EXERCISE. The horse was evidently designed for exercise, and for te use of man. His vast muscular power, and the impenetrable defence attached to his feet, were certainly not given for his own use only. If kept in a stable without exercise, his muscular power declines, his digestive organsbecome diseased, and so do the organs of respiration. The hoofs grow, and there is no wear; for the little that may be worn off, merely by the pressure of his own weight when standing still, is prevented by the shoes. The toe being thus elongated, the back sinews are often strained; the foot becomes hot and inflamed, its horny covering contracts; the frogs become rotten, and incapable of performing the office for which they were designed ; in short, the whole body becomes diseased. Exercise then, it is evident, is essential to his health, and even his existence ; and every part of his structure and economy appear to demonstrate that he was intended for the service of man. His powers, however, are limited, and so should his exertions be: but it is a fact, which must be regretted by all considerate persons, that the immoderate work in which he is often employed, so far from being salutary, or proportionate to his strength, as undoubtedly it was designed by his Creator that it should be, is injurious, and even destructive in a considerable degree. And what greatly aggravates the mischief is, the early and premature age at which he is so commonly employed.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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