Part 2: The Horse As Soldier

II. The Horse as Soldier

A. Enlistment [Selection]
1. Inspected by a team of three officers
2. Test ride
3. Qualifications
a. Age: 5-8 years
b. Height: 14-16 hands
c. Weight: 750-1100 lbs
d. Build: Good withers
e. Feet: Small
4. Common problems
a. Wind sucker
b. Cribber
B. Branding
1. A US was branded on the near shoulder on the same day as purchase in front of the Board
2. They were branded on the near hip with the number of the regiment and the letter of the company
C. Assignment
1. To the Company by color
2. To a specific Trooper
3. Record kept by quartermaster
a. Name, sex, age, size, marks, brands and peculiarities
b. When/where acquired, length of service, fitness
c. Name of rider
d. Date, cause of death or transfer
4. Could not be ridden by anyone else unless by permission of the Captain
D. Isolation
1. 2-3 days or as long as feasible
E. Shoeing
1. By the farrier
2. Done monthly
3. Preformed shoes (2) carried by trooper
4. Also carried nails
F. Training
1. General
a. Trained by the best horsemen
b. Always be gentle and patient, never mean
c. Trained to be ridden and to follow orders
2. Endurance
a. Plenty of exercise, a minimum of 2 hrs/day regardless of weather
b. Learned to march at different gaits
1) Walk - 3 3/4 mph
2) Trot - 7 1/2 mph
3) Gallop - 10 mph
c. Had to carry 240 lbs or more, included rider [estimated at 140 lbs]

© 2000 by Dr John Productions
The New Buffalo Soldiers, Shadow Hills, CA.
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