Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/558

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valley of the occurrence of a break. A canal has been built to reduce the level of the lake, but it is not sufficient for the purpose.

The irrigation-canals of Lombardy and Lucca are more scientifically constructed, and display more technical skill, but they are not laid out on a more extensive scale than those of the Canton Valais. It is a fact deserving admiration that all of these colossal works have been and are still being built without the aid of technical knowledge, without any expensive instruments, by the people of the country; and that these people not only make great sacrifices of money and labor, but put their lives at stake, to assure themselves of a supply of water. Certainly a real struggle for existence is going on here; for, without a system of water-supply, there would be in many of the villages no grass, no vegetable crops, no corn, and no wine. Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from Das Ausland.


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WORKING CAPACITY OF UNSHOD HORSES.

By ARTHUR F. ASTLEY.

I SEND herewith a photograph of the near fore-foot of my unshod, white-hoofed, low-heeled chestnut horse "Tommy". This photograph was taken after I had driven the old horse (he may be twenty years old), in a phaeton, a hundred miles on hard roads in and around London. This does not include drives for exercise. It is impossible to say that the hoofs of this old horse (bought chiefly in order to test this question) are exceptionally good. The reverse is the case, as any of your readers, who may favor me with a call, shall see for themselves. That this animal, after having been for years "the victim of the farrier," should work, as he does, barefoot, is, I think, remarkable. As the old horse is nearly, if not quite, thorough-bred, he must have been shod (as is the vicious custom on the turf) very early; yet over all these evil influences, incidental to "the miserable coerced shod foot," the unshod foot has triumphed. Shod, my horse "brushed" and stumbled badly, but barefoot he does neither.

In Africa, a horse working in a post-cart does barefoot, over bad ground, twenty-four miles in two hours. In New Mexico, horses are ridden barefoot forty miles day after day, and perhaps twenty miles of this will be over a rough mountain-track. In Brazil, little horses (they seldom exceed fourteen hands) carry, slung across pack-saddles, barefoot (they have never been shod) some thirty-two stone! Thus loaded (or, rather, overloaded) they do twenty to thirty miles a day. Their journey may be some three hundred miles, and they load back the same. In England, even race-horses are shod! To gallop over a race-course, which no doubt may be hard at times, it is actually