BALLS, HORSE (in Farriery). Horses have a nice taste; it is therefore proper to give them the most disagreeable drugs in the form of balls, and to make drenches of the more palatable. Balls should be of an oval shape, and not exceed the size of a pullet's egg; they should be dipped in sweet oil to make them slip down more readily. Some horses have a straight gullet, which makes them averse to balls: drenches are better adapted for such, or their medicines may be mixed up with bran or in their mashes. Balls are of the following kinds:— Purging, restringent, diuretic, alterative, detergent pectoral, cordial pectoral, fever, stomach restorative, mercurial alterative, jaundice, nervous castor, cordial carminative, cordial diuretic.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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