SHOEING HORSES. The proper shoeing of horses, when employed on city pavements or hard roads, is one demanding the most earnest attention of every horse owner. Nevertheless, not one in a hundred ever take the pains to inform themselves as to the correct manner of' doing this, but trust to horse-shoers, many of them as ignorant of the varying necessities of the case, according to the shape and quality of the hoof, as is the owner. On soft roads, and on all work in soft ground, the hoofs are undoubtedly better without shoes, and hence many good farmers properly refuse to allow the horses worked on the farm to be shod in summer, except those that are to be driven on stony or other hard roads. Some years since, Mr. George Fleming, Veterinary Surgeon Royal Engineers, England, prepared a paper on Horse Shoes and Horse shoeing, that has been accepted as one of the best. monographs on the subject extant. We therefore give it nearly entire as well worthy of study: It would take us rather beyond the limits of our subject if we attempted to point out the very important part the horse plays in the world and in the progress of civilization, and to what an extent mankind has to rely on him for most essential services, rendered in peace or in war. Neither need we dwell on the share this creature has taken in the development of civilization, and in the great events which have marked the his tory of our species. Suffice it, therefore, to, state, that on no other animal has devolved, or could be imposed, the same onerous duties, and to no other creature is man indebted for so many services and benefits. These could never have been rendered but for the fact, discovered at a very early period in the history of man, that the horse was gifted with a special conformation, which adapted him for the most varied uses. under the most diverse circumstances, and that the chief point in this conformation was the presence of a solid foot cased in tough, elastic horn. The varied uses to which the horse has been subjected since lie was taken from a wild condition, and the willing and cheerful manner with which he has undergone fatigue and per formed duties which are, one would think, quite foreign to his nature, have certainly all been owing to his combined and unequal qual ities of strength, courage, speed, fidelity, and obedience, as well as docility; and though his great value has mainly depended upon a just disposition of these, yet it cannot be doubted that to the presence of a wonderfully contrived foot the horse largely owes his exalted posi tion above all those ereatures which have submitted themselves to domestication and toil for the benefit of the human species. The his: tory of mankind abundantly te,stifies that every possible use and application of this animal, whether in war. commerce, or pleasure, seems to have been anticipated by the most ancient peoples; aud old-world nations which. ages ago, most largely employed the horse, were the great centers of antique civilization. Indeed, it may safely he asserted that bul for the horse the human race could not have reached its present state of progress or refinement, or have been able to contend against the numerous obstacles to advancement and material happiness which surrounded it; and it has been well said that, next to the want of iron, the want of horses would have been one of the greatest physical barriers to the perfecting of the arts of civilized life. ..A.1)(1 but for the horse heinv endowed with cmtinually growing hoof, wifich covers the most beautiful and delicate structures. and which, being solid, and a slow conductor of heat and cold, eminently fits him for traveling in snow and ice during the winter of northern .regions, and iu the burning sands of tropical climates, he wiould scarcely have proved him self worth the trouble of domesticating. For, notwithstanding his other grand qualities, no invention or device of man could have compen sated for the absence of his solid, hoof-cased foot. Therefore it has happened that, from the eartiest ages,.the attention of horsemen has been largely centered on the feet of the horse; and no matter how perfect the other points of his conforniation may have been, if these organs were defective all was bad, as none of his good qualities could then be made effective. And from these aves to the present time, when the uses to whicethe horse eau be put have become so multiplied, and so much more necessary for our business or pleasure, this truth has been daily receivinv further confirmation, until Abe .aphorism, no foot, no horse, has become a pain ful reality in modern days; though it is but a re-echo of what was, no doubt, enunciated centuries beyond two thousand years avo. For the manifestation of his strength and'the due development of his other good qualities the horse must rely upon the soundness of' his feet, as in them are concentrated the efforts created elsewhere, and on them depend, to a great extent, the solidity and just equilibrium of the whole animal fabric. So that it is wisely con sidered that the foot of the horse is one of the most, if not the most, important part of the body, and that all the splendid qualities pos sessed by the noble creature may he diminished in value, or hopelessly lost„ if through disease or accident, natural or acquired defects, or other causes, this organ fails to perform its allotted task. Seeingr, then, the great interest and importance Mild' attach to this animal, in its being of all creatures most concerned with man in promoting ft progressive and long-continued civilization, and to the means and appliances -which have from time to time been brought to bear in increasing the utility of this devoted servant, it cannot lutt be a matter of public interest to inquire into an art whicb, how ever insignificant it may generally appear, yet increases a hundred-fold the usefulness of the horse. I refer to the art of shoeing, through which, in arming that portion of the hoof which comes in contact with the ground aud sustains the whole weight and propelling power of the animal, injury is not only averted, but the power of the horse is greatly developed. An art which has indirectly exercised much influ ence on the destiny of mankind, and lent its aid to the restless wave of human action, surely deserves some notice; and if it be looked upon as a modest and obscure art, it nevertheless merits the attention of the humane no less tbau that of the utilitarian, in consequence of its being so closely related to the comfort and the preservation of this animal, whose value is eveii day becoming more appreciated and exagger ated. It. may be said that with the horse in a state of nature the hoof requires no protection. The solidity and toughness of the material of which it is composed; the absence of artificial roads; nothing but the weight of the body to be supported; and the horn never being sub jected to any other influences than those it is naturally adapted to resist, maintain it in health and uninjured. But, in connection with climate, domestication alters more or less the conditions on which the horse depends for the horn's integrity as au efficient protection to the living arid extremely sensitive parts it encloses. In several regions of the world, which have a dry climate and a soft soil, and where the hoofs are firm in texture, shoeing is seldom, if ever required. 'When the journeys are long, how ever, and the labor severe, some kind of arti ficial piotection is needed, or the animal's feet become denuded of horn, and lameness results. Among the Mongols this accident is repaired by the horseman exchanging his pony for one whose hoofs are not worn; or, if he has a num ber, lie rides another until the cripple has had time to grow a new supply for wear. In some regions, as with the North American Indians and the Tartars, raw.hide is used ou such occa sions, and even the horns of other crcatures; and in Japan, when a traveler is about to start on a long journey, a bundle of rice-straw slippers for his steed, is tied to his saddle, and these he attaches to the animal's feet from time to time, as they become worn. Strange to say, the Jap anese knew nothing of attaching an iron shoe to the hoof by means of nails until some troop farriers were sent from North China to that country in 1860, to attend to the horses purchascd tor the expcdition to Pekin. These farriers introduced the art into Japan. But even in the most favored countries 11.e useful ness of the horse eno be but. limited without some means of protecting the hoof from undue wear. And doubtless this fact WilS soon recog nized by the people who, at a very early period, trained and employ-ed. this animal, and who, no doubt, were compelled to resort to various devices to protect it from inefficiency from this .cause. For, with the increasing spread (il civili zation, the demands upon the services of the horse became more urgent and heavy, and the diversities of climate to which he was carried, as well as of races which resulted, would lcad one to suppose that greater wear and modification in the nature and consistency of the hoof would render some kind of defense absolutely neces sary. This necessity led to the liold and efficient method now in vogue, of attaching a metal rim to the lower border of the hoof by means of nails driven through the horn, ft device which the nine teenth century can not improve, and one which, to the individual who proposed or first practiced it, must have been a feat of no ordinaiy magni tude; while to us it has proved to be an inven tion scarcely inferior to that of the steam engine in importance. But, like so many other inven tions, this one is lost in the obscurity of ages; and archteologists and antiquarians have for nearly two centuries puzzled themselves in vain in try ing to arrive at the period when the art of horse shoeing was introduced; while ancient writers afford little or no assistance in enabling us to judge whether the art was practiced even in their day. Up to a recent period horse-shoeing was traced no further back with certainty than the ninth century, though the legends, traditions, and superstitions relating to it proved that it was very old. But the great advances made in arch wology now make it manifest that shoeing was known to the Romans and the ancient Gauls; and though it is persistently stated in every-day books of reference, such as Haydn's Dictionary of Dates, that the farrier's art was introduced into Britain by William the Conqueror, it is cer tain that during the Roman occupation of this country horses were shod in a similar manner to what they are now-a-days. Horse-shoes have been discovered repeatedly in the camps and graves of ancient Gaul, and even in battle fields of these people. They have been found in numerous instances with Roman relics, such as arrns, brooches, lamps, coins, etc., in France, Switzerland, and Belgium ; and in this country many have been discovered in excavations in London, in the streets of some of our towns at considerable depths, in Roman camps, roads, villas, and various other situations; and as a fur ther proof that horse-shoeing was known in this country before the arrival of the Normans, we find that in the ancient laws of Wales the court farrier was an important personage, and had certain valuable privileges conferred upon him while he shod the king's horses. Indeed my researches have carried me as far back as about 300 years before our era, when a coin of Taren tum was struck, which was evidently designed to represent something in connection with the fartier's art; perhaps it was intended to com memorate the birth of the art itself. I may also mention that there can be no doubt that a tem porary protection for the hoofs was sometimes resorted to, as we find it mentioned by different Roman writers under various names. This pro tection was in all likelihood something of the same kind as that now used by the Japanese; but it would also appear to have been made of iron, and to be something of a sandal. Often with the ordinary Roman horse-shoe, sometimes alone, there have been found articles of different shapes, though alike in some particulars, which have been designated, hipposandals, by those who believe them to have been these temporary protections. It is questionable whether many of these could have been used for such a purpose, however; while it is not at all improbable that others may have been attached to the hoofs of the horse for some other purpose than that of a sandal. A word with regard to the Roman horse-shoe. In the preparation of my work on horse-shoeing I had occasion to examine and to read the descrip tion of very many of the shoes which undoubt edly belonged to the Roman period, and I was surprised to find they all bore the greatest resem blance to each other; so much so, indeed, that if they had been laid together any one who did not know that they bad been collected in France, Switzerland, Belgium, and England, would be likely to assert that they were made by the same artisan; and there is also a wonderful uniformity of size amongst them, which would go to prove that the horses then applied in these countries were small. The shoe is of the simplest kind, being merely a narrow strip of iron bent like the shoe now in use, the ends of the branches being rolled over to form calks, and there are nearly always three holes on each side to receive the nails. The holes and nails form the distinctive features of the shoe, however, and have led rae to consider.such shoes as peculiar to the Romano Gallic or Romano-British period. At each nail hole is a wide oval indentation, in the middle of which the round hole for the nail is made. This indentation was intended to and did receive the base of a large flat-headed nail which it sup ported, and prevented from being twisted out of the shoe. With the two calks, each foot in this way stood on eight distinct points, which insured a good foothold. But in making the oval cavity. for the nail head the narrow rim of metal was bulged out at each hole, and thus the border of the shoe presented an undulating appearance, which is exceedingly of these shoes. Toward the middle ages the art of shoeing acquired much import ance in Western Europe. Armor of a heavy description began to be worn ; homes of a large size, to carry the increased weight, were bred, and they had to be protected with heavier shoes. So important did the art become that the farrier or his superintendent was often a high officer of the royal household; and kings, princes, and nobles did not disdain to be taught and to prac tice that art upon which so much depended in those days. Noblemen received their titles and names from their connection with the craft, as Marshal, Ferrers, Laferriers, and Ferrier; and gifts were bestowed and tenures held in connec tion with horse-shoes and horse-shoeing, more especially in England during the reign of Wil liam the Conqueror. Northampton and a large tract of country was held by Simon St. Liz on condition that he provided shoes for William's horses; and it is probably in connection with this peculiar tenure that the Northamptonshire mili tia wear a horse-shoe on their pouches. And for superintending the shoeing' of the same mon arch's steeds, Henry de Ferrarus, or Ferreis, had bestowed upon him the honor of Tutbury, in Staffordshire. other parts of the country tenures were held on similar terms; and even in your own city of London, iu 1235, during the reign of Henry III., Walter le Bruin, or Brun, a farrier, or marechal, as the shoer was then designated, had a piece of land granted him in the Strand, in the parish of St. Clement's Danes, whereon to erect a forge, on condition that he should render at the exchequer, annually, for the same a quit rent of six horse-shoes, with the nails (sixty-two) thereto belonging. This curious payment was made twice during the reign of Edward I., and is continued up to the present time, the shoes and nails being paid on the 30th September, at the swearing in of the newly elected sheriff of Loudon and Middlesex, to the representatives of the sovereign for the said piece of ground, though it has long been city property. Noblemen and others had horse-shoes on their coats of arms and seals, and even towns sported the hoof-iron, as is seen in the old corporation seal of Gloucester, in use during the reign of Edward III. But we need not pursue the his tory of the art any further, except to remark that the grooved or fullered shoe came into use in this country about four or five ce,nturies ago; though shoes of this kind, of a much earlier date (fifth century), have been found in graves in Burgundy, the groove baying evidently been made by the same tool that cut the furrows in the formidable scramasacs, or swords worn by the warriors, for the farrier was often also the armorer. The shoes were ponderous and clumsy, and the hoofs appear at a later period to have become subjected to serious mutilations by the farrier's boutoir, or buttress, as the hoof-eutting implement was named. In this country, towards the end of the last and commencement of this century, an attempt was made to place the art on a scientific basis, but, unfortunately, wild theor ies regard to the functions of the horse's feet were promulgated ; the hoof alone was stud ied, and no regard was had to the important structures it contained, and to which it was a mere shell; fantastic notions as to the expansion of the hoof at the heels, the descent of the sole, and other strange ideas, were carried into prac tice; and shoeing on what was, and is still, termed improved principles—though the improve ment was an infraction of nature's laws—proved a veritable curse to horses. The hoof was reduced to the thinnest film where it should have been left strong, and was pared away until it yielded on the sole to the pressure of the thumb, or until the blood came oozing through; a knife was devised to search into the inflexions at the heels, which were so many natural bulwarks, and the elastic cushion at the back part of the hoof was recklessly sliced away, until at last the foot was so robbed of its natural covering that it required great skill and an artificial protection between it and the shoe to enable the animal to travel for a few years. The shoe was beveled off on the upper surface, so as not to press on the tender sole, and this threw all the strain of the weight and exertion upon the margin of the foot. In short, no treatnient devised to ruin horses prematurely in their feet could have been more appropriate and successful, so far as the lower surface of the hoof was concerned. With regard to the outer part, this was rasped and chiseled away to make fine work, until there was scarcely sufficient material left to drive the nails through; consequently these had to be increased in number. The evils horse-shoeing thus intro duced have continued, and are as prevalent now as they were fifty years ago. The number of horses rendered useless by improved farriery is very great, and only too frequently inefficiency is brought about at an early period of the horse's career. The farriers only too frequently work by rule of thumb, and on no fixed principle. Their knowledge is mainly traditional, passed from father to son, or from an elder to an appren tice, without cultivation, or without being enhanced by educated observation. This is due to the neglect into which the art has fallen for many centuries; and yet this neglect is somewhat unpardonable. Not very many years ago the farfier was the only authority on the diseases of animals, and to his tender mercies was entrusted their restoration to health and soundness when they were sick or lame. Science has relieved him of this responsibility, and transferred it to the medically-trained veterinary surgeon, who, from the general and professional education, should be better fitted for such a duty. But this depriva tion has still further lowered the status of the farrier, and, it is to be feared, his art; for he has not the same incentive to maintain his ancient position, and to be a shoer of horses is to rank very inferior indeed ; while the veterinary sur geon, from the many subjects he has to study while at college, and the far too brief period he spends there, has no time to acquire even ele mentary notions of the horse's foot and the best means of keeping it sound. He therefore imag ines this matter is of but little moment; and I fear some members of the veterinary profession think it rather degrading to pay any attention to what they consider such an humble mechanical handicraft. This is deeply to be regretted, when we know how many horses are prema turely ruined through mismanagement of their feet; how many suffer the most horrible torture, for perhaps years, through bad shoeing; and how many are rendered more or less inefficient and worn out in their limbs from badly adjusted, ill constructed, or far too heavy shoes. There is no remedy for this unfortunate state of affairs but teaching the farriers their art in some school or college presided over by competent teachers, and licensing them when they are able to carry the principles they have been taught into practice. A certificate of competency would be a guarantee • that the possessor had devoted some attention to • the theory of his art, and was so far acquainted with the anatomy and physiology of the organ with which he had to deal, that if he could not treat it as a surgeon when it was diseased, he would yet be in a position to prevent much dis ease in it. It does seem strange that, in a coun try like our own—the home of the best and most valuable horses in the world—and among a horse-loving people such as we are, some such an establishment has not been instituted. If the Society of Arts wished to confer a great service upon horse-owners and upon the noble beast itself, and through thern upon the entire public, it could not do better than propound a scheme for supplying educated farriers to all parts of the country. The Society would have abundant support, and nothing would tend more to improve the minds and elevate the position of the farriers . themselves. Though the end of the horse's limb is named the foot, yet it has no analogy to the human foot, except that both rest on the ground and are essential instruments in progression. The fore foot of the horse is, in fact, the extrem ity of the middle finger of man's hand, and the bind foot isthe analogue of the middle toe of his foot; while the nail on each represents the horse's hoof. In this way the horse's knee is the human wrist, and the hock the human ankle and heel. It is sometimes useful to bear this distinction in mind. A sort of conical semi-lunar bone fills the anterior two-thirds of the hoof, aud to it the hoof is moulded, as well as firmly attached. This is the foot-bone—admirably adapted for its purpose in being light, yet strong, and affording ample protection to the large blood vessels which sup ply the organ in such profusion. Above this bone is the small pastern-bone, and behind it, . between the wings of the crescent, is another narrow bone—the navicular or shuttle bone, as the old farriers used to name it. Over this bone the powerful flexor tendon of the foot passes, to be inserted into the lower surface of the foot bone; and this tendon again rests upon, and is supported at this its weakest part by a large mass of elastic substance, which plays a very necessary part in the function of the l'oot. Frotu each wing of the loot-bone spring two 'wide, cartilaginous plates connected with the elastic cushion; and these, rising above the heels of the hoof, have a large share in promoting springi ness, and obviating injury to the organ. The whole of the foot within the hoof is overed by an exquisitely sensitive membrane, which secretes the horn. The hoof consists of three parts— wall, sole and frog. The wall is attached to the foot-bone by means of a very large number— over six hundred—of very seusitive and vascular leaves, which run from above to below, and are received between similar, hut horny, leaves on the inner surface of the wall. This union is of the most intimate and beautiful character, and I regret that time will not allow me to show you how wonderfully adapted it is for the end in view. The wall itself, as indeed is the whole of the hoof, is composed of very minute cells, not unlike those which compose the skin, but differ ently arranged to form fibers, which pass from the top to the bottom. These fibers can be dis tinguished by the naked eye on a very close inspection, and to form them the cells are laid lengthways, or vertically, while the fibers them selves are united by interfibrous cells, which lie horizontally, so that we have cells laid in two directions; and this not only affords a better resistance to wear, but prevents splitting. The wall grows from the coronet, or upper part of the foot, and this growth is incessant. The outer, or surface fibers, are very dense and smooth, but the deeper they are situated the more soft and spongy they become—a fact of much importance in shoeing. At its upper part the wall is covered by a soft, elastic horn, which protects it while it is being formed. The sole is formed of fibers passing in the same direction, and constructed iu the same manner as in the wall,,but it differs from the latter in one import ant point. When it has attained a certain thick ness, the superficial horn becomes detached in flakes, which, eveu in a semi-detached state, serve a useful purpose in retaining moisture for the growing horu beneath, and acting as a springy detense against injury from loose stones. The
wall, on the contrary, grows to an indefinite length, or rather depth, when indeed it is not worn away by contact with the ground—another important fact to he remembered. The frog is also fibrous, but the horn of which it is com posed is different in quality, being soft, dense, and elastic, like india rubber. It is au essential constituent of the elastic apparatus of the foot, and in situation and function it is analogous to the pad on the foot of the dog, cat, and other animals, and the cushion beneath man's heel. The elastic apparatus of the foot also consists of a cushion of springy material around the top of the organ, and which fits into a recess at the upper margin of the wall, so that -we not only have elastic cartilages and cushions at the back part of the foot but an excellent contrivance all round the top to break the primary shock of con tact with the ground. The fore foot, when well formed, is nearly circular in shape, but the hind one is oval, otherwise there is not much differ ence between them. The angle or slope of the wall varies, but it is generally between fifty and fifty-two degrees. This is as much of the anat omy of the i'oot as we now have time to notice: but I may tell you that perhaps no organ of the animal body will better repay a careful study, if only to trace the evidences of design so wonder fully displayed in every part and combination of parts. With regard to function, it may- he suffi cient to rnention that the wall sustains the largest portion of the weight, and is the part chiefly exposed, as it is that which is rnainly designed to encounter wear. The sole also shares in weight bearing, but a wider surface participates.on soft than on hard ground, owing to its concave shape. The frog has also to sus tain weight to a great extent, but its most impor tant duty is undoubtedly to support the flexor tendon of the foot through the intermediate cushion, to prevent slipping, and also to assist the animal in suddenly checking its pace when moving rapidly. The lower border of the hoof does not expand to any appreciable extent when the animal is in motion. For years this has been taught, but it is a fallacy, and many circum stances prove it to be so. The expansion takes place at its upper border, and towards the heels, where the chief elastic apparatus is situated. The function of the fore foot is chiefly to sup port weight, that of the hind foot is to propel the body. Now as to shoeing: It is obvious that the horse's foot was designed to meet every natural demand, so far as the animal!s weight and movements are concerned; hut when a heavy load is imposed ou back, or attached behind, and when he is compelled to travel, particularly over hard roads, in all kinds of weather, nature's arrangements are overtaxed, and the wear of the hoof is greater than the repair. Consequentl:y-, art must step in to assist nature. The part of the hoof which suffers most from undue wear is that which was intended to encounter it, the wall; and when this is too much worn the sole becomes broken around its margin, and the sensitive parts within wounded and contused. Therefore all that the hoof requires, in order to enable the horse to remain serviceable, is merely some kind of pro tection for the lower border of the wall; but this protectiOn should not be heavy, else the muscles, which were designed to move a mar velously light foot, will be unduly strained, as will also tendons and ligaments, for the muscles —the moving p .wer of the limb—are all situ ated at the upper part of the leg, and act upon short levers, the mechanical TIMMS being designed rather for speed than strength. This protection must be durable; it should not dam age or interfere with the functions of the toot, hut allow every part to perform its office unim paired; it ought to be easily applied, and securd when attached to the foot; it should not render the animal less sure-footed, if possible, than before it was applied; and, finally, it ought to he simple and cheap. Grave charges have been brought against this naethod of preserving the hoof from the effects of wear, by Dacia w hose absurd theories, when carried into practice, inflicted niost serious injury to the foot ; but we may dismiss the:-e and all other cluirges by le declaration that it is not the use, hut the abuse, of the method hich is to be inveighed against. The abuses are due to the farrier trying to improve, not to assist nature, and to make improvement costly. The most serious abuse is the very unreasonable and barbarous mutilation of the hoof. This is often carried to an excess scarcely credible. The sole is robbed of its nat ural protection until it yields to the pressure of the thumb, or even until the blood is passing through it. The frog is cut away to a shred to make it look neat : the bars are carefully removed ; and then a shoe is put on much too small for the hoof. This leaves a portion of the wall pro jecting beyond the outer margin of the metal ; and to make the foot fit the shoe, the horn is removed by means of a rasp from the front of the wall, which is consequently considerably weakened at the very part of all others where it should be strong, to support the nails which retain the shoe. Not only this, but the dense resisting outer fibers being removed, the soft, spongy inner horn is exposed, and this being acted upon by external influences, cracks and splits, until there is scarcely any sound material to retain the nails, which have, consequently, to be driven higher and nearer to the sensitive parts; and this, in time, leads to disease and deformity. A hoof so maltreated has an unmistakably ugly and ragged appearance. In addition to this mutilation of the hoof in the vicinity of the shoe, the farrier, in order to complete a fine job, as he imagines it, rasps the outer surface of the wall as high as the hair, and in this way not only destroys the horn so rasped, but impairs the growth of that from the coronet, which becomes weak and brittle; so that at length the workman has to employ his utmost skill to fasten on the shoe without laming the horse, and has also to employ a greater number of nails, which immensely exaggerates the evil. These mutila tions and their consequence are quite common, and one can scarcely pass a horse in the streets of London without noticing them, and the major ity of the shoes which are applied to the hoofs are no more reasonable in their construction. Great clumsy, unsightly masses of iron, the weight of which is perfectly outrageous, are attached to the feet of horses which have to travel sometimes at a rapid pace, carrying or drawing heavy loads. This weight is not only injurious to the leet, through the _strain it im pose,s on them, but is extremely fatiguing to the muscles; so that a large portion of the animal's power is expended in carrying about unwieldy. clogs of iron. And the useless weight is not the only objection to very many of the shoes in daily use. In order that the denuded sole may not suffer injury from the pressure of the shoe, this is beveled away on its upper surface, until there is only a narrow rim left on which the foot rests; so that in reality the whole of the weight bear ino. is thrown upon the wall ; and in consequence ofthe thickness of the shoe, neither sole or frog ever come in contact with the ground, and sus tain their fair share of the weight and strain. In this way the horse is compelled to travel as no other animal does, or was ever designed to— on the outer margin of its feet. The space between the shoe and the sole is admirably adapted for the lodgement of stones, dirt, etc , and in heavy, stiff ground wonderfully increases suction. So much for the upper surface of the shoe; the lower, or ground surface, is not much less defective. It is usually a large, wide, smooth surface of metal, well contrived to pro _ mote sliding and slipping,furnished with a groove near its border, in m-hich the nail holes are punched, but which groove is a rnere waste of labor and time, for the farrier to make, as it is useless. Sonietimes, with a view to prevent slipping, two projections, or calks, are raised at the end of the branches of the shoe; and these, though they may to a trifling extent answer their purpose, nevertheless throw the foot and limb into a most unnatural and uncomfortable posi tion, the pain and inconvenience of which we may realize by walking iv very high-heeled boots. These are only some, not all, of the evils of shoeing as commonly practiced, and it must be confessed that they are very serious, and sooner or later lead to painful traveling for the horse, as well as impaired efficiency; and yet this art, which the farrier makes so difficult and costly, both directly and indirectly, should be neither. To shoe a horse properly, if we take observation and a study of nature's plans into consideration, is certainly not a very difficult operation, and neither need it be a very expen sive one. Our object should be to protect the hoof from wear—nothing more; and in doing so we ought to maintain the integrity and sound ness of the hoof, while we do not overburden or disturb the natural direction of the foot and limb; and, as a secondary object, we should endeavor to increase the animal's foothold on the ground, if possible. The first object is attained by leaving the sole, frog and bars in their natural condition ; as I have already explained that when they have acquired a certain thickness the outer surface falls off in flakes of dead horn, so that they never become too thick. It is different with the wall, which would grow to an indefinite length, because it is not thrown off in flakes, and the shoe prevents it from being worn. This, therefore, every time the horse is shod, has to be reduced in length at it,s lower border to a degree corres ponding to the growth which has taken place since the previous shoeing; and the manner in which this is done, as well as the extent, con stitutes, in my opinion, the chief test of the farrier's skill. If the wall is too much reduced, generally, injury will follow; if too much at the toe or front, the heels will be naturally high, and this will alter the animal's gait, par ticularly in the fore feet, and make its paces uncomfortable to the rider; if too much at the back part of the heels, it throws the unnatural strain on the fetlocks and some other joints; and if one side is lowered more than a.nother, it leads to twisting of the limbs and strain on the lateral ligaments of the joints. All these can be avoided by the skillful artisan ; and yet, strange to say, the normal position or direction of the limb and foot is seldom taken into consideration, and we see numbers of horses of all descriptions with these more or less crooked in consequence. The unmutilated hoof only requires as much iron as will protect the lower border of its walls, say for a month or six weeks, and insure security of foothold—nothing more—and all beyond this is loss or injury; while, if possible, the sole and frog should be allowed to play- their part. A shoe and method of shoeing which admirably answer these ends is that introduced some years ago by M. Charlier, a Parisian veterinary surgeon. A narrow rim of iron is imbedded in a recess formed by removing the wall only, to a certain depth of its lower border; the iron. in fact, takes the place of the removed wall, and is retained securely by a small number of very small nails. The first, I believe, to try this method of shoeing in this country, I have con tinued its use, but in a modified form up to the present time, and can affirm that it is, for many horses, the best method of shoeing known. In principle it is founded on a sound physiologi cal basis, and in practice I can testify to its great utility. My modification consists in having only a short rim of metal passing round about two-thirds of the wall, and imbedded on a level with the sole, leaving that and the frog to reach the ground, and the heels free of iron—in all respects, in fact, as though the foot were in an unshod state. The rim weighs about one-third of the common shoe, and is retained firmly in position by only four of the very smallest nails, and yet it wears longer than the heavy shoe, which requires eight, ten, and sometimes twelve nails. This is easily accounted for by the fact that horn and iron wear together in this instance, and that the limbs are not fatigued, but move lightly and easily. Traveling is also safer on slippery roads, as there is only a very small por tion of metal exposed, and the frog prevents slip ping. The saving in manufacture, nails, and iron is also very great. If this shoe can not be employed, then we ought to resort to one in con formation the opposite of that now adopted, in so far that it should be much lighter, be concave on the ground surface and flat towards the foot, and instead of having a groove, have merely the nail-holes punched for the reception of the nail head. This would assure a safer footing, dimin ish the strain on the wall by allowing the sole to share in sustaining the weight, as it was intended it should do, and obviate the effects of suction in heavy ground, as well as picking up stones, etc. A shoe I have devised meets these ends, and is merely an imitation of the lower border of the wall, sole and bars. I have tested its utility among troop horses and in the hunting-field for a number of years, and it has proved a good shoe for road work. The bevel on the ground sur face suddenly ceasing within an inch or so of the end of the branch leaves a catch, which imitates the angles of the bars, and acts like them in assisting the horse to check his motion suddenly. The nails should be as few and as small as pos sible, and be driven only a short distance into the w'all, which, if reduced to its proper dimen sions before the shoe is put on, will not, and ought not to, receive any further rasping, espe cially on the face, as the shoe should be fitted full to the circumference. A word as to fitting. To secure a perfect coaptation between the shoe and hoof is not an easy matter, and requires much time and tact ; and when it has been obtained the shoe is far from being as securely attached as is desirable, particularly if the hoof is exposed to wet. The fitting is greatly simplified, and an accurate adjustment, as well as a solid surface for the shoe, secured, if the latter bc used in a hot state to prove the evenness of the surface on which it is to rest, as well as to fuse or char the immediate ends of the fibers, which are thereby hardened, and resist pressure and the effects of moisture to a wonderful degree. Per sons ignorant of the subject imagine this injures the foot, but in all my experience I have never observed any harm to follow. Horn is a very slow conductor of heat. and provided the shoe is sufficiently hot to leave its imprint when momentarily applied, rind the hoof is not muti lated to a shred of horn, no injury can or will follow. With regard to security of foothold, and adding to the horse's power in draft, par ticularly with those horses which travel at a slow pace with heavy loads in our cities, there can he no doubt that calks are necessary, but their utility is greatly diminished, and they do harm to the limbs and joints if a toe-piece is not added. In nearly every town and city in this country, with the exception of London, the claw-shoe, as it has been termed, is in use; and without it the horse would be much more liable to falls, and would draw much less loads with quite as much fatigue. This shoe is not worn in London, and we see horses not drawing half the loads those in these places do, and yet are scarcely able to keep their feet. Surely this is short-sighted policy. With a toe-piece, the hind foot of the horse has a pow erful aid in seizing the ground securely, and its propelling muscles can then be brought into full play in moving the load to which it is attached, instead of expending half its force in maintain ing equilibrium. Various contrivances have been from time to time proposed to give the horse a better foothold, but none have proved so success ful and so cheap as the calks and toe-piece. In connection with this subject of slipping, which is chiefly observed in the streets of our towns and cities, it must be confessed that the manner in which these are paved only too frequently does us little credit as a humane or economical people. C'ertainly economy has much to do with their construction; but it is short-sighted econ omy, and chiefly in favor of the rate-payer, not of the community in general, or yet of horses. Indeed, looking at the variety of pavements and their difficulties in the matter of traffic, one must feel that the horses which have to travel on them must be greatly perplexed, and if they have any reflective power they will doubtless consider their rnasters as very stupid and embar rassing road-makers. Some of the streets in London are infamously cruel to horses. Those paved with granite may be cheap to lay, but they are most objectionable in every respect, aud the most expensive of all to horse and carriage own ers. They are at all seasons very dangerous and fatiguing for horses in the matter of slipping; they inflict great injury to the limbs and feet from concussion ; traction upon them is heavy: they are extremely noisy, and the jar and vibra tion they occasion to carriages wear these out more rapidly than any other kind of road. When wet and muddy, they are as dangerous to human passengers as to horses. In fact, though granite blocks make a very durable navement, yet, on the whole, looking at such a pavement from an equestrian point of view, it is the most expensive and dangerous of any in use. As to macada mized roads, there is certainly a better foothold upon them, but their traction is heavy; in wet weather this is increased, and the mud is most objectionable; while in dry weather the dust is a great drawback, and watering is a nuisance and expensive. Noise is also considerable, and repair must be frequent. The asphalt pavement is in many respects objectionable; traction is, no doubt, easy, but when the surface of the pave ment is damp there is no foothold for horses, and the danger from serious falls is great. It is not at all a noiseless pavement ; sprinkling sand over it to render it more safe increases the noise and the traction, and makes its surface disagreeably dirty. Besides, asphalt does not at all answer on hilly streets. The best pavement, perhaps, ever introduced for horse traffic is that of wood, such is is laid down at Ludgate hill. From the fact that the cubes of wood are so laid that the fiber is vertical, that the interspaces a-re filled with pitch and gravel, and that they are laid upon diagonal planks, we have not only a very safe and comfortable pavement, so far as the horse's footing is concerned, but the nature ot' the material and the manner in which it is disposed render it a most humane roadway, with regard to obviating jar and concussion to the feet and legs. Traction upon it is easy. There is com paratively little noise, dirt or dust; and, alto gether, for the human and equine population of our towns and cities, perhaps no more econom ical, safe, and agreeable pavement could be devised. [This fully coincides with the opinion in the article Roads, by an authority thereon.— Editor.] The farrier must do his best to pre serve and protect the horse's feet by shoeing, but we have a right to expect that the engineer will not fail to second his efforts by constructing roads which, while insuring safety to horses traveling upon them, will not counteract the advantages of good farriery. The more frequent use of brakes for carriages, and particularly omnibuses, is pulling up suddenly, and also in going down hills, would prove of great benefit to horses, in connection with shoeing and slip ping. This matter of roads and brakes for carriages is one of great moment, but particularly the former. It is painful to witness unfortunate horses unable to keep their feet on the horrible pavements with which the majority of streets are laid, and brutal drivers plying their unmerciful whips on the poor creatures' skin for no fault whatever, but merely because a stupid and mis taken economy will persist in constructing a particular kind of road, upon which it is impos sible the animals can travel with anything like safety, and at the same time exercise their powers in draft. This consideration brings me to winter, -or frost shoeing. In a climate so uncertain and fickle as Great Britian it is difficult to make more than a guess as to the kind of winter we may have in any year, and therefore no provision is made against the occurrence of frost. Indeed, in some winters we may have no frost at all, and the ordinary shoeing suffices for the whole sea son; but at other times the temperature may suddenly fall, and frost and snow appear; and then all is confusion, partial suspension of traffic, dangerous traveling, serious accidents, and such -other incidents as hard winters provide in abundance. The ordinary method of roughing the shoes, as it is termed, consists in taking them -off the hoofs, turning up a sharpened calk, and perhaps adding a sharp toe-piece, and putting them on again. This is a slow and expensive process, and of course requires the aid of the farrier either in the stables or at the forge; it is very injurious to the hoofs, takes a good deal of time, and, in consequence of the projections being only soft iron, must be repeated at short intervals. Besides, in the hurry which always exists at this time, the shoes are often badly put Olt, and get loose or are lost, or the nails are driven into the quick, To obviate all these dis advantages and inconveniences, various contriv ances have been proposed. A very temporary one consists in inserting some large, sharp headed nails in the place of others withdrawn. These also injure the hoof. Another is the insertion of sharp studs screwed in at the heels of the shoe. These are convenient, but some what expensive, and are liable to break at the neck, leaving the screw portion immovably fixed in the shoe. Other more or less expensive and inefficient appliances have been proposed, but have not succeeded in meeting the requirements of those whose horses must do regular work dur ing frost. This winter-shoeing has attracted my attention for many years. During a campaign it is sometimes of the utmost importance that horses should be able to travel on ice—indeed, the fate of an army or the success of some great movement may depend upon it. I may point to the French retreat from Moscow, in November, 1812, as described by Thiers, when the terrible disasters that occurred were largely due to the absence of some contrivance for enabling the horse,s to travel on the slippery roads. We may also read with profit the Danish retreat from Schleswig to Sonderburg on the night of Febru ary 5, 1865. 1 have tried every method pro posed, but have found none which was econom ical, efficient and speedily applicable when required, and without the necessity of taking off the shoes. Three years ago I ventured to experi ment with a method which has certainly proved to be the nearest to perfection in these respects. During last winter it was very extensively used, and reports were most favorable. This method consists merely in punching a square hole at the end of each branch, and, if thought desirable, at the toe of the shoe, and inserting into it a square. slightly tapering, plug of steel, with a, sharp point projecting beyond the lower surface of the 'shoe. The plug may be of any reason able length, from one to three inches, but it must fit the hole somewhat accurately and tightly, and must not go quite through the shoe to the hoof. It should be well tempered at the point, to give it durability; and the,n nothing more is necessary than to insert it into the hole, give it a slight tap on the point, to fix it until the horse puts its weight on it and drives it home, when it is firmly retained, every step keeping it tighter in. This stud rarely falls out if properly made, and when required to be removed, as to be re-sharpened, replaced by another, or left out altogether, a few taps on each side will generally start it, owing to the taper on that portion which fits into the shoe. A set of studs will last four or five days, and the simple square hole takes but little time to punch. At the commencement of winter—say November—all shoes put upon my troop horses are provided with these holes, and the farriers have their studs ready. Should the frost sud denly set in, all the horses can be made proof against slipping on sheet ice, even in a few min utes, and, with a good supply of studs, may travel for weeks without going near a forge, or requiring the farrier. When the frost disap pears the studs can be taken out again, and they may be removed every night in the stable, and inserted in the morning before going to duty. I must now conclude what I have to say con ceruing horse-shoeing in general, and the prin ciple on which it should be based. I have made no mention of the different kinds of shoes some times required for particular hoofs, nor what we may term pathological horse-shoeing, for the cure of disease or defects, natural or acquired, of the feet and limbs. This, though a most interesting and important section, nevertheles.s comes more within the domain of the scientific veterinary surgeon, and is of too extensive and perhaps technical a character to be here intro duced.