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

Galbraith, Alex.
Marketing the horse,   pp. 169-176 PDF (2.2 MB)

Page 170

170             WISCONSIN FAlUB   US IN(STIUTE.
tom of working our brood mares wards change them and it In highly
while the colts are suckling is not cal- iportant  that  the  horse  goes
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although it is all but universally prac-
ticed on American farms. In Europe
the mares are worked up to the day
of foaling, but are not generally put
to work again until the foal is old
enough to wean, unless in some ex-
ceptional case. Mares become heated
when working during the summer,
and unless great care is exercised the
foal is apt to suffer. For this reason
I would recommend that the mare
should, if at all possible, be allowed a
complete rest for at least two months
after foaling. The young colt should
be taught to eat grain, preferably
oats, either whole or bruised, just as
early as possible, so that when
weaned he will be in good condition
and not so likely to feel the want of
his mother's milk. From four to six
months old is about the best age to
wean the colt, and from that time on
he should be fed regularly and liber-
ally. The first winter of the colt's
life is the most important and the so-
called economy that allows a colt to
run around the straw pile and rustle
for a living is certainly the poorest
kind of economy. Any man who
practices that stands in his own light
because he is losing the growth of the
colt at that early stage which will
never be made up in the future. Feed
generously and regularly the first
winter and allow the colt to run oul
every day so he may have abundance
of exercise. A little extra uttentIo0
paid to the colt's feeding and trim-
ming of his feet during the first yea'
will well repay any breeder. If he
has a tendency to turn his toes out
wards or inwards you can generally
correct that defect by trimming th
feet, which at that early period are it
a soft cartilaginous state. If, for in
stance, he is inclined to turn his toe
out, trim down the outside and tha
will rectify the tendency. If he "toes
in" just trim the inside in like man
ner. If you allow these habits to g
on for a few years you cannot afteP
The Colt-Feed, Care and landling.
As regards rations I would of course
recommend good sound oats and bran,
a little flaxseed meal, carrots, and
good bright hay, preferably clover, if
iree from dust. A little corn ensilage
once daily is also recommended, al-
though 1 have had no experience us-
ing it. If you have any skim milk to
spare it can be fed with great bene-
fit to young colts, and if fed judi-
ciously nothing will give better re-
suits. Continue giving the colt a
grain ration when going on pasture
the following summer and if at all
convenient have him gently handled
and halter broken. As he grows up
he will require to be carefully broken
to harness-the first operation being
to teach him that he has a mouth.
Use great kindness and patience in
bitting him, and on no account lose
your temper or you will almost cer-
tainly spoil him. In England what is
termed a "dumb jockey" or bitting
harness is frequently used before the
colt is harnessed. A belt or surcingle
fastened around the girth and
checked from the bridle serves a simi-
lar purpose. With this rigging the
* colt may be turned into a yard for a.'
* hour or two daily and he will after-
wards be much more tractable, in
fact partially broken. Our horses are
not well broken, according to Euro*
pean standard, and many foreign
rbuyers find it necessary to break
ethem again after importation with
> the view of teaching them  better
rhorse manners. This, of course, re-
e fers only to carriage horses, however,
Iso if any of you are raising that clas
- it will certainly pay you to be very
asparticular in the breaking and hand-
t ling of your colts, as many a promis-
ing, highly bred young horse is abso-
- lutely spoiled through imperfect or
Docareless breaking.
r- In addition 'to breaking, the eral
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