Colts should always be bred from a sound stud, as their future utility, in a great measure, depends on that circumstance; and also on the manner in which they are reared. In the first summer, they may be permitted to run with the mare till Michaelmas, or longer, if the weather continue mild. They should then be weaned, and kept in a stable, with a low rack and manger for their hay and oats; but the latter should be crushed in a mill, before they are given to thorn, as this necessary precaution will prevent the distension of their lower jaw-veins ; which would other-wise attract the blood and humours down into the eyes, and occasion loss of sight. We would particularly recommend a strict attention to this circumstance; as the blindness we frequently observe in colts, is not to be attributed to the heating nature of the oats, but solely to the difficulty with which they are chewed.
The feeding of colts with grain is attended with another advantage, namely, that their legs do not become thick and ill-shaped, while they on the whole grow broader, and better knit, than if they were fed only with bran and hay ; and will also be more able to endure fatigue.
Colts should be carefully kept from wet and cold ; as they are extremely tender, and would be greatly injured by either. During fine weather, however, they may be allowed to pass an hoar or two in the open air, when they should be conducted to the stable. By this treatment, they will acquire a habit of docility ; and, when broken in, will bear the saddle quietly ; which operation should not be un-dertaken till they are at least three years of age.p>
These young animals are subject to various disorders, the most fatal of which is a cough, that generally attacks them when they are about six months old, and is accompanied with a visible decay, arising from certain pellicles, or skins frequently separated from their interiorcorgans, which obstruct their breathing, and at length destroy them. To remedy this distemper, farriers commonly prescribe, that the bag in which they were failed, should be dried, a small quantity of it pulverized, and given them in milk. If the bag has not been preserved, the lungs of a young fox may be substituted for that powder. We believe, however, that there is more superstition than merit in these remedies, and make no doubt that sweet cow's-milk, in which a little mutton suet baft been dissolved, or the beestings alone, would be found equally beneficial.