Fig. 426. - Water Bath.
1, Earthenware lining. 2, Inlet for water. 3, Tap for drawing off water.
The term "condition" as applied to horses may imply two quite different states. As used by the hunting man or the owner of race-horses it means hard condition - firmness of muscle and the fullest development of the powers of heart and lungs, to sustain the animal during long-continued exertion - and it is brought about by a system of training which has become a fine art. A physic-ball is often the first act in the preparation, and other balls or powders for conditioning follow. They appear to have the effect of getting rid of effete material, and enabling the subject to derive the utmost benefit from the food consumed and the carefully-apportioned exercise enforced. Appended is a recipe for a famous proprietary ball which has been largely used in racing- and hunting-stables-throughout the kingdom: -
Calomel... ... ... ... ... 15 grains.
Socotrine Aloes ... ... ... 25 grains.
Powdered Ipecacuanha ... ... 50 grains.
Nitrate of Potash ... ... ... 2 1/2drams.
Hard Soap ... ... ... ... 1 dram.
Show or dealer's " condition " is as opposite from the fine-drawn racer or "fit" hunter as possible in a horse in good health. Even the best judges of horses are favourably impressed by the round and sleek appearance of the dealer's horse that has been fed upon boiled foods and "stodges". The purchaser sees in such a horse a good " doer", and the seller is able to conceal some defects by loading on fat. To enable the horse to digest and accumulate a large amount of fattening food while taking but little exercise, recourse is had to such drugs as assist to prevent fermentation in the digestive tract and further act upon the kidneys and skin, giving a soft and glossy appearance to the latter.
The spices and so-called "foods" sold for this purpose are chiefly composed of salt, fenugrec, and lentil flour. A favourite ball for this kind of conditioning is composed of equal parts of ginger, aniseed, gentian, grains of paradise, and liquorice made up with treacle or glycerine.