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understand that it is not to be allowed to come in contact with fluid, and especially urine, or decomposition will quickly supervene. The cost is seldom more than that incurred in carting it, which will depend upon the distance from the nearest tan yard.

FOREST LEAVES are not readily procurable, except in some very few localities, and I may therefore dismiss them with the remark that there is no objection to their use with which I am acquainted. Ponies at all events may be comfortably bedded with them.

BEAN STRAW is far too hard and unyielding to make a comfortable bed, and if it must be used I should prefer cutting it into chaff rather than employing it in this way,

DRESSING OR GROOMING.

By the term dressing, is generally understood the purification of the skin which the horse requires. He is never in the highest health unless the pores are kept free from the scurf which forms on them whenever he sweats, and the object of the strapping which he receives at the hands of the groom is to get rid of this mechanical obstruction, as well as to brace the nerves of the surface by the friction of the brush or whisp. This dressing must be renewed daily, even if the horse has not been sweated, and each time that he comes in from work it is necessary to repeat it. The former operation is or should be conducted in the same manner every day, but the latter will vary according to the state of the animal when he comes in, that is to say, depending upon whether he has been sweated and is cool again, or if he is still wet, or has been in the rain with or without exercise enough to warm him, or lastly, if he has been ridden or driven through dirty roads or over a deep country. Each of these conditions will therefore require a separate consideration.

The usual morning dressing is commenced either as soon as the horse has done his early feed, or on coming in from exercise, if such is allowed or enjoined. The utility of grooming after work cannot be denied, for it would be absurd to contend that a horse coming in wet and dirty should be left in that state till the next day; but it is perhaps necessary to explain to the idle groom that it is not a mere polishing of the surface of the coat which is wanted, but a deep steady pressure of the brush into the roots of the hair, so as to remove all the scurf which collects around them and clogs the pores, through which the sweat ought to be allowed to exude freely. Practically it is found that an hour's good strapping daily not only gives a polish to the coat, but it causes the secretion of a fine oil, which has a tendency to throw off water, and thus may save the horse exposed to the rain from catching cold. Moreover, it certainly stimulates

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the nerves 80 as to enable them to bear exposure to the weather, which would otherwise tell injuriously on an animal which is covered up with thick clothing in-doors, and stripped of everything, even of the long coat which nature gives him, when he is submitted to the “peltings of the pitiless storm."

When the horse is turned out to grass, he is washed by every shower of rain, and though his coat continues to look dirty on the surface, yet the skin itself is braced by the winds and cleansed by the waters of heaven. Not so, however, in-doors. Here his clothing keeps his coat short, and keeps up a continual state of insensible perspiration, the watery particles of which pass off through the woolen rug or serge, leaving the salts and animal matters behind, as is apparent on examining the internal surface of any clothing which has been worn for any length of time without washing, when it will be found to be lined with scurf and matted with oily animal matters. There are many drugs which will give a gloss to the skin, but they will diminish instead of increasing its capability to bear exposure, and hence their use is altogether forbidden by those who know their injurious effects. The horse which is little used requires dressing to take the place of exercise, and if he has plenty of good strapping, his coat will look like satin ; but the hunter and the hack or harness horse, exposed to all weathers, must be carefully groomed and receive plenty of elbow grease, or his coat will look hollow and stand out like "the quills of the fretful porcupine," whenever he is allowed to stand for a few minutes in a cool wind.

THE FIRST THING WHICH THE GROOM does in commencing his morning's task is to turn the horse round in his stall, and fold the quarter piece back upon itself, so as to expose the whole of the fore-quarters. Then, taking his brush in the hand nearest the head, whichever side he begins with, he works away at the head and face till he has thoroughly cleansed those parts, carefully cleaning out the dust and dirt from the roots of the ears, where it is very apt to lodge, and continually cleaning his brush with the curry.comb in the other hand; next proceeding to the neck, he works at that part in the same way, turning the mane over to the other side, and then going to the shoulders, bosom and legs, and finishing off with a whisp of hay, slightly damped, instead of the brush. Having thoroughly worked at this half of the body, the horse is turned round in his stall, and the hind-quarters and flank treated in the same way, the clothing being removed entirely while this is going on. In the spring and autumn, when the coat is being shed, the brush should never be used, and the whisp alone should be depended on. Nothing spoils the look of the young coat so surely as the brush, except, perhaps, the currycomb; but this latter should not, under any circumstances, touch the skin of a horse when it is in the proper order, and is scarcely necessary to forbid its use when the coat is being shed, at which time it would be positively cruel, as well as injurious to the appearance. The brush and whisp having effectually cleansed the skin, and given the hair itself a certain amount of polish, the finishing stroke is put to the dressing by means of the linen rubber, with the addition, in well managed stables, with the leather. Either or both of these in succession are suddenly passed over the surface in the direction of the hair of each part, and then the quarter piece, or rug, as the case may be, is replaced, taking care to throw it highly in front of its proper place and then to draw it steadily backwards, so as not to disturb the proper position of a hair. The roller is smoothly put on, being first laid on the back double, and then the off side is turned over inte its place, when the straps being laid hold of under the belly, it is properly tightened and the quarter-piece smoothed beneath it. This completes the dressing of the body, but there are several minor points still to be attended to. A clean sponge is squeezed out, and with it the nostrils, eyes, and arms sponged clean, and, if necessary, the mane is dampened, so as to enable the groom to comb and brush it smoothly down on its right side. The tail, also, is carefully combed out, beginning at the lower end if it is a full one, and not touching the top until the bottom is smcothly arranged. Lastly, the legs and feet are attended to, the stopping, or whatever may be in the latter, being picked out, the legs washed if stained, and then carefully rubbed dry. Many grooms, when they have white legs to keep clean, begin the dressing by washing them, and then putting on flannel bandages, they leave them on till they have done the body, when they are taken off and the legs rubbed with the leather and linen rubber, till they are quite dry, finishing with plenty of . hand rubbing if they are at all inclined to fill. All this being done, the litter is put straight, and the horse is ready to have his second feed. A good deal of muscular exertion, and laid out in the right way, is necessary for the due performance of the groom's daily task. There is no royal road to make a horse's coat, when in work, really look well, and not less than an hour's hard strapping will suffice for this daily. White and light gray horses will take up even more time than this, as with all the care that can be exercised the thighs and legs will occasionally become stained by lying in the dung dropped during the night. Soap and water laid on warm, and well rubbed, will get rid of a great deal of the brown color left, and if it is not suffered to increase by successive layers, it may be removed with comparative ease. The slight tinge which remains may be got rid of by the aid of washer-woman's blue, a bag of which is to be dipped into clean water and the skin washed with this after the soap has been got rid of. A little experiment is required to ascertain the exact amount of blue, but one or two experiments will soon teach an intelligent groom.

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Whenever a horse is wanted to go out, he must again be whisped over before his saddle or his harness is put on. The groom strips the whole of the clothes off, turns him round in the stall, and carefully clears all the dust away from the ears and head with the rubber; then, proceeding regularly backwards, the whole body is smoothed over, and the saddle and bridle or harness put on. Lastly, the feet are picked, and an oil brush is rubbed over the outside of the hoofs, to give them a neat appearance, when the pillar reins are buckled to the bit on each side, and the horse is left till he is wanted. Dressing after work depends upon the state in which the horse is returned to the stable, when he may be cool and clean, or in a profuse sweat still going on, or with his sweat dried in, or completely smothered with dirt, or wet from rain, but chilled rather than too hot; or lastly, when exhausted from a severe run or other hard work. When the horse returns cool and clean, the groom throws his rug lightly over his quarters, and, taking a bucket and brush, he proceeds to pick and wash out the feet, standing on the near side, with his back to the horse's head, so that he can use his left hand to hold the feet, and his right for the brush. If the legs are quite clean, there is no necessity for washing them at all; but most grooms do so as a matter of course, and if they are properly dried afterwards, there is no objection to the plan.

Hunters, and valuable horses of all kinds, are immediately protected by flannel bandages; but in ordinary stables the legs are merely partially dried with a rubber, and are left in that state till the horse is dressed over. If the work has been continued for more than four or five hours without feeding it will be well to put on flannel bandages, and let the horse have a feed of corn; but, otherwise, it is better to finish the dressing first. The cloth being removed, a whisp of hay is taken in the hand, and first the head and neck, and then the body is dressed over, finishing off with the rubber, as previously described. The clothing is then put on, the legs thoroughly dried, the litter put straight, and the task is finished..

WHEN BROUGHT IN STILL SWEATING PROFUSELY, if the weather is warm, the horse must be led about in the shed with the saddle on, till he is nearly or quite dry; for if he is put into the stable before he is cool, he will break out again as badly as ever, and if the saddle is removed the back will become sore. A hemp halter is cooler and more handy than a head collar, and it is usually employed out of doors for all purposes connected with cleaning In the winter this exposure to the air out of doors is not necessary, and, indeed, it would often be dangerous, the stable being generally cool enough to stop all tendency to sweat, even with a light rug on. At this season, therefore, after the legs are washed and the bandages put on—which they should whenever the horse is in a sweat--the dressing may be conducted

in the usual way, in the exsectation which will seldon be disappointed, that at the end of half an hour's strapping the skin will have become quite cool, and will look all the better for the profuse cleaning which it has reeeived by means of the watery fluid given off by it. A scraper will be necessary, which may be either of wood or iron, and with this all the superfluous moisture is at once scraped from the surface, which greatly facilitates the process of drying. Two men ought then to set to work, each taking a side and working first at the head, then gradually backwards. In this way no part is allowed to chill, and the moisture is removed as rapidly as possible.

In the use of the whisp the rubbing need not always be hard, and it should be cbiefly against the direction of the hair till it is nearly dry, when the proper direction is again taken. There is a good deal of art in drying & sweating horse, and nothing but experience and practical teaching will give it. As a general rule, it takes two men nearly three quarters of an hour to thoroughly dress a horse coming in profusely sweating, supposing the weather to be only moderately warm. In very hot weather such an attempt would be quite fruitless, and the only recourse is to wait patiently till the effects of exercise are abated sufficiently to allow of the ordinary alothing being worn. Experience soon tells the groom how soon he can venture to begin, and no rule can possibly be laid down which will supply the place of this valuable power. Even when the horse is taken in, he must not at first be clothed, but he must be dressed without any thing on

and in summer he must often be left for some time afterwards in a naked state. When there is a good open yard, shaded from the sun, the dressing should be done out of doors, and when this can be managed, it may be commenced much sooner than in the stable, unless this is a very cool one. Slight muscular action, either by walking or in some other shape, is necessary to prevent congestion of the blood in the internal organs, but it matters pot whether it is effected by simply leading the horse about, or by stirring him up, as is always the case in dressing even the dullest animal. In other respects there is no difference in the plan last described.

WHEN THE SWEAT IS COMPLETELY DRIED IN, the hair is full of powdery matter, which must be thoroughly brushed out before the skin will look well or the horse be properly dressed. To do this, nothing more is required than the use of the brush previously to the whisping over, but a good deal of time must be spent in getting rid of all the foreign matters left behind on the evaporation of the watery particles of the sweat. There is an amount of grease in it, which makes the powder stick to the hair, and nothing but hard labor will get it away. For this reason many grooms adopt the plan of washing their horses all over with soap and water when they come home

him;

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