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At length the yellow grain falls beneath the reaping-hook and scythe, and the true state of things is unequivocally disclosed. Yet a little while, and the golden letters of the sportsman's calendar return; in them he finds ample reward for all his foresight, anxieties, and forbearance, during spring and summer.

ON TRAINING THE RACE-HORSE.

BY COTHERSTONE.

CHAP. I.-PRELIMINARY REMARKS.

To produce the happy combinations which are necessary to enable a horse to exert his speed and powers to their utmost extent at a particular period, requires great care and attention, aided by experience; and although many persons would inculcate the idea that the art of training is involved in great mystery, to those who have made the management of horses an object of attention very little difficulty is experienced, unless it be to overcome those accidental events or constitutional defects which all enlightened minds must be assured will at times occur to every animated form, composed of such innumerable and complicated parts as the horse; more especially when the derangement of one member, limb, joint, muscle, or tendon, usually imparts a failure in the action of others commensurate with the extent of disorganization, and the importance of the disordered part.

Some trainers there are who appear to treat the horses entrusted to their care as though they were simply machines, and to conceive that a given quantity of food, physic, and work will produce a given quantity of speed and power, upon the same principle that a certain quantity of steam imparts a certain degree of force to the piston of a steamengine. Judging of their opinions by their actions, which is unquestionably the most rational method of forming a conclusion, it would seem that they imagine every horse must perform a certain, and in some instances an immoderate, portion of work to qualify him for the exertions of a race, totally unmindful of the consequences which may be produced on the constitution, legs, feet, and temper, the condition which he may be in to commence with, the number of races that he may have run, or the number that in all probability he will be required to contend for.

As many of the injuries to which the frame of the animal is subject are the effects of abuse and hard work, and some from neglect and total abstinence from work, it becomes necessary to discriminate between that course of labour which will be injurious, and that which will develop the full powers of each function. It will therefore be found most essential on all occasions at the first commencement, to ascertain the weakest and most defective parts of every horse which

may become the subject of the trainer's attention, for the purpose of adopting such precautionary treatment as shall be least likely to derange those functions which appear to be most delicate. To attain this object a mature, deliberate, and unbiassed examination of the most important parts becomes the first consideration; and to point out the most remarkable is the principal purpose of these pages. So that by calling the attention of the owner and trainer to reflect what events are most likely to lead to specific results, they may avoid those which are injurious; and by laying down certain plain and established rules for the management of race-horses, and all matters connected with them, that the most rational and approved systems may be generally diffused, and rendered available in the various gradations-from the princely stud, which boasts a string of twenty horses, to that comprising merely the individual nag in preparation for a simple Hunter's Stake, or Cavalry Cup.

There arises a necessity for some caution in suggesting rules for training, because the required object is so materially identified with the health of the animal, and that health so dependant upon constitution and other causes, which vary in different subjects, that it is clear the treatment as regards the due portion of work, food, and physic, must be regulated with discretion; and it is obvious that the slightest agents which in any way operate upon the animal's health must have a powerful effect upon his condition, which they will promote or retard the attainment of in proportion to their influence. Climate, the temperature of the weather, the quantity and quality of the food, combine in various ways to increase or diminish the perfection and full development of the animal's powers.

CHAP. 11.-PREPARATION FOR WORK.

Upon the discrimination exhibited in the first preparation of a race-horse will, in a vast degree, depend the ultimate success of the trainer in producing first-rate condition, uninterrupted by those unfortunate casualties in the various characters of lameness which so frequently render the animal incapable of repaying his proprietor. That all extremes are bad, is a principle which may on every occasion be held up in its most unlimited signification in the various departments of a racing establishment. A horse taken from a state of idleness, full of high keep, with his constitution stimulated to the utmost, being called upon to perform laborious efforts of any kind, is constantly exposed to a succession of dangerous consequences: his constitution is perpetually susceptible to attacks of plethoric stagnation; or to express myself more familiarly, his blood not being in a proper condition to pass through the circulation, and the various channels in like manner not being in a favourable state to transmit the fluid, when excited by that degree of violence which excessive exertion produces, the animal is most unnecessarily and cruelly submitted to the ravages of innumerable complaints and incidental accidents, ruptured blood-vessels, inflamed lungs, swelled legs (generally the results of debility and an imperfect circulation), inflamed

eyes, colds; the establishment of which are readily traced to the effect of suddenly checking the circulation, with many more equally serious evils, the origin of which are produced by similar circumstances.

Independent of the circulating system in its direct effects, there are other subjects which render it necessary that the animal be gradually prepared to undergo severe and strong work. The muscles and sinews require to be brought into action by such a regular process as not to endanger their powers. When the beautiful construction, adaptation, and union of their parts is taken into consideration, it must convince us of the wonderful ability of the power who formed them, and who has also ordained the continuation of such extraordinary works from one generation to another. Is not this hint enough to caution man, if he reflects at all, of the presumption which he shows in taking undue liberties with the works of his Creator?

If a rude, inexperienced being were to enter the workshop of a watchmaker, and were obtrusively to meddle with the artist's labours, he would doubtless be required to desist, although the destruction even of one particle or portion of a watch might not be of serious consequence, because the artist who originally formed the machinery might re-make it if damaged, and thus the watch, when supplied with its perfect combinations, would be as good as ever; but in the treatment of the horse, if nature's limits, which fortunately are very extensive, are exceeded-if one spring be over-strained, one joint displaced, or one internal function disarranged-the whole combination becomes useless, at all events, till time can intervene and assist nature in relieving or curing the mischief which the rashness and presumption of man has established. It is not like the case of the watchmaker, who can remedy the accident by the construction of a new spring. When a tendon in a horse's leg has once given way, where is the artist who can supply him with a new one? or if inflammation be once established on the lungs, the windpipe, or various other internal parts, so as to disorganize their structure, where is the artist to be found who can restore or replace the injured part?

That the horse was intended for the use of man may be clearly inferred by the general adaptation of his frame to the numerous purposes for which we find him useful; still, however we may be permitted to improve upon the works of nature, we are only allowed to do so by rational means, and to a certain extent. Judging that all animals are endowed with faculties equivalent to the supply of their own individual necessities, it becomes a subject for consideration to what extent man is permitted to improve those faculties, so that he may derive the benefits arising from their superabundance. If we look through nature we find the Mouflon, or primitive sheep, ill suited to the service of the table as compared with the superior breeds which we now possess, and which have been brought to their present state of perfection by cultivation; nevertheless there are limits put upon our desires, beyond which man cannot soar: an aptitude to fatten has been acquired by judicious crossing, and the most approved breeds possess that faculty to a wonderful degree, being fit for slaughter in a very short time compared with others of an indifferent strain; a sort of precocity is formed, but even that cannot be

produced beyond the bounds of reason. If the desire of man could be allowed to have its sway, we should have lambs yeaned, brought to maturity, and fattened in an unaccountable short space of time: such would be the cupidity of individuals if they had the power, that they would bring their flocks to perfection, and to the market in a time whose brevity cannot be conceived; but every attempt of that kind, which may be designated an outrage upon nature, is interdicted, and man is taught by experience, however sanguine his expectations might have been, that "nature will have her course.'

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It is not the sheep alone that possesses these attributes: the properties of the ox are equally superior to those of the wild species from which they were established; so are the minor creatures, as pigs, poultry, and indeed every domestic animal which has fallen into the possession of man in a civilized state, and which is fostered by him for his use.

The canine species may, perhaps, be instanced on this occasion as an appropriate example: every dog which we cherish and preserve possesses attributes and faculties adapted to the various services for which we require him; his peculiar nature qualifies him and renders him subservient to our wants. The foxhound, however, takes the lead of all other kinds in affording an example; his attributes being more closely identified with those of the horse in point of speed, wind, endurance, courage, and constitution. His capabilities of speed, for instance, might be augmented by a cross with the greyhound, but then his olfactory nerves would be defective, and he would be valueless; courage might be increased by an intermixture with the bull dog, but in that cross we should lose both speed and nose; and thus, by interfering with the laws of nature, we should find him fail in the most essential faculties which the animal enjoys.

All these arguments tend to prove by analogy that the horse is gifted with certain powers, but if we call upon him to perform offices which nature has not assigned to him, or an undue portion of those with which he is endowed, and man permitted to avail himself of, we enervate his constitution, and impair his most valuable faculties.

When a colt is transferred from the trammels of the breaker into the hands of the trainer, it is not improbable that he may be suffering in some degree from the ordeal required to reduce him to subjection. This must be a guide as to what treatment is to be observed, and what time will be required before he can with safety be put to anything like work. One circumstance must also be borne in mind; if he is absolutely put out of work, he will on a future occasion require breaking again, and not unfrequently as much time and trouble required as on the first occasion. The extent of the injuries which his legs and joints may have received must, however, determine this matter. A degree of heat, more or less, will in all probability be perceptible in the joints, especially those of the fetlock. The hocks not unfrequently participate in the same ratio from similar causes; all these parts, and most especially the tendons, must be carefully examined, and the course to be pursued and the quantity and nature of the work regulated accordingly. If a colt from the breaker's hands be put to anything like strong exercise, the result may almost

be anticipated to a certainty; the weaker parts are sure to fail until time and refreshing medicines have been called in aid to restore the healthy tone of the whole frame; whether it be the colt just broken, or the aged horse whose wearied limbs required nature's generous balm-rest, the same caution is necessary in commencing operations.

The first course to be adopted under any circumstances, even if the animal appear perfectly sound, fresh, and well, will be to administer two doses of physic at intervals of a week or ten days: the quantity to be given, and the method to be observed during the preparation for and the operation of the medicine, will be found under the head appropriated to physic. If there are any persons disposed to imagine that horses do not require aperient medicine at this particular crisis unless they show symptoms indicating its actual necessity, it may be necessary to remark that the greatest necessity does exist at this period, although it may not be apparent to the eye; it is required to qualify the blood and various other secretions for active exertion, and by its effects upon the system to avert the necessity of prescribing medicine at a period when the animal's active services must be called into requisition. During the interval between each dose, measures are to be adopted to restore any little injuries which may be apparent about the joints, which if not perfectly recovered will suggest the palpable necessity of giving them an additional allowance of time. Many a curb is thrown out, many a strain of an irrecoverable nature is produced, by permitting the animal to perform too much labour when the appearance of incipient inflammation, with its concomitant heat, is clearly visible. It may, perhaps, be only seated in the secreting vessels in the first instance, but extending its influence to the arterial and veinous circulation, is sympathetically communicated to the sinews, about which a deposit takes place, and the enlargement receives the denomination of a curb. A similar process not unfrequently takes place among the sinews, cartilages, and joints of the fore legs, with which there is this additional evil to contend against-the concussion which they are exposed to is more likely to produce such disorders, and is certain therefore to maintain and increase them when they are once established. In all these cases the action of the sinews is impeded, and in course of time absolute lameness exists, unless some effectual remedies are adopted, and rest suffered to intervene, in order to restore the vessels to their proper tone. A cooling diet, with mild laxative medicines, whose operation is continued for a considerable duration of time, are the most certain means of cure; the action of the absorbent vessels surrounding the affected part being stimulated with any of the mild preparations usually called in aid for such purposes, bearing in mind the absolute necessity of cooling the system, and reducing the circulation before such stimulants are resorted to. It is by their use at improper times that such disorders, instead of being cured become confirmed, the sinews and cartilaginous substances become ossified, after which a perfect reduction of the part is utterly impossible; when once sinews have taken upon themselves the nature of bone, no human power can reconvert them into sinew. If these consequences were always held in remembrance, we should not see the daily examples which we

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