Horse Connection Reward Program
Horses Serving During and After War
Ever since humans decided to ride the horse, the horse has carried people into battle. The fancy moves of “airs above ground” that the Lipizzaner Stallions from Austria display today date back to when they were used in time of war. Jumping up and kicking out with both the front and back feet at the same time could knock down the enemy and protect the rider. They were so valuable for this training that during many different periods of war they were moved from Austria for safety.
Ranches in the Unites States that raised horses and mules for war time use were called “Re-mount Stations” The Quartermaster Corps in the 1770’s was in charge of training these horses and mules. These animals were needed to pull wagons of supplies, carry soldiers and pull cannons before machines did all the work. Soldiers who were lucky to ride a horse into battle were a part of the Calvary. In the late 1800’s General George McClellan designed a saddle for the Calvary that was both sturdy and would not cost too much. The military today still uses a “McClellan” saddle for a funeral procession which involves a “Caisson” wagon.
Caisson wagons were built to carry big cannons, spare wheels and extra parts for the gun. Today they carry flag draped coffins of military heroes and are pulled by 6 perfectly matched horses. There are two teams of three. Three horses are hitched in front and the next team of three is hitched closer to the wagon. All the horses are saddled, but there are only four mounted soldiers who ride the horses on the left side. This tradition is from the days when the horses on the right side would have carried extra provisions and feed.
Sometimes the Caisson is followed by a riderless “Caparisoned” horse led by a soldier. Empty riding boots are place backward in the stirrups to symbolize that this “warrior” will never ride again. Black Jack was a famous caparisoned horse who was in the funerals of five US presidents and many other military men. He had this very solemn job for 24 years.
How Well did You Read? Fill in the blanks:
The “corps” who trained horses and mules for the army____________
Stop and Smell the Horses
Youth – Join us for the CHA International Conference in Silverton, Oregon
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