Caring for the War Horse

 

Xenophon – Caring for the War Horse

On Caring for the War Horse by Xenophon. (430BC – 350BC)

 
Lusitano-Caring for the War HorseIn this section of his book On Horsemanship, Xenophon discusses caring for the war horse:   The war horse should be kept in a clean stable where the master could supervise its care, prevent its food from being stolen.   The master must also be able to make sure that the horse did not scatter its food instead of eating all of it.   He believed this to be a symptom of over-fatigue, “too much blood” or indigestion.
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Lusitano-Caring for the War HorseThe horse’s feet were of great consideration for him, the straw must be dry at all times and kept rough not smoothed out.   The sloped channels in the stable should be made with cobbles the size of a horse’s hoofs.   The stable yard should have an iron skirt all around and a layer of pebbles all around for the horse to walk upon; the iron skirt is to keep the pebbles from spreading around keeping them piled inside.   These surfaces will strengthen the hoof walls, frog and soul.
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Lusitano-Caring for the War HorseThe horse should be curried after it is fed.   After it is curried and fed the halter must be removed for some time so the skin that was under it can breathe and dry up during hot climate to avoid sores.   The mouth is very important so after the horse has finished eating it must be cleaned, including the teeth and washed with warm water.   Olive oil must be applied on the lips after the cleaning to keep the tissues soft and pliable.
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