Old Time Cures

American Farrier's Journal | 2009

For the cure of stumbling.

"First, tie him up with a halter close to a post that stands in a shop window, then take your knife and cut a hole lengthways down to his lips, endwards, in the midst of his nose, between his nostrils, the length of your thumb. When you have cut through the skin, then do off the red film with your conrnet-horn's(1) end and you shall see a white flat sinew lie before your eye; take the point of your cornet-horn and put under it, and raise it above the skin, then pull it hard out with your cornet-horn, and turn your cornet-horn about; then pull it the second time, and turn your horn again, and so the third time; in this doing, you shall see him bring his hinder-legs to his fore- legs almost; when you have thus pulled and turned the sinew two or three times about the cornet-horn, then cut the sinew under the cornet to the lips end, but cut not the sinew upon the cornet, nor about it; when you have cut it let it go, and put a little butter and salt into the wound, then over it lay a plaister of Burgundy-pitch to keep out the wind, and you shall see the horse go very well, and never stumble afterwards. Proved."

"The American Farrier" by Augustus Franklin 1803

(1)A cornet-horn is a piece of deer antler use to pry, lift and twist.


To make Hoofs that are brittle grow quickly, and to make them firm and strong.

"Take of Garlick seven ounces, Rue(2) three handfuls, of Allum(3) beaten to powder, seven ounces; of old Hog's-grease two pounds, of Ass's-dung, or for want of it Cow's dung, an handful; beat and cut them all small, and mix them all together, and boil them all together well; then with this ointment stop his fore feet, between his shoes and the bottom of his feet, and keep it on with a piece of leather, or sole-leather of a shoe. Let it be betwixt his foot and shoe. And besides, you would do well to anoint the outsides of his hoofs all over; do this till you see his brittle-hoofs to grow tough and strong; you will find the effect to be great. Proved"

"The American Farrier" by Augustus Franklin, 1803

(2) Rue is a strongly scented evergreen shurb

(3) Allum is a salt that in chemistry is a combination of an alkali metal, such as sodium, potassium, or ammonium and a trivalent metal, such as aluminum, iron, or chromium.

Founder in the First Stages.

Symptoms—The horse is stiff, his feet hot, and often trembles, very thirsty. Cure—Bleed from the neck vein 3 or 4 gallons, or until he falls, then give the following: 1/2 oz. of aloes, 4 drachms(4) gamboge(5), 1/2 oz. of oil of sassafras(6); make this into a pill, give it, and give him all the sassafras tea he will drink; turn up his feet and fill them full of boiling hot lard, bathe his legs in hot water and rub them well. The will never fail to cure in forty-eight hours.

"Artistic Horseshoeing" by Prof. Geo. E. Rich, 1889

(4) Drachms is a unit of measurement equivalent to 60 grains or one eighth of an ounce.

(5) Gamboge is a gum resin produced by various eastern Asian trees used as a powerful laxative.

(6) Sassafras is a North American tree whose leaves make tea or ground into a powder.

For a Splent (splint) on both sides of the Leg, by some called a Great Bone Scrupin.

First, Tye the Horses head close to a strong post, then tye up his contrary Leg, the Bruise and beat the Splint on both sides with a Blood-stick, or Bedstaff, beat it till it be something soft, if he will not endure the beating of it standing, cast him with a rope; after you have beat it soft, take of the Oil of Riggrum 12 Pennyworth, and rub it on with your fingers on both sides, upon the very splint and no where else; you will have of this Oil but a little for a shilling. Tye up his head for two or three hours, for it will smart, and tye up his contrary Leg. This way will take off the Hair a little, but it will grow again of the same colour presently; If it is ever so big, do but thus two or three times, and within a Weekstime it will be quite small, one dressing will serve for a small Splint. If you will, you may turn him out. Proved to be admirable

"The Gentlemans Jocky (Jockey), and Approved Farrier" by John Halfpenny, 1679