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Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes / Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes : a hand-book of agriculture
Bulletin No. 11 (1897)

Craig, J. A.
The horse and its market,   pp. 154-168 PDF (4.5 MB)

Page 154

The Institute met at 9 o'clock, March xi. H. A. BRIGGS in the Chair.
Prof. J. A. CRAIG, Expe riment Station, Xadison.
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the market, it will be necessary to
consider the horse as a mechanism in
which the bones are levers, the mus-
cles the source of power, and the
nervous system the stimulator of the
muscles. The horse is valuable in the
market, because of his ability to per-
form certain kinds of work, and for
that reason it is very necessary to
know  how   these  features adjust
themselves in the performance of
The Bones as Levers.
There are three classes of levers,
and these are all represented in the
skeleton of the horse. The first class
may be said to be represented by a
pair of scissors, as the power is ap-
plied in the hole for the fingers, and
the fulcrum is in the center where
the blades are united, and the appli-
cation of the power is at the point.
This is the most 'advantageous form
of leverage, and it is employed in the
skeleton of the horse by the parts
that are used in the extension of the
The lever of the second class may
be said to be represented in every
day life by the wheelbarrow. The
power is applied at the handles, the
weight is in the center, and the ap-
plication is at the wheel. This lever-
age in the horse enables it to sleep
standing, or to stand without feeling
the strain. It is the leverage which
prevents the joints closing on each
Due ieverugu ul dgeii onir u cas K
represented by a pair of sheep shears.
The power is applied at the center,
the fulcrum is at one end, and the ap-
plication of the power is at the other.
This leverage is not common, but it is
shown in the action of the lower jaw
of the horse.
Action of the Xusle&
In further consideration of the lev-
erage, the attachment of the muscles
anu thcir nsutiura  oreImnrt
and their nature are LMFUZU&MV.
As muscles consist of bundles of A-
bers, it is easy to understand that
when these fibers are long, there is
more elasticity than when they are
short.  The long muscle with long
leverage of the bone is more favorable
for quick action of speed, while the
heavier muscle is more favorable for
draft or power. The attachment of
the muscles to the skeleton is also of
some importance. When the mus-
cles by means of the tendons are at-
tached to prominences which enable
them to work free from the bone that
furnish leverage, it is easy to see that
the action of the muscles would be
freer and more effective, hence in
most joints there are prominencies to
give the muscles the best attachment.
In this connection, it is interesting
to study the proportions of the bones
of the skeleton to find reasons for the
advantages which certain relative pro-
portions produce. In general we look
for short bones in those parts where
the function is simply the transmis-
sion of power, while we desire greater
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