Historic note
 Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Feeds and feeding
 Care of workstock
 Breaking and training colts
 Examining a horse for soundnes...
 Common unsoundness and blemish...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultural Extension Service ; no. 117
Title: Workstock in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026382/00001
 Material Information
Title: Workstock in Florida
Series Title: Bulletin
Physical Description: 38 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Shealy, A. L
Sheely, W. J
Publisher: Cooperative Extension Service
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: <1943>
Subject: Livestock -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by A.L. Shealy and W.J. Sheely.
General Note: "January, 1943."
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Extension Division)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026382
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002571125
oclc - 44716401
notis - AMT7440

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Historic note
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 3
    Feeds and feeding
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    Care of workstock
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Breaking and training colts
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Examining a horse for soundness
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Common unsoundness and blemishes
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Back Cover
        Page 39
Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida

- -i 8uil

SJanuary. 1943
AL.AttTA, .,,rGIA





(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)

H. P. ADAIR, Chairman, Jacksonville N. B. JORDAN, Quincy
T. T. SCOTT, Live Oak THOSE. W. BRYANT, Lakeland
R. H. GORE, Fort Lauderdale J. T. DIAMOND, Secretary, Tallahassee


JOHN J. TIGERT, M.A., LL.D., President of the University
WILMON NEWELL, D.Sc., Director of Extension'
A. P. SPENCER, M.S., Vice-Director
CLYDE BEALE, A.B.J., Assistant Editor'
JEFFERSON THOMAS, Assistant Editor'
FRANK M. DENNIS, B.S.A., Supervisor, Egg-Laying Test
RUBY NEWHALL, Administrative Manager'

Cooperative Agricultural Demonstration Work
W. T. NETTLES, B.S., District Agent
H. G. CLAYTON, M.S.A., Coordinator with AAA
J. LEE SMITH, District Agent and Agronomist
E. F. DEBUSK, B.S., Citriculturist and District Agent
R. S. DENNIS, B.S.A., Assistant Coordinator with AAA
R. W. BLACKLOCK, A.B., Boys' Club Agent
N. H. MCQUEEN, B.S.A., Assistant Boys' Club Agent
A. L. SHEALY, D.V.M., Animal Industrialist'
HAMLIN L. BROWN, B.S., Dairyman
N. R. MEHRHOF, M.AGR., Poultryman'
A. W. O'STEEN, B.S.A., Assistant Poultryman
WALTER J. SHEELY, B.S., Animal Husbandman
L. T. NIELAND, Farm Forester
C. V. NOBLE, PH.D., Agricultural Economist'
CHARLES M. HAMPSON, M.S., Agricultural Economist, Farm Management
R. H. HOWARD, M.S.A., Agricultural Economist, Farm Management
V. V. BOWMAN, M.S.A., Economist in Marketing
R. V. ALLISON, PH.D., Soil Conservationist'
K. S. MCMULLEN, B.S.A., Soil Conservationist

Cooperative Home Demonstration Work
MARY E. KEOWN, M.S., State Agent
LUCY BELLE SETTLE, M.A., District Agent
RUBY MCDAVID, District Agent
ETHYL HOLLOWAY, B.S.H.E., District Agent
ANNA MAE SIKES, M.S., Nutritionist
VIRGINIA P. MOORE, Home Improvement Specialist
ISABELLE S. THURSBY, Economist in Food Conservation

Negro Extension Work
A. A. TURNER, Local District Agent
BEULAH SHUTE, Local District Agent

1 Part-time.

FEEDS AND FEEDING ........................................ 5 Care of Colt ........................................... .... 18
Concentrate Feeds .................................... 5 The Orphan Foal ..................................... 19
Roughages ......................... ................ 7 Care of Stallions ........................ .. ......... 19
P astures ........................................ .... 9 Care of Jack .................................... .......... 20
Minerals ................. ................. ........... 11 BREAKING AND TRAINING COLTS .................. 21
W ATER .......................... ..... ............................. 13 GROOMING .......................................................... 22
CARE OF WORKSTOCK ...................................... 14 EXAMINING A HORSE FOR SOUNDNESS ........ 23
Care of Brood Mare ................................ 14 COMMON UNSOUNDNESSES AND BLEMISHES 26

There were approximately 20,000 horses and 35,000 mules on
the ranches and farms in Florida on January 1, 1942. The valua-
tion as given by the United States Department of Agriculture was
$1,813,000 for horses and $4,655,000 for mules. This is an in-
vestment that is well worth protecting at all times.
The range cattle industry makes extensive use of horses--
-"cow ponies"-for its operations. In years past little atten-
tion has been given to the use of improved blood in the "marsh"
horses; however, in recent years cattlemen have improved the
breeding of their cow ponies and are feeding them better. Cat-
tlemen realize that the horse is of major importance in cattle
operations and that this animal deserves proper feed, care and
management. The native mares have been bred to stallions of
the following breeds: Thoroughbred, Morgan, Arabian, Quarter-
horse and Walking-horse. Improvement has been noted- in the
colt crop from year to year.
The raising of mule colts has proven economical and desirable,
since the price of mules has increased steadily during the past 10
years. The raising of colts rounds out a livestock program for
the farmer who has been accustomed to raising cattle and swine.

There are three important points that should be considered in
feeding workstock: (1) feed at regular intervals during the sea-
son of work; (2) use only high grade feeds, and (3) feed the cor-
rect amount.
Regularity in feeding is important. Horses and mules that are
fed at irregular intervals often develop digestive disorders and

'Most of the photographs in this bulletin were made especially for the
bulletin by J. Francis Cooper.

FEEDS AND FEEDING ........................................ 5 Care of Colt ........................................... .... 18
Concentrate Feeds .................................... 5 The Orphan Foal ..................................... 19
Roughages ......................... ................ 7 Care of Stallions ........................ .. ......... 19
P astures ........................................ .... 9 Care of Jack .................................... .......... 20
Minerals ................. ................. ........... 11 BREAKING AND TRAINING COLTS .................. 21
W ATER .......................... ..... ............................. 13 GROOMING .......................................................... 22
CARE OF WORKSTOCK ...................................... 14 EXAMINING A HORSE FOR SOUNDNESS ........ 23
Care of Brood Mare ................................ 14 COMMON UNSOUNDNESSES AND BLEMISHES 26

There were approximately 20,000 horses and 35,000 mules on
the ranches and farms in Florida on January 1, 1942. The valua-
tion as given by the United States Department of Agriculture was
$1,813,000 for horses and $4,655,000 for mules. This is an in-
vestment that is well worth protecting at all times.
The range cattle industry makes extensive use of horses--
-"cow ponies"-for its operations. In years past little atten-
tion has been given to the use of improved blood in the "marsh"
horses; however, in recent years cattlemen have improved the
breeding of their cow ponies and are feeding them better. Cat-
tlemen realize that the horse is of major importance in cattle
operations and that this animal deserves proper feed, care and
management. The native mares have been bred to stallions of
the following breeds: Thoroughbred, Morgan, Arabian, Quarter-
horse and Walking-horse. Improvement has been noted- in the
colt crop from year to year.
The raising of mule colts has proven economical and desirable,
since the price of mules has increased steadily during the past 10
years. The raising of colts rounds out a livestock program for
the farmer who has been accustomed to raising cattle and swine.

There are three important points that should be considered in
feeding workstock: (1) feed at regular intervals during the sea-
son of work; (2) use only high grade feeds, and (3) feed the cor-
rect amount.
Regularity in feeding is important. Horses and mules that are
fed at irregular intervals often develop digestive disorders and

'Most of the photographs in this bulletin were made especially for the
bulletin by J. Francis Cooper.

FEEDS AND FEEDING ........................................ 5 Care of Colt ........................................... .... 18
Concentrate Feeds .................................... 5 The Orphan Foal ..................................... 19
Roughages ......................... ................ 7 Care of Stallions ........................ .. ......... 19
P astures ........................................ .... 9 Care of Jack .................................... .......... 20
Minerals ................. ................. ........... 11 BREAKING AND TRAINING COLTS .................. 21
W ATER .......................... ..... ............................. 13 GROOMING .......................................................... 22
CARE OF WORKSTOCK ...................................... 14 EXAMINING A HORSE FOR SOUNDNESS ........ 23
Care of Brood Mare ................................ 14 COMMON UNSOUNDNESSES AND BLEMISHES 26

There were approximately 20,000 horses and 35,000 mules on
the ranches and farms in Florida on January 1, 1942. The valua-
tion as given by the United States Department of Agriculture was
$1,813,000 for horses and $4,655,000 for mules. This is an in-
vestment that is well worth protecting at all times.
The range cattle industry makes extensive use of horses--
-"cow ponies"-for its operations. In years past little atten-
tion has been given to the use of improved blood in the "marsh"
horses; however, in recent years cattlemen have improved the
breeding of their cow ponies and are feeding them better. Cat-
tlemen realize that the horse is of major importance in cattle
operations and that this animal deserves proper feed, care and
management. The native mares have been bred to stallions of
the following breeds: Thoroughbred, Morgan, Arabian, Quarter-
horse and Walking-horse. Improvement has been noted- in the
colt crop from year to year.
The raising of mule colts has proven economical and desirable,
since the price of mules has increased steadily during the past 10
years. The raising of colts rounds out a livestock program for
the farmer who has been accustomed to raising cattle and swine.

There are three important points that should be considered in
feeding workstock: (1) feed at regular intervals during the sea-
son of work; (2) use only high grade feeds, and (3) feed the cor-
rect amount.
Regularity in feeding is important. Horses and mules that are
fed at irregular intervals often develop digestive disorders and

'Most of the photographs in this bulletin were made especially for the
bulletin by J. Francis Cooper.

Florida Cooperative Extension

Fig. 1.-Typical cowboy in Florida, with regular equipment. The horse is
trained to "work" cattle.

Fig. 2.-A group of two-year-old mules on a Florida livestock farm.
These mules are out of native mares as shown in Fig. 11 and are sired by
the Mammoth jack shown in Fig. 14. (L. K. Edwards farm.)

Fig. 3.-Quarter mares owned by a Florida cattleman and used in raising
cow horses.

suffer a decided loss of efficiency in work. On the average farm
the grain portion of the ration is divided into three equal parts
and fed morning, noon, and night. The hay should be fed mainly
at night so that ample time is given for mastication and digestion
of the roughage.
Only high grade feed should be given to workstock. Grain that
is spoiled or musty often produces digestive disorders, including
colic and diarrhea. Death may result from such disorders.
Botulism and other types of "forage poisoning" may result from
the feeding of improperly cured and mouldy hay. Feed not suited
for workstock can be fed to cattle with safety, since cattle are not
subject to many of the digestive disorders found in workstock.
The correct amount of feed is important, since enough feed
should be given to furnish energy for work and for the repair of
tissues, yet too much feed should not be given since there is
danger of producing colic and other digestive disorders. The fol-
lowing feeding schedule is suggested and applies to horses and
mules alike:
At work-1 to 11 pounds of grain and 1 pound of hay for each 100
pounds weight.

Florida Cooperative Extension

Fig. 4.-A Morgan stallion owned by a cattleman and used to improve
breeding and work horses.

At light work-One-half pound of grain and 1 pound hay for each 100
pounds live weight.
Idle-Practically no grain and all the hay the horse or mule will clean
up. Grazing workstock on pasture when not at work is recommended.

The rations of workstock do not include the large variety of
feeds generally found in the rations of other farm animals. The
requirements of workstock are different and experience has
shown that horses and mules do well on a limited variety of grain.
In the South the grain is limited primarily to oats and corn.
Oats.-No other single grain feed is quite as suitable for work-
stock as oats. Their slight bulkiness makes them the safest of all
grains for horses and mules. Oats form a loose mass within the
digestive system, thereby permitting the digestive juices to
act readily upon the feed, whereas other grains produce a hard
mass that oftentimes causes digestive disorders. Oats should
not be ground for horses that have sound teeth and are able to
masticate feed properly.
Varieties of oats have been developed by Agronomists of the

Workstock in Florida

Agricultural Experiment Station that are resistant to rust and
make comparatively high yields for Florida. With the expansion
in oats production as a result of these findings, more oats will be
available for workstock in this state in the future.
In farm practice often oats are cut with a mower just prior to
maturity and the entire plant is made into hay. Oat hay is valu-
able as a feed for workstock, but in some cases the mature grain
is sacrificed for the hay and the feeding value of the product is
lower than grain oats fed with some other type of hay. When
oat hay is fed, a small allowance of corn may be necessary if the
animal is on full work.
In sections of the state where grain must be purchased for
workstock it is quite desirable that a high grade of oats be con-
sidered, since there is no better feed for workstock than oats.
Corn.-Since corn is produced on more farms in Florida than
oats, it is logical to use this feed as the main grain feed for work-
stock, even though oats are more desirable. Corn is less bulky
than oats. It is quite common for horses and mules to eat too
much corn and consequently develop digestive disorders. Corn
is more heat-producing than oats, and in hot weather it is im-
portant to make sure that horses and mules are not over-fed on it.
Corn is usually fed on the cob. Since the thick husk of the ear
corn is left on the ear in gathering corn in this state, it is recom-
mended that the corn be husked or "shucked" before it is fed to
workstock. Ear corn is more desirable than shelled corn for
workstock, since it requires more time to bite the corn from the
cob, thereby preventing bolting.
Ordinarily it is not necessary to grind corn for horses; how-
ever, it is well to crack the corn for horses with bad teeth.

On most farms in this state it is possible to provide some type
of homegrown hay for the workstock. The difficulty of curing
hay is recognized; however, if the hay crops are planted late in
the season generally it is possible to cure hay in the early fall
months (September and October).
Cowpea Hay.-If cut at the proper stage of maturity and if
good "hay curing" weather prevails, it is possible to make a high
grade hay from cowpeas. Many farmers cut the cowpeas too late
to make high grade hay. If the cutting is delayed until some of
the peas become mature most of the leaves have already shed and
about all that is left are stems and a few peas. It should be re-

Fig. 5.-The operator of several farms mounted on a Walking-horse, which
provides both pleasure and ease of riding.

membered that the feeding value of cowpea hay is mainly in the
leaves. Hence, the vines should be cut when there is maximum
foliage. This stage is reached when the bloom begins to appear
on the vines. Leafy, properly cured cowpea hay is one of the
very best roughages that may be fed to workstock. During
winter months when the workstock are idle they can be main-
tained on cowpea hay alone.
Natal Grass Hay.-In many sections of Florida, especially the
sandy ridges, natal grass comes in as a volunteer crop from year
to year. This grass has a fine stem and therefore cures readily.
When cut in the early bloom stage it makes excellent hay. High
grade natal grass hay is equal in feeding value to timothy hay.

Workstock in Florida

Kudzu Hay.-Kudzu is a perennial that produces large yields
of hay when the plants become well established, which generally
requires three to four years. The plants are very leafy and the
stems are relatively small. Kudzu cures easily and makes hay
with a high feeding value.
Soybean Hay.-In sections of the state where soybeans can be
grown, hay from this crop might be used as feed for workstock.
Experiments have shown that soybean hay is higher in feeding
value than Johnson grass hay. The soybean vines should be cut
before the leaves begin to drop; otherwise the hay will be too
Johnson Grass Hay.-Johnson grass is found abundantly in the
South. It is a close relative of the sorghums and is a perennial.
Two or three cuttings may be obtained per year when the grass
is growing on a heavy soil. The grass should be cut when in the
early bloom stage. If cut at a later stage the hay consists pri-
marily of stems. If cut at the proper stage the feeding value of
Johnson grass hay is equal to that of timothy for workstock.
On farms where Johnson grass is not already established, its
introduction is not recommended.
Peanut Hay.-Some farmers feed peanut hay to horses and
mules. While peanut hay has proven to be a desirable roughage
for cattle, it is somewhat dangerous to feed to horses. Generally,
peanut hay contains a considerable amount of sand and other
foreign matter. Foreign matter lowers the palatability of the
hay for workstock and sand, even though only a small amount is
consumed at each feeding, is dangerous to the horse. The large
intestine of the horse has large bends or flexures in its course
and sand will accumulate within these areas, producing the con-
dition known as "sanded" in the horse or mule. If it is necessary
to use peanut hay for workstock, only clean hay that contains as
little sand as possible should be fed.
Timothy Hay.-At times it is necessary to purchase hay, and
in such instances it is well to consider the use of timothy hay for
workstock. Timothy hay, of high quality, is considered the
roughage supreme for horses and mules, since it has a fine stem,
cures readily and generally is bright and not dusty. Since tim-
othy cures easily, the hay is generally free from mold.
One of the most important sources of feed for workstock is
pasture. In Florida a large number of improved grasses may be

Florida Cooperative Extension

used in establishing pastures for horses and mules. It is easy to
neglect pastures for workstock, yet the feed costs on this class of
farm animals will be materially reduced if pastures are provided.
The feeding program for workstock is not complete without the
use of pastures. Many farmers have pastures on which the
horses or mules are turned each night during the spring, summer
and early fall months. These pastures are located near the barns
and paddocks and furnish a large amount or all of the roughage
the workstock receive. Larger pastures are provided for mares
and colts, especially on cattle ranches where several brood mares
and colts are kept. The mares and colts have the run of the pas-
ture at all times.
The succulent feed provided by a pasture keeps the workstock
in excellent physical condition, since the green feed serves some-
what as a natural laxative and improves the wellbeing of the
Millet Pasture.-Millet furnishes one of the best types of pas-
ture that can be provided. The variety used is Pearl or cat-tail
millet. This is an annual crop, and when efforts are made to con-

Fig. 6.-A millet pasture furnishes succulent feed and reduces the cost of
keeping workstock.

Workstock in Florida

trol internal parasites in animals it is often desirable to use an
annual crop such as millet. The millet seed may be planted in
February or March, either broadcast or in rows, and the horses
or mules are turned on the grazing crop when the plants are 10
to 12 inches high. It is well to have at least two fields so that the
plant growth will not be grazed too closely, since continuous close
grazing will kill millet. However, the millet will not give maxi-
mum grazing unless grazed reasonably close. It should be grazed
back 4 to 6 inches, then allowed to grow to 12 to 18 inches and
then grazed again. If it is not kept grazed rather closely it will
begin to form seed heads and mature. At that stage the plant is
no longer valuable in providing succulent feed for grazing. If
managed properly, workstock can be grazed on millet from May
to September.
Permanent Pastures.-Such improved pasture grasses as car-
pet, Bermuda, Dallis, Bahia and Para are used in establishing
permanent pastures for workstock. The variety of improved
grass to use will depend largely on the soil type. The County
Agricultural Agent in any county, or workers in the Agronomy
Department, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Gaines-
ville, can give advice regarding what variety of grass to plant
in any county in the state. On any type of improved pasture
it is necessary to keep the weeds and briers mowed if maximum
grazing is to be obtained.

All feed, including pasture, for workstock is deficient in com-
mon salt, hence the necessity of supplying salt to horses and
mules. Salt is supplied best in a box that is built as a part of the
manger for animals that are fed in stables or under sheds. For
horses and mules kept in corrals a covered mineral box may be
built in the corrals where they have access to it. Horses kept in
pastures should have a covered mineral box placed near the water
supply. The type of salt used is a matter of personal preference
on the part of the horse owner. Some owners use plain common
table salt or flake salt, while others insist on block salt. It makes
no difference in what form common salt is supplied just so the an-
imals get the amount they need. The practice of putting block
salt on stumps or other objects where the salt is exposed to the
summer rains is wasteful.
Experiments have shown that horsesand mules require from
one-half ounce to two ounces of salt daily. Animals at hard work

Fig. 7.-Horses often are shown at community fairs, which encourages
improvement in workstock breeding.
and that sweat profusely need more salt than those at light work
or idle. There is a marked individual difference in salt require-
ments of workstock, some animals needing much more than
Since some soils in this state are deficient in calcium and phos-
phorus, in such areas it is necessary to supply these elements to
workstock, especially if the animals are allowed to graze on pas-
tures to any great extent. Pregnant brood mares and those nurs-
ing foals certainly should receive calcium and phosphorus supple-
ments. Calcium and phosphorus can best be supplied by allowing
the animal access to steamed bonemeal (feeding bonemeal),
which should be kept in a separate compartment of the mineral
box. It is necessary to keep the bonemeal dry at all times, since
it putrefies in a short time after becoming wet. Horses and
mules are apt to develop digestive disorders and botulism if they
eat the "spoiled" bonemeal. Only the "feeding" grade of steamed
bonemeal should be given to farm animals.
Young growing colts need bonemeal to build strong bones. The
brood mare needs this mineral compound to keep the production
of milk at the normal level. If she does not get the bonemeal or
some other source of calcium and phosphorus, nature will actually
remove it from her own bones and put it in her milk in order to
maintain the constant level of ash in the milk. This removal
of minerals from the mare's bones weakens them.
Workstock that graze a considerable part of the year on herb-

Workstock in Florida

age produced on the grey and white sandy soils in this state may
require iron and copper supplements. Workers at the Florida Ex-
periment Station have observed responses in workstock given
the so-called "salt sick" mineral mixture. This mixture consists of
common salt 100 pounds, red oxide of iron 25 pounds, pulverized
copper sulphate 1 pound, and cobalt chloride 2 ounces. When
animals are allowed to graze extensively on pastures developed
on the deep sandy soils in this state it is well to place a small
amount of this mineral mixture before them to determine if they
actually need the minerals. The animals will eat the mineral
mixture if they actually need it.
To supply all the minerals needed by workstock kept on some
Florida soi s a three-compartment mineral box should be pro-
vided-one compartment for common salt, a second for feeding
bonemeal, and a third for the "salt sick" lick.


An ample supply of good water for workstock is just as im-
portant as an adequate feed supply. Horses and mules will drink

Fig. 8.-An American Saddle Horse stallion which stands well on its fetlocks.
Note depth and fulness of chest, giving large girth.

Florida Cooperative Extension

more water when at hard work than when at light work or idle.
The average water consumption daily per individual horse or
mule is from 10 to 12 gallons, depending upon the season of the
year and amount of work performed. Formerly it was thought
that workstock should be watered only before feeding, since it
was thought that if they were watered just after eating the water
would flush out the ingested feed from the stomach. Experiments
have shown that it makes no difference when animals drink
water, whether immediately before, during or just after feeding.
The best arrangement of stables and corrals is one whereby
the horse can get water when desired. If water is not available
in the stall or at the place of feeding, it is well to give water im-
mediately before feeding, since a thirsty animal eating dry feed
is decidedly uncomfortable. At night, when the greater portion
of the roughage is fed, the horse should receive water after eat-
ing the hay if it is at all possible to provide such watering facili-
ties. A large bucket can be placed in each stall or stable so that
water might be provided at night.
During hot weather workstock should be watered more fre-
quently than the generally accepted practice of "watering horses
and mules three times a day." When perspiring freely while at
hard work they should be watered every three or four hours at
least. When animals are hot, allow them to drink only a few
swallows of water at first, then wait a few minutes until they
are "cooled off" and give all the water desired. If allowed
to drink too much water while hot the horse may develop spas-
modic colic or become foundered.
Recent recommendations for watering horses at hard work in
the summer months include the use of common salt in the water.
A tablespoonful of salt to a gallon of water is the amount sug-
gested. By this means the salt in the blood is quickly replenished
after the animal has sweated profusely. Salt should be put in the
water only during the times the horse is watered between the
feeding periods.

Many farmers and cattlemen find it practical and economical
to raise their own colts. This means that attention must be
given to the brood mare while she is in heat, during pregnancy,
at foaling time, and while she is nursing the colt. The mare in

Workstock in Florida

Fig. 9.-A six-months-old colt and its native "marsh" pony mother. Sired
by a Thoroughbred stallion.
normal breeding condition comes in heat every 18 to 20 days and
will remain in heat usually for two to four days. Occasionally
a mare will show signs of being "in heat" for only a few hours.
It is advisable to breed the mare when she is "going out" of the
heat period, since it seems that conception is more certain at that
time. The brood mare will come in heat usually on the ninth day
after foaling and it is a good practice to breed her at that time if
she is in good condition. If bred on that date she should be re-
turned to the stallion or jack on the eighteenth to twenty-first
day after service to make sure conception has taken place.
In the Southeast it is customary to breed fillies when they
reach three years of age, provided they have made satisfactory
The average period of gestation or pregnancy in the mare is
about 11 months or 340 days. Accurate breeding dates should be
recorded and the date on which the mare will likely foal should
be noted.
Brood mares need exercise during the gestation period. As
pregnancy advances the work should become lighter; however,
it has been found desirable to work the mare lightly up to within

Florida Cooperative Extension

a week or 10 days before foaling time. When work is discontinued
a few days prior to foaling, the mare should be turned out in a
small pasture area or lot where she may exercise. Mares heavy
in foal should always be handled gently.
Because of its protein and mineral content, legume hay is an
excellent roughage for the pregnant mare. Cowpea or kudzu
hay should be used as roughage if obtainable; otherwise, feed
any hay of high quality that is palatable for the mare.
Oats are the very best grain to give a pregnant mare. Bran
mash with sufficient water to make a slightly "doughy" mass is
a splendid feed. Bran might be fed in the dry form also. Three
or four pounds of bran fed once or twice a week to the pregnant
mare serves as a natural laxative and also furnishes a certain
amount of protein and mineral matter.
Many cattlemen and farmers allow their brood mares to re-
main on pasture the greater portion of the year. The mare under
these conditions gets exercise by grazing and will do well, pro-
vided the pasture affords an abundance of grazing. There is no
better feed for the pregnant mare than grass, and under all con-
ditions the mare should be allowed to graze as much as possible.
Regardless of whether the pregnant mare is kept on pasture
all the time or worked lightly to within a week or 10 days be-
fore foaling, she should be offered feeding bonemeal as well as

Fig. 10.-A brood mare of desirable conformation and her off-spring. The
colt is six months, the larger mule 18 months old.

1 A ) F 4 11 P 1( I U BGCI C U B S H O W .

Fig. 11.-Typical brood mares on a Florida livestock farm. These mares are
the mothers of five of the mules shown in Fig. 2.

common salt. It might be that she will not need the bonemeal,
but if so, she will not eat it. If she eats the bonemeal it is a defi-
nite indication that the feed she is getting is deficient in calcium
and phosphorus.
The mare should be allowed to foal in a grassy paddock if the
weather is mild. If the foal is dropped in such grassy areas
there is little danger of joint ill, scours and many other colt ail-
If difficulty is experienced by the mare at foaling time due to
irregular presentation of the foal, the service of a veterinarian
should be obtained as soon as possible. There are two normal
positions for the foal to be presented at birth: (1) the forefeet
and forelegs protruding with the head resting on them, or (2)
the hindfeet and hindlegs protruding. The latter presentation is
not as frequently found as the former; however, it is just as nor-
mal and will cause no difficulty in foaling.
The afterbirth should be buried as soon as possible. The navel
cord may be painted with tincture of iodine immediately after
the foal is dropped and daily for three or four days. Close atten-
tion and care must be given to prevent screwworm infestation.
It is important that the newborn foal get the first milk of its
mother within two or three hours after birth. If the foal is weak
it might be necessary to assist it in getting its first meal.
The mare should remain in the grassy paddock or small pas-

Florida Cooperative Extension

ture for 10 days to two weeks. She will get all the grass she
desires and in addition should be fed a ration of oats and bran
after 24 to 48 hours following foaling. Allow her to have all
the fresh, clean water she desires at all times.
If she has worked lightly just prior to foaling, the brood mare
may be put to light work within 10 days to two weeks after the
colt is born. When the mare begins light work the colt should be
kept in a paddock, separated from the mare, rather than being
allowed to run with her. The mare should be worked close
enough to the premises so that she can be returned to the colt at
mid-morning and mid-afternoon to allow the colt to nurse. If the
mare is hot she should be allowed to "cool off" before the colt
nurses. This procedure should be carried out until the colt is
six to eight weeks of age.
The colt will begin to eat grain at about three or four weeks of
age. Oats and a small amount of bran make an excellent grain

Fig. 12.-A 15-months-old mule out of the mare shown in the bottom
picture on the front cover. This mule was raised on the University of
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station farm.

Workstock in Florida

ration for a colt. It should be allowed to run in a grassy paddock
or small pasture, since grass is the very best feed a colt can eat.
The colt should be weaned when it is about six months old if it
has grown normally. If undersized and unthrifty, weaning should
be delayed a few weeks. Male colts should be castrated when
about one year old.
If the mare dies shortly after foaling, or if she does not give
enough milk to nourish the foal, the foal must be raised by hand.
The best substitute for mare's milk as a feed for young foals is
cow's milk, after it has been prepared in such a manner that the
chemical composition is as nearly as possible the same as mare's
milk. Mare's milk contains much less fat and more sugar than
cow's milk. Milk of low fat content and from a cow that has
calved recently should be used if possible. Dilute the cow's milk
with one-half fresh water. Add a tablespoonful of sugar and
two tablespoonfuls of lime water to one pint of this diluted milk
and heat to body temperature. Give the foal about four ounces
(one-half teacupful) every hour for the first few days, after
which a larger amount can be given at each feeding period and
the intervals between feeding periods can be lengthened. A bottle
with a rubber nipple attached should be used at first. After 10
to 14 days whole milk may be used instead of the modified cow's
milk. At this time the foal may be taught to drink from a bucket.
When two weeks old the colt may consume two to three quarts of
milk daily. At two months of age the whole milk may be grad-
ually replaced with skimmilk. By the time the colt is three
months old it may be allowed all the skimmilk it will drink. Feed
the milk in clean, sterilized buckets.
One of the most important points to consider in caring for a
stallion is that he should have plenty of exercise if he is to be
maintained in good breeding condition. If a stallion spends his
time in a poorly ventilated stable with no exercise, he will become
unruly and difficult to handle and his breeding efficiency will be
low. The best exercise is work of some sort, probably under a
saddle or light work on the farm. He should be handled daily so
that he will be tractable and easily managed. Even during the
breeding season it is desirable to work the stallion for half of
each day. Many good stallions are lost each year as "getters of
colts" simply because they have not received the proper amount
of exercise.

Fig. 13.-A Quarter stallion owned by a Florida cattleman. Note the de-
sirable conformation and smoothness of fleshing.

The ideal grain ration for a stallion consists of 3 parts oats and
1 part bran. In the South too many stallions have been fed corn
alone. This is a bad practice, since corn is heating and often
lowers the breeding efficiency of stallions. If corn must be fed,
it should constitute only a part-not over half-of the ration,
with oats as the other part.
Legume hay, such as cowpea or kudzu, should be given stal-
lions, as this type of hay is higher in protein and mineral matter
than are the grass hays or timothy.
A grassy paddock or small pasture to furnish green, succulent
grazing is desirable for stallions.

It is more difficult to give exercise to a jack than to a stallion,
yet exercise for this animal is just as important. Oftentimes a
jack, if given the run of a paddock, will voluntarily take consider-
able exercise. However, if he does not take sufficient exercise of
his own accord it might be necessary to lead the jack behind a
horse and rider half an hour to an hour daily. For the first few
exercising periods a second rider on horesback might be necessary
to drive the jack. Any system for exercising the jack that might
be worked out for a farm is in order. A jack should never be
kept in a small stall without exercise, for he is almost sure to be-
come sterile under such conditions.
There is no better grain for jacks than oats and bran. The old

Fig. 14.-A Mammoth jack of good conformation. This jack sired the
mules shown in Fig. 2.

adage, "There are no colts in corn," certainly holds true in the
breeding efficiency of a jack. Corn should never be fed to jacks,
since it is heating and tends to accentuate their natural tendency
to sluggishness. Give the jack high grade cowpea or kudzu hay
and if possible the run of a grassy paddock. Keep the jack in a
dry stall at night.

Colts should be handled at an early age. Even when only a
few days old it is desirable to make friends with the colt if possi-
ble, teaching it not to be afraid of the attendants. When a few
weeks of age the colt may be altered and gradually taught to
lead. While still young, it is well to rub the head and neck of the
colt, then the back and sides, and finally the legs. This rubbing
will cause the colt to have confidence in the attendant. After
rubbing the legs a few times, then begin to pick up the feet and
handle them. In handling the feet at frequent intervals, the
colt will not resist trimming its feet or any other treatment that
might be necessary.
If the colt has made proper growth it should be broken when
approximately two and one-half years of age. In breaking a colt
it should be broken first to the bridle and bit. Lead the colt with
the bridle and bit until it becomes accustomed to the bit and

Florida Cooperative Extension

realizes that the bit is in its mouth for the purpose of restraint.
After it becomes accustomed to the bit, then put the harness or
saddle on the colt and walk it for a few times, thereby enabling it
to become accustomed to the fitting of the harness or saddle.
If possible, hitch the colt with a gentle animal the first time,
using an extra rope tied to the bridle of the colt to control it.
In training to work alone the colt should be hitched to a log or
dump cart where the driver can have control over it at all times.
Colts must be handled gently during the breaking and training
operations. Too often the trainer loses his temper and a good
colt is made resentful and vicious as the result of bad treatment.

One of the most neglected operations in the handling of work-
stock is that of proper grooming. It is often said by expert
horsemen that grooming is just as important as feeding. Groom-
ing removes the waste from the body that has been excreted

Fig. 15.-Proper grooming is important in the care of workstock.

Workstock in Florida

through the skin. It stimulates proper functioning of the tiny
oil glands at the base of the hair, thereby giving the animal a
clean, sleek appearance. If grooming is not properly performed
the pores and glands of the skin cannot function properly, elimi-
nation of body waste through the skin is reduced, and very often
the general health of the animal is impaired.
Animals at heavy work require more thorough grooming than
those at light work or idle. It is the general practice to groom
horses and mules when they are taken out of the stalls or pad-
docks at morning and noon, but no time is spent in grooming
the animals when they are brought to the barn at night, follow-
ing the day's work. If the animals are "brushed down" at night
they rest better. It is true that when the harness or saddle is re-
moved the animal will "wallow" or roll vigorously on the ground
and in doing so it is attempting to groom itself. It has been
shown that grooming the animal after the day's work is an im-
portant operation to keep the animal in the best of condition.
The equipment for grooming should consist of a fiber or mud
brush, a curry comb, and a bristle or body brush. As the name
implies, the mud brush is used to remove dirt or mud that might
be found on the coat. The curry comb should be used to loosen up
the dirt. After removing the large particles with the mud
brush, then use the bristle or body brush to clean the coat thor-
oughly of all fine, loose particles of dirt, scurf, and body waste
substances. When grooming at night a rub rag can be used to
advantage to rub the coat, especially if the animal has been per-
spiring freely.
The feet of the horse should be cleaned regularly and kept

In examining a horse for soundness, a definite system should
be followed; otherwise some point will be overlooked and possibly
a serious unsoundness will be unobserved. The usefulness of
workstock depends primarily upon the conformation and sound-
ness of the animal.
The examination for soundness may begin in the region of the
head and should include a thorough observation of every point
of the animal including the hind feet, the last points to be ex-
amined. In following a systematic procedure no point will be
missed, whereas if the examination is not performed in an orderly
manner, important unsoundnesses may be unobserved.

25 22


Drawing courtesy Horse and Mule Association of America 17 16 15
Fig. 16.-Points of the horse to be considered in making an examination for soundness. 1, eye; 2, sinuses of head;
3, nostrils and nasal cavity; 4, mouth; 5, angle of jaw; 6, ears; 7, poll; 8, side of neck; 9, withers; 10, shoulders; 11,
knee; 12, cannon region; 13, fetlock joint; 14, pastern region; 15, side of foot; 16, wall of foot; 17, heel of foot; 18,
frog of foot; 19, sole of foot; 20, back; 21, sides; 22, navel and hind flank; 23, croup; 24, stifle joint; 25, hock. In
hind limb the points from the hock downward, including the foot, are identical with the points in the front limb,

Workstock in Florida

The following points should be examined and unsoundnesses
1. Eye Cloudiness, redness, discharge from eye, and









Capped hock, curb, bog spavin and bone spavin

The hind legs below the hocks, including the feet, should be examined
for all the unsoundnesses listed for the front limbs from the knees down-

The examination is not complete until the action of the animal
has been observed. Many cases of lameness can be detected best

Sinuses of head Filled with pus
Nostrils and nasal cavity Discharge, redness, and obstructions
Mouth Teeth for age, irregularity, and decay; swollen
gums and sores in mouth
Angle of jaw Glandular enlargements
Ears Held awry
Poll Poll evil
Side of neck Bruises
Withers Fistula
Shoulder "Sweeny" (muscle atrophy) and sores
Knee Shortening of tendons causing "bucked knee,"
and soreness of tendons; and enlarged
knee joint
Cannon regions Splints (bony growths on cannon bone); flexor
tendons (tendons on rear of cannon bone)
sore, thickened, and shortened .
Fetlock joint Enlarged joint (windpuffs); cocked ankle
caused by shortening of flexor tendons
Pastern region Ringbone (bony growth on pastern bones)
Side of foot Sidebone (cartilage at the top side of hoof and
heel turning to bone)
Wall of foot Toe cracks, quarter cracks, and too long toe
due to negligence in trimming
Heel of foot Grease heel
Frog of foot Thrush (infection in cleft of frog)
Sole of foot Nail punctures and other injury
Back Saddle and harness sores
Sides Bruises
Navel and hind flank Rupture
Croup (rump) Muscle atrophy
Stifle joint Dislocation of stifle bone

Florida Cooperative Extension

through observing closely the action of the animal. In lameness,
it is quite easy to detect what limb the animal is favoring if the
attendant causes the animal to go at a brisk trot. Furthermore,
such undesirable defects and peculiarities in "way of going" as
forging (striking fore foot with toe of hind foot); interfering
(striking the inner surface of the fetlock of the supporting leg
with the foot of the moving leg) ; and paddling (outward move-
ment or swing of forelegs in placing feet to ground) can be de-
tected only by observing the animal in action.
The conformation of a horse or mule often determines the
soundness of that animal. Animals with poor conformation have
a tendency to become unsound when subjected to heavy work.
For example, an animal with too great an angle at the hock
(crooked hind legs) is apt to develop unsoundnesses of the hock
such as bone and bog spavins and curb. Likewise, animals that
are short and straight at the pasterns often develop ringbones
and sidebones as a result of poor conformation.

In some sections of this state, especially where some of the
large cattle ranches are located, there is no practicing veteri-
narian available for professional services. For this reason, sim-
ple treatments are recommended for certain diseased conditions
that are described briefly herein. When the services of a vet-
erinarian can be obtained, the owner should rely upon profes-
sional services rather than attempt treatment himself or obtain
the advice of his neighbor.
Eyes.-The most serious diseased condition of the eyes of
horses and mules is cloudiness or opacity. This condition may be
caused by "moonblindness," technically known as periodic op-
thalmia. The attacks in "moonblindness" come on at intervals of
three to four weeks at first, and later the intervals between at-
tacks get shorter and the duration of the opaque condition be-
comes longer. Permanent blindness finally develops. There is
nothing the layman can do to correct "moonblindness."
Redness and discharge of the eyes come from infection of the
mucous membrane that covers the eyeball and lines the inner
surface of the lids. The use of a saturated solution of boric acid
or a 10 percent solution of argyrol is often helpful in clearing
the eyes.

Workstock in Florida

Sinuses of Head.-The sinuses of the head are cavities located
in the flat bones that make up the face. The frontal sinus is
located just above the eye and toward the center of the face.
The maxillary sinus is located above the check teeth. These cavi-
ties communicate with the nasal cavity. Following such diseases
as distemper, where there is a profuse nasal discharge, these
sinuses often become infected and filled with pus. The maxillary
sinus may become infected from a decayed tooth. When these
sinuses become infected an operation by a veterinarian is indi-
Nostrils and Nasal Cavity.-These points should be examined
closely for redness of the mucous membrane and discharge. These
symptoms indicate local infection of the upper respiratory pas-
sages or distemper. Occasionally obstructions are found within
the nasal passages. Treatment for diseases of the upper respira-
tory passages should be done by a veterinarian.

Fig. 17.-Preparing to "float" the teeth of a mule. Note position of the
blade of the float in "dressing off" teeth of left side of lower jaw. A strong
stock is desirable on every farm for restraining workstock. The "floating"
of teeth and other dental operations should be performed by veterinarians

Florida Cooperative Extension

Mouth.-The mouth should be examined for any sores or swol-
len gums, commonly called "lampas." The age of the horse or
mule should be determined from an examination of its front
teeth (incisors). The molar teeth should be examined for ir-
regularity in wear. These teeth may be examined readily if the
tongue is thrown between the molar teeth on the left side of the
horse's mouth when examining the teeth on the right side. In
this instance the person examining the horse should press the
tongue between the molar teeth on the left side by crowding the
tongue in that position, using the back of his right hand. Simply
slide the tongue to the back of the right hand and press it be-
tween the teeth. Then use the left hand to examine the teeth
on the left side.
In masticating feed the horse moves the lower jaw from side
to side as well as up and down. The distance from side to side in
the upper jaw is greater than in the lower jaw. With this grind-
ing effect and the shorter distance between molar teeth from side
to side in the lower jaw, the lower molar teeth wear faster on
the outer edge than on the inner, thereby causing a sharp pro-
jection on the inner edge of each lower molar. The opposite is
true with the upper molar teeth. These teeth wear faster on the
inner edge than on the outer, which produces a sharp edge of the
outer surface of each upper molar. As these edges become
sharper, the tongue is often lacerated by the edges on the lower
molars and the cheeks by the edges on the upper molars.
These edges should be "dressed off" or "floated" by a veteri-
Angle of Jaw.-Glandular enlargements resulting from infec-
tion in the glands may be found under the lower jaw at the throat
latch. In distemper oftentimes the glands at the angle of the
jaw become enlarged. Infection may come from skin abrasions
in that area or from decayed teeth.
Ears.-The ears may be held awry if they have been injured.
Some horsemen put the twitch on the ear instead of on the upper
lip in restraining animals. This practice should be discouraged,
since it is rather easy to injure the nerve supplying the muscles
of the ear.
Poll.-The poll should be examined closely for an enlargement
indicating poll evil. If no enlargement is present, the poll should
be examined closely for a large scar indicating that poll evil has
been present and that an operation has been performed. In

Workstock in Florida

treating poll evil it is necessary to have a veterinarian remove all
the diseased tissue and establish drainage for the affected area.
Side of Neck.-If many animals are kept together in a corral,
oftentimes they kick each other and frequently the side of the
neck receives the blows. Bruises might become infected, thereby
producing a large sore.
Withers.-The withers should be examined closely for fistula.
This condition is indicated by a large swelling that often "breaks"
of its own accord and discharges pus. The infection forms tracts
between the muscles of the shoulder region and may even infect
the backbone in that region. The only effective treatment is to
operate upon the animal, removing all the diseased tissue and
establishing drainage to the parts. Only a veterinarian should
attempt to operate.
Shoulders.-"Sweeny" or muscle atrophy is one of the most
common unsoundnesses detected in the shoulder region. This
condition may be caused by injury of the nerve that supplies the
muscles of the shoulder or from an unsoundness such as ring-
bones, sidebones and tendon trouble that cause the animal to
"favor" that limb. When "sweeny" is observed, a very close
examination should be given every point below the shoulder to
detect the unsoundness that is responsible for the lameness that
caused the wasting away of the muscles of the shoulder. There
is no effective treatment for the condition if it is caused by an
injury to the nerve that supplies the muscles. If the cause is
some unsoundnesses such as ringbones, splints, sidebones, or
tendon trouble, these unsoundnesses should be corrected, if pos-
Sore shoulders or "collar galls" are often found in workstock.
Generally these sores come from ill-fitting collars, old collar or
sweat pads, dirty collars or improper adjustment of the traces
to the hames. The collar should fit snugly to the shoulders. When
fitted properly the collar should allow the finger tips to pass in
snugly between the collar and neck just above the shoulder points.
The flat hand should pass snugly between the front part of the
neck and the collar. If the collar is too large it is almost certain
to produce sores. If the traces are placed too low on the hames
too much pressure is brought to bear on the shoulder point and a
sore shoulder results. If traces are placed too high on the hames
too much pressure is brought to bear on the upper part of the
shoulder and sores will develop in that region.

Florida Cooperative Extension

Collar or sweat pads of various kinds are often used. Such
pads may be responsible for sores, since they will become wet
with perspiration and will irritate the shoulder, thereby produc-
ing sores. If the collar is kept clean and if it fits properly to the
shoulder, no pad is needed.
The collar should be kept clean at all times. After each day's
work the dirt should be removed by using a rub rag. If dirt has
accumulated on the collar it may be removed with saddle soap.
The shoulders may be "toughened up" in the spring by bathing
them at night with a salt solution. Add two tablespoonfuls of
common salt to one gallon of water and use this solution in bath-
ing the shoulders.
If a sore has already developed on the shoulder there are sev-
eral treatments that the owner might apply. If the sore is badly
swollen and the tissue thickened, the services of a veterinarian
should be obtained. If there is only a slight sore the parts should
be bathed two or three times daily with an antiseptic solution.
Any of the coal tar products are good. After bathing the sore,
dust with a powder such as any one of the following: boric acid,
iodoform, powdered zinc oxide, zinc stearate or burnt alum. If
the owner desires to apply a salve, zinc oxide ointment may be
applied. The affected shoulder should be bathed with an anti-
septic solution prior to the application of a powder or an oint-
ment. After the sore is bathed it should be dried before the
powder or ointment is applied.
Tendons at Knee.-A group of tendons or "leaders" attach to
the bones of the knee and to the upper end of the cannon bone
just below the knees. These tendons extend the limb and flex
(bend) the knee joint. As a result of severe straining, these
tendons oftentimes become sore, thickened and shortened. In
examining a horse for soundness these tendons should be pal-
pated thoroughly to determine if they are painful to the touch
and if they are thickened. In chronic inflammation of these ten-
dons (tendonitis), they become shortened and produce a "bucked"
knee. An animal with diseased tendons of the knee should never
be purchased.
In attempting to relieve the condition the services of a veteri-
narian should be obtained, if possible. When the owner himself
must attempt treatment, the tendons should be bathed with warm
water for several minutes three times a day. Dry the parts well
after bathing and apply ammonia liniment, massaging the ten-
dons thoroughly in applying the liniment.

Workstock in Florida

The knee joint at times becomes enlarged due to stumbling
and falling on the knee in pulling heavy loads. The injury may
involve the joint capsule or a thickening of the ligaments that
hold the bones of the knee in place. There is very little treatment
a layman can give to an enlarged knee.
Cannon Region.-The cannon region is located just below the
knee joint in the front limb, the hock joint in the hind limb. This
region should be examined carefully in attempting to detect un-
soundnesses, since important defects may be located at this point.
One of the most common ailments found in the cannon region is
diseased tendons. There are two large tendons located just be-
hind the large cannon bone. These tendons may become sore,
thickened and shortened as a result of severe straining. When
they become shortened this condition causes the animal to walk on
its toe, and the fetlock joint is thrown forward, producing what
is commonly called "cocked ankle." If there is any evidence of
thickening of the flexor tendons in a horse or mule that is being
examined prior to purchase, it is well not to make the purchase,
since serious tendon trouble might develop later.
In attempting to relieve the soreness of the tendons in the early
stages of the ailment, applications of warm water followed by a
brisk application of a liniment as previously described might be
used as treatment.
A "splint" is a bony growth on the cannon bone. The cause of
"splints" is an injury to the fibrous covering (the periosteum)
of the cannon bone. When the covering of the cannon bone is in-
jured, bone-forming cells begin to develop at the point of injury
and later a bony growth develops. A "splint" near the tendons
in this region might produce lameness. Also, if the animal is
worked on a hard road splints may cause lameness. Farm horses
and mules that are worked on sandy soil very rarely "go lame"
from "splints." This bony growth should not be overlooked
when examining a horse for soundness, and if a "splint" is pres-
ent this condition would depreciate the value of the animal. High
splints that interfere with joints are quite serious, otherwise
splints usually do not produce lameness.
In treating all bony growths it is necessary to apply a strong
blister to the parts, and this should be done by a qualified veteri-
narian. In advanced cases, point firing, using a hot iron, followed
with a blister is necessary to check the bony growth.
Fetlock Joint.-The fetlock joint might become enlarged as a
result of severe straining in pulling heavy loads. The joint cap-

Florida Cooperative Extension

sule becomes weakened, causing enlargements on each side of the
fetlock joint. The enlargements contain the joint fluid which
can be detected readily by palpation. The common name of these
enlargements is "windpuffs" or wens. This condition greatly
depreciates the value of an animal.
Many farmers make the mistake of trying to drain off the
fluid in "windpuffs," not realizing that when the enlargement is
opened an infected joint results. There is no treatment that the
layman can give to relieve "windpuffs."
Pastern Region.-The pastern region is located just below the
fetlock joint. This is the region in which ringbones are found.
Normally there are two small bones in this region. A true ring-
bone is a bony growth that involves both of these bones. The
growth unites the two bones, forming a bony enlargement just
below the fetlock joint. The bony growth results from injury to
the fibrous covering of the two bones similar to the cause of a
"splint" previously described.
Ringbones cause serious lameness to work animals on hard
roads, but when animals are worked lightly on sandy soil even
large ringbones may not cause lameness.
Ringbones are treated as other bony growths by the use of

Fig. 18.-1, Bog spavin; 2, ringbone.

Workstock in Florida

Fig. 19.-Left, toe allowed to grow too long; right, hoof properly trimmed.

blisters or even "firing and blistering." Such treatment should
be given by veterinarians only.
Side of Foot.-The side and heel of the foot are composed large-
ly of cartilage known as the lateral cartilages. These cartilages
extend above the hoof wall on the side and in the heel. In the un-
soundness known as sidebones these lateral cartilages turn to
bone. Animals that are worked on soft, sandy soil do not become
lame from sidebones; however, when put on hard roads the lame-
ness becomes very pronounced. The sidebones can be recognized
very readily by passing the fingers over the side of the foot
above the hoof wall. Hard, bony projections will be noted in-
stead of the elastic lateral cartilages. The bony growths, when
extensive, can be detected with the eye.
Sidebones are treated similar to ringbones and splints.
Wall of Hoof.-Sometimes the hoof wall will split in the region
of the toe. This crack in the wall is referred to as a "toe crack."
If the crack is at the side of the foot it is called a "quarter
crack." These cracks may produce extreme lameness, since the
sensitive part of the foot is pinched within the cracks. The foot
should be examined carefully for "toe" and "quarter" cracks in
examining a horse for soundness.
In treating "toe" and "quarter" cracks the animal should be
shod with light shoes. The hoof should be trimmed so that the
sole areas below the crack will not come in contact with the shoe.
This will relieve pressure from the crack. The shoe should be
nailed to the hoof so that a nail will be driven on each side of the

Fig. 20.-Trimming a hoof that had grown too long.
crack. This may necessitate making an extra nail hole within
the shoe. The shoe should be removed every three weeks and the
foot trimmed properly.
Heel of Foot.-A common disease of the heel is the condition
referred to as "grease heel." This is often caused by letting a
rope or plowline "burn" the heel. As the name indicates, moist,
greasy-like exudate is found covering the affected parts. At
times the infection will become so extensive that the frog is dis-
eased. In severe cases the entire pastern region is swollen, with
eruptions present. In treating this condition the parts should be
bathed in an antiseptic solution of an emulsified coal-tar product.
After the parts are bathed thoroughly, a powder consisting of 1
part pulverized copper sulfate and 2 parts boric acid by weight
should be dusted into the area two or three times daily. An oint-
ment consisting of vaseline and phenol (carbolic acid) is useful
in treating this condition. The affected animal should be kept in
dry quarters.

Workstock in Florida 35

Frog of Foot.-Thrush is an infection located in the cleft of the
frog. It is generally found in animals that stand in wet, filthy
places. The infection produces a discharge from the cleft of the
frog. The discharge is very foul-smelling in severe cases. If the
infection is not checked, the entire frog will become diseased.
In attempting to correct the condition the animal should be re-
moved to dry, clean quarters. The frog should be bathed thor-
oughly with an emulsified coal-tar product solution, cleansing
thoroughly the area within the cleft of the frog. Dry the parts
and apply one of the following powders: (1) burnt alum, (2)
calomel, or (3) a mixture of pulverized copper sulfate 1 part and
boric acid 2 parts by weight. The foot should be bandaged to
keep out dirt in severe cases.
Sole of Foot.-Nail puncture or other injury might be present
in the sole of the foot, hence in examining a horse for soundness
the foot should be lifted from the ground and cleaned thoroughly
so that any puncture or other injury to the foot can be detected.
It is well to tap the foot gently at first and more briskly later,
using any firm object such as the end of a closed pocket knife.
If the animal is sensitive to the tapping on the foot it indicates
an unsoundness affecting the foot.
Back.-The back is examined closely for saddle or harness
sores. The recommendations outlined for sore shoulders would
be indicated for these sores.
Sides.-The sides of the horse or mule should be examined for
bruises. If a number of animals are kept together within a corral
or pasture there is danger that an animal may be kicked quite
severely, thereby causing a bruise.
Navel and Flanks.-An umbilical hernia may exist at the navel,
hence it is always important to examine this point thoroughly.
Since the abdominal muscles are comparatively thin in the region
of the hind flanks, a hernia may be produced in this region as a
result of an injury to these muscles.
Croup.-The croup or rump region should be examined for
muscle atrophy. If there is any unsoundness in the hindleg or
hindfoot severe enough to cause the animal to go lame, thereby
favoring that limb, the muscles of the croup will become atro-
phied (shrunken). In examining a horse for muscle atrophy in
the croup region the person making the examination should stand
directly behind the animal, observing both sides of the croup care-
fully. It is not difficult to detect any shrinking of muscles on

Florida Cooperative Extension

either side if one side is compared with the other. If the muscles
should be found to be atrophied on one side, then a very careful
examination must be given all points down the hind leg, since it
indicates the presence of an unsoundness that is causing or has
caused lameness in that limb.
Stifle Joint.-Dislocation of the stifle bone may occur. The
stifle joint should be examined for enlargement, indicating a
thickening of ligaments that hold the bone in place or an enlarged
joint capsule. If the stifle bone is dislocated the leg will be held
outward from the body and slightly backward. The animal will
make no effort to flex (bend) the leg at any joint.
The stifle bone may be replaced by pulling the hind leg directly
forward with a rope attached below the fetlock. An attendant
should press on the stifle bone so that it may be pushed in place
when the leg is straightened.
Hock.-In examining a horse for soundness the hock joint
should be observed carefully for spavins. There are two types of
spavin, bog and bone. Bog spavin is an enlargement of the joint
capsule of the hock joint. It occurs as an enlargement on the
inner surface of the hock joint, slightly toward the front part of
the hock. The enlargement is filled with the joint fluid called


Fig. 21.-1, Bone spavin; 2, sidebone.

Workstock in Florida

synovia, and if palpated the fluid can be felt within the enlarge-
Bog spavin rarely causes lameness, yet it indicates that the
horse or mule has been worked severely in most cases.
Bone spavin is a bony enlargement located on the inside of the
hock, slightly towards the front of the joint at the point where
the hock begins to taper towards the cannon region.
Bone spivin is caused by severe straining, injuries to the hock,
and by improper shoeing. The bony growth involves the small
bones of the hock joint and the upper end of the cannon bone.
These bones are joined together by the bony growth. Due to the
interference in mobility of these small bones with the cannon
bone, lameness generally develops from a bone spavin, and in
many cases the lameness is severe.
The layman can do little in the treatment of any type of spavin.
Capped hock is a swelling at the point of the hock. At first the
swelling is very painful to the touch. Later the enlargement
contains fluid which should be drained by a veterinarian. At
times, the swelling contains pus.
Curb is a bulging backward of the rear part of the hock. It
may come from a strained tendon or a diseased ligament at that
point on the hock joint. The swelling is painful to the touch at
first and will produce lameness. Later the soreness disappears
and the swollen area is hard to the touch, since there is a distinct
thickening of the tendon or ligaments. There is little treatment
the layman can give for a curb.
The points from the hock joint downward in the hind limb cor-
respond to the points in the front leg from the knee joint down-
ward and examination should be given these points for the un-
soundness described for the front limb.

The old adage, "No foot, no horse," is certainly true. Foot
abnormalities greatly hinder the efficiency of the horse and mule.
Most of the foot troubles arise from either inherited poor confor-
mation or improper care of the feet. Poor conformation can be
largely avoided by proper selection of animals for breeding or
for work.
A few suggestions are offered concerning the proper care of
feet of horses and mules.

38 Florida Cooperative Extension

1. Trim feet of stabled animals, removing all excess growth of
hoof wall at least once a month. Check animals on pasture at
least every two months.
2. Reset or replace shoes every month. Failure to change
the shoes results in the natural growth of the hoof carrying the
heel too far beneath the foot for the proper bearing.
3. Groom pasterns and fetlocks every day, using brushes but
not curry comb.
4. See that the stalls are roomy, clean, well bedded and well
5. If hoof wall wears excessively in sandy soil, apply shoes.
Do not work an animal that is "tender-footed" from excessive
wear of hoof wall. Shoes will allow hoofs to grow normally.

The Florida Agricultural Extension Service, in co-
operation with the United States Department of Agri-
culture and county governments, maintains county
agents in 60 of Florida's 67 counties, home demon-
stration agents in about two-thirds as many. These
agents will be glad to help you with your farm and
home problems.

They have bulletins on most subjects which they
can give you. They are acquainted with Government
programs and policies. They are awake to the exigen-
cies of the times, and will do everything possible to
help. They know local growing conditions, and are
familiar with what is required for success.

Consult county and home demonstration agents,
usually in either the courthouse or the post office
building at the county seat, freely. Or, if you prefer,




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