As before mentioned, the quantity of food allowed for a horse, over and above what is required to maintain health, should be in proportion to the amount of work exacted. A selection of diet having been determined upon, by a careful estimate of the relative feeding value and comparative cost of each article entering into its composition, a consideration of the quantity necessary to keep the horse in such condition as will enable him to perform his work satisfactorily and without material injury to his strength, is most important. It will be obvious that the quantity of food required will depend upon circumstances - such as the duration and severity of the work, the conditions under which it has to be performed, as well as the size, age, condition, constitution, and appetite of the animal; for it must not be forgotten that horses, like men, differ in their appetites, some being able to perform a certain amount of work on a smaller quantity of food than others.

To maintain a just balance between food and work, which the condition of the horse will pretty accurately demonstrate, the owner must be ready to increase, and as promptly diminish, the grain allowance as demands upon it are created or disappear. If the quality of the food is not sufficiently rich to furnish material for the repair of waste tissue, the deficiency must be met by the consumption of an increased quantity. But as has been pointed out, an excessive supply of comparatively innutritious food to compensate for deficiency in quality, is not only embarrassing to the stomach, but hampers the horse with bulky dead weight. Severely worked horses eat more than those which are not so strained, and should therefore be supplied with more concentrated food, easier of digestion, and rich in flesh-forming properties.

For the largest-sized draught horse which performs steady hard work for a number of hours every day, 18 lbs. of hay, and a small proportion of straw, cut into chaff, with 18 lbs. of oats, and a pound or two of beans or peas, is reckoned a fair allowance. Reynolds states that the weight of dry food absolutely consumed by an average-sized, well-conditioned cart horse, moderately worked, regularly fed, well housed, and supplied with diet of good quality, is from 29 lbs. to 34 lbs. daily, of which the hay and straw should constitute about two-fifths. However nutritious the food may be, less than 29 lbs. will not suffice to maintain the organs in healthy action. In a stud of cart horses which he managed, the following was the daily allowance: - Indian corn, 10 lbs.; Egyptian beans or Canadian peas, 5 lbs.; oats, 2 lbs.; oatmeal and linseed, 1.3 lb.; bran, 2.1 lbs.; hay, 10.6 lbs.; roots and grass, 3 lbs.

Maize, beans, or peas, with bran and cut hay, formed the basis of the usual food allowance. The oats and linseed were used only for sick or delicate-feeding horses. The oatmeal was made into gruel, of which each horse was allowed a drink on coming to his stable when the day's work was completed.

The roots and grass were given during the months it was considered advisable to use them. In autumn and winter the corn was bruised and given raw, except a night feed of steamed food three or more times a week. In spring and summer the grain was steamed, but an occasional meal of dry food was allowed as a change. A further change both in the proportion and quantity of the grain given was also frequently made, as conditions of weather or work appeared to indicate, but the autumn allowance was always the most stimulative. The bulk of the hay was given in the form of chop with the corn, two or three pounds only being given in the rack the last thing at night. In quality the best obtainable clover hay was used. A small quantity of straw was sometimes chopped with the hay. The horses were of average size, moderately worked at equable and regular labour every day (25 per cent. were also worked for about three hours each Sunday morning), and their condition was good.

Another large company employing a number of horses performing very hard work, drawing heavily laden drags, allows forage per diem as follows: - Hay, 16 lbs.; oats, 10 lbs.; beans, 5 lbs.; maize, 4 lbs.; bran, 2 lbs.; total, 37 lbs. The hay is all chopped, and the grain crushed separately; then the whole mixed together. Every Saturday night each horse is given a mash of linseed, mixed with a small proportion of bran, boiled altogether and given warm. When the work is less, less grain is given.

For smaller horses undergoing regular, but hard, work within a brief space - such as omnibus or tramcar horses - a less allowance of food is of course given. The following is the diet allowance per day of the principal Tramway Companies in the United Kingdom. It may be observed, however, that this allowance varies according to the price of forage in the market, and also sometimes according to the season.

Scale Of Feeding Of Various Tramway Companies' Horses In The United Kingdom

North Metropolitan.

London.

London Street.

South London.

Birmingham.

lbs.

lbs.

lbs.

lbs.

lbs.

Maize

• • •

13

Maize ...

7

Maize .

12

Maize ...

7

Maize ...

6

Oats

• • •

3

Oats ...

3

Oats ...

3

Oats ...

7

Oats ...

10

Beans

...

1

Peas ...

3

Beans ...

1

Beans ...

1

Beans ...

4

Peas

1

Hay ...

12

Bran ...

1

Hay ...

11

Chaff ...

12

Hay

Straw

In

Chaff.

7 3

Straw ...

1

Hay ...

11

Straw ...

3

Total

...

28

26

28

29

32

Liverpool.

Manchester.

Glasgow.

Edinburgh.

Dublin.

lbs.

lbs.

lbs.

lbs.

lbs.

Maize ..

12

Beans )

Oats ...

6

Oats ...

8

Maize ...

14

Beans ..

4

Oats

15

Maize ...

11

Maize ...

4

Oats

3

Cut Hay

14

Maize

Hay ...

8 1/2

Beans ...

4

Hay ...

12

Bran

1

Hay ..

15

Straw ...

1

Hay ...

14

Bran ...

0 1/2

Bran ...

0 1/2

Marsh lam

2

Total..

31

30

27

32

29 1/2

The scale of rations for troop horses is usually 10 lbs. of oats; 12 lbs. of hay; 8 lbs. of straw - the latter allowed for litter; but when the duty is severe, or when the horses are in camp, from 2 lbs. to 4 lbs. additional oats are allowed; in camp no straw is given for bedding. In all cases the hay is given unchopped.

For hunters, much will depend, of course, upon the size of the animal and the amount of work demanded from him. Large horses, say 16 hands high, doing two days a week in the field, 16 lbs. of good oats and 10 lbs. of hay is not too great an allowance; 2 lbs. of split beans might be substituted for 2 lbs. of oats with advantage; for smaller sized hunters the allowance may be less, but it can rarely be reduced below 12 lbs. per diem, with 12 lbs. of hay. For all hunters a small proportion of the hay, say 4 lbs., should be chopped and mixed with the grain; 2 lbs. or 3 lbs. of carrots may be advantageously given at intervals.

For carriage horses doing light work 10 lbs. of corn and 12 lbs. of hay are quite sufficient; in some cases 8 lbs. of corn and 14 lbs. of hay would suffice.

Ponies and undersized horses do not require so much grain, of course; indeed, for ponies, unless the work is very hard, a very small allowance of oats, say 4 lbs. per diem, is all that is required; hay and roots being often quite enough to keep them in good condition.

It is a good plan to vary the diet now and again - such as giving a bran or linseed mash once or twice a week. An important question arises when treating of the quantity of the food a horse should receive, and that is with regard to bulk. Attempts are made from time to time to feed horses on concentrated food, with the view of securing facility of transport; but it is forgotten that a certain degree of bulk is necessary in all food, in order that the digestive organs may perform their function properly. During working time food of less bulk may be given, such as oats, as it interferes less with the breathing organs, and is more rapidly consumed; but a certain amount of bulk the horse must have at some time or other, and the best time for giving this is at night.