Rational Horse-Shoeing

#Nature #Horses
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Excerpt INTRODUCTION. In presenting the observations contained in the following pages, we are aware that we appeal to practical men who judge by results, and have but slight patience with mere theory. We wish, therefore, to state clearly at the outset, that the system of horse-shoeing herein advocated, and the shoe offered by us to accompany it and accomplish its purpose, are the result of years of patient study of nature, and actual experiment; and that although we have had to contend with ignorance and interest on the part of the farriers, and indifference and prejudice on the part of owners of horses, we have finally succeeded in interesting the most practical and capable men in America, England, and France in the matter; and, at the time of this publication, thousands of horses, engaged in the most arduous labors of equine life—upon railways, express wagons, transfer companies, and other similar difficult positions—are traveling upon our shoes, their labors lightened by its assistance, their feet preserved in a natural, healthy state, and their lives prolonged to the profit of their owners and the advancement of that cause—one of the evidences of the progress of our age in true enlightenment—which has for its beneficent object the prevention of cruelty to the dumb and helpless companions of our toil.     GENERAL OBSERVATIONS. The first application of the Goodenough shoe is almost invariably to the feet of horses suffering from some one of the forms of foot disease, induced by the unnatural method of shoeing. Our system is intended for sound horses, to supply the necessary protection to the feet, and to keep them in a healthy condition. Our rules for shoeing, embodied in our circular of instructions, are applicable to sound horses, and disease must be provided for as exceptional. Men are careless and, as a rule, unobservant; they go on in the old way until the horse flinches in action or stands "pointing" in dumb appeal to his owner, telling with mute but touching eloquence of his tight-ironed, feverish foot, the dead frog, and the insidious disease, soon to destroy the free action characteristic of health. It is when this evidence brings the truth home to him that the neglectful master, eager to relieve the animal, tries our system. To such masters we must say, do not expect that the imprudence and neglect of years can be remedied in an instant. The age of miracles long ago passed away. We do not propose to cure by formula, or bell and book. There is no "laying on of hands"—no magical touch of an enchanter's wand. Remember always that pain is the warning cry of a faithful sentinel on the outpost, that disease is at hand. Disease is the punishment following a violation of the laws of nature, and can only be escaped by restoring natural conditions. Remember also, that "Nature," so called by Hippocrates, the earliest systematic writer upon medicine, never slumbers nor fails in duty, but strives with unerring, active intelligence to prevent disease, or to cure it when it can not be prevented....
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