David Laing.

The new American pocket farrier and farmer's guide in the choice and management of horses, neat cattle, sheep and swine : including a description of their internal structure, their digestive system, the diseases to which they are liable, cure online

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Webster Family Library of Veterinary Medicine
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at
Tufts University
200 V\/estboro Road
North Grafton. MA 01536


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Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1845, by J. B.
Perry, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court in the Eastern District
of Pennsylvania.

Stereotyped hy S. Douglas Wyetk,
JV0. 7 Fear St., Philadeiphia.


In presenting to the public a comprehensive book on
Farriery and the treatment of Cattle, we have deter-
niiiied to make the work complete; to embrace in it
every subject useful to the farmer, the grazier, the
dealer in horses, and others. Horses, neat cattle,
sheep, and swine, — the management of them, the dis-
eases to which they are subject, and cures for them,
— all will be found in this book, carefully selected
from the writings of Small, Youatt, White, Lawrence,
Hines, Clayter, etc. As a book of advice and refer-
ence in regard to useful matters, we have so arranged
it under different heads, that the reader by running his
eye down the Contents will be enabled at once to find
any particular subject upon which he may wish to
inform himself.

" Ten minutes advice" is a short treatise compil-
ed to guard the unwary from deceptions in. the pur-
chase of a Horse, as well as to refresh the memory
of gentlemen already acquainted with the requisite
qualifications of that noble animal. The remarks are
drawn from long, and, in some instances, dear-bought
experience, in the snares with which jockies and grooms
beset those who are under the necessity of dealing
with them. Having premised thus much, it is proper
that we should introductorily remark, as a general
guide, viz :

That a large shin-bone, that is, long from the knee
to the pastern, in a foal, shows a tall horse.


Double the space in a foal, new foaled, between the
knee and withers, will, in general, be the height of
him when a complete horse.

Foals that are of stirring spirits, wanton of disposi-
tion, active in leaping, running and chasing, ever lead-
ing the way and striving for mastery, always prove
horses of excellent mettle ; those of a contrary dispo-
sition are most commonly jades.

There is one general rule which experience has
proved to be a good one, and that is — No Footy No

A horse's ability, and continuance in goodness, is
known by his hoofs. If they are strong, smooth,
hard, deep, tough, upright, and hollow, that horse
cannot be a bad one.

The pocket farrier, commencing at page 39,
contains a series of directions how to use a horse on a
journey, with receipts and cures for the different dis-
eases to which he is liable. The prescriptions have
not been hastily jumbled together, but are experiment-
ally efficacious, and have been proved by a practice
of thirty years. By consulting these pages you will
at once see, l5^. What methods are best to be used if
your horses fall lame ; 2d. What medicines are proper
to give them when sick, — and ^d. How to direct the
operations, and escape the impositions, of ignorant

Annexed to these, the reader will find directions for
the management of Cows, Calves, Sheep, Swine, Agri-
cultural Receipts, the management of the Dairy, Fruit-
trees, Flax, Hemp, the improvement of waste lands,
and miscellaneous useful information.

Philadelphia, June, 1845.




A The Head.

a The posterior maxillary or under jaw.

6 The superior maxillary or upper jaw. Opposite to the letter is a foramen

through which pass the nerves and blood vessels which chiefly supply the

lower part of the face.
c The orbit, or cavity containing the eye.
d The nasal bones, or bones of the nose.

e The suter dividing the parietal bones below, from the occipital bones above.
/ The inferior maxillary bone containing the upper incisor teeth.
B The Seven Cervical Vertebrae, or bones of the neck.
C The Eighteen Dorsal Vertebrae, or bones of the back.
D Tlie Six Lumbar Vertebrae, or bones of the loins.
E The Five Sacral Vertebrae, or bones of the haunch.
F The Caudal Vertebrae, or bones of the tail, generally about fifteen.
G The Scapula, or shoulder blade.
H The Sternum, or fore part of the chest.
I The Costae or ribs, seven or eight articulating with the sternum, and called

the tfue ribs, and ten or eleven united together by cartilage, called the falsa

3 The Humerus, or bone of the arm.
K The Radius, or bone of the fore-arm.

L The Ulna, or elbow. The point of the elbow is called the Olecranon.
M The Carpus or knee, consisting of seven bones.
JN The metacarpal bones. The larger metacarpal or canon or shank in front,

and the smaller metacarpal or splent bone behind.
g The fore pastern and foot, consisting of the Os Suflfraginis, or the upper and

larger pastern bone, with the sessamoid bones behind, articulating with the

canon and greater pastern ; the Os Coronae, or lesser pastern ; the Os Pedis,

or cofRn-bone ; and the Os Naviculare, or navicular, or shuttle-bone, not

seen, and articulating with the smaller pastern and coffin-bones.
h The corresponding bones of the hind feet.
O The Haunch, consisting of three portions^ the Ilium, the Ischium, and the

P The Femur or thigh.
Q, The stifle joint with the Patella.

R The Tibia or proper leg-bone — behind is a small bone called the fibula.
S The Tarsus or hock, composed of six bones. The prominent part is the Os

Calcis point of the hock.
T The Metatarsals of the hind leg.




It is a common observation that in the art of horse-
manship, by far the most difficult part is that of giving
proper directions for purchasing a horse free from fault
and blemish. The deceptions in this branch of traffic
being looked on in a less fraudulent light than they
seem to deserve, and of consequence are more frequently
practised, it shall therefore be our business, in the follow-
ing brief remarks, to show, in the best manner we are
able, the imperfections which, from either nature or mis-
chance, every horse is liable to.


See the horse you are about to purchase, in the stable,
and without any person being in the stall with him, and
if he has any complaint in his legs he will soon show it,
by altering the situation of them, taking up one and set-
ting down the other; and this denotes his being foundered
or over-worked.

On ordering him out, let no one be the last in the
stable but yourself; you should also, if possible, be the



first in, lest the owner, or some of his quick emissaries,
take an opportunity to fig him ; a practice common
among dealers, in order to make the tail show as if
carried very high, when, in reahty, the day after, he will,
in appearance, be five pounds worse.


This is the proper time to examine his eyes, which
may be done in a dark stable, with a candle, or rather
IB the day time when he is led from the stall ; cause the
man who leads him to stop at the stable door just as his
head peeps out, and all his body still within. If the
white of the eye appears reddish at the bottom, or of a
colour like a withered leaf, I would not advise you to
purchase him. A moon-eyed horse is known by his
weeping, and keeping his eyes almost shut at the
beginning of the distemper : as the moon changes, he
gradually recovers his sight, and in a fortnight or three
weeks sees as well as before he had the disorder.
Dealers, when they have such a horse to sell, at the
time of his weeping always tell you that he has got a
bit of straw or hay in his eye, or that he has received
some blow : they also take care to wipe away the
humour, to prevent its being seen ; but a man should
trust only himself in buying of horses, and above all,
be very exact in examining the eyes. In this he must
have regard to time and place where he makes the
examination. Bad eyes may appear good in winter,
when snow is upon the ground ; and often, good ones
appear bad according to the position of the horse.
Never examine a horse's eyes by the side of a white
wall, where the dealers always choose to show one that
is moon-eyed.


The moon-eyed horse has always one eye bigger than
the other, and above his lids you may generally dis-
cover wrinkles or circles.

If you observe a fleshy excrescence that proceeds from
the corner of the eye, and covers a part of the pupil,
and is in shape almost like the beard of an oyster, though
seemingly a matter of no great consequence, yet it is
what I call a whitlow in the eye, and if suffered to grow,
it draws away a part of the nourishment of the eye,
and sometimes occasions a total privation of sight : on
the contrary, if the eyes are round, big, black and
shining ; if the black of the eye fill the pit, or outward
circumference, so that in moving, very little of the white
appears, they are signs of goodness and mettle.
Large eyes are in general esteemed the best, but be
sure to observe that the chrystaline be thoroughly
transparent, for without that, no kind of eye can be said
to be good. ■

The eye that is of a long oval figure is almost always
weak, especially if the corners are narrow for a
considerable way. -

We may here observe that no animal is so subject to
blindness as the horse. This arises from the great heat
of his blood, and the constant feverish state in which
his great exertions keep him, which occasions inflamma-
tion, and thickening of the extremely thin membrane
that covers the eye.

Most people, in examining a horse's eyes, lead him
under a shed and look sideways through the eye to-
wards the light, to ascertain whether it be clear and
transparent as it ought; but the best way is to make
the observation when he first comes out of a dark stable
into strong daylight; for if he has any weakness in his
eyes, he will contract or wrinkle his brow and look up-
ward to receive more light ; and if, at the same time, the


pupil of the eye appears large, or does not contract, it is
a bad sign ; for that reason it is best to observe a horse's
eyes first in the shade, taking notice of the dimensions of
the pupil, for if that lessens on his coming into a stronger
light it is a sure sign that his sight is good and likely to
continue so.

Upon the whole, that eye is generally good where
the eyeHds are thin, the eye transparent and sprightly,
and when the horse has a bold resolute look, and takes
notice of the different objects that present themselves
before him without fear.

One of the best signs of a good horse is the eyes
wide apart.


After having carefully satisfied yourself as to his
eyes, let him be brought out, and have him stand naked
before you ; then take a strict view of his countenance,
particularly with regard to the cheerfulness of it, this
being an excellent glass to observe his goodness and best
perfections. Be careful you are not deceived by the
marks in his face, as frequently a good-looking star is
made of cat's skin. If his ears be small, sharp, short,
pricked, and moving ; or if they are long, but yet well
set on, and well carried, it is a mark of goodness ; if
they are thick, laved, or lolling, wide set, and unmoving,
they are signs of dulness, and of an evil nature.

The whole substance of the ears should be thin and
delicate. They ought to be placed on the very top of
the head, and their extremities or points when pricked
up should be nearer than their roots. When a horse
carries his ears pointed forwards he is said to have a
bold, hardy, or brisk ear ; and it is a perfection in a


5ars when he is travelling to have them firm,
mark every motion of his feet by a slouch of
his ears like a hog. '

A lean forehead, swelling outward, the mark or feather
in his face set high, with a white star or ratch of an in-
different size, and even placed, or a white snip on the
nose or lip, they are all marks of beauty and goodness ;
on the contrary, a fat, cloudy, or frowning countenance,
the mark in his face standing low, as under his eyes, if
his star or ratch stand awry, and instead of a snip, his
nose be raw, and unhairy, or his face generally bald,
they are signs of deformity.


This is a distemper to which colts and young horses
are particularly liable. It begins with a swelling
between the jaw-bones, which frequently extends to the
muscles of the tongue, and is generally attended with
great heat, pain, and inflammation.

In purchasing a horse, handle his cheeks or chaps,
and if you find the bones lean and thin, the space wide
between them, the thropple or wind-pipe big as you can
gripe, and the void place without knots or kernels, and
the jaws so great that the neck seems to couch within
them, they are all signs of great wind, courage, soundness
of head and body ; on the contrary, if the chaps are
fat and thick, the space between them closed up with
gross substance, and the thropple little, they are signs
of short wind and much inward foulness: should the
void place be full of knots and kernels, beware of the
strangles or glanders, the former of which may be easily
discovered by the swelling between the two nether jaw-
bones, which discharges a white matter. There is also


a disorder which is called the Bastard Strangles, which
appears sometimes like, and sometimes different from the
true strangles. » The bastard strangles are what proves
the horse has not thrown off his true strangles, but that
some foul humours are still left behind ; this disorder
may come at four, five, six, or even seven years of age.
A continual languor at work, and seemingly perpetually
weary, without any visible aihnent, is a certain sign that
he is not clear of this disorder, which sometimes will
affect the foot, the leg, the ham, the haunch, the shoulder,
the breast, or the eye, and without care in this latter
case, may corrupt the pupil of the eye, as the small-poy
does in men.


There is also another disorder, much like the strangles*
which is called Morefoundering, (the word is of French
origin) and is used by farriers to distinguish those colds
which a horse takes by being suffered to cool too sud-
denly after violent exercise — and may be known by a
running at the nose.


A distemper in horses which too generally proves
fatal, notwithstanding the many boasted remedies that
are prescribed for its cure. In fact all horses that are
said to die of the glanders, are victims to a pulmonary
consumption, the lungs of all such being found diseased
or destroyed.

This disease is known by a flux or running of corrupt
matter from the nostrils, which is of different colours,


according as the disease is more or less inveterate, white,
yellow, green, and sometimes almost black, and very
fcctid, in which case it may be concluded that the bones
are become foul.

In buying a horse, feel if he has any flat glands
fastened to the nether jaw, which give him pain when
you press them, and remember that a running at one
nostril is worse than at both.


When the jaws are strait, that the neck swells above
them, it is a sign of short wind ; but if the swelling be
long, and close by his chaps, like a whetstone, then be
sure he has the vives, which only differs from the
strangles in this, that the swellings of the kernels under
the ears seldom gather or come to matter.

When these swellings appear in an old or full aged
horse, they are signs of great malignity, and often of
an inward decay, as well as forerunners of the glanders.

This is a distemper most frequent in high mountainous
countries, especially to horses that are not used to the
crudities produced in the stomach by the spring and
fountain waters that rise in hilly grounds. Standing
waters or those of very little current, are the least
dangerous, and seldom cause the vives, but very deep
wells are bad.


If his nostrils be open, dry, wide, and large, so as

upon any straining the inward redness is discovered , if

his muzzle be small, his mouth deep, and his lips equally

meeting, they are signs of health and wind ; but should



his nostrils be strait, his wind is then little. Should you
find the muzzle to be gross, his spirit will be dull.
Nothing contributes more to a horse's breathing easy,
and with freedom, than the wideness of his nostrils.


If a horse's mouth be shallow he will never carry the
bitt well, and if his upper will not reach his under lip,
old age and infirmity mark him for carrion. When the
mouth is cloven too much, there is a good deal of
difficulty to bitt a horse so that he may not " swallow it,"
as horsemen term it. The compliance and obedience
of a horse in the manege, is owing, in a great measure,
to the tender, or quick sense of his mouth, which ren-
ders him fearful of being hurt by the bitt. A horse
that has a very fine mouth will stop if his rider merely
bends his body backward and raise his hand, without
waiting for the check of the bridle.


Respecting the age of a horse that is fit for work, he
should have forty teeth ; twenty -four grinders, which
teach us nothing, and sixteen others, which have their
names, and discover his age. As mares usually have
no tusks, their teeth are only thirty-six. A colt is
foaled without teeth ; in a few days he puts out four,
which are called pincers, or nippers ; soon after appear
the four separators : Next to the pincers, it is sometimes
three or four months before the next, called corner teeth,
push forth. These twelve colt's teeth, in the front of
the mouth, continue, without alteration, till the colt is


two years, or two years and a half old, which makes it
difficult, without great care, to avoid being imposed on
during the interval, if the seller finds it his interest to
make the colt pass for either younger or older than he
really is ; the only rule you have then to judge by is his
coat, and the hairs of his mane and tail. A colt of
one year has a supple, rough coat, resembling that of a
water spaniel, and the hair of his mane and tail feels
like flax, and hangs like a rope untwisted ; whereas a
colt of two years has a flat coat, and straight hairs, like
a grown horse.

At about two years and a half old, sometimes sooner,
sometimes later, according as he has been fed, a horse
begins to change his teeth. The pincers, which come
the first, are also the first that fall ; so that at three years
he has four horse's, and eight colt's teeth, which are
easily known apart, the former being larger, flatter, and
yellower than the other, and streaked from the end quite
into the gums.

These four horse pincers have, in the middle of their
extremities, a black hole, very deep ; whereas those of
the colt are round and white. When the horse is
coming four years old, he loses his four separators, or
middle teeth, and puts forth four others, which follow
the same rule as the pincers. He has now eight horse's
teeth, and four colt's. At five years old he sheds the
four corner, which are his last colt's teeth, and is called
a horse.

During this year also, his four tusks (which are
chiefly peculiar to horses) come behind the others ; the
lower ones often four months before the upper ; but
whatever may be vulgarly thought, a horse that has the
two lower tusks, if he has not the upper, may be judged
to be under five years old, unless the other teeth show
the contrary ; for some horses that live to be very old


never have any upper tusks at all. The two lower tusks
are one of the most certain rules that a horse is coming
five years old, notwithstanding his colt's teeth may not
be all gone.

Jockies and breeders, in order to make their colts
seem five years old when they are but four, pull out
their last colt's teeth ; but if all the colt's teeth are gone,
and no tusks appear, you may be certain this trick has
been played. Another artifice they use, is to beat the
bars every day with a wooden mallet, in the place where
the tusks are to appear, in order to make them seem
hard, as if the tusks were just ready to cut.

When a horse is coming six years old, the two lower
pincers fill up, and, instead of the holes above-mentioned,
show only a black spot. Between six and seven the two
middle teeth fill up in the same manner; and between
seven and eight the corner teeth do the like ; after which
it is said to be impossible to know certainly the age of
a horvse, he having no longer any mark in the mouth.

You can indeed only have recourse to the tusks, and
the situation of the teeth, of which I shall now speak.

For the tusks you must with your finger feel the
inside of them from the point quite to the gum. If the
tusk be pointed flat, and has two little channels within
side, you may be certain the horse is not old, and at the
utmost only coming ten. Between eleven and twelve
the two channels are reduced to one, which after twelve
is quite gone, and the tusks are as round within as they
are without; you have no guide then but the situation
of the teeth. The longest teeth are not always a sign
of the greatest age, but their hanging over and pushing
forward, as their meeting, perpendicularly, is a certain
token of youth.

Many persons, whilst they see certain little holes in
the middle of the teeth, imagine, that such horses are


but in their seventh year, without regard to the situation
the teeth take as they grow old.

When horses are young, theij* teeth meet perpendicu-
larly, but grow longer, and push forward with age;
besides, the mouth of a young horse is very fleshy within
in the palate, and his lips are firm and hard : on the
contrary, the inside of an old horse's mouth is lean both
above and below, and seems to have only the skin upon
the bones. The lips are soft and easy to turn up with
the hand.

All horses are marked in the same manner, but some
naturally, and others artificially. The natural mark is
called Begue, and some ignorant persons imagine such
horses are marked all their lives, because for many years
they find a little hole, or a kind of void in the middle of
the separators and corner teeth ; but when the tusks are
grown round, as well within as without, and the teeth
point forward, there is room to conjecture in proportion
as they advance from year to year, what the horse's age
may be, without regarding the cavity above mentioned.

The artificial manner is made use of by dealers and
jockies, who mark their horses, after the age of them is
known, to make them appear only six or seven years
old. They do it in this manner : They throw down the
horse to have him more at command, and, with a steel
graver, like what is used for ivory, hollow the middle
teeth a little, and the corner ones somewhat more; then
fill the holes with a little rosin, pitch, sulphur, or some
grains of wheat, which they burn in with a bit of hot
wire, made in proportion to the hole. This operation
they repeat from time to time, till they give the hole a
lasting black, in imitation of nature ; but in spite of all
they can do, the hot iron makes a little yellowish circle
round these holes, like what it would leave upon ivory ;
they have therefore another trick to prevent detection,


which is to make the horse foam from time to time, after
having rubbed his mouth, lips, and gums with salt, and
the crumb of bread dried and powdered with salt. This
foam hides the circle made by the iron.

Another thing they cannot do, is, to counterfeit young
tusks, it being out of their power to make those two
crannies above mentioned, which are given by nature.
With files they may make them sharper or flatter, but

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