By: Deb Kitchenmaster
For thousands of years, humankind has relied on horses to support our lives. For much of that time, horses have been used in battle. Some people choose to wear a purple poppy on Remembrance Day to remember the sacrifice made by animals in warfare.
Different breeds of horses brought different attributes to the battlefield. Some animals were required to carry heavy loads. Others needed speed and agility to carry soldiers as they fought.
Let’s have some fun identifying some warhorse breeds and specific horses that helped humanity. Choices are: Trigger, Marwari, Destrier, Arabian, Thessalian, Winchester, Traveller, Haleb, Comanche, Friesian, Andalusian, Kidron.
- ____________The King of war horses, sometimes referred to as “the Great Horse.” It was not a breed but a type of horse, usually a stallion. They were bred, raised, and trained specially for battle.
- _____________Takes its name from the region where it was first bred, the Netherlands. It was popular as a war horse throughout the Early and High Middle Ages. The horses’ calm demeanor made them less likely to get spooked by the noise and chaos around them.
- _____________Has been used in battle by civilizations from the ancient Egyptians. On the battlefield display of its intelligence, speed, stamina, and agility had great value. They were used for raids as chargers and in battle.
- ______________Known as the “royal horse of Europe”; was the mount of choice for kings and noblemen. Henry VIII and French Monarchs Louis XIII and Louis XIV rode this breed of horse. Today, not only dressage events but this breed of horse is used in TV and films, including the Lord of the Rings movies.
- ____________Originates from Northwest India. Prized for its hardiness, loyalty and courage in battle. It was noted for its exceptional hearing and sense of direction. These horses were often able to return wounded soldiers from the battlefield without guidance. Its most distinctive feature is its ears, which curve gently inwards. They can rotate a full 180 degrees.
- ___________Perhaps the most famous of all war horses (Bucephalus) comes from this breed. This was the beloved steed of Alexander the Great. Legend has it that the 12- year-old, Alexander won the horse in a bet with his father. If he could tame him, his father said, he could have him. Alexander succeeded by speaking calmly to his stallion and turning him away from the sun. The result was a partnership between man and horse that lasted almost 20 years.
- ___________The birth name given to this horse was “Rienzi.” He carried General Philip H. Sheridan during most of the Civil War. A very important moment in time was when General Sheridan rode this horse from Winchester, Virginia to Cedar Creek, Virginia in time to rally his troops and turn almost-certain defeat into victory.
- ____________This horse became famous as General of the Armies’ John J. ‘Blackjack’ Pershing’s horse. Historic photographs show him riding his horse triumphantly through the Victory Arch in New York City at the end of World War I.
- ___________Also known as the “Pride of the Desert,” this Arabian horse beat 19 Morgan horses, winning the Justin Morgan cup in Vermont on June 1907. Stood 14.2 hands and weighed 960 pounds. The origin of this stallion was cited as Mesopotamia.
- ____________Famous as General Robert E Lee’s horse.
- ____________He was known as the sole survivor of General George Custer’s command at the Battle of Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876. Of Mustang lineage, born about 1862, captured in a wild horse roundup, gelded and sold to U.S. Army Cavalry on April3, 1868, for $90.
- ____________Neither a racehorse nor the mount of a famous general, this horse was owned by a movie star cowboy, Roy Rogers. The golden palomino stallion appeared in all of Rogers’ 90 feature films and 101 television shows. “He had great rein and could spin on a dime.” This horse had stamina, beauty, intelligence and a remarkable gentle disposition.
Remember to spread honor to your state and country, VOTE