Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/95

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It should also be clearly understood that the programme of work is subordinate to the horse's appetite and to the condition of his legs; the gallop must be replaced by the trot or walk, entirely or partly, every time the tendons become heated or the horse refuses his oats.

Second. Condition of the legs.—The horse's legs should be examined every day and handled with the greatest care. As soon as one tendon becomes more heated than the other decrease or stop the work and relieve the overworked part with douches, with bandages soaked in the "white lotion"[1] or in water and arnica, until the heat has disappeared. Then change the work and replace the rapid gaits by the walk, increasing the duration of exercise. If the tendons heat again it is better to stop training entirely and thus avoid a strain that would lay the horse up for a long time.

Third. Feed during training.—As a general rule a horse never eats too much during training. But if he eats heartily and if his legs will stand it increasing the work is sufficient to prevent him from taking on too much flesh, and training in such a case will go on under the best possible condition. This, however, is rarely the case; increasing the work generally decreases the appetite, and it is difficult to make a horse eat more than 14 quarts of oats a day. As soon as a horse stops eating with relish, the gallop should be decreased or stopped, and resumed only when the horse cleans up his oats.

During training hay is an entirely secondary nourishment; 4 or 5 pounds a day are generally given. Bedding should always be abundant and extra good, so that, if his appetite suggests, the horse can eat some of it.

The ration should be gradually increased with the work, and given in three or four feeds. Oats that are not eaten at the end of an hour and a half or two hours should be taken away so as not to make the horse lose his appetite.

  1. Acetate of lead, 1 ounce; sulphate of zinc, 1 ounce; water, 1 quart.