Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/497

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469
SOLLEYSEL'S DIRECTIONS.

fluous humour which falleth down upon the lower part of the foot, and causeth the sole to grow round and high; and also the coffin-bone, or little foot, which is the bone in the middle of the coffin, to push itself down, which, through time, maketh the foot become round at the sole.'

Flanders at that period appears to have furnished large numbers of horses, whose special characteristics were hairy legs, and wide flat-soled feet; for this author, when describing the best way to remedy this defective form of hoof by a shoe resting on the sole, instead of the customary vaulted armature, adds: 'The surest way is to rectify such bad feet in the beginning, and especially in the time when horses alter or change their horn, which is the first six months after they come from Flanders.'

His advice to keep the sole strong by refraining from paring it, to make the shoe fit the foot instead of the foot the shoe, and to take a short thick hold of the wall with the nails, is excellent. His remarks on pathological shoeing, too, show much judgment and experience of this important subject. The nails were to be thin and supple; large nails were destructive to the hoofs. For contracted hoofs, he recommends the employment of fers à pantoufles, which he says were invented by M. de la Brone, squire to Henry III. These were merely shoes with the inner border of each heel turned downwards at a more or less acute angle, so as to cause the heels of the hoof to glide forcibly outwards when the horse's weight was imposed on them. Lunette shoes were also employed by him for horses of the manége who had their hoofs contracted.

To the people who argued that horses were better