicated
motor without any useful

to

these

57,000

kilograms

represents an expenditure of
result

power employed by the


;

and, as the motor

is

living one, this expense of strength represents an exhaustion, or, if

you

like

it

better, a

degree of fatigue,
its

proportioned to the
This calculation
It is to
is

effort

necessary for

manifestation.

most simple, and readily understood.


I

be noted, nevertheless, that


is,

have omitted a

considerable fact; which

that the weights I have

tabulated arc situated at the extremities of the limbs,

and

that the

arms of the levers on which the muscles

act to raise them, being infinitely shorter than those of

the physiological resistance to which these weights are

added, the intensity of their action ought, therefore, to

be singularly increased.

But

to

measure

this intensity

of action would require a mathematical aptitude which


I

do not

possess.

I will not,

therefore, dwell
;

on

this

point, notwithstanding its importance

and

am

content

to signalize

it.

Otherwise, the figures I present speak

for themselves,

and

tell

us that the diminution in the

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


weight of horse-shoes
is

IT.

289

not an accessory consideration

so far as the useful application of the horse's strength

goes."

In the light of this ingenious

calculation,
it

what an
in

enormous outlay of muscular strength

must take

the aggregate, on the part of the American trottinghorse, to


lift,

with the rapidity required, the monstrous

shoes which are ruthlessly nailed to his hoof!

In respect to the preservation of the horse's hoof,


I

would say

that

it

is

almost impossible to keep the

foot of the

horse

thoroughly sound while


floors.

him standing continuously on wooden


could persuade
stabled in a stall

we keep No one
to
It

me

to

allow

valuable
is

colt

be

the floor of which

wood.

may

not be amiss to state, at this point, the fashion, or style,


of stall-floors in

my

stables.
feet.
is

The

dirt is first

excavated to the depth of two

Stones are then put in haphazard until half the pit


filled.

Six inches in depth of cobble-stones are then

added;
all

then four inches of earth thrown


is

in.

Over

this

spread beach-sand or bank-gravel to the


This
is

depth of three or four inches.


floor.

my
is

model
cheap.

stall-

Its

advantages are many.

It

It
it is

requires no skilled labor to

make

it.

Once made,
to

always made.

There are no timbers


It
it.

decay, nor

planks to rot out.


leach easily through
horses
will

is

never damp.

The

liquids

Standing in such a
dried,

stall,

your
but

never have

contracted feet;

they will be strictly in


19

the state of nature.

In case

290

THE PERFECT HORSE.

you have a horse with contracted and hardened hoofs, scaly and brittle, that you must moisten and soak
that
out,
" do not waste your money on " patent stuffing and costly ''dressing" for the feet, but take your basket and go down into the swamp, and gather a

bushel or two of swamp-moss.

Now

take boards, and


feet wide,

make
and

box some

three feet long


Fill this
tie

by two

six inches in depth.

box with moss well

moistened with water, and so

your horse that he will

stand with his fore-feet amid the moss.

Do

not allow
at a

him

to stand

more than two or three hours

time

thus, lest the chemical action of the

moss should be too

rapid and strong.

Watch

its

influence

on

his feet,

and

do

as

your judgment decides.


foot can

In this

way

the hardest

and

flintiest

be rendered

soft

and yielding

after only a

few days of treatment.


ills.

It is a valuable

recipe for such

The

publishers'

announcement warns

me

that

my
this

manuscript has reached the desired bulk, and that


section of the

work must be drawn


it

to a close.

My

object in writing
start discussion.

has been to

quicken thought, and

factory

even to

Viewed only in this light is it satisThe conclusion which my myself


after all

mind has reached,


few brief maxims.

my

reading and investigain a

tion touching the horse's foot,

may be summed up
Shoe with and frog

Never touch the

bars, frog, or sole of


light,

the horse's foot with a knife, or rasp.


thin shoes, that

allow the

sole, bars,

to

be

brought

in contact

with the ground, and thus bear their

THE horse's foot, AND HOW TO SHOE


due proportion pf the horse's weight.

IT.

291

Use small

nails,

and not over

five of

them.

Never allow the points


For ordinary

to

be driven high up
to

in the wall of the hoof, nor a rasp

be touched

to the

outer surface.

ser-

vice in the country during the

summer months,
In

use

only

tips,

which protect the

toe,

but leave the entire


brief, feel

ground-surface of the foot unprotected.


that
are;

He who made

the horse's foot


his

is

wiser than you


as little
as

and meddle with

perfect

work

possible.

CHAPTER

YIII.

THE MORGAN HORSE: HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.


I

DO not purpose
to

to write the history of the

Morgan
the

horses, although

do

it

would be
space,

like writing

history of kings.
sire,

Lack of
done

and not lack of deStill it is

denies

me
do

the pleasure of such a task.


;

work

that should be
to
it,

and, if no abler
if life

pen should
and
leisure
it

be found

at

some future day,

be granted me, mine may attempt


nothing
less that,

it.

regard

as

than shame

to

the

horsemen of

New
popu-

England,

with the exception of Mr. Linsley's book,

no
lar

effort

has been
the

made

to collect
for

and arrange
history

in

form

material

the

of the
or

most

remarkable family of horses that


ica has ever had.

New JSngland

Amer-

Indeed, the Morgan

family

may be

said to be

the only family that has existed in this coun-

try as such.

Of

Justin

Morgan alone can

it

be

said, that

he found-

ed a family.

Other horses there have been of note,


eminence was well
left

and whose

deserved

but they

passed away, and

no sons so

like themselves as to

be

MORGAN HORSE:
distinctively theirs.

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

293

Messenger was a remarkable horse

and America owes him more than words can express


but Messenger lacked one thing,

the power

to take of

other bloods, and dominate them, stamping them with


his imperial likeness.

Diomed was a wonderful


inferior.

animal,

after

my way
;

of thinking, ranking on a level with Mes-

senger

in

no respect

But Diomed lacked that


existing in a horse,

royal something, which,


all

when

makes
to

other families tributary to himself,

that

power

absorb,
to

and not be absorbed

to allow turbid currents


his
life,

be mingled with the stream of


in the

and yet flow

on

same pure majesty.

This, neither

Diomed
ever

nor Messenger nor Bashaw, nor any other imported


horse from which
had.

we

trace

our trotting-action,

Their colts were of

all sizes

and colors and tem-

peraments and structural formation.


coarse-limbed, big-headed,

One would be
Abdallah

and

rat-tailed, like

another would have the countenance of a Barb, and


limbs like an Arab's.

They were

all

royal

but none

were

kingly.

Not one builded a throne and founded a


all his chil-

nation whose population were abundant, and


dren.

But Justin Morgan did

this

thing.

He
all

stands

the progenitor of a mighty race, spread over

the land

from Maine to California


horse,

and, wherever

you

find a

Mor-

whether gan or country. East or West, you know he a Morgan North or South,
in city

that

is

horse.

One glance
head,
all

is

enough:

color, shape, style, limbs, feet,

suggest the

little

horse from which he lineally

descended,

Justin

Morgan.

Men

say

he

had no

294
blood."

THE PERFECT HORSE.


Out upon the
assertion!
it

^'

His blood must

have been of the purest, or


mastery over
tinues to do.
all

never could have ruled in


it

other bloods, as

did,

and

still

con-

Ask Mr. Wallace, one


honored with,
blood
;

of the most honest and pains-

taking students of the horse any nation has ever been

ask him what


will tell you, the

is

the superlative test of


to

and he
its

power

marh descendis

ants with
test,

own

characteristics.

This

the

crucial

beside which mere verbal pedigrees are simply bits

of paper.

Apply

this test to Justin

Morgan (there

are

many

horses

cannot stand

who walk with plumed heads to-day that this test), and see how royally he bears it
full

Stand him in the

blaze of such a scrutiny, and ob-

serve that the fervor which withers other garlands only


causes his wreath to take a greener hue.

How

other

bloods

bowed

in submission to his

Crossed with twenty


all.

families,

he dominated over them


be, the colt

No
to

matter what

the
sire.

dam might

was sure
feet

look like the

There were the same

and

legs,

and depth of

chest,

and haunches swollen with muscles, the same


to the neck,

proud curve
front,

prominent eye, quick


sweated
racer's.

ear, full

and muzzle lean


form and

as a

Men
was

say he

had no pedigree.
in the

He

had.

His pedigree was written


It

spirit

of his children.

verified

beyond the
these

verification

of written affidavits.

Not

that

were

lacking.

No

candid and intelligent student

of the question can have the shadow of a doubt that his


sire

was Beautiful Bay, or

that his

dam was

of the

MORGAN horse:
Wildair breed.

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

295

But, for one," I care nothing for this

verbal pedigree in the case of Justin

Morgan
his

it

is

waste of words to discuss

it.

The proofs of
;

pedigree

were not hack of him, but in him

and they were read

in living characters in his three great sons,

Sherman,
present
!

Woodbury, and Bulrush,

and

in all the successive gen^

crations of his descendants, even


time.

down

to the

What names adorn

the scroll of his fame

Black Hawk, Gifford, Ethan Allen, Morrill, Taggart's


Abdallah, Gen. Knox, Fearnaught, Lambert:
these are
his

enough,
immortal.

if

there

were no more,

to

make

name

The

sire of

such sons cannot be denied his

rank and place amid the great stock-horses of the


world.
others,

The ignorance of some, and the malice of


cannot
belittle

his

greatness.
peril,

This

stands

secure, not only

above the

but even above the

reach, of attack.
It is of a family of horses

with such an ancestor, and


that
I

sharing his

characteristics,

now

write,

not in

way
I

of eulogy, but rather of suggestion to breeders.


for

claim

the

Morgan horse a few

things which

make him
first

the most desirable horse on which to base

experiments in crossing that any


of these peculiarities
to
is this,

man

ever had.

The
trans-

the

power of

mitting his excellences

his offspring.
it

This power makes the horse that has


invaluable
for

absolutely
it

breeding-purposes,

because

takes

uncertainty

from the process.

Give the breeder a

horse that marks his get in form, color, and tempera-

296

THE PERFECT HORSE.


like himself,
:

ment
to

and he knows beforehand what he


dismissed.
is

is

have

anxiety

is

He knows how
This
is

the colt

will look before

he

foaled.

the

first,

and per-

haps the most


horses.

characteristic, peculiarity of the

Morgan
good

Other things being equal, no

stallion is so

for stock-purposes as one strongly infused with

Morgan

blood

and the reason


is

is

simply because the Morgan

blood

a strong, masterful blood, yielding to none,


all,

but conquering

and transmitting

itself

to

those

born of

it.

The second excellence


noted
is

for

which the Morgan horse

is

beauty.

Twenty years
period.

ago, speed

was every

thing.

If a horse

could go^ that was enough.

We

have lived beyond that


in the markets,

Beauty

is

demanded now
;

and

paid for handsomely

and the questions with every

breeder, therefore, necessarily are, "

What

is

the cross

by which
I

can add beauty to speed?

Where can
flat,

get the
the

fine,

rich coat, the spirited face, the quick


tail,

ear,

arched

the

small

black hoofs, the

wiry

legs, that shall

cause

men
is

to contend for the pos-

session of

my

colts ? "

That

what Mr. Taggart,


Col.
all

Col.

Eussell, Mr.

Dorsey, Mr.
;

Nevins, and
is

Sprague,

wished to know
the

and that

why

they

went

to

Morgan family
I

for stallions to

head

their respective

stables.

ask any

man

to select in all the country six

other stallions

of such

striking

beauty as Taggart's
Allen,

Abdallah, Fearnaught,

Young Fearnaught, Ethan

Rolla Gold Dust, and Lambert,

all

direct descend-

MORGAN HORSE:
ants from

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

297

Justin Morgan, and


characteristics.

strongly

marked with
in

the

Morgan
for a

For beauty, give me,


for a
sire,

breeding, a

Morgan horse
dam.

and a well-bred

mare

With such a

cross I

know what
;

shall get, so far as


is

beauty goes, at any rate

and beauty
greenbacks

growing

to

be worth more and more

in

every year.

The
horses
"

third
is

characteristic excellence of the

Morgan

their docility,

erb

You can teach a Morgan colt any thing" is a provamong the people; and the proverbs of a people
facts.

always blossom out of

And

it is

fact,

that the
to catch

Morgans are
your meaning
for they

all
:

teachable.

They are quick

and, once taught, they are always taught

never forget any thing once learned.


is

Their

memory
love
to

like a dog's,

faultless.

They
They

are amiable

as a race,

and of very

affectionate dispositions.
will

They
do as

be petted and caressed.

much

for a

word

as for a blow.

They
frisky,

are never tricky.

That they are high-strung and

we admit

but

their playfulness is always good-natured, never vicious.

Even
tive,

in

their wildest antics


careful,

they are never destructo rebuke.


if

but are

and yield readily

If

speedy, they can be trained without difficulty,


will let the
at the
ful
;

you
lies

whip alone

and will do

all

that in

them
is

word of the
is

driver.
;

The Morgan horse


characteristics

beauti-

he

also docile
steps,

and these
least,

he transequine

mits^

three

at

that lead

to

the

throne.

298

THE PERFECT HOESE.


fourth
is

The
horse

characteristic

peculiar

to

the

Morgan
In power
in

endurance.

A
to

hardier race of horses was never bred.


/ceej:?

do hard work, and


out,

on doing
at

it^

month

and

month
column.
in
feet

the

Morgans stand

the

head of the

In

lung-power they were simply perfect


limbs,
faultless
;

and
;

in

muscular formation,
this

marvellous

and

in connection

with

was a nervous
effort,

or vital force that seemed to be equal to qyqtj

and appalled
to

at

no emergency.
power,
or

Years did not appear


their

lessen

their

dampen
as

ardor.

At
other

twenty they were as


families are at ten
;

young

members
their eyes

of

and

at thirty

had not
this

lost their fire, or their action its boldness.

Now,
into

iron-like quality is
colts.

what breeders must

j)^^t
;

their

We

can get speed easily enough


it

but

we must

have speed, and the power to keep

up mile

after mile,

and hour

after hour.
;

Endurance

is

what we must have


what the Morgan

in our horses

and
It is

this is precisely

blood gives.
family,

pre-eminently the heirloom of the


sire

and

is

handed down from

to son in undi-

minished integrity.

The
shall

last

characteristic of the
is speed.

Morgan
Morgan
there

family that I

mention

It is said

by some
were
of

that the
true,
still

family had no

speed.

If this

would be such
color,

great

excellences

form,

temperament,

and

style, that it

would remain a most valuable family with


in breeding.

which to cross

But

it is

not true

for the

MORGAN HOKSE:
fact
is,

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

290

all

things being candidly considered, I believe

every one will admit that they have produced more


trotters than

any other family

in the world.

I ask

the

reader to bear in mind, that in Justin

Morgan's day,

and

also

during the lifetime of his immediate descend-

ants, trotting, as

we understand
is,

it,

was not
ill

in vogue.
its

The

State of

Vermont

moreover,

adapted, in
inhabitants,

topography and the industries of


develop
fast trotting-horses.

its

to

The roads

are hilly, and,

up

to a

very recent period, the tracks few.

Lumbering,

and clearing up farm-lands and staging,


ous country, are not just the
to

in a mountainselect

work one would

develop

trotters.

How

much, think you, do the

Ilambletonian and Clay families


that

owe

to

training

All

money and
colt

skill

could do for them has been done.

Every

with any promise, sired by Hysdyk's horse,


.

has been cultured and developed to the limit


possible.

of the

But

the.

Morgan

horses have
favored.

never been

petted.

They were not thus


against the' family
;

Circumstances
will

were

all

and no careful student


the question.

forget this fact


less, in

when studying

Neverthe-

spite of neglect

and adverse circumstances, the


any.

Morgan horse need ask no odds of


docility,

To

his beauty,
speedy

endurance, his friends can add the

word

and
son.

bide, with cheerfulness, investigation

and compari-

The

farther I

push

my

inquiries in this direction,

the

more am
fast

I astonished at

the evidence.

The num-

ber of

horses lineally descended in the male line

from Justin Morgan surprise me.


ing
list

in proof:

submit the follow-

300
Ethan Allen

THE PERFECT HORSE.


trotted a mile in

2.15

Lady Sutton
Beppo
Pizarro

2.33

2.31J
2.35

Blue Morgan

2.33i
2.31

Black Ealph

Know-Nothing
Chicago Jack
Belle of Saratoga "

2.27i 2.27i 2.291


2.29i
2.29
"

Warwick
Grit
Capt. Lightfoot

"

2.28

Draco
Fannie Allen
" "

"
"

2.27i
2.251

Fannie Jenks trotted ten miles


"

29.59
h.

a hundred miles

24.30
2.261

Gilbreth

Knox

trotted a mile in

Hotspur
Joe Hooper,
jun.,

"
"

"
"

2.231
2.281

Lady Eoss
Locust

"

2.291

" "
"

2.241
2.291

Mountain Maid

Nonesuch
Eolla Gold Dust
Susie

2.251
2.21

" "
" "
trotted a mile in

2.26J
2.28
2.27 2.30

Spartan

Uncle Abe

Washington Irving
Billy

Ban

2.231
2.30

Carroll

Draco Prince

2.24

Fearnaught
Fannie Lee

2.23J
2.28

Gray Mack

2.251

MORGAN HORSE:
Gray Jack

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

301

trotted a mile in

802
"

THE PERFECT HOESE.

is

the
is

Bush Messenger

"

family to which
?

New

Eng-

land

so

much

" indebted "

Will some one please


If I write ear-

mention
nestly

the "

Hambletonian
I

" trotters?
it,

and strongly,

do

be

it

remembered,

in

defence of a family of horses suffering from


unjust

a most a

impeachment, and in vindication of


it

great

truth, that

is

for the
viz.,

interest

of every New-England

breeder to know;

that the

family of horses ivhich


embodied^ the four great
beauty^ docility^ endur-

has been distinguished


essentials

%, and

of the
speedy

])erfect horse^

ance^

and

is the

Morgan.

If

any one should


I

say,

"Why! Fearnaught
is

is

not a
as

Morgan,"

respond, "

He
is,

just as

much

Morgan

Dexter
is

is

a Hambletonian, or George M. Patchen, jun.,


;

a Clay horse " that


line to Justin

he runs straight back in the

male
I

Morgan.
realize

do not think that many people

how much

we

are actually indebted to this family of horses for our

trotting-stock.

Many men who own


seem unaware of the

valuable stock-

horses in

New

England, lineally descended from old


fact.

Justin Morgan,

Indeed, I

have sometimes thought that

I detected,

on the part of

some, a desire to conceal the very connection and relationship from which,

beyond doubt,
their

their horses derived

the

larger

part

of

excellence.
certain

Some

foolish
this

writer has

asserted

that

descendants of

horse were not potentially affected by their relationship

with him

indeed, were

not

Morgan horses
this,

at

all.

The method by which he proves

as a

specimen

MORGAN HORSE:
of ingenuity in

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

303

silliness,

cannot be beaten.

His reasonhis

ing runs thus:

Sherman Morgan drew one-half of


sire
;

blood from Justin Morgan, his

his

son

Black

Hawk, one-eighth
his

his son

Ethan Allen, one-sixteenth


;

son Daniel Lambert, one-thirty-second


:

his sons,

one-sixty-fourth

therefore, as a son of Daniel

Lambert

has only one-sixty-fourth of old Justin Morgan's blood


in his veins,

he
at

is

no descendant of his; indeed, no


This
is,

Morgan horse
ing
!

all.

indeed, brilliant reason-

Suppose we
family.

illustrate
first

it

with a sample of the

human

The

Murray
to

that

is,

the head of

my

family

that

came

America was named John

Murray.

His son Jonathan drew only one-half of his

blood from his father; his son John, one-eighth; his son
Calvin,

one-sixteenth
;

his

son

Dickinson,
:

one-thirty-

second

his son William, one-sixty-fourth

therefore

I,

because I do not have but one-sixty-fourth of the


original

John Murray's blood


That
!

in

my
all

veins,

am

no Mur-

ray at

all.

is

going back on one's relations with a


fact
is,

vengeance

The
it

and

attempts to elude

and evade
testable,

are silly at the start, and, if repeated, defact


is,

the

the male side of the family gives

the

name

to the family,

with horses as with men.


call

As

matter of justice, I might as consistently

myself
as that

Munger, because

my

mother's

name was

that,

Mr. Taggart's famous horse should be called Abdallah,

ignoring the

fact, that, in

the male line, he runs straight


GifFord,
full

back through Farmer's Beauty,


old Justin Morgan.
I call

Woodbury,
horse.

to

him a

Morgan

So

304

THE PERFECT HORSE.

do Fearnaught, who likewise runs straight as a string

through Young Morrill, Old Morrill, Bulrush Morgan,


to old Justin

Morgan

himself.

Likewise Gen. Knox, one

of the most justly celebrated stock-horses Maine,

New
Lady
is

England, or the country, ever had,


breth

the

sire of Gil-

Knox

(record 2.26), Camors (record 2.21f),

Maud
true

(record 2.22i), and Plato (record 2.27^),


:

a
;

Morgan

for his sire


;

was Sherman Black Hawk


Sherman

grandsire. Black Hawk

great-grandsire,

great-

great-grandsire, Justin Morgan.


to rob a horse of his laurels, or

What

right have

men
?

deny him that fame,

which, by the character of his get, he can justly claim

Who
gan

would

treat

Old Messenger or Diomed or Bashaw


Especially,

in this

manner?

how

can

we deny

the Moris

relationship,

when

the horse in question not only

a lineal descendant of Justin Morgan, but even bears


the mai'ks and characteristics of the family most unmis-

takably

Who

can look at Taggart's Abdallah, or


feel that the

Ethan Allen, or Rolla Gold Dust, and not

Morgan blood has proved


case,

the dominant blood in their


?

and marked them with an unmistakable impress


I

And
ears,

ask certain of

my

readers to observe that this


jowls,

Morgan connection never gives heavy


and big
legs,

and large

and long backs,

to a horse,

is

as con-

nection with certain families I might mention

pretty

apt to do,

but puts
is

just

what you wish

into a horse,

and no more.
It is said that Justin

Morgan was

a low-bred horse.

But such a statement

a gross slander.

There can be

MORGAN HORSE:
no doubt,
in

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

305

any candid man's mind who investigates the

matter, that Justin

Morgan was

sired

by True Briton or

Beautiful Bay,
ford,

Conn.,

owned by Sealy Norton of East Hartand then kept by John Morgan at West
where he then
is

Springfield, Mass.,

lived.

That

his

dam

was a mare of good breeding

also

beyond
point

question.

Whether the
horse

sire

of Beautiful
not,
it

Bay was
this

the imported
I

Traveller

or

and
all

do not

attempt to decide,

cannot be denied that Beautiful

Bay was

a horse noted for his fine-blooded qualities.


considerations of apsaid,

But, outside of and above

proved pedigree, the horse, as


his fine

have

demonstrated

breeding in his

get.

All authorities agree that


colts.

none but high-bred horses can mark their

The
is

power

to transmit his

own

likeness to his descendants

peculiarly the characteristic of the thorough-bred horse

and none can deny that Justin Morgan had


in a marvellous degree
this poiver to
;

this

power

and, higher proof yet, he gave


This, to

Ms

sons.

my

mind, constitutes a
little

demonstration, and
account.

makes written pedigree of

Fortunately, also,
;

we know what manner

of

horse he was
reader,
I

and, as a matter of interest to the general

will insert at this place the

following very

accurate description and history of the Justin Morgan,


as

found
:

Horse
"

"

in

Mr.

Linsley's

work on

"

The

Morgan
four-

The

original,

or

Justin Morgan,

was about

teen hands high, and weighed about nine hundred and


fifty

pounds.

His color was dark bay,


20

w^ith

black legs,

306

THE PERFECT HOKSE.


tail.

mane, and

He had no

white hairs on him.

His

mane and
sive as has

tail

were coarse and heavy, but not

so mas-

been sometimes described.

The

hair of both

was

straight,

and not inclined

to

curl.

His head was


;

good, not extremely small, but lean and bony


straight
;

the face
fine,

forehead broad

ears small

and very

but
size,

set rather

wide

apart.

His eyes were medium

very dark and prominent, with a spirited but pleasant


expression,

and showed no white round the edge of


nostrils

the

lid.

His

were very
firm.

large, the

muzzle small,

and the

lips close

and

His back and legs were,

perhaps, his most noticeable points.

The former was


exceedingly
rather long,

very short;

the

shoulder-.blades oblique,

and hip-bones being


loins

very long and

and the
His

broad

and

muscular.

body was
;

round, and deep, close ribbed up

chest deep

and wide,
front.

with the breast-bone projecting a good deal in

His legs were


hard, and free

short, close-jointed, thin,

but very wide,


that

from

meat,

with muscles
;

were

remarkably large

for a horse of his size


itself

and
at

this super-

abundance of muscle exhibited


Plis hair

every step.

was

short, and, at almost all seasons, soft

and

glossy.

He had

little

long hair about the fetlocks,


fetlock,

and

for

two or three inches above the


of the legs:
it.

on the

back-side

the

rest

of

the

limbs were

entirely free from

His feet were small, but well


in

shaped

and he was

every respect perfectly sound,

and

free

from any sort of blemish.

He was

a very fast

walker.

In trotting, his gait was low and smooth, and

MORGAN HOUSE
his step short

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

807

and nervous.
fast
:

days would be called

He was and we
much,

not what in these


think
if
it

doubtful

whether he could
minutes
trot
it
;

trot a mile,
it is

any, within four


that he could

though

claimed by

many

in three.
little,

^'Although he raised his feet but


stumbled.

he never

His proud, bold, and fearless style of move-

ment, and his vigorous, untiring action, have, perhaps,

never been surpassed.

When

a rider was on him, he


;

was obedient

to the slightest

motion of the rein

would
he
all

walk backwards rapidly under a gentle pressure of the


bit;

and moved sideways almost


;

as willingly as to

moved forward
the

in

short,

was perfectly trained


parade-horse.

paces and evolutions of a

When

ridden at military reviews (as was frequently the case),


his

bold, imposing style,

and

spirited,

nervous action,

attracted universal
perfectly gentle

attention

and admiration.

He was
to

and kind
:

to handle,

and loved

be

groomed and caressed


about him
loose,
;

but he disliked to have children


for dogs,

and had an inveterate hatred

if

always chasing them out of sight the instant he

saw them.

When

taken out with halter or bridle, he

was
*'

in constant motion,

and very

playful.

He was
in

a fleet runner at short distances.

Running

horses

short distances for small stakes

was very com-

mon

Vermont

fifty

years ago.

Eighty rods was

very generally the length of the course, which usually

commenced

at

a tavern or grocery, and extended the

distance agreed upon,

up or down the public

road.

lu

308

THE PERFECT HORSE.


'

these races the horses were started from a


that
is,

scratch,'

be

mark was drawn


horses,

across the road in

the dirt
oif at

and the
'

ranged
'

in

row upon

it,

went

the drop of a hat

or

some other

signal.

It will

observed that the form of the Justin Morgan was not


such as
in

our days

is

thought best calculated

to

give the greatest speed for a short distance.

Those

who

believe in long-legged racers will think his legs,


all

body, and stride were

too short

and

to

them

it

may,

perhaps, seem surprising that he should be successful,


as

he invariably was, in such contests.

But we think
decided

his great

muscular development and nervous energy,


his

combined with
advantage
in

small
first

size,

gave him a
taller

the

start

over

and heavier

horses; just as any ordinary horse


finest

can distance the

locomotive in a ten-rod race.

At
in

all

events, the

history of racing in this country

and

England proves
great speed.

conclusively that small horses

may have
spirit

In such a race, a horse of great

and nervous
quali-

energy derives a decided advantage from these


ties,

especially after being a little

accustomed
line,

to such
his
;

struggles.
flash,

When
liis

brought up to the

eyes

and

ears quiver with intense excitement


;

he

grinds his bit with his teeth

his hind-legs

are

drawn
and

under him; every muscle of


swells almost to bursting
;

his frame trembles,

and, at the given signal, he

goes off like the springing of a steel trap.


ing success in these short races

His unvarypartly

may perhaps be

accounted for in

this

way

though he was undoubtedly

MORGAN horse:
possessed

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

309

of more

than ordinary speed, and was a

sharp runner.
"

Among

the

many

races of this description that he

ran were two in 179G, at Brookiield, Yt.,


horse called Sweepstakes from

one with
;

Long

Island
St.

and the

other with a horse called Silver Tail from

Lawrence
ease.

County, N.Y.

both of these he beat with


offered to

Mr.
the

Morgan (who then owned him)


owner of Silver
stake,

give

Tail

two more chances

to

win the

which was
it
;

fifty dollars,

by

walking or trotting

the horses for

which was

declined.

There are many

accounts of other races which he ran and

won

but,

these accounts not fully agreeing as to the details,

we
of

have not mentioned them.


" In harness the Justin
spirit
;

Morgan was
traveller,

quiet,

but

full

an eager and nimble

but patient in bad

spots

and, although for a long time steadily

engaged
at

in the

heavy work of a new farm,

his

owner

that

time informs us that he never


as often as

knew him
:

refuse to

draw
'

he was required to

but he pithily adds,


;

didn't very often have to ask

him but once

for

whatfirst

ever he was hitched to generally had to come the

time trying.'

This uniform kindness at a pull was one


of the
horse;

of the striking characteristics

and the
'

same

trait

may be observed
'

in

the greater part of his


'

descendants.

Pulling

matches

and

'

pulling
;

bees

were
'

as

common
as

in those days as short races

and the

little horse,'

he was often

called,

became
dead

quite cele-

brated for his unvarying willingness to do his best, and


for his great

power

at

what

is

called a

'

lift.'

310

THE PERFECT HORSE.


following letter from Solomon Steele, Esq., of

"The
Derbj,

Vt.,

a gentleman who has devoted a great deal


money
to the

of time and
vicinity,

improvement of horses

in his

and who, notwithstanding the apathy of some


others,

and the opposition of


of seeing
his

now

enjoys the pleasure


fol-

precepts adopted and his example

lowed by

his neighbors, to their great advantage,

and

the equal improvement of their stock,

with interest

will

be read

"Derby
"D.
"
C.

Line, Vt., March 12, 1856.

LixsLEY, Esq.

Dear Sv%

am

in receipt of yours of the 1st inst.,


I

renewing your request that


information as I

should favor you with such

may

possess in relation to the early his-

tory of the founder of that breed of horses which have


at length

become

so distinguished as to

be called the
I

'best in the world,'

and known
I

as Morgans.

have

not the vanity to presume that


rial facts relative to

can disclose any mate;

this subject

but, at

your request,

I will

mention some incidents connected with the early

history of this horse, which, if not of great importance,

may

not be void of interest.


life,

It

has been

my

privilege,

in early

to

often see the original

Morgan

horse,

called

by

this

name from

the fact that Justin

Morgan
in

brought him to Randolph, Yt, from Massachusetts,


the

autumn of 1705.
to the

Mr. ]\Iorgan intended to apply


;

him

payment of a note held against him


and having no keeping

but not

being able to obtain what ho considered a reasonable


price fur him,
for him,

he

let

MORGAN HORSE:
him
to a

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

311

man by
sum

the

name of Robert Evans,

for

one
after

year, for the


this,

of fifteen dollars.

Immediately

Evans undertook the job of clearing


;

fifteen acres

of heavy timbered land for a Mr. Fisk


1st of

and, before the


job, with

June following, had completed the


colt,

no

other team but this


^salable horse.'

though not regarded as a

"

While Evans was engaged

in piling this timber, the

remarkable powers of
in a

this horse, it

would seem, were

measure developed, as he was then found able to

.out-draw, out- walk, out-trot, or out-run, every horse that

was matched against him.

An

instance

was related

to

me by

Mr. Nathan Nye,

who was an
it

eye-witness,
I

and
it

whose testimony was never questioned.


the time, and will relate
''
'

noted
:

in his

own words

at

At

the time Evans

had

this horse, a small tavern,

grist-mill

and

saw-mill,

were

in operation
;

on the branch
this

of White River, in Randolph


strength
generally
mills,

and

at

place the

of

men and horses in that settlement was tested. On one occasion I went to these
I spent
trials

where

most of a day;

and, during the

time,

many

were had,

for a small wager, to

draw

a certain pine-log, which lay some ten rods from the


saw-mill.

"

'

Some
it

horses were hitched to

it

that

would weigh
came down
I told
re-

twelve hundred pounds; but not one of them could

move

its

length.

About

dusk, Evans

from his logging-field, which was near by; and


iiim the particulars of the

drawing-match.

Evans

312

THE PERFECT HORSE.

quested

me

to

show him the log

which

I did.

He

then

ran back to the tavern, and challenged the company to


bet a gallon of
fairly

rum

that he could not


pulls,

draw the log


with his
colt.

on to the logway, at three

The challenge was promptly accepted; and, each having "taken a glass," the whole company went down to
the spot.

'"Arrived on the ground, Evans


to hitch

says,

"I
;

am ashamed
but, if three
it

my

horse to a

little

log like that


if I

of you will get on and ride,


forfeit the

don't

draw

I will

rum."

Acco^ingly, three of those


log.
I

least able

to stand

were placed upon the

was present with


and

a lantern, and cautioned those on the log to look out


for their legs, as I

had seen the horse draw

before,

knew something had got to come. At the word of command the horse started log and men, and went more than half of the distance before stopping. At the
next pull he landed his load at the spot agreed upon,
to the astonishment of
all

present.

" 'Not
to

many days
to

after this, the

beaten party proposed


his,

Evans

run a certain horse against


gallon.

eighty rods,
his

for another

Evans accepted; went from


his

work,

and matched

horse

against

four
all

different
ease.'
it

horses the same evening, and beat them


" Thus, early in the history of the

with

Morgan

horse,

was an admitted

fact, that,

however

small,

he could not

be beaten where strength, speed, and endurance were


the
ness,
test.

When we

see this

same animal driven

in har-

or ridden

by the aged and

infirm with perfect

MORGAN HORSE:
safety

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

313

and confidence, and next see him

at a military re-

view,
all

mounted by the commander-in-chief, and displaying


fire

the

and pride imaginable, and,

after the lapse of

nearly
in

fifty years,

witnessing the same remarkable traits

many

of his descendants,
is,

we

are constrained to admit

that blood

indeed, of no small importance in the busiIt

ness of horse-breeding.
that,

should be well understood,


of the Justin Morgan, as

throughout the long

life

well as that of his immediate offspring, want of size

was the universal

objection.

No man
high

of ordinary judg-

ment could
lence
;

fail

to discover his peculiar points of excel-

his

oblique

shoulders,

crest,

fine

ear,

prominent and sagacious eye, perfect head, large and

expanded
and sinewy

nostrils,

strong

loins,

long hip, deep and

well-spread chest, high withers, short pasterns, strong


limbs, with all the important muscles, far sur.

passing in size those of any other horse of his weight

ever seen in America.


tributed

The

fact that this horse has con-

more than any other animal ever did

to

the

wealth of the United States, no honest

man

will

deny

but strange to

say, in the face of all this, the cry is still

heard, 'Too small, too small!''

This reminds us of the


Avas too

man who

sold his

hen because she

small althouo-h

she daily laid eggs of gold.

We

rejoice,

however, that

we

live in a

day when

intelligent

men

cannot so easily

be made the dupes of interested

parties.

The farming
by

community are thinking and acting with more care and


attention than formerly. past

They
are

are disposed to profit


close

experience.

They

more

observers of

314
cause and effect

THE PERFECT HOUSE.


;

and

it is

our JSrm conviction that the


this

man who
principle

is

doing most to foster and encourage

is

the Avorld's greatest benefactor.

"

Through
in the

life

the Justin

Morgan was

steadily em-

ployed
a

heavy work incident

to the cultivation

of

new and mountainous


fifteen,

country, and was often engaged

in similar

matches to those just mentioned.

Even

at the

age of

we

find

him entered

at a

drawing-match

that took place at Gen. Butler's tavern in St. Johnsbury.

Some

of his opponents are described

by persons present
all

as large,

heavy horses; yet they were

beaten by the

Justin.

We

mention these

facts

to

show the great

muscular development of the horse, and his kind and


tractable temper, rather than as an evidence of his value
for purposes of
,

heavy draught

for

although the power

of an animal in starting a given weight depends

more

upon
mere

his
size,

form and muscular development than upon


yet size
is

indispensable to enable a horse to


load.

move
"

off easily

upon the road with a heavy


strikingly evidenced

The quietness and exceedingly pleasant temper of

the Justin
that he

Morgan

is

by the

fact

was often ridden and driven by

ladies.

lady
his

of

St.

Johnsbury once told us she remembered

appearance perfectly, and had repeatedly ridden him,

when a girl, to balls and other parties; and spoke with much enthusiasm of his noble appearance, his high
sjnrit,

and perfect
is

docility.
difficult to

" It

exceedingly

obtain accurate infor-

MORGAN HORSE:

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

315

mation respecting the changes in owners that occurred


to the horse
at different
times.

To account

for

this

uncertainty,

we must

consider that his fame has been

almost entirely posthumous; that, although the cham-

pion of his neighborhood, he was

little

valued,

on

account of his small

size

and

it

was not

until after his

death, and his descendants were exhibiting the

powers
al-

of their

sire, in

speed, strength, and endurance, in


that

most every village of Eastern Vermont,

people

began
For

to realize they

had not properly appreciated him.

this reason, little notice


:

was

taken, at that time, of

any change of owners

and many persons who very well

recollect the horse, recollect nothing of these changes

and those who claim


to the dates at

to recollect
his several

them disagree much

as

which

owners purchased him.

"As we have
him
to harness,

before stated, Mr.


;

Morgan used him


though he broke
in that

almost exclusively as a riding-horse

and occasionally used him

way.

After Mr. Morgan's death, he was sold by the estate to

William Rice of Woodstock, Yt.


in the ordinary

Mr. Rice used him

work of

his

farm for about two years,

or until 1800 or 1801,

when Robert Evans


for

who

had

been constantly on the watch

an opportunity to

purchase since he hired him of Mr. Morgan


him.

bought

Mr. Evans was a poor


is

man with

a large family,

and was what


the

called a great worker.

In addition to

work upon

his

own

place,

he was constantly under-

taking jobs for his neighbors,


logs, building fence,

clearing
'

land, hauling
'

&c.

The

little

horse

was Mr.

316

THE PERFECT HORSE.


;

Evans's only team


severe.

and, of course, his labor

was very
years, or

Mr. Evans kept him three or four

until 1804,

when he was sued

for debt.

Col.

John Goss
finally

became

his bail,

took the horse for security, and

paid the debt, and kept him.

Mr. John Goss was not

much
his

of a horseman, and therefore took the horse to

brother,

David Goss of

St.

Johnsbury,

who was

quite a horseman, and

made

arrangements with him to


After David had kept him

keep him

for a stock-horse.

a year, he was so

much

pleased with him, that he exhis brother for him,

changed a

fine

mare with

adding

cash or other property.

The
1811

horse, in this trade,

was

valued at one hundred

dollars.
;

Mr. David Goss kept

him seven

years, or until

and

it

was while owned

by him
were

that the Hawkins, Fenton,

and Sherman horses

sired.

Mr. Goss kept him almost constantly at

work on
months

his farm,

with the exception of about two

in the spring of each year.

While

his property,

although put to hard work, the horse was not over-

worked or abused, but was properly


for.

treated and cared

David Goss sold him


colts

to his son Philip.

Some

of his

about Randolph having grown up, and


for the horse
to

proved valuable, there was some inquiry


in that vicinity;

and he was accordingly taken back

that town.

This was in 1811.

''He was

now nineteen years old; and

those

who owned

him

at different times after this generally

seemed eager

to get rid of him, for fear

he should die on their hands.


Randolph, he seems to

Immediately after

his return to

MORGAN HORSE:

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

817

have been taken care of by Robert Evans,

his

former

owner;
sired,

for

it

was during

this

year that Bulrush was

and he was

at that time in the possession of Mr.

Evans.
''

Soon

after this, or in

the

autumn of 1811,

Philip

Goss sold him to Jacob Sanderson.


to a Mr.

Sanderson sold him

sidering his age.

Langmade, who used the old horse hard, conHe worked him some time in a sixtreatment he became thin and poor, and was
trifle

horse team, hauling freight from Windsor to Chelsea.

Under
sold

this

purchased for a

by Mr.

Chelsea,

and shortly

after

by him

to Joel

Goss of Claremont, N.H.

Mr.

Goss kept him one year, and sold him to Mr. Samuel
Stone of Randolph.
years, or until 1819,
after

Mr. Stone kept him two or three

sold him; and he soon became the property of Levi Bean, who owned him until his death, which happened in the winter of

when he

1821

at the

farm of CHfford Bean, situated about three

miles south of the village of Chelsea, Yt.

"At twenty-nine

years of age,

no cause need be

assigned for his death but the ravages of time and the
usual infirmities of years.

immediate cause of

his

But old age was not the death. He was not stabled, but
in the flank.

was running loose

in

an open yard with other horses,

and received a kick from one of them


winter,

Ex-

posed without shelter to the inclemency of a Northern


inflammation
the
set
in,

and he

died.

Before

receiving

hurt which

caused his death, he was

perfectly sound, and entirely free from any description

318

THE PEKFECT HOUSE.


His limbs were perfectly smooth, clean,

of blemish.
free

from any swelling, and perfectly limber and supple.


in

"Those persons who saw him

1819

and 1820

describe his appearance as remarkably fresh and youthful.

Age had

not quenched his

spirit,

nor damped the

ardor of his temper;

years of severest labor had not


;

sapped

his vigor,

nor broken his constitution


his step firm

his

eye

was

still

bright,

and

and

elastic.

"However various may be the opinions different persons may entertain respecting the merits of the Justin Morgan, we doubt whether any horse can be instanced,
in
this

or any other country, that has

so

strikingly

impressed upon his descendants, to the


generations, his
istics.

fifth

and sixth

And

it

own striking and valuable charactermay be safely asserted that the stock of
in this

no horse ever bred


erally

country has proved so gento the breeders of


it.

and largely profitable


of
it

The

raisinjx

has

made

the fortunes of hundreds of indiif

viduals,

and added hundreds of thousands,

not millions,

of dollars to the wealth of


shire."
I feel, also, that I

Vermont and New Hamp-

can do no greater service to the


fol-

general reader than to insert in this connection the

lowing history
tin

and description of the three sons of


Sherman, Woodbury, and Bulrush
readily, because Mr.
is

Jusde-

Morgan from which the Morgans of to-day have

scended,
I

the

viz.,

and

do

it

more

Linsley's work,

from which the quotation


rare,

made,
:

is

and cannot be obtained

out of print, very

MORGAN HORSE:
*'

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

319

Sherman was

foaled in 1808 or 1809, the property


Yt.
;

of James
that

Sherman of Lyndon,
in in

It
it

has been said

Sherman was foaled


was foaled

1810
1811.

and

has also been not at


all

said that he

It is

sur-

prising that his age should be understated

by a year or

two, as the horse

who

lives

to

be more than ten years

old loses nothing so easily as one or two years of his


age.

"Our
these
:

reasons for stating his age

as

we have

are

Mr. George
that he

Sherman, son of James Sherman,


has

informs us
years
;

now been married


after

forty-live

and

that, in the

summer

he was married, his

father let
use.

him take the

horse, then a colt, to

keep and

Mr. Sherman's wife also well recollects the above


:

facts

but neither of them can say positively whether

the

colt

was two or three years


;

old,

though both of

them think he was three

and, from the fact that Mr.


that summer,
his age.
it

Sherman used him a good deal


most probable that such was
sired

seems

Sherman was
but

by the

Justin.

With regard
said,

to the blood of his


;

dam, much has been

and a good deal written


known.
his father

we

think

little is

actually

"Mr. George Sherman says

brought the
;

mare from Cranston, R.L,


was a
chestnut,

to

Lyndon, Yt.

that

she

of good

size,

high-spirited,

and an

'elegant' animal.

'We

called her of Spanish breed.'

"The

late

Hon. Epaphras Seymour of Brattleborough,

Yt, a gentleman of fortune and high standing, and


passionately fond of horses, spent

much time

in

endeav-

320

THE PERFECT HORSE.

oring to ascertain the pedigree and early history of the


Justin

Morgan and
left

his descendants.

Among

the

memo-

randa

by him, now

in possession of the

Hon. F.

Holbrook, which the latter gentleman has kindly permitted us to examine,


Allen
of Guildhall,

we now

find the following

Matthew
or over,

seventy years old,

informs

me

that

James Sherman and himself came from


Before they
of Providence gave Mr.

Rhode
left,

Island to St. Johnsbury in 1799.

Mr. John

Brown

Sherman

an imported English mare of great beauty, a

fine saddle-

mare, and so used by his daughters (she was then spavined).

She was a mahogany brown,

fifteen

and a half

hands high, delicate make.'


that this

Mr. Allen goes on to state

mare was the dam of the Sherman.

*'Mr. S. C. Gibbs of Littleton, N.H.,

who purchased
at the

the horse of Mr. James Sherman, gives the following

account of the

dam

'
:

She was bought

South
Provi-

(I think in Virginia)

by Mr. John Sherman of


friends in that State.

dence, R.I.,

who had

He

pur-

chased her for her beauty and speed.

Soon

after

he

returned with her, she unfortunately slipped her hip.

He

then gave her to his brother James of Lyndon.'

dam was long owned by Nicholas Brown of Providence, RL, one of the well-known firm of Brown & Ives, formerly a large
importing-house.

" It has also been said that the

Mr. George Sherman says his father


R.I.
is

bought the mare of Dr. Fiske of Cranston,


of
as
little

It is

consequence which of these accounts

correct,

none of them undertake

to give her pedigree.

If

MORGAN HORSE:
either

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

321

had made an attempt

to

do

this,

the question

would have possessed more


tance.
It certainly

interest,
little

and some importo

concerns us

know

in

what

manner or from

whom

Mr. Sherman obtained

her, if

we

cannot go beyond

that,

and learn something of her

pedigree.

We

are inclined to think the statement of

Mr. Sherman entitled to the most credit, because


think his means of knowing
the
facts

we
he

of which

speaks were

much

superior to the others.

His father

used the horse several years, valued him highly, and

was

often interrogated as to the dam.

George must

have often heard

his father describe the circumstances

under which he obtained her:


well

they must have been

known

in the family

and the constantly-increasing


alive in its

fame of the horse would keep


recollection

members

the

of them as related
is

by James Sherman.
character for the

Mr. George Sherman

man whose

most unwavering honesty has been long and thoroughly


established
"

where he

is

known.
the mare, and whether of
is

Whoever may have bred


it

Spanish or English descent,


animal.

certain she

was a
feet,
;

fine

She was chestnut, with three white


face.

and
ears

a white stripe in the


small
;

Her head was good


;

neck

light,

and rather long


'

not very compactly


flesh.'

formed; and never


her head high
saddle-beast.
;

carried

much

She carried

was a

spirited traveller,

and an excellent

She was very pleasant-tempered,


in all places.

and

worked kindly

"'Sherman' was a bright


21

chestnut,

about thirteen

322

THE PERFECT HORSE.

and three-quarters hands high, and weighed nine hundred and twenty-five pounds.
His off hind-leg was white from the foot halfway to the hock, and he had a
small white stripe in the face.

His head was lean and


;

well shaped
small,

ears small

and

fine

eyes inclined to be

but

full,

prominent, and

lively.

His legs had some


flat,

long hairs upon the back-side, but were broad,


sinewy.

and

He had

a capital chest, with the breast-bone

very prominent.
placed
;

The shoulders were


;

large,

and well
but

the neck excellent

the

mane and

tail full,

not remarkably heavy.

His hips were long and deep,


;

the loins broad and muscular

but he was a

little

hollow

or

'

sway -backed

'

still

no suspicion of a weak back

could attach to him, or he would have broken

down
life.

under the rough treatment he received

in

early
to

When
work
;

four years old, Mr.

Sherman put him


yet, the

hard

and though,

for

about two months in the spring


little,

of each year, he

worked but

remainder of

the year, his labor was very severe.

Mr. Sherman was

a hard-working man, and animals under his charge had

few opportunities to

rest.

Most of the year the horse

was kept constantly


which he helped
to

at
'

work on the
up.'

farm,

much

of

clear

In

the winter, Mr.

Sherman usually ran a team steadily from Lyndon, Yt, For several years, this team consisted to Portland, Me.
of this horse and a half-brother, sired

by the Justin
be outdone
at

Morgan, a year older and a


''

little

larger than Sherman.


to

Mr.

Sherman was not a man

drawing or driving; and he was always ready to match

MORGAN HORSE
his

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

323

team against any he met, either


His
'

to
'

draw or

run, for
at

a trifling wager.

little

team

became famous
;

every inn from Lyndon to Portland


the
teamsters
that

and, after a time,


afraid to

knew them were

match

horses of any size against them.

In the spring,

when
of

the sleighing

became poor, the men who had been comlabor

panions through the winter in the severe

teaming across the country would often congregate at


the village taverns to spin yarns of their simple but

rough adventures, engaging

in wrestling,

running foot

and horse

races,

drawing-matches,

and many games

invented to test the speed or strength of either


horses.

men

or

In addition to these attractions, the prospect


'

of a social glass of

old Santa Cruz

'

may have had


collect-

some influence

in

drawing together the people


;

ed on these occasions

for

it

was

at that time considered

a pleasant beverage, and


to

it

was not generally known


it is

be a subtle poison.

Certain

that these

games

were well attended, and were conducted with much


spirit.

Drawing-matches were

at that time

very com-

mon.

At Lyndon, the

usual
fill it

way

of drawing was to

attach a horse to a sled,

with men, and draw the

load up a steep
each

hill

just north of the tavern.

^Wien

Ms

utmost strength had shoivn^^ Sherman would


to the largest load,

add a small boy

and commence the


feet
it

ascent, well satisfied if


at a pull
;

he could gain two or three

for nothing

discouraged his horse, and

was

difficult to

load him so that he could not


facts are perfectly well

little.

These

move a known to many

324

THE PERFECT HORSE.

persons

now

living at

Lyndon

and we mention them,

not from any intrinsic interest they

may

possess, but,

having said that Sherman was slightly holloAV-backed,

we
"

thought

it

necessary to

show,

that, if so, his

back

was by no means weak.


Such was the kind of service
his horse to

which Mr. Sher-

man put
until
C.

from the time he was four years old


ten,

he was about

when he
to

sold

him

to

Stephen

Gibbs of Littleton, N.H., in 1819.


year,
;

Mr. Gibbs kept

him one

and sold him

John Buckminster of

Danville, Yt.

but Mr. Gibbs had charge of him two


After
1829,
this,

years longer.
vicinity until

he was kept at Danville and


of Mr.

when he was purchased

Buckminster by Mr. John Bellows of Lancaster, N.H.

The summer of 1829 he was kept


in charge of

at Littleton, N.H.,

Stephen
vicinity
;

C.

Gibbs

in

1830 he was kept


at Col. Jaques's
in

at

Dover and

in

1831 he was
;

Ten-hills
at

Farm, Charlestown, Mass.


;

1832 he was
at

Dover and Durham, N.H.


;

in

1833 he was kept

Lancaster, N.H.

and

in 1834, at

Dover and

vicinity.

He

died at Mr. Bellows's stable, in Lancaster, the 9th

of January, 1835.

The cause of

his death is

unknown.

He was

left at
;

ten o'clock in the morning apparently


and, at one o'clock in the afternoon, he

perfectly well

was found dead.


*'

With the exception of some


was apparently
as free

slight indications of

age, he

from every species of

blemish or infirmity the morning of the day he died


as

when he was

foaled.

His skin has been preserved

MORGAN HORSE:
and
"
stuffed,

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

325

and may

still

be seen

at

the

stable

of

Mr. George Bellows, at Lancaster, N.H.

Sherman had not

so bold

and resolute a

style

of
as

action,

and was not so nervous and high-tempered,


;

Woodbury
so well
'

nor was he, in the language of the

stable,
;

finished

up

' :

but he was more tractable


;

was
pos-

exceedingly spirited, and a keen, rapid driver


sessed great powers of endurance, a
spirit that

free

and noble

needed neither whip nor

spur,

and courage

that never flagged.

"Woodbury sometimes called the Burbank Horse, and known in Windsor County as the Walker Horse
was foaled the
of
that he
latter part of

May, 1816, the property


It has
'

Lyman Wight

of Tunbridge, Yt.
;
'

been said
a mis-

was raised by a Mr. White


almost the same

but

this is

take that would easily occur.

The pronunciation of the


;

two names

is

and, the

latter

being

much more commonly used, the name has been misunderstood. Woodbury was sired by the Justin Morgan. Of the blood of his dam we are unable to learn any thing. At the time the colt was foaled, Mr. Lyman
Wight was
the a

young man, about eighteen years old


to
his father,

and

dam belonged
She was

William Wight,

who

had loaned her


colt.

to his son for the


five years old

purpose of raising a
the colt was born.

when

Mr.

Wight purchased
She was

her, the year before, of a


Yt.,

Major

John Moulton of Bethel,


that town.

who brought

her into

large,

being over

fifteen

hands

326

THE PEBFECT HORSE.


;

high

and weighed about eleven hundred pounds


bay-color, with black legs, mane,

she
tail,

was of a deep

and

a small white spot in the forehead, and no other marks.

She was not very compactly made, and was rather


ribbed
;

flat-

but she had an excellent

chest, fine shoulders


fine,

and

hips,

and excellent

limbs.
tail

Her head was very


spirited driver,

ears good,

and mane and

beautiful.

She carried her

head high, was a very


called fast at that time.

free,

and was
trotted,

She both paced and

generally starting in the former gait, and, after going

a short distance, changing


she

it

for a trot.

When
fast,

trotting

made a fine appearance, and, going much attention. She was a very fast
autumn
after the colt

attracted

walker.

The

was

foaled,

about the usual time


to

of weaning, Mr.

Wight
fifty

sold

him

David Woodbury

of Bethel, Vt., for

dollars.

Mr.

Woodbury kept
in his hands

him until grown, and sold him to his brother John.


"

John had a

taste for

good horses; and


known.

the horse began to be a

little

He

kept him at

Bethel and the neighboring towns a few years, and sold

him

to

Ebenezer Parkhurst, who kept him in the same


until

neighborhood

March, 1826, when he sold him to


Vt., for

Simon Smith and William Walker of Hartland,


five

hundred

dollars.

Soon

after

this,

Messrs.

Smith

and Walker dissolved partnership, Mr. Walker keeping

Woodbury.

Mr. Walker had a passion for horses.

He
to

saw and appreciated the remarkable features of the


Justin

Morgan and

his stock,
;

and took much pains

bring them into notice

but, like

many

a pioneer in a

MORGAN HORSE:

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

327

new man
four
Esq.,

business, he could not

make

it

pay

and, being a
'

of small means, he
as

was compelled
*

to

sacrifice

his

horse,'

he terms
;

it,

for the

insignificant
to

sum

of

hundred

dollars

'

and sold him


Mr.
;

Peter Burbank,

of Newbury,

Vt.

Burbank was a lawyer,


but he was fond of horses,
for their

and not a farmer or breeder

and had a discriminating eye

good

points;

and

having seen the Woodbury at Keene, N.H., he (in his

own words)

'

fell

in

love

with

him

at

first

sight.'

Fearing to trust to his

own judgment

alone,

he con-

sulted Jesse Johnson of Bradford, Yt.,

gentleman

who
style

not only possesses- excellent taste as to the proper

and general figure of a

fine

horse, but has also

that close, critical eye that seems almost at a glance to

take in
less

all

the minute defects of form that a


fiiil

more

care-

observer might
fail

to discover.

Mr. Johnson did

not

to

perceive

the extraordinary merits of the


to

horse,

and advised Mr. Burbank

purchase him
this

which

he did the 20th of May, 1830.

From

time until

1836 he was taken charge of by Jesse Johnson and


Brothers, and

kept at their place in Bradford, Yt.,

during the winter and latter part of the summer and

autumn of each
the seasons.

year,

and one or two years during

all

During the years 1830 and 1831, he


their

re-

mained

at

stable
at

at

Bradford.
;

The season of
the

1832 he was kept


1833 he was kept
of 1835
vicinity.

Keene, N.H.
;

season of

at Burlington, Yt.

and the seasons


Bradford

and 1836 he was


In

kept

at

and

September,

1836, Mr.

Burbank having

328

THE PERFECT HORSE.


him
to Nor-

died, the administrators of his estate sold

man Baglee
in that State,

of Alabama,

who

took him to Gainesville

where he died

in 1838,

being twenty-two

years old.
^'

Woodbury was
to

fourteen and three-quarters hands

high,

and weighed from nine hundred and eighty-eight


ten hundred
;

pounds

and forty pounds.

He was
his

weighed several times

and these two statements of


the

weight at different times are


persons
they

extremes.

Many

who have frequently seen him weighed say never knew him weigh more than ten hundred
nor
less

and

thirty,

than

ten

hundred
His

and

fifteen

pounds.

He was

a dark, rich chestnut.


foot half

off hind-leg
;

was white from the


had a white
the upper

way

to the

hock

and he

stripe in his face,

beginning at the edge of

lip, filling

the space between the nostrils, and

extending more than half way to his eyes.

His mane

was not very thick or


of the others
:

long,

and was lighter than either


full.

still

it

was

His

tail

was cut
:

oiF

when a

colt,
full

and
and

left

about ten inches long

the hair
tail

was very

curly.

Both mane and

were

about the same color as his body.

The

hair on the

body was

fine, short,

and

soft.

He was

close

and comHis

pactly built, with heavy quarters and deep flanks.


chest

was good, and the shoulders

finely shaped.
loins.

He

had a short back, and broad, sinewy

His legs had

some long

hairs

on the back-side, but were well shaped,

somewhat larger than Sherman's, and not so large as His head was small and lean, with a fine, Bulrush's.

MORGAN horse:
firm

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

320

muzzle

the

nostrils

very large and

full

face

straight,

very wide between the eyes, which were dark

hazel,

very large and prominent, and showed no white


lid.

around the edge of the


fine,

His ears were small and


set

but rather

short,

and

somewhat wider apart


consistent

than

many would
his

consider

with

perfect
;

beauty.

His style of action was bold and .resolute

and

temperament was
it

so nervous, that,

when taken
to

out with a bridle,


still.

was almost impossible


driver,

keep him
in

He was
;

good

and appeared well

harness

but he appeared to the best advantage under


Militia colonels
;

the saddle.
to ride

and generals were eager


'

him

and no

'

musters
:

or reviews could pass

without his being seen

in his case, to

be seen

Avas

to

be admired.
"
in

His disposition was pleasant and


said,

playful.

As has been

he was taken to Gainesville, Ala.,


old.

the

autumn of 1836, being then twenty years


shipped from Boston on board a small

He was
vessel.

sailing-

He

suffered

much from

the long and stormy

passage, and never fully recovered from the effects of


it.

It is altogether likely that the climate


;

and food did


he had been
certain he

not agree with him

for neither
this

was such

as

accustomed to
continued to

however
until

may

be,

it

is

fail

he died, in 1838.
horses,

Woodbury
in

was the

largest

of these

and possessed

a of

greater degree the bold, fearless, and


their sire.

showy
less

style

He was more
we

nervous and

tractable

than Sherman, better under the saddle, not so pleasant


in harness, and,

are inclined to think, hai'dly as

good

330

THE PERFECT HORSE.


His form was more symmetrical than either
Plis breast

a roadster.

of the others.
as Sherman's.

was not

so full

and prominent
and better

He was
;

deeper in the

flanks,

quartered.

No

horse ever had less

fear.

Martial music

only roused him

the firing of guns in no

way disturbed

him; waving
to

flags

and gay uniforms seemed hardly able

attract

from him a single glance; and he moved


if

about as
attraction,

he were himself the principal object of


all

and the cause of

the attending excitement

and

display.

*'

Bulrush was foaled in 1812 or 1813.


there

Of
;

this

we

think
it

can be no reasonable

doubt

although

has been stated that he was foaled in 1816.

We

have consulted persons who

owned both Bulrush and


no question but that
and,
if

Woodbury

and they

all

agree that Bulrush was the


is

older of the two.

Now, there

Woodbury was
older,
it is

foaled in 1816

Bulrush was

altogether probable that he was


:

more than
to

one year older

for the Justin


in the

Morgan was taken

Claremont early
there one year
;

spring of 1814, and remained


in

and the dam of Bulrush was owned


;

Randolph, Yt., the year he was sired


absence of any other testimony,

so that, in the

we might

very reason-

ably conclude that he was not foaled later than 1814.

But the testimony of Chester Belknap


direct,

is

clear

and

that he

was foaled

in

1812.

Mr. Belknap was


raised

married in 1819.

His father,

who

the

horse,

owned him

at that time,

and soon

after sold

him

to

MORGAN horse:

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

o6l

Abel Densmorc of Chelsea, Yt.


years old.
to the

lie

was then seven

This statement of Mr. Belknap's in relation


is

age of Bulrush
well
;

confirmed by

many

persons

who knew him


that
it is

and there can hardly be a doubt


is

correct.

The blood of the dam of Bulrush


legs,

unknown.

She was a dark bay, with black


tail.

and

heavy black mane and

She was low and compact


neck rather long
well.
;

had heavy

limbs, with large joints;


it

good head, but did not carry


was

up very

She was

a sharp trotter, but was not a very spirited driver.


said to be,

She

and had the appearance of being, part

French.

She was owned by Mr. Moses Belknap of


Yt., at

Randolph,

the

time Bulrush was sired.

Mr.

Belknap obtained her of a Mr. Boutwell, a teamster


from Montpelier,
Yt.,

who worked

her in a six-horse

team, hauling merchandise and produce between Montpelier

and Boston.
;

She was a very rugged, hardy, en-

during animal

but Mr. Boutwell thought her too small

for his business,

and he exchanged her with Mr. BelkShe weighed about ten hun-

nap

for a larger horse.

dred pounds.

Mr. Belknap sold her late in the winter,

when

in foal

by
;

Justin Morgan, to Ziba GijBford, Esq., of

Tunbridge, Yt.

Mr. Gifford to keep the colt until four


it

months

old,

and return

to Mr.
it.

Belknap

or pay thir-

teen dollars more, and keep


to return the colt
;

Mr. Gifford preferred

and did

so.

"Mr. Belknap kept Bulrush


ty until 1819,
Chelsea, Yt.

in

Tunbridge and
to

vicini-

when he

sold

him

Abel Densmore of

Mr. Densmore sold him to Darius Sprague

332

THE PERFECT HORSE.


;

of Randolph, Yt.
Messrs.

who

sold him,

March

8,

1826, to

Simon Smith and William Walker of Hartland,


hundred and
fifty

Yt,

for three
at

dollars.

They kept

him

Hartland and vicinity until they dissolved part-

nership in 1829,
stone, Yt.

when

Mr. Smith took Bulrush to Maid-

He

kept him one year at Chelsea, and two


;

years in the State of Maine


Jesse

and

in

1833 sold him to

Johnson and Brothers of Bradford, Yt.


of 1833
;

The
and
;

season

he was kept at Bradford,

Yt.,

Bath, N.H.

the season of 1834, at Keene, N.H.

the
Yt.

season

of 1835, at

Lyme, N.H., and Bradford,


at Burlington, Yt.

and the season of 1836,

During the

winter of 1836 and 1837 the Messrs. Johnson sold him


to Messrs.

Blake and Foss of Chelsea,

Yt.,

who kept

when they sold him to Lewis Jenkins of Fairlee, Yt., who kept him at Fairlee until he sold him to F. A. Weir of AYalpole, N.H., who
him
in that

town

until

1842,

kept him

until

he died, in 1848.
hairs in

" Bulrush
his forehead,
tail

was a dark bay, with a few white


and no other marks.
;

His
tail

legs,

mane, and

were black

and

his

mane and

were very heavy

the

former came

down
to
left

nearly to his knees, and his

fore top

came doAvn

his nose.

His

tail

was cut

off

when young, and


jointed, broad,
flat,

about nine or ten inches long.


close-

His legs were large, and had some long hair; were

and exhibited a more striking de-

velopment of muscle than either Woodbury's or Sherman's.


others'
;

His back was not so short as either of the

but

it

was very broad, and he was

freer

from

MORGAN HORSE

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

333

any imputation of sway-back than any of


though, towards the close of his
in his loins, as
is
life,

his brothers
fell

he indeed

away
His
;

always the case in old

stallions.

hips were very good, but not so long as Sherman's

and

he was not so well quartered as Woodbury


deeper in the chest than either of them.

but he was

His shoulders
his

were

thicker,

and not so well placed


set up.

and

head and

neck were not so well


bold,

He was
step,

not so proud,
;

and

lofty in his carriage, as


short,
:

Woodbury

and he

had not Sherman's


high-spirited

nervous

and tractable but

temper
trotter

but he was a sharp, quick driver,


than either of them.
;

and a
little

faster

He was
w^as

inclined to be cross
:

but was not

fierce, or in

any

respect unmanageable

on the contrary, he

very

kind in harness, always working pleasantly wherever


put.

His most remarkable characteristic was his power

of endurance.
ted,

For
rival

this,
;

we

think

it is

generally admit-

he had no

and

his extraordinary lastingness

has become proverbial where he was known.

His stock

bear a strong resemblance to him, and are very numerous


;

are mostly dark


chestnut.

bay without marks, never

sorrel

or light

Occasionally a dark
found.

gray, from a

white mare,

may be

Bulrush was about fourteen

hands high, and weighed about one thousand pounds.


"Bulrush,

Sherman, and Woodbury were


alike.

treated

very

much

Until after ten years old, each of


at

them was employed most of the time


team-work of a farm
;

the ordinary
lives did

and

at

no period of their

they have any more care than the

common

horses of

334

THE PERFECT HORSE.


had much knowledge of thick
but were early inured to the

the country, and never

blankets and

warm

stables,

labor and hardship, fatigue and exposure, incident to a

new and mountainous country and

a cold climate.

It is

not improbable that the cold, dry atmosphere and pure

water of our mountains has contributed as much as the


rich pastures of our valleys to the stoutness, courage,

and lastingness of our

horses.

"We

have thus

slightly sketched the

more obvious
While they
set
forth,

distinctions

and general

characteristics of these celebrat-

ed sons of the original or Justin Morgan.


differed in the particulars

we have
in the
all

herein

(which difference was rather


ture of their qualities), they

degree than the na-

possessed the great and


sire.

striking features of their distinguished

The same

compactness

of

form,

great

muscular

development,

hardy, rugged constitution, docility and tractableness,


short, easy, rapid step,

eager ambition, and lofty cour-

age, so remarkable in him,


in a

were found

in

each of them

high degree.

Through these noble channels the


hardy stock of Vermont, conveying
all his

blood of the Justin Morgan has been poured profusely


into the hitherto

not only the very form of the great original, but

unrivalled vigor, grace, and ease of motion, combined

with his docility and matchless courage."

To resume our
must consider that

remarks, I would observe

that

we

New

England has never had any


their

stock -horses able to perpetuate

name and fame

MORGAN HORSE:
save those of

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.


blood.

335

Morgan

Hiram Woodruff,

" Trotting-Horse of America," says, p. 283,


"
for

in his

The Eastern

States have always been a fine nursery

trotting-horses.

The
but

fine

action

of

the

Morgan
more

breed, and their

good tempers and sound


;

constitutions,
still

helped a great deal

New

England was

largely indebted to the

two sons of Messenger,


I

Hamone that

bletonian and

Bush Messenger:
like to ask
is

mean

the

went

to Maine."
I

Now,
that

would

what ground

is

there to say

New

England

more indebted
?

to the

Messenger

than the Morgan blood

Why,

there was not strength

enough

in the

Bush Messenger

to establish a family, or
is

even a branch of a family.

Where

there a Messen-

ger stallion in Maine that traces back to the original

Bush Messenger
old

has

Knox traces back directly to What Messenger horse in Maine Justin Morgan ? ever gotten a Gilbreth Knox, or Camors? Go to
as Gen.

Vermont, and find a descendant of a Hambletonian horse


that has ever trotted a mile in 2.15 as

Ethan Allen

has.

The

fact

is,

there are no such descendants.

The words
to search
?

" Hambletonian "

and "Bush Messenger" can be seen


;

very plainly on paper


for stallions
Is there

but,

when you come


find

descended from them, where are they

one in Maine?
?

Can you
in

one in

New
to

Hampshire
see

What town

Vermont
?

shall I visit

one

Has Massachusetts any The


fact

there in Connecticut?
not,

is,

How many New England

are

has

and never has had, any famous stock-horse outside

336

THE PERFECT HORSE.

of the Morgan family.


list

Look over

the field and at the

to-day.

Gen.

Knox and

his great son Gilbreth,

Win-

throp Morrill, Fearnaught, Taggart's Abdallah, Ethan

Allen and his wonderful stock-getting son Lambert,

Young Morrill, Woodstock Morrill, Gen. Lyon, Defiance, and many others, all trace back straight to old Justin
Morgan.

Now, over

against this

list I

ask the reader to

put the Bush-Messenger stock or Hambletonian stock,


to

which some people think


for

New England
The truth
is,

is

so

in-

debted

her

fast horses.

the

Morgan
in the

family has no rival in

New

England, and never has had.

The Clay stock and the Hambletonian stock may,


future, enter the field in competition
;

but,

up

to this

time, the wreath belongs to the Morgans.


I

have already shown that three of the four great

elements needed to
docility,

make

a perfect horse

viz.,

beauty,
has.

endurance
say,
^'

the
The

Morgan horse had and


this

But men

The Morgan horse had no speed."


truth
so

The
is

ignorance or audacity that prompts simply astounding.


is,

assertion

no family of horses

in

America has ever produced


as the

many

fast trotting-horses

Morgan.

If

you ask what

I call

a fast horse, I

respond,
2.40
is

A horse
it

that will trot a mile in a public race in

a fast horse.
is

Of

all

the races trotted this year

in public,

safe

to say that the


I

average rate of
it,

speed will not be under 2.40.


standard
;

take
;

therefore, as a

and a

fair

one

it is

too

and, in proof of

what
time

have

said, I refer the

reader to the " record " of

made by Morgan

horses on pp. 300, 301.

MORGAN HOKSE:
I

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

337

do not wish

to

have any suppose that

regard the

Morgan family of horses

as sufficient in itself to

meet

the wants of the future in respect to breeding.

The
is

perfect horse, or rather the family of perfect horses,

yet to appear.

That
it

it

will

appear in due time,

have

no doubt

but

will not

appear while ignorance and


locality, is

prejudice, or

mere chance of

allowed to dic-

tate the selection of


is

dam and
as

horse from which the foal

to spring.

So long

a Fearnaught

^an

can see

nothing valuable in a

Knox

or a Lambert, or a patron

of Hambletonian will not admit that great excellences


exist in the Clays,

so long as such arrogant

and nonnever be

sensical opinions prevail, the perfect horse can


raised,

unless as an accident

but when the breeders

of the country will drop their foolishness and envious


fear

one of another, and come together as

friends,

and

students of those laws which govern the propagation

of animals, and seek to


other,

assist,

rather than thwart, each

then will the

first

step be taken in that path


its

along which the enterprise can walk to


cess.

highest suc-

For

one, I regard myself

happy

in this,

that I

am

free

from prejudice, devoid of envy, and know no


In

other rivalry than that of generous and candid emulation.

my

native

State,

where are

my

stables,

are several stock-horses

worthy of public patronage,


Jefferson,

Buckingham,
Ashland.
of mine.

Thomas

Rysdyk, Mambrino,
allies,

These horses are not enemies, they are

From

their get I look to receive

my

best

crosses in the future.


22

The bloods of Bashaw, Hamble-

338

THE PERFECT HORSE.

tonian, Lexington, are precious bloods to me.


will re-enforce

They

my

stables with strains otherwise unat-

tainable.

would

that Connecticut
fifty

had twenty such

animals!

They would add

per cent to
it,

my

chances

of success.

This, as I understand

is

not only honora-

ble in point of feeling, but wise in point of business.

The owners of celebrated


intelligent

stock-horses can only be ene-

mies while they are ignorant.

The moment

that one

is

enough

to perceive

and appreciate the lack


colts,

of certain excellences in his family of

that

mo-

ment he
breed

naturally resorts to the


;

owner of some other


and friendly

for assistance

and

so financial profit

companionship run into each other, and become one.


I

have been asked to write

my

impressions touching

the proper families which could be mutually benefited

by

intercrossing.

know no
;

reason

why my

views

should not be frankly stated

and

propose to write

them out

for the reader's inspection, letting

them go

for

what they are worth.

which, of name same with the Abdallahs, save


Of
the Hambletonian family
in

course,
I

is

the

have

this to

say

Many

of the old horse's get are no honor to him,

and

unfit for stock-purposes.

His best sons are those

out of Star mares, or thorough-breds of other families.

With such mares


worthy of
all

for

dams, his get

is

remarkable, and

patronage by the public.

With

his third

and fourth rate sons no breeder should have any thing


to do.

As

a family, they are open to the charge of

being too heavy and coarse-looking for beauty, with

MORGAN horse:

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

339

head, ears, and legs larger than they should be; over

long in the back

and although they are great

striders,

yet their heels stay too long under the wagon.


class son of the old horse is likely to

A
:

first-

be a prize

the

others should be let severely alone.

In respect to the Clays


tain parties

have

this to say

That

cer-

have seen

fit

to attempt to underrate their

sterling qualities,
epithet.
It

and

to fasten

upon them an odious

has been a sweet saying in certain mouths

that the " Clays wouldn't stick."

Hiram WoodruiF

dis-

covered that George M. Patchen would " stick


too near

" a little

him

for comfort,

even when he had that marvel

of speed and bottom, Flora Temple,


condition too,

and

in

her highest

ahead of him.

had the pleasure of

seeing Goldsmith's Maid trot her greatest heat at Mystic

Track when she made the mile


Clay mare

named

Lucy not an entire stranger to the

in 2.16|

and

saw a

trotting-public,

I think

stick so close to the flying

beauty, that the least waver or let-up in her gait would,

up

to the very

moment

she darted under the wire, have


as the

lost

her the race.

So long

name of George M.
keep
his nose

Patchen,

the only horse

that could ever

Lucy, the only horse


ders of Goldsmith
these

to Flora Temple's saddle-girths the mile round,

and

living able to

keep

at the shoul-

Maid from wire

to wire,

so long as

names remain, the man who says


but are "quitters,"
is

that the " Clays

will not stick,"

a fool or a slan-

derer
day,

for

Patchen was the greatest horse, save one, of his


is

and Lucy

the fastest horse, save one, in our time.

840

THE PERFECT HORSE.


are a valuable family; and no one can gain-

The Clays
say
it.

would

cross

them with the Morgan


would, in

family.

Clay mare crossed with Ethan Allen or his son Lam-

bert, or Taggart's Abdallah,

my

opinion,

be

exceedingly likely to bring forth a

foal

whose speed
cross

would only be
essentially

rivalled

by

his beauty.

The same

would be gotten by coupling the mare with


in

Gold Dust,
the

whose veins the blood of the Morgan and


happily unite.
if

Arabian

think

New

England

would be greatly the gainer


Dust and Clay
stallions
is

several first-class Gold-

were brought within her borders.


a branch of the

The

Morrill tribe

Morgan

family,

and quite largely re-enforced with Messenger blood


the original Morrill horse being a

great-grandson of
class,

imported Messenger.

They

are, as

trifle

coarse,

and of

over-size

but they are marvels of muscular


spirit.

development and of high and generous

They
The

are born trotters, and of most imposing action.

Fearnaught branch of
represents the

this family is the

most noted, and


bred away,
a
first-class

happy

result of coarsenesss
I think

and speed and vigor retained.


Morrill
filly,

bred to Taggart's Abdallah, or Lambert,


colt that

would produce a
eye.

would gladden a horseman's


branch of the

The Knox horses belong

to another

Morgan

family.

They

are

marked strongly with the

trot ting-instinct.

Gilbreth

Knox

is

one of the very

fast-

est stallions of the country, of fine

appearance and most

excellent disposition, and

should be kept as a stock-

MORGAN HORSE
horse.
It
is

HIS RELATION TO BREEDING.

341

a
for

public loss
private

monopolized

when such an animal is purposes. The Knox colts


fine-bred,

are apt to be rather coarse, especially about the head

and should be crossed with


mares.
is

gamy-looking

Their friends must understand that speed alone

not enough to

make

a colt valuable to-day, save for


that

pure gambling-purposes;
in

beauty must be borne


coarse

mind when breeding.


eyes,

head,

big
in

ears,

small

and long

hair,

are

detestable

true

horseman's eye, and should be bred out of the family

which happens
it is

to

be cursed with them


it.

just as soon as

possible to do

The

fact

is,

the Messenger family

was a coarse-looking
coarse horse
:

family.

The old Messenger was a


or no mane, a rat-

his

most famous descendant, Abdallah, was


little

coarser yet, with a big head,


tail,

an overplus of bone-substance, and an ashen-colored


This ancestral coarseness
is is

rump.

continually cropping

out in his descendants.

There

more than one

colt in

America with the homely Abdallah body and Messenger


head, without their speed.

Tliorough-hred does not


long-shot, as

al-

ways mean beauty by a


Breed an Abdallah mare
lion,

the

lop-eared

Melbournes and the coarse-looking Messengers prove.


to a high-bred
likely to get

Morgan

stal-

and you

will

be very
sire

a colt with

the
If

beauty of the
do,

and the speed of the dam.


reader no longer with

you But

you have got a "hit" indeed.


detain the

I will

my

speculations.

The

task which has


;

consumed the

leisure

of years

is

completed

and

I have, at least, the author's

342
pleasure,

THE PERFECT HORSE.

that his

work

at last is done.

Amid

other

and graver

cares, its
felt,

composition has been a delight.


it,

My
It

mind has

in writing

like

a boy at play.
toil

has revelled in what to some might seem a

and even

now

it

hovers over the

closing

page
it

as

a bee mif^ht hover around a flower to

which

had

given nothing but the music of


it

its

presence, from which


for cold

had received food and sweetness


If,

and dreary
happiness,

days.
I

while thus ministering to

my own

have added any thing

at all to the
his best

common

good, in
lasting

adding to which man finds

and only

monument,

am more

than repaid.

AGEICULTUEE AND THE HOESE.

BY GEORGE

B.

LORING.

843

AGEICULTUEE AND THE HOESE.


BY GEORGE
When,
B.

LORING.

in the early spring of 1864, a large

body
States

of the representative farmers of the

New-England

assembled at Worcester, in response to

my

call,

for the

purpose of organizing the New-England Agricultural


Society,
it

was undoubtedly true

that

no man of

all

that enterprising

number had any


England was

definite idea of the

precise object, or of the possible result, of the proposed


organization.
full

New

then,

as

it

is

now,

of local and state agricultural societies,

all

engaged

in useful labor.

But the suggestion that new energy


which a broader
might be

might be infused into the agricultural community by


a

new

association,

in

field

represented, in which a wider interest might be awa-

kened, and in which a larger class of teachers and


learners
tically
itself

might be gathered together, was enthusias;

accepted
its

while the problem was

left

to

work

out in

own way.

The

belief that something

might be done, both by investigation and by experiment, for the benefit of agriculture, was unanimously
845

846

AGEICULTURE AND THE HORSE.


It
is

entertained.

probable that an interchange of

thought among the


for

men

of

New England

had

its

charms

many, especially

for that large class of agricultural

debaters

who

will not,

under any circumstances, allow There were those


an elaborate,

any question

to

be

definitely settled.

who looked forward


ture,

to the publication of

well-prepared, scientific periodical of agricultural literain

which the most accurate deductions and laws

might be found.
the farmers of the various

An enlarged New England, a

acquaintance
better

among

knowledge of

modes of

agriculture adopted

by them, a
all

kind association with each other superior to


ences of opinion,
full

differ-

had

great

temptations,

and were

of pleasing promise to many.

Those gentlemen

who

represented the agriculture of Maine were rejoiced

to bring their observations

upon the horses and

grass-

lands and cattle and potato-patches of that State into

a wider

field

and

as they enlarged

upon what they

had done, and were doing, along


and
in the valleys of the

their varied seashore,

Kennebec and Penobscot and


intense interest
to

Sandy Hivers, they

listened with

the wise discourse of the

merino -kings of Vermont


;

upon the subject of sheep-husbandry


of

and

to the

views
fruit-

of the tobacco-growers and market-gardeners and


raisers

Massachusetts upon
soil

the

best

methods of

wringing from the


crops
;

the largest and most profitable

and

to the discussion of the

herdsmen of Rhode

Island and Connecticut

upon the comparative merits

of their Short-horns and Devons and Ayrshires; and

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.


to the well-expressed opinions of the Nestor of

347

New-

England

agriculture,

as

he told of

all

the

various

economies of his
her

own

State of

New
It

Hampshu'c, with

hard
in

soil

and industrious people.

New

light

poured

from every quarter.


this

became evident
and

that

nothing would satisfy

inquiring and busy multi-

tude but an exhibition of their

own

cattle

crops,

and implements of husbandry; and that no questions


could be settled by them, except through observation

and
first

investigation.

The exhibition

at

Springfield, the
re-

year of the organization of the society, was


for the intellectual
It

markable
it

and material wealth which


for

brought together.

was a new day


out.

New-

England farming.
for the
first

The debaters were

Agassiz,

time,

presented his wealth of scientific

culture in his discussions with the practical breeders

and

cultivators.

ness of a great

Andrew poured forth the greatagricultural address. Many an obscure


Gov.

herd came up for the honors of the occasion.


as yet

Horses

unknown

to

fame sought the "bubble reputation''


time.

there for the

first

New-England ingenuity

covtried

ered the ground with implements

new and

old,

and untried.
their

The

cultivators

of crops

brought out

most startling products.

Representatives of the
forth to demonstrate

fabulous flocks of

Vermont came

the value of their golden fleeces.

The occasion was


and

memorable

for all the domestic birds of the air,


field.

beasts of the

Among

the most attractive and absorbing of

all

the

348

AGKICULTURE AND THE HORSE.


which occupied the attention of those who
sat

topics

around the cradle of the New-England Agricultural


Society was the Horse.

The
;

precise relations which

the horse holds to agriculture

the profit to be derived

from breeding

this
;

animal; his true value in an ecothe exact utility of an animal which


life, is

nomic point of view

matures slowly, leads an expensive

not used for

food, has a sentimental as well as a useful existence;

how
the

best to breed him, and feed him, and shelter him,


;

and shoe him, and drive him


agricultural circle,

how

to

admit him into

these subjects occupied,

and

somewhat confused and disturbed, the minds of those


agricultural fathers assembled there.

That there was

deep respect

for the horse there,

no one could deny.

That there was considerable doubt about him, was very


evident.

That there was a great deal of ignorance with

regard to him, was manifest.


misunderstood, was apparent.
asked,

That he was very much

When

the question

was
and

how

to

breed a really good

horse for a specific

purpose, a

horse of intelligence and patience,

courage and sagacity, and good physical powers,

it

was delightful

to see

with what sublime simplicity the

great disciple of the great Cuvier sat and listened to


the profound deductions of the practical breeders

who

had kept

practical

stallions,

whose success they were

anxious to attribute more to their

own

practical wis-

dom

than to the occasional good fortune which will


of
chances.

always attend a multitude


question of feeding arose,
it

When
to see

the

was surprising

by

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.

349

what various

dietetic processes a

good

colt

could be

brought to the most complete and thorough maturity. When the problem of an ailing dumb beast, ignorant
of
its
its

and incapable of communicating story of aches and pains to others, came up, the
sensations,

own

multifarious

remedies

astonished an

observing mind

more than the diverse and complicated diseases. That there was a little confusion now and then cannot be
denied, but no

more than may be found on almost


There was

every subject in a large general assembly.


a
as

good deal
a

said about the value of the thorough-bred

and the worthlessness of cold-blooded horses without pedigrees for any purpose. There were
trotter,

good many claims put


of honest

in for thorough-blood in be-

half

New-England

horses whose

lineage
all

could be traced for generations into and through


the barn-yards of their native districts.
footed,

Many

a strong-

stout-limbed,

swinging-gaited,

ample-headed,

coarse-haired horse, going at his track-work with the

determination
strides

of

a prize-fighter, and measuring

his

with his strong shoulders and quarters as regua locomotive, was found to be

larly as the pistons of

descended from some daisy-cutting son of Godolphin, brought over by some unknown army-officer, or sent
over to colonize a
of a remarkable
section
''

new
red
"

world.

The valuable

services

horse as a stock-getter in one


set

forth. An account was given of a "sorrel horse with black points," which had

were elaborately

travelled a

hundred miles

in

ten hours, " two

men

to

850

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.

a wagon."

And

a great deal

was

said about a Per-

cheron

stallion,

which weighed nearly two thousand


trot

pounds, and
minutes.
It

could

a mile

in

less

than three

was during the repeated and prolonged


intricate debates

sessions
life

and
the

which attended the early

of

New-England Agricultural Society


its

that an informal

assembly of

members found

itself

brought together,

more by accident than

design, at the residence of one

of the friends of the association.

There was no special

arrangement about the proceedings.


ent,

Some one

pres-

remembering

that our old friend Mr. Alcott never

opened one of

his

charming mystical conversations

without calling on his audience to "come to some


order,"

had secured

just organization

enough

to

bring

the

meeting to a working-capacity.
;

The

discussion

was not systematic


well sustained as
tions

perhaps not as well defined and


should have been.

it

The

deliberaso

were of that fragmentary description which

often follows long and earnest debate, and precedes

"the conclusion of the whole matter."

Every branch

of agricultural investigation and of an agricultural exhibition

had been

carefully explored,

when

the chair-

man

casually

remarked that he thought the Horse

should receive the devoted attention of the best


of the society.
tive," said he;

men

"Our exhibitions must be made attrac"and the profits to be derived from a


to bring

judicious and intelligent breeding of horses are so great,


that

we must endeavor

forward the horse as

AQlilCULTURE AND THE HORSE.

351

a matter of business to an agricultural community, as


well as of pleasure to the patrons of our society."

This remark, which seemed to be innocent enough,

and had,

in fact,

been often made before without


fall

at-

tracting particular attention, appeared to

with un-

usual force
displace

upon the minds of the


charming

little

assembly, and to
it

the

listlessness

which pervaded

with something slightly sterner and more thoughtful.

The Hon. Justus Jones was the


had not taken an

first

to speak.

He
far,

active part in the discussions thus

but had impressed his associates as a modest, moderate


gentleman, desirous of securing the success of the
ety,
soci-

and placing the agricultural

interests

on a firm and

controlling foundation.

SPEECH OF THE HOX. JUSTUS JONES.

"Mr. Chairman,"

said Mr.

Jones,

half rising,

and

then settling back into his

seat, as

if his

audience was
I

too small for an upright orator,

"Mr. Chairman,

have

listened to the proposition, or rather the remark,

which

you have

just

made

and

you are not

correct.

But
little

am not prepared to say that am not much of a horseman.

There has been but

love of horses in

my
In
I

family.

We

have never owned a very good horse.

fact,

the

stock of
say that

my
it

farm has never been large

and

cannot
Large,

has been in any


:

way

remarkable.

heavy oxen are expensive


purpose.

a small yoke answers every


fairish

not

Medium animals, command fancy prices,

cows, oxen that do

are the best, as

we

think,

352

AGRICULTUTRE

AND THE HORSE.

for the general

run of farmers.

We
:

sell

some hay and

some wood, and we

find small cattle

and a moderate
is

horse are best for this business

there

less risk

in

them

and they answer

just as well.

But the
it.

risk of

the horse
I think I

we never run if we am afraid of horses.


They seem
;

can avoid
I

For

one,

never

feel exactly easy

about them.

to

be a very uncertain animal.


;

They
They

see things

they stumble
all

they want a master.


;

are adapted to

bad occasions

are at

home

in

a muster-field just as
as at a
horses,

much

as in a cornfield, at a fight
is,

church.

The
to

truth

do not understand
I

and want

have nothing to do with them.

wish they did not


lions

exist.
colts,

And

as to
I

premiums

for stal-

and mares and

why,

remember with pride

that the old agricultural society to which I belong

of the

first in

the country gave no premiums


fifteen years of
is

one
have

for horses
I

during the

first

its

history.

been told that there

one

now

in

existence which

gives the smallest possible space for this uncertain and

unscrupulous animal.

suppose

it

would not do

to

run a society without them.


Mr. Jones rose to his
their expulsion
feet,

But
'"^

then, sir,"

and here
sir,

what repose would follow


Imagine,

from the society of those graver animals


to a cattle-show
?

which belong by right


known,

a return to those peaceful hours

when
Elisha,

horses were un-

to the

palmy days of

who was found


;

ploughing, not with horses, but with the patient oxen


to the days of Job, to the times

who

revelled in oxen and asses

when

a horse was so

mean and unworthy,

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.


that,

353

while

man was
The

forbidden to covet his neighbor's

ox and

his ass,

no such provision was made with regard


horse,
sir,

to his horse.

has always been a type


imperial,

and symbol of every thing proud,


sive.
toil
;

and aggres-

He may
but he
is

submit to the hardships of poverty and

most

at

home among

the lordly and the

aristocratic.

Nowhere

in history, sacred or profane, is

he associated with the gentler and more lowly qualities


of man, or devoted to the truly useful service of
alone.
life

While

all

our other domestic animals performed

their part in the daily labor of society,

and

either bore

the priest to the temple,

or were

found worthy of
the horse had
'

being offered up a
his
'

sacrifice

on the
; '

altar,

neck clothed with thunder


'

he smelled

the bat-

tle afar off;


tains,

his

joy was in

'

the thunder of the cap-

and the shouting.'

Never under any Christian

interpretation has he found his

way

into the best of

creation

but through the Oriental imagery of the Mus-

sulman alone, responsive to the pseudo

divinity of

Mohammed,
''

has he been elevated to his lofty position,


is,

pretender that he
It

among

the beasts of the earth.

was an Arab

chieftain, swelling

with Mahometan

arrogance, bloated with

Mahometan

superstitions, gritty
set

with the sands of the desert,

who

God

to

work
in

making a horse out of the south wind, and binding


*

fortune

on

his

mane,'

and reposing 'riches

his

loins,'

and making him with the 'sign of glory and


then declaring to the misguided
this

of happiness,' and

Adam, who chose


23

tempestuous creature in prefer-

354

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.

ence to the 'borak,' 'Thou hast chosen thy glory and


the glory of thy sons: while they exist,
shall

my

blessing

be with them, because

have not created any

thing that can be more


the horse.'

dear to
all

me

than
sir,
;

man and
an Arab,

This

may be

very well,

for

but not for a descendant of the Pilgrims

not for a

man

who
and

believes in a republic of humanity and religion


letters.

To
'
!

the warrior and the usurper and the


horse, with all his thunders,
his wild

nomad
his
'

I resign the

and
I

Ha, ha's

and

and mysterious
;

spirit.

suppose
him.
I

we must endure him


in
full

but

I protest

against
at

have no doubt he will be


force.

present

our
that,

exhibition

have

no doubt,

when he gets there, down before the multitude, and


their
is

he will parade himself up and


swell

out

beneath

empty

plaudits,

and persuade himself that he


those

really held in higher esteem than

more

sub-

stantial

and useful animals, without which man would and


sir,

starve
as this,

perish.
in
it

have witnessed just such vanity

another sphere; and I


will
I

know how,
therefore,

for
ay,

season,

flourish.

I submit,

more than
substantial

that,

rejoice,

that while

the

calm and

and

solid

and

real in the

animal kingdom

are provided for those of us


surface,

who
at

look beneath the


their

and estimate

all

things

true value,

the fleeting and flashy splendors of the passing cloud


are

bestowed upon the

fickle

and

impressible
if

and

volatile.

Let us have the horse, then,

we must;
pecuniary

and

let

him serve

to attract the

crowd

for the

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.


benefit of ourselves

355
great

who

are

engaged

in

this

work.

As an instrument
evil.

in the

hands of Providence,
to praise him,' I

which ^maketh even the wrath of man


accept the

But, for myself, I shall devote

my best
dumb
drag

faculties to the

development of the sturdier and more

reliable

branches of our business,

to

those

friends of ours

who
by

neither startle us

by

their eccentric

impulses, nor betray us

by

their innate follies, nor

us to destruction

their uncontrolled

and uncontrolla-

ble ambition, fatal alike to friend and foe, but


ish us

who

nour-

from the cradle to the grave, who are associated

with our most peaceful hours,


mental and moral repose,
nor
inflate

who

disturb not our

who

neither flatter our vanity

our desires, whose massive and imposing

usefulness will always be

remembered by the hungry


stolidity

and the
will

thirsty,

whose simple and insensible

be valued above more glittering


will

qualities,

and

whose immortal torpor


'

endure

When

victors'

wreaths and monarchs' gems

Shall blend in

common

dust.'

"Mr. Chairman,
true,

am

but a
is

common
devoted

farmer.
to

It is

a portion of

my
I

time

the public

service, to the

advantage of the

State, I trust, as well

as of

myself

But

am

a farmer, believing in

the

good old ways of the

fathers,

whose exhausted farms


I believe in that

we

of this generation inherit.

mode

of farming, as I do in that

mode

of railroading, which

will give the largest returns

with the least labor, the

356

AGRICtJLTURE AND THE HORSE.


I suppose
I

simplest processes, and the smallest risks.


I

may be

called conservative

and

must confess

dislike every thing

which

is

capable of running away.


it.

I
I

acquiesce in a gale of wind; but I dislike acquiesce in the horse


I
;

So
I

but I don't like him.


to

have said more than

meant

say

when

comsaid.

menced

perhaps more than I ought to have


service,

But public

you know, Mr. Chairman, tends


to enlarge
this

to develop the

powers of expression, and


faculties

those intellectual

without which
I

world

would indeed be but a


but I

'fleeting show.'

beg pardon

of the gentlemen present for


feel that I

my

extended remarks

have but half discharged

my

duty,

and have
I

said less than half of

what

I desired to say.

hope

have not injured the horse, or discouraged

the society.

My

disposition
other.'

is

'to hold to the one,

and despise the and


sical

shall

acquiesce,

however;
clas-

trust

and pray that our Troy (excuse the

allusion)

may

not

fall

as

fell

the ancient city,


so

when

that
its

animal which I
ill-starred gates."

dread

much passed

through

Mr. Jones sat

down somewhat

flushed, a little per-

plexed, and with an expression of mingled self-approval,


defiance,

and injured innocence, which was not pleasant


he had just addressed.

to such a healthy assembly as

Everybody was
was
"Dublic

silent.

They had no idea Mr. Jones


they had forgotten his

so eloquent a gentleman:
service.^'

They did not agree with him; but

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.


they did not

357
It

know

exactly what

to

say.

was a

new view

of the horse question.

And

they were some-

what stunned by the thought


to the days

that they

ought

to return

the largest

when sheep and oxen and attention; when the merits

asses occupied

of cows went

unrecorded, the bull was generally ignored, swine were forbidden, and the horse was consigned to a vain and

wicked world
edness alone.

for the gratification of vanity


It is

and wick-

doubtful whether any reply would

have been made to Mr. Jones, except a mild expostulation from the Chaii', and a murmur in one corner
of the

room about "a white mare," and

"my little

girl's
it,

pony," which had a very

warm and

tender tone in

had not Mr. John Osgood been present, and felt moved to take up the matter where Mr. Jones laid it down.
Mr. Osgood was a fine specimen of a New-England farmer. His ancestors had been landholders for generations back.

They were men of


first

influence too.

One

of them was the


ington
oldest
;

postmaster-general under Wash-

another had held high position in one of the


in Massachusetts;

and strongest towns

another

had

filled to

overflowing one of the most powerful of


pulpits
;

the old

New-England
first

another was the trusted

friend of the

great chief justice of Massachusetts


lands,

and another was a great farmer, owned broad and was famous for his flocks and herds and
as well as for his stables.
said, started

crops,
it

Mr. Osgood himself,

was

from the smallest possible beginning. His only patrimony was the inheritance of blood to which

358

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.

have alluded, a thoroughly good academical educaa sound

tion, a stalwart frame,

mind

in a

sound body,

and a

fresh

and vigorous

spirit,

which led him along

the agricultural path of his ancestors, rather than along


their

commercial

or political or legal

or theological

highways.

Why his father was poor, belonging as he did


nobody seemed
to

to such a thrifty race,


will

know.

There

be such

in

every family.

He owned

a farm some-

where,

an

unrecorded farm, which no committee on

farms had ever visited, and which had faded and faded

under the touch of negligent


thing about
it

cultivation, until

every

people,
;

buildings,
air.

animals,

and crops

had a languid and


left in early life

sickly

This farm Mr. Osgood


left it in

and we are told that he

early

spring,

on

foot,

driving his few sheep and a

cow

or two

before him over the deep and heavy roads of that season,
travelling with less fiitigue

than his animals, and stop-

ping at

last for his future

home

in

one of the remote,

verdant valleys of Vermont.


prospered.

In this

home he had
in the

By

the exercise of
flocks,

good judgment

breeding of his

and by the application of rules


in the absence of
his sheep,

which keen observation taught him,


scientific

laws,

he improved the quality of

until they

tion

became the standard, and gave him a reputawith the Bakewells and Collings of the Old World.
;

His cattle ranked with the best


best were models of symmetry,

and, in his mind, the

thrift,

and

quality.

The

highest type of the American horse could be found on


his farm,

an

animal as patient as he was courageous.

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.


as

359

enduring as he was

fleet,

as useful as he

was ornaand

mental, strong at the plough and untiring on the road,


vigorous, hardy, and cheerful, an honor to his race,

a credit to his owner.

Mr. Osgood's acres and his

household increased together.

His family smiled

all

around him within doors, and

his

farm smiled

all

around

him without.

His wife

a comely,
;

industrious, intelli-

gent, sweet-voiced

woman

such a wife as can only be

developed under the sunlight of a manly and kind and


considerate

and generous husband


all

such a wife

as

only such a husband can have in

her attributes, the

mother of many sons and daughters

kept
no

his house-

hold in neatness and good order, and cherished within

home all the home sweet and


that
bition,

virtues

and economies which make

dignified.

He had
in

political

am-

had never been engaged

"public service,"
;

had no "honorable
to church,
his taxes

" prefixed to his

name

but he went

sent his children to the best schools, paid

without complaining, and had offered up one

of the best and bravest of his boys on the altar of his


country,

far-off,

unknown grave holding

the sacred

ashes, while the father

and mother carried calmly and

patiently the great sorrow in their hearts.

When

Mr. Jones had seated himself, after his

star-

tling address, Mr.

Osgood, who, having been prosperous


to tell others

himself, felt

moved

how

it

was done, and


looked about

had, for this reason, joined the

society,

upon the

little

assembly, hoping that some one else


felt

might say what he himself

constrained to utter

upon

360

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.

the subject before them.

But no one moved; and


his solid
rich,

at last

he

arose,

and brought

and healthy form, and


deep
voice, with

manly countenance, and

which

he had been wont to inspire with their utmost strength


his laboring animals, to bear

upon what was

to

him a

familiar

follows

and

favorite topic.

He

spoke substantially as

MR.
(Revised

JOHN Osgood's speech.


and
torltten

out by the Chairman.)

Mr. Chairman^
this

I did not suppose,

when

entered

room, that

we

should be called upon to express

our opinions on any matter touching the welfare of the


Agricultural Society just
special

now

formed,

or

upon any
I

object connected with that society.

came

here to rest and chat, and look around, and become


intimate with

my
a

associates.

never like to unite with

any man

and

common never can know


in

enterprise until I

know him

man

until

aside the restraint of business,

we have both laid and sat down in our


is

moral and intellectual shirt-sleeves to see and be seen,


to hear

and be heard,

or a soft spot in a

we are. If there man, you may be sure it


just as
to

mean
come
you

will

out

when he
to

has nothing special to do, and nothing

special to say,

and no reason

be on
is

his guard.

If
let

want
alone.

find out whether a horse

unsound,

him

But we have gone beyond the pleasure and the observation of private intercourse,

and have been led by

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.

361

my new
me
;

friend here into a public discussion.

He

has
to

given us his opinion of the horse,

a novel opinion
see that

although
fears

think I

can

now

he has

expressed

and
felt

dislikes

and misunderstandings

which have been


I

and entertained by many

whom

have known, and

who were
it

not honest enough to

utter them.

Be

that as

may, I think a great deal


;

better of a horse than Mr. Jones does

and

I will give

him and you the

reasons.

To my mind,

then, Mr.

Chairman, the relations which exist between

man and

the horse are of such an intimate and significant character, that

they cannot be destroyed or violated without


effect

producing an

deeper than that produced by the

simple loss of property.

aged

to connect himself
life,

ing and valuable in

Somehow the horse has manwith so much that is interestthat we cannot abuse or insult
self-respect
loss.
;

him without wounding our


destroy

we

cannot
a

him without

serious

He

occupies

strange and important place in our history.

In great

military expeditions he has always performed an im-

portant part.

Old warriors used him.


him.

Old scholars

wrote

about

Although

my

friend finds

more

ecclesiastical
ass, I

authority for respecting the ox and the

would remind him that Jacob commenced early


array

trading corn for horses with the Egyptians, and that

a long

of

chariots

and horses

followed this

patriarch in funeral-procession.

He was

an Egyptian
outshone
defer-

animal at a time
all

when Egyptian
I

civilization
all

others

and

am

of opinion, with

due

362

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.

ence to those
his

who

differ

from me, that he has found

most congenial companions where cultivation and have


prevailed,

refinement

from the days of Phaof


life

raoh until now.

As
!

the

arts

advance,

how

he goes with them

I find

him

in Arabia,

the ally

and protector and companion of man,


sion
there.
I

his best posses-

find

him immortalized

in

the

finest

marbles of ancient Greece and Rome.

I find his

name

connected with great human exploits.

I find

pages in

history dedicated to the record of his wonderful deeds

on the turf and the road,


the field of battle.

at labor, in the chase,

and on

Kings have devoted

the royal

treasury to his increase, improvement,

and comfort
have ap-

and ambitious and enthusiastic

agriculturists

plied themselves unsparingly to his introduction into

the best regions and systems of farming.


flood of charming
associations
recall
all

Why, what

and memories rushes


William the Conqueror
his

around us

as

we

the position which the horse

has held for almost

time

and

his

Norman

horses,

King John and

Flemish

stallions, the

admiring crowds that gathered round the

Darley and the Godolphin Arabian, the enthusiastic admirers of Sir Archy and Sir Charles, of Lexington

and Boston, of old

Eclipse, the studs of Washington,

the thorough breds of Jefferson,


to tell

it is

not worth while


all this

me

that there

is

nothing more in

than the

simple ownership of so

many merchantable

animals, to

be valued by weight

in the market.

In great events

of joy and sorrow, in crises and revolutions, the horse

AGRICULTURE AND THE HOESE.

363
the

somehow

finds

his

place,

standing next to man,


fate,

partner of his fortunes and his

and performing an
have been so struck
all

important part in

all

the drama.

with the place assigned the horse in

the stirring in-

cidents of chivalrous personal history, that I

remember

always the touching


the Betrothed,
*'

lines,

which, in the Introduction to

tell
:

the vision w^hich descended on the


"

Noble Maringer
"

Thy tower

another banner knew, thy steed another rein


;

And And

stoop them to another's will thy gallant vassal train


she, the lady of thy love, so faithful
hall,

once and

fair,

This night, without thy father's

she weds Marstettin's heir."

Towers, horse,
this

vassals,

and lady-love,
Tell

all

join to

make

significant

picture.

me what
But not

other animal
in

could perform his part there.

deeds of

war and chivalry alone has the horse endeared himself


to

man.

have said he seems to belong by right to the

highest civilization, and to find there his most favoring

and congenial home.


is

Not, however, to this sphere alone

his

genius confined.

Obedient to surrounding

cir-

cumstances as no other animal seems capable of being,


his

frame and temperament alike conform to the neces-

sities

which he meets.
is

The pride of

the race-course, to
old,
all

which he

led often

when he

is

but two years

prematurely developed by protection and care into


the nerve and vigor of mature
life, restless,

impatient,

and

beautiful,

he finds an elephantine,

stolid,

patient

brother leaving the pastures of Holland and the Clyde

364
for the

AGRICUIiTHRE AND THE HORSE.

weary

toil

of the brewery and the coal-yard;

he

finds a hardy, diminutive, busy, cool,

and sagacious

member

of his family browsing on the moss and ferns


;

of the Orkneys

he

hails

from the desert the


;

lithe

and

sinewy form of a more immediate relative

he looks

on with amazement
whirls

as his

self-poised

American cousin
and

along

the road with that tremendous stride


free

which has been developed by the wants of a


driving people, each one of
his destination first
;

whom
is

is

bound

to reach

and he

amazed

to find a

rough

and wiry specimen of


all

his race
life.

scouring the plains in

the vigor of savage

Preserving his horse charin

acteristics

under

all

circumstances, and

whatever

form he may appear, he gradually adapts himself to


soil

and climate with a readiness unknown

to

any other
battle-

animal but man.


field

And more
;

than this

on the
is

he

is

a war-horse
is

on the race-course he
;

a deer

on the farm he
tive
;

a drudge

on the road he
is

is

a locomo-

at

the civic procession he


is

as airy as his rider


;

as a

hack he

sagacious in the use of his forces


is is

at

the stage-coach he

"flying
as

all

abroad;"

at

the prias

vate carriage he

proud and disdainful


;

the

petted beauty
is

who

sits

behind him

at the funeral

he

as

melancholy as the mourners.


sir,

Now,
whose

do you wonder that

admire an animal

status

and genius
?

have just described as I


to other animals

understand them
I respect

do not object

them

as I

do the

trees planted

by

my

fathers,

and the mill-ponds which they dammed "

for the public

AGRICULTURE AND THE HORSE.


good."
me.
lazy
lost
;

365

But

I st