N this chapter the author desires to give some hints about the treatment for diseases most common to horses.


There are two kinds of colic, spasmodic and flatulent.

Spasmodic colic is known by the pains and cramps being spasmodic, in which there are moments of relief and the horse is quiet.

Flatulent colic is known by bloating symptoms and the pain is continual, the horse kicks, paws, tries to roll and lie on his back.

For spasmodic colic give ½ ounce laudanum, ½ pint whisky, ½ pint water; mix well and give in one does. If this does not help, repeat the dose in half an hour.

For flatulent colic give ½ ounce laudanum, ½ ounce turpentine, ½ pint raw linseed oil, ¼ ounce chloroform, ½ pint water. Mix well and give in one dose. Repeat in one hour if the pain is not relieved.


Sometimes there is no other symptom than the bots seen in the dung, and in most cases no other treatment is needed than some purgative.


Mange is a disease of the skin due to a class of insects that burrow in the skin, producing a terrible itch and scab, the hair falling off in patches, and the horse rubs against everything. After the affected parts have been washed in soap-water quite warm, dry and rub in the following: 4 ounces oil of tar, 6 ounces sulphur, 1 pint linseed oil.


Make a strong tea of tobacco and wash the horse with it.


There are many kinds of worms. Three kinds of tape worms and seven kinds of other worms have been found in the horse. The tape worms are very seldom found in a horse and the other kinds are easily treated by the following: One dram of calomel, 1 dram of tartar emetic, 1 dram of sulphate of iron, 3 drams of linseed meal. Mix and give in one dose for a few days; then give a purgative. Repeat in three weeks to get rid of the young worms left in the bowels in the form of eggs, but which have since hatched out.


Distemper is a disease of the blood. The symptoms are: Swelling under the jaws; inability to swallow, a mucous discharge from the nose.

Give the horse a dry and warm place and nourishing food. Apply hot linseed poultice to the swellings under the jaws and give small doses of cleansing powder for a few days.


As soon as a case is satisfactorily recognized, kill the horse, as there is no remedy yet discovered that will cure this terrible disease.


There are four kinds of spavin and it is difficult for any one but a veterinarian to tell one kind from another. In all cases of spavin (except blood spavin) the horse will start lame, but after he gets warmed up the lameness disappears and he goes all right until stopped and cooled off, when he starts worse than before.

There are many so-called spavin cures on the market, some of them good, others worse than nothing. If you don't want to call a veterinarian, I would advise you to use "Kendall's Spavin Cure." This cure is one of the best ever gotten up for this disease, and no bad results will follow the use of it if it does not cure. It is for sale by most druggists.

In nearly all cases of lameness in the hind leg the seat of the disease will be found to be in the hockjoint, although many persons (not having had experience) locate the difficulty in the hip, simply because they cannot detect any swelling of the hock-joint; but

in many of the worst cases there is not seen any swelling or enlargement for a long time, and perhaps never.


Bone spavin is a growth of irregular bony matter from the bones of the joint, and situated on the inside and in front of the joint.

Cause.—The causes of spavins are quite numerous, but usually they are sprains, blows, hard work, and, in fact, any cause exciting inflammation of this part of the joint. Hereditary predisposition in horses is a frequent cause.

Symptoms.—The symptoms vary in different cases. In some horses the lameness comes on very gradually, while in others it comes on more rapidly. It is usually five to eight weeks before any enlargement appears. There is marked lameness when the horse starts out, but he usually gets over it after driving a short distance, and, if allowed to stand for awhile, will start lame again.

There is sometimes a reflected action, causing a little difference in the appearance over the hip joint, and if no enlargement has made its appearance, a person not having had experience is very liable to be deceived in regard to the true location of the difficulty. The horse will stand on either leg in resting in the stable, but when he is resting the lame leg he stands on the toe.

If the joint becomes consolidated the horse will be stiff in the leg, but may not have much pain.

Treatment,—That it may not be misunderstood in regard to what is meant by a cure, would say that to stop the lameness, and in most cases to remove the bunch on such cases as are not past any reasonable hopes of a cure.

But I do not mean to be understood that in a case of anchylosis (stiff joint), I can again restore the joint to its original condition; for this is an impossibility, owing to the union of the two bones, making them as one. Neither do I mean that, in any ordinary case of bone spavin which has become completely ossified (that is, the bunch become solid bone), that, in such a case, the enlargement will be removed.

In any bony growths, like spavin or ringbone, it will be exceedingly difficult to determine just when there is a sufficient deposit of phosphate of lime so that it is completely ossified, for the reason that in some cases

the lime is deposited faster than in others, and therefore one case may be completely ossified in a few months. while in another it will be as many years.

The cases which are not completely ossified are those that I claim to remove. One of this class which I have seen removed was a large bone spavin of four or five years standing, and I think that a large per cent of cases are not fully ossified for several months or years.

I am well aware that many good horsemen say that it is impossible to cure spavins, and, in fact, this has been the experience of horsemen until the discovery of Kendall's Spavin Cure. It is now known that the treatment which we recommend here will cure nearly every case of bone spavin which is not past any reasonable hopes of a cure, if the directions are followed, and the horse is properly used.


This is similar to bone spavin in its nature, the difference being that the location is within the joint, so that no enlargement is seen, which makes it more difficult to come to a definite conclusion as to its location, and consequently the horse is oftentimes blistered and tormented in nearly all parts of the leg but in the right place.

The causes and effects are the same as in bone spavin, and it should be treated in the same way.

These cases are often mistaken for hip disease, because no enlargement can be seen.


The location of this kind of a spavin is more in front of the hock-joint than that of bone spavin, and it is a soft and yet firm swelling. It does not generally cause lameness.


This is similar to bog spavin but more extended, and generally involves the front, inside and outside of the joint, giving it a rounded appearance. The swelling is soft and fluctuating. Young horses and colts, especially if driven or worked hard, are more liable to have this form of spavin than older horses.


This is a small, bony enlargement, and generally situated on the inside of the foreleg about three or four inches below the knee joint, and occurs frequently in young horses when they are worked too hard.


By this is meant the sudden shifting of a joint farther than is natural, but not so as to produce dislocation. Every joint is liable to sprain by the horse's falling, slipping, or being overworked. These cases cause a great deal of trouble, oftentimes producing lameness, pain, swelling, tenderness, and an unusual amount of heat in the part.

Treatment.—Entire rest should be given the horse, and if the part is found hot, as is usually the case, apply cold water cloths, changing frequently, for from one to three days until the heat has subsided, when apply Kendall's Spavin Cure, twice or three times a day, rubbing well with the hand.

If the fever is considerable, it might be well to give fifteen drops of tincture of aconite root, three times a day, for one or two days, while the cold water cloths are being applied. Allow the horse a rest of a few weeks, especially in bad cases, as it is very difficult to cure some of these cases, unless the horse is allowed to rest.


A disease of horses, resulting from some lesion of the brain, which causes a loss of control of voluntary motion. As it generally occurs in fat horses which are well fed, those subject to these attacks should not be overfed. The cause is an undue amount of blood flowing to the brain.

Treatment.—The aim of the treatment should be to remove the cause. In ordinary cases give half a pound of epsom salts, and repeat if necessary to have it physic, and be careful about overfeeding.

In mad staggers, it would be well to bleed from the neck in addition to giving the epsom salts.


Take the following ingredients well mixed together, and give one tablespoonful daily in food during sickness, and as a preventative two or three times a week

Powdered charcoal     1 pound
" mandrake     2 "
" resin     1 "
" saltpeter     8 ounces
" madder     8 "
" bi-carbonate of soda     6 pounds


Pounds required to tear asunder a rod one inch square:

Cast steel   145,000
Soft steel   115,000
Swedish iron   85,000
American iron   60,000
Russian iron   62,000
Wrought wire   98,000
Cast iron, best   45,000
Cast iron, poor   14,000
Silver   40,000
Gold   21,000
Whalebone   8,000
Bone   8,000
Tin   5,000
Zinc   3,000
Platinum   40,000
Boiler plates   50,000
Leather belt (lin.)   350
Rope (manila)   10,000
Hemp (tarred)   14,000
Brass   40,000


As near as can be figured out, two cubic feet of corn in the ear will make one bushel shelled. To find the quantity of corn in the crib, measure length, breadth and height, multiply the breadth by the length and this product by the height; then divide this product by two, and you have the right number of bushels of corn.

It is estimated that 510 cubic feet of hay in a mow will make one ton. Multiply the length by the breadth and the product by the height; divide this product by 510, and the quotient shows the tons of hay in the mow.


Not often do the farmers gain any by keeping the grain, for it will shrink more than the price will make good. Wheat will shrink 7 per cent in seven months from the time is is thrashed. Therefore, 93 cents a bushel for wheat in September is better than $1 in April the following year. Add to this the interest for the money you could have used in paying debts, or loaned, and it will add 4 per cent more, making it 11 per cent.

Corn will shrink more than wheat, and potatoes are very risky to keep on account of the diseases they are subjected to; the loss is estimated at 30 per cent for six months.


A ton of gold is worth in money $602,799.21; a ton of silver, $37,704.84.

Elephant   1 to 400
Whale   100
Swan   250
Eagle   100
Raven   110
Stag   50
Lion   75
Mule   75
Horse   30
Ox   30
Goose   75
Hawk   35
Crane   24
Skylark   20
Crocodile   100
Tortoise   150
Cow   20
Deer   20
Wolf   20
Swine   20
Dog   12
Hare   8
Squirrel   7
Titlark   5
Queen bee   4
Working bee   6 months


Ringworm is a contagious disease and attacks all kinds of animals, but it often arises from poverty and filth. It first appears in a round bald spot, the scurf coming off in scales.

Cure: Wash with soap-water and dry, then apply the following once a day. Mix 25 grains of corrosive sublimate in half a pint of water and wash once a day till cured.


Balking is the result of abuse. If a horse is overloaded and then whipped unmercifully to make the victim perform impossibilities, he will resent the abuse by balking.

There are many cruel methods for curing balking horses, but kindness is the best. Don't hitch him to a load he cannot easily pull. Let the man that is used to handling him drive him. Try to divert his mind from himself. Talk to him; pat him; give him a handful of oats or salt. But if there is no time to wait pass a chain or rope around his neck and pull him along with another horse. This done once all there is needed, in most cases, is to pass the rope around and the horse will start. It is no use trying to whip a balking horse, because balking horses are generally horses of more than common spirit and determination, and they will resent abuse every time. Kindness, patience and perseverance are the best remedies.

When a horse has been bitten by a rattlesnake, copperhead, or other venomous serpent, give the following: One-half teaspoonful of hartshorn, 1 pint whisky, ½ pint of warm water. Mix well and give one dose. Repeat in one hour if not relieved. Burn the wound at once with a hot iron, and keep a sponge soaked in ammonia over the wound for a couple of hours.


Rosin, 4 ounces; bees wax, 4 ounces; pine tar, 4 ounces; fish oil, 4 ounces; mutton tallow, 4 ounces. Mix and apply once a day.


Aloes, 3 drams; gamboge, 2 drams; ginger, 1 dram; gentian, 1 dram; molasses, enough to combine the above. Give in one dose, prepared in the form of a ball.


Don't burn the shoe on.
Don't rasp under the clinchers.
Don't rasp on the outer side of the wall more than is absolutely necessary.
Don't rasp or file the clinch heads.
Don't make the shoes too short. Don't make high calks. Don't pare the frog.
Don't cut down the bars. Don't load the horse down with iron.
Don't lose your temper. Don't hit the horse with the hammer.
Don't run down your competitor. Don't continually tell how smart you are.
Don't smoke while shoeing. Don't imbibe in the shop. Don't run outdoors while sweaty. Don't know it all. Always be punctual in attendance to your business. Allow your customers to know something. No man is such a great fool but that something can be learned of him.

Be always polite. Keep posted on everything belonging to your trade. Read much. Drink little. Take a bath once a week. Dress well. This done, the craft will be elevated, and the man respected.


IT is cruelty to animals to raise a colt and not train him for shoeing, and the horse-shoer must suffer for this neglect also. Many a valuable norse has been crippled or maltreated, and thousands of horse-shoers suffer hardships, and many are crippled, and a few killed every year for the horse owner's carelessness in this matter. A law should be enacted making the owner of an ill-bred horse responsible for the damage done to the horse-shoer by such an animal. Every horse-raiser should begin while the colt is only a few days old to drill him for the shoeing. The feet should be taken, one after the other, and held in the same position as a horse-shoer does, a light hammer or even the fist will do, to tap on the foot with, and the feet should be handled and manipulated in the same manner the horse-shoer does when shoeing. This practice should be kept up and repeated at least once a week and the colt when brought to the shop for shoeing will suffer no inconvenience. The horse-shoer's temper, as well as muscles, will be spared and a good feeling all around prevails.

Horse-raisers, remember this.


In every profession and trade it is a common thing to hear beginners say: I know, I know. No matter what you tell them, they will always answer, I know. Such an answer is never given by an old, learned or experienced man, because, as we grow older and wiser we know that there is no such thing as knowing it all. Besides this we know that there might be a better way than the way we have learned of doing the work. It is only in few cases that we can say that this is the best way, therefore we should never say, I know: first, because no young man ever had an experience wide enough to cover the whole thing; second, it is neither sensible nor polite. Better not say anything, but simply do what you have been told to do.

Every young man thinks, of course, that he has learned from the best men. This is selfish and foolish. You may have learned from the biggest botch in the country. Besides this, no matter how clever your master was, there will be things that somebody else has a better way of doing. I have heard an old good blacksmith say, that he had never had a helper but what he learned some good points from him.

Don't think it is a shame, or anything against you, to learn. We will all learn as long as we live, unless we are fools, because fools learn very little. Better to assume less than you know than to assume more.

Thousands of journeymen go idle because many a master would rather hire a greenhorn than hire a "knowing-it-all" fellow. Don't make yourself obnoxious by always telling how your boss used to do this or that. You may have learned it in the best way possible, but you may also have learned it in the most awkward way. First find our what your master wants, then do it, remembering there are sometimes many ways to accomplish the same thing. Don't be stubborn. Many mechanics are so stubborn that they will never change their ways of doing things, nor improve on either tools or ideas.

Don't be a one-idea man; and remember the maxim, "A wise man changes his mind, a fool never."

Be always punctual, have the same interest in doing good work and in drawing customers as you would were the business yours. Be always polite to the customers, no matter what happens. Never lose your temper or use profane language. Don't tell your master's competitors his way of doing business, or what is going on in his dealings with people. You are taking his money for your service, serve as you would be served.


A cement for stopping clefts or fissure of iron vessels can be made of the following: Two ounces muriate of ammonia, 1 ounce of flowers of sulphur, and 1 pound of cast-iron filings or borings. Mix these well in a mortar, but keep the mortar dry. When the cement is wanted, take one part of this and twenty parts of clean iron borings, grind together in a mortar. Mix water to make a dough of proper consistence and apply between the cracks. This will be useful for flanges or joints of pipes and doors of steam engines.


(By a student of James College of Mechanic Arts, at Ames, Iowa.)

Lathes, when first invented, were very rude affairs, but they, like all other machinery, have experienced improvement from year to year until now some of them are more complicated than a watch, and for that reason should receive the best of care. They should be kept clean and well oiled. While being used the dust and shavings should be cleaned off at least every night, and every half day is better.

When they are kept in a dusty place, as is very often the case in a general repair shop, they should be kept covered while not in use. Some cheap canvas makes a good cover.

Every person who intends running a lathe should first become acquainted with his machine; become familiar with all the combinations that can be made, so that when a piece of work comes in to be done he will know just how to arrange the lathe to do that work. For instance, a piece of work needs to be turned tapering; this is done by shifting the tail stock to one side. Or there are threads to be cut; know just how to arrange the lathe to cut any number of threads to the inch.

Next to care of lathe comes care of tools. When there are a few minutes spare time see that the tools

are sharp. Keep them sharp. They will do the work better, faster and with much less strain on the machine.

All cutting tools should be made diamond shape, with either one side or the other, depending on the way the carrier is to move, made a little higher; the right side being highest when the carrier is moving to the right, and vice versa. The sharp edge of smoothing tools is made square across, like a plane bit, and thread-cutting tools should be made the same shape as the thread to be cut.

Water or oil should be kept on the iron or steel that is being turned. It keeps the point of the tool from getting hot when heavy chips are taken, and it makes a smoother job when the smoothing tool is used. There is no need to use either water or oil when turning cast iron.

The tempering of lathe tools is a very particular piece of work, varying considerable with the kind of steel used and the nature of the work to be done. For slow heavy turning the tool must not be too hard, else it would break; while for light swift turning it should be quite hard. For water tempering the temper color varies from a dark blue to a very light straw color, depending, as I have said before, on the nature of the work to be done.

By way of illustration of a piece of work that represents a number of lathe combinations, I will take the fitting of a saw shaft for our common wood saws. First place the balance wheel in the lathe chuck, being sure to get it in the center, so that when the hole is drilled in the wheel it will be in the exact center. Take a drill a sixteenth of an inch smaller than the hole to be made, and drill out the hole. Use the inside boring tool to make the hole the desired size. Turn a smooth face on the hub of the wheel where it comes against the box: then the wheel is ready for the key seat. To cut the key seat in the wheel use a key-seat chisel the same size as the milling wheel used to cut the key seat in the shaft.

Next take one of the saw collars; put it in the chuck, being careful to get this in the center also, with the widest side next the chuck, and drill a hole in it the same size as the hole in the saw. Turn off the end of the collar to get it square. Prepare the other collar in the same way.

Now cut the shaft off the length wanted, and turn one end to fit tightly into the balance wheel. Turn off a place next to where the wheel comes for the bearing or box. Now turn the shaft around and fit the other end for the collars. The collar that goes on the inside or side next the bearing should be shrunk on. To do this leave the shaft about one sixty-fourth of an inch larger than the hole in the collar, then heat the collar to a red heat, and slip it onto the shaft. It should not be driven very hard, or it will break in cooling. Let it cool of its own accord. When nearly coot it can be put into water and cooled off.

The next step is to true up the inside of the collar, leaving about one inch of surface to come against the saw. Now turn the shaft down to the size wanted for the thread, either 1-inch or 1 1/8-inch, then with a cut-off tool about 1/8-inch wide, cut in next the shoulder the depth of the thread. If there is a die and tap handy that will be the quickest way to cut the thread, but if not handy then use the lathe. Now screw the nut on and turn off the inside of the nut. For fitting the loose collar there should be on hand a shaft about 14 or 16 inches long, turned a very little tapering; then drive the collar onto this shaft and finish it up. When ready put this collar into place on the saw shaft and screw the nut up tight. Now smooth off the outside of the collars for loops. Cut the key seat in the shaft and key the balance wheel on solid, being careful to get the distance between the wheel and the saw collar the exact distance between the outside of the boxes.


When a pulley or balance wheel is to be balanced you must first have a shaft that is of the same size as the hole in the pulley. Of course, the wheel or pulley must be turned and trued up so that it is finished before you balance the same.

After the shaft has been put in and tightened, place two pieces of angle iron or T-iron about two feet long parallel on a pair of wooden horses. The irons must be level. Now place the pulley between the irons so that the shaft will have a chance to roll on the "T" or angle iron, and you will notice that the heaviest side of the pulley will be down. Start it rolling, and the pulley will always stop with the heaviest side down. Now, if the pulley or wheel, as the case may be, has a thick rim, then bore out from the heaviest side enough to balance, or you can drill a hole in the lightest side and bolt a piece of iron to it just heavy enough to balance the wheel.


One of the most difficult pieces of work to do in a wagon shop is to put in a wooden axle.

In the first place, you must have well-seasoned timber, hickory or maple. Take out the old axle. The skeins will come off easy by heating them a little. Now cut the timber the exact length of the broken axle. In order to get the right pitch and gather, you must cut off one-half inch from the back side of the end of the timber and one-half inch from the bottom side, this cut to run out at the inner end or collar of the skein, as shown in Figure 14. Next take dividers and make a circle in the end of the axle the size of the old axle—in case new skein is put on, the size of the

Fig 14

bottom of the skein inside. This circle must be made so that the lower side of it will go down to edge of the timber, and the sides be of the same distance from the edges. You will now notice that most of the hewing will be done on top side, as it must in order to get the right pitch, and as one-half inch has been cut from the back side it will throw the front side of the wheel in a little; this is gather. If a wheel has no gather the wheel will be spread out against the nut of the skein, and the wear will be in that direction, and the wheel will rattle, as you know the skein is tapered; but if the wheel has gather, the pressure will be against the collar of the skein, and the wheel will be tight, as it forces itself up against the collar and the wider end of the skein.

Some wagon-makers will use the old axle as a guide and cut the new by the old. This is not safe, as the old is mostly sprung out of shape.

In hewing the axle for the skein great care should be taken not to cut off too much; better go slow, because it depends upon the fitting of the skein to get a good job. When the axle is finished or ready to be driven into the skein be sure to have the axle strong; that is, a little too large to go in easy. Now warm—or heat, if you will—the skein a little, not so much that it will burn, and drive it onto its place by a mallet. In making new wagons I think it would be wise to paint the part of the axle that goes in the skein, but in repairing I deem it unwise, because it will have a tendency to work loose unless it will have time to dry before using, and I have noticed paint to be still fresh in the skein after years of use. There should be no gap left between the collar of the skein and the axle, as water will run in and rot the timber.


VERY wagon-maker is supposed to know how to put in spokes. Still, there are sometimes wagon-makers, especially beginners, that don't know. First clean out the sliver left of the old spoke, and make the mortise dry. and in every case use glue. In a buggy wheel take the rivet or rivets out, if there is any, and be sure to have the right shape of the tenon to fit the mortise in the hub, so as to make the spoke stand plumb. Set the tenon going through the rim. Be sure to have this tenon reach through. This is important in filling a wagon wheel, because, if the tenons don't reach through the fellow, then the heft will rest against the shoulder of the tenon, and when the tire is put on tight and the wagon used in wet roads, the fellow will soften and the spokes settle into the rim. The tire gets loose, and some one, either the wagonmaker or the blacksmith, will be blamed—in most cases the blacksmith. Of course, the tenon should not be above the rim. After the spokes have been put in rivet the flange of the hub, or so many rivets as you have taken out. This should always be done before the tire is set.

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© 2000, 2001 by Lynn Waterman