DOCKING. When done early, that is, when the colt is a mere sucker, may be performed with any common knife, and tied up with a common string, to prevent bleeding; but, if the operation be deferred until the horse be full grown, a docking knife is to be used. The hair is to be cut closely off the part of the tail to be cut, and the instrument's edge so placed as to come over the hollow between any of the rings or bones of the tail—a simple motion completes the operation. Some sear the tail with a hot iron after the operation ; but if a strong twine be tied on the part above the incision, and before the operation, there will be nothing to warrant searing.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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