I'm joining in on Tuesday's Show & Tail at Angela's West Virginia's Treasures. If you have a cute story and picture of a pet, or any furry (or non-furry) friend, you are welcome to join in! Check her blog for the rules, post away - and thanks, Angela, for being a great hostess!
Years ago horses were the only "horse power" on family farms. They worked sun up to sun down in the fields and taking trips to town for supplies, and for Sunday-go-to-meeting! Veterinary medicine was not common place, and if a vet could be found, money was tight and was needed for other things. Farmers had their own home remedies to patch up "Ole Dubbin" and to make him right again.
Here are a few interesting remedies used in the past. Most are no longer used, some have been adapted by thrifty horse folk, and others are downright dangerous! Read them to learn what was common practice 100 years ago, but be thankful our horses have much better and safer medicines today!
- Kerosene or turpentine were rubbed on cuts. After using either one of these, salty meat grease (ouch!) was applied to the wound to keep the hair around it from turning white.
- For swellings on the horse's leg, mix into apple cider vinegar all the salt that will dissolve. Put this mixture on the swelled area. The salt draws out the water.
- To keep flies away from horses before days of insect repellent, some soaked a rag with coal oil and attached it to the latch string that held the bridle on. Or they tied a little bush there. The horse's movements would swing the bush to scare away the flies.
- If a horse hurts his eye (like hitting a twig), throw table salt in it.
- To treat a horse for distemper, burn old leather under his nose. This keeps his nose from clogging and prevents choking.
- To treat the horse to get rid of worms, farmers would feed their horses a pack of cigarettes or tobacco.
- For heaves (or a cough) pull out the horse's tongue and smear it with pine tar. (UCK!)
- When worked hard, horses would get growths like corns on their hooves. To rid the horse of these, farmers would lift up the hoof and pour spirits of turpentine in it, then set the turpentine on fire. The heat will heal it and keep the hoof from getting so sore.
- To relieve the horse of gas, make him jump logs.
- An all-purpose ointment, called "White Liniment," combines 1/4 pint salty meat grease, 1/2 pint turpentine, 1/2 pint kerosene, 1 pint vinegar, 1 pint apple cider, a handful of salt and three or four egg whites. This could be used on cuts, bruises and just about everything.