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mare in the State. There are a number of families of sturdy Morgans tracing to the old horse, but perhaps the most famous is the Lambert family, tracing back through Ethan Allen, Vermont Black Hawk and Sherman Morgan, to Justin Morgan. This family seem to have developed a larger size and more speed, as a rule, and are sought for as driving and carriage horses, being of good size, good disposition and stylish. Most of the Morgans, aside from this family, are undersized for the horse of to-day. They have every other good quality desired in a general-purpose horse except size; but the descendants of Justin Morgan, crossed with the descendants of Messenger, make the best kind of a horse for our eastern farms, and sell readily as drivers and car
riage horses ; and the more Morgan blood the better, pro· vided the desired size is maintained. Formerly there was a
strong rivalry between the Hambletonian and Morgan families; but recently this feeling is dying away, because it has been found, in tracing the lines of most of our fastest trotting horses, that there was a strong dash of Morgan and Messenger blood in them: such as Nelson, 2.104 ; Guy, 2.108 ; Jack, 2.124; Belle Hamlin and Justina, 2.13 to pole; Pamlico, 2.16. George Wilkes, the noted sire of trotting horses, has a strong infusion of Morgan blood on the side of his dam. Axtel, 2.12; Johnston, pacer, 2.06] ; H. B. Winship, with running mate, 2.06; Westmont, with running mate, 2.014.
While I would not advise farmers to breed entirely for speed, I do believe it wise to cling to the large type of horse of the Morgan or Hambletonian families, because in these families are found the best horses not only for trotting, but for carriage horses and gentleman's drivers; and, if the size is strictly adhered to, they will also do all the work on the farm. In raising a colt of this kind, you have several strings to pull for a sale. If, by chance he prove a trotter, he will bring a good price; if he is not fast enough for that, and is a stylish walker, he will sell for a gentleman's driver; if he cannot go quite fast enough for that, he will sell for a carriage horse; and, if all these fail, he is of value for a work horse.
If you propose to raise horses of this pattern, the selection
of the brood mare is all-important; and a few dollars extra, paid to secure a good mare, is money well spent, for the extra is divided between a number of colts; and a good mare is liable, in the extra price of one colt, to pay many times over the extra paid to secure a good dam at the start. The mare should be in herself all that is wanted, save perhaps extra speed. She should at least in that be a good driver. She should be not less than 15 hands high, – 15 hands, 2 or 3 inches would be better. She should weigh not less than 1,000 pounds, - 1,100 or 1,200 would be better. Of good natural style, sound in wind and limb, with a strong constitution. She should have a pleasant disposition, kind, and willing to do what is told her, but with a powerful will and great nerve power; a mare that needs no whip, and one that, however tired she may be from a long, hard drive, will respond with renewed energy to the voice or a touch of the line.
I lay this great stress on the mental organism of the brood mare, because it is needed to give courage and energy to her colts. I do not like vice or ugliness in a brood mare ; but there is a wide difference between a high-strung, nervous mare, and a vicious one. A vicious mare may be highstrung, but a high-strung mare is not necessarily vicious.
It is this nervous energy that makes our smartest men and our best horses, and I believe they inherit it largely from their mothers. Perhaps I may make my meaning better understood by calling it grit or determination. Many a time we see men of less natural ability outstripping their superiors, simply from their determination and will power. So in like manner we often see a horse of less natural speed win a hard-fought race simply from his grit and determination to hold on, and get there every time if possible. It always tells in the long-fought battles, in human life and on the race track and in the daily routine of hard work.
How we all prize a horse that always lets us feel that there is a little reserve power back, which we may have by calling for it. All this the brood mare should be in herself, and back of her she should have as long a line as possible of this class of horses; the more there are the less will be the chance of loss in breeding, for it is a law of nature that like begets like
It may be of immediate ancestry, or more remote; but blood will tell. In selecting a horse to couple with such a mare, it would be well to choose one possessed of similar qualities and equally good size. While perhaps the disposition in a stallion is not so important, I much prefer a pleasant one. Circumstances may have made a naturally good-tempered horse unmanageable, which, while it is to be regretted, may not disqualify him. If there are any defects in the mare, care should be taken that the same are not found in the horse ; for, if they both have the same defect, it is almost certain to appear in the colt.
The care of the mare while carrying the foal is often overlooked ; nevertheless, it is of great importance. She should not be fed fattening food, but should have an abundance of nourishing food, such as contains a large percentage of bone and muscle producing qualities. She should have moderate and regular exercise, either by a run in a large yard, or by driving. It is difficult to produce a strong, courageous colt from a mare over-worked or half-fed during pregnancy.
As soon as the colt is dropped, care should be taken to give it a continued and steady growth; and its training should begin very early in life, getting it accustomed to being handled and led by the halter. The early growth and early training are what determine the future of the horse. A critical time in the life of a colt is at weaning time, which should be at about five months old, before which time he should have been taught to eat oats or bran, and when weaned should have a liberal allowance, giving him all he will eat for a week or so, until he ceases to mourn for his dam.
An excellent food for colts just weaned is sweet skimmilk, warmed to the natural temperature.
If offered to them about twelve hours after being taken from the dam, they will usually take a little, and will soon learn to drink readily. If they do not take hold of the milk, give them no water and offer only milk, and they will soon learn to drink the milk. About two quarts a day regularly will make a marked difference by spring.
As the raising of horses is for the purpose of obtaining money, the colt should be for sale any time; and, when a
fair price is offered, the colt should be sold, unless it may be desired to keep it for breeding purposes. The owner should take pains to find out the quality of his colt prospectively, which he can usually do by watching him at his play, while following the dam ; and as he grows older he should be gradually trained to the harness and a light hitch, until old enough to do some work; but he should never be put to long-continued, exhaustive work until matured. The ordinary light work of the farm is, I believe, the best kind for training a colt, for working beside a steady horse teaches him to be steady and reliable, and exercises all the muscles, and is far better than standing in the stable or driving on the road continually. In this way the disposition and good qualities of a colt will gradually display themselves, and the owner will be able to form a very good idea of the future of the colt.
If he has the appearance of being very fast, there is danger of ruin,
not to the colt, but to his owner. He should stoutly resist all temptations to place him in the hands of a trainer, to develop, for as soon as he begins he will find expenses have begun; hopes of a large sum of money will be continually held out as a bait, and continually will the expense accumulate, until the colt has eaten himself up, and the owner is fortunate if he has not eaten the farm and stock besides. The farmer should be a breeder, and confine himself to that; and, when a colt goes out of his hands, let it be an actual sale, with its fair equivalent in money. I would advise him to sell his best colts, if possible, where they will be trained for all they are worth. If he has the dam at home, and more colts following along, the chances are that the colts will be looked after, and the price will increase as his colts prove valuable; but on no account whatever should he develop them himself. A wealthy breeder that is farming partly for profit and partly for pleasure may do as he likes; but with the ordinary farmer the colts may be used to pay the mortgage, or as easily used to add to it. There is a great deal of pleasure in raising a good colt or two each year, and watching them develop; many a dream, too, will flit through his mind as he sees bim now and then with arched neck and distended nostrils leading the race in the pasture, or when on the road something startles him, and he strikes into a rapid trot, and squares himself away as for a race. Some of the neighbors, too, will see it, and fill his ears with the visions of an Axtel and a hundred thousand dollars. But let him beware ; let him show the speed of his colt along the road about his own business all he can, and in a quiet way work up the reputation of his eolt all he can; but on no account lose a good chance to sell for a fair price, nor feel regret at his action if he afterwards bears of his being sold for as many thousands as he got hundreds. Let him feel that he has made his profit, and be willing and glad that others made theirs, and invite them to come again, and buy more and better ones, at a little higher price. Do not try to get all the profit, for the great expense of fitting and training horses comes after they have left the breeder's hands, and the risk, too; for only a very small proportion ever become famous.
A very profitable way to dispose of horses is to get a pair together, and let them do the farm work, and when old enough sell them for carriage horses. There are many ways in which horses on the farm may be bred with profit, if bred carefully from good stock, and sold when ready for market. On our large horse-breeding farms great stress is laid on early development, and a colt is forced from birth. This of course makes large horses early, and is all very well for those who are farming for pleasure, or raising horses for the track; but it is an expensive way to raise them. While I would strongly urge the farmer not to starve and dwarf his colts, I believe a medium course would in the end prove more profitable, and maintain the good qualities and hardiness of his horses. It may take a year longer to grow them, but will cost less in the end. The first winter of a colt's life is the most important, and he should be fed liberally, kept warm, and have plenty of exercise.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, you have listened to this very interesting and instructive paper, and Mr. Winslow is now ready to answer any questions. The subject of feeding and breeding is always a very important one, for the good breeder, in whatever line, is to a certain extent & creator.