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train, finally ascending from the able how successful these natives low-lying country round Madras are in managing, both in the lines on to the cool Mysore table-land, and in the riding-school, the most brings them to Mallur, a small difficult-tempered and refractory roadside station, from which they animals. The power and dominant march the eighteen miles to the force of the European rough-rider, depot. There they find themselves which is necessary before the miliin an establishment whose snug tary training is complete, are wantbuildings, wide green paddocks, ing; but the preliminary handling carefully cultivated fields, and of the immature animal could not closely trimmed hedges, recall all be in better or gentler hands. The the ideas of an English farm; and on-looker is tempted to compare there they find every arrangement the horse-drill at the depot to the made to enable them to pass such teaching of a nursery governess a halcyon period as falls into few which a boy receives before he is equine lives. The depot is divided sent to the rougher, sterner, and into lines, each of which is under equally necessary treatment of a. the charge of a European conduc- public school. tor, with a number of native em- In the horse-lines at the depot ployees under him. In addition to there is stabling accommodation these lines, there is the sick-horse for about 400 horses, and there department under the veterinary is besides ample room for picketsurgeon and his staff, and there ing those for which there is not is also the farm under European covered shelter. Till within the supervision.
The remounts, on last few years, there was always arrival, are distributed to these retained at the depot a reserve of lines, the establishments of which 100 to 150 horses in excess of the vie with each other in endeavour- year's requirements; and this kept ing to improve and quiet the the lines always fully occupied, horses committed to their charge and gave an opportunity of saving in the shortest possible time. all backward and weakly horses
In each of the lines, besides the till they had had the advantage European conductor in charge- of another year's quiet and nourwho is a selected and specially ishment. Now, however, that by qualified non-commissioned officer a very doubtful economy barely from a mounted corps—there is a enough horses are kept to supply native subordinate officer, and for the wants of the year, the full acevery two horses a syce or native commodation is not made use of, groom. A proportion of these syces and much space is left vacant. are employed as sowars or riders, The total amount of ground covand they handle and gradually ered by the depot is rather more break-in and exercise each re- than 700 acres ; but this includes mount in the riding school. The the native village, tank, wells, remounts are ridden in plain snaf- roads, gardens, and bungalows ocfles and cogeers (or native saddles); cupied by the officials. The whole and the quiet, cool, gentle hand- place is to a great extent self-supling and very good horsemanship porting. Many supplies in grain, of the sowars have most excellent forage, &c., have necessarily to be results, and by this admirable sys- procured outside; but its farm tem each remount gets a steady furnishes a great part of its repiece of education on three days quirements in hay, guinea-grass, in the week. It is very remark- lucerne, and oats. Unfortunately, for several months in the year food, grow and throw out muscle there is a prevailing strong west to a surprising extent; and it is wind which dries up everything, an interesting study to watch and, with the precarious rainfall, whether an animal will grow into interferes much with successful the somewhat coarse and heavy cultivation, except where artificial type which is suitable to a fieldirrigation can be carried out by battery, remain sufficiently light means of channels led from the and active to mount European tanks and wells.
cavalry, or show the combination Such as it is, the Husur depot of strength, size, and breeding makes the appointment of its super- which will qualify it for horseintendent one of the most valued artillery. Some of the most difprizes in the gift of the Governor of ficult horses to provide are the Madras. To any man who has the short, thick, and very active anitaste for country life and the love mals which are furnished to the of horse-flesh so common amongst artillery in Bombay, to
go as Englishmen, nothing can be more wheelers in teams otherwise made charming, and assimilate more to up of Persians. There is so great English life, than to occupy the cool a demand for horses of the same and picturesque superintendent's class for the tram-cars and omnibungalow, which stands wreathed buses in the big towns in Australia, in a veil of the most lovely and that comparatively few leave that gorgeously blossoming creepers, country; and, though taller or surrounded by garden and pad- lighter horses may be had in docks studded with stately trees, sufficient numbers, the supply of and to find his daily duties com- these well-bred, free-actioned, pony prised in the charge of several cart-horses does no more than meet hundred horses, which he has him- actual wants. self selected and bought, and for It has been said above, that, in whose improvement and develop- order to keep the Waler horse at ment he alone is responsible. The his best, he must be well and reg. appointment has always been held ularly fed. And this leads to the by a soldier, but there is nothing consideration of the feeding of in its nature to make this neces- horses in general, one of the most sary; and gossip says that so much important questions and one of is it desired, that one occasion the gravest difficulties in connecwhen it was vacant, there was no tion with the maintenance in the single profession which did not field in India of any considerable furnish a representative among mounted force. Every one is fathe
candidates who miliar with the usual practice of aspired to fill it.
feeding horses in England with a After the horses have been at proportion of grain, generally givthe depot for some months, the en in the form of oats, and a prosuperintendent is able to class portion of fodder, given as hay. them according to the arms of the The system followed in India is service to which they will finally very different. Hay is made be issued. This has necessarily throughout the land in very small been already partially done when quantities, and is in consequence the horses were bought; but some extremely scarce and with diffido not develop as much as has culty procurable. In order to been expected--while others, under supply its place, and to give to the influence of care and good horses that amount of bulk to
their food which their constitution nately a hardy and prolific plant, demands, grass is cut daily in the in not always easily procurable; vicinity of the stations and brought and the grass-cutters make up in for immediate use. For every their bundles with coarse, rank horse in India a grass-cutter must herbage, and with useless and be kept, whose sole duty is the frequently unwholesome weeds. collection of the necessary fodder; In order to make up the tale of and the horses in Government ser- weight which they are bound to vice must, like all others, have supply, they are cunning enough, these attendants. And here the if allowed, to wash their bundle practice differs in various parts of before bringing it in, nominally India.
for the purpose of removing the In Bengal and the North-west dust and dirt which adhere to the the
grass - cutters attached to plants, but practically doubling its mounted corps are men provided weight by the added moisture. with ponies, on which they can As they are not particular where convey the grass when it is cut, this washing is done, and generally and which enable them to go to do it in the nearest filthy stream considerable distances to procure or puddle, it may be conceived the best herbage. In the south what a probability there is of so of India the
grass-cutters are conveying noxious spores or organwomen, generally the wives of the isms to the animals which are to syces or native grooms; and they consume the food thus provided. may be seen daily sallying forth It is a curious and interesting from the native lines of the can- sight, at the stable-hour of a tonment, and returning after their mounted corps in the south of long and weary day's work-how India, 10 the grass-cutters long and weary it is in the dry standing in rows, each with the season may well be supposed-bear- results of her day's work before ing on their heads the bundles her, while the officer or non-comwhich represent the tale of their 'missioned officer goes round inallotted task. As in most districts specting and weighing each bunthere are
no Government lands dle before it is passed into the where grass may be procured, and lines. Here a bundle is short the grass-cutters must seek their weight; there another has been supplies in waste places, by the dressed up with good Hariali grass roadside, or on the ground of some on the outside to make a respectfarmer who permits their incursion, able appearance, and would pass it follow; that the quality of muster if a searching hand did fodder which is received is very not dive into its centre and disvariable, and that if the greatest close the rubbish with which it care be not taken in supervision, is made up; while a third too it is generally indifferent, and evidently owes its gravity to unoften positively bad. The par- due soaking in the barrack ditch. ticular grass which is most sought As each is rejected, the unhappy for and most valued as an article owner pours forth a voluble and of food. is the one known as imcomprehensible stream of comHariali in the south of India, plaint and remonstrance, while all Doob grass in northern India, her companions join in the chorus and is the same as the couch-grass in tones like the screaming of a of Australia and America. But flock of sea-gulls disturbed. The this useful grass, though fortu- offending bundle is removed, and
is replaced after a time by another, necessity for a considerable exwhich is probably only the same penditure. In the first place, all material rearranged and dressed grass-cutters employed with troops, up, and too often manages to pass both in the north and south, must into the stables when supervision be men, who should be provided is accidentally relaxed.
with reasonably good ponies, purThe grain used for feeding chased by Government, and under horses in the greater part of military control and supervisionIndia, and the whole of the north, not, as is at present too often the is what is generally known case, any wretched animals which gram. It is produced by a small can be provided by the natives plant of the pea tribe, with a themselves, so weak and uncared purple or violet-coloured fower. for that they are in cantonments Before it is eaten it has to be the probable originators of concrushed or ground; and large and tagious disease, and would cerweighty stones for its preparation tainly break down if required to form part of the equipment of all accompany a corps on a campaign. mounted corps.
In the Madras Then, in the neighbourhood of all Presidency another grain is made military stations, tracts of country use of, called coolthi-a small should be set aside for the supgrey or brown bean ; and this ply of really good and nourishing also, like gram, has to go through grass, which tracts might also well an elaborate process of prepara- receive, and would most surely tion before it can be eaten. It well repay, a certain amount of is not ground, but must be care, cultivation. But the necessary fully boiled for at least two hours; bulk in forage, of reasonable qualand the necessary huge metal ity, may generally be procured, boilers, with their large require- even without additional elaborate ments of fuel, are an even greater and expensive organisation, in any encumbrance and anxiety than the country in which mounted troops grinding-stones of the other Press are likely to be employed. The dencies.
grain question remains the grand There is no occasion to indicate difficuity, and the getting rid of the weak points of these stems the recessity of preparing the of feeding here's they are only hones' toed on service is the great toe ennienti ad no one will re deleratum. If such could be cuire to be with how terbalis found some species of grain food mounted tren munt bien bumsetel w could be compressed and on a camugawan rapi mereka currici va the horse, would add muert ma al tiene la sala burud to the efficiency of by the sterratie et la compense e percion of our army;
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not only great delay and possible constitutions are those of natives insecurity in transit, but also a of the soil, the only plan that lengthened time of inefficiency and commends itself appears to be recuperation before the animals that a number of horses equal to supplied are fit for work. Some one year's requirements should possible sources of supply are not always be kept in reserve at the opened up and made use of as depots, in addition to the remounts much as might be the case ; and for the current year. The only above all, it cannot be said that real additional immediate expense any great success has attended the to be calculated on in such an present system of horse-breeding arrangement is that of feeding the in the peninsula, or that we can horses, and this would be made up hope to find in the country itself to a very great extent in the longany sufficient provision of remounts run by the increased condition and in case of sudden emergency. strength which they would gain
There can be little doubt that by the prolonged time of acclimano army in the world is better tisation and coming to maturity. mounted than that of India is, in We might certainly anticipate also its normal condition. But if a a great decrease in the general time of pressure arose, and great annual average of sick, weakly, and exceptional expenditure of and prematurely broken-down anianimal-power was required, what mals in the ranks of the army, have we to depend upon to keep and a sensible addition to the our regiments and batteries in an number of years for which they efficient state ? We fear that the might be expected to serve. If, answer would be most unsatisfac- further, our war-horses could be tory. No doubt, if war broke out, fed both in peace and in camand the seas were still open to us, paigning service on a more prachorses would be poured into the tical and simpler system, the country, but for a long time they mounted troops of our great Eastwould be absolutely useless, and ern army would find themselves if they were placed in the field able to take the field in any future they would die like rotten sheep. struggle for the defence of their The only resource which Govern- country's interests and influence, ment would have would be to with a greater certainty than they purchase at high prices the ani- have at present of preserving their mals now in private hands, and numbers complete amid all trials this would be a most uncertain and inevitable losses, and being and unsatisfactory way out of the able to perform all the duties difficulty. Until the time comes, which may be demanded from if it ever does come, when the them, with that decided, rapid, results of breeding in India are and unwavering vigour, the possuch that there is always available session of which ought to be rein the country a fair number of garded as the sine quâ non of their stout and seasoned horses whose existence.