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The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman who has addressed us this evening feels a little tired, and, as the hour is getting somewhat late, I think it is perhaps better to dismiss the meeting at this time.
Mr. WARE. Before the adjournment, I would move a vote of thanks to Mr. Russell for the very interesting address he has given us.
This motion was seconded, and carried unanimously. Mr. HERSEY. I move a vote of thanks to the singers. The motion was seconded, and carried by acclamation.
Adjourned to Thursday, at 9.30.
The meeting was opened at 9.30 A.M., Hon. JAMES W. STOCKWELL of Sutton in the chair.
The CHAIRMAN. Members of the Board and fellowcitizens, I have been requested by Mr. Hartshorn to act as chairman during the forenoon session. The lecture this morning will be upon “ The Horse,” by Mr. C. M. WinsLow of Brandon, Vt., a member of the Vermont State Board of Agriculture.
BY 0. X. WINSLOW OF BRANDON, VT.
The breeding of horses is a pursuit that has always received much attention, both from the laboring and the sporting classes of mankind; for to each are good horses necessary, — the one for support, the other for pleasure.
I have been asked to say something to you to-day about the horses that are best adapted to the wants of the farmers of Massachusetts, and I was kindly allowed to touch on other classes, and permission was granted me to even take a turn around the race course, — with a farmer's horse, I suppose. Now, as Massachusetts is not far from Vermont, and as I was permitted to do a little trotting while not busy at work, I will take for my subject the American roadster, as combining all the necessary requirements for a horse of all work while on the farm, and a mortgage lifter when sold.
The American roadster, like the American people, is a combination of all that is good from the mother country, and the world at large; and there are no horses in the world to-day, that, for pleasant disposition, good style and enduring qualities, will compare with the horses of New England and New York. A part is due to the original blood that lies back of them, a part to the food and climate
of New England, and a part to their training for generation after generation.
My remarks here to-day are intended particularly for the farmer that raises one or two colts each year, and depends on the horse stock of his farm to do its work, and, when sold, to leave him a margin of profit. As the work of the farm is varied in its character, requiring one strong enough to plough a few acres, fleet and strong enough to take the produce to market or the family to church, I will make the standard of a farm horse, from 15 hands 1 inch to 15 hands 3 inches high, to weigh from 1,000 to 1,100 pounds; a horse of kind, pleasant disposition, and at the same time having a large amount of nerve power and energy, full of life and ambition ; a head of moderate size, clean and bony; a full, pleasant eye, that stands out in his head; a thin, clean ear, that stands well up, and works quickly when on the road ; a clean neck, short back; strong loins, with the hips firmly placed; shoulders somewhat oblique; roomy barrel, with ribs well sprung, and closely ribbed up; legs of medium length, short rather than long; flat bone, with cords that stand out prominently; and large, strong arms, with a muscle that lays well out to view ; feet strong and hard, well arched on the under side, and of medium size. A horse of this kind would not answer for heavy teaming in the quarries, nor for heavy dray work in the cities. He would not endure the slow, tiresome work of ploughing day after day ; but he is admirably fitted for the average farms that have a variety of work, and must be shifted from one to the other frequently. This style of horse is always in demand for gentlemen's drivers and carriage horses, though usually the carriage horses should be from 15 hands, 3 inches to 16 bands, and weigh from 1,100 to 1,200 pounds; but otherwise the same style as described above. I have said nothing about the action, as I will speak of that later. One great advantage of this style of horses is that this class is native to New England, adapted to the soil and climate, and the breeding of them is no new experiment. Another reason why I advise the farmer to raise this class of horses, is that the market is never over-stocked with them, and the market is right at your own door. With almost any other farm product, it is necessary to send to the city to find a market; but, with this class of horses, buyers will come to your door; they will follow you out to the plough field or meadow, and the farmer is at no expense except the loss of his time while showing them. He should ask a good price for them, but he should never let a buyer go away without the horses if he has made a fair offer for them; and the younger they can be disposed of the better, if it is money and profit you are seeking for.
The original horses of New England were brought over by the early settlers, and mostly from England. After the country became more settled, a better class of horses was brought over, and quite a number of thoroughbreds, to improve the running horses; and they were used to some extent on the common mares of the country.
Perhaps the most noted importation, and one that has left the greatest influence on the road horses of to-day, was that of Messenger, an English thoroughbred, fouled in 1780, and imported in 1788. He stood for a while in Pennsylvania, and the remainder of his life in various parts of New York, with the exception of one year in New Jersey. Messenger was gray, 15 hands 3 inches high, and stoutly built. He was not what would be called a handsome borse, but was a horse of wonderful power. It is said of him that during the voyage to this country the two horses that were imported with him became so reduced that they had to be helped from the boat; but when it came Messenger's turn, he dashed down the gang plank at a stiff trot, with a groom on either side, and in spite of them he trotted some distance up the street, taking them along.
There is another horse that has left his name and mark on the road horse of New England, who, about the same time that Messenger was on his way to this country, was being led behind a wagon from Springfield, Mass., to the hills of Vermont. Little did the people realize the value of that little colt as he trudged along, and what a power lay in the loins of Justin Morgan, when crossed on the Vermont
He said to have. been sired by True Briton, a horse stolen from the British General DeLancey during the Revolutionary War. True Briton was sired
by imported Traveller, he by Morton's Traveller, a horse that, while called an English thoroughbred, was in fact an inbred Arabian. Linsley, in his history of the Morgan horse, describes Justin Morgan as follows:
“ The original, or Justin Morgan, was about 14 hands high, and weighed about 950 pounds. His color was dark bay, with black legs, mane and tail. He had no white hairs on him. His mane and tail were coarse and heavy, but not so massive as has been sometimes described; the hair of both was straight, and not inclined to curl. His head was good, not extremely small, but lean and bony; the face straight, forehead broad, ears small and very fine, but set rather wide apart. llis eyes were medium size, very dark and prominent, with a spirited but pleasant expression, and showed no white around the edge of the lid. His nostrils were very large, the muzzle small, and lips close and firm. His back and legs were perhaps his most noticeable points. The former was very short; the shoulder-blades and hip bones being very long and oblique, and the loins exceedingly broad and muscular. His body was rather long, round and deep, close ribbed up; chest deep and wide, with the breast-bone projecting a good deal in front. His legs were short, close jointed and thin, but very wide, hard and free from meat, with muscles that were remarkably large for a horse of his size, and this superabundance of muscle exhibited itself at every step. His hair was short, and at almost all seasons soft and glossy. He had a little long hair about the fetlocks, and for two or three inches above the fetlock on the back side of the legs. His feet were small but well shaped, and he was in every respect perfectly sound and free from any sort of blemish. He was a very fast walker. In trotting his gait was low and smooth, and his step short and nervous. He was not what in these days would be called fast, and we think it doubtful if he could trot a mile much if any within four minutes, though it is claimed by many that he could trot it in three.”
This horse was kept in various parts of Vermont until his death, and impressed his sterling good qualities on his colts from all classes of mares; and to this day the influence of old Justin Morgan may be seen on many a road