December 26, 1909


Rules Given Masters and "Black
Beauty" Books Also Distri-
buted by Humane Society.

A new meaning was given yesterday to the "horse laugh." From 1,000 to 1,500 horses in Kansas City not accustomed to a square meal stood in their stalls, free from work and protected from the weather, and munched full portions of the best oats the market affords.

And these horses laughed. It was Christmas day and they were enjoying a Christmas celebration planned especially for them.

The "feed' for poor work horses was given by the Kansas City Humane society as the result of a plan evolved by Mrs. E. D. Hornbrook and Mrs. E. H. Robinson, members of the board of the society.

For the purpose of carrying joy to the hearts of the poor animals which struggle under burdens on the streets of Kansas City every day and which are indifferently fed and kept, largely because of the poverty of their owners, the Humane society purchased a half dozen tons of the best white oats and did the grain up in five and ten pound sacks, giving out these packages to owners of horses whose cases had been investigated by the society and to whom tickets previously had been given.


About 1,000 of these tickets were given out and sacks of the grain were also given to others who had not received tickets. Provision was also made for still other cases and an automobile furnished by the Kansas City Rapid Motor Transfer company will take "feeds" to the cases which were reported too late to be cared for as were the others.

It was at Convention hall that the Christmas dinners for the poor horses were given out and the committee in charge of the distribution was composed of Mrs. F. D. Hornbrook, J. W. Perkins and E. R. Weeks, president of the Humane Society.

The sacks containing the oats were placed on long tables and when horse owners applied for the "feeds" they were required to present their tickets, give their names and the names of their horses. They were then given the sacks of feed, a tag which they promised to read and a copy of "Black Beauty." Where owners had sick horses they were also given blankets for the disabled animals.


The tag which each owner promised to read contained this "horse" talk:
"What is good for your horse is good for his master.
Your horse needs good care as well as good food.
Never work your horse when he will not eat.
Water your horse often. Water should always be given fifteen minutes before feeding grain.
Daily grooming will improve the health as well as the looks of your horse.
Give your horses rock salt, and head shelter from the heat.
Economize by feeding good oats and good hay.
Good drivers are quiet, patient and kind, and have little use for a whip..." and so on.


"This horse dinner means a great deal more than most people think," said Mrs. Hornbrook. "It is intended to show the horse owners that their animals must be cared for and to set an example for them to follow. Some of the papers have made a humorous affair out of it, when it is anything but humorous and has a most humane object.

"It is not intended simply to fill the empty stomach of some poor animal for the time being," said Mr. Weeks, "but is to create a kindly sentiment for dumb animals. We show the horse owners what a sample meal is and that is something some of them know very little about. The ten pounds of oats we give them is a double portion of a standard feed. The owners of all the big fine animals we see hitched to drays on the streets feed their horses five pounds of the best oats at a meal. Along with the oats we give out, we also give the horse owners a copy of 'Black Beauty' and the tag containing advice about the care of horses an d we hope your Christmas dinner for the horses will do good."

To many horse owners, who called for feed at Convention hall between 9 a. m. and 6 p. m., Mr. Weeks, Mrs. Hornbrook and other workers agents of the Humane Society gave good advice. Some of the callers were persons with whom agents of the society had come in contact in their work and there were scores of promises, such as "well, we'll take better care of our horses from now on."

Posted about the corridor in Convention hall yesterday, were copies of new cards issued by the Humane society. They read, "Be kind to your horse. Do not forget his water, feed and shelter."

Christmas day was the most notable day for the poor work horse in the history of Kansas City. No wonder a new meaning was given to the slang expression, a "horse laugh."