« ForrigeFortsett »
Finding myself a standing reference among my friends and acquaintance on matters relating to horse-flesh, and being constantly in the habit of giving them advice verbally and by letter, I have been induced to comply with repeated suggestions to commit my knowledge to paper, in the shape of a Treatise or Manual.
When I say that my experience has been practically tested on the road, in the field, on the turf (having been formerly a steeplechase rider, as well as now a hunting horseman), with the ribbons, and in a cavalry regiment, I must consider that, with an ardent taste for everything belonging to horses thus nourished for years, I must either have sadly neglected my opportunities, or have picked up some knowledge of the use and treatment of the animal in question*
Born and bred, I may say, in constant familiarity with a racing - stable, and having been always devotedly attached to horses, the wrongs of those noble animals have been prominently before my eyes, and I have felt an anxious desire to see justice done to them, which, I am sorry to say, according to my observation, is but too seldom the case; indeed, I have often marvelled at the tractability of those powerful creatures under the most perverted treatment by their riders and drivers.
* It may be well to let my readers know how I became experienced on the road. In the days when coaching was in its perfection (and when many country gentlemen indulged in their fancy for the use of the "ribbons"), I became, during a long interval from service, deeply and actively concerned in a coaching establishment of the first order; and those who, some years since, travelling between Dublin and Killarney via Limerick (a distance of about 185 miles), may have happened to hear coachmen and helpers talking of the "Captain," will recognise in the writer the individual thus referred to, who was also in partnership with the famous Bianconi in the staging on the Killarney line. Several years spent in such a school will probably be considered a good apprenticeship to the study of one branch of the subject herein treated upon—viz., the management of horses on the road.
'My object, therefore, in offering the following remarks, is not to trench upon the. sphere of the professional veterinary surgeon or riding-master, but to render horse-proprietors independent of the dictation of ignorant farriers and grooms. Intending this little work merely as a useful manual, I have purposely avoided technicalities, as belonging exclusively to the professional man, and endeavoured to present my dissertations on disease in the most comprehensive terms possible, proposing only simple remedies as far as they go; though, for the satisfaction of my readers, I may mention that, as an amateur, I have myself devoted much time and thought to the study of anatomy, and that any treatment of disease herein recommended has been carefully perused and approved by a veterinary surgeon. Theories are excluded, and I confine myself simply to practical rules founded on my own experience.
Hints and remarks are here offered to the general public, which, to practical men, will appear trifling and unnecessary; but keen and extended observation, carried on as opportunity offered, amongst all classes and in many countries and climates, has given me an insight into the want of reasoning exhibited by men of every station in dealing with the noble and willing inmates of the stable, and has assisted in suggesting the necessity for just such ABC instructions as are herein presented by the Public's very humble servant,
PEEFACE TO THIRD EDITION.
Increased attention having been directed to the necessity for greater vigilance with regard to the breeding and production of good and useful horses, many readers have expressed a wish that I would give some decided views on these subjects; and concurring with them as to the exigency of the case, I have ventured, in an additional chapter in this new and Third Edition, to make a few remarks, which, although doubtless patent to practical men, are naturally looked for by the public in this Manual, which has been so favourably received.
* The soubriquet by which the Author is known in his regiment.