A summary of On Horse Care from Xenophon The Art of Horsemanship.
On Horse Care:
Here, we are offered a glimpse of the state of the Athenian stable through Xenophon’s recommendations on the care and keeping of horses.
Xenophon recommends keeping the stable somewhere that the owner can visit daily.
Furthermore, he states that one should situate the horse’s feed bin in such a way that he can see if the horse throws his feed, citing this behavior as an indication that the horse needs rest or medical treatment.
Whether the horse was loose or tied elsewhere in his stall after morning feed is somewhat difficult to determine, due to the possibility of both meanings in the Greek text.
The design of the stable flooring and yard should promote strong hooves, and it is Xenophon’s belief that a horse kept on a surface of smooth rocks somewhat larger than his hooves will develop strong hooves and be better able to cope when asked to go on difficult terrain.
Note is also given to the need for keeping the horse’s mouth soft.