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The Mule A Treatise on the Breeding, Training, and Uses to Which He May Be Put   By:

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THE MULE

A TREATISE ON THE BREEDING, TRAINING, AND USES TO WHICH HE MAY BE PUT.

BY HARVEY RILEY, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE GOVERNMENT CORRAL, WASHINGTON D.C.

1867.

PREFACE.

There is no more useful or willing animal than the Mule. And perhaps there is no other animal so much abused, or so little cared for. Popular opinion of his nature has not been favorable; and he has had to plod and work through life against the prejudices of the ignorant. Still, he has been the great friend of man, in war and in peace serving him well and faithfully. If he could tell man what he most needed it would be kind treatment. We all know how much can be done to improve the condition and advance the comfort of this animal; and he is a true friend of humanity who does what he can for his benefit. My object in writing this book was to do what I could toward working out a much needed reform in the breeding, care, and treatment of these animals. Let me ask that what I have said in regard to the value of kind treatment be carefully read and followed. I have had thirty years' experience in the use of this animal, and during that time have made his nature a study. The result of that study is, that humanity as well as economy will be best served by kindness.

It has indeed seemed to me that the Government might make a great saving every year by employing only such teamsters and wagon masters as had been thoroughly instructed in the treatment and management of animals, and were in every way qualified to perform their duties properly. Indeed, it would seem only reasonable not to trust a man with a valuable team of animals, or perhaps a train, until he had been thoroughly instructed in their use, and had received a certificate of capacity from the Quartermaster's Department. If this were done, it would go far to establish a system that would check that great destruction of animal life which costs the Government so heavy a sum every year.

H.R.

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12, 1867 .

NOTE.

I have, in another part of this work, spoken of the mule as being free from splint. Perhaps I should have said that I had never seen one that had it, notwithstanding the number I have had to do with. There are, I know, persons who assert that they have seen mules that had it. I ought to mention here, also, by way of correction, that there is another ailment the mule does not have in common with the horse, and that is quarter crack. The same cause that keeps them from having quarter crack preserves them from splint the want of front action.

A great many persons insist that a mule has no marrow in the bones of his legs. This is a very singular error. The bone of the mule's leg has a cavity, and is as well filled with marrow as the horse's. It also varies in just the same proportion as in the horse's leg. The feet of some mules, however, will crack and split, but in most cases it is the result of bad shoeing. It at times occurs from a lack of moisture to the foot; and is seen among mules used in cities, where there are no facilities for driving them into running water every day, to soften the feet and keep them moist.

CONTENTS.

Best Method of Breaking Value of Kind Treatment How to Harness Injured by Working too Young What the Mule can Endure Color and Peculiar Habits Mexican Mules, and Packing The Agricultural Committee Working Condition of Mules Spotted Mules Mule Breeding and Raising How Colts should be Handled Packing Mules Physical Constitution Value of Harnessing Properly Government Wagons More about Breeding Mules Ancient History of the Mule Table of Statistics 14 Portraits of Celebrated Mules Diseases Common to the Mule, and how they should be treated

CHAPTER I. HOW MULES SHOULD BE TREATED IN BREAKING.

I have long had it in contemplation to write something concerning the mule, in the hope that it might be of benefit to those who had to deal with him, as well in as out of the army, and make them better acquainted with his habits and usefulness... Continue reading book >>




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