Horses in the Military, Police & Other Public Services, etc.

Even in today's Modern Society, horses still play an important role in our lives. This thread is for horses from the States and around the world that still provide service to the public who are not in the sports venue. Any equine breeds are welcome here...including Budweiser horses and horses in the farming and lumber industry!
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  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited November 2014
    FORT MYER: LIFE AT THE OLD GUARD:
    While visiting The Old Guard, I got to watch the daily preparation and grooming of these magnificent horses and the hardworking staff that maintain the facility. I have more personal photos of this visit, but this video speaks volumes!

    Video of life at the Old Guard

    HELPING CHILDREN HEAL...KLINGER THE CAISSON HORSE!
    Caisson horses provide other services as well, including therapy for wounded soldiers. But here is a Caisson horse named Klinger that also help grieving children heal as well.
    This is the full article:
    http://www.horsecollaborative.com/The-Horse-Who-Helps-Grieving-Children/

    Klinger
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    Photo from www.horsecollaborative.com

    THE CAISSON PLATOON STEEPED IN HISTORY AND DUTY...
    http://ncojournal.dodlive.mil/2014/04/08/caisson-platoon-ncos-work-to-honor-fallen-comrades-families/
  • SARGEANT YORK...THE REIGNING CAPARISONED HORSE
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         I remember reading an article in Equus about Sergeant York - a retired standard-bred racer who became the "riderless" horse for the caisson and specifically for President Reagan's funeral. I believe, because President Reagan was a horseman, he carried his actual saddle and riding boots.
         That is very true PlainBays. It was President Reagan's boots and saddle that Sargeant York was carrying during Reagan's funeral procession.
         When I visited the Old Guard, Sargeant York was in his stall and was constantly surrounded by admirers so I couldn't take a good photo of him. Poor guy, he was trying to sleep. Sargeant York was born in 1991 so he was 22 years old when I saw him. As a standardbred, he is very slender and petite (15.0 hh) compared to the Caisson horses but still very handsome at his age. When he was racing, his original name was Allboard Jules (Royce (1977) x Amtrak Collins (1983) by Computer (1978). Fortunately for the handlers, Sargeant York is much more manageable than Black Jack. :oD
         In the display case at the stables, I saw a photo of Sargeant York bearing President Reagan's boots & saddle during that procession. Later on, I'll try to post some photos of the interesting images & sites I came across while there.
  • PanioloGal, thanks for the articles and videos about the Old Guard and Klinger, as well as Sargeant York. Perfect information for honoring on Veterans Day, but I didn't see these until today, but I shared them on Facebook any way. Thank you for bringing them to us.
  • GETTING TO MEET SARGEANT YORK...
    Pardon the blurry photos. LOL! My husband was using a new camera and hadn't gotten to figure out the options for indoor shots...let alone moving animals! I was busy trying to pull out apple slices from my backpack so I didn't get to take any photos of Sargeant York with my own camera.

    After a group of visitors left the Fort Myer "Old Guard" facility, we were finally able to get alone time with Sargeant York. Fortunately for us, he had just gotten up from his nap. You can tell the handler had a good "connection" with Sargeant York and the handler's gentle touch brought comfort to Sargeant.
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  • These are great - thanks for posting! I loved reading about Sgt. York - Reagans funeral was the first president i can remember being laid to rest and i had known he was a horseman - it touched me when they mentioned the symbolism of the backward boots ( saying goodbye to his family and that he would never ride again) - very cool that you actually got to meet him!
  • These are wonderful, Paniolo_Gal. Thank you for sharing them.
  • Glad the posting of the Caisson horses and the riderless horse provided some new information many of us haven't been aware of...myself included. If you are ever in the area of Washington D.C. I hope you get a chance to see these noble horses and how they play an important part of the military tradition for those who served. The staff who work there are really dedicated to their positions. They have long days...starting at 4:00am and ending after 5:00p or later if needed.

    btw...The admission to the Old Guard Stables is free, all you need is transportation to their stables. They open their doors to the public from 12:00p to 4:00p daily (I believe). If you drive to the stables, be prepared to get your vehicle checked at the guard gate before you can enter.

    I'll dig up some more photos of the Old Guard and will continue to post interesting images while we were there later. :oD
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited November 2014
    MORE FROM THE OLD GUARD AT FORT MYER...
    MEET SARGEANT YORK'S UNDERSTUDY...OMAR!


    I had to do a bit of research before I could post these images. The attendant shown in the previous posting walked over to the next horse after Sargeant York and introduced Omar to us. I believe from the photo sequence and background in the photo that my husband took, this is Omar, Sargeant York's stall is right behind in this photo. Unfortunately, there was no nameplate on Omar's stall to reconfirm. Omar is more muscular than Sargeant York...he looked part Friesian in my opinion. Another handsome horse indeed!
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    Below: This is a photo found in the Old Guard's display case showing a close up of Omar's saddle during General Haig's 2010 funeral.
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    Sorry...there were so many horses at the Old Guard that it was hard to keep track of all their names in relation to the photos. I'll later post a few Caisson horses that I can identify by name later. Sorry if the photos may bore you if they are not sports related horses...but I believe these noble horses need a moment in the spotlight too.
  • You know, I will try to go to the stables for Arlington cemetery horses who pull funeral caskets in military regalia to gravesite. Father's friend and colleague had that honor. It was formal, beautiful, and amazing moving like military tributes can be, especially at Arlington cemetery. K
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited November 2014
    MEETING A FEW CAISSON HORSES AT THE OLD GUARD...
    A belated Thanksgiving thank you wish to these Noble, hardworking Caisson Horses at the Old Guard...

    Below 2 photos: This is Jerry, a flea-bitten grey horse next to Omar's stall...According to the handler, Jerry started out as a coal black horse...but turned grey as he got older.
    (Lower photo): He eagerly took the sliced apples I brought from his handler...
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    Below photos: Meet Mickey, a part Boulonnaise/Percheron draft mix...notice his strong, muscular neck. He was flirting with a mare (just behind his stall in the background) who was part of the dark team of horses. Yes, they allow mares into the Old Guard as well. Her name is Elvira. Unfortunately, photos taken of her did not come out.
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    Mickey's profile reminded me of the Classical Greek Horse Statues
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    Unfortunately, Warrant Office Benner who took over the personal tour informed us that Mickey had a left eye infection and might lose that eye. However, even if he loses his left eye...he could still be used as a Caisson Horse by placing his good right side to the public view.
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    Below: Meet Sure Fire and Ringo. Sure Fire (left) was a true apple hog! Both Sure Fire and Ringo were hoping for another serving of apples from me in this photo.
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    Here's "Apple Hog" Sure Fire!
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    It's Dinner Time in the Old Guard! Mickey is the horse on the front right while Ringo and Sure Fire are in the stalls in the far back right side in this photo. The horses on the close left is Roosevelt and behind him is Patton. The Old Guard stable is much bigger. You are only seeing a portion of the stable, looking halfway down one aisle.
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  • Thanks for sharing the new photos! All of those horses are beautiful and I'm sure they really appreciated your apples! That big guy, Mickey, certainly does look like one of the classical statues from Greece or Italy - such a beauty!
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited November 2014
    Yes...Mickey is very striking in appearance and he knew it! A real casanova with next door mare Elvira too! It was a joy seeing the personalities of each horse we visited. The funniest personalities were Sure Fire and his partner in crime Ringo. :oD

    I'll gather some more historic or interesting photos on the caisson and tack later.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited December 2014
    A DAY WHICH WILL LIVE IN INFAMY...THE SUNDAY MORNING BOMBING OF PEARL HARBOR ON DECEMBER 7, 1941...
    A day to reflect and remember all those who fell in wars past..and present..

    This is another entry of photos from the Old Guard. Although not pertaining to WWII, this post is based on another epic war...The Civil War. I suppose those who are into Civil War History might use this entry as a supplement to their already deep knowledge of that time period...

    A REPLICA OF GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE'S HORSE, TRAVELLER??
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    The above photo was taken in the section of the Old Guard stables that held memorabilia and I found this grey horse with Civil War tack but there were no identifying labels or signs. It might have been brought over from a museum just across the street that was closed for renovation. I contacted the Old Guard and was unable to get any background information about this grey horse...it perhaps could have been Robert E. Lee's horse "Traveller" (1857-1871)...but I am not sure. In researching, I found that this saddle and bridle ensemble shown above is a replica of the 1859 McClellan Civil War Officer Saddle/Tack with the saddle pad ( Schabraque) for a Civil War General. The horse model is wearing a bit similar to an 1840 Dragoon Officer's Bit, brass sheathed with snaffle rings.

    Border States Leatherworks notates that Fort Myer, Arlington National Cemetery was one of their clients. The saddle/bridle set indeed looks like one of BSL's replicas. See the link below which explains the details of the construction for the saddles and bridles. The saddle exhibited at the Fort Myer-Old Guard (above) looks like Border States Leatherworks replication from the actual Civil War saddle of General John Wilson Sprague borrowed from a private collector.
    http://www.borderstatesleatherworks.com/mcclellan-civil-war-saddles.php

    Below: General William Tecumseh Sherman's horse...LEXINGTON!
    Lexington (1850-1/1/1875) was a famous Kentucky Racehorse whose speed was essential during the battles fought during the Civil War. The photo below was taken in 1864 during the "Burning of Atlanta", Sherman's "March To The Sea". Lexington's colt, Cincinnati (1860-1878) was a gift to General Hiram Ulysses Grant in 1864. Note the Civil War Officer's Tack (minus the covered stirrup) on Lexington.
    (Disclaimer-Other pedigree photos of Lexington (1850) shows a horse with 4 socks with a star & snip-this photo may not be Lexington).
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    Photo of Sherman and Lexington from: http://www.forensicgenealogy.info/contest_253_results.html

    Below is a painting of General Lee's surrender to General Grant at Appomattox (4/9/1865).
    imagePainting from www.angelfire.com

    Refer to the tack in this photo below of President Grant's horse at his funeral on 7/23/1885 at Mount McGregor, New York. From the family's photo album.
    (Note: The caparisoned horse is not Cincinnati as he had already passed away in 1878)
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    From mredsmokeban.blogspot.com

    Trivia: "Ulysses wasn't Grant's real first name. Hiram Ulysses Grant was stuck with the name Ulysses S. Grant due to a mistake on his application form to West Point. And as with President Harry S. Truman, the middle initial "S" doesn't stand for anything!"
    (Information from blog.constitutioncenter.org).
  • Thanks for all the new research and photos, Paniolo_Gal. It is important to remember and honor Pearl Harbor day and all of the lives lost and impacted in other ways. Every time I see photos of the memorials there it just tears me up.

    On the other hand, don't those Cavalry saddles look incredibly uncomfortable?
  • I've been remembering Pearl Harbor all day. On twitter, the U.S.S. Arizona has been tweeting events for a few weeks leading up to today in real time and it's so fascinating and chill inducing. Some have actually made me cry. They've also included photos taken by Japanese in bombers of the destruction. If anyone is interested, you can go to twitter and search USS Arizona and read the tweets. You don't have to be on twitter to read them.
    Here is one tweet, so sad.
  • edited December 2014
    Also, Paniolo_Gal, Thank you for this on the Civil War horses. I'm a huge Civil War buff and love to read about Traveller and Lexington and all their horses. Thanks for doing them! The photo of the horse replica definitely looks like it could be Traveller. The heart shaped martingale looks to be from the period.
    http://www.regtqm.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/cavalry martingale heart.jpg
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited December 2014
    Thanks louisecastello for your confirmation that it could be Traveller! On that grey horse, I looked at my travel notes and photos my husband took (he usually takes photos of the labels/signs to ID the display) and there was nothing to identify the horse. I had the phone number to the Old Guard, but when I contacted their office, the person answering the phone didn't have a clue either. Appreciate your reconfirmation that it is from the Civil War era. That yellow martingale you attached is what we saw, except that it had an 'eagle" instead of the regiment number so it was a high ranking officer's mount...like a general since the two stars with the eagle on the saddle pad (Schabraque) was another indicator of the rank.

    But my question is...did the South use the same type of saddle/tack as the North? I am not a Civil War buff but it was interesting getting as far as I could on that mystery grey horse. I guess this is for future research as well.
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited December 2014
    On the other hand, don't those Cavalry saddles look incredibly uncomfortable?
    This rather uncomfortable looking saddle was a result of economics and comfort for the horse. Also, but not indicated in my finding while in research...most if not all of the soldiers back then were males and it made ergonomic sense for the male rider on long riding treks as well. :oD

    The McClellan Saddle was designed by a military officer, George B. McClellan who went to other countries and researched their tack. His saddle design was a result of observing the designs of saddles used in the Prussian War and the Spanish tree saddle used in Mexico at the time. One of the main reasons for the split opening in the center of the saddle was to provide better comfort for the horse's sensitive spine. In addition, it was a strong yet lightweight saddle that used less materials to manufacture. This lighter weight allowed for better endurance for the horse as well.

    I'll later provide photos from the Old Guard Tack Room and some research on these and other saddles used by cavalry soldiers in the past. :oD
  • Paniolo_Gal, The North and the South did not have the same equipment . The US cavalry were issued their equipment, including horses, by the government and I believe it was all pretty much standard. The Confederates had to provide their own horses and equipment. I'm pretty sure they all provided their own saddles and tack in the south and they all had different kinds including civilian western and English saddles. Some had the McClellan and I think the government issued them during the last year of the war, but they didn't have a whole lot of leather by then and had to add different materials to complete them. A lot of the officers, though, were given nice, ornate saddles and decorations by civilians raising money and presenting them as gifts.

  • Thanks louisecastello for the explanation about the tack differences between the North & South. So obviously that grey horse (aka Traveller?) had the top of the line tack as a mount for General Lee. Great info!
  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited December 2014
    AT FORT MYER "THE OLD GUARD": 1ST SQUAD TACK ROOM
    Fortunately for us, the squadron was busy untacking the caisson horses and had left the two tack room doors momentarily opened. We were able to take these photos from just outside the room. I'm not sure what kind of saddles they are currently using. I also found out that the stables has two tack rooms...one from which the horses are currently using and the other tack room for the reconditioning, repair and cleaning of the equipment. They alternate tack rooms weekly.

    Okay...according to this link, judging from the tack room photos, it looks like they are using a saddle design based on the 1862 Grimsley Artillery Driver's Saddle...but that is only my opinion.
    http://borderstatesleatherworks.com/grimsley-mexican-war-saddles.php

    There is also a unit Leather Shop a few doors down from the stables where a previously active duty member of the Old Guard is in charge, his name is Mr. Berks who has served as saddle maker for the Caisson Platoon since 1981. He crafts the tack from scratch following traditional military tack designs from field artillery harness originating from the 1890's. These are from old manuals from the US Army Quartermaster Corps.
    http://www.equitrekking.com/articles/entry/the_horses_of_the_caisson_stable..._honoring_those_who_served/

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  • Paniolo_GalPaniolo_Gal Member
    edited December 2014
    THE SADDLES USED IN PRESIDENT REAGAN'S FUNERAL OF JUNE 2004
    During Reagan's State funeral, these are apparently the various McClellan Saddles that were worn by the Caisson horses in the funeral ceremonies. The one on the far left shows the raw base structure (tree) of these saddles.

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    Here are some interesting links on the evolution of saddles and the detail background of the McClellan saddle:
    The History of the Saddle:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddle
    The evolution of the McClellan Saddle
    http://www.militaryhorse.org/studies/mcclellan/
    The Enduring McClellan Saddle & Saddles used in the Civil War, etc:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McClellan_saddle
  • What great photos of the military tack at Fort Meyer! Love the links for more information also. Very interesting!!
  • Thanks Celeste_in_TX! I'll later post photos of the historic caissons up close with some of the Caisson horses tacked up.
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